[Printed pamphlet in defence of the British House of Lords.] Civilisation and the Constitution. A Catechism.

Graham Bower [Sir Graham John Bower, RN] (1848-1933), Irish-born British colonial official, Imperial Secretary to High Commissioners for Southern Africa, 1884-1897 [Parliament; House of Lords]
Publication details: 
Without place or date. [South Africa, 1880s or 1890s.]
SKU: 13410

2pp., 4to. On the rectos of the two leaves of a bifolium. Signed in type at end 'GRAHAM BOWER.' On laid paper with 'SOUTHERN CROSS | FINE QUALITY' watermark, suggesting, with the typographic style, that it was written during the period of that he served as Imperial Secretary. Very good, on lightly aged and creased paper. Consisting of nineteen answers to questions ranging from 'What is civilisation?' to 'But in England people are too civilised to act oppressively or unjustly?' and 'How can we protect the People against log rolling?' Bower's point of view is that Britain needs 'an efficient Second Chamber which shall have power to refer all doubtful questions to the people for decision. This Second Chamber might be either elective or nominee or indirectly elective, or hereditary, and the reference to the People might be either by referendum that is by putting a direct question to the people or by a general election. But the referendum, that is to say, the direct vote of the People is the more just and satisfactory of the two.' To the last question, 'Is it true that the question before us is that of Peers versus People?', Bower replies: 'It is not true, and the Peers are fighting for the Veto of the People. It is true therefore to say that the Peers are for the People. For Freedom and for civilisation.' Excessively scarce: no copies on COPAC or OCLC WorldCat, and no reference to it in the monograph by Schreuder and Butler, 'Sir Graham Bower's secret history of the Jameson Raid and the the South African crisis, 1895-1902' (Van Riebeeck Society, 2002).