House of Assembly: Vol107 - TUESDAY 11 APRIL 1961
For oral reply:
asked the Minister of Justice:
Whether special precautions are taken to prevent the escape of prisoners awaiting execution; if so, what precautions; and, if not, why not.
Yes. The normal precautionary steps are taken.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
- (1) Whether the Government or the South African Native Trust is conducting negotiations for the purchase of any farm in the Harding district; if so, which farm;
- (2) whether the local Farmers’ Association has been consulted; and, if so,
- (3) whether the Association has approved of the proposed sale of the farm to the Government or the Trust.
- (1) The South African Native Trust is at present negotiating for the purchase of the farms Riversides, The Braes and Bedford.
- (2) and (3) Instructions have been issued to the Chief Bantu Affairs Commissioner, Pietermaritzburg, to consult the local Farmers’ Association but his report has not yet been received.
asked the Minister of Mines:
What were the five main reasons for the rejections of 28.6 per cent of the applications for initial certificates for employment in a dusty atmosphere at controlled mines during the period I April 1959 to 31 March 1960, as reported by the Pneumoconiosis Bureau.
Statistics are not kept in this connection, but it is considered that of the disabilities found in young men examined at the Pneumoconiosis Bureau for the initial certificate, the most frequently occurring are:
- (1) Gross obesity;
- (2) poor general physical development with gross underweight in relation to general standards for age and height;
- (3) abnormality of breathing apparatus including nasal infection and bronchitic tendencies;
- (4) cardiac abnormalities including congenital defects; and
- (5) permanent visual and hearing defects.
It may be mentioned, however, that there are also other, non-medical, reasons for rejections such as the age limit of 40 years and obvious inadequate intelligence.
Arising out of the hon. the Minister’s reply, might I ask the hon. the Minister whether any research is being done into the question of gross obesity which is a disputed point in the profession?
As the hon. member knows, we keep on with research work in regard to this matter.
asked the Minister of Mines:
Whether all quarries in the Union are registered with his Department in view of the employment of workers in a dusty atmosphere; if so, on what principle is registration based; and, if not, why not.
No quarries have as yet been declared to be controlled mines under the Pneumoconiosis Act, 1956, but notice of my intention to declare them as such with effect from I September 1961 has already been served on 22 quarries and steps are being taken to control all quarries where harmful dust occurs as from that date.
Control is based on the presence of dust which causes or is likely to cause pneumoconiosis in workers. Where the ore mined contains 20 per cent or more free silica, control is not preceded by medical surveys but where the free silica content is less than 20 per cent medical surveys are made to establish the presence of pneumoconiosis or the likelihood of workers contracting the disease.
asked the Minister of Justice:
- (a) For what total period has the treason trial been in progress and
- (b) what were the costs to the State in respect of (i) direct and (ii) indirect expenditure;
- (2) whether the Government has considered any form of compensation to any of the accused; if so, what compensation; and
- (3) whether any steps are being considered to avoid delays in similar cases.
- (a) Two years seven months and twenty-nine days.
- (i) R297,169.
- (ii) R116,906.
- (2) No.
- (3) No. The Courts, in the exercise of their judicial discretion, control the course of cases.
asked the Minister of Justice:
- (1) Whether the Government has awarded any ex gratia compensation to nonparticipants who were injured or suffered damage as a result of police or military action during the Langa and Sharpeville disturbances in 1960; if so, (a) how many persons have been compensated and (b) to what extent; and, if not,
- (2) whether the Government will give the matter further consideration.
- (1) No. I refer the hon. member to m3 reply of 21 February 1961, to a question in this regard put by the hon. member for Durban (Umbilo).
- (2) Falls away.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
Whether all census forms issued in respect of the 1960 census have been returned; and, if not, (a) how many are still outstanding and (b) when is it expected that the final results of the census will be made public.
- (a) As far as is known there are no outstanding census forms in the hands of the public, but forms covering about 1,600,000 persons have not yet been received in the Bureau of Census and Statistics, Pretoria, from the District Census Supervisors.
- (b) The tabulation of all the census results will not be completed until the end of 1963 or early 1964, but certain final figures should be available in about 20 months’ time.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
Whether any bodies outside the Union have been established under the new Department of Immigration to assist immigrants to come to the Union; and, if so, (a) what bodies, (b) where are they established and (c) how many persons are attached to each body as executive or administrative officials.
No—(a), (b) and (c) fall away.
The policy which will be followed by the newly established Department of Immigration is still being worked out and it is not possible to say now what the position will be in the future.
At the moment the Department has at its disposal Immigration Attachés in London, The Hague, Hamburg, Cologne, Berne and Rome.
asked the Minister of Agricultural Economics and Marketing:
- (1) Whether any immediate steps are contemplated to give financial assistance to distressed farmers in the Sundays River Valley to rehabilitate themselves; if so, what steps; and
- (2) whether, in considering the matter he will have regard to the fact that after many years of drought Lake Mentz now has a full supply of water; if not, why not.
- (1) A report in connection with the investigation of the position is being awaited and as soon as it is available the matter will be considered.
- (2) Falls away.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of Justice:
- (1) How many counsel were engaged to prosecute on behalf of the Crown in the treason trial since its inception; and
- (2) (a) what is the total amount of fees paid to counsel who are not members of the Public Service from the time they were briefed until 31 December 1960, (b) what amount has since been paid in fees to such counsel and (c) what is the total sum still due to them.
- (1) Nine.
- (a) R154,706.
- (b) R19,908.
- (c) R5.733.
asked the Minister of Defence:
- (1) Whether, as announced by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, a fighter squadron of the South African Air Force met the Prime Minister when the aircraft bringing him from London on his return from the Commonwealth Conference crossed the Limpopo; if so,
- (a) what was the purpose of providing such a fighter escort,
- (b) what was the cost to the State of this escort,
- (c) who authorized the operation and
- (d) who informed the S.A.B.C. about it in advance; and
- (2) whether such a fighter escort was provided when the Prime Minister left for London.
- (1) Not a fighter squadron but only four Sabre aircraft met the aircraft with which the Prime Minister travelled at the Limpopo.
- (a) As a mark of honour to the Prime Minister.
- (b) There is no specific cost involved as it was an interception exercise which forms part of the training of fighter pilots in the interception of high speed aircraft such as the Boeing.
- (c) The Commandant-General, South African Defence Forces on the request of the Minister of Defence.
- (d) The arrangements in connection with the Prime Minister’s arrival were co-ordinated inter-departmentally and the S.A.B.C. was represented.
- (2) No. An escort by fighter aircraft was, however, planned but it had to be abandoned due to weather conditions and other practical difficulties and in the circumstances only a guard of honour was provided.
Mr. Speaker, arising out of the reply given by the hon. minister, can he tell this house whether any rules are laid down with regard to the provision of fighter escorts and, if so, what are the regulations.
There are no regulations preventing me from doing so.
asked the Minister of Defence:
Whether, as announced by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, a military guard of honour was provided for the Prime Minister on his arrival at Jan Smuts Airport on his return from London; and, if so,
- (a) why and
- (b) who informed the S.A.B.C. about this in advance.
- (a) As a mark of honour to the Prime Minister.
- (b) The arrangements in connection with the Prime Minister’s arrival were co-ordinated inter-departmentally and the S.A.B.C. was represented.
Arising out of the reply of the hon. the Minister may I ask this question: when the S.A.B.C. is represented on an Inter-Departmental Committee, does it mean that the S.A.B.C. is now a Department of State?
No, but it falls under the Department of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to a recent speech by the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Development to an Afrikaans Sakekamer in which he referred to the employment of Bantu labour in hostels at the Stellenbosch University; and
- (2) whether he will make a statement in regard to the matter.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) I do not think it necessary to make any statement in regard to this matter which is purely of an administrative nature and, therefore, one that can be resolved by my Department and the local authority concerned.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
What was the number of male registered Bantu labourers in the Stellenbosch magisterial district in 1953 and 1960, respectively.
Figures for the magisterial districts of Stellenbosch—i.e. Stellenbosch and Somerset West—are:
asked the Minister of Health:
Whether any cases of rabies have occurred in the Eastern Province this year; and, if so, (a) how many and (b) what steps are being taken to deal with them.
No cases of rabies in the Eastern Province have been reported to the Department of Health.
asked the Minister of Education, Arts and Science:
Whether the Republic of South Africa will continue to participate in the Commonwealth education scheme.
This and other matters in connection with the future relations between the Republic of South Africa and other Commonwealth countries are receiving attention.
asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:
Whether any change is contemplated in the design of the 2½ cent stamp; and if so, (a) what change and (b) when will it be introduced.
(a) and (b) as already generally announced, a completely new definitive series of postage stamps will be taken into use on 31 May 1961, on the occasion of the establishment of the republic.
Arising out of the hon. Minister’s reply, can he inform me whether the head of photo of any past or present Prime Minister will appear on the new series of postage stamps?
Might I put a question arising out of the hon. the minister’s reply? i should like to ask the hon. the minister whether it is the intention to produce a 3 cent stamp?
asked the Minister of Social Welfare and Pensions:
- (1) Whether he is in a position to furnish an estimate of the extent of the damage sustained as a result of the recent floods in the Union; and
- (2) whether any relief is contemplated for persons who sustained damage as a result of the floods; if so, what will be the nature of the relief.
- (1) No. The respective Departments concerned with the matter are, however, busy making a survey of the nature and extent of the damage sustained.
- (2) As soon as the nature and extent of the damage have been determined, the Cabinet Committee appointed by the Prime Minister will make recommendations to the Cabinet in regard to any relief which may be necessary. I also wish to draw attention to the Press statement issued by me this morning in this regard.
asked the Minister of Agricultural Economics and Marketing:
- (1) Whether, according to a report in the Burger of 7 April 1961, he expects a meat shortage in the Union in 1975; if so, (a) what is the meat consumption expected to be in 1975, (b) what is the annual meat consumption in the Union at present and (c) what steps are being taken by the Government to cope with the expected shortage; and
- (2) whether any investigations are being made in connection with alternative kinds of protein foods for the future; if so, what investigations.
- (1) Yes, a shortage is possible if the present production and consumer’s trends should continue undisturbed.
- (a) 2,000,000 cattle, 7,500,000 sheep and 1,000,000 pigs.
- (b) 1,450,000 cattle, 6,458,000 sheep and 761,000 pigs.
- (c) A discreet price policy and conservation farming whereby the animal factor is integrated.
- (2) No.
The MINISTER OF BANTU ADMINISTRATION AND DEVELOPMENT replied to Question No. *V, by Mr. Cope, standing over from 7 April.
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to Press reports that corporal punishment is being administered to Bantu persons convicted in the Native Commissioners’ Courts in Johannesburg for offences against the pass laws;
- (2) (a) how many persons have received such punishment during the latest month for which figures are available, (b) what is the average number of strokes given per person and (c) for what offences against the pass laws is corporal punishment administered;
- (3) whether corporal punishment for pass law offences is administered in Native Commissioners’ Courts in other centres in the Union; if so, what centres;
- (4) whether his Department has recently issued any instructions on the matter; if so, what instructions; and
- (5) whether he will make a statement on the practice of administering corporal punishment for pass law offences.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) (a), (b) and (c). I do not know what particular offences the hon. member has in mind but the following information relates to corporal punishment imposed during March 1961, by the criminal court of the Native Commissioner, Johannesburg:
5 strokes with a juvenile cane.
Sections 10 and 12 of Act No. 25 of 1945 and Section 15 of Act No. 67 of 1952. Corporal punishment is not imposed upon adults for these offences.
- (3) Returns in respect of sentences imposed by Native Commissioners’ criminal courts are not demanded and, as stated above, I do not know what particular offences the hon. member has in mind. It has, however, been ascertained that all such courts have on occasion imposed corporal punishment upon juveniles.
- (4) No.
- (5) The imposition of corporal punishment within the framework of the relevant legislation is entirely in the discretion of the courts.
The MINISTER OF BANTU ADMINISTRATION AND DEVELOPMENT replied to Question No. *VII, by Mr. Mitchell, standing over from 7 April.
- (1) Whether any timber plantations ale being planted in Zululand on behalf of his Department; if so, (a) by whom, (b) when did planting commence, (c) how many acres have been planted and (d) how many acres are still to be planted;
- (2) how many acres of plantations, apart from the above, are owned by his Department or the South African Native Trust in Zululand; and
- (3) (a) when is it expected that revenue will accrue from the sale of plantation products from these plantations and (b) to what purpose is it proposed to apply such revenue.
- (1) Yes.
- (a) By the Department of Forestry.
- (b) In 1957.
- (c) 11.747 acres.
- (d) 367,000 acres are suitable for afforestation but it is not possible to say whether or when this whole area will be afforested because afforestation must be preceded by proper planning. At present 6,000 acres have been reserved for immediate afforestation.
- (2) The South African Native Trust has established a total of 3,540 acres of minor plantations and wood lots.
- (a) A small amount of revenue is already accruing but it is expected that by 1972 revenue will exceed expenditure.
- (b) It is proposed that the Bantu communities concerned should benefit from the net profits through the agency of the Bantu Authorities.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE replied to Question No. IX, by Mr. Lawrence, standing over from 7 April.
Bill read a first time.
- (1) Whether consideration is being given to the granting of an amnesty to prisoners to mark the inauguration of the republic; and, if so,
- (2) whether such an amnesty will include persons convicted of offences connected with any state of emergency; if not, to what classes of prisoners will the amnesty apply.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) The following types of offenders are excluded from the provisions of the proposed amnesty:
- (a) Those who are released on parole before 31 May 1961.
- (b) Those who escaped from custody.
- (c) Those who have been convicted for the contravention of the Immorality, Dagga Control, Public Safety, Stock Theft and Riotous Assembly Acts as also the Proclamations issued in terms of those Acts.
- (d) All those serving sentences exceeding three years.
In the main the proposed amnesty will be limited to the following classes of prisoners:
- (a) All prisoners serving sentences up to three months, before 31 May, will be released unconditionally.
- (b) All prisoners serving up to two years to receive one-quarter remission in addition to normal remission.
- (c) Only first offenders serving between two and three years will receive one-quarter remission in addition to normal remission.
Arising out of the reply of the hon. Minister, can he tell me how his figures compare with the figures for those who were placed in internment camps without trial during the last war?
Bill read a first time.
Bill read a first time.
Bill read a first time.
First Order read: Report Stage,—Constitution Bill.
Amendments considered, put and agreed to.
On new Preamble, Mr. SPEAKER put the new Preamble.
I move as an unopposed motion—
I may add that this has been requested by those hon. members opposite who served on the Select Committee, and on considering the matter it seemed reasonable to me. In the report submitted by the Select Committee, the Preamble read as follows in Afrikaans “ met die opdrag om ” and in English “ charged with the task of ”. The result of the re-drafting as accepted by the whole Committee was that in Afrikaans it read “ die opdrag will uitvoer ” which has been translated as “ desire to fulfil ”. I should like to move this amendment because that was really the original intention.
May I just say that I would like to express appreciation to the hon. the Minister because this is a provision of the Bill in regard to which there had been an attempt to reach agreement, and it was in the course of seeking to improve the wording that this has happened. I would like to express appreciation to him for having done this when it was impossible for us to do it without his having accepted the proposal.
New Preamble, as amended, put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, adopted.
Third reading of the Bill on 12 April.
Second Order read: Third reading,—Precious and Base Metals Amendment Bill.
Bill read a third time.
Third Order read: Third reading,—Anatomy Amendment Bill.
Bill read a third time.
Fourth Order read: Report Stage,—Dairy Industry Bill.
Amendments in Clauses 4, 16 and 23 put and agreed to, and the Bill, as amended, adopted.
Bill to be read a third time on 12 April.
Fifth Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.
House in Committee:
[Progress reported on 10 April, when precedence had been given to Votes Nos. 4, 2, 3 and 12 to 20, and Vote No. 4.—“ Prime Minister”, R111,000, was under consideration.]
Mr. Chairman, when the House adjourned last night, I was pointing out that by a remark he had made, the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) had insinuated that a Xhosa born in South Africa was better qualified to have the franchise than the Prime Minister. I should like to ask whether the hon. member has the courage of his convictions and will tell every hon. member opposite who was not born in South Africa that any non-White born in this country is better qualified to have the franchise than any hon. member on that side who was not born in this country. I want to ask him whether he will have the courage to go to the public, to his supporters and his opponents, to the White registered voters, and to tell them that any non-White born in this country is better qualified to have the franchise than any of the White registered voters who were not born in South Africa. We must remember that he made no qualifications. He referred to a “ Xhosa ”. In other words, it can be any non-White, Bantu, Coloured, Indian or Kalahari Bushman.
I want to go further and point out that the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) in a comparatively restrained speech said yesterday that he was glad that we had eventually penetrated to the root cause of our racial difficulties in this country and of our national problems, and that he hoped that during this debate something would emerge which would point to a solution of our domestic as well as our foreign problems. It is certainly unnecessary for hon. members on this side of the House to tell the hon. member what our solution is, but I can assure him that the House and the country are waiting with interest but without any expectations whatsoever for something to emanate from his side.
Mr. Chairman, it was very clear at the London conference that whenever a concession was made, further demands were made until Mr. Diefenbaker, for political reasons and perhaps as a result of the Kennedy influence has made himself the Dingaan Induna of the conference and incited the non-White Prime Ministers with the attitude of: “ Bulalari abata-gati ”—kill the magicians! Inspired by the attitude of the Opposition in this country and the English-language Press, regarding which it was said last night that we must put an end to the vilification of our country by people who are using the privilege of the Press gallery to vilify and to harm South Africa and we must put an end to such people being able to vilify South Africa and that they will eventually be obliged to remain silent… [Interjections.] In Russia people of this type would disappear behind the Khrushchev curtain, in Ghana they would land in a Nkrumah jail and in Cuba they would finish up before a Castro firing squad. Sir, I wonder whether I am out of order, but if you call me to order immediately, I shall bow to your ruling. I say that Britain wanted to keep us in the Commonwealth and that was clearly proved by a remark by Her Majesty made at a dinner given in her honour in London, namely that the Commonwealth entered a new era when India was admitted to the Commonwealth after becoming a republic. That was on the very eve of the discussions on the question of South Africa’s continued membership, and it is quite clear that this remark was made to strengthen Mr. Macmillan in his efforts to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth and to try to persuade those who were opposed to her continued membership. This was no passing thought, but a positive submission made in order to give leadership on the eve of the discussions on South Africa’s continued membership. I believe that it was her spoken wish that South Africa should remain a member and that this was intended to strengthen Mr. Macmillan’s position. But she under-estimated the intelligence of Mr. Diefenbaker and of the satellite Prime Ministers of Malaya, India, Ceylon, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. The Afro-Asian-Canadian bloc with Diefenbaker at the helm decided in their immaturity, ignorance and blind hatred that South Africa’s continued membership should be prevented at all costs. In South Africa their attitude found an echo amongst a fanatical group of “ little Englanders ” under the leadership of the hon. member for South Coast “ always on the march and always out of step ”. This group of misguided people canalized the thoughts of opposition until we had a mixed conglomeration of demonstrators carrying banners with slogans such as “ Bread, not Bullets ”, and “ We don’t want Verwoerd ”.
Just listen to them. I am surprised that people can sink so low as to applaud when hearing a condemnation of themselves.
On a point of order, the hon. member for Krugersdorp has referred to hon. members on this side of the House as “ assassins ”. Is that in order?
Did the hon. member for Krugersdorp use that expression?
I referred to assassins.
Order! Will the hon. member withdraw?
Yes, on your instructions I shall do anything.
Sir, I hope that will be taken into account as injury time. Sir Roy Welensky and Mr. Menzies agree that Dr. Verwoerd followed the only honourable course which remained open to him. Mr. Menzies believes that the principle has now been laid down that the domestic affairs of member states will be discussed at future Prime Ministers’ Conferences and he prophesies that his own country’s immigration policy will be the next on the agenda, but headed the warning that the Diefenbaker clique should keep their hands to themselves. The Opposition says that we should change our colour policy to satisfy the demands of certain Commonwealth countries so that we may return to the Commonwealth. In other words, we should hand South Africa over “holus bolus” to non-White domination. The Commonwealth? No, I beg your pardon, the “ Bontebond ” (mixed association) with Black as the dominant colour, immaturity as the dominant characteristic, a distorted sense of values as the norm, with temerity regarded as an indication of importance, particularly in the case of Mr. Diefenbaker, with hatred as the underlying driving force in all actions aimed at eliminating boundaries and at achieving equality, and a lack of understanding and appreciation as the basis of the doctrine that nowhere in the world may the White man continue to protect himself by laying down boundaries, by separate development and by the preservation of his identity. I want to read the following—
This is what the Opposition in South Africa and the English Press are doing. They are already tolling the knell of doom over the future of South Africa because we have left the Commonwealth. [Time limit.]
Yesterday while defending the dismal failure of his diplomatic mission to Britain, the Prime Minister subjected us to two hours of fantastic generalities, meaningless clichés and amazing and truly desperate explanations. He spared no superficial trick in order to win his argument, despite the fact that he might thereby well lose some of his friends. Sir, I would like to get this one thing clear and I think this House should have it straight from the Prime Minister. In making one of his sorry excuses for his failure, he gave us to understand that the Prime Minister of Britain and he got together and made a plan whereby Mr. Macmillan would criticize, at the Conference, our “ apartheid ” policy more severely than he felt it should be criticized; in fact criticize it as severely as Mr. Nkrumah might do; and then he was to turn round, after that severe criticism, and suggest that, in spite of his attitude of abhorrence towards “ apartheid ”, South Africa should still remain in the Commonwealth. It was thought that, by this trick, the other Prime Ministers would follow Britain’s lead and say that, although they hate our policies, they will follow Britain and also let South Africa stay in. Apparently that trick failed and our Prime Minister now blames Mr. Macmillan for having led him up the garden path, confused him and made him put forward his policies in a way which led to failure; whereas, so he says, if only he had been left to explain his policy of “ apartheid ” to these Prime Ministers, in his own way, as he did yesterday for two hours, we would have remained in the Commonwealth.
But that is not what the Prime Minister said.
Then he can correct me. He went further and explained that this doubtful trick was planned to deceive other members of the Commonwealth. He went even further and said that in conversation with Mr. Macmillan the latter had suggested that the principle of “non-interference in domestic matters” was one in which the principle could be forgotten. He said that Mr. Macmillan told him that it was a wise thing to trim his sails to the changing wind of expediency. [Interjections.] He suggested that there were some matters of principle which should be forgotten when one came up against realities, and he suggested that Mr. Macmillan was one of those people who would forget his principles. Now I think we should have two things made quite clear to the House arising out of this desperate defence which the Prime Minister made of his failure overseas …
He did not fail.
If he succeeded in anything he succeeded in getting us out of the Commonwealth! [Interjections.] The first point is: Are we in future to regard such conversations, if they take place between statesmen of other countries, as confidential or not? Let us presume that this tactic (which I do not believe for one moment took place)—let us presume that this conversation took place as to how the situation should be handled, then surely it was confidential. Surely in a case like that, even if one is driven into a corner, one does not give away the strategy decided on in the private confines of a conference room. It seems to me that we can expect further repercussions about this incident. I would not be surprised if Mr. Macmillan reacts to what has been said about him. Is this the way to keep our friends? The Prime Minister says it is a “ miracle ” that Britain is still friendly towards us. We will not keep her friendly by adopting these hamhanded tactics. This way of handling confidential talks, if indeed they took this form …
On a point of order, I heard the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) say that he does not believe for one moment that the conversation referred to by the Prime Minister with Mr. Macmillan took place. Must the hon. member not accept the Prime Minister’s word for it?
I did not say anything of the sort. I did not say “ no conversation took place Mr. Chairman, the Prime Minister asked us a question yesterday. He asked whether we were “ so naïve as to think that the Commonwealth Nations who opposed our ‘ apartheid ’ policy would be satisfied with small concessions ”. He said they would not be satisfied with anything except total social equality.
On a point of order, the hon. member for Wynberg has just said that he did not say that he did not believe that what the Prime Minister said was not true, and he said it and I heard it.
That is not the point of order which the hon. member for Karas (Mr. von Moltke) took.
Yes, that is the very point I took.
The hon. member for Karas did not say that the hon. member for Wynberg had said that he did not believe it.
May I repeat what I said, and on this point I am going to ask for the hon. member’s Hansard. He said that he did not believe that this conversation between Mr. Macmillan and our Prime Minister took place. He said “ I do not believe a single word of it ”, and then I asked whether the hon. member should not accept the word of the Prime Minister.
The hon. member for Wynberg did not say that he did not believe that it ever took place.
I say quite definitely that the price of continued membership … [Interjections.]
Don’t run away now.
The question is what the hon. member said.
I said that I did not for a moment believe that what was reported actually did take place. That is in order, and I am entitled to say it.
The hon. member may continue.
To get back to my speech, I say that the price of continued membership of the Commonwealth is not a demand for “ absolute equality ” and I want to quote from the official Hansard report of the House of Lords to prove my point … [Interjections.]
On a point of order, this hon. member is casting pearls, but there is no need for that hon. member over there to call him a swine.
Order! Which hon. member said that?
I said so.
Then the hon. member must withdraw it.
I withdraw it.
Sir, when these insults are hurled across the floor, should hon. members not be asked to apologize?
I think it is time that hon. members should remember that one cannot just hurl insults to and fro, and then expect only to be asked to withdraw them. The hon. member may proceed.
I realize that members opposite are trying in this clumsy way to distract me from what I want to say. But they shall not and I shall continue later…[Time limit.]
I do not wish to get involved in any argument with the hon. member who has just sat down. He is well known for the remarks he makes and in the past he has already been ordered out of this House. Well, I have been here for many years and I do not intend to be ordered out but I do wish to make a few remarks about what has happened during this debate.
I think what has been said here about the Prime Minister and to judge from what has been said by the Prime Ministers of Australia and of England it should be clear to every thinking person that our Prime Minister had no option. As an honourable person he had to withdraw. I think we can accept that but what I do want to say is this: I think we in this House bear some guilt; have we not contributed to the position which has arisen there and have we not aggravated it? To vilify and besmirch your own country is the greatest crime which any person can commit against himself and his fatherland. I never quote from newspapers but I am compelled to quote this paragraph from one of the biggest newspapers in England, the biggest conservative newspaper, namely the Daily Express. [Laughter.] You may laugh. You laugh at anything but the men who represent this newspaper are the men who have the say in Britain and who in the past have taken the lead and who will do so in future, they are the people who think and who really have the interests of Britain at heart—
In an editorial headlined “ Britain in strange company ”, the Daily Express said:
I wonder whether we should not perhaps lock up some Opposition members! That is what they say about Ghana and then they go on to say this—
Now we come to slavery—
We know what is happening there. That is where they have slave traffic even to-day—
The Daily Telegraph commented:
I remember having tea with General Smuts after his return in 1947. We know what happened at UNO at that time. I asked him what the position was there and he told me that he was one of the people who had established UNO but he was afraid they had made another mistake. He told me that what he had seen there would one day result in the East and Africa being reorganized against the West. Not only against the West but England, France and Holland have also disappointed us greatly by turning against us for certain reasons known to us; because of trade. That is precisely what General Smuts predicted. [Interjections.] General Smuts remained my friend till his death even though I differed from him politically. Before I sit down I just want to say that not one of us dare say anything to the detriment of our poor country. The position will right itself. We should not panic. We have had many difficulties in the past. We are right. The other day I met a very wealthy man from England and I had tea with him. He told me that it was only after the speech of the Prime Minister to the South Africa Club that he realized that this country was not conquered by the White people 300 years ago: that this country was “No Man’s Land” and that the Black people came from the north and met the White man at the Great Fish River. He said they came here to seek employment and now they wanted full rights. That speech of the Prime Minister has opened the eyes of the Englishman. I have received various letters from businessmen in which they say that they realize now that they have been wrong and that South Africa is right. They say: “ South Africa is right with its apartheid; we do not like the word apartheid; we call it segregation.” They say that they are beginning to like segregation; they are only now beginning to realize what our history is. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Aliwal (Capt. Strydom) who has just sat down has said very properly that no one should denigrate his country; I agree with him entirely. No one will dispute that, but I would also suggest to the hon. member that it is not patriotism to buoy the public up with misleading tranquilizers and false hope.
I want to get back to the subject-matter of this debate on the Prime Minister’s Vote. The debate in this Committee yesterday afternoon re-emphasized that the Prime Minister has adopted a defiant attitude to the rest of the world. He is right, he is infallible. All the 94 nations who voted against us yesterday were wrong.
Yes, they are.
We heard the voice of Waterberg this afternoon. The hon. member referred to the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) being out of step. Obviously these sycophantic ranks of supporters of the Prime Minister want to exclaim in gratitude: “ Look at our Hendrik, he is the only one in step! ” The Prime Minister is the only one in step in the whole of the world. What a fantasy!
Let us get down to this debate and the purpose of this debate. Yesterday was a dark day for South Africa in the councils of the world. Mr. Chairman, I omitted to ask whether I may have the privilege of the half-hour.
I shall have to ask the permission of the Committee. Is there any objection?
I have no doubt, Mr. Chairman, you will adjust this …
On a point of order, the hon. member called hon. members on this side sycophants, and I ask that he be ordered to withdraw those words.
The hon. member may proceed.
I will withdraw the word “ sycophant ” and say that the hon. member is a “ back-scratcher
On a point of order, that remark is a personal insult. Where are we going to end if this sort of language is going to be used across the floor of the House?
In the light of that objection I will say an “ irresponsible backscratcher
On a point of order, the hon. member has not yet withdrawn. He keeps on substituting another word for the word ruled out of order but he does not withdraw the word complained of.
He was not asked to withdraw it.
Order, the hon. member must moderate his language.
Very well, Sir, if you ask me to withdraw I will withdraw it and I will say that it is excessive and unnecessary adulation.
On a point of order, have you ruled that that is unparliamentary language? Surely it is not unparliamentary.
I asked the hon. member to moderate his language.
I had hoped that hon. members on the opposite benches, even though many of them are not competent to take part in this debate this afternoon, would at least lie prepared to listen to those who want to make some contribution …
We are only prepared to listen to sense.
They may not be aware of it but yesterday a motion sponsored by three Asian Commonwealth members recommending collective international action against the Union was carried by a majority of 93 to 1, and there were no abstentions. There was a particular paragraph in that resolution to which I want to draw special attention. It read as follows—
That particular paragraph was adopted by 94 to none, a record vote against us at the United Nations. Everyone in this Committee knows, or should know, that in taking that stand Britain and Australia have now lined up with our other critics in this international forum….
Much to your delight.
And while this was happening at UN the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon was rejecting any idea of concessions and predicting a bright future for this country —an appalling lack of realism on his part. Sir, it is this lack of realism combined with an over-simplification, that accounts for the Prime Minister’s wrong interpretation of the aims and aspirations of the Afro-Asian bloc and of the support given them by America and now by Britain, Canada and Australia. I say that the Prime Minister’s argument yesterday was an over-simplification as well as evidence of lack of realism. What was his argument? It ran like this: Communism wants to dominate the world. When Afro-Asian countries choose to attack South Africa, they are supported by the West, because, according to the Prime Minister, the West vies with Russia to win their favour. Let me quote exactly what the hon. gentleman said. He said—
At a later stage, if I have the opportunity, I want to come back to deal with those “ psychological aspects ”. Then the Prime Minister went on to say this—
At a later stage in his speech the hon. gentleman said this—
That was the hon. the Prime Minister’s argument. The hon. gentleman specially chose the words “ when the Afro-Asian countries chose to attack South Africa ”. I ask the Prime Minister this afternoon, and I ask hon. members opposite, why is it that the Afro-Asian nations have chosen to attack us?
Why do they attack all White men?
They attacked you too in 1947.
I am speaking to the Prime Minister and to hon. members over there who are seeking to follow the argument. Sir, I would say that in order to understand this, we should try to understand what the Afro-Asian bloc is, how it came into being, and what binding force holds it together. The Afro-Asian bloc came into being in 1955 at the Bandung Conference. At that stage six African states were represented, i.e. Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, and the Sudan.
That is elementary.
The hon. member says it is elementary. That is why I would have expected him to have shown a greater sense of responsibility in listening to this argument so that if he has an answer to it, he will give it to this Committee. The delegates at that conference found themselves linked by their common experience in the effort to win their independence. This gave them a genuine sympathy for others who had not yet achieved independence. [Time limit.]
I do not really want to react to what the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) has just said, except to say this: He says we contend that the hon. the Prime Minister is the only person who is right and that the rest of the world is wrong. But is that not precisely what he said in 1946 when he was at UNO? Is that not also precisely what General Smuts said in 1947, when he too had to stand alone?
Where do you get that from?
The hon. member says that we are falsely and wrongly alleging that in adopting this attitude the Prime Minister is the only one who is right and that the rest of the world is wrong, whereas he said exactly the same in 1946.
I want to return to what the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell), who is famous for his bravery, had to say to-day. I deprecate the fact that an hon. member gets up in this House and represents a statement and an explanation given by the Prime Minister as being lies, as being untrue, and that he doubts the credibility of the statement made by the Prime Minister. I regret that that should come from a man with his character and I deprecate the fact that that is done in this Chamber.
During the whole of yesterday we were accused, also by the Leader of the Opposition, that the entire world was against South Africa because of the policy of this Government. Furthermore, they made it a personal matter against the hon. the Prime Minister. He went further and said if we would only condemn the Prime Minister, if we would only get rid of him, everything would be all right with South Africa. That is the propaganda which has been made for a long time by the Leader of the Opposition and members on that side of the House. I have here a pamphlet which they issued during the 1953 election—
That is the propaganda that they are making in the world outside. You ask yourself the question, Sir, why is there such a great deal of misunderstanding on the part of the White nations; why do Britain and Canada and Australia not always know what our actual policy is; why do those people think that apartheid is oppression, that it borders on slavery; that apartheid does not recognize human values? I shall tell you why, Sir. It is because those pamphlets issued by those hon. members read as follows—
Sir, they are creating panic by speeding a host of inaccuracies and untruths. But they go further—
When White nations talk about slavery at UNO and when they say that our policy embraces slavery, we have to look to this country and see what this Opposition, which ought to be a responsible Opposition, sends into the world. The pamphlet goes on to say this—
That is the sort of propaganda which those hon. members make in the world outside. Hon. members opposite have every right to differ from the policy of the Government and to say that they do not believe that we will be able to apply parallel development in practice and carry it through to its logical conclusion. They have the right to say that but they have not got the right to regard that policy as unethical and to represent it to the world as being unethical. They have no right to represent that policy to the world as being dishonest; they have no right to represent it as a policy embracing slavery, as a policy which disavows human rights. I think everyone who listened to the Prime Minister yesterday, and anyone who sees what has been done in the direction of this parallel four-stream development, in the direction of developing the non-White population groups within their respective ethnic areas, by canalizing those groups so that those streams do not engulf us but flow alongside us, would realize that this is a policy which acknowledges human values and which acknowledges the human rights of those people. But in spite of the fact that this matter has been stated so clearly, hon. members still come forward, as the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) did last night, and represent this apartheid policy as being a policy of slavery and oppression. I want to give another example. Unfortunately the hon. member for Drakensburg (Mrs. S. M. van Niekerk) is not here. She is one of the active members of the Black Sash organization which was established by the United Party. That organization issued pamphlets throughout the world with the sort of statement that this Government had destroyed the South African constitution; that during the past ten years legislation had been introduced which removed the Coloured people from the Common Roll.
Is that not correct?
We admit that, but they went on to say—
That is also correct.
That is also true.
Mr. Chairman, we have the example of the judgment given by the Court in the treason trial case. Show me any man in this country who has not got free access to the courts; mention any case in South Africa where a person cannot go to court to have justice done. That hon. member who says “ That is also true ” is betraying South Africa by making that sort of statement. To compare this Government with a Hitler Government, as that hon. member did yesterday, and as the hon. member did just now …
On a point of order, is the hon. member entitled to say that in doing what he is doing the hon. member for Sea Point (Mr, J. A. L. Basson) is betraying the Union of South Africa?
Order! Did the hon. member use those words?
I said that if that hon. member says that the Government has forbidden access to the courts in South Africa, it is tantamount to betraying South Africa.
The hon. member may proceed.
On a point of personal explanation, Sir, all I said was …
No, that is not a point of order.
Are you the Chairman?
Order! The hon. member cannot rise on a point of personal explanation if the hon. member is not agreeable.
I say that what that hon. member has just said is indicative of the mental attitude of that party in South Africa …
You people pass the laws which betray South Africa.
They make the propaganda that the Government is interfering with the churches, that you may no longer attend a church. Those are the stories which are spread by those hon. members. I can give more than one example Sir, and that is why I repeat that that party opposite is busy prejudicing the world against South Africa with their propaganda, with the pamphlets which they are issuing throughout the world, with their speeches and by supplying the world with inaccurate data. [Time limit.]
I was saying when I was interrupted by the time limit, that the Afro-Asian group has increased very rapidly since 1955. We all know that to overcome the Russian veto in the Security Council, the Western powers have themselves built up the importance of the General Assembly in which the votes of all members are equal. The vote of the Dominican Republic counts as much as the vote of the United States or that of Great Britain. That being so, until last year this had its cold war value, since it has been the custom of the Latin American bloc, with encouragement from Washington, to vote together. That very naturally gave the Western powers a decisive majority over the communists. Since then we have had the defection of Cuba which threatens the solidarity of the Latin American bloc. This, of course, inevitably makes the Afro-Asian bloc the largest and most sought-after group in the United Nations. In those circumstances it is obviously very important to discover, firstly, how closely allied are the states inside this bloc, and secondly, which side, if either, they will take in the cold war. In the course of his remarks yesterday the hon. the Prime Minister suggested that he had suspicions about the international political affinities of the Afro-Asian group. He talked rather disparagingly about their saying that they were uncommitted, and suggested that they might be orientated more to the Soviet than to the West. Well, so far as we can ascertain those nations are at the present time uncommitted. I emphasize that it is very important to know whether that will continue; it is very important to know in which direction they are moving. Except for some unenlightened Europeans in certain parts of the African continent these questions are probably the gravest facing mankind, as to what action this Afro-Asian group will take in the cold war against Communism. Yet, the hon. the Prime Minister yesterday brushed them aside with the brusqueness with which he deals with the Dawie commentary in the Burger. He appears to think that it means nothing at all. I would remind the Prime Minister that all important decisions of the United Nations are preceded by meetings of the Afro-Asian representatives in Washington. With the admission now of so many new African members, uncommitted either to the U.S.A. or to Russia, changes in the composition of the Security Council are obviously imminent. None of these members, except for Formosa, is a permanent member of the Security Council. How long is that position going to remain? Is it not obvious that there are going to be changes in the secretariat of the United Nations, and that very shortly there will be insistent demands that one of the Afro-Asian groups should become a permanent member of the Security Council? There are at present two members of the Afro-Asian group, Tunisia and Ceylon, who are temporary members of the Security Council, and it is well known that they consulted the other members of the group before instructions were given to Mr. Hammarskjöld in regard to the Commonwealth. I may say that certain other members of the Security Council probably felt profound relief at that fact, because it was felt that if instructions were coming from the Afro-Asian group it would probably help to keep Russia in her place and prevent her from getting out of step, because Russia, too, is seeking to woo these particular nations. Sir, the importance of the Afro-Asian group—and this is what, the Prime Minister completely failed to appreciate yesterday in his psychological review of the situation—is that even though they may differ in many respects (and of course they differ;, there are the Asian members and the African members) they are likely to unite over any issue connected with colonialism and with race relations.
What is your point?
Sir, it is precisely on such issues that their opinions will matter most to the rest of the world. And it is here that the Prime Minister has failed to be realistic for it is equally precisely this factor which, because of his intransigence and his defiant flouting of world criticism, has caused us now to be isolated in the world. Sir, to Europeans in certain parts of Africa, in Kenya, in Algeria and Northern Rhodesia, this problem of colonialism and race relations is naturally most important. But the hard fact remains that to the rest of the world it comes a long way behind the problem of the cold war. Communism attempts to exploit nationalism in the emergent states. I have no doubt whatsoever that it is highly probable that the communists will win the cold war if, despite all their assertions about democracy and human rights, the U.S.A. and Britain appear to favour restrictive legislation, based rather on skin pigmentation than on merit, while the Russians and Chinese appear to impose no colour bar of any kind. That is the crux of the whole matter, and that is why the Prime Minister yesterday had to admit that the Whites in South Africa are expendable because of his policy. It is the policies of this Government over the last 13 years which have made the White man in South Africa expendable. The White man is expendable in South Africa because the White man is a danger and a menace to the West. This policy stands in the way of the West in combating Communism. This, Sir, comes from a Prime Minister who boastfully says that this is a Government which is going to save South Africa!
Save the world.
You are misrepresenting him.
Sir, the Prime Minister and his followers may not like this, but they cannot avoid it. [Interjections.] I do not mind whether hon. members opposite say I am telling untruths. I am telling them the facts on which posterity will give judgment. I am giving them facts on which history will give judgment. Not small men; not bigoted men; but the historian of the future. Sir, the Afro-Asian group will continue to show an increasing interest in the welfare of our non-Whites, and continue to exert pressure on us if we remain inflexible. Can we not read the lesson from South West Africa? There are Russian trawlers off South West Africa. Does the hon. the Prime Minister think that they are innocently trawling for red herrings?
They are fishing, like you.
In those circumstances the British and the Americans, in sheer defence against Communism, must do the same. They have to show an increasing interest in our policies; they must do so otherwise Communism must win and that, of course, would be the final disaster. That is what is happening at the United Nations now. In these circumstances the Prime Minister tells us that he looks forward to a happy future; that all is well with South Africa, that the future is rosy. He defies the world; we can stand alone. We can get into the laager and make no concessions. Sir, he is sacrificing White South Africa by this attitude, and hon. members opposite who meekly follow him are sacrificing White South Africa. Talk about patriotism! What we need now, Sir, is people who will go out into the country and explain these facts to the voters in the platteland. Sir, our people in South Africa are sensible people; they are good people; they are understanding people. But they are misled by the politicians. They do not understand why we are in isolation. [Time limit.]
Having listened to this debate since yesterday, it seems as though the debate is now becoming somewhat unrealistic, especially after the Prime Minister has spoken. If we cast our mind back over the two weeks that have passed, two incidents are prominent. Firstly, we had the incident where 60,000 people gathered spontaneously to give expression to the will of the people and to express gratitude to a Prime Minister and within, a few hours thereafter another 20,000 in Cape Town. Compared with that the supporters of that side of the House convened five meetings during the same time and could not get 1,000 people together who wanted to listen to the ideas which they have expressed here to-day. On the one hand we had that and on the other hand what has been happening here in this House since yesterday afternoon. One hon. member after another on that side of the House gets up and makes accusations which do South Africa no good. I think it behoves this House to express its gratitude to the hon. the Prime Minister for the speech which he made yesterday afternoon in which he explained in clear and explicit terms which road was available to South Africa in these times, the only road which leads to self-preservation, duty and honour, and more particularly the only road in respect of which the people of South Africa have given a mandate. Because whatever the hon. the Prime Minister has done he did in execution of the mandate given to him and within the next three years hon. members opposite will probably again have an opportunity of testing the public’s attitude in regard to the things which they have said here to-day, and I challenge them beforehand to the fight which lies ahead.
The hon. the Prime Minister stated two alternatives very clearly, two alternatives which are available to South Africa to-day. On the one hand, as he put it, there is the road which hon. members opposite advocate, namely the road of minor concessions to bring about temporary relief, with the full knowledge that this temporary relief will very soon be followed by further demands which will lead to the ultimate and inevitable fall of White civilization. However, hon. members opposite refuse to believe that their road will lead to the downfall of South Africa. They refuse to learn from history, particularly from the most recent history of Africa. It is possible to test the direction which they advocate in various ways. The only way in which their policy can be tested as to its chances of success is to consider what non-White leaders outside South Africa think about it. What do all the recognized leaders outside South Africa say? What does Banda of Nyasaland say about this direction? Banda of Nyasaland has only one message to his people and to the Black man of Africa and that is that the White man must disappear, that Africa belongs to the Black man. The same message comes from Kaunda of Northern Rhodesia, the same message comes from Mboya and from Odinga of Kenya, that is also the message from Touré of Guinea, and in all these cases the Black leaders of Africa are in agreement on one issue, namely that the White man in Africa symbolizes colonialism. The word “ colonialism ” has become a new swear word to them and they regard the Union of South Africa as the final fort and bastion of colonialism. They demand only one thing from Africa, namely that Africa should belong to the Black man and they refuse to allow the White man in South Africa to become a co-manager. I challenge any hon. member opposite to get up and to quote any of the responsible Native leaders as having said that he is prepared to let the White man and the Black man govern this Continent together. It is also possible to apply a second test to their demands and their direction. That test is what has happened in Africa itself where the Black man has recently come into power. In the Congo, where there is a large White community, the White man is being exterminated. Further north where there was a small White community when the Black man came into power the White man was not given an opportunity to govern the country with the Black man. No invitation was extended to the White man to take part in the government of the country, which is what the policy of the United Party envisages. Hon. members opposite think that it is possible to compromise and to govern the country together with them. There is nothing in what has been happening in Africa to support that view. But there is a third test which can be applied, namely what the leaders of the Black man say in South Africa itself. There are various leaders whom I could quote but I want to mention the following. What did Sebukwe say in the past about the direction which the Opposition stands for? Sebukwe’s demand from the White man and from the Black man in South Africa is that the Black man should have everything or nothing. What was the reaction of Kgosana who is outside South Africa at the moment— various countries are competing to-day to have Kgosana—Kgosana who is the leader of a large section of the non-Whites in South Africa? How did he react to this offer by hon. members opposite? I challenge any member opposite to get up and to say that they will allow Kgosana to return to South Africa. Is any leader of the United Party prepared to get up and to say that Kgosana, one of the recognized leaders of the Black man in South Africa, one of the persons whom they wish to make co-responsible for the government of this country within the White area, a person with whom they wish to negotiate, should return? Are they prepared to allow him in South Africa and to allow him to remain here without standing trial, and are they prepared to form a government in South Africa together with him? Surely Kgosana is one of the leaders who can negotiate on behalf of the Black man. What is the reply of Luthuli to this direction? Last year when the hon. the Leader of the Progressive Party went out of his way to explain how they wanted to incorporate the Black man in their system of government, Luthuli told him to keep quiet and told him that the Black man did not demand what the Leader of the Progressive Party advocated but that he and his people demanded equality and universal franchise in South Africa.
The alternative, however, as the hon. the Prime Minister has stated, is that South Africa should continue on the only road which remains open to us, the right road and the road along which we have already achieved a great measure of reasonableness and prosperity, a greater measure than in the case of any other state in Africa, whether it was achieved by a White government or by a non-White government. But it is also the only road along which the non-Whites in South Africa can hope to find self-determination and which will lead to the self-preservation of the non-Whites in South Africa. The reaction from the side opposite is threefold: That this road which South Africa is following under the leadership of the Prime Minister is impracticable in the first place, that it is not fair and just and that Africa does not want it. The implication of the United Party’s policy is that the Government’s policy should be discarded because the non-Whites in Africa and the Afro-Asian bloc do not wish to have our policy. The implication is that what South Africa wants is not important but what Black agitators in Africa want is. That is the implication of the standpoint of hon. members opposite. [Time limit.]
I was dealing with the position of the Prime Minister, who is flouting the world and who on the one hand claims the we in South Africa are fighting Communism, but at the same time is playing into the hand of the communists through his policy. But what is more, the hon. the Prime Minister now accuses the Prime Minister of Great Britain of abandoning his principles. What a mockery! What did the hon. gentleman say? I quote from his speech. He said that he had asked Mr. Macmillan about the principle of non-interference for which the two countries had been fighting for ten years. Mr. Macmillan said: “ You cannot always stick to a principle; if the time comes for you to give ground, you must abandon it—call it political opportunism if you like, but a country must trim its sails to the wind,” Then there were naturally incredulous cries from members of the Opposition here, asking “ Who said that? ” Then the hon. the Prime Minister changed his ground, and said that Mr. Macmillan took up the standpoint that he was not so bound by certain principles that if there was a change in circumstances, he could not adjust to the new change. “ And this means trimming your sails to the wind, these are my words.” Then Opposition members asked “ What were his words? ” And then the hon. the Prime Minister replied: “ A person should not stare himself blind on principles, but when circumstances change, he should be in the position to take up an attitude that suited him. I interpreted what he said in my own words by saying ‘ that one should trim one’s sails to the wind ’.” I think that was an unfortunate observation of the hon. the Prime Minister. What was the Prime Minister of Great Britain saying? In effect what he was saying was that statesmanship demands, from time to time, that one should adjust one’s views to changing circumstances. You do not change your principles. You continue in the direction in which you are going, but you may have to change your methods. Let me quote, Sir, words which I think admirably illustrate this, the words of Mr. Churchill which I quote from “ Consistency in Politics ”—
And what is the dominating purpose, Sir? To keep the peace of the world. To keep the Commonwealth going as one of the twin pillars with the United States, as a bulwark against Communism. I quote one further paragraph from Mr. Churchill, and I hope the hon. the Prime Minister will take heed of these words—
After all, Sir, it is this Prime Minister who has divorced himself from a great body of doctrine. Was it not the hon. the Prime Minister, himself, who admitted that some while ago he was not in favour of South Africa remaining in the Commonwealth if we became a republic. But he threw that doctrine overboard. Did he change his principles? I do not believe for a moment that he changed his principles. He did not change his principles. He was still going for the same objective, but there were changed circumstances. And I would suggest that the hon. the Prime Minister can do a service to this country if he would bear in mind, Sir, that he should not be hidebound by doctrines and dogmas of the past. He talks about interpreting “ die volkswil ”. Let him remember the words of the Burger, their call for leadership, not slavishly following uninformed opinions. I would remind the hon. the Prime Minister of the words of someone who said that a statesman with his ear to the ground is in no posture for leadership. What is necessary in this country at the present time is to give a lead and to make the people aware of the situation. What is the position? We at the present time are in the international dog-box because of the policy of apartheid practised by this Government. I quote again from the resolution which was passed unanimously by 94 to nil yesterday which says “ policies based on racial discrimination are reprehensible and repugnant to human dignity ”. We must tell the people of South Africa that. What is the hon. the Prime Minister doing? What are his followers doing in regard to telling the people of our country that “ a policy based on racial discrimination is repugnant and reprehensible to human dignity ”? Sir, what is at the bottom of the animosity towards us? It is not so much the question of the vote, it is the question of human dignity.
That is not true.
It is inferiority which is resented. The hon. the Prime Minister thinks in terms of groups. His whole speech yesterday was in terms of groups, of four parallelisms: The Bantu group, the White group, the Coloured group, the Asian group. He does not think in terms of the individual. Where is the hon. the Prime Minister’s psychology of which he spoke yesterday?
The world is full of groups.
Of course the world is full of groups, but the world is also full of human beings, and those human beings have human dignity. What is wrong with this country is not merely the political application of apartheid, but the human application of apartheid, all these negative restrictions which have brought many of our citizens to a state of frustration. The hon. the Prime Minister talks about a Bantustan, and then sees in that a parallel of what happens when Italian workers go to France and Germany to work. He says: “ No one complains that they are not being humanely treated.” But, Sir, the Italian worker is not told that he must only travel in a carriage marked “ slegs vir nie-Blankes He is not told that he cannot go into certain places. He can roam around where he wants to go.
I was asked yesterday by the hon. member for Standerton (Dr. Coertze) what I was prepared to pay to come to terms with the Afro-Asian group. I want to say that it is not a question of having to come to terms with any outside group, whether it is the Afro-Asian group or any other group. What is necessary in this country at the present moment, and before it is too late, if we still have time, is that we must come to terms with ourselves. We have to place ourselves on a tenable basis, and I am prepared to pay the price of acknowledging human dignity. It is not easy, Sir, to make people see the light. It is not popular to preach the doctrines which we on this side of the House preach. We preach them as South Africans, not because we want to undermine White civilization in South Africa, but because we believe that this is the only way of gaining security for the White groups in South Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister in his perorations, yesterday talked movingly about the fact that he considered it his duty to remain at his post. I would remind the hon. the Prime Minister that he has no monopoly of courage and he has no monopoly of duty. He has courage. I give it to him. He has great courage and I admire him for that, but he has no monopoly of courage. And the hon. the Prime Minister has no monopoly of duty. Sir, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has a duty to this House. The hon. members who follow him have a duty. We on this side have a duty to this House. Do not think that the hon. Leader of the Progressive Party and the other hon. members who sit with me here found it easy to take the course which we have done. Do you think that we have taken our political lives in our hands merely for a phantasy? We have done this in the sincere belief that the sands are running out in South Africa, and that unless we can make the people of South Africa aware of the danger of making no concessions, White South Africa is doomed. What do we ask? We ask a very simple thing. We have heard a great deal about good intentions when dealing with the Preamble to the Republican Bill. We ask for the guidance of the Almighty God, we say that we propose to govern this republic on the basis of Christian principles. I ask, Sir, that we apply Christian principles to all the people in this land. Live and let live! If we do that, Sir, we can extricate ourselves from isolation. [Time limit.]
Had the late General Smuts listened to the hon. member for Salt River this afternoon, he would have turned in his grave. I have great respect for the hon. member for Salt River and for the role which he has played in this country, but the hon. member has degenerated into a position similar to that of ex-Senator Basner in 1947. He speaks exactly the same language as ex-Senator Basner did in 1947, and his whole attitude is the attitude which those people adopted at the time when they attacked the hon. member for Salt River when he defended South Africa at UNO. The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) said that if he had been Prime Minister there would not have been a cold war against South Africa. But when did the cold war against South Africa start? This cold war against South Africa started in 1946 when India moved a resolution against us at UNO. The cold war started at that time and General Smuts and the hon. member for Salt River defended South Africa at that time in respect of that cold war. This morning I came across a speech which General Smuts made in the Senate which was the first shot that was fired in this cold war after General Smuts had been humiliated by the Indian representative and I invite hon. members to go and read that speech. I can tell you, Sir, that it is practically word for word the same speech as that which the Prime Minister made here yesterday. When did that cold war start against South Africa? When South Africa was not prepared to make concessions? Mr. Chairman, does the fact that immediately the Indians were given three representatives in this House, India launched an attack against General Smuts, the mighty Smuts, at UNO, not mean anything to hon. members opposite? At that time we did what the United Party is now asking us to do. It was done at that time not by the despicable Hendrik Verwoerd but by the mighty General Smuts, it was done by the darling of the British Empire and the darling of UNO. Those non-White countries said at that time: We do not want three representatives for the Indians, we want equal rights for every Coloured group in South Africa. And General Smuts came off second best. That is why I am asking hon. members to go and read that speech of General Smuts. It is the same in every respect as the speech which the hon. the Prime Minister made here yesterday. In the first place, the hon. member for Salt River asks that we should make concessions and that we should accede to the demands made by UNO. General Smuts said in clear terms that he would not give in to UNO. I want to read what he said—
Have we not heard about those too?—
That was what General Smuts said when the hon. member for Salt River was a member of his Cabinet and when Mrs. Pandit demanded that we followed a certain policy. His Prime Minister and the hon. member said at that time that they would not submit. They did much more. General Smuts went further and said that the attitude adopted by UNO was not based on facts, but that it was based on misrepresentations which came from South Africa, that it was based on the suspicion which had been sown against South Africa. I want to quote what General Smuts said—
The challenge which General Smuts issued at New York is the challenge which our present Prime Minister has issued, namely: Show us one other country in the whole world (those were the words of General Smuts) that looks so well after its Indians, that looks so well after its Asians, that looks so well after its Black people, as South Africa. General Smuts said this—
They were laid on the Table and I advise hon. members to read them—
When did he have a Group Areas Act?
Group Areas Act? The hon. member should be ashamed of himself for asking a question like that. When the Indians were given three representatives the Pegging Act followed and the Indians were limited to certain areas in Natal. Were those not group areas? General Smuts and the hon. member for Salt River pegged the Indians. Is the hon. member not ashamed of himself? General Smuts said—
That is precisely the position we have to-day. General Smuts went on to say—
He went on and dealt with the false light in which South Africa’s position had been presented—
Exactly what the hon. member for Salt River says—
The hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson), who has also degenerated just as this hon. member has, says that the position which prevails at UNO is not as a result of this propaganda. General Smuts says here that it is as a result of the propaganda made by those people and I add this, “ not only the Wolff Sachses and the Basners, but as a result of the propaganda made by the hon. member for Salt River and by the hon. member for Namib ”.
You should not talk about degenerating.
General Smuts went further and advanced the same arguments as those advanced by our Prime Minister and he wanted to know why, if South Africa’s position was discussed, the position in other countries was not discussed. General Smuts went on to say this—
General Smuts continued to say that they had appealed and that that was not the end of the story. He pointed out that there were minorities in every country who had their complaints. He went on to say this—
If ever there was anyone who always had the highest regard for General Smuts then I believe that I could claim that honour for myself. If I look at what has happened during the past 15 years, the tremendous human revolution which has been set in motion, then I want to say to the hon. member for Vereeniging that what General Smuts said or even thought 15 years ago is hardly relevant to-day. He says that General Smuts: mentioned that our non-Whites lived in wealth here in comparison with what the position was in other countries. I concede that our non-Whites are better off in a materialistic sense than many in the Far East, even better than many Whites in Europe. I concede all that. But, Mr. Chairman, the question in the world to-day does not concern that. The question to-day is: Can any nation, in fact can any individual who is a creature of the Creator, tolerate that another individual or race or another nation should play the boss over him and stand in his light? That is the question in the world to-day. Whatever we may think of race discrimination, it will not be tolerated by the world—not for a single day longer. The people and the nation who want to continue with race discrimination in order to protect themselves, to maintain themselves—whether we call it self-preservation or anything else— that nation will be destroyed in the course of history. Let us have no illusions about that. I personally try to listen in this House as objectively as it is humanly possible. Yesterday I particularly tried to listen objectively to the hon. the Prime Minister. I want to tell him quite frankly that I was bitterly disappointed in him. Perhaps it makes no difference to him if I am disappointed in him, but I want to state it here, because what did he tell us yesterday that could give us hope for the future? Inexorable opposition! Does the hon. the Prime Minister want to tell us to-day, and must we believe that he possesses the truth and the whole truth about this question, that he has such an absolute assurance about it that he dare not make the smallest concession? I believe, Mr. Chairman, that we will be destroyed together with the hon. the Prime Minister if he continues like that. We will be destroyed as surely as we Whites are here in South Africa, and it will not be the first time in history that a privileged group holds onto their privileges until it is far too late and there is only one outcome—self-destruction. As I see matters, in the world to-day colonialism is the symbol of racial supremacy and race discrimination.
Yes, according to the Blacks.
We can now say that under that colonial system the Western nations have done wonders for the benefit of the non-White peoples. I concede all that. Mr. Speaker, one can do all that but if one neglects to show that respect for the dignity of the Individual then it is just the same as not having done anything at all for them. Do not let us pride ourselves on the material benefits which we have given to the non-Whites. We have done much and they have brought us much. But this attitude of refusing to recognize the dignity of those people is the great mistake which we are making.
Who refuses it?
We are starting with a colonial system to-day. The policy of separate development is nothing else but a colonial system in its infancy. While the whole of humanity rejects colonialism we come along with a policy which is: nothing but colonialism in its early stages. This is particularly so in regard to the separate development of the reserves. We can well understand that we are starting with it too late, but our intentions are good. But that is not the great problem facing South Africa. Two-thirds of our colonists are here among us in the so-called White areas They are the colonists with whom we are concerned. We must decide that they must either go back to their own countries or that they must remain. And if they must remain as the hon. farmer members here demand and as every industrialist demands, every mining magnate and even Government undertakings, then I say again that that form of colonialism which we now want to apply is nothing else but White “ baasskap ” over those people. That will not be tolerated by the world, even if we can prove with chapter and verse, as the hon. the Prime Minister tried to do, that they are better off than any other group in the whole of Africa. That will not help us. That colonialism which we are trying here, especially in regard to the colonists among us …
But it is our country?
That will not help us. My hon. friend there says it is our country. I believe that it is our country but I believe that it is more God’s country and that if the non-Whites who are among us and who made our livelihood possible—also the livelihood of the hon. member for Ventersdorp (Mr. Greyling) —must live here that it will then be unrealistic of us to come along with the story that it is our country and not theirs. If they have a country then for heaven’s sake let us now take steps to let them go to their country. If their country is not here with us then let us allocate a country to them and let them go to their own Canaan. [Interjections.] But if we continue as we are to-day then it means: the doom of the White man here. The hon. member for Ventersdorp talks so much but I wish he would do a little more thinking. I personally have never interrupted him but apparently he cannot sit and listen to anyone. He has the supreme wisdom. As far as the Coloureds are concerned I want to say that the hon. member for Ventersdorp can stand on his head but he cannot deny that the Coloureds’ country is here. I again tell the hon. the Prime Minister frankly that I had hope at one stage, but if he closes all the doors on the Coloureds then he will write finis to the future of the White man. If we cannot open the door for the Coloureds, if we continually slam the door in his face, then I say that there is no hope for us. Let the hon. the Prime Minister continue with his steadfast, granite-like attitude. I know that type of person in history. Throughout history and practically without exception such persons have led their people to destruction.
We also know people who compromise.
In these times in which we live one cannot claim the whole truth for oneself, and that is what the hon. the Prime Minister is doing by implication.
It has become common practice that every year when the hon. the Prime Minister’s Vote is discussed here we have this distasteful situation. We get the distasteful language of certain hon. members of this House. It immediately makes one think that a man who makes a noise and who swears loudly has a bad case. He has a bad case and therefore he tries to make something of it by making a big fuss. I refer to the language and the action of the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) and the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes). If we as Whites are so divided that we act as we do towards the hon. the Prime Minister who has put everything into the balance for his convictions and whom we sent, with by far the greater part of the people supporting him, to go and act on our behalf, then we are certainly doomed, to use the words of the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Prof. Fourie). I leave it at that as far as that hon. member is concerned. I just want to add this. Where one finds that sort of speaker one should go and look further to see what sort of place he comes from. If one goes into his background his mentality can be understood.
What do you mean by that?
I want to come to another matter. We have already heard many opinions here this afternoon.
But tell us what you meant by the background of certain hon. members.
If the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) will give me a chance I would like to make my speech.
I would be glad if the hon. member would tell us what he meant.
If I get a second chance I would like to do so but the hon. member is wasting my time. It is a long time since I last came across people who plead so much to have their own throats cut as was witnessed here this afternoon. What does the hon. member for Germiston (District) advocate? He says we are doomed—provided. He sets a condition. That condition is only one thing, and that is what hon. members opposite advocate. We cannot get away from it; they are pleading for one thing only, namely equality. That is the end of us. I ask hon. members, is any other country of UN in the position in which we in South Africa are? We have here a minority of Whites who have built up the country, with a large majority of non-Whites. But let us take a look at that organization. Let me talk a little about the mighty UN which hon. members opposite worship so much. Let me put this question to the hon. member for Yeoville and he can answer it when his turn comes. It usually comes last. Where was UN when they permitted the violation of Hungary; and what was said to them about it? Where was UN last year with the violation of Tibet by China? What did UN do? What did UN do when 600 Cubans who acted against Castro were recently shot dead like dogs on the plains? Did UN and those countries express an opinion about the violation of those countries and about the death of those people? Where is the humanity of UN about which hon. members opposite talk so much? Now I come back to the Commonwealth. Who and what is Pakistan, which is a member of the Commonwealth? Is that what the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) and other hon. members want when they plead for the wonderful gentlemen of the Commonwealth? Pakistan is a dictatorship; a dictator is in power there. Is that what the hon. members want? Are those the people who are going to prescribe to us? The hon. member for Salt River says anything he likes in the House; that is his democratic right, but can he do it in Pakistan?
No, but there is probably plenty of “human dignity” there!
Yes, he probably says that there is plenty of human dignity there, Then I come to the Congo which is also a member of UN and which also has a say over South Africa, and I still have to hear these hon. members or the mighty England or the U.S.A.—who are both there for their own ends, and I still want to analyse those ends —say something against the Congo, that country which is treating the Whites in the most gruesome and horrible manner. It has treated its benefactor in the most disgraceful manner. In my constituency there are dozens of Belgians who had to flee and I will tell the House what I have seen. Little boys being pushed in a pushcart were all emasculated. There is not a single White woman in the whole of the Belgian Congo who has not been raped. Those are the people who must sit in judgment over us.
That, of course, is again “ human dignity ”.
Those are the people about whom Stanley Uys writes: “ For the right to misgovern themselves if they so see fit.” That is what hon. members opposite want. What we have built up over the years must be destroyed, and then it is said to us that we are against the non-Whites just because they are Yellow, Brown or Black. It is going too far that we as Whites on this side, and some hon. members opposite who have in past years made so many sacrifices for the non-Whites in this country in the sphere of Christianity, in the sphere of schooling, housing and in every other sphere, should be decried so. We have looked after the non-Whites to the best of our ability in every sphere. Now I want to analyse those countries who are so interested in us and in Africa. It will be a brave man and a hero who can rise from the other side and tell me that America and UN are in the Congo for the sake of the Native. Why does their fellow member, Russia, also want to be there? Why does their fellow member, China, want to be there also? I say that “ we are pawns in the game ” and are we so foolish and stupid that we cannot see it?
What are you going to do about it?
Those hon. members of course want us to surrender. What they want is that we should make concessions and sell out and those of us who can do so must take up our bundle and go. But those of us who have been in this country for centuries cannot do it. Those hon. members cannot do it either. They are also totally out of touch with their people outside. Let me give the hon. gentlemen the assurance that there are to-day hundreds and hundreds of English-speaking people in South Africa who see in Dr. Verwoerd, the Leader of the National Party and the hon. Prime Minister of South Africa, the salvation of the White man in this country and in the world. Hon. members may laugh but I say that they are laughing in their own madness.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw the word “ madness ”.
Then I will say that they are laughing in their own stupidity, to put it more mildly.
No, the hon. member must withdraw the word “ madness ”.
Then I withdraw it. We achieve nothing by coming along with this unbridled language whenever we are in an awkward position, as was the case here this afternoon. To try and blame the hon. the Prime Minister for being responsible, when he moved heaven and earth to try and fulfil his promise, namely to keep South Africa in the Commonwealth … [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee), when acknowledging that the world was waging a “cold war ” against us, said “ the cold war started at the time when General Smuts proposed to give the Indians three representatives in Parliament ”. I ask him to throw his mind back to those days when he was a most ardent supporter of General Smuts, before he joined another party and eventually landed up in the Nationalist Party. Who stood by us at UNO in those days? We had the whole of the Commonwealth; we had most of the European nations; we had such support that unfriendly nations at UNO could not get the necessary majority even to reprimand us. And what is this Government’s cure? We were going to give the Indians three representatives in this Parliament. But they have made it known that they will never ever give them a single representative in this Parliament. What is more, they have said that they will eventually throw out the Coloured representatives from Parliament and never give them representation again. They have boasted of the fact that the Bantu in the towns will never get representation. Is that the way to stop a cold war? And who stands by us now at UNO? Nobody except, occasionally, a reluctant Portugal. Therein lies the difference caused by 13 years of scandalous misrule.
The hon. the Prime Minister, as I mentioned about two hours ago, asked us if we were so naïve as to believe that those nations who opposed us in the Commonwealth would be satisfied with small concessions ”, And other hon. members on the Government side, by way of interjection, said that the terms for co-operation in the Commonwealth are “ absolute equality ”. They said they “ knew that all along ”. I ask them, if they knew “ all along ” that “ gelykstelling ” was demanded of us, did the hon. the Prime Minister not know it when he held the referendum? Did he not also know at that time that he would be inflexible and that, although he planned to go over to the Prime Ministers’ Conference, he would not budge an inch. And if he would not budge an inch from his policy and he knew that they demanded “ gelykstelling ”, he must have known that we would have to withdraw from the Commonwealth. He must have known that before he left, and he must certainly have known it after he adopted his inflexible attitude over there.
I say to the hon. the Prime Minister “ the price of retaining membership of the Commonwealth is not absolute equality in every respect I am quite certain that had the United Party been in power we still would have been an honoured member of the Commonwealth. In my opinion it is certain that even now, if we could get rid of this dangerous and troublesome Government and turn to the policies suggested by my hon. leader, we would be welcomed back into the Commonwealth. The price of Commonwealth membership is not absolute equality. Even the Tunku of Malaya said—
and he meant by “ Coloured peoples ” Bantu and Indians as well as the Cape Coloured people—
the attitude of the Commonwealth would have been different.
Mr. Duncan Sandys said this—
Does the hon. the Prime Minister think that White civilization will be engulfed in a sea of colour if he gives Ambassadors or High Commissioners from non-White Commonwealth States permission to come to this country? That was once part of his plan, but he has now given it up. I feel it necessary to quote at some length the statements of Lord Hail-sham as appearing in this Hansard of the House of Lords, of Thursday, 23 March 1961. What he said was of great importance to us and indicates a complete refutation of many of the points made by the hon. the Prime Minister in his speech of yesterday. He is a member of the British Cabinet and he knew what had actually taken place as well as anyone else did. He said this—
again the price is not absolute surrender of all ideas of separation—
We told the Prime Minister that by seeking a republic he was placing our membership in jeopardy. But those hon. members said that contention was ridiculous. They said it was a “ mere formality ” and that we should automatically become a member. Yet now, when our words have come true, when their faulty policies have come home to roost, they seek to blame us. Mr. Sandys went on—
Mr. Sandys says some very interesting things about the dangers that lie ahead of us, but he also gives promise of hope that we will come back as and when better people return to our Government and better times to this country.
The hon. the Prime Minister must himself know that even his great friend, a man who has espoused our cause on many occasions, Mr. Menzies, a man with great knowledge of this country, says that “ the ultimate conflict of apartheid will be bloody and devastating ”. And Mr. Macmillan, whom I thought was our friend until I heard that he had tricked our Prime Minister, says …
Order, order! J do not think the hon. member should say that of the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
No, Mr. Chairman, I do not think he would trick our Prime Minister. But it was our Prime Minister who suggested that …
That is not true and you know it is not true.
He said this—
and this is Mr. Macmillan speaking—
So he was not induced to do it. Then he goes on to say—
Then he went on to say that the price of membership of the Commonwealth is not “ absolute equality He says this—
Finally he adds a sentence which shows, I think, that our Prime Minister failed disastrously in his diplomatic mission. If he even intended to succeed then he must have been willfully obstinate and foolish. I quote Mr. Macmillan again who said—
The truth is, Sir, we have been swindled out of the Commonwealth. [Time limit.]
I think the only four words which call for comment in the speech of the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) are those he used when referring to the “ thirteen years of misrule ” of this Government.
I am now going to ask hon. members opposite to say “ hear, hear” again. In 1948 they were removed from power in this country by the votes of the people and the National Party came into power. In 1953 this Government once again went to the people and gained a greater majority. In 1958 it again went to the people and was returned to power with a yet greater majority. If they now shout “hear, hear!”, are hon. members saying that the voters of South Africa are so stupid that they continually put the wrong Government into power, or are they saying that they are trying to get into power merely by gaining the votes of the most stupid people in the country? Because one of those two statements must be true. Either we have come into power with the support of the majority of the electorate or they are insulting the intelligence of the electorate, or else they must say that they want to get into power merely by gaining the vote of the most stupid voters.
But in fact I have risen not to reply to the hon. member for Wynberg, but to reply to a statement made by the hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson) last night, and I have warned him to be present, but he is not here. He is very seldom here except when he wants to make a speech. This is what he said last night and I have written it down. He said: “ South West Africa does not form part of the Union’s sovereignty.” At this time which we are now going through it is very important that we on both sides of the House should weigh our words when we discuss the political position of South West. To-day it is this Government’s task to protect South West against the entire outside world, as it was General Smuts’ task to do so in his day. To-morrow or the day after it may be the task of the official Opposition —I say it may be—and let us as the legislators of our country please discuss this matter with all the responsibility at our disposal.
The hon. member for Namib had the temerity and the dishonesty last night …
I shall withdraw the word “ dishonesty ” and say he had the temerity and he was so foolish as to say here last night that South West Africa did not form part of the Union’s sovereignty. May I just ask the hon. member this one question. In terms of the South West Africa Affairs Act of 1949, is it possible for the hon. member for Namib to send South Africa to war by his single vote if he votes in the majority? Is it possible for him to enforce any tax law on the Union by his single vote in the majority? He cannot reply: No. There is the 1949 Act, but he now comes and tells us that South West does not form part of the Union’s sovereignty, and he and I and the other four South West representatives in this House are vested in full with all the sovereign powers which any member of this House possesses, and for that we must thank General Smuts. Because may I remind the hon. member of something in particular. When the hon. member was still making money out of the political parties of South West, I spent money in helping to build up the National Party. At that time I stood surety for £23,000 in order to put the Nationalist newspaper of South West on its feet, but the hon. member did nothing of the kind; he made money; he is a professional politician and he makes money out of politics. But in 1948 when Dr. Malan approached our two political parties in South West and consulted us separately and said: “We want to give you representation in the Union Parliament, but it must be accompanied by the greatest possible unanimity in South West and at the same time with the greatest possible unanimity in the Union,” the two parties did not ask for full representation in this House. We would have been satisfied with qualified representation. We felt that it was not right that we should be able to vote for example on the fiscal policy of the Union, while we did not pay a penny in tax to the Union. But when the Bill was introduced into the House, General Smuts rose and said that he did not want half members in the House. He moved an amendment and Dr. Malan immediately accepted it. It was in that very year that our two parties entered into that agreement with one another, and at that time the hon. member in particular was leaving a sinking ship in South West. He saw that it was the end of the United Party in South West. He then wanted to join the National Party and he wanted a post as assistant secretary of the party. May I say this to-day so that it can come on record. Of all the leading Nationalists in South West it was Sen. Dr. H. J. Steyn and I who were opposed to his being given the appointment. I said that if he has been genuinely converted in his heart to Nationalism, he should take his place at the back of the queue and that he should get where he wanted to be by merit; and I do not think that anyone who is sincere in his intentions towards his party could blame me for adopting that standpoint. But what did the hon. member for Namib do at that time? Together with the United Party of South West and together with the National Party he approved of the preamble to the agreement which the two parties had reached, and I want to read it here. And after we have done so, the hon. member for Namib joined us and by joining our party he not only approved of this agreement and the policy of our party, but he also approved of what the United Party had approved of together with us and of what we had told the Union and the rest of the world. These are the words of the preamble—
But last night he had the temerity to say that South West did not form part of the Union’s sovereignty and he now says that he has never accepted that provision. To gain a post in the National Party he accepted the whole policy of the party, and he accented this agreement into which we had entered with the United Party of South West. He now poses as someone who has never approved of it. When we examine the judgment of the World Court in 1950, we see that even that court admitted that the Union was vested with internal sovereignty over South West and that UNO without the Union’s consent could not take that sovereignty from the Union. [Time limit.]
I concluded my last ten-minute period by saying that in my opinion we have been “ swindled ” out of the Commonwealth. Some 750,000 people voted for a monarchy inside the Commonwealth. They neither remained a monarchy nor did they stay inside the Commonwealth. Just over 800,000 voted for a republic inside the Commonwealth. They did not get what they wanted either. They are outside the Commonwealth. The world knows that not a single person voted for a republic outside the Commonwealth, which is what is being thrust upon us. If the Government wants to be honest, the people should be consulted again. We were swindled twice, first in a referendum where the issues were not made crystal-clear and only the Whites voted, and where the Nationalists knew that they could not win the referendum without saying that we would be inside the Commonwealth.
Order! What is the reference the hon. member made to the word “ swindle ”?
I said that we were swindled out of the Commonwealth, politically swindled out of it. I could just as well have said that we were engineered out of it.
Will the hon. member withdraw the word “ swindled ”?
Yes, and I will say “engineered ”. I withdraw the word “ swindled ”, but my meaning is the same as when I say “ engineered ”.
Will the hon. member withdraw the word unconditionally?
Certainly. I say we were shamefully and scandalously engineered out of the Commonwealth.
The hon. member must withdraw the words “ shamefully ” and “ scandalously ”.
I withdraw them, but I hope everyone understands how and why we were got out of the Commonwealth. In the referendum the issues were not made crystal-clear. In the second place the Prime Minister took advantage of the situation in London which he knew to be inevitable (because the occasion was entirely of his own creation and nobody else’s) to lead us out of the Commonwealth. I say that we are entitled to feel that we have been deceived in this matter.
Was it the Prime Minister’s intention to deceive us?
I am not suggesting it was his intention, but if it was not, he behaved in a very foolish way and he had an unparalleled failure.
Sir, the word apartheid has been flung to and fro. It has been suggested that apartheid is the traditional policy of South Africa, this form of apartheid which is now thrust upon us. I deny that apartheid is the policy of the people of South Africa. Apartheid is the policy of a small section of the people of South Africa. Apartheid at best must be the policy of some 2,000,000 out of 15,000,000 people. Apartheid is not the policy of any of the Coloured races. Apartheid as we know it now, ferociously imposed by the present Prime Minister, is not the policy of this side of the House and we represent just about half the voters of the country. If apartheid had been the policy of all the people of this country, we would still have been in the Commonwealth, because then we could have said that this is the wish of all the people in a democratic country and we could have adduced proof, if we had it, that every single person wanted it. Sir, it is thought that integration is wanted by everyone who is not White. I do not believe that even the Coloured races want social integration. I believe that when this alternative is put before us, either absolute integration in every respect or absolute apartheid, the Coloured and the Bantu races of this country do not want social integration at all. I believe that, when we stop thinking for them and trying to interpret their thoughts, about which we know little or nothing, we may get closer to some understanding and a policy, devised by consultation, which might allow us all to live together in a multi-racial country.
The Prime Minister complained of Commonwealth interference in our domestic affairs. He said that the only principle which the Commonwealth considers of importance is multi-racialism, and that “ democracy ” appeared to stand for nothing. If we are a democratic country I am a very surprised man. At the Prime Ministers’ Conference he tried at one stage to get acceptance for a passage in his minority report which said—
Does the Prime Minister really think that he can claim, either in South Africa or outside it, that we are a true democracy? Of course we are only a democracy for the White people in. our country. This Government, after having taken away the 100-year-old voting rights of the Coloureds and now intending to throw them out of this Parliament; having banished the meagre representation of the Bantu in this House, cannot then claim that we are a democracy. We are a democracy only for the White people, but our country is composed of 15,000,000 people.
Was there full democracy under your Government?
I am not saying that it was full democracy, but at least we had the beginnings of it. We saw to it that at least they could have some representation. They were not voiceless. And we had just announced a policy of “ ordered advance ” which at least gives a promise of better things to come in future. We have fought for the right of the Coloured people to vote and to be represented in this House. We have been called foolish because by so doing we probably sacrificed the possibility of coming to power. That at least gives us the right to claim sincerity in this matter. The fact remains that we were walking along the right way when we were in power and we would have gone considerably further if our progress had not been impeded by the unfortunate accession of people who were brutally determined to take away every single vestige of political rights from everyone with any tinge of colour; of people who worship, as a matter of high principle, the doctrine of humiliating the man of colour; of people who believe that because a man’s skin is of a certain colour Mr. “ Molo ” Maree cannot shake him by the hand. When those things go out to the world, how can we expect other nations to live in harmony with us? As they stated at the Conference, if we had shown in some little way that we saw the light; if we had shown by some little concession, even accepting High Commissioners or diplomatic representatives from our fellow Commonwealth members, with whom we said we were so anxious to work; if we had accepted even that one thing, the whole atmosphere at the Conference might have changed and we might still have been inside the Commonwealth … [Time limit.]
Mr. Chairman, judging by the arguments we have had from hon. members opposite to-day, we could just as well have been sitting at UNO. The Afro-Asian or communist nations could not have spoken any differently from hon. members opposite. I think this debate must have been a great shock to the country. To think that a country can be in a position such as we are in to-day, when we must consider the question of our own continued existence very calmly and when we must judge the position very carefully, and to think than an Opposition can act as irresponsibly as this Opposition has done during the debate of the past few days at a time such as this is simply shocking. I think that when hon. members go to the country they will discover what the reaction of the voters will be. The voters will not tolerate such a debate being held in this spirit and at such a time. Their arguments and their ridiculous laughter from time to time over the past two days have given this debate an atmosphere which must be saddening to anyone who loves South Africa.
I want to point out immediately that in all his attempts the Leader of the Opposition has very carefully avoided meeting the essential test. This test was to say frankly what he would do to meet the problems with which we are faced. They maintain that I have not answered this question, but I submit that the reverse is true. I have said clearly that we shall either have to strive and work to safeguard our own continued existence and to ensure justice to all the non-White groups along the lines which I have set out: The four parallel streams in our political life and at the same time the practising of economic interdependence; or we shall have to follow the other policy which I have had to interpret in the light of the vague submissions made by the Leader of the Opposition. He has not disputed my interpretation, nor has he affirmed it. He has therefore not told the people what exactly he intends doing to ensure that South Africa on the one hand remains White and on the other hand overcomes the difficulties facing her. If by his silence he is indicating his agreement with the explanation and the outline which I have given of what his vague policy statements mean, then he should have replied to my criticism, namely that by this policy he would hand South Africa over to the non-Whites and that by this policy South Africa would not be saved from any of the present dangers but that he would only be postponing these difficulties for a time. I in turn make the accusation that if the policy which he advocates were to be adopted, he might succeed in warding off these difficulties for this generation or perhaps not even for this generation, but he would be leaving a legacy of difficulties and destruction to those who will come after us. Many of us do not have much longer to live. We could very easily protect ourselves and by a process of gradual concessions ensure that for the next ten or 15 years, we could live comparatively easily, that we could make money, that we could be prosperous and that we could avoid disturbances; but what then? Are our children and our grandchildren not worth more to us than ourselves? The question is what we must set as our object: our own interests or the national interest. If the policy of the Opposition were to be implemented, what would then become of South Africa?
The speaker who spoke immediately before me—I must discuss one or two of his arguments because I am following him—has indicated what he claims will happen. He has used a few words which have explained something to me which I did not understand when the Leader of the Opposition spoke earlier on. The Leader of the Opposition normally uses the words “ ordered advance ”. Now, “ advance ” sounds just as well as the word “ progress ”, but the question is: In what direction is one moving? The Progressives tell us in what direction they are moving, although they too do not dare to say frankly that they are moving towards non-White domination. The Leader of the Opposition however uses the words “ ordered advance ” because this could create the impression amongst his supporters that it means that they are moving towards contentment and peace and White supremacy. After all, the United Party is propagating most energetically the claim that they want to ensure White supremacy. When they use the words “ ordered advance ” without explaining in which direction they are advancing, it therefore sounds all very well, but nevertheless it merely represents an advance which is only slightly slower than that of the Progressive Party. They envisage the same “ advance ” towards the same object. The hon. member for Wynberg has said that in 1948 they were well on their way and then we came and we prevented this movement, this “ ordered advance ”, along that road. This apparently is exactly what I was asked to do at the Prime Ministers’ conference and which I could not allow and it is also what Mr. Macmillan meant in the document which the hon. member has in fact quoted, that is to say, capitulation to an ever-increasing extent. If only we would make a concession which held out some promise for the future, in other words a step which had to be in a certain direction, then everything would have been fine. That “ certain direction ” is the road of Kenya and the Federation, that is to say a process whereby under the British leadership and under British abandonment one is gradually led to the position where the White man is no longer the leader nor does he remain the ruler of his own country. “ Advance ” would not even give him permanent control over his own group, because that is all we want. We only want to remain the leaders and the rulers in respect of our own affairs. We grant the other races everything which we can give them, just as we want to be granted everything which we must have for ourselves. We grant them the right to self-government as soon as that is possible. The White man will however lose that right if one multi-racial government should be established in this country. The hon. member says they were moving along the road of integration in 1948. That is why they have now been returned to those benches on three occasions; it is because the people have seen along what road they were moving. There are in fact three reasons why they are on the Opposition benches: The one reason is because they were not republicans; the other reason is because they left the country in an economic mess; and the third and main reason is the fact that the people of South Africa already saw at that time, if the United Party remained in power, that South Africa would not remain White. And that is why the voters rejected them. In the words of the hon. member for Wynberg, they were prevented from leading South Africa along the road of integration, the road down which they are once again trying to take South Africa under the fine-sounding slogan of “ an ordered advance It is because he stands for a multi-racial government that he has ridiculed our system of government. That is why he says that we are not a democracy. Over all the years which our state has existed, while the United Party and other parties were in power, everyone was prepared to say that South Africa was a democratic country. It is only since we have come into power that they have started with the story that South Africa is not a democracy. She would supposedly only be a democracy if the Coloureds, the Whites, the Indians and the Bantu ruled South Africa jointly. That is why the members of the United Party speak of a common father-land, of a nation of 13,000,000 people, of one multi-racial nation. They see democracy in terms of a multi-racial Parliament. The present system, as we have it in this country and which we have always described as a democracy, is still the same system as we have always known. Under that system it has always been recognized that certain non-White groups do not have a share in that system, and we therefore want to give them the nucleus (beginonwikkeling) of a democratic system of government of their own. If the United Party does not regard our existing system of government as a democratic system, then its supporters should not imagine that anyone anywhere in the world will in fact regard South Africa as a democracy if the Coloureds are only represented in this House by three Coloureds, the Indians by three Indians and the Bantu by six Bantu. That after all does not represent absolute political equality, but merely discrimination in another form. It is true that the hon. member, in emulation of the Tunku, has said that that would be satisfactory. Nevertheless the world would say that this was still no democracy. At best they might, like the Tunku, just say that this represented a good beginning. They might say: For the moment we are satisfied because we have now brought you to heel. You have now been forced to move along the road of integration which we know will lead to the domination of the Bantu over all South Africa. Our critics will be satisfied with that for the moment, but that is all. The accusation against the United Party and the Progressive Party that they are discriminating will remain—just as strongly as against us and perhaps even more so—if they are not prepared to accept that policy in full and say that they will strive to achieve the democracy of a multi-racial state as their final objective. I think that in the long run they will be faced with that accusation to a greater extent than we. When the world sees in what direction our policy in its present form of development is moving, that is to say towards the truly independent existence of every racial group, each with full control over its own fate as the final objective, then they will have to admit that in principle this policy embodies no discrimination. When it is seen that there is direct co-ordination, consultation and arrangement at the highest level without any discrimination, just as in the case of a Commonwealth, then our critics will have to admit that we have achieved what they considered to be an impossibility. Their criticism to-day can only be that they do not believe our policy is practicable, as Mr. Menzies has also said, but it cannot be that this policy is not democratic. If it is proved to be practicable then the accusation of discrimination will fall away. If, however, the other policy, that is to say of a limited franchise, is followed, then the accusation of discrimination which is the cardinal accusation being made at UNO and elsewhere, will remain. It will remain until there is absolute Bantu domination over South Africa because genuinely equal political rights for all 13,000,000 people will mean Bantu domination. In other words, neither the Progressive Party nor the United Party will escape for one moment from the criticisms and the attacks which we have to bear.
I want to leave this important point just to refer to one or two of the less important points of the hon. member for Wynberg. He has said—it is strange how such people can argue—that if apartheid had been the policy of all of us, then we would still have been in the Commonwealth. But if apartheid is not a policy of absolute equality—and it is not—and if we have to leave the Commonwealth for that reason—and that is correct; all the members there stated that they wanted absolute equality—then the fact that all of us stood together would have availed us nothing. If and when we initially granted minor concessions, we did not guarantee that absolute equality was our future object, then they would not have been able to co-operate with us, even if all White South Africans supported that policy. The hon. member can therefore argue that if apartheid had been the policy of all of us, we would have remained in the Commonwealth, but he is wrong. If the policy of all South Africans had been apartheid, and not the policy of “ absolute equality ” as they interpret the term, that is to say a policy with the eventual object of one man one vote, we could just as little have remained in the Commonwealth as we can to-day. This is nevertheless the type of nonsensical argument which we usually get from the hon. member for Wynberg. He often puts two things together which have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Later on I shall also give one or two other examples in order to substantiate my submissions.
The hon. member has once again tried to create the impression that I was prepared to allow a discussion of our domestic affairs. He used the words “ he was not induced ”. He quoted what Mr. Macmillan has said, namely “ He agreed ”. That is correct; I agreed. But it is also an incontestable fact that I had to be induced. I say that quite clearly and I unequivocally and emphatically deny the allegation that it was not as a result of pressure (aandrang) that I allowed the domestic affairs of South Africa to be discussed. I deny absolutely and emphatically that it was not as a result of pressure. In other words, I say that it was in fact as a result of pressure exercised by the British delegates that I allowed South Africa’s domestic affairs to be discussed.
That is correct.
I say that with the utmost certainty and if there is anyone who denies it, either in this country or in any other country which was represented at that conference, then I maintain that the persons who do so, are not telling the truth. I immediately objected when such a discussion was proposed, just as I had always previously objected. It was then put to me, as I have stated here before—which the hon. member for Wynberg of course does not accept because he believes anyone overseas but not his own fellow-countrymen—that after all the previous negotiations and consultations it was clear that to agree without further ado to our continued membership on constitutional grounds would create a difficult problem for various of the other members but that the chances would be very good if we would be prepared to allow South Africa’s domestic affairs to be discussed on this occasion. They would at least then be able to say that they had had to agree on constitutional grounds and also they would be able to tell their public that they had told us the truth, that they had expressed their opinions regarding our policy. Those who asked for my agreement went even further. (I must say that I am now going a little further in discussing what happened at that conference because the other Prime Ministers, each in his own Parliament, has gone further than I would normally have thought I could go.) When it was suggested that we should allow a discussion of our domestic affairs, and I at first objected, a procedure was suggested which would make it easier for me to allow such a discussion. To that my reply was that I was not prepared to say “ yes ” at once but that I would discuss the matter with my delegation. I first discussed the request and the procedure with my delegation and I informed Mr. Macmillan five or six days later under what circumstances I would be prepared to meet this desire (aandrang) to discuss our colour policy which had emanated from the other side. I even want to go so far as to tell the House that I adopted the standpoint: Dispose of the constitutional issue alone on the Monday, but to make this possible the other countries could be given the promise that when “ Africa ” was discussed on the Tuesday, as had been arranged, I would not object to their discussing inter alia South Africa. I added that inter alia I would then discuss Ghana. After all, it would then have been my right to do so. That was what was actually agreed, namely that if at all possible this procedure would be followed. In actual fact when we commenced discussions on the Monday, the other countries immediately started discussing South Africa’s domestic affairs also, which were to have been discussed on Tuesday. When I wanted to object, the Chairman made the request: “ Let us continue and see in which direction the discussion goes.” In order not to spoil South Africa’s chances of remaining a member of the Commonwealth, I then conceded the point. Now no one must come and say—whether the allegation is based on what has been said in the British or in any other Parliament—that I voluntarily and of my own accord agreed to our domestic policies being discussed and that I did so without any pressure being exerted. There was strong pressure, a clearly formulated pressure, and in addition there were arrangements which could not even be carried out to the full as had been anticipated.
The hon. member for Wynberg has once again alleged—and in this instance he is trying to use Lord Hailsham’s remarks in the House of Lords to substantiate his submissions—that if I had only made minor policy concessions, then everything would have come right. That is all they wanted—just a slight indication of some willingness to make concessions. What type of concessions would have satisfied them? There was only one concession which would have satisfied them, and that was to take the first steps along the road to integration, although everyone, both in this country and at that conference, knew in advance that such a concession could not be reconciled with the policy which I am obliged to implement on the mandate of the voters of this country. In other words, what was wanted, was not concessions to the Coloured groups of a general nature but a specific type of concession. It was a concession which would have represented a step towards adopting the policy of the Progressive Party or of the United Party in so far as these two parties are moving in the same direction. We as honourable people could after all not have agreed to concessions along those lines—in other words, we could not agree to surrender our policy and adopt that of the Opposition. And this was all the more so because we knew, as hon. members have also said here, that such a concession would have been accepted as representing “ hope for the future ”! In other words, such a concession would have become the basis for renewed pressure later on for further concessions. That is not all. What would a concession of this type in exchange for Commonwealth membership have meant? Then there would not only have been interference in the sense that I would have allowed them to discuss South Africa’s domestic affairs (for which the Opposition are criticizing me as being something which I should not have allowed!) but it would in fact have meant that we would be permitting direct interference in the formulation of the policies of our country. It would not only have been a question of discussing our policies but we would have accepted an act of interference. Are hon. members of the Opposition who have reproached me for having allowed our policy to be discussed, now suddenly demanding of me that I should in fact have conceded something far worse, namely that the other Prime Ministers should have the right to prescribe how South Africa should be governed? Do they then after all want interference?
Hon. members opposite are also saying— this shows how far they do, in fact, want to go towards allowing interference while, merely to bluff the public outside, they are saying that I should not have allowed such discussion; then we would have remained in the Commonwealth—that we should not even become a republic. Then after all we would not have been faced with these difficulties! That is what the hon. member for Wynberg has also said. But what does that mean? That the people of this country cannot take a decision on their political future; that the Government of the country cannot take a decision. What else does it mean? If we should not become a republic because we are afraid that the Commonwealth will expel us because of our colour policy—not because we have become a republic, but because of our colour policy— then it would mean that we would be subject to the control of the Commonwealth as regards the realization of our highest ideals, of our colour policy, and by so doing we would also be giving the Commonwealth control over essential constituent parts of the government of our country and of our national policy. I now say to the hon. member for Wynberg, and I say this to the country, that if anyone had told me in advance that the condition for continued membership of the Commonwealth was that we should not become a republic, then I would immediately have pleaded for a republic outside the Commonwealth. Under no circumstances would I have allowed any other country or combination of countries to decide the fate of the people of South Africa. The people of South Africa must decide on their fate themselves.
The hon. member for Wynberg has now for the umpteenth time added that I would not make concessions within the framework of the apartheid policy either. He has repeated the argument that we could have remained in the Commonwealth if we had been prepared to accept diplomats from one or other of the non-White Commonwealth countries in this country. I repeat, despite what Mr. Sandys has said in the British Parliament, and despite what anyone else has said …
And Mr. Menzies as well.
Mr. Menzies did not say exactly that. Mr. Menzies has said that I was quite correct to leave at that stage and that he would have done the same. He was disappointed however at the fact that I was not prepared to concede the point that we would receive diplomats from non-White countries. That is correct, but I have already replied to questions relating to his attitude on this point on a previous occasion. I have pointed out that it was Mr. Menzies’ standpoint that we should accept such diplomatic representatives at all costs and that we discussed the matter privately, just as I had a long discussion on the matter with Mr. Sandys. However, Mr. Menzies was the only member who put a direct question in this regard at the Commonwealth Conference, and I have read to the House my full reply to this question as recorded in the minutes, which I was entitled to do because that is what I said.
He said it cut very deep.
That quotation shows that I did not reject the idea out of hand, but said that in the first place we did have a certain mission of that type and that we were considering another which I thought would comply with their requirements; and in the second place that we had had diplomatic representatives of India in this country. It is not we who ended that representation; they did. (If they had wanted to be here now, there would have been no difficulty.) In the third place I said that in the case of these other countries too, these states in Africa, their representation was not something which was excluded from our minds; but if the basis of friendship was absent in their case and if the threat was made to us that they would incite the people in this country, that they would choose the side of the Union’s Bantu agitators against us because of our different policies, then we could not accept diplomatic missions from those countries on such a basis. I said that at the conference and notwithstanding the fact that I have even quoted from the minutes to show that I did say so, hon. members persist in their allegation, based on the general submissions made by other persons, that I was not prepared to be reasonable in this regard, that I refused bluntly. What right do they have to persist in making these incorrect accusations? I also want to repeat once again: It will be seen that the minutes merely record in a few words that one or two of the members said that they would have liked to see representation. One or two simply asked: Why can there not be any representation in this country? They emphasized the point to such a slight extent…
… that it is only mentioned in one or two sentences in the minutes. In addition the behaviour of these same countries at UNO has thrown a new light on this whole story of their anxiety to have representation. It is these nations, or at any rate some of them, who have been to the fore in demanding that diplomatic relations with South Africa should be broken off! What sort of people are these who first claimed at the Commonwealth Conference that they would very much like to establish diplomatic relations, and who were then told that under certain circumstances those relations could be established but then immediately went to UNO and drafted a motion aimed at ending even those diplomatic relations which do exist to-day and which might be established in the near future with Asian countries. Can this really be something which they desired so greatly that its absence could disrupt Commonwealth relations? It is now clear to anyone that this complaint on their part was a farce. They did not regard it as an essential point. The essential point which affected them was the well-known one which has also been repeatedly made clear during the UNO discussions, namely that they want absolute equality. There is only one question which affects them, and that is that they feel hurt if any non-White in any country is not placed on an absolutely equal footing, even at the cost of an indigenous White population and even if the White population should lose its country as a result. I even made the following plea and I directed it specifically at Ghana’s representative. I said: “Can you not understand our position? We understand your position. We fully understand that Ghana which is a Black man’s country (but which has benefited greatly from the sound colonial rule of Britain which has enabled her to rise to the level to which she has risen) felt a desire for absolute self-rule and independence at a certain stage. We can understand it. But here we have our own country. We, the White people, have made this country habitable. The Black people established themselves alongside us in other parts of the country. They could not provide for themselves in those areas notwithstanding 100 years of contact with civilization and they had to come to supplement their incomes in our midst. We were able to do this for them because at that time it was not believed that the mere entrance of non-White foreigners would mean the other man’s country being taken over through the franchise. Can you not understand that our White people who have their own country in South Africa, also have the same desire to retain that country as you have? On the other hand we understand that amongst our Black people there is the same desire to control their own areas as you in Ghana have. We have therefore gone so far as to discriminate against the Whites in order to preserve those areas for them and we want to withdraw the Whites from those areas to an ever-increasing extent. Seeing that we want to retain our own country for ourselves and we also appreciate that they want theirs, and seeing that we want to develop those areas for them, can you not understand that we shall bring discrimination to an end by coming together and consulting at a high level on the basis of equality, of equal human dignity through the establishment for example of a Commonwealth Conference of our own? By so doing we shall at the same time achieve fair treatment for the Bantu and retain what is our own?” Such reasonable arguments make no impression on those people. What they want is that South Africa should be taken from the Whites and from the Western nations as a front-line bastion of the West.
That is nonsense.
The hon. member for Salt River will do his best to help in that process, in accordance with the policy of his party because if he wants to retain White supremacy, he will be discriminating against the Black people against whom, according to him, he does not want to discriminate. It must therefore be quite clear to everyone that unless we had paid this price for continued membership of the Commonwealth, in other words, unless we had been prepared to start a process which would have resulted in our destruction, a price which would have entailed too high a cost, we could not have remained a member. This is the hard fact which I had to face.
Allow me also just to say in passing that while hon. members are so touchy when suspicion is aroused about the behaviour of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition overseas, they must remember that they started these accusations by the suspicions they expressed regarding my behaviour. They must remember that the worst possible reflection have been made on my honour in various quarters …
… by the fact that it has been stated on platforms outside and here in the House that I went overseas with the deliberate aim of violating my given promise to the nation to try to keep South Africa in the Commonwealth. This is a far greater insult than any accusation which has been made against the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. I myself would never make any such charge against the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. I would never make any such statement about him nor has he said that of me. I am glad that we have not made such reproaches against one another. But his supporters have done so and since I have had to bear them, should he not do so as well? Well, I have done so, I shall say no more in this regard.
I now want to discuss another point which the hon. member for Wynberg has also raised. He has said that everything that has happened at UNO has been the result of 13 years of Nationalist rule; previously not so many votes were cast against us. When Opposition members are discussing other aspects—in more or less the terms which the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Prof. Fourie) has used— then they say that the world and UNO have changed so greatly during these 13 years that we can no longer argue as we would have argued 13 years ago. I now want to use this same argument against the hon. member for Wynberg. Thirteen years ago we had a different UNO to the one we have to-day, a UNO in which the number of non-White members constituted an absolute minimum. The result was that in considering the position of a country like South Africa the Western countries—although, as Gen. Smuts has testified, they too argued along humanistic or liberalistic lines—were nevertheless more reasonable, and saw matters from both points of view. They understood our position better and were not bidding to such a great extent for the favours of the non-White nations. It is for that reason that these sharp divisions did not exist at that time. As the conflict between the communist bloc and the Western nations developed over these 13 years, and as the Afro-Asian bloc developed and increased in numbers and as the position developed that these two blocs together held the majority in that organization this type of attack increased and the pressure on the Western nations increased. It is for this reason that the number of votes cast against us indicates this shift in power. It is not a change on the part of us in South Africa which has caused this vote. If the United Party under Gen. Smuts with his policy or the United Party with any policy of discrimination had been in power, it would have been exposed to exactly the same type of action. It is only if the United Party argue, as I think they would be prepared to do if they were given the opportunity, that they are moving along the road towards a democracy of the type these nations desire, that is to say in the sense of absolute equality between all the population groups in this country, even though everyone knows that that would eventually mean Black domination, although not immediately, then only would they be able to appease and satisfy these nations. I say now that I think that if the United Party had been in power they would have gone this far and I want to warn the nation never to put the Opposition into power unless the nation is prepared to follow that road.
I want to come back to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition himself. He has accused me of not replying to his questions relating to the hearing of the South West Africa case by the World Court. I did not want to say whether we would or would not accept the decision of that court and I have not replied to his question as to the question of jurisdiction. He has maintained that the public have the right to be taken into my confidence in this regard. He is going to insist on a reply! I now tell him quite unequivocally that he can continue insisting on a reply, as often and for as long as he likes, but I shall not allow him to ensnare me into prejudicing a matter which is sub judice and which we have created at UNO as being sub judice, by expressing in advance any opinion in respect of that matter, the court, its constitution, its jurisdiction, or its decision. I shall not do so. In my opinion such statements would be absolutely wrong and could harm South Africa and could harm our case. Any discussion of South West Africa and the World Court is out of place.
I want to proceed to another point. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has said that I have attacked the motives of a number of countries and that I have in effect accused them (these countries in the world) of following a policy of “ expediency ”. But am I the first to say this? Or is it admitted throughout the world and particularly at UNO that every country is only looking after its own interests and that they are continually “ lobbying ” amongst one another and negotiating with one another by saying: “You support me on this matter, and I shall support you on that matter.” In other words, it is well known that they do not base their decisions on principles, although they often claim to base their stand on principles—a moral argument always sounds better than a selfish one. If we want to be realistic about present-day international politics, then we must admit that unfortunately it is the position that member countries take their decisions on the basis of their own interests and that UNO is pre-eminently a platform where nations in effect trade with one another in order to serve their own interests. It is no longer an insult to say this; it is stating an actual fact. Hon. members know after all that self-interest has always played an important rôle in international politics. There are countries which are often accused by other countries that it is their traditional diplomatic tactics to act in the light of expediency. Some have even been accused of being faithless as a matter of policy. States have been saying this of one another for practically hundreds of years. However, I am not referring to-day to faithlessness or anything of that kind. I am merely saying that most countries take certain overall interests into account, whether they be their own interests or certain group interests, and they act accordingly. I also maintain that we are the victim to-day of such an outlook and such a course of action. I do not withdraw a word of what I have said. I say that that is the position. It is an unfortunate fact of life.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has also said that we have already given three reasons why we are going to leave the Commonwealth. The first is the threat that otherwise other countries would leave and that there had been attempts to prescribe a policy to us. I still stand by my contention that this was the basic reason why we had to take our decision. It is most unreasonable of hon. members opposite to speak as though we are jumping around and giving all sorts of other reasons when we also mention other allegations which have been made elsewhere. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has said for example that a second reason which has been given is the refusal to establish diplomatic relations. He does not say that I have referred to it, but that it has been referred to in the House of Commons. Well, this allegation has been made by certain people, but I have equally emphatically denied that this was one of the reasons. That being so, I should not be accused of supposedly having given three different sets of reasons. The third reason which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has mentioned is that I have supposedly said that incorrect tactics on the part of Great Britain were the cause of our leaving the Commonwealth. That however has nothing to do with the reasons. The explanation which I originally gave still stands. It remains a fact that I have only stated what I thought of the way in which the matter was handled and that I personally considered that our chances would have been better if the matter had been handled differently. I was quite entitled to say that, but it must also be remembered that I did not describe this aspect as in any way representing a reason for our leaving the Commonwealth. I have discussed it by way of analogy, as an example of how unfortunate consequences which one does not want, can sometimes result when a certain method is adopted in dealing with a matter. I have adopted the standpoint that Great Britain would have liked to keep us in the Commonwealth. I have not said, nor have I implied, as hon. members allege—and I regret that they are saying this because it is unfair both to myself and Mr. Macmillan—that Mr. Macmillan was dishonest in his behaviour. I did not say that and I did not imply it, because I have never thought that. I respect Mr. Macmillan, but his standpoint and mine also differ as regards methods of approach. I have here the House of Commons report of Mr. Macmillan’s speech. In this he has made it quite clear what his belief and his attitude are. He said—
And I have no doubt that under “ growing co-operation ” he included us—
This was their standpoint against the policy of apartheid, and the rest of the context shows that. Then he said—
In other words, his tactics were to adopt both these attitudes. A little later he also said that he admitted that I quite honestly upheld a different standpoint. As a matter of fact, in his speech here in South Africa, he said that he acknowledged that we quite honestly upheld a different standpoint, and perhaps I should also read his words to the House—
I am now quoting from his speech made here before Parliament—
And then a little later—
It is therefore quite clear that Mr. Macmillan accepted these three points: He did not believe that we wanted to be dishonest, unreasonable or inhuman; he believed that we had the constitutional right to remain a member; and he was opposed to our policy. He has now followed this procedure quite honestly and not as a dishonest person (as it has been alleged I have said); he then quite honestly followed this procedure…
Is that why you have said he trims his sails to the wind?
I shall deal with that point presently because it relates to something quite different. As I have said, he quite honestly adopted the standpoint that it should be argued that on constitutional grounds that we should remain a member, but in the second place that he would criticize us sharply. He thought the second point would help him in his first argument. My point is that while on this occasion he relied in the main on these two arguments, I believe that the Afro-Asian group at that conference grasped at this unqualified argument by Mr. Macmillan in order eventually to adopt the standpoint: Yes, we agree with you in respect of your second point, namely your criticism, and for that reason we shall decide against the first, namely the continuance of membership on constitutional grounds. I have argued that in my opinion he should not have adopted this course of action. I consider that the correct tactics would have been to have submitted all three the views which I know he held. On the one hand he could have said: “ I believe on constitutional grounds that South Africa should remain a member.” In the second place he should have said: “ My government has objections to the policy of apartheid.” Then in the third place he should have emphasized: “ We appreciate their unique position and we realize that they are seeking to implement a different type of policy, as the Prime Minister of South Africa has explained, by which they are trying to move away from discrimination but by a different method, a method in which you and I do not believe, but which nevertheless from their point of view is an honourable method aimed at achieving equality as neighbours. Under these circumstances this strengthens me, notwithstanding my criticisms, in pleading for my point number one.” That is my whole argument, namely that he followed the other tactics of supporting the condemnation to an undue extent, while it was in accord with his outlook and was therefore possible for him to have adopted a more neutral position. I think it was a mistake that he did not do so, and I stand by that.
I now come to the interjection by the hon. member for Salt River because at the same time I want to correct the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) in this regard. The hon. member for Wynberg has also linked what I have said regarding the Commonwealth Conference to what I have said happened 18 months earlier. Both have spoken as though in discussing the Prime Ministers’ Conference I have referred to “ trimming the sails to the wind ”. I have not done so. As far as what happened at the Commonwealth Conference is concerned, I have not said anything or had anything to do with that expression. I used it in quite a different context. When Mr. Macmillan was here 18 months earlier, he made the following statement, and by my remarks I also want to reply to the allegation which is now once again being unjustifiably made to the effect that I have supposedly disclosed confidential discussions. I do not do such things. The least claim which I can justifiably make is that it is well-known that I always try to be as honest as one can be. Mr. Macmillan said the following in his Cape Town speech—
In other words, here we could read between the lines that while he had given us “ full support and encouragement ”, he would no longer be able to do so in the future because of the British standpoint towards our colour policy. I then questioned him about his public statement and I asked him what it meant. This did not form part of any private negotiations or discussions. In this instance there was a direct request on my part to be told what he meant by this public statement. I was entitled to ask this question and in the interests of my country I was obliged to ask what this vague policy statement meant. After all I had to know what we were to expect. I did not want to discuss this matter earlier— except in my statements to the Cabinet—because until Britain acted in accordance with what was then indicated, it did not behove me to discuss it nor to waken sleeping dogs, particularly in view of the fact that it was theoretically possible that the opportunity would not arise. Now that they have acted in accordance with what he indicated at that time, I have set out what Mr. Macmillan explained to me during that conversation. The reason why I made my previous statement was of course the fact that I had been obliged to do so by the accusation of hon. members opposite, namely that Britain had now acted in this way at UNO because we had or were going to leave the Commonwealth. I had to prove that the one was not the result of the other, but that the events at UNO linked up with what had already been conveyed to us 18 months earlier as representing a decision which the British Government had taken. Our leaving the Commonwealth and Britain’s attitude at UNO are not connected.
As it has also been claimed that I have also accused Mr. Macmillan in this regard of something reprehensible when I said that he adopted a different standpoint towards principles in politics to myself, I should like to prevent unfounded allegations being made in this regard. The hon. member for Wynberg has read what Mr. Churchill has said about how one should adapt oneself to various circumstances, irrespective of principles. This is exactly what I have said is Mr. Macmillan’s standpoint, namely that one must adapt oneself to changing circumstances. My reply to this was:. “ Yes, but surely not when it affects a matter of principle ”. The discussion related to UNO’s principle of non-interference. I said that here we were dealing with a question of principle and that Britain together with us had argued for ten years on the grounds of principle that Clause 2 (7) of the Charter was a provision which should be upheld in that form. My attitude is that if one’s policy is to adopt an attitude of flexibility in one’s political actions, of always ensuring that one moves in the middle of the stream, then one cannot apply that policy in the case of a principle such as this. I would not do so. I regard this as a principle which we must uphold, no matter who opposes us and what friends we may lose. This was and is my very clear standpoint. However, I deplore most strongly the fact that my statements in respect of this difference in outlook regarding what is right in politics has now been interpreted to mean that I am making accusations against the character of an eminent person, a person whom I have already repeatedly testified I hold in great respect. I must also add that I ask myself why one member of the Opposition after the other and the newspapers are so anxious to claim that I as the Prime Minister of this country have acted in an insulting way towards the Prime Minister of Britain. Would they then like us to become enemies? Would they like animosity to arise between us and Britain? I make the accusation against the Opposition that they do not want good relations between the Government of the Republic of South Africa (as soon as we become a republic) and Britain. They hope that if they can create difficulties and cause South Africa to suffer more greatly and also perhaps to suffer financial harm, it will be easier for them to come into power. I accuse them of using the tactics of trying to drive in a wedge for the sake of their own selfish party-political interests and to South Africa’s detriment.
There is another point which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has put in the form of a question and which other members such as the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) (whom I do not see here) has put forward as a submission. It is that I have alleged that the Coloured representatives will disappear from Parliament. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition was reasonable and said that he did not want to misinterpret me, but he asked whether I had said that the Coloured representatives would disappear from this House when the Coloured Council was given provincial powers. My answer to this is: No, I did not say that. What I did say was that I believed that the Coloureds should develop towards self-government, even on the basis of the unorthodox principle of a state within a state. This meant that certain powers could immediately be granted. One of these was to train them by granting them self-government in their towns and even in their cities. At the same time we could go a step further, namely by also giving the present Coloured Advisory Council certain powers. These powers should be extended in the course of time along such lines that the Coloured Council would as soon as possible be given powers which would be similar to those exercised by our provincial councils, namely over education and possibly even over welfare work, although this falls under the Central Government, and over their own towns. At that stage I was asked what the further development would be, to which I replied as follows: “ Thereafter one will have to consider what further development should take place. I do not think it is wise to try to indicate on the basis of our present experience how that further development should take place. I think a reply should wait till that stage is reached.” That was my attitude. I was then asked the further question: Yes, but will the Coloured representatives then disappear from this Parliament when that stage is reached? I then said that I would not give answer to that question because that was an aspect which formed part of the problem which would have to be considered at that time. This means after all that if the separate development of the Coloureds should advance beyond the stage of the Coloured Council and should take place in the form of a state within a state, in the direction of a Parliament of their own, it might be that they will not be represented here because we would then have two Parliaments next to one another and they would have the fullest representation in their own Parliament. If this development should move along different lines, a different answer might have to be given. I therefore said that I did not want to give any answer to that question at that stage. This is a matter which must be considered at a later stage.
The next point which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has put forward, is that he has asked whether if eventually there are to be a number of Bantu homelands, independent Bantu homelands, and we establish a South African Commonwealth I do not consider that we would be expelled from the Commonwealth because the majority of that group would not be satisfied with our treatment of the Black people who would still be in the White area. (The hon. the Leader of the Opposition of course does not refer to it as the “White area”, but as the “mixed area”.) My reply is that I of course believe that when South Africa does develop to that stage, we shall reach that stage to the accompaniment of full mutual understanding and great gratitude on the part of those who will have achieved independence and prosperity precisely through our assistance. We appreciate exactly what will have happened by the time our policy is brought to full fruition. In the first place we must appreciate that in adopting the standpoint that we are prepared to give the Bantu areas their independence and to help them develop gradually to full independence, we have undertaken to assist their economic development, even at our own expense. However, we have emphasized that we are only doing so to achieve certainty that we still have a White South Africa by virtue of the fact that all the Bantu will be given their political rights in these homelands. Consequently this settlement must include the provision that the urban Bantu in our midst will also exercise their rights and will be accommodated to an ever-increasing extent in those areas. We have admitted that this will be a long process and that during the transition period we shall have to grant the franchise in one or other form and establish links between the controlling bodies of those areas and the ethnic groups amongst our urban Bantu population. If this speech of mine is examined, it will be clearly seen that I have said that we are working out the necessary plans in that regard. Hon. members will also remember that I said that at present we were in fact starting with the tribal authorities system as representing the natural democratic system of the Bantu, but that the elective system would gradually be introduced as they themselves became ready for it and asked for and desired that system. I have drawn a comparison with Basutoland by saying that it gives one an indication of how this development can take place. Consequently, once the position has developed to such a stage that we have the Bantu states, if one wants to describe them as such, then the whole relationship between us and both our urban and our reserve Bantu will be quite different. We shall really be in the position of neighbours whose interests are connected and who understand one another. I have said that the White man must realize that this is a price which he will have to pay for his own security.
We are so often accused of inflexibility. However, my colleague, the hon. the Minister of Finance, showed in a recently reported speech how the substance of our policy had continually developed. It was most important that this should have been so. In the Bantu homelands policy, we have one of the most important developments which however is always being misrepresented. Allow me to add the following in this regard: We are so often accused of not wanting to make any concessions, of not wanting to make any concessions in respect of colour. The hon. member for Germiston (District) (Prof. Fourie) has said so to-day. But that is not correct. We do not want to make concessions to the policy of integration, but we do in fact want to make concessions, and we are continually making concessions to the benefit of the future of each of our non-White groups. The Opposition only acknowledge concessions to be such when they take the form of surrendering our policy in favour of their policy. But that is not the correct approach. If we are genuinely thinking in terms of concessions to the non-Whites, then we must establish whether within the framework of the policy of apartheid there is not a continual development which will mean to an ever-increasing extent that we are prepared to make concessions to the non-Whites, either because they are developing, or because one’s ideas are developing, or because the public’s readiness to accept certain further steps is developing. In this sense we are continually making concessions. I hope that an end will now come once and for all to the propaganda which is besmirching us abroad to the effect that we are not prepared to make concessions, as though we are not prepared to make adjustments during the process of developing the system of self-government of the non-Whites.
There are one or two other points which other hon. members have raised to which I shall reply later, but I think that I should stop at this stage.
Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.
House to resume in Committee on 12 April.
The House adjourned at