VII. ALONG THE EAST COAST
You hear of no legitimate enterprise fostered by these lessees, of no development of natural resources, but, instead, you are told tales of sickening cruelty, and you can read in the consular reports others quite as true; records of heartless treatment of natives, of neglect of great resources, and of hurried snatching at the year's crop and a return to the Coast, with nothing to show of sustained effort or steady development. The incompetence of Portugal cannot endure. Now that England has taken the Transvaal from the Boer, she will find the seaport of Lorenco Marquez too necessary to her interests to much longer leave it in the itching palms of the Portuguese officials. Beira she also needs to feed Rhodesia, and the Zambesi and Chinde Rivers to supply the British Central African Company. Farther north, the Germans will find that if they mean to make German Central Africa pay, they must control the seaboard. It seems inevitable that, between the two great empires, the little kingdom of Portugal will be crowded out, and having failed to benefit either herself or anyone else on the East Coast, she will withdraw from it, in favor of those who are fitter to survive her.
There is no more interesting contrast along the coast of East Africa than that presented by the colonies of England, Germany, and Portugal. Of these three, the colonies of the Englishmen are, as one expects to find them, the healthiest, the busiest, and the most prosperous. They thrive under your very eyes; you feel that they were established where they are, not by accident, not to gratify a national vanity or a ruler's ambition, but with foresight and with knowledge, and with the determination to make money; and that they will increase and flourish because they are situated where the natives and settlers have something to sell, and where the men can bring, in return, something the natives and colonials wish to buy. Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, and Zanzibar belong to this prosperous class, which gives good reason for the faith of those who founded them.
On the other hand, as opposed to these, there are the settlements of the Portuguese, rotten and corrupt, and the German settlements of Dar Es Salaam and Tanga which have still to prove their right to exist. Outwardly, to the eye, they are model settlements. Dar Es Salaam, in particular, is a beautiful and perfectly appointed colonial town. In the care in which it is laid out, in the excellence of its sanitary arrangements, in its cleanliness, and in the magnificence of its innumerable official residences, and in their sensible adaptability to the needs of the climate, one might be deceived into believing that Dar Es Salaam is the beautiful gateway of a thriving and busy colony. But there are no ramparts of merchandise along her wharves, no bulwarks of strangely scented bales blocking her water-front; no lighters push hurriedly from the shore to meet the ship, although she is a German ship, or to receive her cargo of articles "made in Germany." On the contrary, her freight is unloaded at the English ports, and taken on at English ports. And the German traders who send their merchandise to Hamburg in her hold come over the side at Zanzibar, at Durban, and at Aden, where the English merchants find in them fierce competitors. There is nothing which goes so far to prove the falsity of the saying that "trade follows the flag" as do these model German colonies with their barracks, governor's palace, officers' clubs, public pleasure parks, and with no trade; and the English colonies, where the German merchants remain, and where, under the English flag, they grow steadily rich. The German Emperor, believing that colonies are a source of strength to an empire, rather than the weakness that they are, has raised the German flag in Central East Africa, but the ships of the German East African Company, subsidized by him, carry their merchandize to the English ports, and his German subjects remain where they can make the most money. They do not move to those ports where the flag of their country would wave over them.
Dar Es Salaam, although it lacks the one thing needful to make it a model settlement, possesses all the other things which are needful, and many which are pure luxuries. Its residences, as I have said, have been built after the most approved scientific principles of ventilation and sanitation. In no tropical country have I seen buildings so admirably adapted to the heat and climatic changes and at the same time more in keeping with the surrounding scenery. They are handsome, cool-looking, white and clean, with broad verandas, high walls, and false roofs under which currents of air are lured in spite of themselves. The residences are set back along the high bank which faces the bay. In front of them is a public promenade, newly planted shade-trees arch over it, and royal palms reach up to it from the very waters of the harbor. At one end of this semicircle are the barracks of the Soudanese soldiers, and at the other is the official palace of the governor. Everything in the settlement is new, and everything is built on the scale of a city, and with the idea of accommodating a great number of people. Hotels and cafes, better than any one finds in the older settlements along the coast, are arranged on the water-front, and there is a church capable of seating the entire white population at one time. If the place is to grow, it can do so only through trade, and when trade really comes all these palaces and cafes and barracks which occupy the entire water-front will have to be pushed back to make way for warehouses and custom-house sheds. At present it is populated only by officials, and, I believe, twelve white women.