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Cornell University Library 
CT 788.A37A3 

Joseph Gundry Alexander, 

3 1924 007 754 298 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis bool< is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 












In compiling the following pages I have been greatly 
helped by some of my father's fellow-workers in 
his various activities. In reply to requests I 
received a number of valuable reminiscences, records 
of activities, estimates of his work and character. 
These papers were sent on the generous understanding 
that they would not necessarily be quoted verbatim. 
As a matter of fact some are quoted in part or in 
full ; with others it has been more convenient to 
incorporate their purport in my own writing. To 
aU who have contributed in this way I am much 
indebted. I owe still more to my father's brothers, 
to my mother and my wife, and I also wish to thank 
several other relatives and friends for advice, 
information and criticism. 

July, 1920. H.G.A. 




I EARLY LIFE - - l8 




VI FRANCE - - - 98 



INTERESTS - - - - 152 

IX PEACE - - - - - 174 





My father was not a famous man — except, perhaps, 
in China ; and this small volume is not an attempt 
to add another chapter to the history of the nine- 
teenth century. Nor, on the other hand, is it written 
solely for the benefit of those who knew and loved 
and respected him. Their personal memories, it 
may be hoped, are of greater value than any written 
memorial. The true memorial of such men as he 
is the work they have accomphshed — or attempted 
— and the influence of their example- on those who 
loved them. And yet there is something more that 
may be added. 

My father would have disclaimed any great 
intellectual capacity, any exceptional eloquence or 
literary gift, force of character or compelling 
personality. It is true that he would sometimes 
display powers well above the average. But his 
was one of those simple, unassuming natures that 
makes no attempt to force attention by the display 
of exceptional qualities. Lovable he was, very 
gentle and patient, conscientious and persevering 
in aU that he did. But these qualities, happily, are 
found in many men and women the world over. 
And yet he accomphshed more in his hfe than many 
men who make a far greater display. One in- 
estimable privilege he had — a wife who entered into 


all his concerns, who made it easy for him to carry 
them out, who encouraged, criticised, gave counsel 
and most loyal support. And there were within 
himself great resources of devotion and faith. He 
always worked on at each self-appointed task until 
it was finished. With many of us the cares of this 
world tend to blur the vision, and the purpose 
becomes dulled by the callous indifference or hostility 
even of those whose sympathy we expect. My 
father's visions remained clear to the end, and his 
purposes were still the same. He was sometimes 
discouraged, but he never lost faith. The work to 
which he set his hand in impulsive youth was still 
his active work till the end. He would often embark 
on fresh enterprises, but he never gave up the old. 
Each new activity that caught his attention was 
thoroughly mastered in all its details, so that he was 
always among the leaders of the many movements 
in which he shared. Nothing was too small to be 
worth understanding fully and doing thoroughly, 
nothing too great to be grappled with. And it was 
all practical work. He wanted men and women 
everywhere to be able to live purer, happier, freer 
lives. Therefore he strove to abolish all kinds of 
slavery ; to suppress the opium trade between India 
and China ; to substitute arbitration and federation 
for unjust and brutal war. The uncivihsed races of 
the world were being exploited by the white races, 
and must be freed from such forms of slavery, in 
order that they might develop their own best life ; 
the people of the East were being forced into 
degradation by the Powers of the West ; they too 


must be given the chance of living undegraded 
lives ; the liberties of all the world were stunted and 
imperilled by the burden of armaments and the 
fear of war ; these must be removed. To many 
to-day, including those whose eyes have been opened 
by the havoc of war, such objects as these seem good, 
and worth striving after ; though some may think 
them not so constructive as might be wished, reminis- 
cent of the days when the doctrine of laissez-faire 
reigned supreme. But this was not all. 

Side by side with these and similar activities were 
equally devoted efforts to promote in many countries 
the preaching of what is known broadly as evan- 
gehcal Christianity — especially in China, Madagascar, 
Basutoland, and, strange as it may seem to those 
who talk gUbly of Christian Europe, in France and 

What was the relation of this interest in " gospel 
work " to the interest in so-called philanthropic 
activities ? A superficial judgment, from the modem 
point of view, ndght conclude that there was none, 
that the evangehcal interest was a survival of 
Victorian preachings in a mind that was sufficiently 
open to modem ideas to give at least a large share 
of its energy to more definite humanitarian work. 
We of the twentieth century are so ^pt to associate 
prayer meetings and Gospel preachings with a severe 
countenance and a pecuhar jargon that we forget 
what a close connection the words " Gospel," 
" salvation," " sin," " redemption." have had to 
such vital questions as the treatment of native races 
or the ending of war. 


To my father, as without doubt to many more 
of his generation and of the same faith, the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ meant what it said : " good news " 
— " good tidings to the poor, release to the captives, 
recovery of sight to the blind, liberty for them that 
are bruised." Such was Christ's account of His 
own mission, and such, in my father's judgment, 
should be the work of all Christians. To him peace 
and liberty were an essential part of the gospel ; 
salvation, as he understood it, included salvation 
from the evils of war, of slavery, and other forms 
of oppression, of drunkenness and misery ; sin, 
the practice of them ; redemption, the joy of living 
a good life, not a life of religious ceremony only, but 
of service to one's fellow-men. His rehgious hfe 
and humanitarian activities formed one harmonious 
whole. His interest in mission work, and his interest 
in peace, together led him to undertake a journey to 
China, in order to combat the propensity of many 
Christian missionaries to confuse the gospel of . Christ 
with the warUke habits of modern Christendom ; 
and his interest in missions again prompted him more 
than once to visit Paris, in order to obtain better 
government, including religious freedom, for thg 
Malagasy. His conviction was that the royal road 
to human good was by learning, understanding and 
accepting the truth contained in the words of 
Christ ; the revelation of God there shown was to 
him the one sure foundation : this was the positive 
basis of good with which he strove to replace the 
evils of war and slavery. The life and words of 
Christ were to him real, life-giving and invincible. 


And it was because Christ's faith in God and man 
had not failed even when shame and death seemed 
to overwhelm His life-work, that my father, acutely 
conscious as he was that much of his life-work was 
to all appearance ruined in the war, still worked on 
to the end undaunted, with a growing and amazing 
faith — not bUnd, but seeming to see further than 
mortal eye — as month by month he wore himself 
out in the service of men. ' He " never feared, though 
right were worsted, wrong would triumph." 

Most men have not this faith to-day. We build 
projects of reconstruction and leagues of nations ; 
we speak of social revolution and national autonomy ; 
but when the way to the goal proves very long and 
arduous a strong temptation arises to seek short 
cuts by violence, fraud and cajolery, or to relapse 
into weak compromise and non-committal statesman- 
ship. Orthodox religion is discarded because it has 
lost touch with life ; but we are still at a loss for a 
new way of salvation. We are in need of some 
deep faith that will remain unshaken by life's calami- 
ties. It may not be quite the same faith that my 
father had ; it will not express itself in the same 
words, but if it is expressed in unconquerable effort 
towards human welfare the spirit is always the 

The main purpose of this book, then, is to show 
how one man, without exceptional talent, by faith 
was able to shake, or even to remove, mountains. 

His life, like any other, was composed of many 
strands, woven together too intricately to be 
unravelled by the most delicate hand, but all along 


can be discerned an unbroken faith, a profound 
belief that every man has in him some element of the 
divine, and that, if it could be brought under 
Ghrist-like influence, it would transform him into 
a man of noble aim, worthy to live in true Uberty 
with his fellows. 

* « <» Ik 

The book has become longer than was at first 
intended. On the one hand, my father identified 
himself so closely with the various movements in 
which he participated that it has been impossible 
to describe his work without giving some idea of the 
scope of each movement during his association with 
it. Again, the value of his work depended so much 
on the care given to details that it has seemed 
impossible to omit all detail ; the reader who may 
find the succession of towns visited or meetings held 
or congresses attended from time to time rather 
tedious, is asked to believe that a great deal of detail 
with an almost equal claim to record has been 
omitted. A better literary artist might have been 
able to convey the sense of detailed appUcation in 
fewer words. I have done my best, and trust no 
one will be overwhelmed by the result. 

My greatest difficulty has been in the attempt to 
give a true account of some of his religious activities. 
His theology, or at least his way of expressing it, 
is not mine ; and the sense of relative values has 
changed. I have tried to give a true account of 
his work in such a way that it may appeal to those 
who no longer use evangelical phraseology, as well 
as to those who do. I sincerely hope none of his 


older colleagues in religious work will feel that a 
wrong impression is created, or a sense of proportion 
established that he would not have approved. 

As I have read through the letters written on his 
journeys, and the periodical reports of some of the 
organisations with which he worked, I have been 
almost humiliated to discover how far his wisdom 
and insight extended beyond anything I had known. 
I can only hope that those who read his life may share 
some part at least of the inspiration that the writing 
of it has been to one of his sons. 

Chapter I 



Joseph Gundry Alexander was the youngest son 
of Samuel Alexander, who for some years had been 
living at Bath when Joseph was born there on 
April 20th, 1848. His mother, Sarah Alexander, 
was a daughter of Joseph Fry Gundry of Calne in 
Wiltshire. Through both his parents he was 
descended from families who for some generations 
had been members of the Society of Friends, and 
some of whom had suffered for adherence to 
principles which they held as vital to the cause of 

J. G. Alexander refers to this in a pamphlet 
published in 1901 entitled " War and Retribution," 
in which he says, " The monstrous anomaly grows on 
me the more I study the sayings of the Lord Jesus 
and of His early disciples, that Christians, including 
many whose sainthness and learning alike command 
my admiration, fail to see the contradiction between 
the Gospel of Christ and the practice of war. I do 
not find this a reason for ceasing to uphold 
what I believe to be the truth on this question, a 
truth which has come down to me through Quaker 
ancestors, some of whom suffered to death in the 

19 3 


jails of the seventeenth century, whilst others at a 
later date surrendered prospects of high emolument, 
and even their means of livelihood, rather than com- 
promise their convictions of the unlawfulness of 

The reference here is partly to his great-grand- 
father, William Alexander, who, having become 
convinced of the truth of Quakerism, especially 
of the unlawfulness of all participation in war, 
gave up his post as foreman in the naval 
dockyard at Chatham, in the eighteenth century. 
Apart from a family tradition that he was found 
to have a birthright claim to membership in the 
Society of Friends, nothing appears to be known of 
his antecedents. But he was clearly a man of 
unusual force of character. He left the dockyard 
against strong pressure and several of the workmen 
followed his example. More than a generation later 
his name was still remembered there with respect. 
He started a private school in Rochester, the 
advertisement of which is still extant. This school 
flourished till about 1820, and several Quaker 
notables received their education in it. Amongst 
these was Wilham Allen, chemist and philanthropist, 
a man who influenced Governments and Emperors. 

William Alexander's son, William, J. G. 
Alexander's grandfather, was sent to a bank in 
London. He also gave up his prospects because he 
could not participate in raising loans for carrying 
on the Napoleonic wars. Soon after, in 1810, he 
founded the well-known Lombard Street business of 
Alexanders. He died in middle life, as the result of 

1848-55] EARLY LIFE 21 

an accident, leaving a widow and eight children. 
His widow, Ann Alexander (nee Barber), came of 
a long lived strain, and lived to the age of eighty- 
six. Her children all lived to a good age. Of the 
five sons, Samuel, father of J. G. Alexander, died 
youngest at the age of seventy-four. The other four 
brothers lived to be over eighty, one of them to the 
age of ninety. The three sisters outlived them all. 
Mary Barber and Ehzabeth died within a week of 
each other in 1907, aged respectively one hundred and 
three and nearly ninety-four, and Sarah Ann, the 
youngest of the family, died the day before her 
one hundred and first birthday, in January, 1917, a 
month before her nephew J. G. Alexander himself. 

Samuel Alexander was a strict Friend and abo- 
htionist. Joseph, as a Uttle boy in Bath, used to see 
the baiUfis enter the house to seize his father's silver 
spoons in payment of church rates ; whilst escaped 
slaves were sometimes received as visitors into the 
house, sometimes to speak at anti-slavery meetings 
at which his father would preside. Samuel 
Alexander also superintended a free-labour depot in 
Bath for the sale of goods such as sugar and cotton 
which had not been produced by slave labour. 

Joseph's mother was a devout and spiritually- 
minded woman. She expressed her desire for her 
children in these words : "I feel my responsibility 
for the sacred duty of training them very deeply and 
I desire to bring my need for help in this respect, 
daily and hourly to Him who is able to bestow all 
gifts and talents, and who knows it is the strongest 
wish of my heart to bring my dear children up for 


Him in the knowledge and love of God their Saviour." 
There were six children, four brothers and two sisters, 
one of whom was younger than Joseph and the play- 
mate of his early years. As a small boy Joseph 
was of a remarkably studious and thoughtful dis- 
position, so that his companions nicknamed him 
" the Philosopher." One of the earliest recollections 
of him is that after breakfast he would take 
Josephus's " History of the Jews " (a large volume 
which he was scarcely able to carry), place it on the 
sofa and, kneeling beside it, pore over its contents 
by the hour whilst his httle sister SaUy would 
implore in vain, " Joey, do come and play ! " 

In 1855, when Joseph was seven years old, his 
father moved from Bath to Leominster in Hereford- 
shire, where he took an ironmongery business, and 
four years later Joseph was sent to a small private 
Friends' school at Brighton, kept by Frederick 
Taylor and his wife. Whilst at school he was 
befriended by Mrs. Morrison, widow of the pioneer 
Chinese missionary, who seems to have sown the first 
seeds of his interest in the welfare of the Chinese 
people ; he also first met a Friend, Christine Alsop, 
{nee Majolier, of Congdnies in the Gard, South of 
France) who was afterwards instrumental in leading 
him to devote much of his life to France. 

During these early years Joseph became 
deeply conscious of the reality of death. His 
brother George was drowned in the river at Leo- 
minster while bathing, both his sisters died, and, 
worst blow of all, he lost his mother when he was 
only twelve years old. But her training and love 

1860-63] EARLY LIFE 23 

were a very precious memory to him throughout his 
life, and she had certainly done much to form in him 
a character that endured to the end. He used to 
say that the thought of his httle sister in heaven had 
also been a great inspiration to him. 

When Joseph left Brighton he was sent to 
another private Friends' school under Till Adam 
Smith, at Weston-super-Mare ; but in 1863, when 
he was fifteen, he left school and returned to Leo- 
minster to serve behind the counter in his father's 

Before the family settled at Leominster the 
Friends' meeting there had been held for many years 
in silence except for the occasional visits of ministers 
from other meetings. Now a new spiritual life 
began. At the funeral of Joseph's brother George 
his mother first broke the silence. From that time 
onward, from time to time, she spoke with power in 
the Leominster meeting. Some of the younger 
members of the meeting began to feel that they, too, 
had messages to give to their fellow-worshippers. 
An elder showed his disapproval of this out- 
break of vocal utterance, and tried to check it. 
But Sarah Alexander would not be silenced. 
After a time the repressive elder relented. He 
began to encourage the young speakers. Finally, 
he too found that he had sometimes a word to say 
in the Meeting. Soon other activities, including an 
Adult School, developed, as channels through 
which the ardent young Friends could carry this new 
sense of Kfe to their fellow-townsmen. A few years 
later the meeting-house had to be enlarged. 


Before|her death Sarah Alexander was recorded 
as a " Minister " of the Society, and she undertook 
some religious visits to other meetings and to the 
families of Friends. 

After he left school the time soon came when 
Joseph felt that he must consecrate his life more 
fully than hithferto to such work and service in the 
world as he felt guided by his heavenly Father to 
undertake. His spare time was spent in study, and 
in helping any good work in which others invited him 
to share ; these included the Adult School and Band 
of Hope. On his own initiative he also invited the 
workmen in his father's business to meet him a few 
minutes before beginning work at 6 a.m., to listen 
to a short reading from the Bible followed by prayer. 
This effort does not seem to have met with much 
encouragement, but the example led a companion 
to institute and carry on till his death a similar 
gathering in what became a large business in South 

It is clear from a diary he kept that he was 
dissatisfied with the quietism that pervaded 
Quakerism at the time ; he felt " ashamed of our 
favoured society whose members in early days 
traversed almost every then accessible part of the 
world to preach the Gospel." 

Apart from religious activities, though " not until 
I had a clear feeling that it was my religious duty to 
do so," he began to take a part in political Ufe, 
speaking in the Leominster Corn Exchange at a 
Liberal meeting at the 1868 election, " principally 
on the subject of national education." He spoke for 

I868-7I] EARLY LIFE 25 

about ten minutes, "and was received in a most 
hearty manner." During the same election he also 
addressed meetings at the Working Men's Club and 
a Temperance Meeting. 

A couple of years later, encouraged and assisted 
by his eldest brother Edward, Joseph G. Alexander 
resolved to undertake legal studies with a view to the 
Bar. He therefore began by working for London 
Matriculation, under the tutorship of Arthur H. 
Gilkes, afterwards Headmaster of Dulwich. In 
1870 he left Leominster and became an articled pupil 
of J. Bevan Braithwaite, a leading Friend and 
distinguished law-conveyancer. He gave special 
attention to the study of International Law. 

Whilst engaged in his legal studies he found a 
congenial home with his three maiden aunts at 
Reigate ; in 1871 he began to speak in the Friends' 
Meetings for Worship "there, and he joined in many 
philanthropic activities with the younger members 
of Reigate meeting. He was specially active in 
Temperance and Sunday School work. He took a 
great interest in a country meeting of Friends at 
Thakeham in Sussex, once the meeting regularly 
attended by William Penn, and for some time he 
visited it fortnightly for the week-end. 

At the Yearly Meeting in London in 1871 he 
heard Christine Alsop speak of the needs of France. 
Her call for workers to help in gospel labours came 
home to him. During and after the Franco-German 
war the Friends' War Victims' Relief Fund had helped 
to bring Friends into close contact with many people 
in Paris and other parts of France, and now the way 


seemed to be open for a spiritual message to the 
people. In November, 1871, as J. G. Alexander sat 
in a meeting at Reigate, he " experienced something 
of the fulfilment of the words, ' He shall show you 
things to come.' A sight was given me of service 
to be performed for my blessed Lord and Master, it 
being my conviction that it will some day be my 
place to go to China, and that ere the close of 
next year I shall have to go to France in connection 
with the work now being carried on by R. and C. 

Residence in Paris was certain to be of great use 
to him in his legal studies, particularly in view of his 
specialisation in International Law. In July, 
1872, he went to Paris, and undertook legal studies 
at the Sorbonne. His first experiences of Paris 
were immediately after the days of the Commune, 
and there can be little doubt that the impressions of 
those days, and the close sympathy with which he 
followed the early struggles of the Third Repubhc, 
gave him that clear understanding of and devotion 
to French life that formed one of the guiding 
passions of all his later years. 

Before he left England he had always conformed 
to the peculiar Quaker customs of wearing a " plain " 
i.e., coUarless, coat, and of using " thee and thou " 
in address. He now decided that it would be wrong 
" to come into this Roman CathoUc country in a 
peculiar dress " ; and finding that Christine Alsop 
and other Friends who had worked in France did not 
" tu-toyer," he dropped this too. As noted already, 
he was impatient with Quaker quietism ; and. 

1872] EARLY LIFE 27 

looking round for active religious workers, seeking 
to influence the world, with whom he could associate, 
he naturally found himself drawn more and more 
towards the vigorous evangelistic work of the time. 
Rather later than this, in order to express his unity 
with active fellow-Christians, he felt it right to be 
baptised and for a time he took the sacrament 
occasionally. In Paris, ^specially, he was forced 
to seek fellow-workers beyond his fellow-Quakers. 
It may be said that the spiritual and mystical nature 
of the Quakerism in which he was brought up saved 
him from much of the harsh and narrow dogma often 
associated with strict evangelicalism ; whilst his 
active co-operation with Christian workers of other 
sects set him free from some of the narrowing 
influences of Quakerism. In later life he found 
among his fellow-workers in good causes men with 
little or no profession of reUgion at all. 

Apart from the technical knowledge of French 
required by his studies, in his first few months in 
Paris J. G. Alexander acquired a very full knowledge 
of the language through the other activities to which 
he devoted himself ; in fact, as is perhaps not 
unusual in the case of foreigners who have a gift for 
language, in later years he seemed to speak French 
with greater eloquence, power and purity of diction 
than his own mother-tongue. The only relaxation 
from his studies which he gave himself was the work 
that had so largely contributed to take him to Paris 
— spreading evangeUcal Christianity among the 
ignorant people of the city. Some of these activities 
were in connection with the Paris branch of the 


Y.M.C.A. More important, however, was his connec- 
tion with the McAU Mission, with which he worked 
from time to time when in France until 1900. This 
mission was founded by a Scot, Dr. R. W. McAll, wh'o, 
when distributing tracts in a workmen's quarter in 
Paris, was asked if he would come and tell of God to 
the people. J. G. Alexander attended night after 
night as leader at one of the Paris mission centres. 
So deeply did this work take hold of him that he 
found it necessary to postpone his studies in order 
to undertake a two months' tour through France. 
Of this work he wrote : " I dare not doubt that I am 
called to this service by the Holy Spirit which I have 
striven to obey and learnt to love for more than ten 
years, which has now caused me to postpone 
prospects of temporal advantage. Could I expect 
that the Saviour who laid down His hfe for me, 
would be satisfied with a service which only occupied 
a few of my spare hours ? I feel constrained to this 
work, not as a self-chosen path of sacrifice, but as 
clearly pointed out to me by my unfailing and un- 
erring guide. May God's strength be perfected in 
my weakness." At the end of 1872 he attended a 
conference on EvangeUcal Protestantism in Europe 
at Geneva. On his return to England he writes in 
his diary, " I seem now to perceive the beginning of 
the fulfilment of my dear mother's death-bed blessing, 
' Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by 
a well, whose branches run over the wall.' " 

He was in England again before Christmas, and 
studsdng in London until July, 1873 ; in August he 
returned to Paris. An American Friend, Allan Jay, 

i873] EARLY LIFE 29 

visiting England in that year, called a conference of 
about a dozen young English Quakers, of whom 
J. G. Alexander was one, and suggested the starting 
of a special meeting for young men. These meetings 
were held monthly at different places in or near 
London, and grew into the Friends' Christian Fellow- 
ship Union. This Union has continued to flourish 
and expand as the main, organ of the " extension 
work " undertaken by young Friends of the London 
district. J. G. Alexander took an active part for 
some years whenever he was in England. 

On his return to Paris, during the first two months 
he helped Dr. McAll's work among the ouvriers, and 
then visited the Loire and the West coast, addressing 
meetings. Having been called to England by the 
serious illness of his father, he spent some time, after 
keeping the Hilary term at Lincoln's Inn, touring 
through Shropshire, holding meetings among Friends 
and others. His message was never a mere call to 
conversion, as if the first acceptance of Christian 
faith were alone needed for right living. As early as 
1870, at a conference he attended in Dublin, some 
speakers were urging that only those who could 
profess true conversion of soul should be allowed to 
take part in Sunday School teaching. J. G. 
Alexander, though very young and quite unknown 
to the leaders of the conference, broke in to declare, 
" There is Christianity of the blade and of the ear, 
as well as of the full corn in the ear." About this 
time, too, he wrote a pamphlet addressed particu- 
larly to younger members of the Society of Friends, 
under the title " Let no man despise thy youth." 


It was an earnest plea to younger men and women 
to adopt Paul's advice to Timothy, to begin active 
Christian work with the full enthusiasm of youth. 
He himself practised what he preached to others. 
He was generally ready to attend to the advice and 
admonition of his elders ; but no such admonition 
could prevent him from undertaking the work to 
which he felt impelled. 

Chapter II 



It would seem that eve^ during his time in Paris 
J. G. Alexander had doubts of ever giving himself 
at all completely to legal practice. He had, it is 
true, written a short time before that he felt he had 
been " born to the law," and his letters show a keen 
interest in law reform ; during his early years, too, 
he scraped together a good many honest pence by 
writing law reports for the Law Times and other 
papers ; and his mind favoured that precision and 
care in the accumulation of facts which is sometimes 
described as a " legal bent." Some years later he 
wrote a *' tract " on " Lawyers and Christianity." 
This is not, as might be supposed, a discussion of 
the ethics of advocacy. In the first few pages he 
discusses the " evidence " for the truth of Christi- 
anity, and observes that it is impossible to attain 
absolute certainty as to religious' truth. But the 
lawyer knows the importance of having " a good 
working hypothesis, and of accepting this as the 
truth when absolute truth is wanting," and he 
suggests that the " agnostic," the man without 
definite religious convictions, is a man who tries to 
face life without a working hypothesis. Such a 
man, he contends, can only expect to make ship- 
wreck of his life. And as Pascal had observed, 



" If Christianity were susceptible of absolute demon- 
stration, its acceptance could have no moral value." 
Then he proceeds to enumerate great lawyers, from 
Grotius onwards, who have been more than nominal 
Christians, and whose piety has been a real in- 
spiration to them in making their contributions to 
legal theory and practice. He quotes from a memoir 
of Sir WilUam Jones, a judge of the early days of the 
Indian Empire, a motto, correcting Sir Edward 
Coke, which might well have been his own : — 

" Sir Edward Coke. 
Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six, 
Four spend in prayer, the rest on nature fix, 

Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven. 
Ten to the world allot, and all to heaven." 

He also answers the objection that emphasis on 
personal salvation " may seem to savour of egoism; 
but it is true in religion, as in many other spheres of 
thought and action, that a man must obtain a post 
of vantage for himself before he can be serviceable 
to others." 

In this and other ways he showed deep interest in 
law, and in transforming it into a means of greater 
human good, but the law alone did not seem to 
provide full scope for him ; the actual process even 
of conveyancing law he seems to have found, to say 
the least, unattractive, and now, by 1874, he had 
felt so keenly the call to give himself as far as possible 
to more directly humanitarian and evangelistic 
work that he writes of " giving a few more months 
to this [evangehstic] work before settUng down — 
if I ever do settle down — to professional life." 


On his first arrival in Paris J. G. Alexander was 
at once befriended by Justine Dalencourt, who, for 
fifty years, has been the active centre of Quakerism 
in Paris. Friends' meetings were held near her home 
at Boulogne-sur-Seine, and he frequently assisted at 
her women's Bible-class. She introduced him to 
other Christian workers, and to members of her own 
family. He lodged witlj her sister, Mme. de Pradel, 
and was soon adopted into the family as a son, and 
was always welcomed to the house on his arrival in 
Paris, from this first residence till the time of Mme. 
de Pradel's death. Mme. de Pradel, who was a 
Cathohc, used to invite her friends to informal 
musical soirees. J. G. Alexander was never 
very musical, but he evidently enjoyed these 
occasions. He suggested to Mme. Dalencourt that 
they might sometimes sing hymns. Hymns were 
accordingly introduced, and occasionally a passage 
of Scripture read. For the time being that was all. 
Whatever Mme. de Pradel thought of it she 
acquiesced. Many years later Mme. Dalencourt 
was watching through the night as her sister lay on 
her deathbed. As death drew near Mme. de Pradel 
remembered the hymns sung in her salon many years 
before. In them she found consolation for her last 
hours on earth and death came to her in great peace 
as the sisters repeated the words together. Mme. 
Dalencourt remembered with gratitude the faith- 
fulness of the young man who had suggested the 
singing of hymns. It may be safely assumed that 
J. G. Alexander, however strong his conviction that 
some good would come from the singing of those 


hymns, had Uttle idea of the peace they would 
ultimately bring to the mind of his beloved " French 

He also formed in Paris what was perhaps the 
most intimate and devoted friendship of his life, 
with an Alsatian, Hermann Kriiger. In those days, 
as may well be supposed, Hermann Kriiger felt an 
intense desire to see the native land from which he 
was an exile reconquered and restored to France by 
force of arms. J. G. Alexander could not agree with 
him as to the method of re- vindicating justice in 
Alsace, but in evangelistic work they thought and 
acted with one mind and will ; and the day finally 
came when, to his friend's great joy, Hermann 
Kriiger, like so many of his compatriots, was con- 
vinced that there might be a better and surer way, 
requiring, indeed, more patience and self-control, 
of righting the wrong that had been done. This 
friendship continued after both friends were married, 
and developed into a close affection of the two 
families — an affection which endured after Hermann 
Kriiger's death. 

In 1874 the two friends made a tour of French 
Y.M.C.A.'s and visited Belgium together. Then 
J. G. Alexander returned to England and took first- 
class honours in his first LL.B. examination in 
January, 1875. In the spring of the latter year he 
undertook another missionary journey through the 
west of France, visiting a good many scattered and 
isolated churches, and in the summer he re- visited his 
friends in Paris and went from there to Strasburg. 
There he spent six happy weeks studjdng German, 


in order to be able to take a more intelligent interest 
in the proceedings at the Hague of the third congress 
of the Association for the Reform and Codification of 
the Law of Nations, afterwards the International 
Law Association. 

Whilst in Holland he took the opportunity to 
visit the Dutch Y.M.C.A.'s, and also attended some 
meetings in Antwerp. His was not one of those 
natures that are content to " know a country " 
through its capital city or its notorious beauty spots 
alone ; by the end of 1877 he had laid the foundation 
of a deep and wide knowledge of many sides of the 
great French nation as well as something of Alsatians, 
Dutch, Belgians and Germans. All this was of 
inestimable value towards forming a wise and under- 
standing judgment of the international situations 
that he tried to meet in later life. 

From Strasburg he had written to his brother, 
" Though I don't feel afraid of ultimately succeeding 
at the Bar yet I should greatly prefer getting such a 
position as Lecturer on Roman or International 
Law." It was evident that International Law had 
taken hold of him more than any other branch of his 
studies ; and this, no doubt, because he saw in its 
development a powerful aid to the ehmination of 
the so-called arbitrament of international war. 

His expert knowledge of International Law was 
turned to very useful account in more than one 
direction. His uncle, George Wilham Alexander, 
had been for many years the Treasurer and an active 
member of the Anti-Slavery Society ; in 1876 this 
Society found itself in rather low water, but with 


much work still to be done on behalf of the subject 
races in Africa and other parts of the world ; accord- 
ingly it appealed for young recruits to join its 
committee, and J. G. Alexander responded to the 
appeal. He remained one of the most valued 
members of the committee until his death. In 
the same year (1876) J. G. Alexander again attended 
the Congress of the International Law Association, 
this time at Bremen ; and he was appointed a 
member of a committee to make recommendations 
on Patent Law. Some useful work was done by this 
committee in framing a statement of the points of 
difference in existing national laws, and drawing up 
a scheme of principles for an international law. 
J. G. Alexander reported on behalf of the committee 
at the Frankfort Congress of 1878. In this way, 
as in many others, the Association helped to lay 
foundations on which the governments of the world 
could and did build a system of international law. 
In 1883 the first convention was signed at Paris for 
the creation of an International Union for the 
Protection of Industrial Property — i.e., Patents and 
Trade-marks ; and this union, with its permanent 
office at Berne, has continued to do much useful work 
in codifjdng the international law of the subject. 

In 1877, at Antwerp, J. G. Alexander took part 
in the discussion of Treaties as part of the Law of 
Nations. In 1878 he attended two conferences in 
Paris, that of the Institute of International Law, 
and the Patents Congress, where he presented the 
report prepared by the committee of the Inter- 
national Law Association. Then he attended the 


Association's Congress at Frankfort and afterwards 
went on behalf of the Anti-Slavery Society to the 
Berlin Congress of the Powers, as one of a deputation 
to urge that the slave trade should be recognised as 
piracy by international law. He personally 
approached Lord Sahsbury to press him to take steps 
to this end, but it was found impossible to pass any 
general declaration. The politicians had learnt 
nothing in fifty years. " Peace with honour," at 
Berlin in 1878, as at Vienna in 1814, left countless 
seeds of future wars to grow up and poison the life 
of the European nations ; and the renewed oppor- 
tunity for international abolition of the slave-trade 
scarcely received serious consideration. 

J. G. Alexander also formed one of a deputation 
to the German Crown Prince and Princess, " and 
was enabled to represent to the former the grievous 
injury done to his country by the prevalence of 
militarism and to express to him the hope that, if 
spared to succeed to the throne of that great empire, 
he might emulate the example of Solomon's peace as 
contrasted with the wars that have signahsed his 
father's reign hke David's." The Emperor Frederick 
did not hve to fulfil any such happy prophecy. 

This was the first occasion on which J. G. 
Alexander's work led him to attempt intervention 
in the affairs of states ; the failure of his mission only 
led him to more intense efforts. 

From Berhn he went for his health to join his 
elder brother in North Italy, .and experienced the 
thrills of an exciting chmb over the Diavolezza and 
the. Morteratsch glacier, where the gmde lost the 


track under the snow and by the time they reached 
the path to Pontresina again it was after eight 
o'clock, and J. G. Alexander was completely ex- 
hausted. The guide assisted' him, with rests, to 
Pontresina, and next day he was apparently none 
the worse for the experience. 

When he was in England he continued to take an 
active share in Friends' meetings and other activities 
both in London and the West country. 

In 1879 he took high honours in his final examin- 
ation for the LL.B., and for a good many years he 
continued to practise at the Bar. His practice was 
never large. Perhaps in spite of his anticipations 
it never could have been. It was contrary to hiS" 
nature to set as much store by professional advan- 
tage as is normally required for a successful barrister. 
He also refused to accept briefs for cases which he 
believed to be unjust. 

During J. G. Alexander's frequent visits to 
Reigat? he enjoyed the friendship and companion- 
ship in religious activities of the sons of Joseph 
Crosfield, a member of the Society of Friends, who 
had undertaken various important services on behalf 
of his faith. He was among the first to enter Paris 
carrying relief for the population after the siege of 
1871. As early as 1872, J. G. Alexander felt a strong 
desire and conviction that Joseph Crosfield's eldest 
daughter, Josephine, might become his wife. But 
before opening the matter to her, he must establish 
his position as a barrister ; and meanwhile Josephine 
Crosfield managed her father's household. In 
1879 Joseph Crosfield died, and in June, 1881, 


Joseph Gundry Alexander, now thirty-three years 
old, and Josephine Crosfield, were happily married. 

They settled at Croydon, where four sons were 
born. J. G. Alexander continued to practise as a 
barrister and devoted much time and energy to 
several philanthropic labours. 

From this point in his life it seems best to treat 
these various activities separately, and it will be 
convenient to begin with the International Law 
Association, whose congresses he had already 
attended and of which he became honorary secretary 
in 1885. At the same time, we can notice his work 
for the anti-slavery cause, partly in connection with 
this Association, and partly with the Anti-Slavery 

Chapter III 



We have seen that J. G. Alexander's first work 
for the International Law Association was primarily 
of a juridical nature, in connection with Intern.ational 
Patent Law. At a later Congress he read a paper on 
Foreign Judgments, and for some years served on a 
committee engaged in an effort to draft rules for 
general application on this subject. But he soon 
showed that his general interest in international law 
was, in the main, due to the possibihty of making 
it serve great humanitarian causes. In its early 
days the Association was inclined to devote most 
of its energies to working for practical results in the 
codification of international law on specific matters 
of varying importance. The unification of maritime 
law was suggested as its exclusive province, and 
several of the early Congress reports are mainly 
occupied with discussions of Maritime Law. The 
success achieved by the Association in unifsdng the 
rules of " General Average " — concerning damage to 
and loss of ships with cargo and freight — and the 
inclusion of eminent maritime lawyers and leading 
representatives of maritime interests among its 
members gave it the opportunity for authoritative 
action. At a later time, in 1896, the Association 


was offered the leadership of the movement for the 
codification of Maritime Law. This highly flatter- 
ing proposal was rejected because the Association's 
executive felt that neither did its original raison 
d'etre admit of such a change, nor was its organisation 
adapted for obtaining successful results in a highly 
special field of law, however important. J. G. 
Alexander had a large share in the discussion, urging 
the largest possible basis for the work of the 
Association. It continued, however, to do useful 
work in the sphere of Maritime Law, and gave friendly 
assistance and support to the work of the Comite 
Maritime International which has framed and 
obtained national and international legal sanction 
for various codes of maritime law. 

The relationship of the Association to the Insti- 
tute of International Law, which had come into 
being in the same year, 1873, was similar though 
less close. In a historical introduction to the report 
of the Association in 1903, J. G. Alexander explains 
that " The Institute is a purely scientific body, 
composed of experts, elected by co-option, whose 
qualification is that they have already contributed 
by published writings of acknowledged merit to the 
development of International Law. The Association 
welcomes to its membership not only lawyers, 
whether or not specialists in international law, but 
ship-owners, underwriters, merchants and phil- 
anthropists, and receives delegates from affiliated 
bodies, such as Chambers of Commerce and Shipping, 
and Arbitration or Peace Societies, thus admitting 
all who, from whatever point of view, are interested 


in the improvement of international relations. This 
difference of constitution has naturally led to a 
corresponding difference in the nature of the work 
done. The Institute has appUed itself to the 
scientific study of the various branches of Inter- 
national Law, and has adopted series of resolutions 
or drafted model codes on a great number of subjects, 
falling under the heads of Public or Private Inter- 
national Law. . . . 

" Our Association, without attempting this 
purely scientific treatment of questions of Inter- 
national Law, has occupied itself in popularising such 
questions by public discussion, in bringing to bear on 
their solution the suggestions of practical men — 
shipowners, merchants, and practising lawyers of 
different nationalities — and in formulating recom- 
mendations likely to have practical effect." 

Actually, the Association's scope was broad 
enough to include scientific code-making at the one 
extreme, and anti-war propaganda at the other. 
But in all its discussions and resolutions it remained 
essentially practical, becoming neither academic 
nor Utopian. J. G. Alexander continued to take a 
useful part in the elucidation of such questions as 
Maritime Law, Foreign Judgments and other affairs 
that claimed the Association's attention. But the 
two subjects to which he gave his full energies from 
year to year were International Arbitration and the 
protection of the African natives from European and 
Asiatic exploitation. In this chapter accordingly it 
will be sufficient to follow his work from Congress to 
Congress on behalf of these two causes. 


His first paper read to the Association was on 
" International Law affecting the Slave Trade "at 
the London Conference of 1879, following his mission 
to Berlin on behalf of the Anti-Slavery Society the 
year before. In this paper he traced first the growth 
of the anti-slavery movement, in the separate 
nations, from the abohtion of the slave trade by 
Denmark in 1792 to the American Civil War and the 
abohtion of slavery in Brazil, which had put an end 
to the West African slave-trade, and ended slavery 
so far as Christendom was concerned, except in 
Cuba. Internationally, efforts had been made by 
the British representatives to proscribe the slave- 
trade as piracy at the Conference of Aix-la-Chapelle 
in 1818 and at Verona in 1822 ; but these failed 
before the then uncompromising attitude of the 
French government. Bi-lateral treaties for the 
suppression of the trade had been arranged between 
all the Christian Powers and States, Great Britain 
having signed twenty-four such treaties by 1850, 
but the Turkish government still remained outside 
aU such agreements. The Congress of Berhn, in 
1878, therefore, at which Turkey was represented, 
seemed a golden opportunity for getting an agree- 
ment to bring slavery under the international law 
against piracy. One of the Turkish representatives 
intimated that they would not be likely to raise 
any objection to the proposal, and the French warmly 
approved: the British representatives alone raised 
objections and the opportunity was lost. " In the 
cause of philanthrophy, however," urged J. G. 
Alexander, " it is never lawful to acquiesce in failure. 


however disheartening it may be." Not only was 
the Anti-Slavery Society renewing its efforts, but 
from the more legal point of view, J. G. Alexander 
urged the International Law Association to work 
for a'declaration of the Powers making the slave-trade 

No action, however, except the printing of 
J. G. Alexander's paper in the proceedings, which 
were habitually sent by the President to all govern- 
ments, was taken by the Association till four years 
later. At the Milan Congress of that year (1883), 
Senhor Nabuco, President of the Brazil Anti- 
Slavery Society, distributed the paper of 1879 once 
more among the members of the Congress, read a 
further commentary on the international situation 
with regard to slavery, and proposed certain reso- 
lutions. The Congress adjourned whilst a com- 
mittee, of which J. G. Alexander was a member, 
revised these resolutions. The iinal draft demanded 
that the slave-trade should be assimilated in inter- 
national law to piracy ; it insisted that in spite of 
certain judgments by great judges in England and 
America, every nation is justified in refusing in any 
way to recognise the institution, that extradition 
of slaves is on precisely the same footing as extra- 
dition of freemen, and that all subjects of States 
should be forbidden from participating in slavery 
or the slave-trade in any place or circumstance 
whatever. These resolutions were carried by 

Earlier in the same Congress; after papers read by 
the President, Sir Travers Twiss, and by a member 


of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, on the 
proposed International Protectorate of the Congo, 
J. G. Alexander moved a resolution in favour of the 
formation of an international Congo commission to 
preserve order and suppress piracy and the slave- 
trade, but the Congress deferred the matter till the 
following year. 

The Milan Congress was also the first at which 
he intervened in a discussion on International 
Arbitration. This was to support a resolution moved 
by Henry Richard, M.P., friend and colleague of 
Richard Cobden, expressing the desire that all States 
should follow the practice then growing up of 
inserting arbitration clauses in any treaties of a 
suitable nature they might make with one another. 

The 1885 Congress, the first after J. G. 
Alexander's appointment as honorary secretary, 
met at Hamburg. Nearly all the time was devoted 
to Maritime Law and other juridical mattersj so 
that some of the cautious members who had perhaps 
been frightened at the appointment of such a 
humanitarian honorary secretary may well have 
been luUed into a false sense of security from revo- 
lutionary proposals for perpetual peace. 

At the Congresses of 1887 and 1890, held in 
London and Liverpool respectively, the progress of 
International Arbitration was discussed, but J. G. 
Alexander did not take much part in these dis- 
cussions in open Congress. At the latter Congress 
he reported on the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference, 
called by the British Government earlier in the year 
(1890) in consequence of representations made by 


the Anti-Slavery Society. He prefaced his paper 
with an outline of events, in some of which he had 
himself (though he did not mention it) taken a 
notable part, since the MUan Congress of 1883. A 
deputation from the Anti-Slavery Society, in which 
J. G. Alexander took a leading part, had waited on 
Lord Granville, British Foreign Minister, in 1884, 
before the first Congo Conference of the Powers met 
at Berlin. This deputation had recognised the 
justice of certain objections raised by Professor 
BluntschK to assimilating the slave-trade to piracy 
and had accordingly proposed instead that the Slave 
Trade might be declared illegal by international law, 
but that offenders should be tried by specially 
constituted international tribunals, not as if they 
were pirates. But the Powers represented at the 
Berlin Congo Conference did accordingly declare 
that they would not allow any form of slavery or 
slave-trade in the whole Congo area. Incidentally, 
in its preamble this clause admitted slavery to be 
contrary to the law of nations. 

The Brussels Conference of the Powers had gone 
forward from this useful beginning, and had, in fact, 
gone further than the resolutions of the Milan Con- 
gress of the International Law Association. In 
J. G. Alexander's words, " It has worked out the 
whole subject of the slave trade by sea and on land, 
and fenced it round with provisions which, if pro- 
gressively enforced, as civilisation and commerce 
continue to advance inland from the coasts into the 
interior of Africa must ere long put a stop to the 
devastation of some of the fairest portions of the 


world's surface by the crimes and barbarities of 
slave-raids." And this was only part of its work. 
Two further articles dealt effectively with the 
question of fugitive slaves, stringent provisions were 
adopted for preventing the importation of fire- 
arms, and for restricting the traffic in spirituous 
Hquors in a great section of Central Africa ; whilst 
the three Muhammadan states represented at the 
Conference, Persia, Turkey and Zanzibar, agreed to 
special stipulations for the limitations of slavery 
within their dominions. J. G. Alexander observed 
that Lord Salisbury had made the fullest atonement 
for his apparent lukewarmness twelve years before.' 
He greeted the Treaty as a veritable Magna Charta 
for Africa ; and " to those who have long been 
labouring to secure for the less advanced communities 
of mankind freedom from oppression and violence, 
especially as they are incidental to the hateful 
traffic in human beings, the decisions came as a happy 
reward for much arduous work — sometimes no less 
arduous because in civilised countries no voice is 
any longer raised to defend the ' sum of all villainies,' 
so that the contest has had to be waged against 
apathy and indifference, rather than against active 
opposition." Alas ! liberty is not secured by a 
Magna Charta alone ; the days came when the story 
of Congo atrocities filled Europe with horror, and 
when the dark design that prompted King Leopold's 
" noble efforts for the cause [of anti-slavery] in 
connection with the Congo " was manifest ; and 
J. G. Alexander had sadly to confess that the 
scepticism of Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, British 


Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, which seemed so 
unreasonable at the time, was justified ; that the cast- 
ing out of " the sum of all villainies " had only left 
the Congo swept and garnished for the introduction 
of seven devils worse than the first. Yet even in 
face of that horrible disillusionment he did not 
despair, but immediately joined in the effort to save 
the Congo from its cruel task-master. To that, 
however, we must return later. 

Further discussion of the relationship of the 
European Powers to Africa and of the progress of 
international arbitration took place at the Genoa 
Congress in 1892, but the Congress was mainly 
occupied with more juridical matters. 

One of the most useful of all these Congresses 
was held at Brussels in 1895. After the death of 
some of the early protagonists of International 
Arbitration, J. G. Alexander evidently felt it 
incumbent on him to give more active support to 
those, especially Sir Walter Phillimore (now Lord 
Phillimore) and Dr. Evans Darby, who were now 
leading the movement, and in 1893 he seconded 
Dr. Darby's proposal that a committee be formed to 
draft rules for International Courts of Arbitration. 
This Committee reported in 1895. At the opening of 
the Congress Sir Richard Webster, the President, 
then Attorney-General, later Lord Chief Justice 
as Lord Alverstone, pointed out that the desirability 
of Arbitration was now generally admitted ; a further 
stage was reached, that of drafting rules to make 
Arbitration as effective as possible. Nearly two days 
were given to the discussion of the proposals of the 



committee, and of a more elaborate set of rules 
drafted by Marquis Corsi, professor of International 
Law at Pisa. 

The rules finally approved contain exact pro- 
posals for the working of tribunals, and for defining 
the relevance of evidence. The first rule that when 
Arbitration treaties are signed, the class of difference 
to be referred should be defined, was unfortunately 
not followed in the Hague proposal ; what appears 
to be a more thorough reference, but is really much 
less so, was substituted, of referring all disputes 
except those concerning honour and vital interests ; 
and the interpretation of honour and vital interests 
is left to each separate party. In fact, therefore, 
this wise proposal of defining classes of dispute to be 
referred has not been commonly adopted.- Other 
parts of the proposed rules, however, seem to have 
influenced the procedure of international tribunals ; 
and this is not surprising since the Congress 
included the British Attorney-General, " the 
batonnier of the Brussels Bar, the leader of the 
English Admiralty Bar, and other members of 
the legal profession, including some of great 
eminence, from Belgium, England, France, Holland 
and Italy," as well as other notable publicists of 
several nations. 

The work of the Brussels Anti-Slavery Convention 
was also again discussed, J. G. Alexander reading a 
paper on the Slave-Trade since the signing of the 
Convention. He was able to point to considerable 
development of communications into the heart of 
Africa, and to satisfactory measures for the 


suppression of the slave trade generally, and of slavery 
in the Congo and in the Italian colony of Eritrea. 
But the French, German and British governments 
had not abolished slavery in their Central African 
territories ; in Zanzibar, where the British Govern- 
ment had lately assumed a Protectorate, an enquiry 
of the Anti-Slavery Society had shown that con- 
ditions were as bad as ever. In fact, the failure of 
the Brussels Convention to condemn the institution 
of slavery, the root of the slave traffic that they were 
trying to destroy, had left the aborigines of a great 
part of Africa in little better plight than they were 
before. They could not be shipped to America or 
Asia, but in Africa itself they had no right whatever. 
The Association readily agreed to a resolution 
urging that " all European nations should in their 
African possessions and protectorates, cease to 
recognise slavery as a status implying the depri- 
vation of legal rights, and should- thus put an end to 
slavery and to the cruel slave raids by which it is 
fed, without any violent subversion of existing 
domestic institutions." The significance of the 
proposed method is that slaves, when hberated, 
instead of being almost forced to leave their masters, 
simply acquire the right to do so if or when they wish. 
This was the action that had been taken in India, 
on the Gold Coast and in the Congo State, and in all 
these countries it had been effective. 

Those who have had any experience of the kind, 
will appreciate the labour involved in preparing 
the work of Conferences in various parts of the 
world for more than ten years. In 1896, J. G. 


Alexander's work as honorary secretary was 
lightened by the addition of a^colleague, Mr. G. G. 
Phillimore, with whom he continued in happy 
partnership for nine more years. 

Before the Congress of 1895 concluded its labours 
on Arbitration, it appointed another committee, of 
which J. G. Alexander was again a member, to draft 
rules for the formation of Tribunals. No further 
congress was held until 1899, when a distinguished 
assembly met at Buffalo, U.S.A. By that time 
the Hague Peace Conference had met, and established 
an International Tribunal, so that part of the work 
of the Association's committee was already very 
happily superseded. However, the committee's 
proposal was in various ways more far-reaching than 
the constitution of the Hague Court ; it included 
the recommendations that all disputes not settled 
by diplomatic means be referred to arbitration, and 
that the Court when constituted should give 
special attention to the establishment and develop- 
ment of a code of International Law with a recognised 
authority. The committee*s proposal was therefore 
approved by the Congress, which then proceeded to 
pass a further resolution, moved by J. G. Alexander; 
expressing deep gratification at the adoption by 
the Hague Peace Conference of a scheme of Inter- 
national Arbitration. It recognised as especially 
valuable the nomination of men of recognised legal 
competence and enjo3dng public confidence to act 
as arbitrators ; the principle of selection of members 
from this body to form with an umpire a tribunal 
in any dispute ; the creation of a permanent 



administrative council at the Hague ; and the estab- 
hshment under this council of a permanent bureau. 
The Congress accordingly urged early ratification, 
and the promotion of treaties between states to 
submit disputes to the Hague Court. The more 
detailed examination of the decisions of the Hague 
Conference was referred to a strong committee, in 
which J. G. Alexander acted as secretary, with 
instructions to report next year. This committee 
accordingly reported at Rouen in 1900. The report 
pointed out that the International Arbitration Con- 
vention did not provide for so-called " compulsory " 
arbitration, that it provided for mediation as well as 
for arbitration, that it did not define the controversies 
which might be the subjects of mediation, inquiry 
or arbitration, and that no sanction was provided 
to enforce a judgment. But without discussing 
whether these features were good or bad the report 
suggested that no good object would be served by 
criticism, tmtil the scheme had had some time to 
prove itself ; its general principle was held to be 
sound. Accordingly the Association passed no 
further resolution or recommendations except to 
encourage the Powers who had ratified the Con- 
vention to appoint the Judges and constitute the 
permanent Council as soon as possible. 

At Rouen, J. G. Alexander read a further paper 
on the advance that had been made towards the 
Abohtion of Slavery since 1895. In Zanzibar the 
British Government had refused to take definite 
action, partly on the ground that it was inadvisable 
to interfere forcibly with Muslim customs. In 1896 


a deputation from the Society of Friends had waited 
on the British Foreign Minister, and J. G. Alexander 
took the opportunity of pointing out " that Islam 
in no wise enjoins slavery ; on the contrary the 
Koran regards the Uberatiori of slaves as a meritorious 
action. According to a decision of the supreme 
judicial authority of the Muhammadans in British 
India at the beginning of this century, the detention 
by Muhammadans of their co-religionists as slaves is 
contrary to their rehgion ; and the example of the 
Bey of Tunis, who abolished slavery in 1840 as an 
act of piety and justice, may well encourage Christian 
Governments of Muhammadan countries in the same 
direction." But the British Government refused 
to be encouraged even to emulate the Bey of Tunis ; 
and although the new Sultan of Zanzibar, faced with 
growing agitation in England, issued in 1897 a declar- 
ation abolishing the legal status of slavery, J. G. 
Alexander had to report to the Rouen Congress that, 
in spite of continued agitation, most of the slaves 
were still in bondage, and the authorities still sup- 
ported the masters. In Madagascar, on the other 
hand, the French resident-general, M. Hippolyte 
Laroche, had succeeded in abolishing slavery, and 
good progress had been made in Uganda, Egypt and 
Nigeria, but in the countries of North Africa not then 
under the control of Christian States, TripoH and 
Morocco, slavery still flourished, and in spite of the 
law a certain amount of trading was still carried on 
by small Arab traders between various European 
protectorates and the Egyptian coast, on the one 
hand, and Arabia and Persia on the other. Here 


the French authorities had been somewhat to blame, 
but they had now issued rigorous instructions to 
suppress this coastal trade ; the British government, 
on the other hand, continued to equivocate over 
Zanzibar slavery. 

A notable paragraph from this paper will show 
that J. G. Alexander was even at this time by no 
means a narrow " abohtionist," who thought the 
abolition of slavery alone would achieve happiness 
and liberty for the people of Africa. " Abuses which 
are suppressed in one form," he said, " tend to 
re-appear in another ; strong men without principle 
are always ready to exploit and rule their fellows. 
Forced labour in mines or plantations — oppressive 
contracts made with emigrants — monopohes of the 
chief products of certain countries — military service 
imposed on native races — all these may constitute 
slavery in disguise. Constant vigilance is, in this 
sphere as in so many others, the only means of safe- 
guarding the interests of justice and humanity, 
which are, in a word, the true interests of commerce 
and society itself against the encroachments of 

In 1901, at the Congress of the Association in 
Glasgow, J. G. Alexander contributed his last paper. 
This was an account and careful criticism of the 
provisions of three abortive treaties for general 
arbitration which had preceded the Hague Conven- 
tion. Of these, the treaty between Great Britain 
and the United States would have been enacted but 
for the constitutional provision of the United States 
requiring a two-thirds majority of the Seriate. He 


also drew attention to resolutions of Congress, 
adopted in 1890, in favour of general arbitration 
treaties with all foreign governments, of the French 
Chamber of Deputies in July, 1895, inviting the 
Government to negotiate a permanent arbitration 
treaty with the United States. His final suggestion 
was that, now that the Hague Tribunal was in 
existence, and general arbitration treaties had been 
urged upon the nations by their representatives 
assembled at the Hague in 1899, Great Britain, France 
and the United States should set the example, which 
he felt sure other States would readily follow, by 
making general arbitration treaties with one another. 
Mr. (afterwards Sir) Thos. Barclay followed with a 
paper urging a Franco-British arbitration agree- 
ment, and moved resolutions, which were adopted, 
in favour of the conclusion of such a treaty between 
France and Great Britain and the continuation of 
negotiations for a treaty between Britain and 
America. By these papers and resolutions the 
Association helped to pave the way for the Franco- 
British agreement of 1903, on which the Entente 
Cordiale was based. 

J. G. Alexander took an active part in the Con- 
gress at Antwerp, in 1903, and moved a resolution 
urging the Powers to follow the example of the 
United States and Mexico in referring differences to 
the Hague Court. 

In 1905, he attended the Congress at Christiania, 
and then, after twenty-two years, resigned from the 
honorary secretaryship. From that time on his 
work for International Arbitration and peace was 


carried on mainly through the channel of the inter- 
national peace movement, whilst he continued an 
active member of the Anti-Slavery Society's Com- 
mittee. Thus his two main interests in the work 
of the International Law Association were continued 
in other channels, where he was able to give them 
undivided attention. He had long since ceased to 
practise as a barrister, so that the legal aspects of 
international law reform interested him less than 

In reviewing the work of the International Law 
Association during J. G. Alexander's connection 
with it, one cannot fail to be struck by the fact that 
the Association frequently anticipated govern- 
mental action in a remarkable way. But this is no 
coincidence. Partly, no doubt, it is because the 
Association discussed affairs that were exercising the 
public mind from time to time ; but partly also, 
as Lord Alverstone assured the Association, when he 
presided over its Glasgow Congress in 1901, it was 
because the governments did make use of the careful 
and statesman-like labours of the Association in 
promoting international law. 

Of J. G. Alexander's part in this work, and of his 
characteristics as a worker in committee and Congress 
two of his colleagues have written briefly. Mr. 
G. G. Phillimore, who was his co-secretary for ten 
years, notes that " his colleagues in the Executive 
of that Society wiU always remember his quiet 
tenacity of purpose in holding steadfastly to the 
larger ideals of international peace and unity of 
ideas and actions as the field of its work. The 


historical sketch of the Association's record which 
prefaces every volume of its proceedings, was penned 
by him ; and the propagandist nature of its organ- 
isation and its work was thoroughly congenial to 
him." " It is largely owing to the force of his con- 
victions on these (Arbitration and Subject Races) 
and kindred subjects as preponderating in impor- 
tance over the more legal questions of International 
Law, that the Association retains its flexibility as a 
moral instrument for the promotion of international 
unity in any questions of international interest and 
bearing which may from time to time require to be 
considered by thinkers and social reformers. To 
vary slightly a well-known phrase, ' The price of 
international unity is eternal vigilance,' and it is the 
function of the international jurist to keep replenished 
the store of moral energy in International Law which 
directs the harmonious movement of the world." 

Dr. Thomas Baty, legal adviser to the Japanese 
Imperial Foreign Ministry, writes : — " I cannot say 
that my acquaintance with Mr. Alexander was very 
extensive or intimate ; it was limited to occasional 
meetings at the committees of the International 
Association and of the National Peace Council. I 
came most closely into contact with him at the time 
of the International Law Association Conference of 
1905, when Mr. G. G. PhilUmore and he initiated me 
into the mysteries of the secretariat. 

" He was exceedingly businesslike and methodi- 
cal ; and combined these quahties, in a quite uncom- 
mon fashion, with profound philanthropic sympa- 
thies and a contempt for opportunism. His keen 


logical faculty made him carry his humane ideas to 
their logical consequences ; and accordingly he saw 
through the futility of the compromising half- 
measures which are dear to the heart of the philan- 
thropic politician. Logic, not sentiment, often 
ranged him on the side of what seemed to be the 
extremists. It was not a want of moderation : 
no-one was ever less precipitate : it was simply a 
perception of necessary consequences which the 
opportunist tries to blink. 

" ' Sagacity,' I think, is the first quality that one 
would think of in giving an impression of Mr. 
Alexander. He was not a person who by any 
means wore his heart on his sleeve ; and his real 
kindness was not always apparent on a casual 
meeting. Severe economy of time led him to appear 
sometimes careless of social amenities ; but those 
who were admitted to his friendship found his a 
sterling and devoted nature ; true and honourable 
far beyond the common, and always to be depended 
upon for sense, insight and unwearied industry." 

Chapter IV 



Before describing J. G. Alexander's later work for 
peace and for subject races we must turn our atten- 
tion to other undertakings in which he was engaged 
during the first twenty years of his married life. 

In 1881, the year of his marriage, he entered upon 
what proved, more perhaps than any other single 
effort, to be his hfe-work ; this was the movement 
to end the trade in opium between India and China. 

The Society for the Suppression of the Opium 
Trade between India and China was first formed 
at the end of 1874. ParUamentary action had been 
taken from time to time before this, by Lord 
Shaftesbury in both Houses and by Sir Wilfrid 
Lawson in the House of Commons, but without avail. 
After the formation of the society the agitation 
against the traf&c both in Parliament and outside 
increased considerably. A monthly magazine 
called The Friend of China was published, lectures 
and addresses were arranged and pamphlets written. 
Auxiharies were formed in large cities, and funds 
raised for propagandist purposes. In the early 
days of the society every effort seemed to meet 
with a response. Large sums of money were raised ; 
in 1881 a meeting was held at the Mansion House, 



to which thirty towns sent delegates ; in 1882, four 
hundred and eighty-nine petitions for the abolition 
of the Opium Trade were presented to Parhament. 
During these years the actual status of the opium 
trade was in dispute. In J. G. Alexander's resume 
of the proceedings in Parliament, contributed to 
The Friend of China, in July, 1917, after victory had 
been achieved, he wrote : 

" In 1876, Sir Thomas Wade, British Minister at 
Peking, signed the Chefoo Convention, by which 
China agreed to make amends for the murder of 
Mr. Margary, near her western frontier. It contained 
a clause relating to opium, and securing to the 
Chinese certain provincial duties known as h-kin, 
the amount of which was left undefined. The 
Indian Government and the opium merchants 
objected to this provision, fearing that the Chinese 
would use it to impose prohibitory duties ; the 
Convention, in consequence, remained unratified for 
nine years, though the Chinese Government loyally 
performed its part of the bargain. This question 
was repeatedly brought before Parliament, in the 
House of Lords, in 1878 by the Earl of Aberdeen, 
and in 1879 by the Earl of Carnarvon ; in the House 
of Commons in 1880 and 1883, by Mr. (afterwards 
Sir) Joseph W. Pease. In 1885, this controversy was 
settled by an additional article of the Convention, 
under which the Chinese Government, whilst obtain- 
ing a larger share in the profits of the Opium Traffic 
than it had anticipated, apparently surrendered its 
claim to total prohibition." Next year, when Sir 
Joseph Pease moved a resolution in the House of 


Commons looking to the termination of poppy 
groAvth in India, except for medical purposes, the 
debate ended in a count-out. 

The additional article of 1885, and this failure in 
Parliament, seriously checked the vigour of the 
Anti-Opium movement. The first enthusiasm of 
the Society had ebbed ; there were difficulties 
between the London secretary and the travelhng 
organiser ; subscriptions died down ; the different 
motives with which anti-opium workers approached 
the subject were finding expiression through several 
organisations, inevitably relatively weak, though 
it was found possible to keep together an Anti-Opium 
Board, where representatives of each Society dis- 
cussed the position and their pohcy from time to 

Such is often the fate of forward movements. 
Those who undertake unpopular missions in the 
world are apt to have something of the fanatic in 
their nature, and are therefore inclined to regard 
the subject from a peculiar angle and with somewhat 
narrow vision. Each feels that his or her way to 
the goal is the only true way, and looks askance 
at others who are approaching the matter from 
a different standpoint, even though the goal of 
each may be identical. From this narrowness of 
enthusiasm J. G. Alexander was singularly free. 
Single-minded and determined as he was to work 
with his full strength in many an unpopular cause, 
he showed throughout his Ufe a growing capacity for 
understanding the outlook, both of others who, from 
a different position, were working for the same end, 


and also of his opponents. His uniting spirit was 
of no small service to the anti-opium cause. 
Himself a member of the parent society, he helped to 
preserve harmony in the Anti-Opium Board and in 
the whole movement : he could and did unite with 
those who met for prayer no less than with those 
who tried to move pubUc opinion. Parliament and 
the Government by other methods. He himself 
laboured untiringly to keep himself fully informed of 
every fresh development in China and India, docket- 
ing every relevant fact not only amongst bundles of 
references, but also in a memory which was as 
remarkably good in this respect as it was bad where 
more personal circumstances were concerned. One 
of his colleagues observes, " He possessed a business 
mind and good capacity for detecting the value of 
evidence. An excellent memory enabled him to 
make full use of his knowledge and to keep in touch 
with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances with 
whom he had come in contact while engaged on this 
and other good causes." 

" On the platform, without any attempt at 
eloquence, he was clear in his statements and in the 
marshalling of his abundant facts. If he had a 
fault it was to provide too much sohd matter for the 
digestion of general audiences not endued with the 
historic instincts he possessed." 

During these years, and for many more, he was 
editor of The Friend of China, on which " he 
bestowed all the loving care of a parent ; and it was 
only the impulse of great devotion that can have 
enabled him to maintain its successive issues through 


long and trying years without any shadow of doubt 
crossing its pages, as to the ultimate victory." 

In the late eighties the Society for the Suppres- 
sion of the Opium Trade had to give up its paid 
secretary, and a couple of years later it was even 
forced to consider whether to continue its work «.t 
all ; but faith and courage prevailed, a new start 
was made, and in ' 1889 J. G. Alexander was 
appointed secretary. In 1891, a resolution moved in 
the House of Commons by Sir Joseph Pease, 
" which declared the system by which the Indian 
Opium revenue was raised to be " morally inde- 
fensible,' was approved by a majority of 160 to 130 
votes. The motion, however, did not actually 
become a resolution of the House, as Sir Robert 
Fowler proposed an amendment pledging the House 
to re-imburse to the Indian Government any 
deficiency caused by suppression, which there was 
not time to discuss." Following this successful vote 
the promoters of the cause, in Parliament and 
outside, re-doubled their activities. Finally, " in 
1893, Mr. Alfred Webb moved for a Royal Com- 
mission to enquire what retrenchments and reforms 
in Indian expenditure could be effected, how Indian 
resources could best be developed, and what help 
would be needed from the British Exchequer, in 
order to carry out the suppression of the Opium 
Traf&c. Under pressure from the Secretary of State 
for India, the Earl of Kimberley, who declared that 
he would resign his ofiftce rather than consent to a 
resolution implying that the Indian Opium Revenue 
was to be surrendered, Mr. Gladstone appeared, not 


for the first time, in defence of the traffic which, 
as a young man [in 1840] he had so strongly con- 
demned. The Government carried by a majority of 
184 to 105 votes, an amendment in favour of a Com- 
mission of a very different character, instructed to 
enquire generally into the whole question of the 
production and consumption of opium in India." 
Perhaps it may seem only natural that an " unpre- 
judiced " commisaon of this kind should appeal 
to the fairplay of the House of Commons. But it 
is to be noticed that the terms of reference really had 
very little connection with the question at issue. 
The objection to the Trade was not, primarily at any 
rate, that the conditions of labour in the production 
of Indian opium were unsatisfactory, nor, indeed, had 
it anything to do with the question of Indian pro- 
duction at all. The whole argument was that the 
forcing of the drug on China by treaty was " morally 
indefensible " ; to this the House of Commons had 
agreed. It was therefore reasonable and logical 
for the House to proceed, as urged by Mr. Webb, to 
consider how the " morally indefensible " trade 
could be ended in such a way as to do the least 
possible harm to the Indian opium-growers and the 
Indian Government revenue. 

However, the Government had its way, and the 
Commission was appointed. The Society had to 
make the best of a difficult position. One of its 
members, W. S. Caine, a leader of the Anti-Opium 
cause in Pariiament, was appointed on the Com- 
mission, but he was prevented from serving. His 
place was taken at the fourth meeting of the 


Commission in London by Henry J. Wilson, M.P., who 
had not up to that time been conspicuous as an anti- 
opium member, but was a convinced opponent of the 
traffic. The Commission was presided over by Lord 
Brassey. Its other members were Sir J. B. Lyall, a 
former Governor-General of the Punjab ; the 
Maharajah of Darbhanga, an Indian dignitary and 
landowner ; Sir William Roberts, a prominent 
English medical man ; Messrs. R. G. C. Mowbray, a 
Conservative Member of Parliament, opposed to 
interference with the trade ; A. V. Fanshawe, of the 
Indian Civil Service, Postmaster-General ; Arthur 
Pease, supposed to be an opponent of the traffic ; 
and Haridas Veharidas, Dewar or Prime Minister of 
Junargarh, appointed to represent the Native States. 

A certain amount of evidence was taken by the 
Commission in London in September, 1893, and 
J. G. Alexander was one of the witnesses called. 
He was also sent by the Society, as its secretary, to 
accompany the Commission to India, where " he 
gave himself diligently to the task of analysing and 
tabulating facts and evidence, duties for which he 
was particularly well suited." 

H. J. Wilson and he travelled together from 
England, starting a httle before the other Enghsh 
members of the Commission, in order to cross India 
and collect some first-hand evidence of the attitude 
of Indians to opium, and its effect upon them, before 
the Commission began its work. They spent a 
week in Bombay, and visited various centres, 
J. G. Alexander himself going to Sohagpur, Gya 
and Patna, before reaching Calcutta. 


The first few days in Bombay were sufficient to 
show that a hard task lay before them. " It has 
been a very interesting week in Bombay," writes 
J. G. Alexander, " in some respects discouraging, as 
we have heard from so many quarters where we 
should have expected sympathy, that the evil is 
greatly exaggerated. . . A fuller acquaintance 
with the facts and circumstances enables one to 
discount largely the opinions of the native gentlemen 
and European employers as to the comparative 
harmlessness of the habit. Last evening we had our 
anti-opium gathering at A. S. Dyer's when a small 
number of missionaries, nearly all American, who 
have really gone below the surface in this matter,' 
were assembled to meet us. Their evidence is very 
clear and it has been confirmed to us this morning by 
an English missionary. He is not one who has made 
a speciality of the subj ect like those we met last night ; 
it is, therefore, all the more weighty when he says that 
anyone who really lives among the natives, as he has 
always done, cannot fail to see the great evils arising 
from opium. It is the missionaries who live 
altogether above the natives, and the native gentle- 
men who know little of the lot of the masses, who fail 
to see this evil. Amongst the latter, especially 
amongst the Parsees, whom we have chiefly talked 
with, there is also a strong disposition to take their 
cue from the officials in this bureaucratic country, 
where almost every position to which a man of ability 
and ambition can aspire is at the disposal of the 
Government, and those who run counter to its views 
thereby cut themselves off from most of the best 


positions. And the influence of the semi-official 
press, with the dread of increased taxation, tells in 
the same direction. Our movement, therefore, 
is not a popular one amongst the class which alone 
can be spoken of as having any public opinion. I 
told the, temperance committee the other night that 
if India does not want protection from the opium 
habit, such as we pfossess at home, we don't wish 
to force it on her — to protect China is our great 
aim, and we are quite determined that in carr5dng 
out that aim India shall not be made to suffer 

Everjrwhere it was necessary to insist on these 
points. The action taken by the Government had 
put the anti-opium party into a very dif&cult 
position. In India it was supposed— and the sup- 
position was encouraged by the press — that this 
unpopular Commission had been forced on the 
Government by the anti-opium agitators, men in 
England who were trying to interfere with the 
domestic affairs of India. So, on the one hand it was 
necessary to try and point out that the Commission 
was not what the agitators wanted, and that they 
were only concerned with the China trade ; and on 
the other hand, having had the Commission forced 
upon them, the anti-opiumists had to do their best 
to show that the opium habit was doing harm to 
India, that a part, at least, of Indian pubhc opinion 
was hostile to poppy culture, and that the trade 
might be diminished without serious effects on the 
finances of the Indian Government. And evidence 
of this nature had to be collected in a few weeks, by 



one or two Englishmen unacquainted with India, to 
counter-act the evidence brought by the all-powerful 
Government of India. It is true that the Indian 
Government had promised to collect evidence im- 
partially. But, as we shall see, some of their agents, 
at any rate, had acted unscrupulously in the selection 
of witnesses ; and, when everyone knows what kind 
of evidence an omnipotent government wants, only a 
very brave man, especially of the conquered people, 
will, in open session, give evidence opposed to the 
wishes of his rulers. It seems remarkable that most 
of the members of the Commission were apparently 
blind to these things ; perhaps they too, without 
quite realising it, thought it best to play for safety. 

In Gya, H. J. Wilson and J. G. Alexander 
visited three ppium dens ; they found that " no 
attempt whatever has been made to carry out the 
order as to closing opium dens, and in each case they 
were on the premises of the licensed vendor. . . . 
There were women in two of the dens, and in 
one of them were two boys of ten or twelve years 
old — opium smokers ! One of the smakers, quite 
unasked, volunteered the statement that they were 
all killing themselves, and that it would be a good 
thing if the dens could be closed and they saved. . . 
We did not see any very emaciated victims, but the 
glazed eyes and unearthly look of some of the smokers 
was very ghastly." 

The Commission began its sittings in India in 
Calcutta on iSth November, 1893. J. G. Alexander 
was one of the first witnesses, giving his evidence on 
the 20th and 21st. He writes, " On Monday we 


began with Bishop Thoburn [of the American 
Methodist Episcopal Church in India] who was an 
admirable witness, clear and calm, moderate and 
weighty. Then I came on, and I fear I did rather 
badly the first day. I gave an answer an hour long 
about the history of the wars, disproving the evidence 
of Wade and Lay, in London, as to England never 
having forced opium on China. Lord Brassey said 
it ought to have been put in a memorandum, and no 
doubt this would have been much better — I had no 
idea how long it would take me. I was a good deal 
exhausted after the effort, and somewhat unwell in 
consequence, but a quiet evening and night's rest set 
me up again. I hope I did better yesterday, when 
my examination took just three hours." 

This is all he says of himself in his journal letter. 
Writing home he adds, " I did not get nearly as much 
heckling as I expected, and I think I got one ' rise ' 
out of Sir James Lyall.* He asked me, on my 
reading a strong quotation from Sir Herbert 
Edwardes against the opium traffic, if I knew that 
Sir Herbert was always considered a bit of a fanatic. 
I said ' No,' ; but I knew that moral reformers who 
were in advance of their generation were generally 
considered fanatics." When J. G. Alexander had 
finished giving his evidence. Lord Brassey " let the 
cat out of the bag " with regard to the true position 
of the Indian Government, by saying, " We all 
appreciate that in the encounter in which you are 

• Sir James Lyall was a strong defender of the traffic ; but, from 
the point of view of its antagonists, he was one of the most useful 
members of the Commission, for be frequently played into their 
hands by asking preposterous questions. 


engaged with the Government of India upon its own 
ground you are placed in circumstances of no 
ordinary difficulty." 

Although not severely cross-examined by the 
Commission, J. G. Alexander had to endure another 
sort of criticism to which at that time he was not 
much accustomed : " I have been the object," he 
writes, " of a spiteful article in the Englishman, the 
leading paper here, which circulates among the 
official classes. I do not propose sending it to you — 
one feels these things, and yet it is a real honour to 
be permitted to suffer some obloquy in such a cause. 
On the other hand, the attitude of the native press 
here is very encouraging, and the real kindness some 
of these native gentlemen show goes to one's heart. 
I think I told you of the editor, Mr. Bose, who said, 
' We thank you for coming all the way to India to 
do good to our country ' — he has been helping us in 
every possible way." 

Quite unexpectedly the Brahmo-Somaj gave the 
anti-opium cause " their sincere and earnest 
sympathy." " Yesterday, after a httle party on 
board the Sunbeam, to which Lord Brassey had 
kindly asked me to bring some of my missionary 
friends, Mr. Evans [a missionary who was helping 
J. G. Alexander in his work] and I went to the 
Brahmo-Somaj prayer-hall to speak on temperance. 
I had been impressed with the desirabiUty of Indian 
temperance reformers formulating a working scheme 
of local option for India, and then getting it endorsed 
by a resolution of the House of Commons, and I 
wished for an opportunity of la5dng this subject 


before a few of the temperance workers. To my 
surprise, at very short notice, they had their hall 
filled, with about a thousand people, and I had a 
most sympathetic audience. They told me that the 
Brahmo-Somaj has great sympathy with the Society 
of Friends, holding similar views on war and religious 
liberty, and being in effect a temperance society, 
whose members all abstain from intoxicating drinks 
and drugs." 

The Commission heard a number of doctors on 
the effects of opium. The first of these " simply 
made himself ridiculous by the extent to which he 
carried his theory that opium is only used to meet 
malarious or other unhealthy conditions — he 
actually told Sir W. Roberts that a man would not 
want a cheroot after breakfast unless there were 
something the matter with him." A few days later 
J. G. Alexander writes : " the interesting feature 
of the evidence lately has been the absolute conflict 
of medical opinion. Dr. Wallace, who is a very 
successful and well-known practitioner, came 
forward yesterday, at his own request (not as put 
forward by me) and in a very able statement 
completely controverted the views of the official 
and non-official medical men previously adduced 
by Government. Two native medical men of high 
position and repute are coming on Tuesday to sup- 
port him, and I hope we shall also get a largely- 
signed medical statement controverting the official 

During his stay in Calcutta, J. G. Alexander had 
the novel experience of being looked after by a 


man-servant. He writes, " I got a bearer yesterday, 
who will go with me to Burma, and stay with me till 
we start for Patna, on January 2nd. I found it was 
expected of me, otherwise the boarding-house man 
has to do the work." And later, " It is funny to 
have a man to help me to dress for dinner, etc., but it 
certainly saves forgetful me a good deal of time, and 
it suits lazy me very well." 

In another letter from Calcutta he shows his 
appreciation of the trials of Anglo-Indian hfe. 
Writing to his wife, he says : " I think this separation 
will have one good result — ^it will surely give us a much 
closer sympathy with the married missionaries, to 
whom such separations are an almost invariable and 
inevitable part of married life — and not only with 
them, but also with government servants and English 
men of business who have to live in India. In this 
boarding-house, there are three people some or all 
of whose children are away in England at school. 
Much as I object to many things in the tone of 
officialism here, I more than before reahse how real 
the suffering often is, and how insufficient any pecuni- 
ary compensation for separations of this sort, so that 
in this respect I have learned to sympathise deeply 
with those who are so bitterly opposing my mission." 

Early in December, the Commission (Uvided into 
two sections, and J. G. Alexander accompanied the 
half that went to Burma. The situation there was 
quite unhke that in India. The Government had no 
economic stake of its own in the growth and sale of 
opium, and it was trying to obtain greater powers 
of restriction than the Indian Government would 


concede. The latter authority favoured a policy of 
differential treatment for the Burmans and the other 
races — chiefly Chinese — of the Burmese community. 
The financial Commissioner and other government 
witnesses in Burma advocated total prohibition. 
The Burmese Government wanted to institute a 
register of all ojjium-smokers, but the Indian 
Government demanded free sale to non-Burmans, 
and its view prevailed. The Burmese Govern^ 
ment, however, took a complete census of opium- 
consumers, and having ascertained the average 
daily consumption was fixing a maximum of sales. 
As the consumers died off the maximum was to be 
diminished, year by year. Before the Commission 
at Rangoon, a Government agent sent from Calcutta 
produced some Chinese, all opium-smokers, to testify 
on behalf of opium, but J. G. Alexander was able 
to get a memorial signed by three hundred and five 
Chinese inhabitants — only one refused to sign it — 
in favour of restrictions. Sir James Lyall suggested 
to the sixty Chinese who came to present the 
memorial that it would have been equally easy to 
get signatures for a memorial to the opposite effect ; 
he succeeded in getting them to admit that as many 
signatures could be got to a petition against com- 
pulsory registration, but Mr. Arthur Pease asked 
whether as many signatures could be got to a 
memorial in favour of free sale of opium, and the 
answer was " No." " Sir W. Roberts remarked 
that the memorial was manifestly absurd because 
it said ' One given to opium, however rich he may 
be at first, is sure to get very poor afterwards through 


using the drug '—a criticism of an oriental docu- 
ment of this kind which is itself so ' absurd ' as to 
show clearly the bias against everything on our 
side which exists in the minds of some of the 

One of the Shan Chiefs, too, the Chief of Thibaw, 
who had just returned from a visit to England, was 
interviewed by J. G. Alexander, and told the 
Commission that " he and the other Shan chiefs 
would readily join in prohibiting the culture of the 
poppy and sale of opium in their States if asked by 
the British Government to do so." 

Similar anti-opium evidence was given by a 
Shan Chief and by Chinese at Mandalay, with regard 
to Upper Burma, but of the Commissioners who 
visited Burma all but Mr. Pease seemed to be deaf to 
such evidence. 

At the end of the year J. G. Alexander made up 
his mind that he must give up his salary as secretary 
of the Society for the suppression of the Opium 
Trade. This was partly in view of the difficulty the 
Society found in raising sufficient funds to carry on its 
work, partly because of the great claims of London 
and other distressed districts on those who had money 
to give away. " Again, it will certainly be a great 
advantage to my position as advocate of the cause if 
I can put Hon. Sec, after my name. In the attack on 
me which appeared in one of the leading Calcutta 
papers lately, reference was made to the fact that I 
am called Secretary, not Hon. Sec, that, therefore, 
I was presumably paid Sec, and that it therefore 
ill became me to discredit official testimony on the 


ground that officials are paid. There is no doubt 
some truth in this, and I shall be much freer to expose 
the interested testimony of officials, of which so 
much has been given before the Commission, if I 
can show that I am myself disinterested." So, from 
the first of January, 1894, with his wife's strong 
approval, he was honorary secretary of the Society 
until the work was finished in 1917. 

The Commission had further sittings in Calcutta 
over the New Year, and then journeyed through the 
poppy-growing districts, visiting Patna, Benares, 
Lucknow, Delhi and other cities before reaching 
Bombay. During these later sessions various 
Government witnesses and Government methods 
were exposed, either by H. J. Wilson's cross-exam- 
ination or by J. G. Alexander's investigations. 
" Another stock argument he [H. J. Wilson] abso- 
lutely demolished, and Mr. Driberg [a Government 
witness] had to confess himself mistaken at last. It 
had been repeatedly alleged, as showing that 
prohibition would lead to dangerous discontent and 
probably rebellion, that when the Government 
stopped the cultivation of the poppy in Assam in 
i860 the consequence was a riot ending in the murder 
of an English official — our witnesses assured us that 
the riot was nearly a year after the cultivation had 
been stopped, and was due to the imposition of the 
obnoxious income or license tax. It was clearly 
proved that the latter account was much more 
nearly correct — the discontent was caused by the 
imposition of two obnoxious new taxes, following on 
the prohibition of the poppy and consequent great 


enhancement of the price of opium. But further, 
there never would have been a riot but for the folly 
and perverseness of the two officials concerned, which 
was the subject of enquiry, and led to as complete 
a condemnation of their conduct by the Indian 
Government as has probably ever been recorded. 
They sum up by saying that of these officials one had 
paid the penalty of his hfe for his rashness, and the 
other was degraded in rank, sent to serve in a 
distant province, and to be subjected to special 
supervision as to his future conduct. A better 
instance of the unreliability of much official 
evidence could not easily be given." 

From Patna, on 3rd January, J. G. Alexander 
writes, " Here to-day we have had another ' row.' 
Mr. Wilson insisted, in private discussion, on reading 
another protest — this time against the proceedings 
of certain police officials who have been at Gya 
within the last week, and have been five or six times 
cross-questioning Prem Chand, the Baptist mission- 
ary there, about the visit Mr. Wilson, Mr. Williams 
and I paid to that town in November. Only this 
afternoon we hear of a Government witness who 
has been kept away because he was found so 
strongly to sympathise with the ryots." The ryots 
were the cultivators of opium, who were protesting 
against the Government's methods of forcing them 
to produce a certain crop each year. " The same 
sort of thing was done with the Assam witnesses — 
those who were likely to make admissions against 
the Government were kept away. But we have 
had one very fair honest official to-day ; though 


opposed to us, he has made statements very much 
supporting our views." 

These matters did not end here. A few days later 
" Mr. Chand produced to the evident discomfiture 
of the Indian Government representative some 
' dervannahs ' or notices from Government warning 
ryots that money had been ' sent from here ' to them 
for poppy cultivation, and that if they did not culti- 
vate the amount for which they were put down 
they would be prosecuted under a certain Act. 
Now that Act only authorises prosecution if the 
ryot has received ' the advance ' and there is a great 
diiierence between its being paid by Government 
to the middleman, and received by the ryot, so that 
the notice was obviously unjustified." A similar 
case was brought to light on the following day. In 
this case Mr. Tytler, " an admirable specimen of 
an Anglo-Indian official of the best class " con- 
fessed, " that it was a most improper form ; he had 
not used it and would not use it." 

At Benares, " On the second day our witnesses 
were heard — a doctor, Isha Chandra Ray, made an 
excellent impression by his clear, firm, yet tem- 
perate statement. He had been invited by the 
Government to give evidence, but after they had 
seen his abstract, they told him he would not be 
wanted. The whole correspondence was read out 
and Mr. Dane, who managed the case on behalf of 
the Government, was allowed later in the day to read 
a statement which was to the effect that a great 
many witnesses had had to be weeded out, and that 
several of them were pro-opiumists. That was all. 


Dr. Ray had mentioned three others who had 
similar notices that they were not wanted, and one 
of them, a zemindar (landowner) who also practises 
as a doctor, afterwards gave evidence on our side. 

" Of course, if Dr. Ray had been an unimportant 
witness there might have been force in Mr. Dane's 
excuse, but as he was undoubtedly one of the very 
best witnesses on either side that the Commission 
had had before it, and his statement as read to the 
Commission was practically the same as sent in 
originally, there can be no doubt that he was excluded 
because he was found not to favour the Indian 
Government view." 

Worse things happened than this. From 
Bombay, on i6th February, J. G. Alexander writes : 
" This morning there is a fresh incident — on getting 
home from the Commission soon after four I found a 
note from Dr. Phillips sa3dng that our four witnesses 
at Jaypore are all in prison ! So I had to drive off 
to Government House at once to get the Secretary to 
wire to the Political Resident at Jaypore to obtain 
their release. I am sorry for the poor men, but it will 
be a splendid thing for our cause, and will clearly 
show how little value is to be attached to the mass 
of pro-opium evidence received from the Native 
States generally." 

The Commission ended its pubUc sittings on the 
22nd February, 1894. Their report, issued in 1895, 
was much as J. G. Alexander had anticipated. In 
the words of The Cambridge Modern History* 
" The Commission found that the evil effects of the 

• Cambridge Modem History. Vol. XII. Chap. i6., pp. 485-486. 


drug in India had been greatly exaggerated ; they 
drew a parallel between its temperate use and that 
of alcohol in England, and intimated that prohibition 
was not more necessary in the one case than in the 
other. They threw upon the Chinese Government 
the burden of taking action if it wished the impor- 
tation of opium forbidden, and claimed that the state 
monopoly really amounted to a restriction of culti- 
vation, since it was confined to definite areas. The 
Indian product was at least opium in its best and 
purest form. Deprived of it, the Chinese would only 
have recourse to the home-grown supply, which was 
in every way inferior. Finally — a reason that pro- 
bably outweighed all others in the opinion of politicians 
— the Commissioners considered that the Indian 
revenues could not at present afford the financial loss 
that would be entailed by prohibition. The report," 
adds Mr. P. E. Roberts, the writer of this chapter, 
" has by no means put an end to the anti-opium 
agitation, the promoters of which are prepared to 
challenge many of the statements of fact put for- 
ward by the Commission." The first challenge 
was H. J. Wilson's minority report, wholly antagon- 
istic to the findings of his fellow-commissioners. And 
J. G. Alexander had written from Calcutta, " The 
Commissioners have had to choose between beheving 
officials, especially official doctors, on the one side, 
and missionaries, including medical missionaries, 
with some little native opinion to back them, on 
the other side. They have adopted the official view : 
I do not beUeve the people of England will follow 
them ; I am perfectly confident that a popular 


audience in England will accept the word of the 
missionaries against that of the officials, and the more 
strongly the contrast between the two is brought 
out — well, so much the worse for the officials." 

Although he was so fully occupied in pre- 
paring evidence for the Commission, J. G. Alexander 
missed no opportunity of sight-seeing, and tried to 
obtain some insight into the hfe of India. In par- 
ticular he came into close contact with the mission- 
aries wherever he went. He always attended ser- 
vices and prayer-meetings, and got help from them ; 
and he was always ready to relieve the missionary 
from the deadening round of spiritual duties by 
taking a service or preaching a sermon. 

Probably the most notable characteristic of his 
contact with the Indians themselves was that he 
behaved towards them just as he would behave 
towards Enghshmen or any other men. He always 
treated his fellow-men as beings Uke himself, or, it 
might be better to say, as beings containing some 
seed of the Divine, whatever their colour or race. 
If he found some racial or personal characteristic 
that he dishked he was ready to excuse it on 
the ground of environment or other unfortunate 
circumstance ; but he looked not for the things that 
separate men, but for those that unite. He 
assumed that every man he met would care in some 
way for the pursuit of what was good. When he had 
established some community of interest with a f eUow- 
being, European or Asiatic, nothing else mattered. 
At this stage, and indeed throughout his Ufe, he was 
happiest and most contented amongst those who, like 


himself, found daily help and inspiration from the 
Bible and from family prayer ; but, whilst it grieved 
him to think that any of his fellow-men should 
be ignorant of what he felt to be the priceless value 
of that inspiration, yet he gladly joined with any man 
who would tread even a few steps along his path. 

His letters home, especially, perhaps, those to 
his sons, are full of vivid descriptions — clear and 
straightforward without wordiness — of the things 
he saw, such as a Parsee wedding he attended at 
Bombay, descriptions of monkeys and other animals 
and birds, heard or seen, the pagodas of Burma, the 
wonderful architecture of the sacred Indian cities, 
snake-stories, and the teak yards at Rangoon. All 
these things are, no doubt, what any observant 
traveller would describe to his family at home ; 
but part of a letter of a more individual character 
written to his youngest boy, not quite five years old, 
from Bombay, may serve as his farewell to India : 

" I was very pleased to get your letter all 
written quite by yourself. You ask me when I am 
coming home again. I hope to come soon after the 
swallows do. At present they are still flsring about 
here, but soon many of them will be leaving these 
hot countries for England, and about the time they 
arrive in England I expect to be starting for England 
again. But you see it takes a long time to go 
round the world, and my journey home through 
China and Japan and America is much longer than 
theirs. Besides, I have not wings, and cannot fly 
by day or night. So you must not expect me to 
get back as quickly as the swallows." 

Chapter V 



After resting for a week with friends in the Nilgiri 
Hills, J. G. Alexander visited Ceylon, and then pro- 
ceeded to China. He looked forward to this part 
of his journey as likely to be of much greater value 
to the anti-opium cause than the time spent with 
the Commission in India. 

As evidence of the devotion with which he threw 
himself into whatever he did, it may be worth record- 
ing that, in the course of the voyage from Ceylon to 
China, he wrote home of the possibility of ultimately 
settling with his wife and family in some healthy part 
of Ceylon from which he might be better able to 
carry on his work. Or, again, he felt it might be 
right, if the Chinese Government showed any readi- 
ness to carry out a mutual scheme with the British 
Government for the suppression of the opium traffic, 
to offer them his services in carrying it out. Happily, 
from the point of view of family comfort, he did not 
find any such readiness on the part of the Chinese 
Government, and the dirt of Peking convinced him 
that he could never transport Ms family to such a 
city. After this his mind reverted to the possi- 
bility of running a newspaper of high ideals from 
Allahabad. None of these schemes came to 



anything ; but each in turn was to him more than an 
idle speculation ; he would have been prepared to 
go through with them if the need had seemed urgent. 

At Singapore, J. G. Alexander obtained inter- 
esting information of the way in which evidence had 
been prepared in the Straits Settlements for the 
Opium Commission. The Colonial Government, 
just like the Indiarf Government, resorted to every 
possible device to make the evidence favourable to 
the maintenance of the opium revenue. It even 
went so far as to obtain alterations in the abstracts 
first sent in, so as to make them more favourable to 
its case. " Never, surely, was a Royal Commission 
more bamboozled and hoodwinked at every turn. 
But what can you expect of men who have no fear 
of God before their eyes, when it is a question of 
preserving so big a revenue ? " Some of the officers 
of the Chinese men-of-war at Penang thought the 
only hope of their country's salvation from opium lay 
in education. " I fear that is altogether a delusive 
hope, but I was glad to hear they feel so strongly 
on the subject." 

A young Japanese merchant on board the ship 
between Singapore and Hongkong told him of the 
great efforts the Japanese were making to keep their 
country free from opium smoking. " Yet Anglo- 
Indian officials would have us believe it is a blessing 
to the Chinese ! Surely their near neighbours in 
Japan are likely to know best." 

Another passenger was an English Colonel, 
Commissioner of Maulman, who had spent over 
thirty years in Burma. " His report does not 


appear in the Blue Book furnished to the 
Commission, though he tells me he made one on 
the new regulations. He is very strong as to the 
evil effects of opium on Burmans, and against the 
exclusion of non-Burmans from the register. He 
says that if the Indians and Chinese can't do 
without opium they had better stay away altogether 
from Burma : to aUow them to have the drug free 
is, in his opinion, to open a wide door by which the 
Burmans can obtain it." 

As soon as J. G. Alexander reached China, he 
discovered how opportune such a visit as his must 
be, for it showed the Chinese that there existed in 
England some opinion in favour of ending the opium 
trade ; at Hongkong he had not intended to stay, but 
the Rev. M. Pearce, of the London Missionary Society, 
and Mr. Wong, the leading anti-opiumist in Hong- 
kong, a Chinese pastor, " put before me so strongly 
the desirability of my stapng a few days to encourage 
the Christians here and at Canton in their anti-opium 
work, and the disappointment they would feel if I 
passed them by, that I felt constrained to stay." 

One evening at Hongkong he visited two opium 
dens with Pastor Wong and his son. " The first 
den we went to contained about forty-three smokers ; 
neither den was so wretched a place as those I visited 
in Gya, Calcutta and Bombay, nor were the people 
generally so emaciated. It is to be remembered that 
Chinamen, at least in this part of the country, gener- 
ally live well — their food is very superior to that of 
the same classes in India. But the answers to my 
questions were precisely similar to those given in 

i894] CHINA 85 

the Indian dens. I began by asking whether opium 
was a good thing — ^they all declared it was a very bad 
thing. Why then did they take it ? To this the 
reply was that they began by taking it for pleasure, 
not intending to become slaves to the habit ; now 
they cannot leave it off. I asked whether they could 
do more work with the help of opium. ' Yes,' they 
said, ' just after we have had our smoke we can do 
more ; but compared with those who dojti't smoke at 
all we have not nearly so much strength.' Would 
they like the Government to close all the dens and 
so make smoking impossible ? ' Yes, it would be a 
very good thing ; but we should need some medicine 
to help us to get over the craving.' I asked my young 
interpreter to thank them for their answers ; they 
replied that it was all for their own benefit. 

" One of them volunteered to show us into 
another den near by ; here we found fifty-one 
smoking. They were asked, ' Why do you come 
here ? ' ' Because we have acquired the habit 
from the example of others.' ' Does it do them any 
good ? ' I needed no interpreter of the general laugh 
that greeted such an idea. No indeed ; it does 
them much harm. One man just behind us bared 
his arm to show us how thin it had become through 
opium. Twenty years ago, when he began smoking, 
he weighed 150 lbs., now only 100. He added that 
they suffer much in stomach complaints and so forth, 
also that it greatly weakens the virile power. When 
the craving comes on they are quite prostrated, 
unable to do anything till ihey get their accus- 
tomed smoke. 


" Would they like the dens closed ? ' Yes, it 
would be a blessing to the present and future genera- 
tions.' This led me to tell of the new Burman rule, 
that those Burmans who are already smokers are 
allowed to register themselves, and to obtain the 
needful quantity for their use, but no fresh names to 
be put on the register. They thought this would be 
very good ; if it were adopted, opium smoking 
would die out in about fifty years." 

One of the greatest abuses at Hongkong was con- 
nected with the opium " farm " or monopoly, estab- 
lished by the British Government. The farmer had 
the right to search everyone passing from the Chinese 
mainland to Hongkong, and penalties were inflicted 
for smuggling. J. G. Alexander gives an instance of 
what this led to. " Some time since about 200 
graduates from southern China transhipped at 
Hongkong, on their way to the examination at 
Peking. They were searched by the opium farmer's 
men on landing; and six of them were found 
to have a small quantity of opium on their 
persons — they probably knew nothing of its 
being a contraband article here, and had only 
brought it for their own personal use. They were 
brought before the magistrate, fined fifty dollars 
each, and two of them, having no more money left, 
were obliged to return home instead of proceeding 
to Peking." 

At Shanghai, in the " foreign settlements," con- 
trolled by a municipal council, elected by property- 
owners — i.e., Europeans and Americans^ — the worst 
abuses occurred, " It is in these foreign settlements 

1894] CHINA 87 

that the great opium saloons are to be found ; 
in the native city, where they are contrary to Chinese 
law, they are small and obscure, and I am assured 
that such a flaunting of vice — both as regards opium 
and the kindred vice of debauchery — as we witnessed 
last night would not be allowed for a day in the 
Chinese city. Here, however, the opium dens are 
licensed by the municipality, a fee of twenty-five 
cents per lamp per month being levied, the revenue 
from this source for 1893 having been 34,000 taels, 
say £5.000 sterling. We found the opium saloons 
which we visited, thronged, and a feature that pain- 
fully struck me was the great preponderance of young 
men. Shanghai, being the principal centre of foreign 
commerce with China, attracts great numbers of 
young men, as it affords special facihties for business 
enterprise. These young men are tempted to 
spend their evenings in these places, where parties 
of two, three or four may be seen together, joining at 
the opium pipe, talking over their business or their 
pleasure, and being sucked into the vortex of this 
fascinating habit. The four places we visited have 
each 300 to 500 or 600 frequenters daily, as we were 
informed by the employees. . . We were told 
that there were over a hundred large places, but that 
large and small together there would be from three 
to four thousand. On enquiry at the Municipal 
Offices this morning we learn that about 1200 licences 
are in force at present ; but that there are great 
numbers of lodging houses and brothels for which no 
licences are paid, though opium smoking is carried 
on in them." Here, as elsewhere, many of the 


smokers declared that they would gladly give up the 
habit if some medicine could be found to cure them of 
their craving. "At one of the dens the employee to 
whom we spoke, said that opium was introduced by 
the foreigners, who were thus seducing the Chinese. 
And Dr. Muirhead tells me that respectable Chinese 
not infrequently refuse to let their sons come to the 
foreign settlements, notwithstanding the attractions 
of speedy money-making, lest they should fall 
victims to the vices of opium and sensuality which 
are here so temptingly displayed for them under the 
aegis of foreign rule." Who can wonder at the 
reluctance of the Chinese to allow the influence of 
western civilisation to spread through their land, or 
that they should be suspicious of the motives of an 
English traveller ? 

At Hongkong, Canton and. almost every city he 
visited in China, J. G. Alexander had opportunities of 
explaining to large audiences of Chinese the purpose 
of the Anti-Opium Society, and his own purpose in 
visiting China. And as time went on he was able 
to persuade even the officials of his sincerity. As 
he went from place to place and conferred with mis- 
sionaries and with Chinese leaders, he was con- 
firmed in the impression that the right policy to work 
for was a gradual, concurrent suppression of poppy 
culture in China, and of the trade from India, covering 
perhaps ten years ; and his main purpose was to 
get authoritative expressions of Chinese opinion in 
favour of such a policy. He could then return to 
England armed with an irresistible argument for 
insisting on the British Government carr3dng out its 

1894] CHINA 89 

part of the transaction: China would have proved her 
desire to get rid of the habit, and there could then be 
no further excuse for forcing Indian opium upon her. 

In Shanghai, J. G. Alexander had an interesting 
interview with Mr. Wong, the editor of the first 
Chinese unofficial newspaper, the Shen Pao, as well 
as with two leading Chinese merchants. The Shen 
Pao, which was afready becoming influential, and 
from which other papers took their cue, had published 
an article dismissing the Opium Commission as 
almost worthless. Mr. Wong thought English 
pubUc opinion could not prevail against the Indian 
Government and the merchants, but after conver- 
sation he offered to write an article explaining the 
attitude and policy of the Anti-Opium Society. 

From Shanghai, J. G. Alexander travelled up the 
Yang-tse to Hankow. At Shanghai he had had a 
useful interview with the Ambassador-elect who was 
just leaving for Paris and London — His Excellency 
Kung. At Hankow he was able to get into touch 
with one of the greatest Chinese, Chang Chih-Tung, 
at that time Viceroy of Hu-peh and Hu-nan, a man 
" notorious for his anti-foreign feeling, and generally 
beheved by the missionaries to be the real instigator 
of the anti-foreign riots of the last two or three 
years," which had led to the murder of several 

One of the missionaries at Hankow was able to 
arrange for an interview with the Viceroy's usual 
intermediary with foreigners, Tsai Sih-Yung, Tao-tai 
(chief magistrate) of Wu-chang. He received J. G. 
Alexander, together with three missionaries, one of 


them Dr. Griffith John, " the Nestor of Chinese 
missionaries," in- a building connected with the 
great cotton mills outside Wu-chang, which Chang 
Chih-Tung had established. 

" After some conversation of a general character 
as to the opium habit, we got at last to the object 
of my visit. I explained the objects of our Society, 
the work it had been trsdng to do, and how we 
especially need, at the present time, a definite state- 
ment from the statesmen of China as to the steps 
they would take on their side to deal with the poppy 
growth and opium consumption if our Government 
undertook to stop the poppy cultivation in India, 
and the export of opium to China. I read to him the 
Tsung-li-Yamen's despatch of 1869, pointing out 
that the idea of concurrent action had emanated in 
the first instance from that body, and urged my wish 
to have an interview, in order to be able to take back 
an assurance of his (Chang Chih-Tung's) sympathy 
and support. Dr. John pointed out to him that, 
though only an individual, I was the representative 
of a large body of people in England equally earnest 
in the desire to help China to put down this evil. 
He also feelingly referred to the vast increase of the 
opium vice in China which had occurred under his 
own eyes during the forty years of his residence in 
the country, and expressed his conviction that if 
it should go on increasing at the same ratio for 
another thirty years, China would be nothing but a 
nation of imbeciles. To this remark Mr. Tsai 
appeared heartily to assent. Dr. John urged that a 
great opportunity was now before the rulers of China 

1894] CHINA 


which it behoved them to avail themselves of, before 
it became too late to avert the ruin of their country. 
" During the iirst part of our conversation, 
which lasted fully an hour, the Tao-tai seemed 
somewhat indifferent. Later on, however, he was evi- 
dently touched, and realised we were sincere. He 
frankly told us, near the close, that he had supposed 
(from a letter I had' written him beforehand, briefly 
explaining my mission) that we wanted China to 
begin giving up the poppy cultivation, in order that 
the Indian revenue might be improved — ^just the 
inveterate Chinese suspicion of foreigners. I pointed 
out to him that I by no means represented the 
British Government ; on the contrary I represented 
those who had been and were fighting the Government 
for years, to induce them to give up this trade ; and 
I assured him that we did not want China to begin ; 
India ought to begin, and all we wanted was some 
guarantee that China would follow suit. He said 
he now understood the matter in quite a different 
hght ; he would represent to the Viceroy what we 
had put before him, and would let me know next 
morning whether His Excellency could, see me." 
The next day brought the following letter : 

" Dear Mr. Alexander, 

" Referring to our conversation about the opium question 
I have at once submitted to H.E. the Viceroy your wish 
to see him. His Excellency would be glad to see you if 
you could stay a few days longer here, as his time for the 
next few days is entirely occupied by previous engage- 
ments. I have laid your views before His Excellency 
and am in a position to state that H.E. generally agrees 
with the views of the Anti-Opium Society. He thinks it 
a benefit for his fellow-countrymen if the use of opium 


could be restricted or abolished, and is of opinion that 
the prohibition of producing opium in India would go a 
long way towards the beneficial aim. 

" His Excellency is, of course, not in a position to give an 
authoritative opinion on the steps China might afterwards 
take in the same direction, but his advice if asked for will 
certainly be in favour of the ends your Society is pur- 
suing, and which you have so ably explained to me. 
" I am, dear Mr. Alexander, 

" Yours faithfuUy, 
"(signed) Tsai Sih-Yung." 

" Of course," comments J. G. Alexander, " the 
first two sentences are merely a polite refusal to see 
me — probably dictafted by the Viceroy's disHke to 
all foreigners, which he was not able to overcome 
even in the case of one whose objects he sympathised 
with. The all-important sentence is the last, con- 
taining a definite pledge that if his advice is asked — 
that is, by the Chinese Government, according to its 
usual practice of consulting the chief officers of 
State — he will support the plan which I explained to 
Mr. Tsai, namely, for a concurrent reduction of 
poppy culture year by year by both Governments 
over a period of, say, ten years." 

Writing to his wife on the following day (26th 
April) J. G. Alexander gives free expression to his 
great joy at having obtained this important promise. 
" How I wish you could have been with us last 
evening at the weekly missionary prayer-meeting — 
not to hear me, but to hear Dr. John's closing 
words, which belonged to you more than to myself. 
He stated that the Viceroy, Chang Chih-Tung, had 
done what he (Dr. John) had never expected he 
would do— he had hoped he might grant me an 

1894] CHINA 93 

interview, but be never expected he would pledge 
himself in writing to support our proposal. And then 
Dr. John proceeded to assure me that my visit to 
Hankow had not been in vain. It had made a deep 
impression on the native Christians, who had been 
greatly touched by my leaving wife and children 
for the sake of their countrymenj — ' and I can assure 
you that the name of A-h-shan-ta will often be 
mentioned in the prayers of these Christians and your 
journey to Peking.' " 

He visited Nanking on his way back to Shanghai, 
and then, after a busy couple of days, hurried north 
to Tientsin via Chefoo, hoping to obtain an interview 
with Li Hung-Chang before his triennial tour round 
the naval fortifications of the gulf of Pe-chih-li. But 
he just missed him, so proceeded to Peking where 
he sent a carefully prepared statement on the 
opium situation to the Tsung-li-Yamen (Council 
of Ministers). The Tsung-U-Yamen expressed its 
willingness to see him, but the statement had to 
be translated into Chinese, and then they needed 
time to consider it. During the fortnight thus 
occupied there was time, not only for meetings in 
Peking, but for a visit to the Great Wall of China 
and the Ming Tombs. " It was a most enjoyable 
excursion, the Nanko Pass, through which one 
reaches the Great Wall, being very beautiful for 
scenery, whilst the invigorating air of the mountains 
and the pleasant society of Mr. Roberts [a missionary 
returning to his country station] contributed to 
render the first three days extremely agreeable. 
The last day's long journey home, with only the 


company of the carter and the servant kindly lent 
me by Prof, OUver, was not equally enjoyable." 
In fact J. G. Alexander now for the first time 
experienced the discomforts of Chinese travel, which 
were almost too much for him in West China 
thirteen years later. 

In Peking and the province of Chih-li generally, 
he found much less opium-smoking than in the 
south, or at Nanking and Foochow, partly because 
the people were generally poorer. But in the moun- 
tainous north-west, continuing from the mountains 
of north Shan-si, notorious for opium-smoking, 
the habit was reported to prevail extensively. 

Whilst he was waiting at Peking news came of 
the imprisonment of a missionary at Bombay " on 
the ground of his having, in a careful statement, 
fully supported by evidence, asked for an investi- 
gation into the action of the Bombay Opium 
Department with regard to opium dens. I cannot 
doubt that it wiU have caused intense indignation 
at home and nothing, in my opinion, could more 
clearly illustrate the Indian administration's- 
methods in regard to excise questions than so 
monstrously unjust a sentence." 

Sir Robert Hart, who saw the statement prepared 
for the Tsung-li-Yam6n, was of opinion that they 
would give " 'an equally clear reply' — ^meaning one 
in harmony with our wishes." At last, on 2nd June, 
J. G. Alexander was received by one of the ministers, 
H. E. Chang, but the interview was disappointing, 
for "I failed to get any explicit assurance on the 
question of the native growth of the poppy, or any 

1894] CHINA 95 

clear response whatever to the proposal put forward 
in my statement. This is easily explicable by the 
fact that a single minister would not be likely to 
commit his colleagues and the Government as a 
whole. Li Hung-Chang occupies a freer position 
and is himself a stronger man, and I shall probably 
get more out of him. But the fact that the Tsung-li- 
Yamen has received me, and that its spokesman has 
distinctly given me to understand that the Chinese 
Government stands where it always did in its objec- 
tion to the trade, are of the greatest importance." 

So back he started again for Tientsin — excited 
with the thought that his face was at last set to- 
wards home. On the 8th he had a satisfactory talk 
with Lo Feng-Lo, Li Hung-Chang's Secretary for 
Foreign affairs, and three days later interviewed the 
great man himself. " Li Hung-Chang asked if I 
was a clergyman (or missionary) and the same as to 
Sir Joseph Pease : he wound up in a very compli- 
mentary manner, saying that I was a philanthropist, 
etc. My plan of gradual and concurrent sup- 
pression is quite knocked on the head ; the Chinese 
statesmen all asked for stoppage of the import from 
India, and Li Hung-Chang more strongly than the 
others. He had no hesitation about giving the assur- 
ance that China wiU stop the home growth, when the 
import is stopped, saying : ' You may be sure that 
if you cease sending our people poison, we shaU 
prevent them from providing themselves with it.' 
I feel th.a.tjMs is far better than my own proposal, 
and that God has given me much more than I asked 
or thought," 


No doubt it would have been better, from the 
point of view of justice, that Britain should have 
stopped the trade first ; for even if the Chinese had 
wished to poison themselves it was no business of 
Britain or the Indian Government to grow rich on 
the vices of another nation. But governments do 
not often rise to ideal poUtics ; it is sometimes hardly 
possible for them to do so ; and it is always desir- 
' able to let them down as easily as possible, even if 
soine abstract conception of justice is not wholly 
satisfied. Actually, the attitude of Li Hung-Chang 
and the other Chinese ministers, though wholly 
justified,^ meant another dozen years of opium trade 
and poppy culture and poison, until, with John 
Morley at the India Office, a wiser Chinese Govern- 
ment perceived that its time had come, and 
proposed the very solution that J. G. Alexander had 
unsuccessfully pressed upon them years before. The 
philanthropist proved himself a wiser statesman — 
if the good of the people is to be regarded as the 
true aim of statesmanship — than a man who is 
sometimes regarded as the greatest statesman of 
his day. 

Of the rest of his journey little need be said. His 
visit to Japan was confined to a few hours with his 
cousin, Mary Ann Gundry, in Tokyo, as quarantine 
restrictions kept the passengers on board the Empress 
of China at Yokohama. But at least he saw Fuji- 
yama, and the after-effects of one of Tokyo's severer 
earthquakes, and got many letters from home. At 
the beginning of July he reached Vancouver. Here 
he saw the outside of the Chinese opium dens — his 

18943 CHINA 97 

guide thought it unsafe to enter — and he got par- 
ticulars of the opium-smuggling that was going on 
via British Columbia into CaUfornia. With fellow- 
travellers from China he went a drive round the 
Stanley Park ; they also spent a day at Glacier 
House in the Rockies. In crossing the Rockies the 
train was three times delayed : first the hue was 
being repaired where a rock had fallen ; then the 
train had to make three attempts before it could get 
up an incUne on a curve ; and before they left 
the Kicking-Horse Canyon the same thing happened 
again. But after four nights in the train Winnipeg 
was safely reached. In Eastern America, J. G. 
Alexander broke the journey at Toronto, Philadelphia 
and New York, where he did some useful anti-opium 
work, and from Toronto he visited Niagara Falls. 
Before the end of July, 1894, he was home. 

Chapter VI 



In later life, principally after he had ceased to 
practise as a barrister, J. G. Alexander undertook 
various " missionary travels " in France. He 
visited almost every part of France at one time or 
another, also the Vaudois valleys in North Italy, 
Belgium and French-speaking Switzerland. These 
journeys were undertaken as concerns for the religious 
welfare of the French people. It was his wish to 
contribute to the strengthening of the Protestant 
rehgion in France, by assisting to publish the truths of 
Christianity. He felt that the need of the people 
was a closer personal knowledge of the Bible, 
especially of the Gospel story ; and he distributed 
great numbers of Gospels, not only at meetings, 
but whenever he found an opportunity in town or 

Before setting out on these journeys he would, 
after the manner of Friends, lay his concern before 
the fellow-members of his district, assembled in 
their Monthly Meeting, and if they approved it, 
the " concern " would go forward to the larger 
group, the Quarterly Meeting, for confirmation, 
and after that, if the service lay outside the British 
Islands, to the Morning Meeting, the name given 
to a gathering of the Ministers and Elders of the 



Society that met every six weeks. Later, this 
meeting was dropped, and personal " concerns " 
for service abroad were considered by the Yearly 
Meeting itself or by the central executive of the 
Society, the " Meeting for Sufferings." The 
Meeting that liberated him for such service would 
keep in touch with him through one or two of their 
number appointed as" correspondents, and would 
also bear the expenses necessarily incurred on the 

In France, J. G. Alexander worked in co-opera- 
tion with the various Protestant churches. He 
was on intimate terms with some of the most active 
leaders in Paris and other parts of the country. 
His message was not primarily concerned with the 
special practical applications of Christianity, which 
distinguish Quakerism ; he was always eager and 
ready to state his own conviction that the Quaker 
emphasis on individual guidance and responsibility, 
on freedom of worship and on the unlawfulness 
of all war, was essential to true Christianity, but 
his concern was that people should learn to follow 
Christ and that they should study and love the 
New Testament ; he believed that if they honestly 
tried to apply the teaching of Christ to their own Hves 
they would, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 
be led to these and other applications of Christian 
teaching to life. On two or three missionary journeys 
through France, undertaken by J. G. Alexander soon 
after his marriage he was accompanied by his wife, 
who thus entered fuUy into his work and joined in 
the intimate friendships he had formed. 



One of the journeys of this period had a different 
object. A crisis took place in the relations of France 
and Germany in 1887 : following the militarist 
agitation of General Boulanger, a French pohce 
officer, Schnaebele, was illegally arrested on 21st 
April, by a German police officer, Gautch, on French 
territory. Bismarck released Schnaebele six days 
later and the motive for the outrage remains 

President Gr^vy refused to get excited, and the 
incident was soon closed. But French anger had 
been aroused, and did not quickly cool down. The 
incident aggravated a general sense of international 
unrest and suspicion. 

In the midst of this crisis an English Friend, 
Anne Warner Marsh, and her husband, T. W. 
Marsh, felt it laid upon them to visit some of the 
leading European statesmen and urge upon them 
the preservation of peace as the duty of Christian 
statesmanship. Jane Miller of Edinburgh and 
J. G. Alexander accompanied them. It does not 
appear that the deputation met with any very 
cordial response. J. G. Alexander's chief part 
was, naturally, in Paris, where an interview was 
obtained with President Grevy through M. de 
Pressens^, a leading French Protestant and Senator, 
and M. Frederic Passy, one of the finest French 
pacifists, both of whom were known to J. G. 
Alexander. The deputation was also greatly 
assisted and encouraged by Mme. Dalencourt, 
Dr. McAU, M. Kriiger and others of J. G. Alexander's 
old French friends and colleagues. 

1887] FRANCE 


On the 26th October, the President received 
them, heard what Anne Warner Marsh had to say, 
and assured her " that no one could be more opposed 
to war, or in favour of peace than he was, and that 
she need not enlarge on that subject. France 
would never take up arms except for the defence 
of her honour, her interests, or her liberty, if these 
were attacked." These were, of course, assurances 
that any statesmen would be bound to make at any 
time ; and seeing that the President had to resign 
a few weeks later, the interview did not appear to 
have been fruitful. A few days later, J. G. Alex- 
ander had a much fuller talk with the French Foreign 
Minister, M. Flourens, quite a young man, with 
enUghtened ideas of international relations. He 
wrote of this interview, " I thought it right to avail 
myself of the opportunity of speaking to him about 
some of the subjects relating to peace on which 
I had already had conversations with numerous 
Frenchmen. After going into the question of 
Alsace-Lorraine, and receiving his assurance that 
France had no intention of going to war on that 
account, I ventured to express to him the thanks 
of us in England for all that he had done in the 
interests of peace during the last few months. He 
told me that the maintanance of peace had been 
and would be the one great object of his efforts. 
I concluded by saying that we should not forget to 
pray that God would assist him in the arduous 
post which he filled ; and he expressed himself 

It was impossible to obtain an interview with 


the German Crown Prince Frederick, then at San 
Remo, already too ill to see them, nor with Bismarck, 
or any other German statesman. The party pro- 
ceeded to Russia, but J. G. Alexander had to leave 
it in Germany on account of his health. 

Peaceful counsels happUy prevailed. The 
Quaker Mission may not have had much to do with 
this ; but in other directions it had its value : the 
visit of the Friends was an encouragement and 
stimulus to the little band of Christian workers 
in Paris, to the small^uaker community at Minden, 
and to others who were tr5dng to hold fast to the 
truth among difficult surroundings. After this, 
for ten years, J. G. Alexander scarcely set foot 
in France. 

In 1896, having given up his practice at the Bar, 
he and his family left Croydon and settled at Tun- 
bridge Wells. His membership in the Society 
of Friends was thus transferred to Lewes and 
Chichester Monthly Meeting, and it was this Monthly 
Meeting that acknowledged him as a " minister " 
and gave him minutes of liberation and steady 
support and sympathy for his frequent journeys 
in France. 

The first journey was undertaken in the autumn 
of 1897. Charles D. Terrell, his companion on vari- 
ous subsequent occasions, joined him in holding 
meetings at a number of McAll mission stations. 
They started their tour in Brittany, and visited 
many towns in western and southern France, hold- 
ing a meeting or travelling on to a fresh town, or 
both, daily. Some of their meetings took the form 

1897] FRANCE 


of lantern lectures of Eastern life. Charles Terrell 
had recently been obhged to leave India, where 
he had been as a missionary for some years, and 
it was only three years since J. G. Alexander's 
journey with the opium commission. Both were 
glad to have opportunities of urging the claims 
of non-Christian countries upon the goodwill and 
influence of the Christian people of Europe. It 
was their experience, as J. G. Alexander expressed 
it, that " the French people are so exceedingly 
quick of perception that they will often better take 
in the truths of the Gospel if administered in small 
doses and in indirect fashion, in connection with 
that which interests them as adding to their store 
of knowledge than if it were administered to them 
in more substantial and direct teaching." At 
some towns, audiences of several hundreds attended 
these lectures, and the travellers had to show dis- 
cretion in what they said in order to avoid conflict 
with the Catholics. In this they were successful, 
and J. G. Alexander wrote after his return to 
England, " That two Englishmen should have been 
able to hold such a series of meetings, without let 
or hindrance, whilst the anti- Jewish leader, Drumont, 
was denouncing all Englishmen and Protestants as 
enemies of France in his widely circulated paper, 
La Libre Parole, seems to me now very wonderful. 
The Lord was surely guiding us. Yet it must also 
be said that, ready as is the Frenchman to look 
upon the EngHshman at large as his natural enemy, 
when it comes to dealing with a particular English- 
man who is reasonably considerate towards his 


national idiosyncrasies and especially with one 
who is obviously seeking to do him good without 
any selfish motive, his prejudices quickly melt 
away, and his native courtesy shines out." In 
reporting on this journey J. G. Alexander had to 
tell his Monthly Meeting of the regret with which 
he noticed the lack of energy of French Protestants. 
On the other hand he found hopeful signs in the 
activity of groups of students of the Unions 
Cadettes at Rochefort and Montauban. In all his 
journeys he did what he could to draw the various 
Protestant sects in France to work in closer unity 
for the uplift of their fellow-countrymen. 

In 1898, J. G. Alexander was for a short time 
in Paris on his way to a Peace Congress at Turin. 
He met there a Protestant pastor, who had 
formerly been a Roman Catholic priest, but had 
found himself unable to continue in the Church of 
Rome. In this way, J. G. Alexander first came 
into close contact with a movement in France away 
from the authority of the Roman Church towards 
freedom of religion which claimed much sympathy 
and attention from him in later years, when it was 
developing into a stronger and more positive force 
in French life. 

It would be a mistake, however, to think of 
his work in France as anti-Cathblic. Owing to his 
intense belief in the value of the " open Bible," 
as the greatest of all external aids to good for rich 
and poor, simple and cultured alike, he necessarily 
found himself in opposition to that type of priest- 
craft which attempts to keep the people in ignorance 

1898-9] FRANCE 105 

and to feed it on superstition. But he always 
rejoiced when he was able to join with French 
Catholics in temperance meetings or bther good 
works in which he and they could unite. 

After the Turin Peace Congress he paid some 
further visits in south and south-west France, and 
at the end of the year he and his wife and two 
younger sons went -to Arcachon for the winter. 
They left England at a moment when the difference 
between the British and French Governments 
with regard to Fashoda was acute. War between 
the two countries was as near, perhaps, as it has 
ever been since 1815. Many people were quite 
sure that war was sooner or later inevitable. 
Happily the French Government was able to resist 
the pressure of the militarists : it was strong enough 
to give way. 

The residence at Arcachon during the .winter 
of 1898-9 was undertaken largely on account of the 
health of J. G. Alexander's youngest son ; but 
Arcachon was chosen, not only for its soft sea 
breezes and dry pine-growing soil, but also because 
J. G. Alexander felt specially called to help in 
reviving Protestant and evangelical activity in 
Bordeaux. The Y.M.C.A. and McAU Mission had 
both at one time flourished and then subsided in 
Bordeaux ; and the Protestant population of the 
fourth city of France was little more than 8,000, 
divided between the EgUse Reformee and the 
Eglise Libre. Work that was supposed to be 
carried on had lapsed ; and one or two zealous 
pastors were left to struggle unaided, against the 


apathy and disunion of their congregations and 
colleagues. J. G. Alexander helped to bring all 
the pastors of the district together for a week of 
meetings on various aspects of the Christian faith 
and life ; the meetings were not very large ; the 
apathetic could not be attracted ; but those who 
had some faith were strengthened, and those who 
had been divided brought together. Although 
J. G. Alexander did not in any way put himself 
forward as leader of the discussions he felt the 
burden of the effort very heavily upon him, and 
had hoped for another English visitor as companion. 
More than one name was proposed, including a 
man of higher social distinction who had visited 
Bordeaux a little time before ; but the sense of 
strain between England and France was not yet 
over, and these other visitors were rejected by the 
local pastors as " too English." Probably that 
accusation was never brought against J. G. Alex- 
ander himself. In appealing to his fellow-country- 
men to recognise the needs of France he wrote, 
" France claims, first of all, our sympathy. Let 
us think of her needs, study her needs, till we 
realise these needs, and feel xvith her — that is what 
' sympathy ' means." He himself felt with France. 
He served the French people, not in any condescend- 
ing spirit, but because he loved and respected 

During the winter he also visited a few towns 
in the west and south of France, the former with 
C. D. Terrell, the latter with his brother S. J. 
Alexander ; from one place he writes that for the 

1898-9] FRANCE 107 

first time he has been asked to preach from a Pro- 
testant pulpit, and contrasts this with the readiness 
with which pulpits had been opened to him in his 
tours through France in his student days. In 
the south, some time was spent by the brothers 
at Nimes and Cong^nies in the Gard where the 
remnant of French Quakerism still existed. They 
visited some of the viHages round about on bicycles ; 
J. G. Alexander had been making a valiant attempt 
to learn to ride a bicycle, but this was the only 
time his bicycle was of any value to him. He could 
not learn the art. He had not been brought up 
either to understand machines or to be their slave ; 
he preferred to ride on horseback. The other 
machine on which he depended, on this and other 
journeys, was a lantern, and it treated him as 
badly as the bicycle. It seems to have left the 
audience in utter darkness once at least on nearly 
every journey, and the lecturer had to improvise 
until the lantern recovered and the next picture 
of Eastern life appeared. The audience always 
remained patient and quiet. 

A series of meetings was held during this winter 
at Arcachon, where J. G. Alexander took the leading 
part. They were chiefly attended by rowdy youths. 
At the neighbouring port of La Teste, the only 
building procurable for a meeting was a theatre ; 
and one of the conditions of having the theatre 
for this purpose was that there should be a ten 
minutes' interval so that those who attended might 
go and get a drink at the adjoining public house, 
in which the owner of the theatre was interested. 


A crowd of fishermen and women attended ; a 
few went out at half-time and did not return ; the 
rest were too much absorbed in asking questions 
to go for a drink. 

In the summer of 1899, J. G. Alexander spent 
some time in the Yonne and adjoining departments, 
and during the following autumn and winter he was 
again in the south and west of France, his wife 
accompanying him for part of this journey. They 
visited the colony of Friends in the Gard and left 
their eldest son to spend the winter in the household 
of Mme. Marie Bernard, now (1920) the only Friend 
left at Cong^nies. At a remarkable meeting at 
Bordeaux, J. G. Alexander was able to see some 
fruits of the labours of the previous two years. 
Then he worked for a time round La Rochelle, 
where his friend, C. D. Terrell, had settled with his 

During 1898-9 each visit to Paris had been 
saddened by the mortal and painful illness, borne~ 
with great patience and courage, with which 
Hermann Kriiger had been stricken. In 1900 death 
came to release the sufferer, and J. G. Alexander 
was to see the dearest of all his friends no more. 

During the Paris Exhibition of 1900, meetings 
were held almost daily under the joint auspices of 
various Friends, the McAU Mission and the French 
Eghse Reform^e. J. G. Alexander was almost 
entirely responsible for the organisation of this work, 
but, owing to his English nationality, he did not 
feel it right to take much vocal part. One side of 
the work he described in a letter to one of his sons 

1900] FRANCE 109 

at school : " There is in each window of the little 
Bible depot, a glass case with Bibles, or rather New 
Testaments ; one is headed : Langues d'Europe 
et des Colonies Fran9aises, and the other : Langues 
Classiques et Orientales. The European case has 
a big French Bible open in the middle ; they are 
mostly open at the Sermon on the Mount . . . 
In the Eastern languages, where you generally 
begin to read at the opposite end, it took me some 
time to find out where the chapters came, so as to 
fix on the fifth chapter of Matthew for the open 
page." It was typical of him that all his Bibles 
should be New Testaments, and open at the Sermon 
on the Mount. 

In November and December, 1900, he again 
visited the Gard, Montauban, Bordeaux, La Rochelle 
and other places, and was glad, after the restric- 
tions of the summer's work, to be able once more 
to speak freely to the people who attended his 
meetings. At BiouUe, addressing some thirty or 
forty students, he compared " the state of things 
observed among French Protestants during the past 
three years with that of twenty-five years ago." 
He told them he " noticed that while there had 
been great development and progress in many 
respects, there had been none, rather retrogression, 
as regards lay activity. I reminded them that the man 
who knows how to call out the activity of others is 
a better worker than he who does a great deal of 
work himself, and commended the question to their 
serious attehtion." At another meeting, by way 
of illustrating the possibihty and helpfulness of 


Christians of different persuasions uniting together 
he took occasion in a friendly way to express his 
disagreement with a previous speaker who had 
upheld the military life as being in accord with 
Christian teaching. In such ways as these J. G. 
Alexander's Quakerism was constantly influencing 
his evangelistic work. He crossed to England 
again a week before Christmas, the sixteenth cross- 
ing he had made during the year, and the only one 
that brought him sea-sickness. 

In the spring of 1901, he extended his " parish " 
to include Belgium. One of his shorter visits of 
the previous year had been to the mining district 
of north-east France, and his first week in Belgium 
was spent in Charleroi and the mining villages 
round it. This, it should be noted, was during the 
Boer War ; the influence of this circumstance, 
and his general method of work, are illustrated 
by the following passages from a journal letter : — 
" I have a ' lecture ' each evening. Yesterday 
at Charleroi itself, in the ' temple ' ; to-day at 
Fontaine I'Eveque, . . . to-morrow and 
Wednesday, at a place called Gilly, Thursday 
and Friday, at Ronsart. My second ' lecture ' 
(' conference,' in French) on Wednesday and 
Friday nights is entitled ' War against War,' the 
first being my ' Journey round the World,' with 

Of the first lecture he says, " To their great 
pleasure [that is, the pleasure of the local Pro- 
testant pastors and other organisers of the lectures] 
a large proportion of the audience on this occasion 


consisted of a class they do not often reach, the 
town bourgeoisie, attracted by bills announcing 
my lecture, and though a few left early not hking 
the religious tone of the lecture, but without making 
a disturbance, the great majority stayed. . . ." 
The next day he continues, " Yesterday morn- 
ing after breakfast we went with the young pastor 
to a most interesting Bible-class at one of the miners' 
houses — ^they take turns to receive it — where about 
fifteen were gathered. It was dehghtful to see 
how well some of them knew their Bibles and how 
intelligently they discussed the question. . . . 
At the close of the discussion of the subject, one 
of the men very respectfully and nicely told me there 
was a matter which had puzzled them, how it 
came to pass that two Christian and Protestant 
peoples [Britons and Boers] were engaged in war, 
a great country going to war for the sake of money, 
trying to take away the independence of a little 
one, and they would hke to know my explanation 
of it. I replied with an expression of my grief 
at the war, and at my country's part in it, but 
explaining that though the grasping capitaUsts 
who got up the war doubtless did so for the sake 
of gold, they had contrived to disguise this from 
the people by putting the Boers into a position 
in which they found themselves obhged to take 
the initiative if they were not to see themselves 
crushed by the preparations made for this purpose, 
and that thus the great mass of our people had been 
made to believe that they were simply resisting an 
invasion of British territory. Then I went on to 


explain Friends' views against all war as being 
opposed to the precepts of the gospel. They seemed 
satisfied ; I learnt afterwards that a man was there, 
who has only been attending Protestant services 
for a few weeks, and who said when invited that 
he would not come to meet an Englishman ; if 
he met with one he should kill him ! I expect it 
was chiefly on his account that the question was 
put to me." 

A Charleroi paper reported the first lecture 
in a very friendly fashion, under the title, " Un 
quaker a Charleroi," and printed a further article 
explaining what Quakerism was. 

Meetings were also held, and lectures given, at 
Li^ge, Namur, Brussels, Mons and smaller places. 

Towards the end of the same year, 1901, accom- 
panied by his brother Samuel, J. G. Alexander 
visited the Vaudois valleys. These Protestant 
descendants of the ancient Waldenses, famous 
to Englishmen for the diplomatic and poetic inter- 
vention of Cromwell and Milton against the per- 
secuting. Duke of Savoy, had been visited at various 
times by leading members of the Society of Friends. 
At one period in their history all their native Italian 
pastors had died, owing to their devotion in attend- 
ing plague-stricken parishioners, and French- 
speaking pastors had come from Switzerland to 
fill the vacant places. Instead of the pastors 
learning Italian the Vaudois learnt French, and thus 
became bi-lingual — or even tri-lingual, for their 
patois is certainly neither Italian nor French. 
This has been a great boon to them ; for, the valleys 

igoi] FRANCE 113 

being too poor to support a growing population, 
many have to emigrate. It was also a great boon 
to J. G. Alexander, who could only address them 
in French. 

The two brothers spent nearly three weeks, 
visiting the sixteen Vaudois parishes, including 
almost all the remote mountain villages of the 
Pelhce and adjacent *valleys. S. J. Alexander 
lectured on Palestine, Joseph lectured on India 
and China and spoke on peace, and they crossed 
mountain-passes or climbed by steep mule-tracks 
to participate in religious meetings and services. 

J. G. Alexander wrote in his journal letter the 
following account of the final meeting at Torre 
Pellice, at which he was alone, his bother having 
stayed in the mountains to visit two of the remoter 
villages : — " This seemed the right occassion for 
giving the special message for the Vaudois churches, 
speaking, as I had already done at Villar, from the 
three verses. Acts viii. i, 4, and ix. 19, which 
tell of the dispersion of the Church at Jerusalem, 
except the apostles, and how they spread the word 
everywhere. Though no longer dispersed by 
persecution as were their forefathers, the Vaudois 
are scattered by the need of a Uvehhood, which 
their valleys cannot furnish to their increasing 
population, and so they go out into Italy, France, 
South America (Argentine and Uruguay), and all 
over the world. At Villar, eleven young persons 
were present who were shortly going forth, five 
to New York, two to Paris, etc. I could not but 
see in this the design of Providence to make them a 


missionary people ; but for this they must maintain 
in the home and in their favoured valleys an intense 
spiritual life ; and that life is only to be found 
in drawing near, ever afresh, to the cross of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. I spoke, too, of the universal 
priesthood of believers, of our having no pastors 
among Friends, and how all are called to take part 
in one way or another in this great work. . . , 
M. Pons, the Moderator, of whose presence I was 
not aware while speaking, came up from the bottom 
of the meeting to express their thankfulness for our 
visit, which he did in his usual happy way. . . . 
He wished me to convey to my brother, Samuel, 
their regret at not seeing him again . . , and 
added : ' If you would stay another three weeks 
in our valleys, you would have very large meetings 
[most of them had, in fact, been quite full]. Our 
people don't take to strangers all at once — ^they 
have seen so many. They are like the pigeons in 
the great square at St. Mark's, at Venice — ^they 
pay no heed to the bulk of the passengers who 
come and go. But let a little English maiden come 
with a paper full of crumbs for them, and you will 
see them come down in flocks around her— they 
know those who bring them food ! ' " 

The brothers spent a few days visiting McAll 
Mission Stations on the Riviera, then travelled 
by way of the Friends at Congenies to the Ardeche; 
one of the departments of the old Protestant strong- 
hold of the Cevennes, which was a new district 
for J. G. Alexander. Here, as in some other places, 
the anti-English feehng aroused by the Boer war 

1901-2] FRANCE 115 

caused a certain coldness on the part of some of 
the pastors, but this was soon thawed by personal 
intercourse, and though one or two proposals for 
meetings had been refused, when the travellers 
arrived, people w^ere speedily called together, and 
showed friendliness and interest in the messages 
given to them. 

At Roanne, an industrial centre on the Upper 
Loire, J. G. Alexander spoke at one of a series of 
meetings that were being held amongst Socialistic 
workmen : — " We were listened to by about sixty 
people, mostly of a very rough class. I felt it best 
to tell them plainly that I was an EngHshman, 
though an Englishman who detested war, and in 
particular the present war, and spoke to them of 
the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, having 
previously asked M. Delattre [the pastor] to read 
Matthew v. They listened to me very quietly 
and wellj and afterwards to M. Delattre, but when 
the latter closed with a short prayer some of them 
kept up a continuous talking, that being evidently 
more than they were prepared to stand." 

In 1902 J. G. Alexander undertook two further 
journeys in completion — for the time being at least — 
of his special service for France entered upon in 
1897. The first journey included visits to La 
Rochelle, Montauban and Lyons in February and 
early March ; from Lyons J. G. Alexander, accom- 
panied by his wife, entered Switzerland, and 
visited Geneva and Lausanne, where he met 
theological students, and other parts of the French- 
speaking Protestant canton of Vaud. A number 


of meetings were held, at some of which J. G. Alex- 
ander expounded Quaker peace principles, whilst 
at others he spoke of his travels in various lands 
and their need of Christian influence, but especially 
of the needs of France, and of certain great cities, 
Bordeaux, Toulouse and Lyons, where there was 
little open preaching of Christianity. It was his 
great wish to stir up the French-speaking Protestant 
strongholds, such as the Vaudois and the Genevese, 
to a sense of their duty to France. During this 
journey, both in France and Switzerland, he came 
into touch with some conscientious objectors to 
military service. A Frenchman, whose parents 
he visited at Chartres, had undergone six years' 
imprisonment owing to his refusal to serve. 

The second journey of this year was to the north- 
east of France, Calais, Boulogne, Amiens, St. 
Quentin and the industrial area about Lille. Having 
lived most of his life in country-towns or capital 
cities, J. G. Alexander was more at home with 
country congregations, and with the inhabitants 
of great cities like Paris and Bordeaux, than with 
industrial workers, but he always found contact 
with the rank and file of the great trade-unions 
peculiarly attractive ; the very fact that their 
environment and outlook was so different from his 
own seems to have led him to regard their strong 
ideas and forceful character with a special interest ; 
and they seem to have been conscious of his respect 
for them, and to have returned it. Even at places 
where the meetings held by Protestant pastors 
were said to be often disturbed he was listened 

^902-7] FRANCE 


to with respect or even approval. He was just as 
conscious as they that there was much evil 
in the world, and just as sincere in his desire to get 
rid of that evil ; he approached the matter from a 
very different angle, or at a very different point, 
from theirs ; but both he and they seem to have 
been conscious that there was much in common 
between their real aims. Although he was con- 
vinced that the beginning of the conquest of evil 
must be in the hearts of individuals he never denied 
the existence of social evils, or that social evils could 
be largely diminished by changing the organisation 
of society. In fact his own record, and the record of 
the religious society of which he was a member, was 
a record of devoted service in such " crusades." 

In returning the minute of Uberation that had 
been granted by his Monthly Meeting in 1898, J. G. 
Alexander expressed his conviction that a great 
work lay before the Protestant Churches of France 
and Belgium. He had been conscious, he said, of 
the Lord going before him, making the way plain. 

J. G. Alexander undertook religious ' visits to 
Scandinavia in 1903 and 1904, and in 1906-7 he 
re-visited China and travelled round the world 
a second time. He also attended International 
Peace Congresses in various foreign cities. Accounts 
of these journeys must be reserved for later chapters. 

But however many other claims might seem 
at one time or another to be specially urgent, 
France was always prominent in his mind, and it 
is doubtful if a single year of his later life passed in 
which he did not set foot there. 


His friend C. D. Terrell had moved from La 
Rochelle to Paimpol, on the northern coast of 
Brittany ; J. G. Alexander was the mainstay of 
the Friends' Committee that advised him in his 
work, and got support for it ; and he paid 
several visits to him, taking part in meetings held 
amongst the " pgcheurs d'Islande " and other 
Breton folk. 

In the spring of 1906, he travelled rather more 
extensively again, accompanied by his eldest son. 
Starting at Paimpol they passed through Brittany 
and down the west of France, addressing meetings 
at some twenty places in the course of a month, 
the audiences varying from a score or two to over 
five hundred. This journey was undertaken partly 
in view of the crisis caused by the withdrawal 
of State aid from all the French churches, both 
Catholic and Protestant. Two of the three chief 
Protestant bodies had to some extent depended 
on this aid. In earlier years, J. G. Alexander 
had felt that this dependence did them more harm 
than good, and he now found this judgment con- 
firmed, and saw that the need of meeting this 
financial crisis was acting as a stimulus to their 
energies. He also found that it was possible to 
have meetings in places where an Englishman could 
not wisely have spoken in pubUc on religion before. 

During the Franco-British Exhibition, in the 
summer of 1908, J. G. Alexander took a house in 
London, and, with the support of one or two French 
Protestant pastors, held a series of open-air meetings 
in Hyde Park in French. 

1905-11] FRANCE 119 

A further extensive journey through France 
was undertaken, with the company of a French 
pastor, M. AU^gret, in 1909. 

Another matter that took him several times to 
Paris was his interest in French Protestant Missions, 
especially those in Madagascar and Basutoland. 
After the French conquest of, Madagascar the 
French Protestant Churches, which had already 
begun to work there, sent two commissioners, of 
whom Hermann Kriiger was one, to investigate 
and report on the condition of the country and its 
people. Their report remains one of the most 
illuminating documents in Malagasy history. J. 
G. Alexander's intimacy with M. Kriiger naturally 
led him to pay special attention to the problems 
connected with mission work in Madagascar ; 
moreover it was one of the fields of work of the 
Friends' Foreign Mission Association, and for sixteen 
years he was a member of its Madagascar committee. 
The work of both English and French missionary 
Societies was carried on under unusual difficulties, 
which finally came to a head when M. Augagneur 
was appointed Governor of the Island in 1905. 
M. Augagneur had two betes noires : Christianity 
and alcohol. He set to work to close as many 
churches and gin-shops as he could. He had a 
large measure of success. Education was restricted ; 
missionary work limited in various other ways ; 
the Friends' hospital near the capital, Tananarive, 
was seized. The missionaries and their friends 
in France and England did everything in their 
power — short of uniting with the forces of Bacchus — 


to get rid of M. Augagneur. He was not an easy 
man to remove. J. G. Alexander, owing to his 
long friendship with the leading personalities of 
the Paris Mission House, was the natural envoy 
of the English missionary societies ; and he paid 
several visits to Paris in order to confer with the 
Paris mission officials for the overthrow of the 
atheist governor. Finally, the agitation was 
successful. M. Augagneur returned to France in 
1911 ; the Malagasy churches were re-opened. 
It is behaved that the gin-shops remained closed. 
This was not his only service to mission work in 
Madagascar. He took a personal interest in each 
missionary of the Friends' Mission and was parti- 
cularly helpful in finding French men and women 
to join in the work, and keeping in touch with them. 

Most of the work on behalf of the Basutoland 
missionaries was carried on in England. It consisted 
largely in planning meetings in English towns to 
be addressed by French Basutoland missionaries 
home on furlough. 

This is perhaps the place to refer to another 
missionary interest. An industrial mission started 
by some Friends in Pemba, the sister Island 
of Zanzibar off the east coast of Africa, claimed 
his enthusiastic support through all vicissitudes. 
It appealed to him specially as an effort to secure 
full liberty for the slaves in the Island, and to teach 
the freed slaves the dignity and value of labour. 

Another French interest, already referred to, 
that absorbed a good deal of J. G. Alexander's 
time in the last ten years of his life, was the 

1907-14] FRANCE 121 

movement among ex-priests towards a free Christian 
religion — a movement that naturally appealed to 
a Quaker. J. G. Alexander had often felt that 
French Christians, Protestant hardly less than 
Catholic, were too much the slaves of formahty. 
Now he found arising in France, the work of French- 
men themselves, a new spiritual rehgion such as he 
had often longed for. L^on Revoyre, one of the 
strongest personahties of this movement, editor 
of the Chritien Libre, gives a typical account 
of his first contact with J. G. Alexander. He was 
sent by Mme. Dalencourt, and found him just 
preparing to leave Paris for England. " Je ne puis 
me rappeler, sians emotion, mes premieres impressions 
en face de cet homme si simple que je voyais alors 
pour la premiere fois et qui m'ecouta sans apparent 
enthousiasme et en s'excusant de ne pouvoir le 
faire qu'en bouclant ses valises. 

" Peu k peu, ce veritable ami, qui, comme 
presque tons les quakers, faisait k la reflexion une 
place d'autant plus grande que la decision devait 
etre plus ferme, se revela tel qu'il ^tait : optimiste 
a froid, pieux et large, fiddle, d^licat, d^sinteresse 
et devout comme jamais personne ne I'a ^te d'avant- 
age pour notre humble mouvement."* 

* " I cannot recall, without emotion, my first impressions in the 
presence of this single-minded man whom I then saw for the first 
time and who listened to me without apparent enthusiasm, apolo- 
gising because he could only do so while finishing his packing. 
Little by little, this true friend, whose important decisions, like 
those of nearly all the Quakers, are only reached after weighty 
reflection showed himself as he was : optimist at all times, pious 
yet broad, faithful, tender, disinterested and as devoted as anyone 
has ever been to our humble movement." 


L^on Revogyre goes on to speak of J. G. 
Alexander's work for this free Christian Movement : 
his unwear57ing correspondence, the organisation 
of various lecture tours in England, Scotland and 
Ireland, his extempore translations which were 
the admiration of those who knew both French 
and English. 

It would be easy to enlarge further on this work ; 
but enough has been written, perhaps, to show 
his tireless zeal, and the variety of his interest 
in French life. The account of his last visits to 
France after the outbreak of the great war belongs 
to a later chapter. His oldest French friend, 
Justine Dalencourt, gives a better indication than 
any Englishman could do, of the way in which his 
character appealed to the French. " Dans la 
plupart de mes visites missionaires en France, 
pendant les vacances, j'entendais parler de lui. 
Le nom de Joseph Alexander, tout d fait populaire 
dans les Eglises, faisait ^panouir les visages. En 
effet, je crois qu'il n'y a pas eu parmi les amis 
Chretiens de la France, un autre Anglais qui ait 
aussi profondement compris le caractere fran9aisj 
Ce n'etait pas sa parfaite connaissance de la langue 
qui lui ouvrait les portes, mais les sentiments 
dehcats et confiants d'un coeur chretien intelligent 
et aimant qui sait que la Cr^ateur a mis dans chaque d'homme un trait de Sa rassemblance, un 
souffle ce Sa vie imperissable, vie divine ; c'etait 
sur ce terrain-la que Joseph essayait de batir ou de 
semer. II n'imposait pas ses convictions par ces 
paroles, ces inflexions de voix ou ces allures plus 

1872-1917] FRANCE 123 

ou moins doctrinaires ou doctorales qui ne plaisait 
k personne, et d^plaisent particuli^rement aux 
Fran9ais quelque peu . . . chatouilleux peut- 
etre. II parlait, m'a-t-il toujours semble, moins 
en avocat que comme un temoin qui a entendu, vu 
et v^cu ce qu'il annonce. On sentait que le moteur 
de ses activit^s ^tait la foi ferme et sereine qu'obeir 
aux lois divines est le seul moyen de vivre une vie 
digne du Pere qui I'a donnee, et le seul chemin du 
bonheur pourles nations comme pourles individus."* 

* " In the course of most of my missionary journeys through 
France, during the vacations, I heard him spoken of. Faces ht up 
at the name of Joseph Alexander, who was very popular in the 
Churches. Indeed, I believe there has not been among the Chris- 
tian friends of France any other Englishman who so completely 
understood the French character. It was not his perfect know- 
ledge of the langfuage that opened the doors for him, but the tender- 
ness and trustfulness of an understanding and Christian heart, 
which knows that the Creator has placed in every human soul 
something of His image, an imperishable seed of His divine life ; it 
was in this ground that Joseph tried to build or to sow. He did not 
impose his convictions by any form of words, any inflexion of the 
voice, any doctrinaire or authoritative attitude which appeals to 
no one, and particularly annoys some Frenchmen, perhaps a little 
over sensitive. He spoke, it always seemed to me, less as an 
advocate than as a witness who has heard, seen and lived the things - 
he declares. You felt that the motive of his actions was a firm, serene 
conviction that obedience to the divine laws is the one way of living 
a Ufe worthy of the Father who gives life, and the only road to 
happiness for nations and for individuals." 

Chapter VII 



The decade that followed the report of the Opium 
Commission was perhaps the darkest period in the 
history of the Anti-Opium Society. The Indian 
Government had won a signal victory over the 
agitators ; and it took a long time for the forces 
of the agitators to be re-formed for a fresh attack. 
As soon as the report was published, in May, 1895, 
" Sir Joseph Pease in the House of Commons moved 
a resolution which would have set it aside and 
re-affirmed the vote of 1891. He was seconded 
by Mr. John E. Ellis, who brought a powerful 
indictment against the procedure of the Commission 
and of the Indian Government with regard to it. 
Mr. H. H. Fowler (Lord Wolverhampton), Secre- 
tary of State for India in Lord Rosebery's Govern- 
ment, urged that the House had not had time to 
study the Report, and the motion was rejected 
by 176 votes to 59."* Probably most members 
never did study it ; if they had done so they might 
have been impressed by H. J. Wilson's minute of 
dissent. But the Times had published a more 
digestible summary of the report before it was laid 

• J. G. Alexander in the final (June, 1917) issue of The Friend 
of China. 


1895-1905] CHINA AGAIN 125 

before Parliament at all ; and this summary was 
probably what most members read. At any rate 
Parliament and country alike were lulled into 
acquiescence ; and the anti-opium campaign had 
to begin again. 

It is hardly possible to convey any idea of the 
labour undertaken by J. G. Alexander and a few 
other faithful workers throughout those years. 
The pages of The Friend of China, of which he was 
editor all the time, might give anyone who cared to 
go through them some idea of what he meant by 
" eternal vigilance." Throughout the time when 
he was undertaking journeys in France, with all 
the claims of the international peace movement, 
of anti-slavery work, of the Society of Friends, 
of the education of his sons and other domestic 
affairs upon him, he seemed to find time to read 
every relevant book or paper, especially every- 
thing that was written about China, and to assimi- 
late all that he read. 

We have seen in the preceding chapter how he 
lectured on India and China to many audiences 
in various parts of France ; and these lectures 
included references to the degradation of the opium 
habit and the responsibility of those who encouraged 
or profited by the trade. In England, whose 
Government was ultimately responsible for the 
Indo-Chinese trade, such publicity was even more 
needed. The Friend of China was only one means 
of spreading information. Lectures, similar to 
those given in France, but with the British 
responsibility for the opium traf&c emphasised. 


provided a second and more effective method of 
awakening the public conscience. In 1896-7, J. G. 
Alexander, with the approval of his Monthly Meet- 
ing, visited all the Friends' Schools in England and 
Ireland, lecturing on the East, bringing before 
the boys and girls the evils connected with the 
opium traffic, and, more generally, speaking of the 
responsibility of Christians towards non-Christian 
peoples. The principle that he proclaimed was 
the duty of Christians to show by word and deed 
the reality of the gospel of love to those who were 
ignorant of the New Testament. The work of 
Christian missionaries, as he saw it, was to preach 
and to live out the teaching of Christ, the love 
of God to men and the brotherhood of aU men. 
It was the duty of men and women in England 
to support and help this work in every way ; one 
way was by ending the opium trade, and so showing 
the Chinese that we were learning to apply Christian 
principles to our international relations as well 
as to our personal hfe. 

Strong supporter as he was of Christian missions, 
J. G. Alexander did not give blind and indiscrim- 
inate support to every action of every man who 
called himself a missionary ; and his constant 
study of Chinese affairs filled him with misgivings 
as to the attitude of many Christian missionaries 
towards militarism. The temptation that has 
proved too much for many would-be Christians 
in Europe has often beset the Christian missionary 
in the East. Instead of living a distinctively 
Christian life and preaching the pure Gospel of 

1905-6] CHINA AGAIN 127 

Christ, he is tempted to Uve the life of a European 
and to preach European morahty. It was to 
J. G. Alexander intensely grievous that men who 
professed to be pioneers of Christianity in non- 
Christian lands should allow their hearers to believe 
that war was an inherent part of Christianity. 
To the Chinese, a people whose minds have never 
been enslaved by the illusion of mihtary patriotism, 
it might easily appear that the theory of interna- 
tional hostility was a Christian characteristic ; 
and they might be repelled from Christianity 
without ever troubling to refer to the words of 
Christ himself. J. G. Alexander was well quahfied 
to deal with such a danger. Himself strongly 
sympathetic with the true missionary ideal, and 
friend of many pious men who had devoted their 
Uves to faithful and unassuming work for the uplift 
of their fellows, he had that sympathy without 
which faithful dealing is apt to be worse than 

A series of events led him, in the year 1906, 
to believe that it was his duty to visit China a second 
time. A great conference of Christian Protestant 
missionaries to celebrate the centenary of Protestant 
effort in China was to be held at Shanghai early 
in 1907 ; and it seemed that this might provide 
him with an opportunity of urging on them a fuller 
recognition of the peaceable nature of the Christian 
Gospel. Before the Conference he could visit other 
Chinese mission stations, especially those of the 
Society ot Friends in the western province of 
Sz-chuan ; in this way he could encourage those 


who were already teaching a Christianity of peace, 
and he would get a deeper insight into missionary 
problems, and into the effect of their activities 
on the Chinese people. This was the first motive 
of his journey. 

And now, too, came the first signs that victory 
was at hand after the long and weary struggle to 
end the opium trade. The ten years' labour since 
the Commission Report of 1895 was beginning to 
have an effect. In the introduction to his book, 
" The Imperial Drug Trade," published in 1905, 
Joshua Rowntree observed that the publication 
of the Opium Commission Report had come when 
" a recrudescence of materialism in the national 
life threw ethical considerations for the time into 
the background. Ideals for the betterment of 
humanity have not prospered. War has cast its 
deadly shadow over the comity of nations, and 
selfishness, if only on a sufficiently large scale, 
has been greatly exalted. The victory for the 
moment has rested with the forces of organised 
wealth. These causes have all favoured non- 
interference in an exceptionally lucrative branch 
of commerce, carried on with all the prestige of 
the British Empire. The Chinese obtain the smoke 
they love, the Indian Treasury obtains the revenue 
it needs : why should anyone meddle ? " 

But " the signs of the times suggest that the 
world is getting through the trough of its recent 
moral depression, — that truer notes than those 
of armed force and material gain are already assert- 
ing themselves among the nations," 

1905-6] CHINA AGAIN 129 

The publication of Joshua Rowntree's book 
did much to direct this reviving moral sense toward^ 
the evil of the opium trade. For the first time 
the findings of the Royal Commission were publicly 
submitted to the severest scrutiny. The accumu- 
lation of evidence, of findings and of appendices, 
which had been hurriedly thrown together in most 
injudicious and disorderly confusion, was system- 
atically sifted and judicially examined, and the whole 
proceeding was shown to be unworthy of the 
traditions of English justice. The Anti-Opium 
Society was vindicated from the accusations contained 
in the so-called " Historical Sketch " of the trade ; 
and the Chinese Government was cleared from the 
charge of encouraging its continuance. 

During the General Election at the beginning of 
1906, nearly two hundred-and-fifty successful 
candidates formally promised to support the anti- 
opium cause in Parhament, and others expressed 
their approval of the pohcy of the Society. The 
huge Radical majority was full of men ready to tilt 
at the monopoly of the Indian Government, and 
contained many who wished to see the stain of 
opium cleared from the British name in the Far 
East. A number of these put down their names 
for the anti-opium resolution in the ballot for 
private members' motions in May, 1906, and Mr. 
Theodore C. Taylor drew the lot which gave him 
second place for the evening of 30th May. He 
moved, " That this House re-affirms its conviction 
that the Indo-Chinese Opium Trade is morally 
indefensible, and requests His Majesty's Government 


to take such steps as may be necessary for 
bringing it to a speedy close." John Morley, as 
Secretary of State for India, declared on behalf 
of the Government " that if China wanted seriously 
and in good faith to restrict the consumption of 
this drug . . . the British Government would 
not close the door." " To any plan for the restric- 
tion of the consumption of opium brought forward 
in good faith, the Government of India and His 
Majesty's Government would agree, even though 
it might cost us some sacrifice." The resolution 
was agreed to without dissent, and the " happy 
band of pilgrims " — J. G. Alexander amongst 
them — who had fought so long to reach the goal now 
in sight, linked each other's arms and marched 
down from the lobby to the street singing the 

A day or two later, J. G. Alexander went as one 
of a deputation from the Anti-Opium Society to 
see John Morley, and they discussed ways and 
means for arriving at an agreement between the 
British and Chinese Governments. John Morley's 
own account of these transactions must be quoted : 
" Opium has been my chief pre-occupation for the 
last three or four days. There has been an extra- 
ordinary amount of steam up both in England and 
Scotland against our share in the opium business, 
and the pledges given at the election so firm, that if 
the anti-opium motion had gone to a division, it 
would have been carried by a majority of 200. 
It required a little steering. The Cabinet gave me 
carte blanche, and I believe I came well enough out 

I906] CHINA AGAIN 131 

of the debate, which was happily by compulsion 
of hours a short one, without hurting the feelings 
either of the office or of my good friends the philan- 
thropists. And here let me warn you that it is a 
lifelong way of mine not to be afraid of either of 
two words : ' philanthropist ' is one, and ' agitator ' 
is the other. Most of what is decently good in our 
curious world has been done by these two much 
abused sets of folk. "* 

It would have been diificult for the most con- 
vinced philanthro-phobe to be afraid of the phil- 
anthropist in the person of J. G. Alexander, and 
the warm feeling was reciprocal. J. G. Alexander 
had many interviews with those in authority during 
his lifetime, from emperor and pope downwards ; 
but none gave him more pleasure than the inter- 
view with John Morley. He had believed from 
the first, when Morley went to the India Office, 
with a strong anti-opium Under-Secretary, John 
Edward Ellis, to back him, that victory was near ; 
now he knew it. 

These great events added a second important 
motive to his project for revisiting China. The 
British Government was moving at last ; and he 
could go as an ambassador of the British people, 
to convince the Chinese that a strong force of public 
opinion was behind the British Government. 

The Meeting for Sufferings approved his concern, 
and gave him a " minute of liberation," enabUng 
him to travel at the expense and as the representa- 
tive of the Society of Friends. 

* Dispatch to Lord Minto, June ist, 1906 : in Morley, 
Recollections, II., p. 172. 



In August he sent a letter to his colleagues of 
the Anti-Opium Committee explaining the work 
he hoped to be able to accomplish for their cause. 
Already the Times correspondent in Peking had sent 
a forecast of the Decree, issued by the Chinese 
Imperial Government a few weeks later, for the 
suppression of the opium vice within ten years. 
" Here," wrote J. G. Alexander, " it seems to me, 
is a great opportunity before the Christian Church 
in China. Why should it not boldly step forward, 
and offer to help China in freeing itself from its 
national curse ? . . . Let the Christian Churches 
in China make known their readiness to undertake 
the cure of opium-smokers in any town or village 
where the authorities will undertake to put down 
the opium shops for ever after. Let them devote 
their main energies for the present to this great 
work, for which the way will be opened by the 
knowledge that all foreign compulsion on China 
to admit opium is now at an end. It seems to me 
that a movement on these lines might, under the 
Diyine blessing, take hold of the Chinese mind, 
open to the Christians of China a vantage ground 
of influence, prepare the way for the spread of the 
Gospel, and, if it really became a popular movement, 
bring to an end the slavery of the opium curse 
long before the ten years are over. May God 
grant it ! " He proceeded to outline a plan for a 
memorial of the Chinese missionaries to the Govern- 
ment at Peking, and concludes : " These are the 
suggestions which I expect to lay before the mission- 
aries in China, but which will necessarily be subject 



to such modifications as their experience may 
suggest." " I earnestly crave your prayers that, 
by the blessing of God, this journey may contribute 
towards atoning for our country's age-long sin 
against China in the matter of the opium traffic." 

In September, J. G. Alexander, accompanied 
by his eldest brother, attended the Universal Peace 
Congress meeting that year at Milan ; owing to 
pressure of time between the sitting of the Congress 
and the departure of his train for Brindisi he left 
his bag, containing his round-the-world ticket 
and other necessaries, at the hotel ; he was distressed 
at the trouble caused by his forgetfulness, and 
wrote to his wife, "It is nothing new to me to 
realise that I am really quite unfit to travel any- 
where by myself — they used to tell me when I was 
a boy, that I should leave my head behind if it could 
be unscrewed, and if I ever was any better, I am 
afraid my childhood has, in this respect, come 
back to me." Happily, his brother was able to 
forward the bag to him by P. and O. express, in 
time to catch the boat. 

He spent a fortnight in Ceylon, visiting the 
Friends' Mission, and also encouraging the agitation 
for the prohibition of the sale of opium except for 
medicinal purposes. Fifty years earher opium- 
smoking was unknown in Ceylon ; but opium 
had been introduced, opium dens licensed, and 
a certain small proportion of the natives had become 
victims of the habit. On this subject he had an 
interview with the Governor of the island, who 
thought there was no fear of the vice increasing, 


and that no action was required. Following this 
interview, J. G. Alexander addressed a meeting 
in Colombo, attended by some English notables, 
amongst others, where a strong resolution was 
passed, calling attention to the action prohibiting 
opium that had been taken in New Zealand, Australia 
and Japan, and calling for similar action in Ceylon, 
on the ground that prevention is better than cure. 
The fortnight spent by J. G. Alexander in the 
" States and Straits " was nothing less than a 
triumphal progress. A vigorous anti-opium 
agitation had been started amongst the Chinese 
of the Malay Peninsula a few months before, and 
it had just come to a head in the discovery of a plant 
— Combretum sundiacum — which cured the opium 
craving. Hundreds were applying for the medicine, 
and remarkable cures were taking place. At 
this moment, J. G. Alexander's visit was announced, 
and great preparations were made, as reported 
in the London Tribune, for his reception. He 
himself, in an article in the same paper, wrote at 
the end of his fortnight's sojourn, " My position as 
honorary secretary of the Society for the Suppres- 
sion bf the Opium Trade has won for me a hearty 
welcome from the Chinese communities in Penang, 
Ipoh (capital of Perak), Kuala Lumpur (capital 
of Selangor), Malacca and Singapore. In each 
of these places I have addressed crowded meetings 
of Chinese, the size of which has only been limited 
by the largest hall available." The enthusiasm 
was not confined to the Chinese ; an address of 
welcome came from the Indians of Taipeng, led 

i9o6] CHINA AGAIN 135 

by an old friend of J. G. Alexander's, Raju Naidu ; 
and in addition to the mass meetings of Chinese, 
smaller meetings were held attended by mgn of other 
nations, including English — officials and traders 
as weU as missionaries. It was not J. G. Alexander 
who aroused the enthusiasm of the audiences ; 
he was never a rousing speaker ; and he confined 
his speeches in the main to an account of the growth 
of the movement in England against the trade 
and of the position at the moment as between 
Britain and India and China. But the appeals 
of the Chinese speakers, and at one or two places 
of missionaries of wide influence, carried the meeting 
with them. Resolutions for the prohibition of opium 
were carried without dissent, even when men inter- 
ested in the opium farm were among the audience. 
At Ipoh, over 3,000 dollars were subscribed on the 
spot and land promised for establishing an opium 

At Kuala Lumpur, where the medicine was 
being distributed, the most enthusiastic meeting 
of all was held, preceded by the presentation of 
leading Chinese " tokays," and a rhymed Chinese 
address, to the " distinguished visitor," followed 
by a dinner. The address printed in gold on silk — 
prepared, of course, before his arrival — ran as 
follows : — 

" When God sends down a great man, he is always appro- 
priate to the opportunity, 

He is beforehand allotted a certain duty in order to reap the 
harvest of success. 

The great curse of opiuni has now spread its poison all over 
the world. 


Who is it that has created this dark hell for us ? 

We now swear that we will suppress it as if it were a plague. 

Mr. Alexander has now come at the right moment to prove 

his ability. 
God is virtuous and everything he creates is of use. 
A grass or a tree is lovable and esteemable ; 
When the poppy was originally discovered, 
It was used as a medicine for killing pain. 
It was afterwards converted for smoking purposes by some 

unscrupulous persons. 
It poisons the blood and impoverishes the health, and 

spreads out like a contagious disease ; 
By prohibiting its use in an improper way, there came war 

between two nations. 
Oh ! this calamity is so dreadful. When shall we have an 

end of it ? 
Fortunately we have now a true-hearted virtuous person to 

save us 
In the person of Mr. Alexander, who is a pioneer in the gallant 

He comes with all speed from the head office of the Society, 
Despite all difficulties he uses all efforts to suppress the 

opium trade. 
We cannot do more in return for his kindness but to present 

him with this address. 
We praise the King of Britain for his kindness to his sub- 
We thank the British Parliament for their vote against the 

opium traffic and their promise to suppress it. 
We wish prosperity to his (the king's) reign for a long time, 

and good health to his person. 
May he be succeeded by a long train of generations ! 
We wish prosperity to the Society for the Suppression of 

the Opium Trade, 
May the Society meet with success all over the world ! 
We wish prosperity to Mr. Alexander for his benevolence. 
May he be remembered for ever by a statue erected to him. " 

Similar enthusiasm was displayed at Malacca 
and Singapore. At the former place an anti-opium 
league was formed after the meeting. J. G. Alex- 
ander also helped to bring publicity to bear with 
regard to the licensed brothels of some of the towns. 

1906] CHINA AGAIN 137 

which were in a revolting state and where opium- 
smoking was combined with other vices. 

At the end of his journal letter describing these 
things he wrote, " You will see that the feeling 
among the Chinese is very strong and cordial. 
Will they have the perseverance to carry the move- 
ment through ? That is the question we ask 
ourselves, and with much hope that the future will 
give a favourable answer. There is an infusion 
of the Christian element, though the majority are 
not Christians, and I was much struck with the 
note of God's help that was sounded in the address 
presented to me. And one of the opium smokers 
under treatment said yesterday, ' God wiU surely 
help me to break it off,' so wistfully and earnestly. 
Surely it is His Spirit that is at work, drawing them 
to Himself." 

At Hongkong, J. G. Alexander was joined by 
an old Cantonese friend of his from Austraha, Cheok 
Hong Cheong, a Chinese Christian who was no less 
ardent than his companion in his desire to rid China 
of opium and to resist the growth of militarism. 
They visited Canton together, and then travelled 
by way of Swatow, Amoy and Foochow to 
Shanghai. They speedily found that great meetings 
could be held about opium suppression. Every- 
where anti-opium leagues welcomed them with 
dinners and addresses, and they were called on to 
speak to great meetings, whilst at Hongkong an 
experiment was started with the newly discovered 
cure from Kuala Lumpur. Very little, however, 
could be done for ,peace except by private 


conversation with missionaries and leading Chinese. 
Some of the missionaries were sympathetic towards 
the peace mission, and openings were made at 
several places for addresses to be given to mission 
schools and colleges on Christianity and War. 
J. G. Alexander by no means despised these oppor- 
tunities by reason of the youth of his audiences ; 
in his final journal letter from West China he wrote, 
" Everything I have seen in China confirms me 
in the conviction brought home to me in 1894 
. . . that such educational work is of the greatest 
importance. It is training the men who will be, 
and indeed are already becoming, the leaders of 
New China. But it needs- educationalists who are 
first of all missionaries ... It does not seem to 
me quite creditable to our British Missionary Societies 
as a whole that they should have taken so small 
a share in educational work thus far ... I 
fear it is our inadequate sense of the value of educa- 
tion at home, as compared with our American 
cousins, that has left us so far behind them in taking 
advantage of the wonderful opportunities presented 
by educational work in China." 

One of the great difficulties — but at the same 
time a most urgent reason — for combining anti- 
opium and anti-military agitation was that the anti- 
opium movement had in many parts of China 
taken f6ot as part of a national movement for a 
strong China. Here and there, however, it was 
found possible to introduce a few words on the 
subject in the anti-opium speeches, and at Shanghai, 
one or two of the leading missionaries got a dozen 

1906] CHINA AGAIN 139 

Chinese Christian notables to a private gathering 
where J. G. Alexander had a full opportunity of 
explaining his pacifist convictions. " After dinner 
we were invited to speak on peace. C. H. Cheong 
began, and said some excellent things about the fall 
of military nations, and the need of China being 
given influences suited to her character. . . . 
Then I spoke. I told them frankly what was my 
primary object in coming to China, how irreconcil- 
able war is, in my conviction, with Christianity 
and with true progress, and what a deplorable 
thing it would be if China were to follow the European 
example of miUtarism just when we in Europe are 
hoping for, and beginning to see, a check put upon 
it ... At the close, Mr. Tong remarked 
that China's army was more for the purpose of 
keeping order in the interior than anything else, 
there being at present a rebeUion to be put down, 
also that Japan is waiting to hand back Manchuria 
till China shall be strong enough to hold it against 
Russia, But it was too late for any real discussion, 
and I don't think it would have been very 

From Shanghai a visit was paid to Soochow, 
where the strong movement against opium, leading 
up to the imperial decree, had started a few months 
earlier. Then the two friends proceeded up the 
Yang-tse by steamer to Hankow, where they 
separated, C. H. Cheong going to Peking and Japan 
to undertake some important interviews before 
he returned home. J. G. Alexander spent Christ- 
mas at Hankow, then proceeded the next stage 


up the river to Ichang by steamer, and there trans- 
shipped into a houseboat in which he, with a party 
of missionaries, was to travel up through the long 
and magnificent but dangerous gorges to Chung- 
king, in the Province of Sz-chuan. The scenery 
and adventures of this voyage have been described 
in various books ; nothing exceptionally thrilling 
happened on this occasion ; one or other of the ropes 
by which they were towed broke periodically, and 
a dozen wrecks were witnesesd in the rapids ; but 
these things are habitual. " Nothing," wrote 
J. G. Alexander near the end of the voyage, " has 
struck me more than the remarkable resourcefulness 
of these boatmen — it is a quality which the nature 
of their occupation develops. . . The men are 
very pleasant and respectful to us, and their splendid 
endurance and ready resource cannot be too highly 
commended. . . . They seem thoroughly to 
enjoy their work, hard as it is, and enUven it by 
cheery choruses and songs when, as at the present 
moment, they are rowing on board. At other times 
they are most of them engaged in pulling the ropes 
on shore. Two overseers make a pretence of 
whipping or beating them with short bamboo rods, 
but it is little more than a pretence, though I fear 
the language they use, if I could understand it, 
would not be found edifying to listen to. With 
one or two exceptions everyone has been good 
tempered and willing to work, and it was a pleasure to 
give them a treat in the way of money for a ' feast ' 
— something better than their usual rice and beans 
— at Kwei-chou-fu, the first town we stopped at." 

1907] CHINA AGAIN 141 

At first very good progress was made, but delays 
were caused higher up, and it was not till the 30th 
January, after thirty days on the house-boat, that 
they reached Chungking. The Chinese welcomed 
them with the noise of many crackers. 

Sz-chuan is the province in which English Friends 
have their mission stations ; J. G. Alexander visited 
all the permanent stations, going from Chungking 
by way of Tung-liang and Tung-chwan to Chentu, 
and returning to Chungking by Ta-choo. For this 
journey, which occupied over a month, he was 
accompanied by one of the Friend missionaries, 
W. A. Maw. All the journeying was by sedan- 
chair, and the jolting motion, combined with 
irregularity of food, was very distressing to J. G. 
Alexander, who suffered severely. He was tem- 
porarily restored to health and vigour by the 
ministrations of the Friends at each stopping-place, 
especially at Chentu, where an old friend of his 
wife's, Mary J. Davidson, tended him. In spite 
of this he carried through a considerable programme 
of work, addressing meetings at the chief towns 
visited, and having an interview with the Viceroy 
of the Province at Chentu. Sz-chuan was one 
of the Provinces in which the poppy was most 
extensively cultivated and opium very generally 
smoked. In other Provinces the decree for sup- 
pression had already brought about a decrease of 
cultivation, but so far the crops in Sz-chuan were 
almost as extensive as ever. However, the Viceroy 
had several commissioners (" Tao-tai ") to help 
him in the work of enforcing the decree. One of 


these was a man of exceptional vigour, who had 
already transformed Chentu into a city of clean 
streets, efficient police and modern inventions. 
A second commissioner, who also had much influence 
with the Vicerqy, although notoriously anti-British, 
obtained the interview. The Viceroy, who was 
attended by his Tao-tai, was very cordial, and 
commissioned J. G. Alexander to telegraph at once 
to Malay for 200 taels' worth of the cure — Com- 
bretum sundiacum. A day or two after the inter- 
view, J. G. Alexander and one of the missionaries, 
R. J. Davidson, called by appointment on the 
first commissioner, the vigorous Mr. Tso, who told 
them that notice had been given to close all opium 
dens in the city by the fourth moon, after which 
time sales were to be by government officials only, 
and only to those registered by the police. And 
by the time the travellers were back at Chungking, 
stories were coming from a few districts in the 
Province of the rooting up of crops of poppy already 

A huge pubUc meeting was organised in Chentu, 
those who attended in the hall or outside being 
computed at ten to twelve thousand. Missionaries 
and officials of long experience could hardly recall 
such a gathering, and it was perfectly orderly. 
An official address was read by the public orator, 
followed by speeches from J. G. Alexander and 
several Chinese. The British consul assured him 
before he left Chentu that his visit had done what 
neither consul nor missionaries could do — by coming 
so far in such a cause he had done much to prevent 



the anti-opium movement from becoming anti- 

After ten days at Chentu, the chair-riding was 
resumed, with disastrous effects once more. But 
after his stay at Ta-choo, where a gathering of 
some of the missionaries was held, J. G. Alexander 
was better, and reached Chungking again safely. 
There he spent a week- attending the Committee 
of Missionaries, visiting and speaking to the schools 
and to other audiences and enjoying the Quaker 
atmosphere. Although his stay in West China 
was so brief he managed to show an interest in every 
branch of the mission work. The efforts of business 
men at the International Friends' Institute, in 
Chungking, the itinerating work in the big country 
districts and the plans then on foot for the establish- 
ment of a Union University in Chentu, all received 
his sympathy and support. Moreover, he gained 
sufficient insight into the work to be able to render 
much help, both as advocate and counsellor, to the 
China Committee of the Friends' Foreign Mission 
Association on which he served after his return to 

During this journey he found recreation by 
reading Boswell's " Life of Johnson," and was 
delighted with a passage in which Dr. Johnson 
insisted that Boswell, by undertaking a journey 
to see the Wall of China " would do what would 
be of importance in raising your children to 
eminence " — Boswell had said he thought he should 
go, had he not children to take care of. " There 
would be a lustre reflected upon them from your 


spirit and curiosity. They would be at all times 
regarded as the children of a man who had gone to 
view the Wall of China. I am serious, Sir." J. G. 
Alexander writes to his wife, " I thought you and 
the boys would be interested with this passage. 
Only Ixthink they would rather be known as the 
son of the man who ' came many ten thousand 
li to help China to break off opium ' than of one who 
only went to see the Great Wall out of curiosity. 
This was how I was introduced to the great meeting 
at Chentu." 

It is clear that he inspired affection in many 
hearts, especially among the Chinese Quaker com- 
munity in Sz-chuan ; at his parting one of them 
urged him to return with the missionaries going on 
furlough with whom he was setting off down the 

The journey down the river was, of course, 
more rapid, and was also less eventful than the 
upward passage. By the middle of April, he was 
again at Hankow, and he visited not only the 
adjacent cities but also Nanking, where he saw the 
Viceroy, who was taking vigorous action for the 
suppression of opium. The Viceroy of Hu-peh, 
on the other hand, the aged Chang Chih-Tung, 
who had given J. G. Alexander such a helpful message 
in 1894, was too old and inert to take action in a 
reform for which- he had once fought as fiercely 
as any man in China. J. G. Alexander was disturbed 
to find that the British Ambassador was already 
instructing the consuls to send in reports of action 
taken for opium suppression ; there were rumours 

1907] CHINA AGAIN 145 

of a change of face on the part of the Imperial 
Government at Peking ; and it seemed to him that 
any enquiry into the sincerity of the Government 
or its agents was altogether premature. " All this," 
he writes, " confirms me in the conviction that the 
policy of co-operation between the British and 
Chinese Governments is by far the safest and wisest 
way of carrying out the suppression of the Opium 
Trade, and that the pressure brought in the interests 
of the Indian Opium revenue to ensure that the 
Chinese Government should carry out its avowed 
policy will turn out to be a material help in bringing 
about the great reform we all desire to see 

Thus once again the " agitator and philanthro- 
pist " anticipated the statesmanhke policy that 
was brought into operation after eighteen months' 
further agitation, and that led to the end of the 
Indian opium trade, and, for a time at least, of 
Chinese poppy-culture. 

A renewal of his indisposition prevented J. G. 
Alexander from reaching Shanghai in time for the 
opening of the great conference of missionaries. 
He listened to the discussions with the deepest 
interest. His travels had given him a stronger 
affection for the missionaries and a better under- 
*^tanding of the problems with which they were 
confronted. They were doing, according to their 
various lights, all that they could to help the great 
nation whose needs had made such an appeal to 
him ;* and now, to sit and listen to the leading 
missionaries, men of exceptional intellectual and 


spiptual distinction, from every part of that great 
empire, was to him a rare delight. Others, Uke 
himself,' were there to represent the missionary 
societies in Europe ; but the discussions were carried 
on by the missionaries, the visitors only being 
allowed a single speech of a few minutes apiece. 
J. G. Alexander was, however, in close and friendly 
touch with Rev. Arnold Foster. This missionary 
had done mjich, from the Chinese end, to keep the 
anti-opium movement alive in the period of depres- 
sion after 1895 ; he was in keen sympathy with J. G. 
Alexander's peace concern ; and now he was chair- 
man of the Conference Committee on Memorials, 
and in that capacity prepared five documents. 
These included a valuable statement on the opium 
question, followed by two resolutions, which the 
Conference approved. In addition to these general 
resolutions, addressed to all whom they might 
concern, on the day devoted to Medical Missions 
it was resolved " to urge on missions throughout 
China that they should seek more energetically 
to combat this great evil in every possible way ; 
that they should extend the work of opium refuges ; 
and that they should above all make prominent 
in all their efforts, and in each individual case, 
the power of Christ as the only sure hope of perman- 
ent salvation from the degradation of this vice.*' 
So far as opium was concerned, J. G. Alexander 
was well satisfied with the decisions. 

The only opportunity of referring to the matter 
which, above all else, had brought him from 
England, occurred at the close of the Conference. 

1907] CHINA AGAIN 147 

Dr. Timothy Richard, after consultation with him, 
moved a resolution recommending the observance 
throughout the Chinese mission fields of the Sunday 
before Christmas as Peace Sunday. Owing to the 
pressure of time J. G. Alexander had only three 
minutes instead of seven, in which to speak in support 
of the resolution. In those minutes he dealt as well 
as he could " with the general subject of the attitude 
of missionaries to militarism." He, was able, he 
wrote, to " feel that I have at least placed them 
before the conscience and thought of the mission- 
aries." And he followed up this action by getting 
the peace societies of England and America to send 
their peace pamphlets to all the missionaries in time 
for Peace Sunday that year. 

Before leaving for Japan he paid a visit to 
, Ning-po. " At II. o the meeting was held, in the 
Presbsrterian Church, Archdeacon Moule presiding 
and interpreting — my last meeting in China ! Shall 
I ever visit it again ? I could but begin by expressing 
my thankfulness to Him who, I believe, called me here 
and has cared for me and watched over me, and then 
to the Chinese people, who, high and low, have given 
me such a cordial and kind welcome — a welcome 
which I take as belonging to aU those in England who 
have striven to put an end to this opium curse." 

And so he took leave of China, leaving behind 
him, indeed, a good deal of his heart, and much 
warmth of friendship in other hearts — to return 
there often in spirit, but in the body not again. 

His letters show that he was impressed with the 
signs pointed ojit to him by some of his missionary 



friends of the grave dangers towards which China 
was drifting ; the military spirit was growing, 
creating fierce antagonism and division within the 
country, more serious than any aspect it might 
bear towards the world outside. And this was 
only one of many perils that contact with the West 
was bringing to China. He had done a Uttle to 
encourage the Chinese where they were on the road 
to good, and to warn them of the evil along some 
of the other roads they might travel. He had not 
been able to do much — no man could in so few 
months. But he had hope. He saw the greatness 
of the Chinese nature, the resolution with which 
they were dealing with opium, the wisdom with which 
they appreciated the value of the newer education 
of the mission schools, their inherent good quaUties. 
They appeared to him peaceable, kindly, rehable, 
industrious, cheerful and contented. These things 
led him to believe that they would rise above the 
perils that beset them, and avert some of the cat- 
astrophes which have overtaken other great nations. 
He passed on to see how the sister-nation, Japan, 
was fitting her Eastern soul into the new body 
she had just borrowed from the West. 

Japan, he found, had acquired the American 
lionising habit. Within twenty-four hours of land- 
ing at Kobe he had had to give interviews to three 
newspapers editors, and the papers gave full reports 
of a series of peace meetings that he addressed. 
In un-military China, public peace meetings had 
been considered unwise ; in military Japan there 
was no difficulty. A year before, an American 

1907] CHINA AGAIN 149 

Friend Missionary at Tokyo, Gilbert Bowles, had 
founded a Japanese Peace Society, and it had been 
joined by some distinguished men. They were 
just celebrating their first anniversary, caUing it 
" Hague Day " ; so Gilbert Bowles, having made 
arrangements for a big demonstration in Tokyo, 
travelled south in time to organise meetings to be 
addressed by J. G. Alej^ander and one or two others 
in the three southern towns of Kobe, Osaka and 
Kyoto. At Kobe, J. G. Alexander spoke twice ; 
first he lectured at the Higher Commercial School 
on the four approaches to peace — economic, human- 
itarian, moral and religious — and then he spoke 
to a public meeting on the " Progress and Prospects 
of International Justice," tracing the growth of 
international law and arbitration from Grotius 
to the Second Hague Conference, due' to meet that 
year. This address was repeated at Osaka and 
Kyoto ; at the latter town the meeting was followed 
by the formation of a branch of the Japan Peace 
Society, with distinguished Japanese and Europeans 
on its committee. He also addressed a religious 
meeting, and spoke to the students of the Doshisha 
— founded by the first Japanese Christian — on 
Christian Patriotism. And before leaving for 
Tokyo he spent a glorious day in the mountains. 

At Tokyo, five more newspaper representatives 
came for an interview on anti-opium work and 
further meetings were held ; the Minister of Educa- 
tion, to whom he had an introduction, received him, 
and the Japanese Peace Society gave him a banquet, 
where, he says, he felt like a child among men of 


such attainments/ All this may seem impressive ; 
but for depth of /feeling it was not in any way com- 
parable to the movement against opium in China, 
and amongst the Chinese of Malaysia. The Japanese 
seemed to be testing the latest European or American 
movement — pacifism — with the same superficial and 
short-sighted gaiety with which other western 
inventions had been received. They would applaud 
academic discourses on goodwill among nations or 
learned dissertations on international justice ; but 
it was not safe for the orator of peace to go deeper 
into the heart of the matter ; he must not call upon 
his hearers to decide between the way to militarism 
and the way to peace. Yet even though they might 
seem to be combining hp-service of the God of peace 
with life-service of the God of battles, J. G. 
Alexander took hope even from their Up-service. 
It was something to have the opportunity of putting 
before them some part of the pacifist faith ; and 
he was thankful for the opportunity that had been 
given him, quite unexpectedly, to help the faithful 
few who knew that, in spite of appearances, they 
were really pioneers in a hard struggle. 

J. G. Alexander returned to England by quite 
a different route from that followed in 1894. He 
crossed the Pacific by way of Honolulu to San 
Francisco, and spent a couple of weeks in CaHfornia, 
speaking to gatherings of Friends of his experiences 
in China and Japan, and attending Cahfornia 
Yearly Meeting (of which he was Enghsh corres- 
pondent) at Whittier. The manner of worship, 
and conduct of proceedings, amongst the Friends of 

1907] CHINA AGAIN 131 

Western America are unlike those of British and 
Eastern American Friends. But J. G. Alexander 
found it " aU very interesting and cheering," 
and adds, " you know I am not easily upset 
by outside differences of method, and there is the 
true Quaker spirit at bottom." In crossing the 
continent he had further opportunities of interest- 
ing Friends in missionary, opium and peace work, 
at Chicago, at the " Quaker city " of Richmond, 
Indiana, at New York and elsewhere. He made 
a slight detour in order to see Niagara once more, 
feeling that " it would seem wrong to pass close 
by without a visit." 

His boat reached Plymouth in the early morning 
of the 25th July, and later in the morning, accom- 
panied by his wife and two sons, he entered the 
meeting-house at Southampton, where his Quarterly 
Meeting was in session, returned his " minute 
of liberation," and joined with those who had been 
following his travels with close sympathy and 
prayer for nearly a year, in rendering thanks for 
what he had been enabled to do, and for his safe 
return home. 

Chapter VIII 



After the five years of missionary travels in France, 
J. G. Alexander, as a member of the Continental 
Committee of the Society of Friends, undertook 
some visits to Norway and Denmark. In both 
countries small groups of Friends existed. Quaker- 
ism had taken root in Norway immediately after 
the Napoleonic Wars, and had flourished in the 
middle of the nineteenth century. 

The full vigour of the early growth, however, 
does not seem to have been maintained. Various 
factors contributed to this condition. The member- 
ship seems never to have included many who had 
the intellectual force to be leaders ; they were 
rather^inclined to emphasise pecuUarities of speech 
and dress, and to miss the deeper spiritual reaUties 
for which the Society of Friends has stood. Many 
who might have brought strength to the Society 
in Norway emigrated to America. As in other 
continental countries, the refusal of compulsory 
military service was a severe test on each generation 
of men ; and by 1900, a generation was growing 
up that was impatient of the conservatism of their 

1903] SCANDINAVIA 153 

elders, and was inclined to join in with the stream 
of modern rehgious and social thought. In Denmark, 
where Quakerism had taken root later, less emphasis 
was laid on externals, but the other causes of weak- 
ness were in some degree present there too. Several 
English and American Friends had undertaken 
visits to these Friends from time to time, and J. G. 
Alexander's understanding of conservative Quaker- 
ism, of evangehcal doctrine and behaviour, and also 
of modern Hberal tendencies fitted him to be a 
conciliator amongst them. He had already once 
attended the Yearly Meeting of Danish Friends 
in 1883. He was not however able to speak either 
Danish or Norse fluently. 

On his first visit to Norway, in June, 1903, he 
travelled to Stavanger with two American Friends, 
Charles and May Replogle, and a Swede, J. Lund- 
quist. They arrived shortly before the Friends' 
School broke up for the holidays, and J. G. Alexander 
told the older children of his journey round the 
world. He noted with interest various Norwegian 
customs. At one house a little boy of seven " and 
his sister of (I think) ten, when they came to speak 
to us, gave us a bow and a curtsey, the latter just 
such a curtsey as the little girls used to give — 
' drop a curtsey to the gentleman ' — ^in Herefordshire 
when I was a boy. The boy's profound bow I never 
saw equalled in England ; only a Chinese boy 
could come up to it, I should say." Another custom 
did not give him so much pleasure : " the way they 
drive uphiU and down dale, especially the latter, 
is a bit trying to one's nerves." 


The annual meeting of Norwegian Friends, 
attended by over 150 members, was held at Sta- 
vanger before the end of the month. After it was 
over J. G. Alexander paid a number of visits to Quaker 
centres up and down the country ; when he arrived 
the Friends of the district were called together for a 
meeting for worship in the house of one of the members. 
In some of these places religious meetings were rarely 
held ; the local Friends were too few and lacking 
in initiative or capacity to hold meetings without 
some special visitor ; and the visit from the Lutheran 
priest to the local chapel, in some of the scattered 
parishes divided by mountains and fjords, could only 
be expected once in every few weeks. " So that any 
word spoken by a special visitor might be pondered 
over for many days. From the first place, Sovde, 
J. G. Alexander writes, " I begin this letter sitting on 
a bank overlooking one of the grandest waterfalls I 
have ever seen and in the most perfect weather. The 
voyage yesterday from Stavanger was exceedingly 
beautiful, especially the latter part of it, and here I 
am only five minutes' walk from the meeting-house 
where we lodge, taking our meals at a Friend's house 
close by. Most of the food we brought with us from 
Stavanger so as not to be a burden to the Friends here 
who are poor. The meeting house, built ip, 1856, is a 
simple wooden house with two rooms, both double bed- 
ded, on the the first floor : as at Stavanger the crockery 
has the inscription ' Erindring fra England, 1875, 
2 Tim. iv. 22.' " At another place one of the men 
who came to the meetings had " suffered imprisonment 
five years in succession for refusing military service, 



ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and fifty days respectively, 
in solitary confinement." In several places J. G. 
Alexander gave peace lectures, and he interested 
the people with accounts of the Vaudois and of 
passive resistance to the Education rate in England. 

After these visits near Stavanger and Bergen 
he and his fellow-travellers went north as far as the 
Vigten Islands, to visit two EngUsh Friends, 
J. J. Armistead and his wife, who had settled 
there to work among the Norwegian fisher-folk. 
Here they came in contact with a small sect called 
the Frie Venner — Free Friends — a spontaneous 
growth of non-rituahsts, similar in some respects to 
the Society of Friends. 

Thence J. G. Alexander returned to Stavanger, 
visited Christiania, and crossed to Copenhagen, 
spending a week visiting the groups of Danish 
Friends before returning to England. 

It was not in his nature to visit people once and 
then pass from them for ever. He was not even con- 
tent with keeping up correspondence with those he 
had met on his journeys ; this side of his correspon- 
dence was always large, and it was often astonishing 
to observe how closely he had entered into the lives 
of those he had only seen for a few days, or at whose 
houses he had lodged for a single night. But beyond 
this he believed, Uke the apostle Paul, that a second 
visit is needed ; the visitor is remembered and wel- 
comed as an old friend, and the fact that he has 
thought it worth while to return shows that he, at least, 
was not whoUy disappointed by his first visit. He 
can confirm the work already begun. Accordingly, 


in 1904, again in June, he revisited Scandinavia, 
having as companion a younger Friend, Alfred 

On the voyage across he broke his little toe, an 
accident which interfered with some of his movements, 
but did not prevent him from carrying out the 
programme that had been planned. After some 
days spent in Stavanger an expedition was under- 
taken to the remote mountain village of Kvinesdal, 
reached from Stavanger by way of Flekkefjord, 
where there was a little Quaker community. The 
first part of the return journey was taken by night 
in an open boat down the fjord. " It was nearly 
eleven when we put off in our boat down the 
river, leaving our kind host on the bank, and nearly 
midnight when we reached Oie, at the mouth of the 
river, where another boat was waiting with two men, 
to row us across the fjord — ^this had been arranged 
by telephone. The river boat was a flat-bottomed 
one ; that on the fjord was entirely different, with 
sharply pointed prow and stern and as the men 
rowed in splendid concert they made rapid progress, 
except twice when there was a good deal of roughness, 
owing to a fresh breeze that had sprung up from 
the sea. We all got some sleep ; Arne and I had just 
room to lie down side by side in the stem, while 
A. L57nn lay in the bow. About three we landed at 
Flekkefjord, after a lovely row, 'the moon having 
emerged ve^ beatifully soon after we started, 
while we never lost the glow of sunset in the north, 
and often we rowed past grand cliffs, sometimes 
very close to us." 

1904] SCANDINAVIA 157 

After'anotherdayortwoinStavanger they set out 
for the north, going as far as the Lofoten Islands. 
This long journey was nearly fruitless owing to mis- 
calculations and misadventures ; but J. G. Alexander 
was greatly interested in some memorials of Hans 
Egede, the apostle of Greenland, who had been a 
pastor in these islands at the beginning of the 
eighteenth century. 

It was also the only time in all his travels when 
he crossed the Arctic circle. He never crossed the 

Turning south again the travellers spent some 
days in the Vigten Islands, and then from Trondhjem 
took train to Christiania. Thence after a few days 
they travelled by Gothenburg and Fredrikshavn to 
Veile, where the annual meeting of Danish Friends 
was to be held that year. They were celebrating 
the twenty-fifth anniversary of their inauguration 
as a separate society. After this and a visit to a 
Lutheran Dean (Provst) and his family, J. G, 
Alexander spent a day or two at Copenhagen 
and then proceeded alone into Germany. 

The Society of l!"riends in Germany was almost 
extinct. At Minden a handful of members still kept 
up a meeting, and at the neighbouring town of 
Oberkirchen a still smaller number remained, who 
had received no visit from an English Friend for 
ten years. There seems to have been httle or no vital 
force left in these small Quaker communities on the 
continent; and the visits of J. G. Alexander and other 
English and American Friends did not inspire them 
with any great mission to their fellow-countrymen. 


What' this little succession of faithful visitors 
did for Quakerism on the continent of Europe was 
to keep open the contact with mystical religion in 
England, to keep a few embers burning until the 
day should come when, kindled in the furnace of 
war, the fire would blaze out once more to set the 
hills on fire. 

* * * * 

In 1905 an opportunity occurred for J. G. 
Alexander to visit Palestine. An elderly, Birmingham 
Friend, Samuel Price, wanted someone to accom- 
pany him on a journey through Palestine, and 
asked J. G. Alexander as an " experienced traveller." 
Samuel Price had first paid a visit, accompanied by 
another Friend, Isaac Sharp, to Egypt, and there 
J. G. Alexander joined them, and climbed the Great 
Pyramid and saw the Sphinx. It is scarcely 
possible perhaps for those who have not lived with 
the Bible as daily guide and looked on it as a store- 
house of endless wealth, to be drawn on for deep 
truth, for poetic beauty, for study of human character, 
for graphic tales of great deeds, to appreciate what 
a visit to Palestine means to those for whom the 
Bible is all this and more. J. G. Alexander's faith 
was not of the kind that accepts every traditional 
site as authentic. It was enough for him that 
he had seen the country where all those famihar 
deeds of ancient days were enacted ; he had seen 
Jerusalem and walked and slept and fed there ; 
he had been down from Jerusalem to Jericho ; he 
had seen the Dead Sea and the valley of the Jordan ; 
he had ridden over the country to Damascus, sleeping 

1905] PALESTINE 159 

on the way in a tent. The experience did not 
overwhelm him. He used to tell a story of some 
man who visited Palestine and was a bore to his 
friends and relations for the rest of his hfe. He 
wished to avoid such an anti-chmax and he did avoid 
it. The local colour could be introduced when it 
was wanted ; but it never blotted out the picture it 
was intended to illuminate. And, after all, he was 
not a man of only one journey. 

J. G. Alexander's wife and second son went 
round the Mediterranean that same spring, and the 
two parties joined forces at Jaffa for a few days, 
and visited Jerusalem and Jericho together. From 
Damascus S. Price and J. G. Alexander went to 
Baalbec and then to Beyrout, and spent two or three 
days with the Friends' Mission on the Lebanon. 
They took part in various meetings that were held, 
encouraged the missionaries, and in one place 
spent an evening playing games — the first games the 
missionaries had played for months — " so I hope 
we have done them some good," comments J. G. 
Alexander. He was astonished by the original method 
by which one of the missionaries, a Syrian, induced 
people to attend a Bible reading. The missionary was 
also post-master ; so he took the mail to the hall, 
first gave the Bible Reading and at the end 
distributed the letters. 

The travellers went very happily together; 
they got a good deal of amusement from the forget- 
fulness and absentmindedness of the " experienced 
traveller." J. G. Alexander was, in fact, not at all 
a good traveller. On all his travels he lost things 


and missed connections or got out at the wrong 
station or went by the wrong train ; and what 
was worse, travelling commonly played havoc with 
his health. Unusual food, a long day's travelling 
or other extra fatigue, was apt to involve a day or 
half a day in bed. And occasionally on his journeys 
through France, the succession of meetings, for 
some of which he would rise almost straight from 
his bed, prevented him from recovering his health 
for many days together. He suffered much less on 
the Palestine journey than on most. But, although 
he was such a bad traveller, he travelled on, cheer- 
ful, undaunted and appreciative of all the good 
things he saw and experienced. 

* * * * 

In the early years of the twentieth century 
reports from missionaries and others began to reach 
Europe of the ruthless economic exploitation of the 
Congo. We have seen with what pleasure J. G. 
Alexander had greeted the Acts of the Berlin Congress 
of 1885 and the Brussels Congress of 1890. In fact 
these Acts were, as far as they went, excellent. Slave 
raids and slavery were alike prohibited from a great 
part of central Africa, warfare and the trade in arms 
were abolished, the gin traffic was restricted, trade was 
opened to all nations ; and all this was done in the 
name of all the European Powers. But the territory 
in which these regulations were to apply was left 
to the control of the various imperial states, and a 
great part of the Congo basin itself to a private 
corporation under the absolute despotism of Leopold, 
King of the Belgians. There was no international 

1904-5] CONGO REFORM 161 

commission with authority to supervise the proper 
execution of the spirit and letter of the treaty. 
Leopold observed the letter : he could not use slave 
labour ; but he could tax the natives ; and he 
did. As they could not pay money he levied taxes 
in kind and by forced labour ; and his methods, 
as every one knows, were as cruel and ruthless as any 
slavery has ever been. He could not import arms or 
wage war in the Congo ; but he could exact military 
service from the natives. This also he did. And his 
methods provoked perpetual insurrections. 

When the facts began to reach the Anti-Slavery 
Society J. G. Alexander was deeply stirred. On 
behalf of that Society, and in close touch with Mr. 
E. D. Morel and the Congo Reform Association, 
he employed his knowledge of Europe, and his 
friendship with men of many nations, in the effort to 
rouse the Governments to action, and the conscience 
of the people in Belgium and elsewhere to demand 

As soon as the missionary, J. H. Harris, came from 
the Congo in 1905 with first-hand accounts of the 
atrocities, J. G. Alexander obtained an interview 
with the elder Count Bernstorff, then in London. 
He asked him if it would be useful for a small 
deputation of Friends, accompanied by Mr. Harris, 
to go to Berlin and interview a few influential people. 
Count Bernstorff replied that it would certainly be 
useful, and advised that it should be done. He also 
undertook to get leading members of different 
parties in the Reichstag to meet the deputation. 
The Meeting for Sufferings unanimously liberated 


E. W. Brooks and J. G. Alexander to go to 
Berlin, accompanied by J. H. Harris ; and 
they visited Belgium on the way, in order to 
ascertain the feehng of Belgian public opinion. 
In Brussels they found that the facts were fully 
known by the publication of the Report of a Commission 
and there did not seem much to be done. In 
Berlin Count Bernstorff arranged for them to meet 
four, leading members of three Reichstag parties, 
and they had one or two other interviews, all of 
them satisfactory. Returning through Belgium 
they reported on their Berlin visit to the 
Congo reform leaders in Brussels, and had further 
conference with them as to methods of attacking 
the evil. They also visited Paris. Here, as in BerUn 
and Brussels, a small group of sympathisers was 
ready to listen and co-operate to some extent 
in spreading the knowledge of the facts. That was 
all, however Yet neither the apathy of the French, 
the hostility of the Belgians, nor the indifference of the 
Germans disheartened J. G. Alexander. His desire to 
awaken the conscience of the pteople, first of all in 
England, was all the greater. At this time it is almost 
true to say that he brought into every speech he made, 
every article or letter he wrote, some word or sentence 
that showed the intensity of his feeling in the matter. 
He brought it up at the International Peace 
Conference at Milan in 1906, on his way to the East ; 
but he could only get the Congress to pass a general 
resolution condemning forced labour in Africa, 
especially on the Congo, but without reference to 
King Leopold or his satellites. 

1907] CONGO REFORM 163 

Whilst he was in China the Belgian Government 
took the first steps towards the annexation of the 
Congo Free State ; but on his return to England he 
found that reform was not thereby accomphshed, 
and he set to work again. In the autumn of 1907 
he attended an ItaUan Anti-Slavery Congress in 
Rome, mainly composed of Roman Catholic priests, 
from cardinals downwards, with a sprinkUng of 
foreign delegates. Some of the members of the 
congress were received by the Pope. J. G. Alexander, 
as a vice-president, was among the number. Of this 
he wrote, " Notwithstanding the difficulties between 
a convinced Protestant Hke myself and the fervent 
Catholics by whom I was surrounded, there was a 
profound unity in our motives of action. I was 
made to feel this throughout ... in fact the 
Pope shook hands with me and accepted a pamphlet 
on the Congo question with the utmost cordiaHty." 
This casual reference to the Pope's handshake 
caused quite a sensation among some of his relatives 
and others who heard of it. One of them declared 
that only one other man had ever done stich a 
thing, and some of his friends used to teU him 
that the Pope must have held out his hand to 
be kissed, not to be shaken, but he was never 
convinced of this : he had explained his scruples 
to one of the cardinals beforehand, and this man 
introduced him to the Pope with some words of 

Apart from Congo affairs the chief business of 
the Congress was the slave trade from Central Africa 

to Tripoli. 



The following spring (1908), having first visited 
the Hague, in order to promote international action 
for the suppression of opium, he re-visited Brussels 
to participate in a meeting organised by the Belgian 
Ligue du Droit des Hommes. Several Frenchmen 
were also pi'esent, one of them, the Senator M. de 
Pressense, being the chief speaker. " He spoke .for 
about an hour and a half, one constant flow of 
history, sociology and practical colonial politics, 
full of keen yet delicate irony ; altogether a perfect 
masterpiece of persuasive eloquence. 
Nothing could have served the cause better ; there 
was the note of respectful admiration for Belgian 
History and institutions which was calculated to win 
the confidence of his hearers, and he did not shrink 
from speaking in the strongest terms of reprobation 
of the doings in the French Congo. ... I did 
not speak, it was not thought best, and indeed 
there was no need." At the close a resolution 
was unanimously adopted. 

In September, 1909, the annual Universal Peace 
Congress was held at Brussels. J. G. Alexander 
moved a resolution, that the Congress, in view of 
the annexation of the Congo Free State by Belgium 
in 1908, appealed to the Belgian people to adopt and 
execute, without delay, the radical reforms needed to 
put an end to the abuses revealed by the Commis- 
sion of enquiry, especially by abolishing forced 
labour and giving back to the natives their land 
and its products ; the resolution also included a 
demand for a fresh Congress of the Powers to see to 
the due execution of the treaties of 1885 and 1890. 

1909] CONGO REFORM 165 

In his speech, J. G. Alexander insisted, first, 
that the actual situation in the Congo was 
one of chronic warfare, and secondly, that the 
demand for reform was becoming so clamorous in the 
United States, Great Britain and other countries 
that the peace of Europe was in danger. He did 
not blame the Belgian people for the past. As 
in England before the» Boer War, Belgian public 
opinion had been led astray by false reports. But 
now the full facts had been laid before them by their 
own Commission of Enquiry. 

The resolution was carried unanimously. 
This speech kindled the fury of the Belgian 
imperiahsts. The Ind&pendance Beige wrote a 
fierce article declaring that his hfe would not 
be safe if he ever set foot in Belgium again. One 
of the leading reformers, on the other hand, wrote 
that the resolution had produced more effect than 
all the previous solemn declarations in ParUament. 
The venerable peace-worker, Frederic Passy, wrote : 
" On m'a lu dans I'lndepetidance Beige le compte- 
rendu du Congres et les reclamations de quelques 
Beiges. J'espfire que vous n'en etes pas trop emu. 
Nous avons toujours emis les memes vceux et les 
memes protestations en tons pays et contre les notres 
comme contre les gouvernements Strangers etnous 
avons bien fait."* 

* " The report in the Indipendance Beige of the Congress and 
the protests of certain Belgians have been read to me. I hope you 
are not too much aSected by them. VS^e have always expressed 
the same opinions and the same protest in all countries, against 
our own as against foreign governments, and in so doing we have 
done right." 


In a volume of essays on " Morales et Religions," 
published in 1909, M. Raoul AUier, a leading French 
Protestant, describing " La Morale des Quakers," 
gives his impressions of an English Quaker, easily 
identifiable as J. G. Alexander. "II y a un an un 
homme de leur secte se presentait dans mon cabinet 
pour me demander s'il ne serait pas possible 
d'organiser en France un mouvement d'opinion 
contre les horreurs du Congo leopoldien. Je lui 
demandai s'il ne craignait pas de passer pour un agent 
k la solde des negociants de Manchester, II sourit et 
me r^pondit que, si, pour proclamer une reclamation 
de justice, il faUait attendre que la calomnie 
eut desarm6, I'attente serait trop longue et trop 
d'iniquites auraient le temps d'etre commises : 
' Le Chretien, ajouta-t-il, doit accepter son devoir, 
m^me si ce devoir le condamne k etre difEam^ et 
bafoue parmi les hommes.' 

" Le quaker qui me parlait ainsi est un homme 
fort connu, encore qu'il cherche I'obscurit^ et le 
silence. Si les uns I'accusent volontiers d'etre a la 
solde d' Anglais preoccupes d'expedier leurs coton- 
nades au Congo, d'autres I'accusent non moins 
volontiers d'etre au service des ennemis de I'Angle- 
terre. C'est qu'en effet, depuis qu'il a I'age d'homme, 
il est la cheviUe ouvridre de la hgue contre 
I'opium. II n'ignore pas que I'introduction forc^e 
de I'opiura en Chine est une source de richesses 
pour rinde anglaise. Mais il declare que c'est 
surtout un d^shonneur pour I'Angleterre. II 
r^pfete dans ses articles, dans ses conferences, que 
ce ddshonneur ^tant consenti est pire que celui de 

1914] CONGO REFORM 167 

batailles perdues. II le dit en face k ses compatriotes. 
II le dit devant I'etranger, avec I'espoir que le souci 
d'un bon renom k conserver a leur patrie rendra 
ses concitoyens capables des decisions gen^reuses 
et des sacrifices heroiques. 

"Quand on voit un hommes de cette trempe agir 
toujours dans le meme sens, avec un entStement 
doux, irr(5ductible dans ses revendications, capable 
de manifester une vraie tendresse pour ceux contre 
lesquels il s'indigne, on sent qu'il n'y a rien a faire 
contre une puissance de ce genre. On pense au 
mot de Cromwell qui, apres avoir essay^ en vain 
d'attirer Fox parmi ses fiddles et I'avoir trouv^ 
aussi incorruptible k la faveur qu'in^branlable 
dans la persecution, s'etait eerie : 'Je vois s'elever 
une race de gens que j e ne gagnerai ni par des honneurs, 
ni par des presents, ni par des emplois.' . . C'est 
la race des geneursque les politiciens ont toujours 
haie. EUe puUule dans le quakerisme."* 

* " One year a man of their [Quaker] sect came to my study in 
order to ask me if it would not be possible to organise a movement 
of pubUc opinion in France against the horrors of the Leopoldian 
regime in the Congo. I asked him if he was not afraid of being 
taken for a paid agent of the Manchester merchants. He smiled 
and told me that, if, before demanding justice, it were necessary to 
wait until calumny were silenced, the time of waiting would be long 
and iniquities would flourish meanwhile. ' The Christian,' he added, 
' must do his duty, even if it condemn him to be abused and derided 
by men.' 

' ' The Quaker who spoke thus to me is a well-known man, although 
he prefers obscurity and silence. If some men take pleasure in 
accusing him of being in the pay of Englishmen who want to send 
their cotton goods to the Congo, others take no less pleasure in 
accusing him of being in the service of the enemies of England. 
This is because, ever since early manhood, he has been the main- 
spring of the anti-opium society. He does not overlook the fact 
tiiat the forced introduction of opium into China is a source of wealth 
to British India. But he declares that it is above all a dishonour 
to England. In his writings and speeches he repeats that this 


This quotation has led us away from Congo 
Reform. It only remains to add that before the 
end of 1909 the Belgian Government gave way to 
the united pressure of the British and German Govern- 
ments, and the public opinion of the world. 

Similar evils following on the economic exploit- 
ation of Africa and South America had to be 
combatted by the Anti-Slavery Society in the years 
immediately preceding the war. In the case of 
labour abuses in the New Hebrides, islands adminis- 
tered jointly by England and France, J. G. Alexander 
was able to put the Society into communication 
with friends of native races in France who could 
bring pressure to bear from their side. Labour 
conditions in the cocoa plantations of the Islands 
of San Thomfe and Principfe and in Angola, and the 
frightful oppression of the Indians in the Putumayo, 
all claimed his attention. But his strength, never 
great, was diminishing, and he recognised the need 

for concentrating his energies. 

* * * * 

The opium trade between India and China was 

wilful dishonour is worse than the dishonour of losing battles. He 
says it to his compatriots. He says it before foreigners, hoping 
that the desire to preserve their country's good name will rouse his 
fellow-countrjrmen to generous decision and heroic sacrifice. 

" When one sees a man of this stamp conforming to the same 
standard in all his actions, with sweet obstinacy, abating nothing 
in his demands, yet showing true gentleness towards those against 
whom he fights, one feels that nothing can avail against such a force. 
The words of Cromwell come to mind, who, after having tried in 
vain to enlist Fox among his followers, and having found him as 
incorruptible to favour as he was unyielding to persecution, cried : 
' I see there is raised up a race of men whom I shall gain neither by 
honours, nor by presents, nor by preferment.' This is the difficult 
race that the politicians have always hated. It thrives among the 

1908-12] OPIUM 169 

annually decreasing according to the treaty of 1908 ; 
and the growth in China itself had been decreased 
far more rapidly than the treaty stipulations 
demanded. But China and India were not the only 
countries concerned. In Java, in the Straits Settle- 
ments, in French Indo-China, the opium traffic 
still persisted. In February, 1909, an International 
Commission met at Shanghai, to discuss the suppres- 
sion of the traffic, but it did not arrive at any useful 
agreement. At the end of 1911, at the call of the 
American Government, a further Conference of 
the States concerned was held at the Hague. Sir 
Matthew Dodsworth and J. G. Alexander, on behalf 
of the English anti-opium movement, spent a fort- 
night in the Hague whilst the Conference was in 
session, and had opportunities of furnishing the 
various national delegations with fuU information 
from their point of view. Some of the members of 
the Conference were very friendly to the anti-opium 
cause, and one of the Chinese members. Dr. Wu, 
was a personal friend of J. G. Alexander. So they 
had ample opportunity of making their presence felt. 
The result of the Conference's labours was an excellent 
Convention which, unhappily, had only been ratified 
and piit into effect by a few Governments before 
the outbreak of war. 

In 1912, after the revolution in China, the Chinese 
were unwilling to accept any more chests of opium 
from India, and Dr. Sun Yat Sen, provisional 
president, appealed to England to stop the trade. 
Even the inerchants approved this course, provided 
the British Government would help them to 


get rid of the unsaleable stocks accumulated at 
Hongkong and Shanghai. This condition the anti- 
opium people could not approve, and for months they 
had to carry on delicate negotiations, trsdng to 
pacify the Indian Government and the merchants 
without forcing on China the opium that her people 
refused to smoke. Finally the Chinese Govern- 
ment bought most of the opium and destroyed it. 
* * * * 

J. G. Alexander continued throughout his life 
a devoted member of the Society of Friends. For many 
years he served on its executive, the Meeting for 
Sufferings, and on several of the sub-committees 
of that body. A year or two before the war a 
member of the Meeting for Sufferings complained that 
the same Friends were appointed on a number of 
committees, whilst others were on none ; and he 
added that he had found one name on six sub- 
committees. J. G. Alexander guessed that it was his 
name, and found that this was so. But it is natural 
that a good committee-man should be appointed to 
several committees, instead of bad committee-men 
being appointed in equal number. 

He was also on three of the sub-committees of the 
Friends' Foreign Mission Association, and of this 
work Dr. H. T. Hodgkin observes, " Among committee 
members there are two prominent types, those 
who simply attend and offer suggestions and criticism 
at the time of meeting and those who always keep 
the matter in mind, and make it their business 
to enquire, advise or suggest whenever ans^hing 
arises between committees that bears on the work. 

1895-1914] THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS 171 

Needless to say the latter are those who give Ufe 
and value to any committee. In his foreign mission 
work J. G. Alexander was pre-eminently one of the 
second type." 

Although he was such a valued member of many 
committees he was not one of those " weighty 
Friends " who may intervene in almost any discus- 
sion and whose judgment always carries weight. 
In large assembUes, such as the Meeting for Sufferings 
or Yearly Meeting, he would rarely speak except 
on his own subjects, such as opium, or he might 
intervene on small points of practical procedure, 
bringing his legal mind to bear. In the Society 
of Friends, no less than elsewhere, his influence 
was exerted behind the scenes. 

In his own locality, however, he felt it right 
to take greater responsibility, and a fuller share 
in the discussions of his Monthly and Quarterly 
Meetings, where his judgment was much valued. 
In addition to his frequent minutes of liberation 
for Christian work outside the borders of the Quarterly 
Meeting he undertook his full share in " strengthen- 
ing the Church " within. Especially he felt the need 
of isolated and strugghng Meetings ; several times 
he visited the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight 
whose small Meetings belong to Sussex, Surrey, 
and Hants Quarterly Meeting, and from Tunbridge 
Wells he often went over for the week-end to help 
in a country meeting near Herstmonceux, in Sussex, 
just as in early hfe he had visited Thakeham from 
Reigate. In his own town the claim of the Friends' 
Meeting stood first, among many activities. He 


attended it regularly every Sunday morning and 
evening when he was at home ; and, if he was not in 
London for some committee or other, he usually 
attended the mid-week meeting on Thursday morning 
as well. At these meetings he frequently spoke 
or offered vocal prayer, and for the later years 
of his life he sat at the head of the meeting. 
For some years he represented his Meeting on the 
local Free Church Council, and was brought 
into particularly close touch with other Free Church- 
men at the time of the agitation against Mr. Balfour's 
Education Act. For several years he felt it right 
to refuse to pay his rates, and allowed his goods 
to be distrained upon ; but when the Liberal Govern- 
ment had ^ shown its desire to meet the Passive 
Resisters, although the House of Lords threw out 
their Bill, he felt that the protest was no longer 

For the last few years of his life he was a useful 
member of the Tunbridge Wells Higher Education 
Sub-Committee, and he was on the Committee of 
the Homoeopathic Hospital. 

In February, 1915, he was appointed a County 
Magistrate ; this position he valued especially 
for the opportunity it gave to reduce the number of 
licences. From his earliest years he was a teetotaller ; 
and both at public functions and in private Ufe, in aU 
parts of the world, he would not drink anything 
appreciably alcoholic. After his appointment to 
the bench, when the annual renewal of licences 
came on he would visit the -villages and see for him- 
self which premises appeared specially undesirable. 

1 895-1917] THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS 173 

Only one or two of his colleagues shared his views 
on this subject but his efforts met with some success. 

The home interest that was nearest his heart 
after the Friends' Meeting itself, was the Men's Adult 
School held at the Meeting-House. Whenever he 
was at home he attended it before Sunday morning 
meeting and for the last few years was its president. 
It was never a large School. He had not the time 
or perhaps just the qualities to draw in large numbers 
of men ; but the few who attended week by week 
loved him as a faithful guide and friend. Another 
school, more in the centre of the working population, 
at High Brooms, was begun before the war, and 
J. G. Alexander often visited it on Sunday 
afternoons, although this involved a two-mile walk 
each way, and he made great efforts to raise funds 
to pay off the debt on the Adult School Hall. 

This is not an exhaustive list of his home activ- 
ities, but it serves to show that his eyes were not 
so much fixed on the ends of the earth that he 
overlooked the claims of his feUow-townsmen. 

It might seem that the activities already 
mentioned would be enough to fill the hfe of any 
man. But J. G. Alexander's greatest efforts, 
after the opium victory was in sight, were directed 
towards the preservation of international- peace, 
in connection both with the international " mouve- 
ment pacifiste " and with the national movement 
in England. This important work demands a 
separate chapter. 

Chapter IX 



J. G. Alexander, as noted in an earlier chapter, 
continued to act as honorary secretary of the Inter- 
national Law Association until 1905, but after 
resigning that post he did not attend any further 
Congress of the Association. He felt that his work 
with it was done, that there were others to continue 
its good work, and that he must direct his energies 
in a rather different way. 

One reason, at least, why he turned his attention 
about this time from the International Law Associa- 
tion to the International Peace Congresses was a 
growing consciousness that International Law was 
not enough. The substitution of law for force 
was good so far as it went, but the process was slow. 
Meanwhile, armaments were ever increasing, grave 
diplomatic crises were recurring from time to time ; 
and these menaces could only be removed by a direct 
attack. They continued, not merely because of 
international anarchy, the absence of international 
law and authority, but because of a false conception 
of international relations. 

Whilst the lawyers were drafting codes of 
International Law to be adopted by Governments 
someone must be attempting the more fundamental 


PEACE 175 

task of changing the attitude of public opinion 
towards foreign affairs. Even some of the inter- 
national lawyers themselves, though conscious 
of the need of international commercial and 
maritime regulations, still Uved in an atmosphere 
of practically independent States, whose natural 
and inevitable attitude to one another must be one 
of rivalry and even host,iHty. Until this pohtlcal 
philosophy had been exploded, no International 
Law could absolutely guarantee peace. It was the 
task of the international peace movement to convince 
public opinion that the political unity of man 
was a reality, and to rally it against the forces 
that threatened from time to time to dissolve this unity. 
With these great ends in view, and above all with 
the conviction that along these lines alone could the 
kingdom of God be established on earth, J. G. 
Alexander threw himself into the activities of the 
International Peace Congresses and allied efforts. 
The first series of International Peace Congresses 
was held from 1843-1853. The leading men at 
these Congresses included such Englishmen as Richard 
Cobden, John Bright, Joseph Sturge and Henry 
Richard ; Elihu Burritt was the leading American 
and Victor Hugo presided over the most notable 
Congress, which met in Paris in 1849. They were 
largely attended, much enthusiasm was displayed 
a;nd valuable work was accomplished ; but the wars 
in which the European Powers were engaged from 
the outbreak of the Crimean War, in 1854, onwards, 
made the holding of further Congresses impractic- 
able, and they were not resumed for a generation. 


The second series, with a permanent ■ organisation 
and annual congresses, began in 1889, when a Congress 
was held in Paris under the Presidency of M. Frederic 
Passy. J. G. Alexander took a considerable part 
in this congress, and in the second, held in London 
in 1890. During the next ten years, however, 
his attendance was irregular. He was at Buda 
Pesth in 1896 and Turin in 1898, but took Httle 
active part in the former congress, and not much 
more in the latter. It was the South African War, 
especially, that aroused him to the need of more 
vigorous action, national and international, in 
opposition to the forces of militarism ; from that 
time onwards he hardly missed a single Congress. 

The part that he took in the discussions, as 
shown in the printed reports, gives little indication 
of the extent of his activity. Here as in aU his 
his work, he was constantly in touch with new 
developments ; he spent the time between sessions 
in discussing with the other leading members the 
best form for resolutions that were to come before 
the Congress ; his activity as a member, and 
for some years as chairman, of Commission B. (Inter- 
national Law) was great ; and in 1907 at Munich 
he was elected a member of the Bureau, the Executive 
Committee of the Congress, which met several times 
each year at Berne. Here, therefore, even more than 
in some of his other interests, it is impossible to 
separate his work from that of the whole organisation. 

As a rule his contributions to the discussions 
were confined to proposing or seconding resolutions 
from his own Commission, dealing with arbitration 

1889-1914] PEACE 177 

and kindred subjects ; but he was always keenly 
interested in some of the more controversial topics, 
arising under the heading of Current Events (in 
French, " Actualites "), the province of Commission 
A. These included resolutions condemning the 
action of various States which, from time to time, 
were judged by the Congress to be responsible for the 
outbreak of wars, or for crises that might lead to 
war. Thus the British Government was condemned 
for the Boer War, the French Government for its 
high-handed action in conflict with the Turks in 
igo2, and the ItaUan Government for the TripoUtan 
War in 1911 and 1912. It also attempted to analyse 
the causes of friction and to propose measures 
that might bring harmony, in difficult situations 
that arose in the Balkans, Morocco, Armenia, 
Crete and Venezuela, as well as in the Congo as 
notBd in the last chapter. Sometimes one of these 
controversial topics brought a Peace Conference 
to the verge of hostilities within itself. This was 
specially marked in the case of the condemnation of 
the Tripolitan War at Geneva in 1912, when most 
of the Italian delegates rose up in their wrath 
and resisted the ruling of the chairman. But apart 
from the occasional infection of part of a national 
section with the war fever, the Congresses had, 
as a rule, Uttle difficulty in arriving at a just and 
fair estimate of an international crisis. It can- 
not be said that the opinions thus expressed, 
or the proposals put forward, have often had 
immediate effect upon the solution of grave inter- 
national problems. Their value has been, first, 


that they have represented a considered judgment on 
the part of men and women experienced in affairs, 
imbued with an international spirit, and repre- 
senting many different nations ;^ and, secondly, by 
reason of this fact, they have had an increasing 
influence upon public opinion and upon Governments. 

Although these topics have naturally given rise 
to exciting and sometimes prolonged discussion, they 
do not represent the most important side of the work 
of the Congresses. In the volume of resolutions 
passed between 1843 and 1911, issued by the Berne 
Bureau in the latter year, the resolutions under the 
titles " Actualites politiques " form but a small 
section, which is relegated to the end. The main 
body of resolutions deal with " Rappfochement 
fraternel des peuples," which might be translated 
" Brotherly Concord of the Peoples." This covers a 
wide range of topics, including resolutions on general 
principles, such as the equality of States, protection 
of foreigners and liberty of conscience ; proposals for 
international federation, both for limited purposes 
and for general political action ; draft codes of inter- 
national public law ; development of the Hague 
arbitration conventions ; protection of uncivilised 
peoples ; free trade and other economic safeguards 
for peace. 

A further section deals with armaments, neutrali- 
sation, and kindred subjects, and a large number 
of resolutions are concerned with peace propaganda 
by means of education, the press. Labour and religion. 

To most of these matters J. G. Alexander contri- 
buted in one way or another. His most notable 

1904] PEACE 179 

contributions, perhaps, were on Arbitration at the 
Boston Congress, in 1904, and on Federation at 
Stockholm, in 1910. 

His discourse on Arbitration at Boston was in the 
main a summary of the Arbitration treaties that had 
been concluded between States since the signing of 
the Hague Conventions of 1899. 

Ten such treaties had been signed, and he was glad 
to be able to point out' that his own country. Great 
Britain, led the way with five of the ten. This series 
of treaties, he observed, " was begun by the one 
between Great Britain and France, which to us in the 
United Kingdom was a source of great rejoicing. 
Our two countries lie so near together. I speak," 
he continued, " with great feehng on the subject, 
for it has been my lot to spend a considerable part 
of my life in France, and I love the French people as 
truly as I love my own. These two countries in the 
past have often been rivals and enemies, and have 
inflicted on each other deadly injuries. That these 
two countries at last have come together is indeed 
cause for great rejoicing. This treaty of obligatory 
arbitration was followed by another series of agree- 
ments putting an end to a number of disputes which 
had arisen in the course of time between our two 
countries. There is every prospect, therefore, as 
far as human vision can see, that never again shall 
war break out between France and Great Britain." 

Treaties for obligatory arbitration had also been 
signed by Great Britain and Germany, Great Britain 
and Italy, France and Italy, and several by the 
Scandinavian and Iberian States ; but one only, 



that between Denmark and the Netherlands, was a 
treaty without reservations. 

This seemed to J, G. Alexander to be " the one 
model treaty," and the resolution which he proposed 
urged all the Governments that were parties to the 
Hague Convention to follow this lead, and to refer 
all disputes not settled by diplomacy to the Hague 
Court of Arbitration. He especially emphasised the 
distinction between obUgatory and compulsory 
arbitration. " The word ' obligatory ' simply means 
that the powers bind themselves to refer all cases — 
or certain classes of cases — to arbitration, and it 
does not mean that compulsion is to be brought to 
bear upon them by some outside force. This Con- 
gress has always declined to sanction that idea." 

When the Congress met in London in 1908, 
J. G. Alexander was appointed Chairman. Lord 
Courtney was president, but only presided over one 
or two sessions. Other Congresses had received 
Government recognition, especially in France ; but 
the London Congress was shown higher favour than 
any that had met before. King Edward received a 
deputation, of which J. G. Alexander was naturally 
a member, and in reply to the address of the Congress, 
made a notable pronouncement in favour of peace. 
Mr. Lloyd George, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
addressed a great public meeting in the Queen's 
Hall, and Mr. Asquith, as Prime Minister, spoke at a 
Government banquet at the Hotel Cecil. Greetings 
came from distinguished men and societies ; and 
the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops sent 
a deputation to greet the Congress in person. There 

i9o8-ro] PEACE i8i 

are dangers in such general approbation. The 
Congress was not quite sure what to make of a greet- 
ing in which Mr. Balfour spoke of " the efficient 
maintenance of defensive armaments " as one of the 
things which promote peace ; and the declaration 
of the Bishop of Perth (Western AustraUa) that 
universal military service would check newspaper 
panics caused the Chairman of the Congress recurrent 
trouble in the days that followed, from delegates, 
with whom, of fcourse, he fuUy agreed, who wanted 
a public protest. But in spite of this and other 
difficulties that arose he piloted the Congress safely 
through. In the first sessions there was so much 
discussion, so many proposals and counter-proposals, 
that it seemed as though no effective business would 
be done. But the Chairman's poUcy of allowing a 
fair amount of rope at first was justified. The 
Congress pulled itself together in time and a number 
of important resolutions were approved, on limit- 
ation of armaments, obligatory arbitration, inter- 
national pohtical organisation, inter-governmental 
conference on education, capture of private property 
at sea, Morocco and other matters. Nor were these 
resolutions in any way toned down to meet the views of 
those who had patronised the Congress. Carl Heath, 
former secretary of the National Peace Council, 
observes, " I have recently been through the Report of 
the Congress in detail and have again been struck by 
J. G. Alexander's combination of constant and effec- 
tive work with an extraordinary unobtrusiveness." 

His paper contributed to the Stockholm Congress 
in 1910 was a further development of the all-important 


subject of international political organisation. 
This paper, combining concise analysis of Inter- 
national Federation with some proposals for further 
development, may perhaps be regarded as his most 
notable contribution to the literature of international 

" By federation," he writes, " we mean such a 
juridical union between independent states, as shall 
provide peaceful and rational methods of setthng all 
questions arising out of their mutual relations, 
eliminating every occasion for resort to brute force, 
but not interfering with their autonomy." This 
is the ultimate goal of all pacifist effort. 

Then he gives examples of federation taken from 
modern history — -the Swiss Federation, the United 
States of America, the Germanic Confederation 
leading to the German Empire, the Dual Monarchy 
of Austria-Hungary, and the autonomous states of 
the British Empire — not itself strictly federal but 
containing within it the federations of Canada, 
Australia and South Africa. 

Taking these in turn, he notes certain character- 
tetics : the Swiss and American federations are 
composed of republics each of which possesses repre- 
sentative assemblies and its own government ; 
Germany shows how a fiscal union may be the 
stepping-stone to federation ; Austria-Hungary how 
various degrees of autonomy may be needed in order 
to maintain the cohesion and stability of the 
structure ; the British Empire how the granting of 
self-government produces loyalty to the mother 
country. At this point he digresses in order to pay 

igio] PEACE 183 

a tribute to the statesmanship of " that great 
pacifist," Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman for his 
courageous grant of self-government to South 
Africa. " Does it not suggest," he adds, " the 
true solution of the problem of Alsace-Lorraine ? " 
by which all danger of a new war between France 
and Germany might be dispelled. 

He gives two further essential conditions for a 
successful federation. The first is popular control 
over the Government in each of the federated States : 
this will save the federation from being undermined 
by dynastic ambition, or by the interests of a military 
aristocracy or an ecclesiastical organisation, or of 
financiers or capitalists. The second condition is 
that the peoples federated should love peace and 
concord, justice and equity. For this they must 
have sufficient knowledge and education to be able 
to withstand the interested agitations of the militarist 
press. It is the duty of pacifists to encourage and 
to inculcate such sentiments and knowledge. 

Turning to what has been already achieved, he 
notes that the first elements of International Feder- 
ation already exist and that they have been created 
almost without perception of their import. First 
there are the numerous International Congresses, 
of which M. La Fontaine had given the Congress an 
imposing enumeration two years before, those in 
which Governments were represented being specially 
important. Secondly, there are International Unions 
(postal, telegraphic, railway, weights and measures, 
industrial property and others). Thirdly, the Hague 
Arbitration Court and the International Prize 


Court— the latter, however, of Uttle ultimate value, 
as it only functions in war-time. Finally, the Hague 
Conferences. And besides these beginnings, two 
other precedents are of importance : first, the Inter- 
parliamentary Union ; but, J. G. Alexander adds, 
" I confess that I do not see how this association is to 
become part of a formal federation without losing the 
voluntary character which appears to me an essential 
factor of its usefulness." There is also the Bureau 
of the Pan-American Union, which might serve as a 
precedent for a further step towards European 

Finally he suggests that the federation of adja- 
cent States, such as the Scandinavian countries, 
Holland and Belgium, and the Balkan States, might 
be a step in the direction of a wider union. And the 
entry of Germany into the Franco-British entente 
would, he concludes, be the best guarantee, at least 
as far as Western Europe is concerned, against war. 
" May we see the realisation of this happy event." 

His conclusions, in the form of resolutions 
submitted to, and approved by, the Congress, were as 
follows : 

" Whilst it is impossible to foresee the precise 
mode in which the federation of the world will be 
brought about, it is the duty of pacifists to keep before 
them this ideal as the ultimate goal of their efforts 
and the definite means by which universal peace can 
be assured. 

" Meanwhile, they should seek to promote and 
develop all partial approximations to this ideal, 
such as : 

igio] PEACE 185 

" (a) International unions (postal, railway, 
industrial property, etc.) 

" (6) International Courts of Arbitration and 
Arbitral Justice. 

" (c) Federations of neighbouring States 
including Customs Unions. 

" {d) The regularisation and consolidation of 
the Hague Peace Conferences." 
In the light of suBsequent events it may be 
objected that this paper is unduly hopeful in tone, 
and ignores the dangers that threatened the peace 
of the world. But this is not quite a fair criticism. 
J. G. Alexander was by no means bhnd to the 
dangers. It was just because he was so keenly 
alive to them that he laboured hard to strengthen 
the forces working for peace. He acted in the 
behef that constant warnings of danger drive people 
either to acquiesce fatalistically in what they suppose 
to be inevitable, or else to support a policy of feverish 
military activity as urged by Lord Roberts and his 
associates. He wished, rather, to draw pubHc 
attention to the signs of a growing international 
spirit ; to show the people of each nation that those 
of other nations were, not merely in ideal, but 
increasingly in fact, their friends and fellow- workers. 
Direct the public mind towards these hopeful 
developments, he argued, and international confi- 
dence, accompanied by further federal union, would 

It is not necessary to refer in any detail to other 
aspects of J. G. Alexander's work for peace. He 
was an active member of the Peace Society and 


of the Peace Committee of the Society of Friends ; he 
attended various National Peace Congresses in 
England and Scotland, and helped his friend, 
T. P. Newman, to organise the National Peace 
Council — a body formed in 1905 to co-ordinate the 
many associations in Britain that were interested in 
promoting peace. He received most of the periodi- 
cals and other pubUcations devoted to the peace 
cause that were issued in the English and French 
languages ; he also read and assimilated a large 
portion of their contents. He took part in the 
Universal Races Congress that met in London in 

In the last years preceding the war the Inter- 
national Peace Congresses devoted much time, 
and the Berne Bureau and the Commissions laboured 
strenuously, in the preparations of peaceful legis- 
lation for the Third Hague Conference, due to 
meet in 1915. They urged the dilatory governments 
to appoint delegates and commissions of preparation 
in good time, and a committee, of which J. G. 
Alexander was a member, and M. Emile Arnaud 
president and draftsman, presented a code of Inter- 
national Public Law to the Congress in 1910, to be 
laid before the Governments and their Commissions. 
Further work of preparation and propaganda filled 
the following years. 

After the Agadir crisis in 1911, J. G. Alexander 
was more alive than ever to the need of promoting 
Anglo-German friendship. He took part in the 
effort to foster goodwill through the Churches, 
and was present at the Anglo-German Understanding 

1912-14] PEACE 187 

Congress in London in 1912, when distinguished men 
— not only churchmen — of the two nations made a 
great effort to find solutions of colonial difficulties and 
of the problem of the capture of private property at 
sea in time of war, which stood in the way of reduction 
of naval armaments. In 1913 and again in 1914 
he accompanied two members of Parhament, Messrs. 
W. H. Dickinson and J. Allen Baker, to Paris in 
order to bring the leaders of the French churches into 
the movement. A Cpngress of delegates from the 
churches of all the afi^Mated national groups was 
called to meet at Constance in the first days of 
August, 1914, and J. G. Alexander was hoping to 
attend it. When the Austrian ultimatum was 
presented to Serbia the Berne Bureau was summoned 
to meet immediately in Brussels, and there, at the 
end of July, the representatives fron the great 
countries on the verge of the conflict united in 
calling upon President Wilson to mediate. J. G. 
Alexander was about to start from Brussels for 
Constance, but was told that he could not get beyond 
Luxemburg owing to the mobilisation of troops, 
and accordingly he returned home. 

Chapter X 



The extent to which the calamity of the war affected 
J. G. Alexander's inmost being, both at the time of 
the crisis and in the years that followed, cannot be 
known even to those who were nearest to him^ He 
had never lived in a fool's paradise ; he knew that 
the nations were armed for war, and that men and 
nations were still liable to be overcome by jealousy 
and enmity. The Balkan wars and the Agadir crisis 
had shown how much inflammable material there was 
in the world ; and a few months before the war he 
had quoted the opinion of a continental pacifist that 
there could not be a stable peace in Europe until 
Poland and Alsace-Lorraine had been emancipated. 
But the calamity was no less severe to him because it 
was not wholly unexpected. 

He did not hesitate to condemn the action of 
Austria in refusing the Serbian offer to submit the 
one outstanding point of her ultimatum to arbitra- 
tion, and the action of Germany in refusing Sir 
Edward Grey's offer of a Conference. Throughout 
the Congo Reform campaign he had respected Grey 
as an honest and high-minded man struggling 
against great obstacles of personnel and tradition ; 


1914] WAR-TIME 189 

and he still held the same view to the end. Even 
more intense was his indignation at the German 
invasion of Belgium ; and pubhcly, as well as priv- 
ately, he expressed his condemnation of the Central 
Powers. But he believed that the Christian way of 
meeting armed force was a better way than that of 
armed resistance. A Christian nation should never 
be armed ; and thougl\,his own nation, having armed 
itself for war, might seem to have no alternative but 
to fight, he, who had always urged disarmament, 
could not feel himself bound to support his nation in 
its action. 

This does not mean that he washed his hands 
of the affair. Quite the reverse. The nations had 
indeed plunged into the war from which he and others 
had striven to save them. He still beheved, however, 
that they might be saved, even at this twelfth hour, 
if they would Usten to the pure Christian gospel. It 
was for him and those who shared his convictions to 
uphold the standard of reason and justice amid the 
rising passion of hatred ; stiU more, it was theirs to 
promote the spirit of reconciliation and to explore the 
possibilities of negotiation. 

He threw himself with energy into the various 
efforts to reach a sane and speedy settlement. Some 
of this work was in connection with the Friends' 
Peace Committee, some of it with the National Peace 
Council. The latter body was seriously divided in 
opinion. During the first winter of the war those 
who supported the action of the Government brought 
forward a declaration condemning the acts of the 
Austrian and German Governments in violation of 


International Law. J. G. Alexander felt bound to 
support this resolution ; but further than this he 
would not go. And in general, for a couple of years, 
the National Peace Council was incapable of much 
effective action. 

This fact led J. G. Alexander to look for other 
openings. After some correspondence with Mr. 
Lowes Dickinson he joined a group of men, commonly 
known as " the Bryce group," in drafting proposals 
for the prevention of future wars. These proposals, 
perhaps moi'e definitely than anything else, led to the 
League of Nations movement in America. This 
work was in many ways similar to the proposals 
J. G. Alexander had helped to elaborate in earlier 
years in connection with the International Peace 
Congresses and the International Law Association ; 
but for all that he did not feel able to do much 
detailed work, or to offer much criticism beyond 
supporting Mr. Arthur Ponsonby's objection to 
military sanctions. In March, 1915, he wrote to his 
youngest son that he was " feeling . . . alto- 
gether out of date and very helpless in the cause of 
peace at present." 

But however difficult he felt it to think out con- 
crete proposals for promoting or establishing peace, 
he continued a work of no less value, that of keeping 
the peace between pacifists of different schools and 
nations. In January, 1915, he attended a meeting of 
the International Peace Bureau, at Berne, where 
German and British delegates met together. It did 
not lead to much ; and the French members would 
have nothing to do with it. They felt that all peace 

1915] WAR-TIME 


discussion was out of the question whilst the enemy 
was upon their soil, and were inclined to regard English 
pacifists as traitors to the common cause. To them 
the duty of defence was paramcJlmt. Some of them 
had raised the question at Congresses before the war, 
and had almost split one Congress at least, in their 
effort to pass a declaration avowing the duty of 
patriotic defence. J. G. Alexander had been largely 
instrumental in avoiding such a split, and now, under 
far more difficult circumstances, he essayed the same 
r61e. He quickly perceived the danger of ahenation 
between English and French pacifists, and sought 
to keep the gulf bridged. Not only did he go to see 
Romain RoUand in Geneva, and Jean Longuet and 
others in Paris ; but he also conferred with all his old 
friends and colleagues of the Societe de la Paix par 
le Droit, most of whom condemned RoUand as 
worse than an Enghsh pacifist, and the Minority 
Socialists as revolutionary traitors. 

In view of the paralysis of the National Peace 
Council, J. G. Alexander supported the proposal 
initiated in the Friends' Yearly Meeting of 1915 to 
call a conference of peace workers in England to co- 
ordinate the forces working for peace. The so-called 
" Co-ordination Group," an informal and unofficial 
periodic gathering of workers from various pacifist 
and labour organisations, followed the conference 
called by the Yearly Meeting, and J. G. Alexander 
felt more satisfied with the way things were going. 
A re-organisation of the National Peace Council was 
being projected, and the Co-ordination Group could 
carry on meanwhile. 


The Peace Society was also divided, and a new 
Christian organisation, the Fellowship of Recon- 
ciliation, came into existence, with a wider and deeper 
aim than that of the Peace Society, and J, G. 
Alexander was an active member of its international 

In July and August, 1915, he was in Paris again, 
conferring with pacifist leaders and with the organ- 
isers of the McAll mission and other Protestant and 
Missionary leaders, who had grave difficulties to 
contend with. From Paris he went to visit and 
encourage his friend Charles Terrell, at Paimpol, and 
on his way home visited the little Quaker community 
in the Channel Islands. He travelled from Paris to 
Paimpol all the way round by Nantes in order to 
confer with Professor Ruyssen, of Bordeaux, one of 
the most understanding leaders of French pacifism. 
In the course of this journey he had times of deep 
fellowship with the Kriiger family and others of his 
French friends who had already been stricken by the 
war. Travelling was becoming increasingly difficult ; 
and at least one British official, when he landed at 
Havre, was very brusque with him, saying that it was 
he and such as he who had brought this calamity on 
the world. Such taunts did not move him. But the 
agony through which the French nation was passing 
moved him deeply. He felt that in spite of all 
difficulties he must try to bring spiritual succour to 
those for whom he had so long laboured. 

On his return to England he obtained from the 
Meeting for Sufferings a minute of liberation to visit 
once again the south of France and the Vaudois 

1915] WAR-TIME 


valleys, with a message of Christian comfort and 
encouragement. He explained the object of his 
journey in a letter to his third son, Christopher, 
who had been for some years in Rome, as a r^dacteur 
in the International Institute of Agriculture. 
" You speak of the possibiUty (or impossibility) of 
my holding peace meetings. You may be re-assured 
on that point ; I have no such thought. If I go to 
the Vaudois Valleys, it will only be with a view to 
religious meetings. . . What I have in view is 
simply to carry a message of comfort and sympathy 
and encouragement to fellow- Christians in France 
and the Vaudois Valleys in these trying times, 
seeking to share with them the comfort I find myself 
and which sustains me through all the desolation of 
this awful conflict, in the conviction that once again 
we are witnessing the preparation through anguish 
and agony for a better world and especially a better 
Europe. Our Lord's words with regard to the fall 
of Jerusalem and break-up of the Jewish nation, 
come to me again and again as applicable to the 
present crisis — not in any literal sense, but in their 
broad meaning — ' When these things begin to come 
to pass, look up, and lift up your heads ; because 
your redemption draweth nigh.' " 

Accompanied by Charles Terrell he spent some 
weeks visiting the old familiar places and friends — 
including all the Quakers — ^in central and southern 
France, and there were abundant signs that their 
visit brought light to many, especially to those in 
later life, who found themselves plunged into this 
darkness, after bearing the burden and heat of the 


day. It was with astonishment that the French 
officer at the Italian frontier learnt that J. G. 
Alexander had travelled for weeks up and down the 
country without let or hindrance from any official. 
After hearing his story the officer was much 
impressed, and made easy the continuance of his 
journey into Italy. There he was joined by his son, 
Christopher, from Rome for a week, and by his 
youngest son, Horace, from England. He was 
welcomed as an old friend by the leaders of 
the Vaudois Church, and found great readiness for the 
receipt of his message. At one service especially 
he spoke with an eloquence and conviction that he 
perhaps never achieved when speaking in English. 
He took for text a passage in Ezekiel xlvii., which had 
become very vivid to him since his visit to Palestine 
and the Dead Sea. The prophet sees a desert valley 
where all is dried up, except for a lake that has become 
so salt that every stream flowing into it is turned 
bitter, and every fish and other creature has died. 
And then, as if by a miracle, fountains of fresh water 
burst out into the valley, the lake becomes fresh 
again, life returns, and the hillside becomes green 
and fragrant. Our world is to-day like that valley 
of death ; and the streams of living water are the 
hving gospel of Christ, transforming our hves 
and bringing fragrance into our relations with 
our fellow-men, and into the relations of classes 
and nations. It is through us and through our 
self-sacrifice for one another, that the fountains 
must burst forth, bringing fresh life out of this 

1915-16] WAR-TIME 195 

Before starting home for Christmas, J. G. Alex- 
ander was able also to meet an Italian pacifist 
colleague, and to show him some of the projects of 
peace that were being evolved in England. 

In Paris a private conference was arranged by 
some of the pacifist leaders with several French 
publicists, where a very frank and useful inter- 
change of views took place on certain issues that 
seemed likely to create a division between the two 
countries, especially the true solution of the Alsatian 
problem and the ultimate disposal of the German 
Colonies. The British Government was becoming 
strict about passports, and only J. G. Alexander and 
his son were there to express the English view ; the 
American organiser of the World Alliance of the 
Churches also participated, and was impressed with 
the moderate and conciliatory tone prevaihng 
throughout the discussion — only possible of course 
in a strictly private meeting. 

At this time none of J. G. Alexander's four sons 
had been under obligation, or had felt it right, to 
enlist for the war. The eldest, Gilbert, who was in 
Canada, and the youngest, who alone was in England, 
shared his conviction that it would be wrong to do so. 
The second son, Wilfrid, was in Australia, engaged 
during most of the war on government work for 
science and industry ; the third, in Rome, offered 
himself for the Italian army, but was rejected on 
health grounds. In February, 1916, he returned 
home and enlisted as a private. It was a grief to his 
father that he should see this as the path of duty ; 
but he loved him all the more for doing what he 



thought right, even when it clashed with the con- 
victions of his parents. Already he had had to face 
the realisation that some of his deepest convictions 
were no longer shared by one or another of his 

During the first years of the war some of the 
French Protestant leaders felt that a great oppor- 
tunity was coming for Protestant unity in France and 
for a fresh campaign of Christian evangelisation on 
their part ; they seemed to feel, too, that J. G. 
Alexander could help to infuse a certain Quaker 
spirit that was needed if such a work were to be of the 
greatest value, and he, too, believed that France, 
after the war, would be ready for such a message as 
members of the Society of Friends, in co-operation 
with sympathetic Frenchmen, might give. He and 
another Friend, A. K. Brown, were able to pay a 
short visit to Paris and other places early in 1916, 
to confer with the French leaders, and explore the 
ground, and they then obtained a further- minute 
from the Meeting for Sufferings for a more prolonged 
visit. But the terrible Somme campaign was 
beginning, no civilians were allowed to cross the 
Channel, the French and British Government officials 
were not favourable to such side-tracking of the 
national mind, and J. G. Alexander did not visit 
France again. 

After the passing of the Military Service Act of 
1916 he gave a great deal of time to helping con- 
scientious objectors. He visited isolated men 
scattered about the rural parts of Kent and Sussex, or 
attended when their claims for exemption were heard 

I9i6] WAR-TIME 197 

by the Tribunals and later at Courts-martial. When 
the men who had received insufficient exemption 
were in prison he offered to serve as a " Quaker 
Chaplain," and for the rest of his Hfe, until his last 
illness, went regularly to Maidstone gaol once a 
fortnight to see the men who had applied for a 
Quaker chaplain, talking with each individually 
in his cell, or meetipg all together for united 

At the Allied Economic Conference in Paris, in 
August, 1916, the representative of Japan was a 
vice-president of the Japanese Peace Society, Baron 
Sakatani, whom J. G. Alexander had met in Japan. 
Before leaving Japan, the Baron had assured his 
Society that he would make a point of meeting with 
peace workers in Europe. J. G. Alexander took him 
at his word, and, when he was in London after the 
Conference, arranged for him to meet several of the 
leading Enghsh pacifists, including Messrs. J. A. 
Hobson, C. R. Buxton and G. Lowes Dickinsoi;i. 
The Baron seemed rather astonished at the way in 
which the Paris resolutions were regarded, and he 
was not able to give any reassuring answer to the 
questions pressed upon him as to Japan's relation- 
ship with China. 

The autumn of 1916 saw J. G. Alexander again 
adopting the r61e of concihator, and also of practical 
international statesman, at a special conference of 
peace workers called by the Friends' Peace Com- 
mittee to discuss the vexed question of " sanctions," 
which was causing estrangement and division among 
the pioneers of a league of nations. In the conference 


it appeared that those who objected to the proposal of 
armed sanction had no concrete counter-proposal; 
Accordingly a group prepared a pamphlet on " The 
Community of Nations," and J. G. Alexander 
assisted. He explained his ideas on the subject in 
some letters written during the autumn. " It 
seems to me that the right alternative to a ' League 
to Enforce Peace ' will be a League to prevent war, 
and that instead of the leagued states binding 
themselves to make war on a state that does not 
observe the moratorium, they should pledge them- 
selves to prohibit all loans of money and all exports 
of munitions of war or materials therefor to such a 
nation. . . This, it seems to me, would be a very 
effective ' pacific sanction,' and it also seems to me far 
more likely that great States would be willing to 
pledge themselves to a measure of this kind than to 
armed intervention." A few days later, " I dis- 
tinguish clearly between the boycott, a measure 
which I think may possibly be useful in certaiti cases, 
but which can by no means be generalised in appli- 
cation, and the prohibition of loans, export of 
munitions and materials for munitions. These could 
at once be prohibited by proclamation in each State, 
forming part of, or appended to, the usual proclama- 
tion of neutrality." " My final point is that this 
proposal would be in harmony with, instead of 
putting a definite limit to, the progressive and 
simultaneous disarmament for which the peoples 
will be longing when this war is once over." Finally 
he writes in December, " I cannot think there is 
much or any use in advocating . . the ' martyr 

1916-17] WAR TIME 


nation ' policy — ^it presupposes a truly Christian 
nation, for although I know it has been suggested in 
France by non-Christians, I cannot conceive its 
being carried out except by a truly Christianised 
people. But the ideal of concurrent and progressive 
reduction of armaments is one that must surely 
appeal to everybody except the thorough-going 
mihtarists, and would therefore, I cannot but hope, 
tend to unite pacifists of all shades." 

Before the end of 1916 the National Peace Council 
was re-formed, cutting its connection with certain 
organisations that supported the Government's 
policy and including amongst its constituent bodies 
those that had come into being during the war, such 
as the Union of Democratic Control and the Fellow- 
ship of Reconciliation. J. G. Alexander was 
appointed chairman of the new Council, and presided 
over the opening session of the National Congress held 
in London at the end of January, 1917. 

During the early part of the winter his hopes of 
a settlement rose a good deal, especially after the 
German peace offer in December. But the refusal of 
the Allies to enter into negotiations, and the failure 
of President Wilson's last efforts to mediate between 
the warring nations, were followed by the 
unrestricted U-boat war and fresh offensives on the 
Western front. So the hope of peace was dashed 
once more. To J. G. Alexander, too, the revelation 
of brutalities committed in the repression of a 
demonstration in Ceylon was an added burden of 
sorrow during these months. 

But as gloom settled again upon the world he 


found cause to rejoice over at least one great victory 
for righteousness. The Chinese Government agreed 
to buy the final two thousand chests of Indian 
opium lying at the ports, " for medical use," in order 
to end the Indo-Chinese trade by the 31st March, 
1917 ; and on the 19th April, a final meeting of the 
Societjr for the Suppression of the Opium Trade 
was held, to wind up the Society and to celebrate 
the victory that had crowned the labour of half a 
century. Already, in April, 1915, J. G. Alexander 
had ceased to edit the Friend of China, and the 
Society had made a presentation to him in recognition 
of his " untiring services over the long period of 
twenty-five years." Now he edited a final number 
of the magazine, under the joyful title, " A Victory 
for Righteousness." Only the Committee was con- 
tinued to watch the carrying out of the Hague 
Opium Convention. Unhappily the lawless turmoil 
of civil war gave renewed opportunity for illicit 
opium growth in many parts of China, in 1918. A 
Chinese wrote that he was glad J. G. Alexander was 
not alive to see this renewal of poppy culture. But 
even though his labours had not in this respect 
obtained their full reward, he had at least seen the 
end of the Indo-Chinese trade against which he 
had fought because it was a moral disgrace to his 

After the American entry into the war J. G. 
Alexander looked to the leaders of the Churches as the 
right people " to take up the negotiation so hopefully 
begun by President " Wilson," and as early as 
March, 1917, he drafted a letter to the Archbishop of 

1917] WAR-TIME 


Canterbury, and other leaders in the National and 
Free Churches. 

The Friends' Yearly Meeting, in May, 1917, issued 
a message " To All Men," advocating a Christian 
way to peace. This was very widely circulated and 
published either as news or as an advertisement 
in newspapers in many countries. The correspon- 
dence resulting from it, led to the formation of a 
committee to promote an international Christian 
conference, and on this committee J. G. Alexander 

During the summer his son, Christopher, who had 
been invalided home from France with a broken leg, 
was in camp at Shoreham, and J. G. Alexander 
and his wife spent some time at Worthing. But he 
would never be persuaded to take quite as much 
holiday as his doctor urged, and he was soon back at 
his home and London activities — continuing his 
ceaseless correspondence with Christian and pacifist 
workers at home and abroad, and his personal efforts 
to sustain the men in prison and others with whom 
Ufe and the war were deaUng hardly. Letters 
written by him at this time show that he was still 
as much alive as ever to each new development, 
whether in connection with the possibilities of peace 
or with questions arising out of the war — the future 
of Africa and other matters. On the third anniver- 
sary of the outbreak of war he attended a meeting 
arranged by the Tunbridge Wells Free Church 
Council. " There were few things which jarred . . 
. I felt it good to unite thus far with Christians 
of other denominations." 


So passed his last autumn, the strain of all his 
activities evidently telling on his strength. To a 
superficial observer he carried his sixty-nine years 
well ; but such strength as he had, under the 
strenuous conditions of his Ufe, could not have the 
fullest chance of combatting disease. Sometimes, 
after returning from London committees, he had to 
spend a day or two in bed. 

After his death some of his feUow-members of 
Tunbridge Wells Meeting wrote, " During the last 
few months of his attendance at their meeting, his 
fellow-worshippers were sensible of a deeper note of 
assured confidence in the ultimate triumph of Truth 
and Love, coupled with a growing trust in the 
Heavenly Father's care for and sympathy with each 
individual child of His." 

After the beginning of October no further news 
came from his son, Christopher, now again in France, 
and as the silent weeks passed and hope grew less, 
the anxiety told still more on his health. In the 
middle of December news came of Christopher's 
death more than two months before. A few days 
later J. G. Alexander was again at Maidstone, meet- 
ing the men in prison ; he soon reaUsed that they had 
heard of his loss and that they were now trying to 
minister to his need ; and the beauty of their thought 
for him broke through his self-control. Christmas- 
time was made more cheerful amidst the sorrow by a 
visit from Olive Graham, to whom Horace had become 
engaged in September, and who brought comfort and 
happiness to J. G. Alexander and all the family. 
Still he worked on. He celebrated the New Year 

igiS] WAR-TIME 203 

by announcing to a remonstrating family that he had 
found he could fit in a Kent Adult School Committee, 
attendance at the Quarter Sessions at Maidstone, 
and his visit to the men in prison in one day, and 
get to London for his monthly committees in good 

A fortnight later he was to meet some Basuto 
chiefs in London and take thenl to the Zoo. But 
he was suddenly prostrated by severe pain. After 
two or three days of great suffering, an operation 
was performed at the Tunbridge Wells Homoeopathic 
Hospital, where he remained for several weeks, 
apparently slowly mending. On the 14th February, 
he was moved home, but his strength did not increase, 
and it soon became plain that his life could not last 
long. He said that he had no wish to live if he could 
not work. When asked by his old doctor, who came 
to see him on the last day of his hfe, how he felt, he 
replied, " I wish to he passive in God's hand and 
know no will but His." And so he embarked on 
hfe's last adventure in peace. For his last twelve 
days at home he had, besides the care of two nurses, 
the tender ministrations of his beloved wife and of 
their dear helper and companion, Lilias Clark. 
These two and his eldest son, Gilbert, were with him 
when early in the morning of the 26th February, 
1918, the beating of his heart ceased. 

The keen, snow-laden north-east wind swept over 
the Sussex pine-woods four days later whilst his 
brother Samuel, at the grave-side, recaUed his early 
consecration to the service of Jesus Christ. After- 
wards in the Friends' Meeting House, which his spirit 


had so often helped to bless, some who had shared 
in his public labours told how he had kept in later 
life the faith of his youth. His seventy years had 
been lived to the full, and those who met to com- 
memorate the completion of his life on earth could 
readily echo the words, " Servant of God, well 

Chapter XI 


" It has been said, and it is a true saying," writes 
J. G. Alexander's friend and colleague, Carl Heath, 
until recently Secretary of t^e National Peace Council, 
" that to know a man even intimately in connection 
with some profession, trade, or public cause in which 
he is interested, is not necessarily to know the real 
man at aU. But though sometimes very true, it is I 
think rarely so in the case of a man whose life has a 
central purpose and inspiration. Such a purpose and 
inspiration belonged to Joseph Gundry Alexander. 
Whatever may have been the case in earlier years 
when I did not personally know him, the last ten years 
of his life were lived as a whole, round a central 
idea of service and a sense of daily inspiration in the 
power and life of Jesus Christ; Thus his attitude 
towards the international peace question, held with 
great tenacity and with a clear vision, fruit of his 
wide knowledge of international law, of travel and of 
language, was at all times very far from fanaticism or 
sentimentalism in any shape or form. He had no 
over self-confidence. Indeed, he was often doubtful 
of himself, and at times troubled his friends by a cer- 
tain apparent inabihty to make up his mind. But 
his judgments were simple and straightforward when 
he saw clearly the right course. And even then they 
were always conciliatory and very obviously dis- 



" This disinterestedness was a very marked . 
trait. As one of the few English pacifists who could 
not only talk French fluently, but could also speak 
fluently and with conviction from the platform, he 
could always have occupied a premier place. But his 
quiet and unassurning nature forbade. Nevertheless, 
I can the more readily affirm, speaking with an 
intimate knowledge of the European movement in the 
last decade, few, if any, commanded a more genuine 
and affectionate respect. 

" During the years of our friendship this small 
opinion of his own merits was often displayed. But 
though he' would often propose to give way to less 
valuable and less experienced colleagues, he never 
allowed his innate humility of soul to excuse him 
from a service he felt called upon to render. Thus 
only a few weeks before his death, and when obvi- 
ously to his closer friends his strength was faiUng, he 
consented to take the chair at a long and important 
meeting of the National Peace Council. 

" Joseph Alexander's pacifism was of very deep 
root. In thinking of him I think of one who was 
naturally gentle, courteous, and humane. I think 
also of one whose mind was well-stored and orderly, 
who saw in law the divine purpose seeking expression. 
I think of one who hated oppression and loved his 
fellowmen. But I think chiefly of one who saw in 
Jesus Christ the vision of the love of God made 
manifest in man. He gave his whole being to the 
service of that vision, his whole mind to the 
problems that, wrongly handled, bring such suffering 
and injustice on the common man, and that find their 


solution in faithfulness to the teaching of the Son of 
Man ; and his whole heart to the love of God in 

Elsewhere the same writer, alluding to J. G. 
Alexander's deep religious sense, writes, " The 
strength of this made him very courageous, where 
his temperament naturally would have made him 
timid. In a body of men of many nationalities and 
nearly all hostile to Christianity, I have heard him 
state the basis of his rehgious faith with the utmost 
simplicity and directness, winning an immediate 
response of personal affection and respect." 

A conversation J. G. Alexander had in Paris at 
the beginning of November, 1915, with two leading 
French pacifists, shows how far he had learnt to ex- 
tend the conception of " the unity of all believers." 
" Towards the close of our conversation something 
led me to ask Mme. Puech, who is a Protestant, 
whether she had been to hear M. Raoul Allier [a noted 
Protestant pastor, quoted in an earlier chapter]. 
She said ' No ' — since the war everything religious had 
been repugnant to her. M. Richet said he fell back 
on paganism — Lucretius and Marcus Aurelius. I 
said I fell back on Christ. Mme. P. said I was happy 
in having such faith. M. Richet spoke of ' la faiUite 
du Christianisme '* — I said it was because it had gone 
so far from Christ. It seemed new to him that for the 
first two centuries Christians would not fight, and I 
told him of Celsus saying that they were useless to 
the Empire, and Origen's reply that they did more to 
defend the Empire by their prayers than soldiers by 
* " The bankruptcy of Christianity." 


their wars. As we parted, he said, ' Au fond nous 
sommes tous de la mgme religion,'* which reminded 
me, and I told him of Wm. Penn's saying (is it not ?) 
that all good men are of the same religion." 

A French colleague in both pacifist and evangelis- 
tic endeavours, Jacques Dumas, recalls : " En 1912, 
a Geneve Charles Richet donnait, un soir, une grande 
conference dans I'amphitheatre de I'Universit^. 
Voltairien, railleur, protagoniste de la plus Hbre des 
libres pens^es, Charles Richet se donnait comme 
affranchi de tous les dogmes auxquels Joseph 
Alexander tenait autant qu'a la vie. A la fin de la 
conference, j'ouvris les yeux : Charles Richet et Joseph 
Alexander ^taient dans les bras I'un de I'autre, 
s'embrassant avec effusion. Soyez surs que Joseph 
Alexander eiit embrassd Voltaire. II eut embrasse 
Judas et I'eut ramene k lui par la puissance de son 
fraternel amour."f 

Beside the cutting of "La Paix par le Droit " 
from which this memory is taken lies the card of 
" Charles Richet, Professeur a la Faculte de Medecine 
de Paris, Membre de I'lnstitut," with these words 
written on the back, " Avec toute ma douloureuse 
sympathie. Je n'ai jamais connu d'ame plus haute 

* " At heart we are all of the same religiop," 

t " In 1912, at Geneva, Charles Richet, one evening, made an 
important speech in the University lecture haU. Voltairian, scoffer, 
protagonist of the freest of free thought, Charles Bichet spoke as 
one emancipated from all the beliefs that Joseph Alexander held 
as tenaciously as life itself. At the end of the meeting I looked up ; 
Charles Richet and Joseph Alexander were together greeting each 
other with the utmost cordiality. We may be sure that Joseph 
Alexander would have loved Voltaire. He would have loved Judas 
and would have drawn him to himself by the power of his brotherly 


et d'esprit plus loyal et genereux que J. G. 

One of his French pacifist colleagues, Theodore 
Ruyssen, looking back over a long term of years, 
writes, " Voil^ vingt ans que nous luttons en commun 
pour la paix et la justice. Dans ces luttes je I'ai 
toujours trouve au premier rang, donnant a tons 
I'exemple d'une conscience droite, d'une intelligence 
claire, d'une courtoisie parfaite."f 

It is hard not to go on quoting these French 
estimates, from journals and private letters ; their 
insight is so deep, their estimate so just, their tone 
so much more beautiful than any Englishman can 

It was not from France alone that these voices 
came. From Holland, Denmark, Switzerland and 
remoter countries his old comrades sent their tribute. 
Of the Chinese testimonies one at least must be given 
here, a leader from the Peking Daily News, of gth 
March, 1918. It is anonymous, but it seems to have 
been written by his friend and comrade-in-arms 
against the opium traffic. Dr. Wu Lien Teh : 

" The world can ill spare such a man as was 
Joseph Gundry Alexander, and it cannot afford 
under any circumstances to forget such a one. Such 
as he are the salt of the earth, keeping their times pure 

• " With my deepest sympathy. I have never known a more 
high-minded or a more loyal and generous spirit than J. G. 

t " For twenty years we have fought together for peace and 
iustice. In this battle I have always found him in the front rank, 
giving to all an example of integrity, of clear good sense and of 
perfect courtesy." 


and their fellows whole and sane when all the current 
forces are against wholesomeness and sanity. Yet 
there has been for the past three and a half years 
such a long tale of the honoured dead that the world 
is apt to forget those who in the days and ways of 
peace strove with might and main to make the world 
a better place for their having lived in it ; and when 
these strivers have been men of retiring disposition, 
seeking not their own, but pursuing the path of right 
without requiring that their deeds should be trum- 
peted throughout the world, the danger lest they 
should be forgotten is all the greater. Yet they must 
not be forgotten. 

" The services that Joseph Gundry Alexander 
rendered to China were great, and all the greater 
since they were not designed for advertisement. . . 
. . [Here follows an outline of his work for the 
Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade.] . . 

" Mr. Alexander had possessed his soul in infinite 
patience, he had been tenacious of purpose, and at all 
times he had persistently refused to compromise 
the position that from the beginning the Society, of 
which he was secretary, had taken up. He was duly 
grateful for half -loaves, but he never regarded them 
as representing finality ; and his faith in the complete 
invincibility of his cause carried it to victory. He 
himself would be the last to suggest that he or the 
Society whose interests were so dear to his heart had 
abolished the opium traffic, but the onlooker who sees 
so much of the game, knows that he and the Society 
kept pubhc opinion informed, kept the issue alive, and 
never lost an opportunity of bringing the issue, 


whether in its main or in its minor phases, before 
successive Governments ; and so, when the time was 
ripe, pubHc opinion was ready formed, and the 
British Government could act in consonance with it 
and with its full support. 

" The abolition of the opium traffic needed the 
joint efforts of two sets of authorities, the Chinese 
as well as the British. The Chinese authorities had 
grown apathetic, until the closing years of the 
Empire, when Yuan Shih-k'ai had the wisdom to use 
[his great influence at court to urge the suppression 
of the traffic as far as possible, and was able to 
convince the British authorities of Chinese sincerity 
in the matter. There can be little question that had 
Mr. Alexander and his associates in England ever 
slackened their activities, allowed the subject to 
become a dead issue, and acquiesced in the then 
existing state of things, no amount of sincerity on the 
part of the Chinese Government would have availed 
to bring about the end of the traffic in ten years 
from the beginning of the new movement in China. 
The work that Mr. Alexander and his associates did 
kept the issue alive in both countries, convincing the 
Chinese authorities that they would have strong 
moral backing in Britain, and thus encouraging 
them to take the steps they did take, and, at the same 
time, educating public opinion in Britain in an 
admirable way. 

" Now that Mr. Alexander has passed away it is 
fitting that his name be not forgotten in the land for 
which he did so much, that at least these words of 
appreciation should be spoken, and that the tribute 



he himself would most have appreciated, a deter- 
mination to rid the land of other vices the indulgence 
in which can only result in the hindrance of progress 
and the postponement of the day of real freedom, be 
offered to his memory. ... He placed his 
whole powers at the disposal of the Anti-Opium cause 
with a faithfulness only equalled by his modesty, and 
with high ability only equalled by his zeal ; and were 
it not that the lives of such men are an inspiration 
the world would be much poorer by his passing." 

Such a determination as is here demanded has, 
in fact, found tangible expression in West China, 
where his name, together with that of a fellow Quaker 
and pacifist, an old American colleague on many 
fields of action, Benjamin F. Trueblood, has been 
associated with the foundation of an International 
Women's Institute at Chungking. Here, it is hoped, 
many of the women of China may be freed from the 
ignorance and oppression which has been the lot 
of their sex in the past. 

One other memorial to his memory, at Tunbridge 
Wells, is no less fitting in character than this. A 
fund was raised for paying off the debt on the High 
Brooms Adult School Hall. The way in which he 
had endeared himself to those working men of his 
own town who knew him, is expressed in the words 
of the honorary secretary of the Tunbridge Wells 
School, who wrote of " his loving-kindness and 
humility, bearing and forbearing with all of us." 

This humility, so generally noted by his friends, 
was not so apparent in his earlier life. It was one of 
those good fruits of the Spirit that mature with 


years of patient effort. Even in later life he had none 
of the false humility that tries to behttle success. 
His honesty was so frank that he sometimes told of 
things he had done with no thought of what those 
who heard might think of him for letting it be known. 
All he had done was in the path of duty ; and if he 
had achieved some notable success he was profoundly 
glad of it, though he .claimed no glory for himself. 
Shy he sometimes seemed, especially in the company 
of those whose outlook on life is commonly called 
worldly, but self-conscious he never was. He was as 
easy to photograph as he was to please. 

With this simple candour he combined, what one 
of his brothers-in-law singled out as a marked 
characteristic, an extraordinary control of his temper 
and tongue. Probably not one of his sons ever heard 
a hasty word that could hurt anyone pass his lips. 
He never gave rein to the strong impulse to score a 
point off an adversary, or to sparkle by some easy 
biting quip. He brought healing to many, pain to 

A few last words must be permitted from two 
others of his fellow-countrymen. Both extracts are 
from letters of Members of Pariiament who were 
associated with him in anti-opium work. " We had 
a great respect for him. His eye was single, and his 
heart was pure. Some of us — politicians— live in a 
world of compromise, and it is good for us to meet 
men to whom the good they see is absolute." 

" Your husband (I will not say was but) is one 
of the noblest men I ever knew. My own life covers 
nearly as long a span as his has done and I can truly 


say I never met a more unselfish, pure-minded, hum- 
ble, genuine Christian man. Of him it was emphati- 
cally true, as A. L. Waring wrote in her hymn, that 
he was ' content to fill a little space if Christ be glori- 
fied.' He never sought the praise of men, but he has 
had I am sure much more than that, the deep and 
abiding gratitude and appreciation of those who knew 
him, and the best appreciation of all — ' the Master 
praises, what are men ? ' " 

The words from the prophet Malachi, chosen by 
his wife for his memorial card, seem to sum up the 
whole : — 

" The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness 
was not found in Ms lips : he walked with me in peace and 
uprightness, and did turn many away from iniquity." 


Aberdeen, Earl of, 60. 

Adult Schools : at Leominster, 
23,24; at Tunbridge Wells, 
173. 203. 212. 

Africa, see Congo, Madagascar, 
Eg3rpt, Pemba, Zanzibar, Anti- 
Slavery work, &c. 

South, 183, see also War, 


Agadir crisis, 1S6, 188. 
Alexander, Ann, 21. 

Christopher J., 105, 193, 

194. 195. 201, 202. 

Edward, 25, 133. 

George, 22, 23. 

George William, 35. 

Gilbert C, 118, 195, 203. 

Horace G., 105, 194, 195, 


Joseph G., birth, 19 ; 

ancestry, 19-21 ; childhood, 

21 ; removal to Leominster, 

22 ; schooldajrs, 22-3 ; busi- 
ness and other activities at 
Leominster, 23-4 ; undertakes 
legal studies, 25 ; life at 
Reigate, 25 ; residence in Paris, 
26-8, 29, 33-4 ; religious out- 
look in early manhood, 26-7 ; 
mastery of French language, 
27 ; travels through France, 
28-9 ; early Quaker activities 
in England, 29 ; attitude to 
law, 31-2 ; Paris friendships, 
33-4 ; further French and 
Belgian tours, 34 ; studies 
German at Strasburg, 34 ; 
visits Holland, 35 ; attends 
International Law and Anti- 
Slavery Congresses, 35-7 ; 

approaches statesmen at the 
Congress of Berlin, 37 ; called 
to the Bar, 38 ; practice at the 
Bar, 38, 39 ; marriage, 38-9 ; 
setties at Croydon, 39 ; work 
in connection with Inter- 
national Law Association, 40- 
58 ; Hon. Sec. of LL.A., 45, 
51 ; papers read at LL.A. 
Congresses, 43-4, 46-8, 49-50, 
52-4, 54-5 ; his part in the 
Association's work, 56-8 ; work 
for the suppression of the Indo- 
Chinese opium trade, 59-97, 
124-147 ; secretary of the 
Society for the Suppression of 
the Opium Trade, 63 ; visits 
India and Burma with the 
Opium Commission, 65-81 ; 
gives evidence before the 
Commission, 68-9 ; is looked 
after by a man-servant, 72 ; 
S3niipatliy with missionaries, 72, 
80, and officials, 72 ; gives up 
his salary, 74-5 ; his attitude 
to Indians and others, 80 ; 
visits Ceylon, 82 ; Singapore, 
83 ; China, 84-95 ; his policy 
for the suppression of the 
opium trade, 88-9, 90-2, 94-6,- 
132-3, 145 ; visits Japan 
and Vancouver, 96 ; crosses 
America and returns home, 97 ; 
evangelistic work in France, 
Belgium, French Switzerland 
and the Vaudois yaUeys, 98- 
123 ; moves to Tunbridge Wells 
102 ; work for Madagascar 
missions, 1 19-120; forBasuto- 
land and Pemba, 120 ; for ex- 



priests, 120-2 ; understanding 
of French character, 122-3 I 
purposes of second visit to 
China, 126-7, 132-3 ; instance 
of his forgetfulness, 133 ; 
visits Ceylon, 133-4; ^^ 
" States and Straits," 134-7 '> 
China again, 137-47 '• ^^ faith 
in the Chinese, 148 ; visit to 
Japan, 148-50 ; California, 
150-1 ; returns home, 151 ; 
visits Scandinavia twice, 152-7 ; 
and German Quakers, 157-8 ; 
journey through Egypt, Pales- 
tine and Syria, 158-9 ; as a 
traveller, 159-60 ; and Congo 
Reform, 160-8 ; as the typical 
Quaker, 166-7 ; other anti- 
slavery work, 168 ; further 
work against the opium trade, 
1 68-70 ; work for the Society of 
Friends ; 170-2 ; activities at 
Tunbridge Wells, 172-3 ; inter- 
national peace congresses, 174- 
187 ; paper on arbitration, 
179-80 ; chairman of London 
congress, 180-1 ; paper on 
federation, 1 81-5 ; other peace 
organisations, 185-7; efifect of 
the war upon him, 188 ; his 
attitude to it, 189-90 ; various 
pacifist efforts, 190-2 ; 

journeys to France and Vaudois 
valleys, 192-6 ; assists con- 
scientious objectors, 196-7 ; 
opinion of armed sanctions, 
197-9 ; rejoices in the end of 
the opium trade, 200 ; further 
efforts for peace, 200-1 ; his 
confidence in the triumph of 
truth and love, 202 ; death of 
his son Christopher, 202 ; Jast 
illness and death, 203 ; funeral, 
203-4 ; some aspects of his 
character, 205-14. 

Alexander, Josephine, 38, 39, 75, 
92, 99, 105, T08, 115, 151, 
159. 203, 214. 

Mary Barber, 21, 25. 

Olive G., see Graham, Olive. 

Alexander, Samuel, 19, 21, 22,29. 

Samuel Joseph, 106-7, 112- 

14, 203. 

Sarah, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 


Sarah (Sally), 22, 23. 

Sarah Ann, 21, 25. 

Wilfrid B., 159, 195. 

r WiUiam, senr., 20. 

William, junr., 20. 

Alexanders' Lombard Street busi- 
ness, 20. 

Alldgret, M., French Protestant 

pastor, 119. 
Allen, WiUiam, 20. 
AlUer, M. Raoul, 166, 207. 
Alsace-Lorraine, 34, 101, 183, 

188, 195. 
Alsop, Christine, 22, 25, 26. 
Alsop, Robert, 26. 
Alverstone, Lord, see Webster, 

Sir Richard. 
America : South, exploitation of, 

168 ; see also United States 

and Canada. 
Amiens, 116. 
Amoy, 147. 
Anglo-German Understanding 

Congress, 186-7. 
Anglo-Indians, 72. 
Angola, 168. 

Anti-Opium work, see Opium-. 
Anti-Slavery work, 21, 35-6, 37, 

42, 43-4. 46. 49, 52-4. 120. 

Antwerp, 35, 36, 55. 
Arbitration, International, 42, 45, 

48, 51-2, 54-5, 149, 179-80, 

Arcachon, 105, 107. 
Arctic circle, 157. 
Arddche, department of, 114. 
Armaments, 178, 181. 
Armenia, 177. 
Armistead, J. J., 155. 
Amaud, M. Emile, 186. 
Asquith, H. H., 180. 
Assam, 75-76. 
Augagneur, M., Governor of 

Madagascar, 119-20. 



Australia, 134, 195. 
Austria, and Serbia, 187, 188, 

Baalbec, 159. 
Baker, J. Allen, 187. 
Balkans, 177, 184, 188. 
Balfour, A. J., 172, 181. 
Barber, Ann, see Alexander, Ann. 
Barclay, Sir T., 55. 
Basutoland, 120. 
Baty, Dr. Thomas, 57. 
Belgium, 34, 110-12, 160-8, 184, 

187, 189. 
Benares, 75, 77. 
Bergen, 155. 
Berlin : Congress of, 37, 43 ; 

Congo Conferenee at, 46, 160 ; 

visited by J.G.A., 37, 161-2. 
Bernard, Mme. Marie, 108. 
Berne Peace Bureau, 176, 178, 

186, 187, 190. 
Bemstorfi, Count, 161. 
Beyrout, 159. 

Bible, the, J.G.A. and, 81, 158. 
^oulle, 109. 

Birth of J. G. Alexander, 19. 
Bishops and Peace, 180-1. 
Bismarck, 100, 102. 
BluntschU, Professor, 46. 
Boer War, see War, Boer. 
Bombay, 65-8, 78, 81, 94. 
Bordeaux, 105-6, 108, 109. 
Bose, Mr., editor of a Calcutta 

journal, 70. 
Boston, 179. 
Boswell, James, 143-4. 
Boulanger, General, 100. 
Boulogne, 116. 
Boulogne-sur-Seine, 33. 
Bowles, Gilbert, 149. 
Brahmo-Somaj, 70-1. 
Braithwaite, J. Bevan, 25. 
Brassey, I.ord, 65, 69, 70. 
Bremen, 36. 
Brigh't, John, 173. 
Brighton, 22. 
British Columbia, 97. 
Brittany, 102, 118. 
Brooks, E. W., 162. 

Brown, A. K., 196. 

Brussels, 112, 162, 164-5, 187; 

Anti-Slavery Congress at, 

45-7. 160. 
Bryce, Viscount, 190. 
Bryne, Ame, 156. 
Buda-Pesth, 176. 
Buffalo, U.S.A., 51. 
Burma, 72-4, 81, 83-4. 
Burmese Government, 72-3. 
Burritt, Elihu, 175. 
Buxton, C. R., 197. 

Caine, W. S., 64. 

Calais, 116. 

Calcutta, 63-72, 73. 

California, 97, 150. 

Calne, 19. 

Cambridge Modem History, 
quoted, 78-9. 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., 

Canada, 97, 195. 

Canton, 88, 137. 

Capture of Private Property at 
Sea, see Private Property at 
Sea, Capture of. 

Carnarvon, Earl of, 63. 

CathoUcs, Roman, see Roman 

Cevennes, 114. 

Ceylon, 83, 133-4, i99- 

Chand, Prem, Baptist mission- 
ary at Gya, 76-7. 

Chang Chih-Tung, 89-93, I44- 

Chang, His Excellency, 94. 

Channel Islands, 171, 192. 

Charleroi, 1 10-12. 

Chartres, 116. 

Chatham, 20. 

Chefoo, 93 ; Convention of,- 60. 

Chentu, 141-3. 

Check Hong Cheong, 137-9. 

China, first interest in, 22, 26 ; 
opium trade with, 59-97, 124- 
147, 168-70, 200 ; Chinese in 
Burma, 73-4, 84 ; J. G. A.'s 
first visit to, 84-97 ; Chinese 
attitude to foreigners, 88, 89, 



91 ; Great Wall of, 93, 143-4 ; 
travel in, 93-4, 139-4°. 141. 
143, 144 ; J. G. A.'s second 
visit to, 137-148 ; Chinese 
character, 147-8 ; revolution 
in, 169 ; and Japan, 197 ; 
J. G. A. and, 209-12. 

Chungking, 140-1, 143-4. 
Church Rates, 20. 

Chritien Libre, le, 121. 

Christiama, 55, 155, 157. 

Christianity and War, 19, no. 
111-2, 126-7, 138, 189, 199. 
200-1, 207-8. 

Clark, Lilias A., 203. 

Cobden, Richard, 175. 

Coke, Sir Edward, 32. 

Colombo, 134. 

Colonies, 187, 195. 

Combretum sundiacum, cure for 
opium craving, 134, 137, 142. 

Comitfi Maritime International, 

Commons, House of, see Parlia- 

Commune, the Paris, 26. 

Condominium of New Hebrides, 

Cong^nies, 22, 107, 108, 114. 

Congo, 45, 46-8, 160-8, 177, 188. 

Conscientious objection to mili- 
tary service, 116, 196-7. 

Conscription, see MiUtary Service, 

Constance, 187. 

Copenhagen, 155, 157. 

Corsi, Marquis, 49. 

Courtney, Lord, 180. 

Courts-Martial, 197. 

Crete, 177. 

Crimean War, 175. 

Crosfield, Joseph, 38. 

Josephine, 38, 39 ; see also 

Alexander, Josephine. 

Croydon, 39, 102, 

Dalencourt, Mme. Justine, 33, 

100, 121, 122. 
Damascus, 158. 

Dane, Mr., representative of the 
Indian Government before the 
Opium Commission, 77-8. 

Darbhanga, Maharajah of, 65. 

Darby, Dr. W. Evans, 48. 

Davidson, Mary J., 141. 

Robert, J,, 142. 

Dead Sea, 158. 

Death of J. G. Alexander, 203. 

Delattre, M., 115. 

Delhi, 75. 

Dickinson, G. Lowes, igo, 197. 

W. H., 187. 

Doctors and Opium, 71, 77, 146. 
Dodsworth, Sir M., 169. 
Driberg, Mr., witness before 

Opium Commission, 75. 
Drumont, Anti- Jewish leader, 

Dublin, 39. 
Dumas, Jacques, 208. 

Economic Conference at Paris, 

Education : in China, 138 ; in 

Tunbridge Wells, 172 ; and 

Peace, 178, 181. 
Edward VII., King, 180. 
Edwardes, Sir Herbert, 69. 
Egede, Hans (apostle of Green- 
land), 157. 
Eglise Libre : in Bordeaux, 105. 
R6form6e : in Bordeaux, 

103 ; in Paris, ro8 ; and State 

Aid, 118. 
Egypt : 53 ; visited by J. G. A., 

ElUs, John E., 124, 131. 
Englishman, the, of Calcutta, 70. 
Entente Cordiale, the, 55, 184. 
Equator, 157. 
Eritrea, 50. 
Evans, Mr., Indian missionary, 

Ex-priests in France, 120-1. 

Fanshawe, A. V., 65. 
Fashoda, 105. 



Federation, Intematio&al, 178, 

Fellowship of Reconciliation, 192, 

Fitzmanrice, Lord Edmund, 47. 

Flekkefjord, 156. 

Flourens, M., French Foreign 
Minister, 101. 

Fontaine I'Evfique, 110. 

Foocho-w, 137. 

Forced Labour in the Congo, 161, 
162, 164. 

Foreign judgments, 40, 42. » 

Foreign settlements in Shanghai, 

Foster, Rev. Arnold, 146. 

Fowler, Sir Robert, 63. 

France, first interest in, 22 ; 
aiter Franco-German war, 
25-6 ; residence in, 26-8, 29, 
33-4, 105-8 ; travels through, 
28, 29, 34, 98-123, 160, 192-4, 
196 ; and Germany, 100, 183, 
184, 187 ; and Britain, 105, 
179, 184, 187 ; and New 
Hebrides, 168; and Turkey, 
177 ; and Italy, 179. 

Franco-British Exhibition, 118. 

Frankfort, 36, 37. 

Frederick, Emperor of Germany, 

37. i°i- 

Fredrikshavn, 157. 

Free Church Council, Tunbndge 
Wells, 172, 201. 

Free Trade, 178. 

Friend of China, The, 59, 60, 63, 

Friends' Christian Fellowship 
Union, 29. 

Foreign Mission Associa- 
tion. 119. 143. 159, i7°-i- 

Friends, Free (Fne Venner), in 
Norway, i55- 

Society of, 19 «< ««?• ' 

especiaUy 24, 26-7, 98-9. 
150-1, 152-8. 170-2. 202; ui 
France, 107, 108, 192 1 in 
Germany, 102, 157-8 ; 1° 
Scandinavia, 152-8 ; m Umted 
States, I50-I' 

Friends' War Victims' Relief 

Fund, 28. 
Fujiyama, 96. 
Funeral of J.G.A., 203-4. 

Gard, department of, 107, 108, 

Gautsch, German police officer, 

Geneva, 28, 115, 116, 177, 191. 
Genoa, 48. 

George, D. Lloyd, 180. 
German language, learnt by 

J.G.A. at Strasburg, 34. 
Germany : visits to, 3'6, 37, 45, 

102; 157-8, 161-2, 176 ; Society 

of Friends in, 102, 157-8 ; 

Militarism in, 37, zoo, 139-40 ; 

and France, 100, 183, 184, 187 ; 

and Britain, 179. 184. 186-7 ; 

and Belgium, 189, 190 ; Peace 

offer from, 199. 
Gilkes, Arthur H., 25. 
Gilly, no. 

Glacier House in the Rockies, 97- 
Gladstone, W. E., 63-4. 
Glasgow, 54, 56. 
Gospels : distribution of in 

France, 98 ; French people 

and the, 103. 
Gothenburg, 157. 
Graham, Olive, 202. 
Granville, Lord, 46. 
Great Wall of China, 93. 143-4- 
Gr6vy, President, loo-i. 
Grey, Sir E. (Viscount), 188. 
Grotius, Hugo, 32, I49- 
Guernsey, see Channel Islands. 
Gundry, Joseph Fry, 19- 

Mary Ann, 96. 

Sarah, see Alexander, Sarah. 

Gya, 65, 68, 76. 

Hague, The : visited by J.G.A., 

35, 164. 169; First Peace 

Conference at, 51; Second 

Peace Conference at, 149; 

Arbitration Tribunal, 51, 55. 
180, 183 ; Opium Conference 

at, 169 ; Conventions, 51, I49. 



Hamburg, 45. 

Hankow, 89-93, i44' 

Harris, J. H., 161-2. 

Hart, Sir Robert, 94. 

Havre, Le, 192. 

Heath, Carl, 181, 205-7. 

Herstmonceux, 171. 

High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells, 

Adult School at, 173, 212. 
Hobson, J. A., 197. 
Hodgkin, Dr. Henry T., 170. 
Holland, 180, 184 ; see also 

Hague, The. 
HomoeopatMc Hospital at 

Tunbridge Wells, 172, 203. 
Hongkong, 84-6, 88, 137, 139. 
Honolulu, 150. 
Hugo, Victor, 175. 
Hu-nan, 89. 

Iberian States, 179. 

Ichang, 140. 

Imperial Drug Trade, The, 128-9. 

India, opium trade with China, 

59-81, 124-147, 158-170, 200 ; 

visited by J. G. Alexander, 65- 

81 ; the Government of, 66i'-8, 

72-3. 75-8, 94, 103, 124, 129. 
Indipendance Beige, 165. 
Indians, 151. 
Indo-China, French, 169. 
Institute of International Law, 

36, 41- 
International Arbitration, see 

Arbitration, International, and 

Hague, The. 

Federation, see Federation, 


Friends' Institute, Chung- 
king, 143, 212. 

Law, 25, 26, 35-7, 40-58, 

149, 174. 176, 178, 186, 190. 

Opium Commission and 

Convention, 169. 

Peace, see Peace. 

Tribunals, see Hague, The. 

Unions, 183. 

Inter-Parliamentary Union, 184. 
Ipoh, 134, 135. 

Ireland, 39, 122. 

Italy, 44, 45, 104, 112-114, 133, 
162-3, 176, 194-5 ; and 
Tripoli, 163, 177; and Great 
Britain, 179 ; and France, 179. 

JafEa, 159. 

Japan : and opium, 83, 134 ; 

J.G.A's first visit to, 96 ; and 

Manchurija, 139 ; J. G. A.'s 

second visit to, 148-50. 
Japan Peace Society, 149-50, 

Java, opium in, 169. 
Jay, Allen, 28. 
Jaypore, 78. 
Jericho, 158. 

Jersey, see Channel Islands. 
Jerusalem, 158. 
John, Dr. Griffith, 90^3. 
Johnson, Dr., 143-4. 
Jones, Sir William, 32. 
Jordan, river, 158. 
Josephus's History of the Jews, 22. 
Judgments, Foreign, see Foreign 


Kent, 196 ; J.G.A. a County 

Magistrate in, 172. 
KicMng-Horse Canyon in the 

Rockies, 97. 
Kimberley, Earl of, 63. 
Kobe, 148, 149. 
Kriiger, Hermann, 34, 100, io8, 

iig; family of, 192. 
Kuala Lumpur, 134-6. 
Kvinesdal, 156. 
Kwei-chou-fu, 140. 
Kyoto, 149. 

La Fontaine, Henri, 183, 

Lambeth Conference, 180. 

Land-tenure in fte Congo, 164. 

La Rochelle, 108, 109, 115. 

La Teste, 107-8. 

Lausanne, 115. 

Law : study of, 25-38 ; attitude 

to, 31-2 ; practice of, 38, 39 ; 

International, see International 

Law ; Maritime, see Maritime 




Lawson, Sir Wilfrid, 59. 
Lawyers and Christianity, 31-2. 
League of Nations, 190, 197-9. 
Lebanon, the, 159. 
Leominster, 22-5. 
Leopold, King of the Belgians, 

47-8, 160-8. 
Let no man despise thy youth, 

Liberty of Conscience, 178. 
Libre Parole, La, 103. 
Lidge, III. 

Li Hung-Chang, 93, 95-6. 
Lille, 116. 
Lincoln's Inn, 29. 
Liverpool, 45. 
Lo Feng-Ix), 95. 
Lofoten Islands, 157. 
London Missionary Society, 84. 
Longevity of Alexander family, 


Longuet, Jean, 19 r. 

Lords, House of, see ParUament. 

Lucknow, 75. 

Lundquist, J., 153. 

Luxemburg, 187. 

Lyall, Sir J. B., 65, 69, 73. 

Ljom, Alfred, 156-7. 

Lyons, 115. 

Machines, 107. 
Madagascar, 53, 119-20. 
Magistrate, Kent County, J.G.A. 

as, 172, 203. 
Maidstone, 197, 202-3. 
Majolier, Christine, see Alsop, 

Malacca, 134, 136. 
Malay peninsula, 134-7. 
Manchuria, 139. 
Mandalay, 78. 
Margary, Mr. murder of in China, 

Maritime Law, 40-1, 42, 45. 
Marriage of J. G. Alexander, 38-9. 
Marsh, T. W. and A. W., 100-2. 
Martyr-nation policy, 198-9. 
Mauimain, 83. 
Maw, W. A., 141. 
McAU, Dr. R. W., 28, 29, 100. 

McAU Mission in France, 28, 29, 
102, 105, 108, 114, 192. 

Mian, 44, 45, 133, 162. 

Militarism : in Germany, 37, 
too ; in France, 103 ; in 
England, iii ; missionaries 
and, 126-7, 147 ; in China, 148 ; 
in Japan, 148-9. 

MiUtary Service, compulsory, 
152, 161, 181, 196-7. 

Miller, Jane, of Edinburgh, 100- 


Minden, 102, 157. 

Ming Tombs, 93. 

Missions and Missionaries (Chris- 
tian) : in India, 66, 70, 72, 76, 
79, So, 94 ; in China, 84, 88, 
89-93, 137-147 ; in Madagascar, 
119-20 ; in Basutoland, 120 ; 
in Pemba, 120 ; in the Malay 
Peninsula, 135 ; in Japan, 149 ; 
in Syria, 159 ; in the Congo, 
160-1 ; and militarism, 126-7, 
138, 146-7 ; and education, 
138 ; and opium, 145-6. 

Mons, 112. 

Montauban, 104, 109, 115. 

Morales et Religions, quoted, 

Morel, E. D., 161. 

Morley, John (Viscount), 96, 

Morocco, 53, 177, 181. 

Morrison, Mrs., widow of Chinese 
pioneer missionary, 22. 

Moule, Archdeacon, 147. 

Mowfcray, R. G. C, M.P., 65. 

Muirhead. Dr., of Shanghai, 88. 

Munich, 176. 

Nabuco, Senhor, of the Brazil 
Anti-Slavery Society, 44. 

Namur, 112. 

Nanking, 93. i44' 

Nanko Pass, 93. 

Nantes, 192. 

National Peace Council, 186, 189- 
190, 191, 199. 207- 

Native States of India, 65, 78. 

Neild, Dr, F., 203. 



Neutralisation, Intemational.iyS. 
New Hebrides, i68. 
Newman, T. P., i86. 
Newspapers, in India, 70. 
New York, 97, 151. 
New Zealand and Opium, 134. 
Niagara Falls, 97, 151. 
Nigeria, 53. 
Nilgiri Hills, 82. 
Ntmes, 107. 
Ning-po, 147. 

Norway, Society of Friends in, 

OberMrchen, 157. 

Oie (Norway), 156. 

Oliver, Professor, of Peking, 94. 

Opium : and the Christian 
Churches in China, 132-3, 

Opium Commission, British ; 
appointment of, 64 ; begins 
its sittings in Calcutta, 68 ; 
part goes to Burma, 72 ; visits 
Patna, 77 ; Benares, 77 ; 
ends its sittings ajid issues its 
report, 78-9 ; evidence from 
Straits Settlements, 83 ; 
Chinese newspaper and the, 
89 ; report considered in the 
House of Commons, 124-5 '• 
analysed by Joshua Rowntree, 

Commission, International, 


Dens : in Gya, 68 ; in 

Hongkong, 84-6 ; in Shanghai, 
86-8 ; in Vancouver, 96. 

Farm in Hongkong, 86. 

Smoking : in India, 66-71, 

7S-8o ; in Burma, 72-4, 83-4 ; 
in the Straits Settlements, 83, 
169 ; in Japan, 83 ; in China, 
84-96, 132-3, 168-70 ; in 
Ceylon, 153-4 : in Java, 169. 

SmuggUng, 97. 

Trade, Society for the Sup- 
pression of the : early enthu- 
siasm of, 59-60 ; set back of, 
60-1 ; Joint Board, 61-2 ; 

J. G. A. and, 61-3, 210-12 ; 
J. G. A. becomes its secretary, 
63 ; visits India as its repre- 
sentative with the Royal 
Commission, 65-81 ; attitude 
of Chang Chih-Tung to, 89- 
92 ; policy of Li Hung 
Chang and, 95 ; after the 
Commission Report, 124-5 •" 
after the House of Commons' 
vote of 1906, 130-3 ; after the 
1908 treaty, 168-170; joyful- 
funeral, zoo. 
Osaka, 149. 

Pacific Ocean, 150. 

Pacifism : in Japan, 150 ; see 
also Peace. 

Paimpol, 118, 192. 

Paix par le Droit, Soci£t£ de la, 
191, 208. 

Palestine, 158-60. 

Pan-American Union, 184. 

Paris : 25, 26-8, 29, 33-5, loo-i, 
104, ro8, 120, 121, 162,- 175, 
176, 187, 191, 192, 195. 

Paris Economic Conference, 197. 

ParhEiment, 59-61, 63-4, 124-5, 
129-31, 165, 172. 

Parsees, 66, 81. 

Pascal, 31. 

Passive Resistance to Education 
Act, 172. 

Passy, Frfidfiric, 100, 165, 176. 

Patent Law, 36. 

Patna, 65, 75. 

Peace : between France and 
Germany, 100-2 ; work for 
Peace in China, 137-9, 147 ; 
work in Japan, 148-50 ; inter- 
national movement, 174-187. 

Peace Bureau, see Berne. 

Congresses, Universal, 133, 

162, 164, 174-187. 

Council, National, see 

National Peace Council. 

Society, 185, 192. 

Sunday, 147. 

Pearce, Rev. M., of Hongkong, 84. 
Pease, Arthur, 65, 73, 74. 



Pease, Sir Joseph, 60, 63, 95, 124. 

Pe-chih-li, 93. 

Peking, 93-3, 132. 

Pemba, 120. 

Peaang, 134. 

Penn, William, 25, 208. 

Perak, 134. 

Persia, 47, 53. 

Perth (W.A.), Bishop of, 181. 

Philadelphia, 97. 

PhilUmore, Lord, 48. 

Mr. G. G., 51, 56. 

Phillips, Dr., at Jaypore, 78. , 

Pius X., 163. 

Pl3nnouth, 151. 

Poland, 188. 

Pons, M., Moderator of the 

Vaudois Church, 1 14. 
Pontresina, 38. 
Pope, the (Pius X.), 163. 
Portugal, 179. 
Pradel, Mme. de, 33. 
Pressens6, M. de. Senator, 100, 

Price, Samuel, 1:58-60. 
Princip6, 168. 
Prison, 197, 202-3. 
Private Property at Sea, Capture 

of, 181, 187. 
Prize Court, International, 183-4. 
Protestant Churches : in France, 

99, 104, 105, 107, 109, 1 16-9, 

121,182,196; in Belgium, 1 10, 

Puech, Mme., of Pans, 207. 
Putumayo, 168. 

Quakers, see Friends, Society of. 

|Races Congress, Universal, 186. 
Raju Naidu, 135. 
Rangoon, 73, 81. 
Ray, Isha Chandra, Indian 

doctor, 77-8. 
Reichstag, 161-2. 
Reigate, 25, 38. 

Replogle, Charles and May, 153. 
Revoyre, L^n, 121-2. 
Richard, Henry, M.P., 45, 175. 
Richard, Dr. Timothy, 147. 

Richet, Charles, 207-8. 

Richmond, Ind., 151. 

Riviera, 114. 

Roanne, 115. 

Roberts, Mr., Chinese missionary 

Mr. P. E., 78-9. 

Lord, 185. 

Sir William, 65, 71, 73. 

Rochefort, 104. 
Rochester, 20. 

Rocky Mountains, 97. 
RoUand, Romain, 191. 
Roman CathoUcs, 103, 104-5, 121, 

Rome, 163. 
Ronsart, 110. 
Rosebery, Lord, 124. 
Rouen, 52. 

Rowntree, Joshua, 128-9. 
Russia and China, 139. 
Ruyssen, Professor Th., 192, 209. 
Ryots, 76. 

Sakatani, Baron, 197. 
Salisbury, Lord, 37, 47. 
Sanctions of International Justice, 

San Francisco, 150, 
San Remo, 101-2. 
San Thom6, 168. 
Scandinavia, 152-7, 179, 184. 
Schools, J. G. A. at, 22, 23 ; 

Friends' and opium trade, 126. 
Schnaebele, French police oflScer, 

Scotland, 122. 
Selangor, 134. 
Sermon on the Mount, The, 109, 

Shaftesbury, Lord, 59. 
Shan Chiefs, 74. 
Shanghai, 86-9, 93, 137, 138-9, 

145-7. 169. 
Shanghai Missionary Conference, 

127. 145-7- 
Sharp, Isaac, 158. 
Shin Pao, Shanghai newspaper, 

Shoreham, 201. 



Shropshire, 29. 
Singapore, 83, 134, 136. 
Slavery, see Anti-Slavery work. 
Slave-trade, see Anti-Slavery 

Smith, Till Adam, 23. 
Sohagpur, 65. 
Somme Campaign, 196. 
Soochow, 139. 
Sorbonne, The, 26. 
South African War, see War, 

South America, see America, 

Southampton, 151. 
Sovde, 154. 
Spain, 179. 
Sphinx, The, 158. 
Stanley Park, Vancouver, 97. 
State Aid of Churches in 

France, 118. 
State Equality, 178. 
Statesmanship, 96. 
Stavanger, 153-5, 156-7. 
Stockholm, 181. 
St. Quenrin, 116. 
Straits Settlements, 83, 134-7, 169. 
Strassburg, 34, 35. 
Sturge, Joseph, 175. 
Sunbeam, The, 70. 
Sunday Schools : at Reigate, 25 ; 

Conference in Dublin, 29. 
Sun Yat Sen, Dr., 169. 
Sussex, 171, 196, 203. 
Swatow, 137. 
Switzerland, 28, 115-6, 176, 177. 

Tachoo, 141, 143, 

Taipeng, 134-5. 

Tananarive, 1191 

Taylor, Frederick, 22. 

Theodore C, 129, 213-4. 

Temperance Work : at Leomin- 
ster, 24 ; at Reigate, 25 ; in 
India, 67-70 ; in France, 105 ; 
in Kent, 172-3. 

Terrell, Charles D., 102-3, 106, 
108, 118, 192, 193. 

Thakeham, 25. 

Thibaw, Chief of, 74. 

Thobum, Bishop, 69. 

Tientsin, 93, 95. 

Times, The, 124-5, 132. 

Tokyo, 96, I49-50. 

Tong, Mr., of Shanghai, 139. 

Toronto, 97. 

Torre Pellice, 113. 

Toulmin, Sir George, 213. 

Treaties, 43, 54-5, 169, 179. 

Tribunals, Military Service, 197. 

Tribune, The, of London, 134. 

Tripoli, 53, 163, 177. 

Trondhjem, 157. 

Trueblood, Benjamin F., 212. 

Tsai Sih-Yung, 89-92. 

Tso, Mr., Commissioner at 

Chentu, 142. 
Tsung-li-Yam&i (Council of 

Ministers), 90, 93-5. 
Tunbridge Wells, 102, 171-3, 

201-2, 203-4, 212. 
Tung-chwan, 141. 
Tung-liang, 141. 
Tunis, 53. 
Turin, 104, 176. 
Turkey, 43, 47, 177. 
Twiss, Sir Travers, 44. 

U-boat war, 199. 

Uganda, 53. 

Union of Democratic Control, 199. 

Unions Cadettes, of French stu- 
dents, 104. 

Union University, Chentu, 143. 

United States of America : first 
visit to, 96-7 ; second visit to, 
51 ; third visit to, 179 ; fourth 
visit to, 150-1 ; and opium, 
169 ; and League of Nations, 

Universal Peace Congresses, set 

Races Congress, i86. 

Vancouver, 96. 
Vaud, canton of, 115. 
Vaudois Valleys, 112-4, 116, 

Veharidas, Haridas, 65. 
Veile (Denmark), 157. 


Venezuela, 177. 

Vigten Islands, 155. 157. 

Villar, 113. 

Wade, Sir Thomas, 60. 

Waldenses, 112-14, 116. 

Wallace, Dr., Medical Practi- 
tioner in Calcutta, 71. 

War : War and Retribution, 19 ; 
Franco-German, 25 ; and 
Christianity, see Christianity 
and War ; War against War, 
no; Boer, no-12, 114-15, 
176, 177 ; Crimean, 175 ; the 
Great, 187-202. 

Webb, Alfred, M.P., 63, 64. 

Webster, Sir Richard (Lord 
Alverstone), 48, 56. 

Weston-super-Mare, 23. 

Whittier, Cal., 150. 

Wight, Isle of, 171. 

Williams, Mr., missionary in 
India, 76. 


Wilson, Henry J., M.P., 65-70. 
124. •> 1^1 

President, 187, 199. 

Wolverhampton, Lord,5«e Fowler, 

Wong, Mr., editor of Chinese 
newspaper at Shanghai, 89. 

— — Pastor, of Hongkong, 84. 

Workers, Industrial, m, Jc 
1 16-7. ^' 

World AlUance of the Churches. 
186-7, 195- 

Worthing, 201. 

Wu-chang, 89. 

Wu Lien Teh, Dr., 169, 209-12. 

Yang-tse-kiang (river), 89, 139- 

141, 144. 
Y.M.C.A. : French, 27, 33, 105 • 

Dutch, 35. 
Yokohama, 96. 
Yonne, department of, 108. 

Zanzibar, 47, 50, 52-4, 120. 

Headley Bros., Ashford, Kent, & I8 Devonshire St.,E. C.3. 

"Chungking is situated on the Yangtse, about 1,500 miles from the sea. It was opened 
"as a Treaty Port in 1890, since when its international trade has increased by leaps and 
"bounds. It has been called the Liverpool of Western China. It is in the centre of 
"the richest part of the province of Szechwan, in a region where coal and iron abound. 
"This district can be made to supply much that is now needed by the world to repair 
"the devastation caused by the war. When the Siberian Railway is again in working 
"order, Chungking will only be about twenty-five days from London. It has a large and 
"growing international community, consisting of merchants. Customs officials, doctors, 
missionaries and sailors, representing the principal navies of the world. Steam naviga- 
tion on the Upper Yangtse is now an accomplished fact. A few years ago this journey 
took thirty days; now it is done in four." 
"The population of Chungking is estimated to be over 500,000. Its area is greatly restricted 
by the rivers Yangtse and Chialing which flow beneath its walls, forming a small peninsula 
upon which are crushed together this half million souls." 

Over-crowding, with all its attendant evils, is past belief. The climate is damp. Disease 
and death are rampant. The social conditions are crushing. It is estimated that 60% 
of the population have tuberculosis in some form, while among the women the Institute 
is seeking to help it is estimated to be as high as 80%. The majority of them are, more 
or less, invalids. Poor women are more healthy because they are more out of doors." 

Chungking is a wicked city and becomes more and more so as its intercourse with 

Western life increases. The moral poisons of Europe spread with alarming rapidity in 

Asia, and the Chinese learn our vices more quickly than our virtues. Surely it is 

incumbent upon those who have commercial relations with China to do all in their 

"power to help her obtain that which is the real secret of our strength and character. 

"Good men and women must bestir themselves and enable China to get the best of our 

"civilization. It will pay to do this both commercially and morally. It will help to 

"secure the future of trade and of peaceful development, but to withold our highest and 

"best from this great awakening nation, giving her only the demoralizing things of our 

"civilization, can only result in commercial, political, and moral ruin national and inter- 

" national. It will be sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind." 

";Notwithstanding all these terrible disadvantages, the fact remains that Chungking is the 
"greatest trading centre of Western China. E. H. Parker, in the new edition of his 
"book, 'China, Her History, Diplomacy, and Commerce,' speaks of it as a 'vast mart' of 
"exceptional importance, made so by the recent development of many new features of 
"trade. He refers to the 'vast commerce of its feeding rivers,' and to cotton goods, raw 
"cotton, and cotton yarn as being its chief imports. 'Chungking, representing Tibet, is 

In Memory of 
Joseph Gundry Alexander, llb. 

Dear Sir, or Madam, 

The object of this circular is to call your attention to a practical Memorial which it 
is intended to erect in Chungking, West China, in memory of Joseph Gundry Alexander, 
LL.B., who for more than a quarter of a century was Hon. Editor of "The Friend of 
China," and devoted himself to the suppression of the Anglo-Indian Opium Trade, which 
was brought to an end in 1917, a short time before J. G. Alexander's death. 

Mr. Theodore Taylor, M.P., who after the death of Sir Joseph Pease became the 
leader of the Anti-Opium Movement in the House of Commons, said on one occasion in 
replying to a vote of thanks to himself: 

"Thanks were due primarily and most conspicuously to Mr. Alexander, who during long 

"years of hard and thankless spade work had prepared the ground for the victory at last 


In addition to his labours in Europe on beiiaif of the Anti-Opium cause, J. G. Alexander's 

love and enthusiasm for the welfare of the people of China led him, notwithstanding 

advancing years, and none too robust health, to undertake long and arduous journeys in 

China. First in 1895, and later during 1906-7, he visited and lectured in the principal 

cities from Canton, in the south, to Chengtu, in the far west. 

The Committee of the International Friends' Institute, Chungking, has decided to asso- . 
ciate the name of Mr. Joseph Gundry Alexander with the Women's new building, in 
recognition of his life of service and sacrifice on behalf of China, and in a pamphlet printed 
by them in China they remark: 

"Such great events as the cessation of the Opium Trade between India and China are 
"too near to be appreciated at their full value, but in time to come multitudes of Chinese 
"will hold sacred and honour men who, like Joseph Gundry Alexander, fought for their 
"emancipation from so great a curse. The Women's International Friends' Institute will 
"be a good Memorial to him in West China, and will be an inspiration to many to labour 
"on in the still greater cause, the liberation of China's womanhood." 

A few sentences from the pamphlet may now be quoted to show the need of such an 
international Institute for the women of Chungking, and of the importance and character 
of the city itself: 

the drug exporting place par excellence of China.' In the near future there is Ukely to 
"be a great demand for machinery, engineering, and electricity." 

"Already the influence of the Institute is having a beneficial effect on the life of this 
great city. Among the many things it is doing may be mentioned: 

"(l). It is an interpreter of the East to the West and the West to the East, showing 

"the best in both." 

"(2). It is working for better sanitation, for the spread of a knowledge of hygiene, and 
of preventive medicine; for the welfare of the children, and for better homes." 

"(3). It seeks to improve the lot of woman, and to help her to her rightful place in the 
"New Republic. This is probably the greatest need of the city, and towards this branch 
"of the work special support is asked." 
"(4). The Institute seeks to shew the higher classes their duty towards those below them." 

"(5). Most important of all, the Institute exists to shew that Jesus Christ is the secret 
of peace, strength, and freedom for all mankind. For this work we seek the support of 
"all who desire the unity of the world and the spread of international brotherhood and 
"good will." 

Such an Institute we are told is peculiarly needed in Chungking, because the city is 
terribly overcrowded, and the ladies even of the richer class have little or no opportunity 
of escaping from their homes to the purer air of the country outside, and most of them 
in consequence suffer from poor health. 

An excellent site for the new building has been acquired in a high position command- 
ing a view across the Yangtse, so that the ladies can emerge from behind the high walls 
of their home courts and obtain views of the river and the hills beyond, they will also 
enjoy the luxury of a garden and its flowers. 

The estimated cost of the site, building and furniture is 50,000 dollars, half of which 
it is hoped may be raised in China (although the difficulties to be overcome before Chinese 
men can conquer the prejudice of centuries against raising the status of their women must 
not be underestimated) and the rest in America and in this country, and a list of some of 
the subscriptions already received is appended. 

It is a work of Christian Internationalism and Social Service which has already had 
the approval and support of many men of different nationalities, and any help you can 
offer will be much appreciated. 

Contributions may be sent to Henry T. Hodgkin, M.A., M.B., 15, Devonshire Street, 
Bishopsgate, London, E.C. 2, or to George M. Gillett, J. P., L.C.C., 58, Lombard Street, 

London, E.G. 3. The scheme has the full approval of both these Friends, as well as of 
A. Warburton Davidson, and Bernard Wigham, of the Friends' Foreign Mission Asso- 
ciation, who have given much time to the work of the Men's Institute in Chungking. 

The pamphlet printed in China, as mentioned above, can be obtained from Dr. Hodgkin, 
if desired. As only a limited number of these pamphlets are in hand it is, however, 
requested that if one is sent it may (if convenient) be returned again after perusal. 

Yours very truly, 
89, Hornsey Lane, EDWARD ALEXANDER. 

HiGHGATE, N. 6. 

July, 1920. 

Contributions, given or promised, to the Building and Furnishing Fund of the Women s 
International Institute, Chungking, West China: 

AMERICAN CONTRIBUTORS (of $100 and upwards): 

Mrs. Scattergood .. ... ... •■• $1000.00 

Anonymous (Chicago) ••■ 500 

Anonymous (Chicago) ••■ lOO 

Haverford College ... ••• ... •■■ ... ••• ■■• ■• 100 

Montgomery Ward & Co. (Chicago) •■• ... ••• ■■■ 100 

Alfred Scattergood ■•• ... ■•• •■■ ••• ••• 100 

George Vaux . ■ • ... ■ ■ • — ■ . . 1 00 

BRITISH CONTRIBUTORS (of £20 and upwards): 

Trustees of Robert Arthington Fund ••■ ... ••■ ■■• £300 

Anonymous •• -^^O 

Ditto ... - 100 

E. Alexander ••• ••• 100 

William A. Cadbury ... ■•■ 100 

J. B. Crosfield ... ■•■ 100 

James N. Richardson ■•• • •• ^0 

Joseph Rowntree ••• •■■ ••• •■ ^0 

Alfred Simpson (the late) ^0 

Charles E. Jacob ... ■•• ... ^^ 

William A. Albright ... 30 

W. Waterhouse Gibbins "5 

Juliet Grace 25 

Francis Godlee •• ••• ^0 

J. Edward Grace ... ■•• ••■ 20 

Alfred E. Horsnaill •■• •■• ■•■ ■•• 20 

Ethel M. Mounsey •. •■■ •■ 20 

George Robinson & Co. 20 

M. Louisa Wilson ••• 20 

The total amount received to date, including American contributions, is £2,000. At least 
£4,000 will be required, if American and British supporters contribute their half of the $50,000.