House of Assembly: Vol107 - THURSDAY 6 APRIL 1961

THURSDAY, 6 APRIL 1961 Mr. SPEAKER took the Chair at 2.20 p.m.

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CONSTITUTION BILL

First Order read: House to go into Committee on Constitution Bill.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Mr. Speaker, may I now move the contingent Notice of Motion standing in my name as printed—

That the Committee of the Whole House on the Constitution Bill have leave to consider the advisability of making provision therein for a National Anthem.

The reason for this is that the Joint Select Committee has decided to add something to the Constitution Bill. You, Mr. Speaker, have given the ruling you gave yesterday. By adopting this motion it does not mean that the National Anthem is already being accepted, but it becomes possible to insert this particular clause in the Constitution Bill, to be dealt with by the Committee of the Whole House. Hon. members will then be able conveniently to submit any opinions that they have in Committee. This is therefore simply an authorization to insert this clause in the Constitution Bill for consideration by the Committee. In view of the fact that the Joint Select Committee unanimously decided to insert it, I hope that there will be no objection to it.

Mr. J. E. POTGIETER:

I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

House in Committee:

The CHAIRMAN stated the instruction to the Committee.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Mr. Chairman, before proceeding with the consideration of the clauses, may I just inform you that, in consonance with previous practice, it is my intention to ask the hon. the Minister of the Interior to guide the Bill through the Committee Stage on my behalf. I would have asked the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Mr. Sauer, to do so if he had been available, but in view of the fact that he is not available I think it is desirable that someone who was in fact a member of the Joint Committee should pilot the Bill through the Committee Stage. In my opinion the hon. the Minister of the Interior, whose activities are naturally concerned with this matter and who was also a member of the Joint Committee, is the most suitable person. I just wanted to make this statement.

On Clause 1,

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Mr. Chairman, this Clause 1 embraces the principle of the Bill, namely, that South Africa should be converted into a republic, a principle which this House accepted at the second reading of the Bill. Now we opposed that principle at the second reading, inter alia, on the ground that there was no assurance, no guarantee, that this republic would be a member of the Commonwealth. Secondly, we opposed it on the ground that there was no provision in this Bill providing for safeguards which would make possible, inter alia, something in the nature of a racial federation which we see as the future development for South Africa. In fact, Sir, the very fact that this Bill was introduced at a separate sitting of this House and not a joint sitting made it clear that there were no means by which guarantees, safeguards, entrenchments could be written into the Bill.

At the Joint Select Committee, on this very issue a motion was moved that Clause 114, and certain other matters, should be entrenched. That was a motion which naturally required an instruction. That instruction to the Whole House was voted down, leaving no doubt whatever that the Government was not prepared to consider any entrenchments in this Bill other than those that already existed under the old South Africa Act, and which are not affected either one way or the other in so far as this Bill is concerned. That means we have been left in no doubt at all as to what the Government’s approach is. But I do want to say this, that in other respects I believe that the Joint Select Committee did good work, and while we shall oppose this clause to register our opposition to this legislation at this time and in these circumstances, I do want to make it clear that whether South Africa becomes a republic or does not become a republic, I myself and we on this side of the House are staying in South Africa. We are living here and we are going to live under this law whether it is an effective constitution or not. We are going to work to change it. We are going to work to make it a really acceptable law for the country to live under. Therefore, so far as we can, we are not going to oppose unnecessarily the other clauses of this legislation, more especially those which have been agreed by the Joint Select Committee so far asi it is possible, because if we are to have a republic then let it be a good republic and let it be a good law under which everybody can live in South Africa. If new principles are introduced, unlike those agreed on by the Joint Select Committee, that is of course a different proposition, and the Minister in charge, as well as the Prime Minister, can expect there to be opposition of a very determined kind.

Now as to this clause, may I say that our opposition to it is strengthened by the fact that what amounted to doubts, what amounted to mere suspicions or fears at the time of the second reading have become realities because of the action of the hon. the Prime Minister in withdrawing the application of South Africa for continued membership of the Commonwealth. It has now been proved only too clearly that with the acceptance of this clause and of this Bill, one is voting not only for South Africa to become a republic but also for the final withdrawal of South Africa from the Commonwealth of 31 May. This side of the House has¡ made it very clear that we believe that membership is something worth preserving and maintaining if it was humanly possible. We have indicated our dissatisfaction with the activities of the hon. the Prime Minister in that regard. But what is happening now is that once this clause is approved then, except for the third reading, we have no further chance of voicing our opposition, and I can assure the Prime Minister that we shall use that occasion to oppose this Bill. At the third reading South Africa will be launched on uncharted seas and be left in a very friendless world indeed. We do not believe that this is a risk which should be taken at this time. We wonder whether hon. members opposite realize what the price is that they are paying for the step which they are asking us to approve to-day.

An HON. MEMBER:

What price are you prepared to pay?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

What a stupid interjection. The tragedy of those hon. members over there is that they have never taken the trouble to find out what that price is. They know so little about the price that they believe that the world will continue just as it was before.

An HON. MEMBER:

Why do you not tell us?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

If I had an hour I could tell you, but I have only ten minutes. I do not believe that the constitution before us is one which will last. I believe that certain fundamental changes will have to be made in it. They are not competent in Committee because they would all require instructions and the Government has already indicated what its approach is, in that regard. I say therefore with all the force at my command that this is a sad day that we have to be asked to approve a clause which means South Africa’s final withdrawal from the Commonwealth on 31 May, which means our isolation as never before and our friendlessness in the world as we have never experienced before. For that reason we on this side of the House will vote against this clause and divide the House.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

Mr. Chairman, I immediately want to associate myself with what was said by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and to express my thanks and appreciation for the work done by the Select Committee. I would like to say—and that fits in with the first clause—that all members of the Select Committee co-operated very heartily and that a supreme effort was made on all sides to give South Africa the best possible constitution if it should become a republic. I hope that that spirit will continue, because that is the great task with which we are faced. The lack of realism on the part of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition in opposing this first clause is significant. It is just as if there is no realization that South Africa inevitably had to become a republic. That tree of freedom sprang up in the national garden; it was not planted. Through the years attempts were made to stunt its growth and to let it wither and die through lack of water. Sometimes attempts were made, on the other hand, to keep the ideal of a republic alive in the four provinces of South Africa, to water it, to tend it and to let it grow, but the lack of realism on the part of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition amounts to this, that he does not realize that he has come up against a huge tree the roots of which are deeply embedded in the soil of South Africa, and that by blowing off steam and scaremongering and putting up bogies, he is now making a futile attempt to uproot this great tree. The republicanism which becomes a fait accompli in terms of Clause I did not just grow up on sand here. Three hundred and nine years ago to-day, on 6 April, when the first White man landed here, marked the beginning of White civilization in South Africa and at that moment a separate nation with separate ideals and its own destiny was born. That is what hon. members opposite are commemorating to-day, just as we are. The attempts made to remain in the Commonwealth, which failed as the result of events beyond our control, in spite of everything that was done to prevent it, which resulted in something which does not meet with the approval of the Leader of the Opposition, are now made use of in order to arouse fears as far as the republic is concerned. In view of the fact that South Africa is continuing along this road it is a pity that the world cannot be shown that we are unanimous, and even hon. members opposite, who want as little to do with a monarchy as hon. members on this side—hon. members opposite who call themselves the Commonwealth Party—want to deny to South Africa an ideal and a necessity. The right this country has to develop on its own along its traditional lines must now be denied it. Therefore we on this side want to say this. It is no use making an appeal, but we must go on, and the tree which was so downtrodden will continue to grow, and it stands with its roots deep in the soil and it will spread out its branches so as to give all the Whites and all the other groups in the country the necessary shelter and protection.

Dr. DE BEER:

Like the hon. members on our right, we of this party will oppose this clause. We shall do so in conformity with the attitude we took up on the first and second readings of this Bill and the attitude we have taken up on this question ever since we came into existence as a party. Just in order that we may have the root causes for our opposition on record, I want to refer briefly to the policy declaration made by this party at its Foundation Congress in 1959, the relevant part of which reads as follows—

Only when internal peace is guaranteed through a constitution which protects the traditions, language, culture, way of life and share in government of all sections of our population, and only when external security is protected through ensured membership of the Commonwealth, in which South Africa should play a positive and responsible part, can a change to republicanism be considered without real danger to South Africa.

That is the attitude we adopted nearly two years ago and from which we have not departed. It is interesting that in the course of time these two points we then made, the need for the reform of the South African Constitution and institutions and the need for membership of the Commonwealth, should have become as closely intertwined as they have. It has become more obvious than we realized then that membership of the Commonwealth in fact depended also on the necessary reforms which had to be made in South Africa. During the referendum campaign of 1960 we, like the hon. members on my right, warned that there was a danger that South Africa might lose her Commonwealth membership, and we said that the reason for it would not be republicanism but the opportunity that becoming a republic would present for an attack on our internal policy. Therefore these two conditions which were laid down so long ago and to which we have adhered so strictly not having been met, we have every reason to oppose this legislation at every stage in this House, and we oppose this clause now.

Both hon. members who have spoken have referred to the need to get the best possible constitution for the Republic of South Africa. I think they should be congratulated for having said that. We said at an earlier stage from these benches that the Government did on 5 October get a mandate from the voters in favour of a republic, and we accepted that it was inevitable that the Government would proceed to establish a republic. We in this corner of the House see it as our duty to do everything we can to make it the best republic we can possibly have. For that reason we moved in the earlier stages of the Bill constitutional reforms which, had they been accepted, would have made it most unlikely that South Africa would have had to withdraw from the Commonwealth. At this stage, within the limits of what can be done in the Committee Stage, we shall do the same again. We shall raise our objections wherever it is necessary to do so because we believe that those clauses are in conflict with the reforms which are urgently needed if South Africans are to be able to face their own consciences and to face the civilized world. While these particular provisions which we find specially objectionable are not contained in this clause, this is the operative clause of the Bill which embraces them and which has had its second reading. We oppose this not out of devotion to a monarchial form of government, but because this is the operative clause which will bring into being the wrong republic and not the right one. These have been the grounds of our objection all along, and they are still the grounds of our objection.

Before I sit down I cannot resist reacting to an argument used by the hon. the Minister of the Interior. He accused the Leader of the Opposition of political unrealism because he said that the Leader of the Opposition was now pitting himself against a political force— he called it a “ reuse boom ”—which could not be checked. In the first instance, I would hesitate to argue that it is always unrealistic in politics to resist force majeure. I think the Minister’s argument leads one to the dangerous conclusion that might is necessarily right, but that is not the point I want to make. If the hon. the Minister believes in this sort of argument, and if he believes that political realism should compel one to bow before great force, then the Minister and his Government would do well to look to themselves and to look to the type of constitution they are drawing up for South Africa. They are not merely moving against the force of the whole civilized world and against the opinion of their colleagues in the Commonwealth, but far more important, they are moving against those standards of government and that way of life which we call Western civilization in which all of us in this House have been raised. They are doing it by the provisions which discriminate racially against citizens of the republic and in doing that, if there is any group of people in this country who are to-day setting themselves up against the force that cannot be resisted, it is the Minister and the gentlemen sitting with him. In opposing this clause and these features in the constitution which give it the character to which I have referred, I suggest it is this side of the House rather than that which in the long run has the irresistible force on its side.

Mr. BARNETT:

I regret that the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) is out of the country at the moment and cannot therefore lead the debate on behalf of our group on this clause and on the Bill. We intend to vote against the Bill and the clause, because this Government has refused deliberately and with a certain amount of contempt to recognize the rightful aspirations and the legal rights of the Coloured people as first-class citizens of this country. There is nothing in this constitution, which is a very important document, perhaps the most important piece of legislation which this House has ever been asked to consider, dealing with them. There is a vacuum, and something has been left out in regard to full South African citizens, the Coloured people. This constitution is a hollow mockery of democratic principles …

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member must come back to Clause 1.

Mr. BARNETT:

We are establishing a republic on a certain basis, and I say that the establishment of the republic is a hollow mockery of the democratic principles which the Government allege they practice. They are no more democratic than I am a Fascist, and the Coloured people in whose name I speak to-day repudiate the right of this Government to establish a republic on the basis that they have no say as first-class citizens of the country in the establishment of the republic. I do not deny the aspirations of the Government or of the Nationalist Party in reaching this final goal, the republic they so keenly desire. I do not deny them that right and I do not quarrel with them for having attained their goal, but they attained it in a manner which can bring no glory to the Afrikaner nation because they deliberately brought in legislation in the past to make it impossible for certain citizens of this country to take part in the establishment of something which they might have wanted. This republic will go down in history as a one-sided republic and it will never find a warm place in the hearts of the Coloured people because they had no say in it, and on their behalf I emphatically protest against this clause.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

I have already on a previous occasion explained that the reason for our expulsion from the Commonwealth was not the fact that we had become a republic, but because of our racial policy. Consequently I have adopted the attitude, which I am again adopting to-day, that this is a purely domestic matter and I want to deal with it as such. Before the referendum in regard to a republic was held in October last year, those of us who belonged to other republican parties than the Nationalist Party or who were republicans outside the Nationalist Party, supported the republic on condition, inter alia, that the governing party would not use the occasion of our becoming a republic to effect material changes to the constitution in other respects. Not that I for one moment thought that the South Africa Act was perfect or without any serious defects, but there was a real and well-founded lack of confidence in the type of republic which the Government had propagated previously. In other words, we were in favour of becoming a republic but as democrats we had a real fear as regards the nature of the republic which had for years been the ideal envisaged by influential circles within the Nationalist Party and especially by the Prime Minister. I do not want to go too deeply into that and to rake up old stories. It is well known that there is an influential group within the Nationalist Party which harbours republican ideas which in essence are so undemocratic that opposition is even developing against them within the Nationalist Party. For these reasons those of us who were republicans but who were outside the Nationalist Party wanted the assurance at the time the referendum was held that the Government would not use the occasion of our becoming a republic to carry out other radical political changes. The Government gave that assurance, perhaps not so much because it wanted to, but because it realized that if it did not give those assurances it would not obtain a majority in favour of a republic. The results of the recent election in South West Africa have clearly shown that the governing party has fared considerably worse than only five months previously on the question of the republic. [Interjections.] It was clearly proved that there was a large number of people in the country who had voted in favour of a republic but who were not members of the Nationalist Party or supporters of their general policy, and that party knew it and I say that that was the reason why the Government gave that assurance, not because it wanted to do so but because it realized that if it did not it would not obtain a majority in favour of a republic. That is why we have a Bill before us to-day which in essence does not differ from the South Africa Act, except in so far as it provides for our becoming a republic. In the circumstances and because that condition has been fulfilled, I will vote for Clause 1 and support the other clauses, not so much because I think the other clauses are satisfactory. There are many changes that can be effected to the constitution. For example, I should have liked to see the Coloured people allowed to elect their own representatives to Parliament. However, I will not use this opportunity to ask for that, but accept the Bill as it stands.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

This is the operative clause of the Bill and one on which I am not prepared to give a silent vote. If accepted, this clause will enable South Africa to be transformed from a monarchy to a republic, and I want to ask the Committee to bear in mind the circumstances in which we are asked to do that.

Before I come to that. I would like to confirm what the hon. the Minister of the Interior said about the work of the Select Committee. I served on that Select Committee for a time and I found very happy co-operation under the chairmanship of the Minister of Lands and from every member of the committee. I think there was a realization amongst the members of the Committee that the republic was inevitable and there was an attempt, within the limits of parliamentary procedure, to produce a Bill which would be worthy of the Constitution. I say within the limits of parliamentary procedure because there is a great deal that one would have liked to incorporate, but because of the principles which had been accepted at the second reading nothing further could be done about it. Sir, I had to leave that Select Committee. I resigned from it, and I would like to have it on record in this House because there is no record of it in the report of the Select Committee. I resigned when the announcement came that the hon. the Prime Minister had withdrawn our application for continued membership of the Commonwealth. When that announcement came the whole situation changed almost overnight and we had the situation with which we are faced at present, and which was sketched by the Leader of the Opposition and by the hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer). What is the position? There is no doubt whatever that the vast bulk of the voters of South Africa, apart from those who are not voters, were led to believe that the republic which would come into being would be within the Commonwealth. We are now to be out, but as if that is not enough, what did we have from the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister is asking us to vote for this clause simultaneously with the announcement he made to the exultant crowds which met him on his arrival at the airport on his return from London when he said—

This is a happy day; it is a miracle and a triumph. It is a miracle that we are now outside the Commonwealth. It is a happy day.

And in a revealing moment the hon. the Prime Minister told the people there that the only reason why he and certain of those in the inner councils of the Nationalist Party were prepared to ask for our continued membership of the Commonwealth was that that was to be a concession to the sentiments of the English-speaking people in South Africa. When the Prime Minister found, because of the inevitable result of the race policies of this Government, that he could no longer press his application for membership, what did he say? What does he say to Afrikaans-speaking South Africans who love this country and who fear for our future and who feel that our future is bound up inextricably with that great protective umbrella of the Commonwealth? What does he say to them? He says: “This is a happy day, a miracle; a Higher Hand has enabled us to get what we wanted all along.” Did the Prime Minister go over to London with his tongue in his cheek; is that the spirit in which he went over to keep us in the Commonwealth? He should tell us this afternoon. He is asking us now to vote for this clause to transform our Constitution from a monarchy to a republic on the basis that this is a triumph—a triumph for whom? A triumph for English-speaking South Africa; a triumph for Afrikaans-speaking South Africa; or a triumph for an inner clique of the Nationalist Party?

Mr. J. E. POTGIETER:

A triumph for the whole nation.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

The hon. member says it is a triumph for the whole of South Africa— a triumph, Sir, that we are not only isolated from the Commonwealth but isolated from the rest of the civilized world, a triumph that our friends are now inevitably having to turn and vote against us at UN. Is this a triumph? Sir, this is not the triumph I am going to vote for. This to me is a disaster for South Africa, and that is why I shall vote against this clause.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

I do not want this bit of propaganda to be made in the country without replying to it, because all it is is propaganda. When I arrived here from abroad, I did say that what had happened was a miracle, but it should be clearly understood what miracle I was referring to. It is this: Nobody would have believed it if anyone had said six months ago that South Africa would become a republic outside the Commonwealth and that in spite of it the friendship between South Africa and Britain would be preserved; that the British Government would itself agree that that was the wisest solution of the problems on both sides, and further, that in South Africa, from all sections of the population, Afrikaans- and English-speaking, there would be a great measure of unanimity in regard to the establishment of the republic outside the Commonwealth; in other words, that such a tremendous change could be brought about in a peaceful atmosphere was what I called a miracle.

*Mr. COETZEE:

On a point of order, is the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) entitled to say: “ He is an old twister ”?

*The CHAIRMAN:

Did the hon. member for Green Point say that?

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

I did not say “old”; I said “twister

*The CHAIRMAN:

The hon. member must withdraw it.

*HON. MEMBERS:

Shame!

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

I withdraw it.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

That is what I called a miracle in the first place. Then, secondly, we have now been fighting for years that people in South Africa should understand that the fight we are putting up is a human fight, a fight for the continued existence of the rights of the Whites as well as those of the non-Whites. This idea that co-operation and confidence in our humanity is basic to our continued existence, whether we are a monarchy of a republic, has never before been as clear as it has become through the incidents at this Conference of Prime Ministers. It unified us as a nation to a greater extent. In other words, South Africa’s chances of escaping from the racial struggle between the language groups in our fatherland have never been better than they are at present, and it should happen in the hour when we are becoming a republic outside the Commonwealth! I said that was something to feel grateful for; all of that is a miracle—the unity of the nation, the possibility of having mutual friendship between our countries, as the very result of the greatest change that can take place in our Constitution. Humanly speaking, that could never have been expected. I, therefore, said that this was more than we could have thought humanly possible to bring about and, therefore, I also added that man proposes—we were seeking to achieve a certain object—but God disposes. Unity and friendship are being established in our country in a different way from what we had imagined and we are setting an example to the world of which it will certainly have to take note to an increasing extent.

*Prof. FOURIE:

Of course I find myself in an extraordinary position here, but I feel that the dangers threatening South Africa to-day are so important and so great that I certainly do not want to start a constitutional quarrel or participate therein in the light of what is facing South Africa. I believe that if ever there was a time when both the Opposition and the Government should get away from the spirit we had in the past and have here again to-day, it is now. Mr. Chairman, a nation which relinquishes in the face of adversity and opposition an ideal which it has cherished for many years and which has been its inspiration is not worthy to continue to exist. I personally, just like anyone else, would have welcomed it if this great ideal of the Afrikaner could have been realized under circumstances other than those obtaining to-day. I would have liked to see this ideal being realized, as we all expected it to be, within the Commonwealth, which I regarded as the one pillar on which we could build real national unity, but that could not be done and we are faced with the inexorable fact that we must accept that position, and it is no use quarrelling about it now, as has again happened here to-day. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition still wants to put obstacles in the way of the realization of this ideal of becoming a republic, and I deplore the fact that he still tries to do so at this stage. In my opinion, the people clearly expressed their desire that South Africa should become a republic …

*Maj. VAN DER BYL:

Inside the Commonwealth.

*Prof. FOURIE:

… inside or outside the Commonwealth. All of us hoped that it would be inside the Commonwealth but I am prepared to be honest about the matter. The hon. the Prime Minister never gave an assurance that we would be able to remain in the Commonwealth. On the contrary, he clearly stated that nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of this ideal; that we would become a republic preferably within the Commonwealth, but if that could not be done, then outside it. I think the hon. the Prime Minister was very clear on that point, and it is no use the Leader of the Opposition and others harping on that theme. I again want to issue this challenge to the Leader of the Opposition, or to anyone else there: The reason why we are out of the Commonwealth, the reason why our English-speaking friends and also many of the Afrikaans-speaking people had to give up that ideal of remaining in the Commonwealth, is the fact that they were not prepared to get to the root of the matter. That cause is clear, but time and again they steer clear of it. I would only have respect for him if the Leader of the Opposition said that racial discrimination in South Africa was the reason why the ideals of the English-speaking section in South Africa have already foundered to this extent and in future will still founder even more. The time has arrived when the Leader of the Opposition as well as the Government itself should frankly say whether we stand by racial discrimination in South Africa, yes or no, and hitherto my hon. friends here, just like the Government in the past, have stood for racial discrimination. It does not help us to discuss matters which are not really relevant. Whether the monarchy continued, or whether we become a republic, as long as we in this country do not adopt a different policy in regard to race relations, we will lose not only our membership of the Commonwealth, but possibly also many other things in future.

Clause I put, and the Committee divided:

Ayes—66: Badenhorst, F. H.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; du Plessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Fouché, J. J. (Jr.); Fourie, I. S.; Greyling, J. C.; Haak, J. F. W.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jonker, A. H.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Louw, E. H.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Martin, H. E.; Meyer, T.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Smit, H. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Strydom, G. H. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; Vorster, B. J.; Wentzel, J. J.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.

Noes—44: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. A. L.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Cope, J. P.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Beer, Z. J.; Dodds, P. R.; Eglin, C. W.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lawrence, H. G.; le Roux, G. S. P.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Mitchell, D. E.; Moore, P. A.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher, D. M.; Suzman, H.; van der Byl, P.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: H. C. de Kock and A. Hopewell.

Clause accordingly agreed to.

On Clause 2,

*Dr. W. L. D. M. VENTER:

I feel that I would be allowing a very great opportunity to pass, something in regard to which many people in the country would probably be disappointed, if on this occasion I did not express the appreciation of everyone who believes in the omnipotence and guidance of Almighty God for the fact that this clause has been retained in our constitution. Mr. Chairman, I think that if one day the history of the people of South Africa is written down fully and with a view to this avowal of faith, we ourselves will be surprised to see on how many occasions in the darkest hours of trial in the history of the people this was the only source of its deliverance—its faith that nothing happens by chance but that everything happens according to the will of an all-wise and almighty God. As we all know, the Republic of South Africa will be born in a world which is dark and unsympathetic and we do not always know what awaits us in the future, but the import of these words is that that assurance we had in the past, that although a nation is small and although the whole world is against it, if it continues in humility and in sincere faith and believes in the will of God, then it has in God an ally which is stronger than all its opponents, and then it can continue with that faith and the classic expression of faith in its heart which was so beautifully expressed in the words of Paul: If God is for us, who can be against us? We are glad that this clause is being retained, and if we build on that foundation, the future of our nation will be safe and assured.

Clause put and agreed to.

On Clause 6,

*The MINISTER OF LABOUR:

I move—

That the following be a new clause to follow Clause 5:

6. The National Anthem of the republic shall be “ Die Stem van Suid-Afrika ”.

Agreed to.

On Clause 8,

Mr. COPE:

I wish to move an amendment to sub-section (2) which seeks to change the designation of Clerk of the House to Secretary. The amendment which I wish to move is that the word “ Clerk ” shall replace the word “ Secretary ” as proposed in the amending Bill. In other words, I wish to retain the title “ Clerk of the House ”. Sir, I make this plea for several reasons. In the first instance I think it is a pity that we have not full details before us as to why the Select Committee wished to recommend that the title be changed to “ Secretary ”. However, I gather that there was a feeling that the term “ Clerk ” in some way or another was slightly derogatory to the incumbent of this post. In other words, it may have been felt that “ Clerk ” could be equated in some way with bank clerk or a clerk in business. I wish to point out, however, that any such conception is entirely wrong. It is not simply the word “ Clerk ” that has to be taken into consideration in considering the term “ Clerk of the House ”, which is the term that has been used for this highly responsible post ever since Union. We in our country in this regard took over this title from the tradition which had been developed in the Mother of Parliaments at Westminster. The term “ Clerk of the House ” taken as a whole phrase is one that is honoured in parliamentary tradition. Its meaning is fully understood. There is no other term in the English language which fits this post better than the term “ Clerk of the House ”. I feel that to make a change now would be to put a false designation on this post.

*Dr. VAN NIEROP:

Do you like the term “ Klerk van die Huis ”?

Mr. COPE:

I am talking about the English text. I am not competent to speak about the emotional or the linguistic reactions in regard to the term as far as Afrikaans is concerned. With my limited knowledge of Afrikaans I would say that “ Klerk van die Huis ” is a perfectly honourable term which is well understood in this country, but I could not be dogmatic in that regard. I am pleading for the retention of the term “ Clerk of the House”! If it is felt that a slightly different term should be used in Afrikaans I still do not think it affects my argument. My plea is for the retention of this title in the English text. It does not follow that it is necessary to have an exact translation. There may be a better equivalent in Afrikaans, and if it is felt by my Afrikaans friends that some other equivalent for “ Clerk of the House ” is better than “ Klerk van die Huis ” I would not quarrel with that. My plea is a very strong plea to retain “ Clerk of the House ”.

Sir, what does the Clerk of the House of Assembly have to do and what does the term mean to most of us who are interested in and concerned about parliamentary procedure? This officer holds a unique position which is unparalleled in any other institution in our land. Not only is he a parliamentary authority of the highest standing, a man who has to be versed in the intricacies of parliamentary procedure, whose knowledge has to be second to none in regard to parliamentary procedure, who also has to have a profound knowledge of constitutional law, but who in addition to that has many other functions to fulfil. He is among other things a friend to the members of this House—almost I might say a father to Parliament, an unofficial friend to whom every member can go in a difficulty and always receive the most sympathetic reception. He has to be not only a friend to members and accessible as he always is, but he is also the executive head of the staff. He is a kind of administrator of this unique institution of Parliament. Sir, there is no other post that I can think of that is comparable. The term “ Secretary of Parliament ” does not convey the same meaning as the term “ Clerk of the House ”. In fact, if you say “ Secretary ” why not “ Secretary-General ” or “ Director of Parliament ” or “ Manager of Parliament ” or even “ Commissioner ” if you like? None of these terms conveys to the average English-speaking person just this meaning of “ Clerk of the House ”.

I think it would be a tragedy to change this term. I say that to anyone who is sensitive about Parliament, who has a knowledge of parliamentary procedure and the history of Parliament, “ Clerk of the House ” is a term which is highly honoured and has taken on a certain meaning. Finally, I feel that here we have a little piece of tradition which has come down from the Mother of Parliaments with the English-speaking community of our land and I beg this House to stick to this tradition. I believe that all of us in building the culture and traditions of South Africa wish that contributions should come from both sides, and here is a contribution to our parliamentary institution which I feel has come from the English side, and I make a very strong appeal, in the face of no valid argument to the contrary, that we should retain this honourable term, “ Clerk of the House ”, which I think has become endeared to all of us. I move—

To omit “ Secretary ” in line 16, and to substitute “ Clerk”
The CHAIRMAN:

In order to achieve what the hon. member is seeking, I shall put the amendment proposed by the Joint Committee and the hon. member can then vote against it.

*Dr. COERTZE:

Let me begin by saying that I am also one of those who think that traditions should be honoured. I do not think that I need take a back seat to the hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) in my respect for tradition. It evidently suits him today to appeal to tradition, but if he would only examine his past a little he would discover that often in this House and in this Committee on other occasions he has not adhered so strongly to tradition. He must forgive me if I do not reproach him for it today, but only remind him of it. Let me add this also; if we could find a word which is the precise equivalent of the English term, we would like to do so, and that is also what we tried to do. The “ Klerk van die Raad ” or the “ Clerk of the House ” is the Secretary of the House. He is the Registrar, the Mr. Scribe; that is what he does, and we cannot use the word “ klerk ” for it because in Afrikaans the word “ klerk ” does not have the grandiloquent connotation which “ Clerk of the House ” has, even though one puts a “ de ” in front of it and talks about “ de Klerk These are simply the facts of the case and now we must try to reconcile these two extremes. It is a case of give and take.

But when we adhere so strictly to tradition, or if we want to make concessions on both sides, then I must remind the hon. member that there are also other examples of terminology in this constitution. I am thinking, e.g., of the word “ Speaker ”. There is a large number of people in our country to whom “ Speaker ” as a word does not connote the respect which perhaps “ Chairman ” or “ President ” does, and when drafting a constitution which will fit in best with our traditions it means that we take the good things from the one side and the good things from the other side and try to reconcile them with each other. That is what we did here. There is nothing wrong with the English word “ secretary ”. You have a secretary of state; and a secretary of a department; and everyone who can be a “ clerk ” can be a secretary also, and perhaps even more. He can be a friend, he can be a father, he may know all the complexities of constitutional law and also parliamentary procedure, and there is nothing wrong with the dignity of the word “ secretary ”, or anything against the word “ secretary ” such as there is against the word “ Clerk ”. Not that I despise clerks, but I think that when we have a dignified post such as that of “ Clerk of the House ”, we might as well give him an Afrikaans title which has more or less the right connotation. That is what the Select Committee has done. I do not know whether it is against the rules to say so, but there were members of the Select Committee who objected to the word “ secretary ”, and then the point arose as to whether we should have a dispute about it or not. The general opinion was that we should retain the word “ Speaker ”, but that we should get rid of the words “ Clerk of the House ”. That was the line of approach and I again want to plead for it to-day.

Amendment proposed by the Joint Committee in line 16, put and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, put and agreed to.

On Clause 9,

*Dr. OTTO:

May I just refer to page 9, where the following provision is contained in (7)(b)

At the third meeting called in connection with any particular election, the person presiding at a meeting shall in the event of an equality of votes between any two candidates …

In other words, the presiding officer, in this case the Chief Justice or somebody appointed by him in terms of Clause 8, has the right to exercise such a casting vote. The Chief Justice is in my opinion not a member of the electoral college because he is not a Senator or a Member of Parliament. Is there not a better solution to this difficulty? Perhaps it will not happen, but still he is not a member of the electoral college.

Clause put and agreed to.

On Clause II, as amended by the Joint Committee,

Dr. DE BEER:

I want to move the following amendment—

To omit all the words after “ office ” in line 3, up to and including “ Council ” in line 8, and to substitute “ the Chief Justice of South Africa shall serve as acting State President, and if the office of the Chief Justice of South Africa is vacant, or the holder of that office is unable to act, the President of the Senate, or if his office is vacant or he is unable to act, the Speaker of the House of Assembly ”.

It will be seen, Sir, that the effect of what I am moving will make the Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa the first reserve for the position of State President if it should fall temporarily vacant, and the other gentleman mentioned in the clause, as it stands, to follow. I am aware that the Select Committee directed its mind to this clause and I have some idea of the reasons for which it was decided to eliminate the Chief Justice altogether. I imagine that it was felt that by not allowing the Chief Justice under any circumstances whatever to act for the President, you might protect him against ever becoming involved in some type of political crisis. I can understand this argument, but there is another argument which seems to me of greater importance and that is that where we are creating this office of State President and we have chosen a constitutional as opposed to an executive president, that is to say a president whose functions are those of head of state and not those of head of the executive, in other words who will have no political functions, it is extremely important that we should make it as clear as we can in every way that we are going to do all we can to keep the State President clear of politics. It is from that point of view clear that in the Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa we have an extremely high and highly respected official who is, and who has been for a very long time, by definition out of politics. The President of the Senate and the holder of the high office of Speaker of this Assembly, however, are out of politics by virtue of their offices but are far closer to politics than the Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa. Further, Sir, what I am proposing has, I believe, the sanction of precedent. On all the occasions when it has been necessary that somebody should act for the head of state in South Africa, I believe it was the Chief Justice of the Appeal Court who has so acted. No good reason seems to have been produced for changing this usage and I believe it would be in the interest of the office of State Presidency that when the office is temporarily vacant, it should be taken for that time by somebody who quite clearly is outside politics, by background as well as by office.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

I just want to point out that the amendment moved by the hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer) is an unnecessary one. If the Chief Justice is the first choice, it will never be necessary to mention any other person in this Bill, because there is always a Chief Justice. That position never becomes vacant. Therefore all the other words can fall away. The amendment of the hon. member is quite unnecessary because the clause was accepted in this way only after thorough consideration by the Joint Committee.

*The MINISTER OF JUSTICE:

The Judiciary also prefer it this way.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

Yes, and we have already accepted it like that.

*Dr. DE BEER:

I am grateful to the hon. the Minister for having pointed out that the post of Chief Justice never becomes vacant and that a large proportion of the words I suggested here are unnecessary. However, that does not in any way affect the principle contained in my amendment, viz. that the Chief Justice should be the first deputy. I also thank the hon. the Minister for the information that the Judiciary, as it is at present constituted, does not want this change, but with the greatest respect to the officials serving there at present I want to point out that we are dealing here with an arrangement which will probably remain in force for a long time, and I pointed out that in the past it was in fact the Chief Justice who on similar occasions acted on behalf of the Governor-General. Therefore whilst apologizing for having drafted my amendment wrongly, perhaps through ignorance, I still want to ask the hon. the Minister whether he will not consider the principle contained in the amendment.

*Dr. COERTZE:

I am prepared to debate the merits of the hon. member’s amendment with him. If we make the Chief Justice one-third a Member of Parliament, he is also concerned with the legislation and he himself will later be called upon to apply that particular Act, and that means that he must pass judgment in regard to the application of an Act which he himself helped to plan. From the point of view of constitutional law and political science that is undesirable. That happened in the past when Chief Justice Rose-Innes …

Mr. LAWRENCE:

That is a weak argument.

*Dr. COERTZE:

No, it is not a weak argument, but a very sound one. Chief Justice Rose-Innes on one occasion acted as Governor-General, and on another occasion he was called upon to interpret an Act which he had assisted in passing. Then one of the parties objected to the Chief Justice sitting on the case and said that it was improper for the Chief Justice to sit in that particular case, and the Chief Justice was compelled to say: When in my capacity as Governor-General I grant approval to that Act, I need have no opinion at all about the Act. I think it is unreasonable to place the Chief Justice in such a position. I am not quite sure which case it was, but I think it was the case of Poutsma, when they had a quarrel with the then Minister of Justice, General Smuts. I did not think that this point would crop up, or else I would have had all the facts available. But it is highly undesirable to appoint the Chief Justice to that post. What is more, it would be a very singular position: It happens when the President is on holiday or on “ furlough ”, as they say in English, or when his post is vacant because he has resigned or because for some reason or other he is no longer there, whether through death or illness. Then there is provision in the constitution to appoint his successor almost immediately. It is therefore merely a very temporary matter, and I think the hon. member’s amendment has no merit.

Amendment put and negatived.

Clause, as amended by the Joint Committee, put and agreed to.

On Clause 15,

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

I think it is right that I should inform the House fully in regard to the implications of Clause 15. If it should happen—and it is possible— that the present Governor-General should be elected as the President of the Republic, then if the clause is accepted as it now stands, with reference to Clause 15 (3) it would mean that this person when he retires on pension as President would receive three pensions from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. I am referring to the possibility that he will receive a pension as a Minister, another pension as Governor-General and a third pension as President. After having spoken to a few of the members of the Select Committee, I do not believe that that was the intention of the Select Committee. It can happen in only one case, viz. if the present Governor-General is elected as President. But now I want to say that in case that happens provision can be made in the Finance Act (the Omnibus Act), and I think that the following provision can then be inserted in the Finance Act if this person should perhaps be elected—

That the provisions of sub-sec. (3) of Section 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa will not apply in respect of anyone who occupies or has at any time held the office of State President, or his widow.

That will then give effect to the intention of the Select Committee that three pensions will not be paid. I just want to give the assurance that if anything like this should happen that will be done, because the intention of the Select Committee was that any person receiving a pension for a post, e.g. the General Manager of Railways, Mr. du Plessis, in the event of his becoming the first President, would retain his pension as General Manager of Railways, and if he retired as President he would also receive a pension in that capacity. But here we are dealing only with the one possibility, and that can be the only case where somebody will really be entitled to three pensions, whereas according to the intention of the Act he should have received only two.

Clause put and agreed to.

On Clause 28, as amended by the Joint Committee, Dr. DE BEER: This clause of the Bill before us, provides in part (together with other clauses) for the Upper House of Parliament, the Senate. As hon. members know, the composition and functions of the Senate have in recent years been under discussion in this House from time to time. Last year in particular, we had before us a Bill to alter the composition of the Senate when the old enlarged Senate, which had existed for some years, was brought back to a Senate approximating more nearly to the Senate that was established under the Act of Union in 1910. At that time last year, a full debate took place upon the composition and the functions of the Senate. I think it would be out of place, and you, Sir, would rule me out of order, if I were to attempt to initiate a wide-ranging debate again at this time. And for that reason also I have made no attempt to prepare amendments to give effect to what this party would like the Senate to be. To do that would involve a great deal of draftsmanship and I believe such a discussion would be out of order. However we are here asked specifically and crisply to approve of Clause 28 which provides for a Senate which incorporates a number of principles with which we have never agreed and do not agree now. It provides for the inclusion in the composition of the Senate of the principle of the Separate Representation of Voters Act, to which we are totally opposed; it provides for the appointment of nominated Senators as opposed to elected Senators to which we also take exception. In general, this clause does not provide for a Senate which in our view would be thoroughly representative of the peoples of the Union and which would be able to carry out the function not only of a House of Review, but as a House of Check, and resistance necessary to this House. It could not carry out the vital rôle we see for it in terms of the constitution as it should be. For this reason and the limitation placed upon debates at the Committee Stage, rather than to move amendments, we propose to register our protest, as we have done in the past, against the composition of the Senate by voting against this clause.

A division was called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Messrs. Barnett, Cope, Dr. de Beer, Messrs. Eglin, Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the clause, as amended, the Chairman declared it agreed to.

On Clause 30,

*Dr. DE BEER:

We do not intend dividing the House on Clause 30. Under the present circumstances we do not oppose it as it stands here, but we still feel that it is necessary, even though only for purposes of the record, to say a word or two about the manner in which the Senate is elected. We have already stated in the past, and also this afternoon during the discussion of another clause, that we believe that it is necessary for the most efficient government of our multi-racial country to have a Second House of Parliament, a Higher House with real power, with the power under the right circumstances even to thwart the will of the Lower House. That being our desire and intention, we feel that it is not fitting that a House of that nature should be elected merely by an electoral college consisting of members of this House and of the Provincial Councils. It is therefore our policy eventually, when that can be done, to arrange matters in such a way that also the members of the Senate should be elected directly by the voters. I want to say that it would not have been fitting to move the necessary amendments here to give effect to this desire I am now expressing, and we therefore content ourselves by merely drawing attention to the fact that particularly in a multi-racial country with the problems which may arise it is necessary to have a Second House of Parliament which can act as a really effective brake on the Lower House, and that in turn, that being the case, it is in any case highly desirable that this House should be elected directly and not by an electoral college. In the present circumstances I realize that it would be impracticable to move it now, and therefore we will not oppose this clause.

Clause put and agreed to.

On Clause 34, as amended by the Joint Committee, Mrs. SUZMAN: I would like to move the following amendment—

In line 19, to omit “is a White person and

The reason for moving this amendment is that we feel that in its present form this clause perpetuates one of the great shortcomings in the original Act of Union. In 1909, when the Act of Union was framed, it introduced racial discrimination in so far as participation in the government in South Africa was concerned, and in this case the inclusion of sub-section (d) would mean a perpetuation of that form of racial discrimination. We feel that that act of omission in the 1909 Act has not stood the test of time. It did not stand the test of time in the early days of this country, and it certainly cannot stand the test of time in 1961 when we are busy forming a new Constitution for this country which we hope will serve for many years to come. The whole world has moved away from the concept of race discrimination on the basis of race or colour, and we do not think it fitting at this time when we are trying to form a Constitution for the republic, which we hope will be acceptable in the eyes of the world, that we should perpetuate this particular clause. It does mean of course that by removing sub-section (d), the only persons who would be capable to serve in the Senate as far as the non-Europeans are concerned would at this stage be the Cape Coloureds, or rather the Coloured persons in the Cape, since this Section 34 is also governed by sub-section (d), which states that in if order to be a Senator under this Act, a person must be qualified to be registered as a voter for the election of members of the House of Assembly in one of the provinces, and of course at the present stage the only non-Europeans so registered are the Coloured voters in the Cape Province. We would like to go much further. We wish to remove all discrimination in this regard. We wish to make it possible for Coloureds in the rest of the Union, for Africans and also for Asiatics, indeed for all persons in South Africa to serve their country in the Senate, but unfortunately it is not competent for us to move such an amendment at this stage, because clearly what is required would be an amendment of the Electoral Act and we cannot introduce that here. But that is the principle we would like to introduce, and we go as far as we can in terms of the rules of this House in moving the amendment which I now propose.

The CHAIRMAN:

The House at the second reading has accepted the principle that a Senator shall be a person of European descent and any amendment which seeks to bring about a change in that qualification would in my opinion, if accepted, be destructive of that principle, namely European representation in the Senate. For that reason therefore I regret that I cannot accept the amendment of the hon. member.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

Very well, Sir, I must accept your ruling in that regard, but we shall of course vote against this clause for the reasons I have advanced an attempting to move the amendment which you have ruled out of order. We will, therefore, have to vote against this clause because we disagree entirely with the perpetuation of the principle of pure racial discrimination in setting down the qualifications of who shall be entitled to serve in the Senate in South Africa. It also relates to the person who is entitled to stand as State President, because we realize that these two clauses are tied together, and Clause 34 impinges on 8 (4) (a), where the qualifications of persons entitled to stand as State President are involved. We shall vote against this clause for that reason.

Clause, as amended by the Joint Committee, put and a division was called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Mr. Cope, Dr. de Beer, Messrs. Eglin, Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the clause, as amended, the Chairman declared it agreed to.

On Clause 40,

*Dr. DE BEER:

This clause deals with the composition of this House and the objection we have to it is of course very similar to the one we expressed a moment ago when dealing with the composition of the Other Place. Here one can state it in even more specific terms. Clause 40 of the Bill before us provides that the House of Assembly will consist of 150 members elected in a particular manner; six members elected in terms of the provisions of the South West Africa Affairs Amendment Act; and then four members elected in terms of the provisions of the Separate Representation of Voters Act of 1951. Mr. Chairman, I think that no hon. member of this House is ignorant of the attitude adopted by this party in regard to the separate representation of Coloured voters. At the time when that Act was introduced in this House, we opposed it to the utmost. Since then we also consistently adopted the attitude that Coloured voters should be represented on the common roll and not on the separate roll as is the case at present. That being our standpoint, we must approach this clause in that light, and one is of course tempted simply to move that (c) be deleted. But if one does than and (a) and (b) remain standing, one is faced with the difficulty that the effect of this may simply be that the Coloureds may lose everything they now have in the form of representation in this House. Therefore we again find ourselves in this difficulty in so far as the procedure is concerned, that either we must move a very complicated amendment which the Chairman will probably rule out of order, or else we can simply register our protest against this by voting against the clause because it contains the principle of separate representation of Coloured voters, in regard to which our standpoint is well known and has consistently been maintained. We are opposed to it and therefore we will vote against this clause.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Here again the House is to be divided and we are being asked to vote one way or the other in respect of a clause in which, apparently, no amendment which can be proposed is competent. Now may I say that as far as this side of the House is concerned we should be happy to see a different House of Assembly from what we have at the present time. But should we have a different House of Assembly we should also want safeguards in the Constitution, which it is not competent for us to introduce at the Committee Stage in discussing this Bill, and which, it is apparent, it will be impossible to introduce otherwise than at a Joint Sitting. We are therefore in this position, Mr. Chairman, that while we are not happy about the present Constitution of the House of Assembly, we cannot support the sort of House of Assembly which the hon. members on our left would like to see constituted. Therefore it is not right that we should take part in a battle in which we cannot achieve what we desire because of the fact that these are separate sittings and not a joint sitting. We suggested a joint sitting by means of an instruction from the Joint Select Committee, and that was voted down. And we also suggested, in the course of the second reading, that that should be introduced into this Bill. Therefore it seems that there is only one course for us and that is to abstain from voting on this clause.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

I should like to say that I fully understand and appreciate the attitude taken up by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. My own view is that we are sitting here as a National Convention by reason of the fact that the hon. the Prime Minister and the Government have not allowed a true National Convention of the representatives of all sections of the people to consider this Constitution. What we are asked to do at the present time is to mould and shape and colour a new Constitution. We are the constitution-makers. Therefore I believe that it is the duty of everyone, according to the light as he sees it, to put forward his views at this time, because if we do not put forward our views at this time we may be stopped in the future from expressing our views.

Why are we going to vote against this clause? We are going to vote against it, in the first instance, because as has been pointed out by the two previous speakers, it is not competent to move amendments of such a nature as will enable us to frame a Constitution which would be susceptible of having the provisions we would like. It is like baking a cake and then trying to put a concrete bridge in the middle; or like building a boat with a diesel engine and suddenly trying to adjust it to carry an atomic-powered engine. We are faced with a Constitution which has been put before us willy-nilly, and therefore it would be quite senseless and unrealistic to attempt to tamper with it in a way to meet our own desires. But we have an opportunity from time to time in our approach to the various provisions of this Constitution of showing this House, and of showing this country—and not only showing this country but also showing the outside world—what our attitude is towards certain of the fundamental issues in this country. Now what does this clause provide? This clause provides that there should be representation for Coloured persons in the Cape Province, but that they should have representation in this House only on a separate roll. That, Sir, is something which all of us on this side of the House have fought from its inception. We have fought against the Separate Representation of Voters Bill from its inception, and we have said that we will restore the Coloured people to the common roll, not within a rigid Constitution but straight away, without any qualifications. Every representative on this side of the House has said that he stands for the restoration of the common roll in the Cape, whether or not there is to be a rigid Constitution.

Mr. J. E. POTGIETER:

The United Party as well?

Mr. LAWRENCE:

Yes, the United Party has said so. Every member of this combined Opposition has said so.

This clause seeks to perpetuate the separate representation of Coloured voters of the Cape on a separate roll. I am against that, whether it is a rigid Constitution or not a rigid Constitution. For that reason I propose to vote against the clause.

Clause put, and a division called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Mr. Cope, Dr. de Beer, Messrs. Eglin, Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the clause, the Chairman declared it agreed to.

On Clause 43,

Mr. EGLIN:

There are a few things I should like to say about this clause before moving an amendment to it. I think it is necessary for us to examine, briefly, the main purport of this clause. This clause deals with the division of the country into electoral divisions. The basis of dividing the country into these electoral divisions is that it sets a quota for each province. The operative words are in line 20, that each division shall—

contain a number of voters as nearly as may be equal to the quota of the province.

Clearly the intention of the clause is that each constituency should contain, as nearly as may be possible, the same number of voters. Now sub-paragraph (3) does give a lead as to what criteria the Delimitation Commission should apply when deciding what should be the boundaries of these nearly equal constituencies. It states five of these criteria, (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) as set out in 43 (3). Then, finally, the clause allows the Delimitation Commission discretion, not only in drawing the boundaries but in departing from the equality of the size of the electoral divisions measured in terms of the voting strengths, in that it allows it either to load a constituency by up to 15 per cent or to unload any other constituency by a like amount of 15 per cent.

Mr. Chairman, I think it is necessary that we should examine the effect of these three provisions operating in conjunction one with the other. First of all, it does appear that the Act having stated that the electoral divisions should be as nearly equal to each other as possible, and in allowing latitude to the Commission to vary that by as much as 30 per cent from equality, permits the Commission to go very far in departing from this principle. First of all I want to suggest, Sir, that that is an unnecessary latitude to allow the Delimitation Commission. Secondly, for practical purposes, when you had small constituencies of 3,000 and 4,000 and 5,000 voters, there may have been a case for the 15 per cent loading. Fifteen per cent on 5,000 will merely be 750 voters, but now that we have electoral divisions of 12,000 voters it means that we are allowing a loading of 1,800 persons either up or down from the quota. Clearly, for practical purposes, there can be no need for the Commission to have permission to add 1,800 voters or to subtract 1,800 voters from the norm of equality.

Dr. VAN NIEROP:

What about the traditions of the Mother of Parliament?

Mr. EGLIN:

I am sure that if I started on that, Mr. Chairman, you would rule me out of order. I am not dealing with the position overseas, I am dealing with the position in South Africa. I think there is a case to be made here and the Act is quite correct in allowing, first of all, certain discretionary powers and latitude to the Commission. But it is our contention that these discretionary powers are excessive and that the latitude which has been allowed the Commission in the past has been excessive. I therefore want to move as an amendment—

To omit paragraph (e) of sub-section (3); and in line 31, to omit “fifteen” wherever it occurs and to substitute “ five ”,

That would mean that the Commission still has discretionary powers in as far as loading and unloading is concerned, but that those discretionary powers would be limited to 5 per cent. On an average constituency in South Africa that would still give the Delimitation Commission the power to upgrade some seats by some 600 voters and to downgrade other seats by a further 600 voters which, from the point of view of practicality in applying the Electoral Act is, we think, quite adequate. It is, in fact, bordering on the excessive.

I think it is necessary to look at the way in which these provisions have been applied in the past. I want to make it clear that no criticism is applied in regard to the way in which the Delimitation Commissions of the past have approached this matter, nevertheless a traditional approach has been evolved by the Delimitation Commissions in determining their interpretation of the Act. As I see the Act, the basic objective is that one should strive for equality and only in exceptional circumstances —in these five prescribed circumstances— should you vary from that. It has become quite obvious when one studies the reports of the previous Delimitation Commissions that there has been an acceptance, not that you should strive for equality in the number of voters making up the electoral division, but that the cardinal principle motivating the Commission should be the one dealing with sparseness or density of population. So it has become accepted by commissions, by virtue of the practise over 50 years, that sparsely populated constituencies should be unloaded and densely populated constituencies should be loaded. One has the effect that the vast bulk of the constituencies are either unloaded or loaded not on criteria (a) to (d), but on the basis of criterion (e) which deals with sparseness or density of population.

What has been the result of the application of this interpretation read against the existing South Africa Act? First of all there are a series of anomalies, because, in every province you have a balance between the rural seats and the urban seats. You cannot unload more than you can load within any one province. Where you have the number of urban seats approximating the number of rural seats you can do that fairly evenly, and that has been done in provinces such as the Cape Province. But in the Free State where you have only two or perhaps three urban seats, you find that they have to carry all the loading while the unloading is spread over 13 other seats. You find the rural constituencies of the Free State are only unloaded by 2 or 3 per cent whereas the three urban constituencies are loaded by the maximum of 15 per cent. Likewise, in the Transvaal where you have some 42 urban divisions and only 26 rural divisions, the tendency is for the rural seats to be heavily unloaded whereas the urban seats are not loaded to the same extent. So the first thing is that you get an anomaly in the loading between town and country as applied to the four provinces of South Africa.

Secondly, Mr. Chairman, whatever the argument might have been in the past connected with sparseness or density of population, it is clear that with modern communications and the ease of modern transport, the argument that fewer voters in the sparsely populated areas should be required to form one constituency than are required to form one in densely populated areas, is quite unrealistic and unreasonable at this stage.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I think it is necessary to point out that the application of this 15 per cent loading either way has led to an unbalance in the representation of the people of South Africa in this hon. House. I think that if one looks at the figures of the successive Delimitation Commissioners, and one takes into account that in the intervening five to ten years between Commissions, there is in any case a shift of population from the country to the towns, by the time the next Delimitation Commission sits very often one has a loading in urban constituencies of something like 20 per cent. So in practice there is a 20 per cent departure away from the norm. The effect of that is that the vote in an urban seat is worth 331 per cent less than the vote in many rural seats, and the vote in the rural seat is worth 50 per cent more than the vote in an urban seat. I believe that while one might have had understandable grounds, before South Africa was a highly industrialized country, before urbanization had taken place, for that system, in the new circumstances that exist in South Africa to-day it should not be the intention of this House that people who, merely because they live in sparsely populated areas should have a vote which is worth 50 per cent more than the vote of the people in densely populated areas. I therefore wish to move my amendment.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

I want to reply to the objections raised here by the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin) and which he did not state correctly. I think the hon. member’s trouble is that he does not have the necessary experience and works the matter out on paper theoretically. The hon. member lives in the Cape, but if he represented Gordonia or Waterberg or Soutpansberg he would have sung quite a different tune in regard to the area to be covered by one constituency. I think the only hon. member of the Progressive Party who can say that it is essential to retain this provision is the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler), the leader of that party. He is the only one who has any knowledge of the rural areas, except that other hon. members may perhaps have held meetings there. But if they had to look after the interests of their voters in such large constituencies as we have in the rural areas, the hon. member for Pinelands, who delivered such a heart-stirring plea, would sing a different tune and he would not have advocated a smaller percentage of loading and unloading. That is the first point. The second point is that the hon. member also makes a mistake in taking the maximum figures of loading and unloading. I have had much to do with delimitation in the Transvaal.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

Don’t we know it!

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) should be thankful for having obtained a constituency, otherwise she would not have been here. But for me she would not have been here. The loading and unloading never reached the maximum. Only in very exceptional cases will the Delimitation Commission reach the maximum. That is quite exceptional and not the rule. Its average percentage for loading and unloading remains in the vicinity of 10 per cent to 11 per cent. For example, in Pretoria, the average loading is about 7 per cent. It is therefore not true, and it gives a distorted picture, to say that at the time when a constituency had 5,000 voters it was not such a large number of voters who were affected, but now that it is 12,000 a large number of voters are involved. The application of this principle is done realistically. The Delimitation Commission which has to hear the representations gets a certain number of voters in every province who have to be divided up between a certain number of constituencies. It takes into consideration all five of those points, well-established points. The hon. member now wants to omit one of them. viz. the density of the population. But that is the most important one. The most important of the five is the density or sparseness of the population, because the more sparse the population the more difficult is the transport; the more sparse the population the more inaccessible the people are, and the longer the distances between the polling stations. All these problems result in there having to be larger polling districts in such a constituency. Therefore I really cannot see what the hon. member stands to gain at the moment by suggesting a decrease in the percentage, thereby omitting the most important criterion which is really the justification for the principle of differentiating in regard to the number of voters in rural and urban constituencies. The hon. member admits that there should be differentiation. He says it should be 5 per cent and not 15 per cent. The hon. member admits that there must be differentiation, but on what basis must it be made if not on the sparseness or density of the population? What is the value of the other four grounds if one takes away the fifth one? Then there would be no reason for having any difference in the percentage.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

This is a matter which is very dear to the heart of the hon. the Minister and a matter about which he probably knows a great deal. Long ago the Congress of the United Party passed a resolution to the effect that in future delimitation should be done in such a way that constituencies would be more representative of the will of the people because in the past the experience has been that generally those constituencies which were most heavily loaded grew the fastest, with the result that there was not the slightest doubt that in some respects there was under-representation as far as those heavily loaded constituencies were concerned. It is not unusual to find that when the Delimitation Commission is asked to do its work by-election have already taken place in those constituencies which are no longer loaded to an extent of 15 per cent but which are loaded to the extent of 20 per cent and 25 per cent and 30 per cent as a result of the growth in the population. Consequently, although we do not wish to bind ourselves to 5 per cent, we feel that this is a step in the right direction and that it seems as though the time has arrived for us to consider changing the law, because there is no longer any doubt that there is a feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction amongst many of the voters in the urban constituencies. The days when these conditions were first laid down, i.e. in 1909, when there was not such a thing as a postal vote, when the motor-car was practically unknown, when the aeroplane was completely unknown, and when the trains travelled very slowly, are totally different from conditions to-day and will probably also differ from the future. For that reason I feel that we are completely justified in supporting the proposal of the Progressive Party in this respect.

*Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

Now that the hon. member for Rondebosch (Sir de Villiers Graaff) represents an urban constituency, he comes forward with this proposal. It is quite clear that they are doing so because there are only two or three hon. members on that side of the House representing constituencies other than urban constituencies. I too represent an urban constituency but my voters fully realize —and their voters should also realize it—that it is impracticable in the case of a platteland constituency which covers a huge area of hundreds of square miles to expect that person to have as many constituents as the representative of an urban area, because in that case an area of another 50 or 100 square miles will have to be added to his constituency, which is already very big as it is. Hon. members should just go and look at constituencies like Soutpansberg, Waterberg, Pietersburg, Kuruman and Namaqualand. These urban members can travel from one end of their constituency to the other end in one day, and many of them can walk from one end to the other, but they now expect other members who require six weeks to travel through their constituencies in order to hold meetings, to have the same number of voters as they have in their constituencies. The hon. member for Rondebosch said that the thing that struck him most was the fact that those constituencies which were most heavily loaded were also the constituencies which grew most rapidly. Surely in that case the solution is obvious. Then they should not say that provision (e) should fall away but they should propose a further provision (f) and say that the commission should also take into account the possible population growth in a constituency. If they proposed that, we might consider it. I want to say this, however, that I think this is a most unfortunate opportunity which the hon. member has chosen to raise this matter. We are now dealing with the Constitution which we are more or less retaining in its present form.

*Mr. LAWRENCE:

Exactly.

*Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

The hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) served on the Select Committee. Why did he not propose this amendment there? Now he sits here and says “ exactly ”.

*Mr. LAWRENCE:

Exactly.

*Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

Why did members of the United Party not propose this before the Committee? This is nothing else than a piece of cheap propaganda on their part. I say that if we change the electoral laws of the country—and these laws are changed from time to time—we can go thoroughly into this question, but I think the present is a most inopportune time to try to do so.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I support the amendment moved by the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin) and I wish to refute some of the statements made by the hon. the Minister of the Interior. He said that the tendency was not to use the maximum loading, but if one examines the reports of the Delimitation Commissions it is quite obvious that the tendency has been to increase the loading to the maximum. If one studies the figures of the fourth delimitation, 54 per cent of the seats were loaded and unloaded by not more than 5 per cent, and only 4 per cent were loaded or unloaded by between 10 per cent and 15 per cent. But when one comes to the eighth delimitation, only 9 per cent of the seats were loaded or unloaded by not more than 5 per cent, while as much as 59 per cent of the seats were loaded or unloaded by between 10 per cent and 15 per cent. Therefore the tendency has been for successive Delimitation Commissions to use the maximum load, and to load or unload up to the maximum to an increasing extent. It is quite clear that the original South Africa Act laid emphasis, as the hon. member for Pinelands has pointed out, on the point that attempts should be made to make the approximation as near as possible to the actual quota and that the Commission shall take into consideration the five points laid down under the delimitation clause, and it may use the maximum load up to 15 per cent. But in actual fact the emphasis was laid on the equality of votes and that the rule should be that there should be almost an equal number of voters in the electoral divisions, and that disproportion should be the exception, and that prima facie every vote should be of equal value. The point is that we have been getting more and more way from that original concept. I agree with the hon. member that 5 per cent loading or unloading is an adequate amount for the Commission to use in solving its difficulties. I agree that the original difficulties in regard to transport and communications have been lessened over the years since Union. Obviously roads and transport have been improved. The only thing that should be the most important factor for the Commission to consider is the question of community of interests. That is really the predominating factor and we feel that 5 per cent is quite adequate.

The other point I want to raise is the question of rural and urban populations. The Minister knows that there has been a great shift of population from the rural areas to the urban areas since 1909.

The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

That only strengthens my argument.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I do not agree with the Minister, for the simple reason that one of the reasons for allowing this maximum up to 30 per cent was simply because there was a fear at the time of Union that the town population consisted to a large extent of persons called “ uitlanders ” and that they would outweigh the influence of the rural population. [Interjections.] Anyone who reads history will know this. It is not something I have concocted. This played a part in the considerations. There was the fear that the influence of the rural area would be outweighed by that of the urban area, but to-day the indigenous rural population has moved into the urban area and 75 per cent of the White electorate live in what are known as urban areas, not all of course in the huge concentrations like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, but certainly in towns. So that consideration has fallen away to a large extent. I support wholeheartedly the amendment moved that subsection (e) be deleted, because we do not represent areas here, and however grateful I have to feel to the Minister for the size of the constituency I represent, I am not here to represent an area but to represent people, and that is the important thing, that the vote should be as nearly as possible of equivalent value.

Question put: That paragraph (e) of subsection (3), proposed to be omitted, stand part of the clause,

Upon which the Committee divided:

Ayes—64: Badenhorst, F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; du Plessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Fouché, J. J. (Jr.); Greyling, J. C.; Haak, J. F. W.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jonker, A. H.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Louw, E. H.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Martins, H. E.; Meyer, T.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Smit, H. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Strydom, G. H. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.: Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; Vorster, B. J.; Wentzel, J. J.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.

Noes—42: Barnett, C.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Cope, J. P.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Beer, Z. J.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Eaton, N. G.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland M. W.: Hopewell, A.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lawrence, H. G.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Mitchell, D. E.; Moore, P. A. Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher, D. M.; Suzman, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.

Tellers: C. W. Eglin and T. O. Williams.

Question accordingly affirmed and the first amendment negatived.

Question put: That the word “ fifteen ” where it occurs for the first time in line 31, proposed to be omitted, stand part of the clause,

Upon which the Committee divided.

Ayes—63: Badenhorst, F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. L; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; du Plessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Fouché, J. J. (Jr.); Greyling, J. C.; Haak, J. F. W.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jonker, A. H.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Martins, H. E.; Meyer, T.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Smit, H. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Strydom, G. H. F.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; Vorster, B. J.; Wentzel, J. J.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.

Noes—42: Barnett, C.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Cope, J. P.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Beer, Z. J.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Eaton, N. G.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland M. W.; Hopewell, A.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lawrence, H. G.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Mitchell, D. E.; Moore, P. A. Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher, D. M.; Suzman, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.

Tellers: C. W. Eglin and T. O. Williams.

Question accordingly affirmed and the remaining amendments dropped.

Clause, as printed, put and agreed to.

On Clause 46, as amended by the Joint Committee,

Mr. WILLIAMS:

In principle and in our approach to it, this is a very similar clause to Clause 34, which deals with the election of Senators. It was our intention to move an amendment to delete in sub-sec. (c) the reference to a White person, but in terms of your ruling, Sir, which you gave to the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) on Clause 34, we cannot do so. But the intention was to indicate that we did not favour the indefinite exclusion from membership of this House of people who were non-White, and the purpose of the amendment which we intended to move would merely have extended the possibility of the inclusion in the membership of this House of Coloured persons from the Cape. That amendment cannot be moved, but we intend to vote against the clause because, as the hon. member for Houghton indicated in the earlier clause, we are dealing with a law which goes, as far as one can see at the moment, indefinitely into the future, and in the year 1961 we can see that a law in our society which excludes for as far as can be seen indefinitely in terms of this clause everyone but White persons from membership of this House is against the best interests of the future of South Africa and is against the construction of the best possible constitution that South Africa could have. We therefore propose to vote against this clause, to indicate not what we would wish to put into this clause but the limitation that we would like to remove from it.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

This is another proposal which has been ruled out of order and we are now being asked to vote against a clause which, if it were accepted, would place us in the position that Members of Parliament would not be subject to any qualifications. In these circumstances I feel that we should abstain from voting.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

There is no doubt whatever that not only members on this side of the House and those whom we represent in the country, those represented by the combined Opposition, but also a vast number of those supporting the present Government are vitally and deeply disturbed about the consequences of the Prime Ministers’ Conference in London. What has been the appeal made to the hon. the Prime Minister? It was that he should make some small concession or gesture which would put us right with the other members of the Commonwealth and the outside world. Now there is a way in which the Prime Minister can make a gesture in respect of this clause. We cannot take the necessary action to pave the way for this gesture. There is only one man in this House who can do it, and that is the Prime Minister. If we were permitted to move the deletion of the words in Clause 46, “ is a White person and ”, the clause would then read that no person shall be qualified to be a member of the House of Assembly unless he is qualified to be registered as a voter for the election of members of the House of Assembly in one of the provinces, and has resided for five years within the limits of the republic, and is a South African citizen. If it were read in that way it would not exclude certain persons who are registered as voters for the election of members of the House of Assembly in the Cape, viz. Coloured voters. It would not exclude Coloured voters from being members of the House of Assembly if those words were omitted from the clause. Now the Prime Minister knows that a controversy has been raging in the columns of the Burger for some time past, where views have been expressed by supporters of the Nationalist Party and by the churches and others that a beginning should be made by allowing Coloured persons direct representation in this House.

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member is now going too far.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

I say that the Prime Minister should move an instruction to enable the House to delete these words. I say that if he would do that he would be making a concession. Sir, I am not prepared to vote for this clause while it has this bar in it and while there is this chance of making this concession. It would be a beginning; it would concede a right of direct representation to Coloured persons in the Cape Province. It does not go as far as I would like but at any rate it would be a change of heart, something which the Tunku, the Prime Minister of Malaya, has asked of the Prime Minister.

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member is again discussing the principle accepted at the second reading.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

Well, if I am not allowed to continue discussing the principle I would say that unless the Prime Minister is prepared to give us an assurance that he will move for an instruction to this Committee to allow us to omit those words, I propose to vote against this clause.

Mr. BARNETT:

Sir, I wish to agree with what the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) has said and I would echo the sentiments expressed by him and say that this clause will be used against South Africa, as it has been used in the past, to indicate that there is discrimination against the Coloured people of this country.

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member is discussing the principle of the Bill now.

Mr. BARNETT:

With respect, Sir, I would like you to guide me. The clause talks about White voters.

An HON. MEMBER:

That includes you.

Mr. BARNETT:

It may not include the hon. member. I believe that once it refers to White voters I am entitled, with respect, to show that the word “ White ” should be deleted.

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! That principle was accepted at the second reading and I am afraid the hon. member is not entitled to show that.

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

I want to appeal to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw the announcement which he has just made. The Opposition represents a certain number of voters in this House of Assembly, and this clause lays down the qualifications for a member of this House, and merely by walking out of this House when it comes to voting on a clause, such as this one, will not save the skin of the Opposition outside. I challenge the Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition to have the courage of their conviction and either to vote against the clause or to vote in favour of it.

Mr. RUSSELL:

Surely that is out of order.

Capt. HENWOOD:

What has that got to do with the clause?

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

We are dealing with a Bill in Committee, a Bill which, immediately it is passed, will become law. Because it is beginning to look ridiculous for them to walk out every time we vote on a clause like this, the Leader of the Opposition has availed himself of this opportunity to announce that they will abstain from voting.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, you ruled the hon. member for Boland (Mr. Barnett) out of order when he tried to draw certain conclusions from this clause and I suggest that the hon. member is out of order.

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member may continue.

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

The Leader of the Opposition has announced that they will not vote for this clause. We cannot discuss the future composition of the House of Assembly or the principle but this clause lays down the qualifications a person should have in order to become a member of this House of Assembly. We should very much like to know, and the voters should like to know, what the policy of the United Party is in regard to the qualifications a person should have in order to become a member of this House of Assembly under a republic.

*Mr. E. G. MALAN:

Never mind, you will still be able to vote.

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

Yes, I will be able to vote without having to crawl about in the mud as the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) is continually doing, because any moment from now he will get us and tell us some story or other that he has heard on the street. Mr. Chairman, I am sorry that I have been personal but the hon. member is the last person who should make interjections. I challenge the Opposition to have the courage to tell the voting public outside whether they are in favour of this House of Assembly being composed of Whites only, or do they stand by their policy which they advocate when they appear in the urban areas, in the liberal-minded areas.

*An HON. MEMBER:

What has that got to do with this clause?

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member may not discuss the policy of the United Party in respect of this clause.

Mr. RUSSELL:

He has already done so, so it does not really matter.

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

With due respect to your ruling, Mr. Chairman, which I would very much like to observe, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has announced that they will not vote. He was allowed to announce that they will abstain from voting and my argument is that the voters are entitled to know what their policy is in regard to this clause. The principle has already been accepted and we are now dealing with a particular clause.

Mr. BARNETT:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I should like to have your ruling…

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! Will the hon. member resume his seat. The hon. member cannot ask the United Party what their policy is in respect of a matter which is a matter of principle.

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

May I ask the United Party what their attitude is in respect of this clause and why they are not prepared to vote in favour of this clause? May I put that to the Opposition?

*HON. MEMBERS:

No, you cannot.

*Mr. G. P. VAN DEN BERG:

The Leader of the Opposition has announced that they will not vote for this clause but it was not necessary for them to announce that; they could merely have walked out, but the announcement of the Opposition lends itself to discussion, and this Committee is entitled to know why the United Party will not vote for this clause and why they will walk out. That is what this Committee and the country would like to know.

Dr. DE BEER:

Like other hon. members I do not feel simply prepared to give a silent vote on this clause. There is one thing with which I heartily agree in what the hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg) has just said. There is a principle involved here on which we feel that we should register our stand. This clause provides first that a member of this House should be qualified to be registered as a voter for the election of members of the House of Assembly. I think all of us agree that that should be so. We may have and we do have different views as to what the qualifications to be a voter for the election of members of this House ought to be, but I think there are few of us who would not insist that for anybody to be a member of this House he should qualify as a voter for the election of members of this House. The clause provides further that anybody who wishes to be a member of this House should have resided for five years within the limits of the republic. Some of us might think the period should be three years, some of us might think seven years, but I think all of us would agree that it is desirable that any member who comes to this House should have resided for some period within the country. But important though these matters are, neither of them approaches in importance, in view of the present context of South Africa’s political history, the great question of whether there is to be a colour bar on membership of this Parliament or not. I would have been very delighted had it been possible to restrict the discussion by way of an amendment to the question of a colour bar in this House, but unfortunately, for reasons that we all understand, this is not possible. The question before me, as I see it— and I do not attempt to speak for any other member in this House—is simply whether I am prepared to support a clause which embodies a colour bar on membership of this House of Assembly or whether I am not prepared to do so. For us in this corner of the House it is a point of cardinal principle that colour and colour alone should not be a bar to membership of this, the parliament of a multi-racial country. It is for this reason that we propose to vote against the clause.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, ARTS AND SCIENCE:

The hon. Leader of the Opposition advanced a reason why they will not vote for this clause and why they will not again follow the less courageous road, namely, of walking out of this Chamber. Let me say at once that because of the reason advanced by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition he is subject to exactly the same qualifications as the Progressive Party. There is no difference as far as that is concerned. The only difference lies in the courage of the Progressive Party and the courage of the hon. member.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

You did not listen.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, ARTS AND SCIENCE:

I want to go further and say that the reason advanced by the Leader of the Opposition why they will not vote convinces nobody. The reason advanced by him was that if they voted against this clause and the side on which they voted won, this clause will no longer exist; then there will be no qualifications with which Members of Parliament will have to conform; in other words, then the entire clause falls away. That was the excuse advanced by the hon. member for adopting the attitude which he is adopting but there is nothing to prevent the hon. the Leader of the Opposition from taking this Committee into his confidence and saying: Had the clause read so and so I would have voted for it.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Then I would have been out of order.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, ARTS AND SCIENCE:

No, with all respect, Sir, you allowed the Progressive Party to say how they would have liked the clause to read and you would also have allowed the hon. member to say how the clause ought to have read. But the hon. member does not want your permission to do so, Sir. On the contrary he would be slightly annoyed with you if you gave him the permission because in that case you will be forcing him to take up a stand and the hon. member obviously does not want to do so. He wants to sit on two stools, one in Constantia and the other in Swellendam. That is the difficulty which confronts the hon. member in this regard. I want to say clearly that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition bluffs nobody if he used that as an excuse why they will walk out of the Chamber. The naked truth is that the Leader of the Opposition and his party and the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) dare not take a stand in connection with this matter and that is why they have to come with some excuse, as though that will save them at Swellendam or Bethal-Middelburg or for that matter, Constantia.

Clause 46, as amended by the Joint Committee, put and a division was called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Messrs. Barnett, Cope, Dr. de Beer, Messrs. Eglin, Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the clause, as amended, the Chairman declared it agreed to.

On Clause 52,

*Mr. B. COETZEE:

This clause lays down the Oath of Allegiance to the republic. I find the wording somewhat formal and cold. I should have liked the wording as suggested by the hon. member for Standerton (Dr. Coertze) during the second reading debate. I should like to ask the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) whether he would not help me so that we can formulate a somewhat warmer Oath of Allegiance to the republic. Originally the hon. member for South Coast said he would not accept the republic. Thereafter he said, “ I am going to contract Natal out of the republic”, but since then it is clear that he has become a good little boy. It is quite clear that he has now decided to accept the republic and it is quite clear to me that he will become a good and faithful republican. I wander whether he will assist me. I am sure the hon. the Minister will allow this clause to stand over so that the hon. member for South Coast and I can hold a caucus meeting and see if we can formulate a warmer and more acceptable Oath of Allegiance to the republic. He will become as good a republican as he has always been a good South African and he will vote for this clause; he will take the oath and seeing that he will do so let us make it a warm, good oath. If the hon. member will accompany me I will ask the hon. the Minister to agree to this clause standing over for a while.

Clause put and agreed to.

On Clause 59,

Dr. DE BEER:

Sir, if one views this constitution from the angle of constitutional science, then it may be held that this clause is the most important clause in the whole Bill. This is the clause which defines the sort of constitution that we are to have. It is laid down here that Parliament shall be the sovereign legislative authority, that Parliament shall have full power to make laws, that no court of law shall be competent to inquire into or to pronounce upon the validity of any Act of Parliament. In short, it is here being laid down that we shall have for the republic a constitution of the totally flexible type, a constitution on the British model. As hon. members will know, this means that we are opting for a type of constitution that is rare in the Western world. The vast majority of the countries of the Western world have constitutions in which the power of Parliament is in some degree restricted and in which, for that reason, some testing right is allowed to the courts. This includes all the nations of the West—and there are a large number-whose constitutions are to a greater or lesser extent of a federal type. It also includes the states with unitary constitutions which have rigid constitutions which limit the power of Parliament to do certain things, which incorporate, for example, Bills of Rights within the constitution which determine and limit the powers of Parliament. Historically, as hon. members know, we never had a rigid constitution in South Africa. We never had a constitution which sought to entrench certain matters, and it was found in the fullness of time that these matters were not in effect effectively entrenched. To-day we have one limited entrenchment only in the constitution that is before us and I do not think any hon. member will dispute the fact that it is not an effective entrenchment but merely a gesture made by the people of South Africa towards each other. That being so, I say again that from the point of view of the construction of this basic law for the Republic of South Africa this clause is in a sense the corner stone. It is for any member of this House, for any voter of this country, to study conditions obtaining in South Africa and in other countries of the West and the constitutional techniques that they adopt in order to ensure good government in their own circumstances within those nations and then to decide whether it is right and wise and whether it is likely to make for safety in the future that South Africa should retain the British type of totally flexible constitution. It is our view on these benches— it has been my view for a long time—that the British type of constitution, admirable though it may be in Britain and under British conditions is quite unsuited for South African conditions, and I would no sooner suggest that the House of Parliament itself at Westminster could be uprooted and carried in its entirety into South African climatic conditions and be suitable here than I would argue that the British constitution can be translated into the multi-racial, developing, dynamic society of South Africa and form the best type of constitution to maintain democracy and to maintain the rights and protect the privileges of the various groups that make up the South African nation. Sir, no matter what may happen in the years that lie ahead, I think all of us must feel some doubt as to how the destiny of our people and our country may be shaped. No matter what may happen, the danger would always be there that in the supreme legislature of South Africa, one racial or sectional group or some combination of racial or sectional groups, may obtain a majority and may use that majority for the purpose of oppressing other sections or of denying rights and privileges to other sections which they should properly have. None of us can deny the possibility that an essentially sectional majority, driven on by appeals to racialism, driven on by that animosity under the surface which so often exists in one human being for another human being whose background is different—that subject to all these temptations, these spurs in the wrong direction, there may be majorities in this Parliament which may infringe the freedom, the liberty and the dignity of the individual human being. I hope that there is no Member of this Parliament, since we all believe in the precepts of Western civilization, who does not regard that individual dignity of the subject as being of the utmost importance in the maintenance of the Western type of state. Hon. members will know that the constitutions of most Western countries provide specifically for the protection of the rights and the freedoms of the individual against the majority in Parliament. They do so, and the usual method is by the incorporation of a Bill of Rights in a rigid constitution. In terms of this Clause before us that becomes impossible. Entrenchments in general become impossible. Protections become impossible. As has been pointed out this afternoon by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition entrenchments in our type of country and in our type of circumstances are very necessary indeed if we are to offer any sense of security to the various peoples and groups that make up our multi-racial population. For us in this party it has always seemed essential that there should be a rigid constitution, not a partially rigid or a would-be rigid constitution as we were given in 1910, but a properly rigid constitution, the whole of which ought to be entrenched, such as for example the American constitution. Parliament should be sovereign within the limits of that constitution but not completely sovereign as this clause envisages. That constitution should embrace a Bill of Rights to protect the individual; it should embrace the composition of the Houses of Parliament so as to ensure that there are checks and balances between the powers of different racial sections, and that constitution should be subject to testing in the courts of the land, as in the case of the American constitution. This being so, and the need for such a protective constitution in our multi-racial society being in our view so essential to good government in South Africa, we would be failing in our duty if we did not state our opposition and vote against this clause.

Clause 59 put and a division called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Mr. Cope, Dr. de Beer, Messrs. Eglin, Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the clause, the Chairman declared it agreed to.

On Clause 68,

Mr. EGLIN:

It is quite obvious what our objection is to this clause. Once again this Clause 68 in sub-section (1) makes reference to the Separate Representation of Voters Act, in other words, the Act of 1951 which took away from the Cape Coloured people in the Cape Province the right to be represented on the Common Roll together with Europeans in that province. It is quite obvious that any political party which is opposed to this separate representation for Coloureds, must clearly express itself as opposed to this clause, because it confirms the action of the Government of taking the Coloured people off the Common Roll …

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member cannot discuss the principle now.

Mr. EGLIN:

Sir, I accept your ruling. I am only saying that because silence on this matter would indicate no opposition to the Separate Representation of Voters Act, the only way to express the views we hold on this matter is to vote against this clause which confirms separate representation for the Coloured people in the Cape Province.

*Mr. MARTINS:

The hon. member for Pinelands has just informed us that his party will vote against this clause because the clause does not provide for Coloured people to sit on provincial councils. I should very much like to know what the attitude of the official Opposition is. The hon. the Leader of the United Party and his entire party have just walked out without telling us why they were walking out. In a moment they will again be asked to vote on this clause and before they walk out I should very much like to know what they are going to do. It is not only this Committee that wants to know what their attitude is, but South Africa wants to know what their attitude is in regard to this matter. An Opposition cannot be so irresponsible as merely to walk out quietly when it suits them, because if everybody were to leave the Chamber and leave it to the Progressive Party to vote against this clause, the clause will fall away. That is why I say the Opposition has a real duty in this House and in this Committee, and a duty towards South Africa to take a stand in this House in regard to clauses on which we divide and vote. They cannot evade that duty by walking out quietly.

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member must confine himself to the clause.

*Mr. MARTINS:

I have said what I wanted to say, Sir, and I should like the Opposition to tell South Africa what their attitude is in regard to this matter.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

This is another one of the series of clauses which are being opposed and on which the House is to be divided for reasons which it is not competent to discuss in this Committee. We are being asked to support opposition to this clause for reasons which would be out of order were they to be advanced. And were we to be successful in that opposition, there would be no provincial councils left at all. Therefore it is quite impossible for us to vote on an issue of this kind. We abstain from voting, if those who wish to make their protest in that way want to divide the Committee on this clause.

Clause 68 put and a division was called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Messrs. Barnett, Cope, Dr. de Beer, Messrs. Eglin, Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the clause, the Chairman declared it agreed to.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I would just like to point out that this clause in effect does embody a colour bar in so far as the provisions of the Electoral Act are concerned and therefore we obviously would have liked to have this amended so as to remove the colour bar inherent in the Electoral Act so far as the election of provincial councillors is concerned. Clearly we are unable to do this because the Electoral Act is not the Act under discussion now, and therefore I simply wish to bring to the attention of the House that we are not unaware of the fact that the colour bar exists in this clause, but because we are precluded from amending the Electoral Act, will not move an amendment against this clause.

Clause put and agreed to.

On Clause 84,

*Dr. DE BEER:

This is another clause which deals with one of the most important constitutional principles with which we are concerned to-day, namely, the powers given to provincial councils. This by itself is naturally a very important and complicated subject and it is not my intention to go into it in detail. However, we do feel that we should not let this opportunity pass without briefly placing on record what we think ought to be the relationship between the provinces and the Central Government.

Since Union there has been a list of matters which has fallen under the provincial councils, matters which have been administered by them. From time to time some people here felt that that list should be made longer and others have felt that it should be made shorter. I think the only responsible attitude to adopt is to say that this is mostly a subject for the experts. Certain matters can more easily be administered by certain concerns than by others, and the attitude of our party as far as the principle is concerned is not so much as to the field which provincial councils may cover but as to what the real power of the provincial council in relation to the Central Government ought to be. This, of course, has been an old bone of contention in the political history of South Africa. The question of federation or union, or the measure of federation which there ought to be within the Union has been one of the greatest points of friction ever since the time of the National Convention.

*Mr. J. E. POTGIETER:

What is your attitude?

*Dr. DE BEER:

I shall deal with the attitude which we adopted at the first congress of our party. It amounts to this: our attitude is that there should be decentralization of power in favour of the provinces—that is the main point—where the provinces have powers, those powers ought to be protected against interference on the part of the Central Government. I only have the English version of it with me and I will read it to the hon. member—

To decentralize legislative and executive power by devolving on the existing provinces, or any other provinces into which the Union may in future be delimited and any additional provinces comprised of neighbouring territories that may in future join the Union, such powers or functions as need not be exercised by the Central Parliament and Government in the interests of the peace, safety and welfare of the Union as a whole. The commission to consider in this connection:
  1. (a) The form, generally, of the government of the province;
  2. (b) the effective protection within the provinces of the rights of racial groups;
  3. (c) the financial relations between the Central Government and the provinces.

As I have already said, this is not an opportune time to give a lecture on the details. But we do want to place on record that, as far as we are concerned, we believe that the power of the provinces is in grave danger to-day, that the power of the Central Government to interfere with the power of provinces, is far too great, that it ought to be limited and that the provinces ought to be protected against interference on the part of the Central authority. The case we had in Natal a year or three ago, namely, that of Mr. Stander, has proved as nothing else has proved that when it came to a clash between a province and the Central Government the power of a province was extremely weak, as it is at the moment. We believe that it should not be possible for an incident like that to take place. When the opportunity presents itself we should like to change tie constitution in such a way that that will no longer be possible. No suitable amendment, however, can be moved at this stage. We realize that the clause which is before us at the moment does nothing more than to transfer the existing position to the Republic and because of that, we will not oppose it.

There is one small matter to which I wish to refer because it seems that the public outside has the wrong idea about it, and it has also appeared in the Press. I am referring to Clause 84 (1) (c). It says that the province has power over “ education, other than higher education and Bantu education, until Parliament otherwise provides ”. Certain reporters have apparently caught on to this phrase and come to the conclusion that this was a new provision which was being inserted, in other words, that Parliament was taking new powers to infringe on the powers of the provinces. That, of course, is not the position. This phrase has always been in the Act, in the old Act, and I am merely mentioning this because to some extent the public is interested in this. In saying that this phrase has always been there and that it is not wrong, to transfer it to the new constitution, does not mean of course, that I approve of the idea that Parliament should have the right to interfere. I have, however, merely stated the attitude of this party in regard to the principle and I repeat that at this stage we will not vote against the clause.

Clause put and agreed to.

Clauses 69 to 111 put and agreed to.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

Before you put Clause 112, Sir, I should like to move—

That the Chairman report progress and ask for leave to sit again.

My reason for doing so is that I wish to move an amendment to Clause 112 which I have not as yet fully considered and I should like to have more time to consider it. That is why I am moving that progress be reported.

Agreed to.

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.

House to resume in Committee on 10 April.

ANATOMY AMENDMENT BILL

Second Order Read: Report Stage,—Anatomy Amendment Bill.

Amendment in Clause 4, put and agreed to and the Bill, as amended, adopted.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION, ARTS AND SCIENCE:

I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time.

More than two members having objected,

Bill to be read a third time on 7 April.

Order of the Day No. Ill to stand over.

PRECIOUS AND BASE METALS AMENDMENT BILL

Fourth Order read: Report Stage,—Precious and Base Metals Amendment Bill.

Second Order read: Report Stage,—Anatomy Amendment Bill.

Amendment in Clause 3 and the new Clauses 5 and 8 put and agreed to and the Bill, as amended, adopted.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES:

I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time. More than two members having objected, Bill to be read a third time on 10 April.

The House adjourned at 5.50 p.m.

FRIDAY, 7 APRIL 1961 Mr. SPEAKER took the Chair at 10.05 a.m. QUESTIONS

For oral reply:

Installation of Micro-Wave Circuits *I. Mr. OLDFIELD

asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:

Whether his Department has commenced with the installation of a micro-wave network; and, if so, (a) when was the work commenced, (b) where is the network at present (i) in operation and (ii) in the process of being installed, (c) what is the reason for its installation, (d) what has been the cost to date of installing this system and (e) what is the estimated total cost of a national micro-wave network.

The MINISTER OF POSTS AND TELEGRAPHS:

(a) to (e) There can at the moment be no question of a “ micro-wave network ”, but merely of micro-wave circuits The first micro-wave circuit was started approximately three years ago and is in operation between Johannesburg, Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp. Its cost was R1,200,000.

The installation of micro-wave circuits is considered from place to place and from time to time in the light of factors such as the volume of traffic to be handled, the condition and efficacy of existing routes, the development rate of the particular area, the demands it makes on the Post Office in the telecommunications field, the question whether overland routes or micro-wave circuits are the more economic and efficient, and so forth.

A micro-wave circuit is a most modern and efficacious telecommunications medium. Where for instance a maximum of 28 speech channels can be raised on a pair of physical wires, up to 6,000 speech channels can be provided over such a circuit; it also eliminates the problem of thefts of telephone wires (mainly copper wires) and is virtually unaffected by atmospheric interferences and the normal interruptions.

A commencement is now being made with the following micro-wave circuits:

Bloemfontein—Welkom,
Durban—Port Shepstone, and
Johannesburg—Carletonville.

The installation of further micro-wave circuits will be considered in the course of time in the light of the factors already mentioned.

The Post Office has not yet made an estimate of the cost of a national micro-wave network. An estimate of this nature will have no practical use and in any case it will first have to be determined which centres should be taken into account before such an estimate will be feasible.

No P.O. or S.A.B.C. Official Seconded to Federal Broadcasting Corporation *II. Mr. OLDFIELD

asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:

Whether an official of his Department or of the South African Broadcasting Corporation has been seconded to the Federal Broadcasting Corporation to study the facilities provided for the television service in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; if so, for what period; and, if not, why not.

The MINISTER OF POSTS AND TELEGRAPHS:

No official of the Post Office and, as far as I know, no official of the S.A.B.C. has been seconded to the Federal Broadcasting Corporation. Such a step is not considered necessary.

No International Application for Television Frequencies *III. Mr. OLDFIELD

asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:

Whether the South African Broadcasting Corporation has on behalf of the Government applied to the international body controlling broadcasting frequency allocations for the use of television frequencies in South Africa; if so, what was the result of the application; and, if not, why not.

The MINISTER OF POSTS AND TELEGRAPHS:

No; because there is no need therefor.

Total Cost of Referendum *IV. Mr. E. G. MALAN

asked the Minister of the Interior:

  1. (a) What was the estimated total cost to the State of the referendum held in October 1960, and
  2. (b) what items were taken into account in arriving at this amount.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:
  1. (a) R229,900.
  2. (b) Salaries, wages and overtime remuneration paid to the personnel of electoral offices and to the temporary personnel who were employed at the said offices; allowances paid to returning officers, presiding officers, polling officers and counting officers; transport of ballot boxes; telegraph and telephone services; printing and stationery and the hire of halls and stands.
*V. Mr. COPE

—Reply standing over.

Clothing Firms and Sale of Blazers in Bantu Schools *VI. Mr. MOORE

asked the Minister of Bantu Education:

Whether permission has been granted to any clothing firms to visit Bantu schools to discuss the sale of school blazers; and, if so, (a) when and (b) to how many firms has permission been granted, (c) what are the names of the firms and (d) how many schools have been visited.

The MINISTER OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS:

No. The Regional Director of Bantu Education in Pretoria received a printed letter from the firm Artistic Embroidery Company, Johannesburg, in September 1959, in which the firm made it known that they manufacture embroidered badges, banners and ties. He advised the firm to approach the principals of large Bantu community schools.

Mr.MOORE

Arising out of the reply, has the Minister of Bantu Education had his attention drawn to an article appearing in the departmental magazine stating that permission has been granted to one firm?

*VII. Mr. MITCHELL

— Reply standing over.

Persons Still Serving Sentences under Emergency Regulations *VIII. Mr. WILLIAMS (for Mr. Lawrence)

asked the Minister of Justice:

  1. (1)
    1. (a) How many persons are still serving sentences of imprisonment as a result of charges arising from the declaration of a state of emergency in any part of the Union and
    2. (b) in what centres are they detained;
  2. (2) whether any remissions for good behaviour were granted to such prisoners; if not, why not, and
  3. (3) whether any remission will be granted in future.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE:
  1. (1)
    1. (a) 190.
    2. (b) In 17 institutions. It is not in the public interest to divulge the names of these institutions.
  2. (2) and (3) Remission of sentence for good behaviour is not automatic. Each will be considered on its merits.
*IX. Mr. LAWRENCE

— Reply standing over.

Income Tax Paid under Various Heads Between 1956-7 and 1959-60 *X. Mr. HOPEWELL

asked the Minister of Finance:

What was the total amount received in taxation in respect of (a) individuals, (b) companies other than mining companies, (c) gold and diamond mines and (d) other mines for each tax year from 1956-7 to 1959-60.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE

The total amount received in taxation for any particular tax year cannot be ascertained without considerable delay. The information asked for by the hon. member is, therefore, given in respect of the taxes collected for all tax years during each financial year from 1956-7 to 1959-60 and is as follows:

1956-7

1957-8

1958-9

1959-60

(a) R106,146,521

R111,548,348

R106,461,752

R106,478,640

(b) R124,033,952

R116,550,170

R119,675,944

R118,978,212

(c) R31,965,442

R33,378,846

R34,819,094

R48,699,070

(d) R17,603,794

R16,487,416

R11,552,412

R14,491,940

MINIMUM WAGES *Mr. VAN DER WALT:

I move—

That this House requests the Government to continue with its policy of gradually increasing minimum wages in accordance with the progress in the economic sphere in South Africa.

Mr. Speaker, on various occasions last year this House discussed the question of raising minimum wages. Hon. members opposite initiated those discussions particularly after the riots at Langa and Sharpeville. They said that low wages was one of the most important reasons for those riots. Hon. members tried in different ways to place the responsibility for those low wages on the shoulders of the Government. Even outside this House a cry for higher wages was raised. Before and during the riots non-White concerns spoke about a minimum wage of R2 per day. We also had the so-called “Association for the Improvement of Wages and Productivity of Bantu Workers ”. This association had done good work and I should like to pay tribute to what they have done, but I want to point out at once that to-day they are singing their tune in a lower key than last year. I notice that they are asking for a minimum wage of R30 per month in towns and cities with more than 7,000 inhabitants, and they exclude agriculture and mining. In some cases a wage of R30 per month has already been exceeded. Some industries already pay their workers more than R30 per month, thanks to the good work done by the Wage Board. Well, I expect this plea for higher wages and possibly for a minimum wage to be repeated during this Session and because of that I think we should have a discussion on this subject so that we from this side of the House may have an opportunity of stating our side of the question. In the meantime the hon. the Prime Minister made a statement, as well as the hon. the Minister of Labour, towards the end of last year, in which he informed the country what the Government’s policy was in respect of an increase in minimum wages. It appeared from that statement that the Government was very sympathetically inclined towards the Bantu worker and wanted to help to raise their standard of living. In the statement of the Minister of Labour, which followed that of the Prime Minister’s, he said the following—

The Government is not convinced that the introduction of a general minimum wage is the best way of raising the standard of living of the lower paid groups to the desired level. The Government and the Minister of Labour consider it more advisable to increase the standard of living to the desired level by gradually and selectively increasing the minimum wage level.

That in brief, Sir, is the policy of the Government as enunciated in this statement. As I have said, I thought it would be just as well that we discussed this matter in this House because it may have a soothing effect on the mind of the Bantu, more especially if we can convince him that the Government is sympathetically inclined towards this question of raising his standard of living and increasing his wages and if we can emphasize and convey to the public what has already been done in order to help the lowly paid Bantu worker. At the same time we have to point out how dangerous and how untenable the position will become if the propaganda which some people make in South Africa for a so-called national minimum wage of R2 per day or more were to become reality.

The maintenance of our industrial development in this country at a consistent level depends on various factors and I want to mention two of the most important ones. The one is increasing the wages of the lower income groups so that their purchasing power may be increased and so that they will create a bigger internal market. The other factor is our export market. The Government is striving to obtain bigger export markets for our goods. These two factors are, however, dependent on one another and have a reciprocal effect on one another. If wages were suddenly to be increased out of all proportion it may increase the production costs of our industries to such an extent that we may be pushed out of some of our export markets. In that case it may have the opposite effect from the one envisaged. Those people who plead for a national minimum wage emphasize in particular the question of extending our markets but it may have the opposite effect if the wages were raised too rapidly, and that may lead to a shrinkage in our economy, in a lowering of the standard of living of the nation and to unemployment. That is why I say that an increase in wages should be in proportion to the increase in productivity, so that our products can compete on external markets. I accept, however, that an increase in wages is an important element in the development and expansion of our industries and I should first of all like to deal with the possibility of laying down a national minimum wage level. I believe, however, that everybody who has considered this matter seriously will agree with me that it is impracticable to lay down such a national minimum wage and that it will not be possible to carry it out in South Africa.

In the first place, such a national minimum wage should be worth while. It cannot be fixed at a level where it will not have any effect because then it will not mean anything. It should be a wage which will raise the income and standard of living of the workers, otherwise it will mean nothing. That is why I say it is important that we know what such a national minimum wage should be, otherwise it may have an adverse effect on the promotion of the standard of living of those workers, it may even cause a delay in that promotion because the employers will adhere to the fixed minimum wage.

I think any sane person will admit that it is impossible to have a national minimum wage scale for the whole country. Standards of living and consequently wage demands differ in our country geographically. The standard of living in the highly industrialized areas, in our big cities, where they have better housing facilities, where longer distances have to be travelled, and where the cultural possibilities are greater, is higher for example than in the bigger towns, and in the bigger towns again it is higher than in the smaller towns and on the farms. So it will not be such an easy matter to fix a minimum wage level. You first have to determine in respect of which area you want to fix such a minimum wage. Furthermore, the labour market differs in our country. In Natal we have a concentration of Asiatics. There is a concentration of Coloureds in the Western Province, whereas in the rest of the country there is a concentration of Bantu workers, particularly in the cities. These people have different standards of living and that has to be taken into account in determining what the minimum wage should be.

There are also practical difficulties, for example, in some industries and in many areas wages are augmented in the form of free housing, food and clothing, something which must also be considered in determining a minimum wage. I have already said that the Association for the Improvement of Wages and Productivity accepts this position and that is why they only propose a minimum wage in respect of certain areas. As I have already said they propose a minimum wage of R30 in the cities and towns with more than 7,000 inhabitants and they exclude from that the mining industry and agriculture. What will be the result of the proposal by this Association? In the first instance, the effect will be that there will be a greater influx of Bantu workers to the cities than to-day; that will be an additional attraction. If you only increase wages in the big cities it will mean that you will attract greater numbers of Bantu to those big cities and you will aggravate and complicate the problem there. In addition, it will be a drain on farm labour and the labour working in platteland industries, with the result that those people will eventually also be forced to increase their wages.

I want to mention further objections to a national minimum wage. It must be remembered that the wage structure of every industry or every trade is founded on the lowest wage, that is to say the wage of the unskilled labourer. If a national minimum wage scale were laid down it will mean a change in the entire wage structure of the three sectors of our economy in this country. If the minimum wage is increased those groups immediately above that level will gradually make demands for wage increases for their own groups. They will try to maintain the difference which existed before the minimum wage was laid down. In other words, in considering the effects a minimum wage will have on our economy you must consider not only what expenditure such a minimum wage will mean to the country from the economic point of view but you must also consider the resultant and consequential wage increases that will follow. There are approximately 1,000,000 unskilled workers in our country to-day. If a national minimum wage meant an increase of at least R20 per month per worker, each worker will, over a period of a year, have an additional income of R240, that is to say, the wage bill of the country will immediately increase by R240,000,000 per annum and if this increase led to an upward trend in the wage structure of the whole country or a large portion of the country, the expenditure will assume proportions which are difficult to determine in advance, but which will probably be once or twice as much as the basic increase of R240,000,000. I say that South Africa will not be able to adapt itself to this position without something happening. Instead of having the industrial peace which we have had during the past few years, the demands that will be made for eventual and resultant increases in the wage structure will assume greater proportions than we realize and it can easily lead to great industrial unrest in the country instead of creating the envisaged ideal of industrial peace. Let me put it this way. In 1958-9 our national net income had increased by R82,000,000. In other words, the proposed increase in wages, say an increase of R20 per month, will mean that the entire increase in our national net income will be consumed in a particular year so that no other sector of the economy will make any progress. It will consume the growth which has taken place in the other sectors of our economy. It will have no beneficial effect on the other factors in our economic development, such as capital for example, and in that way it will hamper the growth of all the other sectors of our economy for that year and perhaps the succeeding few years. It may have the effect that less capital will come to the country. It does not help to concentrate on one side of the picture and to say that by increasing the minimum wages you will stimulate consumption. If the productivity of labour does not increase more or less in proportion to the running costs in the country, it will have various adverse effects on our economy. In the first place, it will lead to an increase in prices which may possibly bring about an inflationary tendency in our economy and that in turn will mean that the benefits which the worker would have derived from this wage increase will be completely neutralized and it may even mean that the standard of living of that section of the population which did not receive a wage increase will drop because that section will have to pay increased prices for their requirements. There is also the fact that the profits of the various branches of industry will decrease and that it will discourage capital investment in and capital influx to South Africa. It may also affect another very important factor in our economic development, namely export. The Government wants to stimulate export in this country and is doing its best to do so by sending missions overseas to expand those markets, but if our production costs were to rise in South Africa, it would mean that it would be impossible for us to compete on overseas markets.

Mr. Speaker, I have shown that the Association for the Advancement of Bantu Wages and Productivity has excluded two branches of industry from their proposal, namely mining and agriculture. If the mining industry were included and if the existing price of gold remained constant where it is, it will simply mean that the production costs of the mines will increase to such an extent that many more mines will have to close down, something which will affect the workers adversely; but also in the case of agriculture, which is one of the greatest exporters to the world market, the position is that if such a minimum wage were laid down it may have a very bad effect on our agriculture. Furthermore, such an increase in production costs would discourage the establishment of new industries and factories. In the past industries were attracted to South Africa mainly by our cheap labour, and that attraction will disappear and it will jeopardize the continued existence of existing factories and industries which are producing on a small margin of profit. Everybody knows that there is a given time in the economic life of a country when certain branches of industry experience difficult times and when others flourish. They do not all flourish at the same level or at the same time, and it will hit those branches of industry which are experiencing difficulty, exceptionally hard. For example, I want to show that recently the Wage Board received instructions to recommend a wage determination in respect of the basket-manufacturing industry. I am informed that the Wage Board did not see its way clear to recommend to the Minister that there should be a wage increase in that particular industry because at that particular time the basket-manufacturing industry found itself in difficulty. Had the board recommended the current minimum wage for the basket-manufacturing industry in South Africa the entire basket-manufacturing industry would have been faced with bankruptcy and the recommended wage increase would have forced a great number of workers out of the labour market. That is why I say that when you consider this matter you have to be practical and consider all the various factors and results that may flow from it.

Let me reply to a few other practical questions. The first question is this: On what basis should a minimum wage be calculated? Should it be calculated on the basis of the ability of the industry to pay, which is really the basis on which the Wage Board determines its wage determinations to-day? If that were the basis those factories which operate on the lowest margin of profit will really be the factories which will determine the minimum wage and in that case I believe that the minimum wage will be no higher than that proposed by the Association to which I referred a moment ago, namely R30 per month. We can expect the effect to be that those factories which produce at a low profit margin to be pushed out of production. Another question which I want to ask is this: Must such a minimum wage be considered in terms of the needs of an unskilled worker in order to make a reasonable living? Many people, for example the Institute of Race Relations, advocate a wage which, according to them, should be sufficient to meet the needs of the workers. They talk about R46 per month. Such a determination is very arbitrary. You do not really know whether a basis can be found. Let me give this example: Are you going to take as basis the needs of an unmarried Bantu worker, or the needs of a Bantu worker with a family of one child or the needs of a Bantu worker with a family of ten children? Where are you going to draw the line in order to determine what the requirements are of a family in order to make a living? Practical experience has taught us that one family can live on a certain income whereas another identical family cannot live on the same income. That is why we say that also for those reasons a minimum wage is impracticable. Another practical question is this: If the standard of living of the workers in the cities is taken into account, will such a minimum wage do justice to all workers? As I said a moment ago, such a minimum wage will drain the industries on the platteland and the farms of their labour. If, on the other hand, we took the minimum wage required on the platteland as basis, the workers in the cities will say that they cannot make a living on that wage and they will agitate for an increase in the minimum wage and overthrow that determination. There is another danger and it is this: Once you have fixed such a minimum wage it will be such a shock to the economy of the country that no Government—because it will have to be a Government determination—will dare to increase that minimum wage too often, and where our wage board and our industrial council system introduces a measure of elasticity in the increases, gradual and selective, it may put a stop to those increases because the employers will adhere to that minimum wage standard as laid down by the Government. I think it is quite clear that if, for example, we had a minimum wage in 1940 it would have been completely obsolete after the war in 1946; and if, for example, we had a minimum wage in 1950 it would have been obsolete in 1955 because of the rise in the cost of living and in the standard of living. That is why I say that if you lay down a national minimum wage no democratic Government will be able to do so and to increase it frequently.

Mr. Speaker, we have already crossed swords in this House over the principle of self-government in industry. Such a system where the Government can lay down a national minimum wage level is in conflict with the whole concept of self-government in industry. It can wreck the whole concept and it can wreck the whole industrial system in the country. If the Government were to force industries to pay a certain wage nothing will be left of collective bargaining and then you wreck the entire concept of self-government and you may ruin the industrial council system in South Africa. What is more, the idea of a minimum wage level is foreign to the capitalist system which South Africa practises. Therefore, it is foreign to the whole basis of our economy in this country.

My seconder will deal with the steps which the Government have already taken in order to increase the wages of the unskilled labourers or to have their wage increased and I do not wish to say much about that; I want to leave that field to him. But I do wish to point out that our wage laws provide that there should not be discrimination on the basis of race or colour. In other words when minimum wages are fixed it affects the Bantu worker in certain industries but it also affects the Asiatic and the Coloured person and the White person in other industries. The wage standards which those groups maintain are taken into consideration and it is hardly possible to fix such a minimum wage.

Then I just want to refer to the limited powers of the Minister to act. As far as the Wage Board is concerned the Minister may accept or reject a recommendation. He cannot prescribe to the Wage Board what it should recommend. In other words, the Minister’s power to increase wages on his own initiative is limited. One is grateful for the action which the Government and the Minister have taken within the confines of their limited power, in order to do what they could to raise the standard of living of the unskilled worker. I understand that it is the policy of the Minister of Labour to-day not to approve of any industrial council agreement if the minimum wage provided for in it does not conform with the minimum wage which the Wage Board considers as the current minimum wage at that specific time. In other words, if any industrial council agreement should provide for a minimum wage which is lower than the current minimum wage recommended by the Wage Board, the Minister does not approve of it. In this way the Minister ensures that the minimum wage is based on the scientific investigations conducted by the Wage Board from time to time in the various industries and that there is progress over a wide field throughout our economy. It must be clearly understood, however, that the primary responsibility of improving the lot of the unskilled worker in this country rests with the employers of that labour themselves. They are the people who have to decide of what value such labour is to them in rand and cents. There are two ways in particular in which the employers can contribute towards increasing the wages of the lowly paid workers without causing a rise in prices or without causing the profit margin to drop dangerously low. Firstly by improving their methods of management and by increasing productivity. On various occasions the Government and certain industrial leaders have appealed to employers to try to increase the productivity of their labour, and I think we should associate ourselves today in this debate with that appeal and ask employers to do everything in their power to make better use of their labour by improving their managerial methods. However, there is another way open to the employers and this is coupled with the increase in the productivity of the workers. In this respect little has been done so far through the joint efforts of employers. In the highly industrialized countries such as Britain and America particular attention has been given after the recent world war to this question of increasing the productivity of labour. Labour is expensive in those countries and that was why this question received attention. In England, for example, they have the British Productivity Council. During the years after the war this body and a similar body in America exchanged student groups to exchange views. In South Africa the National Development Foundation have already held a number of conferences but to my mind they have not produced anything sensational or tangible. That is why I feel that we too should establish a body similar to those in Britain and America, a body vÿhich will not merely seek the co-operation of employers in order to increase the productivity of the workers, but which will also seek the cooperation of the trade union organizations. The experience in England has been that no progress was made in regard to increasing productivity until they obtained the co-operation of the trade unions. At the outset they were sceptical and did not want to co-operate. It was only after they had obtained the co-operation of the trade unions that progress was made in Britain in this respect. The attempts made in Britain to tackle this problem merely from the angle of the employers failed and it only succeeded when they started with the workers in the factories themselves—the man and the woman who do the work on the floor of the factory. Only then did they succeed. That is why I say that this is not something that must be forced on to the workers from the top; it should rather come from the bottom, than be forced on to them from the top.

As I have said, my seconder will deal with what has already been achieved. However, I want to mention a few points. I wish to say that the action of the National Government to promote and to expand our economy and to have the wages of the Bantu increased, has contributed a great deal towards increasing the standard of living of the Bantu in South Africa. I have an article here which was written as a result of a study made by Prof. H. J. J. Reynders and Dr. M. van den Berg of the Pretoria University in which they support this contention. They give the following important figures in this article entitled “ The Impact of the Bantu on Consumer Markets and Purchasing Power ” which appeared in the journal of Volkskas. Finance and Trade Review of December 1960. They point out that in the year 1946-7 R278,000,000 of our national net income went to the Bantu: while in the year 1958-9 the huge amount of R916,000,000 of the national net income went to the Bantu in the shape of earnings, an increase of 229 per cent, while the Bantu population itself had not increased by 100 per cent. I also have a report of a speech by Mr. Lulofs, President of the Transvaal Chamber of Industries, in which he points out that to-day the wages of the Bantu amount to £192,000,000 per annum. Another important figure which I want to give to the House is that since 1956 up to the end of 1960, 541,852 Bantu workers had received wage increases. Half a million Bantu workers have benefited during the past five years as a result of wage increases in this country. That is why we are experiencing this industrial peace which we have experienced during the past few years. Let me give the following facts in order to show the House what industrial peace there has been amongst the Bantu workers. In 1958 there were 36 strikes which led to a cessation of work and where Bantu workers were concerned. In 1960 there were only 33 such strikes. When we consider the thousands of industrial and business concerns which exist in the Union, this is indeed an achievement. Only 14 of the strikes which occurred in 1960 were concerned with wage increases; there were other reasons for the other strikes as, for example, dissatisfaction with working hours, discharge of fellow-employees’, the tightening of discipline, dissatisfaction in regard to leave arrangements and pay, overtime pay, remuneration for work done on public holidays, etc. In other words only the small number of 14 strikes were concerned with wage increases in respect of Bantu workers in 1960. What is even more striking is the fact that only 2,199 Bantu workers were concerned in these 33 strikes.

I want to say a few words about the recognition of Native trade unions which has been advocated, particularly by the Progressive Party —that is their policy to-day—and it is obvious that the United Party is moving along the same road, namely, towards recognizing Bantu trade unions. The fact that we have enjoyed such a great measure of industrial peace in this country during the past few years proves the effectiveness of the machinery which was created in 1953, which provided for the Central Native Labour Board and the regional committees which were established under that board, regional committees consisting of Bantu workers in the various factories. Fortunately we can say to-day that the prejudice against that legislation is dying down and that the workers and the employers are realizing to-day that it is in their own interests to co-operate with the Department and with the Central Native Labour Board in order to look after the interests of the Bantu worker in an unselfish and just manner.

Mr. Speaker, I want to make the statement that if Bantu trade unions had been recognized and allowed to participate in collective bargaining during the past years they would have achieved no more for the Bantu worker than the Central Native Labour Board had obtained for the Bantu and that there would have been much greater industrial unrest and dislocation in South Africa than there had been, which would have been to the detriment of the worker and the economy of the country. That is why we are adamant in our attitude of not recognizing Native trade unions. In the first place the Native who has to adapt himself to the urban economy is still ignorant as far as the economic processes of the capitalist system are concerned and he is easily incited and misled by all sorts of emotional promises about material benefits, promises which are made by agitators whose only object is self-gain. Because the Native worker has made such little progress along the road of civilization, he easily falls prey to reckless and irresponsible elements without realizing that it can only be to his own detriment. In addition to that there are not sufficient leaders amongst the Bantu. The Central Native Labour Board which is trying to establish regional committees in the various factories to act between the Bantu workers and the employers, find it difficult to-day to find suitable Bantu workers with the necessary knowledge and experience to serve on those regional committees. The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) laughs, but that has been the practical experience of the Central Native Labour Board over the past six to seven years. That is why the Bantu have in the past fallen such easy prey to professional agitators who, in most cases, do not have the interests of the Bantu worker at heart, but who have other motives for organizing the Bantu worker. Mr. Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that I think the Government is on the right road. Had the Government acceded to the emotional appeals made to it last year for a wage of, say, R2 per day, it would certainly have led to the disruption of our economy, something which would not have had a soothing effect on the feelings of the people but which would undoubtedly have led to great unrest. We would have been placing a dangerous weapon in the hands of the Bantu, to admit to them that if they resorted to rioting, their wages would immediately be increased. A Government which is strong can never place such a weapon in the hands of the Bantu. That is why I think that the right policy to follow is that increases should take place on an evolutionary basis. Gradual and selective wage increases give industry an opportunity to adapt itself and to absorb the shock without disruption to industry. I am convinced that evolutionary wage increases at shorter intervals, as the Minister and the Wage Board are trying to do to-day, can take place, whereas a national minimum wage spells great danger and may lead to stagnation. Mr. Speaker, the motion therefore asks the Government to continue with its policy of increasing wages on an evolutionary and selective basis according to the progress made in the economic field, the progress which determines the ability of industry to pay those wages.

*Mr. VAN RENSBURG:

I second the motion. The hon. member for Pretoria (West) has submitted his case very capably. He normally does so, but I could not help noticing that the hon. member did so this morning with a romantic smile on his face. Mr. Speaker, I hope that you will permit me in congratulating the hon. member on his speech, also to congratulate him on his marital status.

There are in the main four methods by which wage increases can be brought about in South Africa, viz.:

  1. (1) The increases which the State grants its own officials, which at the same time also set an example and act as an incentive to other employers;
  2. (2) Any employer can grant his employees wage increases of his own free will;
  3. (3) By means of the provisions of the Wage Act, by which the State has created the machinery to provide for the unorganized, unskilled workers; and
  4. (4) By means of the machinery of the Industrial Conciliation Act, by which the employees are given the right of collective bargaining.

Except as far as its own officials are concerned, it is therefore not the task of the State to fix wages.

Allow me to commence with the last aspect I have mentioned, namely the Industrial Council machinery. In the case of Industrial Council agreements the wages are fixed through negotiations between employers and employees. On the one hand there is the pressure which is exercised by organized labour, and on the other hand there is the employer who tries to resist such pressure with the assistance of the law of supply and demand for labour. Most Bantu wages are controlled by Industrial Council agreements to-day. There are approximately 80 Industrial Council agreements which cover 20,000 employers and 300,000 Bantu workers.

The hon. member for Pretoria (West) has referred to the Central Native Labour Board which was also established in 1953 by legislation of this Government, and which acts as the mouthpiece of the unskilled Bantu worker of South Africa. Mainly as a result of the activities of this Board the wages of approximately 200,000 Bantu workers have been improved by means of Industrial Council agreements at a cost of thousands of pounds to the employers concerned. When an Industrial Council agreement affecting Bantu workers is submitted to the Minister, the Central Native Labour Board must also recommend it. As far as the Industrial Council agreements are concerned, the employers are therefore given every opportunity to provide for the interests of their Bantu workers. In addition, the employers have the opportunity to further those interests at frequent intervals because Industrial Council agreements are valid for a period of at most three years, and sometimes for only two years, and in certain instances even for only one year.

As regards the machinery of the Wage Act, I want to say that because the Government realized that the Wage Board was working too slowly, legislation was passed in 1957 dividing the Wage Board into two sections so that the work could be accelerated and recommendations dealing with minimum wages submitted to the Minister more expeditiously and at shorter intervals. The following figures prove that the work of the Wage Board has been considerably expedited by the 1957 legislation: During the period 1950 to 1957 an average of five first reports, four first recommendations, four second reports and four second recommendations were submitted. As against that, after the division of the Wage Board into two sections, an average of 15 first reports, 14.7 first recommendations, 12 second reports and 10 second recommendations were submitted during the period 1958 to 1960.

Before dealing with the work of the Wage Board in recent years, I want to indicate briefly what the main considerations are which the Wage Board takes into account in respect of investigations and recommendations dealing with minimum wages. In the first place it is the task of the Wage Board to fix minimum wages and when it does so it does not compel any employer only to pay the minimum wage. The employer has every right to pay wages which are considerably higher than the prescribed minimum wage. In the second place the Wage Board must also fix wages which are in line with the productivity of the worker. In other words, it must ensure that a fair wage is paid to the worker who deserves that wage and who is entitled to it. But in the third place, and this we must never forget, the Wage Board must fix a wage which the industry, the employer, is able to pay. If it does not bear that aspect in mind, the result will simply be that such an industry will be unable to continue its operations with resultant unemployment amongst its employees. These are the three main considerations which the Wage Board bears in mind in fulfilling its function of fixing minimum wages.

The hon. the Minister last year issued an invitation to all interested parties to say whether the Wage Board was functioning on an incorrect basis. As far as I know, no one has submitted any acceptable proposals as to how the basis on which the Wage Board works should be changed. However, I can well imagine what the position would be if the Wage Board were to function on a different basis. The people who now have so many complaints about wages would be the first to accuse the Government of interfering improperly with private enterprise.

I want to confine myself briefly to the wage increases which the Wage Board has effected in recent years. Between I January 1958 and I January 1961, no less than 38 branches of industry were investigated and 38 determinations were made affecting 110,467 Bantu workers. The increases varied from centre to centre and from industry to industry. In Kimberley, for example, the increase represented 15.5 per cent, in Bloemfontein 30 per cent, in East London 38.5 per cent, in Durban it varied from 8.3 per cent to 46.2 per cent (the wages of the 10,465 municipal workers alone were increased by 26.1 per cent), in Pietermaritzburg it varied from 1.4 per cent to 80.8 per cent (the wages of the 1,970 municipal workers were increased by 32.5 per cent), on the Witwatersrand and in Pretoria the wages of 75.4 per cent of the employees of local authorities were increased by up to 30 per cent, while the wages of 21.4 per cent of the workers were increased by between 40 per cent and 50 per cent, and in other industries, apart from local authorities, wages were increased by from 6.5 per cent to 48.8 per cent. In other words, Bantu wages have been considerably improved. I have even seen an estimate which puts the total amount involved in the increases in Bantu wages over the past few years at as high a figure as R40,000,000. Mr. Harry Goldberg, chairman of the Committee for the Improvement of African Wages and Productivity, estimated in October 1959 that the increases which had been granted up to that time already totalled between R10,000,000 and R20,000,000, and since that time further determinations have been laid down. Towards the end of last year the Deputy Secretary for Labour (Mr. D. J. Geyser) said—

Great benefits have been achieved since the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act came into operation. Between 1956 and September 1960, wage increases were obtained for 500,000 workers.

That is to say, for Bantu who fall under Industrial Council agreements as well as under determinations in terms of the Wage Act—

The increases varied between 3s. 3d. and £9 9s. 7d. per month. The iron, steel, engineering and metal industry has granted increases to its 110,000 Native labourers during this year. This will cost the industry £3,000,000 per annum. The wage increases which the building industry has granted its workers will cost it approximately £1,250,000.

We have been told that similar increases will cost the oil industry an additional R1,000,000 per annum, while the Johannesburg City Council will also have to pay an additional R1,000,000 to its Bantu workers. I have also seen the following interesting comparison dealing with the Bantu in industry in a publication of the Department of Bantu Administration and Development, namely that in 1930, 80,000 Bantu were working in our industries at a total wage bill of R6,000,000. The number has increased tremendously and by 1957 there were already 367,000 Bantu workers employed in industry at a total wage of R114,000,000. In other words, from 1930 to 1957 the average earnings of the Bantu workers in industry rose from R75 to R310 per annum, that is to say, by about 313 per cent. By 1960 the average earnings had already increased to R348 per annum, a further increase of 12 per cent.

I now want to confine myself to a paragraph which I have found in practically all the reports of the Wage Board in respect of productivity, an aspect to which the hon. member for Pretoria (West) has already referred. I am referring to the following paragraph—

It is the conviction of the Board that the productivity of the unskilled labourer in South Africa can be appreciably raised by the application of better systems of selection, training and supervision. It also seems likely that a rise in wages will stimulate the more efficient utilization of this type of labour.

In other words, here the Wage Board is expressing its conviction in the case of every investigation it has undertaken that the productivity of the unskilled worker in South Africa must be increased. That the productivity of the unskilled worker is suffering from serious shortcomings is indisputable. Mr. Bobby Burns, in his 1959 presidential address to the Congress of the Associated Chambers of Commerce, stated that a leading bank had instituted an investigation into the productivity of labour in South Africa and various other countries. The bank found that while the productivity of labour in Western Germany had increased over the period 1953 to 1958 by 26 per cent, in Japan by 21 per cent, in the United States of America by 15 per cent and in Great Britain by 13 per cent, in South Africa it had declined by 1 per cent. From time to time suggestions have already been made as to how the productivity of our unskilled worker can be increased. In the first place incentive bonuses have been suggested and that principle is being applied on a comparatively limited scale in South Africa. According to a recent sample survey, it has been found that only 19.4 per cent of the undertakings concerned apply one or other incentive bonus scheme, and on a further analysis it has been found that a large number of these bonus incentive schemes are merely systems whereby commissions or bonuses are paid on sales or profits. In actual fact there are few schemes in South Africa which can be described as genuine scientific incentive schemes.

The hon. member for Pretoria (West) has also referred to the second suggestion, namely that of increased remuneration for managers so that they will not only organize labour more efficiently but also economize on labour costs. Apparently this is also what the Wage Board has in mind because it refers to “ the application of better selection, training and supervision of the workers ”. I can find no fault with this suggestion. Instead of repeated agitation for increased Bantu wages, a campaign should rather be launched aimed at increased managerial efficiency if this will result in increased efficiency and less wasteful utilization of Bantu labour.

In the third place, there is of course the method of paying higher wages which as the Wage Board says “ may stimulate the more efficient utilization of unskilled labour ”. I urged in this House last year that by introducing more efficient organization the employers could employ a smaller number of Bantu at higher wages to do the same work. On that occasion I quoted a person such as Mr. Regnier, the chairman of the Cape Chamber of Industries, who gave it as his conviction that if industry would place more emphasis on mechanization, industry would be able to make do with a far smaller labour corps. I also quoted the Standard Bank which expressed the opinion last year that South Africa’s industrial development was being hamstrung by the excessive employment of less productive unskilled workers, and which also stated that the disequilibrium between skilled labour and unskilled labour was steadily becoming ever greater. We find that the ratio of White labour to Bantu labour is really disquieting in certain industries: In manufacturing the ratio is one White to 1.75 Bantu; in the chemical industry 1 to 1.8; in the construction industry 1 to 3.7; in the non-metalliferous mineral products industry 1 to 6; in the leather industry, 1 to 7.3; and in mining, 1 to 8. The ratio of skilled to unskilled labour in South Africa is therefore different to and far less favourable than that prevailing in most European countries. Bantu labour is so cheap that the employer finds it easier to employ two such workers instead of ensuring that one of those workers becomes a more useful and efficient worker. We are making progress and in this regard there is very encouraging evidence that our big employers are fully aware of the position. Thus the Wage Board report states the following in respect of the Johannesburg City Council—

The City Council of Johannesburg has advised the Board that it has engaged the National Institute of Personnel Research to carry out an investigation into the utilization of Native labour employed by the Council. It is expected that the outcome of this investigation will be a smaller, more efficient and better paid labour force.

In the same way we also find that during an investigation undertaken last year the Schlesinger Organization found the following—

The investigation revealed that throughout the country there was a dismaying measure of manpower wastage with accompanying inefficiency.

This is also the conviction of the Wage Board because at various places in the reports of the Wage Board it gives this as its conviction.

I think the hon. the Minister stated last year that labour saving would be investigated on a scientific basis. I should like to ask the hon. the Minister of Labour if progress has been made in that direction. Irrespective of whatever results Bantu wage increases may have, I should like to see labour saving in the case of unskilled labour tackled energetically. I want to make an earnest appeal that in cooperation with the Department of Bantu Administration and Development some form of control, over and above influx control, should be applied in our industrial centres so that the industries and large-scale employers of Bantu labour will only be allowed to employ essential labour in those centres. I am convinced that everything possible must be done to increase the productivity of the Bantu worker and if that is done, the problem of higher wages will solve itself. It will result in the number of Bantu workers in our urban areas being considerably reduced and in my opinion may make the greatest single contribution to the solution of our urban Bantu problem.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

What are you going to do with the rest?

*Mr. VAN RENSBURG:

Before leaving the question of productivity, I just want to refer to the provision of food to workers. Mr. Speaker, the chairman of the Wage Board raised a very important matter last year when he referred to the provision of food by employers to their Bantu workers. Dr. Steenkamp said—

I consider that it will pay undertakings handsomely to make the provision of meals a condition of service. The question of malnutrition is one of the reasons why an increase in Bantu wages will have a more favourable effect on productivity over a short period than would probably be the position in wealthier countries. However there is the danger that such wages could be misused. I have been told that the attendance of horse races at Durban by the Bantu is increasing sharply. For that reason part of these increases should rather be in the form of goods and services.

That is what Dr. Steenkamp has said. I now find in the Wage Board’s report on unskilled labour that the biggest employer, in Kimberley, for example, has testified that the Bantu workers lack stamina. In East London the Board has found that difficulty is sometimes experienced in finding workers who are able and prepared to undertake hard manual work. One asks oneself whether this is not largely due to a lack of adequate food. The Railways provide balanced rations to 30,000 of their Bantu workers in the compounds and on the sections. In reply to my question as to what effect this had had, I was told that they found that if they did not do so, the Bantu workers bought cool drinks and buns which were not very nutritious and they found that diseases resulting from malnutrition often occurred. Last year the hon. the Deputy Minister of Labour told the House that a large factory on the Rand had decided to provide food to its Bantu workers and that it had found that its production increased by 40 per cent over the period concerned. I would like to see the hon. the Minister and his Department giving serious consideration to the question of the provision of food. This applies to the Wage Board as well. It may be my ignorance, but I do find it strange that in reply to a request by the Council of Rand Municipalities the Wage Board replied that it did not recommend a feeding scheme. The Rand Municipalities had recommended that if a feeding scheme was recommended, the usual deduction of 3s. should be increased to 12s.

I now come to the third point which I want to submit, namely, that of increases granted by employers. A well-known businessman, Mr. Charles Marx, who is also chairman of the Cape Town branch of the Bantu Wage and Productivity Association, said last year that the responsibility for increased wages and greater productivity rested in the first place on the shoulders of the employers themselves. I agree with him wholeheartedly because the employers are the only people who can ensure that increased wages go hand in hand with improved training and consequently increased production as well. No legislation and no action by the State can assist in that regard. It seems as though many employers do not appreciate this fundamental duty which rests on them and are only too ready to lay the blame for everything at the door of the Government. The Wage Board states for example—

It is significant how many of these employers attribute this unsuitability to the low wages being paid and most of these employers suggest higher wages as a remedy. The Board finds it almost beyond comprehension that employers who are free to increase wages have not aimed at better productivity through a better paid stable labour force.

The employer provides employment; he is the one who must pay the wages; he is the one who knows what his industry can afford and that is why it is the employer more than anyone else who can do most to bring about wage increases and increased labour productivity.

As far as the Government is concerned, I have already indicated what the Government has done in recent years to improve and to expedite the wage determination machinery. The hon. the Minister has already set out very clearly on previous occasions the policy which the Government follows in respect of the approval it must give to Industrial Council agreements and in undertaking wage determinations. The hon. member for Pretoria (West) has correctly pointed out that the Minister does not approve of any Industrial Council agreement if it will result in wage reductions or in a worsening of conditions of service. The Minister does not make any wage determination in respect of Bantu wages if the Central Native Labour Board has not recommended it. The Government has never limited the right of the employer to pay wages exceeding the minimum wage. On the contrary, the Government has always welcomed and encouraged this, and has also done so by setting a good example by granting wage increases to its own officials. Thus the average earnings of a public servant increased over the period 1948 to 1961 from R717 to R1,270 per annum, an increase of 77 per cent, and similarly the average earnings of a White Railway official increased over the period 1948 to 1960 from R878 to R1,688 per annum, an increase of 92 per cent, and this does not include the present cost of living consolidation which will involve nearly R12,000,000. That is the example which the Government has set in respect of its own officials. This should serve as an encouragement and in many instances an essential encouragement to employers to improve and increase the wages of their own workers.

To conclude, what has been the net result, the net effect of all these steps on the wages and the purchasing power of Bantu? In the latest March issue of Volkshandel, Dr. Dawie Marais states that, according to an estimate of the Department of Bantu Administration and Development, the annual purchasing power of the Bantu in South Africa totals approximately R1,000,000,000. The per capita income of the Bantu in South Africa is R105 which is higher than anywhere else in Africa. No wonder that Bantu are streaming from other African territories and the Protectorates into South Africa to seek a livelihood here. According to figures issued by the International Labour Organization the average wage per hour of Bantu workers in South Africa is 13 cents as compared with 4½ cents in Northern Rhodesia, 5 cents in Southern Rhodesia, 7 cents in Nigeria, 7¼ cents in Ghana and 8 cents in the Belgian Congo. Towards the end of 1959 Mr. Harry Goldberg estimated that if the income which a Bantu required to maintain an accepted standard of living was taken at 100, then the wages of the Bantu in the Union compared as follows with those of other African States: The Union of South Africa 55, French Central Africa 40, the Congo (Belgian) 38, Ghana 31, Southern Rhodesia 26, Kenya 26, and Tanganyika 22. And amongst these we find States who are always ready to criticize South Africa and to condemn her policies. Ghana and Nigeria were two of the States which made our position in the Commonwealth impossible. But our Eastern critics in the Commonwealth and at UNO as well, namely, India, Pakistan and Ceylon, should also rather sweep before their own doorsteps before accusing us. The per capita income of the Asian in South Africa to-day is R160, which is twice the figure for Ceylon, and four times the figure for India and Pakistan. These are facts which speak loudly and which I believe will speak ever more loudly to the world opinion which is so critical of South Africa to-day. I am firmly convinced that justice will eventually also triumph once again in the world.

Dr. CRONJE:

Like the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg) I would like to congratulate the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) on the very sensible step he took during the recess. After having taken such an optimistic step, I was rather disappointed that he showed so little optimism on the topic he introduced in this hon. House to-day. His whole tone was so pessimistic and so passive that I can only hope that in the other life he has started he will not adopt the same attitude. Listening to the hon. members for Pretoria (West) and Bloemfontein (East), I was reminded of that description of economics as a dismal science, made by a great English humorist. That, I think, was a very apt description of the two speeches we have must listened to. They were rather dismal. The hon. members took up the attitude that in this matter which is of such vital importance to the ordinary worker in South Africa, and especially to the lower-income workers, the Government could do very little, that the Government was really a passive instrument. We on this side of the House differ entirely from that. We say that the Government can play a far more active role in bringing about adequate standards of living for all sections of the people, and for that reason we wish to move an amendment to the motion moved by the hon. member for Pretoria (West), as follows—

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “ this House calls on the Government to assume its primary responsibility to establish adequate minimum wage standards throughout South Africa”.

We say that this attitude that there is very little that the Government can do and that minimum wages, and wages generally—if I understood the hon. members correctly—is really a function of inscrutable economic laws about which the Government can do very little, is completely wrong. The modern concept is that in any modern Western State the prime responsibility for seeing that there are adequate minimum wage standards for all workers rests with the Government. The hon. member for Pretoria (West) said that this was the negation of capitalism, that if the Government starts interfering and fixing minimum wages it would be wrong. He said that in the capitalistic system this was the prime responsibility of the employer.

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

Do you not believe in private enterprise?

Dr. CRONJE:

If the hon. member will give me a chance I will develop this argument. If, for instance, the hon. member believes in private enterprise, how is he going to bring about separate development in this country? It will require far more intervention on the part of the Government to bring that about. It will require action on the part of the government to raise minimum wages in this country. As a matter of fact, it is simply not true that the Government does not fix minimum wages. Take the greatest capitalistic state in the world, the United States of America. As far as I am aware they have fixed minimum wages for all industrial workers. So it is simply not correct to say that that is not the function of the State, to enter directly into this matter and fix adequate minimum wages for all sections of the population. That applies even in capitalistic states.

We on this side of the House agree, as was pointed out by the hon. member for Pretoria (West), that certain desirable social minima have been set out by organizations like the Institute of Race Relations, based on certain minimum standards. We agree that you cannot jump into this immediately; you cannot fix those wages immediately. That would have a tremendous inflationary effect on our economy as a whole. And, as the hon. member pointed out, quite correctly, what you give the worker in the way of increased wages will simply be taken away by the higher prices he will have to pay as a result of the higher cost of living and the way it will affect our export industries. But that should be a target to which the Government should work. If that is a long-term target to which the Government were to work it would be quite a practicable proposition here in South Africa. The Government should set some minimum wages for industry. I also agree with the hon. member for Pretoria (West) that you cannot set a minimum for all industries in all parts of South Africa. One must take into consideration the variations in the cost of living in different areas, and that approaches selective increases and the establishing of different minimum wages for different areas. That is quite correct. But the Government should work, over a certain period of time, to some social goal. That social goal could very well be this minimum wage that is suggested by the various institutions. If the Government were then also to suggest that they themselves would set the example by increasing wages by, say, 5 per cent a year for their own employees until that minimum standard is reached, and also, indirectly use their influence to increase minimum wages in industry to that level, that would be a practical policy. It would be a practical proposition to see to it that within a foreseeable period of, say, 20 years, all our industrial workers live according to accepted minimum Western standards.

The hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) suggested that there were four instruments by which wages are increased. He said that first of all the State itself could directly pay increased wages to its employees. I want to deal with that very topic. Has the Government really set the example to industry? After all, it is accepted to-day that the Government in this country employs, directly or indirectly, between one-fifth and one-quarter of all the workers in this country. The Government itself could set a very important example to private industry by increasing the wages of their own employees. It is true, as both hon. speakers pointed out, that you must have increased productivity before you can pay higher wages. Surely, just as a normal employer must increase his productivity over a period of time in order to increase the wages paid, so the Government, and all the activities in which it is concerned, could increase productivity slowly and work, over a period of time, to a minimum wage standard. If one looks at the answer that was given in this House a little while ago by the hon. the Minister of Transport, I think it shows that the Government itself has lagged just as much as any private industrialist over the past 10 or 15 years in increasing wages. The question asked of the hon. the Minister of Transport was—

What rate of wages is at present paid by the South African Railways for unskilled Native labour in (a) Durban, (b) Johannesburg, (c) Pretoria, (d) Bloemfontein, (e) Port Elizabeth, (f) East London and (g) Cape Town?

And the reply was—

Basic Wage (per day) Centre

Minimum

(a) Durban

47.5c

(b) Johannesburg

47.5c

(c) Pretoria

47.5c

(d) Bloemfontein

47.5c

(e) Port Elizabeth

55c

(f) East London

50c

(g) Cape Town

70c

A married man who was on the 47.5c level, in addition to that, received R5.77 cost-of-living allowance.

Mr. Speaker, these wages are far below what is regarded as minimum Western wages to live at minimum Western standards. That shows what tremendous scope there is for the Government itself to directly work to a programme of gradually increasing wages over a period of time to attain certain desirable social minima. It is true, of course, that in the end one cannot pay higher wages without increased productivity. The wages you can pay are very closely linked to your productivity. You cannot very well pay out, as a country, more than the country produced. But as far as the question of productivity itself is concerned the State can play such a very important role in increasing that productivity. But I am afraid that this Government follows so many different policies. The very figures that were quoted by the hon. member for Pretoria (West) show that whereas in all other Western countries such as Germany and other European countries, and in Japan, productivity per worker has been increasing rapidly, it has been remaining static in South Africa. And the hon. member seemed to imply that that was entirely the fault of the employer. But is that so? Is it not the social and statutory handicaps under which the employers must work that makes it impossible for them to increase the productivity of their workers. After all, in industry it is a primary fact that unless you have reasonable stability in labour, unless labour stays for a reasonable period in employment in one particular industry, you cannot increase productivity. But the whole policy of this Government is, in the end, based on the fact that all our labour will be migratory, and that makes it impossible to develop high productivity as far as labour is concerned. It is only by stabilizing your labour, and by achieving a permanent labour force in the big cities that one can achieve this rapid increase in productivity, as has been shown in these other countries. These other countries all have permanent labour and are not dependent upon migrant industrial labour. But as I read the policy of this Government, it is to have migrant labour. I do not say that that works out in practice, but what does happen in this country, for various social and other reasons which I would not like to go into now, is that we have one of the highest turnovers in industrial labour in the world. Unless we change our social policies so that we can cut down that terrific turnover in industry we will not get the increased productivity that is taking place everywhere else in the world.

This productivity, quite apart from the fact that wages ultimately depend upon productivity, is of far greater national importance than wages. In a world where productivity is increasing rapidly—as was shown by the figures quoted by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East)—-it is quite clear that if we do not set in motion a process whereby our labour productivity increases rapidly, we will price ourselves out of all the markets in the world. Because those countries that are most competitive to-day, whose exports are rising most rapidly, are the very ones whose productivity has increased most rapidly in the past few years. I refer particularly to Japan and Germany. In those two countries in the last 10 years we have seen the most rapid increase in productivity, and we have also seen the most rapid increase of exports in the world. Therefore these statistics quoted by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) are cardinal. They show, economically speaking, how sick our society really is; they show that over such a long period we are one of the few countries in the world which has had no increase in productivity by industrial workers. And that, again, is not largely the fault of the employer.

I again come back to the question that underlying this situation is the general social policy of this country, the general Government policy. The employer can only work in a certain social climate, in a certain given social context. And if that social context is against increasing productivity there is very little that we can do.

Mr. VAN DER WALT:

You are overstressing that point.

Dr. CRONJE:

No, I am saying that he can only work in that sphere. The figures have shown that in fact the increase in productivity has not happened in South Africa. And I am afraid that what has happened in the last year or two has resulted in a cutting of the inflow of capital from overseas, which also means a reduction of your supply of technical knowledge, a reduction in your steady supply of know-how which had been coming in from overseas. Because we have to admit that we can still learn a tremendous lot from the highly industrialized countries of the world on productivity and on how to manufacture goods.

We are entering into a period where, for general economical reasons, we are cutting down that flow of capital and that flow of knowledge which should come to South Africa from the West all the time. If we want to advance rapidly economically, and increase our productivity, and our standards of living, we must have that. And there again it is something that is not within the control of the individual employer. This is being brought about as a result of the wider national policy.

Even with all these limitations; even though it is true that you cannot pay higher wages unless you have higher productivity, it is a fact—which was borne out by some of the quotations made by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East)—that below a certain standard of living, and if your wages are so low that a person is simply not physically fit to do a full day’s work, the very fact of increasing his wage increases his productivity. The very fact that you pay him more so that he can do a full day’s work means that his productivity increases. That is the purport of the quotations given to this House by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East). There again the Government can surely play an active rôle. Where wages are below that level at which people can maintain themselves in good physical condition, the Government, by stepping in through the Wage Board and pushing up minima, would automatically increase productivity.

It is also an over-simplification to say that wages depend only on productivity. Wages and incomes also depend on how they are distributed over the country, and that again is a primary function of government in all civilized states. They must see that there is a fair and just distribution of income amongst all the groups of the people of their country. The hon. member for Pretoria (West) argued in many respects as if our position in South Africa as far as employers and employees are concerned, is entirely analogous to Western countries. But, of course, it is not analogous. After all, a very large percentage of all our workers—almost three-fifths of our Native industrial workers—are not allowed to enter into collective bargaining in terms of the Industrial Conciliation Act, in order to improve their wages. In a Western state it is the duty of the Government to protect the lowest income earners. Despite the fact that they are allowed to organize in trade unions, it is still regarded as a function of the Government— as for instance in the United States of America —to assist the lowest income groups by fixing minimum wages. That is also the attitude taken up in Australia. If that is true of those countries surely the case for this Government acting, so to speak, as the guardian of your lowest income group in this country, people who are not allowed to use the instrument for negotiating higher wages with their employers —the duty on the Government is far greater in a country like South Africa where you have such a large percentage of the workers who are not allowed to use the normal machinery of negotiation that you have in most Western countries. They are not allowed to act as an organized body against the employers, and the employers usually are organized. Surely, therefore, a greater duty devolves upon the Government to see that the minimum wage at least keeps pace with the cost of living.

Mr. Speaker, that is the one thing that has not happened in South Africa until recently. As was mentioned by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East), our Wage Board, because it was understaffed and because it was too small, simply could not keep up with the administrative work of reviewing wages in large sectors of our economy. The result was that the time lag was, in some cases …

Mr. MILLER:

Fifteen years.

Dr. CRONJE:

Somebody suggests 15 years. I was told it was ten years in some cases. In a period of rapid inflation the Government simply did not create the machinery to see that minimum wages for our lowest paid workers kept pace with the cost of living. That is why such large increases were given, as quoted by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East). He quoted these figures to show how much the Government had done by increasing wages so considerably, but that came about because there was such a long time lag.

Mr. HOPEWELL:

Too little, too late.

Dr. CRONJE:

Well, I would not say it was too little too late, but it certainly was too late, and over a long period.

We on this side of the House therefore say that it is no use for hon. Ministers and hon. members on the Government side to pretend that this is not a prime responsibility of the Government, the responsibility of fixing adequate minimum wages for all sections of the people. It is a Government responsibility in all civilized states of the world.

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

But of course it is not. It is the responsibility of industry.

Dr. CRONJE:

The hon. member makes that interjection. He will surely admit that whereas the Government always holds out that they are the guardians …

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

It is the employers’ prime responsibility to raise wages, not the Government. I am doing it in my case.

Dr. CRONJE:

That is quite a novel theory. In all other civilized countries in the world it is a question of negotiation between organized labour and organized employers, with the Government stepping in to set minimum wages, wherever they feel that the workers are not sufficiently organized. And I say that that is all the more applicable in a country like South Africa where, by statute, a very large section of our workers are not allowed to organize in order to negotiate with organized employers. I know of no country in the world, except perhaps the communistic countries, where the employer dictates the wages entirely on his own, which is the proposition that this hon. gentleman is trying to make. In every other country in the world it is a question of bargaining between the employer and the employee. It is for that reason, Mr. Speaker, that I now move the amendment which I have already read out to the House.

Dr. D. L. SMIT:

I second the amendment moved by my hon. friend the member for Jeppes (Dr. Cronje). We have listened to a very interesting debate. I do not agree with all that has fallen from the hon. members on the Government benches, but the views they have expressed illustrate the fact that hon. members on the Government benches are awakening to the gravity of the situation which arises from one of the most important questions in the economic life of the Bantu workers, on whose behalf I wish to say a few words.

The statistics that have been quoted by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg) do not prove anything. The fact remains that most of these Bantu workers receive wages that make it impossible for them to maintain a decent standard of living for themselves and their families. And that is the fundamental fact that lies at the root of all our troubles. I support the view put forward by the hon. member for Jeppes that a special responsibility rests upon the Government so far as these Bantu workers are concerned, for the simple reason that they are not allowed to use any workers’ organization under the Industrial Conciliation Act for the purpose of collective bargaining. Some organization, some form of trade union was recommended some years ago by the Botha Commission appointed by the present Government. But the Government rejected the recommendations of that Commission and so we find ourselves in this position to-day, that except for small workers’ committees the Natives have no form of collective bargaining in connection with wages or other disputes.

It is generally accepted, I think, that the fixing of minimum wages is the responsibility of the State in those circumstances. The hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) has given reasons why Bantu trade unions should not be recognized. But whether we like it or not this attitude cannot be maintained indefinitely, and the Government will be forced by circumstances beyond their control to recognize these unions. In my opinion, the sooner this fact is faced the better. In these circumstances it is the duty of the State to take steps to ensure that workers of every race and colour should earn sufficient to enable them to provide themselves and their families with the decent necessaries of life.

I wish to pay a tribute to the Association for the Improvement of Bantu Wages and Productivity for obtaining the sympathetic cooperation of commerce and industry in regard to the needs of the Bantu workers. The hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) has correctly stated that as a result of these efforts Bantu wages have, during the past 12 months, been increased by R40,000,000. But that does not get away from the fact that the large majority of the Bantu families living in the urban areas are living below the breadline, and that in spite of the recent increase in wages most of these families do not earn sufficient to maintain a healthy existence. We have very little information in regard to family incomes and expenditure in the rural areas. We have certain information that was obtained by Prof. Hobart-Houghton of Rhodes University in 1949 as a result of a survey that he carried out in the Keiskammahoek District. He found at that time that the cash expenditure of a Bantu family of five amounted to £56 13s. per annum. The following year the Tomlinson Commission came to the conclusion that the average income of such a family was £40 net per annum. So even in the Bantu areas the position is worse than it is in the urban areas, and accounts very largely for the fact that the Natives are attracted to the towns in order to obtain better wages and better conditions.

As far as the urban areas are concerned, a number of reliable surveys have been carried out from time to time, both by the municipalities and by the research workers of the South African Institute of Race Relations. The result of these surveys indicates that although there are individual Bantu who earn comparatively high wages in the towns, the large majority of families cannot afford to maintain even what is called the poverty-datum line standard; that is the line below which health and decency cannot be maintained. In other words, that is the barest minimum upon which subsistence can be achieved without allowing anything for amusements and other amenities. The figures show that in every case where comparable income and expenditure figures are available, between 69 per cent and 78 per cent of the Bantu families in the cities have incomes below the minimum required to provide the barest essentials of living. And whilst the recent increases in wages contributed by commerce and industry have been much appreciated, the fact is that these increases are not commensurate with the rapid rise in cost of living and transport. And transport plays a very important part in the cost of living of the average Native.

In 1957 a cost and management consultant appointed by the Johannesburg Municipality carried out an exhaustive investigation in order to ascertain the least possible level below which a Bantu family income should not fall. He calculated that the barest minimum expenditure required to sustain a non-European family of five varied from £18 1s. 7d. to £23 13s. 8d. per month judged according to the locality in which the Natives were living. He found that the average income required to provide the barest essentials of existence is £21 a month. This was carried a step further by an investigation by the S.A. Institute of Race Relations in 1959, the fourth survey carried out by that body during the period from 1944 onwards. As a result of this later survey, they gave the total essential expenditure of a Bantu family of five at £24 5s. 8d. and the average family income at £17 7s. 8d., a monthly deficit of £6 18s. Where that £6 18s. is to come from is nobody’s business. It is a deficit which often has to be made good by illicit liquor dealing or other undesirable practices. This Johannesburg survey shows how the cost of living has increased since 1944. It practically doubled between 1944 and 1954, though between 1954 and 1959 the position was slightly improved. Between those years the average family income increased by 9 per cent, while the essential expenditure increased by 3 per cent, but the shortfall between income and expenditure was nevertheless equal to almost 40 per cent of the family income. The result is an alarming amount of malnutrition amongst our Natives and an alarming death rate among Bantu children and I would add that an underfed labour force which cannot withstand the strains of modern conditions has been the result. Investigations carried out by the Medical Faculty of the Natal University and by the National Advisory Committee for National Research in 1959 showed that one in three non-White babies died of malnutrition before reaching the age of one year. Of the survivors, a substantial number died before they were four years old, all due to the poverty of the parents who were not able to provide adequate food for these children. Wage levels have increased but they have not kept pace with the phenomenal increase in the cost of living, and the increased taxation upon the Bantu introduced by this Government last year has further aggravated the position. It is therefore of the utmost important that urgent steps should be taken to raise the living standards of our Bantu workers, but it is quite wrong to suppose that the result can be achieved merely by raising wages. That is a step which must go hand in hand with the capacity of the industry concerned to pay the additional cost and it depends on increased productivity on the part of the worker. In order to bring that about the great need is to provide our unskilled Bantu workers with skills to increase our industrial production. Unless you can do that, you cannot induce employers to raise wages to a much higher level. Unfortunately in most centres the necessary training facilities in various skills are not available to the Bantu workers, and that is the weak point in our whole system of industrial labour. Added to that is the policy of job reservation which limits occupations which a Native may lawfully undertake.....

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order! Job reservation is not under discussion now.

Dr. D. L. SMIT:

I have here a report from King William’s Town which I should like to refer to and which illustrates the need for better training facilities and the success that can be achieved by providing those training facilities to the Bantu workers. I refer to the Good Hope Textile Corporation (Pty.) Ltd., started under the United Party Government in a Native reserve outside King William’s Town. Production was actually begun in 1949 with 300 looms and an output of 7,000,000 to 8,000,000 yards of bleached cloth per annum. The number of workers at that time was 900 Natives and 100 White technicians. Since then there have been two extensions, one in 1954 and one in 1959, and the number of looms has as a result been increased to 1,080, and the output to 40,000,000 yards of cloth of various types. The present labour complement there is 2,850 Natives and 200 Whites. This expansion has been largely achieved through a training scheme which this company has provided for its workers. I would just like to read a paragraph from a letter I received from them which deals with this aspect—

We operate proper training schemes and every worker on recruitment must undergo aptitude tests, the results of which enable us to canalize the potential worker into the job best fitted to him. After the aptitude testing, he is put into a training school and taught the basic elements of his job. The job he is being prepared for is broken down into a number of components and each component is taught to the Native in such a way that he memorizes it before going on to the next. After complete training in the school he is transferred to the various departments and given further training with an experienced worker. He is then given a refresher course in the school and after this he is promoted to the particular job for which he has been trained. All workers, with the exception of the ordinary labourer and departmental sweepers, have to undergo this training scheme.

That is an example of what should be undertaken throughout the country; it should not be confined merely to this one factory. By increasing the skill of the Native, and I was going to add by abolishing job reservation, you will increase production a hundredfold and you will increase Native wages in accordance with his increased capacity to earn and expand your internal market. It is true to say that a beginning has been made in some of the Bantu schools established in recent years to provide industrial training, but that has not been undertaken on a sufficient scale to make any substantial industrial impression on the needs of our country. The policy should be to train every Bantu child in our schools, male and female alike, in skills which will fit them for absorption into industry as soon as they reach the school-leaving stage. Machinery should be set up to ensure that every one of them is placed in an occupation for which his school training has fitted him, and at a fair living wage. In this way we will not only provide a well-trained labour force for the country’s expanding industries, but we will increase the spending power of the Bantu people to the great benefit of the whole community, and also get rid of the criminal elements which draw their recruits from among the frustrated young people who grow up and have no jobs to go to. That is the situation as I see it and these are the steps that should be taken in addition to the mere increasing of wages which has been suggested.

Mr. WILLIAMS:

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) has introduced a very interesting and a very highly complicated motion and there are few things more difficult to debate in a forum such as this than such a complicated problem as a minimum wage. The hon. member has always shown an interest in labour matters and in associating myself with certain remarks that have been made from this side of the House, I hope that in future he will continue to show a very deep interest in family cost-of-living allowances.

The first point I want to deal with is the basic question of the function of government in a private enterprise society in relation to a minimum wage. The hon. member took the view that we are a capitalist society, or an individualist society as I prefer to call it, and therefore anything such as a minimum wage runs counter to the basic principle that he accepts. Of course this is not quite the case. In other words, he was over-emphasizing something there, because in fact both sides of the House accept the principle of a minimum wage in an individualist society. The question under discussion is whether we can aim at a general minimum wage or the type of minimum wage that comes into being by reason of the activities of the Wage Board and so forth. What I want to emphasize is that in a society which is capitalist but no longer a laissez-faire capitalist society, there is nothing more wrong in having a minimum wage basis than there is in having a basis which fixes the hours of work, because after all that is an interference with the right of the employer and the employee, if you are thinking in terms of laissez-faire capitalism. The position in all countries of the world to-day which are non-socialist is parallel to that of the gold standard basis on which the world works, namely that it is a managed currency but gold still remains the basis. Equally in every country of the world to-day there is a degree of interference and management by the State in these matters, while retaining the basic principle of self-government and private enterprise in industry.

The second matter I wish to deal with in a general way before coming to specific arguments is the argument about the increase in productivity in relation to wages, that you cannot increase wages without increasing productivity without running into danger of inflation. I would like to point out that over the last 15 to 25 years there has been a colossal increase in production in this country and the basic question which we have to face, in relation to the wages of the lowest-paid workers, is that in that increase of the national income which follows on that increased productivity, did the lowest-paid worker get his fair share of the increased productivity in terms not of money wages but in terms of real wages? It is my submission that it was not so; that a sufficiency of the share of that increased productivity which resulted from the association of capital and labour did not go to the lowest level of the workers and therefore there is reason at this moment to consider an upward adjustment of that lower level which should perhaps have taken place in the past. But I want to argue—and here I support the hon. member for Jeppes (Dr. Cronje) —that the argument is not as simple as that, that simply by raising wages you automatically throw a spanner into the works and that there will not necessarily be any increase in productivity from that increase in wages unless you take other steps also. One of the factors in this regard which has not been considered in this debate, and I think it must be mentioned here to get the background right, is the tremendous alteration that has taken place in the country in the application of power to the work. In other words, our whole industrial structure has altered in that regard, so that irrespective of the advance in the individual skill of the worker, the fact that power was used has in itself tremendously increased production. Therefore figures which simply indicate a rise in cash wages over a period without any relation to any of those other factors mean very little [Interjection.] I have figures here to show the increase in the power used, but I do not think I need go into those figures because we all know that much more power has been applied whether it is in agriculture of secondary industry.

The second important question which arises here is the extent to which rises in prices are associated with rises in general wages. The assumption is in all cases that with the rise in wages you will ipso facto get a roughly corresponding increase in general prices if the rise in wages is general. It does not follow that these things are directly proportionate to each other. I have some figures here from Australia, which of the non-socialist countries of the world is the country where the state more than anywhere else plays a dominant rôle in the question of wages. These figures are from the years 1945 to 1946 and they give an index for the wage rate which rises from 100 to 250 and of earnings—because earnings and wage rates are different matters—which rose from 100 to 274, and prices rose from 100 to 214. The point is that in a country like that with an established and high minimum wage, where compulsory arbitration is a very common form of industrial negotiation, in other words, a country where the state does play a big rôle in these matters while the society remains a private enterprise society, prices did not rise to the extent that wages rose. In other words, the real gain to the country was not entirely wiped out. The two things were not exactly parallel, but it can be assumed, generally speaking, that a general rise in wages has the danger of a general rise in prices and it is a question of balancing those two things.

The third big factor that we have to consider in this matter, and this is where this country differs radically from nearly all other countries with our stage of development, is the ratio between unskilled and skilled wages. In most of the highly developed countries, that ratio is anything from about 30 per cent to 55 per cent and the general average will be about 40 per cent. Here the ratio of unskilled to skilled is something like one-sixth. Disregarding any question of race and just considering skilled and unskilled labour, in any country such a relationship is not a healthy one and the basic question to my mind is how to close that gap, not in money wages but in real wages, between the unskilled and the skilled groups. The reason why this situation arose in this country is part of our history, that we had to pay high prices to attract skilled labour from outside, and we were absorbing from poverty-stricken areas people who were not used to a high wage, and so we started with that big gap. But I want to submit that we have advanced beyond the stage where we can consider that as a healthy thing or where we consider, as we always have done, that we have an unlimited supply of that cheaper variety of labour at our disposal. We have not, if the labour were properly distributed between the activities on which it ought to be engaged; in other words, conquering poverty in the reserves on the one hand and improving agricultural production on the other, and thirdly, providing the labour that we need for our primary and secondary industry. Now here comes another difficulty in this highly complicated question. Leaving aside the reserve question, there is the big difference between wages in primary industry —and in primary industry I include agriculture, because although in this House we often discuss agriculture as a very special subject, in relation to the economic situation of the country it is one of the big primary industries together with mining—and those in secondary industry.

The hon. member made a point by implication that one of our difficulties is this, that whereas it may be easy for certain secondary industries to raise their wages, it is very difficult for the primary industries, particularly mining, to do the same, and with the fixed price of gold that is a very real difficulty. But nevertheless I think there is still some scope for movement there and it is the submission of this party, and what this party aims at in its policy, to have a better relationship between the various big demands that are made on our labour, a co-ordinated relationship between those demands. There are few countries where the governing people, who in South Africa at the moment happen to be the White race, give more thought to the future. We are a provident people; we have an instinct to plan and to try and look at the year 2000, but it is a curious thing for a people with that kind of mind that we are very inadequately provided with statistics, and it is very dangerous to attempt to plan without the facts. My first big plea is to the Government to arrive at more of the facts of the matter. The hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) mentioned the cost of living in the urban areas, of the Bantu. We are ignorant of the real cost of living of the urban Bantu in relation to the wages he receives. The only research done in this field has been conducted not by the Government but by voluntary bodies such as universities, and any figures quoted in this regard, such as the figure quoted by the hon. member for East London (City), ranges for a man, his wife and three children from £25 per month, depending on the city and the subsistence level, to £22, and this has not been arrived at by exhaustive research, but purely by sample surveys made by bodies like the Institute of Race Relations. I think the first thing we need is to have a closer inquiry into the cost of living, and not exclusively of the Bantu worker but of the lower-income groups. In this regard we deal with an average figure. We take the cost-of-living index the Government works on, and it is a good index, but it is an average, and whenever you deal with average figures you are running into danger. It is my submission that the average cost of living is only true for a certain level of wage. In other words, I would contend that the cost of living of the lowest income groups has risen more than that of the others. I do not say Mr. Spooner’s figures are accurate, but he has done a sufficiently detailed analysis to raise the question of the validity of the cost-of-living index we accept as an average in relation to the lowest-paid workers. He takes a period of 15 years ending in 1953-4, and he finds that the cost of living of a Bantu family based on the cost of mealie-meal, blankets, etc. has risen to 182 at a time when our average index rose to 150. On the basis of that figure—I do not say it is a correct figure; what I would like to see is elaborate research into the cost of living of that particular group —but if that figure is correct his conclusion that he draws is also correct, and that is that the real wages of Bantu workers have actually fallen rather than risen relatively to the skilled workers, although their cash wages have risen. Whether that is true or not I do not know, but even if that figure has remained just static it is quite a serious matter because in most of our discussions here in dealing with the average figure we are quite satisfied that the bottom level, although it might be not improving as fast as we could wish, is nonetheless improving steadily in terms of real wages. I think this is well worth an investigation by the Government, and in the amendment we are going to move we will submit that the Government should consider the advisability of establishing a commission to inquire thoroughly into the cost of living of the rural and urban worker at the lowest level, i.e. particularly the Bantu worker, because this is the most important thing that we should establish. It is not of much value us coming to this House and comparing our lowest-paid worker with those elsewhere in Africa, and because our position is better saying that we can be complacent and need not worry about the criticism we are getting. The fact is that we are more highly developed than those countries, we have more power applied in industry and we have advanced more in technology and ipso facto therefore our wages should be higher than in those countries. I am not criticizing South Africa; I welcome the fact that we are beginning to get at the roots of poverty.

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

Are you against raising wages in South Africa?

Mr. WILLIAMS:

I am for raising wages, but I am saying that the comparison of a highly developed country’s wage structure with that of a less developed country is not of much value. My whole case is for the raising of wages and for the establishment of regional minimum wages, difficult as the matter may be.

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

Does the hon. member now advocate that wages should be raised in South Africa without any regard to the increased productivity of the worker?

Mr. WILLIAMS:

Of course I would not advocate such a thing, except at a given instant of time. Then I would. If you regard the economic structure as a dynamic process, of course you cannot consider steadily increasing wages with a falling productivity, but at a given instant of time you might say that the bottom level is so low that the benefits coming from raising that bottom level are worth the shock that may result to the economy referred to by the hon. member for Pretoria (West). But as the hon. member for Jeppes has pointed out, at a certain level increasing wages to improve the nutrition standard of the worker will itself increase production, just as the West found out in the 19th century that a steady decrease in hours from 12 to eight steadily increased production, because of the increased efficiency of the workers under those conditions. A lot of these generalizations are dangerous to deal with. You must deal with the thing in detail rather than in broad generalization. That brings me to another point I wish to make in this regard. We speak of raising wages in secondary industry, for example, as though secondary industry were a kind of homogeneous thing, and the Government policy is to raise wages selectively; in other words where in a particular industry it can readily be done—whether by self-government or not is not the point at issue here—then you lift the wage in that industry but not over secondary industry as a whole, and naturally in general progress this is the sort of pattern we will follow. But what I want to point out— what was left out of the argument—is that different industries vary quite considerably in the relation of wages to costs, the proportion that wages represent in the determination of costs. For example, in the building industry wages are not, contrary to popular belief, a highly significant proportion of total cost. In mining they are a much more significant proportion, although not as great a proportion as they used to be before mining became so highly mechanized. In agriculture they used to be a very high proportion of costs until an element of mechanization was also introduced into agriculture and land values became inflated so that capital became a very big factor. But you must analyse this thing in each industry, because where wages do not represent a significant proportion of costs and where that industry is highly profitable, it is very easy for that particular group to raise wages; it is a question of the bargaining power between two groups. But that particular industry is also competitive in the labour market with other industries where the relation of wages to cost is different. This is one of the great difficulties in the way of establishing a minimum wage. The hon. member dealt with this by implication when he spoke about marginal firms. He said that if you had a firm at a marginal wage level, if I understood him correctly, then if you establish a general minimum wage that was above the wage level of that firm, you put it out of business. So all those things have to be considered, and one more thing has to be considered: We are all familiar with the argument in this House that capital and labour work together, that the two are interdependent, that you cannot get on with production if the one is not associated with the other. Well, it is equally true to say that you cannot get on with production unless unskilled and skilled wages are associated together. An important thing also is the ratio between those two groups in numbers and the ratio between those two groups in actual wages paid, and it is here as I have said earlier, that our economy is so much out of phase, or has its peculiar problems—to put it in another way—compared with the economies of other countries of the world, but it is my contention that unless you raise the percentage of unskilled to skilled, not only do you get a very unstable condition in your economic society but ultimately you cannot increase production because the incentive applied to that unskilled group counts for just as much as the incentive applied to the skilled group. We say that our problems are unique but let me give a comparison in the history of 100 years ago of a very similar problem that arose, at a time when in England the unskilled wages were at the lowest level, but still they came, so to speak, from the reserves—I do not know whether the country of Ireland would like me to describe them as the reserves of English labour—but there still came labour from Ireland that would undercut the lowest level of the existing wage levels. One of the arguments used by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg) was in the direction of decreasing the labour force available to us as one of the means—I do not know whether he was thinking there in political terms or exclusively in economic terms— of maintaining the wage level of the African worker in the town. I think nothing could be more harmful than this concept of limiting a labour force in order to protect existing workers. The temporary effect of the converse process of raising the wage can be to decrease the labour force, and simultaneously with that will go the thing for which both the speakers on that side of the House pleaded, an increase in the efficiency of management, because management, confronted with the necessity of having to pay a certain level of wage, automatically tries to adjust its productive methods to that higher cost. This is immediately what would happen if you established a minimum wage for a given area above the existing level. There would tend to be a decrease in employment for the time being; there would tend to be an increase in the efficiency of management and there would slowly tend to be an increased absorption of labour, resulting both from the increased productivity of that industry and the increased purchasing power that would be available. We argue on this increased purchasing power by raising wages particularly from the angle that it will benefit industry in general, but the important effect that increased purchasing power would have would be to increase the size of the industrial unit, and most of industrial units in South Africa, with the exception of a few are too small and therefore costly because they had to adjust themselves to the market that was available in the country. Now, if you can increase the size of your industrial unit, then the question of your export market (the point made by the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt)) is alleviated.

An HON. MEMBER:

Why?

Mr. WILLIAMS:

Because an increase in the size of the factory unit generally decreases your total production costs. Your production costs are very high in this country in many cases because the factory unit is too small, and with the increase in size we cannot apply mass production techniques to industries with a very limited market, and the mass production technique that we might be able to apply here, if our domestic purchasing power is increased, would then benefit us in the overseas markets because we are now competing on a much better basis with the other people who have got the domestic market to create units of an economic size. As with the farm, so with the factory; there is an optimum economic size for each type of undertaking, and in most cases in South Africa we have not got to that optimum size. In the steel industry, for example, we are on that level, but when we get more units like that we will need a larger domestic purchasing power to enable us to operate internationally. I do not want to go too deeply into that but it is an important point that the increase in internal purchasing power does not merely benefit a factory from the temporary increase in profits and output, it benefits it in that it is enabled to adjust its size to the optimum; it is enabled to spend more money on research to be able to improve its techniques and so forth.

In the short time at my disposal I want to make a bit of a case for what I would call a regional minimum wage. I think a general minimum wage in South Africa would be a very difficult thing to put into effect, but I do submit that it will be possible to do something more than the purely selective approach that the Government advocates, and that is assisting through the Wage Board, but otherwise not interfering with self-government, allowing selective industry where there is great profitability and, where the wages are not in high relation to costs, gradually to raise wages and so, by competitive effect, to raise it in other spheres. The basic problem here, which is not easy of solution but which I think the Government should keep in mind, is the relation between the labour force in the three big groups of activity that I outlined at the beginning, that is to say, conquering poverty in the reserves, working in rural areas mostly in agriculture but to a certain extent in small industries, and the association of capital and labour in the big complex of the great towns. If you do not have some kind of balance between those three things—I admit that it is a long period ideal—then you will get an inbalance in the supply of labour between one of those three things. Our influx control regulations and so forth are an attempt, at their very best, to destroy an inbalance that tends to exist through the pressure of poverty in the reserves on the one hand and the attraction of such wages as we pay on the other hand, causing a tremendous one-way current to the towns. There is the problem of farm labour so we tend to push the labour back from the towns, not merely for economic reasons, not for reasons of supply and demand, but because there is a call from the agricultural community for such labour. In the ideal system you would have wages in each of these three places at a level which eventually determine an equilibrium which would give you roughly the proportion of labour that you want in each of the three sectors. I admit that that is a very long-period ideal, but you can move towards that and it is partly because of the wage structure that has existed in the past, the differentiation that we have recognized in our wage determinations between the platteland and the towns, and the special nature of primary industry and the special difficulties of primary industry compared to secondary, that we are talking in terms of a regional minimum wage —a platteland/town minimum wage as compared with a big town minimum wage. I am speaking in very general terms at the moment. Not only must you have a relation between those things but it must cover a wider sphere than our legislation at present covers. In other words, I consider that ultimately farming, as a big primary industry, must be considered like any other big primary industry in relation to a minimum wage, but making allowance, which can be done, for payments which are made other than in cash wages in that particular pursuit. In other words, where the use of land is put at the disposal of the worker or where he receives food allowance should be made for that. But if you exclude the huge spheres of activity entirely, you will never get anything like a balance between the needs of these different activities. When the Botha Commission reported one of the biggest points on which they concentrated their attention was what they called co-ordination, i.e. not the wage level that is achieved in any one industry by reason of supply and demand but the relation between the wage levels in the different industries, in other words, some kind of attempt to relate the wages of the steel worker to the wages of an agricultural worker —not directly, but to have some reason why the difference should be so much and why that relationship should be retained. Now, in a private enterprise economy it is very difficult to arrive at any basis of direct coordination, and I myself would not support it, just as in any normal society I personally would not be a strong supporter of the approach of a general minimum wage, because the law of supply and demand is the thing that should be operating. We live in South Africa in a society which for historical reasons, and by reason of the policy in other regards, which I do not wish to go into too deeply here, in which the law of supply and demand is directly interfered with …

Business suspended at 12.45 p.m. and resumed at 2.20 p.m.

Afternoon Sitting

Mr. WILLIAMS:

When business was suspended I was pleading for an investigation into a true cost-of-living allowance for the lowest income group, and also pleading that the Government should consider investigating the question of regional minimum wages, recognizing the difficulty of one single national minimum wage. By “regional minimum wage” I do not necessarily mean a purely geographical basis of separation—a minimum wage for Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg—but rather regional in the sense of those regions where different conditions prevail, for example in rural platteland areas as compared with the big industrial complexes. When business was suspended I was about to move the further amendment which I will now move and which embodies these two ideas—

To omit all the words after “ That ” and to substitute “ this House requests the Government to consider the advisability of appointing a commission to inquire into the basic cost of living of urban and rural workers with a view to instituting a system of regional minimum wages ”.

Sir, many points were raised by the mover of this motion—such questions as the self-government of industry and what meaning that has where the great bulk of the labour force has absolutely no real say in its own government. By the “ great bulk of the labour force ” I refer to that bulk which is not White. My seconder will deal with a number of these points, but before sitting down I just wanted to ask one question. The motion of the hon. member for Pretoria (West) suggests that the Government should continue with its policy of gradually raising wages at the bottom level. Well, I would like to know when the Government began, because I have never understood that it was the policy of the Government to raise wages at the bottom level, or if it has been their policy, they have taken no practical steps to carry it out. All they have done is not to get in the way of those industrial councils and other bodies which have to some extent arranged a rise in the wages at the bottom. We have heard mention of bodies like the commission instituted by the Chambers of Industry and other bodies to go into this question of increased wages in relation to productivity, but these were not bodies instituted by this Government. The Government at this stage is beginning at least not to discourage such bodies, but while I have been here I have always understood the attitude of that side of the House to be that we do not wish to grant recognition of self-government to Bantu trade unions, because ultimately they will use these trade unions for political purposes, and if you pay them too high wages, they will begin to use such economic power as they get against you. That is what I have up till now understood to be the attitude of the Government rather than a policy which directly encouraged the raising of wages at the bottom level. But leaving that aside, if the Government is going to begin now on a policy of directly encouraging, so far as the State does intervene in this matter, a rise in wages, it must be welcomed. The point has been made and made correctly by speakers on this side of the House that no matter how our bottom wages may compare with the bottom wages of other countries, in relation to the cost of living of the people who get those wages they still leave very much to be desired. I do not agree with those who said that occurrences such as Langa and Sharpeville were solely attributable to low wages, but I do say that low wages and poverty are a factor in the type of discontent that manifests itself in outbreak of violence there. In conclusion I want to recommend to the Government that it is not merely a question of raising wages; it is a question of allowing labour to bargain for the best wages it can get under given circumstances. [Time limit.]

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I second the further amendment. I must say that I never cease to be amazed in this House at the arguments, which are so often contradictory, which are used by hon. members on that side of the House. When it suits them hon. members are great supporters of laissez-faire. When it does not suit them, of course, it is necessary for every citizen in this country to have the guiding hand of the State to control every facet of our lives. I must say that over the years the emphasis, of course, have been on State control in everything that we do, everything that we think and everything that we read. To-day hon. members on the Government side have had their laissez-faire boots on and they are protesting against any incursion on the part of the State into what they deem to be the realm of private enterprise. The hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg) told us that any attempt by the Government to institute a national system of minimum wages would affect the autonomy of industry. I think the same point was made by the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt). They told us that they were for industry being allowed to run its own affairs and that if the Government should attempt to institute a system of minimum wages this would mean interference in private enterprise. I do not know where hon. members get the idea that there is any true autonomy in the running of industrial enterprises to-day, either in this country or in any other country. Indeed, long, long ago the idea of laissez-faire in industrial enterprise disappeared. It disappeared with the promulgation of Factory Acts, of Acts controlling conditions of labour, conditions of employment of women and children, of hours of labour, safety regulations, etc. All these are factors which in themselves obviously increased cost of production but which necessarily control the private entrepreneur in the running of his business. The old days of child labour, the old days of the industrial revolution in England where employers could pay their employees starvation wages, have long gone by the board in modern industrial countries, and therefore for hon. members to pretend that we are introducing a new principle in the control of industry by the suggestion that it is time the Government introduced a national system of wages based on regional cost of living differences, is of course, quite absurd. The hon. member for Karas (Mr. von Moltke) went so far as to ask us whether we did not believe in the system of free enterprise and whether we did not support the capital system. I want to tell the hon. member that this system of minimum wages is indeed the norm, in every country which pretends to be a modern industrial country. It is the norm, not the exception at all. As the hon. member for Jeppes (Dr. Cronje) has pointed out: America which is the most highly capitalistic and the most highly industrialized country in the world has long had a system of national minimum wages. At present that wage is a dollar an hour in a 40-hour working week. Recently attempts were made in the American Congress to get that minimum wage raised to $1.25 per hour. Those attempts have not yet succeeded, but the basic principle of a minimum wage below which a person, no matter how humble his employment, cannot be employed, is not only a state law but is the federal law and it applies throughout the United States. Australia in fact uses a minimum wage which is based on a family system and they have an irreducible basic wage below which no person might be employed. New Zealand has such a wage. In the United Kingdom there are minimum wages for practically every single occupation in Great Britain. So there is nothing new in this and it does not undermine the system of free enterprise, and indeed it is utilized, as we have pointed out, by practically every modern industrial state. As long ago as 1946, our hon. Minister of Transport was advocating a system of minimum national wages. He did not seem to be unduly concerned at that time about upholding the basic concepts of free enterprise and the capitalistic system. He was advocating it as one of the basic policies of the Nationalist Party. He went much further of course. He wanted the nationalization of the gold mines and certain other industries, but indeed he was at that time advocating a system of minimum wages. So for hon. members on the other side to come to-day and profess surprise that we suggest this, and to say that by doing so we are undermining the capitalistic system, is nothing short of hypocrisy.

Other arguments were used, for instance, the argument used by the hon. member for Karas (Mr. Von Moltke) in an interjection—and this argument has also been used by other hon. members on previous occasions—namely to ask us what law exists in South Africa against the raising of wages by employers. In other words, they say that it is the employer’s responsibility to increase wages. When hon. members use that argument, they do not understand the basic principle of competitive enterprise. Sir, if I am an employer in the boot factory, for example, and I wish to raise the wages of my workers above the average wage which is paid in that industry, I am immediately put in a grossly disadvantageous position vis-à-vis my competitors in that industry. Therefore, one would require to be not only an industrialist but a philanthropist. There are such industrial philanthropists, fortunately, because in many industries in South Africa to-day individual employers are taking the initiative by raising wage levels above the minimum wages which are paid by their competitors.

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

Why then this accusation?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I don’t understand the interjection of the hon. member. May be he will get up and make his own speech and then we will understand him better.

An HON. MEMBER:

We won’t.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

The hon. member may well be right. In any case, the position is that under free enterprise an industrialist has to take note of his competitors and the price which his competitors are charging in the open market, and it will require great power of will and indeed very great elasticity of profits for any entrepreneur to put his wages higher than the wages paid by his competitors. This point was very well made by Mr. Lulofs, who was quoted by the hon. member who moved the motion this morning, and who last year was the president of the South African Chamber of Industries. He said—

Industry offered the Native population a wonderful opportunity for advancement. The figure paid by industry to the Native labour force had risen to £200,000,000. Many of us genuinely believe that what has been done is not enough.

And this is the salient point-

Increases in Native wages would, however, not be easy to organize on a voluntary basis. There were many who were prepared to revise Native wages, but there are always the few who would like to see their competitors increase their cost structure so that they might obtain a larger share of the local market for themselves on the price basis. For this reason the Chamber of Industries had asked Cabinet Ministers to modify and improve the machinery for wage fixing, and particularly to make it possible for the Wage Board to review unskilled wages at more regular intervals, and also to allow Native workers themselves to take part in wage negotiations.

In other words, it clearly cannot be left to the individual entrepreneur to put up wages. He will probably do so if he can compete adequately, but in the main the entrepreneur must always take cognizance of conditions prevailing in the open market.

Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

He did not ask for a general minimum wage.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

He said, “Many of us genuinely believe that what is being done is not enough ”.

Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

Yes, he wants the Wage Board to effect increases.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

That is precisely what I want done.

Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

But you are advocating a minimum wage.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

The point is that we are arguing why entrepreneurs generally throughout the country cannot put up wages without the institution of minimum wages. Of course, you ultimately will have minimum wages when you lay down a minimum wage for every occupation. The employers themselves believe that it has to be tackled by the Government.

Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

There is a difference between a general minimum wage and what Mr. Lulofs is asking.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

Certainly there is a difference between a national minimum wage and what Mr. Lulofs asks for, but there is no difference in the argument in regard to the point made by the hon. member for Karas who said that employers themselves can do this without Government intervention. Mr. Lulofs’s point and my point is that that in fact cannot be done without Government intervention. This is one facet of our life where I would welcome Government intervention, and it would very much be to the benefit of all of us if the Government would devote itself to interfering in such a facet of life and leave other facets alone.

Some of the other arguments that have been used also must be countered at this stage. The hon. member for Pretoria (West), or the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg)—I am not sure which—made the point that if wages go up in towns, this will have a disastrous effect on the rural autonomy, because it will draw workers from the rural areas to the towns. In other words, workers will move from the platteland where farmers are paying low wages, to the towns and this would have a doubly bad effect, first of all by depriving farmers of labour and secondly by increasing the difficulties of urban Africans in the towns. It is very possible that if wages go up in the towns only, there will be a drift of labour from the rural areas to the towns. Indeed that is happening to-day because rural wages are much lower than urban wages, certainly cash wages. I know the hon. member for Pretoria (District) (Mr. Schoonbee) is looking belligerent because he wants to deny this and he is going to tell me that I always underrate the wages paid by farmers and that I have no idea of how much is paid in kind, and that therefore the wages do not in fact compare so unfavourably with wages paid in urban areas. Nevertheless the point is that the cash wages are higher and the African farm labourer does not value the wages in kind as high as the farmer values the wages in kind I might throw a little hint in the direction of the hon. member that it might pay him to pay his farm labourers more in cash and if necessary charge them something for the services in kind that he renders them, possibly by giving them the use of a piece of land. In any case the actual wages in cash and kind, as recent surveys have shown, are lower in the country districts than in the towns. Recently a survey was done of labour in the farm economy by Margaret Roberts and she estimated in one area that the total wages in cash and kind amounted to £7 7s. 8d. per month. She divided her inquiry over five branches of farming: Stock farming, dairy industry, citrus, pine and mixed farming. So there is no doubt that the disadvantages in regard to wages are there Of course, we are not suggesting a minimum wage for urban areas only. We are suggesting that a minimum wage be laid down also for rural areas, taking into consideration the difference in cost of living in town and country and taking into consideration, as far as it is possible to do so, the value of wages paid in kind. Therefore there would not be this great discrepancy, if our proposal were carried, between the wages of rural and urban workers. We believe that wages generally speaking are far too low in South Africa and that they have to be raised both in the rural areas and in the urban areas.

As has been mentioned by other hon. members in this debate, it is quite impossible to consider the question of minimum wages and a system of attempting to work out cost of living and everything else that goes with minimum wages in vacuo. Closely related to the whole question of wages are the factors which affect the whole question of the demand and supply of labour and the socio-economic policy generally. It is no good simply asking the Government to review existing minimum wage legislation, or for instance to get the Wage Board working more expeditiously so that it does not take 14 or 15 years before a new Wage Board determination comes out in respect of different industrial occupations and in respect of unskilled wages. One also has to consider the whole relationship of socioeconomic policies in this regard. That means that the Government obviously would have to give attention to matters such as influx control which prohibits labour from flowing to the centres where the wage rates are higher, as for instance from farming areas to urban areas, influx control that maintains a cheaper supply of labour for the rural community. Consideration will have to be given to all the devices which keep employers from hiring the labour they would like to choose and keep employees from offering their labour in the higher paid markets. The whole question of migratory labour comes into the picture of low wage rates. Indeed one might say that one had to find an historical reason for the very low unskilled wage rate in this country and the high skilled rate, which as the hon. member has pointed out is of an unusually high spread in South Africa compared with other countries, that historical reason would be found in the utilization of migratory labour. Because from the early days on, with the development of our first real industrial economy on the diamond mines, the utilization of migratory labour has affected the pattern of wage levels throughout South Africa. It was continued in the gold mines and continued to some extent in the present industrial economy in the towns of to-day, that is in secondary industry and commerce, although not to the same extent Of course originally on the diamond mines there was this freely flowing available source of labour from the Native reserves, coming in to earn a cash wage, and the man was paid on the assumption that his family was being maintained on the Native reserves and assumption which of course to-day is no longer correct. But all these are factors that have to be considered. The migratory labour system is one which even to-day is being encouraged by the Government, indeed, is its major labour policy. It discourages as far as possible the settling of a stable urbanized African labour force, it encourages the continuation of this migratory labour system. Sir, it is hard to over-emphasize the complete inefficiency of the utilization of migratory labour.

Mr. GREYLING:

Why?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I will tell the hon. member why. Not that he has not been told before, and not that I have any hope whatever that he will appreciate what I am saying now. I will use only words of one syllable: It is because a man does not become an efficient worker in any occupation if he shifts from one job to the other. He is neither a good agricultural worker, nor is he a good industrial worker.

He never stays long enough to acquire any real skill in any job. Is that penetrating this time?

If one looks at a study which was recently done by Prof. Hobart Houghton of Rhodes University, a study on migratory labour which was called “ Men of two worlds: Some aspects of migratory labour”, he found in this study, which was based on 340 employment histories of the typical African, that the typical African over a period of 31 years spent 36 per cent of his time at home and 64 per cent of his time in employment away from home. He had 34 different jobs and the average length of time that he spent at each job was 47 weeks. A labour turnover of 120 per cent, he states, is by no means unknown. Obviously that is a highly inefficient system of labour. It is not only a highly inefficient system, but it is one of the basic reasons for the prevailing low rates of wages in unskilled jobs in South Africa, and that is why I say we cannot consider this question of the institution of a national minimum wage system in vacuo. We have to take into consideration all these other socio-economic factors. Let me take another factor that has to be taken into consideration, this question of trade unionism. The hon. member for Pretoria (West) told us that the works committees have achieved far more for the African workers than trade unions could have achieved, and he also mentioned the Central Native Labour Board. I want to say immediately that the Central Native Labour Board has done a great deal, particularly in recent months, in increasing basic wages. It was high time that something was done, because for nearly 16 years unskilled labour rates were practically static in this country, although the cost of living was shooting up all the time and there was this tremendous post-war development that we had in South Africa. I will give credit to that Board. It has done a great deal. There was much leeway to be made up, and although it has made up some of that leeway, a great deal still remains to be done. Although I give credit to the Board for what it has done, I am not prepared to concur with the hon. member’s dogmatic statement that this Board has done more to raise the Native wages than would have happened under the ordinary process of collective bargaining. Indeed, I dispute this most strongly. Through the history of all industrial countries it has been shown that one force and one force only has really been the propelling force behind upward movements in wages and that has been collective bargaining by the workers themselves, for the simple reason that nobody else is as interested in improving conditions of labour and wages as are the workers themselves. This has been proved over and over again in the industrial history of every single country in the world, and there is no reason why South Africa should be any different. It is high time that African workers who are urbanized, who are stable and employed in industry, should have the right of collective bargaining. It is no accident that it is precisely in those occupations where 95 per cent of the work is performed by Africans that the wage rates have been static over a period of 16 years. It is purely and simply because the benefit of collective bargaining has been denied to them.

I have mentioned other factors, such as the reorganization of the wage structure. I agree with the hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) when he refers to this tremendous spread between unskilled and skilled wages and when he says that this spread in South Africa is an unhealthy spread. It does not exist anywhere else. We still need reclassification of jobs in this country. It has been going on with the concurrence of some of the White trade unions themselves in some cases, where they have agreed to the reclassification of jobs, and industry has gone in more for semi-skilled occupations rather than a clear division between purely skilled jobs which carry craft union status and the unskilled jobs which carry no status at all. In between now we have this ladder of semi-skilled jobs, mainly due to the introduction of machine processes, the mechanization of industry. But although there has been this reclassification of jobs, more such reclassification is needed before industry can be brought on to a proper basis and a better wage structure introduced in South Africa.

Finally, I want to say that never before has it been so necessary for South Africa to reappraise its whole attitude towards the utilization of labour. I say this because to-day we are being thrown more and more on our own resources. External markets and markets to the north of us in Africa are slowly being closed to us as a result of boycott movements, increasing unpopularity of South African goods, in ability of our manufacturers to put “ Made in South Africa ” on the products— all these are signs of the times, and South Africa is going to be thrown more and more on her own resources, and it is essential that if our standard of living is not to drop to disastrously low levels, that we do our best to improve the utilization of our labour resources, and most important of all that we do something to increase our small internal market. That is the basic factor: We have got to increase our internal market in South Africa if we are in some way or other to offset the already apparent slackening of industrial tempo in this country. There are many reasons for the small market. Although we have got approximately 14,500,000 inhabitants, their total consumer demand is about one-half of that of Australia with its population of 10,000,000. I wonder why the hon. member shakes his head? Is he distressed or does he not believe me?

Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

No, it is not correct.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I am quoting expert figures and I can assure the hon. member that they are correct.

Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

But why compare us with Australia, why not with the other states of Africa?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I am hoping that hon. members of this House consider South Africa a modern state. Of course if they consider us a primitive African state, I will be very happy to compare this country with Ghana if you like, which is also becoming industrialized quickly, or Tanganyika, Uganda. But I consider South Africa to be a modern industrial country, and I don’t want to compare South Africa with primitive African states, and I don’t want to compare South Africa with countries like India and Pakistan, which after all have overwhelming populations, and much smaller material resources than South Africa. Surely the more logical comparison is with a country similar to our own.

Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

You need not go so far. Look at our neighbours.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

South Africa I want to regard as a modern industrial state, and I am keen to continue to use motor-cars and not to go back to the ox-wagon.

Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

May I ask the hon. member a question? The hon. member says that South Africa is a modern industrial state. How is it then that just over our border, where there are just as many resources as in the Union, there is not that development and that the Bantu there have to come to the Union for work? Why is it that here we have a highly industrialized country and not over the border?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

That was rather a long question, which requires a short answer. The hon. member cannot compare us with our neighbours, because they do not have the same advantages that we have, they have not got the same European population in numbers.

Mr. GREYLING:

How did we start?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

It was settled—I am now referring to the Federation—250 years later than the Union. It has not got the gold this country has got, it has not the iron ore and other resources we have. Admittedly the Federation is more developed than the other states, but is not nearly as developed as the Union of South Africa. Its national income is nothing like our national income. That is why I am not comparing the two.

Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

But why compare us with Australia?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

In Australia the unskilled workers earns about £12 a week.

Mr. VAN DEN HEEVER:

The worker in Australia is a European.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

That may be, but it makes no difference whether the hands that work are black or white, or whether the mouth that consumes belongs to a White person or a Black person—it still has the effect of increasing the internal market.

Whilst the worker in Australia earns about £12 a week, the unskilled worker in South Africa earns less than £3 10s. a week. Imagine the effect on the internal market in South Africa if we could increase the wages earned by unskilled workers in South Africa, the enormous injection of consumer demand, backed up by cash—because the demand is there, but it is not backed up by cash. If we had that increase in our internal market, our industrial progress could continue. Enormous changes could take place in this country. At present the aggregate African income is in the neighbourhood of R800,000,000 per annum, and it would be to our obvious benefit if we injected more than this effective consumer demand into our economy. All non-White workers, not only Africans, should have an increase in wages which in turn would benefit all the workers in South Africa, because it would immediately increase the demand and the whole economy of this country would benefit. The larger internal market would mean larger output of factories and savings on unit costs of production. By using our plants to full capacity, which is not happening to-day, we could lower our unit costs of production, and this in turn would increase the competitive ability of local industry not only vis-à-vis imports, but also vis-à-vis our shrinking export markets which we will have to recapture at some time or other. Secondly, productivity would rise as a result of an increase in wages.

Dr. VAN NIEROP:

May I ask the hon. member a question? She continually uses the term “ increased wages ”. Up to what limit does the hon. member want to go?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I cannot give the hon. member a figure. All I say is that we must go in for progressive increases so as at least to bring the minimum wage up to the poverty datum line, because at the present stage the vast majority of our workers are living below the poverty line, and malnutrition and lower productivity go hand in hand. So that if you pay more wages, the workers would be better fed, and if your workers were better fed, that in turn would mean that they would produce more. South Africa is different from other countries in this respect. Where normally you would merely say that an increase in wages would only be possible as a result of an increase in productivity, here it may very well mean that an increase in wages will in itself lead to an increase in productivity.

Dr. VAN NIEROP:

There I agree with you.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

Then I hope this motion is going to be carried if everybody agrees. This question of productivity has of course been operating the minds of all the members of this House, and obviously it is the important factor, but as I said originally we are in the peculiar position here that you have first to increase wages to hope for increased productivity. Thereafter you will get further increases in productivity and you will get mass production and the saving of unit costs in production.

The hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) mentioned that efforts are already being made by employers to use labour more efficiently. That of course is quite true. But, Sir, all these efforts by the employers are bedevilled by other socio-economic policies that surround employment in South Africa, and bedevilled also by the availability of so-called cheap labour. That has been one of the main stumbling blocks to better productivity in South Africa, because there is a big pool of unskilled labour in South Africa, a reservoir of unskilled labour so that employers go in for a policy of “ hire and fire ” rather than “ hire and train ”, and this has been one of the great stumbling blocks in the way of increased productivity and increased efficiency in South Africa. I may say that if labour were not so cheap in South Africa employers would think twice about the expensive way in which they use their labour in this country. The very fact that wages are low has made for extravagant and inefficient use of labour, and employers would double and redouble their efforts to improve productivity if labour was not so cheap as it is in South Africa. You would find that employers would go in for better selection of employees. At the present stage, from this vast pool of unskilled labour they take anything that offers. They make no attempt to use aptitude tests, to select their workers, because they believe that an African is an easily interchangeable unit, and it doesn’t much matter if you employ African A for African B. Now this is increasingly found to be not true by employers who have progressive ideas of industry—I use the more generally understood meaning of the word “ progressive ”—and who have employed aptitude tests and who do their best to select their employees for the particular jobs that they want them to carry out. But even to-day, although this is being done on an increasing scale, in Johannesburg, which is the most advanced industrial area in the Union, the labour turnover still exceeds 50 per cent per annum. So therefore we have loss of efficiency and lower productivity. And this is a tremendously expensive system.

And I say, the long term effects on increased wages, and increased productivity, all of which depend upon a change in policy in the country as regards colour bar legislation, as regards restriction on the utilization of labour—if these things were changed we would have an enormous improvement in the whole economic position of South Africa. The long term effect on combating poverty, on social and economic welfare can only be of benefit to all sections of the population. A contented labour force is a prerequisite of law and order in any country, and a well-paid stable population is not subject to unrest, nor is it a prey to agitators. The whole present trend towards increasing crime, delinquency and unrest, and the sullen, discontented population that we have at the present stage could be almost dramatically reversed if the economic conditions for the non-White labour force in this country were improved.

*Prof. FOURIE:

It is very refreshing to listen once again to a little pure economics— industrial economics—and I want to congratulate the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) as a former student on having moved this motion here to-day. But unfortunately while I was listening to this pure industrial economics, I had to return from the lofty spheres to the realities of terra firma here in South Africa. Here we are dealing not with a question of pure industrial economics, but with ideological economics, and one immediately finds oneself faced with the tremendous dilemma with which we are always faced in this country. There is no one who is not in favour of increasing industrial wages, particularly if it entails an increase in real wages as well. But what is our dilemma? It is that in reality we can only achieve this object if we have what I shall describe in the old terms of improved co-operation between White and non-White labour; in other words, improved and more extensive forms of economic integration. Here is our dilemma. Under our ideology we do not want to allow that, while increased wages not only for the non-Whites but for the Whites as well are in the long run absolutely dependent on this process of economic integration, and particularly on the process of qualitative economic integration by which we shall also make the non-Whites semi-skilled and also skilled workers to an ever-increasing extent, instead of their merely remaining unskilled workers. Let us assume that we were to do so. Then we would immediately come face to face with an overwhelming problem, namely that by qualitative integration we shall not only be giving the non-Whites of South Africa higher wages, but—because this is the only result it can have and no other—we shall be giving the non-Whites of this country economic power which will be an increasing economic power and which before long will bring us face to face with the situation that all our talk about rights and political rights will disappear just like the mist before the morning sun. When we proceed to give economic power to our non-Whites, then nothing can prevent them demanding their political and other rights, no matter what we may want to do. That is the dilemma. If we want to implement the ideology of apartheid, then we must necessarily place limitations on the non-White labour in White areas.

*Mr. SPEAKER:

Order! The hon. member is now also placing me in a dilemma because he is wandering very far from the motion and the amendments.

*Prof. FOURIE:

No, Mr. Speaker, I am discussing the question of increased wages, and that of minimum wages, and I want to point out what the problem in this regard is. I say that here we have a dilemma on which the nation must decide. If we decide upon separation, then we must shed the illusion that we can increase wages. Because I repeat that if such wage increases are to mean anything, then they can only be achieved by a more advanced form of economic integration of White and non-White labour. We are always inclined to discuss these matters in a vacuum —in a lacuna. The question of increasing wages, even when considered purely in terms of economics, cannot be regarded as something separate, but we must see it against the background of our capital resources, our entrepreneur resources and the quality of those resources, of the organizers of our business undertaking. In this country we have what we can describe as a plentiful labour supply but comparatively little capital. The result will be that every employer will be inclined to link an increased dose of labour with his limited capital resources. We say to-day that South Africa can or can nearly meet her own capital requirements. When I see that a large section of our people have to work for such low wages that the country is lagging behind as far as our real and essential development is concerned, is in my opinion the worst possible nonsense to say that South Africa has sufficient capital available. We require infinitely more capital if we want to use the labour we have available at a higher level. By the same token, in the case of the entrepreneur class, one of our handicaps as regards industrial development and the possibility of paying higher real wages, is the shortage of entrepreneurs and the quality of our entrepreneurs. This again links up with a very much wider problem, namely the distribution of labour not only in our country, but throughout the whole Western world. We normally refer to this aspect as immigration. Immigration means nothing else than the redistribution of the available labour resources.

Our Government adopts a dangerous attitude; it takes unto itself the responsibility of deciding upon wage scales; it does not allow the worker, as is the position in other countries, to contribute to increasing his wages himself by means of collective bargaining. For that reason the duty that rests on the State in this country is so much the greater, seeing that the responsibility has been taken from the worker himself. Whatever the feelings of certain employers may be—in most cases they simply cannot afford to pay higher wages—it is the State’s function to increase minimum wages because the worker himself in his competition with the employers cannot do so on his own.

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

May I ask you a question? To what do you attribute the fact that while in the other African States that competitive right of the Bantu for example is recognized—in other words, the Bantu trade unions are recognized—the wages of the Bantu in this country where that recognition does not exist are nevertheless so much higher than in the countries where they do have that bargaining right?

*Prof. FOURIE: The answer is quite simple, and I am once again using my old terms because here in South Africa we have a tremendous head start in respect of what I shall describe as qualitative economic integration. We have here an industrialization process which is much older than in the Federation or any other African country. I also just want to give the hon. member an answer to another question which is continuously being put with reference to the fact that the wages of the workers in African countries other than the Union are so much lower than in the Union itself. The answer is obvious. It is not because we ourselves are so much more altruistic, but it is because nowhere else in Africa has non-White labour together with White labour made such a tremendous contribution to building up the national income. Although in the opinion of many people the non-White worker in this country perhaps does not earn nearly what he should …

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

When will you demonstrate the much vaunted advantages of the bargaining right which you are discussing? You have not yet discussed that aspect, nor did the previous speaker.

*Prof. FOURIE:

I am answering the question which the hon. member has put. If we had had the right of collective bargaining in this country—particularly in view of the fact that the State is expected to fulfil this function, but nevertheless does not do so as it should—wage scales would probably have been far higher than they are now, and the difference between wage scales elsewhere and in this country would have been even greater. But the reason why the wage scales are higher in this country is not because we in this country are so altruistic. They are based on the higher productivity which has been achieved in this country by the use of Native labour in conjunction with White labour. There is no such thing as the productivity of Native labour. The whole concept is a monstrosity. There is no such thing as the productivity of labour as such, but of White labour in conjunction with non-White labour, together with the function of the entrepreneur.

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

You are now evading my question.

*Prof. FOURIE:

These are a few of the questions which we should ask ourselves. The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) is correct when she, together with the hon. member opposite, said that we had 14,500,000 or 15,000,000 people in South Africa, while we had no more than 5,000,000 economically effective units. In other words, our domestic market is so limited that we simply cannot utilize the most modern methods of production. For that reason it is so essential that we should raise the economic effectiveness of our whole population as rapidly as possible so that we can expand our markets. We cannot do so merely by paying higher wages. We can do that as a start. If at the start of the ploughing season the oxen are so underfed that they cannot pull the plough—in other words, their productivity is nil—one can easily increase productivity immediately by feeding them with a little fodder. Then at least they can pull the plough. This we can also do to a certain extent in the case of labour—but only to a very limited extent. In the long run productivity must be equal to the wage being paid or higher than the wage. What I want to emphasize here is that we should not only think of the worker when we discuss increased wages. The employer is as responsible as the worker himself for higher wages through the efficiency of his organization. The efficiency of labour is in fact more dependent on the use to which the employer puts it. This does not divest the worker of all responsibility. He must try to increase his productivity himself, but in the long run it depends on the employer how productive the worker will be; and the employer’s productivity will in the final analysis depend not only on his own ability, but on the capital which he has available. I can see that the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs is here. I hope we shall hear less of the nonsense that South Africa can already save sufficient capital each year to finance the enormous development which is required in this country if we want to meet to any extent the problems facing us.

There is just one other point I want to mention, and it is that we have this peculiar situation in South Africa that our Government, perhaps of necessity because of social reasons, is applying a system of influx control and is doing so to an increasing extent in respect of our labour market. I personally approve of this because the establishment of a closed labour market in the large industrial centres to a certain extent contributes to the wages of our Native workers not being as low as they would otherwise have been. When one limits the influx of labour—when one creates an artificial shortage of labour—it also makes it easier comparatively speaking to solve the problem of increased wages from the point of view of the employers. An unrestricted influx of Native labour to the few industrial centres of our country would simply force wage scales down and would create an impossible social position. Influx control with the accompanying creation of closed labour markets can be justified. It has a certain positive value, but the great importance of these steps which the Government has taken in connection with influx control is that they are negative in nature. It is pointless making a certain wage scale possible for a certain percentage of the population, while the greater bulk of our labour supply is of necessity kept on the platteland and in the reserves and even on the farms of White farmers at wage scales on which they cannot live. In the long run influx control will cease to be effective. We cannot create closed markets for a portion of our labour supply while the others must simply fend for themselves. For that reason I want to praise as one of the main factors which will make the payment of increased wages possible, apart from its ideological significance, the purposeful and positive attempts which are now being made to establish labour markets in the reserves and on the borders of the reserves where the surplus labour which cannot be employed in the closed labour markets, will also find a livelihood in the course of time.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR:

At the very outset I want to congratulate the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) and the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg) on the most capable way in which they have submitted this matter to the House to-day. They have both made a thorough study of the subject and they have submitted it to us in, a very clear way. I am particularly pleased about the opportunity which they have given the House considering this matter to-day. It has been really gratifying to listen to much of the discussions and to many of the opinions which have been expressed. The speeches by Opposition speakers have also contained fewer of the slogans we heard a year ago when the same subject was under discussion. The passage of time may also have given rise to greater clarity of thought and objectivity in the ranks of hon. members opposite, which one appreciates in discussing a matter such as this which is of great importance to all of us.

Mr. Speaker, when one is discussing the question of wages, it is understandable that it should call for one’s serious attention, particularly in a House such as this, because wages constitute such an important factor in determining the purchasing power of a nation, the productivity of that nation and also the standard of living of that nation. It is therefore right that we should consider a matter such as this to-day. When one discusses the question of increased wages, and that of increased Bantu wages—which has been discussed mainly during this debate—I think it is as well that at the outset we should consider the representations or the desire for increased wages against the background of the present earning power of our population groups. When one considers the earning power of our population groups to-day, we can sum up the position in a few words: As far as the Whites are concerned, our White workers are amongst the most prosperous in the world; as far as the Coloured workers are concerned, their position is such that over the past ten or 15 years their standard of living has been raised considerably. I hope that during the Budget debate on the Labour Vote we shall have the opportunity to consider more specifically the position of the Coloured worker in the Western Cape, which will show that in recent years the Coloured has in fact progressed into many spheres of employment which give him a far better livelihood to-day than he enjoyed ten or 15 years ago. And in the third place, as far as the Natives are concerned, it is generally accepted —even the hon. members of the Progressive Party concede this—that our Natives on the average are the best paid on the continent of Africa. This is a generally accepted fact today. But to round off the picture as far as the Natives are concerned, which must serve as a background against which we must see the representations for further increases, I should just like to quote one paragraph written by someone from whom we would not always expect appreciation in this regard. I am referring to the editor of the Star. He was travelling through Europe last year. Inter alia, he gave an interview to the Press in England, and he was asked in the light of articles which he wrote in the Star, what he had told the Fleet Street journalists about South Africa. In October last year he said in a special article that he told the journalists of Fleet Street the following as regards the earning power of the Natives—

Since Union the annual income of the Native in South Africa has risen from about £10,000,000 to £400,000,000. One hundred thousand Natives in South Africa own motor-cars.

And then he goes on to tabulate what real economic benefits the Natives enjoy—an opinion with which we all agree, and one which I am quoting at this stage so that we can see fully the background against which we must consider the pleas for higher wages, whether they be regional minimum wages or any other type of wages. But the picture would perhaps be incomplete from the point of background, if we did not also refer to a very important barometer of the contentment of the Native workers at this stage. I am referring to the question of industrial disputes to which the mover and his seconder have already referred. The conclusion which I should just like to submit at this stage is that we have had fewer industrial disputes involving Natives during the last year than in many earlier years. As a matter of fact, in 1960 we only had 42 industrial disputes. When one considers this fact against the background of the large Native labour force, that figure is minimal and in fact hardly worth mentioning and it serves as a great compliment to the industrial set-up of this country. It serves as a compliment to the industrial arrangements which can best be judged by the extent to which industrial unrest exists. If people, whether they be White or non-White workers, are dissatisfied with the industrial arrangements or the wages being paid, the first signs of such dissatisfaction takes the form of industrial unrest and strikes. Without wanting to claim undue credit for the Government, we can in fact to a large extent attribute this state of affairs to the policy which the Government is following and has followed over the past 13 years, that is to say, the Government’s policy of creating the required industrial machinery, the required industrial arrangements, and of systematically increasing Native wages. For that reason I am surprised that the hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) asked in one of the moments when he was trying to be very critical of the exposition given by the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East): When did this Government then start increasing unskilled wages? He was implying that our interest in this regard had never been very evident. Perhaps it is necessary to remind the hon. member and the Opposition of certain very important steps which have been and are being taken and on which we are engaged and which have contributed to this state of industrial peace in this country. Hon. members have already referred to the fact that some years ago the Wage Board was divided into two sections to expedite its work. As hon. members know, the result has been that wage determinations which in the past took ten or more years, are now completed in five years or even sooner.

*Mr. MILLER:

Since when?

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR:

The Wage Board was divided into two sections in 1956, and since that time the tempo has been accelerated. The “ output ” of the Wage Board has been more than doubled. In the same way the output of the Wage Board will be increased in another respect as a result of the fact that in future references which are given to the Wage Board will be consolidated. Allow me to give an example. Take the meat industry. In the past when the position in the meat industry required investigation, the references provided that the position should be investigated in Cape Town, then again in Pietermaritzburg, in Johannesburg, etc. These were separate references. In the near future a reference will be issued not to investigate the position in the meat industry in the various cities, but there will be one reference to investigate the meat industry throughout the whole country. This will have many benefits. Apart from the fact that it will expedite the work, we shall also form a more uniform idea of the position and it will approximate very closely to what the Progressive Party has advocated—something which I shall discuss presently—namely their regional minimum wages. This is the second important step—the consolidation of the references which will expedite this work A third step is that we are giving precedence to investigations into those industries which employ the largest number of Native workers. All this is being done with the aim of bringing about the greatest measure of satisfaction in the shortest possible time. To take this process still further, a fourth step is being taken outside the framework of the Wage Board, that is to say, wage increases which the Wage Board lays down, are being applied to other branches of industry. With that object in mind we are ensuring that the Industrial Council agreements—these are the agreements which, as hon. members know, are the result of collective bargaining between the trade unions and the employers’ organizations—are extended to the Native employees in the industries concerned. In this way, that is to say, by this extension of the Industrial Council agreements to include Native workers as well, a total of 240,000 Native workers have, for example, been brought under Industrial Council agreements since 1958 which means that increased wages have been granted to these 240,000 workers. This brings me to the work of the Central Native Labour Board, a board which is doing such important work that I really think greater appreciation could have been expressed to that board because the work it is doing on behalf of the Native worker and in the cause of industrial peace is of immense value. The board makes a point of visiting Industrial Councils and of persuading employers to pay higher wages. It is not always all that easy to persuade the employers to pay increased wages, but under the chairmanship of Mr. Mentz, the chairman of the Central Native Labour Board, great work has been done in this regard and in the past year they have attended 17 of these Industrial Council meetings and they have succeeded in persuading the employers to pay higher wages. The hon. member for Musgrave has asked what wage increases have been granted. The most recent report by the Central Native Labour Board to the Minister tabulates the wage increases which have been granted since 1956. I am not going to give the figures for every year but only for the last two. In 1959 wage increases were granted which varied from 3s. 3d. to £9 9s. 7d. per month in respect of 183,000 workers. In 1960 wage increases, which varied from 5s. 1d. to £6 6s. 9d., were obtained for 135,000 Native workers. In other words, from the beginning of 1956 to the end of 1960 the wages and conditions of service of 541,852 Bantu workers were improved as a result of the work of the board, and the expenditure in which these increases have involved the employers totals millions of rand. In other words, through the machinery of the State a tremendous amount is being done, and in the process of achieving these improved wages and working conditions, all of which are responsible for the industrial peace which we enjoy, the works committees are playing a very important role. I should like to say something in this regard.

I personally gave instructions last year that these works committees should be further extended. At the moment we only have a limited number of these committees in this country, but it is felt that works committees should be established on a far larger scale. Divisional inspectors were instructed to contact employers and to persuade them to establish more such works committees. But in this regard we require the co-operation of the employers, and I want to make an appeal to all employers in the country to assist the Department in establishing these committees which are doing very good work.

*Mr. MILLER:

How many committees are there to-day?

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR:

About 16, and that is very few. We should like to have many more. Last year a conference of these works committees was held in Cape Town and it became evident that the Native workers who were delegates to this conference, approached the question of industrial arrangements and wages in a very responsible fashion. This has given us confidence in a system which began modestly, and we have seen that it is a success, and now we want to extend it still further. As a matter of fact we consider that when they, the employers, consider what the alternative to works committees is they should be favourably disposed towards this proposal because the alternative is the step to which the hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) and the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) have alluded to-day, namely the recognition of Native trade unions. If these works committees are not established on a larger scale, it is possible that the leftist agitators may continue agitating for the establishment of Native trade unions, supported perhaps by one or two spokesmen in this House. I think the employers would serve their own cause by being far more favourably disposed towards works committees than they have been in the past. As regards Native trade unions, the hon. member for East London (City) has said that this Government will eventually be forced to recognize such trade unions. The Progressives are far more frank and say that this represents the only salvation for South Africa. In this regard it is perhaps as well that I should give the House the findings of an organization to which hon. members opposite attach a great deal of value, namely the I.L.O. Last year the I.L.O. investigated the activities of the Native trade unions in Africa and I want to give the House one or two of the findings of that commission—

Indeed, one of the most serious obstacles to effective collective bargaining in Africa lies in the limitations which are often discernable among trade union leaders. As already indicated, this arises partly from the inability of many unions to employ persons of the highest calibre. Other factors are deficiencies in general education and lack of understanding of economic principles and practices, as well as inexperience in the art of collective bargaining.

The hon. member for Houghton who has once again pleaded so eloquently for the right of Natives to participate in “collective bargaining ” could safely allow her enthusiasm to be tempered by the experience of Africa. But what is more, as regards political abuse, the I.L.O. came to this conclusion—

Political activity would seem in many African countries to have affected the role of trade unions in collective bargaining.

This substantiates fully the standpoint and the belief which this side of the House have always held, namely that the Native is not able industrially, socially and mentally to make judicious use of the trade union weapon. That is the experience we have had in this country, and I do not want to repeat all the arguments again. During the debate on the settlement of disputes we gave ample facts and figures. The experience throughout Africa has been that they use the trade union as a political weapon, and not as a bargaining instrument. It is for that reason that we urge that the works committees should be employed as representing a far better system through which the requests or demands of the Natives for increased wages can be considered; because we shall not only be rendering a disservice to South Africa and industry if we should recognize trade unions, but we should also be rendering a disservice to the Natives themselves because we shall be giving them a weapon which they are not competent to use.

As regards the question of increased wages, we are agreed in this House that such increases must be accompanied by increased production, and I am gratified by the clear-headed approach which has been adopted. This matter has not always been approached in this same spirit. It has sometimes been argued that we should simply pay higher wages, that we should pay £1 per day, and that South Africa would then become the land of Canaan. In this regard it is perhaps as well that I should point out that as influential an organization as Assocom also gave its support at its conference last year to the raising of unskilled wages but on the clear condition that such increases should take place gradually and that they should be accompanied by increased productivity; and in this regard the opinion of Mr. Goldberg, the chairman of this organization to which hon. members have referred to-day, namely the Association for the Advancement of Native Wages and Productivity, is also of importance because it shows that there is a greater understanding of the real problem than existed in the past. In his latest statement Mr. Goldberg has said—

I appreciate the need for a gradual wage increase rather than a sudden and big jump. A too sudden increase could have a very damaging impact on the workers themselves. It is better for them to have work and be paid too little than for them to have no work at all.

This is a very practical approach, which merely goes to show that the direction in which we have moved in recent years has been sound and judicious.

But to-day the Progressive Party has moved an amendment which asks that the Government should consider the advisability of appointing a commission of inquiry to investigate the basic cost of living of urban and rural workers, with a view to instituting regional minimum wages. In the first place I want to express my appreciation for the clear-headed approach which has also been adopted in this regard, in that they have dropped the idea of a national minimum wage.

*Mr. EGLIN:

We have never advocated it.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR:

Oh, then I am pleased that their clear-headed approach has become even clearer because in the past we were always under that impression. For that reason I am pleased that the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) has introduced this motion so that the Progressive Party have had the opportunity to make there standpoint clear. But now they are advocating regional minimum wages. As far as I am concerned not one of their speakers has expressed himself clearly enough on this point to show where this proposal differs from the present position—and this also links up with the United Party’s amendment which calls upon the Government to assume the primary responsibility for establishing adequate minimum wage standards throughout South Africa. I think that what the Opposition groups request in their amendments is to a large extent being done to-day, in the first place as regards the scientific inquiry into the cost of living. There is hardly any other organization which is better able to do so than the Wage Board. These are experienced people whose task it is to investigate thoroughly the basic living requirements in each area. The numerous reports of the Wage Board testify to the fact that they do not do their work superficially, and I can hardly imagine a commission which could submit a better report on this matter than the Wage Board. But what is more, as regards the request that we should lay down regional wages, that is to a large extent what we are doing. We do have wages for the various areas. I have just said that we have issued an instruction that there should be consolidation, but this also applies to an industry such as the meat industry, and it also covers a region. In this regard I should like to mention something which I regard as yet another indication that we are on the right road. I am referring to the experience of other countries—not that we can always accept their experiences as gospel, but when I was overseas recently I made a point of inquiring from one or two ministries what their policy regarding national minimum wages was. I only want to mention two countries whose experience is of importance to us because their industrial arrangements correspond with ours in other respects, that is to say England and France. In England the Deputy Minister of Labour told me that there were no national minimum wages, but the case of France is far more interesting because it is in line with our own experience. The position in that country is that there are in fact minimum wages but the country is divided into eight different regions. They do not have one national minimum wage. They have a minimum wage in eight different regions, that is to say in the urban areas and in the rural and semi-rural areas. This to a very large extent is similar to the position in South Africa. We also have our various wage determinations for various areas in accordance with their standards of living. The hon. member for Musgrave, despite the fact that they say that they have never advocated a national minimum wage, has nevertheless just said that if it should become necessary to inflict such a shock on the country’s economy, the economy will simply have to bear the shock.

*Mr. WILLIAMS:

Regional wages.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR:

I am glad that that is the position because for those who still cling to the national minimum wage as the solution of all our problems, the opinion expressed by Prof. Steenkamp are of very great interest. The hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) (Mr. van Rensburg) has quoted his opinion and hon. members opposite then asked where his figures came from. I should like to give the exact figures so that the House can appreciate what the implications of a national minimum wage would be for South Africa. Prof. Steenkamp recently gave this opinion to the Economic Advisory Council—

In the case of Johannesburg it (the minimum living wage) was estimated in 1954 to Se £23 10s. per month for a family of five. At present the figure is £27 10s. per month. Assuming that the wage increase remains limited to the secondary and tertiary branches of industry there are an estimated number of between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 non-White workers and the wages of all such workers would have to be increased proportionately. If the present wage is £13 10s. per month this would mean an increase of £10 per month to £23 10s. or in total from £120,000,000 to £180,000,000 per annum. If wages were to be increased to £27 10s. per month it would mean an increase of from £186,000,000 to £252,000,000 per annum. This is plus minus 4 to 6 per cent of the national income and far exceeds the annual increase in the national income.

I think it is crystal clear to everyone that such an overall increase would be disastrous for the country. It would be disastrous to the continued existence of our industries and the employment opportunities they offer as well as our entire export trade. The only conclusion we can reach is that we must continue with the policy we have adopted, that is to say, of systematically increasing wages, as we have done over the years. It is true that there must be shorter intervals between increases, but at the same time not unduly short intervals so that industry will have an opportunity to adjust itself to each increase, and such increases must be accompanied by increased productivity. But the responsibility for increased productivity, as the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Prof. Fourie) and others have said, rests in the first place on the employers. I now want to say that increasing the productivity of Natives is not an easy task because the I.L.O. also sent a mission recently to the Congo to see whether they could make proposals as to how the productivity and the wages of the workers in the Congo could be increased. It will interest the House to hear what their finding was—

Many Congolese workers dislike salary increases like an unwelcome relative and want nothing to do with it, an international labour team has reported…. The report says that the Congolese dislike regular work. It has been kept in mind that only a minority of the Congolese population shows any interest in working for a salary.

The I.L.O. has not yet placed on record our experiences, but it does at least shows that the task of increasing productivity and of telling the Native that if he will produce more he will earn more, is not always such an easy one.

I want to conclude by supporting the plea which the hon. member for Bloemfontein (East) has made regarding the provision of food to Natives in order to increase their productivity. This is a very important matter. The hon. member has given the example of the Railways which are providing food to 30,000 Natives. We have the example of the mines which also provide food so that they can achieve maximum production, but I think the time will come when even the Wage Board will have to consider including the provision of food in wage determinations. If we want to increase productivity, it is pointless paying the Native that extra cent in order to increase his productivity if he uses it to buy Coca-Cola and white bread. I think our record over the years regarding functioning of our industrial legislation and the industrial peace which we enjoy is the best proof that we are on the right road and I believe that if South Africa continues along the present lines, we shall increase the prosperity not only of the White but also of the non-White workers and by so doing we shall also establish the greatest possible measure of contentment amongst our Native labour force. For that reason I thank the hon. member for Pretoria (West) once again for having given this House the opportunity to discuss this important matter.

Mr. MILLER:

When one reads the terms of the motion introduced by the hon. member for Pretoria (West), one might be misled by the fact that the motion talks of policy, whereas we have heard from much more responsible members opposite that the Government has always denied that it has any responsibility for introducing any policy to increase minimum wages for unskilled workers.

At 3.55 p.m. the business under consideration was interrupted by Mr. Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 41 (3) and the debate was adjourned until 14 April.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Orders of the Day.

UNIVERSITY OF THE ORANGE FREE STATE (PRIVATE) ACT AMENDMENT (PRIVATE) BILL

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion for second reading,—University of the Orange Free State (Private) Act Amendment (Private) Bill, to be resumed.

[Debate on motion by Mr. H. J. van Wyk, upon which an amendment had been moved by Dr. Steenkamp, adjourned on 24 February, resumed.]

*Mr. MOSTERT:

Mr. Speaker, it is noticeable that whenever we in this country have to consider any matter affecting the education of our children and the future of our nation, discord, dispute and unfortunately suspicion as well, always arise. In the case of the matter we are considering to-day, that is to say, these few amendments to the University of the Orange Free State Act, similar friction has once again arisen which, as far as I can see, is only based, and very superficially based at that, on misunderstanding and ignorance of the position. I have said before: Do not argue over our children; do not turn our schools into a battlefield. But whenever education comes under discussion suspicion arises amongst certain sections of the people.

The matter we are discussing to-day is not a question of State policy. This Bill is not one which a Minister has introduced. [Interjection.] The hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) is already becoming restive. If anyone criticizes him, he becomes touchy (skurf). I say this is not a question of State policy. This is a private Bill and an amendment to a private Act which we are considering to-day. The people who are opposing this legislation give full recognition to the principle of university autonomy. I shall come to that aspect, but this step is now being taken because within the framework of the University of the Free State there is an unfortunate inconsistency. There is a conflict between two things, that is to say between the statutes of the University on the one hand and the Universities Act on the other hand. The two differ and this matter must be put right. This matter has already caused so much unrest amongst the community of the Free State that the Church has expressed itself very strongly and seriously on this point. For ten years this matter has already been under the serious consideration not only of the Church but of the council of the University itself. It is felt that the community is not being served in accordance with the principles embodied in its statutes. In 1959 the Smithfield “Ring” resolved—

That the Most Reverend synod be requested in pursuance of the previous resolutions to urge courteously yet earnestly upon the Council of the University of the Orange Free State that the said Council should make a serious attempt by means of private legislation in the House of Assembly to have the conscience clause in the case of the University of the Orange Free State deleted.

The reason why the “Ring” was so emphatic and repeatedly used the word “ seriously ” is the fact that the “Ring” also took the following resolution—

The “Ring” requests the Synodal Commission of the Church for Restoration and Evangelization to give particular consideration at the congress to the lack of religion amongst scholars and the role being played by neutral education, and positively to the evangelical value of Christian education.

The “Ring” was concerned and the Church in the Free State were concerned about a type of colourless policy in education—not a dual character in education but a lack of character in education—which has crept into our education in this materialistic age and which is prevalent to-day. We know that materialism is forcing higher education in a certain direction, namely in the direction of science. And it is going further than science and is merely moving in the direction of technical education. But to a large extent and as a result of circumstances the Christian values are being neglected. Both the synod of the Free State Church and the Council of the University of the Free State are very anxious that a definite character should be given to our education. That character must be in accordance with its recognized principles, that is to say Christian and Protestant, and we do not want to deviate from that character and that principle. It is not the Government which is speaking this afternoon, it is an ex-student who is a member of the convocation of that university. In other words, I have the right to speak on behalf of our university and because this matter has already been so long delayed the synodal commission of the Free State N.G. Kerk acted yet again during this year and issued a statement that it noted with concern the agitation in the Press against the application for the amendment of the Act of the Free State University in order to place it on a Protestant, Christian basis. Here we have an unequivocal statement of policy. The commission further states that it deplores this agitation all the more because this resolution by the university council was in accord with the request made by the synod of the Free State N.G. Church. In other words, the attack on this legislation and on the principle embodied in it is an attack on the Church and is an attack which is being made by people who themselves say that we should not discriminate in church or religious matters.

Mr. Speaker, let us commence with the statutes. The statutes were promulgated in the Government Gazette, 20 January 1950. In Section 3 of chapter 1, which sets out the policy, we find the following—

Although the policy of the University shall be determined by the Council, the University, in view of its historical associations, shall have a Christian character, and its aims shall be in accordance with the national character and the cultural requirements of the Orange Free State.

That is stated in the statutes. In section 4 of chapter 3 we find—

The Council shall be empowered … to suspend or dismiss any professor, lecturer or other teacher, provided that the consent of the Minister is obtained.

In other words, the statutes also give the Council the power to exercise control over the lecturers. It has full control over the staff which it appoints. To-day there is this restrictive clause which provides that it may not apply a conscience test in appointing a member of its staff. In other words, the Act obliges the council to violate its statutes. In other words, it must appoint a certain person under the Act and as soon as it has appointed him, it can dismiss him and say: “ He is not a Christian Protestant.”

*Dr. STEENKAMP:

That is far-fetched.

*Mr. MOSTERT:

It is not as far-fetched as we may think. Throughout the country and at many universities all over the world the type of person being appointed is after all taken into account and no university council would blindly appoint a person merely on the basis of his academic qualifications. Every university has a policy, and what is more the council has the right under its statutes to bring its legislation into line with its statutes by means of private legislation, as it is now doing. It means that the statutes form the basis of the university’s existence and not the Act. The Act gives the university certain legal powers which it can use, but the statutes constitute the basis of its policy and the statutes must not necessarily be brought into line with the Act; the Act should be brought into line with the statutes; and seeing that there is an inconsistency, that is what we are doing.

*An HON. MEMBER:

It is still not right.

*Mr. MOSTERT:

The conscience clause as embodied in the Act to-day is hindering the council in carrying out its policy because it is in conflict with that policy. It is handicapping the council in carrying out its policy to the full. This university has developed from an educational institution which was established 106 years ago. Dr. Andrew Murray was one of the founders of the educational system of the Free State and when the old Grey College was established, the intention was to have an institution which would comply with three requirements: It had to be in accordance with the national character of the Free State; It had to meet the cultural requirements of the Free State; and it had to serve the religious beliefs of the Free State. For that reason, Mr. Speaker, the Free State became a model republic because it educated its citizen correctly. A university is not an organ of the State. Professor Price made that point yet again recently here in Cape Town. The State does not use the university in order to achieve its objects. The university must act in a accordance with the requirements of its environment and its community. It does not ask the State what its policy should be and still less does it ask a section of the people of the country what its policy should be; it has recourse to its environment. When Professor Lauwerys of the London University visited this country, I asked him frankly at a meeting what the object of education was. His answer was: There are two objects. I have three. He said the first two were that a person should be educated so as to equip him to earn his living and, secondly, to ensure the cohesion of his community. The third object which I want to add is that he should be contented. But under conditions of perpetual discord over educational matters he is not contented and the cohesion of the Free State community will not be ensured for so long as this clause remains because the university is serving a Christian Protestant community. The conscience clause is therefore not only unnecessary but it is a burden, and it is a greater burden because it is useless.

*An HON. MEMBER:

Then it is not a burden.

*Mr. MOSTERT:

The clause is useless because, as the evidence before the Select Committee shows, it is very easy to circumvent it. But Professor Groenewould stated very clearly and unambiguously: We do not want to circumvent the law; we want to correct it and we want to implement the Act honestly. It is a most praiseworthy motive on the part of the Council and Senate of the university to wish to hold high the level of their own morality and to be able to say: We want to be honest; we do not want to have a provision with which we can bluff the outside world and say: “ We have a conscience clause in order to satisfy you, but we can go on doing what we like.” It is to preserve that morality that I have risen this afternoon to put this matter frankly and clearly.

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to criticize hon. members opposite who have criticized this Bill, but the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) has said that this represents discrimination on the ground of religion. Of course it is. All religion is discriminatory. I as a Protestant discriminate against everything which is un-Protestant. I do not bring it into my house nor do I bring it into my church and I do not want it in my school. After all there is nothing clearer than that. The Jew says: I am a Jew and I bring my children up to be Jews, and the country gives him every right to do so; there is no obstacle in his way. He can educate his children in accordance with his own character. As a matter of fact we want them to do so and I have always encouraged them to do so. But the hon. member for Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher) even goes so far as to say that this Bill represents a threat to religious freedom. It is precisely the reverse. It wishes to give the Free State and its university their full religious rights without detracting one iota from the rights of any other religion in the world. No right of any other religion or denomination or belief or anything else is threatened or affected in any way whatever by this legislation, and that is why I feel free to say that these criticisms are based on suspicion and fear. Here the Afrikaner—and the Afrikaner has been the scapegoat in this country for the past 300 years—is introducing a cunning devilish amendment and he has something up his sleeve by which he wants to create difficulties for other races. I want to say this afternoon unequivocally that the time when the Afrikaner could be told what rights he has as regards his language, his education, his family, his sacred things, is past. That time is gone for ever, and because we as a mainly Afrikaner university realize that that time is past, we also realize that the rights of minorities and others will be entrenched. That is why this legislation provides that no student will be subjected to any test of religious belief. He will be admitted and he can remain a student and he can acquire degrees and retain degrees at that university. This amendment only relates to the staff. It shows that the university has not the slightest intention of interfering with the religious rights or beliefs of any of its students. But like any other university, it has its policy, and it says that there is a neutral character in our education which should be removed. We must be specific, and if a parent wants to send his child to Bloemfontein, then he must know in advance that he is sending his child to a Christian Protestant university and if he does not want to send him to such a university, then he should not send him to that university. But I can send my child to that university in the full confidence that what my child has learned in my home and my church, he will learn at that university. The hon. member for Rosettenville now says: “ It is the destruction of the university.” Did the hon. member drink something the night before or what is wrong?

*Dr. STEENKAMP:

No, that you cannot say.

Mr. HUGHES:

Which university did you attend?

Mr. MOSTERT:

The hon. member says: “ It is the destruction of the university.” He was possessed in some way or another when he used those words. After all he cannot talk such nonsensical rubbish.

*Mr. HUGHES:

It is not nonsensical.

*Mr. MOSTERT:

He goes further and says that the Government does not have the right to exclude. But the Government has nothing on earth to do with this legislation; it is our Bill. It has no right to interfere here. I want to go further and refer to one or two matters of general interest; I want to show how this matter arose. This matter was made public and this amending Bill was published on four occasions in the Government Gazette, in the Friend and in the Volks blad, and there was no reaction, no one said boo or baa or uttered one word against those publications

*Dr. FISHER:

How do you know that?

*Mr. MOSTERT:

There was no reaction whatsoever. All of a sudden, when the Bill was on the point of being introduced, there was a reaction and this reaction was against matters of principle—not subsidiary matters. If any university—let us take the Witwatersrand or Cape Town—wants to put its domestic affairs, its matters of principle, in order, what right do I as a Transvaler or a Free Stater or an ex-Grey student—which I am proud to be— have to tell the University of Cape Town: Look, you may not do those things in order to put your domestic affairs into order? I do not have the slightest right to do so.

Mr. HUGHES:

What about the separate universities?

*Mr. MOSTERT:

If a new principle was being introduced into the Act, we could perhaps concede the point; then other universities, other convocations, could perhaps interfere in our convocation and say: “You are introducing a new principle.” But this principle was laid down in the university’s statutes before the Act was enacted. The principle existed 42 years ago when I was a student at that university; at that time it was already our principle. Mr. Speaker, the main reason why we have introduced this legislation are the following: The Council feels, and rightly so, that the university is developing within a community and that that community has a Christian character and a Protestant Christian character. But the Council also feels that this university exercises a tremendous influence on that community. The influence of the University of the Free State has extended tremendously over the past 40 to 47 years or more. But to an even greater extent the Council appreciates that it is strongly influenced by its community and that community has indicated in the most serious possible terms that it wants this matter put right. The Council says that it is most anxious that this should be done. The rector of the university gave evidence before the committee to the effect that it was a matter of the utmost importance to the university that this matter should be put right, and at no stage has any sound reason been advanced why we should suspect that this amendment is aimed at one or other section of the community. The conscience clause is the property of the university to which it belongs. Every university can do with it what it likes; it does not belong to the State. Potchefstroom has dropped this conscience clause. Unfortunately the hon. member for Rosettenville did not fully understand the position at the time. Look, the position is as follows: The Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education is not an institution for training clergymen. That is a sub-section of the university. After all, we know on what bases the various universities have both faculties and seminaries, as they are called. Stellenbosch has such a seminary where the church trains its people within the framework of the university; Potchefstroom has one; Pretoria has two. But that is not the university; that is an institution for training spiritual leaders. But in Potchefstroom the university, apart from the institution for training spiritual leaders, has itself excluded the conscience clause and we have the right to do exactly the same thing in the case of the Free State. But we do not rely on that fact. I do not rely on the argument that Potchefstroom has dropped the conscience clause and that the Free State should therefore do so as well. I rely on the inherent right of the Free State to reshape and to revise its own legislation in the light of its statutes. Mr. Speaker, the tendency at many universities in the world to-day is a two-fold one. The one university wishes to become cosmopolitan and collective; it wants to see one great State; it wants to see one great nation for the whole world. We have heard enough of that type of thing, and we are tired of it. Our churches almost became involved and were almost led into an ambush. But the position will come right. To-day the people are wide awake against that tendency. The other tendency is for such an educational institution to root itself in the soul and heart of its own community and to get away from this concept of one State, one language, one race and one doctrine for the whole world. In other words, the object of this legislation is to safeguard and to confirm the individuality of its people and its community. For that reason I support the Bill wholeheartedly and I hope that it will eventually be adopted.

There are one or two matters to which I just want to refer. Prof. Israelstam has sent me a circular in which he defines university autonomy very well. He says—

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Statement by the Executive Committee of Convocation of University of the Witwatersrand …

I know Prof. Israelstam personally and he is a very friendly person. He gave an excellent testimony abroad regarding South Africa’s position. He has the right attitude. He is speaking against the legislation and he says—

The Convocation Executive re-affirms its conviction that the principle of university autonomy requires each university to be free to determine for itself what policy it should follow in the selection of its staff and its students.

He goes further than we wish to—

A university has the right to so frame and amend its incorporating Act and its Statutes as to give clear expression to its policy and intention.

That is very clear to anyone who understands English. Then in the same document he turns round and criticizes us. He says that we shall lose our international status. Mr. Speaker, if we must choose between our own soul and conscience and our international status, between our own convictions and the opinion of people outside, then I just want to refer to the history of South Africa over the past 300 years. If the Afrikaner nation had played into the hands of public opinion, of international opinion, and had been concerned about its international status, we could have been a very great country to-day. We could have stood very high amongst the nations, but we Afrikaners would not have had the courage to look other people in the face; we would have had to sacrifice our own souls, and that we have never been prepared to do. That is not the tradition of President Steyn and President Kruger. We do not seek that status; we seek the inherent right which Professor Israelstam describes so well in his own document. He says we have that right. The autonomy and the prerogative of a university are two different things, academic freedom on the one hand and autonomy on the other hand. I put autonomy uppermost, because from the autonomy of a university emanates the power to give direction to its policy. The rector of the university has specifically stated that the clause as it stands is fallible. It is a useless fig leaf and it is a negative thing. In its place we are now putting forward a positive provision which the university has submitted. It states positively: There are many ways in which the technicalities can be evaded, but the University of the Orange Free State would prefer to have the legal right to apply a religious test in cases where it is considered necessary rather than to make use of underhand methods, of which I can assure the House there are many. We do not want to use those methods. We want to have the written, specific and unambiguous right to do just what our statutes allow us to do. Mr. Speaker, other members will still speak. The other merits of this matter will still be enlarged upon. I want to emphasize mainly that this university is fully justified in its desire to have this legislation amended, and that it is doing nothing but act in accordance with its conscience, and if there is a clash between its conscience and the conscience of persons who are seeking staff appointments, then any right-minded person would say that the conscience of the university is the conscience which should prevail. It is not a question of propaganda; it is not a question of tricking one another. It is a question of giving expression to the inherent right and unequivocal principles on which that university rests. For that reason I as a former student support this Bill unreservedly and I shall continue to do so until it is passed.

Mr. COPE:

I agree wholeheartedly with the last speaker that a university is not an organ of the state. Nor for that matter can university education be regarded as in any nature a function of the state. But I cannot possibly agree with the hon. member for Witbank that this is not a matter of state policy. It is a matter of state policy and of very important policy, because, Mr. Speaker, there is an important principle at stake and a principle that has been recognized by our state ever since the state has been in existence. The conscience clause so far as I have been able to discover, was first embodied in an old Cape Act in about 1873. And, Sir, when the Act which laid down the conscience clause as a model for the statutes of all the universities was adopted by the Union Parliament in 1917, the conscience clause was taken over from the old Cape Act and was adopted without any discussion whatsoever. I have been through the proceedings of the debate in 1917 and no discussion whatsoever took place on the question of the adoption of the conscience clause. It was quite clear that it was adopted at that time without any opposition, and simply taken for granted. It was never questioned for a moment that it was desirable to have the conscience clause incorporated in the statutes of the different universities. It is worth just repeating briefly what the conscience clause is, and I want to read it again—

No test of religious belief shall be imposed on any person as a condition of his becoming or continuing to be a professor, lecturer, teacher, or student of, or in his holding any office, or emolument, or exercising any privilege in any college. Nor shall any preference be given or advantage be withheld from any person on the ground of his religious belief.

What does that mean? It simply means that any university which has this conscience clause in its constitution is not to become a sectional, denominational university, and it is included in the statutes of those universities which contain it for the very reason that it was desired to keep those universities on a totally undenominational, unsectarian basis, a free basis where any question of religion will not hinder free discussion and will not hinder the appointment of staff, and so forth. That is a very clear principle and, as I say, it was adopted by the state when the Act was passed in 1917. I do not want to go over the history of the agitation that has taken place in certain centres against the conscience clause, or the reasons for that agitation. But I do want to say that what happened at the University of Potchefstroom was referred to by the hon. mover of this motion as a precedent. He argued that what occurred at Potchefstroom was that the principle had been laid down that the state no longer regarded the conscience clause as essential for the universities. With great respect I would say that that is not so. What happened at the University of Potchefstroom was on quite a different basis from the background which has led to this motion in respect of the Free State University, or for that matter which might lead to an attempt to remove the conscience clause from any other of our universities. Hon. members will recall the debate that took place in 1950 and previously in regard to the Potchefstroom University. The big argument was that Potchefstroom was a special case, that for special historical and religious reasons connected with the University of Potchefstroom, Potchefstroom fell in a special category. That argument was used over and over again during the debates, and I may say that many people did not accept the argument and were doubtful about it. Others again did accept that this was a special case, and I maintain that the vote which was given in the case of Potchefstroom in 1950 was mainly on the basis that this was a special case. But there were grave doubts raised even then, and I just want to cite one paragraph in an article which was published at about that time. This was in the April issue of 1950 of Jewish Affairs, just about the time when the Potchefstroom Bill was before this House, and this is the paragraph I want to quote—

It is not only what will happen at Potchefstroom University itself, but also what it may lead to elsewhere that is causing concern. There is a fear that the persistent attacks by Potchefstroom upon the established conscience clause may provide a precedent for other universities. It may represent a tendency in university education which, if not checked, will lead to grave interference with hitherto accepted conceptions of academic and religious freedom in our higher institutions of learning.

So you see, Sir, that at that time this particular journal, reflecting the opinion of many others, was concerned about the assurances that were given and the arguments that were raised at the time of the Potchefstroom University Bill to the effect that that was a special case. They expressed the fear at that time that far from being a special case, this would be regarded as a precedent for action elsewhere. And we see that those fears appear now to have been very well justified, because now we have the introduction of this Bill for the University of the Free State and immediately the claim is made that Potchefstroom constituted a precedent, in other words, confirming exactly the fears expressed in this particular article, and I know only too well, the fears expressed in many quarters at that time. I therefore wish to challenge the contention that Potchefstroom was in fact a precedent and that the question of the inclusion of the conscience clause in the statutes of the universities is not a matter of state policy. I submit that it is a matter of state policy and that it is a matter that the House must examine very closely indeed, because I do believe that if we agree to the clauses in this particular Bill which seeks to abolish the conscience clause, then indeed, we will have established a precedent, and the conscience clause so far as the state is concerned, will have gone out of the window. I say that that would be a most deplorable development in regard to education.

An HON. MEMBER:

Why?

Mr. COPE:

I contend that by adopting this Bill, a disservice will be done to higher education in the Free State. I believe that it is not only bad for the cause of education in the Free State, but I think it is bad for the cause of education altogether, because as I say, here you will introduce the element of denominationalism. There will be a narrowing of the horizon in the Free State so far as higher education is concerned, and I contend that that is not a good thing for education in that province—all the more pity, because if there is one province I feel that has shown very great racial tolerance and where all the different sections have over the years lived extremely happily together, it is the Free State. It has a proud record of racial tolerance and it seems to me a very great pity that at this stage something should be done that I feel may disturb that happy state that has existed over all these years.

There can be no doubt whatsoever that sections of our community are concerned about this development. The Jewish section is definitely concerned, and I feel with good reason. But there are other sections too. On religious grounds the Catholic section are also deeply concerned, and I can say that the Anglican section is also concerned about this development. I say that because I want to make the point that there are sections of the community deeply concerned by this development and that representatives of those sections of the community live in the Free State and elsewhere, and that this action will not lead to happier relations in the Free State. On the contrary I feel that it will have a disturbing effect and that a development of this kind is much better left alone.

Now I want to refer to one or two other objections to the dropping of the conscience clause. There is this question, and it is quite an important principle, whether or not the state should grant subsidies on the same basis to undenominational institutions as to institutions which take on a denominational character. In this connection I would like to quote an eminent authority who holds the view that where an institution takes on a denominational character, the question arises as to whether or not the same basis of subsidization by the state should take place. I quote from a speech made by the late Mr. J. H. Hofmeyr when he was Minister of Education, on 15 April 1932 (Hansard, Col. 3225). Mr. Hofmeyr said this—

I have nothing against church or denominational institutions. I have no objection to their getting subsidies from the state. But I say they ought to be subsidized less favourably than other institutions. If groups join together and want to establish their own institutions, then I am satisfied with it, but then they must be prepared to contribute more to the institution than what is contributed by supporters of an institution which serves the public as a whole. That principle was followed by the then Government in 1919. An application for a subsidy was made on behalf of a certain institution. What was the reply? The reply was: We will give a subsidy, but until you have removed the ecclesiastical character, your subsidy will be on a lower basis.

Well now, Sir, what is happening, what is the trend and what is the indication of what the removal of this conscience clause may lead to in the Free State? Hon. members may argue that it is not an attempt in any shape or form to make the University of the Free State denominational. With respect, I feel that that is not so. I cannot see what other reason there is for wishing to remove the conscience clause. If it is not to make it a wholly denominational institution, then certainly it is to make it more denominational than it is now, and to take on a more specific, more religious character than it has at the moment. If that is so, then I feel that this principle of the question of a subsidy comes into the picture, because it is difficult to know where to stop if universities or any institutions tend to take on more and more of a particular religious character. If they are changing more and more in a certain direction, then we must consider whether the state should subsidize such institutions on the same basis as free and open institutions. I don’t think I need to prove that principle or to argue it further. It is perfectly obvious. The state is supported by all its citizens, all its taxpayers, and to ask the state to subsidize a certain section is a matter that must always be very seriously considered. I make the point that this principle is involved in this question of the conscience clause, and it is involved to some extent in the question of the Bill which is before the House at the moment. I would like to quote another authority in connection with the same point, namely, the late Dr. D. F. Malan, a former Prime Minister, who, on 15 April 1932 (Hansard, Col. 32341), said this—

If it were a question of the withdrawal of the conscience clause, then I can assure the House that I would most strenuously oppose the Bill. I have always been in favour of the retention of the conscience clause, in connection with the Potchefstroom institution as well, and I have not changed in a single respect in regard to that attitude. I consider the conscience clause as necessary in the interest of science, and I am of the opinion that it is just as much in the interests of religion.

So Dr. Malan was also against the abolition of the conscience clause. There was a further passage where he specifically referred to the question of subsidization, but for the moment I cannot find it. Mr. Speaker, a number of educationists, including the late Dr. Malan and the late Mr. J. H. Hofmeyr, also made the point that the inclusion of a conscience clause would have a harmful effect on the staff of an institution and would lead to a certain amount of trouble and discontent in a university. They pointed out that it would put a strain very often upon the honesty of a professor or a member of the academic staff applying for a post, that such a man might be tempted to conceal his religious beliefs and perhaps in order to obtain a post represent himself as not being of a certain denomination. They held that this would certainly put a strain on the honesty of a professor. They also dealt at considerable length, both Dr. Malan and the late Mr. J. H. Hofmeyr, with the deleterious effects upon freedom of thought and science and so forth in universities if the conscience clause was very rigidly applied and there was a tendency to get a staff which contended to conform to a certain religious belief. So you see that there seems little doubt that academically, according to those authorities, the conscience clauses can certainly not in any sense or form be said to improve the educational standard of a university. This is a case of making an institution more denominational. For that reason and for the reason that I believe that an important principle, a state principle is involved, I wish to move the following amendment to the amendment proposed by the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp)—

To omit all the words after “House” up to and including “ principles ” and to add at the end “ in the constitution of the University and may prejudice certain students in obtaining bursaries and other benefits ”.
Mrs. SUZMAN:

I second the further amendment. And I want to say that we go a little further than the amendment which was moved by the hon. member for Hillbrow in two respects. First of all we omit the provisions to the amendment moved by the hon. member for Hillbrow in so far as that amendment makes specific mention of the Christian Protestant basis and of the autonomy of the University of the Orange Free State. Secondly, we go further in that we add at the end of the amendment which has been moved by the hon. member for Hillbrow our further objections to this Bill in so far as it prejudices not only the appointment of staff but may prejudice also the position of graduates and students at the University of the Orange Free State. The Bill as it stands omits from that portion of the so-called conscience clause, which refers to students, the words “ or of his holding any office or receiving any emoluments or exercising any privilege therein ”. We believe that this may mean that students who are at the university or graduates who are attending the university can be denied certain bursaries or scholarships on the grounds of religious discrimination at the University of the Free State.

As the hon. member for Parktown has pointed out, predictions were made long ago, when the original attempts were made to remove the conscience clause, first from the University of the Free State and later when this was partially accomplished in respect of the University of Potchefstroom, that persons would later claim this as a precedent for future action to obtain the removal of the conscience clause from the constitutions of other universities. This has been proved to be only too correct. First of all, we have had the example in the Separate Universities Act, as it is familiarly known (the Extension of Universities Act as it is formally known), in the removal of the conscience clause from the constitution of those universities. In that case, the case of Potchefstroom was cited as a precedent. The hon. member for Welkom (Mr. H. J. van Wyk) when he introduced this private Bill also cited this as a precedent. Indeed the predictions have proved correct, although the citing of the Potchefstroom University and the partial removal of the conscience clause is indeed not a precedent, and no norm was set by the removal of the conscience clause at that time. That was proved in debate during the Separate Universities Act debate. It was proved that although that conscience clause, part of it at any rate, was removed nine years before the Separate Universities Bill was introduced, that was no precedent.

Dr. JONKER:

It was argued, not proved.

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I think it was pretty conclusively argued that no norm was established, because since the passing of the Potchefstroom Act removing the conscience clause, the University Act was again passed in 1954, consolidating the university legislation and the conscience clause remained there. No norm was established in that respect at all. In any case, as has been pointed out by other hon. members, the fact is that the Potchefstroom case was a special case, not only from the point of view of it having a special religious basis and also because of the fact that it was supported from funds from certain churches. But even the Potchefstroom University Act did not completely remove the conscience clause as this Bill now seeks to do, in the case of staff. Firstly the change introduced in respect of the Potchefstroom University simply amounted to a change in the form of the conscience clause, but to a large extent left it even as far as the staff was concerned, since only the words “ test of religious denomination ” were used, and this was defined as not necessarily meaning membership of a specific church. But here we go very much further. It is not a question therefore of precedent or norm, because it goes very much further than in the Potchefstroom case. Also as far as Potchefstroom was concerned, there was the support of the Church referred to by me, financial support, and as the hon. member for Parktown correctly pointed out, the Free State University is not in the same position. The Orange Free State University is supported from general revenue, which is contributed by the taxpayers of this country of all religious denominations, and therefore there is no cause for this university being specifically entitled to this constitutional amendment which is proposed to-day introducing the principle of religious discrimination as far as the appointment of staff is concerned, and to some extent prejudicing the possible chances of students to obtain bursaries and scholarships from this university. There is no doubt that if this goes through, a further agitation will be set in motion for the removal of the conscience clause from other universities.

Mr. FRONEMAN:

Are there no taxpayers in the Free State?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

Certainly, but there are quite a lot who don’t belong to that particular religious belief. The State contributions to the Orange Free State University do not come out of the Free State funds, but out of general revenue to which all the taxpayers of South Africa contribute. I wonder if the hon. member would like the Orange Free State University to be entirely dependent upon taxes paid by the Free State. Of course not. He wants the Free State University to get as big a slice out of general revenue as the universities in the Transvaal and the Cape Province and Natal, and rightly so.

Mr. FRONEMAN:

What becomes then of the autonomy of the universities?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I am coming to that argument. As I mentioned in an earlier debate, this Government changes its attitude towards autonomy and laissez-faire whenever it suits them. When it suits them they want to control everything, when it does not suit them, they ask for laissez-faire and autonomy. But I shall return to that later. The other argument that has been advanced is that the Orange Free State University has always ignored the conscience clause anyway, and that when it has advertised for members of staff it has always asked that the religious affiliations of the applicants should be stated. Giving evidence before the Select Committee, I notice that Professor Groenewoud actually advanced this as a reason for removing the conscience clause, which is tantamount to asking this House to help the University of the Orange Free State to legalize What was virtually an illegal practice before. The same sort of argument, as I recollect, was advanced by the hon. the Minister for Lands during the debate on the Separate Universities Bill. He said that in any case the conscience clause was largely ignored, therefore, why not remove it. The counter-argument to that is, of course, in that case why not remove all laws which are easy to evade, which is obviously an absurd argument. I wonder if we would ask the Commissioner for Inland Revenue, for instance, to remove the Income Tax Act simply because people evade paying taxes? The law is there simply because it has an intrinsic value, and the fact that people are evading the law is no argument for removing these laws.

This, in fact, is simply a plea that not only should injustice appear to be done, but that it should in fact be done. That is quite a reversal of the normal procedure. The other argument is this question of the curtailment of the University Council’s powers and the autonomy of the university. That was used by the hon. member for Welkom (Mr. H. J. van Wyk) when he introduced this Bill, by other members in this debate, and it was used by Professor Groenewoud in his evidence before the Select Committee. But it is interesting to note that the Chairman of that Select Committee stated that he did not consider the autonomy of the university entered into the matter at all. If one takes the trouble to read the report of the Select Committee it will be seen that the Chairman of the Select Committee himself denied that the autonomy of this university was at all relevant to this argument. And the hon. member for Witbank is surely aware of that fact …

Mr. MOSTERT:

What was his reply to that?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

I am not interested in the argument put up by Professor Groenewoud, because he was obviously advocating the very opposite from what I want. What I am interested in is countering the argument of Professor Groenewoud, and here I have the assistance of the Chairman of the Select Committee. I do not need to go any further on that. But I do want to say this, that in any case everybody knows that no university enjoys complete autonomy. No university in the country has ever enjoyed complete autonomy. There are statutes which govern the regulations of a university, and the universities have to accede to those statutes. And, in any case, it is an over-simplification ever to talk of autonomy in the widest sense. Even when one talks of recognized freedoms there is always a tacit recognition that some limitations are imposed by laws. For instance, freedom of speech does not mean to say that I can say what I like about my neighbour. There are the laws of libel to stop me doing so. Freedom of the Press does not mean that I can publish any pornographic literature that I have. Freedom of movement does not mean that I can trespass on my neighbour’s property. And freedom of religion does not mean that I can carry out ritual murders. So that in every case where we talk about freedom we realize that there are certain limitations. And a university must have certain limitations placed on its freedom, placed on its autonomy, when it wishes to introduce principles of religious discrimination in the engagement of staff or the handing out of benefits to students. Therefore autonomy of the universities does not include the right of a university to exercise racial intolerance.

An HON. MEMBER:

Racial intolerance!

Mrs. SUZMAN:

Yes, Sir, this is racial intolerance—or rather, it is religious intolerance purely and simply.

I want to issue the strongest possible warning to hon. members about the effects of accepting this Bill in its present form. Professor Groenewoud stated in his evidence to the Select Committee that the proposed amendment which provides that the universities shall be based on Protestant Christian principles, to which regard shall be had when the staff are appointed, shall not mean that only Protestants will be appointed to the staff of the university. He said, on page 2 of the evidence—

The Council would, of course, like to do that as far as possible, …

He said that the Council was aware that it was concerned with an academic institution and with professional knowledge and that as a result of the availability of staff, etc., in South Africa—

The Council will be obliged to appoint persons who are not Protestants.

I want to emphasize the use of the words of Professor Groenewoud “ would be obliged ” because I want to return to this phrase in a minute. He went on to say that universities which were going to appoint staff on the grounds of religion only would be cutting their own throats because every institution for higher education must ensure that its standard of work is as high as possible—

and a high standard of work can never be obtained if third rate staff members are appointed.

I could not agree more with the Professor in this respect. I agree wholeheartedly with what he has said in this latter respect, but I ask in all seriousness, does the University of the Orange Free State really think that the best non-Protestant academicians will offer themselves for appointment to the staff, knowing that they will be taken on sufferance? Even academicians, even lecturers at universities, even professors have their pride, and if they know that they are going to be taken on sufferance I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, they will not apply for appointments to the staff of the University of the Orange Free State.

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

May I ask the hon. member a question?

Mrs. SUZMAN:

No, I am busy at the moment. The hon. member can ask me later.

I would like to remind this hon. House that the existing universities have the greatest difficulty in obtaining adequate staff. They have the greatest difficulty in obtaining well qualified persons. Does the University of the Orange Free State honestly think it is going to enhance its chances of obtaining the best possible lecturers and professors on its staff if they add this religious clause which is going to mean the admission of people to the staff only if nobody else can be obtained? Quite obviously they are not going to apply. I might say that the university and Professor Groenewoud will never even know what better staff members the university might have obtained from amongst non-Protestants, because I am quite prepared to state, dogmatically, as I have before, that no non-Protestant will apply under these conditions.

Mr. Speaker, the very fact that up to now the University of the Free State has been evading the conscience clause does not help in this respect either, because giving legal entrenchment to what has been done previously makes the matter even worse than it was. I want to warn the university that it will indeed be cutting its own throat if it proceeds with this measure in its present form. The standard of academic work will be gravely affected, not only in existing faculties but also in respect of any undergraduate or post-graduate faculties which the university may wish to establish in the future. Because what applies to the teaching staff applies, possibly to an even greater extent, to the student body. Intending students will weigh up the relevant faculties, staff and teaching facilities at the different universities before selecting their Alma Mater. The fact that the exclusion of Section 31, which embodies the usual conscience clause, and with it the words—

Nor shall any preference be given or advantage be withheld from any person on the grounds of his religious belief

can be interpreted, as our amendment shows, as placing non-Protestant students at a disadvantage as regards scholarships and bursaries will undoubtedly be taken into consideration by students who are non-Protestants and who were intending to study at the University of the Orange Free State. In other words, to a large extent even the retention of portion of the old conscience clause, which is retained by virtue of Clause 1 (3)ter, which states that—

no test whatever of religious belief shall be imposed on any person as a condition of his becoming or continuing to be a student or graduate, or of his obtaining a diploma or certificate of the university—

the effect of retaining even a portion of that, is largely offset by the partial reduction in the rights of students as far as bursaries and other benefits are concerned.

I want to conclude by drawing an historic parallel, which may be of interest to some of the members of this hon. House, particularly those members—and I believe there are some —who studied at the University of Leiden. This fine university was founded in 1575 and for more than two centuries, while younger universities were struggling to establish themselves, and schools of medicine were also gradually being established in England, Scotland and America, the University of Leiden remained in the forefront of the world as a flourishing academic centre. It was a Mecca of learning whose fame continues to this day. What began the emergence of this University of Leiden as a great academic centre? One thing, and one thing only, and that is the decline of the University of Padua which for three centuries before had been the most important centre of learning in Europe. And the decline of the University of Padua was due entirely to the Papal Edict whereby non-Catholics were excluded from the university, and the freedom of thought and religion which the university had always enjoyed was stifled by Church and State—despite, I might say, vigorous opposition from within the University of Padua itself, which recognized what a disastrous effect this would have on the university. As a result of this Papal Edict—which I am to-day comparing with the removal of the conscience clause from the University of the Orange Free State—students, men of science and men of letters, prevented from attending or teaching at the University of Padua, flocked to the recently founded school at Leiden, more especially since this university opened its door to all-comers irrespective of race, nationality or religion. Padua declined and Leiden flourished.

Mr. Speaker, the moral of my story is that if the introduction of religious intolerance into a university as famous as the University of Padua could have had such a devastating effect, it is not difficult to imagine the devastating effect that the introduction of religious discrimination is likely to have on a young university striving to establish itself, like the University of the Orange Free State. More especially is this so when those sentiments emanate from within the university itself; that is, when the support for this religious intolerance comes from within the university itself. I ask the mover of this Bill, the hon. member for Welkom who must have the good of the University of the Orange Free State at heart, and I ask this House to reflect upon the action contemplated to-day and to realize that the adoption of this Bill in its present form can only be interpreted as a backward step which will redound to the dis-credit both of the University of the Orange Free State and the Government that imposes it.

Finally I want to say that if this Bill is adopted by this House it will cast suspicion on the statements of this Government at the inception of this republic; it will create doubt as to the Government’s sincerity in its pledge that religious freedom and no religious discrimination will be scrupulously observed in the republic.

*Dr. MEYER:

Both the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) and the hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) had much to say about Potchefstroom and also about university autonomy, to which I hope to come back later. I just want to mention the remark made by the hon. member for Park-town in connection with financial support from the Government to the universities. If I understood him correctly then his complaint was that the money which the Government granted to the universities came from all taxpayers and therefore sectional universities, as he called it, should not have Government support. On the other hand one could also argue that the Protestant-Christian taxpayer could say that he had no intention to have his money invested in a particular university because he saw that students from that university walked about the streets with banners saying “ we do not believe ”. This is a double-edged sword and I want to point out that it is not such an impossible principle. Die Vrye Universiteit in Amsterdam, from which a very large number of our church leaders have come in the past and are still coming from to-day, gets state support amounting, I think, to about 80 per cent. One finds that in America the so-called private universities no longer receive their money from private sources only. The state supports those so-called private universities. Rochester receives an allowance of 60 per cent from the state, and Columbia gets 80 per cent. The hon. member for Parktown spoke about the fears the Roman Catholics might have. We do not want to argue about that, but in Canada the Roman Catholic institutions in Montreal and Quebec receive large sums from the state and their personnel are appointed from Rome. It is not so unusual that the state should subsidize universities even though they pursue a stipulated course. It is sometimes difficult to understand the arguments of hon. members opposite. I think, for instance, of the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp). He beat about the bush the other day in connection with this debate, just like one who has a guilty conscience. I do not blame him if his conscience worried him because that hon. member always poses as a great defender and champion of university autonomy. In his speech he even tried to tell us that the University of the Orange Free State was free to state that it was Protestant-Christian. But later on he said that the university must remember that it should remain at a declaration only. That, Mr. Speaker, came from one who on 8 April 1959, according to Hansard, Col. 3370, said the following about university autonomy—

The autonomy of our existing universities may not be lightly tampered with. It is too dangerous, not only for the open universities but perhaps even more dangerous for our so-called closed universities.

And to emphasize how very determined he is about university autonomy he continues and talks precisely about this conscience clause. He says that the United Party is not in favour of the conscience clause being abolished. But, he says—

If it is the wish of the university itself …

In other words, if the council requests it, then the United Party will be prepared to give permission for it to be abolished. Mr. Speaker, now we find that this same hon. gentleman tells us: The members on my side of the House will vote against this Bill. Are these now the winds of change or are they just ordinary United Party confusion?

The hon. member for Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher), who is ordinarily a very pleasant person, also made a speech and I am very sorry to have to say that he cut a most pathetic figure when he did not make his own speech but tried to deliver to us a circular letter which we have all received. I am almost sorry that he took part in the debate. If one witnessed his attitude and manner one cannot but be surprised. I for one was particularly surprised. He got up here and made demands. He kept saying “ I demand “ I demand this ” and “ I demand that ”. I do not know whether the hon. member thought of what the reaction could be. I do not know whether he thought that we were just a bunch of weaklings or cowards who would fall on our knees because someone said to us “ I demand ”. It is a pity that he adopted that attitude. I can give him the assurance that that has contributed more than anything else to make hon. members on this side less inclined to make any concessions. I pitied the hon. member when he repeatedly said that he did not care about what was happening in other countries and in other universities. He repeated it so often that I began wondering whether he was afraid that an hon. member would rise and allege that there was no conscience clause in Israel. I want to spare him embarrassment by not going into that. What I do want to say, however, is that I am very sorry that he did adopt that attitude and virtually arrayed himself on the side of the enemies of South Africa when he told us that “ this is a threat to religious freedom; there is a distinct danger to religious freedom in South Africa ”. Then he added: “ What will the outside world think about it?” The hon. member wanted to create the impression that South Africa was now busy with a very serious and dangerous matter while he knew full well that there was no threat to religious freedom in it. He knows well that this Bill is not aimed at anyone. He knows just as well as I do that if there is any country in the world which stands for freedom of religion then it is South Africa. Why does he then come along with this sort of allegation to try to create suspicion? Mr. Speaker, I do not think that he believes himself that there is any threat. I am convinced that he did not speak with conviction and I have reason to believe it. If one reads the report of the Select Committee it will be found that this Bill has been advertised properly, as the hon. member for Witbank (Mr. Mostert) has rightly pointed out. The advertisements in connection with it appeared four times in both languages in the Government Gazette, four times in the Friend and four times in the Volksblad, and no objections were received. There was an opportunity for witnesses to appear but there were no objecting witnesses. The hon. member for Rosettenville himself was a member of the Select Committee. He had no objection originally. He agreed with this clause orginally. He was satisfied and he accepted that the University of the Orange Free State would have the right to take into consideration the Protestant-Christian basis in the appointing of its personnel.

*Mr. VON MOLTKE:

Can it be true?

*Dr. MEYER:

It was only towards the end of the proceedings that he proposed that paragraph (h) should be deleted from the preamble. The Chairman rightly ruled it out of order because the clause had already been adopted with his concurrence. My impression, therefore, is that he did not feel very strongly about this matter himself and that his actions here and perhaps also outside are more of a gesture towards the people who are now shouting about it outside. And now we must hear that there is a threat to freedom of religion.

Mr. Speaker, freedom is a concept which is sadly ill-treated in this country. One finds far too many people who all day long shout about freedom; they want to be free to do as they please, free to do harm and to destroy; they want to be free to live irreligiously and without purpose. But these same people who are such sticklers for freedom do not grant freedom to other people when they want to do good and want to be constructive. They do not concede freedom to people who want to be positively religious. Mr. Speaker, I say that freedom is mishandled too much. As far as I know—and I speak under correction—Fort Hare was long ago exempted from the conscience clause, but then no one shouted that it endangered freedom of religion or academic freedom. No one ever made a fuss about there not being a conscience clause at Fort Hare. We never had any circular letters from the Jewish Board of Deputies. I do not know whether the Christian Council was already in existence then, but the Christian Council did not make a fuss and say that because the conscience clause did not apply at Fort Hare there was no longer any freedom of religion and academic freedom! I cannot understand this: Why should it be good for Fort Hare but not good for the University of the Orange Free State? What is really wrong in our country and what kind of freedom are we now busy obtaining here? Hon. members opposite had much to say about Potchefstroom. I just want to say in passing that Potchefstroom was exempted from the conscience clause and there were good reasons for it. It was done by hon. members on both sides of the House. It is also true that in 1959 in the debate on the extension of universities the principle was accepted by this side of the House and the conscience clause was left out. If this happened in other cases why is it that the Free State cannot have it? We are told that Fort Hare is a different matter because it developed as a mission institution. They say that Potchefstroom is also a different matter because it developed as a church institution. But, Mr. Speaker, why then should it be forgotten that the University of the Orange Free State was established as a theological school for Dutch ministers? It is a fact that in 1854 Sir George Gray gave a grant for higher education in the Free State, namely an amount of £2,000. For reasons of his own he did not give the money to the state but to the church. He asked that trustees should be appointed. The first trustees were Messrs. Griessel, Boshoff and that great churchman, Dr. Andrew Murray who was also the first principal of Greys College. The college came into being as a theological school. If one reads the trust deeds it will be found that in Clauses 3 and 4 the trustees are empowered to provide for educational facilities as soon as possible, consisting inter alia of the teaching of Greek, Latin, Dutch, English—and this is very important—and of other branches of education necessary for the training of ministers for the N.G. Kerk. Sir George Grey found it so satisfactory that he later made a further grant of £3,000 to this institution, of which Dr. Andrew Murray was the principal. Knowing the background and the history of the University of the Orange Free State—and without taking into consideration the unpleasantness of the past—I want to add that it was not the fault of the Free State; that it was not the fault of the University of the Orange Free State but that another power overran it and took control there. With that in mind it has to be realized that it is nothing extraordinary but just the natural thing that the University is asking for to-day: Give back to me what is rightly mine. It is quite natural for the Free State, which has developed and which has come into being under this particular philosophy of life, to ask: Give my children the opportunity of obtaining their education under this philosophy of life. This seems quite natural to me. What is unnatural to me is that we can ever consider refusing such a request.

I can understand that in the olden times, when there were only one or two universities in the country, it could have been argued that all had to go to those few universities, and that it was then perhaps necessary for such a clause to exist. I do not agree with it but I can understand that such an argument could have been advanced. To-day circumstances are entirely different. To-day we have eight or nine universities and I say that we can afford to have, and I think we should encourage variety, and not only variety in that some universities will develop in an Afrikaans direction and some in an English direction. What is wrong with us developing in other directions? I do not think that we should try to muffle that growth and I do not think that we should forget that the University of the Orange Free State is an independent university, and I use the term “ independent ” in the knowledge that no university in South Africa is entirely independent because it must go to the hon. the Minister for certain things, but in so much as a university in South Africa can be independent so the University of the Orange Free State is independent and I do not think it is right that if the university feels that it is good for them that we should apply the brakes and obstruct them. It must be re membered that South Africa is a Protestant-Christian country and it must be accepted as a fact that the more the Protestant-Christian basis gets a grip in South Africa the more certain will we be about having freedom of religion. The Protestant-Christian basis is the guarantee of freedom of religion and it must be remembered that South Africa is such a country. It is acknowledged in the country’s constitution and every day when proceedings are commenced here it is acknowledged in the prayer which is read here. In the National Party’s policy the following appears in connection with the aims concerning education—

The party considers it the duty of the authorities to keep an eye on education and to ensure that every child, according to aptitude and opportunity, receives education based on sound educational and national principles. In addition it insists that in the execution of this duty proper consideration shall be given to the Christian-National basis of the state as well as to the right of the parent to determine in which direction this education shall be given in regard to the moral and religious formation of the child.

Nearly every day we tell our young people that it is the Christian philosophy of life which is our salvation in this country and that the continued existence of the Whites depend on it. Are we prepared to simply wear a label and to leave it at a declaration? If that is so then our children have the right to ask us if we really mean it. They have the right to ask if it is all child’s play that we are busy with or whether we mean what we say. In 1956 the laying of a foundation stone took place at Greys College in the Free State and the House of Assembly was then in session. They regarded it as such a solemn ceremony that the Assembly adjourned in order to attend the proceedings. It is Hamel-berg who tells us that it was a stirring sight to see the representatives of the people leave the council chamber as a body to go to a ceremony and to join in communal prayer in order to ask the blessings of the Almighty on the mighty task lying ahead. I can imagine the idealisms with which those fathers of the nation gathered there because to them it meant the erection of a building where their children would receive education and light and would be able to continue to spread the light for the benefit of future generations.

We are also here this afternoon as representatives of the people. The question arises: What are we going to do? Like in 1856, are we also going to come forward in one body and bring homage to those men and women who sacrificed everything and who gave their lives for precisely this philosophy of life? Are we going to come forward and bring homage to those who kept the torches burning, or are we going to walk around only with a label and be satisfied that a screen remains through which the light will shine only dimly? My course is very clear. In these difficult and dark days in which we live, difficult days not only for South Africa but for the entire world, our only salvation for the future lies in our ensuring that that light is bright and shines even brighter, and any attempt in that direction, and I think this Bill is such an attempt, deserves and enjoys my wholehearted support.

*Prof. FOURIE:

I am sorry that the hon. member for Witbank (Mr. Mostert) is not here now because his background and mine in respect of the institution which is under discussion is the same. I believe that it was one of the good characteristics of that institution of that time, 40 years ago, that one had true freedom there, that it could produce products like the hon. member for Witbank and myself who differ totally and fundamentally on this question. Mr. Speaker, I am a heretic. I have been that all my life and I hope I shall remain it because I do not believe that anyone in the world has discovered the whole truth for all time, whether it be in the sciences or in religion. That, in fact, were the characteristics of men like Luther and Calvin; not only were they heretics and not only did they try and re-discover what was in the Christian religion but they were in reality also discoverers and reformers in religion. I believe in heretics, honest heretics. I have never believed in hothouse flowers or plants, and just as little do I believe in hothouse religion. As I see the world to-day we need discoverers and Voortrekkers in terms of religion.

What does one find in the Bill? We may say what we like but here we are trying to form an association. If possible we want to place the students in a hothouse of religion where there is no test in real life as it exists to-day. We try and protect them from the realities. It would surprise me if, in these days with such a policy of stricture a new Luther and Calvin, for whom the world has great need, could be found. If the University Council wants to abolish the clause, then why do they not abolish the entire clause instead of just confining it to the lecturers? The hon. member for Witbank spoke about the community; the university should adapt itself to and virtually reflect the entire community. What does the hon. member mean by “ community ”? I know the Free State as well as he does, and even better. Does he mean the Afrikaner Protestant community or has the Free State got a broader community? Let the university reflect the community but not a narrowed down community. I am concerned about the tendency there is, and I say it with the greatest sense of responsibility, in respect of my Alma Mater which I have tried to serve to the best of my ability for many years. I believe in real freedom, and not in, as the hon. member for Odendaalsrus (Dr. Meyer) said, the kind of freedom where the enjoying of one’s own freedom means the curbing of the freedom of others. I think of the days of Grey when this conscience clause was established and not in vain either. Our forefathers and legislators knew what they were doing. In those days they had professors at that university. I think of a Rindl and many others who rendered excellent services to that institution and to their students. The present rector, who gave evidence before the Select Committee, was a student of Dr. Rindl’s. This kind of legislation, I believe, will exclude the Dr. Rindls of the future as lecturers at that university, and I would regret that. I stand for the open university where one welcomes those who differ from one in principle, where one wants the friction of ideas which can bring about a broadening of oneself. I am afraid of becoming shallow and narrow in the present world conditions. The world is as confused as it never was before, much like it was in the Middle Ages. Then there was intolerance which restrained the soul and spirit of the people. To-day the world needs tolerance more than anything else. Listen to what the other man man says, in the realization that all of us are just seeking the truth and trying to understand the eternal book of truth, which is a never-ending campaign. Why put the students in a position to believe that the Protestants of to-day, who cannot even give direction to the world—they realize it themselves—will give them the full truth if only they are prepared to be put into a camp and have only Protestant lecturers and Protestant fellow-students? Any student with self-respect who goes to a university where his religion is not tolerated and where he cannot express his personality and be an individual to the fullest extent will be an extraordinary person; he will be an exception. Why make the students feel that the full truth to-day is in the possession of the Protestant lecturers who will be appointed there? I do not believe it. No one has it. No one has ever had it and there is still a long road of discovery lying ahead. Not only do I want a recovery of the values of our religion, but more particularly a discovery, new discoveries of the truth, and I believe that this direction in which the university is now moving will bring about a narrowing down and a spirit which will never lead to discovery but rather to a stagnation in religion. Therefore I say that it is within our power to agree to this kind of demand but that our future students and future generations will not thank us for it. In the light of the realities of this chaotic world which has been created by the development of a mighty technology, in which moral values have been left far behind, no one has to-day the key to an understanding of what the course must be. Let us support the open university and the right of anyone who is a heretic because it is through heretics throughout the history of the world that humanity has time and again found a new course. Let us remain reformers. We started off as reformers and Protestants, but do not let us become reformers who are conformists. If there is one sphere in which the human spirit should be free then it is the university. Do not let us also demarcate that sphere and breed conformists instead of Protestants.

*Mr. SADIE:

Mr. Chairman, the debate on this Bill has been conducted on a very high level, something for which I think we can all be grateful. There are certain exceptions about which I do not want to say anything, but the fact that the debate was conducted on such a high level clearly proves that this matter is regarded in a serious light both by the supporters of this principle, the specific clause which is really under discussion, and also by those who oppose it.

I would like to try to defend this removal of the conscience clause on various grounds. The first is that it is right and just and that it is not an interference with religious freedom, as various bodies allege. That allegation was made by various bodies and also in the circular of the Jewish Board of Deputies. The allegation was also made by the hon. member for Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher) and others,, but I can merely say that in view of the fact that this circular from the Jewish Board of Deputies was received by us shortly before the introduction of the Bill—and I would like to direct the attention of the House to the fact that this circular and the accompanying letter emanated from the Cape Town Branch of the Jewish Board of Deputies. I want to draw attention to the fact that no protest emanated from the Free State itself against this principle which the University of the Orange Free State wants to introduce, viz. the removal of the conscience clause. I also want to say that the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp), who said here that he was talking on behalf of his party and who put the whole matter on a party basis— he is here now; the hon. member for Odendaalsrus (Dr. Meyer) said in his absence a moment ago that he was being inconsistent and that at the time of the legislation dealing with separate universities he had propounded a different principle here on behalf of his party, viz. that if a university asked for it their party would concede this principle, although unwillingly, but in spite of that he now objects to it.

*Dr. STEENKAMP:

Read my speech again.

*Mr. SADIE:

I say no complaints were received from anybody in the Free State. The Jewish community in the Free State did not protest against this clause. Why not? Simply because they are the people concerned in the matter. They know the spirit and the sentiment in the Free State. Have they not been living amongst the Free Staters for all these years? They would regard it as ridiculous to protest against it. The fact is that where this request has now been made and these protests voiced, we know that for all these years education in the Free State has been Christian-National. That has been provided for in education. The children of the Jewish community have received their education under that system for all these years in the Free State and never once have any of them protested. There has never been any reason for complaint by the Jewish community. Whence this sudden anxiety that it violates the great principle of religious freedom in this country? Surely that is not so. I say the council of the University is asking for the insertion of this clause in the Bill because they, as the rector stated in his evidence, want to be above board and do not want to sail under a foreign flag. Other bodies have said: You have the right to do it, even though that provision is contained in the Act, even though the conscience clause is there; why do you not appoint whom you want? But they do not want to do that. Already in a leading article in Jewish Affairs of 1961, this complaint has been voiced—

Meanwhile a curious thing began happening at the University of the Orange Free State. In spite of the fact that the conscience clause was specifically written into its statutes, advertisements of staff vacancies began to ask applicants to state their religious denomination.

The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) also pointed that out. The complaint is already being voiced. How can these people state their standpoint honestly and sincerely and give expression to the philosophy of life of the Free State if that is to be the case?

But there are also other grounds. We now find that those who most ardently plead for the future expansion and the greatness of the University of the Orange Free State are the very hon. members who oppose this principle, the removal of the conscience clause. Do they really think that the men in control of the university, the members of the council, are not realists? Surely they are people who do not want to harm the university, but to benefit it. It is also very clear from the evidence of the rector that they want this principle because it is in line with the philosophy of life of the Free Staters, of the parents of the children, that section of the population served by the university. They will not make appointments merely on a religious basis, but they want this principle inserted in the statutes of the university.

I also want to defend the matter on the basis of principle, and I want to commence by saying that 85 per cent of the population of the Free State is Afrikaans-speaking in the first place, and the majority belongs to the Dutch churches. The Jewish community, on the contrary, constitutes 1.4 per cent of the population of the Free State, according to the latest census figures. It was alleged that a denominational test would be set, but that is not so and I definitely deny it. The hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) also made that allegation. In the educational philosophy there are two schools of thought which are diametrically opposed to each other. We find the historical-Christian and the humanistic schools of thought, each with its own point of view. The historic-Christian mainly places the emphasis on the Creator, everything from God, by God and to God, whereas the main emphasis of the humanistic school of thought is on man—everything from man, by man and to man. This is not the time to expatiate on these two lines of thought. I just want to emphasize this fact. I say that where this conscience clause exists and where the lecturer favours the last-mentioned line of thought, it must necessarily have an influence on his students. I do not want to allege that all universities which have the conscience clause necessarily follow the humanistic direction. On the contrary, that is not so and it has been proved that it is not so. In view of the fact that the population of the Free State, which is practically homogeneous, favours this line of thought, the Christian-Protestant direction, and in view of the fact that they have a very strong Christian philosophy, they want to do everything in their power to protect that philosophy and to propagate it and preserve it. This philosophy has its roots in the history of the Free State and of the countries of origin from which its population stems. It is for that reason that this population and this university which serves that population and the council of that university make this request, no, make this demand and ask for this guarantee that this philosophy will be adhered to by at least the majority of the teaching staff of that university. It will be accepted that the educationist who holds a Christian philosophy will regard the eventual aim of education differently from one who does not. In view of the fact that students, particularly in recent years, go to university at a youthful age and are very susceptible to new ideas, particularly at the stage when they are at the university, the parents are seeking a guarantee that their children, when they leave the university, will still have the same philosophy as that of their parents, and perhaps to a greater extent and with more conviction. Hence the demand that the teaching staff of that university should impress the stamp on their children of the practically homogeneous population of the Free State. They at least want to guarantee that there will be no atheists or communists at the university to whom the education of their children will be entrusted. The parents at least want to be satisfied that there is a safety valve and that the university authorities will have the power to keep such people out of the university. Mr. Speaker, the accusation that the removal of the conscience clause constitutes a threat to freedom of religion is definitely unfounded. Does freedom of religion really mean that a man cannot be the master in his own house; does it mean that other people should be allowed to dictate to you what you should do in your own home? No, that will certainly not be freedom of religion. It has already been pointed out that the second part of this clause contains a guarantee that the religious test will under no circumstances be applied to the students.

Before continuing, I should like to move—

That the debate be now adjourned.

Agreed to; debate adjourned until 14 April.

The House adjourned at 6.5 p.m.

MONDAY, 10 APRIL 1961 Mr. SPEAKER took the Chair at 2.20 p.m. CONSTITUTION BILL

First Order read: House to resume in Committee on Constitution Bill.

House in Committee:

[Progress reported on 6 April, when Clause 111 had been agreed to.]

Clause 112 put and negatived.

On new clause to follow Clause 111,

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

When the Committee adjourned on Thursday, I had asked to be given the opportunity to consider an amendment to Clause 112. Since then it has been printed on the Order Paper and I would like to move the following—

That the following be a new clause to follow Clause 111:
  • 112. All rights and obligations under conventions, treaties or agreements which were binding on any of the Colonies incorporated in the Union of South Africa at its establishment, and were still binding on the Union immediately prior to the commencement of this Act, shall be rights and obligations of the republic, just as all other rights and obligations under conventions, treaties or agreements which immediately prior to the commencement of this Act were binding on the Union.

The position is that the clause as it stands in the Bill is a precise repetition of Section 148 of the South Africa Act. As it stands there, it may be interpreted as meaning that all rights and obligations of the colonies which were binding in 1910 when Union was established will now again be binding on the republic, including the rights and obligations which have fallen away since Union. It is of course not the intention that the rights and obligations which have fallen away since the establishment of Union should be binding on the republic. But in the second place this clause does not mention the rights and obligations which the Union itself obtained as the result of conventions, treaties or agreements which were entered into. It may consequently be argued that the aforementioned no longer exist, unless they are given renewed effect or are tacitly kept in force. Apart from the fact that the first portion of the revised clause gives a clearer definition, there is now simply the addition of the words “ just as all other rights and obligations under conventions, treaties or agreements which immediately prior to the commencement of this Act were binding on the Union ”. It therefore really remains the same as was contained in the South Africa Act, except for additions in respect of later events after the Union was established.

New clause put and agreed to.

On Clause 116, as amended by the Joint Committee,

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

I move—

To add the following new sub-section to the clause:
  1. (4) Any person who holds an office in the service of the State in respect of which he has prior to the commencement of this Act taken an oath or solemn affirmation of allegiance to the King or the Queen, shall, if required to do so on the direction of the State President, take an oath or solemn affirmation that he will be faithful to the republic.

This clause is self-explanatory. It is merely being inserted in this sub-section that whenever it may be considered necessary, notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (3) of Clause 116, the State President may give instructions that in spite of the fact that all the other oaths which were taken before are recognized, a special oath or solemn declaration may still be required from a certain category of persons or from an individual.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, put and agreed to.

Clause 121, as amended by the Joint Committee, put and the Committee divided:

Ayes—87: Badenhorst, F. H.; Basson, J. D. du P.; Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; De Villiers, C. V.; De Villiers, J. D.; De Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Dönges, T. E.; Du Pisanie, J.; Du Plessis, H. R. H.; Du Plessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Haak, J. F. W.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jonker, A. H.; Jurgens, J. C.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Le Riche, R.; Louw, E. H.; Luttig, H. G.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.: Martins, H. E.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Nel, J. A. F.: Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto. J. C.; Pelser. P. C.; Potgieter, D. J.; Potgieter. J. E.; Rall. J. J.; Sadie, N. C. van R.: Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, J. C. B.: Schoonbee, J. F.; Serfontein, J. J.; Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Steyn, J. H.; Strydom, G. H. F.; Uys, D. C. H.; Van den Berg, G. P.; Van den Berg, M. J.; Van den Heever, D. J. G.; Van der Ahee, H. H.; Van der Merwe, J. A.; Van der Merwe P. S.; Van der Walt, B. J.; Van der Wath, J. G. H.; Van Niekerk, G. L. H.; Van Niekerk, M. C.; Van Nierop, P. J.; Van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; Van Staden, J. W.; Van Wyk, G. H.; Van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; Von Moltke, J. von S.; Vorster, B. J.; Webster, A.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.

Noes—46: Barnett, C.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst; H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Connan, J. M.; Cope, J. P.; Cronje, F. J. C.; De Beer, Z. J.; Dodds, P. R.; Eglin, C. W.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Hughes, T. G.; Lawrence, H. G.; Le Roux, G. S. P.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Mitchell, D. E.; Moore, P. A.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher, D. M.; Suzman, H.; Swart, H. G.; Tucker, H.; Van der Byl, P.; Van Niekerk, S. M.; Van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell.

Clause, as amended by the Joint Committee, accordingly agreed to.

Schedule put and agreed to.

On Preamble, The Chairman put the Preamble proposed by the Joint Committee, which was negatived.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

I move—

That the following be a new Preamble: IN HUMBLE SUBMISSION to Almighty God, Who controls the destinies of nations and the history of peoples;
Who gathered our forebears together from many lands and gave them this their own; Who has guided them from generation to generation;
Who has wondrously delivered them from the dangers that beset them;
We, who are here in Parliament assembled, declare that whereas we ARE CONSCIOUS of our responsibility towards God and man; ARE CONVINCED of the necessity to stand united To safeguard the integrity and freedom of our country;
To secure the maintenance of law and order;
To further the contentment and spiritual and material welfare of all in our midst;
Are prepared to accept our duty to seek world peace in association with all peace-loving nations; and Desire to fulfil the task of founding the Republic of South Africa and giving it a constitution best suited to the traditions and history of our land: BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:

The Preamble to this Constitution is a very important part of the Constitution. Although it does not form part of the Act itself, it is still an avowal of faith, an acknowledgment and a thanksgiving; and in view of the fact that the Preamble as printed complied with all these requirements and was drafted by the Select Committee with great care, this amendment is not a big one. It is, however, a better exposition of the matter, as it ought to be viewed. The first four sentences of the preamble in the original Preamble drafted by the Select Committee were in the original text intended as an acknowledgment and an avowal of faith in Almighty God, but it is felt that in the original text, the word “ we ”, which often appears, does not make it clear to whom it refers. Who are “ we ”? Therefore it was felt, after much consultation and consideration, that what we really intended by the word “ we ” was former generations, the past, to link up with the present generation and even future generations. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, as it is drafted now it is an avowal of faith, a prayer and a giving of thanks for the fact that Almighty God settled our ancestors here, set their path here, guided them through clangers, and that He was and is the Disposer of their fate. After this recognition, as it is drafted now, what follows as far as the present generation is concerned is only the logical consequence. The question which arises in our minds is: How do we stand in relation to these aforementioned truths, as they have now been stated: He Who brought our ancestors here from many countries, Who guided their path through the generations and Who delivered them from dangers—and it is only logical that immediately thereafter it should follow that we should make a declaration. Therefore these words follow: We who are here in Parliament assembled declare … The phrase “ We, who are here in Parliament assembled …” is a phrase taken from the prayer which is read in this House daily. And we now declare that we are conscious of our responsibility before God and mankind—we who have to pass this Act. Then we almost automatically say that the present generation links up the acceptance of its responsibility with the guidance of God which was given to our fathers. Then in the third place we not only accept a vocation, but also the implementation of a task. It is not enough for us simply to accept the vocation, but we must now be willing to carry out the task. Therefore the inevitable must follow. That is our greatest need in South Africa? We are convinced of the necessity for standing united. Previously we expressed our conviction in the former preamble under four heads. One of those sub-heads now becomes the main theme here. We are convinced of the necessity to stand united, in order to achieve three objectives: To safeguard the integrity and freedom of our country; to secure the maintenance of law and order; to further the contentment and spiritual and material welfare of all in our midst. We have omitted the prayer in the previous Preamble because it was unnecessary repetition. For the rest, the Preamble is precisely the same as that which was submitted to this Committee by the Select Committee.

*Dr. COERTZE:

I do not want to be the proverbial devil who threw soot into the food I think this Preamble, as it is now, is much better than the one we had. I think that all the difficulties which existed have been eliminated. But, alas, I must say that the Afrikaans is not flawless yet. I would like to draw attention to it—and the hon. the Minister must forgive me for it, and also the other members of the Committee who supported me on the matter on which we originally agreed; I am thinking of the hon. member for Potchefstroom (Dr. J. H. Steyn) and the hon. the Minister of Justice—they must forgive me for not having seen the mistake before. If one looks at the third preamble then one finds in the second paragraph the words “ We declare ” and what follows is the word “ that ” —the main sentence is “ We declare that ”, which is then followed by the enacting paragraph “ Be it therefore enacted ”. Now it is not good Afrikaans to say “ verklaar ons dat word dit derhalwe bepaal ”.

*An HON. MEMBER:

It should be “derhalwe bepaal moet word ”.

Dr. COERTZE:

No, it is not so easily remedied in two words as the hon. member suggests. But there are more alternatives, because the “ we ” used there means the House of Assembly and the Senate. But the Queen is the one who enacts together with the House of Assembly and the Senate. She is not in this Parliament. Therefore what we should really say is one of two alternatives, or perhaps three. I would like to ask the Minister to consider this, not to remedy it to-day, because it is not so simple, but to consider it in the period during which the Act goes from here to the Other Place. The alternatives I want to suggest are firstly the following: The words “ verklaar ons dat aangesien ” ought to be replaced by other words, viz. “ versoek ons eerbiedig dat ”, and then follow all the “ aangesiens ”; and then further “ dat daar derhalwe deur Haar Majesteit, die Senaat en die Volksraad soos volg bepaal word en word dit derhalwe deur Haar Majesteit, die Senaat en die Volksraad bepaal”. That is the first alternative. The second alternative is also just for the consideration of the Minister and I am not going to make a suggestion, Mr. Chairman. The second alternative is “ verklaar ons dat ”, and then follow all the “ aangesiens ”, “ daar derhalwe deur Haar Majesteit die Koningin, die Senaat en die Volksraad soos volg bepaal word ”. This is a simple amendment, but it has a defect because we declare that they enact, and when I say “ they ” I mean the trinity: The Queen, the Senate and the House of Assembly. I think the first alternative is better. A third alternative is also possible if we want to retain the word “ verklaar ”: “ Verklaar ons dat Haar Majesteit die Koningin, die Senaat en die Volksraad van die Unie van Suid-Afrika derhalwe bepaal het.” Then it is in the past tense. That would be the easiest. Then we at least have the guarantee that it is good Afrikaans. As it stands now, it is not good Afrikaans and in view of the fact that we have already been criticized by the Academy because the name of the republic is not good Afrikaans—something with which I do not agree—but we have been criticized on that point and why should we now make another grammatical mistake here when it is so easy to rectify it.

*Dr. STEENKAMP:

To a large extent I agree with my hon. friend who has just resumed his seat. I think, however, that it would be a waste of time if at this stage I were to go into the matter further, but the Minister will have to do so. However, I wish to point out instances of clumsy phraseology which I noticed: “ are convinced of the necessity to stand united,” and then in the third line, “ to further the contentment and spiritual and material welfare of all in our midst ”, and then also in the next two lines, in which there is a spelling mistake. Here it says “ vredelewende ”, whereas it should surely by “ vredeliewende ”. The hon. the Minister can remedy that in the Other Place, or he may even do so now if he wishes to.

The CHAIRMAN:

The words of enactment, which form part of the new Preamble proposed Sy the Minister of the Interior, will not, in terms of Standing Order No. 169, be put to the Committee. The words of enactment form part of the framework of the Bill and therefore the customary formula will be inserted when the Bill is reprinted.

Dr. STEYTLER:

I would like to move as an amendment to this Preamble—

In the last paragraph, to omit “ tradition and history of our ” and to substitute “ needs of our multi-racial ”.

The reason I do this is that we think it will be advisable whilst we are dealing with the new Constitution, and particularly when we are dealing with the preamble now, to make quite clear what the intentions are of the Government and of the Constitution of the future.

I move this amendment, not as a sign of disrespect for the traditions or the history of our country; I move it, not as a Sign of disrespect to the contributions made to the building up of our nation by the generations of the past. I realize fully that the actions of people that came before us were determined by the circumstances that obtained in South Africa and in the world in which they live. We readily concede that the actions taken by those gentlemen in the past were well intended. But whilst we are framing this new Constitution it is important not only to have regard for the past, but equally do we have to have regard for the present, and we have to anticipate future developments. If we look into the past we must also recognize the mistakes that were made. In this regard I think that one of the biggest mistakes made in the past by us all in South Africa was not to recognize the fact that we have been in the past, we are now and we will be for all time to come, a multi-racial country. Attempts were made in 1936 to change this fact. They failed. Subsequent attempts were made and they too failed. And all attempts that may be made in the future to change this basic fact of our nation are also doomed to failure. Laws have been put on the Statute Book during the last 12 years, laws that to-day form the basis of our unpopularity in the world; laws that form the basis of the attacks made on South Africa throughout the entire civilized world. These laws stem from the fact that as a nation we refuse to recognize that this is a multi-racial country. We can continue to ignore that fact to-day. We can continue to ignore that fact in the future. But let it be clear, then, that we will place in jeopardy what we have built up in South Africa over 300 years.

Should we recognize this fact to-day, and give recognition thereto in the preamble of this Constitution Bill, then, what was said by speakers from these benches in respect of the clauses of the Constitution Bill, follow naturally and logically. Should we give recognition to this fact we will put the electorate in South Africa in a position where they can allow their inherent sense of justice to operate freely and then to reject racial discrimination.

Mr. COPE:

I have an amendment standing in my name on the Order Paper, but I am very glad to say that the amendment moved by the hon. the Minister of the Interior does not incorporate the words which I sought to have deleted from the previous draft of the preamble. In those circumstances I am very happy that it will not be necessary for me to move my amendment.

However, I do want to say at once that I am not satisfied with the English version of the preamble as put before us. Just as certain hon. members have expressed objections to grammatical features of the Afrikaans version of the amendment, I dislike the English of the English version, not necessarily on grammatical grounds but because the amended preamble as put before us here is flat; it is somewhat pedantic and uninspiring. I feel that we ought to do better in this preamble. The suggestion I want to make to the hon. the Minister is that as he is probably going to give consideration to the points raised in regard to the Afrikaans text, I would suggest that further consideration be given to the English wording, so that we may possibly get a preamble couched in much happier, much more appropriate and much more inspiring English. I very much doubt whether there would be time to do that between now and this Bill going to the Other Place. I only hope that if there is not sufficient time to do that, a better version of the preamble could possibly come forward during the recess, one which might be incorporated at a later stage.

To indicate the type of preamble I have in mind, may I just read to this hon. House the preamble to the American Constitution which is simple, to the point and inspiring, and which incorporates everything that a preamble should have. It reads as follows—

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

That wording is not only beautiful English, is not only inspiring, but it is short and to the point and contains all the principles that a preamble should contain. What are those principles? First of all it is obvious that a preamble is not a source of power. The Supreme Court of America, in declaring what the preamble does, pointed out that it is “ evidence of the origin, scope and purpose of the Constitution ”. I think that in the wording that came before us from the hon. the Minister in its revised form, that principle is included but not fully. I think better wording could be found to enshrine that principle. Of the American Constitution it is said that the preamble bears witness to the fact that the Constitution emanated from the people. On that ground I am satisfied that so far as this preamble is concerned, it does that. But again I think that that aspect could be strengthened.

To sum up: My plea—and I speak as one who is interested in English, who is to some extent an English scholar—as one who is interested in English as it is spoken in South Africa, the English of ordinary good usage in our country—in which I feel a preamble of this kind should be framed—I say that the preamble as put before us is not good English, it is not English of the kind that inspires, and it is not really in keeping with the occasion. My suggestion is that if we can get a better wording, if we can have scholars to work upon this and suggest a better wording, the hon. the Minister should give very serious consideration to a suitable amendment being adopted at a later stage.

*The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

I should like to thank those hon. members who have taken part in the debate on the preamble very heartily for their contributions. It shows that there is interest. As I said at the outset the preamble is certainly something of which one would like to be proud and if suggestions can be made to improve it grammatically or in respect of the wording, I invite members to come forward with suggestions, which I shall be pleased to receive and if they are practicable and will mean an improvement I shall move amendments in the Other Place. I prefer not to say anything about the various opinions which have been expressed here, also by the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp). I suggest that we correct “ liewende ” in the Afrikaans text. It should be “ liewende ”. It is only a printing error and we should go into the whole matter and see if further improvements can be effected. I can only say that we struggled and slaved for a whole day and we should like to effect improvements. As the hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) has said we should state our intentions in the finest language and in the clearest terms before this legislation goes to Another Place.

As far as the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) is concerned, I do not think he should go to the trouble of handing in that amendment to the preamble. His intention is not bad, but I want to tell him that this republic has been formed and adapted as well as possible to the traditions and history of our country. However, if the hon. member for Queenstown wants to anticipate a republic in a multi-racial country, we cannot be held responsible for his untimely progressive attitude. We prefer to do it on the firm foundation of our traditions and our history.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

I must confess that I am surprised both at the tone and the content of what the hon. the Minister has just said. Sir, are we a multi-racial country or not? That is a question of fact. The hon. member for Queenstown introduced his amendment in a spirit of helpfulness and went out of his way to avoid any controversial matters, or to suggest that traditions had been wronged or that historical backgrounds were fraught with emotions and had led to conflicts in the past. He went out of his way to avoid those things. But what he asked the Minister to do was to accept that in going into this republic, which is inevitable, that we will at the outset accept, whatever our outlook and policies may be, whatever means we may have to offer the country for finding a solution to our serious problems, we will at least concede the fact that this is a multi-racial country with a multiracial population whose needs have to be met. That is what this amendment asks for. It does not ask that certain traditions should be accepted. That is rather an inference from the wording as it stands, but what it asks for is the recognition that the needs of a multi-racial land should be accepted. The Minister in his very brief reply rather suggests that we are not going into a multi-racial republic and that this land belongs only to the White section. Does he wish to intimate that when we talk about “ our land ” we refer to only one section of the people, the Whites? Sir, it is a mockery of the facts. When the Minister of Finance was Minister of the Interior he introduced legislation making it perfectly clear that every person born in this country is a citizen of the country, irrespective of his colour. We have White citizens, Coloured citizens and Bantu citizens, and all we ask is that that fact should be recognized.

Dr. COERTZE:

Do not labour the obvious.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

If it is obvious, why not accept the amendment? Why refuse to recognize the obvious? I hope that the Minister will have second thoughts, if not this afternoon, then at any rate before he presents this Bill to the Other Place.

*Dr. JONKER:

I just want to say a word with reference to the language. The hon. the Minister has said that we could make suggestions. In addition to the printing error there is also one in the first line, the wrong spelling of “ Almagtige ”. But the most serious objection is the one raised by the hon. member for Standerton and I think we can easily get round that if in the second paragraph we only say: “ We who are here in Parliament assembled declare that whereas we” want to do (1), (2), (3) and (4) “ be therefore enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows … ”. If we put it that way, it is merely a question of the sequence of the words and then it will be grammatically correct.

Question put: That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the proposed new Preamble, and a division was called.

As fewer than 15 members (viz. Messrs. Barnett. Butcher, Cope, Dr. de Beer, Mr. Eglin, Prof. Fourie, Mr. Lawrence, Dr. Steytler, Mrs. Suzman, Messrs, van Ryneveld and Williams) voted against the Question, the Chairman declared it affirmed and the amendment dropped.

New Preamble put and agreed to.

The Title of the Bill having been agreed to,

House Resumed:

Bill reported with amendment and specially an amendment in the Title.

Amendments to be considered on 11 April.

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

Second Order read: House to go into Committee of Supply.

House in Committee:

The Committee proceeded to consider the Estimates of Expenditure from Revenue Account.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE:

I move—

That precedence be given to Votes Nos. 4 (Prime Minister), 2 (Senate), 3 (House of Assembly) and 12 to 20 (Finance).

Agreed to.

On Vote No. 4.—“ Prime Minister ”, R111.000.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

I ask the privilege of the half-hour. This Vote comes at a time when the searchlight of world public opinion is directed on the hon. the Prime Minister and his Cabinet mercilessly and in a manner never before experienced in South Africa except perhaps during the time when the late Field-Marshall Smuts was Prime Minister of the Union. The difference is that whereas Gen. Smuts in the publicity he got was a source of goodwill to the Union, the present Prime Minister with the publicity he gets reveals himself in the unfortunate position for South Africa as a man at war with the whole world. Of course at the moment it is an ideological war, a cold war, but we all know how difficult it is to contain a cold war and how a cold war without warning can erupt and force situations which often get out of control. I want to say that in the past in my capacity as a member of this House and as Leader of the Opposition, and I believe in accordance with my duty to the public, I have issued warnings which have been unheeded and have been ignored by the Government but which have proved to be well founded, warnings which have been ignored by this Government to the detriment of South Africa. It is only six months ago that I warned the Prime Minister that to proceed with these republican plans at this stage might cost us our Commonwealth membership. That warning has been proved to have been tragically justified. For ten years now I have been warning hon. members opposite that their treatment of the Coloureds might force the Coloureds into the hands of agitators and to make common cause with the Bantu against Government policy. To-day hon. members opposite see what is happening before our eyes in respect of certain of the Cape Coloureds.

I want to give a third example. For many years we have warned what the consequences of Government policy in respect of South West Africa might be. I think to-day even the most enthusiastic supporter of the Government would be hard put to it to deny that South West has now become South Africa’s Achilles’ heel. I believe in all earnestness that it is my grim duty to-day to issue another warning, and this time to the people of South Africa, to the effect that unless they are prepared to take stock of themselves and find solutions to our race problems in South Africa which are realistic and practical and which are speedily effected, we might find solutions imposed upon us from outside against our will. We may find, despite our best efforts, that we South Africans are losing control over our own destiny. In issuing this warning, I am strengthened in my own conviction that it is right by the fact that the same warning is being uttered in strong terms from some very unexpected sources within the Nationalist Party, from the Press supporting that party. I do not want to weary the House with a lot of quotations, but I would like to give at least two examples. The one comes from the Transvaler of last Thursday—

Onwillekeurig kom die vraag by ’n mens op hoe die toestand oor ’n verdere 16 jaar gaan wees indien ’n behoorlike oplossing nie voor die tyd gevind sal word nie. Sal die oplossing nie reeds dan al gebring wees deur die buitewêreld en wel deur die blanke beskawing hier heeltemal uit te roei nie? Wie se skuld sal dit dan wees indien dit so ver mag kom? Oor hierdie vraag behoort elke blanke wat hier woonagtig is wel te gaan peins.

That is the Transvaler, an organ which supports the Government through thick and thin in the Transvaal. Here is the Burger of the following day, Friday 7 April—

As ons dit self van ons eie beleid nie glo nie, kan ons dit vir ons eie nie-blankes nie laat glo nie en nog minder die wêreld, van wie ons dan maar al hoe erger en uiteindelik effektiewe druk moet verwag, want ook Suid-Afrika se ekonomiese en militêre kwesbaarheid, so lyk dit vir ons, word soms buite ons grense beter begryp as daarbinne.

Then there was a very similar article in the Volks blad, very much in line with this kind of statement. Sir, I have learnt that it is no use directing appeals to this Government. I want to direct this appeal once again to the people of South Africa because my experience with this Government is that any appeals to them are useless. They have an entirely different technique. The ignore our warnings. They land the country in situations against which we have warned them and then call on everyone to stand together to get them out of a mess, just as they are doing now. The tragedy is that a situation is now developing in which even standing together may be of no avail.

Let me touch on some of the sore spots, already inflamed, which, if not carefully handled, may erupt, and let us see what answer the Prime Minister has, if any, in respect of how these matters should be handled. The first sore spot lies in our relationship with UN, where we are being attacked on three fronts, first of all the treatment of the Indian population, secondly, the race policies of the Government, and thirdly, the South West African position. What is noticeable is that the resolutions are becoming sharper and sharper, although it is true to say that they do not seem as yet to have teeth in them, and the majorities against us are becoming bigger and bigger, because more and more of our friends who in the past supported us either with their votes or by abstention are finding it impossible to maintain that support. I believe they find it impossible to maintain that support as the inability of the Government to justify its position becomes more and more evident. Of these issues the South West African one is obviously the most crucial one, because in this instance our critics have to support the judgment of the International Court of Justice that South West Africa has an international status, and because our case has so consistently been allowed to go by default before UN. It is an extraordinary thing that we should have reached this stage and that we have not been represented there yet by this or any previous Prime Minister of this Government. What worries me is that on this issue the people of South Africa have not been taken into the confidence of the Government. They have never been informed what the possible consequences may be. They have not been told the extent of the dangers which face us and they have not been informed what the Government’s attitude is in regard to this matter, or what its plans are. We know that UN or the Trusteeship Committee has taken up the line that the matter was referred to the International Court of Justice and that it is sub judice and that it does not propose to prejudice the position, but I think we are entitled to know what the attitude of the Government is in respect of that International Court. It is accepting its jurisdiction and will it abide by its decision? What will its attitude be if the Court wants to hold an inspection in South West? What will the effect be if there is a judgment given which we do not regard as favourable to us? This is another instance in which the warning given by the columnist “ Dawie ” in Sa.ur day’s the Burger is singularly applicable. This is what he said—

Dit is ’n wrede vooruitsig wat voor on open en ek glo dit is slegte leierskap om di as iets anders voor te stel. Die volk het ’r reg op die feite in hulle naakte werklikheid, want hierdie dinge is nie klcinighede wat met ’n paar netjiese sette sal verbygaan nie. Die omstandighede vereis ’n algemene mobilisasie van wil, talent en denke en daarvoor is dit nodig dat die waarheid aangaande ons posisie so wyd as moontlik deurdring. ’n Sleg ingeligte volk kan goeie leiding on-moontlik maak.

I have raised this matter before. I have asked what the attitude of the Government is. I think the time has now come when the Prime Minister and his Government must realize that they are in fact conducting this case not on their own behalf but on behalf of the people of South Africa, and the people of South Africa are entitled to know what the Government’s attitude is, what the dangers are and what they are being exposed to as the result of the activities or lack of activities of this Government over the last 13 years. I do not want to deal with the other issues. Perhaps the Prime Minister will be kind enough to enlighten us on those as well. But one of the worrying factors about all this is the uncertainty as to the attitude of the Government in respect of UN itself. We have seen walkouts by this Government. We have heard talk of withdrawal in the past from the Minister of Finance. Now the Prime Minister has withdrawn from the Commonwealth. He has spoken of interference in our internal affairs and threats of expulsion and hostile criticism. When asked how this position affected his membership of UN, he said they were unrelated; he did not say he was staying or that he was leaving. All this criticism and all these threats and attacks on South Africa are taking place to a far greater extent at UN than ever they did at the Prime Minister’s Conference. I feel that the public has the right to know from the Prime Minister and from the Government what its policy is in regard to UN. I think we have the right to know despite my own firm conviction that further isolation will not lead to insulation from attacks upon us, but the more isolated we become the greater is the likelihood that there will be interference in our internal affairs. I think that is recognized even by the Volks blad, the Nationalist Party newspaper in the Free State. Here is a translation quoted by the Cape Times on Saturday morning—

We must accept that the outside world is increasingly accepting the right to make our affairs its affairs on the excuse that there are international complications. Whether South Africa remains inside or outside the United Nations will make little difference to the sombre situation with all its far-reaching possibilities.

I think we must know where we are. We have withdrawn from one comity of nations. With what group are we going to be allied? Where are our friends? Who are the people we are standing with and who stand by us? May I say how sad it is to see some of our oldest friends voting against us on certain resolutions before UN?

There is another sore point, and that concerns our future relations with members of the Commonwealth from which the Prime Minister has withdrawn. Britain is to pass legislation providing for a standstill agreement for 12 months. During that time there will doubtless be bargaining, but the question is over what field will that bargaining take place. We have heard much in the past about the economic relations and I have raised them on many occasions, but what of the defence position? Is the House going to be informed of what the Prime Minister has in mind? What will the position be about the exchange of military information and the availability and purchase of weapons? We know that our Army, Navy and Air Force were never planned or expected to act alone. What exchange of information will there be? What is the position going to be in respect of South African citizens in those countries where we have no diplomatic representation and where in the past they were cared for by the diplomatic representatives of Britain?

What of the various reciprocal cultural ties which exist between Great Britain and ourselves? What is the citizenship position going to be? What of the reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications which are worrying our doctors, our architects, our accountants and many of our skilled artisans? I think the public is entitled to know what the Government has in mind. We know that already the Cape Town Municipality has lost a grant of £10,000. We know that our Institute of Architects has lost a big scholarship limited to Commonwealth people. We know that the new Commonwealth scheme provided for about 25 scholars from South Africa to go to Britain each year, limited under the present legislation to members of the Commonwealth. We know that at one of the Commonwealth houses established in England the story is that our scholars have been given notice from 31 May. What is the Prime Minister doing, what is the Government doing to keep the public informed about the situation and to tell us what their plans are? Sir, there are many matters of common interest which we have had with Great Britain and which in the past have been regulated within the area of that informal Commonwealth relationship but which will now have to be placed on a more formal basis, and in that regard it seems that peculiar and urgent attention will have to be given to the position of the Protectorates and the Crown Colony of Basutoland. In a sense they will be our closest link with Britain. The community of interest is to big that it would seem wise to be as helpful as we can; to approach this very delicate problem as though the relationship with them will be in essence as friendly as we hope it will be with Great Britain itself. But no one can deny that they can be a source of potential friction and that careful negotiation is necessary. That is why I was so disturbed the other night when the hon. the Prime Minister said that one of the advantages of no longer being in the Commonwealth was that certain non-Europeans from non-European states could no longer enter the Union as of right, as British subjects. I said then and I say again now that the hon. the Prime Minister either said too much or too little on that occasion, and I think it is essential that he should clear up this matter. Did he mean this in relation to the protectorates and in relation to Basutoland? What does it portend? I think he owes the country an explanation. I think we should also know what has become of his policy of incorporating the protectorates which is so necessary for the fulfilment of his Bantustan policy. Has the republic scotched all that? I think we are entitled to know what the attitude of the Government is. The whole position seems to be one for sensible people to get round the table and to talk and to remember that some of the sensible people in this case may be Black ones. We must remember too that Basutoland is the source of one of our most important water supplies, and nothing would bind her more closely to us than a joint development of those water recourses. What of our relations with other members of the Commonwealth and Great Britain? There have been no stand-still agreements as far as they are concerned; but have there been talks; are there going to be talks? Is there any understanding with Australia in respect of our fruit going into Great Britain quota-free now that we are outside the Commonwealth? Have there been any talks in respect of our sugar quota with countries like Australia, with those who speak for Mauritius and for the West Indies? What are our relations going to be now with these member-states? Are they going to be regulated by treaty, or are they just going to be left to drift from one year to the next so that South Africa can become more and more friendless, as she has been continually doing under this Government? I think we are entitled to ask once again: What is the attitude of this Government in respect of our relationship with the emerging states of Africa? We heard from the hon. the Minister of External Affairs a completely non-possumus attitude the other day. His cry seemed to be that we wanted to be friends but that they did not want to be friends with us.

An HON. MEMBER:

Do you not agree?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

I think that little cry of “ Don’t you agree ” must be one of the most tragic we have had from the Government.

An HON. MEMBER:

Why?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Because it has arisen because of the policies and the stupidity of this Government. The whole of South Africa knows that if we are to become a manufacturing country we want markets, and particularly in Africa. What is being done to try to develop our markets? What is being done to try to get better relations with those states and to find markets for us? Sir, I have touched on some of the external sore points which seem to disturb hon. members opposite.

Dr. MULDER:

You are not capable of doing that.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

But we must not think that things are piling up against South Africa only from outside. There are forces at work inside which should also cause concern to the people of South Africa and on which they deserve to be better informed. Possibly the most important of those forces is the belief amongst the non-White people of the country that circumstances outside are working against Government policy, which will collapse if external pressures are reinforced by action on their part.

*An HON. MEMBER:

That is right—prompt them!

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

We should make no mistake that as far as the agitator class in this country is concerned, they regard South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth as a victory for them and the things for which they stand, and they are making use of them to whip up feelings and stir up the embers of the people in South Africa. The Burger, Sir, was perfectly right; this is what it said on Saturday morning—

En wat die houding van die Bantoes betref, vervul die internasionale veldtog feitlik die funksie van ’n goedgeorganiseerde A.N.C.

There is open talk again of organizing strikes; of a protest on a country-wide basis for political ends.

Mr. B. COETZEE:

Well, condemn it.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

I have condemned these things in the past. Why am I mentioning them in this House and putting them under the nose of the Minister of Justice? Because every time members like that open their mouths they make the danger of that kind of thing greater, and I am warning the House again that Coloureds and Indians are being urged to join in these things. For the first time, despite my warnings in the past, despite my deprecating what was happening, there are indications that there is a reaction from the Coloured and Indian population of South Africa.

An HON. MEMBER:

You like it.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

In the absence of convincing reaction from the Government to international criticism, and because of its failure to prove that its policies can be advantageous to the peoples of South Africa, that criticism will grow and it will give sustenance to the agitators in our midst. There is no doubt that there is a sort of reciprocity taking place; because we failed internationally there are repercussions internally and the Government is to blame for both. There is no doubt that this state of growing uncertainty about the future of the country is having financial repercussions. There is over-caution on the part of businessmen about entering into future commitments, which is having a curbing effect on business activities. There is an outflow of capital which shows no signs of abating. We are reaching a stage on the Stock Market where investors wishing to sell can only realize their investments, very often at a price so low that they cannot afford to sell.

Mr. FRONEMAN:

But why do they sell?

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

Because they do not trust you.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Sir, I would sell that hon. member any day of the week but I do not think there would be any bid bid for him. Sir, the figures for last week show an outflow of nearly R6,000,000. The Minister of Finance knows that. The figures on the Exchange this morning have shown such a slide that the position now is probably indicative of as bad a position as we have known at any time in South Africa since the slump in 1934. Some of the best shares on the Stock Exchange have dropped four, five or six shillings since trading started this morning.

Mr. B. COETZEE:

Once you have bought your own ticket it will rise again.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

For many years, as a result of the ignorance and the stupidity of attitudes of that kind we now find that what have been gilt-edged securities are becoming almost an embarrassment because people cannot get rid of them. Exporters, industrial as well as agricultural are worried about their markets overseas. Some of the doors have been slammed in their faces and in other cases there are psychological factors operating against South African goods, and no matter how we look at this position we find that this Government has brought South Africa to a sorry plight. We are completely isolated from the world. We are being forced to understand that isolation does not mean insulation from interference in our internal affairs, and we are being forced to realize that isolation from the world is making possible more effective pressure upon us from hostile sources, and that we are losing old friendships which, in the past, cushioned us against that pressure. Internally we are facing the twin difficulties of business uncertainty and arrest of population. [Laughter.] Hon. members laugh. They are losing more White people again from South Africa than are coming in. Sir, how do you recognize this South Africa of 1961 as the land of promise and high hope we knew in 1948? Why are we in this state to-day? For what reason are we being called upon to endure being an outcast in the world and to face an uncertain future. There is no doubt why. We are being called upon to do this for the sake of the exploded theories and the impracticable fumbling known as the policy of apartheid. Sir, there are times when a nation should be willing to face the world—any nation worth its back-bone—provided it knows that it is right and that its cause is right.

Mr. GREYLING:

We know it is right.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

The hon. member says he knows it is right. Sir, I have said and say again that the policy of apartheid has a moral justification if it is carried out completely and applied fairly and justly, but if it is not carried out completely and there is no hope of its being carried out completely …

An HON. MEMBER:

Why not?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Because this Government has not got the courage to carry it out completely; because this Government has fiddled about for 13 years and made no attempt to carry it out completely, and because it is not being applied fairly and justly it has lost its moral content and it is not recognized in the eyes of the world as having a moral content.

Mr. GREYLING:

It is immoral criticism.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

It has failed in the first place because it has been proved impossible to carry it to its ultimate conclusion. Hard economic facts, inescapable human considerations, have made it clear that it is impossible. It has failed in the second instance, because the Government has lacked the courage to take the steps which would have convinced the world, which would convince many of its own people and which would convince the South African Bantu themselves that the Government is serious about this policy and that it will ever lead to a resolution of our racial difficulties in this country. Those hon. members opposite making the most noise are the first to squeal when the Government asks them to make sacrifices to carry out the policy of apartheid. [Time limit.]

*The PRIME MINISTER:

I rise merely to give the hon. the Leader of the Opposition an opportunity to carry on with his speech.

Mr. WARREN:

Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, an hon. member over there has just used the word “ damned lie ”. Should he not withdraw those words?

The CHAIRMAN:

Order! Which hon. member said that?

*Mr. GREYLING:

When the hon. member said that we were not prepared to make sacrifices I said that that was a blunt lie.

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member must withdraw those words.

*Mr. GREYLING:

What am I to say then?

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member must withdraw those words.

*Mr. GREYLING:

I withdraw them.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Mr. Chairman, I am most grateful to the hon. the Prime Minister for his courtesy in this regard.

It has failed also because in theory the policy of apartheid seems to have no place for the Indian community or the Coloured community. What is the policy of this Government with regard to the Indian community; has it got a policy? We heard that it was repatriation; then we heard that repatriation was impossible. What is its policy now in respect of the Indian population?

An HON. MEMBER:

What is yours?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

What is its policy in respect of the Native population which it is the aim to settle in the reserves? How do they reconcile that policy and its effective carrying out when the census shows that in the last nine years nearly a million more Natives have come to our urban areas than ever before. How can anyone believe that the Government itself is convinced of this policy when in the past ten years for every R12 spent on Bantu services R10 have been spent in the urban areas and only R2 in the Native reserves? Has the Government any policy in respect of the Cape Coloured people other than a few social measures which are the right of every citizen of the state, but none of which play any part whatsoever in determining the rôle of these people in the ultimate structure of the South African state? In short, Sir, the country is being asked to pay a price beyond reckoning for a policy which is impracticable and which even the Government which claims to believe in it is implementing without enthusiasm or without heart. Who are the Government deluding except themselves? Is it not time we had an end to this situation? We know that what South Africa needs is a practical policy, a realistic policy, a policy capable of fulfilment timeously. I have already indicated that I believe that that should take the form of an ordered advance towards a racial federation and while sign-posting the road for the future, I have mentioned certain immediate steps which I believe should be taken in respect of our Asian population, our Coloured and our Bantu populations. May I say that instead of seeing the future of the Union in terms of dismembered South Africa, under this plan we see a future for South Africa in which firstly each racial group will have a determined share in the Government of South Africa; there will be consultation at all levels; secondly, the introduction of federal elements into our constitution will provide protection for the rights of each racial group and each geographical unit making up the Union; and, thirdly, without dismembering the Union or its economy, we can take advantage of the accidents of history which have distributed our population very largely into preponderantly Black and preponderantly White areas which can be recognized as separate administrative units, for political purposes, while the emphasis remains on racial federation. Sir, with a policy of that kind we could face the country and our present problems; we could face the rest of Africa; we could face the countries of the Western world who have been our friends in the past and we could give them grounds on which to defend us against the unreasonable demands of many of the emergent states and many of the communist states of the world. Until we get a policy of that kind, South Africa is going to continue on the slide on which this Government has landed us. The time has come for the people of South Africa to show once and for all their displeasure with what is happening and to take a strong and determined line to get rid of this Government and this hon. Prime Minister.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

At this time one should survey the whole situation in a calm and moderate manner. I am sorry that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition was not able to do so but tried to make political capital out of the present position.

Before proceeding to explain how I view matters to-day, I first want to deal briefly with a few of his arguments. He began by saying that he had given us a whole series of warnings, such as, for example, that if we wanted to adhere to our policy we would not remain a member of the Commonwealth, and further, that if we maintained our present standpoint trouble would ensue with the Coloureds. He is also supposed to have warned us in regard to the consequences of the action by UNO in regard to South West Africa. It is of course the easiest thing on earth to issue all kinds of warnings and to leave the matter there and then to adopt the standpoint that those people who took no notice of one’s loose warnings are responsible for what happens. It is possible for any person to see the twofold possible effects of any policy. He is not the only one who can do so. The point one should regard as most important is, however, not whether someone who acts as if he knows everything should issue warnings, but whether he is able to say what he will do to prevent the trouble. In this case the cardinal question is not whether the hon. the Leader of the Opposition warned us that if we adhered to our policy this or that would happen in the Commonwealth or at UNO, but whether he said what price he would be prepared to pay to ensure that something like that did not happen. Thereafter the voters and Parliament would have had to decide whether they preferred the one policy with its attendant dangers or the other policy with the dangers accompanying that. As against his warning in regard to certain possible effects of our policy, we also issued warnings in regard to the consequences of the policy stated by the Leader of the Opposition on the other hand. And what did we have to warn them against? Nothing less than the complete disappearance of White authority and White civilization and the prosperity of South Africa. If one had to choose between the danger against which he warned us, viz. that a republic would perhaps not be able to remain a member of the Commonwealth, and the dangers against which we issued warnings, viz. that we should take steps to ensure that the White man does not disappear from South Africa, then I have no doubt as to which warning would have been heeded the most, viz. that the public would not listen to the Opposition but would face the other troubles arising from the policy of separate development rather than face the serious dangers in which his policy would land South Africa. There is therefore no substance in all this boasting about having issued warnings.

The hon. member then came along with the further warning that we should seek a solution for our non-White problem or else the matter “ would be taken out of our hands ”. He quotes (and gives his own interpretations of it) various phrases from newspapers supporting the Nationalists. I do not want to argue with him about his interpretation of these reports— I have not the time for it now—but what I do want to say is that here also the public must test the warning given by the Leader of the Opposition in the light of the solution he suggests with the object of avoiding matters being taken out of our hands by foreign powers. The people, as we all know, are faced with a very difficult problem. No one wants to belittle that fact. But when the choice has to be made between following our policy (and to flight and to keep on fighting for it without running away like a coward from the difficulties which ensue) and following his standpoint, the people must realize what each of these courses will mean to South Africa, as well as to the world and to Western civilization. I shall return to this a little later when I state my own views. I just want to emphasize that it is easy to tell the people: Seek a solution which will avoid dangers arising for us, but if the Leader of the Opposition says this he must himself give a solution, and if one tests what the consequences of that will be both to our own country and to the world then I say that the consequences of what he suggests will be much worse than what we are experiencing to-day or can expect.

The hon. member also referred to South West Africa. It is a very interesting fact that whilst he recently attacked me for allowing South Africa’s domestic affairs, viz. our racial policy, to be discussed at the Commonwealth Conference, to-day he attacks me here because South Africa did not during the discussions on South West Africa announce and defend its policy in a body which clearly has a Section 2 (7) which prohibits the discussion of the internal affairs of any country. The only way in which our position in regard to South West Africa could have been stated would clearly have been by explaining the positive results of our policy of apartheid. These two problems are linked together. I know that the discussion on South West Africa is one matter and that the discussion of apartheid is another. I know that just as well as the Leader of the Opposition does. The fact is that it would not have been passible to give any satisfaction during the discussions on South West Africa if we had not been prepared to take the further step, viz. of saying how our domestic policy must further be applied there and how it would allow the self-government of the Bantu to develop. In other words, the Leader of the Opposition by implication to-day accused me of precisely the opposite of what he accused me of before.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition also said that I should also adopt a standpoint in regard to our relations with UN. I must now say specifically whether we are going to remain a member or whether we will resign from that organization. Isi it our policy to remain a member or not? I do not intend allowing myself to be tempted to make any untimely or imprudent statements in regard to that matter. The position is that we are a member of UN to-day and that we remain a member. We will continually review our position in the light of prevailing circumstances. Our position in regard to UN is not exactly the same as our position in regard to the Commonwealth was. The two matters have no connection with one another at all. And the decisions as to what we should do in the one case, and in the other case also, have nothing to with each other. I therefore do not intend considering any step to-day and playing into the hands of the Leader of the Opposition, which would do an injustice and harm to South Africa if he could force the Government to adopt a definite standpoint now.

Then the hon. member also put this further question: Where are our friends, with reference to the fact that in regard to certain problems the voting takes place in a certain way in a certain body? Is the friendship of any country dependent on and is it only limited to the actions another country in one or two matters? I intend within a few moments to discuss this matter specifically in regard to our relations with Britain, but at this stage I want to state very clearly that South Africa has infinitely more common interests with that country than the matter which is at the moment being tested at UN. In respect of many common interests and many matters and many relations, South Africa has such bonds of friendship with people and countries in the world that unfavourable action by them in any one respect should under no circumstances and could not justifiably be regarded as proof of the growth of general enmity or the loss of friendship. I will expatiate on this later.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition also asked what our relations with Britain would now be in regard to all kinds of matters, apart from those affecting our economy. Previously it was on our economic relations that hon. members opposite laid most emphasis because they were the people who were most afraid of the losses which might be sustained. After having received assurances that in that sphere the relations were very good and that the discussions were well under way, they try to make the voters forget that by directing attention to a diversity of other matters in regard to which discussions still have to take place or in regard to which new relations have to be established or re-established. Why does the hon. member do that? Why does he throw doubt on the possibility of making satisfactory arrangements, which will only harm South Africa?

*HON. MEMBERS:

Shame!

*The PRIME MINISTER:

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition knows as well as I do that such matters require thorough investigation and consideration and negotiation. Britain itself declared that it needed a year to investigate these various matters and to bring them to the stage of negotiation and finality. But I am suddenly required to give the Leader of the Opposition complete replies within a fortnight on questions in regard to which Britain with her huge administrative machinery feels that she needs at least a year. Have hon. members ever heard of anything more ridiculous?

To this I still want to add that at the time of the Commonwealth Conference, and after our imminent withdrawal had been announced, certain assurances were given both from my side and by Britain in regard to certain matters, apart from economic affairs. One of them was in fact with regard to defence. Both sides publicly stated that we saw no reason for making any change in that regard, e.g. that our agreement in regard to Simonstown would stand, particularly because neither side could visualize having to face any enemy other than the one which had already previously been regarded as a possible enemy. But still the hon. member wants more details, such as in regard to the purchase of weapons. He knows that in this respect no change has as yet been made and that the matter has to be investigated further. He also wants further information in regard to citizenship and cultural bonds. I can only say that if Britain needs a year to investigate the details, so do we.

The Leader of the Opposition further spoke about the High Commission territories. That obviously creates a complicated problem. It is a matter in regard to which we must try to arrive at the best possible solution for both sides, and I do not intend making any discussions and negotiations more difficult either by satisfying the curiosity of the Leader of the Opposition or by assisting him in driving wedges by making over-hasty statements beforehand. I want to add this also. He continually asks: “What becomes now of the incorporation which is essential for the Bantu homelands policy? ” I never said that incorporation of these territories was essential for the Bantu homelands policy. I said that for the further development of the Bantu homelands policy and of the Bantu of the same ethnic group who are in British care and in ours, it would be in their interest if these territories were joined together in time or if they co-operated. Viewed from our standpoint we can, however, implement our Bantu homelands policy with or without those territories. It does not affect the implementation of our Bantu homelands policy. Apart from that, who is the Leader of the Opposition to accuse me of having complicated the matter of the incorporation of the High Commission territories whilst ever since 1910 until to-day, and even when we had not yet left the Commonwealth, Britain was never willing to allow South Africa to incorporate those Bantu territories? Even in the time of General Smuts, when he was able to speak with great authority, that could not be achieved. A Louis Botha could not achieve it. Britain was opposed to it. How dare the hon. member now blame me if we cannot achieve it? In fact, even whilst we were a member of the Commonwealth, incorporation continually became more difficult and improbable. But not only that. I want to remind hon. members that I said previously that the concept of incorporation died when the British Government stated giving separate constitutions to the various territories, particularly Basutoland. Then hon. members opposite welcomed it and said that that attitude was realistic. But now that they can use it as a kind of accusation in regard to our leaving the Commonwealth, they say that by doing that I rendered impossible the very thing which they themselves at that time welcomed as a realistic recognition of a changed position, viz. that incorporation—i.e. including those territories within the area of South Africa—is no longer practicable in terms of British policy. Now they suddenly accuse me of having made incorporation impossible! When will we get a little consistency from the Opposition?

The Leader of the Opposition also alleged that in regard to our relations with the other member states of the Commonwealth we are evidently just following a laissez-faire policy because we say nothing about it! He asked what, for example, would happen to our relations with Australia and what about our relations with the other member states. Surely it is obvious that we are not neglecting those relations. The policy of letting things develop is United Party policy, not National Party policy. We are dealing with this matter and our relations with the other member countries are being investigated with the object of putting them in order, just as we are doing in regard to Britain. Then he also asked what we were doing in regard to improving our relations with the African states. Obviously it is and remains South Africa’s policy to be on good terms with the various African states and even now we are still, through the C.C.T.A. and Fama and every possible African organization, throwing in our weight in dealing with the problems of Africa. It is, however, equally obvious that the Minister of External Affairs was perfectly correct when he said that our position was made more difficult, and at times almost impossible, by unwillingness on the part of the new African states. Take, for example, the instance of the Health Conference in Accra which we were to have attended. Ghana made it impossible for our representatives to attend such a Pan-African conference for the benefit of the health of the Black peoples of Africa and to co-operate in respect of their health problems.

Mr. RUSSELL:

Let them hold congresses here.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Of course certain congresses will already be held here which both Whites and non-Whites will attend. It is a well-known fact that we are. moreover, building an hotel in the neighbourhood of Pretoria, near Ian Smuts Airport, with conference rooms and every facility in order to allow such Pan-African conferences to be held on an international basis. A congress will be held in Cape Town even before those facilities have been completed. I cannot remember at the moment which one it is. Therefore in so far as these relations are concerned we try to the best of our ability to maintain them and to improve them. I hope we will manage to do so. There are, however, two parties to every case, and the hon. the Minister of External Affairs quite correctly pointed out that there was a lack of goodwill on the other side but not on ours.

The Leader of the Opposition further asked whether we were aware of the fact that the trouble now being caused for us overseas to such a large extent will be intensified by agitators in this country who want to grasp the opportunity to cause trouble here also. In that way pressure from without will be reinforced by pressure from within. In this connection he said that the Coloureds and the Indians would be involved in it. Of course we know about these tendencies. Have we not been warning the United Party for the past ten years that the way in which they were opposing the Government would have that very effect? We have been warning them year after year that if they continue to make demands and to level accusations in the way they do here they would have to face two consequences. The one is that those attacks and the misrepresentations in regard to our policy and our motives would often be published overseas and that these misrepresentations would be believed there and perhaps even be misconstrued still further by people who do not know the true position and who do not realize that these exaggerated attacks form part of the ordinary political struggle of an Opposition to get into power; that they would accept it as an objective statement of the real shortcomings of the Government, and that this would act as an incentive. Have we not warned them that this course of action of the Opposition was encouraging agitators in the country who would then, as the result of what happened overseas, be strengthened in their belief that causing trouble here they could one day, with the assistance of other states, bring the Government here to a fall, and that they—the agitators—would then attain their object of coming into power, and not the Opposition? Again I ask whether the Opposition thinks that it is doing South Africa a service by assisting them in this way. Have we not again and again, and year after year, warned them that their actions here are detrimental to South Africa? And now that the results are becoming apparent they try to escape guilt by blaming us for it. When we had the Sharpevilles we warned them that their share, indirectly, was undeniable. As our troubles overseas increase they cannot escape their basic guilt and that of their Press. [Interjections.] They now try to ascribe everything to us, but basically the blame for the mistaken world opinion lies with them. Let me tell the Leader of the Opposition this, that if during the past ten years their anxiety to come into power had not been greater than their love for South Africa, and if they had opposed us in the normal way in the political struggle. South Africa would to-day not have been landed in the unpleasant position in which we find ourselves overseas and also here. I accuse the Leader of the Opposition and his party of that and even more than their party, I accuse the Press supporting them and the correspondents who are used to send reports overseas in the most unsavoury manner conceivable in the hope that external pressure will frighten the people of South Africa and bring the Government to a fall. I accuse them of being the main cause of everything South Africa has to endure to-day.

I want to go a step further. I accuse the hon. the Leader of the Opposition of still being prepared to increase the panic at this moment whilst South Africa is going through a difficult period. He must know that his actions can cause further harm to South Africa, also financially. He adopts the methods of his predecessor. After the defeat of the United Party in 1948, his predecessor said that the banks would close and that other terrible things would happen, hoping that economic pressure would bring the Government to a fall. Now at this moment we get this scaremongering. The Leader of the Opposition is busy increasing the panic amongst those people who might lose confidence in South Africa at this time as the result of what is happening at UN or elsewhere by making these accusations and referring to the outflow of capital, instead of coming along with a calm and logical exposition as to what attitude should be adopted in South Africa against these unfair attacks. I accuse him of rather trying to cause panic, still hoping that his party will get into power as the result of it.

There is no reason for panic. All the signs show that White Government will be maintained in South Africa. That is the test set by the capitalist in regard to his willingness to allow his capital to remain in South Africa. Have hon. members opposite not noticed yet that everywhere where the partnership policy, which the Leader of the Opposition now also favours, is applied, capital disappears? That is what is happening, e.g. in Kenya, where farm prices have dropped to floor level. Capital is being withdrawn there on a large scale. Have they not yet noticed how this tendency is already apparent in the Federation, just to the north of us, where the pressure exerted by Britain to have the same partnership policy applied also results in an outflow of capital? But still the Leader of the Opposition tries to create the impression that a policy should be applied in South Africa similar to that which is applied in other territories, and that this will save us. But then there will really be an outflow of capital!

I want to tell the investors in South Africa that this Government will remain in power because it is still increasingly enjoying the support of the people of South Africa. They need therefore not be afraid to continue to invest capital here. They will experience the same stability here which they have found in the past.

The Leader of the Opposition spoke about South Africa in 1948 as a “ land of promise and high hope ”. Do hon. members opposite not remember in what state they handed South Africa over to us? Do they not remember the tremendously chaotic economic conditions which then existed? [Interjections.] Do they not remember the miserable slum conditions in which they handed over the Bantu of South Africa to us? Do they not remember how we were compelled to remedy all these things? The United Party Government fell in 1948 because the voters of South Africa were dissatisfied with them, because the voters even had to queue up to get food. The voters of South Africa not only left the United Party in the lurch but consciously rejected it. Because thereafter there was continuous rebuilding, the people elected and re-elected this Government on every possible occasion. Therefore he should not talk about the “land of promise and high hope ” in 1948.

He also said that there was no room in our policy of apartheid for the Indians and the Coloureds. I will deal with that matter in the course of my speech, but I just want immediately to controvert a few of the points he made in this regard. He asked: How can one believe in apartheid if the numbers of Bantu in the cities are now more than ever before? But the hon. member surely knows that we repeatedly stated that the process of separation was a long-term one, that the rehabilitation of the Native reserves could not take place too fast if the economic life of South Africa was not to be disrupted and if in the meantime the normal development around our cities also had to take place. We continually said that these changes could not take place overnight, but that at some stage the outflow of Natives to their developing areas and border areas would catch up with the need for Native labour in the country. We said that the numbers of the urban Bantu would still increase for a long time to come. I think the Tomlinson Commission even mentioned the year 1978 as being the turning point. We continually said that the fact that there was now an increase, within certain limits, was not in conflict with our expectations in regard to the successful progress of the policy of apartheid. We said that we could not, after all the neglect of the United Party, bring this inflow to a standstill immediately. We said that for the time being it would still increase. The figures do not shock us. They reflect the expected development. But then I want to say that if the United Party, with its policy of having no influx control (as adumbrated sometimes, although it now again recognizes the need for it) had been in power since 1948, with the attitude it adopted, the inflow into the cities would have been infinitely greater than it is now. This is the important point, viz., that we controlled the uncontrollable influx there was at that time. That is the important point, and not the point mentioned by the hon. member.

The hon. member also complains that in the meantime we spent RIO in the cities for the benefit of the Bantu as against every R2 spent in the reserves. But naturally. We had to incur this expenditure in the process of clearing up this chaos, particularly in regard to housing, and to provide education for the children of the Bantu which the United Party had left us to deal with in the cities, and also to allow development in various other spheres of life to take place there, which we grant the Bantu there in the transitional period as long as they work in our area as guests …

*Mr. HUGHES:

Guests?

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, guests. We had to make all that provision and clear up the bad conditions. It is obvious that this immediately required the expenditure of large sums of money in respect of the urban Bantu who in the transitional period still have to remain there for a long time. That was due to the fact that the Bantu in the cities had been neglected during the United Party regime, the Bantu whom the hon. the Leader of the Opposition says they love so much.

In so far as the reserves are concerned, we immediately had to start rehabilitating a completely neglected area. The fact is that in the process of rehabilitating these areas one had to start gradually and could only increase the tempo as one went along. Therefore the initial expenditure was small and perhaps the progress was slow, but the tempo of development will gradually increase and the expenditure will also increase. The figures mentioned by the hon. member therefore mean nothing at all.

I regret that I had to spend so much time in replying to the arguments of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, because I felt that on this first possible opportunity it was necessary for me rather to review the position in detail, and as I said before, very calmly. Now one should be realistic and remember that it is very easy for all kinds of thinkers and writers and speakers to evolve theories as to what they would have done in any given circumstances. It is the easiest thing in the world to set a pattern on paper for any undertaking, whether it is a business or an industry or the development of the country, but it is something quite different to apply those plans in practice and to implement them. When one is dealing with the psychology of human beings and with all kinds of problems and shortcomings in regard to human talents and skills and with financial problems, then planning and implementation are two different things. Here in South Africa our problem in regard to bringing about a great socio-economic change is so much more complicated because one is dealing not only with the psychology of the Whites, of developed people, but also with the psychology of the Bantu and the apathy with which one still has to cope to a large extent in trying to bring about any development. Therefore I want to repeat that it is very easy to give advice, even in regard to this matter. I am quite prepared and even anxious to hear the opinions of different persons and critics. I have no objection to it. I would have liked to have the opportunity, which of course one does not have, to talk to all these critics. Then they would often experience how their arguments collapse when they are faced with the hard realities of life. At a time like the present one must consider the matter logically, from the foundation upwards. I shall now try to do so.

In the first place I want to ask hon. members to consider UNO. What sort of organization is it to-day, and what are the forces and the motives operating in that organization? In recent years a development has taken place at UN which was not foreseen and particularly not when that body was established, viz. by the addition of the large number of new states, particularly in Africa but also in Asia. That created a bloc of countries which were completely inexperienced even so far as their own government was concerned, and much more so in regard to international policy. These states began to stand together under the influence of a force which is tremendously dangerous to the world, viz. Communism. There is Clearly a communist bloc of countries in UN which is trying to divert civilization, as we know it, into a direction which they desire. As against that, we have the Western countries with which we are closely connected. In addition the position has developed that the Afro-Asian bloc of nations, often over-hastily and without due consideration but with their own motives, have co-operated to attain their own objects. There is therefore the struggle between the Western bloc and the Russian bloc and both of them seek the support of the Afro-Asian bloc, those countries described as the uncommitted nations or states which have not yet chosen sides. Within limits it may perhaps be said that they are not committed, but I am not convinced in my own mind that they are all as uncommitted as they profess to be. It seems to me that many of them are becoming thoroughly committed, mostly to Russia, but in the meantime they still derive all the benefits from the Western nations they can possibly get. South Africa is landed in the position where both sides attack her, not because it is really a country in which injustice is done, because in fact it is a peaceful country, but because in this way the friendship of the Afro-Asian countries can be sought. It is true that clashes arise here now and again, as they do in any other part of the world when law and order have to be maintained, but in general there is much greater peace in the Union than in most other countries and certainly more than in countries which, like us, have different population groups. The question one should really ask is: Why is this peaceful country which is busy uplifting the backward sections of the population, the non-Whites (although there are various ideas as to how that should be done), being selected as being the one for which trouble should continually be caused? We have not had any serious racial clashes and still do not have them. However, racial conflicts have already been caused here to some extent and will perhaps be caused to an increasing extent. To an increasing extent we shall have to protect ourselves against that. But it is mostly instigated from abroad and sometimes by incitement from within whilst the Government is trying to bring about reforms for their benefit. One finds the reply to this “ Why? ” without any doubt in the position created in the world by the struggle of Communism for world domination and not so much in local factors. The result is that the Western nations, in their anxiety to withstand the communist forces (and I say their understandable anxiety) adopt every possible means to keep the Afro-Asian countries on their side or on their side as much as possible. That is now taking place to the detriment of South Africa. I am now referring to the harm being caused to South Africa in the sense that when the Afro-Asian countries (in many cases for their own internal reasons) attack South Africa and wish to have demonstrations to express their own ideas, then the Western nations adopt the attitude that they dare no longer dissociate themselves from the attacks on South Africa. They join in the attack even though they know that the grounds on which the attacks are made are not well-founded. Gradually, in their own political interest and for the sake of their own economic advantages, these nations are being dragged in on the side of those communist and uncommitted states in their struggle against South Africa. In actual fact it is not really a struggle against South Africa but more of a demonstration by those Afro-Asian leaders for the sake of their influence in their own countries. They often have to hide the bad conditions in their own countries which they cannot remedy. Sometimes they behave in this way towards South Africa in order to gain the reputation of what sound, strong, leading Black states they are which can take action against a White state or against the White man. We are landing in trouble because of the interests and motives of other states. It is so utterly unfair and so utterly unwise of the Western nations to allow South Africa to have landed in that position and to let it remain there. Now I want to try to explain in the first place …

Mr. LAWRENCE:

May I ask the hon. the Prime Minister a question? Is it his idea that the Western nations are trying to gain the favour of the Afro-Asian countries and that they regard South Africa as a country which is expendable?

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, unfortunately. I shall, however, be glad if hon. members to-day will be so kind as to interrupt me as little as possible. I do not want to be discourteous but I would like to deal with all these points seriatim. If I do not deal with any thoughts which arise in the minds of hon. members they have an opportunity to speak and I will reply to them when I rise again. I say it is extremely unfair that we should be treated in this way at UN, for diverse reasons. The following are a few of those reasons. The first is that in regard to our treatment of the Bantu—in the first place, I am now going to discuss the Bantu in general, in regard to whom UN is so concerned, and later I will discuss the urban Bantu, the Coloureds and the Indians, so that hon. members should not think that I am evading these problems—we as a Government have a policy which does not aim at oppressing the Bantu. On the contrary, it aims at giving the Bantu his own country. In other words, it is a policy which does precisely what those countries of Africa which attack us desire to have themselves. They have forced their colonial rulers to give them their freedom. That is what happened in the case of Ghana, Nigeria and others. They do not want the Bantu of South Africa to have what they themselves desired and obtained, and as the result of which they now have the opportunity to attack us! The emergent African states want to force our Bantu into a sort of multi-racial community, whereas they did not want it for themselves. They wanted to have Black states, and we quite understand that aim. That is why we are prepared in terms of our policy to give the opportunity for separate development to the Bantu races of South Africa.

In the second place, these attacks are so unfair because we do not seek to apply a form of discrimination which denies these people human dignity and human rights. We apply a policy which is in fact intended to give them dignity and rights in the highest form, namely through self-government and self-determination. It is true that during the transition period these problems will continue to exist, as in other countries. But in every country of the world we find discrimination to-day under the pretext that it is a period of transition. That is even the case in the U.S.A., the biggest and most powerful Western nation. This attack by UNO is unfair because in so far as its political objects are concerned the Government of the Union is striving to attain the very thing that UNO says is its object.

Thirdly, these attacks are unfair because in respect of providing a good socio-economic existence South Africa has in fact done more and is doing more and intends doing more for its Bantu than any Black state of Africa or any colonial power in Africa has done for its territory and its people. I say without hesitation that the socio-economic situation of the Bantu is better in the Union of South Africa than in any Black country of Africa. I say, further, that in regard to the average economic welfare there are many Bantu in South Africa who live on a higher level than the ordinary citizens in many of the countries of the world, and their average prosperity is still improving. Do hon. members know why? Does UN know why? Because there was a tradition of segregation, together with the principle that every group should be given the right to serve its own people. Can hon. members imagine what would have happened to the Bantu’s right to possess land if throughout the past 100 years it was not our tradition to discriminate in favour of the Bantu? Would the Bantu of South Africa not have lost all their land under a policy of equality during the past 100 years? Would there have been a Transkeian territory? Would there have been a Zululand? Would there have been any Bantu area if the policy of equality had been adopted 80 or 100 years ago? In the light of this, UN should at least give South Africa credit for this, that as the result of its policy of segregation the Bantu retained everything he had. That did not happen, in so far as the Native peoples are concerned, in the other countries which now condemn us. It is not even the position in Canada, which took the lead in the attacks on us, in regard to its Red Indians or its Esquimos. Not only did the Bantu retain his land as the result of this policy of segregation, but on that basis the White Government also cared for his welfare in other respects. I have already said that the South African Bantu has a higher standard of living than any other Native population in Africa. That is according to UN’s own statistics, and UN also knows that all these benefits are due to the Whites. If it had not been for White rule, if it had not been for White government and initiative, the Bantu would not have reached that higher standard of living. Is it right then that a country which has done so much, which can lay claim to greater credit with regard to the treatment of its Bantu population than any of the countries which now damn us, should be condemned and accused, as we are accused in the motion before UNO, of discrimination and oppression? Does that not prove that in attacking South Africa they are actuated by motives other than truth and moral justice?

Here in South Africa the standard of literacy amongst our Bantu is higher than in most of the Asiatic countries even with their centuries-old culture, and in the next ten years we will probably reach the stage where the Bantu generally will be literate in the sense that they will at least be able to read, write and do arithmetic. I challenge any one of those Asiatic or Africa countries, as I also did at the Commonwealth Conference, to give me the same assurance in respect of their own country. Not one of them was able to do so, not India, not Pakistan, not Ghana, not Nigeria, not Malaya. Is it right then that South Africa, which is already doing this for her Bantu, should be damned as is happening to-day?

The same applies to health care. Take the tempo of the growth of the population: Nowhere are the health services such that it is possible for the population to increase as rapidly as it is increasing in South Africa. The White man has possibly brought misery upon himself because he has looked so well after the Bantu; because he has allowed the Bantu population to grow so rapidly by looking after them so well. Do we get no consideration from UNO for the fact that we have done everything that is humanly possible? Should they simply be allowed to fulminate against us and to call us oppressors, in the face of the clearest evidence to the contrary? What right, what moral basis, have they for these attacks? I could read out quotations here to show the backwardness in areas controlled by the best of them. I want to mention the case of Basutoland. In the Cape Argus of 8 April we find this report—

Hundreds have died of hunger in Basutoland, says official.

Here, in a neighbouring territory, one of the Bantu officials talks about the extremely unsatisfactory conditions; he points out that they cannot get doctors, that the people are leaving, that there are 10,000 tuberculosis which cannot get assistance, etc. This is a British territory, a territory which Britain has looked after for years, a territory which has now been given some sort of self-government. It is practically on our door-step. The mighty Britain has been unable to do for its Bantu there what we are doing here for our Bantu. Nevertheless we are damned and even Britain is going to vote for a resolution which says that we are oppressors. And nothing is said about her. We may be told that we have a colour bar here. Well, here I have a report which appeared in the newspapers recently and which emanates from the Acting State Secretary of the Swaziland Territory, Mr. J. C. Martin. He was telephoned by a newspaper from Johannesburg—I do not know whether it was by the Transvaler or the Vaderland; I am sorry I did not make a note of it—and this is what he said—

Swaziland is full of these irresponsible rumours that on Saturday the colour bar is going to be lifted entirely in Swaziland.

“ Irresponsible ” rumours that the colour bar in Swaziland is going to be lifted—in what is Native territory? The report then goes on to set out how only certain chosen Swazis with a high status are allowed to buy liquor and what restrictions and permit arrangements exist in connection with the purchase of liquor. It goes on to explain that the White population of Swaziland, on a percentage basis, has increased greatly since the war; that the White population and the Coloured population—on a proportion or percentage basis of course—have increased much more than the Swazi population itself. In other words, there we have a gradual invasion of a Black territory by Whites —with a colour bar. That is allowed to happen in a Black territory but it does no harm, and Britain is still allowed to exercise full dominion over the Black man’s Swaziland! Even in Basutoland where she has granted them a Constitution, she still has the final say —almost dictatorial control. South Africa, however, although she compares very favourably with the best—and I say the best because Britain is certainly one of the best Africa authorities—is still accused and slandered. We are damned for not making more rapid progress in the process of uplifting our Bantu, in spite of the fact that this small, little country, the Union of South Africa, has tried to improve conditions as rapidly as possible. Is that fair on the part of a world organization? Can it expect us to have any respect for it, can it expect any inclination on our part to listen to it, if it passes judgment without taking these facts into consideration? When it acts in this way we know perfectly well that there are ulterior motives behind it.

Fourthly, one asks oneself the following question: Must we not bear in mind also that while this same body condemned what happened at Sharpeville and Langa and drags it in on every conceivable occasion, it passed no resolutions with regard to Hungary; that no resolutions were introduced there in regard to the million people who were ruined in the struggle when the partition between India and Pakistan took place; that no resolutions came before it in connection with what happened in the Congo and the distress suffered by Whites there; that no resolutions were introduced when the Mau Mau activities were going on in Kenya and when they should have been suppressed with a firm hand? Can one get justice from a body, can one take notice of its resolutions, of its condemnation of oneself and of its attacks upon one when it closes its eyes to similar, more serious incidents?

Mr. Chairman, I say that the way we are being treated is unfair because apparently the only yardstick which counts to-day is supposed to be freedom. What freedom? Nothing counts except the vote—a vote of any kind! Let us take a look at the nations which sit in judgment upon us to-day. Although we do want to give the vote, but in different ways, although we want to grant self-government but not on the lines that they prefer, they condemn us. But who are the countries who sit in judgment upon us? Amongst others, Russia, Poland and Hungary—communist countries. What is the franchise worth there? How many million of the millions in Russia are able to exercise the vote freely according to their convictions? De we ever hear of resolutions passed at UNO in that regard in which they say that in these countries there is oppression of fellow-citizens, indeed of huge majorities of fellow-citizens? No, we do not hear a single word about it. The other nations which condemn and damn us, even our so-called friends, agree with these countries which damn us, knowing full well that the conditions in the countries which I have mentioned are so much less democratic, from the point of view also of the future plans of these governments. As a further example, what is the position in respect of the franchise in a country like Ghana? What is the value of the vote to people whose stage of development is such that they have to vote for a crane or a rhinoceros, otherwise they do not know how to cast their vote? Of what value can the vote be to people who in many respects are perishing of misery? What is the value of the vote when the Opposition is imprisoned and the Leader of the Opposition is threated to such an extent that he has to go to another country? Is that the type of country which is entitled to join others in condemning and damning our treatment of our Bantu, Coloureds, Indians or any other section? I do not know why the hon. the Leader of the Opposition should laugh about this. [Interjections.] I cannot imagine that he has much respect for his own country. I am trying to defend our country—not my country, our country. [Interjections.] And the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) is no better …

Mr. MITCHELL:

I fought for my country. What have you done?

*The PRIME MINISTER:

When I try to defend our country, as I am doing at the moment, against the voices of Russia, Poland, Hungary and Ghana, hon. members on the other side sit there laughing. But I want to go even further. One of the countries which voted here is the Congo. The representative of the Congo has the temerity to say in respect of us that they propose to vote for the 24-power resolution, the one which calls for punitive measures against us—the representative of the Congo! Everybody knows what is happening there. The representative of Cuba, who says that what exists in South Africa to-day is a state of war, is also popular now and that is why he too votes for such a resolution! That is Cuba, where there is strife and discord —and every American knows what to think about Cuba. But Cuba and the Congo are his partners in damning South Africa! Sir, can we have any respect for such a resolution?

In the fifth place, it is unreasonable on the part of our attackers there to attack us when in point of fact wherever this so-called freedom comes, it is usually accompanied by a flight of capital and the perpetration of injustices against the White man in various ways. I mention the example of Kenya and the Federation. Does it really improve the welfare and the prospects of the Black people in those countries when they are given this so-called freedom, which is accompanied by the vote, when the capitalists who are so much in favour of it withdraw from those countries in the long run? If there is any danger in the economic sphere in South Africa at the moment, then that is so simply because these people are afraid that we Whites will not be able to hold out. If they can only have the assurance that we shall be able to retain control, that these threats mean nothing, they will remain here and leave their investments here It is because they fear that we will have to submit and that in the long run this may lead to difficulties and defeat and incompetent Black rule and disorder, that they fear a depreciation in the value of their assets. If they can only have the assurance that we are strong enough to hold out, they and their money will remain here. I just want to add that it has not helped us in the least to furnish information in regard to everything we are doing. In 1959 the Minister of External Affairs explained our Bantu homeland policy at UNO. That was the first explanation that was given there. We did therefore go and defend our case there. I say that because the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has asked why we do not do so. Subsequently some of the representatives, including the representative of Ghana, approached Minister Louw and said that they had not realized this and that they were grateful for the explanation: that it had thrown new light on the matter for them. Within a year, however, they had forgotten all about it, because then it paid them once again to attack and to try to hinder and prejudice South Africa in various ways.

Again I ask: Why all this; why, in the light of these facts, do we find that even countries which should stand with us, are leaving us in the lurch? I say again that clearly the background is this, that Communism seeks to dominate the world and in that regard Africa as well as Asia is of the utmost importance to it. Communism can only thrive where there is unrest. It started by stirring up unrest in the north of Africa and then extended its activities further and further south until today it is interfering not only with our affairs but also with the affairs of neighbouring territories. The agitation which is taking place there and here, is partly due to direct incitement but partly also to the conditioning of people who, in their opinion, have a liberal outlook and who do not realize that they are becoming an instrument in the hands of Communism. In that category I include, amongst others, certain Churches. They do not realize that they are preparing the way. They are preparing the way not for what they believe will bring peace in South Africa—a mixed state under the control of orderly, civilized people from the various racial groups, made possible by a rigid Constitution, as the members of the Progressive Party would have them believe—they are preparing the way for the ousting of the existing order by disorder, a state of affairs which will be to the benefit of those powers of darkness. In that way then the Western world will lose the powers (“ kragte ”) in Africa—both South Africa and the African states—which they are now seeking to win over. The Western nations are playing their own game in an attempt to prevent this— because that is what they are doing. I am convinced that that is precisely what America, England. France, Australia and the other Western nations want to prevent and to that end they have chosen a certain method, but that method is wrong.

*Maj. VAN DER BYL:

Everybody is wrong.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

If the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) will exercise a little patience, I shall tell him why it is wrong. Those countries are following their policy of appeasement for two reasons: International politics is not the only reason; there is also the selfish motive—their own economic interests. For the sake of their own enrichment and their own international trade they would like to have the sympathy and friendship of these Afro-Asian nations, and not one of them—even though they know that everything I have just said is the truth, and even though they know that the action which is being taken against us is unjust—dares to act differently from the rest of the Western nations. They do not want to be branded too as supporters of anything against the will of the Afro-Asian nations, because they do not want to lose the chance of international trade with them or the co-operation of the Afro-Asian countries in the forums of the world. Let me now tell the Committee what I consider wrong in the method that they adopt, and I take as an example what happened at the Commonwealth Conference, because that illustrates to me what is happening in the world.

There were two courses that were open to Britain in her attempt and honest desire to keep South Africa in the Commonwealth. In other words, I accept that she honestly desired to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth. This was also advocated strongly by Mr. Macmillan when he was here in South Africa. We had the same intention. We both acknowledged the other party’s honest desire in this connection. The British Government felt that their best chance to persuade the Afro-Asian members in particular to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth was to adopt the following tactics: I want to say here that I am not making things up now; I was told that these tactics were going to be adopted. I say that I believe these tactics were wrong, but if they were going to follow those tactics I would have to agree because it is their plan of action. The tactics were these, that those who were not in favour of our policy of apartheid, because they believe in the policy of partnership, would not only say so honestly but that they would state it very strongly, even more strongly than they would have preferred to say it to us Hon. members will recall that in Mr. Macmillan’s speech here he talked about the difference in the circumstances of South Africa as compared with conditions in other parts of Africa and he stated that he realized that we did not view matters in the same light as they did. If hon. members read this speech, they will find that paragraph in it. At the Conference, however, he adopted the attitude that they wanted to say in clear terms to the other members: “ We differ from South Africa’s policy, just as you differ from it.” While saying this, the British authorities would go further and side with the other members, without reservations and without giving any indication that they realized that we viewed matters differently, in condemning South Africa in every respect as far as her policy is concerned. The result of this was that although Britain believed that by doing this she would be able to convince the other Prime Ministers that they could follow her lead since Britain shared their views but nevertheless wished to retain the Union as a member of the Commonwealth, she did not convince them. Mr. Macmillan believed that like him they would say, “ We are strongly opposed to the policy, but for different reasons we too, just like Britain, want to keep the Union as a member of the Commonwealth.” Instead of working out that way, it appeared at the meeting, contrary to the expectations of the British leaders as the result of their prior discussions, that the Afro-Asian nations and Canada were adopting the attitude, “No, we are not prepared to join you in just condemning the Union and then nevertheless allowing her to remain within the Commonwealth. We want demands to be made that will force South Africa to abandon her policy.” In other words, in that way the Commonwealth would then interfere with the policy not only by talking about it but by laying down principles which would require to be implemented or by expecting promises of concessions at the meeting itself before agreeing to continued membership. As I have already said, it was impossible to allow such a thing. I am making this point only to make it clear that Britain thought that she would succeed in keeping us within the Commonwealth if she associated herself fully with the Afro-Asian countries in speaking out and attacking South Africa’s policy. In that way she hoped to get their co-operation to do what she was anxious for them to do. She did not succeed, however, and in my opinion it was because of this very method of appeasement. It is and always has been my conviction that if Mr. Macmillan had not adopted those tactics but the following (which I believe he was capable of doing and in my opinion would have been more reasonable) we would still have been a member of the Commonwealth. In other words, he could have adopted the following attitude: “ I disagree entirely with the apartheid policy of the Union Government because I believe in a policy of partnership, but I do accept, although I am going to attack it in that regard, that the Union Government with its policy is trying along different lines to do justice to the various groups. I believe that they are honestly and genuinely trying to do justice to the Bantu, the Indian and the Coloured. I do not think they are going to succeed in applying their policy but I do not query their good and humane intentions.” If they had said that and strongly insisted that here we have two methods of obtaining human rights, of which they prefer the one, together with the other members, and South Africa the other, a method which did not make South Africa an unsuitable member to retain, there would have been a different spirit. After all, the fact of the matter is that South Africa is not trying to destroy human dignity but she needs time to re-shape conditions by means of separation, just like any other country during a period of transition. If Britain had adopted the attitude, “ Let us give South Africa time and see if those things work out as they say they visualize ”, and had not adopted the attitude of unconditionally choosing sides against us in order to retain her own strong position vis-à-vis these countries, whatever may become of us, then in my opinion the others would have agreed to this proposal. If she had tried to adopt a stronger attitude, in spite of her difference of opinion, in respect of the virtues contained in our policy, then the other countries would not have been placed in the position where they believed that they could make demands in the knowledge that they would inevitably drag Britain with them, because she would then have compromised herself already.

I am convinced that what is being tried in the world to-day is precisely the same. The Western nations would like to have the support of the African nations in their struggle against Communism. There are certain communist countries which are using the White state of South Africa as a convenient target to besmirch not only South Africa but the whole of the West in the eyes of the Black man in Africa. There are certain African states which are using the same method to increase their prestige in the eyes of other Black states as the deliverers of the Blacks from the rule of the White man. The Western nations now come along and throw in their full weight by participating with this group of other nations in this condemnation of South Africa in the hope of winning over to their side the Afro-Asian nations. I do not believe they will succeed. The method defeats the aim, because in this way the hatred against all Whites is strengthened. I think those nations will make use of the West to the utmost, not only against us but in all sorts of ways for their own benefit, and then when it suits them they will drop the West like a hot brick. Furthermore, I am convinced that if the Western nations had adopted a different attitude and had said that they differ from our colour policy but are prepared to give us a chance to prove that we are capable of carrying it out, so that they can see for themselves whether, by means of our method of four parellelisms we afford opportunities of legitimate development to the Bantu and the other racial groups, there would have been a better spirit towards us and towards all White nations. By representing South Africa to the African states not as rogues and oppressors but as people who are trying in a difficult situation to do the best for everybody and who need a certain amount of time for the transition period, they would have helped to build up our prestige in the eyes of the countries of Africa rather than help to destroy it. If they had encouraged the countries of Africa to make use of all the aid and assistance that we are prepared to give them in many spheres, then I am also convinced that their chances of winning friends in Africa for us and also for them would have been much greater than they are by adopting the tactics which the Western nations are using to-day, namely, this policy of appeasement at our expense.

Let me also add this: Hard experience may still bring it home to the countries of the world that in South Africa they have an outpost of civilization which, come what may, will stand by the Western nations, and that if this state is destroyed, the gateway between the East and the West will fall into the hands of the forces of chaos, which will bring about the very thing that they are fighting against. It may also bring home to them that we really intend fully to apply a humane policy, without practising discrimination, to all our colour groups, although on lines which differ from the method in which they believe. I believe that that is going to be brought home to them and I see a future for South Africa therefore in spite of all the difficult times that we have to experience to-day.

The next question that I want to deal with arising out of this is the following: It has been alleged that Britain’s new attitude and that of Australia and perhaps also that of France is really the outcome of our withdrawal from the Commonwealth and that it is the direct cause of what is happening to-day in the voting at UNO. Let me assure hon. members that that is not true. The changed attitude to vote against South Africa now has nothing to do with that. Let me tell hon. members why I say that so specifically. When Mr. Macmillan came to us in South Africa a year and a half ago he came inter alia to tell us that, if in the future certain resolutions were proposed at UNO in respect of apartheid and other issues, resolutions which were acceptable to Britain, he would have to sacrifice the principle of non-intervention, because in his opinion he could no longer offer resistance, having regard to his interests—the interests to which I referred a moment ago. In his speech here the British Prime Minister lightheartedly dropped a hint in that direction, but in conversations with me he did not hint at it but said so candidly. It was not for me to disclose this before Britain proceeded to take such a step. I could not disclose this to my Parliament or to the public because, although this was a direct notification, it was a notification about something which had not yet materialized, and he himself hoped that these circumstances would not arise but that the position would be alleviated. Britain’s changed attitude, therefore, is not the result of our withdrawal from the Commonwealth; it would have happened in any event. He adopted this attitude long before any decision had been taken about the establishment of a republic or almost the question of attending the Commonwealth Conference. At that stage already Britain felt that she could no longer regard South Africa’s policy as a matter that was covered by Article 2 (7); it had allegedly become a matter of wider importance! I myself argued with Mr. Macmillan on this point. I said: “ But what happens to your basic standpoint? For ten years we have fought together for the principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs and for the maintenance of Article 2 (7) in respect of our colour policy.” His attitude was more or less the following: One cannot always cling to a principle, that when the time comes for him to yield, he must make adaptations. Call it political opportunism if you like but the Government of a country must trim its sails to the wind, and that is what has become necessary here. [Interjections.] Mr. Macmillan adopted the attitude that one must not regard oneself as so bound by certain principles that one cannot adapt oneself to changed circumstances. That means trimming one’s sails to the wind. These are his words. [Interjections.]

*Mr. SPEAKER:

Order!

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Let me repeat it. Mr. Macmillan said that one could not blindly follow principles; that when circumstances change he must be prepared to make adaptations. I say that in my opinion that is tantamount to trimming one’s sails to the wind. The result is that what happened here did not come as a surprise to us. It is definitely not the result of our withdrawal from the Commonwealth. If hon. members think that I am not reflecting Mr. Macmillan’s attitude correctly, I want to add that I reacted to it and said that I was not prepared to adopt such an attitude. In my opinion a Government must stand on the principles in which it believes and that if there comes a time when the electorate no longer believes in those principles itself, the Government must be rejected and replaced by a Government which does believe in the other principles which the electorate is prepared to support.

A further point that has arisen is the following: How does the voting at UNO affect South Africa’s friendship with Britain? There are various newspapers which have adopted the attitude that this is a personal slap in the face for me. The Daily Mail in England said so. Other newspapers in South Africa have said, “ This beautiful friendship is over ” and that we are isolated to-day. That was alleged by the Cape Times.

I want to say how I think this will affect the friendship between Britain and South Africa and the other members. It need not necessarily, and it ought not, to affect it. Neither do I think it will affect it, because as mature politicians on both sides we were fully aware of what would happen at UNO and what the attitude was of our different Governments and countries. In spite of that we were anxious on both sides to retain what we could retain, for the benefit of our respective countries, by way of goodwill and friendship and good relationships. That is the realistic attitude which any politician adopts, and has to adopt, in the international sphere. There are major clashes between Britain and Russia on the question of policy, but she nevertheless tries to maintain certain connections and friendship with Russia. She even clashes with her very good friend, the United States of America. Do hon. members remember the clash between those two countries on the Suez question? In spite of that clash, which even caused the downfall of the British Prime Minister, the same Government continued to remain friendly and to develop and even to strengthen that friendship with the U.S.A. as it is to-day. In other words, you have to guard against it that clashes in respect of a certain matter between countries who are friendly do not ruin that friendship in respect of other matters. I disapprove of it that because we have unfortunately clashed in respect of one matter, any politician or newspaper in South Africa or anywhere else should try to drive in a wedge between us and our friends seeing that we still have so many things in common and share so many interests. It is my policy therefore to exert all my energies to promote that friendship and not to lose my perspective because of those clashes which I think were very unfortunate but which could not be avoided.

I want to say further that you should not be unreasonable about Britain’s attitude at UNO. In many respects she still acted as a friend would, because those 24 countries introduced a motion which asked for punitive measures against South Africa, but Britain supported the motion of the three or four Asiatic nations and even added that she objected to two points in that motion. The one was the request for joint and undivided action and the other the statement that our internal affairs lead to international clashes. In other words, within the limits of what was in her own interests, she tried to prevent more serious steps from being taken. Surely I can regard that as a friendly act, in spite of the fact that I cannot agree that she should have acted the way she did act.

I want to make another point. In the case of Britain is there not friendship even between her and other Commonwealth countries with whom she differs on the one or other question? This has, therefore, not merely flowed from the recent happenings. Do hon. members think that Britain approves of Ghana’s violation of democracy? Britain’s political outlook on internal government is based on democratic principles and she condemns the violation of that democracy perhaps even more strenuously than she condemns our apartheid policy, but she nevertheless remains friends with Ghana and she want to retain Ghana within the Commonwealth just as she wanted to keep us there. Friendship is not tested by actions in one or other respect, alone Sir. Your outlook should be matured and balanced, and you should try to retain everything you can in the international sphere. [Laughter.] If hon. members opposite, like the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) laugh about that, they are naïve; more than naïve. Is it not to the detriment of your country to insinuate by laughter that by keeping our balance in the international political game, we are not trying to retain the bonds of friendship with: Britain because of the benefits that flow from that friendship to South Africa? Must they laugh about that?

*Dr. STEENKAMP:

No, I did not laugh about that.

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Sir, you ask yourself the further question why Britain has renounced the principle laid down by Article 2 (7). Why does she also adopt the attitude to-day that a matter which is an internal concern of ours, namely, how to promote the interests of the various population groups under a policy of uni-racial development, is no longer governed by the principle of non-interference? The excuse, of course, is that this has become a point of dispute amongst the nations and that it has repercussions beyond our borders and that it has consequently assumed a wider meaning and greater significance and that it is consequently no longer such a domestic affair as it was originally thought to be. I say that is nothing more than an excuse because, if you accept that that is the position, you must accept that if any country wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of another country, it is only necessary to raise a hullabaloo for a sufficiently long period for various other countries to start talking about it. In that case it will only be necessary for a dissatisfied country to introduce motions concerning the domestic affairs of another country at UNO year after year, to create the impression that it is something which is causing difficulty elsewhere. It is only necessary to create sufficient tension deliberately and any domestic issue can be elevated to international level. That is why I say it is simply an excuse. The real reason is that these friendly Western nations are afraid that by remaining aloof and by remaining true to their principles, they will become estranged from the vast number of Afro-Asian nations and therefore lose their economic and political influence. Perhaps some of them are afraid that they like South Africa, will land in the dock because many of them themselves are vulnerable. In other words, this is a process of reconciliation, of appeasement, and in this process they are even prepared to regard friendly countries as expendable or as countries to be sacrificed. Britain’s approach towards the African countries which were under her control, is an approach from her own point of view. She was interested in various types of countries. She was interested in certain countries which would undoubtedly have become Black states, such as Ghana and Nigeria and also in countries where there was a fairly large number of White settlers such as Kenya, and she was interested in countries like Rhodesia where there was a very large White population. What attitude did she adopt throughout? Initially she controlled and governed all of them and that assisted in keeping her international status high. When she could no longer maintain that she was prepared to relinquish that control. In the case of the Black states such as Nigeria and Ghana she was prepared from the beginning to sacrifice them completely in that she handed over their independent control to those nations. But in the case of those countries where there was a fairly large number of White people she hoped to retain control, indirectly through the White people who were living there, by making limited concessions. Towards that end she introduced her partnership policy. As a matter of fact she wanted the control to be in the hands of the White people as long as possible and that was why she tried to apply the policy of a “ junior ” partnership for the non-Whites. That was tried in Kenya but it did not work. Within a very short time the Black junior member demanded not only to become a senior partner but to have sole control or a form of participation in the control that would lead to it. As this process developed Britain no longer regarded it to be in her interests to resist the demands of the Black man. She was prepared therefore also to allow those states to become Black states and to relinquish the control, under guarantee in a constitution, which she had through the White man, and even in the long run to sacrifice the White man’s chance to continued existence. Unfortunately this process is even operating in the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, where we also have the position that Britain tried initally to retain control through the White man in the form of a junior partnership but as the position becomes more difficult she is beginning to reconcile herself to the fact that Nyasaland is potentially a Black state, and that is apparently also how she feels about Northern Rhodesia. It is true that they talk about a non-racial state, but nobody is bluffed by that. Everybody realizes into whose hands the power will fall if further concessions have to be made. Therefore we have the fact that Britain’s interests (to maintain its position and its influence with those whom it regards in such territories as being in the majority and potentially the strongest, viz. the Black people) make it follow that policy. It adapts itself to the changing circumstances. We in South Africa should realize what this policy of partnership will lead to in deciding which policy we think is the correct one for us.

That then brings me to our position. What are our circumstances to-day. What is South Africa’s choice in the light of the actions of UN? If I understood the Leader of the Opposition correctly when he criticized us by saying that our oldest friends are deserting us because of our policy and the world is against us, then it seems to me as if he accepts that we have a choice and that he favours some other alternative. To me there is a choice between two things. The one is to ease the pressure by making concessions whatever the consequences may be. It is true that it does not necessarily mean that all the concessions should be made immediately but first to make as few concessions as possible and then to live in the fear of greater and greater demands being made. That is the one alternative, viz. to reduce the pressure by making concessions in regard to our racial policy—not concessions within the policy of separate development, but in the beginning partly to sacrifice the policy of separate development itself. He finds it easy to say that he is prepared to do so because he was never in favour of separate development. The Leader of the Opposition has always been in favour of integration in some form or another. His followers advocated many forms of integration here. He does not even feel bound to any principle in regard to integration; he continually wants to adapt his policy when faults in it are pointed out. That is the one possible choice. The other is to say that this is a fight for the independent continued existence of the Whites as well, although recognizing the same sort of rights for the non-Whites. It is a struggle to ensure our own continued existence by giving to the non-Whites everything the world can reasonably demand; i.e. full development for their nations, but separate from your nation, and your own nation’s development separate from theirs. It seems to me that the choice before South Africa is therefore again what it has often been in this period of external pressure which is being applied: Between reducing the pressure by making concessions and abandoning the policy of separate development and destroying the White man, and secondly, the struggle to give everybody a reasonable existence by retaining the policy of separate development.

In regard to the first alternative, viz. reducing the pressure by making concessions, I must ask this question: Is there anyone who is so naïve as to believe that in the first place the communist countries, and in the second place the Afro-Asian countries, and thirdly, if these two big groups adhere to their demands, also the Western powers which have to try to go along with them for the reasons I have mentioned—is there anyone who is so naïve as to believe that they will remain satisfied with small concessions? They will perhaps accept it and perhaps it will keep the wolf from the door for six months, but then one has allowed one’s feet to be knocked out from under one and one will have to make increasingly more concessions in the direction of integration at an ever increasing pace. Does the hon. the Leader of the Opposition really want to tell me that he believes, to give a concrete example, that if we allow Coloureds to represent Coloureds in this Parliament, Russia and the Russian bloc will halt their fight against us because of it. Will that be the end of any fight against us at UN unless we sacrifice apartheid increasingly? Does he really think that Ghana and Nigeria and the other Afro-Asian countries including India will be satisfied if we merely do that? In other words, here we now have a concrete concession of the type he advocated. I say that he will not be able to stop at that; he will not even be able to stop after having done much more! I want to test this against the Leader of the Opposition’s statement of policy earlier and again to-day. The Leader of the Opposition appeals to the country—so do I. I am prepared to face the test as to whether the country supports the policy in which we believe, the policy of the four parallel streams, or whether it supports the policy in which he now believes, which he calls a racial federation. The Leader of the Opposition thinks that he will satisfy the world by what he now suggests. I also think that he will go far towards satisfying them temporarily if he applies fully what I now understand to be his policy. But I also believe that it will be the end of the White man’s authority in this country if he does so. This is how I now understand his policy: In the first place, that Bantu homelands will be developed similar to, say, provinces. In other words, he does not want full partition eventually with a possible Commonwealth link; he wants less separation; he wants to see South Africa as one common multi-racial fatherland. He therefore wants to have Bantu areas as provinces with a fairly large measure of self-government, but not complete self-government. Secondly, he accepts that the Coloureds for the time being should still be on the separate roll, but that they will be represented here by Coloureds. He is evidently prepared to accept that this will be so merely for the present and that gradually the Coloureds should be put back on the Common Roll together with the Whites, jointly to elect representatives—Whites or Coloureds— in what I call White South Africa but what he does not call White South Africa; in other words, in that part of the country which he calls the mixed province or the multi-racial province of his federation. Thirdly he did not express himself very clearly in regard to the Indians and the warning I issued when previously I gave an interpretation of his standpoint. I asked him to state his standpoint in regard to the Indians very clearly (something which he has not done yet), but I now understand that he does not want to give the Indians representation on the Common Roll at present, but is thinking of giving them representation on a separate voters’ roll in what I call the White areas, but at least for a start by Whites and perhaps later by Indians. Perhaps they will also later have to be put on the Common Roll, because I do not know how in the long run he will differentiate between the Coloured and the Indian in terms of his own view of his policy of political integration. As I understand it, that will be the process of development for the future. In other words, I now accept that what we will have with a view to the eventual federation, when it gets to that stage, is Bantu controlled states or provinces—states in the American sense of the word—and one mixed, or a few mixed provinces, and therefore not one part of South Africa any longer which is exclusively controlled by the Whites. Then a federation will be established with these constituent parts, and that federation must lead to a super Parliament. That will be the real Government of the country, at least in regard to certain matters, like external affairs, defence, etc. That central federal parliament will therefore have Black representatives from the exclusively Bantu states or provinces and there will also be the White or Coloured representatives of the mixed states or provinces. Because the Bantu and the Indians and the Coloureds together form by far the largest section of the population, I must accept that, even though he creates a so-called inflexible or rigid constitution which initially tries to some extent to maintain the balance between majority and minority groups, as the result of which the Whites will have a reasonable say by means of their representation in their mixed provinces, the Blacks must eventually and inevitably in this common entity represent the standpoint of the majority of the population. I accept that in the beginning he does not want this and that he hopes that the rigid constitution will be able to avert it for a long time. In the meantime I have of course omitted to say that he, as I understand him, wants the Bantu in the cities also to be represented in that mixed parliament or those little parliaments. In other words the authority of the Whites will be still further weakened by this. The representation may be through Whites initially, but gradually it will certainly have to be through Blacks. The question is: When we have this superstructure, this central government of the federation controlled by Blacks, will the constitution lower down not be broken down to give domination to the majority of Bantu who will then as urban Bantu also have the franchise in the so-called mixed or multiracial provinces? Surely they will not permanently be satisfied if they do not have equal rights. As I now understand the hon. member in so far as his federation is concerned, it is again a system which must lead to Black domination. The Russian and the Afro-Asian blocs will urge him to arrive at that final point as fast as possible. He will therefore not be able to escape the present quarrel by that means. Natal will be the first of the mixed provinces to come under non-White domination if the urban Bantu and the Coloureds and the Indians are given political rights in this way in terms of such a plan. The world, as we know it now, will force the United Party to that final result in terms of its own policy. In other words, making concessions in terms of the policy of a racial federation may satisfy the critics temporarily but merely because they know that they will then have the basis eventually to obtain precisely everything they want to have, viz. a Black state or chaos in the state—one of the two—in the southern part of Africa.

As against that, even though it may lead to great difficulties, we again unequivocally state the policy of the development of the different race groups. The Bantu will be able to develop into separate Bantu states. That is not what we would have liked to see. It is a form of fragmentation which we would not have liked if we were able to avoid it. In the light of the pressure being exerted on South Africa there is however no doubt that eventually this will have to be done, thereby Buying for the White man his freedom and the right to retain domination in what is his country, settled for him by his forefathers. The problem of giving political rights to the Coloureds and the Indians will then still exist. In this case I accept the rejection of the old proposition that one cannot have a state within a state. I accept firstly that in our state we will have to give the Coloureds opportunities for development firstly by means of their own local governments, secondly by way of managing the sort of thing now falling under the control of the Provincial Councils, viz. their own municipal affairs, the education of their own children and similar matters. Thirdly, I accept that within the White state, and therefore within the same borders, an institution should be established or a method should be evolved to give the Coloureds further rights of self-government over their national interests. The time to decide precisely how and in regard to what this must be done can wait until the development has progressed to that second stage. And precisely the same applies to the Indians. We have already said (I do not know why the Leader of the Opposition says every time that we never talk about the Indians) that in so far as the Indians in South Africa are concerned we will begin by making an adaptation in the Department of the Interior. Just as in the case of Coloured Affairs, a start will be made by developing a division which will in time grow into a Department of Indian Affairs. We shall be prepared to establish a council representing the Indian population to deal with the interests of the Indians, as we did in regard to the Coloureds. We have already said also that as the result of the establishment of group areas we want to give the Indians also full control over their residential areas so that they can have their own local governments on parallel lines, as we envisage for the Coloured community.

*Dr. STEENKAMP:

And representation here?

*The PRIME MINISTER:

No, no representation here. A moment ago I said very clearly in connection with the Coloureds—and I also say it in connection with the Indians—we limit their development to that of a council which will exercise authority over their own affairs, similar to the powers now enjoyed by the provincial authorities. If it is necessary to have further development on those same parallel lines, then we shall have to do so. But I do not visualize that there will be any necessity for representation in a common parliament because I foresee that a different method can be evolved—perhaps in an unorthodox manner —by which each of them can be given full authority and a full life, separate from each other in the political sphere. What we also said very clearly at the same time is that there would be mutual economic dependence. One finds that development in Europe, as I often have said very clearly and unequivocally. The existing economic unit need not be broken up, although in the political sphere there may be this clear separation. I do not say that this system is the ideal one which we would have chosen if we could have had a choice 20 or 30 or more years ago, knowing what we know today. If it were possible to get the Indians out of the country completely, if one could have settled the Coloureds in a part of the country quite on their own, in their own areas like the Bantu, we would certainly have done that. If the Whites could have continued to rule over everybody, with no danger to themselves, they would certainly have chosen to do so. However, we have to bear in mind the new views in regard to human rights, also in our own country and in our own ranks, the increasing knowledge and standard of civilization of our non-Whites, the power of the world and world opinion and our desire to preserve ourselves. Then there is only this one method of the parallel development which can give us all a peaceful future. The idea of a racial federation of the Leader of the Opposition, as against that, is just as dangerous to the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians and the Bantu masses, as when all these racial groups are represented in a unitary Parliament of this kind. One does not, for example, gain anything in the way of safety for the Whites by means of this idea of a federation.

Mr. HUGHES:

Will the Coloureds also eventually lose their parliamentary representation and be in the same position as the Indians and the Bantu in the White areas?

*The PRIME MINISTER:

Until we have reached the stage of development to which I referred, where the Coloured council fully performs its functions, no decision will be taken as to what further steps should be taken in regard to the Coloured representation in this Parliament, but it will remain as it is now.

The proposition I am therefore stating is this: We just have the same old choice again, the choice between handing over our father-land to the non-Whites, eventually to the Bantu and to the Bantu dictator—as the result of which the Coloureds and the Indians will suffer together with the Whites—and separate, parallel development each on his own lines. We must either satisfy the world and sign our own death warrant, or we must be prepared to endure the difficulties and the pain which our standing firm may cause us. Shall we face the dangers resulting from our struggle for self-preservation, as Britain had to do when she was in trouble and stood with her back to the wall.

Mr. TUCKER:

On a point of order, is it possible for us in this corner of the House to hear the hon. the Prime Minister?

The CHAIRMAN:

Well, the hon. members next to the hon. member are conversing so loudly that I can hear them here.

Mr. WARREN:

It is not I.

The CHAIRMAN:

No, I refer to the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) and the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) …

Mr. RUSSELL:

I did not say a single word.

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

*The PRIME MINISTER:

I am trying to make myself heard in spite of the talking going on, and I cannot help it if hon. members talk too loudly.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

You referred to mutual economic independence. Can you not develop that point further?

*The PRIME MINISTER:

I said mutual economic dependence: “ Political independence with economic interdependence.”

I think I have now shown hon. members that there is in fact hope for our country provided we are prepared to remain consistent, provided we have faith in our nation and trust that the world will not forever remain in this state of confusion in which it is now. I believe that the state of conflict in the world and of the uncertainty caused by the present crisis will not continue. I have confidence that, to the extent that relations between the states take on a new form, they will become more inclined to judge us fairly in terms of what we do and want to do, and to understand what we are actually doing. We must continue trying to get a better understanding. Leading public figures must also stop trying to frighten the people here, as so many of them do to-day. Much of what happens at UNO to-day causes one concern, but much of what happens there is also reassuring. Let us just read the arguments used by country after country when their representatives got up and said why they would vote for the Asian motion and not for that of the 24 powers. Then one realizes how many of the most important states are not prepared to participate in any form of drastic action. In other words, they are also keeping the door open for understanding. It is true that this door is being kept open by them in the hope that they can convert us to their way of thinking and they are trying to make us appreciate their views by exerting pressure on us—that is certainly true—but at the same time it has the advantage of giving us an increasing opportunity to let them see and know what we are really doing.

When hon. members say that the implementation of our plans for development is so slow, I want to remind them that we are dealing with one of the most colossal reforms ever tackled by any nation. Eight, nine or ten years ago, we inherited a terribly chaotic housing situation in so far as the urban Bantu are concerned. I immediately started remedying it. Hon. members opposite then just as venomously and bitterly opposed the basis on which the whole solution rests as they are doing to-day, if not more so. I am reminded of some of the Acts they opposed. Through that we lost quite a few years, because we first had to fight to get so far that the means and the powers would be available and to get the sympathy and co-operation of the city councils controlled by the United Party, which was essential. It therefore took us ten years to do just one thing, viz. to build more than 150,000 houses and schools and public buildings for the Bantu right throughout the country and to rescue them from the chaotic conditions in which they lived in shanty towns. Now hon. members expect us to be able, just as soon or even sooner, to complete the colossal and diversified development of these homelands which are entrusted to us and to prove the success of the policy of separate development in every sphere. Countries like Ghana are colossal bluff in certain respects, in the sense that what they can show is a Parliament elected after a certain fashion and a Government which is Black, but in regard to the actual development of the country Ghana has not really progressed further than the stage to which Britain brought her. Giving a name to the new state and having an independent system of government is a quite limited reform. We are not only expected to demarcate an area and to establish an authority which we leave on its own. It would be easy to demarcate an area and to give it a Government and simply to leave it on its own, but we cannot do that because the inhabitants will perish. We must uplift those people and educate them and teach them to be self-reliant in all spheres. We are trying to do it gradually so that we do not get Congos in our midst by an over-hasty freeing of those who are not ripe for it and who still do not have the necessary material background and the knowledge. We are busy with the whole process of uplift; that includes education; it demands the giving of experience. The masses must not only learn to know the democratic principles; they must also learn to exercise them, first on a small scale in the sphere of local authority and school boards, with the object of gradually training them for the greater task of being able to govern their own state. All this takes time. Where hon. members to-day praise us for having built enough houses for everybody in ten years’ time, they expect too much when they say that we must bring about this enormous constitutional development and these changes in a very short time. They ask the impossible not only in terms of physical capacity but also because of the human problems which must be solved. Those members of the Opposition who formed part of the previous regime ought to know with what enormous difficulties one has to cope when one wants to train the Bantu in general to do something for themselves or for their own people. But I have hone because we are making progress in spite of all this, more progress than most people realize.

Now I want to conclude by saying something of a personal nature. The members of the Opposition, including the Leader of the Opposition, and the Press and others, have tried to concentrate this fight on me personally. They adopt the attitude that it is only I who stand in the way of a solution, viz. the solution they want. It is alleged that only I stand in the way of peace with the outside world. Let me tell those hon. members this very clearly: If I were convinced that I did not represent the will of the people, I would not remain in this place a moment longer.

*Hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!

*The PRIME MINISTER:

It cannot be pleasant to anyone in these difficult times to occupy this responsible position. It results in days and nights of worry and pain; it gives one no pleasure; it cannot mean anything to one personally. If I were to be selfish and consider my own comfort I would get out of here as quickly as possible. I stay here only because my conscience tells me that I dare not run away from the task with which my people have entrusted me. The day, however, my party or the voters outside give me the clearest indication that they consider that the course in which I believe, and earnestly believe, is wrong, they need not get rid of me. I shall leave of my own accord. The fact is just that I am convinced that whoever sits here should be prepared to endure trouble for the sake of the future of his country. I am convinced that he will have to be prepared to suffer for his convictions. I am convinced that the policy of separate development is the will of the people, not only of the Afrikaners or of the Nationalists but of 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the White voters of our country. I am also convinced in my heart that the course we are adopting is the best for our Coloureds, because I am afraid that they will be destroyed if any other policy is applied. I am even convinced, although I have had less contact with them than with the Coloureds, that this policy is also best for the Indians in the country, because they themselves will be oppressed if the whole of the country should have a Bantu government. I am also convinced that our course is the best for the great majority of the ordinary Bantu in our country in so far as their welfare and prosperity are concerned, because I am perfectly convinced that receiving the franchise at an early date will not ensure for them all the prosperity we give them and that there will be a dictatorship, just as in Ghana, from which the mass of the Bantu population will derive no benefit. I am therefore convinced, from the best and most honest motives and by the dictates of my conscience that it is my duty to remain on as the Prime Minister in the best interests of all sections of the population. For my own sake, for my own selfishness, I certainly do not choose to stay on. I wish that I could be spared what is now my duty.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

In the most interesting and exhaustive survey which we have had from the hon. the Prime Minister, it has been most significant that he has skated over the question of South West Africa completely. He has suggested that it was not possible to defend the situation in respect of South West Africa without defending his whole colour policy and without therefore infringing upon the provisions of Article 2 (7) on which he stands. We do not yet know what his attitude is to the International Court of Justice. We do not know whether he is accepting the the jurisdiction of the court; whether he intends abiding by its judgment, whether he will be prepared to welcome or accept any inspection by officials by that court of South West Africa. He has not told us what the possible consequences can be. He is keeping the people in the dark as to the sort of situation that can develop in regard to that matter. I feel he owes it to the people of South Africa to give us answers on those matters. I have been trying for nearly nine months to get a reply from the Government in respect of this matter. We get no reply at any time. The people are being involved in a very serious matter indeed and the Government is not taking them into its confidence. I feel that it is essential that I should press and continue to press for a reply in respect of that matter.

Then I want to say this. The hon. gentleman has reviewed for us the activities of the United Nations’ Organization in a somewhat scathing manner and attributed motives to the various states in taking the actions they do. We are being asked by the Prime Minister to accept that the overwhelming majority of states, to put it at its lowest, do not cast their votes in accordance with the rightness or justice of any cause that becomes before them but that they are actuated by ulterior motives in their attempt to keep markets and to maintain influences over certain blocs of countries in the world whose goodwill they hope to retain. I am prepared to accept at once—because I did go there and I did meet some of the people and I did see what happened—that there are a number of very immature nations participating in those discussions, and I believe that it is the duty of the Western nations, amongst whom I like to count South Africa, to try to educate those people to different approaches in regard to their international obligations. But for the hon. the Prime Minister to ask this country to believe that the leading nations of the world are casting their votes at UNO on a pure basis of expediency on every occasion, with no regard whatsoever to the principles involved, is, I think, stretching our gullability a little too far.

The MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS:

Self-interest.

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

One is faced with this tragic situation that if the hon. the Prime Minister can get the people of South Africa to believe that sort of thing, we are going to continue on our present course with disastrous results for South Africa. I think it is time the hon. gentleman was challenged to tell us whether that is the reason why Britain is now taking a different line in respect of Article 2 (7). Is that why Australia is taking a different line; is that why the United States of America is now voting against us, whereas she did not so do in the past years? Is it all just expediency and self-interest? Are those great nations of the world merely resorting to expediency and are they not prepared to stand by a principle in respect of matters of this kind?

Mr. B. COETZEE:

What is the principle they are standing by?

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Sir, one has now had three sets of reasons for South Africa’s failure at the Prime Ministers’ Conference. First of all we heard that it was because of threats of expulsion, and because of attempts to interfere with our internal affairs and attempts to dictate to us. Then we had explanations given in the British House of Commons which would seem to indicate that the whole thing was bound up with the question of exchange of diplomatic representatives. Now we hear from the hon. the Prime Minister to-day that the fact of the matter is that it is due to wrong tactics adopted by Britain. Well, I wonder where we are going to end. It leaves this country in a very difficult position indeed. I believe the time has come when we must ask the hon. gentleman to give us the full details of exactly what did happen. Because, as I have said once before, it seems to me that we went out of the Commonwealth under a misunderstanding in that the hon. the Prime Minister and certain of the other states that were in the Commonwealth Conference did not attach the same importance in respect of the exchange of diplomatic representation.

Then we have heard from the hon. gentleman the setting out of his policy in respect of the Native people, as we have heard it before, and to-day it has been taken a step further in respect of the Asiatics and the Coloured people. I do not want to do the hon. gentleman an injustice. He has said that the Coloured representatives will stay in this House until a stage of development is reached where the Coloured Affairs Council can take over the management of the Coloured people in their own villages in their own interests. Do I understand that that means that the Coloured representatives will then disappear from this House? Is that the ultimate vision that we have? I do not want to attribute anything to the hon. gentleman unjustly, but it seemed to me from what he said that the affairs of the Coloured people ultimately are going to be managed by a Coloured Council and that their representatives are going to disappear from this House. It seems to me also from what he said that the Indian community, no matter how much they grow, no matter how interdependent they are economically with the European population of South Africa, are never going to have political representation of any kind. It seems to me, thirdly, that the Natives permanently settled in the urban areas are to have no representation whatsoever in the Parliament which controls their destiny. The hon. the Prime Minister knows as well as I do that there are many millions of them in increasing numbers being permanently settled in our urban areas even under the policy that he is following at the present time. I want to pose to the hon. gentleman this question: In fact what he is going to have then are seven or eight Bantustans and one, as he calls it, White state; I call it a multi-racial state, a mixed state, because when you take the Coloureds, the Indians and the Natives together there will be more of them than there will be Europeans, and none of the non-Europeans will have any representation in this Parliament, only the Europeans are to have representation in this Parliament. How long does the hon. gentleman think he has a hope of maintaining a position of that kind?

Hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!

Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

How long does he think he has a hope of persuading the world that there is any moral basis for a policy like that? And while the hon. gentleman proceeds with visions of that kind, how can he expect the world to understand his policy and give him moral support for what he is doing? Small wonder that at the Prime Ministers’ Conference when he had explained his policy in full, presumably as he did to us here to-day, and presumably as honestly—because I know he would do it honestly—that not one single Prime Minister found that he could approve of the policy of apartheid as outlined by the hon. the Prime Minister and that every single one of them condemned that policy!

Then there is a last point. How long does he believe that with a policy of that kind he will remain a member of the Black Commonwealth which he is going to create out of the Union of South Africa? Here we are going to have seven or eight Black states, probably many of them with far bigger populations than the rest of the so-called Union of South Africa, republican South Africa, the White portion of South Africa. For how long does he believe that those people are going to be associated with him on the basis of a Commonwealth membership when their own brothers inside the so-called White state are getting the treatment which he holds out for them in the future? When one hears an exposition of policy of that kind from the hon. the Prime Minister, one wonders what hope there is for the future of South Africa if policies of that kind are to be followed.

*Dr. DE WET:

It appears to me that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is prepared to defend any country’s standpoint but that of South Africa. We are living in difficult times and the hon. the Prime Minister has just spoken for two hours with the greatest earnestness on South Africa’s affairs, and then the hon. the Leader of the Opposition gets up and he cannot find a single point on which to stand by South Africa in these difficult times. Now he makes a point of attack of the statement by the hon. the Prime Minister that certain countries at UNO take up their standpoint because they want to win the favour of the Afro-Asian states and also for personal economic reasons. It is right to say that particularly conditions in their own country sometimes force them to do such things. Now the hon. the Leader of the Opposition says it is unjust to say it, because those countries do it because of principle. What points of principle? What principles does the hon. the Leader of the Opposition adopt in this case? What principle is concerned when a standpoint is adopted at UNO? What principle of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition would those countries be able to support? Only the principle of equality. Is that his principle? That can be the only principle that can move them. But I want to go further, and I must get it off my chest. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has nothing with which he can support the hon. the Prime Minister and the country in these difficult times and his main attack is actually an attack on the hon. the Prime Minister, that it is the fault of the hon. the prime Minister that South Africa is out of the Commonwealth, that the hon. the Prime Minister went to London with the intention of taking South Africa out of the Commonwealth. I want to say this to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition: I believe, judging by their actions, that they played a very positive role in influencing the leaders of other countries to get South Africa to leave the Commonwealth, that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition through his visit overseas, and through other visits, and perhaps through letters, used his personal influence (and also others among them) to say: “ See to it that South Africa will be out of the Commonwealth.” I say this in all seriousness and I will say why. The news that South Africa had withdrawn her application was not yet cold on Wednesday night when the hon. the Leader of the Opposition came along with a statement: They are on their way back and they want a referendum. Mr. Chairman, they caucused and they consulted and used their influence through various channels to say: When South Africa is out of the Commonwealth there will be such chaos in South Africa, such an uprising among the public, and that will be the only chance we have of again coming into power. But they were mistaken about the public’s reaction in South Africa. I do not say that South Africa’s application was withdrawn as a result of that, I do not say that it is as a result of the standpoint which they adopted, but those were their tactics to get their party back into power in South Africa. In South Africa leaving the Commonwealth they saw an opportunity of achieving what they could not achieve in 13 years, namely to return to the Government benches. I make the pertinent charge against the hon. the Leader of the Opposition that he, in his travels overseas, that he in letters (and others among them) tried to make it impossible for South Africa to remain in the Commonwealth.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

On a point of order, that is an attack on my honour. I say without any hesitation that it is absolutely untrue and I ask that a Select Committee be appointed to investigate the charge.

*Mr. CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member for Vanderbijlpark must accept the word of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.

*Dr. DE WET:

With all respect, Mr. Chairman, I did not refer to anything that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said in this House or to a standpoint which he has adopted. My point is that the allegation has been made that the hon. the Prime Minister went to London with the intention to take South Africa out of the Commonwealth. Now I make precisely the same charge against the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and his party and say that he intentionally used his influence, in whatever manner, to get South Africa out of the Commonwealth.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

It is a wild statement which you cannot prove.

*Dr. DE WET:

They had everything to gain by getting South Africa out of the Commonwealth; we had nothing to gain by it. They saw in it an opportunity of getting into power. The hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) is looking at me. He has perhaps more influence in certain circles than the whole lot of us together. I think he used his influence to get South Africa out of the Commonwealth. I say it again and the public must know it: The news was not even cold yet when the hon. the Leader of the Opposition got up and made a statement: They are on their way back to the Commonwealth, there must be an election. But he did not know that the public of South Africa were going to stand solidly behind the hon. the Prime Minister. He was mistaken about the reaction which came from the side of the voters of South Africa. I say it again: I have not got proof on black and white, but I am of the opinion that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and his party played a much bigger part than we realize in placing South Africa in the position of having to withdraw her application for membership of the Commonwealth.

*An HON. MEMBER:

That is untrue!

*Dr. DE WET:

There were other people who played a role, Bishop Reeves and others, who spoke to the hon. the Prime Minister of Canada, among others. They played a big part. I place the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and the United Party in that same class, in that same category. They saw political gain in it for the United Party if South Africa was no longer a member of the Commonwealth, but they were mistaken about the reaction of the public in South Africa.

I quickly want to make a second point. After this brilliant exposition by the hon. the Prime Minister I want to say this to him in all seriousness: If we want to maintain ourselves in South Africa, if we want to maintain law and order in the country, as is his aim, we will not be able to do it and we will not have any success with it if we permit the Press to· continue as it is doing.

*Hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!

*Dr. DE WET:

I just want to mention one example. I have here the Sunday Express of 26 March. It is the strongest form of incitement which can exist in any country of the world. We cannot allow it because the Black man reads this newspaper and what does it look like? Here is a cartoon. A Black man is lying on his¡ back, the hon. the Prime Minister is there with a bulldog on a leash on which is written “ apartheid ”, and the bulldog is busy biting off the Black man’s leg and the blood is flowing. And then the other Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth are standing by saying to the hon. the Prime Minister “Stop him, stop him!”, and what is the hon. the Prime Minister’s reply? “ I can’t stop him, he has been trained that way.” Mr. Chairman, anything more cruel than this cannot appear in any newspaper in the world and I just want to say to the hon. the Prime Minister in all seriousness that if we do not take action against the Press in South Africa, and in particular the English-language Press, a large number of newspapers, then we will continue to have trouble In South Africa, and perhaps troubles which will be insurmountable. I disagreed with the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) at the time when he said that there should also be cash fines. I am now convinced that we shall have to impose such fines and that we can in the first instance use that money to controvert things said overseas, but secondly, that those fines should not only be imposed on the editor or the reporter but also on the shareholders of that paper. One of the directors of one of the newspapers told me the other day, and I believe him because I know him, that he did not agree with such things, that it was not his point of view, but, he said “ We have got to have circulation ”. I say that we will have trouble unless we take certain steps in regard to the Press and stop this sort of thing. I have a second one here which I can quote as an example to prove what atmosphere is being created. It is also the Sunday Express. On 19 February they had a front page story: “ Barbed wire. It kept Afrikaans and English apart at playtime ”, referring to a school at Vanderbijlpark. It is that old story about the Hendrik van der Bijl school. I took the trouble to send telegrams to the Director of Education, the present principal of that school, the chairman of the school committee and the secretary of the school board in Vereeniging, and from all of them I received the reply, “ Report inaccurate I also sent a telegram to the former chairman of the Hendrik van der Bijl school, who opposed our Government and our policy tooth and nail, and he also replied “ Report inaccurate, regards This kind of lie does great harm. May I say that the Sunday Express, for 3d. or 2½c, could easily have phoned the principal of the school, or the ex-principal, or the Chairman of the School Commission, or the School Board Secretary, or the Director of Education, all of whom are within dialing range of Johannesburg, and the newspaper could simply have asked if there was any truth in it. [Time limit.]

Mr. WATERSON:

The hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) has now given us a fourth reason as to why we are out of the Commonwealth. The hon. the Prime Minister has given us at one time or another three reasons as to why we are out; perhaps he would like to add this fourth one to his list. It is now the hon. the Leader of the Opposition who got us turned out of the Commonwealth. So we now know that it is not the hon. the Prime Minister or any of his friends—the real reason why we are out of the Commonwealth is the co-operation between the Leader of the Opposition and Mr. Macmillan.

Dr. DE WET:

That is not what I said.

Mr. WATERSON:

Well, the hon. the Prime Minister mentioned Mr. Macmillan as having been responsible by mistaken policy and the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark mentioned the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. The hon. member for Vanderbijlpark in his anxiety to show his competence in dealing with External Affairs, has made a most unworthy attack on the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. If he thinks. Sir, that that kind of personal attack qualifies him to follow in the footsteps, in due course, of the present Minister of External Affairs, I hope the hon. the Prime Minister will not agree with him.

Sir, I think the friends of South Africa, both at home and abroad, will be filled with despair, having read the Prime Minister’s speech this afternoon. Two things emerge from it amongst others. One is that even now the hon. the Prime Minister has not grasped the basic fact of the world hostility against South Africa, and the other is that he has very little understanding of the real meaning and purpose and importance of the United Nations Organization. He told us to-day that there was hope for South Africa in the present difficult position, and he based that hope on the fact that certain members had refused to vote for the resolution of the 24 which called for combined sanctions against South Africa, and he said that he sees grounds for hope in that, because as he expressed it there was hope for “begrip”, in other words, they were holding the door open for people to understand. But I suggest that the hon. the Prime Minister is misinterpreting that completely. They are holding the door open, in the hope that he will understand before it is too late; they are holding the door open in the hope that he will understand….

Mr. SCHOONBEE:

What?

Mr. WATERSON:

That he will understand why it is that 3,000,000,000 people in the world to-day are against South Africa at the present moment. I think the hon. the Prime Minister has quite misunderstood the meaning of these people refusing to vote for the more drastic resolution and I would ask him to look back over the recent years and see how these same people at first voted with us, and then later abstained, and now have voted against us for a less drastic resolution. But what are they going to do next year? I am afraid that I can see very little hope in the fact that at this moment they are not prepared to go as far as some of the other people.

My hon. leader has pointed out that the hon. the Prime Minister in declaring that we have many friends throughout the world, has done them very little service in attributing to them the motives which he did in acting as they have done. He has suggested for instance that both at the Prime Ministers’ Conference and at UNO the motive which actuated people to vote as they did, or to take the action they did, was either that they were afraid of Communism, or else they were acting for their own personal countries’ gain, for trade, etc. Well, Sir, if that is the case, if that is true, I would say that those friends are not worth having, and I don’t know why the Prime Minister is at such great pains to tell us that he has still got them. I think he is quite wrong. Their trouble is this—and South West Africa is a case in point—that through all the last 13 years of world upheaval and world development, and the awakening of the consciences of the world, South Africa alone has stood absolutely still, refusing to take any cognizance of what was happening, and not giving members the slightest encouragement to say to the people, like the communists and the Asian bloc and the anti-South African bloc: Look here, those people are moving in the right direction, and we are going to support them. That, if I am not mistaken, is what Mr. Macmillan told the hon. the Prime Minister last year, that it was becoming impossible to support South Africa in the United Nations, simply because she was not defending herself and she was not showing any sign of realization of the enormous force of world opinion on these matters.

The hon. the Prime Minister has really not begun to reply to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition’s speech. He has not replied in respect of South West Africa, but he has not dealt with a number of other matters either. We are now going to discuss in this debate the aspects of the cold war into which the Prime Minister has landed us. And when I say “ the Prime Minister ”, of course I mean the whole Government of which he is the Leader—we hear that he is more than the leader, is the whole orchestra. The hon. the Prime Minister admitted in his speech that the rest of the world, the Western powers as well as the Afro-Asian powers, and so on, regarded us as expendable and that in their actions to-day, in the line they are taking, they were regarding the White people in South Africa as expendable.

Mr. VAN DER WALT:

In the whole of Africa.

Mr. WATERSON:

I am particularly concerned with my own country at the moment. But if that is so then the Prime Minister must realize that when we say that South Africa is now entering upon a cold war, against the rest of the world, we are simply stating a very unpleasant but nevertheless true fact, and if we are going to be involved in a cold war, we are entitled to ask the hon. the Prime Minister, who is responsible for it, how he is going to fight the cold war. What preparations is he making?

Mr. VAN DER WALT:

Tell us how you are going to fight it?

Mr. WATERSON:

If I were the Prime Minister there would not be a cold war.

Mr. GROBLER:

Are you going to “ hands-up ”?

Mr. WATERSON:

No, I would not hands-up, but I would take jolly good care so to manage my affairs that I would not land myself in a war which I won’t be able to fight. [Time limit.]

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

If I understood the hon. member who just sat down correctly then he asked that the hon. the Prime Minister should say how he would win the cold war. If the newspapers do not regard it as the greatest joke of the century in South Africa that the hon. the Prime Minister should now say how a cold war should be fought, then I do not know. I hope I understood the hon. member correctly, that he asked the hon. the Prime Minister how he was going to fight a cold war against the rest of the world.

*Mr. WATERSON:

Yes.

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

But I thought that the cold war was already on the go for a long time and that the Russians and the Americans were fighting a cold war. It looks like a nice war because I understand that the Americans and others are making big profits, record profits, and the Russians say they are also making record profits. But let us get away from these foolish questions and confine ourselves to the serious circumstances of the day. Here it is time and again being alleged that South Africa is now standing against the rest of the world. Why? The Opposition is very fond of saying it but the Opposition refuses to admit that the rest of the world, as they express it (which I do not admit), is opposed to South Africa because of the distorted ideas which they formed as a result of expressions by the Opposition.

*Mr. FRONEMAN:

They are the father of it.

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

The Opposition failed miserably inside South Africa when they submitted their own case to the management of the people, but they scored a great success when they could represent South Africa in a distorted way to the rest of the world. And the Opposition continues to present South Africa to the world in a manner which must make South Africa appear like a sort of inhuman country with an inhuman government which bases its colour policy mainly on oppression. Is it any wonder, therefore, that countries which to-day make themselves guilty of slavery, of discrimination of the most gross nature, of ill-treatment and the trampling of human rights in the most serious degree, should act as the chief accusers against South Africa? Is it any wonder that those people have developed the audacity to accuse South Africa? Can it surprise one that this condition exists if there are people in the front benches of the Opposition who tell the world that it is far worse in South Africa, to quote the words of the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp), that it is punishable for a White man and a Black man to pray together in the same church? Can one imagine anything more harmful to a country like South Africa than that sort of allegation?

Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.

Evening Sitting

*Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

Mr. Chairman, I was busy showing how the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and his henchmen were consistently disloyal towards every principle aimed at placing South Africa first and to give her a rightful place in the row of states in the eyes of the world; and that they never allowed any opportunity to pass of bringing the present Government into discredit and thereby exerting pressure from outside the Union to see if they cannot come into power again. I will again demonstrate how consistently the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is disloyal towards South Africa. It is a pity that he is not here yet. Mr. Chairman, I just want to prove what I am saying here. One of his big cries these days is that South Africa must return to the Commonwealth. He said on previous occasions: “ We are a Commonwealth party.” To-day he wants to move heaven and earth to take South Africa back to the Commonwealth. Let us see what the Commonwealth looks like. I just want to mention what Mr. Macmillan said last Friday. I read a report from Cambridge, Massachu-settes—

South Africa’s decision to leave the Commonwealth has focused the attention on the essential characteristic of the body as an association which devotes itself to the ideal of full equality for all people, irrespective of colour or belief, the British Premier, Mr. Harold Macmillan, said here on Friday evening.

We know that the cry “ equality ” has a different meaning to Mr. Macmillan and the Commonwealth to-day than it has to us. To them it means equality without apartheid. Now I want to demonstrate how the Opposition will again be disloyal to South Africa. They talk about discrimination which they want to apply, but now I put this question to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition: Is the hon. the Leader of the Opposition so desirous of returning South Africa to this new Commonwealth to which Mr. Macmillan referred, which he says is now an association for absolute equality —and let me emphasize again that it is not equality as we understand it, namely separate equality, but equality without apartheid. He cannot afford to smile now. He cannot afford to ignore this question. He will have to answer it. He cannot do with this question what his party has being doing during the past few days, simply to walk out when it comes to matters of principle. The hon. Leader of the Opposition cannot walk out of the Commonwealth when this matter is being decided. He cannot walk out if he is the mouthpiece. The question which he will have to answer is this. He must realize that this new Commonwealth which supports this equality—and remember, equality without apartheid—and to which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition wants to return South Africa to, is now of such a nature that he will not be able to go there with his beloved cry of entrenchment of certain rights. One cannot talk about the entrenchment of the rights of certain groups when there is a Commonwealth which insists on absolute equality. Then those days are over. This debate should not end before the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has told the country whether he is prepared to take South Africa back to the Commonwealth on that basis.

Now I want to mention another demonstration. The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) said this afternoon—and I mention it just to show how disloyal they are towards South Africa—that this Government did not give its friends, namely England, reasons and arguments in order to say to Russia: “ We have put those people on the right way of thinking.” He said this afternoon that this Government should give Britain and her friends reasons so that England and Australia and all her other friends could say to Russia: Look, do not interfere with us; we have now got South Africa on to the right idea. Mr. Chairman, let us remember that there is no such thing as they having to be the mediator for South Africa with Russia. Let us admit that in this sphere, on the basis on which South Africa stands alone to-day, there is no question about a choice between the attitude of Russia, of Britain and of the United States. Here Mr. Macmillan also says that as far as the Coloured question is concerned it is 100 per cent the same as that of Russia. The ideology of communism goes much deeper than that on another basis. But let us realize for once and for all that as far as the Coloured question is concerned there is not the least choice between the point of view of the present Commonwealth, America and all the rest and Russia. The struggle between the West and the East is definitely not about that. If the struggle were about that then South Africa would definitely not have stood alone to-day. My view and impression about the communist struggle against the West is that it concerns entirely different matters. But then the hon. member for Constantia must not expect the Government to provide arguments in this sphere to America and to South Africa’s so-called friends in order to say to Russia; “ We have those people on the right way of thinking.” Where is the logic if one adopts that sort of attitude? No, it is once again proof that in the absence of sound criticism, in the absence of any standpoint as opposed to the standpoint of apartheid, which is the Government’s policy, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and his henchmen have always sought for this sort of thing to pretend that this is the reason for the struggle between the West and the East. It is not the colour question. We see here what weak arguments the Opposition can sometimes advance. That was the main attack of the hon. member for Constantia this afternoon and that was the main reason why he felt that our friends and the people who ought to stand by us through thick and thin did not want to stand by us, because we did not give them those arguments with which they could satisfy Russia. It has never been our desire to satisfy Russia. Our aim and the reason for this step is not to satisfy Russia but to protect our own continued existence and to give ourselves a rightful place amongst the states. This is where the Opposition so consistently misjudges us. Therefore they can never resist continually calling in the assistance of the outside world, first from Britain and now from the Commonwealth, and to bring in UNO to bring pressure to bear on the Government of South Africa. I want to state that if ever there was a standpoint which the hon. the Prime Minister and his Government has taken up which will ensure a place of honour for them in the history of South Africa, then it is this present standpoint of theirs.

Mr. WATERSON:

I cannot feel that the views of the hon. member for Krugersdorp (Mr. M. J. van den Berg) will really have much effect on world opinion. He made an astonishing statement here this evening as a classic example of how to win friends and keep them. He said that as far as he is concerned he cannot distinguish between the United States, Great Britain and Russia. As far as he is concerned they are all enemies of South Africa.

Mr. M. J. VAN DEN BERG:

You said so this afternoon.

Mr. WATERSON:

No, the hon. member has just said so. He said their views are all the same and their purposes are all exactly the same. He is taking the line that all that the rest of the world demands of South Africa is one man one vote.

HON. MEMBERS:

Yes.

Mr. WATERSON:

Mr. Chairman, that is absolutely untrue. That is just the kind of political propaganda we expect the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) to go around the country with, wasting his time and spreading that sort of story. It is absolutely untrue. The hon. member for Krugersdorp reminds me of the old Scottish schoolmaster who had to deal with rather a bumptious young pupil, and eventually he said “ Laddie, you are an unlovely mixture of ignorance and conceit ”. I will leave it at that.

When my time expired, I was referring to the hon. the Prime Minister and the disappointment which his speeches must have caused to our friends abroad and the true friends of South Africa at home. The reason why it has been such a disappointment is that he appears to have shown no reaction whatsoever …

Dr. LUTTIG:

Where is “ home ”?

Mr. WATERSON:

This is home. The same home that the hon. member for Mayfair (Dr. Luttig) has; the home in which I am apparently more interested than he is. The hon. the Prime Minister has shown no reaction at all, either to the expressions all over the world or to the expressed opinions of his own Press. And that is why I say that his speech must have come as a disappointment to all friends of South Africa at home and abroad.

The hon. the Prime Minister, incidentally, referred to blocs at UNO; the Afro-Asian bloc, the communist bloc, the Western bloc and so on. And quite unconsciously he really gave one of the strongest reasons why we as a country should in no circumstances leave the Commonwealth. Because the Commonwealth is a bloc in the world, which cuts right across races and religions and geography. It has uncommitted nations in it, it has committed nations in it, and between the lot of them they form an enormous body of world opinion which is steadily working towards a common understanding throughout the world as to the needs of mankind. The hon. the Prime Minister pin-pointed the fact that now we are unable to make our contributions to any bloc of public opinion in the world, and we stand entirely alone. As we have said, we are about to tight a cold war against the rest of the world. And what we want to know, and what we shall continue to ask the hon. the Prime Minister, is how he is preparing to fight this cold war. A cold war is fought on economics and finance and diplomatic pressure. During the Budget we asked the hon. the Minister of Finance some very pertinent questions in this connection, but the hon. the Minister of Finance not only did not reply to these questions but he ignored them entirely. We are therefore compelled to put them to the hon. the Prime Minister.

Mr. RUSSELL:

Wait a bit while they finish that Cabinet meeting over there. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

Mr. WATERSON:

If we are going to have a cold war, surely we are entitled as a people to know what we are going to fight it with. And the hon. the Minister of Finance not only refused to answer any questions on that point in the Budget debate, but he is now doing his best to prevent the hon. the Prime Minister from listening to what I have to say.

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

It is very rude. Absolute discourtesy! [Interjections.]

Mr. WATERSON:

This gross discourtesy of the hon. the Minister of Finance is quite unusual as far as he is concerned. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

Mr. WATERSON:

The hon. the Minister of Finance made a point in his Budget speech of saying that the outflow of capital constitutes the most important economic symptom requiring attention.

Mr. MITCHELL:

The cold war is the only one he will fight in. [Interjections.]

Mr. WATERSON:

Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I can make a personal appeal to those two hon. Ministers to go and have their conversation somewhere else. Such cold-blooded rudeness and discourtesy is not usual with the hon. the Minister of Finance. If he wants a conversation with another Minister why does he not go and talk somewhere else?

The PRIME MINISTER:

I am listening to you.

Mr. WATERSON:

I know, but it is very discourteous both to me and to the Prime Minister.

The hon. the Minister of Finance told us [Interjections.] …

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

Mr. WATERSON:

He told us that the outflow of capital was the most important economic symptom requiring attention. But he told us nothing as to how he was going to deal with this symptom. And, of course, that was before the ignominious failure of the hon. the Prime Minister in London. Now that most important symptom, the outflow of capital, is continuing. It is gathering momentum. It is only the weakness of the market which prevents it being much bigger than it is. Stockbrokers are to-day loaded with selling orders which they cannot fulfil because there are no buyers.

Mr. B. COETZEE:

They will buy to-morrow.

Mr. HUGHES:

Will you buy to-morrow?

Mr. B. COETZEE:

Yes I will. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order! Will the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) please give the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) an opportunity to make his speech.

Mr. HUGHES:

Mr. Chairman, I have just replied to an interjection by that hon. member. Why do you not ask that hon. member to be quiet?

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

Mr. RUSSELL:

It is time there was order— high time.

The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order!

*Mr. G. H. VAN WYK:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, these hon. members are making so much noise that we cannot hear what is being said.

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order, order! Hon. members must give the hon. member an opportunity of continuing with his speech. The hon. member may continue.

Mr. WATERSON:

Mr. Chairman, in spite of the fact that stocks in South Africa at the present time yield a very much better return than many similar stocks overseas, stockbrokers are so full of selling orders that they cannot find any buyers. And I want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister, since the hon. the Minister of Finance apparently is unwilling or incapable to tell us what he is going to do; what is the Prime Minister going to do about this most important economic symptom? And that is quite apart from our leaving the Commonwealth; what is he going to do about this outflow of capital which is affecting the country? If it goes on like this what is going to be the alternative except exchange control? There are rumours in financial circles all over the country that exchange control in some form or other is imminent, or very nearly imminent and, of course, that would be an extremely disadvantageous thing for the country. It would lead, almost inevitably, to import control, and from import control to price control. What we want to know is what the hon. the Prime Minister is proposing to do to deal with this most important economic symptom which the hon. the Minister of Finance diagnosed in his Budget speech, but offered no remedy for it at all. How is he going to deal with it without imposing exchange control? After all, Mr. Chairman, you have to remember that 60 per cent of our overseas capital investment comes from the United Kingdom. [Time limit.]

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition introduced the matter of South West Africa into this debate. The hon. member knows that the Government regards that matter as being sub judice because the case has still to be heard by the International Court. He also knows that that was the attitude adopted by the Government at UN. It seems to me that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition agrees with certain members of UN that this matter is not sub judice in fact; and the fact that he discusses it here is adding fuel to the fire of those members of UN who hold that view.

As one who represents South West Africa, I really think that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition was not rendering that territory a service by discussing that matter here. One of the most serious complaints lodged by UN against the Union Government is this—and I quote from a resolution passed just recently—

It deplores the attempt at the assimilation of the mandated territory of South West Africa, culminating in the so-called referendum held on 5 October 1960, as totally unacceptable, having no moral or legal basis and being repugnant to the letter and spirit of the mandate.

Now who was originally responsible for South West Africa taking part in the referendum? Was it not the Leader of the Opposition himself?

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

Why not?

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

He is the person who insisted in this House that South West Africa should take part in the referendum.

*Mr. RAW:

May I ask a question?

*HON. MEMBERS:

You can talk later.

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

The Leader of the Opposition is now laughing about the matter. This is a very serious matter. He is a person who insisted to-day that he had advised the Prime Minister and that he had advised the Government how to act. The first time we do what he suggested we are accused of it. Now he shouts “ Hooray!” about it. What is the hon. member’s standpoint—what is South West Africa? I quote from Hansard, Col. 297, of last year, where he said this—

Is the mandatory territory not part of the Union?

A moment ago the hon. member said in this debate that South West Africa was an international territory. Last year he asked whether it was not part of the Union. To-day he again says that South West Africa is international territory. May I ask the hon. member whether it is really his standpoint that South West Africa is international territory? If that is so, what are the implications?

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

You did not listen carefully.

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

I did listen. Then I want to put it like this. He asks the hon. the Prime Minister whether he and his Government will abide by the judgment of the International Court.

*Mr. RAW:

Will you?

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

I put this question to the Leader of the Opposition: Will he abide by it? Does he abide by the opinion expressed in 1950 by the International Court that South West Africa is international territory? Does he submit to that? And if he submits to that, he submits himself to the implications. Would he, if he were in power, give effect to it? What is the first demand if South West Africa is international territory? Then the first demand is, and UN has been demanding this ever since 1946, that the Union should place South West Africa under the guardianship of UN.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

The International Court stated that this need not be done.

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

Yes, but the hon. member and his party in South West say that we should do so. I ask the hon. member this: If the International Court now holds that South West should be placed under the guardianship of UN, what would he have done?

*Mr. RAW:

What will you do?

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member for Durban-(Point) (Mr. Raw) should not shout over the floor of the House like that. The hon. member may continue.

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

Sir, there we again have the position that hon. members opposite agree with and support our enemies in UN. The same question now being asked by the Leader of the Opposition was put by UN to the representatives of South Africa. Why must we anticipate the judgment of the Court? Is it not dangerous to do so? If we now say that we will accept it, we will be in a difficult position, and if we say we will not accept it we are also in a difficult position. Who says in anticipation, if he has a case before the Court, that he will accept the decision or not? The hon. the Leader of the Opposition said that he was at UN and he denies that it is the attitude of the member states there that they insist that South West Africa should subject itself to a system of complete equality. I was there also, and after having explained to the Committee all the things which were being done for the non-Whites in South West, their reply to me was this: Yes, that is all very well, but that is not what we want to know. What we want to know is why are the non-White children not in the same schools; why are they not in the same hostels; why are the non-Whites not in the same hospitals; why is Getzen not in the Government, and why do they not have the franchise? They say: Give them those things and they will look after themselves, and you need not look after them. Is it fair of the Leader of the Opposition to drag this matter into this debate?

*Mr. RAW:

Why not?

*Mr. VAN DER WATH:

Is it fair towards South West Africa? Does he admit that the case is sub judice or not? I would not have spoken on this subject if it were not for the fact that I think the Leader of the Opposition is really doing South West Africa a disservice by introducing this subject here.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

We listened this afternoon very carefully to the hon. the Prime Minister, and I know he will forgive me if I say that after he spoke I felt almost “ Punch” drunk with the dogma he produced. The hon. gentleman this afternoon flung down the gauntlet to the world, and we now know exactly where we are so far as that hon. gentleman and the Government stand in relation to the rest of the world. He has taken up a position against the whole of the civilized world. In the course of what he said to us—and I repeat again that I listened most attentively to the hon. gentleman who gave us his views honestly and, I believe, with a sincerity in which he believes, but a sincerity which I believe is fatally dangerous to South Africa. We listened to that and we shall have an opportunity in the course of this debate, not merely to-night but in the course of the days which follow, of analysing some of the propositions which he put before us. I want an opportunity at a later stage of dealing with his remarks about the Afro-Asian group.

Mr. Chairman, I could not help feeling that in the manner of the Prime Minister’s approach to this question he was completely unrealistic. He talked about the Afro-Asian group as if this was some sort of irritant upon the international body politic which we could brush aside. The Afro-Asian group is there. It has come about as the result of various developments, not only on the Continent of Africa but elsewhere. And the main fact remains that the Afro-Asian group now commands a dominating position in the United Nations. And whether we like it or not we have to come to terms with the Afro-Asian group.

Dr. COERTZE:

What are you prepared to pay?

Mr. LAWRENCE:

I will tell the hon. gentleman what I am prepared to pay. But the hon. the Prime Minister this afternoon has committed himself to this proposition, that for all time South Africa, or at any rate a portion of South Africa, is going to be a “ White ” South Africa in which he will not concede any political rights to any other racial group but the White people in that White South Africa; he will not concede any rights in Parliament or in the government of this country.

I think we can discuss this matter quite dispassionately. The hon. the Prime Minister has once again given us his blue-print with certain amendments. I think that that blue-print is something we must discuss quite dispassionately and calmly and from the respective standpoints of the parties in this House. But let us have one point perfectly clear, that what the hon. the Prime Minister has told this House, what he has told this country and what he has told the world is this, that so far as he is concerned, so long as he is at the head of the Government of this country, he will never make one single political concession to non-White groups in this country because he fears if he does that, that will mean the ultimate downfall of the White man in this country. Let me say at once that I believe that unless we have a government in this country which is prepared to make concessions to the non-Whites, our non-White fellow citizens in a multi-racial South Africa, then the White man is doomed.

I am very glad that we have at last managed to get down to the crux of this problem, because to-night we are getting down to the problem of how we are going to make, if it is at all possible in the time available to us, peaceful co-operative co-existence possible in what was the Union of South Africa and what shortly is to be the Republic of South Africa; this country of ours. We are getting down to that fundamental question, whether, through our policies, we can ensure that White South Africa can still continue, not only to remain here but to play a part in the government of this country and survive in the face of the difficulties which beset us in this difficult post-war world. The hon. the Prime Minister ranged very far this afternoon. I do not blame him for that. I think we should be grateful for the fact that he took a great deal of time to expound his policies. I must confess that I was very surprised at some of the explanations he gave this Committee in regard to the attitude, for instance, of Mr. Macmillan at the Prime Ministers’ Conference in London. He produced a most extraordinary argument. He took it upon himself to criticize the tactics of Mr. Macmillan at the London Conference.

HON. MEMBERS:

Why not?

Mr. LAWRENCE:

Of course he is perfectly entitled to do so, but I think that when he does that he should give us an explanation which certainly is such as to be a creditable explanation and one which will hold water not only in this Parliament but in the councils of the world. The hon. gentleman has suggested that Mr. Macmillan, whom he rightly thought was doing his best to keep us in the Commonwealth, had used the wrong tactics and as the result had compromised himself by siding with the Afro-Asian members of the Commonwealth in denouncing apartheid. Well, that is nothing new! The Prime Minister of Great Britain made his position quite clear when he visited South Africa and he has never deviated from that position. But the hon. gentleman is taking up a very peculiar attitude. He is suggesting that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is now in an embarrassing situation and has compromised himself; that through erroneous tactics he sided with those Prime Ministers at the Conference who wanted to criticize apartheid; and that in the result he has now made it inevitable that his representatives at UN and elsewhere should also adopt an attitude against us. I could not help feeling, when listening to the Prime Minister, of the old saying: “ It is all very well to dissemble your love, but why did you kick me downstairs.” Since the Conference Mr. Macmillan has made no bones about his views. He has been to the West Indies and to America and expressed his views clearly there. He has certainly kicked us downstairs in that metaphorical sense. But I do not believe that the explanation the hon. gentleman gave this afternoon is a true explanation. I believe that Mr. Macmillan did his best to influence the other members of the Commonwealth to take a view that would enable South Africa still to remain in the Commonwealth.

Mr. B. COETZEE:

Why did he not succeed?

Mr. LAWRENCE:

He did not succeed for one cardinal reason, not because our Prime Minister announced that South Africa proposed to become a republic, but because he could not succeed, and he could not succeed because of the racial policies of this Government. [Interjections.] The Prime Minister has refused to show any sign of flexibility, but offers what he calls the granite face to the world. The Prime Minister this afternoon has attempted to sketch the net result of his policy and that of the Leader of the Opposition. I am not going to attempt in the short time still available to me to deal with the end results of the policy of the Leader of the Opposition, but I shall deal with the end results of the policy of the Prime Minister. [Time limit.]

Mr. HUGHES:

It is significant that after a member of the Progressive Party has spoken, no member of the Government Party has got up to defend the policy of the Prime Minister. Of course we do not blame them. They adopted the same attitude the Prime Minister adopted in London by running away from the issue. [Interjection.] The hon. member for Mossel Bay (Dr. van Nierop) should get up and make a speech, he should not sit shouting now. After the speech by the Prime Minister they do not know what to say because they are afraid of what “Dawie” might have to say to-morrow, or what the Transvaler might say. The hon. member for Karas (Mr. von Moltke) shouts out interjections now, but why did he not jump up? I know, and we all know, that it is because he is worried about South West Africa. He listened to what the hon. member for Windhoek (Mr. van der Wath) said and they are worried about what is happening at UN in regard to South West. The hon. member for Windhoek asked the Leader of the Opposition what his policy was in regard to South West, but that is not the question. We want to know what the Prime Minister’s policy is. That is why the hon. member for Karas has not got up. They don’t know and they are worried, and they are entitled to be. The members from South West and all the people there see what happened at the Commonwealth Conference. There the Prime Minister was not prepared to make any concession, and they remember someone else who was not prepared to make concessions. They remember the brave words of Dr. Malan, “Ons sal nie buk nie”, and they realize now that we were right when we warned them at the time of the first election in South West that it was the policy of Dr. Malan… [Interjection.] Now they are worried. Had Dr. Malan been prepared to follow the wise advice of General Smuts, South West would not have been in trouble to-day. South West is worried not only about its current position but about what is going to happen to South Africa, to whom they look for protection. The Prime Minister suggested that at the Conference in London Mr. Macmillan had not been quite honest.

HON. MEMBERS:

Nonsense!

Mr. HUGHES:

That is what it boils down to. He said Mr. Macmillan said to him that in order to keep us in the Commonwealth he must adopt certain tactics; I must attack you and put up a sham fight and then I will say: Although I hate your policy so much, we must keep you in the Commonwealth. The Prime Minister said he was against those tactics, which had failed, and he went on to say that had Mr. Macmillan been honest and put the honest view of our position, South Africa would still have been in the Commonwealth. That is his insinuation. The Prime Minister must know this, that of all the speeches we have had here…. [Interjections.]

Mr. CHAIRMAN:

Order!

Mr. HUGHES:

It is quite clear that had the Prime Minister been prepared to make any concession at all, there would have been a different attitude. We have got that not only from Mr. Macmillan and from Mr. Sandys and Mr. Menzies, but all our friends say so. If the Prime Minister was taking a line which had the unanimous support of all in South Africa and was able to say that we all feel the same way and that we would fight to the finish, he might be in a position to say: We will not make any concessions. Like Mr. Churchill, he could have said that we would fight on the beaches, but the Prime Minister knows very well that not only is his policy hated and detested outside South Africa, but the majority of people in this country, White and Black, do not support his policy.

HON. MEMBERS:

Nonsense!

Mr. HUGHES:

So he is starting the fight from weakness. He has not even got the majority of Whites behind him. Now he is throwing this country to the wolves because of his obstinacy. He will not make any concessions. The Prime Minister is omnipotent and omniscient. He knows everything. There was another leader not so long ago who was the same, who had the same power as the Prime Minister has and who was omniscient. That was Hitler, and what happened to him? He never gave in. At the end he still had faith in himself and still maintained that he was infallible. [Interjection.]

Mr. CHAIRMAN:

Order!

Mr. HUGHES:

Not only did Churchill have all of the British people behind him, but the whole of the Western world, and he knew that he was fighting with allies on his side and with right on his side, and Churchill was fighting against the hon. member for Heilbron (Mr. Froneman). [Interjections.] We all know what the Nationalists said about Churchill, and the English, that it was a nation like a fowl with its neck chopped off but still kicking. [Interjections.] This Prime Minister has not got the neck to be chopped off. The Prime Minister has told us to-night that it is unreasonable for all those countries to attack us not only at the Conference but also at UN because they are all behaving worse than we are. He quoted India, Ghana and other countries, and he said that we were doing more for our people, and in ten years time we would educate all the citizens of the country and he told us about housing and social services. We accept all that, but the fact remains that at the Conference and at UN they were all against us, and why? Because the whole world to-day except the communists—and I do not suppose the Prime Minister would rely on them as an example—insists that citizens shall have some representation in their Government, and where this policy of the Government falls down is merely on this one point, or mainly on this one point with regard to franchise rights, and the rights of the people to be represented in the councils of the nation, the franchise rights of the Bantu, the Indians and the Coloureds to be represented in this Parliament. [Interjection.] The hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) used to think the same way until he became a Nationalist. [Time limit.]

*Mr. VON MOLTKE:

The hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) engendered more heat than light in his speech, but I want to let him cool down by giving him two things which will disappoint him right in the beginning. His first disappointment is that, contrary to what he said, I fully agree with what was said by the hon. member for Windhoek (Mr. van der Wath). The second is that South West is not nervous about its constitutional position because it has confidence in this Government and it revealed that confidence again very clearly a few weeks ago by obtaining an appreciably larger majority of votes in a general election. If the hon. member for Transkeian Territories could now still sit in the kindergarten about the constitutional position of South West, would he and his colleagues and his Leader allow me briefly to inform them about the position, and then I want to know from them, and particularly from the Leader of the Opposition, what attitude he is adopting to-day in regard to South West. Will he continue to adopt the standpoint which was maintained by his great Leader, General Smuts, ever since 1920 until his death, or will he deviate from it? I ask for the attention of the Leader of the Opposition, because I now want to tell him what General Smuts said all his life ever since 1920 when he addressed the very first public meeting in Windhoek, until 1947, when he addressed a meeting there for the last time, namely this.

He said that Germany after World War 1. in terms of Section 119 of the Treaty of Versailles, abandoned all claims to its overseas possessions in favour, not of the League of Nations, but (in favour) of the Chief Allied and Associated Powers, and those powers gave the mandate to the Union of South Africa to administer the territory as an integral part of the Union; and General Smuts said that in fact that really amounted to nothing less than annexation except in name. Now I ask the Leader of the Opposition whether he still supports that standpoint? In terms of Section 22 of the Statutes of the League of Nations, the League of Nations was concerned with only one aspect of the administration of South West, viz. in respect of the Native races. The Union had to submit reports to the League of Nations on this one point only. It had to satisfy the League in respect of the Native races that there was no slave trading, that there was no trading in weapons and ammunition, and that no intoxicating liquor or drugs were being sold to the Natives. Those are the only matters, and those were the words of General Smuts who was known as the father of the mandates. That is the only point on which the Union had to submit reports to the League. Well, the old League of Nations was disbanded in terms of its own resolution. It did not leave a will in respect of South West, because it did not have the right to leave such a will, in view of the fact that it had not granted the Union that mandate. It was disbanded after it had taken an express resolution that it did not regard UN as its successor. Now I want to ask those hon. members who voice all this cheap criticism what standpoint they want the Government to adopt in regard to the case pending before the International Court? Do they want to adopt the standpoint adhered to by every Prime Minister in the Union since South West became a mandated territory in 1920? Every Prime Minister has consistently adopted the same attitude in regard to the constitutional position of South West. General Smuts in his very first speech as Prime Minister explained what the position was in South West on 16th September, 1920, when replying to the Germans who had submitted a memorandum to him, that they were making a mistake. His speech can be found in the library, in English, Afrikaans and German. Right from the beginning he consistently adopted that attitude and said that South West, which is a C mandate, could best attain its freedom and independence if it shared the sovereignty of its mandatory, and I submit that we got that share in 1950 when we were elected as full members of this House which is the supreme authority in South Africa. I now ask the Leader of the Opposition to adopt a standpoint in regard to this matter and to repudiate his own great Leader and all the other Prime Ministers of South Africa; and the hon. member for Transkeian Territories who challenged me to get up and speak should now rather listen to me instead of conferring with his Leader. If he can reply to what I have said, I now challenge him to get up when I sit down.

Mr. HUGHES:

As I remarked just now, no Nationalist member got up to defend the racial policy of the Government and the only member who replied now was the member from South West, who dealt in a theoretical manner with the position in South West. Sir, we are talking about the factual position, and not with theoretical arguments. The hon. member for Karas must know that the American jurists are now arguing that the mandate has gone because it was granted to his Britannic Majesty. He must know that these arguments are going on about the position in South West. What is the factual position? I want to ask him and any other member from South West how many of them can sell farms in South West; who is prepared to invest money there? They know what the position is. The people are scared of South West, and not only the people outside but the people inside South West. For the hon. member for Karas to have the effrontery to say that the voters of South West show confidence in the Nationalist Party because they voted in increased numbers is nonsense. I am surprised he has the cheek to say it. We know that in the referendum they voted in favour of a republic, but what happened at the election held just after that? They lost votes.

HON. MEMBERS:

Nonsense!

Mr. VON MOLTKE:

Ask Japie Basson.

Mr. HUGHES:

I am not talking about Japie Basson, but what happened to the United Party there? The member for Namib reduced the majority of the Nationalists, and so did the United Party, because people have lost confidence in the Nationalist Party. [Interjections.]

I was dealing with the African policy of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Bantu Affairs, and I pointed out that what the nations overseas objected to and what we in this country who are not Nationalists object to, is the franchise policy of this Government. The Prime Minister, in reply to a question put by me, said the Coloureds would enjoy their representation in Parliament for the time being. I want to be quite honest. That is how I understood him. If I am wrong, the Prime Minister may correct me. He said that until the Kleurlingraad was established and the Government could act through that body, the representatives of the Coloureds would be allowed in Parliament, but once the Kleurlingraad was established they would have to go and they would be treated in the same way as the Bantu are being treated to-day. The Prime Minister is sitting with his hands over his eyes, so perhaps the Deputy Minister of the Interior will tell me whether that is correct, because the Prime Minister will not nod.

*The DEPUTY MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR:

The Prime Minister will reply in his own good time.

Mr. HUGHES:

Well, that is typical. The Deputy Minister does not even know what the policy is. They have to get the answers from their Prime Minister. It is clear from the Prime Minister’s answer to that question that the Coloureds will lose their vote, and that is typical of the Nationalist way of thinking, that only Whites will have political rights.

An HON. MEMBER:

That is your own conclusion.

Mr. HUGHES:

The Minister of Bantu Administration in the Other Place the other day justified this policy and said that there was nothing wrong with it because it happened in Italy; 2,000,000 Italians went out to work in France every year and they had no vote in France because they were citizens of Italy and voted in the elections in Italy.

An HON. MEMBER:

The same as the Basutos in Johannesburg voted for the elections in Basutoland.

Mr. HUGHES:

Fools rush in. The hon. member for Wakkerstroom obviously read the speech of the Minister in the Other Place, because that is the argument the Minister used. The Minister said that last year there were elections in Basutoland and the Basutos living in the Union voted in those elections and he says that is quite right because they are citizens of Basutoland. If that reasoning holds good for the Basutos working in this country, surely the same reasoning must apply to Africans living in South Africa because they are South African citizens. A Bantu living in Cape Town and coming from the Transkei, what is his nationality?

Mr. MARTINS:

He is a Pondo from the Transkei, like you.

Mr. HUGHES:

He is a South African citizen. He is in his own fatherland. In fact, his roots are deeper in this country than those of the Prime Minister, and if it is right for the Basutos who live in this country to vote in Basutoland because they are citizens there, surely it is right for the Africans who live in the European areas to vote in this country … [Interjections.]

*Mr. BOOTHA:

Is the hon. member intimating that he and his party will be willing to give the Bantu living in the White areas the franchise?

Mr. HUGHES:

I am surprised at the ignorance of that member. We do not run away from it. We will give the Bantu who live in the European areas the vote as well. [Interjections.] Anybody would think that is something new. Of course it would be on a separate roll. That is our policy.

An HON. MEMBER:

Since when?

Mr. HUGHES:

The justification for denying any franchise rights to the Bantu living in the European areas is that they must exercise their rights in the Bantu area. Now I want to ask that hon. member or any other member where can the Bantu living in Cape Town or Johannesburg exercise any franchise rights? The Bantu who are resident in the Transkei have a very limited franchise right, but the Bantu elsewhere in the country have no franchise rights. [Time limit.]

*Dr. COERTZE:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) generated so much heat and so little light that it is difficult for me to reply to all his questions, particularly in the light of the fact that he put several other questions to the hon. the Prime Minister to which we on this side would also like to have a reply from the Leader of the Opposition. I shall return to that. I would just like to ask the hon. member whether he is one of those naïve people who believe that the franchise on a separate roll will satisfy the Afro-Asian countries and whether he thinks that that will alleviate the international pressure? I just ask this question because I am trying to get a little more light in the debate and less heat. You will have noticed, Sir, that the hon. member for Transkeian Territories hid behind a formality with reference to the remark made by the hon. member for Wakkerstroom (Mr. Martins) that people living in Cape Town can vote in the Transkei. The screen behind which he hid is that it is a Union citizen who lives here and we cannot say that he should go and vote there and not here. But the facts are that at the moment that arrangement does not exist yet and the question arises as to what that arrangement will be, and whether the hon. members did not hear the Prime Minister saying that we on this side are prepared to have a devolution of sovereignty. But now the hon. members do this. It is just as if they telescope the future and the past together, compress them and then pull them out again. [Interjection.] I do not know what is worrying the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence), but you will remember, Sir, that I once compared him with a mad bee in the reeds. I say the Opposition telescopes the past, the present and the future and then pulls them apart again and they try to argue on the basis of different periods, and the hon. member for Transkeian Territories does that more often than any other member in the House. He should not think that we will take him very seriously when that is his approach. I asked the hon. member for Salt River what price he was prepared to pay to relieve the tension in the cold war referred to by the hon. member for Constantia, but he neglected to reply, and let me remind him of the fact that he did not reply.

Mr. Chairman, this debate in which the Prime Minister is now being reproached as if he is the villain of the piece I regard as being merely an attempt to disguise their own share in this situation, to argue it away and to pretend that they had no share in it at all, and in this way to try to exonerate themselves.

*Mr. WILLIAMS:

[Inaudible.]

*Dr. COERTZE:

The hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) interrupts me, but let me tell him that his actions as well as those of his party and the whole of the Opposition in regard to this matter is similar to the role of quislings.

Mr. LAWRENCE:

On a point of order …

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member cannot say that. He must withdraw.

Dr. COERTZE:

Very well, sir. If hon. members feel hurt about it, I withdraw it. Then I say that their role in this matter is that of a group of people who are prepared to act like fifth columnists. I would like to prove my argument.

Mr. HUGHES:

On a point of order, is the hon. member entitled to refer to fifth columnists? Fifth columnists are traitors.

*The CHAIRMAN:

Order! The hon. member for Standerton (Dr. Coertze) should not try to evade my ruling. He must withdraw those words.

*Dr. COERTZE:

Mr. Chairman, if I cannot call them fifth columnists, then I say …

Mr. RUSSELL:

On a point of order…

*Dr. COERTZE:

I withdraw that, Sir. In regard to this matter, the Opposition—all the parties opposite—are not guiltless.

*An HON MEMBER:

What about the Nationalist Party?

*Dr. COERTZE:

The National Party is less guilty than the Opposition and I will say why. Since 1948 there has been unrelieved pressure from the side of the Opposition that this Government is simply unable to handle the power in this country. How many times have we not heard….

*Mr. RAW:

[Inaudible.]

*Dr. COERTZE:

The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) is again interrupting me. I have warned him before. As I say, ever since 1948 there has been sustained pressure from the side of the Opposition that this Government, drunk with power, is unable to handle that power. Has the Opposition not always said that the Government wants to create a police state? Have hon. members of the Opposition not repeatedly compared us with Hitler? They did so again to-day. Has the Opposition not continually made speeches to the effect that this Government does nothing else than to be oppressive and to have a reign of terror in this country? When these speeches are made here it is quite understandable that they should be cabled overseas and read avidly. Those people are interested in South Africa. The newspapers very seldom say anything more than the Opposition said. Can they blame the world to-day for believing them and for reacting to it? Where there is tension today those groups which condemn the Union base their so-called facts—and when I say facts I say it in quotation marks—on the evidence provided by the Opposition. That is what happened. Therefore those groups are able to say to-day with a semblance of truth that this is evidence emanating from our own country and that is why they are able to act so effectively against us at UN and elsewhere. The people who are personally responsible for this are all the members of the Opposition, the members of the Progressive Party as well as those of the United Party. I am surprised to-day that these hon. members should come here and regard the Prime Minister as the villain of the piece and say that he is the one and only person who stands in the way of peace. Let me tell you, Sir, how Dr. Verwoerd will go down in history. He will be known as the man who stopped the rot. [Time limit. [

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

All I want to say with reference to the speech of the hon. member who has just sat down is that there is not the slightest substance in his submission that the difficulties in which South Africa finds herself to-day are due to the criticism of the Opposition. The situation in which South Africa finds herself is due entirely, not to what is said in South Africa but to what is done by the Government. Responsible countries abroad do not take any notice of political criticism and criticism of the kind put forward by Michael Scott and others. They have their own ambassadors and High Commissioners in South Africa who submit their reports as to what is going on in this country, and it is on such findings of fact, on observations which are made in South Africa herself, that responsible governments overseas base their attitude towards South Africa.

*Mr. MARTINS:

May I put a question to the hon. member?

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

No, Mr. Chairman, I am not prepared to reply to his questions at this stage. The time permitted to me is too limited for that. This is a democratic Parliament and I am not going to allow myself to be bullied by any person on the other side. What I say in the form of criticism, when I offer criticism, is the truth. It does not matter who listens, but as long as I speak the truth, I shall make use in this democratic Parliament of the right to criticize the Government just as much as they deserve to be criticized.

The question of South West Africa is a very wide one which one cannot deal with properly within the brief space of ten minutes. I want to start therefore by first criticizing the Government’s handling of this issue, and I hope that I shall be given a further opportunity to state the positive side of the case as fully as possible. Mr. Chairman, the hon. the Prime Minister will realize that if the people in the Union are concerned about the dangers which threaten this country from within and from without as a result of this Government’s unethical racial policy, we who live in South West Africa and who have our interests there, have much more cause to be concerned about the unfavourable trend which things have taken in the past few weeks. In the case of the Union the Government can put forward the plea that its administration in connection with racial matters is a domestic affair, and that its sovereignty in this sphere ought to remain inviolate, although the fact of the matter, Mr. Chairman, is that that conception to-day hangs on a very thin thread. To-day there is hardly any person in the world, in the community in which we move, who still regards exaggerated colour discrimination on the part of the State and as an official policy as a matter of a purely domestic nature. Australia’s recent swing against us at the United Nations underlines that fact more clearly than anything else. It will not avail the hon. the Prime Minister to come along with the argument that colour discrimination is also franchised in other countries. That is true; it is a fact. But the difference is this: Whereas they want to get away from it and whereas in those countries it is not the official government policy, here it bears the stamp of official policy, of official State philosophy that is entrenched in legislation by the Government. They want to get away from it; here it is being defended and extended. Whereas the Union is sovereign in any event, the position of South West Africa is entirely different. South West Africa is not part of the Union’s sovereignty. In the words of the hon. the Minister of External Affairs himself South West Africa bears an “ international ” character. In any case, Sir, the Government has always admitted—and previously governments also admitted—that it has a certain measure of international responsibility in respect of the administration of South West Africa. For this reason we who live in South West Africa have well-founded reasons for being concerned about the crisis which the Government has allowed to develop in respect of the position of South West Africa. I deliberately say the crisis which the Government “ has allowed ” to develop in respect of South West Africa. To anybody in the position of the Government in this country, with all its sources of information, with all the friendly sources of information which it had at its disposal as a member of the Commonwealth, it should have been perfectly clear, if it was at all amenable to observation and conviction, in which direction things would develop. Towards the end of 1958 I visited UNO for a week and both there and subsequently in the United States and in Canada and Britain I came in contact with leading figures who are helping their own countries to determine the policy in respect of Africa. Upon my return I made a speech in the caucus of the governing party. I still have my notes of that speech, and this is what I said, inter alia. I spoke at the time about the Government’s excesses in the sphere of race relations. The question of kicking out the Native’s Representatives was under discussion at the time. I referred to the serious deterioration in our international position as the result of such unnecessary steps, and I said this—

What many of my friends are forgetting perhaps, is that the territory which I represent—South West Africa—is the territory which is going to be the first and greatest sufferer because of the deterioration in our international position. Even our best old friends, Britain and the White countries of the Commonwealth, are no longer prepared to stand with us on the South West Africa question. Our position is truly critical. South West is the Achilles heel of South Africa and I am convinced that within a few years UNO is going to use South West to get at our throats. We have never been as close to a crisis over South West as we are to-day.

That was in April, 1959, and the only reaction which came from above was that I was totally unrealistic and that I was exaggerating the position.

I know that it is also a fact that at about the same time the British Government officially addressed certain pertinent but friendly warnings about its position at UNO in respect of the South-West issue to the Government, and the Government’s only reaction was to close its eyes and its ears. The fact that to-day we in South West Africa find ourselves in the unsafe and uncertain position in which we are is due largely to the Government’s helplessness and its complete lack of any sense of reality. They come along and say, “ What do the voters say?” Mr. Chairman, that is the whole trouble. The Government has become a slave to the reactionary opinion which it itself has created. The average voter has not got an enlightened grasp of world politics. He is not aware of the international implications of our actions. One cannot expect it of him, because Government leaders certainly do not enlighten him. If ever a true word was spoken, it was spoken on Saturday by the Burger when the editor himself wrote as follows—

It seems to me that in the past few years a peculiar conception of leadership has come into existence in Nationalist circles, and that is that you should follow “ public opinion ” —it is your own “ public opinion ” now— rather than guide it. You must not form and create the national will (volkswil) but try to determine what it is and then endorse it. By following that technique you then arrive at a national will which is determined by the most stubborn, the most vociferous and the most unconstructive elements. And, of course, it becomes all the more so when you endorse it, because the moderate persons and those honestly seeking the truth, who are also usually the most intelligent people, become discouraged by such loud protestations of certainty. (The Burger, 8 April 1961).

[Time limit.]

*Mr. RALL:

At the beginning of this debate the hon. the Leader of the Opposition levelled the accusation at the hon. the Prime Minister that he was carrying out his own policy and not the policy of the greater section of the National Party. I want to challenge the hon. The Leader of the Opposition to tell us this evening which resolutions of any congress of the National Party in connection with these matters have not been carried out by this Government and by this hon. Prime Minister. And in what specific respect has the Prime Minister departed from the policy of the National Party and its execution or from the accepted policy of the Party as a whole?

*Mr. RAW:

May I put a question?

*Mr. RALL:

No. I maintain that this attempt on the part of the Opposition is nothing but a smoke screen to divert the attention of the public of South Africa from the misdeeds which they themselves have committed against this country during the years. That is why the Opposition has chosen this clever method of selecting the person of the hon. the Prime Minister and of attacking him by saying that he has not carried out the policy of his Party. I should like the Opposition to mention one resolution passed at any congress in connection with this matter which has not been faithfully carried out.

*Mr. RAW:

Did your Union Congress resolve not to remain in the Commonwealth?

*Mr. RALL:

That hon. member knows what the circumstances are. I do not know why he asks such a stupid question.

I want to associate myself with the remarks made by the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet). I too have my suspicions as to what happened before the Prime Minister’s Conference. We know that the Opposition has secret organizations at its disposal. I am strengthened in my attitude that there were secret powers behind this manoeuvering by what the hon. the Prime Minister has said here this afternoon. That, Mr. Chairman, was the reason why they used Mr. Diefenbaker and Nkrumah to oppose this matter at the Prime Ministers’ conference. Had they not used those people to fight their fight, there would have been more suspicion as to what had happened before. We know for a fact that the result of that conference was gladly seized upon by the Opposition in an attempt to force an election. They did not succeed in that because the people of South Africa and the National Party are standing firmer and firmer like a rock behind the hon. the Prime Minister

I find it difficult to understand how the Opposition can say that South Africa did not succeed in remaining a member of the Commonwealth because of her apartheid policy. Why have other countries of the Commonwealth which also discriminate and which do so to a greater extent than South Africa, countries which also apply apartheid in one way or another, succeeded in remaining members of the Commonwealth? No, Sir, it is a fact that there were other considerations why those countries chased South Africa out of the Commonwealth. The Opposition told us this evening that the responsibility for that failure lies at the door of Dr. Verwoerd. I have already said that I associated myself with the remarks of the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark, namely that the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Press which supports the United Party. The arguments which are advanced in this House and outside against our apartheid policy constitute one of the main reasons why South Africa could not remain a member of the Commonwealth and that is the reason why more and more ranks are being closed to South Africa. I want to say this to the Opposition that in spite of all their denials the people of South Africa will reject them more and more. I say “ reject ” because it was a terrific shock to the Opposition when they suffered that defeat in 1948. The shock which they experienced at that time, however, strengthened them in their opposition to the Afrikaans-speaking South African and the National Party. They started this struggle against our party and against our policy at that time and what happened in 1953? The United Party suffered a greater defeat. After that, in 1958, the people rejected them even more convincingly, and I want to say that as long as they continue with this kind of propaganda against the good name of South Africa the people will reject them more and more. I want to assure the hon. the Prime Minister that as far as my constituency is concerned, we thank him for the steadfast and honourable attitude which he has adopted. We want to assure him of our unconditional support in the execution of his duty as he sees it and as we and his fellow party-members see it. The hon. the Prime Minister has our unconditional gratitude and support.

Mr. MITCHELL:

Mr. Chairman, in his speech this afternoon, the hon. the Prime Minister gave the third reason for the difficulty in which we find ourselves. I want to suggest that there is one good reason, and it is true from beginning to end, why we are out of the Commonwealth and that is the Prime Minister of South Africa. That is the reason why we are out. The reasons that have been given by people overseas and by other Prime Ministers apparently while the issue was still fresh in their minds, turned away from this question of apartheid. One Prime Minister went so far as to say that it was not the question of apartheid at all that was really at issue but that the Prime Minister refused to make any concession at all particularly in regard to the question of diplomatic representation. That was one of the questions in respect of which our Prime Minister could have made some little gesture. I want to say, Sir, that on the basis that that Prime Minister was correctly reported, it seems to me that our Prime Minister lost a golden opportunity of getting back again on a basis of negotiation with India and Pakistan, because as they were two of the nations that were pressing the question of diplomatic representation in South Africa for the other Commonwealth non-European nations, it was an opportunity for our Prime Minister to have agreed to accept those diplomatic representatives and to have challenged India and Pakistan as to whether they would send their diplomats to South Africa. That was a golden opportunity Sir, And that opportunity was missed so we find ourselves in this difficulty to-day. All the party politics that we had from the hon. the Prime Minister this afternoon and from hon. members behind him, is not going to assist us one iota in getting South Africa out of the real difficulty in which she finds herself. Sir, I am reliably informed that a vote has just been taken at the United Nations on this four-member resolution and the voting was 91 to I against us and no abstentions. The one was Portugal. Can we think of a greater calamity that can face South Africa? And at a time like this we have not had one practical suggestion from the Prime Minister in a speech which lasted over two hours, as to how he is going to deal with the difficulty in which his country is placed. I managed to trace a fact paper which the Government obviously thought in 1959 warranted printing. The foreword says that is was a paper read at the Tenth Annual Congress of Sabra in Durban on 3 April, prepared by Mr. W. van Heerden, a well-known South African journalist and commentator on current affairs. In regard to the position into which we were then drifting two years ago Mr. van Heerden said this—

Nor have we succeeded in a purely formal sense in establishing what one would be justified in calling an impressive line of contact with our emerging Black neighbours. There are good reasons for this, but however much good reasons may justify an unfortunate situation, they never remove it.

They may justify an unfortunate situation, Sir, but they never remove it. That is the difficulty in which we are in South Africa to-day. In spite of the Prime Minister’s speech of two hours this afternoon, and in spite of all the blustering from hon. members behind him, what have they removed? Has a single one of our difficulties been removed? Has a single solution been held out by the Prime Minister or any one of his supporters for any one of our difficulties? Has one concrete proposal been made to get us out of the difficulty in which we find ourselves, a difficulty which has been emphasized and underlined by the vote which has just been taken at the United Nations this afternoon? What proposals have we had? The only proposal we have had from the Prime Minister is that the mixture must be as before, prescribed by the same doctor for the same malady without any hope whatsoever of success. That is precisely the position. We have not had one single suggestion as to how we are to get out of this difficulty. Whether the hon. the Prime Minister is just prepared to sit still and let the wind blow, the wind of change not in Africa, the wind of change throughout the entire world….

Mr. SCHOONBEE:

That being so, what do you suggest?

Mr. MITCHELL:

Mr. van Heerden said this in his speech to Sabra—

Dr. Malan, in common, of course, with all South African political leaders before him, never reconciled himself with the idea of independent non-White states on the African sub-continent at this stage. But he was the first who had to face the reality, and even the emergence of Ghana’s independence, which he criticized sharply as premature. To-day we can only gaze in bewilderment at the utter futility of his efforts to stem the tide.

It was two years ago that Mr. van Heerden said that Sir. Mr. van Heerden is not a member of the United Party nor is he an apologist for the United Party. Two years ago the people represented by Mr. van Heerden could only gaze in bewilderment at the utter futility of Dr. Malan’s efforts to stem the tide. What is the position that our present Prime Minister is putting us in? He is not even attempting to stem the tide—he says there is not a tide. The position is this, that there are a few people here and there who because of malice or for the sake of self-interest, are taking sides against South Africa. And what do we do? We rely on isolation. Does the Prime Minister realize that isolation in this context does not mean being left alone. It means giving the people in the world, Afro-Asians, White people, people of all races, the opportunity to come with some kind of excuse, some kind of a moral reason which will bolster their actions, to interfere very deeply indeed in the internal affairs of South Africa, and that can have only one result. It is true, Sir, that that resolution was not aimed at combined operations against South Africa, a combined boycott, combined sanctions against South Africa on a worldwide scale, but it is pressing everyone who voted against us to take individual action against South Africa. That is what that resolution means. I want to put it to the Prime Minister that he goes back to the days of Mr. van Heerden—I am sorry that the Minister of External Affairs is absent because the Minister is quoted with great unction by Mr. van Heerden. He said that the late Mr. Strijdom was the first man to see which way the wind was blowing and two years ago the late Mr. Strijdom said—

“That is why he had said at the time that our attitude must be based on the presumption that there is room in Africa for countries under White rule as well as for others, and that points of contact will eventually have to be sought with countries south of the Sahara. In the course of time there will even have to be diplomatic relations.”

That was what Mr. Strijdom had said. He was the first Prime Minister to see which way the wind was blowing. He was followed by the Minister of External Affairs who on 10 of June 1957 told the Assembly—

“ It is the policy of the Government to establish contact with independent states in Africa, to co-operate with them and to convince them that the Union’s aim was to maintain friendly relations with them and that our policy of racial separation is based on justice.” But perhaps the most important contribution towards acceptance of a changed situation and the creation of a South African outlook in conformity with this change, was delivered a few months earlier also by Mr. Louw. He was invited to be guest speaker at the annual graduation ceremony at the University of Pretoria and he used the opportunity to draw an extensive picture of the Union’s role in Africa of the future, as he saw it. This is what he said: “ South Africa must play its full role as an African power. We will not only have to co-operate with the European states which have interests and responsibilities in Africa, but we shall have to be prepared to co-operate in matters of common concern with all other states which have been established or may yet be established in Africa South of the Sahara. Our policy must be such that the Union will be accepted by the other states and the territories of Africa as their link with the Western world.”

Mr. Chairman, how are we forming a link between the African States and the Western world? We are the people who have broken the links. [Time limit.]

*Dr. J. H. STEYN:

The hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) who has just sat down said that the Prime Minister was the reason why we were out of the Commonwealth. He started by saying that. I should like to ask him whether he can prove that statement of his. Because he knows as well as I or anybody else in South Africa knows that the Prime Minister does not stand alone in South Africa. On the contrary, the Prime Minister has never been in such a strong position in this country as he is to-day. I want to go further and say that never before in the history of South Africa has there been a Prime Minister who has had greater support from the nation than the present Prime Minister. When I say that I am not only referring to the support of the Afrikaans-speaking section, not only the support of the National Party but to the support of the English-speaking section, and to the support of the supporters of the hon. member for South Coast. I make bold to say that never before has a Prime Minister of the National Party enjoyed so much support in the Province of Natal than the present Prime Minister. And I challenge the hon. member for South Coast to get up and to say that I am wrong. I challenge him to deny that and to say that what I am saying is wrong. He knows he cannot do that; he knows he has no right to say that. To use his own words, he said that we lacked support because of the actions of the hon. the Prime Minister. I now want to ask him this question and I want to ask his leader this question: What attitude should the hon. the Prime Minister have adopted to obtain the support of the world? What attitude will the hon. the Leader of the Opposition adopt in order to gain the support of the world, which he alleges we have lost? Because he and the hon. member for South Coast know as well as any school child in South Africa that the only way in which to get the support of the world to-day is to repudiate that which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition himself has said today they stand for.

He knows and we know that international circles will not be satisfied with anything less than absolute equality between all races in South Africa.

*An HON. MEMBER:

Nonsense!

Dr. J. H. STEYN:

That has been stated repeatedly and it was repeated at UNO. That hon. member who is an authority on nonsense does not read his newspapers. But I again put the question to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition whether he is prepared to accede to UNO’s demands in order to retain their goodwill. If he is prepared to do that he should get up and reply “ yes ” to my question in all honesty, in which case he will find himself without any support whatsoever in South Africa to-morrow, because the whole South African nation, the whole political front, Afrikaans-speaking as well as English-speaking, is not prepared to make the concessions which the United Nations demand of us. He knows it and the hon. member for South Coast knows it and as South Africans neither of the two is prepared to do that.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition said something to-day in the course of his speech in respect of which I should like to put a question to him. He said that serious rumours about strikes were circulating the country, strikes, I take it, connected with our becoming a republic. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition shakes his head. Then it must be strikes in connection with the one or other occurrence which may happen in the future. I now want to ask the hon. the Leader of the Opposition whether he has and whether he is prepared to say one single word to quell those strikes.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

I was not listening.

*Dr. J. H. STEYN:

As far as I know he has not as yet said a single word against that. He said strikes were threatening, and I am quite prepared to sit down and to give the hon. the Leader of the Opposition an opportunity …

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

I said that this afternoon already.

*Dr. J. H. STEYN:

I listened very attentively. He said that strikes were threatening and he said he was afraid of those strikes, but he did not say a single word to subdue those people who wanted to call out those strikes. It is his duty not only as Leader of the Opposition but also as a South African when he hears about such rumours, to go out of his way to deny such rumours and to do everything in his power to advise those people who may harbour such ideas not to go on with them.

*Sir DE VILLIERS GRAAFF:

You can read the Hansard report of my speech. What have you done to quell them?

*Dr. J. H. STEYN:

I did not spread those rumours. I did, however, read the report in the newspapers but I was very, very careful not to give parliamentary publicity to it, but that is what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has done and not only did he do so here in Parliament, but he did so with full authority as leader of the principal Opposition party in this Parliament. [Time limit.]

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

The hon. the Prime Minister this afternoon, in his speech, asked the House to compare the state of South Africa to-day with the dreadful position it was in in 1948 when they took over. I could not believe my ears, and that cannot be allowed to go by default. Let us think back with nostalgia to 1948. We had come through the greatest war with honour and an ever-growing world influence, prestige, and prosperity, so much so that when the war ended, we emerged as a strong, virile nation, with complete independence and sovereignty. We could not have had greater freedom or sovereignty than we had then, and we were an equal partner in the greatest Commonwealth of Nations, proud, serene and unafraid and quite sure of ourselves. We knew exactly where we stood. Further we were on equal footing, looking the greatest leaders in the world straight in the eye, united at home and with a rising prestige and respect abroad. That was our position, and the hon. the Prime Minister had no right to suggest that the position is better to-day than it was then. We had become one of the most popular and progressive young nations in the world. A brilliant future was prophesied for us by the older nations. Hundreds of thousands of people wanted to emigrate to South Africa to make this their homeland, and hundreds of millions of pounds were flowing in for investment. The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) dealt with that aspect so very ably this afternoon. Why was that? Because the world had absolute belief in our future and there was enough money in the Treasury when we went out of power to reduce taxation by £7,000,000 within three or four months later. Not only were the two White sections happy and prosperous, but also our non-Europeans were contended and believed in and trusted their White rulers. The Stock Exchange was booming, with the whole world wanting to invest in South Africa. To-day the whole world is trying to dis-invest itself from any shareholding in South Africa. To-day we are disapproved of by the whole world, and in some cases we are even hated, with our old friends standing by watching us steadily going down. We have become the one untouchable nation in the world today.

Mr. HUGHES:

The “ muishond ”.

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

Yes, the “muishond ”. We listened to a speech by the hon. the Prime Minister. It was at the end the most nauseating sop stuff I have ever listened to from a Prime Minister. It would have been more worthy of a light-weight backbencher making an emotional speech on a “ stryddag ”. The hon. the Prime Minister suggested that he alone was not to blame, that it was the wish of the whole Nationalist Party. Strange this in view of what my hon. leader read from the four leading Nationalist papers. The fact is that the Prime Minister and he alone is responsible for the position, the dangerous position that South Africa is in at the present moment. He thinks he is infallible and that he can defy the world, and I tell him now that he is busy destroying a fine and noble country, and he will be looked upon by the future generations as the man who liquidated his country and handed us over to our enemies. And this is nothing new. We have been warning him about this for years. I want to quote a paragraph of a speech from Hansard, made four years ago, on 22 January—

If ever one man by his ideological obstinacy is able to destroy the whole White civilization, then it is the Minister of Native Affairs (the present Prime Minister). Like Hitler he is determined that if he cannot get his own way, he will drag down our civilization. Step by step he is destroying all the respect, trust and goodwill which the Native always had in the White man.
Mr. B. COETZEE:

Who said that?

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

I did, four years ago. It is not too late yet to save South Africa. I as one whose forebears have been in this country for three centuries as their only fatherland, am going to make a final appeal to him, and he is the only one who has the power at this moment to save South Africa. The rest of his party are merely under his thumb and have no say. He comes and tells us that he spoke for the party. Bless my soul! Did he not get a mandate from his congress to keep us in the Commonwealth, and did he not disregard that? Even the most ignorant can see how our dangers have increased since the Prime Minister withdrew his application to remain in the Commonwealth. In the short period of a few weeks we have been made to realize what that membership meant. Britain has joined for the first time the rest of the world in condemning us, and this has given a lead to Australia and to France to depart from their policy of supporting us; and I have no doubt that it will be followed by all those who up to now stood by us. If this happened, and the whole world turns against us, then the end is inevitable. I said that I want to make an appeal to the hon. the Prime Minister. He can relieve the situation overnight. It takes a big man to change his views, and to say that he was wrong. It is only the small and conceited man who is not prepared to admit that he was wrong. Let the Prime Minister show that he is a big man and now at this eleventh hour by withholding the proclamation of the republic on 31 May, relieve the position. Automatically we will then remain within the Commonwealth and let the Nkrumahs of the world shout their heads off. Let us simply sit back and ignore them. Then we are still closely associated with our friends in the Commonwealth, with New Zealand, Australia and Britain and we will remain associated with their old allies, such as America, France and Germany. He will not forego his mandate. He can still carry it out next year or the year after that. It merely means that he foregoes the proclamation at the moment. Let things ride for a while. Meanwhile the climate is gradually more favourable to us. The more chaos that appears in Central Africa, the more world opinion will turn towards us and see that we are forced to maintain our Western civilization in South Africa.

One of the most significant things that has happened in the last few days was the statement by the President of the German Press Club and a local Senator, when he said that the Prime Minister’s visit to West Germany would have been an embarrassment to them and he added that the day was coming when Germany had to decide between our friendship and that of the Black state. Why this is so important is that Germany has always been looked upon with great favour and as a friend by the Nationalist Party. They have always been friends, and therefore for Germany and a man of that standing, the president of the Press Club, to come forward and say that to-day we are an embarrassment and that therefore the Prime Minister has to give up his trip to Germany, is very significant.

The hon. the Prime Minister will not tell us whether he is going to accept the finding of the International Court or not in regard to South West Africa. Why won’t he tell us? It is essential that we should know in this House. We are entitled to know. If the judgment goes against us, I have no doubt that sooner or later …

Mr. J. E. POTGIETER:

Will you accept it?

Maj. VAN DER BYL:

Sir, he quotes Section 2 (7) of the Charter that no interference was allowed in our domestic affairs. But this is not a domestic affair, as the hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson) said. This is a mandate and it is a mandate given us by an international body, the old League of Nations, and therefore it is not a domestic affair and they have the right, as even other people admitted, to expect from us to get reports. Therefore it is not a domestic affair at all as we are dealing with this mandate granted to us on certain definite conditions, and if the International Court finds against us, UNO, I am certain, will then start to take steps, and as the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) has told us, we would be in a very difficult position. [Time limit.]

*Dr. MULDER:

The hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) who has just sat down, reminds me of a modern Rip van Winkel. Having painted the splendour and glory of the paradise which we inherited from them in 1948, we find it hard to understand why the voters rejected them. You simply cannot understand it, Sir. As a matter of fact, the hon. member is one of the last persons who should talk because if I am not mistaken he personally was responsible for the Ministry of Native Affairs in 1948, and that Department was in a more chaotic condition than any other department, except perhaps the Department of the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) who had to burn his documents. I think that is one of the last subjects which the hon. member should raise. Over and above that he lost his own constituency. He ought to be ashamed of the paradise which he has left behind him.

The hon. member took a very clear stand in respect of another matter. He persisted in saying that the hon. the Prime Minister was the only person who could turn back and he appealed to him to be big-hearted and to turn back on the road. I say very clearly to-night that if we have to run back on this road, Dr. Verwoerd is not the only person to turn back, the entire National Party will have to turn back, not only will the Whites in South Africa have to turn back, but the Whites of the whole Continent of Africa and the ever increasing number of Whites in the world who are beginning to appreciate our attitude will have to turn back. When you believe that you are on the right road it is not so easy to turn back.

What is our position actually? We blame each other by saying “ It is your fault ”. What is the real reason for this situation? If I have to summarize it I want to do so with the assistance of two or three quotations. In the first instance, it is due to the altitude which has developed amongst the nations of the world towards the Black man, this new spirit which has arisen in the world since the Second World War, this spirit of independence for the Black man. Whereas the world has never worried about what happened to the Black man before then, the Black man has suddenly become the ward of every White nation because a new humanitarian feeling has developed amongst people as a result of the new era which has set in. To start with I want to quote from the leading article in the Observer of 22 June 1952 in which the rôle which Britain has played in this respect is stated clearly, particularly her rôle in the Commonwealth—

Britain, as a great colonial power and the pivot of a multi-racial Commonwealth, is more dependent than any other power on the good will of non-European peoples. We have the possibility of linking European, Asian and African free states in a single political framework. If we fail in this we may well dwindle into insignificance. Abandoned by the non-European majority states of the Commonwealth that already have, or some will gain their independence.

Those are the reasons why Britain is adopting that attitude. Then I should like to read a statement which appeared in the Rand Daily Mail of 13 June 1952 in connection with the attitude of the Conservative Party in Britain, which is in power in Great Britain at the present moment, a statement issued by that party in respect of its attitude towards Africa and which clearly showed the direction in which these people were thinking and which made it necessary for them to act in the way they did—

Lasting friendship between Britain and the peoples of Africa depends on attaining full co-operation between all races. Such co-operation must ensure the recognition of equal social, economic, industrial and political rights.

I repeat “ equal political rights ”. The statement goes on—

Throughout her dealings with the other White peoples in the Continent of Africa …

We, the Rhodesias, Kenya and all those areas—

… Britain must pay special regard to her rôle as guardian of African interests. All new proposals must be tested against this touchstone. The future of the Commonwealth as a home of many races depends on rejecting all forms of racial discrimination.

I repeat the phrase “ all forms of racial discrimination ”. I now want to ask the Opposition whether they are prepared to do that, and I do so in view of the fact that two days after we had withdrawn our application to remain a member of the Commonwealth the United Party, for example, voted unanimously in the Provincial Council of the Cape for separate facilities along the beaches. Is that not a form of racial discrimination? The United Party voted unanimously with the National Party for separate bathing facilities along the beaches roundabout Cape Town. Is that not racial discrimination? And racial discrimination in any form is unacceptable to Great Britain.

*Mr. RAW:

Who said so?

*Dr. MULDER:

I have just read a statement which was issued by the Conservative Party in England in 1952. I want to read another quotation and I am doing so because I wish to prove that it is not the fault of the Prime Minister that we are out of the Commonwealth, it is not the fault of our Government and I even go so far as to say that it is not the fault of the Opposition. I go so far as to say that, because it seems obvious to me that the composition of the Commonwealth has become such that our withdrawal was a necessary consequence of that composition. We could not remain within. Let us return to the Black states of Africa which are members of the Commonwealth. I want to quote what Dr. Nkrumah said at the Accra Conference in December 1957. Dr. Nkrumah opened the conference with these words—

This decade is the decade of African independence. We welcome into our midst peoples of all other races, other nations, other communities, who desire to live among us in peace and equality. But they must respect us and our rights, our right as the majority to rule and to rule alone. That, as our Western friends have taught us to understand it, is the essence of democracy.

That is the outlook of Ghana and Ghana is within the Commonwealth. He demands that right. I have another quotation here. Dr. Kiano, the American-trained member of the Legislative Assembly of Kenya stated their attitude as follows at that conference—

Kenya, Tanganyika, Nyasaland, the Rhodesias, and South Africa, like Ghana or Nigeria, are African countries, not White settlers’ property. Thus these territories must be ruled by the African people. Bogus theories of multi-racialism, partnership or Bantustanism …

and if the policy of the United Party were known, he would have added “ federation ”—

… are essentially devices to deflect the African from his rightful goal of governing his country in his own way. White and Asian residents in racially mixed territories will have to accept African citizenship first if they want to live there as citizens.

That being their outlook it was logical and obvious that we were not acceptable to those people. If time permits me I wish to read another quotation to illustrate the attitude which Mr. Nehru, Prime Minister of India, adopted. This was reported in the Indian News of 11 September 1953—

The people of Africa have not only our sympathy, but we will help them with our heart and soul. We will fight for them. If there is no solution, the whole of Africa will be ablaze and it will be bad for the world and for peace if there is a racial war.

The following message was sent by Kenyatta to Nehru (Overseas Hindustan Times, 9 April 1953)—

All eyes in Africa are turned towards Mr. Nehru, and the Africans look to India for their liberation.

[Time limit.]

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

I am sorry to have to say that in the international political sphere the Government is to-day following an unenlightened public opinion, instead of creating an enlightened opinion, and then trying to guide it. I think the time is overdue for the hon. the Prime Minister to enlighten Parliament as well as the public about the position of South West and the Government’s policy and its plans in that connection for the future. Parliament and the public are entitled to know what we in South West Africa must expect. As the Burger put it on Saturday, “ The public is entitled to know the facts in their naked reality ”. I want to tell the hon. the Prime Minister at once that it will not be enough for him to say that “ the Union will stand by South West ”, as he did a month or two ago. That ought to go without saying, unless the hon. the Prime Minister feels that there was a time, during a crisis, when his Party did not stand by South West and that he would like to give that assurance now. In any event, I say that such an assurance will not be enough. Everybody knows that the present Government has lost its prestige and that it has made more active enemies than any government in the history of the modern world has had. There has been a complete collapse of diplomacy on the part of the Government, and to-day its diplomacy no longer has any effect on anybody; and since it has now become powerless to save the Union itself from its own difficulties, there are few enlightened persons who believe that it will be able to help South West Africa out of its crisis. Indeed, the only way that remains in which the Government can help South West Africa is to abdicate and to disappear as a Government. I believe that in no other way will it be possible to create a political climate which offers even a remote possibility of a solution for the South-West Africa problem. As long as this Government remains in power, the position will simply go from bad to worse until finally it becomes hopeless. And the tragedy of the situation is that the Union’s legal position in relation to South West Africa is not at all weak. In 1950 the International Court was asked by U.N.O. to give an advisory opinion about the political position of South West Africa, and this is what the court found: It found in the first place that South West was a mandated territory, correctly under the control of the Union and of nobody else; secondly, that the Union had certain international obligations which it must comply with regularly; it must furnish information to U.N.O. annually about the administration of the territory; it must submit petitions from the inhabitants, and it must accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court, where applicable. Furthermore, it can voluntarily, if it wishes to do so, place the territory under the trusteeship of U.N.O. But this point is important; it is under no legal obligation to place South West under the trusteeship of U.N.O. In the fifth place they decided that the Union alone cannot change the status of South West Africa; that the initiative for a change can come from the Union only, but that it must obtain the cooperation of U.N.O. to that end.

The most striking point is this, that the Union is under no legal obligation to hand over South West Africa to the trusteeship of U.N.O., with the result that constitutionally the Union is in a very strong position in connection with South West Africa, particularly in view of the fact that the whole of U.N.O. accepted this advisory opinion of the International Court, with the significant exception of seven countries only, namely Indonesia, Soviet Russia, Guatamala, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Brazil and the Government of the Union of South Africa. Surely it should have been clear to the Government that if it acted as far as possible in accordance with this advisory opinion of the International Court and did not transgress in the party political sphere, our position would have been much more hopeful than it is to-day. Because the political sphere—the way in which the Government administers the territory, the way in which it treats its people, White and Black, and affords them the opportunity to develop—is the only sphere in which U.N.O. could find ground, if it wished to do so, for action against us. Constitutionally we have a strong case; politically we have a very weak case, and it seems to me that that is precisely what is happening now. From the constitutional sphere, where we have a reasonably strong case, the fight against us shifted to the political, human terrain, where the present Government has allowed our position to become lamentably weak. The charge made by Liberia and Ethiopia before the International Court has been framed very ably and astutely, and things being what they are, we have little ground for optimism. I am afraid it will be fruitless to make any appeals to the Government or try to give it, advice. I believe that if the public itself does not bring it to a halt timeously, it will march on to the precipice and drag down the country with it rather than allow a new political climate to be created in this country, a climate which will immediately facilitate the handling of our internal and external problems, including that of South West Africa.

The position of South West has become a problem, and at the moment it is a very acute problem, because of two matters, one flowing from the other. The first is the Union’s conception as to what the international position of South West Africa is, and (what is bound up with it), in which direction the internal relationship between the Union and South West ought to develop. As far as the international position is concerned, I believe in the first place, whether we like U.N.O. or not, and whichever way we ourselves would like to see things develop and, however, we may argue that the mandate no longer exists, that there are certain facts that we will have to take into account. These facts are that U.N.O. is capable of taking effective action, particularly when it concerns a smaller power such as South Africa; that one cannot therefore entirely ignore U.N.O.; that South Africa, in terms of the provisions of the mandate in respect of any dispute over South West between South Africa and a member of the old League of Nations, is subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court, which is the lawful successor of the old Permanent Court of International Law; and, moreover, that this court has already clearly expressed the opinion that the Union has certain international obligations in respect of South West and cannot unilaterally change the status of this territory. These are facts which one cannot get away from, and a prerequisite for any Government that wants to resolve or to facilitate the South West problem is to show a proper appreciation of the position occupied by U.N.O. in the world, however little or however much we may like it. It stands to reason therefore that in handling the South West Africa case, the Government, if it has the interests of this country at heart, will have to act in such a way that we can make sure of the support and the friendship of at least a few strong allies in the world. I feel therefore that the time has come for the Government to take certain steps. One step that I want to suggest is that in the future few fresh negotiators and representatives be sent to U.N.O. Britain with her well-known aptitude for diplomacy—and this also applies to other countries—does not send the same negotiators year after year to the emergent States of Africa, to mention just one example. Our old representatives did their best and they deserve our gratitude for it, but inevitably they are associated with a certain frame of mind and with certain opinions and with a certain type of conduct which, in the new and more difficult circumstances which have arisen, may prove a serious obstacle in the future to a solution that will be generally accepted. In the second place I feel that advisors should be taken along to UNO, not only from the ranks of the governing party but also from the ranks of the official Opposition. All the wisdom is not on the one side only, and since it is the desire of every Party to do the best we can for South West, I want to suggest that the Government should take the initiative in establishing a parliamentary committee consisting of representatives of all parties to advise the Government, and particularly the Ministers concerned, on the South West issue. I believe that in this way it will be possible to achieve a much greater measure of mutual confidence between the parties and a greater measure of parliamentary co-operation in respect of this acute problem. I should very much like to hear what the hon. the Prime Minister thinks of this proposal. I want to put that pertinent question to him. In the third place, Mr. Chairman, I think it has become imperative to furnish more factual information about the administration of South West. A few years ago I had the opportunity of visiting Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a delegate of the conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and the moment we arrived there, a year book containing exhaustive information about these three territories was made available to every delegate. [Time limit.]

*Mr. HEYSTEK:

With regard to what the hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson) has just said, I merely want to say that it is childish to follow the example set by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and it is childish to tell a Government which in three successive elections has been returned to power with increasing majorities and which has been proved in the referendum to have the confidence of the people, bluntly to “resign”, as you would to a hireling whom you dismiss from your farm when it suits you. I want to point out that appeals have been made to us to control ourselves in these debates and some of us on both sides of the House have controlled ourselves well and controlled speeches have been made, even by the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell). For a few days he has exercised admirable self-control in what he has said as well as to-night. Except for the fact that he accused the hon. the Prime Minister of having made a political speech here to-day and that he has failed to suggest anything to remove many of the stumbling blocks from the road, the hon. member has been behaving himself fairly well. I should like to know from the hon. member for South Coast which other person in South Africa has rolled more stones in the road of South Africa than he himself. Petty attacks have been launched against the hon. the Prime Minister but you cannot expect this side of the House or the public outside, Sir, to take them seriously when, for example, you have a member like the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) telling us that the roots of Xhosa from the Transkei, as far as the franchise is concerned, are deeper embedded in this country than those of the hon. the Prime Minister, which amounts to this that he has a greater right to vote in this country and possibly greater right to occupy the Chair of the Prime Minister, than Dr. Verwoerd.

At 10.25 p.m. the Chairman stated that, in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (1), he would report progress and ask leave to sit again.

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.

House to resume in Committee on 11 April.

The House adjourned at 10.27 p.m.