House of Assembly: Vol106 - WEDNESDAY 15 FEBRUARY 1961
Mr. SPEAKER took the Chair at
Mr. J. J. FOUCHÉ, as Chairman, brought up the Report of the Select Committee on the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (Repeal of Laws) (Private) Bill, reporting the Bill without amendment.
Report, proceedings and evidence to be printed and Bill to be read a second time on 3 March.
Bill read a first time.
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion for Second Reading,—Part Appropriation Bill, to be resumed.
[Debate on motion by the Minister of Finance, upon which amendments had been moved by Mr. Waterson and by Mr. Lawrence, adjourned on 14 February, resumed.]
Just before the debate was adjourned yesterday, the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence), seconded by the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman), had moved an amendment. Prior to the adjournment I had the opportunity of saying that these hon. members had used their opportunity of taking part in the debate to raise the subject of Pondoland. The hon. member for Salt River moved an amendment in which he asked for the appointment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the irregularities, incitement and unrest which had taken place in the past and the recent unrest in Pondoland and the unrest which allegedly still obtains in South Africa or may obtain in the future.
The manner in which the hon. member spoke, as well as his seconder, can only create the impression here as well as abroad and amongst the Bantu in Pondoland, that in the first place these hon. members are not asking for an investigation with the object of helping to pour oil over troubled waters, but that they are merely seeking an opportunity to use the very condition of unrest to cause further trouble. The hon. member went further and said that he objected to the fact that the representatives of the Press were not given sufficient opportunity to enter those trouble areas. He also objected, and the hon. member for Houghton supported him, to the fact that there was no opportunity for “accredited representatives” to go to Pondoland to report on what was happening there.
Now, Mr. Speaker, during the past few years South Africa has, as a matter of fact, had the unfortunate experience that the people who appeared on the scene as so-called “accredited representatives” to report on what was happening, used that very information in order to besmirch South Africa here as well as abroad. If there is one thing in which this country has lost all faith and in which the Government has lost all faith, it is the fairness with which our country is treated as far as these matters are concerned. I want to ask hon. members opposite this: What kind of “accredited representatives” would they like to have there? Would they like to see the type of reporter there who reported on Sharpeville and Langa and who besmirched South Africa’s name here and abroad? Do hon. members opposite think that Stanley Uys would be an “accredited representative” to go and report on what was happening in Pondoland? If these hon members would get up and tell this House to what requirements “accredited representatives” have to conform and what type of reporter should be admitted, the House can listen to them.
Mr. Speaker, by saying what they did and in the way they did, the hon. members who spoke yesterday afternoon did not create the impression that they were against arson, against incitement and against crime. The impression which was created on this side of the House, therefore, was that they in fact use this opportunity to let the people in Pondoland know that they can continue with their campaign of inciting the people, because the National Party Government was to blame. They let them know that as long as incitement takes place under the National Party Government, there is nothing wrong with it.
The hon. member for Houghton went further and referred to what she called the “root causes”. She said this trouble had certain root causes. One of them, according to her, is the system of Bantu Authorities. The establishment of Bantu Authorities is supposed to be one of the root causes. Mr. Speaker, hon. gentlemen opposite try to thwart any attempt on the part of the Government to create opportunities for the Bantu to develop and to assume total responsibility under their own familiar institutions. In my opinion hon. members acted yesterday the way they did in order to say to the Bantu in South Africa, that the system of Bantu Authorities is the root cause of the trouble and should not be accepted.
But the hon. member went further. She also said that Bantu agricultural reforms were another root cause of the trouble. When this Government tries to develop the Bantu areas, the Bantu are told that that is a root cause of trouble and that they should not be satisfied with it. Now I ask you, Mr. Speaker, how can the Government ever develop the Bantu areas if attempts like those are made to incite the Bantu? The hon. member said further that the collection of taxes was another root cause of the trouble. Do hon. members opposite not want the Bantu to pay any taxes?
But that is not all, Sir. The hon. member went further and said that not only was the collection of taxes a root cause of the trouble, but also that the people who collected the taxes, were a thorn in the flesh of the Bantu. Mr. Speaker, hon. members want to undermine all authority and discipline. They speak with contempt of recognized Bantu leaders. They say contemptuously that the Bantu have to work for their chiefs. When this Government tried to eradicate the hot-beds of crime on the Rand—I am referring to the big residential areas which had become real festering sores in society—and to provide the non-Whites with decent housing, I think she was the person who in the past did everything in her power to wreck that attempt to provide proper housing. If there is anybody in this House who should not get up and take part in debates on these matters, it is the hon. member for Houghton.
But, Mr. Speaker,—and I want to conclude with this as far as these members are concerned—I think this matter should also be viewed against the background of what happens in this House. It was the hon. the Leader of the Progressive Party who used a previous opportunity in this House to announce that the establishment of a republic would really be the beginning of new things to come. He announced that as far as his party was concerned, it would be a sign to start to fight in South Africa for the extension of the political rights of the non-Whites. Hon. members opposite said that those rights should be granted on merit. The hon. the Leader of the Progressive Party will do this House a favour if he will still tell us during this Session what test he intends applying to determine merit. He should also tell this House with which Black leaders in Africa he would like to co-operate. He can tell us whether Luthuli, Sebukwe or Kgosana are the right type of person and sufficiently deserving to carry the responsibility of governin South Africa with him.
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to say anything further on this subject. When I got up to speak yesterday, my intention was really to say something of a positive nature. I think the opportunity has arrived in South Africa, particularly in this House, for us also to say something about the safety of South Africa. In these times in which we are living, particularly we as a White race on the southern tip of Africa, I think there is one thing we should realize and it is this, that we should pay a premium on general safety. It is a fact, Mr. Speaker, that we are living at a time when we do not know what the day of tomorrow has in store for us, a time when this continent of ours is in a state of ferment; as a matter of fact a time when the whole world is in a state of ferment. It is also a fact that no nation in the world can be safe unless it is prepared to pay a contribution towards its own safety. I would not like to talk about defence in general as it has been discussed here in the past. I merely want to say that as things are to-day in the Union of South Africa we should have a long-range vision and be prepared for whatever awaits us. What we need is obviously a greater realization on the part of the people of this country that they too have a contribution to make at this stage; that the responsibility does not rest on this House alone but that the whole nation is responsible for our safety. I think it would make the position of South Africa and of the Government easier if the nation were told timeously that they have to pay a higher premium and that it should be prepared to shoulder great responsibilities. The people should realize that certain things may happen which are beyond the control of the Government, and that they should therefore carry this responsibility together with their Government. We must therefore create the right climate and opportunity to make the people realize that in the time in which we are living we all have a responsibility to carry.
I do not want to interrupt the hon. member but there is a motion on the Order Paper which deals with that matter and I cannot therefore allow him to enlarge on that.
Mr. Speaker, in deference to your ruling I shall try not to enlarge on this; I merely wish to say this that I think we, situated as we are on the southern tip of Africa, to-day carry a burden which is much smaller than the threats which confront us, a burden which is negligible compared with the burdens which other countries in other parts of the world carry in similar circumstances. And because that is the position we can say that no matter what happens in future, it is inevitable that in future this Government will have to put its hand deeper into its pocket; and if it does so the nation will gladly accept the position and it will do so also in the spirit that it is a responsibility which rests upon it; and that the nation will support the Government in everything that it does or may do. In compliance with your ruling, Mr. Speaker, I will not enlarge further on this matter, nor will I raise the matters which I wanted to raise. I hope I will have an opportunity at some later stage to do so. I also hope that in future we shall consider the responsibilities which rest upon us in this spirit, and that the Government will be assured of the support of the nation as well as that of this House in any attempt it may make to ensure greater safety for South Africa; that it will also pay the necessary premium so that our safety here, here at the southern tip of Africa, will be beyond any doubt.
Mr. Speaker, I should like to reply briefly to the speeches of the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) and the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman). As far as the happenings in Pondoland are concerned, I have already covered most of the points in that regard when I replied to the speech of the hon. member for Transkei (Mr. Hughes) and I shall therefore try to be as brief as possible and just deal with the most important points raised by hon. members opposite.
In the first place I want to say that I am sorry that the hon. member for Salt River is not in his seat. He is the last person who has any right to introduce a motion such as this and to criticize the Government as far as its Bantu policy is concerned. It was while he was Minister of Justice that those untenable conditions developed in Cape Town and around the big cities of the Transvaal and elsewhere, not only as far as the White section of the population was concerned but also as far as the Bantu nation was concerned. The people complained bitterly and said that if immediate steps were not taken, it would be impossible for them to continue to live there. That was during the time when the hon. member for Salt River was Minister of Justice. But more than that, he is the last person to criticize us, because he was a member of a government whose policy was in the main the policy which his party is following to-day. At that time conditions developed round the big cities and here in Cape Town which were a blot on the good name of South Africa. I am not talking about things that I read about in books, Sir. I visited those places myself. Thousands of Bantu entered Cape Town. They lived in places like Cooks Bush; they slept on the slopes of the hills and under bushes. The conditions under which they lived were worse than those of animals. Those conditions were such that not only were they a disgrace to the Government but also a disgrace to the good name of South Africa. And now the hon. member comes and criticizes this Government. It was this Government which did everything possible and eventually succeeded in clearing those places and creating conditions fit for human beings. One would have expected those hon. members at least to show a measure of appreciation, Sir, for everything that this Government has done for the Bantu. In this respect I just want to refer to housing. If you exclude the Railways, which provide their own services to those people, you will find that during this period an amount of £100,000,000 was spent on the Bantu in the cities. No government has done so much for the Bantu in the cities to create conditions suitable for human beings as this Government. How can hon. members come with a motion such as this one and make these attacks? I say the hon. member for Salt River is the last person to talk.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say something else which affects me personally. He is the person who, in season and out of season, writes in the Press that I am supposed to have said: Give me two years and I will show you a new South Africa. What I did say and I have said it previously in this House, was what I said at the Bloemfontein Congress, namely: Let the English Press leave me alone for two years and I will show you a new South Africa. That was what I said, so why does he repeat that little lie of his? Surely, Mr. Speaker, there should be some chivalry even in politics. It does not avail us merely to sit and laugh here; there should also be chivalry. The least the Leader of the Opposition can do is not merely to sit and laugh here but to accept the other man’s word. I can prove that that is the gospel truth. No, hon. members should really try to be more chivalrous. That was what I said and I say it again to-day. We in South Africa have an Opposition and a Press which is fired by one desire only, and that is not to criticize constructively but to undermine and misrepresent everything that this Government does and in that way to besmirch South Africa not only here in South Africa but abroad as well. That is unfortunate. This dark cloud, however, has a silver lining, and it is this: The Bantu are more and more becoming wise to their technique. I want to point out that certain Bantu national groups have already passed resolutions to the effect that they do not want any representative of the English-language Press in their midst. They did so because of this sort of thing. There is a silver lining and it is this that the Bantu is beginning to read more and more what the Government’s attitude is and that creates new relationships.
I come to another matter which the hon. member for Salt River raised. He reproached the Government for not having appointed a judicial commission. He again suggested that such a commission should be appointed in order to investigate these difficulties and to determine what the root causes are. He said that such a promise had been made. The Government said at that time that it would go into this question and the Government did go into it very thoroughly. Everybody as well as the Government who is in close touch with the Bantu came to the very definite conclusion that the whole issue was so clear that a judicial commission would not contribute anything towards it. We know all the facts and I should like to know what more a judicial commission can do? I do not blame the hon. member for Houghton and the hon. member for Salt River because I do not know whether they have ever been inside a Bantu location.
If I have to judge from what they say in this House, I am convinced they have never been inside one. What they have seen, Sir, have been the few stray children who walk into their offices and pretend to be the real Bantu leaders. Such a judicial commission will take us no further. We have outstanding students in anthropology at our universities and elsewhere to-day, Sir, we have outstanding officials who are in constant touch with the Bantu. They know exactly what the position is. We have Bantu who know the soul of their own people. I am not talking about the pseudo-Bantu; I am talking about educated Bantu, people with their B.A., LL.B. degrees and people who are proud of being a Bantu. That is not the Bantu with whom those hon. members are in touch. The hon. member for Salt River also wanted to know why we did not allow the Press into Pondoland; are we afraid of something, and that type of thing. In the first place I want to say this. The Press was allowed there and look at the result. They published the most ghastly stories not only in the South African newspapers, but also sent them overseas. And then they used to add that they were in Pondoland themselves. They were unable to prove any of those wild stories. The position got so bad, Mr. Speaker, that White people from other parts of the country were hesitant to go to the coastal areas of Pondoland. Various people came to see me and sent telegrams to inquire whether it was wise to travel through Pondoland because of the murders and crimes that were being committed there, as in the Congo, according to the English-language newspapers. I then issued a statement that Pondoland was safer than Houghton. That is true. It was much safer. After that buses passed through Pondoland and people camped in the veld overnight. They slept there peacefully, had their braaivleis the next morning and then carried on. But that shows the mental state which the Press had created amongst the people and as a result of that I was forced to take the necessary steps. Then I want to say this. Some of the journalists did not confine themselves to writing reports; they took part in the campaigns which were taking place there to incite the people. It is hard to hear this but that is the gospel truth. I would have been reproached had I not taken action in those circumstances. We then declared a state of emergency and it was obvious that if we wanted that to be effective we could not admit journalists with that mentality. What would have been the result had we done so? I think everyone will agree that we did a wise thing to keep the Press out. Journalists from the well-disposed Press asked me whether they could enter but my attitude was simply this: I am refusing to admit those people and I must also refuse to admit you. I did not discriminate. I was adamant on that and I did not want to discriminate between the various Press groups. I am pleased that the hon. member for Salt River is now in his seat and he should not now try to create the impression that I was unfair to the Press. We have nothing to hide but we have to consider the safety of people and that of the State. Hon. members should not come forward with those reproaches. We have been proved to have acted correctly.
The hon. member for Salt River made great play of the fact that the Minister of Justice had said that nearly 4,000 people had been arrested and that my Department had said that only about 400 had been arrested. In point of fact the hon. Minister of Justice was asked how many had been arrested over a period of a year, and I was asked how many had been arrested and gaoled during the state of emergency. Hence the big difference. The position is that in many cases the police have to round up people in order to interrogate them. Most of those people were immediately released. But you are engaged on a thinning-out process, Sir. Had the hon. member for Salt River reflected on the procedure he adopted when he was Minister of Justice, he would not have made this attack. It is the normal procedure and those people have been thinned out to such an extent that only a small number are in custody to-day. That is why I take exception to the fact that he tells the world that I and my Department gave the wrong information, that we wanted to minimize the importance of this matter and that the correct number of people who were arrested on a large scale and put into gaol, was nearly 4,000. He knows for a fact that that is not so. He ought to know better than to say a thing like that.
Why did you not deny it previously?
I think it is very unfair on the part of the hon. member to adopt that attitude. In the second place, I want to say that I had expected the Progressive Party, who had something to say for the first time to-day, to come forward with a constructive party policy. I expected that all the more when the hon. member for Salt River got up to speak; because they have drafted a policy, haven’t they? The portion which I have here deals only with the franchise. I want to say this. After the hon. member for Houghton had spoken I came to the conclusion that this was not really a Progressive Party. They are nothing else than the dummy of the Liberal Party. The real leader of the Progressive Party is the hon. member for Houghton and the small crowd of people who surround her are mere pet lambs. I managed to lay my hands on a portion of the Molteno report which deals with the franchise qualifications. I have read through it. I have not as yet seen the balance, but yesterday I thought that I would hear what it contained. When I read this I thought I was dealing with people who were unanimous on this issue. And what did I find now? Mr. Speaker, as you can see, this is a blue little book: it is the “blueprint” of the Progressive Party. After I had read it, I thought it was the “blueprint” of a miniature Congo within the Progressive Party. Here we have a report which was signed by a few members; there are four minority reports; two of the members who were unable to sign personally advised that each of them had drawn up a minority report. I think that is a record in South Africa. I think it is the first time in the history of South Africa that, where a commission had drafted a party’s policy, six members of the commission had submitted minority reports. In other words, every member in the party has his own policy. The hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer) signed his policy. There was also one non-White member, a very cultured and educated man. He advised them that, although he had signed the majority report, he thought there should be universal suffrage. That differs radically from the policy of the party. We heard nothing about that when they had the opportunity here to state their policy in a positive manner. We had the sort of attack which we have had over the past years, particularly from the hon. member for Houghton. They said, and the hon. member for Salt River was the first to do so, that as far as the Bantu were concerned the cities were faced with a big problem which had to be tackled immediately. Well, that problem is not so big. He said that they had often warned us that those things were happening. I just want to say this that as recently as 1959 there has not been any trouble in these locations. There was one instance where there was some trouble at a factory but that was very quickly cleared up. Then, however, there was a wholesale campaign to organize trouble, a campaign which was started, in the first place, by White people. Secret meetings were held and pamphlets were distributed on a large scale. Here I want to mention the conduct of a man like Mr. Segal. He was caught in the locations distributing pamphlets, and these people are his kindred spirits. After that the A.N.C. and the P.A.C. conducted a campaign of intimidation and they preached one thing only, namely, the abolition of all discriminatory legislation, they cherished one ideal only, namely, to take over the government of South Africa themselves. That was one of the main causes of the disturbances, and there was one thing which disappointed me greatly. While they were making those attacks in this House they did not say one word about those Bantu who were murdered by the P.A.C. They did not utter a word of sympathy for them. All we had were reproaches for having taken action against the agitators. But what is worse is this, that while these attacks in connection with Pondoland were being made here not a word was said about the Bantu who were murdered by the other Bantu— not a word of sympathy. On the contrary, their attitude amounted to this that indirectly, they expressed sympathy with the agitators. I just want to say this that if there is a Government which really looks after the interests of the urban Bantu, it is this Government and I can quite honestly that I have done everything in my power in every respect —and I am not even thinking of the wonderful work which my predecessor, the Prime Minister, did—to rectify the position. No Government has done as much as this Government to promote the interests of the urban Native. Why do hon. members send unfavourable reports such as these into the world? They say there are a few root causes which should be investigated and the hon. member for Houghton mentioned a few. She referred to the low wages, and she said it was because of influx control, etc. Mr. Speaker, here I have the book “Africa: The Roots of Revolt”, and I recommend it to hon. members. It is vitriolic and it was not written by a National Party supporter. The author gives the root causes under the following headings, “Restore our land”. That is also what the hon. member for Houghton says: Give them property rights in the locations. “We reject the poll-tax system.” They do not want to pay that. They are dissatisfied with their wages and he says, “We have no money That is the pattern that we have not only in South Africa but throughout Africa. I want to say this that one of the most important statements that has been made here is that the dissatisfaction in Pondoland is due to the Bantu Authorities and I want to deal with that.
I want to state most emphatically that that is not true and that it is incorrect. I said on a previous occasion that we did not try to introduce the system of Bantu Authorities into the Transkei but that they themselves asked for it. I readily admit that that system was the tool of the White agitators who subsequently made use of Native agitators to serve their purpose. But why did they use that? They did so because of the systematic propaganda which members of the Opposition and their Press had made against the system of Bantu Authorities. Those people asked me to investigate the matter and I had it investigated by three people who knew the Pondo and who were very sympathetically inclined towards them, people who were experts on Native laws and customs. Now hon. members want to know why I did not publish their report. If I were to publish every departmental report the costs would run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, but we make a thorough study of these matters and I have already said that if any hon. member would like to see this report he or she can have it because we have nothing to hide. I said I would show it to the hon. member for East London. Those people asked us to listen to their troubles and if I had not done so I would have broken faith with the Bantu and they could have reproached me and said that I did not want to listen to their complaints. They came in their thousands and what was their main complaint? They did not wan to dip their cattle. I ask the hon. member for Salt River to get up in this House and to tell me that we should give in on that point. Another complaint was that they did not want to pay tax. The hon. member for Houghton said that we had raised the taxes to such a level that the people could not afford to pay them. She herself said that the people were forced to work. I want to tell her that that is not the position, and I challenge her to mention one case where either the Bantu Authorities or my Department have forced those people to do certain work. We do, however, receive services voluntarily from people who offer their services and who say: Let us tackle this scheme. She said something else, namely that the people were forced to work the chiefs’ lands. Does she not know that that is a century-old custom, and that every tribe is proud of working its chief’s lands? They are not sent there to do the work at the point of an assegai. We have the case of Botha Sigcau. After we had detained this group of agitators, two important things happened. The first was that the people came forward to pay their taxes without being forced to do so; I had to send additional officials to Bizana to receive the taxes. After that many people said that those people who were hiding and refusing to pay their taxes should be notified to do so. But they came forward spontaneously.
The other thing is this that when Botha Sigcau woke up one morning he found 800 men in front of his house who said: Chief, we are here to show our loyalty by working your lands. The next day another 600 arrived. He did not ask one of them to do so. That is what we get when there are no agitators. But now hon. members say that they are against the chiefs because we have appointed the chiefs. If there is one thing for which I have more or less prayed to happen in this House, it is that hon. members would acquaint themselves better with the true position. They should reveal greater knowledge. My Department follows a certain practice, and the hon. member for East London knows it. We have our ethnological division and when a chief dies we study the question as to who should succeed him very thoroughly. But that is not all. After that the members of that ethnological division, who are all scientists, discuss the question with the older members of the tribe and they call the tribe together and the tribe nominate the chief, who is then appointed. That is the old procedure which has been followed throughout the history of South Africa. But now they tell the world that we appoint “stooges”. I really think we owe it to the Bantu not to reveal such a lack of knowledge. I wish hon. members knew how the Bantu laugh at them because of their lack of knowledge; and that is very unpleasant. There we have the hon. member for Transkeian Territories. Instead of co-operating to try to remedy the position, what did he do? While I was announcing the fact that the trouble was started by a group of White communists, he was holding a meeting at Umtata and telling the world that that was not true and that there were no White communist agitators.
That is untrue. I did not say that.
I can produce the newspaper where that appears.
I say again it is untrue.
You do not always know what you are saying.
On a point of order, the hon. member for Transkeian Territories says that what the Minister is saying is not true. Should the Minister not withdraw it?
It did not happen in this House.
The hon. member also started a cunning propaganda campaign against the chiefs who were loyal to the Government.
That is also untrue.
Sir, I am giving the evidence which was given to me by every chief. But the hon. member was not the only one who did that; he had kindred spirits who also did so. Here I have a letter from the M.P.C. for Western Cape, Mr. Turok, who belongs to the inner circle of that party. What does Mr. Turock say in this letter? After he had paid a visit to Pondoland, and apart from the fact that he tried to incite the traders—and here I want to say that there are certain traders who have made themselves guilty of the same conduct and I want to warn them to-day that I am watching the position and any trader who makes himself guilty of that kind of conduct will be kicked out of the Transkei. I have a responsibility towards the Bantu and I cannot allow the traders to do things like that. I am not interested in their political affiliations and I do not begrudge them a livelihood and I will protect them but I will not hesitate to take action against any trader who takes part in such activities in future. Mr. Turok says that a trader at Flagstaff acceded to his request. Mr. Turok circularized the trades in the Transkei and appealed to them to co-operate with the Pondo against the Government because the system of Bantu Authorities was the main cause of the trouble and that they should do everything in their power to co-operate with the Pondo against the Government in order to have the system of Bantu Authorities abolished and to put an end to discrimination, etc. Here I have it in black and white, Sir. This is the sort of thing we have to contend with there. Hon. members must not come with this sort of reproach therefore. I just want to say that after we had heard the evidence of the Bantu, we realized that their grievances were only minor ones. It has never been our intention to force a foreign system on to the Bantu. On the contrary it has always been my contention that it was their own affair if they eventually wanted a different system. But it is marvellous the way in which they have accepted the Bantu Authorities. But it is not only the Bantu Authorities and the chiefs who experience difficulties. What is the position in Basutoland? At the present moment there is a campaign against the chiefs and do they have a National Party Government there, and are those chiefs the “stooges” of the Government? That is not all, Sir. Do you know, Sir, that the lives of those chiefs have been threatened and that the shops in Basutoland are being boycotted to-day, just as in the case of Pondoland? It is the same pattern, but surely they do not have a National Party Government there nor have they Bantu Authorities. How do you understand that, Sir? But that is not the position in Basutoland alone. I can refer to other parts of the country where the same thing is happening. The reason for this is the fact that the system of having chiefs is the saving grace of the Bantu, and the fact that the chiefs are the most effective force to guide the Bantu along the road of progress. Where the Bantu are to-day is due to the efforts of their chiefs. That is why we want the co-operation of the chiefs.
We enlightened them at meetings which thousands of them attended. What was their reply? They listened attentively until one of the agitators shouted out: “We are not interested in development; we are interested in one man, one vote.” Fortunately the Bantu saw through that and to-day we get wonderful co-operation from them; to-day 95 per cent of the Pondos co-operate with us and are busy on certain developmental works. They went to various places of their own accord and they chose 100 representatives to go to Bizana to convey their thanks to the Commissioner and the Government for having ultimately succeeded in ridding Pondoland of those people who had threatened their lives, those people whose only desire is that the Pondos should remain choppers of wood and drawers of water in their own fatherland. Those people are grateful to us.
It was stated here that influx control was one of the reasons, and now I want to say this: This Government has a duty not only towards the Bantu, but towards the Coloured people of Western Cape, and we shall do our duty. Members of the Opposition are only interested in giving the Coloured people one thing, and that is equal voting rights, but they are not interested in giving them living space. It is the duty of every Government to protect the Coloureds of the Western Cape. I just want to say this: That if we abolished influx control there will be at least 500,000 more Bantu in the Western Cape within two years. And where must the Coloured people go? Many employers prefer the Bantu to the Coloured. It is, however, the duty of the Government to protect the Coloured people.
Reference has been made to increased wages. I want to ask hon. members this: Why do they not set the example? I noticed last year that the people who were most vociferous in pleading for higher wages were the people who paid the Bantu the lowest wages. Let me give you one example, Sir. A young lady, who is also very eloquent when it comes to the question of higher wages for the Bantu, came to me and reproached me for not increasing their wages and said: “What does my brother do? He has 40 employees and he pays them a wonderful wage, and when there was an outcry that their wages should be increased he immediately did so and gave them an additional 10s.” I then asked her what he was paying them, and she said: “He is now paying them the wonderful wage of £4 10s. a month.” I asked her what they receive over and above that, and she said “Nothing.” I told her that if I paid my labourers that I would never show my face in South Africa again. Many of the people who are so quick to write to the newspapers about higher wages for the Bantu treat their own employees in the most shocking manner. Everyone should do his duty, and they cannot expect the Government to fix all the wages. But I merely want to say this: That I will continue to make it my duty, in season and out of season, to help the Bantu and to encourage the White employer to increase their wages. I have been reproached for contending that the relationship in South Africa was good. I challenge hon. members to come with me. They do not know what is happening. I admit that certain groups are hostile, but the masses of Bantu reveal a very kindly spirit towards this Government, and we are making progress as far as the Bantu are concerned. I visualize a fine future for the Bantu. Indeed, I visualize a state in which all national groups will live peacefully together.
Mr. Speaker, I think I am right in saying that never has this House heard such a ranting and blustering speech of a Minister and the making of wild statements without any proof or foundation for them. The Minister hopes that by shouting out wild statements and making false accusations they will be accepted.
The hon. the Minister started off by attacking the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence). I have not the time to deal with all that, because a few attacks were made on me. In reply to the criticism of the hon. member for Salt River for having stopped the Press from going to the Transkei, he blamed the Press, and said that when he promised to bring about a new country in two years it was on condition that the Press left him alone, the English Press. But it is not only the English Press that gets under his skin. He has had trouble also with the Burger, because they do not give him enough publicity. He is not satisfied either way. The Minister said that the hon. member for Salt River must accept his word. When he makes statements without proving them, he says we must accept his word. I am going to ask him also to accept the word of other hon. members of this House.
There was his accusation against me that I had started a whispering campaign against Bantu Authorities. I deny it, and I challenge the Minister to bring the proof of that.
I accept your challenge.
Will you give me the proof in this House?
But I am not going to accept hearsay statements from chiefs. When this emergency first started in the Transkei, I was at pains not to discuss the matter with the Bantu people because I knew that, if I did, the Minister would insinuate that I was influencing them, as he accuses the English Press of doing and all other White men who talk to them except Government supporters. I went to Pondoland on three occasions to see my constituents, the White people in the area. I held no meetings. I held no report-back meetings, because of the state in which the country was. I did not want to be accused of addressing a gathering of people where there could be any criticism of what was happening, so I did not hold any meetings. I called on the people individually and, before I went down, on every occasion, I went to the chief magistrate first and told him I was going down, and asked him whether there was any message he wanted me to give to the Europeans in the area as to what the Government was doing, because naturally these people were very agitated. They got no information from the Government, and they wanted to know what was happening. I specially went to the Chief Native Commissioner, and I also kept in touch with the police and asked them whether they wanted me to reassure the people, but I never spoke to a single Bantu in that area at all. Furthermore, when I was asked by senior officials and by a brigadier of the police what suggestions I could make, I said that the first thing they had to do was to restore law and order before making any concessions, and that they should start by collecting the taxes—just what the Government is doing now. To insinuate in this House that I was, in a subtle way, encouraging the disturbance is absolute rot and an absolute untruth.
With regard to the statement the Minister says I made at Umtata at a public meeting that there were no communists in Pondoland, I deny that. What I said was that the Minister said the communists were responsible for what was happening, and I said this, and I repeat it now, that if the Minister had the names, as he said he had, why did he not arrest them? I also said that I did not doubt that there were outside influences working in Pondoland, but I said they would have no success there if there were not general dissatisfaction. I said that the Pondos could never have organized themselves as efficiently as they did without outside assistance. Then why does the Minister refuse to accept my word that I never said there were no communists? All I said was that if there were communists why did the Minister not arrest them? I called for an inquiry, the same as the hon. member for Salt River has done. My complaint is that we get no information from the Government. The Minister’s reply to me on an earlier occasion—and his reply consisted purely of a scurrilous attack on me …
Order! The hon. member must withdraw the word “scurrilous”.
I withdraw, and then I use the word “venomous”. I did not realize to what straits the Minister would have to go to defend his acts in Pondoland. I did not realize haw desperate he was. He spent very little time telling us what the commission had found. He said the Natives refused to dip and to pay taxes and wanted a change in the educational system, and the commission found that a headman had raised the price of grass without consulting the chief, and there were accusations that a teacher had bribed the school committee. That is all he told us. We asked for publication of the commission’s report, but the Minister refused, but I want to ask him this, and I challenge him to deny it, whether a senior official, an ex-chief magistrate who put in a memorandum before that commission, did not say this—
And I challenge him to deny this, too, that the commission found that this contention was repeated to it ad nauseam. Why does the Minister not tell the country about that? Why does he only tell us about dipping? Why does he not tell us about the complaints of corruption in the courts? I dealt with corruption last time, and the Prime Minister got up and said that he did not believe there was any corruption at all. What absolute rot. The Minister must know, if the officials have been doing their duty as they should be—and I accept that they are—that throughout the Transkei the complaint of corruption is rife. The Minister says he does not know.
It is nonsense.
I cannot possibly believe that the Minister has not had reports of this general complaint, and the Minister got it from this commission. How can he say it is not true? One of the main complaints was that there was corruption and that was what the commission found.
I discussed that report with the members of the commission.
I am talking about what they have written in their report. And, Sir, while we are talking about reports, it ill-behoves the Minister. [Interjections.]
Order! Who is delivering this speech?
I hope I am, Sir. While we are talking about reports, the Minister had great fun at the expense of the Molteno Report, because some people had not signed the report and others had put in a minority report. I am surprised that he should even mention minority reports, because in the case of the Tomlinson Commission report everyone signed it and then two of them afterwards ratted on it—a most unusual circumstance, said the chairman—and this Minister himself, who has abided by the report, has forgotten all about it; he has not carried out one of the commission’s recommendations. In fact he has let the commission down. Sir, in dealing with this Pondoland issue, I ask the Minister to consider what is really happening there. I refuse to accept that it was just a question of dipping, and that sort of thing. When I raised this matter previously, the Minister said, in reply to me, that I had got up with a “pious face”—this is the first time I have been told that I have a pious face—and he went on to say that I had said this in the House—
Actually I never used those words, and the Minister must have had my Hansard. I never said that, but it does not matter whether or not I said it because in effect it is true. What I complained about was the giving of additional jurisdiction to the chiefs at this time, and I warned the Minister that it was the height of folly to do it now when the general complaint was against the chiefs and the headmen and the tribal courts. I said it was not fair to the chiefs themselves to expect them to exercise those powers without grave risk of reprisals from their own people. But the Minister in dealing with this supposed allegation by me, which I did not make, asked—
If the chiefs have this right why was there any necessity for Proclamation No. 400 of November 1960? Why did he specially have to give them this power if they already had it? Furthermore, why was the power given in this Proclamation only to certain chiefs, those authorized thereto by the Minister, if the chiefs have the power? I challenge the Minister to give me one instance in which a chief in the Transkei has ever removed one of his subjects from one part of the country to another.
But he has the power to do that.
The Minister says that the courts gave the chiefs that power.
He gave it to them.
I did not; they had it.
I am answering the Minister now. In 1925 the Appellate Division held that the Governor-General as supreme chief in the Transvaal had the powers of a chief, and in that case the question was whether the chief of a particular tribe, an off-shoot of the Baralong tribe, had the power, and the court found that he had. That, however, had nothing to do with the Transkei. They were dealing with one tribe. In 1927 the Native Administration Act was passed and in Section 5 special power was given to the Governor-General to remove tribes or individuals from one part of a location to another. The Governor-General was never supreme chief of the Natives in the Cape. It ws this Government which recently made the Governor-General supreme chief. Mr. Rogers, a well-known authority, in that excellent book of his on Native administration — an official who the Minister will admit was an expert—says—
I challenge the Minister to tell me when the Transkeian chiefs got the power to remove subjects at will and, if so, why there was any necesssity for him to pass that proclamation in November.
I accept your challenge.
They never had it.
Will the Minister tell us then why he passed that proclamation. I repeat that extending powers at this time is not fair to the chiefs and is dangerous. I also want to repeat something else I said on a former occasion. I said that the Minister and the Commissioner-General denied that there was any objection to the Bantu Authorities, when the tribesmen had already been prosecuted for campaigning against the proclamation and I read out an indictment in this House. Surely the Minister will know that no member will say that he was reading from a document if he was not in fact doing so. The Minister challenged me to give him the indictment from which I was reading. Why did he not ask me, before he made his speech, to hand him the indictment? He could have come to me the same afternoon or the next morning and I could have given him the indictment, instead of which he gets in touch with the senior officer at Bizana and asks whether this is true. The Minister says that Mr. Midgeley, the Senior Officer at Bizana, has gone through the records but all he could find was a case where four people were charged with arson under three Acts, one of them being the Bantu Authorities Act. Mr. Midgeley is a most able official and a man for whom I have the highest regard, but little did he know how ridiculous the Minister was going to make himself in the House on the information given to him by Mr. Midgeley. Does the Minister not know that under the Bantu Authorities Act there is no crime of arson? The charge was that they committed arson in campaigning against the Bantu Authorities Act, and the offence they committed was in terms of Section 1 of Act 8 of 1953. The hon. Minister shakes his head. I have certified copies of not one judgment but of four judgments, including the one he told the House about in my absence—I do not blame him for that. I want to read out the indictment—
Let the Minister listen, instead of showing his ignorance—
Will the Minister now apologize to me? The Minister got up here and insinuated that I had deliberately misled the House. The Minister has now misled the House but through ignorance, and in future when dealing with legal matters, I suggest that he should get a lawyer to write his speech or, what would be even better, for the Prime Minister to appoint a lawyer as Minister of Bantu Administration and Development. Sir, I have certified copies here—all four of them.
He would not understand them if he saw them.
Sir, I could go through the Minister’s speech and deal with the attack he made on me last time to show that there is no ground in anything he said. But what worries me is that this Minister refuses to face up to what is happening. He said in reply to me that I had said that there had never been any trouble in Bizana. What I said was that for 50 years there had been no serious disturbance against authority, and the Minister then said “Doesn’t he know his own fatherland?” The British, he said, had to keep soldiers at Bizana because it has always been a trouble spot. What on earth were the British doing in Pondoland after 1910; that is what I would like to know.
You said there had never been trouble.
No, I said in the last 50 years. Look at my Hansard.
I will read it out.
Let the Minister read it. The Minister suggested that the only trouble was in Bizana. It is not only in Bizana. He says that Bizana has always been a trouble spot, but there are not only troubles in Bizana. There have been troubles at Harding; the trouble has spread from Bizana down Flagstaff and Lusikisiki and what has happened in the rest of the Transkei? The Minister himself has promulgated emergency measures which apply to the whole of the Transkei, not only to Bizana. What is the reason for it? Surely something must be happening. We want to know. We get no information from the Minister. Why were those two headmen murdered recently at Ngcobo? The Minister says that we have no sympathy for them. He is quite wrong. We have a lot of sympathy for them. I have stressed in this House and I do so again that headmen and chiefs are necessary for administration and I told the Minister last time that it was unfair to make these people subject to these attacks; that they would be afraid to carry out their duty. I want to know from the Minister whether he has made any inquiries to find out what happened at Ngcobo. What happened at Cala and St. Marks a few months ago when about 30, I think, huts were burnt down? Has there been an inquiry to find out why that burning took place? What was the cause of it? In this morning’s Cape Times we see a report that 100 policemen have moved into Kentani. Kentani is right at the other end of the Transkei. Bizana is on the Natal border and Kentani is right on the Kei border, far away from each other. I want to ask the Minister what is happening at Kentani now? Is the report correct that 100 policemen have moved into Kentani? It may be an incorrect report. And, if so, what is happening there? The Minister says that he is taking action. We have got the commission’s report, and I want the Minister to tell the House what he is doing. Not to stand up here blustering and making wild statements. We want to know what he is doing. He blames the Press for what is happening in Pondoland. I will say this, that if it had not been for the Press, the country would not have known what was happening in Pondoland. We got no information from the Department at all. It is only because the Press is there that we knew that something was happening. It does not help the Minister to blame the Press for what is happening. Those Pondos who were involved in the last disturbance are uneducated, they are illliterate; they cannot read the Press. They do not see the English Press and they do not know what is happening. I repeat that there was ground for dissatisfaction. They were dissatisfied, because if the people were not dissatisfied on the whole they could never have been organized by any outside person as well as they were. The Minister must not shake his head. I ask him to look at the report again by these three commissioners. I grant him that they are three able men. Look at the evidence which was given before them. The bulk of the evidence there was against Bantu Authorities.
Sir, that is what the report says. The Minister says I am talking nonsense. Let us test it. Let the Minister make the report public.
We want to know what it says.
Little Verwoerd; he won’t publish it.
Sir, it cannot stand the light of day.
Why did they not publish the Cato Manor report?
The position now is this, that additional powers have been given to the tribal authorities. It does not help the Minister to pretend any longer that everybody accepts it. I know that the Bantu unanimously accepted the change-over to tribal authorities, and I said so.
You said we forced them.
I did not say that. I said in my speech that they unanimously asked for it. But what I did say was that when Bantu Authorities were first proposed they did not want it in the Transkei—and there I think the Minister will agree with me—and the Bunga passed a resolution asking the Government not to apply it. The Minister will agree that that is so. But then I said that the Minister’s officials were busy explaining this thing to them. Some of the headmen made a trip to Pretoria, and after the Department had been working on them, trying to get them to accept it—the Minister said that they were explaining the system to them; but that is the same thing —the Bunga unanimously accepted it. I have never denied that and I challenge the Minister to prove that I ever said that it was forced on them.
That was your insinuation.
I did not make any insinuation. I know what happened there. As he says, I live in Umtata and I should know what is happening there. The Minister said this afternoon that this Government was the best friend of the urban Bantu, that he does everything to make them happy. Part of the complaint of the urban Bantu is that they have no forum for the expression of their grievances, that they have no Member of Parliament. The Minister wanted to appoint ambassadors who were to act as liaison between the urban Native and the territorial councils and the Minister. I asked him before and I ask him again: Has he appointed any ambassadors? When is he going to do so? If he does not appoint them why does he not do so? What has gone wrong with his plan? Sir, I know what it is. It is simply that they are opposed to the whole system of Bantu Authorities and what goes with it.
You are talking nonsense again.
Then why does the Minister not appoint them? He is not carrying out his policy. I say that the Minister before he makes accusations here, should have the evidence to support it, and I call upon him to produce the evidence that he says he has to show that I started the whispering campaign against Bantu Authorities in the Transkei. That is what he says in effect, that I am responsible for what has happened there. I deny it; I say it is false, and it was done with mischief …
I did not say that.
… because the Minister is trying to find somebody else to blame. He does not want to take the blame himself, so he is trying to blame me. Sir, it will not succeed, and I again appeal to the Minister to tell the people in that area what is happening, and if communists are responsible, if White men are responsible, I say deal with them. Do not just make accusations. Arrest them and try them before the courts.
The speech by the hon. member who has just sat down has once again created the impression of a man, and also of a group of people, who as a result of the maze in which they find themselves, a position which has been brought on them by their own actions, are evincing an indescribable sense of disappointment and of impotent rage. The hon. member has put a whole series of questions to the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development which I am not going to try to answer, but I do want to refer to one or two remarks which he has made. He commenced by saying that the Minister thought that if he simply shouted out unfounded and wild statements in this House, we would all believe that what he said was the truth and the world outside would also believe that that was the truth. But does the House know what happened while the hon. member was shouting ever more loudly on the other side of the House? Eventually there was a chorus of calls supporting him. We on this side left it to the Minister to do his work and to speak and, if he considered it necessary, to shout, but no one helped him. On the other side, however, a chorus of noise arose so that we could not understand the hon. member who was speaking with the result that the Speaker at one stage had to ask: “Who is really making the speech?” He could really have asked: “Who is now standing or sitting and shouting on the benches opposite?” In making the statements he has made to-day, which he has proved and which he has promised to prove, seeing that he did not have the necessary documents before him, the Minister did not do so because he wanted the world and the public outside to accept his statements merely because he shouted them out, but his speech represented a counter-balance by which he submitted the truth to this House and exposed untruths, such as we often get from hon. members opposite and from the hostile Press in their campaign of organized subversion—and that under the false pretence that they are telling the truth. Why have hon. members said to the Minister: “Arrest the people; why are you making wild allegation and accusations against people in Pondoland?” Mr. Speaker, arrest! We are after all a democratic country and we allow justice to follow its democratic course, and this does not mean that we should immediately arrest everyone whom we think is opposing us. That is done in the case of disturbances, incitement and murder, as at Cato Manor, and when it is necessary to use force to maintain order as happened at Sharpeville. What happened then? The House will remember that the hon. member said at the end of his speech: “Arrest these people and bring them before the courts.” When the Government proceeds to arrest people who have made themselves guilty of treason and high treason in this country, hon. members object and they say: “Why these numerous arrests; why are these people being detained? What have they done wrong?” How much notice can one take of the hon. member when he says: “Arrest those people and bring them before the courts”? Does the hon. member think that we shall make any progress by these methods and does he think that if we were to do so, such action would carry with it the approval of his own party and of himself? No, not at all. The findings of the commission of inquiry have supposedly been that undue powers have been granted to the chiefs and that the people in those areas would rather be ruled by Whites. I read from the Burger of 27 May 1959, if hon. members opposite are prepared to believe what the Burger says—
And he stated that all organizations and persons—including the United Party, I assume —who criticized this separate development, should realize that they did not have the sympathy of the chiefs of those Bantu Authorities. Mr. Speaker, we are living in a “no” world, judging by the attitude of hon. members opposite, a negative world of “no, no”. When it was proposed that we should hold a referendum on the change in our form of government in this country, a chorus of “noes” was raised. “No” was called out and written everywhere. Recently while I was travelling through the Schoemansdalpoort to Nelspruit, I saw—and I do not know what the hon. member for Nelspruit has been doing that it is still there—the big “Nees” and “Noes” there. These are the skeletons and reminders of a fallen monument to an attempt which was made to halt a nation in its progress—the mighty rumble of the feet of a people who are moving ahead. “No”—that is the answer we got from them when we met here on 20 January and the Government, as the body which must draw up the legislation of this country, was called upon to proceed with its legislative programme; we then heard the “Noes” in the form of a motion of no-confidence: “No, you are not competent to make laws; resign.” We went on and at the second reading of the Constitution Bill they once again stated: “No, this legislation may not be taken any further either; we cannot even allow the republican constitution to be read in this House for the first time.” And now the Minister of Finance has moved that we should give him the right to use £150,000,000 so that he can carry on the administration of the country, and hon. members opposite say: “No, we refuse to grant that permission; you may not administer this country and use the necessary funds; you may not do anything.” They are completely negative. But there are nevertheless certain questions to which hon. members answer “Yes”. To what would they say “Yes”? When either verbally or at meetings or in the Press or overseas, a campaign of vilification is launched against this country, we hear an affirmative chorus from hon. members opposite: “Yes, this is a labour of love; this is how we as South Africans must behave.” I shall read to the House presently from an old English newspaper to show the House the mentality and the sentiments of this type of people who say “No” to everything which is to the benefit of our country, and “Yes” when anything is calculated to harm this country of ours. “Yes”, if it is suggested that we should get rid of a Broederbond and a Verwoerd Government and become a republic. Then they cry out “Yes”, “Yes”, in a great chorus. That meets with their general approval. As regards the franchise for the non-Whites, they say “Yes, we should like to adopt that principle” to such an extent that they should eventually be able to take over the reins of Government. To that proposal they say yes and amen. Even if it would eventually mean a Black Government they say “Yes”, “Yes, the Natalia”. It also came about that this ship, the “Natalia”, under its captain Mitchelli, with due acknowledgments to the Burger, set out and it seemed to me that it eventually finished up behind an iron curtain formed of its own imperialistic and ridiculous arguments, where the hon. member, as the leader of a group of one, is consoling himself in his own misery. Or, on the other hand, I should like to put it in this way. He and the people who feel as he does (and there are very few of them) are sitting behind that curtain, which they have hung up for themselves, and are turning the future republic into their own concentration camp, a concentration camp in which they must bear humiliation and suffering. Then I thought to myself: “I had mine, which they gave me. If Mitchell, the hon. member for South Coast, wants to establish his own concentration camp, let him taste its bitterness to the full if he so wishes, over and over again, without any sympathy from me.” I want to go further and put it in this way: They also say “Yes” to communistic infiltration which will eventually mean the destruction of White civilization in our country. These are the suggestions to which hon. members opposite say “Yes”. Does the House know that the position is actually that, in the minds of our friends opposite, there is really no longer any such thing as a White South Africa. In their visions of to-morrow and the day after they do not see any future generation of Whites in South Africa for whom we are responsible. It boils down to this. In their minds they already believe that in the near future there will only be a Black South Africa, and that is why they already do not care whether they are doing everything possible, inter alia to support movements which will inevitably result in White civilization in our country being destroyed and our eventually being governed in this country by non-Whites, as is the position in the Congo. The House knows what has happened in the Congo. Do not give those people such heavy responsibilities too soon, these people who do not understand the democratic system, still less the calling and the functions of a minority in a democratic country. Thus it has happened in the Congo that each political minority has appointed its own Prime Minister and its own Cabinet. Do hon. members know why? Precisely, because they are so accustomed in those areas to being ruled by their own chiefs, and now they still want their own chiefs, but they give them the title of Prime Minister. I am not saying that to belittle them, but it would have been better if the Congo had continued as it was before and if Lumumba had simply remained a kaffir. But then he became an imitation White man and the Prime Minister of a State which did not understand the functions of the democratic system of government and we all know what the tragic result has been.
In the few minutes still at my disposal, I do just want to raise one matter. I am convinced that hon. members opposite will inevitably oppose everything we on this side of the House try to do in the interests of South Africa under the slogan of “South Africa first”. When General Hertzog raised the voice of freedom in 1912, the call of “South Africa first”, it was regarded as a crime, so much so that it caused a Cabinet crisis. Can the House imagine that it would cause a Cabinet crisis if a Minister were to rise in England and say: “England first!” The same applies to India or Ghana. This was so much so in our case that the Minister who committed such a crime was omitted from the next Cabinet! And what did Sir Thomas Smartt say about him at the time, according to the Star of 9 November 1912? When I read this report, I feel that the spiritual comrades-in-arms of Sir Thomas Smartt and those people of 1912 are still to be found amongst hon. members opposite. They are the descendants of those people. Sir Thomas Smartt said this and it calls out to the heavens—
not our fatherland, but a foreign country— and many hon. members opposite still regard it in that light—
There are thousands of them amongst the supporters of hon. members opposite—
If this then is a test of a good South African, so he said, namely to love South Africa above England, “then I am not a good South African”. And what happened under the same régime in the case of our industrial development? When our industries started to develop, we had the position that, together with our economic development, constitutional development took place which gradually but inevitably led us towards the republic. We then found that because this economic development was accompanied by constitutional development along the road to a republic, it aroused the strongest opposition in imperialistic quarters. In 1916, during the initial stages of that industrial development, Mr. Hoskins said—
Not “in our motherland” but “industries in our midst”, as though we could just as well have been living in Siberia—
not “in South Africa”, but in this foreign country—
This appeared in the Star of 8 January 1916, and, Mr. Speaker, I consider that the Opposition in their behaviour still breathe this same spirit, namely, that if one puts South Africa first, one is committing a crime.
My hon. colleague, the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, covered the field which it was necessary to cover in reply to hon. members for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) and Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) in so far as my Department is concerned, but I would not be doing the correct thing if I were not to reply to the questions put in regard to my Department. Before doing so, I just want to say a word in regard to the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes). As I understood his speech, he tried to create the impression that there were really never any difficulties in the Transkei in former years. Then I want to ask the hon. member why, for more than 20 years, from approximately 1916 to 1939, the police mobile squadron was stationed in Umtata, a mounted mobile unit of the police, and a fairly large unit too? Does one station a police mobile squadron like this in a place for more than 20 years if there is never any trouble there? It must have been a very foolish Government which did that.
He referred to Bizana.
But Umtata is the main town in Pondoland and therefore it had to be stationed there. I am merely drawing attention to the fact that people who live in glasshouses should not throw stones.
The hon. member for Salt River made a few unfortunate statements yesterday which perhaps were not intended in that way. But he said that the country had been paralysed by the state of emergency we declared. He said: “The country was paralysed.” Now I want to ask the hon. member whether he, together with so many other people in the country, are not grateful for the fact that the Government last year declared a state of emergency and made short shrift of the troubles that had arisen in the country. Were the police not supposed to take action at all? I think it can be easily proved that all over the country both people who support the Government and who support the opposite side are grateful to the Government for having declared a state of emergency, and for the fact that it was not necessary to declare it right throughout the country but only in certain areas, and that the Government, all the Departments concerned, took such prompt action, the Department of Native Affairs, my own Department of Justice and the Department of Defence. We acted collectively and speedily gained control of the situation. In general, the country is grateful for that. It is wrong of the hon. member to say that we paralysed the country. Am I to infer from that that the hon. member for Salt River considers that we should not have declared a state of emergency, and that we should have left things to develop, as was always done in the time of the United Party Government? Letting matters develop is easy, but then later it is necessary to use much more force than we had to. There are examples in the past where the former government allowed matters to develop and then later had to take more stringent action than we found it necessary to take.
It is surprising that the memory of the hon. member for Salt River is so short in regard to previous riots and emergencies. Unfortunately I cannot give the figures now of the numbers of people who were arrested and later released, of those who were not convicted and against whom charges could not be laid eventually. The charge against us is that we arrested large numbers of Bantu but did not convict them all! Just imagine! And that in a South Africa where all these years, ever since 1910 and even earlier, emergencies have always arisen and a state of emergency was proclaimed in order to cope with the trouble. Now this hon. member, who was himself a Minister of Justice, accuses us of having arrested large numbers of people but of having convicted only a few! What did he expect? Should we not have acted so promptly? Should we not have spread the net wide and arrested people against whom there was even the *lightest prima facie evidence, and have brought some of them before the courts? Surely it is not only this Government which followed that course. Previous governments all did so.
You said that they would be charged.
We said, as is now being done in connection with Pondoland, that these people would gradually be lifted out, that we would obtain the evidence, and if no evidence could be obtained against them they would be released. The country is grateful to us for having arrested those people who had come under the influence of the agitators.
Did you not say the previous session that they would be charged?
That was not in my mind. We said that we would take these people to court if they could be convicted, when there was enough prima facie evidence to make us think that they could be convicted. Otherwise they were released. But we are not the first Government to have done so. When the United Party was in power they gave us numbers of examples of how one should act. I did not blame them. In a state of emergency one has to act promptly. But what we reproach them for is the way in which they acted. We never blamed them for acting promptly in an emergency. Before the hon. member for Salt River became Minister of Justice, as far back as 1913 when there was trouble on the Rand in connection with the strikes, does the hon. member remember how forcefully and speedily the Government acted? It was so bad that they later had to ask to be indemnified. No state of emergency was declared. No, they simply proclaimed martial law in 1914.
But women were not arrested haphazardly on a large scale.
Unfortunately I have not the time to enlighten the hon. member further now. I want to come to 1922 and what happened subsequently up to 1939 and later, but unfortunately my Department finds itself in the difficulty that the documents referring to these cases were all burnt. If you ask me the question to-morrow as to how many people were detained or interned by the previous government, then, according to my Department, I cannot obtain that figure, because the documents simply are not there to provide the information. That is not so long ago, especially 1914 to 1939, but the documents simply are not there. I asked whether the Department could not ascertain how many people were arrested under martial law in 1914 and how many were arrested in 1922, but I simply cannot get that information. The documents just are not there. I am not accusing the hon. member. He can tell us later whether he perhaps knows where those documents are. I do not know. My Department cannot trace them. My Department avers that certain documents have disappeared.
Are you alleging that I burnt documents?
The hon. member wants to intimate that he did not burn them himself. I accept that a Minister does not burn documents himself.
I gave no instructions that documents should be burnt.
If the hon. member tells me that he gave no instructions that documents should be burnt, I am compelled to accept his word for it. All I can say is that the documents are no longer there, and for the sake of history I am sorry that these documents are not there.
There was no war in 1922. What did the previous government then do? It did not, at we have now done, make a portion of the country subject to emergency regulations, but it simply declared martial law. Then it could take whatever action it wished to take.
They were all tried by the civil courts.
Surely the hon. member knows that he is wrong. Surely not all those who were arrested were charged in court when there was that trouble on the Rand. Many of them were released without being tried. They then did on a small scale what they later did on a large scale during war-time. Thousands upon thousands of people—the hon. member will know about that, even though he does not know about the documents—were arrested. They were not brought to court. Now we are being accused of having arrested Natives who were not brought to court.
I say that those who were guilty of subversive activities were arrested and interned.
Yes, but it was a state of emergency. You did not then declare martial law.
War is martial law.
In 1922 Proclamation No. 50 was issued on 10 March. In 1939 a national state of emergency was prolaimed by Proclamation 201.
Therefore what you did then was done in a state of emergency.
In time of war.
Yes, but it could be done in two ways. One could have proclaimed martial law or one could have proclaimed a state of emergency, and at that time they elected to proclaim a state of emergency, and thereafter all these things happened. These were White people who were arrested. Therefore I say that it is surprising that of all people the hon. member for Salt River, who was Minister of Justice in the previous government, should make this complaint. If another hon. member who did not know better had made that accusation, I would have taken little notice of it. But he makes it!
There was a big difference.
The hon. member can explain that later.
At that time we had a fifth column against which we had to take action.
That is not the point. But if there was a fifth column then, which I do not believe, what do we have to-day? To-day we have the communist danger in the world, greater than ever before, and because it is a threat to the world it is also a threat to South Africa. It is a world condition with which we are dealing.
Now the hon. member says that we should appoint still another commission. The hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration has already replied to that. Last year the hon. the Prime Minister said that we would consider it and see whether it was necessary. Then we found that it was merely necessary to appoint fact-finding commissions, judicial commissions, and we appointed those fact-finding commissions. Now the hon. member asks why we did not also apply judicial commissions to investigate the root causes. I say we in South Africa do not need to investigate the root causes. They are known to us. The pattern of behaviour here is precisely the pattern also found beyond our borders and the rest of the world. What do we find? Demands of a minimum wage of £30 or £35 per month! The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) raised this matter. One of the grievances is that they want £35 a month.
But there are genuine grievances.
She says they are genuine. Now, I just want to ask her whether she is in favour of this grievance, that they should receive £30 to £35, being conceded to?
I merely said that there are genuine grievances.
I will not pursue the hon. member in her flight. I put a clear question expecting to receive a reply. What we have here in South Africa is a pattern, and the grievances which are being expressed are grievances which arise because they are being incited, mostly from beyond our borders. I want to say here this afternoon that if we were to appoint a commission to-day to investigate what all the grievances are, and we satisfy those grievances, then to-morrow, according to the communist pattern being applied in the world, they will discover further grievances. One can never satisfy the communists. We all know that. For these reasons we decided that a commission was not necessary.
Then the hon. member for Salt River asked why there was a difference in the figures I gave in reply to a previous question he put last year and those I gave this Session. I have already said by way of interjection that his former question referred to the people who were arrested under the emergency regulations, and the later question was a general one, how many had been arrested altogether, and then of course the figure was almost 5,000 more, because in such abnormal circumstances, in a state of emergency, there are many contraventions under the ordinary law which do not fall under the emergency regulations.
The first question put to the hon. the Minister was in May last year, and it was put by the hon. member for East London (North) (Mr. van Ryneveld), and the question was: “How many persons were arrested and detained during that period?” Is it not correct that the Minister then gave the figure of 18,011? The question I put to him a week ago was what the total number of persons was who had been arrested and detained under the various provisions of the emergency regulations during the statutory state of emergency in the Union, and the reply I received was that it was 11,503. Therefore what the Minister said a moment ago is not correct. Will the hon. gentleman explain the difference between the two?
I have not got the questions in front of me, but I have been informed by the Department that the reason for the difference is that these questions did not cover the same field. I cannot take the matter further. The reason for the difference is that the one question was regarded as concerning the total number, and the other question only as concerning those who were arrested under the emergency regulations. Many more people were arrested under the ordinary laws than were arrested merely as a result of the state of emergency. I cannot take the matter any further than that.
Then I just want to say a word to the hon. member for Houghton. She made a plea here for the Bantu, and I almost gained the impression that she wants to take the place of the Natives’ Representatives. She now wants to take it upon herself to plead for those people, but she does so in a peculiar manner. She referred to a certain matter here in a way which, in my opinion, cannot be allowed to go unanswered. She said—
After having agitated the whole of the country and the outside world in regard to the so-called dum-dum bullets which were alleged to have been used, it is now only of academic value to them. The point I want to make is that, after the report was published and the findings became known, and it became clear to the whole world that Bishop Reeves had been deceiving the world with his allegation that dum-dum bullets had been used, and after the report had expressly controverted that, the hon. member still makes that insinuation.
No, I did not do that.
But what do the hon. member’s words mean then?—“and even the type of bullet that might have been used at Sharpeville”—the bullets which might have been used! And the hon. member knows that the report says that they were not used.
Read the whole paragraph of my speech.
I want to read the hon. member an extract from this report, viz. paragraph 209.
But we accept it.
This paragraph reads as follows—
I am reading this report because I think South Africa and the rest of the world should now know once and for all that this lie has been exposed—
In other words, the Judge rejects that story completely.
But that has been accepted.
Now the hon. member says she accepts it. If she accepts it, why then does she again refer to “and even the type of bullets that might have been used at Sharpeville”. It is not a case of “might have been used”. The position is that they were not used at all.
Would you be kind enough to read the whole paragraph.
May I ask the hon. the Minister one more question because I am trying to get more information? I would like to ask the hon. the Minister whether he agrees with the figures that he gave in this House on 27 January. I will read his reply which was in answer to this question—
Mr. Speaker will call me to order if I am not in order. Does the hon. the Minister agree that to the question—
the answer was 4,769?
May I then add this further question: Does the hon. the Minister of Justice agree with the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development who said that those 4,769 were arrested throughout the year and not during the period of emergency?
Yes, I agree with the hon. the Minister.
I would like to bring the debate back to the question which is before the House, that is the question of the amount of money which the hon. the Minister of Finance requires and is asking us to vote. I want to indicate to the hon. the Minister that unfortunately, as a result of the division of time for this debate between the various parties, which division is strictly enforced, the members representing the Coloured community are allocated so few minutes that we are unable to do justice to the very important questions which we have to put to the Minister in the interests of the Coloured peoples.
In the short period at my disposal I want to make a plea to the hon. the Minister of Finance in regard to the Budget which he will submit to this House in the near future. My plea is that more consideration be given to the Coloured people in connection with the various aspects of their economic life. Nobody can deny that the Budgets over the preceding few years have been, broadly speaking, what may be termed a rich man’s budget. They have ben accepted as such. The poor—and that includes the people I represent in this House—have been, unfortunately, the target of taxation when it comes to the necessities of life, necessities for which they can ill-afford to pay any more. I hope that the hon. the Minister will give consideration to the economic position of the Coloured man to-day. His position is such that very careful consideration should be given to the Coloureds in this next Budget.
We are told that we are a prosperous country. I have listened to hon. Ministers proclaiming to the world that this country is outstandingly prosperous. But I venture to suggest that no country is prosperous unless the people in that country are themselves prosperous. And you cannot proclaim to the world that we are a prosperous country when we know that there are thousands upon thousands of people in this country living below the economic lines. And there are many more thousands who are not prosperous to any extent. Therefore we have no right to claim that we are a prosperous country. I repeat and emphasize that we can only say we are prosperous when the people in the country are themselves prosperous.
I should like to make perfectly clear that I appreciate that we will have an opportunity of dealing with various subjects affecting the Coloured people when the respective votes come before the House for discussion. But I do not want the Coloured people to feel that their representatives have not taken part in this debate. I take part merely in order to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister to the fact that despite all that the Government has attempted to do for the Coloured people, through the Department of Coloured Affairs and through the hon. the Deputy Minister of the Interior, they feel that certain matters should receive the immediate attention of the Government. I deal, in the first instance, with the old-age pensions granted to the Coloureds. I have in the past years drawn the attention of the Government to the disparity between the payments to the Coloured pensioners and the payments to European pensioners. There is no justification, on any grounds whatever, for that great disparity. I want to make a special appeal to the hon. the Minister to think of the aged Coloured people and to increase the amount of pensions payable to them. This country can afford it. I think that this country can stand an additional appropriation for that particular purpose.
I have but a few minutes left, but I do not want to be accused of not having dealt in detail with the many matters affecting the Coloured people. In the time at my disposal that is obviously impossible. But I do want to say this, that the economic position of the Coloured man to-day is such that the Government should make every endeavour to give a lead to an improvement of that position. If the Government would only give the lead in regard to the advancement and the enhancement of the economic position of the Coloureds, I am sure that other people would follow, and I do make that appeal to the Government.
I want to conclude by saying that I have before me a statement made by the hon. the Prime Minister in regard to the Coloured people. It is headed “Positive Rehabilitation Programme of the Government concerning the Coloured People as announced by the Prime Minister of the 7th of December, 1960”. I do not intend to deal with this document, nor do I intend to deal with the various matters raised therein, except to indicate to the hon. the Prime Minister that if this statement is the reinforcement of the Government’s policy as regards the Coloured people, and it is intended—as is visualised here—that there should be, as this statement, says, namely—
if that is the aim, then let me say that this Utopia which the hon. the Prime Minister and the Government intends to build up in regard to the Coloured people will fail. It will fail as long as the economic position of the Coloured peoples remains as it is to-day. There can be no advancement in Coloured areas; there can be no programme of health, or hospitals or any other matters for the Coloureds, unless they can achieve a higher economic status in this country.
With these few words I will conclude. I ask that the hon. the Minister of Finance will, in his Budget, notwithstanding the shortness of my appeal, give us a very happy surprise in the interests of the Coloured people. We look forward to many improvements in regard to their taxation, improvements which will be to the benefit of the Coloured people and will alleviate the heavy burden which has fallen upon them in the past few years.
Mr. Speaker, as usual the Opposition in this debate again came along with the allegation that our economic position is not favourable, and then they allege that it is due to the Government’s apartheid policy. Hon. members on this side tore this allegation to pieces and, as a result, in only the few minutes available to me, it is impossible for me to go further into this matter. But I only want to mention this: That it has become customary to come here with loose allegations and to continue to repeat them in the hope that the public will accept that these allegations are well founded, that they are scientifically and factually correct. We are able to mention a number of these allegations.
I want to refer to one in particular, because it is a most popular one. That is that the Nationalist Party’s apartheid policy was based solely on colour discrimination and that, for that reason, people are deprived of their rights and are oppressed. Mr. Speaker, that is not so. The apartheid policy is not based, in the first place, on colour discrimination as such, and it is not the Nationalist Party which came along with this new freak and is trying to inflict it on the people. To the contrary, apartheid is a certain way of life. It is the South African way of life which has been maintained by both White and non-White in this country for the past 300 years. What is, however, true is that the Nationalist Party is the only party which had the courage, and still has the courage, to tell the world that it is the South African way of life. The Nationalist Party is the only party which has the courage to tell the world the truth, namely that 95 per cent of the Whites, and perhaps even a greater percentage of the non-Whites, believe in this policy and would like to see this way of life maintained. The Nationalist Party is the only party which has the courage and pluck to carry out the will of the people and to protect this way of life, even if it is necessary to do it by way of legislation. Other people also want apartheid, but they are afraid to come forward with it. For instance, I read in the Cape Times of 28 January—
Then the message continues—
They also want apartheid, but they do not want to come into the open. It suits their conscience to place the blame on the Nationalist Party. The United Party also wants apartheid. Last year we saw them vote on our side, even if it was only about low-tide apartheid on the Natal coast. I do not know whether it is because their politics are always at somewhat of a low ebb that they suddenly woke up when there was talk of low tide. The fact remains, however, that the Nationalist Party is prepared to protect this way of life even if it is necessary to do it by way of legislation. We must not forget that it is quite possible that legislation would never have been necessary if it had only depended on the actions of the non-Whites who have honoured this way of life for the past 300 years. It was only after Whites came and incited these people, whipped up their feelings and spurred them on, that they started to break down the barriers jointly. For this reason legislation was passed.
I say apartheid is not, in the first instance, based on colour discrimination. If discrimination is the correct word, then we say it is discrimination on the grounds of differences, on the basis of a very great difference in language, culture, tradition, way of life and so forth. We always want to help the different peoples in South Africa to develop along their own lines. That is not, in the first instance, colour discrimination. It is rather protection and assistance given to the weaker ones against exploitation. If it was based only on colour discrimination, then we would only have drawn a line and we would have placed all the non-Whites on the one side and the Whites on the other side of it. But this is not what we are doing. Also, as far as the non-Whites are concerned, we have protective barriers. We are trying to make it possible for the Zulu, the Xhosa, the Basuto, the Indian, etc., to develop in their own surroundings, their own traditions and customs, and to live there happily. That is why I say it is not based only on colour discrimination. I am not the only one who says this. The Nationalist Party is not the only one that says this either. I read here in the Sunday Times of 5 July last year an article by Major Hussey. He speaks about the Scout Movement, and he defends apartheid in the movement. It reads like this—
Another wild statement which is made very loosely is that our greatest problem lies in the urban areas, and that this is the thing which gives the Government the greatest trouble, because there are two or three million detribalized Natives. I want to say immediately that I am no expert but I wonder whether we who talk so glibly about detribalized Natives have a clear picture of what we mean when we use this term. It is my impression that there is not any accepted definition yet of this term. It is my impression that there are very few, if any, detribalized Natives. In my view the Department of Bantu Affairs has more knowledge and experience of this question than any outside scientist or so-called expert. My information gave me this impression; that almost every Bantu we encounter still has some contact or other with his homeland. There are some who were born and grew up in the White areas. But it is still my view that some of them continue to recognize certain chiefs or headmen; some continue to pay taxes to the chief. There are others who live here, particularly the Bawenda and the Shanghaans, who are fond of sending their children from the Bantu townships to their homelands to grow up there, to develop and to learn their traditions there and to grow up in those traditions. There are some who have relatives there; there are others who have a few head of cattle there. It is my impression that almost every person who is so-called detribalized still retains some relation with his homeland. I admit that it is difficult to ascertain these matters because the Bantu is not anxious to admit that he still has contact with his homeland, and the reason for that is understandable. I have, for instance, recently met an educated Bantu here in Cape Town. He gave me the assurance that he was absolutely detribalized, that he could speak only English. He told me that he had been living in Johannesburg for the past 40 years or more and that it was his only home. He knew no other place. Well, Mr. Speaker, I allowed him to go on talking like this and I led him on and said to him: If you are really so detribalized will you be available to come and assist us to teach English to the Basutos at Thaba ’Nchu? His reaction was enlightening. He was quite surprised. He immediately started speaking Xhosa and he gave me the assurance that this would be utterly impossible because his people were still in the Transkei and how could he go and teach the Basutos, of whom he spoke with contempt, to speak English? The fact is that this man, in spite of the fact that he had been living in Johannesburg for 40 years, still felt that he was a Xhosa and was proud of it. That is why I say that the idea that there really are detribalized people makes it essential for us to define this expression properly in order that we may understand what we say when we use this term. It is quite clear that this man, although he is not prepared to admit that he is still related to one chief or another, has not yet been denationalized. That is what really counts in practice. He does not want to be anything else but Xhosa, and it is good and right that it is so. That is what we should encourage. That is what we should try and drive home to these people and then it will not be impossible to get them back into their national tribal relationship. There are experts who say that these people could never be brought back to their tribal relationship. I want to repeat that I am no expert. But who are the authorities and experts who have already made this experiment; on what grounds can they allege that it will be impossible for us to restore these people to their tribal relationship? My impression is that it is possible. My impression is that there are signs that it is in fact taking place. In the Bantu township of Tembu, near Pretoria, it is taking place. There we find people who have been supposed to have been detribalized for years and who are now busy, of their own accord, to place themselves under the protection and care of certain chiefs.
Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that I have to stop here but I only want to mention one more matter. That is the other story that we hear from morning till night, that our policy is impracticable, that there is no time any more to carry it out, that the White man’s time in South Africa has passed and that the clock has already struck. I do not want to pretend that we have no problems. I do not want to say that there are no dangers, but I am quite certain that our ancestors also had problems. Our ancestors succeeded in solving those problems and I am convinced that our generation is not so weak as to be unable to meet these dangers and problems. I believe that the time of the White man has not yet passed here. I believe that the clock has not yet struck at all and I am convinced that only a Higher Hand who decides on the destiny of nations will decide when this clock will strike, if ever. I am convinced that, in spite of what hon. members opposite say, we will do our duty—and our duty is to assist and support these people who have been entrusted to our care so that they will be able to help themselves later. It is our duty and we will carry it out. We will do it, not to save our own skins, but because it is the right thing to do. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that South Africa will show the world that we are prepared to pay any price and to suffer any inconvenience and hardships but that we will not be prepared to surrender. In this southern point of Africa we will survive and carry the torch of White civilization.
On the conclusion of the period of twelve hours allotted for the second reading of the Bill, the business under consideration was interrupted by Mr. Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 116.
Mr. Speaker, in actual fact there are not many points raised in the debate which merit a reply as far as financial matters are concerned, but, as I said on a previous occasion, I rise not only to reply to the arguments advanced here, but also in fulfilment of the general Biblical reminder that from time to time it becomes necessary to act for the edification and upliftment of the congregation. It is in that sense that I rise to reply.
In the first place I want to convey my hearty congratulations to the new members who have taken part in this debate. There were four of them. They all had their baptism of fire in this debate. They all made promising speeches and I want to congratulate them. I want to assure them that the points made by them will receive attention as far as they affect my Department. I refer to the members for Groblersdal (Mr. M. J. H. Bekker), Harrismith (Mr. Rail), Bloemfontein (District) (Mr. Schlebusch) and Ceres (Mr. Muller). As far as the latter member is concerned, I just want to say that he raised a very important matter in his able speech, the question of overlapping between the Central Government and the Provincial Administrations. That is a matter which will in all probability receive the attention of the Schumann Commission which was appointed for the very purpose of dealing with the financial relations between the Central Government and the provinces.
Then, before I come to the actual debate, I also want to make a few observations about the point mentioned by the hon. member for Pinetown (Mr. Hopewell) in connection with decimalization and the fact that there is a certain amount of exploitation by retailers who are taking advantage of the change-over to increase their prices. I think the point made by him is not unfounded; there is such a possibility, a strong possibility. But I feel that prices in the retail trade will find their level through normal competition between the various traders and through buyers’ pressure, and if that does not happen, I am sure the Department of Commerce and Industries will not hesitate to intervene where it has the power to do so. There is no general price control but if this continues for any length of time the Department of Commerce and Industries will no doubt see what powers they have to intervene. I want to make a friendly appeal to all concerned not to take advantage of the change-over to decimalization as an excuse to increase prices. As far as the Government is concerned, it has set the example. There are certain increases which are unavoidable, but we have always adopted the principle that when we take anything away with one hand we give something back with the other hand, and that on balance the Government should lose rather than gain. If we cannot come out entirely square, then we should rather lose.
That is happening in this establishment.
As far as our own mess is concerned, it is not necessary for the Government to take any steps; there are other authorities who can maintain order in this House.
The hon. member for Hottentots-Holland (Mr. J. D. de Villiers) is not here, but I just want to say that I enjoyed reading his valuable contribution, a contribution which certainly deserves serious reflection. The hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) is not here either. I just want to say that the matter raised here by him is a very important one. I certainly do not want to minimize the importance of the matter he raised, but I want to draw his attention to the fact that there are also many other important national concerns which look to the Treasury for assistance. In any event, the plea made by him for the Road Fund is a matter which will have to stand over for the Budget, so he will have to forgive me. I do not propose to anticipate the Budget. That also applies to the other applications for assistance or for increased expenditure mentioned by other hon. members, like the hon. member for Brakpan (Mr. P. W. du Plessis). As far as the important health problem of pollution is concerned, I just want to tell him that that is a matter which he might raise perhaps with the Minister of Health.
Then I come to the Opposition’s financial criticism of the Government’s policy. I want to subject that criticism to two tests; I shall then analyse it and ask you, Sir, when I have completed my analysis, to judge to what extent the Opposition’s criticism meets these two tests. The two tests are the following: Firstly, what contribution has the Opposition made by their criticism in this debate towards greater confidence in South Africa abroad? The second test is this: Is that criticism honest and correct criticism, uninfluenced by party political considerations? Those are the two tests that I want to apply; I shall then analyse the nature of the criticism that has been put forward here and ask you, Sir, to say whether that criticism of the Government’s financial policy measures up to these two tests.
But let me say this in advance. Financially South Africa is not the strongest country in the world, nor do we contend that she is. We admit that there is room for improvement also in respect of the degree of prosperity that we enjoy. We believe that self-complacency without ambition to do even better is a danger, and we do not want to fall into that danger. It is because we believe that, that constructive criticism is always welcome. Criticism which is calculated to make our strong financial position even stronger will always be welcomed by us, and if any assistance can be given to accelerate the tempo of our development we shall welcome it. That is what we look for and, I am afraid, often look for in vain from the Opposition. As far as the financial position of this country is concerned, an objective approach is absolutely essential. Nothing is achieved by simply painting the shadowy side of the picture of South Africa. Nothing is achieved by painting a distorted picture to the world. I just want to say that one can paint a distorted picture even with straight lines. In other words, one can use every single fact correctly and still paint a distorted picture of the financial position of South Africa. Even if all one’s lines are straight, one can still paint a distorted picture to countries abroad. I am afraid that the Opposition’s lines in this debate were not always straight lines.
I come now to a few of the points that I want to deal with. In the first place, there is the astounding attitude adopted by the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) with regard to a reply I gave him earlier this Session to a question about the position of our reserve drawing capacity at the International Monetary Fund. I stated that up to that date we had already drawn £9,000,000 and that we had made arrangements to draw another £4,500,000, if necessary, at the end of this month. I told him that there was possibly another £40,000,000 that we could draw under certain circumstances and that if we drew that amount it would represent 50 per cent of our quota at the Fund. This £54,000,000 would then be 50 per cent, which is the maximum drawing capacity. I intended this to be a reassuring statement in order to show that here we had a second line of reserves; that one must not necessarily look at the first line of reserves; that here we still had an unexhausted balance on which we could rely in times of emergency and on which both we and other countries had already relied in the past. That was intended to be a reassuring statement, but what was the peculiar interpretation placed upon this by the hon. member for Constantia? How does he explain this reassuring statement? To him, this old prophet of doom for South Africa, it means that we are facing a financial crisis. I thing the hon. member must be a direct discendant of the late Jeremiah. The argument advanced by him could be likened to the conduct of the man who asks me how much money I have in the bank and then, when I say that I have just withdrawn £200 but that I still have £1,000 in the bank, tells me: “That is an ominous sign; you are on the threshold of a financial crisis.” That is the character of this criticism. I suppose he thinks it would have been better if we had not had that £40,000,000 to draw upon. According to his reasoning, we would then not have been on the threshold of a crisis. The tragic part of it, of course, is that one can imagine how much prominence is given in the world to his prophecies of disaster, as has already been done in South Africa by the newspapers supporting the Opposition. We can imagine how this will be exploited abroad by people who have no love for South Africa.
But he is not the only prophet of doom on the other side. He is not the only member of the Opposition who always tries to paint the gloomy side of the South African picture and who would never dream of also painting the bright side of the South African picture occasionally. When I look at the financial critics on that side, the hon. members for Constantia, Jeppes (Dr. Cronje) and Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman), I am reminded of the well-known picture that we have all seen of the three monkeys. The first one has his hands over his eyes; he refuses to see anything good in South Africa. The second one has his hands over his ears; he refuses to hear anything good about South Africa. The third one has his hands over his mouth; he refuses to say anything good about South Africa. Let us see for a moment what these hon. members say. Here I have the statement of the hon. member for Constantia. He says that South Africa is not a happy and prosperous country; 70 per cent of our people are living “in extreme poverty”. I wonder whether the hon. member is aware of the consumption expenditure statistics which have been published in the last month, and which reflect the private expenditure of the man in the street in South Africa. It amounts to more than £1,000,617,000 and represents 67 per cent of our gross national production. That is the private consumption expenditure of this country. Sixty-two per cent of this is spent on non-durable goods, goods such as food and clothing. Food accounts for more than 50 per cent of this sum of £1,000,000,000, and 25 per cent of that is spent on clothing. The rest is spent on entertainment, health, etc. It is interesting to see that whereas 62 per cent of our total consumption expenditure goes towards non-durable goods, the percentage in a country like the U.S.A. is only 48 per cent. Less than half of their total consumption expenditure goes towards nondurable goods, and here the figure is 62 per cent.
A third fact which appears from those statistics is that from 1950 to 1959 private consumption expenditure, at constant prices, rose by 3.9 per cent per annum. Allowing for the increase in our population the consumption expenditure rose by 2.1 per cent per annum per capita therefore. The importance of these figures is that they represent the yardstick of the improvement in the standard of living of a nation. In the relevant statistics of the Reserve Bank it is stated very prominently that that is the basis on which one measures the improvement in the standard of living—the expenditure of people, not so much the national production. Savings, taxes, etc., still have to be deducted from the national production. Let the hon. member for Constantia tell me which other developed countries, which are comparable with South Africa, have shown a more rapid constant rise in its standard of living over a period of nine years. I want to refer him and those people who say we are not a happy and prosperous country to an article that appeared in 1952 by Dr. Busschau, in which he tried to show how well off we were. I just want to mention a few of the points made by him—and to-day that is even more true than it was in 1952. He said—
He says that the life expectation figure in India is 27 years, but the life expectation of the Indian population in the Union, according to an estimate by Dr. Sadie, is 51 years.
I want to take another example, but let me first make this point. I asked what the position was with regard to the other races. This position applies to the Whites. Here I have a much later estimate in respect of other races as well as Whites. Some of the general figures emanate from UNO, but as far as the splitting up for South Africa is concerned, this is an estimate that was made locally. According to that estimate the average income of the Whites in South Africa is £410 a year, which places South Africa fifth on the world list. It is only America and Canada, Australia and Sweden which rank higher than South Africa, but not much higher. In the case of Asiatics it is £80 per annum. It may be interesting to compare that figure with other similar figures. The income of the Asiatics in this country is equal to the average annual income of all the inhabitants of Mauritius. It is twice as high as the average income of the inhabitants of Ceylon and four times as high as the average income of all the inhabitants of India and Pakistan. In Ceylon the figure is £41, in India £23 and in Pakistan £18.
In the case of the Coloureds, the estimate is £58 a year. Their average income is higher than the average income of all the inhabitants of those countries, irrespective of race, of Southern and Central Africa, including a country such as Egypt, where it is £39 and Nigeria where it is £25. Then we come to the Bantu, and there the estimate is £46. Again I can say that this £46 per annum is higher than the average income in Madagascar, Zanzibar, Egypt, Kenya, the Belgian Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Uganda and Tanganyika. The hon. member says that South Africa is not a prosperous country. Here we have the yardstick of prosperity in comparison with other countries. If on this figure 70 per cent of our people are starving, then goodness only knows what the percentage is in these other countries. As far as unemployment is concerned, one of the causes of unhappiness, what is the position there? In South Africa the figure is 1.83 per cent, in the U.S.A. 6.8 per cent and in Canada more than 8.2 per cent. I know that hon. members on the other side will say that this figure does not include Natives. That is their stock argument. Let me ask them this: Do they think there would be any unemployment amongst our own Natives if we sent all foreign Natives out of South Africa or even only repatriated the Protectorate Natives?
Let me deal with a second allegation. Our development is allegedly proceeding at snail’s pace, at “the pace of the ox”, according to the hon. member for Constantia, and in order to prove this he says that the increase in the net income for the year ending 30 June was only 1.9 per cent. It has been pointed out already that that figure is wrong. In actual fact the increase in the national production for the year ending 30 June 1960 was 5.9 per cent, and as far as real income is concerned, calculated at constant prices and also bearing in mind the increase in population, the real income per caput increased by 3 per cent during the year ending 30 June 1960. According to the figures quoted here by the hon. member for Jeppes, the real income per capita increased by 1.7 per cent from 1950 to 1959. I accept that. There were some years when the real income per capita did not increase at all. But the hon. member for Jeppes said it must be 5 per cent. He is the man who told us last year that we should have an annual increase of 5 per cent in our population, and, taking these two facts together, he expects the real national production to increase by 10 per cent per annum. I can only say to him that he should not exaggerate so much. The hon. member goes on to say that there are many countries where the annual increase in the real national income per caput is more than 5 per cent, but he does not tell us which countries. He creates the impression that South Africa compares very badly with other countries of the world, that we are at the bottom of the list as far as the increase in our real income per capita is concerned. In actual fact South Africa, as far as increase in real income per capita is concerned, is higher on the list than Canada, higher than the United States, higher than Australia, higher than New Zealand and on a par with the U.S.A. According to the statement of the Stellenbosch bureau, Germany only is higher than 5 per cent, and we know that enormous developments have taken place in that country, under quite exceptional circumstances, Germany stands alone. The other countries where the real income per capita increased to a greater extent than in South Africa, are in Japan, which has also undergone enormous development in the past few years, also under special circumstances, and possibly Italy. But for the rest I think we will find that South Africa compares very favourably with comparable countries of the world as far as an increase in its real income per caput is concerned.
Let me mention another example of how the hon. member for Jeppes juggles with figures to show how badly South Africa is faring; how badly our agricultural industry is faring. He says that agriculture’s contribution to the national income was £221,000,000 in 1952-3 and that six years later, in 1958-9, it was only £236,000,000, an increase of only £15,000,000 over six years. He is quite correct, but, Mr. Speaker, if he had only taken 1956-7 instead of 1958-9 he would have found that over those four years there was an increase, not of £15,000,000 but an increase of £52,000,000. But I want to go even further. He wants to take the last figure, of course, and one can understand that. I have no objection to his saying this, but what he has not told us is that the producers’ prices of agricultural products dropped by 20 per cent over the same six years—not that the real agricultural production decreased; on the contrary, agricultural production rose by 34 per cent during that period. These things which are favourable to South Africa are suppressed and the others are shouted from the roof tops.
Let me come now to the third of the triplets, the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman). The hon. member, to show how bad things are in South Africa, drags in the alleged failure of our loan in London in 1959. He says that the underwriters there were left with 78 per cent of the loan. According to him this is disturbing proof of the lack of confidence in South Africa in England. I can tell the hon. member something that he will find much more disturbing—and I need not go back two years. Just two weeks. Australia floated two loans in London, and in the case of the one loan 82 per cent was left in the hands of the underwriters.
The hon. the Minister agrees that our loan was a conversion loan at better terms?
At the time that loan was floated there two years ago, there were two Australian conversion loans and they fared no better than South Africa’s. The hon. member—I expect it from him—always tries to find some little point to prove that South Africa is a bad country, but he will not look half as assiduously to see whether he cannot find some point in favour of South Africa. No, that he refuses to do. According to his yardstick, the investors therefore have at least 4 per cent more confidence in South Africa than in Australia. As the hon. member for Bellville (Mr. Haak) has already explained, it is by no means unusual for a loan on the London market not to be fully subcribed. The hon. member creates the impression that it is something unusual. It is perfectly normal. Rates of interest are cut very fine over there, and often the underwriters are not at all sorry to be left with the loan.
Then I come to the other point made by the hon. member for Johannesburg (North). He, like the hon. member for Constantia, is also very perturbed about the alleged failure of our internal loan in December. Did he not see the Press statement that I issued beforehand in which I stated explicitly that we would accept cash subscriptions only to cover any shortage on the conversion of the old loans together with a limited amount of new money? We did not want more than £18,500,000. We said that this would be sufficient for our requirements, but because we assumed that not everybody would convert their loans, we said that we would take new money to make up for loans that were not converted. The position which I have just mentioned was also explained to the main investment institutions such as the banks, the building societies, insurance companies and pension funds. We were not looking for an unlimited amount. The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) also stated that it was a serious matter that trust funds were being used to repay private investors—the £8,500,000 new money that we obtained to pay out those people who were not prepared to convert their loans. The hon. member says that a large portion of that money came from the Public Debt Commissioners out of trust funds. He stated that the Public Debt Commissioners had invested £5,000,000 there. I do not know why that is regarded by the hon. member as such a serious matter. The Public Debt Commissioners invest money practically every day in Government stocks; that is their function; they buy and sell stocks from and to the public—they trade on the open market. More than a year ago certain financial institutions, discount houses, bought Government stocks for a considerable sum from the Public Debt Commissioners, stocks that were repayable in the near future. These institutions also kept a considerable portion of the loans which become repayable in December and January, but they are not interested in long-term stocks, because of the nature of their business. They were not prepared to invest in new loans for a period, but they used that money to buy loans and Government stocks from the Public Debt Commissioners, loans and stocks which would mature within the foreseeable future. That is what they are interested in, and that is a perfectly normal phenomenon. Anybody who knows anything about open market transactions in South Africa ought to know that. In the United Kingdom, for example, new Government loans are only bought to a very limited extent by the public. Apparently the hon. member does not know that. They are bought in the first instance by Government bodies and later on they are gradually sold to the public. We do not follow precisely the same system, but the basic principle is the same, and I can assure the hon. member that not much of the £8,400,000 of new money that we had to repay, left this country, because it was an internal loan and, as he knows, South Africans, with certain exceptions, are not allowed to send their money abroad. I think that of that money that was repaid to people, very little left this country.
It is unnecessary, Mr. Speaker, to go any further. I have tried to analyse the criticism of an essentially financial nature that has come from the other side. That is the sort of picture of South Africa that has been painted by the Opposition in this debate for overseas consumption. If I wanted to go outside this debate, I could mention numerous examples of statements made by members of the Opposition or by their newspapers, but I do not propose to refer to them here. They have one thing in common and that is that they are only too anxious to suppress those things which represent South Africa in a favourable light. They continually exaggerate South Africa’s difficulties and problems and suppress all her fine achievements—and there is a great deal for which we can be grateful. Mr. Speaker, this picture which has been painted here by the Opposition for oversea consumption, is it a true and honest picture of South Africa; is it one that will create confidence in South Africa, that will attract capital to this country, that will attract immigrants to South Africa; is this the type of picture that is calculated to build up South Africa and to permit of the full exploitation of her potential? Those are the tests that one should apply. Let me just remind the House of these few words used by the hon. member for Constantia—
Is that the sort of story that is going to create confidence in South Africa?—
If the present position continues. That is the sort of thing that the hon. member for Constantia says. I ask hon. members to apply those two tests honestly and then to tell me whether the criticism that we have had here, as I have analysed it, is calculated to help South Africa? Is it calculated to build up confidence in South Africa? Is it a true and honest picture of this country’s position? South Africa has great problems and many difficulties, and the Opposition does not help us to resolve those problems and difficulties by exaggerating them. As far as the tempo of our development is concerned, I have said that we compare favourably with other countries, but do not think that we do not fully realize that this tempo of development must not only be maintained but that it must be accelerated. Hon. members must not think that we on this side of the House are perfectly content with the position and that we have no ambition to make this picture even more attractive than it is at present. That is why positive attempts are being made by the Government to bring about an ever-increasing tempo of development, a bigger increase than the average 1.7 per cent—perhaps the 3 per cent of last year —in our real income per head of the population. Positive and constructive steps are being taken, and I want to mention just a few of them. Firstly, there is the extension of Sasol, Iscor and Foscor. These are things which are calculated to increase our production, to increase the confidence of countries abroad in South Africa, when they see that we have confidence in our own future. Let me mention a second thing: The trade missions which are being sent by my colleague to Europe and America and the East represent a further attempt to obtain new markets, to accelerate the tempo of our production, to bring about a more rapid rise in our standard of living. That is a positive attempt. Nobody would suggest that that show a lack of confidence in South Africa. Let me mention a third: the Economic Advisory Council which has been established by the Prime Minister, one of whose main aims is to bring about co-operation with the private sector in order to promote our common aim, namely an increase in our production and a higher standard of living in South Africa, is another positive contribution. Mr. Speaker, after the first few meetings of that Council the Prime Minister issued a statement. That is the sort of thing that will create confidence in South Africa abroad, when people see that we ourselves have confidence and that we are prepared to continue on the road that we have taken, because confidence, after all, is what we need most to-day. I want to ask the Opposition this: Is it not possible for us, in this attempt to create confidence, to get away from all these petty things? Is it not possible for us to try to help, not this Government, but to help South Africa? There is another important reason why it is necessary to emphasize all our achievements in the outside world. There is, in my opinion, an inclination to view Sharpeville, Langa and the state of emergency in the wrong perspective. We all deplore these unfortunate occurrences, but the history of the past few years teaches us, or ought to teach us, that as long as South Africa is one of the targets of Communism, we must expect the technique of the communists to be used here. We cannot close our eyes to that technique. Their technique is not to wage a hot war against us. When we look at the various countries in the world to-day, we find that there is a consistent pattern that is developing; there are certain techniques which bear the trademark “made in Russia Look what happened in Russia herself at the beginning and later on in Korea, in Vietnam, in Hungary, Laos, not even to talk about other countries in Africa. They set to work in a cunning way; they themselves do not go and fight. In this evening’s newspaper there is a report to the effect that Czech arms are being used in the uprising in Angola. We know that there are training colleges behind the Iron Curtain for the training of the Bantu of Africa and of South Africa as well, to train them in methods of sabotage and in the incitement of disturbances. Anybody who does not close his eyes to what goes on around him, knows that that is the well-known technique of the Russians. They are aware of the fact that to-day South Africa is the only stumbling-block to Russia in her conquest of Africa, and that is why South Africa has become the target. We must expect therefore that the Russians are not going to be satisfied to leave us here in peace. In this pattern, uprisings and disturbances are nothing unusual. We must expect it and we must not allow ourselves to be paralysed by it. If disturbances do occur the outside world must not think—and we must not give them cause to think—that that means the end of South Africa. No, Mr. Speaker, we cannot always prevent the flames of Communism from being fanned in our own country, but we have the will and the power to douse those flames immediately and we are ready to do so. We shall not be caught unprepared again, and the only thing that these tactics of theirs can delay in South Africa is preparedness on our part for this type of attack on South Africa. The maintenance of law and order is the first responsibility of any government; the maintenance of law and order is one of the first things to which the foreign investor looks, and law and order will be maintained in South Africa by this Government; on that score the foreign investor can rest assured. Let the Opposition help South Africa in this respect. Let them help us to help South Africa, not because they have any love for us—I do not expect that—but because I hope they will have love for South Africa, and that in these matters that I have mentioned here they will be prepared to show that they are truly South Africans. Let us be proud together of South Africa’s achievements, her wonderful achievements in so many spheres, but particularly also in the financial sphere. Let us vie with each other to make those achievements known to the world. Let us see whether in that respect we cannot outshine each other—not in a spirit of boasting but simply to paint the true picture of South Africa to the world. Let us jealously protect South Africa together against foreign intervention or any attempt to encourage intervention in South Africa. Let us stand together to safeguard South Africa, not only against the direct attacks of Communism but also against this cunning, indirect attack, which is the Russian technique and which is the pattern that they usually follow. Let us also stand together to safeguard South Africa against those attacks. If we do that, then we shall create confidence in South Africa abroad and then we shall bring about greater prosperity and peace.
Question put: That all the words after “That”, proposed to be omitted, stand part of the motion.
Upon which the House divided:
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.
Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell.
Question affirmed and the amendments dropped.
Motion accordingly agreed to and Bill read a second time.
House in Committee:
On Clause 1,
Is it compellent for hon. members at this stage to raise matters affecting individual Ministers when we are asked to vote Supply? I want to put my point, Mr. Chairman: There is a question placed on the Order Paper by the hon. member for Durban (Umbilo) (Mr. Oldfield), a very pertinent question, and I want to suggest that the hon. Minister of Justice should take this opportunity to give the hon. member an answer. It is a question on the tapping of telephones by members of the Police Force.
Order! The hon. member must confine himself to the details of the clause. That is a matter which can be raised during the debate on the motion for the third reading of the Bill.
Clause put and agreed to.
Remaining Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; third reading of the Bill on 16 February.
Mr. SPEAKER communicated the following Message from the hon. the Senate:
The Senate tranmits to the Honouorable the House of Assembly the Group Areas Amendment Bill passed by the Senate and in which the Senate desires the concurrence of the Honourable the House of Assembly.
The Senate begs to draw the attention of the Honourable the House of Assembly to the provision contained in paragraph (b) of Clause 28 of the Bill, which has been struck out of the Bill and placed between brackets, with a footnote stating that it does not form part of the Bill.
Bill read a first time.
Mr. SPEAKER communicated the following Message from the Honourable the Senate;
The Senate transmits to the Honourable the House of Assembly the Anatomy Amendment Bill passed by the Senate and in which the Senate desires the concurrence of the Honourable the House of Assembly.
Bill read a first time.
Mr. SPEAKER communicated the following Message from the Honourable the Senate:
The Senate transmits to the Honourable the House of Assembly the Vocational Education Amendment Bill passed by the Senate and in which the Senate desires the concurrence of the Honourable the House of Assembly.
Bill read a first time.
Mr. SPEAKER communicated the following Message from the Honourable the Senate:
The Senate transmits to the Honourable the House of Assembly the Special Education Amendment Bill passed by the Senate and in which the Senate desires the concurrence of the Honourable the House of Assembly.
Bill read a first time.
Second Order read: Third reading,—Perishable Agricultural Produce Sales Bill.
The hon. the Minister has had a very easy time with this Bill. We agreed to the second reading as an agreed Bill between all the people concerned. But it is the application of this Bill that is the crux of whether this is going to be a success or not. This Bill as it will be applied, after it has become law, is to control commission agents as such and I would like to point out to the hon. the Minister that it will be applied to commission agents in the markets where perishable articles are handled, and that is a very important part of this Bill. Where the local authority market masters are commission agents, which I think they are in all the large centres, I hope the hon. the Minister is going to be very careful in considering how this Bill should apply to inspectors, etc., and that he will take into account the position of commission agents. Where commission agents make losses, it is suggested that it is absolutely essential to have this Act to control commission agents and local market masters where they act as commission agents. The question is how it is applied to the local markets. I hope the hon. the Minister will give the producer a square deal, at the same time making the produce available to the consumer quickly and at a reasonable price. This Minister and his Department have told the local commission agents, that is the local market masters, that where losses are incurred through no fault of their own, where undergrade products are consigned to them, such as undergrade potatoes, which by proclamation the Minister would not allow them to be sold, but on which they were forced to pay railage on them (not being allowed to sell the produce), that would not be fair to the commission agents. I would ask the hon. the Minister to apply the Act in an equitable manner to everybody concerned.
I think I made it quite clear at the second reading of this Bill that its main objects was to eliminate abuses in the marketing of vegetables and fruit. In addition I made it quite clear that there was no question of restrictive registration. For legislation of this type to succeed, it is inevitably essential that there must be the closest co-operation between the persons who enforce the legislation and the persons who are to be registered under the Act. I want to give the hon. member the assurance that in implementing this legislation that will always be the policy of my Department and myself.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a third time.
Third Order read: House to go into Committee on Mental Disorders Amendment Bill.
House in Committee:
Clauses and Title of Bill put and agreed to
Bill reported without amendment.
More than two members having objected, Bill to be read a third time on 16 February.
Fourth Order read: House to go into Committee on Vyfhoek Management Amendment Bill.
House in Committee:
On Clause 1,
I would like to ask the hon. the Minister to give us the assurance that no private rights are affected by this Bill.
No, no private rights are affected. It is only a transaction between the Government and the Board and the Board will divide it with other ground which is now under irrigation.
I know that the adjoining portions of Vyfhoek are held in undivided ownership by persons who own individual plots. This falls obviously in a different category, but is the position that the owners of the other portions referred to here will get the first option of taking up this ground more or less in proportion to their present holdings.
We can impose any condition we like, and those are the conditions we intend to impose. It must be pro rata as far as possible, or where a man has a very small piece of land, he will get preference. That is the general idea.
Clause put and agreed to.
Remaining Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; third reading on 16 February.
Fifth Order read: Third reading,—Workmen’s Compensation Amendment Bill.
This Bill has had a very easy passage through the House and it is not my intention to hold it up for any great length at this stage. I think, however, that it is necessary to indicate what this Bill will achieve as a result of its contents. In other words, once this Bill has passed all its stages, it will make a tremendous difference to those that receive benefits under the Workmen’s Compensation Act. To give an idea of what these improvements will mean, I am going to quote one case that was sent to me by the South African Trade Union Council just to illustrate what this Bill achieves. The case is of a worker who loses an arm at the shoulder in an accident. If he had that accident in 1943, his monthly pension in terms of the 60 per cent disability under the First Schedule of the Act, was 60 × 2s. 11d. or £8 15s. In terms of this Bill which we are now discussing, under the same conditions, a worker suffering the same injury will receive £27 per month. That is a difference of £18 5s., a tremendous difference, and the point I want to make here is that a worker injured in 1943 is still only receiving £8 15s. whereas a worker in the same circumstances under this Act will receive £18 5s. more. My plea during the earlier stages of the Bill was that the Minister should go into this matter, and his reply was that because of actuarial difficulties nothing could be done. I am going to ask him now to follow the same procedure as was followed in the past and consider this matter by way of a reference to the Cabinet and ask for some relief under the main budget proposals.
I also do not wish to delay the House. What we had to say in regard to this Bill, was said at the second reading. But there is one thing this Bill does not do and to my suggestion in this regard at the second reading, the hon. Minister did not reply; I want again to submit this proposal to him for consideration and his experts before the next amendment of the Act comes before Parliament, and that is the case where you have permanent total disablement.
Order! I am very anxious to give the hon. member an opportunity of stating that point, but he cannot deal with any matter that falls outside the scope of this Bill.
Yes, Mr. Chairman, what falls inside the Bill is that 75 per cent only can be paid, and to render it possible that in future something more might be done, the suggestion I made was that an actuarial calculation should be made of the working life expectation of the individual concerned rather than pay him the total amount during his life. I should like to have an assurance of the Minister that that point would be taken into consideration, because the Act can still further be improved at its next amending stage if something of that nature were done.
I want to point out to hon. members that they should confine themselves to the contents of the Bill.
I want to ask the hon. Deputy Minister whether he can give us the assurance that he will reconsider that part of the Bill in which he specifically deals with mineral dusts and that he will include other substances which may cause harm to the person who falls under this particular aspect of compensation. It is terribly important and I have not yet got the assurance from the hon. the Deputy-Minister that this will be done. I refer to mineral dust and the inclusion of other substances which cause irritation of the lungs.
Order! That falls outside the contents of this Bill.
I’ll be very brief. I want to refer to the retrospective effect of this Bill in terms of Clause 19 of the Bill where it says—
The hon. Minister has pointed out the difficulty of applying this question of retrospectivity because it would upset certain acturial calculations and it might place a very severe additional burden on private employers if they would have to start paying increased compensation with retrospective effect. Mr. Speaker, there is one group of employers where I think this retrospective action could be applied.
Order! That also falls outside the contents of the Bill. The hon. member is now dealing with a section of employers not falling under this Bill.
Mr. Speaker, Clause 19 allows retrospective action to be taken in respect of all classes of employers. The hon. Deputy Minister has indicated the difficulty of doing this in respect of private employers, and I want to raise the question of Railway employees.
Order! No, I cannot allow that. That falls definitely outside the contents of this Bill.
No, Mr. Speaker, I want to point out …
Order! The hon. member may not argue with the Chair.
With respect, Mr. Speaker, Clause 19 of the Bill is the retrospective clause which allows retrospective action under this Bill.
Order! I have given my ruling.
The representations for the retrospective application of these benefits …
Order! The hon. the Deputy Minister may not discuss that aspect either.
Then only one point remains which falls within the scope of this Bill, namely the representations that we should also include other industrial diseases.
Order! That also falls outside the scope of the Bill.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a third time.
The House adjourned at