1906:清宪政考察大臣载泽在伦敦皇家咖啡厅演讲

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英国《泰晤士报》1906年4月11日 译者:李岩

英商中华会社(The China Association)昨晚在伦敦摄政街皇家咖啡厅(Café Royal)设宴,宴请正在英国访问的大清帝国考察团大臣“镇国公载泽亲王、李盛铎、尚其亨一行”,众多商人、银行家以及在华贸易相关人员出席作陪。

英商中华会社会长R• S •甘椎先生(Mr R S Gundry CB)坐主席位,其他在座人员有参随左秉隆(Tso Ping Lung)、Mr. Chu Yen、陈恩涛(Captain Cheng En Tao)、 Mr. Chou Shao-Po;英国外交次臣菲兹莫里斯勋爵(Lord Fitzmaurice)、陆军元帅R•特里西爵士(Sir R. Tracey)、埃里克•巴灵顿爵士(Sir Eric Barrington)、陆军中将拜文•爱德华兹爵士(Sir Bevan Edwards,注:在《泰晤士报》4月3日报道中,拜文爵士军衔为陆军上将)、帕特里克•曼森爵士(Sir Patrick Manson)、艾里森•马卡尼先生(Mr. Ellison-Macartney)、W•罗伯逊爵士(Sir W. Robinson)、 议员约瑟夫•瓦尔顿先生(Mr. Joseph Walton, M.P.)、C•P•卢卡斯先生(Mr. C. P. Lucas)、W•亚当逊先生(Mr. W. Adamson)、H•S•威尔肯逊爵士(Sir H. S. Wilkinson)、托马斯•杰克逊爵士(Sir Thomas Jackson)、阿尔佛莱德•丹特爵士(Sir Alfred Dent)、G•考斯顿先生(Mr. G. Cawston)和名誉秘书J•韦尔奇先生(Mr. J. Welch)。

众人为“英国国王”和“大清皇帝”的健康敬酒。

英商中华会社会长为镇国公载泽和其同行的健康敬酒,并表示英商中华会社——代表英国和英国在华居民利益的机构——欢迎尊贵的客人,欢迎他们在欧洲考察,了解英国政府政制和政府部门运作。该会会长表示,虽然考场团一行停留时间短暂,令人遗憾,但他可以肯定的是,考察团将把对西方文明清醒的了解,带回宪政运动正在兴起的中国。

镇国公载泽用中文敬酒致谢(由左秉隆翻译)。载泽表示, 对英商中华会社会长和会员的友好欢迎,他和同行深表谢意。然后,载泽说道:大清宪政考察团访英,研究英国政制,研究总体而言在何等程度和方向上,中国可以借鉴西方经验和实践。过去,外国从中国所借良多,用会长的话来说,外国借用了中国的“细菌”(注:从下文看,应指中国四大发明),并在其培育下繁衍壮大。因此,我们可以毫无内疚地要求,现在是西方还债之时,现在也是轮到中国向西方借鉴之时。然而,中国所借应是有利之物。正是在这一点上,我们需要远见和谨慎。

众所周知,用于航海的指南针发明于中国。且不论它在你们手中种种扩大的用途 ,单就一个令人欣慰的结果而言,那就是指南针指引我们安全抵达你们好客的海岸。(听众喝彩)火药枪炮也源于中国,其起源是无害的,而且可能一直如此;然而,我们最近造访乌里治兵工厂时,看到“细菌”巨变,令人思索这一发明是否造福于人类。(听众笑。)

如会长所言,我们正在源头了解这种外国之道是否适用于中国。在追求这一目标时,我们有幸以你们所犯错误为鉴,并从你们为实践付出昂贵代价之处起步。在迟缓之中,我们也许失去了一些东西,但我们将从他人经验中获益。

比如,就铁路而言,我们在考察中了解到,一些铁路可以有12%的利润。这种铁路是中国急需的。(听众笑)相比之下,有一些铁路,无利可图。这种铁路的兴建,暂时可以不用考虑(听众又笑),尽管中国人和英国人有很多不同之处,但就这一点而言,我们非常相似,我们两国的股东都羡慕高额红利。

会长也谈及,我们正在对君主立宪制加以考察。中国明白自己不能停滞不前,不能无视周围之变。如刚才所提及,宪政运动已日趋明显,一旦宪政启动,一旦宪政证明对国家有利,就会进展迅速。我们有机会研究贵国宪政,造访贵国议会,得以看到贵国政府运作。

目前,中国尚未有一种获得民众舆论和意愿的直接方式。总有一天,中国会有了解民众舆论的方法,也会形成表达民众意愿的方式。在未来的岁月中,这一切会以什么方式出现,尚不得而知。也许,在未来的岁月中,英国会向中国派出一个考察团,收集有用的资讯,并坐在中国新建议会公众旁听席专座,判断一下中国版宪政是否比英国原创更好。

接着,托马斯•杰克逊爵士为“商业”祝酒。

菲兹莫里斯勋爵则表示,如此盛会,东西方相聚一堂,是英中关系增强的吉兆,而这正是英国外交部努力追求的目标(听众喝彩)。

最后,J. H. 司各特先生提议,为“会长”的健康举杯。然后,敬酒结束。

注1:译自英国《泰晤士报》1906年4月11日英文报道,其中载泽演讲非载泽中文原话。

注2:英文原文无分段,为便于阅读,已按今日行文风格分段。

注3:国人人名,参照《考察政治日记》载泽随员名单译出,部分人有姓无名,根据载泽随员姓名对照译出;部分人名,不在随员之中,保留英文。

The Chinese Commissioners

The Times (London) 11 April, 1906

The China Association entertained at dinner last night, at the Café Royal Regent Street, a large number of merchants, bankers, and others interested in British trade with China “to meet HIH Duke Tsai-Tse and their excellencies Shang Chi Heng and Li Sheng To,” the Chinese commissioners now on a visit to this country.

Mr. R. S. Gundry C.B. (president of the association) occupy the chair; and among those present were the Chinese Minister Mr. Tso Ping Lung, Mr. Chu Yen, Captain Cheng En Tao, Mr. Chou Shao-Po, Lord Fitzmaurice (Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs), Admiral Sir R. Tracey, Sir Eric Barrington, Lieutenant-General Sir J. Bevan Edwards, Sir Patrick Manson, Mr. W. G. Ellison-Macartney, Sir W. Robinson, Mr. Joseph Walton, M.P., Mr. C. P. Lucas, Mr. W. Adamson, Sir H. S. Wilkinson, Sir Thomas Jackson, Sir Alfred Dent, Mr. G. Cawston, and Mr. J. Welch (hon. sec.). The health of “The King-Emperor” and of “The Emperor of China” having been honoured.

The Chairman proposed the health of Duke Tsai-Tse and his colleagues, and said that the China Association, representing British interests and British residents in China, welcomed their distinguished guests, who were at present visiting Europe for the purpose of studying our forms of government and working of our public departments. He regretted that their stay in our midst was to be so short, he felt sure that they would return to their country with a clearer concept of Western civilization, which was just now exciting so much interest in China.

Duke Tsai Tse (whose speech was interpreted by Mr Tso Ping Lung) replied to the toast in Chinese. After remarking that it was a source of gratification to himself and his colleagues to receive that friendly welcome from the president and members of the China Association, his Imperial Highness said: – The Chinese Special Commission has come to England to study the system of Government, and speaking generally, to ascertain to what extent and in what direction it would be well for China to borrow from the experience and the practice of Western countries.

In times past foreign countries have borrowed from China, or to use the president’s words, they borrowed the germ, and in their keeping the germ fructified and acquired growth. We therefore feel no compunction in claiming that the debt should be repaid, and that in our turn, we should be allowed to borrow from the West. But what we wish to borrow is that which will inure to the benefit of our country; and it is here that great foresight and cautious action are necessary.

It is well-known that the mariner’s compass was invented in China; and, to mention no greater results from its extended applications in your hands, one very happy result, at any rate, is that we have been safely navigated to your hospitable shores. (Cheers.) Gunpowder and guns have also their origin in China – a very harmless beginning (laughter), and there it might have stayed; but on the occasion of our recent visit to Woolwich Arsenal we noticed how greatly our germ had developed, and the idea suggested itself weather we had benefited mankind in making the discovery. (Laughter.)

Your president has rightly said that our object is to study at the fountain-head such foreign methods as may be applicable to our country, and in the pursuance of this object we have the advantage of profiting by your mistakes and of making a start at the point you have reached after many expensive experiments. We may have lost something in our tardiness, but we shall gain by the experience of others.

In the matter railways, for example, our investigations have brought to our knowledge that some railways pay 12 per cent. This is the sort of railway that is eminently suited for China. (Laughter.) There are other railways, on the contrary, that pay nothing at all. The construction of that sort of railway may for the moment left out of consideration (renewed laughter), for although Chinese and English people may have points of difference, they are very much alike in this respect, that shareholders in both countries admire large dividends.

The president has also alluded to the inquiries we are making as to the form of government existing in this country, constitutional government, as it is called. China realizes that she cannot stand still and take no heed of the changes that are taking place around her.

As was suggested just now, a movement is already noticeable, and once a change begins to make itself felt and proves itself to be good for the country, it may proceed rapidly. We have had an opportunity to study of Constitution of your country, and a visit to the House of Parliament has enabled us to see the machinery of government in motion.

In China, at present, there is no direct way of ganging the opinions and wishes of the people. Some day, the means of learning their opinions will come, and some method for giving the expression to their wishes will evolve. What shape all these will assume future years alone will tell.

Perhaps, in years to come, England will send out a special mission of inquiry to China to collect useful information, that mission may be given special seats in the distinguished Stranger’s Gallery in our new House of Parliament, and be able to judge whether, as it is sometimes the case, the copy is an improvement of the original. (Laughter.)

The next toast was that of “Commerce”, which was proposed by Sir Thomas Jackson.

Lord Fitzmaurice, in response, said that a great gathering of that kind, where East and West met together, was a happy augury of the increasing relations between Great Britain and China, which it was the sincere object of the Foreign Office to further to the best of their ability (Cheer).

The health of “The Chairman,” submitted by Mr. J. H. Scott, concluded the toast list.



 

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