House of Assembly: Vol107 - TUESDAY 28 MARCH 1961
For oral reply:
asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to a report that telephone subscribers in Great Britain are now able to make calls to any airliner suitably equipped; and
- (2) whether it is proposed to provide such a service to South African telephone subscribers; if not, why not.
- (1) No; such a service does not actually exist, but the Post Office has official knowledge of a new facility introduced in Great Britain whereby telephone calls from aircraft in flight can be switched to subscribers—not in the opposite direction; and
- (2) the possibility of introducing in South Africa a service similar to the one existing in Great Britain is already being investigated.
asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to Press reports and particularly a report in the Cape Times of 23 March 1961, of protests against the nature of recent news broadcasts by the South African Broadcasting Corporation;
- (2) whether complaints by the public in this regard have been brought to his notice; if so, whether he has taken any action m the matter; and
- (3) whether he will make a statement in regard to the matter.
- (1) Yes;
- (2) yes, notwithstanding the violent Press campaign against the S.A.B.C.’s news broadcasts, I have received only one telegram and one letter of complaint I forwarded both to the Board of Governors of the S.A.B.C.; and
- (3) no, I do not think the House would welcome a lengthy statement because two persons happened to raise vague objections.
asked the Minister of Social Welfare and Pensions:
- (1) Whether he has considered the report of the actuaries on the valuation of the Cape Widows’ Pension Fund as at 31 March 1960;
- (2) whether it is his intention to give effect to the recommendation contained in paragraph 21 of the report by increasing the rate of bonus addition from 100 per cent to 110 per cent; if not, why not: and, if so,
- (3) with effect from what date will such increase be applied.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) and (3) Effect has already been given to the recommendation contained in paragraph 21 of the report of the actuaries. The approval of the Governor-General has been obtained for the bonus addition to be increased from 100 per cent to 110 per cent with effect from 1 January 1961.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE replied to Question No. *VIII by Mr. Lawrence, standing over from 21 March:
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to a Press report that a 36-year-old man was sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court, East London, to a fine of R30 or two months’ imprisonment for the theft of a banana valued at one cent; and
- (2) whether the accused had any previous convictions; if so, how many and on what charges.
- (1) Yes.
(2) No. It is pointed out for the information of the hon. member that according to a report by the magistrate concerned the incidence of theft at the Municipal Market at East London is extensive notwithstanding the presence of police on duty there. The magistrate has already on various occasions warned that heavy sentences would be imposed on persons convicted of such thefts.
The case in question has nevertheless been submitted to the Supreme Court for review.
The MINISTER OF BANTU ADMINISTRATION AND DEVELOPMENT replied to Question No. *I by Mr. Mitchell, standing over from 24 march:
Whether he will lay upon the Table a statement setting forth in detail (a) the land in Natal, owned by the South African Native Trust or a Native, which has been deleted or excised from the Schedule of the Native Lands Act of 1913, and the situation of such land, and (b) compensating land in each case now included in a scheduled Native area in Natal and the situation of such land, stating in each case whether such compensating land was situated (i) within a released area in terms of paragraph (b) of sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Native Trust and Land Act, 1936, or (ii) outside a released area in terms of paragraph (c) or (d) of that sub-section.
Yes. (a) and (b). In terms of Section 18 of Act 54 of 1952 a certain piece of land being Sub-division “ B ” of Umlazi Native Location No. 4676, County of Durban, Province of Natal, in extent 74.1657 acres was excised from the Schedule to the Native Land Act, 1913, while a certain piece of land known as Bucknell No. 11562, situated in the Um-komanzi Health Committee (Malaria) Area, County of Durban, Province of Natal, in extent 135 acres 7 perches, was included in the said Schedule as compensatory land. The compensating land was not situated inside but was situated outside a released area in terms of Section 10 of the Native Trust and Land Act, 1936.
First Order read,—Adjourned debate on motion for House to go into Committee of Supply and into Committee of Ways and Means (on taxation proposals), to be resumed.
[Debate on motion by the Minister of Finance, upon which amendments had been moved by Mr. Waterson and by Mr. Williams, adjourned on 27 March, resumed.]
Mr. Speaker, I am standing here to-day as one of those who oppose this republic. I would like to say immediately that nothing I have heard in this debate has in any way led me to believe that I was wrong in opposing it and that the basis on which my party and I opposed it was not the right basis for South Africa. The link which has existed between us and our other sister countries has not yet been broken. The responsibility for breaking it finally rests on this Parliament, and particularly on the Nationalist Party. I feel that before they take that final step they should consider the best interests of South Africa. I would like to say that to me it is amazing that the Prime Minister who comes back to South Africa after suffering the greatest diplomatic defeat that any South African Prime Minister has ever suffered, should be hailed by his party as a hero …
That is repetition.
Nevertheless it is a fact. It is an amazing state of affairs that that should be so. What does interest me is that one of his principal opponents at that conference in the person of Dr. Nkrumah of Ghana, has also been welcomed home to Ghana as a great hero of that conference. Quite obviously both cannot be right. Sir, I believe together with the Prime Ministers of countries such as Britain and Australia and Rhodesia that it is a great tragedy that South Africa will no longer be a member of that family of nations. I say that the Prime Minister failed in his duty in allowing a discussion on South Africa’s domestic affairs which have never previously been discussed at this conference. Of course, the great question before the country is this: It is clear that the Government is determined to proceed with this measure and I would like to say a word as to what the attitude of the English-speaking people of South Africa will be and of those great Afrikaans-speaking people who also support the cause of national unity in this country by working together with us who are English-speaking. It is clear, of course, that once this step has been taken the link will have been broken and as has always been the case in the past, I have no doubt that the Government is as convinced as I am that they will find that those of us who are in the United Party will do their duty by South Africa, and even if the republic is outside the Commonwealth, as presumably it will be, they will do their duty in seeking to build up this country and more particularly they will seek once again to bring South Africa to the position where it is one of the most respected nations on the face of the globe. Sir, let us examine the situation of South Africa in relation to this matter. It is quite clear that South Africa under this Government is being isolated to a greater and greater extent. It is quite clear that this Government is endangering the future of this country. That, of course, does not alter the duty of those of us who have opposed this Government throughout the years to continue to support that which is right in the actions of the Government and at the same time to oppose that which is wrong. It is significant, if one examines what are the problems on which South Africa is condemned before the nations of the world, where respective parties in South Africa have stood in the past. It is clear that in certain respects the criticism from the outside world is against all South Africa, but in respect of many matters the responsibility for that criticism rests solely and wholly upon the Government. If this Government had not during the last 13 years flouted the views expressed on behalf of the majority of the European people of South Africa in this House to the Government in opposition to various measures that they have passed, I have no doubt that there would have been no question whatsoever of the acceptance of the continued membership of South Africa of the Commonwealth of Nations.
That is a generalization.
It may be a generalization but it happens to be correct. I could very easily deal with the measures one by one and show how this side of the House warned the Government of the danger of the course it was taking. They have been mentioned again and again in the debate, but perhaps I can list them to hon. members since they suggest that I am generalizing. [Interjections.] Sir, I am making the speech, not the hon. member for Mossel Bay (Dr. van Nierop). I listened to his speech yesterday and I prefer to make my own speech in my own way. The position is that nothing has done this country more harm in the eyes of the outside world than the deliberate actions of the Government. Take, for instance, the provisions of the Group Areas Act. Sir, matters could be dealt with upon a just basis, but as has been pointed out, under the original Group Areas Act, for examples, peoples’ rights could be affected without compensation. Secondly, certain persons have been kept on a string, as it were, by this Government for years in respect of the exercise of their trading rights. Those things have done no good to South Africa. One could go on mentioning further examples. Take the franchise question, the taking away of the rights of the Cape Coloured people. I could go on listing these matters, but I do not think it is necessary. Members opposite have guilty consciences in respect of these matters, and they know what I am saying this afternoon is correct.
Is the world against the provisions of the Group Areas Act or against the principle of the Act?
The world may be against the principles of some of these Acts as well as against the details. In certain of the cases we made it clear where we were opposed to the principle; in certain cases it is because of the method of administration of the Acts that the name of South Africa has been brought where it is to-day. But it is not necessary for the hon. member to ask me in respect of which of these matters we were in disagreement in principle and detail. The record is there in Hansard in so far as this side of the House had the opportunity of expressing its views fully, as most of these measures were passed under the guillotine which in itself did a good deal of damage to the fair name of South Africa. Sir, when we are discussing matters of fundamental importance there should not be a limitation upon the time which this House as the guardian of the rights of the people should be prepared to take in putting those measures on the Statute Book in order that we may make certain that no injustice will be done to any section of the community.
Order! If the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) wants to make a speech later on, I shall give him the opportunity of doing so.
I was about to say that as I understand the hon. member for Vereeniging will be following me, he might perhaps allow me to make my speech now and he can answer it when I sit down.
I would like now to leave that aspect of the matter. It is not necessary to deal with it more fully. Those items have been covered. But I want to suggest to hon. members opposite that it is their duty as well as ours—I am assuming that they are going to put this Constitution Bill through—not always to try to blame the others. An immense responsibility rests upon all South Africans, not only upon the Opposition, but also upon Government members. I believe that there has been much criticism of South Africa in the outside world that is utterly unjustified. On the other hand there has been much criticism of South Africa that has been justified, and I would like to say to hon. members opposite that clearly our responsibility in the years that lie ahead is this: We must be prepared to search our own hearts and to examine the various questions upon which South Africa has been criticized. In the case of some I believe we will have to take a firm stand, and we may have opinion against us, but I believe that if we approach this matter with open minds and in a spirit of trying to do what is right, we can improve the attitude of the rest of the world and of the rest of the Commonwealth to South Africa to a very great extent. There is no doubt about it that there are certain things which are wrong in this country. I cannot believe and I do not for a moment accept that the whole of the rest of the world is wrong, and certainly I do not accept that this side of the House has been wrong in its attitude of opposition to various Government measures which have formed the basis of the criticism of South Africa in the outside world. Sir, I want to be fair to the Government and to say that there are certain issues where the criticism abroad is utterly unjustified. There are certain matters where I believe South Africans stand absolutely united, but there are large numbers of matters where I believe that if we as South Africans, irrespective of party affiliations, got down to the job, we could improve the lot of many of the sections of the people which Providence has placed within the Union of South Africa.
“ Daar is by weer ”. (There he goes again.)
In reply to that interjection may I say that I will continue to protest against the things which I think are wrong even if hon. members opposite continue to say “ daar is by weer ”. I believe that it is nothing less than our duty. It will be our duty, of course, to attempt to see that this will be a good republic. I have said that it is absolutely essential that we should enter that republic not with closed minds but with open minds to try to see what is wrong, remembering the Biblical injunction about removing the beam from your own eye before seeking to remove the mote from your neighbour’s. If we approach the problem in that way I believe we will make progress. Let us examine the situation in which South Africa finds herself. It has just suffered this tremendous defeat at the Prime Ministers’ Conference; it has just suffered a record defeat at UNO and there is no question that South Africa to-day stands in great danger as far as the outside world is concerned. I refer to the question of South West Africa. Let me say at once that I believe that South Africa is entitled to retain that mandate. I would like to see the position arise where South Africa can make such progress that it will be able to get the consent of whatever bodies have to give their consent, if any, for the incorporation of South West Africa into-the Union. I believe that S.W.A. belongs to-the Union and that it cannot stand alone. A great responsibility rests upon us. I would like to say this to hon. members opposite, and here I am not casting blame in respect of South West Africa upon this Government only,, but I would say this that South Africa can honestly say that we have done everything that we might have done through the years in South West Africa. I believe that we have ta face up to these questions. Apart from South West Africa there is also the question of the Protectorates. I was very sorry to see that the Prime Minister had more or less given up any idea of the eventual incorporation of the Protectorates within the Union of South Africa. I am glad to see that in the Constitution Bill the provisions for incorporation remain, but it is my hope that in the years-ahead we will be able so to conduct our own affairs within South Africa, because I believe we would all like to see just government in South Africa, that we will be able on the basis of agreement to obtain the incorporation of those territories into South Africa. I do not believe in a smaller South Africa; I believe in a bigger South Africa, and I believe that if in the dangerous world in which we live, South Africa is to become smaller, then the smaller and smaller it becomes the less safe it becomes. Sir, we must face the facts. If one takes Africa as a whole, her total population is something in excess of 250,000,000 at the present time. Of those something like 200,000,000 belong to the Black races, and what is the number of Europeans here at the southern tip of Africa and elsewhere on the Continent? A mere 6,000,000. I say« that a minority can in the long run only maintain itself if it operates upon a system of justice and of respect of the rights of others, and if it has the goodwill of the people it governs. I believe that nothing truer has been said than that famous remark, “ I know of only two ways by which a people may be governed—with their consent or by the sword ”. It should be the aim of all South Africans to seek to govern all the peoples of South Africa with their consent. In that regard it is essential, in the view of this side of the House, if we wish to govern people, that they should have the right of representation in the Parliament of that country.
It must be the ballot, not the bullet.
It is absolutely essential. It is one of the questions that we will have to face. It is one of the principal grounds on which this Government is being criticized in the world outside, because it is not prepared to concede the principle of representation.
To what extent do you wish to give them representation?
I shall come immediately to the question of the extent of representation. I am not going to discuss it in detail, but I would say this.
That is so essential.
Sir, I am making the speech, not that hon. member. It is absolutely essential that there should be representation. The United Party has made it perfectly clear that the method of government should be on a basis which will provide a lasting future for the White man in South Africa. We believe that is essential. This is our country and we are determined to maintain it, but I say to hon. members opposite that long range we cannot hope to maintain it unless we concede the principle of representation and give representation in an appropriate form. Hedge it round with safeguards as you will, and of course, it can be said that safeguards cannot last for ever, but certainly in a modern world you cannot maintain a position where a section of the people are to have no representation whatsoever. That, I submit, should be one of the first tasks of the republic, to re-examine the position in regard to representation. My hope has always been that on this matter which I believe cannot be solved by one party only there will be cooperation between all in this House, whatever their political differences may be, in order to provide representation. Obviously in the initial stages it would have to be representation of a token nature in certain cases, but I believe that even if this Government had done just one thing, if they had not removed from these benches, the Natives’ Representatives who had sat here for some years, they would have had a very much stronger case at the recent Prime Ministers’ Conference and would have a much stronger case elsewhere. Sir, I know what Black Africa demands. I heard Tom Mboya say in Kenya for example that the demand was “ One man one vote ” irrespective of the colour of his skin, whether he be rich or poor, whether he has had the benefit of education or not. Sir, that is something that South Africa cannot and is not prepared to concede, and on that basis there cannot be a happy future for South Africa. Let us recognize that that is the position.
What is the use of your concession?
I say to this Government, in regard to what has come to be known as Bantustans, they may be intending to give some form of representation. I believe that that form of representation should be on a democratic basis as soon as possible. But this Government cannot believe and I do not believe that any single hon. member on the other side believes that South Africa is doing the right thing when it seeks to keep two-thirds of the Native peoples of South Africa unrepresented in this Parliament. I cannot believe that there is a single member opposite who believes that that is the best thing for South Africa. Our task is obviously going to be to get the goodwill of the world. When one hon. member was speaking yesterday somebody referred to the wonderful strategic position of South Africa. Sir, it is one of the most dangerous positions in the world, a position which obviously makes it necessary for us to receive protection in a fight between East and West, but on the other hand our policy obviously is that we should be seeking to make friends. Sir, reading American papers and seeing the statements of various statesmen of the world, it seems to me that although there is competition for the support of some of the Black states further to the north, there appears to be, on the part of at least many countries of the world, a desire to side-track South Africa and not to show where they stand in regard to South Africa and her problems. South Africa under this Government is becoming one of the problem children of the world, and I say that that position will remain until this Government is replaced by a government which has a truly South African outlook in regard to the problems of South Africa. Sir, hon. members opposite take a dangerous view in regard to this situation. Sir, I am sorry that the hon. gentleman concerned is not here now, but since I am not going to criticize him I will proceed. I refer to the speech of the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Science. He made one extraordinary statement about the republic. He said this—
I wonder what he meant by “ omdat ons vry geword het ”? I wonder if perhaps we were not right when we told the public at meetings during the republican campaign that in spite of the claims of the Government that a republic within the Commonwealth would lead to national unity we would once again find that no sooner had a republic been achieved than the Government side would say “ Nou vir die laaste skof, nl. ’n republiek buite die Gemene-bes ”. We know that that has been the attitude of the Government and it seems to me that quite unwittingly a very responsible member of the Government, in the course of his speech in this House, made it quite clear that that was his view, because when he referred to the fact that we will be out of the Commonwealth he described it in these words “ omdat ons vry geword het ”. Sir, we have been free all these years. It is not a question of freedom. We have been placed in a position where in fact our freedom is in danger through the attitude of this Government. The hon. gentleman also made another remark which I suggest is a dangerous line for South Africa to take. He said this—
Sir, what an attitude in regard to the future of the country which is our homeland, the only country that we know. I would like to say at once that I believe it is a tremendously dangerous thought, to speak in effect of dying in a bunker in the way that the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Science has done. He said: “ Let it be our lot and not our fault.” I believe he is right in saying that it should not be our fault; that is why I am making this appeal to the Government side, but it is wrong to talk about that being our lot. I do not believe it is our lot that we will go down in South Africa. I have sufficient faith in the South African people to believe that we are going to win through. [Interjections.] I am glad that a number of hon. members on the other side agree, and I hope, in the years ahead, we will get them to agree more and more that we have been right in seeking to provide a permanent future for South Africa by urging upon the Government that it should follow policies that will enable us to establish a lasting civilization at the southern tip of Africa. What we have to realize is that a great deal is at stake for all of us. Hon. members opposite are fond of saying that their roots go deep in this country; that this is the only country they know; that this is the only country they love. Do they not realize that we on this side take that same view of South Africa? Do they not realize that just as they say they are seeking the best for South Africa so we seek it too? Sir, I do hope that in the years ahead we will be more successful than we have been in the past in convincing the Government that on the lines of the policies which they are following, unless they change their policies, there is very little future in this country. But I have faith in the South African people. I believe that especially now, when this country has been placed in a more dangerous position economically and otherwise than ever before, this is the time to think, and I appeal to hon. members opposite to do something that I am going to do. What I am going to do is this: I am going to examine my own thoughts in regard to these problems. I believe that all of us must be prepared to examine these problems with open minds and I am certainly going to try to do so and if I find that on some points I have been wrong in the past, I will be prepared to tell hon. members opposite that I have come to that belief, but then I ask that they too should be prepared to open their minds and try to have a broader outlook.
They dare not.
Sir, hon. members opposite say that when the republic is established they will have achieved that for which they have been longing for all these years, namely a republic outside the Commonwealth. While I cannot share their enthusiasm for that republic let me say that if it should have the effect of turning the minds of many who have looked too much at the local scene and too little at the scene outside, then perhaps it might be a good thing. Sir, I beg of hon. members opposite to do just that in the years ahead; to be prepared to give up regarding the Cabinet and individual Ministers as being infallible and to think for themselves. After all, they are men of education. I have no doubt that if they think for themselves, if they open their minds and if we can discuss these matters freely in this House, then perhaps through the friction of mind and mind, we may get closer to solving these tremendous problems with which this country is faced to-day. Let us not delude ourselves. It looks as though we are going to be able to deal successfully with some of the economic problems in these times that lie ahead, but in the end result the future of the White man in South Africa will depend on the extent to which we can win the support of the non-European in South Africa, and that we can only do through justice and by being ultra-careful in regard to the rights of others, in other words, by seeking to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I am glad to see hon. members nodding their heads, because on that basis I believe there is a future for the White man in southern Africa and in the world.
That is the only basis.
I believe it is only on that basis that we can once again be regarded as one of the great little countries in the world. I know of no other basis which can once again win for South Africa the respect of the outside world. I am glad to see that hon. members opposite are making this promise to me that they are going to think about this thing. Sir, I believe that not only in this House but also outside we have been concentrating so much on the local scene that we have not seen the broad picture. And, Sir, what is the picture throughout the world? Quite recently I read a very interesting American article on what is in fact one of the most remarkable things that has ever happened, namely, this sudden upsurge of the Black man. This article deals with the competition taking place between Russia and the United States, the leader of the free world and the leader of the communist world, and it finished with a very significant sentence which I think South Africans should remember. After saying that it was clear where America stood in regard to these various problems the article ended with these words—
Sir, I believe that unless we can do better in the years that lie ahead than we have done in the years that lie past, South Africa might be a handicap to the White world in gaining the future for the White world as a whole. I am not suggesting gaining that at the expense of other races, but I believe that in the final result the contribution which South Africa has to make to this question is going to be of world-wide significance, and I would like to leave hon. members opposite with that thought that there is a responsibility upon us which I believe has never been exceeded by a responsibility placed on any people. Because I believe that the course of action here in South Africa is going to have repercussions far outside our borders, and it is only if we render the maximum contribution that we can play our full part in preserving the free world and once again leading the communist world back to sanity and back to the idea of democracy. I believe the world can’t go on in this way. It is only if the free world can show that it can provide a better deal for its peoples, and that applies especially to us that we can wean people away from this cursed ideology which threatens to bring on the world a new dark age.
If generalities could solve our problems, all our problems should have been solved after the speech by the hon. member for Springs (Mr. Tucker). We have now listened for a full half-hour to nothing but a number of vague statements and generalities. The hon. member says that he is going to examine his own thoughts. I am glad to hear that. I can assure him that on this side of the House hon. members examine their thoughts every day of the year. But what I blame him for is his arrogance when he says: You must not regard Ministers as being infallible, you must not regard the Prime Minister as infallible. That arrogance makes no impression on us. There is nobody on this side of the House who regards any Minister as being infallible, even the Prime Minister, and this type of homily brings us no further and only proves that the hon. member for Springs is quite sure that he is correct and that nobody else can be correct.
The hon. member for Springs says that the Prime Minister returned from England where he had failed miserably, but that we Nationalists have welcomed him back here as a hero. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition said that we welcomed the Prime Minister here as a hero because we are glad to be out of the Commonwealth. The other day Mr. Harry Oppenheimer said the same thing in a speech in Natal. He said: “ The other section appears to rejoice at the loss of our Commonwealth membership.” I know of no member on this side of the House who is glad because we are out of the Commonwealth. I know of no member of the Nationalist Party in this House or outside who is glad of it. We are sorry that we are out of the Commonwealth. But there is something about which we are even more sorry, namely that the Commonwealth has changed to such an extent that there was no other choice for us. I want to tell the hon. members why the Prime Minister received this warm welcome and why he has won the hearts not only of every Nationalist but of every White man in South Africa, and particularly the English-speaking people. Make no mistake. For the first time in our history a Nationalist Prime Minister has succeeded in really breaking through to the English-speaking people in South Africa, and never before on any question were the two sections so solidly behind a Prime Minister as they are behind the present Prime Minister in regard to this question of our relations with the Commonwealth. Why these ovations? Why was he honoured as a hero? Not because we are out of the Commonwealth, but for the following reasons: The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steen-kamp) said that the Prime Minister had not carried out his mandate. The fact of the matter is that one of the reasons for welcoming the Prime Minister like a hero is that in Britain he carried out in word and in deed and in spirit the mandate given to him by the people of South Africa. What was the mandate given to the Prime Minister? The hon. member for Hillbrow say it was: Keep us in the Commonwealth. Yes, that was the mandate, but I do not remember any mandate to keep us inside the Commonwealth at all costs. That was not the mandate. The mandate of this House was, and the hon. the Prime Minister stated it here, that we would remain a member of the Commonwealth as long as no humiliating conditions were forced upon us. The mandate was to remain in the Commonwealth as long as it was in consonance with our honour and our self-respect. There is not the least doubt about that and all the evidence is there that the Prime Minister did everything in his power to keep us in the Commonwealth. According to all the evidence, the Prime Minister was willing to sacrifice almost everything and to swallow practically almost everything except that he was not prepared to sacrifice the honour and self-respect of South Africa. He carried out the mandate to keep us in the Commonwealth as long as it was in our interest to be in it, but when he came there and saw how the Commonwealth had changed, and that we could no longer remain there with honour and self-respect, and when he saw that he could not carry out the mandate of the people to remain there, because it was not in our interest to do so, he had the courage to say on his own responsibility: I am not willing to sacrifice the interests of South Africa. That is the reason why we gave him such a welcome here, not because we are out of the Commonwealth, but because he did not want us to remain in the Commonwealth which very clearly would be contrary to our own interests and clashed with the self-respect and honour of South Africa.
In this regard I want to address the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell). The hon. member for South Coast is busy losing the last bit of respect and regard this House and the country had for him. I think the House and the country are becoming thoroughly tired of the hon. member for South Coast. He has now evolved a new habit, and that is to come to this House and to make speeches which really tell us nothing, but then he goes outside the House and says the most irresponsible and outrageous things imaginable. I just want to quote what he said the other night at Pine-lands—
What a shocking and scandalous thing to say! Who is this man who accuses the Prime Minister of misleading the people? Who is this man who is arousing false expectations amongst his followers? Who is this man who acts the role of a big man in Natal and arouses all kinds of expectations in the minds of his supporters in connection with what he will do about our becoming a republic? But he has not the courage to say in this House what his plans are in connection with our becoming a republic. He has not the courage. Not that he has any dangerous plans, but because he has no plans at all. He pretends to be the great man who will save Natal from what he regards as a catastrophe, but he says so whilst knowing in his heart that he will accept the republic. I want to tell him this: He pretends to be the great saviour of Natal, the great man of Natal, the greatest Briton who ever lived, and he is the man who says: “ I am not going to accept this republic; I am going to contract Natal out of this republic.” That is what he said before we left the Commonwealth. I tell him that he knows he is talking the most arrant nonsense. What is he going to do? He will accept this republic like a lamb. Within a few months he will get up here and solemnly swear allegiance to the President of the republic. That is what he will do. He has no other plans. He has no plan to contract Natal out of the republic. He will accept it like a lamb, but whilst arousing those expectations in Natal he has the effrontery to make such allegations against the Prime Minister. At that same meeting at Pinelands when somebody told him: “ We must shoot it out,” he said: “ Do not tempt me.” Sir, one cannot tempt him. If you put a gun in his hand and put the Prime Minister right opposite him, he cannot even backfire. With that I leave him there. I have always regarded him as a man with not too much intelligence but as a courageous member. It seems to me he has less courage than brains, and that speaks volumes.
I want to deal with one aspect of the speech of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, which I think has not received sufficient consideration in this debate yet, and that is that he announced that it would be the policy of the United Party to lead South Africa back to the Commonwealth. They are going to try to get South Africa into the Commonwealth again. I hope the Leader of the Opposition realizes all the implications of that policy of his. But he tells the people: If you put me into power I will lead you back to the Commonwealth. Mr. Speaker, then the hon. member must answer another question, viz. this: How far is he willing to go? What sacrifices is he prepared to make to get us inside the Commonwealth again? Because, Sir, we must clearly realize why we are no longer in the Commonwealth. The hon. member for Hillbrow says we are not in the Commonwealth as the result of the policy of the Government, but that is quite wrong. We are no longer in the Commonwealth for one reason and one reason only, and that is that the Commonwealth, as it is now, wants to force a policy on us which is in direct contrast to the traditional policy of South Africa. That is the reason why we are out, because the Commonwealth wants to remove all discrimination on the ground of colour, and because they want to give absolutely equal rights to all the non-Whites, including political rights.
Mr. Macmillan said in his speech that if the Prime Minister of South Africa had only shown signs of being a little bit flexible, we could have remained in. Then things would possibly have turned out differently. But, Sir, with the greatest respect for Mr. Macmillan, I want to say that he did not ask any concessions from us at all. He acted towards us as a friend should act. But in spite of all this, it was made impossible for him. The tragic fact is that Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Menzies no longer lay down the conditions with the Commonwealth. It is very clear that the rules are now being laid down by Nehru and Nkrumah and by the Tunku Abdul Rahman and by the Prime Minister of Nigeria. They are the people who now lay down the conditions as to whether we should be in the Commonwealth or not. Now my question to the Leader of the Opposition is this: To what extent is he willing to comply with those conditions? I just want to refer to the conditions laid down by the Prime Minister of Malaya. Immediately after the Conference he said the following in a Press interview—
I want to ask the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) whether he is willing to comply with that. Are they willing to comply with the requirements of the Prime Minister of Malaya? He went further and said—
The latter is of course quite nonsensical, but it is also as clear as daylight that these people want social equality. Now I want to ask the hon. member for Yeoville whether they are prepared to take us back to the Commonwealth by complying with these requirements. Are they prepared to throw open our restaurants and hotels to all non-Whites according to the precepts of the Prime Minister of Malaya? Because that is what they ask. Or will they, like the hon. member for South Coast, tell the Prime Minister of Malaya and the Prime Minister of Ghana to go and jump into the Bay of Biscay? The one moment they say they must jump into the Bay of Biscay, but the next moment they say they will take us back into the Commonwealth. What sacrifices are they prepared to make? Let us examine the conditions laid down by Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, for our return to the Commonwealth. He very clearly said this—
What the conditions for membership of the Commonwealth are is very clear. Now I want to ask the hon. member for Sunnyside (Mr. Horak) how far he is willing to go in order to be accepted as a member of the Commonwealth.
It is our internal policy.
But it is just because of our internal policy that we are out of it. That is the whole point why we are out.
You walked out.
Those hon. members must tell us whether they want to accept these things. If they are not prepared to do so, then their whole cry of “back to the Commonwealth ” is so much bluff. I want to continue and quote further what he said—
Are the hon. members opposite willing to give that guarantee? Is the hon. member for Sunnyside willing to say that we will strictly adhere to a policy of racial equality? That is the minimum condition on which we can return to the Commonwealth. The hard fact is simply that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition spoke without thinking. Now he says he will take us back into the Commonwealth. It is as clear as daylight that we can only go back if we are willing to sacrifice our independence and our freedom. And as the hon. member for Hillbrow said, we can only go back to the Commonwealth if we are willing to make concessions. I want to ask him how far he is willing to make concessions. It is quite clear that we will be permitted to pass laws in South Africa in connection with our agriculture and our economic affairs, but when it comes to our greatest problem, the question of race relations, they want to subject us to the dictates of the present Commonwealth. Then it is no longer Cape Town and Pretoria which will talk, but Accra and Nigeria and Canada and London which prescribe what we should do. The hon. member for Hillbrow is evidently willing to submit to that.
Who started it?
The position should never have arisen.
Order! Those hon. members had every opportunity to have their say.
Yes, and when they had the opportunity they said it so badly. But the fact of the matter is clear. It is no good dreaming. It is no good living in a dream world and thinking that we can go back to the Commonwealth, because these are the conditions laid down. That is the tragic position. We did not manoeuvre the Commonwealth into that position. The tragic position is that these conditions are no longer being laid down by the Commonwealth of Macmillan and Menzies. The conditions are determined by a totally new Commonwealth, and that is the Commonwealth of Nkrumah and Nehru and the Prime Minister of Malaya. We are irrevocably out of the Commonwealth.
What are we to do in future? The first question is: What have we actually lost? In my opinion, we have lost nothing. We still retain the friendship of those countries with whom we were always friendly and with whom we want to remain friends, viz. Britain, Australia and New Zealand, and when he arrived back in Canada Mr. Diefenbaker was the first man to say that we also retain their friendship and our trade agreements with them: that they are keen to remain our friends. All we have lost is those people who continually persecute and attack us and who boycotted us whilst we were still in the Commonwealth— those so-called colleagues of ours in the Commonwealth.
Our course for the future is quite clear to me. I cannot share the feeling that a catastrophe has befallen us. I cannot share the idea that everything around us is dark because we are out, because it seems to me that we have lost nothing. The hon. member for Hillbrow asks whether we are now more free. My reply to him is yes, we are more free, because we no longer belong to a Commonwealth which wants to force a policy on us which we can never accept. Therefore I say we are more free. Our future depends on our good relations with Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
I want to conclude by asking hon. members whether they are going to sit quietly and allow certain sections of our English Press to spoil those relations between us and the United Kingdom in future. Are they going to sit still and allow relations with our friends to be disturbed in future? The hon. member for Constantia said that the other Commonwealth countries would force Britain to abandon its trade relations with South Africa. Good heavens, has the Commonwealth now come to this stage that not only does it want to prescribe our racial policy to us, but that it also wants to prescribe Britain’s economic policy? What nonsense! However, I do agree with something which the hon. member for Constantia said. He said: “ We are now facing a cold war.” I quite agree with him, but it is not a cold war with England or with our friends in the Commonwealth, but a cold war with the Afro-Asian countries in the Commonwealth. I know that many people can take part in this cold war against us, but I want to put this question to the Opposition: In that cold war, do they stand on the side of those people, or do they stand by South Africa?
The hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) spoke mainly of the correctness or otherwise of the hon. the Prime Minister’s actions in London, and about the republic and our position in the Commonwealth. I do not intend to discuss whether the hon. the Prime Minister acted correctly or not in London. Rather than enter into a discussion of that, I am prepared to accept that, within the limits of his policy, the hon. the Prime Minister did what he could to keep South Africa in the Commonwealth. Standing on a rigid policy of apartheid, he found it impossible to remain in the Commonwealth, but I am prepared to concede that the hon. the Prime Minister did what he could to keep us within the Commonwealth. With his policy of apartheid it was not possible. I do not intend to spend my time either on arguing as to whether we should become a republic on 31 May, now that we know it is going to be outside the Commonwealth. I do not intend to argue that we should not become a republic. Even if we remained a monarchy, I do not believe that Dr. Verwoerd would be able to keep us within the Commonwealth. I accept that we are going to become a republic outside the Commonwealth. It is tragic that we should have isolated ourselves in the world, and it is vital that we should do everything to restore our international position. But arguing about the republic or a monarchy is not going to assist us in doing that. The only thing we can do is to get back to the racial issue, which is by far the most important issue before us. It was the policy of apartheid that caused our withdrawal from the Commonwealth, and it is the policy of apartheid, or policies which will replace apartheid, that will determine our future. The republic has been an expensive diversion: Let us now get back to the main issue.
While we have been busy with the republic, we have not been able to devote serious thought to the progress of apartheid, and I want to make a sincere appeal to the supporters of apartheid, in getting back to our racial issues, to consider the new evidence which is available on the question whether apartheid can work or not. In this respect I want to say a few words about the London Conference, because it does have a direct bearing on the question whether apartheid will work or not. In the first place the fact that all the Prime Ministers, including the Prime Ministers of our two greatest friends, England and Australia, were unanimous in their outright condemnation of apartheid, is powerful evidence that that policy will not work. It is evidence which the supporters of apartheid must seriously consider. Mr. Menzies said straight out that his objection to apartheid was that it would not work, and Mr. Macmillan referred to it as tragically perverse and misguided. I am not suggesting that we should allow other countries to dictate to us, but what I am saying is this: that if the rest of the world is so certain that apartheid will not work, including eminent men who are well disposed to us, then clearly the hon. the Prime Minister may be wrong in thinking that it will. There is more to it than that. Not only is this strong evidence that apartheid won’t work. Whether or not the Prime Ministers in London were correct, whether or not apartheid is right, or wrong, the events at London have had the result that, from now on, the policy will be even more difficult than before to implement, because the opponents of apartheid, and particularly the non-Europeans, will be encouraged by the outright condemnation of the policy in London. From now on the hon. the Prime Minister will find it even more difficult than before to get supporters for his policy, or even to get acceptance of his policy. So that a further obstacle has been added to those which already stand in the way of the implementation of apartheid.
Getting away from the London Conference, the other point that I want to bring to the attention of the House is of more importance, namely, that the work of consolidation and developing the reserves is proceeding sp slowly that the theory of separate development is collapsing at its very base. The policy is, of course, breaking down at many points, but this is a basic point. The Government-supporting newspaper, the Burger, accepts that if you cannot have massive development of the reserves, you must give up the policy. It is thinking in terms of economic development. The same applies to consolidation and political development. If you cannot consolidate the reserves, you cannot talk of full development and of “ nie-onderhorigheid you cannot develop either economically or politically. May I quote the hon. Minister of Bantu Development himself speaking in the Other House some weeks ago, where he said—
Then a little later on—
That is what the Tomlinson Commission also reported.
Which Minister was that?
Order! I hope the hon. member for Salt River will allow the hon. member to make his own speech.
The Tomlinson Report found that the reserves were so scattered that they formed no foundation for community growth. Now, Mr. Speaker, how has the task of consolidating the reserves been going? At the time of the Tomlinson Report in 1954 it was stated that there was some 254 separate Native areas scattered around South Africa. Consolidation must be effected by exchanging Native areas in one place for European-owned land which borders on Native areas elsewhere. And every time it is done months and years of negotiation are required, and the move has to be confirmed by resolution of this House. The Department has not been able to give me accurate figures of how many times it has taken place, but, according to their estimate, and according to information which I have obtained elsewhere, it has not taken place more than a dozen times in the last six years. So that, if there were 254 separate areas in 1954, there are now 242 separate reserves. There are probably more than that. At that rate even partial consolidation of the reserves will take at least 100 years, if not 200 years.
I want to appeal to hon. members to go to the map and see what is involved when they gaily talk of consolidation of the reserves and development of the Africans within their own areas. You cannot do it unless you are prepared to buy up very large areas of European-owned land over and above what was promised in 1936. The Government has said it will not do that. If it will not do that, it cannot consolidate these reserves, unless, that is, you have exchanges of European-owned land for Native-owned land on a tremendous scale. In fact, the hon. the Minister himself, in the Senate only two weeks ago, admitted that it was impossible to consolidate the reserves. The hon. the Minister agrees with me. May I read from column 1607 of the Senate Hansard—
Then he goes on to talk of the Tswana reserve and of the Zulu reserves. Now, if you are going to give the Tswanas or the Zulus not a consolidated homeland, but at least three or four different blocs, how can you speak of full political opportunities?
When the Bantu Self-government Act was introduced into this House, the White Paper which accompanied it made this kind of statement—
On page 6 it said—
And, when pressed, the hon. the Prime Minister went so far as to say that these states might become independent, depending upon their ability to do so. How can you say that you are offering them that when you are not prepared even to give them one consolidated homeland, but you intend to put them in three or four areas? And I believe that there will not be only three or four areas for each of these national units, but many more than that. And I challenge the hon. the Prime Minister and the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, who is now in the House, to reconcile this fact with the statement that the policy of the Nationalist Party is one of “ nie-onderhorigheid ”.
The problem has been made even more difficult by the acceptance this year of the fact that South Africa will not get the Protectorates, because the homelands of three of the national units were to have been built round the Protectorates. The Protectorates were to be the nuclei of the homelands of the South Sotho, the Swazi and the Tswanas. Now those Protectorates are not available and they have lost all chance of having a homeland in the ordinary sense of the word. So much for consolidation and its political effect, but what of economic development? The plain fact is that it is six or seven years since the Tomlinson Commission reported, and it is two years since the Bantu Selfgovernment Act was passed, and the development of the reserves has been negligible. Talk of five year plans and putting the slightly increased amount of R17,000,000 in the Estimates this year cannot disguise the fact that the development of the reserves is proceeding at a snails’ pace, completely inadequate to make any impression on the flow of Africans to the towns and the development of the Africans in the towns. In passing it should be noted that R2,000,000 of the amount of R17,000,000 is devoted to the purchase of land and must be subtracted from any amount which one uses to compare with the recommendations of the Tomlinson Commission. It is, in fact, difficult to make actual comparisons of expenditure with the expenditure recommended by the Tomlinson Commission Report, because the figures are not available under the same heads, and I do not intend to try to compare them beyond to say that it is clear that the rate of expenditure which is taking place and has taken place over the last six years is less than one-fifth of the rate of expenditure recommended by the Tomlinson Commission. In fact it is nearer to one-tenth.
I do not wish only to describe what has happened in the past six years. The more important point is—and this I believe is true— that the Government will not be able to speed up the development of the reserves to any great extent, and certainly not with the policy which they are adopting. If more money were to be voted this year it would be retained unspent. Some of the reasons for that are reasons of policy such as the Government’s refusal to allow the investment of White capital; others are reasons of fact. But whether of fact or of policy, they have meant that practically no development has taken place in the spheres of economy and consolidation, and the rate will not improve much in the future. The shortage of technicians, the shortage of human skills are additional reasons. In relation to this the hon. the Minister says “ It is my policy that the tempo of developments should be determined by the capacity of absorption of the Bantu himself. The entire tempo of development is determined by the manner in which the Bantu is capable of absorbing that development”. Well, Mr. Speaker, it is a slow tempo and it will remain slow because the Bantu in the reserves are primitive.
Other reasons include the shortage of facilities for industry. In this respect the hon. the Minister said that before there could be any tertiary or secondary development the Bantu must be mustered in their towns and their villages. Well, up to now practically nothing has been achieved by way of providing towns and villages. The names of some proposed villages have been decided upon, but in some cases not even the site has been determined. The fact is that the development has not taken place. I say again that because of the failure to consolidate and develop the reserves, the policy of apartheid is collapsing at its very base. In fact it has collapsed. I urge upon hon. members opposite to consider this, to realize that the policy of apartheid cannot work, and to reject it.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to react to a few of the matters mentioned here. I think it is essential to deal briefly with a few of these matters. I shall try not to be long. With reference to the speech of the hon. member who has just resumed his seat, he referred to a few matters to which I want to devote some attention, but first I just want to say that the Progressive Party should be the last party to talk.
Because hitherto they have made no constructive contribution to the peaceful co-existence of White and non-White in South Africa. Their whole course of action so far has been negative. They could evolve no other policy except to state generally that there should be equality.
How dare you say that?
The hon. member who has just resumed his seat expressed doubts as to the development of the Bantu areas, but that is something which is quite contrary to the whole principle underlying the standpoint of his party. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, I should be glad if you would give the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) a piece of soap. He has been needing soap all afternoon.
Order! Will hon. members give the hon. the Minister an opportunity to make his speech.
I say it is in conflict with their standpoint because the standpoint of the Progressive Party is that there should be one multi-racial society. That being so, the hon. member should not say what we heard from him this afternoon. What is more, in this little book I have the attempt they made to draft their policy. It is this “ multi-minority ” report—that is the only meaning I can attach to it. They sat for days and came to light with a number of things on which they could not agree. That party should therefore be the last to talk.
I want to pass on to a few other matters. Hon. members opposite reproached the hon. the Prime Minister for the fact that we are out of the Commonwealth. They said that he had suffered a defeat. I just want to say in the first place that the man who adopts a moral attitude and achieves a victory is the one who achieves the greatest victory in life. Therefore it is my view that if ever there was a person who achieved a moral victory not only for South Africa but for the world, to bring the world to greater sobriety, it is the Prime Minister of South Africa. The day will yet come, Sir, when both Whites and non-Whites will erect a monument to the Prime Minister for the sound standpoint he adopted in London. The day will come when the world will honour him for it. But I want to say that hon. members opposite should not sit and weep now. They are the cause of our no longer being in the Commonwealth. I say that very definitely because it is my conviction.
Mr. Speaker, here you saw a practical example in recent years of how those hon. members of the Opposition sent the most flagrant misrepresentations about the policy of apartheid which one could possibly imagine out into the world. We saw, amongst them and their Press, that every political baboon eventually put up his own policy and then attached the label of apartheid to it and published it to the world. I want to repeat what I said in the Other Place, that except for the word “Christianity” I do not think there is any other word which has been so grievously distorted and misconstrued to the world as the word “ apartheid ”. We issued warnings from time to time. Do not forget that this was done systematically for the past 12 years. We warned them that they were not rendering South Africa a service by doing that. Sir, I have no objection if they criticize our policy. That is the right of every democratic party and I welcome it. It can only have a beneficial effect and perhaps improve the policy still further. But what I deprecate is that during the past 12 years a systematic propaganda campaign of misrepresentations has been waged by the Opposition and its Press in regard to the policy of apartheid. I deprecate that. It is not fair and just towards South Africa. I just want to deal with a few examples. We have so often heard of the creation of a Frankenstein monster. Here they have now been thrown out of the Commonwealth by their own Frankenstein monster. They created it. It is they who told the world that this is a policy with no moral basis. It is they who told those wild stories and published them to the world. I just want to deal with a few examples. When we published our policy in 1948, did we then get a sincere and honest appreciation of that policy? Did we get proper constructive criticism to improve that policy, or to put an alternative policy in its place? No, Mr. Speaker, but the world was told that it was a policy of oppression; that it was an immoral policy. It was said that there was no other country in the world where there was so much oppression and so much injustice committed as in terms of this policy of apartheid. The hon. members well knew that the opposite was the truth.
I mention a second example, and I do not want to deal with it at length. It is the question of Bantu education. When we started reforming the Bantu education system, what did they do then? Then they again disseminated propaganda throughout the world to the effect that we were forcing an inferior system of education on to the Bantu with the specific object of taking him back to the kraal again. They propagated that in America, Europe and right throughout the world, to such an extent that the universities everywhere objected—at that time I was handling Education and I am personally acquainted with the number of complaints I received from over the length and breadth of the world, in which objection was raised—but after this distorted picture had been sent out into the world, the educationists had to come and tell us that the Bantu education policy was one of the best systems ever evolved in the world. But thereafter South Africa was landed with the bitter fruits of what they had sown. There are still some of these satellites who continue—and particularly the communist-inspired groups— to give the Bantu the impression that here they are dealing with an inferior system. Fortunately we have the judgment given by the educationists of the world in regard to this system. I ask: Why did they do such an injustice to South Africa?
There is the system of Bantu authorities. Just look at the campaign waged against that system. Is that fair and just towards South Africa? If they had come along with an alternative system, that would have been fair enough and we could have devoted attention to it. But the fact is that during the past 40 years during which they tried to introduce a Western system for the Bantu, they could succeed in establishing only 60 local boards with approximately 300 councillors. It simply was not acceptable to the Bantu and they could make no progress. But in this short period we have established more than 400 Bantu authorities and there are more than 7,000 councillors who actively take part in the government of the various tribes. But now I ask: What advantage was derived by them by making this system suspect in the eyes of the world and depicting it as one calculated to take the Bantu back to the kraal, to oppress him and to subjugate him? They only vilified South Africa and did not achieve anything. I will return to this matter in a moment.
Are they happy under that system?
There was the establishment of the separate universities. Just remember the campaign they waged about that right throughout the world. Just look at the parcels of letters we received from student organizations right throughout the world. It was depicted as the greatest crime any nation had ever committed against another. To-day people who know must admit that it was one of the best things South Africa has ever done, particularly with a view to the development of the Bantu areas. But why did they publish these untruths, why did they vilify South Africa and create a Frankenstein monster for themselves which ejected us from the Commonwealth? It is nothing else. They told the world that we were not fair and just to our non-Whites. They said that there was no rule of law.
It is not a Frankenstein, but a Hendrikstein.
They said that we were simply a police state, and all that sort of thing. What did they gain by it? Did they gain anything for their party or for South Africa? They vilified South Africa and created a Frankenstein monster which threw them out of the Commonwealth. They should now keep quiet and they should not complain. Mr. Speaker, I again want to direct this appeal to them, which I have been repeating every year for the past 12 years. It has now been proved, and here we have a good example of it, that their party will never come into power by means of that sort of propaganda. By means of this sort of propaganda they do South Africa incalculable harm. It is not only the Nationalist Party which suffers, but they themselves also. That also applies to our treatment of the Bantu. By trying to sow suspicion in the minds of the Bantu on a large scale, they are creating a second Frankenstein monster, of which both they and we will be the victims. Therefore, I appeal to them to desist from using these methods.
Now I come to a second matter with which I want to deal briefly. It was also mentioned by the hon. member for East London (North) (Mr. van Ryneveld). It was repeatedly said in this debate that the Government had done nothing to implement its policy of apartheid. If ever there was an unreasonable standpoint, it is this. I just want to say that the elementary duty rests on any person first to ascertain what the true facts are before getting up to make such an allegation against the Government or against his country. That is the least he can do. I want to deal for a moment with what we have done in recent times. In 1948 we inherited chaos. I do not want to deal with that. But, Sir, much work had to be done. That period between 1948 and 1955 can correctly be described as the period of creative preparation. The Education Commission was appointed; the Tomlinson Commission was appointed; a number of Departmental committees were appointed; we worked day and night on schemes and to evolve a plan. Much hard work was done. Hon. members opposite do not realize how hard we worked. What is more, during that period the Bantu had to be prepared for this task. We had inherited a position in which the Bantu had not been prepared and was not ready to co-operate in this process of development. The hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) can give evidence, if he wants to be honest, that when he retired we just had a reserve here and there which was prepared to tackle these developmental works. In most cases they had to be forced to do it. Still in his time they started grading up the cattle in the district of Middeldrif and whilst the extension officer was busy telling the Bantu how to improve their cattle he was stabbed to death with an assegai. Those are the conditions we inherited. We had to create a climate which would make it possible to implement this plan. Sir, it was not an easy task. Hon. members do not realize what a difficult task it was that we had to tackle. It sometimes took days to persuade a tribe to start development work. But we were not deterred by this difficult work. In that period we created this climate. Now two things had to be done. The first was, as the hon. member stated, that we had to start consolidating these areas. The second was that we also had to consolidate the people. One cannot tackle large-scale development works in a disconnected number of reserves. The people have to be consolidated. It was proved that no progress could be made according to the old system. Then we introduced this system of Bantu authorities, and just look at the consolidation of the people which has taken place recently! As I have already said, we established over 400 Bantu authorities which are actively in operation. We established more than 30 regional authorities which are in operation. We have the territorial authority of the Transkei which co-operates very nicely. Last week the establishment of the territorial authority of the Ciskei was published in the Government Gazette. Towards the end of last week I signed the proclamation establishing the territorial authority of the Tswanas. The others will come in the near future. Before one consolidates the people on this scale, one cannot think of any large-scale development. But fortunately this climate has now been created and we can go forward. There is also another fact I want to mention. It is that ever since this process has been in operation, our development is proceeding faster and faster. I am very optimistic about the future. Now I just want to make this statement, about which hon. members probably have not thought, viz. that in the past ten years we achieved twice the amount of development of the Bantu areas that we had during the previous 40 years since 1910. If there is anybody who doubts my word, I can give him all the figures. I say that in the past ten years more has been done for the development of the Bantu area, and in many cases twice as much was done as was done in the previous 40 years since the establishment of the Union in 1910. Therefore is it fair to say that the Government has done nothing? I do not want to say that our achievements are miraculous or fantastic. The fact is just that we created the climate and put the people to work, and we created that spirit of self-help which is the basic prerequisite for the success of such schemes, and we are making progress.
But I just want to mention a few figures. One of the matters which received priority was the position round about the big cities, because a volcano was systematically developing there. Therefore that was Priority No. 1, and fortunately that position has been cleared up. During the last few years South Africa spent an amount of R230,000,000—more than £100,000,000, which is no small amount—on that, and I want to say that within just a few years we will have no slum conditions in any of our large cities. We are now clearing up the last few slums. Is that not an achievement for South Africa? I just want to make this statement to-day. I also had the privilege of visiting other parts of Africa and Central Africa, and I also inspected slum conditions in Europe. I can state this afternoon that there are millions of people in Europe and in other countries which are not as well housed as our Bantu are to-day in the White cities. I challenge anyone to deny that. Do hon. members know that since 1955 we spent an amount of R40,000,000 on the Bantu areas? Then hon. members come here and even parsons stand with their hands on their hearts and say that since the Tomlinson Report was published we spent only £4,500,000 on the development of the bantu areas, when in fact we spent more than £20,000,000 on it. Why do hon. members make such statements?
But I go further. During these few years we spent R80,000,000 on health services. Look at all the money we spent on education. Do hon. members know that during the past ten years we spent R160,000,000 on the education of the Bantu? During these few years we spent an amount of R500,000,000 just on these few services.
May I ask the hon. the Minister how much of this money was spent on the reserves, and not on the urban areas?
I very clearly gave the figures of the money spent on the Bantu areas in the White areas, but do not forget that we see the Bantu population groups as racial entities, whereas those hon. members do not. The Bantu in the cities must be cared for in the same way as those who are in the Bantu areas, because that is an integral part of our policy. The hon. member should not ask that type of question. I say that in this short period we spent that amount of money. There are other things also.
In the sphere of education we have increased the number of children attending school to over 1,500,000. Just look at the two universities we established which assist in the development of the Bantu. That is why we ask why hon. members reproach South Africa in this way, because it is not right towards South Africa. They can attack the Nationalist Party as much as they like, but by doing this they plunge a dagger into the heart of South Africa. We have progressed so far that I want to predict that in the course of the next ten years most Bantu in South Africa will be literate. That cannot be said of any other state in Africa, and not even of India. In fact, India cannot make all its people literate within the next 50 years. It also means that in this process we have managed to get 28,000 parents to interest themselves in the school committees, which gives them a share in the process of development and creates a new spirit on their part. Just take the large number of teachers in the service and the large number of councillors who are active in the development processes. Surely this reproach cannot be levelled at us. No, our difficulty is that hon. members and particularly critics overseas do not take the trouble to look at what we have already achieved, the large sums of money we have spent and the splendid results we have had, and they simply talk through their hats.
But I want to deal with a second matter. It was mentioned by the hon. member for East London (North) (Mr. van Ryneveld). He said we did not make enough progress in consolidating the areas. Let me say very clearly once again that I am one of those people who consider that those areas should be consolidated. But now hon. members paint a distorted picture of the situation. They tell the world that these areas are so widely scattered that no development work can be put in progress there. They say it is only the Transkei which forms an entity, and the others are just like bits of scrap iron, as one newspaper expressed it. I ask why be so hypocritical towards South Africa?
It is not against South Africa but against the Government.
I admit that the Transkei is the largest consolidated Bantu area, but look at the other areas. There are heartlands which are large consolidated areas. Take Zululand. The people who talk about bits of scrap iron certainly did not visit Zululand. Take Soutpansberg, where the Venda live. It is one large block of land and very little consolidation is necessary. There we have one of the most fertile areas in South Africa. Take the Northern Sotho area, round about Sekukuniland. That is a large area. Take the large blocks of land of the Tswana. I admit that there are still a large number of disconnected bits of land, but still hon. members have no idea what they are talking about: I admit that this process is not an easy one, but we are tackling it seriously and so far we have seen to it in the first place that all land purchased is adjacent to these blocks. There is therefore an automatic process of consolidation. We no longer buy land here and there. The land purchased adjoins these blocks. But what is more, in recent years we have consolidated with their own areas no less than 44,000 morgen which was situated all over the place, and that was a difficult task. But do not forget that when we tried to consolidate one area in the Northern Transvaal, that side of the House made a great fuss about it. But I take this matter very seriously and I have appointed an official to devote his attention to it fulltime. We are making very good progress, but we can only make the optimum progress when there are territorial authorities which co-operate with us. I do not believe in forcing these people. One must create a spirit of co-operation. That is the secret.
Now I want to tell hon. members this. In Natal there are over 100 black spots and the total area is 48,390 morgen. But now hon. members tell the world that it looks like a lot of scrap iron. In the Transvaal we are at the moment busy clearing up 39 black spots totalling only 50,000 morgen. In the Cape Province we are clearing up 48 black spots and good progress is being made, and the area comprises 58,000 morgen. In the Free State we are clearing up four black spots comprising just over 7,000 morgen. But now the world has been told that there really is not one consolidated area. Is it right towards South Africa to create such a false impression? These areas have been consolidated to such an extent that one can proceed with development work on a large scale.
May I ask a question? If you accept that you cannot consolidate these reserves into less than four blocks, how can you continue to talk about full self-government for the Bantu?
That is a very easy question to answer. Take the Tswana areas, for example. It is possible that the Tswana areas which lie in a row can be consolidated into four blocks and that there can be a central government. There is nothing to prevent it. That is the process which is working so well in the Transkei to-day. That constitutes no problem. I repeat that this is a fantasy that we are not proceeding fast enough with the consolidation and I hope that hon. members will adopt a different attitude, because the fact is that we are exerting all our energies and have already attained very good results.
I just want to give a few facts to show what we have already achieved. As the result of this development, not only in the Bantu areas but also in the cities, we have reached the position where the cash income of the Bantu to-day amounts to more than R1,000,000,000 per annum. In the Bantu areas a few years ago the stock sales yielded only R400,000. Last year the income derived from stock sales was approximately R2,000,000. Surely that shows that there is progress. What is more, I want to ask hon. members to see how the Bantu themselves co-operate and organize themselves in cities and how they have come out of the mountains and how they work with us everywhere. I do not want to deal here with the five-year plan which will be announced later, but I just want to say that we are already having great success in the development of our cities, and in the Eastern Cape we have progressed so far that we have Bantu contractors doing all the work. This creates great opportunities for the Bantu, but hon. members know nothing about it, and they are the people who have most to say about it. In recent years South Africa has produced more than 2,000 graduates. In the whole of the rest of Africa they could not produce even a quarter of that number. [Interjections.] Most of them to-day are at the Bantu universities. Their hope lies there, because they get the necessary living space there and not in the White universities. We can only make progress with this work if we develop the Bantu also in the educational sphere. We must have people who are equipped educationally and technically.
I want to point out that the Bantu in South Africa to-day possess more than 100,000 motor cars as compared with 470,000 in the whole of Russia, and I am not even talking about the rest of Africa. A friend of mine recently visited Guinea, which has so much to say about South Africa, and in the whole of that country he could find only one old motor car. Why do hon. members make these reproaches against us? They reproach us for not taking: enough notice of world opinion I have already expressed my views on that point and I was, severely criticized, but I want to say again that I definitely refuse to allow world opinion to dictate my policy to me, because we are living in a sickly world to-day, as sickly as it was in the eighteenth century. In the eighteenth century the world wanted to dictate to South Africa what its policy should be, and if we did not have men of character at that time South Africa would to-day have been in the same position as some South American countries. But because we had men who could stand up for themselves we are not like that to-day. Therefore hon. members must not expect me to-be a weathercock. I do take world opinion into consideration. There are few people in this House who read as many books dealing with the world’s views on racial problems as I do, and I say it in all humility, but it is a matter to which I devote attention day and night. But having read all the facts, we must formulate our own policy in the light of our own circumstances and the experience of the past 300 years. If we set our sails according to world opinion, I give South Africa just a few years and then there will be no more White people here.
But, and on this note I want to conclude, there is one gratifying sign. The first is this, that the scientists right throughout the world are undergoing a change of mind to-day and are coming to hold more sober views, and when I talk about scientists I am speaking about those people who specially concentrate on ethnology, anthropology, ethnological and other studies, those people who have always taught the world how to govern people. In recent years we saw that these so-called scientists, particularly as the result of subtle communist propaganda, denied that there were any differences. But to-day the scientists have changed their views, and they are now fast coming to support South Africa. I want to advise hon. members to get this periodical, The Mankind Quarterly, and to read it. I just want to quote one bit out of it. It represents the views of the best scientists throughout the world, because they are up in arms against this new sickly trend of thought which has blown over the world, and which has blown the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) hither and thither like a leaf in a whirlwind. I just want to read the following. They say—
That proves that these scientists side with South Africa. That also gives us hope. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition said that he visualizes a federal state; he is beginning to see the Bantu areas as provinces of a federal state. Why then do they always complain that we want to cut South Africa up into little bits? This is a basic approach which is very significant to me, but the Leader of the Opposition is making the same mistake that the Federation made, and his disillusionment will be the same as that of the Federation in regard to Nyasaland. That type of federation simply does not work, hence our policy. The best method is to seek the happiness of a man in his own family; to seek the happiness of the family in its own community, and the happiness of the community in its own nation, and then to live together in a good neighbourly spirit, and on the basis of a commonwealth, which perhaps will be a much closer one than the one we recently left, we can get the necessary co-operation and consultation to build a splendid future for South Africa. I am convinced that along those lines we will not only get the co-operation of the Bantu in South Africa, but that we already have it to a large extent.
The Minister of Bantu Administration has dealt so conclusively with the weak attempt by the hon. member for East London (North) (Mr. van Ryneveld) that he has placed me in the fortunate position that I can immediately commence with my speech. I just want to say that all the criticisms of the hon. members opposite relating to colour policy cannot stand up to the Minister’s assault, and must normally give way, just as oak leaves do before a whirlwind.
The past few weeks have been characterized by one or two outstanding highlights which have all been in favour of the Government and to the detriment of the Opposition. It is clear that “ the tide is strongly favouring the Government and is still severely against the Opposition ”. The result of the South West African election was a crushing blow. The outstanding Railway budget with an unexpected surplus of R19,800,000 has inflicted a further blow on hon. members opposite, and the optimistic note on which the hon. the Minister of Finance introduced his first rand-cent budget and his last Budget under the monarchial system was a further setback for the Opposition. They did not expect a surplus of R38,000,000 and it was a tremendous shock to them. Taking the position as a whole, the only conclusion one can reach is that South Africa’s economic position is absolutely sound.
The fourth highlight which has overshadowed all the others is the withdrawal of South Africa’s application for continued application of the Commonwealth. A wonderful pregnantly significant first Sapa report came through on 15 March like the first flash of lightning on the horizon after a long drought. South Africa wanted to remain in the Commonwealth but could no longer remain in the changed Commonwealth. South Africa’s honour had to be held high and her traditional colour policy had to be maintained. I pay tribute to our Prime Minister who has taken this step and who has held the fort for the White man in South Africa. This was an historic event which has ushered in a new era. The old set-up of initial subservience to and later dependence on Britain which started in 1806 and continued for 155 years has been ended once and for all. On 31 May 1961 the history of a sovereign independent South Africa outside the Commonwealth and without any dependence on any other country in the world except such friendly relations as may be necessary will be written. To me this is a wonderful experience, and it is a privilege to be able to participate in this constitutional change which South Africa is undergoing. It is dismayingly unpatriotic of hon. members opposite to discuss this event in such a deplorable and disparaging way.
But as the representative of an agricultural constituency I want to ensure that agriculture also has a place of honour in this debate and I want to lead our discussions back to our soil. Besides emphasizing its importance, I want to show that agriculture is a less profitable industry than most other industries, and I want to discuss for a few moments one or two causes of the unstable, shaky and unfortunate position of our agricultural industry. If time allows me, I just want to submit one or two positive suggestions as to how these problems can be solved. Basically the agricultural industry is the most important factor in the economy of any nation. In the first place it is responsible for feeding the whole population of the world which consists of 2,852,000,000 souls and which is increasing at the disquieting rate of 22,000,000 per annum. It is calculated that there are 900,000,000 children in the world, of whom 600,000,000 are suffering from hunger. It is also estimated that only 7 per cent of the world’s surface area can be cultivated productively. Of the 472,359 square miles of South Africa, only 102,183,749 morgen belong to Whites, of which only 2 per cent can be intensively cultivated. This limited arable area is certainly the most valuable possession of the people of South Africa. The value of a farmer’s farm is not calculated on the basis of the number of morgen of which it consists, but on the basis of the potential value of his arable land and the carrying capacity of his grazing per stock unit. In the second place the agricultural industry is important because of the contribution it makes to the national income. During 1958-9 the national income was R4,054,000,000. Of this the agricultural industry contributed 11.7 per cent or R479.4 million. The highest contribution was made by manufacturing industry with R597.8 million, and then mining with R540.0 million, and commerce with R477.6 million. During 1945-6 the agricultural industry’s contribution was only R164.4 million. The present figure therefore reflects a phenomenal increase over the past 15 years.
But the third question which I should like to discuss is to what extent this generous contribution to the national income really reflects the prosperity and profitableness of agriculture as an industry. I personally have serious doubts about any contention that the agricultural industry is a particularly profitable industry in South Africa. My first proof is that since 1947-8, as compared to other industries, there has been a falling tendency in the total net contribution. In 1947-8 the agricultural industry contributed 15.3 per cent. In 1955 it was 14.5 per cent; in 1956 14.1 per cent; in 1957 14.1 per cent; in 1958 12.3 per cent and in 1959 it was 11.7 per cent, the present figure. This declining tendency in the case of the contribution of agriculture has over the past few years very often been conveniently attributed to the tremendous decline in wool prices which has involved approximately R60,000,000, and in the second place to the tremendous and phenomenal development and growth of industry, of commerce and of mining. That is true, but that is definitely not the whole truth. There must be deeper causes, causes which have resulted in economic difficulties for the farmer and the unattractiveness and unprofitableness of the industry. Even in the powerful dollar country, America, farming is by no means as attractive and profitable an industry as is generally accepted. In comparison with other industries a marked decline in agricultural income is noticeable in that country as well. I have here a cutting from a statistical survey by “The National Farmers’ Union of the U.S.A.” relating to the relative incomes of farming undertakings as compared with non-farming undertakings. It reads as follows—
Here we therefore find the same tendency as I have just shown with the figures I have quoted —the profit margin is falling in the case of agriculture and rising in the case of non-agricultural industries. I have no objection to to the profits being made by our industries. As a matter of fact I am delighted about them; it is necessary that our industries should prosper in order to attract foreign capital, to provide employment to our people and to serve as a market for our agricultural products.
My second proof that the agricultural industry is not prospering is represented by the large amounts which the Government has invested in the agricultural industry over the past few years. Land Bank loans granted to farmers during 1957-60 give a clear picture of the unsatisfactory position. The following are the figures: (a) hypothec loans: For improvements. R2,179,924; for the purchase of stock and equipment, R4,726,586; for the payment of mortgages R65,462,576; for the purchase of land, R20,901,829, giving a total of R114,172,744; (b) loans by means of State advances: (i) for rehabilitation: from 1 April 1956 to 31 March 1959, R107,200; from 1 April 1959 to 31 March 1960, R18,122,100; giving a total of R18,229,300; (ii) for financing: from 1956 to 1959, R7,703,098; from 1959 to 1960, R3,756,728; giving a total of R11,459,826, and a grand total of R29,689,136 as regards loans by means of State advances. Together with Land Bank loans, the grand total is therefore R143,861,880. Besides this direct assistance to the farmers, the State from 1956-7 to 1960-1 (for nine months of that year), that is to say over a period of four years, has spent the following amounts: On fertilizer subsidies at R2 per ton, R10,412,920; on railway rebates in respect of fertilizer (75 per cent), R14,529,824; on soil conservation works, R1,601,269; on irrigation works for farmers, R191,340; on irrigation boards, R2,527,424; on boring services for farmers, R8,994,642; on farmers’ assistance loans, seed, fertilizer, and fuel, R7,056,124; a total therefore of R35,293,543 during this period of four years. In addition R25,000,000 is spent annually on the subsidization of wheat, mealies and butter and an additional £3,000,000 by way of rebates on the transport of mealies. Then I have not even mentioned all the amounts which have also been made available to the farmers by means of other State-aided schemes such as those of the Department of Lands for the purchase of land and of stock and implements, the Department of Water Affairs in respect of irrigation schemes, the Department of Agricultural Technical Services for soil conservation and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing. Then in addition there are the farmers’ obligations to the commercial banks in the shape of overdrafts, and to agricultural co-operatives and other financial institutions and credit corporations. These figures and these facts prove conclusively that something is wrong with our agricultural industry. How can the agricultural industry be run on a profit-making basis when it is weighed down with such heavy debt burdens. The Opposition would like to attribute this unsatisfactory position to the inefficiency of the Government. However, I submit that the Government is not responsible at all. As a matter of fact the Government has done a tremendous amount to help the farmers. My figures have also proved this and if hon. members will examine the Estimates which have now been laid upon the Table, they will find that they contain still further proof of my submission. The Government is not responsible for the causes of this position but we can—and this is our duty—as members who represent agricultural constituencies, investigate and emphasize the facts and causes and suggest, to the best of our ability, methods by which the position can be improved. We can urge the responsible Ministers to go still further in order to help the agricultural industry. I shall mention one or two basic reasons for this unsatisfactory position. The first is the essential difference between the agricultural industry as compared with all other industries. In the case of the agricultural industry we are faced with the most basic principle in the universe, namely, with life itself. A farmer must protect life, he must care for life and he must cultivate and multiply life in its most primitive form, such as the bacteria and organisms in the soil, and life in the plant world and in the animal world. He must cultivate that life and he must keep a process in motion which in turn must keep all mankind alive. He must control this continuing process of life and he must guide and convert it into a profitable industry. All forms of life are delicate and vulnerable and can easily be irreparably destroyed by forces and elements in nature over which the farmer has no control. This basic fact, this essential difference, represents the basic cause of the agricultural industry’s apparently continuing economic struggle. In the case of mining, commerce and industry, the industrialist is faced with exactly the opposite position to that of the farmer. He exploits, he processes, he is dealing with inanimate raw materials and with cold iron and steel which are by no means as vulnerable and as easy to destroy irreparably. When a natural disaster destroys a farmer’s crop or his stock, the position cannot be remedied by mechanical means within a few days, a few weeks or a few months. He is subject to the unalterable laws of nature, to the cycles of nature. He must wait a year before he can try again. A heifer cannot be mechanized to grow up within a few weeks and to calve; she must reach a certain age and her first heifer can, in turn, only calve after three of four years. From the birth of the cow until her first calf can be marketed takes plus-minus seven years.
Mr. Speaker, you can therefore appreciate why the agricultural industry compares so unfavourably with other profit-making industries. For that reason, from its very nature and being, the agricultural industry should be subject to far less criticism when the Government assists it or when far more assistance is requested in order to strengthen the position of the agricultural industry. If I still have a few moments at my disposal, I should like to mention one or two of the front-line enemies of the farmer. Cause and enemy number one of the farmers’ difficulties is the lack of water with its twin brother drought. In the second place there are the risk factors which are represented by natural disasters and all that goes with them, the over-capitalization of farms, and the high costs of production which are aggravated by high working costs and maintenance costs. There is the lack of cheap working capital which can be used to tide the farmer in the short term over his seasonal difficulties and years of crisis. As counter measures against the restrictive and harmful factors to which I have just referred, I advocate that a specific subdivision of the Department of Water Affairs should be established with the sole task of undertaking research into the combating of drought. Drought as such can never be eliminated or prevented, but I submit that its sting can be drawn by large-scale and properly planned water conservation and water distribution on a national basis. Drought, with the consequent lack of water, represents the greatest single cause of the difficulties of the agricultural industry. Drought directs its attacks precisely on what is the essence of farming. It directs its attacks on the kernel, on life itself. It is a destroyer of life and it must be combated on a national basis by means of heavy capital expenditure. To combat the risk factors involved in unforeseen natural disasters, we require a State plan and initially a State-subsidized insurance scheme. The farmer must then, to an increasing extent, make bigger contributions to this scheme. It will not neutralize or eliminate the risks, but will draw their sting. Extensive commercialized farming can no longer continue without overall insurance. As regards the high cost structure, I shall not be able to say anything at this stage. I have conclusive facts and figures here, but my time is up. As regards mechanization, I just want to submit that the only solution in my opinion is the standardization of farm implements and equipment (including tractors). The agricultural industry requires fewer varieties which are better suited to our conditions and which will be efficient, as against the present large variety which is available. If this equipment can be locally manufactured, it will be cheaper and more easily obtainable. This task should be tackled with the assistance of the Bureau of Standards. As regards my final point, namely, the lack of cheap working capital for the agricultural industry, I believe that the State economists must devise a plan whereby an agricultural financing co-operative society can be established in order to provide short-term funds at the lowest possible interest rates to farmers. Mr. Speaker, we must take care that farming in South Africa does not once again become a way of life under which the farmer in actual fact merely struggles to provide his own requirements or to provide food by his activities to the consumer and thus carries other undertakings. The farmer is entitled to a proper profit margin; he is entitled to interest and dividends on his investments; he is entitled to a proper entrepreneur’s wage for the priceless services which he renders to society.
The hon. member for Marico (Mr. Grobler), who has just sat down, is to be congratulated on repudiating the hon. member for Lichtenburg (Mr. M. C. van Niekerk). The hon. member for Marico has informed the House of the many hardships that the farmers are experiencing but the hon. member for Lichtenburg tried to assure this House that they were suffering no hardship at all, so who is right? They both come from the Western Transvaal and they speak with two different voices. This afternoon we had the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) telling us that he was sorry that South Africa had withdrawn from the Commonwealth, but he said he was glad that South Africa now had its freedom. Well, the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development brought new life to this debate by telling us that it was the Opposition’s fault that South Africa was now out of the Commonwealth. Sir, that is a new one in this debate. He blames the Opposition because of the stories they allegedly tell about what is taking place inside South Africa.
He made a new point there.
Sir, last year no news were allowed out of the Transkei at all when the army was there. When the army occupies the Transkei, I wonder if that is not a sign that all is not well in the country? The Minister of Bantu Administration was telling us of all the fine progress that has been made by him since his Government took over. Sir, the Minister was a member of the Tomlinson Commission. He will agree with me that the minimum amount recommended by the Tomlinson Commission to be spent annually on the reserves has not been spent. He was a signatory to that report, and yet in this Budget debate he tries to tell us that all is well when there is no provision for power lines to the Bantu reserves; there is no provision whatsoever for railway lines, for transport, to the Bantu reserves, and yet the Minister boasts of the over 100,000 motor-cars owned by the Bantu. He does not discriminate between motor-cars which they need for their livelihood as against those which they have for joyriding. Is he trying to suggest to us that these 100,000 motor-cars are all for joy-riding, or is the Minister’s new policy to provide garages attached to the houses in all the housing schemes for Bantu in the urban areas? The Minister of Bantu Administration introduced a new note here when he tried to suggest to this House that it was the Opposition’s fault that we were out of the Commonwealth. It is not the Opposition’s fault. No, it is the record of this Government that is to blame. The Minister of Finance, in introducing the Budget, said, “ that the promotion of development ” was “ a central theme ” of the Budget together with “ the improvement of the situation of the less privileged classes ”. The Minister of Economic Affairs in the course of the debate was at great pains to tell us that things in this country could never be better, but the real trouble to-day is that we are facing the consequences of 13 years of Nationalist Party rule. The hon. member for Vereeniging said that the whole difficulty was that the Commonwealth had changed, that that was why we were out of it. The reason is that South Africa has changed over 13 years; that is why we are out. What is the record after 13 years? After 13 years the reserves cannot support the natural increase of one-third of the Africans who find themselves there. The platteland is two-thirds Black and many of the farms are run by absentee owners who leave the management to Black labour. The country’s economy is mainly dependent upon Black labour. Coloured men like the Van der Rosses and others are looking for a common front with the Black man, because they have given up all hope as far as the White man is concerned. The hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development talked this afternoon about this development in their own areas and he went to great lengths to quote his authority for that, the best authority of course being himself, and then in his closing remarks he quoted another authority in support. Sir, the hon. the Minister is only responsible for Bantu development. If the theory which he expounded is right, will he tell us where the Coloured area is going to be and where the Asiatic area is going to be. We know he is trying to divide even our locations, our urban housing areas, into ethnic groups, but will he tell us where it is going to stop? However, let me continue with the record to-day after 13 years: For most of last year ordinary law had to be suspended and we regularly hear of people being arrested and exiled for political activities. Is that part of Opposition propaganda or are those plain facts which count against this country? Our small group of White people at the tip of this Continent is split down the middle. Eleven million people have no opportunity of making their voices heard in this Central Parliament of this country. Sir, I am dealing with the hard facts of the situation. We are an object of abhorrence to the Churches and universities and the Parliaments and Ministries of most of the Western World. We are out of the Commonwealth. We are 74 to Nil at the United Nations and we are in danger of losing South West Africa. On the African Continent, which we should be dominating economically, leading politically and helping culturally, we virtually have no diplomatic representation anywhere north of the Limpopo worth mentioning. Compared with the development in Australia, the U.S.A., Britain and Western Europe we are stagnating economically.
Mr. Speaker, these are the facts of total failure. These are some of the factors which have brought us into disrepute, yet the Minister of Finance would have us believe that all is well. Sir, the Prime Minister, in a Press interview at the London Airport before returning to South Africa said this—
What do the leading financial papers say? The Financial Mail said—
No member of the Government has shown us that things are better and have been better since South Africa was removed from the Commonwealth. The Minister of Finance, in introducing his Budget proposals, said that promotion of development is presumably to be helped by a small increase in the investment allowance to industry from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, which increase is at once accompanied by a reduction in the initial allowance on new and industrial equipment and machinery from 15 per cent to 20 per cent. In addition the investment allowances, the Minister said, would be extended to the hotel industry, and enhanced allowances of 30 per cent on equipment and 20 per cent on buildings would be made for industries in the border areas. The cost of these concessions is estimated at R1.5 million in a full year. Mr. Speaker, is it the industrial potential that wants increasing? It is all very well for the Minister to talk about industrial development, but what we are needing is increased markets, both within the country and outside the country. Take the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development himself who is talking so much about developing the urban areas and who now talks about developing the rural areas in the reserves. Any industrialist to-day who wants to go into the urban areas to survey the market finds great difficulty in getting into the urban area without the permission of the Minister and then it is frequently refused. If they want to do market research, permission is refused. In many cases industrialists have appointed African travellers and have asked them to go round with advertising matter and literature and to call from door to door, doing the same process of organizing the market as is done in other parts of Africa and yet permission is refused. The managers of these housing schemes have turned round and said to the companies concerned: “We regret that we cannot allow this propaganda of yours, this advertising literature, to be distributed by these employees of yours because they might be disseminating communist literature.”
How do they get over it? They get over it by sending the letter through the post. But that is not nearly as effective as sending a salesman from door to door. Industrialists experience great difficulty in exploiting the African markets. It is an increase of markets that we want, and here we have the Department of the Minister of Economic Affairs telling us that they are going to have a “ Buy South African ” campaign. Does the Minister expect that to succeed? Does the Minister think that a “ Buy South African ” campaign will increase sales? If the Minister constantly expects that a “ Buy South African ” campaign will increase sales and he is sure that sales will increase if he encourages everybody to buy South African goods, surely he must expect that the rest of Africa will have an equally successful selling campaign when the people up there are encouraged to “ Buy Commonwealth Sir, when members here talk about things going on as usual after we withdraw from the Commonwealth and are convinced that the preferences which we at present enjoy will not be withdrawn, they fail to appreciate what is taking place in Africa to-day. Many members opposite know how many of their own organizations have been built up. They have not been built up by saying “ boycott goods from English firms ” but they have been built up by saying “ Buy products from ‘ ons volk ’
Buy South African.
No, they first of all encouraged buying from their own people. Sir, they know it and they know it only too well. They encouraged the building up of industry by buying from a particular section of their own people.
You are wrong.
No, I am not wrong. I have been in business as long as that hon. member and a good bit longer, and I know very well what has taken place. Sir, the same policy will be followed in Africa and in all the countries to the north, and that is the danger that we are facing—not necessarily a resistance to our goods but a planned buying programme on the part of other members of the Commonwealth. Do you think for one minute, Sir, that Rhodesia is going to stand by and watch South Africa compete on the market on an equal footing with her? Sir, I can tell you that to-day there are many South African industrialists with branch factories in Rhodesia who are already making plans to extend their factory operations so that they can produce for the Rhodesian markets, and the markets which were formerly supplied from South Africa to a great extent will in future be supplied from the Rhodesian factories.
They were doing that two years ago.
They were doing it on a smaller scale, but it is going to be increased. Vast plans are being considered to increase that market. Once the future of the Federation is settled, there will be a strong move on the part of industrialists in South Africa to establish branches in Rhodesia. Already important sections of the motor industry, the tyre and the paint industries have gone there and the effect of that will be that while the South African companies will draw the profits all the work will be done by the people of Rhodesia, and the same thing will happen in the case of other parts of the world. There will be an encouragement to buy Commonwealth goods as against South African goods, and that will have a long-term effect on the South African industrial output. It is not so much the development of our industries which concerns us but the development of our markets. Sir, I am amazed to find the Minister of Economic Affairs talking with such conviction about all assets, which we know all about, and yet contributing nothing in this debate, in the way of any plans, to the development of the South African market. What does the Minister contemplate in regard to our future market? To-day there are three missions overseas to various parts of the world, engaged in trying to seek custom for South Africa. Some of our biggest customers, the United Kingdom in particular, are not being visited, as far as I am aware, by these missions. Sir, we have to get new markets, if we lose the markets in Africa. The Minister of External Affairs in effect has written off the market in Central Africa, and having written off the market there, we have to replace that market otherwise we are going to find more and more people unemployed. You have evidence of that already in Port Elizabeth to-day where you find many people unemployed. Over 500 people have been dismissed from the motor factories. [Interjections.] Apparently the hon. member does not know that. I see the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) (Mr. J. A. F. Nel) and the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) admit that.
I did not say a word.
You were nodding.
The hon. member was nodding and I was not sure whether he was nodding because he was asleep or whether he was nodding because he approved. The fact remains that there is unemployment in Port Elizabeth and there is serious unemployment in Durban.
Is that because we are out of the Commonwealth?
No, it started because of the antipathy to South Africa, and it will continue when South Africa is no longer a member of the Commonwealth.
What perfect nonsense!
I won’t argue with the hon. member for Karas (Mr. Von Moltke). He knows more about perfect nonsense than anybody in this House. Mr. Speaker, it is already evident that the opportunities for increasing our markets are getting more and more difficult. The very fact that the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs had to make special efforts to send these missions overseas, is proof that the Government realize that our markets have to be expanded. We hear the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs expounding what he claims to be the riches of South Africa, expounding the tremendous assets South Africa has. Apart from base minerals, he referred to the gold mines. Now, Mr. Speaker, I was disturbed the other day to read that there are certain authorities in America who are advising the President against the use of gold. There is a certain school in America which is talking now about the demonetization of the dollar. The other day I saw a statement by a professor at one of the leading universities in America, in which he said—
- (1) Gold digging in a country—South Africa —whose economic life might be paralysed to-morrow by the eruption of racial warfare;
- (2) Mr. Kruschev’s policies about U.S.S.R. gold sales to the West, which were responsible for more than a third of monetary gold increases in both 1958 and 1959 and whose abrupt cessation in 1960 contributed, at least in part, to the recent explosion of gold prices in London;
- (3) the perpetuation of our balance of payments deficits and the continued acceptance of dollar I.O.U.s as monetary reserves by other countries; such gold and dollar losses by us have accounted for about two-thirds of foreign countries reserve increases over the last ten years and cannot continue much longer without undermining confidence in the dollar and its acceptability as a reserve currency.
If an economist of that standing in America already advises the American Government along those lines, it is essential that we should appreciate that there are people in other parts of the world attacking gold as a means of settling international debts. I know this is a hardy annual and I know that it will be disastrous for South Africa if that should become the position, and I hope this particular authority will be proved to be completely wrong.
It is essential that we should concentrate more and more on our secondary industries. Our secondary industries to-day employ more people than any other section of our economy. Yet the crucial weakness of our secondary industries is not the necessity for development but the necessity of finding increased markets for their products. Our machine potential is greater, can supply a greater quantity of goods than is at present being absorbed by the market. Our footwear industry, our clothing industry, our furniture industry already can turn out a much bigger output than is at present being absorbed. It is essential that more emphasis be laid on the development of secondary industry markets, both within and without South Africa. I cannot over-emphasize the necessity for the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development taking a more realistic attitude towards industry and allowing our industries to develop a market particularly in the non-European areas, in the urban areas and in the rural areas. The long experience which industry has of the development of markets, the training of personnel, the development of market research, the encouragement of the use of the various products of industry, which in itself creates further employment, must be recognized by the Government, but it is time that the Government should give a lead in respect of the increase of non-European wages; it is time that the Government encouraged industry to show the non-Europeans how to develop markets. But the Government appears to be determined on showing how the non-European should develop markets under the tuition of officials of the Department of Bantu Development, people who have little or no experience and who are developing the areas along bureaucratic lines. Mr. Speaker, it is not only the development of the internal market, but also of the external markets, particularly to the north, which is essential if we are going not only to hold the existing markets that we have but are going to increase the markets for the products of our secondary industry, markets which we should enjoy as the oldest, most efficient industrial area on the African Continent. Mr. Speaker in this Budget, we find naught for our comfort, and I am convinced that there will be no comfort for South Africa until we get rid of this Government.
Before saying anything about the Budget I too should like to associate myself with those who have expressed their heartfelt congratulations to the Prime Minister and the hon. the Minister of External Affairs for the attitude they adopted when they upheld the honour of South Africa and when they showed the whole world that the people of South Africa are a nation who are not prepared to sell their souls for a mess of pottage. I think that that day and the action taken by the hon. the Prime Minister and the hon. the Minister of External Affairs at that conference will be inscribed in golden letters in the history of South Africa. I extend my heartiest congratulations to them. Seeing that they have so faithfully upheld the way of life of the people of South Africa and have done so in the face of so much misunderstanding and so much animosity, I know that history and our people will say of them in future: Because you have been faithful in a very little, we shall place you in authority over many cities for many days to come so that you can govern the people of South Africa honourably.
Before I come to the real issue of the day, namely, the question of whether we should remain a member of the Commonwealth or not. I should like to say a few words about the Budget. I should like to congratulate the Minister of Finance on his Budget and I want to congratulate him on the fact that he has been able to make certain tax concessions. Seeing that I have congratulated him together with so many others and seeing that no one could do anything else than to congratulate the Minister on his Budget, he will allow me to say this with a view to the future. Seeing that he has been able to make these concessions which have brought considerable relief—and I also understand the object of this relief, and I hope the country also appreciates that the aim is to encourage increased production and to encourage initiative—I should like to say a few words with a view to the future. When one is able to make concessions to those who have progressed and who have made profits, I want to point out that when we can boast of profits which have been made, those profits should also be accompanied by a pro rata division amongst the mass of the people. In other words, if we can point to increased profits, we should also be able to show that there has been a certain measure of increase in salaries and wages. I therefore make no apology for urging once again that the question of food subsidies should be carefully reconsidered and that subsidies should under no circumstances be reduced. Where the Government considers it desirable, they should be increased in such a way that the population groups who need it, will benefit, bearing in mind of course the points to which the hon. member for Lady-brand (Mr. Keyter) has referred. We do not want food subsidies which benefit other people who do not form part of the Union of South Africa. That can be prevented. But I want to emphasize that there is a section of our population who should come into account for salary increases and wage increases when profits are made so that this section of our population will also share in the progress of our nation. This is what the hon. the Minister has taught us and we should like to repeat it. We call this national politics. If we do not do so, we run the risk of seeing our economy faced with difficulties in the near future. By that I mean that when we boast of big profits and concessions, and we cannot show that the lower income groups have benefited from these concessions, our economy will definitely run into trouble and we shall eventually be faced with a position such as we see in other countries of the world where there are very rich people, less rich people and more poor people.
I should now like to come back to the issue of the day, namely, our withdrawal from the Commonwealth, and the question of the alleged animosity towards South Africa throughout the world. It is said that the Commonwealth countries are opposed to us and that UNO is opposed to us, because of our colour policy. Can the position be otherwise? Is there a part of the world which can, in fact, sympathize with South Africa? Is there any other country in the world which, as a result of its own circumstances, can compare its position with South Africa and judge for itself on the basis of that comparison? Is there a country in America, or Europe, or Asia, or anywhere else in the world, where we find the same position, and in respect of which we can say that that country is in the same position as South Africa, and which, nevertheless, follows a policy which has gained the approval of the world? South Africa is in the position that she cannot gain the approval of the world because there is nowhere else in the world, particularly the enlightened world, which is in the same position as we. But is there a country where there is one White to three non-Whites, and where that one person has uplifted the other three in the economic sphere to a higher level than anywhere else on the continent of Africa, as well as most of Europe? That being so, is it not to the credit of this small White population that they have been able to uplift the great majority of the non-Whites in this short period, despite the fact that the Union only recently became an industrial country, and despite the fact that for most of her history she has carried England by supplying cheap food? What country in the world can sympathize with us? What part of the world has undergone the economic history and national history which we have undergone? Allow me to say something which we were told during the war, and which was confidential at that time, but which is no longer confidential. At the time Mr. Hudson stated that England obtained 73 per cent of her foodstuffs during the world war from South Africa, Australia and Canada, at less than the cost of production. In other words, South Africa is one of the countries which carried England at the time when we fed her people by supplying her with butter at 7d. per lb. and meat at 4d. per lb. Despite that, we have been able to uplift the non-White people, a primitive people, and to bring them to an economic level which is higher than the economic level found anywhere else on the continent of Africa, and higher than that of a large part of Europe. Despite this vigorous economic development by the people of South Africa, which has raised the non-Whites to a higher standard of living, we have not been able to gain the sympathy of the world. We are, of course, in disfavour, because there is no other country in the world which can understand our position, because no other country has had experience of the position with which we are faced here, and because no other country in the world has the same population composition as we in South Africa. They cannot sympathize with us. But it is strange that the one country which is closest to us, namely, Southern Rhodesia, can in fact understand South Africa’s position, and this is in fact also the only country which can sympathize with South Africa and which, moreover, is doing so. But, despite the fact that in the nature of things we cannot gain the sympathy of other countries of the world, we have an Opposition in South Africa which is responsible for the fact that these people who cannot sympathize with us, have in addition been given a distorted idea of South Africa. Can the House now understand how even White nations, even Christian nations, cannot sympathize with us? I hold the Opposition responsible, because the Opposition in South Africa would like to get into power, but cannot gain the ear or the sympathy of the people of South Africa, and for that reason they are trying to bring as much pressure as possible to bear on South Africa from outside. Other countries which would otherwise sympathize with us are continually being supplied with distorted reports. There are some of our best friends in the world who are under the impression that religion is being suppressed in South Africa. Who is responsible for that? The Opposition. It is a pity that the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steen-kamp) is not present. It bores one to quote the reports which the Opposition have sent to the outside world, but I want to read one statement which can be quoted as a reason why Christian states do not sympathize with South Africa to-day. In discussing the Church Clause, regarding which so many untruths have been spread, the hon. member said, inter alia, this on 3 April 1957—
The Opposition are telling the outside world that this Government is even interfering with religious services in the home, and that, under this Government’s laws, his servants cannot participate in those religious services. If ever the behaviour of an Opposition has been dishonourable, then it has been the behaviour of our Opposition ever since the National Party came into power. Because year after year they see that their sun is setting, they are trying to have pressure exercised on South Africa from abroad to an ever-increasing extent by spreading ever more misrepresentations abroad, so that our best friends in the world will turn against us. Here we have had the same position once again. While South Africa was faced with these circumstances, and while this matter was being discussed at the Commonwealth conference, and while the standpoint was adopted there that it was the colour policy of this Government which had gained us the enmity of other Commonwealth countries, the Leader of the Opposition was the first to tell them: “ Just remember, do not abandon hope altogether, because I, the Leader of the Opposition, will do exactly what you want me to do as far as our colour policy is concerned. Just exercise a little patience, because, when I come into power, I shall do exactly what you want, and, for that reason, I should like you to keep the door open for me.” That is also why, during the debate which took place in the British House of Commons on Wednesday, members repeatedly referred to the hope which still existed that South Africa would return to the Commonwealth, and, for that reason, the door should be left open. But only if there was a change in government. When the change comes, South Africa will easily gain re-admission to the Commonwealth. In other wards, the Opposition have once again played straight into the hands of the outside pressure groups, and they are once again trying to cause pressure to be exercised on South Africa from abroad, and they think that, while they cannot gain a victory constitutionally by means of elections, and while they cannot gain the confidence of the people, they will still be able to achieve their object by foreign scaremongering.
I think that the world should be astonished at the behaviour of such an Opposition which wants to play into their hands in this way. The world is astonished that there is an Opposition in a democratic country which is trying to use foreign aid to bring the Government into such discredit by any manner of means that they will be able to achieve their object. I want to associate myself with hon. members who have said that if ever anything has united the people of South Africa under the present Government, then it is this dishonourable conduct of the Opposition, these unrestrained statements which they have made. These Opposition speakers have the longest tongues one has ever seen, but the least sense behind those tongues. If I was an artist, I would have drawn the hon. member for South Coast with a tongue stretching from here to Rhodesia but with the meagre brains of a gnat behind it.
Order! The hon. member must not be so personal.
I said “if I could draw”, but I cannot draw. Sir, have you ever heard of a case where, when the Prime Minister is putting the case of his nation, he has been stabbed in the back as he has been here? There has only been one reproach after another. If anyone is responsible for the fact that these nations have turned against us in the Commonwealth, then it is the Opposition and no one else. If the Opposition had played an honourable rôle and told these other countries of the world: “ Look, if you touch South Africa you are touching us,” then they would have conducted themselves with honour. But they did not do so. They told the people abroad that they should exercise as much pressure as possible so that the Opposition could come into power and that they would then do exactly what Ghana and all the other states want.
I am convinced that if ever the Opposition have played a rôle which will totally isolate them from the support of the people of South Africa, then it is the rôle which they are playing to-day. They are succeeding in bringing South Africa into disfavour in the eyes of the world, but at the same time and by the same token they are succeeding in bringing themselves into disfavour amongst the electorate of South Africa. If ever we are to achieve the ideal, and we shall do so, of unity between the English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking peoples, we shall do so now. I saw this morning in one of the newspapers that someone suggested that English-speaking South Africa now had three alternatives: (1) To join the National Party and (2) to emigrate en masse.
You do not want to tell me that you read the Cape Times?
The third is that they should continue to act in the stupid way that they are now doing. I hope that we shall not see the day when leaders of the present Opposition who have played this dishonourable rôle against the interests of South Africa, will join the National Party. But I think that I can say with every justification that the general mass, the thousands of English-speaking people in South Africa whose father-land this is, just as it is mine, who regard this as a country of the future, just as I do, will now cease to choose between the National Party and the United Party and the Opposition as a whole but will clearly put South Africa first and associate themselves with the National Party which is not a party in the ordinary sense of the word. At the same time the House will find that one of the cunning plans which the Opposition are using to mislead the people of South Africa, i.e. by claiming that there are two Opposition parties, will fail. There are not two parties. The Progressive Party is after all nothing but the escape valve of the United Party which they use when they want to say something which they cannot do in their political sitting room, but when it suits them the valve will be closed again and they will fight as one man against the National Party. They felt that they could no longer cope with these pent-up feelings; they therefore had to set aside a group of members to make the statements which the Progressive Party is making at present on platforms and here in the House of Assembly as well. Gradually we shall come to realize clearly that the Opposition are once again united as regards exercising pressure through the medium of the outside world in order to bring us into disfavour. But, as a result, they will fall into yet more disfavour with the nation.
Mr. Speaker, it is our task—I hope I am not laying claim to more than we as a people in South Africa are entitled to—but it is our task by our steadfast attitude to reform the world.
Mr. Speaker, those hon. members have followed a liberalistic policy. But I am not ashamed to say that as far as I am concerned I am firmly and sincerely convinced that by her firm attitude South Africa will reform the world. The nations may become angry with us, but a change will set in. Hon. members opposite are laughing, but they are praying day and night that a disaster should strike South Africa. As a matter of fact they expected that a disaster would strike South Africa. Allow me to say that the very nations which they expect will impose the death penalty upon us because of our policy, will still be the nations who, before they do so, will come and make inquiries and they will then realize that the policy which South Africa is following not only represents a solution for South Africa, but that it will in the future, and not in 100 years’ time but within a decade, eventually be the solution for the world. Because what is the main reason to-day for all the disunity and the world conflicts which are threatening to break out? The nations with various faiths, with various colours, with various ways of life are beginning to live together and they want to intermingle and they cannot do so. It can only have undesirable results and the National Party’s attitude towards life will still spread through the world like wild fire. Listen to what I am telling you to-day: Europe will still awake; America will still awake, despite the dishonourable attitude which this Opposition has adopted towards South Africa in order to bring South Africa into discredit and disfavour in the eyes of the world.
I should like to leave the question of the Commonwealth. At the outset I should like to say a few words on behalf of Pietersburg in tribute to my predecessor, a man who represented that constituency in this House for nearly 41 years. I am referring to Oom Tom Naude, the present President of the Senate.
Mr. Speaker, I want to speak on behalf of our farmers and in particular the stock farmer and the meat industry in general. At the outset I want to say that one often hears that the contribution of our agricultural industry to our national economy has declined as compared with that of the gold mining industry and industry as a whole. I want to emphasize that the importance of the farmer as far as feeding our people is concerned, has in fact increased, that is to say, as for meeting the requirements set by an increasing population and the accompanying increased consumption of food are concerned.
Farming in South Africa has become a very complicated business undertaking which requires far more capital than most normal retail undertakings, and one with which is associated a multitude of difficulties and problems. To be a farmer one must indeed be hardy and love the soil, if one is to stand up to the climatic conditions, droughts, floods, pests, foot and mouth disease, etc. Not only does the farming industry require a great deal of capital, but it requires one to be equipped with knowledge of the latest developments and scientific methods. In this regard we are grateful that our farmers are being assisted by the Department of Agriculture which provides assistance and guidance in various spheres. Nevertheless, I want to advocate an extension of these services to our farmers. The farmer must farm with an eye to the future. His farm must be improved and built up so that he can leave an inheritance to future generations of which he can be proud. He must think of fencing, of soil conservation, and particularly of water conservation. Such capital works require large investments, large sums of money which many of our farmers at times do not have. The importance of carrying out such capital works at an accelerated tempo cannot and may not be under-estimated because an investment in our soil means the safeguarding of the food position of South Africa. The State will in future have to make an ever-increasing contribution in this regard. South Africa needs a strong and sound farming community to feed her steadily growing population.
I have said that I am going to say a few words about the meat industry. The total cattle population of the world was estimated at 1,007,665,000 in 1960, which was made up as follows to the nearest million; North America, 148,000,000; South America, 185,000,000; Western Europe, 80,000,000; Eastern Europe, 31,000,000; Russia, 74,000,000; Africa, 113,000,000; Asia, 382,000,000; and Oceania, 22,000,000.
Of the more than 113,000,000 head of cattle in Africa, the Union of South Africa only has approximately 12,000,000, of which approximately 50 per cent belong to Bantu. Our cattle population has remained consistent since 1939, while the number slaughtered has increased from 665,346 in 1939 to 1,379,227 in 1960. This more than doubling of the number of cattle slaughtered while the cattle population has remained the same, was only possible as a result of the disappearance of the draught oxen from the market as a result of the introduction of the tractor and as a result of the fact that cattle to-day are being marketed at a much younger age. In 1960. besides the 1,379,227 head of cattle, 4,857,810 sheep, 646,182 pigs and 157,676 calves were also slaughtered. During 1960 the Meat Board bought up a total of 560,000,000 lbs. of meat in the controlled centres. The percentages were: 71.2 per cent beef, 19.7 per cent mutton and goat meat, 8.1 per cent pork and 1.0 per cent veal. Meat in the Union is handled by 2.969 retail butchers on the platteland, and 2.947 retail butchers in the controlled areas, together with a total of 94 wholesalers.
The history of the present position can be briefly described as follows. Before 1932 there was no control over meat in South Africa. In 1932 three members were appointed to a meat board which was to regulate the supply of meat to the Johannesburg and Pretoria markets, in the first place by a permit system and in the second place by trying to dispose of surpluses. Thus from 1934 to 1941 for example 56,000 cattle carcasses and 187,000 sheep carcasses were exported, in respect of which the Government paid a subsidy of £264,000. In 1934 the Meat Board was enlarged by 11 members, and a levy was imposed on slaughter stock to be utilized in the interests of the industry. When the second world war broke out in 1939, the demand for meat rapidly increased with a consequent considerable increase in price, and the Government took two steps. In the first place it introduced ceiling prices in the retail trade and in the second place it limited consumption by imposing restrictions on the slaughtering of stock in certain areas.
In 1943 the Meat Commission recommended full meat control, and rationing by means of quotas on the basis of weight in the nine controlled areas. In the outside areas ceiling prices and rationing were introduced on the basis of numbers. The Meat Board became the only buyer of meat in all controlled areas at fixed prices for the various grades. This measure resulted in continuous shortages, unequal distribution and black market activities because prices were not realistic. It is noticeable that with control the average meat consumption per capita of the population was 155 lb. in 1946, as against 136 lb. in 1939 and 121 lb. in 1959. This shows that control created artificial shortages.
This forced the Meat Board to abolish price and quota controls in respect of mutton in 1951 and in respect of beef and pork in 1956 when auctions on the hook with guaranteed minimum prices for beef were introduced. It is true that from 1944 to 1956 prices did not fluctuate greatly, but the position is that the South African stock farmer had to make great sacrifices because he had to accept far lower prices for his meat under control than he would have obtained on the open market under a free competitive system. Proof of this is also provided by the fact that the average prices paid for beef since 1956 have been higher than the guaranteed Government minimum prices. Since 1956 to date only a minimum number of carcasses have been bought by the Government at the guaranteed prices.
Our farmers were prepared to make this sacrifice in the hope that in a period of recession the Government would protect them against uneconomically low prices for their products.
Adequate efficient facilities are required for the efficient marketing of meat. Meat is a product which only enjoys good sales when it is handled cleanly and neatly and when it has an attractive appearance. Its attractiveness will play an important role as regards the question of taste. For marketing meat an adequate railway net is required in the first place to take the product to the market when it is ready for marketing. In the second place there must be adequate abattoir facilities to handle the product when it is offered. In the third place suitable and adequate refrigeration accommodation is required to store the product when it is available. In South Africa where beef is a seasonal product, greater demands are made on the abattoirs at certain times. Measures have to be taken to dispose of such surpluses during certain periods when meat is plentiful.
It is gratifying to know that the hon. the Minister has decided to appoint a commission of inquiry into abattoirs and related facilities. We also still await with interest the report of the fact-finding commission. I trust that the former commission will inquire closely into and will establish what facilities should be provided at the abattoirs to enable meat byproducts also to be processed and marketed to the maximum advantage for the farmer. It is important that this commission should also undertake detailed research into the establishment of facilities which will comply in all respects with the requirements laid down by overseas markets.
For the hon. the Minister’s consideration I want to point out that the time has come when we should pay particular attention to the marketing of meat, particularly abroad. It is said that there is a world shortage of meat, while meat prices in South Africa are practically the lowest in the world. Is it not obvious that we should easily be able to obtain improved prices for our stock farmers elsewhere in order by so doing to dispose of our surpluses? Our Meat Board should export meat regularly so that that board can remain familiar with the position on the foreign markets.
Great concern is being expressed in South Africa at the possibility that our farmers will not be able to meet the increasing demand for food in the future. With meat prices at their present level we are in fact running the risk of finding ourselves in such a position. However, I maintain that our meat prices have hitherto been based in the main on the availability of supplies which have been prepared for the market on grazing, which is to-day in effect being utilized to the maximum possible extent. The best quality meat can only be produced when the animals are prepared for the market by the use of more expensive concentrated food mixtures. Quality meat can only be produced if the stock farmer receives more adequate compensation and I maintain that the South African farmer can and will produce sufficient good meat not only to supply the local demand, but also to a certain extent the needs of the outside world, provided he receives adequate remuneration.
Reference is continually being made to the large surplus of mealies in South Africa. At the same time it is said that our meat prices are amongst the lowest in the world. Mealies form one of the most important concentrates as far as slaughter stock are concerned. Should we not consider subsidizing the export of meat? If improved prices can be obtained for our meat, the mealie surpluses will automatically disappear and will find their way to the market on the hoof.
The standards of the meat industry should be raised and this can only be done by establishing more efficient facilities and by obtaining improved prices for our stock farmers.
Why is the South African housewife, for example, opposed to buying pre-cooled and frozen meat, while she regularly freezes meat in her own refrigerator? Because it is handled under clean and neat conditions in her own refrigerator. What South Africa requires is improved marketing facilities and higher prices for the farmers. Then only will we be able to meet the steadily increasing demand.
I have very great pleasure indeed in congratulating the hon. member for Pietersburg (Mr. Niemand), who follows so distinguished a member in Mr. Naudé in this House, on his maiden speech. I must confess that when I came into this House this afternoon I had not realized that it was his maiden speech because he spoke with such assurance that my ignorance was confirmed by his easy oratory. In fact he has shown that he is going to be a most useful member of this House. I should like to congratulate him on his maiden speech and I hope that he will have a long career in this House and in the service of South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, I want to get back to the theme which has been running through this Budget debate, namely, the crisis in which we find ourselves at this time. I want to say at once that it is a very grave mistake to underestimate the shock of English-speaking South Africans at what has happened. That shock has been caused by surprise, and that surprise is surprise at the fact of the news which was announced on Wednesday, the 15th, that the hon. the Prime Minister had withdrawn his application for our continued membership of the Commonwealth. And, of course, that surprise and that shock led to immediate reaction; resentment and anger. I say there was surprise, and of course there was surprise because there is no doubt whatsoever, as has been indicated by other speakers in this debate, and as a result of the evidence which has been put before the House by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, that the vast bulk of the people of South Africa were led to believe, by Nationalist propaganda, that our continued membership of the Commonwealth would be virtually automatic. I concede at once that the Prime Minister, when announcing the referendum, and in certain statements afterwards, had said that whilst he would apply for continued membership, if that were refused we would be a non-member republic. But those assertions were overridden by the confident predictions of Nationalist speakers, members of the Cabinet and other speakers, who, I suggest, lulled this country into a false sense of security. I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I believe that the hon. the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Science has completely misread the signs when he claims that the absence of protesting telegrams shows a docile acceptance on the part of English-speaking South Africa of our withdrawal from the Commonwealth.
He never said that.
Yes he did say that. He suggested that this was being taken lying down, that there was no resentment or, if there was any resentment it was merely forensic. I want to tell the hon. the Deputy Minister, and I want to tell this hon. House this: I want to repeat what this country already knows; that there is an underlying feeling of anger, a sense of having been let down; in some, alas, a sense of despair and, fortunately, with others, a sense of defiance.
It is not easy to get through to the feelings and the inner sentiments of the English-speaking South Africans. They are a tolerant people. Their traditions are built on compromise: live and let live. When the result of the referendum was announced it was a disappointment to a vast number of English-speaking people in South Africa, but they were prepared—and I believe quite rightly—to try to build on the new foundations. And now has come this great shock, this very great shock, indeed, to them. And I want to say that in my opinion the hon. the Prime Minister did very little to assuage the anger and the resentment, or to heal the wounded feelings of those who were disappointed and shocked at the announcement of our withdrawal.
Sir, consider his melodramatic message to the people of Cape Town when he arrived back from his overseas visit. What was his assessment of the position? I quote from the Cape Argus—and this will be my only quotation—of the 21st of this month—
I think a great many people in this country say: “ Verwoerd proposes and Verwoerd disposes.” We have come to regard that as the ruling maxim at the present time. I quote again—
That was the point made by my hon. colleague, the member for Springs (Mr. Tucker) this afternoon. Complete freedom! Sir, did the Prime Minister go to London with is tongue in his cheek? Is that how he asked for our continued membership of the Commonwealth? Did he go to ask for something short of complete freedom? Did he hoodwink the people of South Africa into believing that if we had continued Commonwealth membership we would have a sort of freedom which was susceptible and vulnerable to the efforts of certain cliques and groups in this country who would never be satisfied until the old Broederbond ideal was achieved, namely, a republic divorced from the British Commonwealth of Nations? The Prime Minister said: “ This is a happy day, a day of triumph.” This is a happy day! That is the way the Prime Minister sought to assuage the feelings of shock and dismay on the part of 40 per cent or more of the White people in this country, quite apart from the vast millions of others who do not believe that our destiny should be outside the Commonwealth.
I say that feelings have been deeply hurt and deeply shocked. There are, fortunately, those in the Nationalist ranks who realize that and have said so, who have suggested that those who are in power at the present time should deal sympathetically and with circumspection with the situation. But, as I say, that has not come from the hon. the Prime Minister, and we have not had that from the jubilant Transvalers who have regarded this as a great triumph. But, however that may be, the position is that this is a great testing-time for us all, English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, every man and woman in this country, irrespective of race, colour or creed, this is a great testing for us. After all, it is the fate of South Africa which is in our hands. So it is very necessary to keep cool and to avoid recriminations and incitements of a kind which might well lead to ill-conceived and dangerous action. I believe that that self-control and reserve has been shown in the course of this historic debate by hon. members who have intervened in the debate from the Opposition side. After all, we have enough problems and dangers to face for the present and the future, and to grapple with, and this is no time to go back to the melancholy conflicts of the Anglo-Boer War and those things which, I hope, are forgotten. We are living in the present and we have to face a very realistic present and a very realistic future.
Mr. Speaker, there can be no doubt that there have been tremendous efforts to cloud the real issue which faces this Parliament and this country and the people of this country at the present time. Of course, the theme song put across by our South African Zeesen, the S.A.B.C., has been that the Prime Minister has saved us from humiliation and worse. The Nationalist machine has gone into action with alarming rapidity. We have had all the trappings of a totalitarian state—the broadcasts, the crowds, the adulations, the sychophantic press! I must confess that when I listened to and read the accounts of the Prime Minister’s arrival at the Jan Smuts airport on his return to South Africa, glad though I was at his return in safety, I could not help feeling that it resembled something of a Nuremburg rally of the 1930’s. I say that we have had this, the ballyhoo, the artificial exaltation, this abuse of its powers by our broadcasting service—and I say that deliberately. But above this welter of hysterical emotion and adulation and back scratching, two simple facts stand out clearly.
What are those facts? They are, one, that we are out of the Commonwealth and, two, that at the present time we are also isolated from the rest of the world. The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) yesterday quoted Omar Khayyam. He might have quoted another abridged version of it. You will remember, Sir, the jug of wine, the loaf of bread. But what horrible prospect are we faced with now! A blikkie of water, less than half a loaf of bread, and “ thou the Prime Minister ” beside me in the wilderness. What a ghastly prospect for the future!
It is not the republic but our race policies that have brought us Commonwealth and world isolation. And what is the position at the present time? The score at UNO at the last two meetings has been rather like a Murrayfield rugby result, except that we are on the losing side. Astronomical figures against us!
It was only 48 at Murrayfield, this is 74!
Well, it is rising rapidly, like a thermometer. I would say that in the light of these events, what probably took place in London is irrelevant. I would concede that the hon. the Prime Minister acted with dignity and courtesy—rather like the French aristocrats about to go to the tumbrils. We know that the Prime Minister is a dignified man. No one has any complaints about his courtesy. And, of course, the Prime Minister has assumed the self-effacing role of a Captain Oates. You will remember Captain Oates who, in an Antarctic expedition, walked out into the snow so as not to embarrass the other members of the expedition who were also fighting for their lives. But let me remind this House that before he went to London the Prime Minister knew, or must have known, that the Government’s race policy, involving discrimination on colour alone, was abhorred and rejected by the rest of the Commonwealth and, indeed, by the rest of the world. The criticism against him is, of course, not that he failed to reconcile the irreconcilable, but that he and the Nationalist Party adopted and forced through a policy which, in the 20th century, with the rise to power of the non-European nations, was bound to lead to the impasse in which he found himself. He was warned immediately by the Leader of the Opposition, by we on this side of the House, that if he went to London in those circumstances he was facing disaster. And what I would say is that it is obstinacy rather than ignorance which has led to this crisis, the obstinacy, the intransigence, the inflexibility of the Prime Minister has led us to this situation in which we find ourselves at the present time.
I say it is no valid excuse for the Prime Minister to come to the country now, to pose as a national hero who has saved us from humiliation, from the Black nations, who has saved us from having to bow the knee. It may well be that in the circumstances in which he found himself he had no option but to withdraw. But a man who throws himself willy-nilly overboard and then has a life-buoy flung to him and gets into it cannot later complain that he had no option but to take that life-buoy in order to be safe. He should never have been in that position. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition gave a very good analogy when he spoke about a general. Wise statesmanship and wise generalship do not get you into a position in which you have no option but to surrender. And that was his fault. Of course the Prime Minister surrendered, by inference. But the Prime Minister made another mistake. Before he left South Africa he made two rather proud and rather provocative statements in which he said: You can take it or leave it; you can allow us to be in the Commonwealth, but if you do not want us to be in, we shall be out. And there was one man on this continent with whom the Prime Minister had not realized that he would have to deal, Mr. Julius Nyerere, the head of Government in Tanganyika, who saw the Achilles’ heel, and who issued two statements, brilliantly timed at the opening at the Conference, and said that Tanganyika and the East African Federation want to be part of the Commonwealth but if South Africa is a member they are out; and the man who ditched the Prime Minister and made it impossible for South Africa to remain in the Commonwealth was Mr. Nyerere, and not the Tunku or Dr. Nkrumah or the Prime Minister of Nigeria. I think that through the good offices of Mr. Macmillan they would have been prepared to accept us, but as the result of the provocative and arrogant statements made on the eve of the Conference it enabled the future Prime Minister of Tanganyika to say that if South Africa was in, he was out, and the non-White States then had no alternative to put on the heat.
Sir, we are out of the Commonwealth and there are those who rejoice. The Prime Minister said it was a triumph and a miracle and a happy day. He said that what happened was nothing less than a miracle. He said—
I must confess that I feel somewhat nauseated when my opponent, having blundered, tells me that he has the assistance of the Almighty, and I find it rather difficult to follow.
What is the Commonwealth? It is a great bridge, in my opinion one of the twin pillars of world peace with the U.S.A. It is a girder which spans the world from West to East. It belies the doctrine of Kipling who said that East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. The Commonwealth provides a girder which bridges the East and the West and enables them to meet in peaceful coexistence and to work for world peace. But the Commonwealth is something which not only gives benefits, but asks for obligations. South Africa, in leaving the Commonwealth, is not only giving up potential benefits, but we are also surrendering the obligations to the other peace-minded nations of the world. We are forfeiting our opportunities of working within that family of nations to consolidate world peace in a dangerous world against Communism. Now that we are about to be out, we have given, as the result of the Prime Minister’s action and as the result of the policies which made it inevitable that he could not succeed—we have given a shot in the arm to our detractors. I believe it is quite clear that the Afro-Asian nations, now that the Commonwealth shield no longer protects us, will launch an intensive campaign in UN for wresting the S.W.A. mandate from the Union. As it is the very question of apartheid which has led to this situation, they will continually insist that the U.K. logically, and the other signatories to the Versailles Treaty which gave South Africa the original mandate, must support them, on the ground that the Union’s present administration of South West violates the terms of the League of Nations’ mandate. And they may have no difficulty in establishing that the present situation is a potential threat to world peace. I believe that they will ask that the mandate should be given to someone else. I believe that the contention before the World Court will be that we have broken our contract, and if the World Court upholds that we have broken our contract, the fate of South West will be settled in UN, where we may well find that Ghana or Russia may ask to take over the mandate. Certainly Russia may make a very desperate effort to bid for that, on the ground that it would give her an opportunity, hitherto not available, to show the world how much more rapidly she can uplift a backward country than the Western Powers. Either way a bridgehead may be established for the eventual assault, if the Government remains intransigent on apartheid on our territory by the free African nations when, in a decade or two, they may have achieved economic and military strength sufficient for this task. Incidentally the Prime Minister, who backed Hitler’s rescue of the Sudetan Germans, may find the sky dark with his chickens coming home to roost. I say that what has happened is that we have now given a shot in the arm to our detractors at UN. What does all this amount to? To this, that the Prime Minister has failed in a vital mission, that those who rejoice in our isolation are renouncing a glorious future, and that we have been brought to the crossroads by the intransigence and the sheer obstinacy of the Prime Minister and those nearest to him in the hierarchy of the Nationalist Party.
Having said that, I want to add this. I talk as my colleague talked this afternoon, as a South African, as we all talk on this side of the House. I say that in this dark and menacing hour I see hopeful signs. I see the awakening of a spirit of crusade and adventure, and in the time available to me I want to make my confession of faith. First of all, I say that I believe that the republic has come to stay. It is idle to argue about that. That decision has been taken, and let us accept it and make the best of it. I also believe that permanent exclusion from the Commonwealth and isolation from the world is not inevitable. But if it is to be regained I say, thirdly, that to restore South Africa’s good name in the world it is not simply a question of beating the Nationalists. We must reshape our race policies so as to put ourselves on a tenable basis, and to achieve this we must eliminate discrimination on the basis of colour alone, and so prevent either Black or White baasskap.
The Leader of the Opposition has made an appeal over the head of the Prime Minister to those South Africans who wish to formulate a common policy which will enable South Africa to regain the confidence and friendship of the world. I believe that that appeal was wisely made. I differ from the Leader of the Opposition in some of the details, but I believe that that was a sincere appeal made in this hour of crisis. What we need above all else in this country at present is flexibility as opposed to the granite head. What we need is for those South Africans who realize the impasse in which we have landed by inflexible policies to talk and reassess the situation, particularly in the light of reality. There are many unpalatable and uncomfortable facts. It is true that the Afro-Asian nations are gunning for us, but it is no good saying that we cannot avoid that. It is like saying that if we have a hostile world to face in Africa—it is like saying the world is round. We are faced with that fact. Short of leaving this planet and joining the astronauts, we have to face the situation. If you want to get rid of this planet and go up to Venus, you can avoid these things. But if you want to save South Africa and make it a country in which the White man can still live with the non-Whites, you have to face these unpalatable facts and realize that the world has moved on since 1948 and we must move with it. When I assess the position, having listened to this debate, I feel that there is a great deal of agreement on both sides of the House that the crisis caused by our withdrawal from the Commonwealth has brought us up against realities with a bump, and that hon. members on both sides of the House, representing all parties, should reassess the position. I think there is one man who is in the way of that, and I say that without any personal bias. I have paid my tribute to the Prime Minister for his courtesy, but I say that it is the Prime Minister’s inflexibility and intransigence which stands in the way of proper talks amongst the representatives of our people which may help us out of the difficulty. It is the Prime Minister who believes that he is the only one in step in the world, like the mother who said: Our Hendrik is the only one in step. He has made his mistakes. He has already shown that he is not infallible. He forgot the warning about the Ides of March. He thinks that the fault lies with everyone else, but I would say to him: The fault, dear Hendrik, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings. It is not the outside nations or the Commonwealth or the UN, but the policies of this Government based on race discrimination which have got us into this difficulty. Surely there is a way of getting rid of that stigma, a way in which we can live a peaceful co-operative existence and yet retain our traditional way of life. I want to say in conclusion that in London the Prime Minister chose for himself the self-effacing rôle of a Captain Oates, the man who walked out into the blizzard of the Antarctic in order to save others. I would urge him to continue in that rôle and save South Africa. Let him go with the plaudits of his followers to make way for those more flexible and less dogma-ridden. If he did that he would rise to the greatest triumph of his career, because nothing in his political life would become him like the leaving of it. He could, in those circumstances—and I am sure the country would award it to him— assume the honourable position of the first president of the republic. But I want to add this, that if the Prime Minister rejects my kindly advice, then I wish to adapt the words of Cromwell when he addressed the Long Parliament and to say, with all the force at my command: Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of the republic, go!
Without the ability, without the experience and without the status of my valued predecessor, Adv. Conradie, I have only one thing to support me when I put my case, and that is its merits. Without that, I am in the desert. May I, in actual fact, not put a case this afternoon, but allow me, with all humility, to guide the thoughts of the House. The direction in which I wish to guide the thoughts of the House is that the Northwest. Not exactly because I am a son of that area, but because for 30 years of my life I have moved, worked and organized in that area in the social, agricultural and political spheres; and on the other hand because my constituency forms a very large proportion of the 55,000 square miles of the area. To my regret I must state that this great area is only represented in this House this afternoon by myself because the hon. member for Namaqualand (Mr. Scholtz) is not present. To my regret, because he is in hospital.
Because of its great distances, this is an unusual area. And when I tell the House that the area in the direction of which I wish to guide the thoughts of hon. member, stretches from the Olifants River in the South to the Bechuanaland Protectorate, a distance of approximately 450 miles, and from Unions End in the north to the “ kliprand ” south of Namaqualand, a distance of 350 miles, hon. members will form an idea of the distances involved in that area. It covers more than one-ninth of the Union’s total area. On the other hand there is the exceptionally low rainfall and in addition the unusual products produced in that area, unusual because to a large extent they are only produced in that part of our country and because of their quality. This area stretches from the raw desert where the waters of the Orange crash 500 feet down the Aughrabies Falls, where the land is so rugged and so harsh that it has become a beauty of nature, to the Gemsbok Park in the north with its uniqueness, the charms of its sand dunes and the wealth of its animal life—which to-day is replenishing the animal life of the Cape.
This is an area of tremendous distances, so much so that in the case of those large farms which are being worked on an extensive basis by stock farmers, the cost of conveying one sheep from the furthest point of such a farm to the controlled market costs the producer exactly 19s. 1d. While 100 lbs. of lucerne costs 8s. 9d. at its point of production along the southern reaches of the Orange River, it costs an additional 6s. 6d. to the consumers in the drought-stricken areas at the point of delivery. This will give hon. members an idea of the distances. It is an area which is served by a national transport system north of the Orange River but south of the Orange River lies an area which is 300 miles from east to west, and 170 miles from north to south, where the transport services are entrusted to private enterprise. This area is not only exceptional because of its uniqueness, but it is also an area of tremendous contrasts!
I do not want to discuss the vast mineral wealth of this area because people sometimes think that it may be a geological museum, but we can at least say that as a result of the phenomenal wealth of the salt resources of the Kalahari Desert, the silimanite deposits in Bushmanland in the vicinity of Pofadder, the centuries-old copper mines in Namaqualand and its 200 miles long treasury of precious stones on the west coast, it is something unique and for that reason we also know at least that it is not a geological museum. But it is also an area of droughts and floods, so much so that during the drought which has just been broken in this area, it cost the Department of Water Affairs a tremendous effort to meet the need for water. Everyone was asking for boring machines which placed heavy demands on the Department but a policy has also been laid down—we have practically stumbled into adopting this policy. Instead of boring new holes, the existing strong bore holes are being utilized with the assistance of soil conservation and guidance, by laying down plastic pipes to the grazing. This has been done to such an extent that the Division of Soil Conservation has already surveyed 500 miles of pipes and the farmers have already laid down more than 300 miles of plastic piping during the past two years. I say that here we are faced with an area of droughts but also of floods, as hon. members will have seen over the past few days.
The area to which I should like to direct the attention of the House is the area of the lower Orange River valley, where we have the contrast formed by the large stock farms while 3.000 farmers who have to fight to make a living, are concentrated on an area of 24,000 morgen. These 3,000 farmers are farming on 24.000 morgen of land and some of these farmers have, as a result of the devastation caused by the uncontrolled waters of the Orange River, already been returned to their land on five occasions so that they have had to start from scratch. In 1925 when 10,000 morgen were under irrigation. 95 per cent of the area was flooded. In 1934 when 18,000 morgen were under irrigation, 85 per cent was flooded. In 1948 the low-lying areas were flooded. In 1955 when 24,000 morgen were under irrigation, 22 per cent was flooded, at a cost which the Department estimates to be approximately £600,000, and if we add the crop for the following year which was also damaged, a conservative estimate is more than £900,000. What is more, in 1957 the Orange River, which we thought we could tame by raising the wall of the Vaal-Hartz Dam overflowed its banks and rose six inches higher than in 1955. I have said that I want to guide the thoughts of hon. members, and the direction in which I wish to guide those thoughts is towards a consideration of the instability of the area. These 24.000 morgen of land are feeding 5,000 children who are in the primary and high schools. This represents one-fortieth of the Cape’s White children. This area produces 50 per cent of the Union’s lucerne, 80 per cent of our country’s sultanas and 40 per cent of the requirements of the cotton textile industry. It also produces 40 per cent of the requirements of the dried fruit companies. This indicates the great fertility of the area. It carries a population of approximately 45,000 Whites and non-Whites. This gives an indication of the productivity of the area, of the particular products it produces and of the density of its population, against which we must contrast a vast area which has a meagre representation in this House because of a lack of density of population.
But I now want to refer to the people who live in this area. Just as little as the sheep of that area would thrive if one was to send them to the Eastern Province, in exactly the same way do the people of that area carry the stamp of the North-west. When I refer to the stamp of the North-west I do not mean that they are a different type of people, that they are worth less or more than the other people of this country. I merely mean that this is a part of our population, a very conservative part of the farming population, who are the descendents of a pioneering generation and who for the past couple of centuries have been living in that area, people who have gone through the hard school of drought, a few in 1896 and most in 1933 and also the last drought of 1960. These are people to whom suffering is no longer what we know as suffering, who accept suffering with equanimity. If they could not do so, they would not be farming in the North-west. They accept such suffering because they have grown up with it. It is an area which is very harsh and the farmers have been selected by nature herself so that the Department of Agriculture has not had to sift them. Nature has sifted out these people so that only the best have remained. It is these farmers who were dealt an almost unprecedented financial blow in 1960, and I say this with great sorrow in my heart. No one can be blamed, but circumstances have brought them to this position. It presents a challenge to any farmer in the North-west.
As a responsible person, Mr. Speaker, you will say: If it is the position that hey have already experienced droughts, why did they not take steps to maintain themselves? Then I want to put the position in this way. Since 1933 they have not sat idle, and this applies to both the farmer and the State.
In the first place they have introduced a hardy breed of sheep. This House has passed the Soil Conservation Act to assist the farmer to practice improve farming methods in order by so doing to maintain himself. Under the guidance of the Division of Soil Conservation and Extension the shepherd system has also been abolished in order to conserve the soil, to such an extent that to-day up to 80 per cent of the farmers use this system. But the State has done even more to help the farmer maintain himself. It has introduced the Marketing Act to create orderly marketing conditions and it has given the farmer the means to help himself; it has given the Co-operative Societies Act, whereby he can organize his marketing through these institutions which do not have a profit motive so that the profits can go back to the farmer. But nonetheless all this has not helped. What is more, in the desert areas the farmers turned to the production of karakul sheep when they saw that the mutton breed were bringing about their financial ruination, and this is the only type of sheep which stood up to the recent droughts. I shall give the House the figures in brief. In 1958 the skin production of the Union—and my constituency produced 41 per cent of that production—was 755,273. In 1959, the most difficult year, it was 746,151. And in 1960, with the drought still by no means broken, it was 772,750. I am delighted by these figures because it is we who made representations to the State that it should provide assistance so that these flocks would not be destroyed and I am particularly pleased to be able to say this. These figures do not give the full picture, but it is sufficient for us to know that the flocks which have been saved are productive and that the industry is prospering.
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.
I should just like to take this opportunity to congratulate the previous speaker most sincerely on his maiden speech in this House. I must say that he has acquitted himself very well.
I am actually rising to-night because I have promised to reply to the debate as far as it relates to Commonwealth matters. But there is in fact very little to which I must reply because hon. members opposite have simply put forward as new points of criticism the very points that I discussed in advance. When the hon. the Leader of the Opposition rose, he had absolutely nothing new to say. As a matter of fact he put forward point after point which I had just previously refuted. Under the circumstances I do not have a very difficult task before me. I must also add that I cannot take umbrage at the criticisms which have come from the hon. members for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell), Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) and certain other hon. members, partly because I appreciate that hon. members have experienced a disappointment, and partly also because I appreciate in what a difficult position hon. members find themselves because they were quite wrong in their anticipation of what the feelings of their own population group would be I think those hon. members realize by this time that the people of our country feel quite differently about these matters to what they anticipated. By this time it is well known that the stand-point adopted by the Opposition in this House differs completely from the standpoint of the English-speaking and Afirikaans-speaking people who support the United Party throughout South Africa and outside South Africa. I therefore say that I cannot take umbrage at the standpoint which they have adopted or the criticism which they have put forward. Nevertheless it may be as well if I discuss once again one or two of the vague accusations which they have put forward.
Allow me to commence with the allegation that I am supposedly too inflexible, that I stand too obstinately on our various points of policy, and that this has supposedly made the position of our country difficult. I wonder whether by making this submission hon. members are trying to imply that hey are accepting the policy of apartheid to an ever-increasing extent, that is to say that they for their part are far more conciliatory and that they therefore think that they should not stand firmly by their policy. Is it their attitude that they should simply make concessions to us—then they are good decent politicians and good, decent people? That of course is not their standpoint. They continue to stand by the policy of integration as obstinately and as firmly as we stand by the policy of apartheid. But we do not for that reason consider them to be obstinate, self-opinionated or stubborn. We accept that a political party has a policy and that it upholds that policy. That being so, why must they continually reproach us and continually describe us as being unreasonable people, as being granite rocks, when we too continue to uphold a policy in which we honestly believe? In the case of other leaders of other countries for whom they have great respect, they laud as being the finest characteristic of the great men of those countries, that they do not wilt in times of difficulty but that they stand by a policy in which they believe and persevere to the end. To them this is the characteristic of great statesmanship. However, when we continue to stand by the policy in which we believe, it suddenly becomes something that is wrong. We would for example not be obstinate in their eyes if we were to concede (as one hon. member has said) to the demand by the Tunku that ten or so non-Whites should represent their people directly in this House. Then we would be reasonable and sensible! If that is their conception of sound political acumen and insight, or true political steadfastness, then I am not surprised that hon. members themselves are so often in doubt and jump from pillar to post to such an extent that no one knows from one day to the next what their policy is! Then they are applying to themselves a yardstick of vascillation as a characteristic of good statemanship, which is certainly not the correct yardstick. I therefore reject this type of accusation out of hand.
Then there is the second accusation. It is that our policy is not developing, that we originally adopted certain ideas regarding separation and that we are obstinately clinging to them. That of course is not true. I am not going to go into that aspect now, because I do not have sufficient time, but the truth of the matter is that the past ten years—and anyone who has followed the history of this Government would know it—has seen a continuous development in the application of the policy of apartheid. We have progressed from an original overall policy to great detailed plans for the development of each population group in our country to-day. There has been continuous development, a continuous development of this policy. It will be still be put to hon. members in due course but I want it to be quite clearly understood that the decade it has been in power, the National Party Government has steadily planned, has continually developed its policy to an extent which is without parallel in any previous decade in respect of a similar policy.
During the course of the debate hon. members have put forward various accusations which I should like to disprove immediately because they are so unreasonable. One of these is that I have supposedly made a personal attack on Mr. Macmillan, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. I have supposedly even launched a tirade against him. I have not criticized the Prime Minister of Great Britain personally, just as little as he criticized me when he criticized our policy. What I have, in fact, certainly done, and I shall do so whenever I consider it necessary, is to indicate, when he criticizes our policy, as he has once again unjustifiably done in the West Indies, where I believe that the British policy is mistaken. I shall not concern myself with Britain’s domestic policies. I shall confine myself to the policies which Britain is applying to Africa, which affect us directly and which are harmful to us, and I shall describe them as such and I shall point out in which respect they are in my opinion incorrect. This does not represent a personal attack. T, therefore, ask myself why hon. members have been so anxious to create this impression at so early a stage? Is it in the interests of South Africa to create an unfortunate impression while we are trying to build up friendly relations between South Africa and Britain and while good personal relations exist between myself and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, to the benefit of South Africa? Is it right and sensible to try to drive in a wedge by claiming that we have been making personal attacks on one another? What object do hon. members opposite have in mind in making this type of attack? Is it in the interests of South Africa or will it harm South Africa? Are they promoting friendship between the two countries or are they inciting enmity by this type of behaviour? I think that the answer is quite clear. Hon. members are so concerned about the attitude of their supporters that they are trying once again to engender racial hatred in South Africa in the hope of gaining political advantage for their party by so doing. They are not primarily concerned about the prosperity and development of South Africa and the establishment of new ties with the countries with which she wants to co-operate. They attach more importance to the engendering of racial hatred in this country than to the advantages which we can achieve by developing these friendships. The hon. member for Durban Point (Mr. Raw) during his speech did nothing but try to arouse feelings in this way.
A further allegation has been made here which I should also like to correct immediately. I have supposedly alleged that South Africa will remain a member of UNO. I want to make it clear that I have not said that she will remain a member nor have I said that she will not remain a member of UNO. The only statement I have made in this regard was in reply to a question as to whether leaving the Commonwealth would result in our leaving UNO. I answered this question, which was put to me in Britain, by saying that the two matters had nothing to do with one another, and that each would be considered on its own merits. I, therefore, do not want there to be any misunderstanding regarding what I have said. Our attitude towards UNO will be a question which we shall consider at each stage, on its own merits alone. I do not want members of the Opposition (it was not the hon. the Leader of the Opposition who did so) to claim that I have supposedly stated that we shall or shall not in fact leave UNO. This is a matter which must be considered on its own merits whenever it is considered necessary.
There is another incorrect accusation with which I must deal. Hon. members have once again referred to the question of the exchange of diplomatic representatives. They have once again said that our inflexibility as regards the admission of non-White diplomatic representatives is the reason why we eventually had to leave the Commonwealth. I once again want to repeat, and I do so notwithstanding the quotations which have been made reflecting Mr. Sandys’s opinions as expressed in the British Parliament, that during the discussions at the Commonwealth Conference various of the speakers only referred in passing to the question of diplomatic representation. Three representatives of non-White countries referred to it quite in passing and, as I stated myself during my previous speech, Mr. Menzies put a question to me. I have read to hon. members the contents of my reply to that question, and from that reply it must be quite clear that I did not adopt an inflexible attitude at all, but that I mentioned various problems. Hon. members opposite have simply ignored all that during their later speeches. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition had probably written out his speech on this point in advance, because he too only said (which is not correct) that South Africa was not considering the exchange of diplomatic representatives with any non-White country. I have indicated quite clearly that we have in fact exchanged diplomatic representatives with Egypt and that we are still discussing the exchange of diplomatic representatives with Japan. Furthermore, I have said that the exchange of diplomatic representatives is based on the existence of ties of friendship or of friendly relations. When a country like Ghana is taking all sorts of measures against South Africa and when such a country even says that she will incite the Bantu of our country against the Government of our country, then we cannot allow such a country to have diplomatic representation in this country and we cannot exchange diplomatic representatives with such a country.
Do you regard Egypt as a non-White country?
Egypt is a country which does not claim to be a White country, a Western European country. It is after all no disgrace for that country when I say that she is not a White country. What is the hon. member now once again trying to do? Does he also want to create animosity in Egypt, if he can? That, of course, was his sole intention. Furthermore, I repeat that the question of diplomatic representation is in any case not a question in which the Commonwealth can interfere. This is a matter for negotiation between the countries concerned alone.
Then there was another allegation which I should like to refute, namely, that every Prime Minister at the conference was opposed to South Africa. That is not correct. What is in fact true is that as regards South Africa’s colour policy various countries in various ways and to various degrees took up a stand against South Africa’s policy. For the rest, however, a large number of these countries were anything but opposed to South Africa and are in fact really well-disposed towards South Africa. When such a general allegation is made, one must infer that even countries like the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand are opposed to South Africa as such. I cannot allow such an allegation to go unchallenged because it is not true. The fact that they condemn and criticize the colour policy of the present Government in various ways is quite a different matter. Allow me also to add that when someone is a friend of South Africa and, like Mr. Menzies, still adopts the stand-point that he believes our colour policy is not practicable, when it is in fact his honest opinion, but that it is nevertheless not an authoritative opinion which proves that the policy is not practicable, as certain hon. members have argued here. Mr. Menzies would be the first to admit, and he has done so, that he is not really in a position to judge because this problem is one which is far removed and strange as far as he is concerned. After all Australia herself applies a type of apartheid policy in respect of Papua, but of course, it is easier for Australia, and he appreciates that it is easier, because they are dealing with an island territory separate from their mainland. In addition, Australia also applies an apartheid policy in other respects, that is to say her White Australia policy, although she is in the fortunate position that she is in the first stage, namely, that of prevention. Mr. Menzies cannot see how it is possible when the problems are greater, as they are in our country, to persevere with such a policy and to implement that policy. I do not blame him for holding such an opinion, but that surely cannot persuade us to surrender our policy which has been born of direct experience and a long history.
Hon. members opposite have concentrated their main criticism on five points The first is that I made a fatal mistake by allowing our domestic affairs to be discussed.
In the first place, I want to point out that hon. members have not always been of that opinion. I just want to quote for example what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition himself said to Mr. Louw just before he left for the Prime Ministers’ Conference last year. At that time he warned him as follows—
Then the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said a little later that it was wrong when we, for example, regarded Mr. Macmillan’s speech here in this Parliament as interference, or when we objected to it as interference, because we had to tolerate other people discussing our affairs and we had to correct them, or discuss those affairs when necessary. At the end of that speech, however, he used the following words, after referring specifically to our colour policy and after saying: “ I do not think that the peoples of the West expect full equality in this country at the present stage.” He was then clearly referring to our apartheid policy because he said that he did not believe that they expected complete surrender at that stage, but only concessions (the type of hint which I also received at the Commonwealth conference). The hon. the Leader of the Opposition then went on to say—
He said this in discussing last Year’s Prime Ministers’ Conference. How are we now to understand hon. members opposite? The one moment they tell one: Go to the conference, put your case, enlighten them. The next moment they say: It is fatal when you do so and as a result you have now got into difficulties.
I also want to point out that during this very debate various hon. members have made remarks in a similar vein. The hon. member for Springs (Mr. Tucker) has said that we should have been better able to put our case if we had still had Native Representatives in this House. Should we then have put our case? I then understood that we should not have done so! The hon. member for Durban (Point) has said that one can best prove one’s strength not by remaining silent but by negotiating. How can one negotiate on one’s policy if one may not put it, if one must remain completely silent? Hon. members are not consistent.
However, I want to emphasize particularly that it was quite clear that on this occasion we could not avoid Prime Ministers saying: We are opposed to your membership for this or that reason. How could we deny these people the right to state their reasons and should they have remained unanswered? Allowing discussion was particularly necessary if they were in doubt and said: “ I should like to be put right because I should like to vote for your retaining membership but I have a problem. Will you not help me by explaining your position and policy?” What do hon. members think would have become of us if I had bluntly stated: “ No, I shall not discuss this matter with you ”? That would obviously have created an impossible position. That is why I did not adopt the attitude that I would allow discussion in the belief, as has been alleged, that I would convince the other Prime Ministers, but I went with the idea that under these circumstances it would be best, as was also the opinion of our friends there, to give an opportunity to those who thought differently, at least to express their opinions. By giving that opportunity, that is to say, by giving the Prime Ministers an opportunity to blow off steam we at least had a chance of retaining our membership. We must also remember something else. Many of those other Prime Ministers had discussed outside the Conference what they were going to say in criticism of us. If they had not been given the opportunity at least to say their piece, they would have refused South Africa membership from the outset, using the excuse that they had been given no other alternative because how else could they show that they had done what they had promised to do outside. In other words, as various members who are our friends considered, we had to give them the opportunity, even if it was to give them a way out. Our friends thought that if the Afro-Asian countries and Canada could just be given the opportunity to say what they had to say, and to boast about it, they would not oppose our membership. If I had nonetheless refused to allow discussion and had by so doing lost South Africa her membership at the very outset and if Macmillan and Sandys had reproached me for doing so in their Parliament, what would hon. members opposite then have said to me? Then they would have reproached me for being “ too narrow ”, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has said. Then they would have said that I had quite wrongly not even given the other countries an opportunity to speak and that I had not tried to convince them and that by so doing I had missed my opportunity of retaining South Africa’s membership. That is what hon. members would then have said. This argument is therefore a nonsensical argument, to put it mildly.
There has been a further allegation namely that we have left the Commonwealth in order to let Ghana remain a member. We should simply have sat tight and said “no!”. Then we would have ensured that the old commonwealth was preserved! But, Mr. Speaker, there was no longer any question of preserving the old Commonwealth. It was no longer the old Commonwealth. It was already a Commonwealth which had undergone a change in spirit as well as in membership by the addition of the various Afro-Asian States. The discussions during the three days had already shown that it had become a Commonwealth in which the authority and the judgment of Britain and the other older countries no longer carried weight with the other members.
I always thought that you did not want Great Britain to be a super State in the Commonwealth which ruled the roost.
If I had sat tight and said “ no ”, there could have been only one result, namely that a vote would have had to be taken. Hon. members apparently have no conception of the position which would have developed at that conference. The position which would have developed, would have been that Britain, supported by certain of the older members, would have had to decide whether they would rather see South Africa leave or whether they would rather see India, Nigeria, possibly Malaya, certainly Ceylon, and Ghana as well, leave the Commonwealth. That was the position. I say with the utmost emphasis that if we had done what hon. members ask and had merely sat tight and said “ very well, you decide ”, then the position would have arisen that five member countries would have continued to threaten that if South Africa did not leave, they would. I now ask hon. members: If they had been present under those circumstances and had seen that Great Britain had to choose either the one side or the other, would they have acted any differently? One had to appraise realistically what her choice would have been.
“ The handy-man of the Empire.”
What would have been the United Kingdom’s realistic decision? She would have decided to retain these five countries, some of whom are big countries, rather than South Africa. Should I have waited for such a humiliation for South Africa? But in the second place, if the hon. member says that I acted as the “handy-man of the Empire”, what was the position which I had to consider? That we are living in a world full of difficulties, and the possibility exists that Britain can keep a number of these States together in opposition to Communism, which is a world danger, while our own friendship, our own good relations and our support for the West will never be in doubt. What was best for South Africa as well as the West? Should I rather have allowed discord and dispute to have arisen amongst the other member countries? Is that what hon. members opposite wanted? If they have been there and had sat tight and had placed Britain in that predicament, and had exposed us to this humiliation, then I should like to know what the position would have been in South Africa later on. I say with the utmost emphasis that sitting tight was no solution, and anyone with common sense would realize and appreciate that. If hon. members opposite are now trying to create the impression amongst their supporters that by throwing the onus on the other members, we would have saved the Commonwealth or would have preserved the Commonwealth as it formerly was or as it is to-day, it is merely a political trick. No, we would have humiliated ourselves, we would have placed our friends in great difficulties and we might in addition have torn the whole Commonwealth asunder. If that is what hon. members opposite wanted, then they should have acted in that way. But in my opinion it would have been wrong and foolish, apart from the fact that I consider that it is best for South Africa that what has happened, has happened.
The further allegation has been made that South Africa could still have remained in the Commonwealth by withdrawing the draft constitution for the republic. I have never heard a more foolish argument. To think that if we should simply say that we are withdrawing the draft constitution and will not become a republic, the whole problem will be solved, is, after all, childish! The fact of the matter is that the question at issue is our colour policy and nothing else, and, furthermore, that all the countries at the Commonwealth Conference based their standpoint on that very aspect, and not on the question of our becoming a republic. They welcome what has happened for different reasons. If we were to try to resort to this type of technical maneuvering, we would gain nothing except dishonour and shame and, in the long run, we would still be expelled. The whole world would regard us as a nation which is too weak-kneed to stand steadfastly by a policy which it has adopted in respect of its colour problem. Such behaviour would have been regarded as a dishonest evasion of the consequences of or as a preliminary step towards abandoning our colour policy. I want to tell hon. members quite clearly that we shall not do so. We shall continue with the draft constitution. We shall become the republic of South Africa. We shall not allow these Afro-Asian nations, by exercising influence in this way, and, therefore, by interfering in our domestic affairs, to dictate to our country in respect of a decision such as this on its constitutional status, or in any other respect.
There is a further argument to which I must reply. It has been alleged that I became annoyed or afraid, and that I, in fact, ran away. I supposedly became annoyed because I could not stand criticism, because I could not stand humiliation, while, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said, they were prepared to endure far worse things during the war! I not only endured criticism, as I have always been prepared to do, but I was pre pared to allow the inclusion of the sharpest possible criticism in the draft resolution and to accept it for publication if that could have saved the position. But that was not enough. What our opponents wanted is what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition himself has said he, too, will not accept, namely, direct interference in our domestic affairs by making demands. How can the Leader of the Opposition, who has said that I should not even have allowed discussion, let alone interference, now suddenly say that I could not endure criticism to the extent that I should? That only means something if, besides discussion, I should have endured more, that is to say hostile resolutions. Otherwise I cannot understand him. Alternatively, the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) says that I became afraid, and he added that I have now placed five White Prime Ministers in the position that they must stand together against six non-Whites. This is an argument which the hon. member for South Coast has used. He has said that the non-Whites will now be able to dominate the Conference, and that this is supposedly my fault. It is clear that hon. members are trying to angle for the support of the Whites of South Africa on the one hand while their party, on the other hand, is also angling for the very opposite, namely, non-White support. What are the true facts in this regard? The fact of the matter is that at this Conference yet another state was admitted, namely, Sierra Leone. In addition, Uganda, Tanganyika, Uganda and certain other states in Africa and the Pacific Ocean area will probably be admitted to the Commonwealth in the near future. It will, therefore, not take very long— probably no more than a year or at the most two years—before there will be not five or six White states in the Commonwealth as against six non-White states, but there will be 10 or II or 12 non-White states. To accuse me, therefore, of leaving the White states in the lurch because I have upset the equal numerical balance, is the worst nonsense in the world. In addition, the numbers are no longer even of any importance. The Commonwealth has changed its character. It is a combination of non-White states which are becoming ever more predominant and in the meantime it is a fact that Britain, as the leader and the chairman of these meetings, is leaning over towards these states to an ever-increasing extent. She pays particular attention to these states and their points of view in order to keep them together and to influence them as far as possible. South Africa is out of place in such a situation. She cannot go along with these tactics. Consequently when hon. members use this type of argument, they are talking nonsense.
The further allegation has been made that because there is jubilation amongst the communists and their allies, we have now become bed-fellows because we too are glad about what has happened. But, Mr. Speaker, it often happens that various people are glad about the same thing for quite different reasons and without having anything in common. We are glad because we have now got out of a position which had become untenable as a result of the real attempts which were being made to influence our policies by exercising pressure. We are glad that we have been able to get out of that position in this way which has made it possible for us to maintain both our ties of friendship and our trade relations. But why are the communists glad? Why are the Luthulis glad? They are glad because they think that the campaign of the East and the communist countries aimed at gaining control over Africa can be furthered by these events. I do not think that is correct. I think that our country was rather in danger under the old position, because under the old position all governments would have been under continuous pressure and if one government (for example the Opposition) had made concessions, the extension of the communists’ sphere of influence still further southwards would have been promoted. As a result of what has now happened, we have made South Africa a stronger bulwark against this trend. We have not weakened the position of the West in Africa. I therefore say that we should be glad about what has happened. If other people, even our opponents, are glad for other reasons, then we cannot help it. However, it is wrong of hon. members of the Opposition for propaganda reasons to try to link Nationalists and communists together. During the war they blessed the weapons of Russia; we have never done so!
Hon. members opposite have made the further allegation that they will try to return to the Commonwealth. Allow me to warn the voters. If South Africa returns to the Commonwealth as it is to-day and as it will develop in the future, it must entail giving up the struggle of the White man to maintain himself in this country. That is the price which the Leader of the Opposition and his party will have to pay—a price which the Progressive Party, it seems to me, is prepared to pay. The price which they will have to pay is that the White man will have to surrender his supremacy over at least that part of this country which is his. I submit that from his speech it appears as though he is prepared to pay that price. Notwithstanding the fact that he says that he stands for the leadership of the White man, I maintain that he is prepared to pay the price that in the course of time the White man will go under in this country because the proposal which he made at the end of his speech will have that result. I am referring to the proposed federation—which he is prepared to support—and to his indication of which territories should have representation in the Central Parliament and that the Coloureds and the Indians should have representation in this Parliament. If all these sections are to be given representation in the central federal parliament, it must inevitably result in a central government in which the non-Whites will have absolute control. It cannot be otherwise. I therefore say that if the hon. the Leader of the Opposition says that by this policy he wants to regain South Africa’s membership of the Commonwealth, then he believes that he can do so by adopting that policy. He has merely framed it in vague terms, but if its meaning is properly analysed it will be seen that it will mean non-White supremacy, and it is then for that reason alone that he can justifiably entertain such hope of re-admission.
A further allegation which has been made is that South Africa is now isolated and also that Britain is going to help her by giving her ten months during which to reconsider the position. That is not true. Those are not the facts of the present position or of the arrangements which have been made. In the first place a nation is not isolated because she is not a member of the Commonwealth. In the past we have had more enemies than friends in the Commonwealth. Commonwealth countries have attacked us more often in public and at UNO and everywhere else than other countries. We have been subjected to more violent attacks by India, we have been subjected to more violent attacks by Ghana, and we have recently been subjected to more violent attacks by Nigeria than by any other countries. I, therefore, say that it is clear that we will not necessarily be isolated because we are outside the Commonwealth. On the contrary we can spread the wings of our friendship wider and wider. No independent country is isolated because she does not form part of such a group. That is a false proposition. Furthermore, it is not true either that Britain wants to help us only by her legislation under which she is freezing the position for ten months. The fact of the matter is that she and we have mutual interests and that she is just as anxious to retain the benefits which she obtains from South Africa as we are to retain the benefits which we obtain from her. The result is that, as far as commercial matters are concerned, it is not even necessary to freeze the position. Everything is continuing as normal. This legislation which is to be adopted does not even limit or deal with that trade. This proposed legislation will relate to other matters. It is correct, as Mr. Sandys has said in the British Parliament, that there are certain characteristics of the Commonwealth which will no longer apply to us. Certain provisions relating to citizenship and certain rights such as the attendance of conferences are examples. But, Mr. Speaker, we ourselves do not want some of these characteristics of Commonwealth membership, if hon. members maintain that they want to retain all the characteristics of Commonwealth membership then I submit that they do not know what they are talking about. To give one example: One characteristic of Commonwealth membership as it exists at the moment is that non-Whites can also enter South Africa from various countries, without being subject to any limitation. By no longer being a member of the Commonwealth, this demand on us will fall away and we would not wish to restore it. We do not want such immigrants to be able to enter our country automatically. In the same way there are other characteristics which are not of value to us. I therefore want to make it very clear that the legislation which freezes the position for ten or more months is merely being introduced to give both countries an opportunity to decide by mutual negotiations what both of us want to see continued. It is not a question of one party being merciful; it is a question of seeking a sensible mutual arrangement between two friendly nations.
I should like to make a final point. It is that we must appreciate in what perspective the recent events should be seen. The world undergoes great changes every 300, 400 or even 1,000 years. These are the great turning points in history, and we are now experiencing one such turning point. We are living through one of the tremendous transition periods of history. The position in which we find ourselves to-day forms part of an attempt by the East to dominate the West. The East has the numerical advantage and the West has the advantage of skill and strength in many other respects. In this struggle by the East and the Eastern way of life to triumph over the West, an attempt is being made to gain the cooperation of Africa. In this attempt the Western countries are trying to use tactics which I believe are doomed to failure. These tactics are to try to lean over to, to make concessions to, to flatter and to court the various African countries and even to try to buy them by material and other assistance, so that they will be able to gain the support of the countries in that struggle. Russia and the East are trying to do something similar, but they have certain advantages as far as this process is concerned. Inter alia the White man as such is criticized because he was unpopular as a ruler, notwithstanding all he has done in Africa. What has happened to us at the Commonwealth is a repetition on a small scale of this same process, namely that certain Western nations think that they can gain the allegiance, the support and the assistance of these nations for their ideology, their civilization and their way of life by leaning over towards them and by even supporting some of them against a fellow Western nation and by even criticizing a fellow Western nation during this process. I maintain that the Western nation which does so by critizising its fellow Western nation, by critisizing its policies and by attacking its good judgment, is humiliating itself and the White man in general in the eyes of those Eastern nations. It is making these Eastern nations believe that they have only to stand firm and they will also be able to force these Western friends to dance to their tune. That is what has happened at this conference and that is what will happen during this world process which is taking place to-day unless at some stage disillusionment sets in. It may be that by standing firm in this instance, South Africa will teach the world the lesson that one cannot, by collaborating with other nations against a Western nation which is of one’s own blood and which will stand by one in time of need, gain the support of those nations in ensuring that justice is also done to the White man, the West and Western civilization. One can only help them eventually to drag one into the vortex as well. For that reason what has happened now is a warning to all of us but to the Western world as well.
Mr. Speaker, the speech of the hon. the Prime Minister this evening must be one of the disappointing speeches, I think, that we have heard from him in this House. We had thought that on this occasion he would outline for us the benefits to South Africa arising from his withdrawal from the Commonwealth. Has there been one suggestion by the hon. the Prime Minister that we are better off to-day than we were when we were still a member of the Commonwealth? I listened for that most particularly, Sir, because that would have justified his action, but not once in the whole of that speech in which a lot of debating points were made, was there one suggestion that South Africa is better off to-day than she was before 15 March when the hon. the Prime Minister went to that Prime Ministers’ Conference.
There is a second point. The hon. the Prime Minister has spoken of the competition between the East and the West for friendship. He has spoken of the activities of the countries of the West who are seeking, according to him, to bid for the friendship of the countries of the East. I noticed most particularly that the hon. the Prime Minister spoke of the countries of the East. He did not speak of the communist countries of the world. I put it to him now, Sir, across the floor of the House, quite fairly that if he wishes to amend that I will accept it.
The hon. gentleman apparently meant as I understood him to mean, that what was being done was concessions to the countries of the East in an attempt to bribe them to have friendship for the West. Mr. Speaker, where are we going? Is there now that suggestion after what the hon. the Prime Minister has said, of the tremendous strategic importance of South Africa, so important that no country in the world can afford not to be friends with us? Now we hear that because they want the friendship of certain Eastern countries, South Africa can be thrown overboard.
There is a third point which arises from this speech. Has there been one suggestion by the hon. the Prime Minister in the course of his speech that South Africa at the moment is not more isolated than she has ever been at any time in her history? Has there been a suggestion as to how that is to be remedied Sir? The hon. the Prime Minister says we must spread our wings and that we will find more friends. Where?
We have been criticized for our policies by every single member of the Commonwealth, so where are we going to find those friends? I think the country must be most disappointed with what the hon. the Prime Minister has said this evening. He has raised a number of other points which I would like to deal with in passing because I think there are more important issues which should be dealt with this evening. First of all, Sir, he has admitted that certain things will not be the same now that we are out of the Commonwealth. But he is not sure that we want them to be the same. He has made reference to the fact that because we are out of the Commonwealth certain non-Europeans from non-European countries will now not have the right of entry to South Africa as British subjects. Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the Prime Minister said that without going further. What was it he meant? Was that a threat to the Natives of Basutoland? Was that a threat to the Natives of the Protectorates? I do not wish to place words in the hon. gentleman’s mouth, but what did he mean when he said that? Where are these Natives coming from that he does not want? [Interjections.] My hon. friend says I am sowing suspicion. It is open to the hon. gentleman to say “ No, I did not mean that ”. I will accept it. What did the hon. the Prime Minister mean when he made that statement?
He meant what he said.
What intelligence! He is quite right of course, there are certain things that will not be the same. Under the British Nationality Act of 1948 British subject and Commonwealth citizen have the same meaning. This gives us from South Africa entry as a right to the United Kingdom. That is a valuable right. Are we to lose that Sir, or do we not know yet? There is the question of defence. It was never contemplated that our navy or our air force or for that matter our army would act alone. Is all that ended? What are the agreements for the future? The Prime Minister said things would not be the same and they will not. What about weapons? Where are we getting our weapons in the future? Has that been arranged or don’t we know? Are we to be kept daily in the international picture as is the case at present in respect of military developments or are we to be the prey of military surprise? What strategic information are we going to be given from now onwards or has this gone as well, Mr. Speaker? What has the Government arranged or what do they propose to arrange to replace that situation? The hon. gentleman said things would not be the same, and he was right, they won’t. Then the hon. gentleman complained about changes in the Commonwealth. He said that the Commonwealth has changed. It has changed, Sir (to refer to his previous speech on the subject), in the last ten months, but didn’t the hon. gentleman know that before he went to that Commonwealth Conference? Did he not know what was going on; did he not know that what was happening in the Commonwealth was very largely reflecting world opinion about South Africa? He admits, Sir, that he did have an opportunity; he could have stayed. He said himself he was faced with the danger of five countries walking out but he could have stayed. To-night we got the nearest to an admission from the Prime Minister that we have had during the whole of this debate that nobody could have put him out. He could have stayed. The hon. the Prime Minister shakes his head. I do not want to misrepresent anything he has said.
They could have put us out.
The hon. the Prime Minister says they could have put us out. Now, Sir, does the unanimity rule still apply or does it not?
But of course they could have put us out because they would have taken no notice of any rules whatsoever. If they had the choice between us and the other five, the remaining members would have decided irrespective of any rules.
I think this is one of the most serious and terrible admissions ever made by a Prime Minister of a Commonwealth country. The hon. gentleman is first of all admitting that he did not have support from one single member. Secondly, he has made it perfectly clear that in his opinion if the Commonwealth countries had to choose, he would not have been chosen. The hon. the Prime Minister has not said that the unanimity rule does not still apply. That was mentioned in the communiqué issued by the Prime Ministers’ Conference last year. It was what the hon. the Minister of External Affairs relied upon last year to ensure that South Africa’s internal affairs should not be discussed. In other words, must we understand that there was not a member of the Commonwealth who had sufficient friendship with South Africa to veto a substantive motion to put her out?
Have we no friends at all?
We are now in this position. The hon. the Prime Minister must admit that because of his policies he had not one single person in the Commonwealth who would have stood by him. They would have changed the rules, Sir, he says, to put him out. I am sorry, Sir, that is a deduction which he is making and a deduction which I do not accept. Because I cannot believe that Great Britain would not have stood by South Africa. I cannot believe that Australia would not have stood by South Africa and I cannot believe that New Zealand would not have stood by South Africa. Because if they had not stood by South Africa, I want to know what friends South Africa has in this world to-day. There have been all these suggestions that the Commonwealth has changed, that it is not the sort of Commonwealth to which we want to belong. Of course, Sir. Now we are getting to the truth of the matter. The fact is not so much that it is not the sort of Commonwealth to which we want to belong, but the fact is that every single member of that Commonwealth, having heard the hon. the Prime Minister trying to defend his policy, was not prepared to accept that policy. That is the tragedy with which South Africa is faced.
Do you agree with Ghana’s policy?
I do not know whether he does. That Minister has strange leanings. If he wants to ask stupid questions, he must expect replies like that, Sir.
The tragedy is that we have not one friend left. What are the other points that the hon. the Prime Minister has made? It is best for South Africa that we should have done what we did. What are we gaining? What have we gained? The hon. gentleman suggests that I condemned him for allowing discussion. I was very careful, Sir, to leave that open, I said I passed no judgment on that matter. There were others who were perfectly justified in taking the view which they did, because that did open the door to what took place. The hon. the Prime Minister sought to justify that by referring to what I said last year in this House. I think if the hon. gentleman rereads that Hansard he will see that that had to do with something possibly rather different.
The first part had to do with Mr. Macmillan’s speech in this Parliament. The second part had to do with whether the hon. the Minister of External Affairs should defend South Africa or not at the conference. Did I say those things should be discussed in the conference? Go and read Hansard. [Interjections.] We heard the story that the attitude of supporters of this party outside of this House is very different from members in this House. After the shocking report from the South African Broadcasting Corporation I am not surprised. Because I do not believe yet that they have got down to the truth of what happened in connection with this matter. I say that advisedly, Sir, and with regret because that Broadcasting Corporation has had a very fine record indeed for accurate and unprejudiced broadcasts which has been ruined by their behaviour over the last 14 days.
The hon. the Prime Minister said something else. He said he had been asked whether his withdrawal from the Commonwealth meant that he was going to withdraw from the United Nations Organization. He replied that he had said that he did not say he was staying and he did not say he was not staying. He said the two matters were unconnected. I accept that. Where are we now? Because the very criticisms that have been levelled against us, the very attacks that have been made upon us at the Prime Ministers’ Conference, are on a similar kind—although probably nearly as bad—as those made upon us at UNO. We have been outvoted and censured time and time again. Are we to infer, Sir, that South Africa is going to stay or are we going to walk out? I think the Prime Minister owes the country an indication of what direction his policy is going to take in this matter. I am taking that no further to-night. It is a most important matter which I would not like to have debated without the hon. the Prime Minister making a statement on the subject. But I feel he said either too little or too much and I hope he will authorize the Minister of Finance to say something in this regard when he replies to the debate.
He will be wrong.
The hon. the Prime Minister has once again referred to the subject of diplomatic representatives and indicated that as far as he was concerned that really did not have very much to do with the attitude of members at the conference, and in his opinion was not one of the decisive points. One is placed in an enormous difficulty with this matter. I think perhaps it is best that I read to this House the full excerpt from the House of Commons Hansard of the statement made by Mr. Sandys. It is fuller, Sir, than anything we have had so far and I think this will place the matter in a clearer light. Here is what he said—
Then there was a question, Sir, from Viscount Hinchingbrooke, who, as we all know, visited this country, and I believe saw the hon. the Prime Minister—
Mr. Sandys goes on—
That shows you how wrong you are because India broke off her relations with us.
The hon. the Prime Minister says that shows how wrong I was because India had a diplomatic representative in South Africa. It is true she did. She had a diplomatic representative here until 1949—I speak subject to correction—or was it 1950. And she withdrew that representative after a round-table conference here because while the round-table conference was on with the hon. the Minister of the Interior, the present Minister of Finance, notice was given of the introduction of the Group Areas Act. I do not believe there has ever been an exchange of diplomatic representatives again.
It was not because of the colour of their faces, therefore it was for another reason.
Why was the Group Areas Act brought in?
I am in the greatest difficulty because the hon. the Prime Minister is clearly putting one interpretation upon the discussions which took place, and Mr. Sandys is putting another interpretation on them. And the hon. the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mr. Macmillan, has also referred to this matter. And in the third place Mr. Menzies, the Prime Minister of Australia, stated very clearly in a Press conference that he had told our Prime Minister that what he could not understand was his refusal to accept the exchange of diplomatic representatives with other Commonwealth countries.
Now, Sir, it may be that our Prime Minister is correct. It may be that he is entirely correct and that these other gentlemen have completely misunderstood the discussions. But it does seem that there has been a very grave misunderstanding by members at the Prime Ministers’ Conference as to the importance of this vital matter. And what so upsets me about it is that I have always understood that this Government was moving in this very direction. If I may refer you to a speech made by the hon. the Minister of External Affairs in March, 1957, on the subject of the Union’s Africa policy at a graduation day at Pretoria University, then you will see that there were some most interesting remarks—
So said Mr. Louw! He went further—
A missing link more likely.
How does one serve as a link unless there is an exchange of diplomatic representatives? Would it not have been so simple for the hon. the Prime Minister to say that in principle he agreed but that it was a matter in respect of which the details had to be worked out and in respect of which each application would have to be considered on its merits, having regard to the attitude of that State to South Africa and the justification or otherwise for diplomatic exchanges? You see, Sir, that leaves us with the most unhappy feeling on this matter. Perhaps we are out of the Commonwealth because of a misunderstanding!
Then, again, there has been this suggestion from the hon. gentleman that there was dictation by the Black states; that had we stayed in the Commonwealth there would have been dictation by the Black states and they would have laid down what policies we have to follow. I know that from the propaganda point of view it is a wonderful story to put across. But if the unanimity rule still applies, had not the hon. the Prime Minister, or any representatives of South Africa, the right to veto any resolution or any discussion on that matter? Had we not the right, as Mr. Diefenbaker says, to have vetoed discussion of our internal policies at this very Conference? Mr. Sandys himself, in his speech, says that Commonwealth Prime Ministers have always set themselves against the possibility of a constitution for the Commonwealth, or laying down a code of conduct for members of the Commonwealth. But I am sorry that the hon. the Prime Minister has not dealt with one very important subject, and that is this: It seems quite clear that in the view of Mr. Diefenbaker, that in the view of Mr. Sandys himself in what he said in the House of Commons, that South Africa’s internal policies were regarded as having had international repercussions. We have had no view from the hon. the Prime Minister on that subject at all. It has been left. We do not know what his feelings were in that regard. And we do not know what the attitude of his Government is in that regard. I think we have the right to know in this House whether they felt that was justified or not justified.
Then we come to one other point raised by the hon. gentleman, and that was the criticism of the desire of this side of the House to work in the direction of a return to the Commonwealth. The hon. the Prime Minister sought to interpret my statement in the course of the previous debate as a readiness to pay any price—one man one vote, any price—for South Africa’s return to the Commonwealth. May I repeat what I said? I said this—
After that, how can the hon. the Prime Minister say that we are prepared to pay any price? And in another point in that speech I said that I would brook no interference with our internal policies. But for political purposes that has been interpreted as meaning that this side would pay any price.
I said you would have to pay.
Oh no! You did not.
If the hon. the Prime Minister alleges that he said that we would have to pay that price, I accept that, if that is his opinion. And I am very glad to be relieved of the suggestion that the hon. the Prime Minister felt that I was prepared to pay the price which he indicated we would have to pay, in his opinion. But now, let us look at this matter realistically. If we have no place in the Commonwealth grouping of nations, in what group of nations does South Africa have a place in the world to-day? No Commonwealth country approves of our policies; not a single one. Not Mr. Macmillan, not Mr. Menzies. Where are we going to look for friends in the future? Where are we going to find a home in the international sphere? It is because of this that we on this side of the House feel that every effort should be made to explore the possibilities of our returning as a member of the Commonwealth. Where else is South Africa going to find security in the world as it exists at the present time? In what grouping can we find a home? It leaves one in this unhappy position: the hon. the Prime Minister is not at home in this Commonwealth because of the non-European members; what is going to happen when his Bantustans are finally developed and he has a Commonwealth relationship with them? Are we going to be able to remain in that little Commonwealth consisting of eight or nine states carved out of what is South Africa at the present time?
They will kick us out.
Yes, they will push us out without regard to the rules.
It seems to me that the hon. the Prime Minister may find himself suffering the same fate in those circumstances, and be leading South Africa into a relationship where he is going to suffer the same fate as he has suffered at the present time. What worries me, Mr. Speaker, is something else.
The hon. the Prime Minister has said that the change in the Commonwealth took place in the last ten months. That Commonwealth has existed for many, many years. It has been built up slowly. Much blood and many tears have gone into its building, and a great deal of brain power. Must we now withdraw, after all those years, because of a change which has taken place within ten months and which may prove to be transient? Was it not worthwhile hanging on? Was it not worthwhile the Prime Minister trying to play his part in maintaining the old Commonwealth as we knew it? And if those other members wished to withdraw would it not have been for them to seek another alignment? Would they have lost the friendship of Great Britain if they had withdrawn? Would they have been finally lost to the communist countries? These are things we must ask ourselves when the hon. the Prime Minister says that we walked out. Now we are out in the cold and they are snugly in the Commonwealth. And they are having all the advantages which we enjoyed, and we are enjoying nothing except, as a result of the good offices of individual members who may or may not renew bi-lateral treaties with us, who may or may not stand by us in respect of defence, in respect of diplomatic representation in other parts of the world, in respect of strategic information: in respect of the supply of weapons and other things of that kind.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Prime Minister is not the only member of the Cabinet who has spoken in this debate. The hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs also took part in this debate, and some of the things which he said were most remarkable. He explained at length that our imperial preferences were not so important after all and that they were becoming of less and less importance. In the very next breath the hon. gentleman turns round and says that the United Kingdom would not dare to cancel her trade agreements with South Africa for fear of the catastrophic economic consequences to herself. He even went so far as to hint that if we did not get satisfactory trade relations with the former countries of the Commonwealth, then he would look to the countries of the East—and I assume he included the communistic countries—for trade relations.
He said so.
Does this mean that we are going to have a Russian Consul and staff here again? We heard from that hon. Minister that our uranium and our gold production provided a shield that will protect us against the dangers besetting us, even if we become completely isolated. That was the very argument we heard from that hon. gentleman as to why we would not be put out of the Commonwealth. He has been proved wrong once, and I do not think I am inclined to place much confidence in him for a second time.
Now, Sir, what can the losses be if those trade preferences which we enjoy are not continued in the same way and the same sense as in the past, as a result of our being out of the Commonwealth?
Ask your brother.
The hon. the Minister of Finance says I should ask my brother. That is quite fair. He is over in England now trying to find just that out.
I hope he will come and tell you.
Let me remind him. Mr. Speaker, that in 1938-9 the total production of deciduous fruit in the Western Province was 17,940 tons per annum. In 1958-9 it was 259,395 tons. Despite that increased production we still find ourselves in a position that the prices have been maintained. Canned peaches fetched £27 a ton in 1960-1. Do you know what they will fetch, Mr. Speaker, if we lose our Commonwealth preferences, if Australia and other countries which are producing that fruit insisted they want a share of that preferential market? It is estimated that we will receive £15 a ton. We get £25 a ton for pears at the moment. If we lost Commonwealth preferences we will only get £13 a ton. Apricots are priced at £22 a ton; we will only get £10 a ton if we lost Commonwealth preferences.
What does that prove?
The hon. gentleman says: “What does that prove?” What guarantee has he got that we are going to retain those preferences?
Let us go a little further. What is the position in respect of sugar? The hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs said that we got a Commonwealth sugar quota at higher and higher prices by virtue of an agreement between the Board of Trade in Great Britain and the sugar producers in the Union of South Africa. And we had details of all that. We know that the agreement may run until 1968 —but we also know that the price is negotiated annually. Now there is a great deal of uncertainty as to what the position may be. The hon. the Minister has expressed the opinion that it will make no difference, but I want to suggest that that is only an assumption. The industry itself is very anxious. I understand that representatives of the industry are now going overseas to find out what the position is. We know that the West Indies, Mauritius and Australia will be more than anxious to share in South Africa’s sugar quota. Those agreements provide, in the preamble, that this agreement has reference to Commonwealth countries. You see, also the parties to the agreement attach to it “ Notes of understanding ” which are their interpretation of the agreement. I wonder if the hon. the Minister can say with certainty that we are going to· retain the position which we were in when we were inside the Commonwealth.
The tragedy of all this is that at the present moment we find ourselves really faced with two conflicting visions of the future of South Africa. We find, on the one side, the vision of the hon. the Prime Minister as to internal and external policies, and we find, on the other hand, the vision of this side of the House, of the United Party. In the field of external affairs the vision of that side of the House seems to be of a South Africa completely isolated; a South Africa against which hostility is building up because of South West Africa and because of our relations with our Asian population. A South Africa virtually without friends. Those are the dangers which we are now going to have to face because we are no longer a member of the Commonwealth. And I think we are entitled to ask, taking the explanation of the hon. the Prime Minister himself, now that we are asked to face those dangers, what have we got in exchange? What have we got in exchange for having withdrawn from the Commonwealth? It is possible that we may be called upon to face greater difficulties and greater dangers. And this is all in defence of a rigid, inflexible race policy of the hon. the Prime Minister. A policy which, I believe, is incapable of fulfilment, which is a bargaining with contradictions and which is full of dangers for the future of South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, let us look at that policy to date; this policy for which we have swopped Commonwealth membership; the apartheid policy of the hon. the Prime Minister! We will concede at once that the hon. gentleman and his Government have made great progress in the housing of Natives in South Africa, that they built a number of railway lines serving those housing schemes. That is very commendable, But, at the same time, it is a complete contradiction of the policy of the hon. the Prime Minister because it is designed to make simpler and easier and more efficient the integration of the Native people into the economic life of the Union of South Africa. In other words, we have been forced into isolation because of a policy which, for 13 years, has amounted to nothing more nor less than a contradiction of the ideals for which the Prime Minister is standing.
We heard that we were going to see the first instalment this year of the hon. the Prime Minister’s policy. We were going to see an instalment now of development of the Native reserves; a plan announced in the Other Place by the hon. the Minister for Bantu Administration and Development. But what have we heard? All we have heard is soil erosion measures to be taken in the reserves; more educational facilities which, so far as one can see, will mean more indoctrination with Government policy. And we have seen this arrangement to spend R17,500,000 this year on the development of the reserves. If you take that R17,500,000 and you compare it with the R4,000,000,000 which is the national income of South Africa at the present time, we find that they are planning in this great plan of theirs to spend one-half per cent of our national income on the development of the reserves. It is a one-half per cent policy! Small wonder that they cannot convince the world that they are really taking steps in respect of those developments! And in the same speech we hear from the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs of an amount of money —R400,000,000—to be spend on electricity supplies; between R500,000,000 and R600,000,000 to be spent on steel development; R280,000,000 to be spent on water development. Surely this means nothing more nor less than a completely half-hearted attempt by this hon. Prime Minister to go ahead with the policy for which we have lost our membership of the Commonwealth! Can he ever justify it?
The hon. the Prime Minister has indicated that he stands firmly by that policy and that he is not prepared, in any circumstances, to see any changes in it. Well, Sir, he has even rejected the proposals of the Tomlinson Commission appointed by his own Government to go into that development. He has refused to allow White skill, White capital and White initiative to be used. It seems to me a policy which is doomed to failure, and for that policy we have sacrificed our Commonwealth membership and South Africa is out in the cold at the present time. For that policy the hon. the Prime Minister asks for the unity of the South African people. Now unity is a very great thing. But his call is for unity behind a policy which is going to lead to the downfall and the destruction of the South African State.
But, Mr. Speaker, I believe that the people of South Africa have a different ideal. I believe that their ideal is unity for life in South Africa, for development in South Africa. I believe it is for the progress and for the happiness of all our people in South Africa. And that is why I have called upon the people of South Africa, over the head of the hon. the Prime Minister, over the head of the Cabinet sitting there, to unite for a policy of a different kind. Because I believe that this is a time of crisis for South Africa; a time of crisis in which the road ahead can only be signposted by general principles. I believe that what we need is national unity for an ordered advance to a racial federation; a racial federation which will make possible harmonious race relations, will protect the rights of all groups by importing federal elements into our constitution; re-open the way for a possible return to the Commonwealth and free us from this threat of international isolation. I believe that the first steps which should be taken on that road are five-fold.
Firstly, the Cape Coloured people must be accepted as a part of the Western group; must be returned to the common roll, and they must have a right to sit in Parliament.
Secondly, it must be recognized that the Asian community is a permanent part of our population who should be protected against the inroads of the Group Areas Act upon their traditional means of livelihood, and that they should have their future political status determined by immediate negotiation with them.
Thirdly, there should be a realization that the urban Native, amongst whom the emergence of a responsible middle class should be actively fostered, must be given representation on a separate roll in this Parliament and a stake in the maintenance of law and order by the reintroduction of a system of pass exemptions, the grant of freehold title for their homes, and the assurance of an undisturbed family life.
Fourthly, that there should be an acceptance that the Native permanently settled in the reserves be given a measure of self-government on an elected basis and that he should also have representation in this Parliament, not necessarily in the same manner as the Native permanently detribalized and settled in our urban areas. And that those reserves should be developed with White capital, White skill and White initiative.
Fifthly, that there should be an abandonment of the Government’s discriminatory policy of job reservation and its replacement by the rate for the job.
Mr. Speaker, on that basis I am prepared to appeal again to the people of South Africa, over the head of this Government and over the head of this Prime Minister. I want to say that we accept, in the interests of national unity, that once the republic has been declared it may not be possible and it will not be possible to retrace that step. But I do not believe that that is the ultimate ideal of the people of South Africa. I believe they are seeking something more than the narrow policies of the hon. the Prime Minister and his Government. I believe that they see with us a vision of another South Africa for which it is worthwhile to fight, a South African which would, I believe, be welcome again amongst the Western community of nations; a South Africa which would uphold its honour; a South Africa which, in all probability, would once again be welcome in the Commonwealth.
I believe that here is support for that point of view. And I believe that what has happened over the past fortnight, which has been very largely reported upon in this debate, has been one of the very greatest tragedies that has ever happened to South Africa in the whole of its history.
Only two persons have spoken to-night in this debate. The one, I say, spoke with the support of the overwhelming majority of the people of South Africa, a national leader such as South Africa has never seen before; a national leader who has not only put the standpoint of the White man in South Africa to-day, but that of the White man throughout Africa. Let us just examine what happened when the hon. the Prime Minister returned from London; how even the White men of Rhodesia were present to welcome this leader as the champion of the White man’s interests in South Africa. But, Mr. Speaker, here in South Africa something unprecedented happened. Apart from the welcomes which he has received, I should like to ask hon. members opposite which of them have been to the cinema during the past week or so. The fact of the matter is that the cinemagoer of Cape Town and Johannesburg consist largely of the English-speaking people of this country. Something which has never happened before in South Africa is that when the picture of the Prime Minister appears on the screen, there is greater applause for him than anyone else. I do not know whether hon. members read the Sunday Times. In yesterday’s Sunday Times I read the following—
Read a little further.
This is the one person who spoke to-night—the hon. the Prime Minister. Then the hon. member for Rondebosch (Sir de Villiers Graaff) spoke as well. While he was speaking, I could not help seeing one thing very clearly. This is something which we have also seen for many years past in our own people, but to-day we see it particularly amongst hon. members opposite, namely, this inferiority complex from which they still suffer. This is an inferiority complex which has engendered fear in his mind because we are now out of the Commonwealth. I think that in this regard his own supporters will also have to educate the Leader of the Opposition.
The Leader of the Opposition has used certain arguments to-night, and I think that as we are approaching the end of this debate, it is right that we should say that while we want to retain the friendship of Britain and other countries, while we want to retain our economic links with them, not one single word has come from the Leader of the Opposition or hon. members opposite during the debate to make that easier or even possible. Mr. Speaker, I just want to make one quotation. An hon. member who is so fond of Britain, the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Water-son), has risen here and what has he said—
Is that intended to create feelings of good friendship? Is that intended to promote the spirit which has already been created and the agreements which have already been reached —oral or o.therwise? The statements made by hon. members opposite during the past few days have done only one thing, namely, to strengthen and to encourage the enemies of the White man in South Africa.
Keep to the facts.
Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that the United Party is the ally of the Black enemies of South Africa. When Dr. Nkrumah rises or Sir Abubaker Balewa rises and says that UNO and the whole world should apply sanctions against South Africa, then these statements by the United Party do not deter them, but encourage and strengthen them. Not one single word has come from the United Party to-night or over the past few days to facilitate the achievement and the retention of certain things which are in the interests of South Africa. Sir, I am expecting too much of them but I am not expecting too much of their supporters because their supporters think differently on this matter. I want to ask the hon. the Leader of the Opposition on this question. The Deputy Minister of Education asked a day or two ago what type of letters they were receiving from their supporters; has their post arrived yet? The Prime Minister is receiving letters, telegrams and telephone calls from within and beyond the borders of this country, and the same applies to every member on this side of the House, from United Party supporters who support the Prime Minister, from these people who applaud in the cinemas. I now ask the hon. the Leader of the Opposition: Have they received any letters? What are their supporters writing to them? Are they satisfied with the standpoint of the United Party?
Look how ashamed they now are.
I think that if they had received any support from the United Party supporters on the platteland and in the cities of South Africa, their Leader would have lifted up his head and said that these people support him, but he does not have the right to say that to-day because he knows that he is receiving letters every day and he is being told every day that he has adopted the wrong attitude in this House.
The Leader of the Opposition has now said that we are out of the Commonwealth, a Commonwealth which has been built up gradually. I do not want to say anything out of place about the Commonwealth to-night, but it is not true that the Commonwealth has been gradually built up, as he says. It was never built up. From the very beginnings, with the exception of a few years at the outset, it has been crumbling. There has never been any growth in the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth started with five members of which South Africa was a founder member, and what happened then? It started with the Imperial War Cabinet, and gradually the British colonies gained independence, particularly the Black States. There has been no growth in the Commonwealth. At the outset Britain spoke on behalf of all those countries which now speaks for themselves within the Commonwealth. Not one single inch of territory or one single person has been added to the Commonwealth since that time. Originally there were the four countries, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand together with Britain who spoke for all them. When those five countries attended the Conference, Britain spoke for Ghana, Nigeria, Ceylon and India, and there was no growth. What has happened is that these countries have become independent and instead of Britain speaking for four, five or six countries, together with the four White countries, Britain has started speaking on behalf of less countries and the voices of the others have been added. I repeat that there has never been any growth in the Commonwealth but there has been a diminution of the authority of Britain as the years have gone by. This diminution reached its climax at this conference, and it has now gone so far that the Black countries are telling Britain: It may be your wish, but we shall not allow you to keep South Africa in the Commonwealth. I am not saying these things to disparage the Commonwealth. I am making these statements because I know in my heart that amongst the English-speaking people of South Africa to-day there are many who are heartsore because we are out of the Commonwealth, and it is our duty to tell them that their hearts should not be sore when we explain to them what has actually happened to the Commonwealth. If we had left the original Commonwealth consisting of the five members, they would have had the right to feel heart-sore, but why are they heartsore to-night? They are heartsore because we have left the Commonwealth in which Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia have an equal vote with Ghana, Nigeria, Malaya, Ceylon, India, Pakistan and others. They are heartsore because the Coloured nations have become the masters of the Commonwealth. I now ask my English-speaking friends whether there is reason for sorrow when South Africa leaves such a Commonwealth. The change has not taken place in South Africa, but in the Commonwealth, and allow me to say quite clearly, in the knowledge that this is the Commonwealth of to-day, that it is in the best interests of South Africa that we should no longer be a member of that Commonwealth after 31 May. I repeat that if it had been the old Commonwealth, the position would have been quite different, but as it stands to-day, it is in our best interests to be out of it.
The Leader of the Opposition has made one or two points. He has asked what are actually the advantages of being outside the Commonwealth. I just want to mention two. Both are domestic advantages. The fact of the matter is that never again will we in South Africa differ politically over the Commonwealth. This is one of the things which has caused discord between the Afrikaans- and English-speaking peoples. This issue will no longer be an issue at the 1963 election.
In the grave there is also peace.
There will never be political peace in South Africa, and this brings me to the concept of co-operation and unity. The Sunday Times and other newspapers are creating the impression that there could be coalition and co-operation at any moment now. Mr. Sneaker, allow me to say this quite clearly. Even in the shadow of Table Mountain there are such small circles of people who are cherishing and writing about this idea. Allow me to say this quite clearly. Co-operation does not mean coalition or political co-operation. It means that we now have an unprecedented opportunity for the English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking peonies to work together without a cloud of discord hanging over them. There can be co-operation on the basis of principles but on no other basis. There is no possibility of coalition because there is no agreement in principle between us. But the door is wider open than it has ever been before for the Afrikaans- and English-speaking people to come together on the basis of principles and to co-operate. I repeat that these newspapers are creating the impression that there is a movement afoot, even in the House of Assembly, and that there will be conciliation between the political parties. There is no such thing nor will there be. Even the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) told me that he wanted to bring the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) and me together. Well, he cannot bring us together. There is only one thing which can bring us together, namely, that he should accept the basic principle that we shall not allow anyone but the White man to govern this country. The Leader of the Opposition says that he wants to make an appeal over the head of the Prime Minister to the Nationalists. What does that mean? It means nothing, because in all the years that he has been Leader of the Opposition he has in any case never directly discussed co-operation with the Prime Minister, nor do I blame him, because I know what answer he would receive. But does the House know what has happened? His party colleagues are writing thousands of letters to the Prime Minister over the head of the Leader of the Opposition. I do want to ask the Prime Minister to create an opportunity either to give some of these letters to the Press or to read them in this House, or to give them to the Leader of the Opposition so that he can read them. No, the facts of the political position in South Africa to-day are that the former supporters of the Leader of the Opposition are looking over his head to this side of the House to save the White man.
I now want to mention a second advantage which in my opinion will flow from all these events in London. I believe that our colour feelings and our colour policy will be seen in a better perspective in South Africa and abroad than ever before. They have never been viewed in the correct perspective, and what has happened in London will make those people in our own country who refused to see the position, realize more clearly than ever before that the issue is not one of simply making minor concessions, but that what is at issue is the continued existence of the White man I think that in the years to come we shall also in fact make the implementation of the colour policy of this Government a common task for our nation.
Then I should like to mention another point which the Leader of the Opposition has raised, namely the question of the exchange of diplomatic representatives. In the first place I think that under the rules of the House he is not quite correct in not accepting the word of the Prime Minister, and of relying on the evidence of those who have testified against South Africa. The Prime Minister has read to this House exactly what he said about the exchange of diplomatic representatives, but I am not going to burden the House by repeating it. Allow me to say this. It is and it has always been the policy of this Government to remain friends with the Black states and to make friends with them if they will only allow it. Even to-day, while they have adopted this attitude at the conference, it is still the policy of this Government to make friends and to remain friends with the Black states, and I cannot express this point better than the previous Prime Minister did when he said the following—
That was as far as the Whites were concerned, and he then went on to say—
It is the policy of this Government to establish friendly relations with the Black states if only they will allow it. But there are these two points. The one is that the question of diplomatic relations amongst members of the Commonwealth has absolutely nothing to do with a Commonwealth conference. That is not a matter which should even be discussed there, and the Prime Minister has made that clear. But in the second place, let us state quite clearly that in principle South Africa has no objection to exchanging diplomatic representatives with the Black states. But the Leader of the Opposition criticized the Prime Minister for the fact that at the moment, apart from the United Arab Republic and the proposed Japanese mission there is no diplomatic representation. With which African states is he prepared to exchange diplomatic representatives? Is he prepared to do so with Ghana or Nigeria? It is pointless speaking in the air. I ask the hon. member for South Coast.
You do not want to be friends with me and now you cannot ask me such questions.
Another millstone around his neck.
The hon. member is far older than I, but I just want to tell him something, and I do so in all seriousness. I came to this House and he was one of the persons with whom I differed fundamentally, but I had a great deal of respect for him and I have always treated him accordingly, but I am disappointed in him because he does not have the courage of his convictions. In recent times he has shown in this House that he is just a windbag and nothing else. He says in this House that he will not accept the republic. In Natal he says that he will march. Why is he not marching? His people are waiting for him. They pulled his arm out of joint at the Louis Botha airport, but do you know what he is going to do, Sir. And this is why I no longer have any respect for him? He says he is not going to accept the republic but he is sitting in this House and he will also stand there and he will subscribe to the oath of allegiance to the republic. But that is not all. He will receive his salary each month from the republic, he will pay his taxes to the same republic and he will use the railways and the airways and all the other facilities of the republic. But then he says in this House that he will lead Natal out of the republic. No, I say that this is the position in which the hon. member has landed himself, and then he tells me that I do not want to be friends with him. I do not want to be his political friend, because one can no longer rely on his political word. But the hon. member has distracted me somewhat.
I just want to make this further point in respect of the Commonwealth, and let us make this quite clear. South Africa has not left the Commonwealth because there are Black members in the Commonwealth. South Africa did not leave the Commonwealth as a matter of principle because there are Black people in the Commonwealth. In principle South Africa is prepared to serve on an international body together with Blacks. We do not have any objection in principle to that. We are out of the Commonwealth solely because they have interfered with our domestic affairs, and not only because the Black people and the Brown people have interfered with our affairs, but Canada as well. I say that our leaving the Commonwealth has absolutely nothing to do with the presence of Black members. On the contrary, South Africa was always the first to say that we have no objection in principle to Ghana and Nigeria remaining members.
But now there is a further point. The Leader of the Opposition has made a great point today of saying that the Prime Minister should not have allowed our domestic affairs to be discussed at that conference and he has cast doubt on the quotations the Prime Minister has made from his own statements. Sir, I also have Hansard here and he did not only make those statements on one occasion but on various occasions. Last year when the Minister of External Affairs was going to the Commonwealth conference, the Leader of the Opposition rose here and objected and said that he was opposed to the Minister going to the conference alone and that he should take someone else with him. He argued as follows—
[Interjections.] His standpoint was that the Minister of External Affairs should not go alone but that he should take someone else with him in order to put our case. He went on to say—
Referring to the hon. the Prime Minister.
Ask your Minister what I said.
I am indicating what the Leader of the Opposition has said, and he made this statement on 19 April. He was discussing the visit of the Minister of External Affairs to the conference and he said—
To what is he referring when he says that our position should be put authoritatively? To our colour policy. What else can it mean? He says that the position should be clearly put. What does that mean? [Interjections.] No, when the Leader of the Opposition rises here and urges that the Minister of External Affairs should not go alone but that he should take someone with him when he says that our standpoint should be put authoritatively and clearly and that our position should be explained, what else does it mean but that the Prime Minister should explain our policy at this conference and that he should allow our position to be discussed?
Go discuss it with your Minister before you reveal such ignorance.
He made this statement on several occasions. During the same speech he also said—
He accused the Minister of External Affairs of glossing over our policy. Sir, what is he implying. He is saying that he should not gloss over our policy, and if one does not do so, one must state that policy, as the Prime Minister has done. No, we can be quite sure of one thing, and that is that the United Party has tried to make a little capital out of this matter and has come off second best.
Then I want to mention one final matter, and this relates to the minor concessions. Hon. members contend that if the Prime Minister had only made one or two minor concessions, everything in the garden would have been lovely. I challenge the Leader of the Opposition to tell me when the leaders of those States who have made it impossible for us to remain a member of the Commonwealth, have ever referred to minor concessions either at UNO or at the Commonwealth conference? They speak of a basic change in policy. As a matter of fact, the Leader of the Opposition has himself said that he is.going to change the whole face of South Africa. Minor concessions? No. UNO and the Commonwealth are not interested in that.
I want to refer to a final point, and this has been the ugliest characteristic of the whole debate. It is the allegation which the United Party and its leaders have made that the Prime Minister misled the voters at the referendum. We have made several points in this regard. During the referendum campaign we made seven points in respect of the Commonwealth. In the first place we said that if the referendum resulted in a victory for the republicans, a request would be made to the Commonwealth for continued membership, and in that regard the Prime Minister has kept his word; he did make that request. The second point we made was that the Prime Minister said that he would go to London himself, and that he also did. In the third place he said that he expected that we would retain our membership, and we had the right to say that. When one examines the speech Mr. Macmillan himself made in Cape Town, we had that right. Here I have the Commonwealth Relations List for 1961, and what do they say there?—
If that appears in their official document—even Mr. Diefenbaker said in 1958—
Mr. Speaker, I must conclude and I want to do so by making one or two references to what has happened in the House. I think one point is that just as the hon. the Prime Minister shone on behalf of South Africa in London, so he has shone in this debate on behalf of the cause of the White man. In the second place I must mention that after his illness we have seen the old Minister of External Affairs in action once again for which we are thankful. The third point I want to make is that it has become clear that as far as the voters are concerned the Progressive Party no longer exists, and it has also become clear that if they make one or two small changes in their policy, they will be the best agents of our enemies in this country. Then there are two further points. There is the hon. member for Germiston District (Prof. Fourie). He has come very near to us. He just lacks one thing, and I think he is going to find it. He just lacks faith in the future of the White man. Then he will join us, but there is doubt in his mind as to whether this policy will succeed or not. When he gains that faith he can come and sit here. Then there is one final point and I apologize for concluding with it. I am referring to the hon. member for Namib (Mr. J, D. du P. Basson). I understand the hon. member for Pretoria West (Mr. van der Walt) is to marry on Thursday. All I can say is that the hon. member for Namib is at least privately engaged to the United Party. It just depends upon which seat they are going to give him in 1963.
After the speeches by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, the speech of the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) came as the anti-climax of the evening. The hon. member has made personal attacks on the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) and has even gone so far as to describe him as a windbag and a man without courage and conviction. But the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark in my opinion has only made the speech of a petty gasbag (windbuks) and I hope I shall not emulate him. The hon. member says that the time was never more ripe for co-operation between the English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking peoples in South Africa. This side of the House has never only asked for cooperation when South Africa is facing a crisis. We have always asked for co-operation between the English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking peoples, but now because the hon. member and his party have hurled South Africa into this crisis, they are prepared to extend the hand of friendship to the English-speaking people and to ask for their co-operation. I should like to remind the hon. member of the pamphlet written by Professor R. Ignatius Coertze, the present member for Standerton, a few years ago on the real political problem facing us to-day. He was discussing what could happen in the event of England winning or losing the war—
But allow me also to read what he said would happen if England won the war—
The one moment the hon. member for Standerton expects the Englishman not to anglicize the Afrikaner, but the next moment he expects that the Afrikaner will in fact Afrikanerize the Englishman. Is this the type of co-operation which we should have, or should we achieve that co-operation on the basis of absolute equality, which is what the United Party has always said. When we want co-operation in South Africa, we do not only want it in times of crisis, but we want it at all times, based on the sound foundation of respect and true bilingualism.
I should like to come back to the Budget of the hon. the Minister of Finance. The Minister has said that this Budget is of far greater value because in the first place it abolishes the old currency system and in the second place because this Budget will come into effect during the first year of the republic. But the point which the Minister did not take into account was that South Africa would be outside the Commonwealth, something which could upset all his prophesies for the coming year and the future. I do not think that anyone realizes this better than the Minister himself, as he showed when he said in welcoming the Prime Minister last Monday night, that South Africa would experience certain storms. He said—
He said in his Budget speech that the inflow of capital into South Africa would not increase; on the contrary, he did not expect to halt the drain on our capital in the near future. But if that was what he expected at a time when it was generally accepted that we would remain in the Commonwealth, how much more must it be true that his expectations cannot be shrouded in a spirit of optimism to-day. On the contrary, he should expect our capital position to suffer a further set-back.
At 10.25 p.m. the business under consideration was interrupted by Mr. Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 103, and the debate was adjourned until 29 March.
The House adjourned at