House of Assembly: Vol107 - THURSDAY 13 APRIL 1961
First Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.
House in Committee:
[Progress reported on 12 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.]
When the Committee adjourned last night, I was busy putting certain questions to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. Unfortunately he was not in the House then and I see he is not back yet, but nevertheless I put certain questions to the Leader of the Opposition in regard to race relations in South Africa. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition recently came to light in this House with a new kind of policy (I do not know how many there have been) which he held out as a possible solution to our race problems. He calls this policy a form of federation, evidently a federal Parliament or a federal Government, and I think that the Leader of the Opposition should not be so vague about his policy, that there should be much more clarity in regard to that policy and more clarity about the details of this federal idea in the mind of the Leader of the Opposition. We are aware of the fact that the United Party is holding caucus meetings almost every day, evidently in order to discuss this policy further.
That is not true.
Well, what we would very much like to know is how the Leader of the Opposition is going to safeguard the position of the White man of South Africa in that federal Parliament and under such a federal Government. I think it is necessary for him to give us much more clarity about that. We want to know whether this federal Government will be one with discrimination or without it.
It seems to me that the hon. member himself is looking for an alternative policy.
No, Mr. Chairman, as soon as one touches on the truth and it affects him, one can expect a reaction from him. That clearly proves to me that the hon. member has no clarity. We want to know whether this policy of federation will be one with discrimination between White and Black or without discrimination. We want to know whether this new federal course of the United Party as announced by the Leader of the Opposition will rest on a democratic basis in the full sense of the word. In this respect we know where the Progressive Party stands, but we would very much like to know where the official Opposition, the United Party and its leader, stands and whether it will be on a democratic basis or not.
Where do you stand?
We stand for a policy of apartheid and separate development, the White man in his area according to his capacity and the Black man according to his, and it is high time for the hon. member to review his position to ascertain where he stands in regard to the United Party.
What makes you think that there will be no discrimination in terms of our policy?
I put this open question in all honesty. The hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) will not catch me out with that weak and watered-down bit of cleverness in asking me what makes me think that there will be no discrimination in terms of their policy. I want him to tell the voters outside that there will be no discrimination….
That is what you want.
Or else they must tell the world the opposite. The hon. member is free to tell the world that there will be discrimination under their federal system, and to what extent, and then he can also say how he will satisfy the world by that. I can tell the hon. member for Yeoville and the Leader of the Opposition that I do not believe that they will influence the voters of South Africa if they come along with a new policy like this and it is so vague and undefined. He will not be able in this way to use the people of South Africa as an experimental rabbit by making an experiment with such a policy, when perhaps our whole future and that of generations to come may be destroyed by it.
As I said yesterday, at this time we have the opportunity to draw closer to each other in connection with the arrangement of our race relations. At this period a test is being set South Africa and its citizens. In these days a test is being set the members of the United Party and of our party, to the members of Parliament to whom the duty is entrusted of handling the affairs of the nation and of regulating our race relations. A test is being set us, a very exacting test.
Here in South Africa a nation was established more than 300 years ago, and this nation has gone through very deep waters in the past. None of us will deny that in these days we must go through deep waters again. There were times in the history of South Africa when the future looked very dark and everything round about us was black. But then there was one ray of light.
Order! Hon. members converse so loudly that I can hardly hear what the hon. member is saying.
I say, Sir, that there have been times when it was dark around us, but then there was one ray of light, and perhaps we hesitate too much to say so. We say it from the depths of our hearts: Then there was confidence and faith in the Creator of our nation. I think that if there is one thing I should do on this occasion it is to make an appeal not only to us as members of Parliament but to the nation as a whole again to acknowledge our childlike dependence on the Creator of our nation. There were times when only faith gave us hope to continue living, and therefore we had the will to live and this nation survived its troubles. I firmly believe that we will emerge from these deep waters now also. I am deeply convinced that we will survive.
Why are we in these deep waters?
We will be tried and we will be purified—that is true. But I have a firm conviction that we shall survive on the basis of this policy because it is honestly intended in respect of every racial group in South Africa, to give them whatever is their rightful due.
But now I want to say that there are two principles which we will not be prepared to sacrifice, not to satisfy the Opposition and as far as I am concerned not even to satisfy the rest of the outside world. We are not prepared to sacrifice these two principles. We are not prepared to sacrifice the principle of trying to preserve ourselves and we are not prepared to sacrifice our self-respect. We will not sacrifice those two principles. That is asking too much of us. Therefore I want to say that if ever there was something for which the people of South Africa should be thankful, it is because we have an H. F. Verwoerd as Prime Minister and a Nationalist Government in power; not people who are swayed by every wind, not people who are prepared to sacrifice the self-respect of a nation in order to satisfy a multi-coloured world. We are grateful for that. We will retain our self-respect and we will not sacrifice our attempts to save ourselves. We will cling to these two principles. Although I believe that we will survive these troubles, I want to tell the hon. the Prime Minister this to-day. Our attempts to have greater national unity in this country are almost in vain as long as we have in South Africa an English-language Press which is poisoning the soul of this nation.
What do you want to do?
As far as I am concerned, I would rather discipline a disorderly Press in South Africa and demand the truth from it. That is what I stand for, rather than voluntarily to allow it to endanger my continued existence and that of my children. Rather than allow this Press, which has become a canker in the life of our people, to continue as it is doing now, to create confusion based on falsehoods between the White groups—rather than allow that to happen I am prepared to endure the criticism of the world for not only wanting to restrict that Press but for having exposed its unscrupulousness and for holding it responsible—by whatever means—in order to demand the truth from it. [Time limit.]
I shall, in the general course of my remarks, deal with the speech which has just been made by the hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg), but I cannot omit at this juncture to deal with three of the statements which he made. The first one, of course, was his admission—which is a strange thing coming from hon. members on those benches—that we find ourselves in deep waters. And we find ourselves in deep waters in consequence of the policies which have been followed by that party, by those hon. members and by this Government in the course of 13 years. I am very glad that there is beginning to be a sense of recognition of that fact—I am very glad indeed.
The second point to which I must refer is the accusation by the hon. member that the policy of racial federation as advanced by my hon. leader, is vague. Sir, I want to remind hon. members on those benches that they won an election in 1948 on a slogan, the slogan of apartheid. And it was a slogan without definition, without clarification; a slogan which meant all things to all men. And it was not until 1958 that there was an attempt by the hon. the Prime Minister to clarify this slogan. He clarified it into policy, and where are we now?
The third matter to which I must refer, briefly, is the hon. member’s remarks in regard to the Press. He has gone so far as to say that he would be prepared to see a situation in which restrictions were laid upon the free Press of this country. I wish to say to him …
An irresponsible (losbandige) Press.
He calls it a “ losbandige ” Press.
Of course, Mr. Chairman, there has been no judgment in this country against an editor, against the so-called “ losbandige ” English-language Press to which he refers! There has been a judgment against an editor of an Afrikaans-language newspaper, and that editor was no other than the hon. the Prime Minister himself. I would suggest that the hon. member thinks a little carefully before he throws accusations at the Press of this country. You cannot hide the truth by muzzling people.
I now wish to return to something which was said last night by the hon. member for Smithfield (Mr. J. J. Fouché). He suggested that we in this country, and particularly we on these benches, should learn the lessons of history. I want to suggest to that hon. member that it is he and his Government who should learn the lessons of history in South Africa over the course of the last 13 years. Because those 13 years will go down in the history of this country as the Black period, the dark ages of South Africa. And there are indeed lessons to be learnt. We on those benches have constantly warned and admonished, and even pleaded; we have asked the Government to reconsider, to reappraise, to-assess; to move away from this granite-like obsession that they are right and that everyone else is wrong. But our calls have found no answer at all. And, Sir, we have not been alone in our pleadings and our warnings. Last year a prominent Government-supporting newspaper, the Burger, warned that if this process continued we would become “ die muis-hond van die wêreld ”. That was only last year. And even more recently, in fact on Saturday last, Dawie wrote these words—
Jy moenie die volkswil oproep en vorm en skep nie, maar probeer vasstel wat dit is en dan agternapraat. Deur daardie tegniek kom jy dan uit by ’n volkswil wat bepaal word deur die hardkoppigste, luidrugtigste en mees onkonstruktiewe elemente, en wanneer jy dit na die mond praat, word dit natuurlik al hoe meer so want die beskeies en eerlik soekendes, wat gewoonlik ook die intelligentstes is, raak ontmoedig deur soveel rasende sekerheid.
Never have truer words been written. And, Sir, it is precisely this “ rasende sekerheid ”, this fanatical obsession that everything that is done by that Government is right, it is that obsession which led this country and this people of ours to the pass in which we find ourselves to-day.
As a direct consequence of this fanatical obsession that they are right, and that everyone else in this world and this country is wrong, as a direct consequence of that obsession we find ourselves where we are to-day. And heaven knows, the situation in which we find ourselves is a situation of peril, of friendless isolation in a dangerous world. And that is the fact. The hon. member for Wolmaransstad admitted this. He referred to deep waters. And other hon. members on those benches have also admitted this. It is of no use and no avail to attempt, by an outmoded process of seeking scapegoats, to get away from the responsibility for this fact. The time has come for soul-searching, for heart-reaching and for mind-searching on the part of hon. members on that side of the House. This question of finding scapegoats, or attempting to, in the shape of the Press and in the shape of the opposition and in the shape of everything else except their own actions and omissions is absolutely tragic. It is absolutely tragic and it would be laughable if the situation were not so serious.
The hon. the Prime Minister may leave the Commonwealth and he may leave the United Nations, but he cannot resign from the world. We are involved in mankind and mankind is involved in us, which we shall learn to our cost in the course of the months that follow. We cannot resign from the world, we have to live in it, and we have to live in this country, and we have here in this country and in this world to find a path towards reasonable living together without the sacrifice of the standards which have been built up over the years. Sir, the hon. Prime Minister in his speech the other day said—
He was referring to apartheid. I submit that apartheid, the policy of this Government, overshadows in our international relations, in our internal relations and in everything else, all that we do. South Africa cannot be even considered by anybody else, even our own citizens, without taking into account the policy of apartheid of this Government. It is not possible to separate these things. They are interwoven, they are entirely integrated. And it is because of this granite-like policy of apartheid, this impracticable policy, this thing based on a vision which is really a fantastic self-delusion— it is because of this that we find ourselves where we are in these days.
Hon. members on those benches, of course, say that the two alternatives are apartheid on the one side, and “ one man one vote ” on the other.
That is so.
That is the over-simplification which they have tried to put to the people of South Africa, that these are the two alternatives. But, of course, that is nonsense. These are not the two alternatives.
What are they then?
The true alternative in this multi-racial society of ours is the policy pointed out and signposted by my hon. leader, the policy of ordered advance. [Time limit.]
The hon. the Prime Minister quite rightly remarked when he participated in the debate earlier that if one listened to some of the hon. members opposite one could just as well listen to UN. If one listened to what some of those hon. members said one got the impression that this Government and Parliament were busy enforcing a policy which was completely foreign to South Africa and to her traditions. The hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) said the other day that the apartheid being practised by the Government was supported by only a small section in the country and that it was not traditional in South Africa. One wonders how a person in the Federation, our neighbouring state, would feel when he hears the sort of thing being said here. One is not surprised at them expressing their amazement at the peculiar internal fights taking place in this Parliament in these times in which we live. How must our attackers at UN view us if they hear the speeches being made here? Then the question arises: Do hon. members who make such speeches really live in South Africa, in the midst of our problems, and do they come in contact with the people of South Africa? Do the lessons of successive elections since 1948 not mean anything to them? When one listens to someone like the hon. member for Wynberg and when one reads in the newspapers what he said in his constituency a few evenings ago one gets the impression that his political mind is only satisfied by his own anti-national tirades and that there is no place in his mind for other ideas. There is the tendency always to use adjectives in the superlative degree towards this side, and to try to create fear among English-speaking South Africans. The basis for the policy of this Government, in which we believe and from which we cannot deviate, is after all that one will find friction in varying degrees and depending on the ratio of numbers, anywhere in the world where one tries to build a unified state with people of different origins and of different civilizations and ways of living and traditions; that one would experience friction even to the very last in the case of countries where those representing the older civilization are in the minority. Are we wrong if we see the matter in that light? That is why there are also signs of friction in the United States where there is a small non-White minority, a minority which has had an opportunity over a few centuries of adapting itself to Western civilization. Why is there friction in Great Britain about the entry of a few thousand non-Whites from Commonwealth countries? Why is there friction to such an extent that the British Prime Minister even has to negotiate with Mr. Diefenbaker and others to take some of them? And why does Mr. Diefenbaker not want to take them? Why is there the fear in Australia that there will be friction if they were to permit non-Whites to enter freely? Why is there friction and tension in the British territories in Africa? Is it not as a result of this fact? In this connection I would like to read a few words from a speech on Tuesday by a very well-known person on Bantu Affairs when he referred to this question. He is Dr. P. J. Schoeman who said at a meeting of a farmers’ association in the Stellenbosch district—
Then he goes further and says that it even occurs among nations of different colour and different civilizations, and not only among them but also among the Black nations where the feeling exists that unless the different tribes live apart there will be friction. He says that the Bantu’s sense of apartheid towards other tribes is stronger than anything in existence among the Whites. What is the solution under such circumstances? Is it not that one should give each group its rightful place and grant them the right to existence? Are we wrong in wanting to help the Bantu to achieve what we demand for ourselves, if we are consistent with it? Is it wrong if we want to eliminate friction, as Mr. Macmillan and other states are trying to do in their own manner? It is our traditional view in this country that the Bantu should be recognized as a nation in their own areas. Our previous generations treated the Bantu as free people in their own areas and on that basis they negotiated with them. That is a well-known fact. Another fact which is coupled with that is that the occupation and colonization of the Bantu areas was not done by us in this country but by outside powers. With that occupation and colonization of Bantu areas friction started anew when a different road from that of treating them as an independent people was followed.
Mr. Chairman, this is a concept which is peculiar to South Africa and therefore it is our ideal to steer it in that direction again. The hon. member for Wynberg asked the other day: Who in the world stands by us on this policy to-day? We are following a lonely road and who stands by us? I want to state that we as a nation are not at all standing as alone in the world as is being alleged here. I will admit that we stand alone on the international political platform, where standpoints are taken up for propaganda purposes. But where the spirit of people in other countries is concerned we do not stand quite so alone. During the week-end preceding the Prime Ministers’ Conference in London a report appeared in the Cape Argus under the heading “ Pro-Union Poll That was on 6 March and it read—
The first question asked was: Some members of the Commonwealth are in favour of excluding South Africa from membership because of her racial policies. Do you agree or disagree? Answer: Agree 25.8 per cent; Disagree 56.4 per cent; Don’t know 17.8 per cent.
Now I come to the second question—
But now comes the important point—
What year was that?
That was this year, a month ago. Therefore I say that we do not stand as alone as people think. As soon as they begin to experience elsewhere in the world the problem we have to deal with, and realize what we have to contend with, their sympathy is with us. [Time limit.]
I do not wish to come into this debate on general lines, but in the course of these discussions, what I can only call a very ugly note has crept into the debate from hon. members on the Government side of the House. I refer to the fact that we have repeated and increasing demands by hon. members on the other side of the House that steps should be taken to clamp down on the Opposition Press. The last speaker who dealt with it was the hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg) who talked about the irresponsible Press. He said that if he had a chance he would like to place restrictions on the Press and almost suppress it. He did not use the word “ suppress ”; he said he would like to discipline the Press which opposed this Government. Now, Sir, I think that that is a very sinister movement coming from the other side of the House. The fact that it has been repeated—the hon. member for Kempton Park (Mr. F. S. Steyn) raised it: the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) raised it and the hon. member for Water-berg (Mr. Heystek) and other hon. members raised it—the fact that it has been repeated by these hon. members seems to me to point the fact that it is necessary for the hon. the Prime Minister to deal at once with this question.
In the course of his speeches in this House the hon. the Prime Minister has been most emphatic that he is fully aware of the fact that in his new republic there will be differences of opinion. He has declared that he fully appreciates the right of people to express those differences of opinion, either in support of or in opposition to any political party. And the hon. the Prime Minister—quite rightly in my opinion—has made it perfectly clear that that is how he feels. Now we know that in the course of political arguments people say severe things, both verbally and in the Press. Nobody is better aware of that than the hon. the Prime Minister himself. If one goes back and reads some of the leading articles that he wrote when he was editor of the Transvaler, one realizes that he of all people understands the temptation to be extremely severe in criticism of one’s opponents.
Quote one of the leading articles. Read it out.
Mr. Chairman, it is not necessary for me to quote one.
You never read them.
It is not necessary for me to quote them because I know the hon. the Prime Minister will agree with me that under pressure of political polemics things are often said in extreme language. But that is no reason for people who do not agree with the views expressed to demand that those views should be suppressed and that bans should be placed on their being expressed.
Why I have risen this afternoon is that this repeated demand from the back benches of the Government party is liable to create an impression, both here and abroad, that there is a strong movement on foot in the Nationalist Party ranks to compel the hon. the Prime Minister to place a muzzle on the Opposition Press. Now I do not believe that the hon. the Prime Minister has any intention of doing so, but I think that in the interests of the country and in the interests of his own party he should take a very early opportunity of assuring the House and the country on this specific point, that as far as he is concerned, he respects the freedom of expression of opinion and that he will take no steps whatever to muzzle that free expression of opinion, however bitter and opposed it may be to him and his politics.
I do not think the hon. the member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) expects me to react to his remarks about the Press. He specially addressed his questions to the Prime Minister and he must look to him for a reply.
Judging from the speeches that we have had during the past few days I get the impression that hon. members opposite are completely out of touch with their own people who have supported them up to the present. It is quite correct, as the hon. member for Sunnyside (Mr. Horak) has pointed out, the difference cannot be over-simplified; broadly the point on which we differ is whether we are to have a policy of uni-racial development or a policy which must eventually lead to one man one vote, as the Progressive Party would like to have it.
Do they not stand for one man one vote? Let me ask them this: Do they still wish to discriminate in their own party and in their own constituencies, and if they want to do so, why do they not say it. [Interjections.] I should like to reply to the hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer) if I have time. I say that is the difference between us, and during the past two months this very question has enjoyed the attention of people who are not at all concerned in politics. I am referring to the churches, all the churches in South Africa except perhaps the churches in the Free State and Natal, who are not members of the World Council of Churches. But even if they did not attend the council meeting, they have nevertheless expressly and impliedly condemned the resolutions which were taken there, resolutions which indicate the direction which hon. members opposite advocate. What will happen now? The following report, which I think is very significant, appeared in the Transvaler two days ago—
This telegram emanated from Natal, which is a United Party stronghold. It comes from Durban and places like that. That means that apart from the difference as far as language is concerned, there are many people in Natal who think like the people in the other provinces and who belong to Afrikaans churches most of whom support the National Party. If the hon. members for Sunnyside and Jeppes (Dr. Cronje) and Maitland advocate a policy which must eventually lead to integration, they are definitely out of step with the rest of their own people, and I accuse them of harming South Africa by their actions, because their actions do not conform with the unanimity which exists on this cardinal point, and because they are in conflict with it, they invite interference from outside and they get it.
When the hon. member for Maitland interrupted me I said I would like to reply to him, particularly in regard to what he said last night and I am very sorry that he is not here at the moment. I want to tell him that in detecting that he is out of step with his own people, I also detect in him and his party an abysmal ignorance of the elementary principles of government. They do not appreciate what the Government has to do in the first instance to establish social order. If you do not have a good appreciation of that, your entire structure crumbles like a pack of cards. The elementary duty of a government is to lay down the superficial conditions that will govern the social order. That is done by means of a multitude of authoritative acts.
What is the government?
The government is the body that lays down the superficial conditions governing the social order and it does not matter whether it is Socialism or Nazism or Communism, but that is the duty of the government, and it does so by means of a multitude of authoritative acts, by virtue of the power it has. In the case of a homogeneous nation those authoritative acts are spontaneously obeyed because those conditions are conditioned by the values which the people within that group attach to them, because the government also wishes to promote that which society wants. That is elementary. But where the nation is not homogeneous, as in the case of South Africa, you do not find the same degree of spontaneous obedience as you do otherwise because the same values do not apply in judging the acts of the government. The people themselves are conditioned by their own values, and that determines their reactions to the deeds of the government and if those values differ you find unnecessary quarrelling within the state. That has been the experience of all the countries where that position obtains. Here I have a list of the countries that have had that experience. That has been the experience of Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Austria, Poland, Latvia and we can add Kenya, Nyasaland and one of these days the Federation. They have unrest simply because there are various groups who place different values on governmental acts. The hon. member for Maitland says the Natives who live in our midst should have the vote. The hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) and all the other members of the Progressive Party also ask for that. The specific object of the United Party is to get that group in Parliament. They think that will solve the basic problem. We know and they know that peace and quiet cannot be bought in that way and we are continually telling them that. They want to know what we suggest. We suggest a policy of uni-racial development and a government whose character will be such that its deeds will be regarded by every one of those different groups in turn, in the light of its own values. You can try to evade the issue, but the fact remains that each one of those various groups have their own cultural configurations and measures have to be judged and introduced in the light of that. We in this country believe in one basic right and that is co-existence and we have to revise the data which we have as best we can so that we will all live together in peace. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Sunnyside (Mr. Horak) said that we on this side of the House must not always think that we are the only people who are right. History shows that it has already happened that one man alone has been right, and as far as we are concerned once we have determined in our own minds what is right we continue along that road irrespective of what the world says and we are prepared to leave it to Someone else to give judgment, Someone Whose authority is higher than that of the world. That also applies to our racial policy. I believe that our policy is right: Ultimate complete right of self-determination to the Bantu without sacrificing the right of self-determination of the White man in the process. That policy is just toward the White and the non-White. It recognizes the human dignity of the non-White and his equality. It gives to the non-Whites what the world expects to-day: One man one vote but in his own area. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition says—as the hon. member for Sunnyside also said just now— that it is this very colour policy of ours that has created a crisis in South Africa. He copies the world and says this is a policy of racial discrimination which does not satisfy world opinion. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition asked the hon. the Prime Minister what could be done inside and outside this country to tide us over the crisis. I am sorry the Leader of the Opposition is not here because I want to tell him that he is the first person who can help us out of this crisis. With us he can say to the world outside: This is a domestic matter affecting South Africa; keep your hands off us! The second thing he can do is to propose an alternative racial policy. He has not given us any details. We have been waiting for that for days. The Leader of the Opposition has spoken on three occasions during this debate and on every occasion we thought he would tell us but on each occasion we have had vague statements and generalities from him. I listened very attentively to him and every time I expected something, but in the words of Omar Khayyam I must admit that every time I listened to the Leader of the Opposition it was a case of “ I came like water and like wind I go ”, or as he said somewhere else—
But ever more by that same door came out As in I went.
As far as I was concerned this was also a case of “ came out by that same door as in I went ” every time he came forward with those generalities.
You did not understand him.
In any case, I do not know what the policy of the Opposition is and I do not think their followers know either and I do not think they themselves know because I do not think they have a policy. I am surprised that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition sits where he is sitting and not with the Progressive Party, that he and some of his followers, like the hon. members for Wynberg and East London (City), are not sitting with the Progressives, because to use an old saying, during this debate the Leader of the Opposition very definitely tried to “ out-Steytler Steytler ”, and yet it is not very long ago that the Leader of the Opposition tried to “ out-Verwoerd Verwoerd ”. The very United Party that described our apartheid policy as immoral and oppressive, called it a “ negrophilist policy ” during the recent Provincial council elections. Do you remember the Black map which they sent into the world, Sir, depicting how Black the National Party wanted to make South Africa but to-day they describe apartheid as oppressive and immoral. [Interjections.] One of the reasons why they and the Progressives drifted apart was the very reason that they said that they did not wish to acquire another inch of land for the Bantu. Why do they sing a different tune to-day? I will tell you why, Sir. Just as the West and the East are bidding against one another for the favour of the Afro-Asian countries, the United Party and the Progressive Party are bidding for the favour of world opinion and that of the Afro-Asian countries. I want to say this: No political party in this Parliament has a racial policy that will satisfy the Afro-Asian countries. Not the parallel development policy of the National Party, because they are not interested in development. Nor the policy of no discrimination on the ground of race or colour of the Progressive Party, with merit as the yardstick to qualify for the franchise, because they say there should not be qualifications in respect of the franchise. Those countries want one man one vote and nothing less will satisfy them. Nor the United Party’s policy of White leadership with justice. They do not want White leadership. They do not want justice. In the long run they do not even want one man one vote. As President Kruger put it: it is not the vote that they want, they want my country. Wherever this policy of one man one vote has been followed the White man had to leave and that will also happen in South Africa if that policy were followed here. Wherever the Black man has taken over control it has led to chaos or to “ kafferboerdery ” (doing things haphazardly), as our forefathers called it, like we have in the Congo at the moment.
There are two reassuring things in this time of crisis. The one is that when the true South African is forced to fight with his back to the wall he is like the taut string of a bow, like a steel blade that you bend and bend and bend but which becomes stronger the more you bend it. The second thing which reassure us is that we have a leader of Stirling qualities at the spearhead. One thing has become apparent in this debate, namely that the Opposition has continually attacked him personally, but they are afraid of him really, not because he is a tyrant, they are afraid of his friendliness, his courtesy and his chivalry, his charming personality and his fantastic powers of persuasion. [Time limit.]
When the Prime Minister agreed at the Prime Ministers’ Conference that they could discuss the non-White problem of South Africa, he should have known what the rest of the world and members of the Commonwealth thought about our non-White policy. He knew exactly what the world thought. In spite of that fact the Prime Minister agreed that the countries represented there could not only discuss our policy but also condemn it. [Interjections.] What I cannot understand in the first instance is how the Prime Minister could have agreed to it. [Interjections.]
I like it, Sir.
But we do not like it.
I know I am hitting hard; the dogs howl and that proves that I am hitting hard.
On a point of order, about two years ago I used the same idiom that when you throw a stone into a clump of bushes and a dog howls, you can be sure that you have hit him, and I had to withdraw it. I insist that the hon. member withdraws that expression.
If it is necessary for me to do so, I will withdraw it. I withdraw it, Sir, but I was speaking figuratively. I think the Prime Minister will admit that it is because of our non-White policy that we are out of the Commonwealth; South Africa’s non-White policy is the cause. The Prime Minister now says that we do such a great deal for the non-Whites. That is quite right. I agree that we have done more for our non-Whites than any other Government in the world and that we are still doing so but that does not influence those attacks.
What now? What is our position? [Interjections.] Sir, there are so many replies that I cannot understand what is being said.
Order! Hon. members must allow the hon. member to make his speech.
I had thought that the Prime Minister would have told us, as the Minister of Finance has and as the Transvaler and the Burger have, that when circumstances demand it we should adapt ourselves to those circumstances without selling the White man in South Africa, and that can be done. However, how can we expect that of the Nationalist Party who have for the past 13 years been cleverly evasive as far as their non-White policy is concerned. First we had the apartheid of Dr. Malan. Then we had the apartheid of the present Prime Minister when he was Minister of Native Affairs, of being the master in your own area. At that time Dr. Malan said in this House that that was not a practical policy and that it could not be carried out. It was not the policy of Mr. Strydom who personally said to me: If you say that I stand for total territorial apartheid, you are telling a lie.
Consult Hansard. [Interjections.]
Order! Hon. members on this side of the House interrupt each other and their own supporters to such an extent that nobody is able to make a speech. The hon. member who is on his feet cannot reply to everybody at the same time.
I admit that since the present Prime Minister has taken over, we have eventually during the past year succeeded in ascertaining exactly what our position is. But certain questions arise. Fourteen days ago when the hon. the Deputy Minister of the Interior was speaking about the Coloured areas I interjected and said that those were Coloured-stans to which he replied and said that I was talking nonsense. And yesterday the Prime Minister got up and spoke about four parallelisms, namely the White areas with its millions of non-Whites—more non-Whites than Whites —he called it the White area. [Interjections.] In the second place there is an area which will be occupied by the Coloured people where they will have the right to govern themselves. There is a third area for the Asiatics where they will have autonomous power and the seven or eight Bantustans—they are all states, eight or nine of them, within the borders of South Africa. Have you ever come across a more chaotic policy in the history of South Africa or anywhere in the whole world than this policy, Sir? And then the Prime Minister expects the world to believe that we are sincere. What is going to happen? Within 20 or 50 years when those areas have gained their independence and obtained self-government, what will happen within the borders of South Africa? There will be chaos. The Nationalist Party talks about the possibility of an ultimate federation. Does that not mean that we will sit with non-Whites in the federal Parliament? [Time limit.]
I just want to say something in passing in respect of the hon. member for Hill-brow. In the first place a number of members in the House will tell him that he should not make the type of remark which he did in a civilized community when he said to the hon. member for Marico (Mr. Grobler): “Keep quiet; you were only a ‘ predikant ’ (minister of religion).” [Interjections.] The hon. member used those words and I am positive that he used them. The implication of that must be clear to everybody who uses his brains. I want to tell the hon. member for Hillbrow that we never thought very much of him, but the little that we did think of him we have now lost and any civilized community will deprecate language like that. The hon. member for Hillbrow—I am sorry that under the Rules of the House I have to address him “ the hon. member ”, but I have to do so …
Mr. Chairman, I am using the word “ hon. ” member.
On a Point of order. Sir, may I have your ruling as to whether an hon. member is entitled to say in this House that he regrets that he has to address a member as an hon. member.
I said I was “ sorry ”, not that I “ regretted ” it.
Mr. Chairman, may we have your ruling?
Order! The hon. the Deputy Minister must not hit such a left-handed blow. I cannot deny him the right, but he should not do so.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I promise that if I have to hit a left-handed blow, it will be above the belt. I want to tell the hon. member for Hillbrow that he still owes the hon. the Prime Minister an apology. He should apologize to him like a gentleman, as the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) apologized to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition yesterday. He ought to apologize to the hon. the Prime Minister for having called him a traitor as far as his attitude at the Prime Ministers’ Conference is concerned.
On a point of order, I never called the Prime Minister a traitor; that is an infamous lie.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw that.
I shall not do so because I did not call him a traitor.
Then the hon. member must leave the Chamber.
What must I withdraw, Sir?
That it is an infamous lie.
I withdraw it and I say it is a gross untruth. Read my Hansard.
The hon. the Deputy Minister may continue.
The hon. member for Hillbrow also referred to the national newspapers and to the word “ adaptation ” (aanpassing) which they use. I deprecate the fact that the hon. member for Hillbrow tries to create the impression that when they talk about “adaptation*’ the national newspapers mean a dilution of the apartheid policy and a switch-over to an integration policy similar to that of the party opposite. Mr. Chairman, do you know what those newspapers mean? Hon. members opposite ought to know it. With “ adaptation ” those newspapers mean that our policy of separate development should be applied more energetically and more consistently and very much faster, and that as far as that is concerned there will perhaps have to be “ adaptations ” in order to face up to the consequences of that policy. That is what they mean.
Why don’t they say it?
It must be clear to everybody who reads those articles, but I can quite understand the hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) not understanding it.
I want to return now to the Leader of the Opposition and members of the Opposition who have talked such a great deal about their race federation policy. I am sorry that much of my time has been wasted, but I trust I will be able to put these few points to them.
Who wasted it?
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition was very vague about this race federation policy, as has been correctly said by an hon. member on this side. Firstly, what is federation? A federation is not a provincial system; it is not a unitary system. A federation suggests autonomy to its federated members, or it suggests a very great measure of autonomy.
No, a division of power.
Order! I shall be pleased if the hon. members for Durban (Point) and Sunny side (Mr. Horak) will not interrupt other members so often.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition is aware of these characteristics which I have described, because in announcing his race federation policy he said: We shall have to accept the fact that we will have to relinquish a certain measure of autonomy to those federated members. Very well. This idea is fundamental; we must remember that, Sir; a measure of autonomy will have to be relinquished. He used the word “ relinquish ”.
He said “self-government”.
Order! I have just warned the hon. member for Durban (Point) and a minute afterwards he is again interrupting the hon. member. This is my final warning.
If we have to give them independence to a certain extent, to what extent have we to do so; what will be the limit of that independence? I am asking the Leader of the Opposition and all members of the Opposition, and I am asking the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) who is one of their most important mouthpieces, to give the House clarity in that regard.
Order! Hon. members must not talk so loudly. I cannot hear what the hon. member is saying.
We on our part accept all the possible implications of our policy of giving self-government to the reserves—progressively more if need be—to ultimate total independence. We have admitted that over and over again and we have said that we accented that possibility, and we are even prepared to discuss the matter on that basis. We accent those implications. But why does the hon. the Leader of the Opposition refuse to accept the possible implications of his policy, even if he does so only for the sake of argument, so that we may argue about it. Where is his delegated autonomy going to end? I say it, must end in complete autonomy. What then? A host of questions arise: What is to happen then? I want to say this in parenthesis: It is wishful thinking to think that it will stop at an intermediate stage—as the hon. member for Sunnyside also said here this afternoon— that there is a middle road between the two roads of integration, a road that will lead to complete integration and apartheid which will ultimately lead to complete independence and total apartheid between the races. There is not a middle road; that is wishful thinking and it will not end with wishful thinking, Mr. Chairman. What are the other implications? How will that federation work? The Leader of the Opposition called it a race federation. Therefore it is not a geographically defined federation but a race federation which merely groups races together, on a basis that there will be no boundaries. If that is so why does the Opposition make such a hullabaloo in this House and outside when we say that the Coloureds in South Africa should also have the right to develop in the council which they already have, and which may be extended, without the Coloured people having a specific area only for themselves? Very well, let us argue on the other basis. If it is not such a federation as the one they envisage, a federation which will be divided on a racial basis, if it were divided on a geographical basis, what will that geographical basis be? There are more or less 260 areas. The Leader of the Opposition always says there are 264—he counts them every now and then. Will he regard all 264 of them as being in the federation—264 Bantu members alone of the federation? Or will he say that that is too many, some will have to be grouped together? And if he groups them together on what basis is he going to do so? On an ethnic basis? And the Opposition is very allergic to the word “ ethnic ”, Sir. How are they to be classified? Not on an ethnic basis at all? Very well. On a geographic basis? If it has to be a geographic basis, some of those areas will have of be consolidated. They will have to be brought closer together and in that case additional land will have to be purchased. And where is the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) now? In that case land will have to be purchased, and when more land has to be acquired they will not only come up against the hon. member for South Coast but they will come up against their Bloemfontein Congress of 1959. The Bloemfontein Congress passed a resolution in 1959—the resolution which caused the members of the Progressive Party to break away from the United Party—that land which may become potentially independent states should not be purchased for the Bantu. What will they do then? [Time limit.]
I do not propose to follow the hon. the Deputy Minister in the heat with which he has addressed this House. I believe that we are dealing here with the most difficult and the most dangerous of the problems with which this country is faced. I do not believe that in the spirit of heat which the Deputy Minister showed we are going to solve those problems. Sir, hon. members on the other side have been seeking, of course, to throw up a smokescreen because they wish to draw the attention of this House and of the country away from the difficulties in the hon. the Minister’s policy, which were exposed by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition to such an extent that they had to try to distract public attention. But I wish to come back to those difficulties. The policy of the Government in regard to the Native people is perfectly clear now after this debate. It is perfectly clear that it is their intention that there shall be a number of Black states which eventually will become totally independent states. There will be no limits placed upon them. They cannot get away from that; they have said it perfectly clearly again and again. They know, of course, that human beings do advance and that they will eventually reach that position. Sir, there we have one of the fundamental differences between the Nationalist Party and the United Party. The United Party stands for the maintenance of the whole of the Union of South Africa as it is to-day under this Parliament. We have suggested that there should be changes in this Parliament, but we believe that the future safety of the Union lies in the maintenance of one state of South Africa. We are not prepared to see it divided. [Interjections.] Sir, I am dealing with the policy of the Nationalist Party. I hope the hon. the Deputy Minister will allow me now to do so; I let him talk. Sir, it is not as if this will solve the problem because it has now been admitted by the Government that for all time the vast bulk of the Bantu of South Africa will not be in the separate states which are being established but will remain within the boundary of the remaining portion of the Union, i.e. the so-called White South Africa. That has been clearly admitted again and again during this debate. The Government during the course of the last few years—and this is one of the things for which I give them credit—have spent immense sums of money in the provision of permanent housing, railway and other facilities for the urban Bantu. It is accepted by the Nationalist Party that there is no possibility of reaching the position where in fact you will have a portion of South Africa which will be White. They accept that in a portion, which they call White South Africa, the European will be in a substantial minority, very much out-numbered, but then they take the impossible line, which is entirely out of keeping with their own arguments, that in no circumstances will the Black people within what they call White South Africa, have any political rights whatsoever. Sir, it has been made perfectly clear not by one member opposite but by numbers of members, that you cannot reach stability in that way. The hon. member for Standerton (Dr. Coertze) only this afternoon referred to the fact that where you have mixed races within one community, you have friction. Of course you have. It is one of the inescapable dilemmas of the South African scene that in that remaining portion of South Africa, in the absence of large-scale immigration and possibly even in spite of large-scale immigration, the Europeans as against the Bantu will always be in a substantial minority. Sir, I say that until the Government faces the fact that you cannot leave those people without any political rights and until the Government abandons the policy that you cannot give them any political rights at all and accepts the realistic position, namely that you will have to give them certain rights and realize that you cannot have harmony in the country without giving them some form of political right, they will not be able to solve this problem. Sir, you can never satisfy world opinion if you attempt to keep that majority of the people within White South Africa without any political rights at all. I am not dealing with what those rights will be; I am dealing with the policy of the Government. Sir, you can never satisfy world opinion, you can never satisfy opinion within South Africa or elsewhere, until you face that simple fact that for all time this population will be within that portion of South Africa, which is called White South Africa by the Government. It is an impossible policy, it is a dangerous policy. I would like to say that we on this side of the House are just as determined as hon. members opposite that there shall be a permanent home for the Whites in this country. We have made that clear again and again, and I wish hon. members opposite will stop casting aspersions on this side in respect of that point, because they should realize that we stand as strongly as they do for the maintenance in South Africa of a future for the European races who established this country, who have made such an immense contribution and who, I believe, apart from benefiting themselves, have helped to provide the non-Europeans within this area with a better future up to now than they have had in any other country in Africa. It is important that we should remember that. But they go further than that. There are also within that area two other groups, the Coloured and the Native peoples. I do think that the hon. the Prime Minister owes an explanation to this House and to the country as to what he means by a state within a state in respect of the Coloured people. I tell the Prime Minister that I understood from that that he is toying with the idea, to put it at its lowest, that there will be a portion of South Africa which will be set aside exclusively for the occupation of the Coloured people. If that is not so the Prime Minister should tell us. If it is so, I say it is his duty to tell this House. To leave it in such vague terms is not in the interests of South Africa; his duty in that regard is plain. But in addition there is the position of the Asiatic people, more particularly in Natal. Again I would say to the Government that it is utterly impossible to leave those people for all time without political rights in some form or another. It is inevitable that those rights should be conceded. I know that in the past when it was suggested that those rights should be conceded, there was immediately an attack on the United Party. It was stated that the United Party was prepared to sell the future of the White man. I shall be glad if the Prime Minister will make it abundantly clear in his reply because I must say that from his opening speech, in which he referred to four parallel streams, I understood that he is in fact intending that there will be political rights for the Indians as well as for the Coloured people wherever they may be. If he is prepared to concede that that is correct, or to state that that is his intention we will have made some progress in this debate.
On a separate basis.
On whatever the basis may be. What I want the hon. the Prime Minister to say is whether he agrees with the hon. member for Lichtenburg (Mr. M. C. van Niekerk) that they will have political rights on a separate basis. If he is prepared to concede that, as I believe he did concede, but I would like confirmation, then we are beginning slowly to make progress. [Interjections.] Sir, at the moment I am putting forward an argument and I do not like to have these interruptions. Sir, whatever our political differences may be, this is a problem which affects possibly not the future of those of us who are sitting here, but certainly the future of coming generations, and I believe that the very root of the whole of this problem is whether we all accept that political rights in some form or another are going to be given to all the South African people. I am not talking now about purely local rights. I am talking about the giving of rights in some form or another in the Central Parliament to all the peoples of South Africa. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition made it clear that we believe that those rights must be given. I am not dealing now with the form in which those rights should be given. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Springs (Mr. Tucker) will forgive me if I do not react to what he said. I really rise to reply to a few of the arguments advanced by the hon. members for Constantia (Mr. Waterson), Sunnyside (Mr. Horak) and Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp). The hon. members for Sunnyside and Constantia tried to create the impression that the National Party now practically wants to cut the throat of the Press in South Africa. Of course there is no such thing. Everybody knows that there are certain sections of the Press which go out of their way to besmirch South Africa, also in their local reports. But there can be no such thing as the whole of the Press being treated on the same basis. I think nobody will object if certain sections of the Press are rapped over the knuckles. During the United Party régime serious objections were voiced also to the manner in which the Press acted in this country. It is not for us to prescribe to the Press in South Africa. I feel that the Press should rather look to itself and within its own ranks evolve a formula for dealing with such actions. I think the Press in South Africa should take that upon itself because as an old Pressman myself I fully realize that those unscrupulous elements in the Press are most undesirable but it lies with the Press itself to deal with them and I want to suggest that the Press itself should do so, and if it does not do so the Government will itself in time have to take steps. But for the time being that task rests on the Press in South Africa, and I am waiting to see in what way they will tackle the task.
I really rose to reply to a few of the other arguments already advanced here. There are certain members opposite who pretend that the problems faced at UN by South Africa have suddenly arisen as the result of the policy of apartheid of the Nationalist Party. Those hon. members should know that there is not a word of truth in that statement. In 1946 and 1947, under the previous Government, strong objection was already raised in UN to the traditional policy of apartheid in South Africa. I have here quite a few of the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of UN at the time. I have here, e.g., the resolution adopted on 14 December 1946, on South West Africa, when the late General Smuts went there to ask for the incorporation of South West. What was the resolution adopted by the General Assembly? It read as follows—
Therefore at that time already there was objection to the traditional segregation policy of South Africa. I also referred to the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1946, in connection with the position of the Indians in South Africa. That resolution read as follows—
Therefore even at that time there was objection to the policy of apartheid. It is not a new monstrosity born out of the National Party. [Interjection.] The hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence), who is now becoming so eloquent, is the one who at that time went to defend South Africa against the attacks made on this same policy of segregation which is now being attacked so strenuously by hon. members opposite.
The other allegation made is now that South Africa is out of the Commonwealth, tremendous forces will be let loose against us. Of course there is no such thing. Long before South Africa left the Commonwealth members of the Commonwealth, one after another, made repeated attacks on South Africa. Long before there was any idea of our becoming a republic, resolutions were adopted against us year after year, in which members of the Commonwealth took the lead. I have here several such resolutions. In the approximately 13 or 14 resolutions in connection with South West Africa there was not a single Commonwealth country which, during the 13 years the question of South West was discussed by UN, voted once against the resolution of the General Assembly that South West Africa should be given to UN in trust. In fact, in 1956 Commonwealth countries like Canada, India and Ceylon introduced a motion in the General Assembly that South Africa’s policy of apartheid should be discussed in the General Assembly. That shows that Commonwealth countries have always taken the lead in the attacks against South Africa in the General Assembly. There is not a word of truth in the allegation that South Africa now suddenly finds itself in this position at UN because we have left the Commonwealth.
Mr. Chairman, UN has many problems. I am not very concerned about the position. UN has a multiplicity of problems. One of them is the fact that this grouping in UN is causing grave concern to the Western powers and also to the Russian bloc. Strings are being pulled, e.g. in regard to the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council. I want to give this one example of what happened last year. Then the three customary non-permanent members who are elected annually had to be appointed, and what happened? There were two nominations. One group proposed Poland; America and others proposed Turkey, and then they started pulling strings. A poll was taken and not one of them could obtain a two-thirds majority. At the forty-ninth polling they were still practically running neck and neck with Turkey having 42 votes and Poland 39, and thereafter it was decided to enter into a compromise so that one country would serve one year and the other country the next, and it was only after this compromise had been arrived that at the fifty-second polling a resolution was taken in Poland. But it is not for me to try to solve these problems UN has to-day. UN is sowing the seed of its own destruction, viz. the admission of less important states in Africa and everywhere else in the world as members of the organization. The membership of UN which started with 51 countries in 1946 is now 99, with a possibility of its being 150 within four years’ time. Countries as small as the smallest state in America, viz. Delaware, will have as much say in UN as the mighty Britain, Russia, America and all the great powers which to-day are permanent members.
In regard to the Commonwealth, I will not shed a tear either over the fact that South Africa is no longer going to be a member. I want to say that we got out in time. We have the position that Britain is master of a certain number of non-self-governing territories, protectorates and areas it holds in trust, which, in terms of Section 73 and Section 76 of the Charter, it undertook to make independent. These are all potential members of the British Commonwealth. I want to mention a few—all Black—Kenya, Uganda, Somaliland, Cameroon, Gambia, Togoland, Singapore, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Guiana, Jamaica and numerous islands. When once those countries have become members of the Commonwealth, the Black countries will be in the majority in the Commonwealth, and countries like Britain, Australia and Canada will simply have to play second fiddle. The Commonwealth will then consist of more members, but it will be powerless. The fact that we are in such bad odour at UN and in the Commonwealth does not determine our future. It is not those two organizations which determine the future of South Africa. The future of no single country in the world is determined by those two organizations. The future of South Africa is determined by the will and the conviction of the people of South Africa itself, our will to remain independent, to maintain our sovereignty and to preserve White civilization here. That is what determines whether we will remain standing, and not the fact that we are being attacked by UN or the Commonwealth or any other country in the world. [Time limit.]
The hon. member will excuse me if I don’t attempt to deal with all the points that he has raised. I would, however, like to deal with his last point when he referred to us remaining “ selfstandig ” and that “ ons ons soewereiniteit moet behou ”. I would like to say this: that, on that, there is no difference of opinion. Our difficulty, as I was trying to point out, is that we believe that that sovereignty cannot be held upon the plans of the Nationalist Party for South Africa. I do hope that the hon. the Prime Minister will, in his reply, bring complete clarity in regard to what is proposed, and let me say that I do not want to be unreasonable—I realize that the hon. the Prime Minister cannot give us all the details, but I believe it would be of immense help to this country, and I would say to the world, if there was absolute clarity as to the principles which the Nationalist Party proposes to apply in respect of the solution of the problems affecting the Native and the Coloured and the Indian and the European and their relationships with each other, more particularly in the political field.
But I wish to pass on to another point dealing with the question of these relationships. I mentioned earlier that, so far as South Africa was concerned, we could be proud of the fact that we had in respect of a very big proportion of our non-European people provided a better standard of living than had been achieved by other countries in Africa. But let me say, Sir, that our responsibility does not rest there. I believe that one of the essential things in the solution of this problem is to see to it that, in respect of all these peoples, they are given the opportunities which will enable South Africa to remain in the van of all the countries in Africa in respect of the living standards of all sections of the South African people. If we are able to do that, then I believe that in fact we will have done much to justify South Africa in the eyes of the world.
You know quite well that it is not possible.
The hon. member says that this is impossible. I do not believe it to be impossible. I believe that South Africa, and I have sufficient faith in South Africa, can provide a better standard of living for all the peoples of South Africa than can be provided by any of the countries to the north of us, and I believe that in the event we will be able to prove that we can do that, and I believe that at the bar of history we will be judged more lightly if we are able to achieve that position.
But we are doing that already.
I do not want to have a debate across the floor of the House. I am trying to put a case, and I hope the hon. gentleman will allow me to do so. I would like to say in regard to this question of living standards that it is abundantly clear from the history of America, Europe and Russia and it is becoming clear in respect of the history of China, that while it is essential to have a sound rural population, the real height of the living standard of peoples depends on the degree of industrialization. Sir, the Government have made it clear that they have a plan for development on the edges of the reserves. That obviously will help to provide a better living standard. In effect it is nothing more than further integration, but I don’t think we need quarrel about that. If the Government feels it can provide for that industrialization, then I say it is all to the good that it is being done, because, on the future industrialization in the Union, apart from the development of our material resources, depends the future welfare, and I would say the future safety, of us all. But I will say this in regard to the so-called Bantustans that it is abundantly clear that it will be a tremendous drain on the whole of the South African economy if, as appears to be the present intention of the Government, those areas are kept at a more or less subsistence level upon an agricultural basis. It is true that there are certain parts which are agriculturally of great potential value and which can provide a very good living, but in respect of many of those areas the future agricultural potential is not very great, certainly not great enough for the enormous population which resides there. For it must be remembered, Sir, that in those areas there are permanently resident something like one-third of the Native people in the Union, a total equal to the number of Whites at present in the Union of South Africa, more or less. It is my belief that those areas cannot hold the present population and its progeny, let alone draw persons out of the so-called European areas, unless there is industrialization on a substantial scale. Many of those areas are suitable for that purpose, and I say that the Government is making a fundamental error in seeking to have industry only on the edges of the reserves. Even if it is not done immediately, as I accept that it must be done under conditions of control and guidance on the part of the Government, it is essential that in these parts, too. there should be industrial development to enable those people to do more for themselves than they can do on any other basis. I hope that the hon. the Prime Minister will be good enough in his reply to deal with this matter, because I believe that there is no clarity at all as to how the Government believes they will be able to make those areas productive enough to draw persons out of the White areas. I hope the hon. the Prime Minister will be prepared to tell us quite frankly just what he is prepared to do.
Finally, I would say this: that I believe that, although we may not realize it, in fact in regard to the positive aspects of policy regarding the raising of living standards and matters of that sort, there is a far greater measure of agreement among the South African people than we realize. I am sure that if this Government were prepared to come along with a realistic plan for the development of the reserves, they would not find criticism from this side as we have been criticized in the past. I believe that they would find all sections of this House to be prepared to help to speed up that development and to vote the necessary funds in Parliament. Because I believe that it is only if you provide for the development of the whole of South Africa as one ordered economy that we have a chance of providing in this country the necessary living standards to provide happiness there. I am not dealing with political rights. I dealt with those. I have already indicated that there must be representation of all these sections in some form or another in this body. But certainly, whatever may be our differences in the political field, I believe that, by sensible planning, we could get the support of the whole of the South African people for the realization of a vast plan to raise the standard of living of all the peoples of South Africa, and if we could do that, then perhaps we could convince the countries outside, very critical of us now, that in fact South Africa means well by all ter people.
I am very pleased that the hon. member for Springs (Mr. Tucker) has said that they are now agreeable to the Bantu areas being developed, that they are prepared to co-operate towards that end. I should very much like to learn from the hon. member for Springs whether his party is also agreeable to the acquisition of further land for the Bantu areas.
Yes, if it remains part of the Union of South Africa.
In that case there is another question he will have to answer and it is this: How do they intend keeping those areas an integral part of the Union under their race federation policy, if they envisage a federation.
That is a very important question. He cannot reply to that.
The hon. member can reply to that at a later stage.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition and other hon. members on that side of the House made a very important statement when they said that South Africa had lost her membership of the Commonwealth as a result of the policy of this party and that the policy of the United Party would reinstate South Africa as a member of the Commonwealth. Yesterday the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) said “ If we turn to the policies of my Leader, we would be welcome in the Commonwealth ”. That is an important statement because in saying that the Leader of the Opposition and his party have provided us with a yardstick with which we can measure this “ ordered advance ”, this race federation policy of theirs. In other words, he has told us that it will be such a policy—whatever he calls it: “ ordered advance ” or “ race federation ”—that the Afro-Asian nations will accept it. That will be the result. In this statement of his he tells the electorate of South Africa that he has a formula for reconciling that which to-day appears irreconcilable, namely protecting the White man in South Africa and satisfying the demands of the Afro-Asian nations. He says he has a formula whereby those two irreconcilable issues can be reconciled. I say he cannot do both. He must either choose a policy which will protect the White man in South Africa or choose a policy which will satisfy the demands of the Afro-Asian nations. The two are irreconcilable. And the hon. the Leader of the Opposition will have to tell the voters of South Africa what he means by that. In making a statement like that he is leading the Bantu of South Africa also to expect something definite, namely that he will be given joint control over the White man to such an extent that the Afro-Asian nations will be satisfied. I ask him whether he is prepared to do that, now or in the future. And if he is not prepared to do so, is he prepared to face up to the frustration which the Bantu will experience if he gives them reason to expect something but they do not get it? Furthermore, by making this statement he also tried to paint a picture of a South Africa which will be acceptable to the world outside, the so-called “ image ” of the Americans. He is busy creating an “ image ” of a United Party which will fit into the world of to-day. He has done so on a previous occasion. Last year the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said at Rondebosch that “ We should make clear in the eyes of the world that the Opposition in South Africa disagrees with the Government ”.
I am pleased the hon. member is saying “ hear, hear ”. Who is the “ world ” that he talks about? Is it the world as represented by the composition of UNO? It cannot be anything else. If he wants to make us believe that the Opposition differs from the Government, does that imply that the Opposition agrees with the world? If not, what does he mean? Because they are the people who continually tell us that we are “ out of step ”. By making this statement does he intend to convey that they want to get in step with the world? If not, why does he say it to the world? Why does he explain to the world that they disagree with us? I say he is also leading the world to expect something, he promises the world that he is prepared to get in step with world opinion as represented at UNO. If that is the meaning of this statement of policy of his, it is a reckless policy. It is reckless to trade with South Africa’s interests in that manner. And if that is not what he means and if he is misleading the world outside, he is recklessly gambling with the interests of the White man in this *country. I have said that he is trying to bring the world under the impression that the United Party will be acceptable to the world. In the words of Dr. de Blank I want to show the House what the world thinks of the United Party. Last year he said the following—
If that is what Dr. de Blank thinks of the United Party, then that is also what the world thinks of them to-day. And if that is the case, how far left towards the Progressive Party and towards the Liberal Party will he have to move to present an acceptable “ image ” of himself to the world? Is he prepared to do that? We are living in a dangerous time, Sir, not only South Africa, but every nation in the world, and because of that such statements are all the more irresponsible. We are living in a dangerous period, but if there is one pillar of support for South Africa to-day, then it is our Prime Minister, a Prime Minister who is in every sense of the word able to face up to the demands of the times, a statesman who is not prepared to be false to the principles on which the voters based their faith in him, a statesman who is prepared to undertake responsibility as everybody understands responsibility. It is particularly this week that we think of those wonderful qualities of the Prime Minister because it is exactly a year ago that an attempt was made on his life when he showed the world that he was the epitome of courage and faith. There is another pillar of support and that is the ever-increasing extent to which the Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking people of this country are waking up to the sense of unity, in spite of the propaganda which that party makes, in spite of the wall which the Press in South Africa is trying to build around the English-speaking section. It was the Rand Daily Mail who said the other day that the Prime Minister was the first Afrikaner leader who had “ made a major break-through to the English-speaking section ”. His actions at the Commonwealth Conference showed that the Prime Minister refused to place the future of the White people in this country in the hands of people to whom we were “ expendable ”. He has become that symbol to the English-speaking people as well in an increasing measure, so much so that the Sunday Times even reported on the manner in which the people of Durban cheered in the cinemas when Dr. Verwoerd’s image appeared on the screen. That will happen to an increasing extent. This Prime Minister, in spite of what people say about him to-day—I do not even wish to refer to the filth (smerighede) which the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) …
Is that permissible?
Order! The hon. member may not use the word “ filth ”.
I withdraw “filth”, Sir, and substitute “ indecency ”. I was saying that the Prime Minister is beginning to penetrate to the soul of the English-speaking section and I want to quote a letter written by Dinah K. Solomon and W. D. K. Solomon—which is an example of the letters which readers write daily to the English-language newspapers—
I confirm that with all the emphasis at my command. [Time limit.]
One of the most depressing features of the debate over the last few days has been the complete and utter sense of unreality which has been displayed by hon. members on the Government side. I think the hon. members should realize that they are not going to save South Africa from the present crisis by extolling the praises of the Prime Minister, they are not going to restore our respect in the outside world by bandying debating points across this House. Mr. Chairman, we will start South Africa back on the right road when we come to grips with realities, with the harsh reality of the South African situation.
I want to direct a few words, if I may, to the hon. the Prime Minister and his colleagues, because I believe that it is his failure to realize what is happening in South Africa, it is his failure, in spite of his logic and his apparent sincerity, in spite of his determination, to realize that certain fundamental changes are taking place in South Africa and his failure to realize the full impact of these changes, that South Africa has been brought to the state in which it is to-day and which is going to lead South Africa into further disaster. What is one of the fundamental changes which is taking place in South Africa, one which neither the hon. the Prime Minister nor any other leader in a society during an evolutionary period can afford to ignore? It is that real political power, which used to be the exclusive possession of the White people of South Africa, is moving over, and whether we like it or not, it is being shared in an increasing measure by the non-White peoples of this country. Sir, this transfer of real political power is happening in spite of the laws which this Government has placed on the Statute Book over the past 13 years. Hon. members on the other side and the Prime Minister, I believe, have failed to recognize this, because they equate real political power with votes. Sir, it is a folly to think that the vote only constitutes real political power in the sense that we can influence the course of the nation and the destinies of our people. We must realize that the vote, important though it is, is merely a device by which people in a democratic country are allowed to express peacefully the power which they possess. The vote does not constitute real political power, and I want to say to the hon. the Prime Minister that in states which have avoided a revolutionary situation, the leaders of such states have always seen that the real political power which is possessed by the people is also expressed as the vote of the citizen. I want to say I believe that we can be guilty of no greater folly than to fail to recognize that there is a fundamental change taking place in the relative power position of the various individuals comprising the racial groups in South Africa.
I think it is necessary for us to ask the hon. the Prime Minister to look at the factors which constitute real political power in a modern society. Political power consists of a combination of factors: Knowledge, knowhow; ability, ability to organize, and ability to take the initiative; the economic power which the individuals of a group possess, the extent to which they are integrated into the economy, the extent to which they form an essential part of the labour force, the extent of their buying power; particularly in a shrinking world, the extent to which they have the ability to make contact with and to influence the outside world in respect of the South African nation. I think if we consider these factors, if we look at what has taken place over the past decade, whatever the situation might have been in pre-war years, it is inevitable that there is flowing towards the non-European people in South Africa more and more political power, and whether we like it or not, they are going to play a greater and ever greater part in shaping the destinies of all the peoples in South Africa. Mr. Chairman,, it appears when one listens to the hon. the Prime Minister and his colleagues that one can curtail this power, that one can limit this power and destroy this power by taking away votes. I think, Mr. Chairman,, the tragic failure of the Prime Minister’s mission to the Commonwealth Conference is an example of this. Here were people, voteless in South Africa, voiceless in the councils of the country, who won the day. These people wanted to see us out of the Commonwealth and they had a greater influence on the future of South Africa, on our exit from the Commonwealth of Nations, than the combined wishes and the combined efforts of all the enfranchised people of South Africa. Mr. Chairman, let us realize and let the hon. the Prime Minister realize that nothing that he can do can stop this gradual evolutionary change taking place. If he would realize these things, he would act in a different way; he would realize that you cannot stop this evolution taking place, you cannot nullify non-White political power but you can hope to guide it in such a way that it will be used in the interests of all the peoples of South Africa.
The question before the hon. the Prime Minister and the people of South Africa is not whether the non-Whites are going to have increased political power in South Africa, but how they are going to be allowed to express that power, and to what end they are going to use it. What lies in our hands in this Parliament here to-day is to decide in which way they are going to be allowed to express that power and to what ends they are going to use it. We must ask ourselves: Are they going to be allowed to express this power through democratic institutions and through constitutional means? Are they going to be allowed to use it in support of the laws of the country, to defend the democratic institutions which we have built up, to promote the interests of all the people of South Africa? I think hon. members opposite and indeed the hon. the Prime Minister should realize that the timetable of the growth of the real political power of the non-White people will not depend on arbitrary decisions of the Prime Minister. It will not depend on how quickly or how slowly he can consolidate the Bantu areas, or how quickly or how slowly he can create areas of local autonomy for the Coloured people. It will depend on factors outside of this House, in addition to factors inside this House. It will depend on development and changes which are taking place inside and outside South Africa at the present time. If the hon. the Prime Minister will only realize this I am sure he would tackle the problems in a completely different way. He would not say: How long can we withhold political rights or political expression from these people? He would not say: For how long can the White people maintain the monopoly of votes in South Africa? He would say: How quickly can we educate these people to a sense of responsibility so that they can use this political power in the interest of all the people? He would not say: How rapidly can we promote a separate nationalism between the various groups which form the South African people? He would say: How quickly can we promote a common patriotism, a desire to share the better things of life for all the peoples of South Africa? I think for the Nationalist Party and the Prime Minister to equate political power with votes, and not to learn the lessons of history is perhaps one of the most dangerous of their follies.
I believe that he will fail and will fail dismally for another reason, and that is because he refuses to realize that the racial problem in South Africa is essentially a human problem. It is a problem which deals with 15,000,000 human beings in South Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister has sacrificed the doctrine of the dignity of the individual, which is part and parcel of Western civilization, for the cult of the group in South Africa. He sees people not as individuals, he sees them merely as units in groups which compose the South African people. Because he has failed to realize the importance of the individual and because he has failed to realize that groups, even when you recognize them, are merely combinations of individuals, he has failed dismally both internally and outside South Africa. The charge against South Africa, Mr. Chairman, is not that we as White people want to have self-determination, it is not that we have not provided decent hospitals and social services, it is not because we want to maintain standards, but it is because we deny to the individual citizen in South Africa because of his colour the right to develop to a full human being in his own country. [Time limit.]
I have listened carefully to what the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin) said and I feel that if we were to accede to what he and his party request, we might just as well hand over the whole of South Africa to the non-Whites, because in that event the White man will have no guarantees and he will lose his inheritance in this country.
I have been sitting in this House since 21 March and I have listened attentively to the various speeches, particularly those of the Opposition, and I must honestly say that I have not at all been impressed by their contributions. No, Mr. Chairman, those hon. members have concentrated on attacking the hon. the Prime Minister. Let me tell them that the Prime Minister is the person who represents this party, that he has the confidence of the whole National Party, that he has been placed in that position by this party which came into power at the 1953 and 1958 elections. Those results have clearly indicated that the electorate support the policy of this party—the policy of parallel development. They have given this party a mandate. The Opposition should have no illusions about that. This party unquestionably has the support of the electorate to continue with its policy.
The Prime Minister attended the Commonwealth Conference as the representative of this party, which meant that he was the representative of the majority of the electorate when he adopted the attitude which he did. Whether the country sent him or anybody else, this party will have supported that person. The very soul of the nation was at stake there and he could not barter that soul away, before the attack was made upon him. I trust the Opposition will cease making those spiritless, futile and ludicrous attacks on the person of the hon. the Prime Minister.
I wish to refer in particular to the speech which the hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) made last night. He and other members of the Opposition repeatedly referred to the way in which the economy of this country had declined during the 13 dismal years that this party had governed the country! I do not wish to give more statistical data than the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs and the hon. member for Bellville (Mr. Haak) have already given. I want to refer, however, to the statistical quarterly journal of the Reserve Bank where Dr. de Jongh said, amongst others, that the gross national production last year had risen by 6½ per cent. There is more statistical data available to hon. members if they would only use their judgment correctly. I respect the hon. member for Kensington. He is a former teacher of mine and he was a good teacher of mathematics. But I am sorry to say that I differ widely from his political views. I also differ from him in his approach to the present situation. He and his party look at the situation through a pair of thick spectacles of pessimism, of melancholy, lethargy, and listlessness. Perhaps we differ from them because I am still full of life compared with him. I differ from him because I know the heavens will not descend upon us. Until recently I have been in close touch with the youth in secondary schools, with the more mature youth of our country, whose blood still flows fresh and warm through their veins. I want to assure the hon. member for Kensington and the Opposition that the youth of White South Africa—and in saying that I refer to the youth in secondary schools, the more mature youth in our universities, colleges and in various professions and industries—support the Government, not only the majority of the Afrikaans-sneaking youth, but also a large section of the English-speaking youth. How often have the United Party Opposition accused the teachers and the educational institutions of indoctrinating the youth politically. The United Party have always been wrong. True, youth is being indoctrinated but it is being indoctrinated with a love for that which it has inherited, with steadfast faith, with fervent patriotism, with love, with a single loyalty towards its father-land. On its mind has indelibly been impressed that it should have inflexible and unshakeable confidence in the future of South Africa; it should be firmly convinced that White civilization will continue to exist in South Africa. This difficult problem is a challenge to our youth, and they have accepted that challenge. He despises the jeremiads of the prophets of disaster and doom. He also despises the defeatists the Sanballats and the Tobiases who are not striving towards the national ideal of happy co-existence between the various groups, and who are not prepared to help in laying the foundation for the continuance of the nation’s existence. I appeal to the youth to remain steadfast as they have been in the past, to support the Government and in doing so they will be serving South Africa, to put their shoulder to the wheel in every respect and to work harder than ever before to exert all their energies for the sake of this country. We know, Mr. Chairman, that the youth will respond to the appeal of South Africa. We know that they will reject the cowards, that they will reject the Jan Salies and that they will continue along the road which they are following today—that they will continue along the road of South Africa.
During the discussions which we have had, members have often based their arguments on suppositions and hypotheses. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition and his followers have likewise argued hypothetically, that if the hon. the Prime Minister sat still at the Prime Ministers Conference, the position would have been vastly different and much better. I too wish to put forward a supposition and it is this: Where the Commonwealth Conference went into session and this specific issue was raised on Monday 13, after that black week-end, would the result, of South Africa’s application for continued membership of the Commonwealth, have been any different had it been submitted before the week-end? My reason for arguing like that is this: When the Commonwealth Conference was in session the most violent agitators against South Africa, people like Dadoo, the Rev. Reeves and Oliver Tambo were in London and we know from Press reports that during that week-end they descended upon the Prime Ministers, inter alia, Mr. Diefenbaker, of Canada. Mr. Diefenbaker granted them an interview which lasted more than an hour. [Time limit.]
At a time like the present it is more important than at any other time to weigh and to count your words. That is why I intend following the example which the hon. the Prime Minister has set during this debate and to conduct this very important debate on that high level. We know that while we are gathered here to-day the country outside it keenly following the discussions which are taking place here; that the people outside are looking for guidance and listening to what is being said in this House. We also know that the other sections of the population are deeply impressed by what we say here—the Coloured population, the Bantu population and others— and for that reason I wish to make the few remarks that I want to make in a constructive spirit and in a manner that will assist us in viewing our problems in the right perspective.
You get the impression, Sir, that many hon. members on both sides of the House make speeches that have no bearing on one another, that in this serious stage in our lives, we do not succeed in following each other’s arguments and building on them what is best for the future. I say that within a comparatively short space of time we in South Africa may perhaps find ourselves in the position where the White sections, if they wish to maintain their authority, will have to learn to tolerate each other and to understand each other better. Various members have already said that there were signs that the relationship had improved, something which is necessary and which we welcome. I too want to do so. I want to go further and to say that our actions in this House, physically and mentally, should be such that we do not alienate the other sections of the population, the Coloured population and the Bantu population during this critical stage of our life. Remarks are often made on both sides of this House in respect of those other sections of the nation, for example, the Coloureds, which make my blood run cold when I think that they are listening to them, and my blood runs colder when I think that the evening newspapers will be spreading those remarks to the masses throughout the country, who must inevitably misinterpret them because they are not here and do not follow the arguments and the trend of the discussion. I am convinced that during this time in which we are living, it is the bounden duty of the White section to prove that we are capable and able to remain the rulers in future, if we can succeed, for example, in keeping the Coloured community who ought to be the natural ally of the White man, on the side of the White man. That is not the task of the Prime Minister or a task to be carried out by a law. That is yours and my task, the task of the individual. Our actions, our deeds our relationship towards each other as one human being towards another, will help to bring about that position in South Africa. I want to go further and say that it is your and my task, Sir, the task of the citizen of this country, to support the Government and the country at this critical stage, to help and to strengthen the Bantu of South Africa, thousands of whom still have faith in the leadership of the White man and who stand loyally by him, so that they do not fall into the hands of the Tsotsi gangs and communist agitators. Those agitators and communist propagandists are so active in South Africa to-day that it is a miracle that the illiterate masses of the Bantu population have succeeded in maintaining law and order. We in South Africa are in that peculiarly difficult position that in addition to the onslaught of the entire communist world order, we have here a great black mass of undeveloped people who can so easily fall prey to that propaganda and who can so easily be incited. Our task is all the more difficult because of that. That is why it is the task and duty of everyone in South Africa—not only here in Parliament but outside—to help those people who are our friends, to remain our friends. I want to refer to the fact that the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration is doing his utmost to establish and maintain a good relationship in the reserves between the Black and the White man. We are very grateful to him for that, because that is a gigantic task. I think he is succeeding. The problem which I see lies in the fact that we have millions of Bantu within our midst. In that respect it is the duty and the task of every White man in his particular sphere to create goodwill and to maintain a sense of confidence and stability, peace and order in the country. Only if we succeed in retaining the confidence of that childlike, or shall I say undeveloped, Bantu, will we be able to maintain the necessary peace, quiet and progress in our fatherland. You will therefore allow me, Sir, to make an appeal to my people to exert themselves more at this juncture of our lives, in order to establish this desired position in our country, so that there will be goodwill and good understanding between the various racial groups. I believe that you should remain in close touch with the people, but I also believe that when anybody has been chosen to occupy a responsible position in this House, he should also give the necessary guidance. He ought to be able to say: This is the road as I see it, and this is the safe road to follow in future.
Reference has been made this afternoon to the Press. I am one of those who do not believe that the Press should be restricted in any way, unless it grossly abuses its freedom. However, I want to say this. I know that the Press is not nearly fulfilling the task which it ought to fulfil in bringing about peace and quiet in this country. For example, when I get up in this House and appeal for harmony and for better understanding, that never appears in the Press. But when I get up in this House and level accusations against someone else, or say something irresponsible, that will appear in to-morrow’s newspapers with my photograph. That is the tragedy of the situation, and it is in that respect that I think the Press is failing in its duty to use the vast powers which it has in assisting South Africa in solving its problems in these difficult times and in giving the necessary assistance and support to our country. I hope that assistance will not always be lacking but that the day will arrive when it will not be necessary to ask for it.
If you are kicked out of the House your photograph will appear twice in the Press.
We hope that we will unite our forces to retain this dearly beloved fatherland of ours for future generations. We have gone through dark periods in the past. Our forefathers went through dark periods. We have put up a fight and we have reached the other side. There is one thing lacking and I want to mention it. In their hour of need, when everything was black, our forefathers did not forget to bow their heads and they looked to Him for assistance and salvation. I am sure that to-day too, that is the obvious road for us to follow. That is inherent in our nation. If we tackle our problems on that basis, we shall be going forward in the spirit and according to the teachings and the law of the Man from Nazareth. On that ethical basis and platform were need have no fear for the future.
I think it is a refreshing change to hear an objective and moderate speech from the Government benches. The hon. member for Vryburg (Mr. Labuschagne) has been in this House a long time, and I think he is an object lesson to the hon. member who preceded him.
Mr. Chairman, I hope that I will have the attention of the hon. the Prime Minister when we are dealing with his vote, because there is an item on his vote of R7.200 with which I want to deal. I can quite understand the hon. the Prime Minister being surprised at his vote being referred to, because there has been so much political discussion under this vote.
I quite agree with you.
He probably has not turned up his estimates …
Yes I have.
I hope he has them with him.
Oh yes, you need not worry, they are here.
You see, Mr. Chairman, how important it is …
I have two of them.
…for even the hon. the Prime Minister to pay attention to the vote. The Prime Minister has an item of R7,200 for an economic adviser. I would like to know what advice he has had from this economic adviser, particularly in the light of what has been happening in the last few weeks. Since 15 March, according to one financial report, share values on the Stock Exchange have fallen to the extent of R524,000,000. The hon. the Minister of Finance will be the first to tell me that it does not follow that that amount of money has been lost, but I hope that the hon. the Prime Minister does not regard that as a small matter, because the Prime Minister will know that when share values fall to that extent then every banker in the country reviews the securities which he holds as security for overdrafts. And that is going to have its effect on the advances which are made by banks to industrialists who are concerned with this question of development.
I then want to come to this question of development and ask the hon. the Prime Minister if he will indicate to us what his programme is for the development of industries near the reserves, and particularly whether he envisages that development being done by the Government or by private enterprise. If he envisages it being done by private enterprise, I suggest that private enterprise will be embarrassed to the extent of this fall in share values, because the amount of credit they will be able to raise will be limited as a result of the fall in share values. I am particularly concerned with regard to the position which obtains in my own province. I think the hon. the Prime Minister will agree that there is scarcely a single town in the province of Natal which does not have a Native reserve within five to ten miles of its borders.
The hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs has already told us that Durban, although it is within five miles of a Native reserve, does not count as a city for border development. But there is conflict in this matter and I hope that the hon. the Prime Minister will resolve it. There is conflict between the hon. Minister of Economic Affairs and the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development as to whether the Pinetown area is an area for border development. We have this position, that while people are talking about political rights, and while people are talking about the rights of various citizens there are many thousands—and I emphasize that word—there are many thousands of non-Europeans in the province of Natal who are out of work. Industrial development is being curtailed because there is all this uncertainty. There are non-Europeans who are unable to get work because of the effects of job reservation and because of the effects of the administration of the Group Areas Act. I am sure that the hon. the Prime Minister realizes that the Indians of Natal cannot get out of its borders. What is the Prime Minister’s vision? What are his concrete plans for the Indian people of Natal? Are they to have a separate area? You see. Mr. Chairman, there has been a change in the policy of the Government and we would like clarity on this.
The hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Development queried the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) just now, and challenged him on the question of total territorial apartheid and called upon him to give proof of what he had said. In Hansard Vol. 81, Col. 179, the hon. member for Hillbrow challenged the then Minister of Lands, the late Mr. Strydom, and the reply of the Minister of Lands was this—
There has been a change in policy and now the hon. the Prime Minister does stand for total territorial apartheid. That is the policy of the present Government. What we are concerned about is this: who will be allowed to establish industries on the borders of these reserves? Will the Europeans be allowed to establish industries on the borders of the reserves? Will European business firms be allowed to establish themselves on the borders of the reserves?
In the White areas?
Yes, on the White side of the borders?
Yes, of course.
Will the Indians be allowed to establish industries on the borders of the reserves, or will the Indians be refused the right to establish any industries on the borders of the reserves? Will they be restricted to establish their industries only in the Indian areas, or will they be allowed to establish industries in the White areas and, if so, why? Will they be allowed to establish industries in the Coloured areas or will they be restricted to establishing their industries in the Indian areas only? Will the White people be allowed to establish industries in the Indian areas, or will they only be allowed to establish industries on the borders of the Indian areas? Will there be Coloured areas established in Natal, or will the Coloured in Natal be allowed to live in the European areas, and will they be precluded from having any say in the development of industry on the borders of these Native reserves?
You see, Mr. Chairman, the Coloured people and the Indian people, and the Europeans, are all ambitious. Most of them have a similar standard of livelihood. Most of them have commercial experience. What we are wanting to know, and what the outside world is wanting to know is this, what opportunities will the various race groups have for economic advancement?
A lot of the time of this debate has been befogged with various interpretations of political rights, but we are now dealing with economic rights which give people the opportunity of raising themselves from starvation to a better living or a good living. In view of the large number of unemployed at present in the province of Natal—and I would remind you, Mr. Chairman, that the province of Natal has one-fifth of the total population of the Union of South Africa—it is essential that the hon. the Prime Minister should indicate quite clearly what his policy is with regard to the development of industry on the borders of the Native reserves. Because if the hon. the Prime Minister’s policy is carried to its logical conclusion—and I know the Prime Minister likes to see everything taken to its logical conclusion—is there not the danger that eventually Natal will become all Black or all mixed; a Black, Indian and Coloured area? And then, will the city of Durban remain the one White spot on the coast? [Time limit.]
Hon. members opposite have told us that South Africa was undergoing a crisis and that our apartheid policy had caused it and that the Prime Minister was responsible for it. I just want to tell the Opposition that the apartheid policy is the policy of the National Party, and that the National Party, and the entire National Party as a unit, is co-responsible for it with the hon. the Prime Minister. On the other hand we believe—contrary to what the United Party says—that up to the present apartheid has saved the White man. We believe that apartheid will be the salvation of all races in South Africa, and that as a result of the apartheid policy South Africa will be the most peaceful corner in the whole of Africa. The United Party has stated its new policy by way of its Leader, namely a race federation. We have heard nothing more about it, but one is tempted to ask why, when the United Party was in power before 1948, they did not follow a race federation policy and why they did not develop it. The United Party now tell us that they gave the vote to the Indians in 1946 in order to keep South Africa together, with one Parliament governing all races. They applied that in practice in 1946 as far as the Indians were concerned but what happened? The Indians refused to accept that race federation policy and the United Party have been telling us through the years that had they remained in power after 1948 it was not their intention to give the Indians representation because the Indians did not want it. What reason is there for the United Party to believe that the Indians will accept it to-day? What reason is there at all, world conditions being what they are, to take it for granted that the Indians will be prepared to accept it and that it will satisfy the world?
What was the position of the Coloureds under the United Party regime. They were on the Common Roll. I want to ask the United Party to be honest. If we are undergoing a crisis, as they say we are, and the world turns against us because of our racial policy and we have to make concessions, will the Coloureds be satisfied with the position What did the Coloureds gain by being on the Common Roll? I do not want to analyse it at the moment, but on a previous occasion we have had an analysis in this House of the number of speeches which the United Party made during that time in the interests of the Coloureds, and the number was small. Even the Leader of the Opposition who came to this House on the strength of the Coloured Vote on the Common Roll, did not make a single speech during the years when he was an ordinary member of this House in which he pleaded the cause of the Coloureds.
That is not true.
That is apart from the fact that the Coloureds did not wish it. They made demands during the regime of the United Party. The Coloured people put up a Coloured candidate at that time to oppose the United Party candidate in the constituency Flats and it required considerable manoeuvering to persuade that Coloured candidate to withdraw in favour of the White United Party candidate. But apart from that how much bitterness wasn’t caused by that Common Roll? It created intense bitterness on the part of the White people against the Coloureds because the Coloured vote was misused by the United Party for political purposes and because of that bitterness, the United Party Government was unable to uplift the Coloured socially and economically. There was absolutely nothing for the Coloured to look forward to and he was frustrated and humiliated. Under this new set-up, however, that feeling of bitterness on the part of the White man is not only slowly disappearing, but it is disappearing quickly and has already disappeared completely and the White population as a whole is prepared to-day to uplift the Coloured. There is no limit to the heights to which the Coloured can advance. The Prime Minister said the other day that in present-day circumstances already they can advance to a Provincial Council. In the past the Coloured people never had that prospect and it is true that the National Party can adapt itself to circumstances as far as its colour policy is concerned, and in future it will very definitely show that it is able to adapt itself to circumstances as it has shown during the past 13 years.
Let us consider what the position of the Native was in that race federation policy which the United Party followed at the time. They were represented in this Parliament to some extent. The Native was not satisfied with that representation. A few years ago in this House the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) said on behalf of the United Party, that the 1936 Bantu legislation was an experiment, but that will not satisfy anybody to-day, it does not satisfy the Native nor the United Party. Since those days the United Party have changed their policy on numerous occasions.
The time has arrived where we should at least be realistic as far as this matter is concerned. The conditions which prevail in the world to-day force us to be realistic, and what are the facts? The fact is that the United Party is still living in the past. Hence this race federation. They are returning to their policy of the past, only more so, and the sugar coated pill will only be bigger. In the days before World War II we were never told that there were more non-Whites than Whites in this world. Nobody talked about that, but to-day everybody talks about it; everybody talks about the fact that non-Whites occupy two-thirds of the world. That fact is manifesting itself to a great extent in the Commonwealth. That fact manifests itself at UNO where two-thirds of the representatives are non-Whites. What are the demands of the non-Whites? This is the basic fact. They do not demand concessions. The concessions which the United Party are prepared to make are infinitesimal in comparison with the concession which have been made in the Federation. They had partnership there. Did that bring about peace and quiet? Does that position satisfy the world and the non-Whites? [Time limit.]
I have already been sitting for some days listening to this debate and one feels inclined to say that there are none so blind as those who do not want to see and none so deaf as those who do not want to hear. I do not understand what the purpose is in our spending two or three days insulting and criticizing one another across the floor of the House. It reminds me very much of the jackal which was caught in the trap and which bit itself out of pain and rage. What is the purpose in making accusations and blaming our policy? Let us face the facts and rise above petty matters. The true position is that the rulers of the world for their own reasons have turned against the traditional way of life in South Africa and not against the policy of this party. I just want to prove this briefly by referring to history.
The first influx control between non-White and White was applied in 1798 by Lord McCartney, who applied influx control in order to keep the Black man out of the White areas. Lord Caledon introduced the first pass laws in 1809. This is a century-old pattern in the history of South Africa. In every republican constitution the principle of apartheid was embodied. I now ask why are hon. members kicking up all this fuss and criticizing the Government and the Prime Minister personally as though this policy were his property alone? It has been the actual way of life of South Africa ever since the beginning. It started still earlier when Jan van Riebeeck’s men said: Bring us orphan girls from the Netherlands because “ deze geslacht heeft een aardige reuk ” (these people have a peculiar smell). I say it is pointless our criticizing one another. The truth is that the position of the White man in the world is weakening, and that is the dominating factor in world politics to-day. Let us consider this aspect briefly.
If we go back 500 years to the year 1500, what was the position of the White man? At that time the White man was hemmed in on the West European continent, without any way of escape, while in the East he was cut off by the Mohammedans and other races and on the other side by the tempestuous ocean. Then followed a number of discoveries and voyages of discovery, and in the next 400 years the White man made more rapid progress than during the preceding 4,000 years. He took over all the countries he found and, while in the year 1500 he possessed one-fifth of the earth, by the year 1900 he controlled nine-tenths of the earth. This made it possible for these other countries to develop. There was a national awakening; education and civilization spread and the reaction was that these countries gradually awoke, and they began to rise up and demand their rights. In recent times we find the reverse process and the White man is gradually creeping back to Western Europe. The Whites have had to leave Indo-China, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, etc. The question I ask myself is this: The White man has in fact retained certain areas such as America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many ethers have been lost; colonies where the Black man has risen up and demanded and been given his rights, and has forced out the White man. I ask myself: In which group does South Africa fall? Must we regard her as one of the areas which will permanently be the home of the White man such as America, or must we regard her as a colony, such as Nigeria and Ghana? To analyse this aspect, I want to try briefly to establish the difference. What have Australia and New Zealand done with their Natives? History teaches us that they cruelly exterminated them because they were on islands and the Natives could not obtain reinforcements. The Australia “ White Australian policy ” still protects them to-day so that no reinforcements for the Black man are coming into the country, and for that reason the White man, as a result of the isolation of Australia, has been able to build up a majority and to enforce his rule. What did the Americans do to their Red Indians? They exterminated them on a large scale and for 300 years they applied a policy of immigration so that America to-day can say that she is a White country because the Red Indians, who were the original inhabitants, have been forced into the background. Why do we not find the same position in South Africa? There are various reasons; in the first place because our ancestors did not follow the policy of extermination which these other countries followed. The second reason is that South Africa is joined to the continent of Africa from which over the centuries the Black man has been reinforced from the north. We are not an island on our own. But that is not all. South Africa should fall in the same category as America and Australia in this regard because the White man came here before there was a single Bantu. We have entered this area just as the Bantu have done and we are as much immigrants here as they are, or vice versa. The Bantu are not the original inhabitants of this area. When Jan van Riebeeck landed here in 1652 there were still no Bantu in the area which we to-day call South Africa. If these are the facts, I ask that we should take this matter into review and realize that the Whites are here to stay.
I want to discuss the standpoint of “ Africa for the Africans ” which is continually being put forward. But if we apply the standpoint of “ America for the Americans ”, who are the Americans? Then we should say “ America for the Red Indians ” and then the Whites in America could with greater justification be called interlopers than we if we say “ Australia for the Australians ”, the position is the same. If we say “ Africa for the Africans ”, then I as a White African am just as much an African as the Black man, and I think that it is the most deplorable racial discrimination possible that the White man, just because his skin is White, is not allowed to remain in Africa as an African. We are being discriminated against because our skins are White. Must we leave this country simply because we are White? After all that is racial discrimination. No, I think we should cease this internecine strife. It avails us nothing. Let us face the facts. The world is adopting the stand point that the White man should leave Africa because they regard South Africa as a colony, just as Nigeria and Ghana. I feel that we must bring it very pertinently to the notice of the world that we are a country like America and Australia and with that in mind I want to ask the Prime Minister whether he does not think the time has come for a Department of Propaganda to be established which will be able to make far more effective propaganda on our behalf. I have nothing against the Information Service. They are doing their utmost but I feel that we should take stronger action and that these facts should be brought to the notice of the world. Whenever I speak to an overseas correspondent or visitor, I immediately encounter the standpoint: I do not think your propaganda overseas is effective enough, because the facts do not come to our notice. I just want to mention the possibility of establishing a Department of Propaganda with a separate Minister, if necessary, in order to put our case more effectively abroad. But I want to put another point as well, namely that this propaganda machine should have sufficient funds, funds which it can use in its own way. I even want to go so far as to say that it should not be necessary to render account for those funds. I now want to make a strange point. Even if we have to nay a correspondent of the London Times £500 to write a favourable article on South Africa, that amount should be paid without anyone knowing about it because such an article from an impartial pen would carry far more weight than any articles emanating from our Information Service. [Time limit.]
Mr. Chairman, the hon. member who has just spoken pleaded for a Department of Propaganda, but he started his speech by saying: “ Let us face facts ”. Surely if he is prepared to face facts he will realize that a Department of Propaganda cannot save South Africa. It is the facts that matter, not the words spoken or written about those facts. It is the reality. Does he really believe that Britain and America and other countries will determine their policy towards South Africa because of what is written in newspapers, or because of what their own people here in South Africa report to them? Obviously no government determines its policy on newspaper reports. Had there been a dozen articles in the London Times it would not have helped us. What matters is lacis anu rejiu.«…ie hon. member for Malmesbury (Mr. van Staden) spoke of facing facts and realities, but that is exactly what the Government is not doing. One has to fight through a smokescreen of unreality to get to the realism of the problem which faces us to-day. In this feeling of unreality one feels that we are deliberately following the road followed by other countries which have destroyed themselves. There are other countries which paranoically believe that they were always right and that they were gifted with omniscience and the total answer to every problem. There were countries like Hitler’s Germany, where Hitler believed that he alone was right, a man who led his people to their own destruction, a people who are now rebuilding themselves because they have been rid of that obsession of omniscience and all-powerfulness. Are we to follow such a course by closing our eyes and saying we do not care what the world says, or what is happening in South Africa, but we will close our minds to everything and just plug on until the end?
What we have had in this debate was a continuous attempt to blame everyone else for the mess we are in. The United Party and the English Press and the rest of the world and Mr. Macmillan have been blamed—everyone but ourselves. There is only one man who has not been blamed so far, and that is the Prime Minister by his own followers. [Interjections.] Surely there is a responsibility on every South African to-day to try and find the cause of our trouble, and if we do that words must have a meaning and not as they have been in this debate, meaningless. Four weeks ago we applied to stay in the Commonwealth because it was in the interest of South Africa. Four weeks later speaker after speaker on that side of the House got up and said the Prime Minister scored a victory by withdrawing from the Commonwealth; it is better that we should be out. The hon. member for Midland (Mr. P. S. van der Merwe said—
Member after member has turned the humiliation and shame of South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth into a victory. What do words mean, Sir? Now that same attachment to words of all sorts of meanings is being applied to the real basic problem of colour in South Africa. There is one reason and one reason only why we are in the mess we are in now, and that is that this Government has been unable to answer the questions we put to it on its race policy because it has no policy at all.
Who is blaming who now?
That is not only what I say. I say the Government cannot give clear answers on their politics because they do not know what their policy is. Their own newspaper, the Transvaler, said only last week—
Now listen to what the Government’s own newspaper said on 6 April—
For 16 years the race problem has been increasing.
On a point of order, is the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) entitled to take his seat in the way he has just done?
I ask the hon. member for South Coast to go back.
Is the suggestion that I crossed between you, Sir, and the hon. member who is speaking?
Yes, the line is from the speaker to the centre of the room. Will the hon. member please go round the other way?
Under this Government the race problem has grown from year to year. The article continues—
The Prime Minister’s own paper says that under his Government for 13 years the race problem has got worse and the solution must be found now. We have pressed the Government hour after hour to give us a solution, a solution which their own paper says they have not yet put before the people. All we get is historical lectures, lectures on what a difficult position we are in and about the right of the White man to remain here. We know all that. We stand for the right to remain here, but what we ask of the Government is a plan by which we can carry out our determination to remain here and to maintain our White civilization here, but the Government has failed to give that answer. Not only the Transvaler but the Burger and the Vaderland, one by one their own newspapers come out in criticism, with appeal after appeal to the Government to think again and to realize that they are on the wrong road and to seek an answer to our problems. The Vaderland appeals for a younger Cabinet, and the Burger appeals for better leadership, and the Transvaler appeals for a solution to the racial problem. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) says that it is facts which count. That is quite correct; it is facts which count, but what I find surprising is the fact that hon. members opposite apparently always close their eyes to the facts and simply refuse to face facts. When one listens to the speeches of hon. members opposite, then one forms the impression that there is really no problem in South Africa; that it is very simple to solve our difficulties in this country; that all we have to do is to allow one or two Coloureds to sit in this Parliament and to have eight or ten members here representing the Natives, and then all our problems will be solved; then Ghana will embrace us; the Commonwealth will welcome us back with open arms and UNO will say that we are the best people on earth. Hon. members really create the impression that they consider that if we would only make one or two small concessions, the world would be satisfied and South Africa would prosper. I say they are closing their eyes to the fact that that would not satisfy anyone. They are speaking as though they have never heard the slogan “ Africa for the Africans ” ringing throughout Africa, a slogan with which America is also toying at the moment. They are speaking as though they have never heard of the demand being made throughout South Africa of “ one man one vote ”. One would say that they have never heard the demands for absolute equality. When we mention these facts one or other hon. member opposite always shouts: “ That is nonsense.” I just want to refer hon. members to a person whom they have always been very anxious to praise in this House. On occasion I have thought that they regard this person as the man who should really be Prime Minister. I read the following report in the Argus of 28 March—
He went on to say—
This is what hon. members want. Luthuli went on to say—
During this same court case Luthuli in reply to a question by Judge Rumpff enlarged on the question of franchise and his reply was—
I say that the Bantu will not be satisfied if we simply allow one or two people to sit here to represent them.
Are they satisfied now?
I maintain—and I know I am correct when I say this—that the Commonwealth would not be satisfied. We would not be able to return to the Commonwealth merely because we have one or two Native Representatives here because the Commonwealth is demanding absolute equality. I am surprised that the hon. member for Durban (Point) is not saying “ nonsense ” now as well. In the Argus of 8 April I read this banner headline—
Then the newspaper goes on to report that Mr. Macmillan had contended in a speech that it was the ideal of the Commonwealth that there should be absolute equality for all races, colours and religions. This is nothing new to us. We expected this. It is not the first time that we have heard of this British policy. I remember full well that last year when Mr. Macmillan addressed us here in Cape Town, he spoke along the same lines. Then he also directed our thoughts in that direction. On the next day the Argus in its leading article commented as follows on that speech—
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition objected yesterday because, as he alleged, the hon. the Prime Minister had said that the West regarded the White man in South Africa as “ expendable ”. If this does not mean that the White man is “ expendable ”, then I do not know what it does mean—
That the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) was thinking along the same lines was very evident from a report in the same newspaper of 11 February in which the following appeared—
That speech was a shock to many of us who listened to it, but others amongst us accepted it is such and understood it as such, and I think that the sooner we all realize that what has really happened is that the eagle is ejecting her young from the nest in order to make room for others, and that we shall have to fly on our own or die, the better. There can be no doubt that it is essential that those who have always relied heavily on the idea that if we experienced difficulties Britain would help us, should realize that we are now being called upon to stand on our own feet as men. We cannot get away from that fact. I remember that speech by Mr. Macmillan full well; I remember how seriously we sat and listened. I said just now that some of us were surprised. Then the hon. the Prime Minister spoke and he stepped forward as the champion of the rights and interests of the White man. I remember full well the reaction which I felt when the hon. the Prime Minister sat down. One could not feel any differently; here we had all come to listen to Mr. Macmillan and then we listened to Dr. Verwoerd. This reaction gained ground and it became even stronger, and only a few days later, on 10 February, last year I read in the Argus a letter by Mr. J. C. Smuts, son of the famous General, in which he said—
Mr. Chairman, this person also came to listen to Mr. Macmillan and then he listened to Dr. Verwoerd. I can assure you that there are thousands who are and have done the same to an ever-increasing extent. [Time limit.]
In the first place I want to associate myself with those who have objected strongly to the threat made by the hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg) against the Press when he referred to the imposition of restrictions on the so-called irresponsible newspapers. I am the last person to allow the hon. member for Wolmaransstad to decide what is irresponsibility and what is not irresponsibility on the part of the Press. I regard this as a threat against the freedom of speech in South Africa. I should like to ask him what he would have said about this extract from a leading article written by the hon. the Prime Minister while he was still the editor of the Transvaler—
Was this or was this not an irresponsible statement?
When we hear statements of this type we are concerned about what will happen to freedom of speech in South Africa under the republic. We are particularly concerned when we see how freedom of speech is not being used but is being abused by the South African Broadcasting Corporation nowadays. I want to refer particularly to certain things which have happened during the past few weeks in respect of the Broadcasting Corporation. I do not only want to refer to the news service and the unfair way in which news is being distorted. I also want to refer to appointments and resignations, to the lack of parliamentary control over the South African Broadcasting Corporation, and I want to indicate why it is necessary that there should be stricter control over what is happening in the Corporation and why we should be given more information in that regard. We provide more than £1,500,000 annually to the Broadcasting Corporation and those funds are recorded in the report of the Auditor-General. We as ordinary citizens of the country who pay this money to the Broadcasting Corporation do not have the right to hear in this House what is happening in respect of the Broadcasting Corporation.
Let us examine for a few moments what has been happening in the case of the news service, the news reports which we have heard dealing with the establishment of a republic in South Africa. We have had a report by Mr. Gert Fourie, the new chief of the news service of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, from London in which he said: Of two things we can be sure; the first is that South Africa will remain in the Commonwealth and the second is that we shall have Dr. Verwoerd, the Prime Minister, to thank for that. But it has gone from bad to worse. When the hon. the Prime Minister landed at Jan Smuts Airport, we heard one of the most politically biassed broadcasts I have ever heard in my life. The broadcast referred to the sun shining on the grey hair of the hon. the Prime Minister; it spoke of the brave deed he had done; and it referred to the victory he had gained. It was nearly as bad as when the hon. the Prime Minister landed at the D. F. Malan Airport. The South African Broadcasting Corporation has tried to “ brain wash ” the people of South Africa by broadcasting selected and in many instances distorted reports. Proof of this was given in a later news bulletin which was broadcast on the same evening during which quotations were given from statements by Mrs. Maria Malan, Dr. E. G. Jansen, and other persons to show what a good thing it was that we were leaving the Commonwealth. I have the quotations here. Prof. Thom said that we must accept the implications of this step; that it would be easier to build national unity. Thus the South African Broadcasting Corporation quoted the opinions of one person after the other in this regard. I cannot quote all the many extracts which I have here, but, Mr. Chairman, you will still remember the programme which was broadcast on the evening of 2 September 1960, during the referendum campaign, and during which the announcer said—
This was shortly before the referendum. But a report of an imaginary political meeting was also broadcast during which the following was said—
And thereafter the results of the 1948 election were announced over the air, and this was taken to show that the people had supposedly become republicans. Was this a political speech and was this the way in which a so-called impartial news service should be provided to the people?
No wonder that at present things are happening in the South African Broadcasting Corporation which most certainly call for inquiry. We read yesterday of the resignation of the former Director-General, Mr. Gideon Roos. He is an outstanding personality; he is a person who does his work well. When a person of that calibre feels obliged to leave the Broadcasting Corporation, there is surely something very seriously wrong. We know that unfortunately his mouth is closed for 12 months and he cannot say why he has been expelled. We should like to know what the reason is.
Yes, kicked out.
This is only one of a long series of resignations. There have been resignations from the South African Broadcasting; Corporation’s orchestra; certain of their news commentators have resigned; Pierre de Groot, Aubrey Rainier, George Moore, Michael Lovell, Frank Douglas. One after the other they have left the Broadcasting Corporation. What is going on? And what appointments do we now see? In the first place Dr. Piet Meyer has been appointed …
We have had a Mr. J. J. Kruger. My hon. friend here has referred to the Broederbond. No wonder that people to-day say that the letters S.A.B.C. stand for the South African Broederbond Corporation.
That is quite correct.
We know that Dr. P. J. Meyer, chairman of the Board, is a leading Broederbonder, and has always been so. Mr. Kruger was editor of the Transvaler and during this so-called reorganization of the South African Broadcasting Corporation which took place last year, the capable men were shunted out and persons were brought in who to an ever-increasing extent personify the “ brainwashing ” concept of this Government.
Our objection to the Broadcasting Corporation is that it has become to-day an instrument of political propaganda for the Government. And we who pay the licence fees dare not tolerate any such thing. We make the strongest objection to this Corporation which is maintained by public funds being misused, to its becoming a type of political fog-horn. But unlike an ordinary fog-horn the mist is becoming thicker and worse and worse, the more it is blown. It is becoming an organization for the self-glorification of the hon. the Prime Minister and certain of his followers. It is becoming an organization for self-glorification to such a marked extent that the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs has been able to approve of a tremendous 750-feet high tower being erected in Johannesburg and of its being called the Albert Hertzog tower.
The Tower of Babel.
This Albert Hertzog Memorial is now to be erected in Johannesburg. I do not mind their erecting such a structure if it will result in improved radio services and possibly the introduction of television services, but why is the name of a living person being given to it? That is quite wrong.
Mr. Chairman, there is only one solution and that is that we will have to find a method by which this Broadcasting Corporation can render its services quite impartially. I do not have the final solution, nor do I think the Government has it. I therefore advocate the appointment of a commission of inquiry to inquire into the activities of the South African Broadcasting Corporation; to inquire into the news services, the appointments which have been made, the resignations which have taken place, and how the Corporation can provide its news impartially. In Britain special arrangements have been made by means of meetings between the British Broadcasting Corporation and the representatives of the various parties in the British Parliament. [Time limit.]
The entire content of the speech by the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) testifies to only one thing, namely a very disappointed person. It testifies to someone who knows that he is in the desert for ever; it testifies to someone who has no hope of ever rising again to greater heights. The House has already become accustomed to the speeches of the hon. member for Orange Grove and his stories are always based on hearsay, so that a stigma already attaches to that hon. member.
The hon. member has now quoted what was said years ago in a leading article which appeared in the Transvaler on the republic and the future relationships between the republic and the Commonwealth. The hon. member is supposed to know what the policy of the National Party has always been in respect of the establishment of a republic and the relationship of the future republic to the Commonwealth. It has been stated repeatedly by previous Prime Ministers and leaders of the National Party. It is the declared policy of the party that the establishment of a republic is a question on its own and our continued membership of the Commonwealth is another question on its own. This has been the policy over the years and that is the policy which was put to the electorate of South Africa. No secret has been made of it.
That is not true.
That is not true.
I challenge that hon. member who is so fond of saying “ It is not true ” to submit proof that it is not true.
May I ask a question?
We are in Committee and the hon. member has every opportunity to speak during this debate. It has been stated clearly over the years that the question of establishing a republic is one issue and that the question of our membership or otherwise of the Commonwealth is a different issue. The basis of that policy has been set out over the years by every Prime Minister of this party; it has always been stated that whether we remain a member of the Commonwealth will not depend on what is in the best interests of the Commonwealth or the world— a communist-inspired world—but what is in the best interests of South Africa and its people. That would be the yardstick by which we would decide whether to remain a member of the Commonwealth or not. And then on 3 August 1960 the hon. the Prime Minister announced that on 5 October South Africa would go to the polling booths to hold a referendum and to test the desires of the electorate in respect of the establishment or otherwise of a republic. On that occasion, in accordance with an undertaking which had been given, it was also announced for the first time whether or not we would remain a member of the Commonwealth. The hon. the Prime Minister at that time made it quite clear that it was our desire and wish that the republic should remain a member of the Commonwealth but in addition it was just as clearly stated: We do so without surrendering any principles and without tolerating any interference in our domestic policies. Let us have clarity on this point once and for all: We shall not allow any interference in our domestic policies in order to remain a member of any organization. It would represent a motion of no confidence in the White voters of this country if we were to allow other countries to prescribe to us what form of government this country should have, how we should arrange our domestic affairs, and how we should arrange our race relations. But has the world in the recent past shown that it has the knowledge to be able to prescribe to South Africa what her racial policy should be? If ever an injustice and a crime has been committed against a group of Natives in Africa, then it has been committed against the Congolese—this is the fruit of this sickly exaggerated humanistic feeling on the part of people who are now in a great hurry to put right what they have wrecked in the past—that is, in their own opinion. I submit to-day that no one is more fitted to arrange race relations in South Africa than the White man in South Africa, than the supporters of the various political parties. No one is more fitted to arrange our race relations in this country than the White man himself. Mr. Chairman, are we then to betray and to repudiate the trust which has been given to this people and this nation, to the White man who carry the civilization of 2,000 years in their veins? It is our joint trust to bring about better race relations in South Africa. But I want to appeal to the United Party that we should not advocate a policy which will eventually result in the White man not having a place under the sun in this beloved country of ours.
You are responsible for that.
The hon. member can say that we are responsible; he will achieve nothing by hurling reproaches across the floor. If that hon. member would think intelligently and seriously about a possible solution and would try to make a constructive political contribution to finding a solution for the very difficult race problem facing South Africa, it would befit him better. It is not our fault or our desire that we have a multi-racial population in South Africa; that more than one racial group lives here in South Africa. It is through no fault of ours that we have Afrikaans- and English-speaking White people living in South Africa. We can only seek the means, without sacrificing the principle of self-preservation, without sacrificing the principle of self-respect, whereby we can bring these two groups to work shoulder by shoulder in seeking a positive solution to our social and racial problems. I believe that there is in fact a solution. We know that there is a solution, and I repeat what I said earlier this afternoon: It is a pity that in our attempts to find a solution we are being hampered by a Press which is trying to sow confusion amongst the voters and the public of South Africa. It is a pity that they have not been able to make a constructive contribution towards finding a solution. At this time, Mr. Chairman, it is a good thing that we do not have people like the United Party Opposition and their allies, the Progressive Party, in power because up to this stage of the debate the Opposition speakers, both of the United Party and the Progressive Party, have shown clearly that they are not acting as the representatives of South Africa, but as the representatives of UNO or as the representatives of world opinion. They are putting the case of the Black man in South Africa, but not that of the White man. Before I resume my seat, I just want to tell the member for Orange Grove this. This is the basis on which we have always approached the republic, and, as far as I and also the overwhelming majority of the supporters of the United Party are concerned, they prefer that the hon. the Prime Minister followed the course which he did in fact follow when he withdrew our application for continued membership rather than destroy the self-respect of this nation, because there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of members of the United Party who are not prepared either to allow our domestic policy to be prescribed to us by unqualified non-White states here in the north of Africa, particularly with a view to the chaos which has been created in the Belgian Congo.
The hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg), who has just sat down, has taken one sentence from the speech by the hon. member for Orange Grove and has based, and wrongly based, his whole speech on that sentence, because he has alleged that this side of the House is trying to advocate the destruction of the White man. I maintain that the reverse is true, and that it is the policy of hon. members opposite that will bring about the destruction of the White man in South Africa, if no change is forthcoming. Mr. Chairman, the facts are on our side because the people who are delighted at the fact that South Africa has left the Commonwealth through the withdrawal of the Prime Minister’s application are the persons who do not want to see the White man retaining the upper hand in South Africa. For that reason the facts are on our side, namely, that if our policy were to prevail, we would be able to strengthen the position of the White man in South Africa, and we would be able to uphold a White policy in this country. It is crystal clear that South Africa is being subjected to criticism as never before, and, at this time when we are being subjected to this criticism, the Prime Minister has made his appeal for unity in South Africa, and the hon. member for Wolmaransstad has made his appeal that we should come together and that, by co-operation between the two great racial groups, we should try to find a solution for the problems with which we are faced.
But when the hon. the Prime Minister makes this appeal for unity in South Africa and the same Prime Minister sits with a man like Dr. Albert Hertzog in his Cabinet, then he must not blame me if I doubt whether he really wants unity in South Africa. The hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Dr. Albert Hertzog, is the person who said at Windhoek—
This is the same hon. Minister who has said that the South African War would never come to an end. He said this at the Strand. He said—
This is the same gentlemen who has said that the mining capitalists are undermining the National Party Government and that they were doing so with the object of employing Natives underground where White men were Working to-day so that a Black Government could be established and they could make bigger profits. This is the same person who has said that British and United States financiers are trying to use the private schools and the United Party to bring about the destruction of the Afrikanerdom. This is the same man who has said that ever since 1896 the English Press has been built up with one object only, namely to destroy the White man in South Africa. This is the same person who has spoken of the “ slavish British Press ”. This is the same person who has said that the universities are sharpening assegais and daggers in order to stab the White man in the back. This is the same gentleman who has said that Mr. Macmillan Oust after he had been in South Africa and made his speech) was the cause of the Native disturbances which took place immediately after his departure. This is also the same hon. Minister who spoke in Johannesburg about “ blood and gangsters, half barbarians, three-quarter barbarians and kaffirs ”. And this is the hon. the Minister who sits in the Cabinet with the hon. the Prime Minister while he tells us that he desires unity. This is the same Minister who when we ask questions in connection with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, tells us that he knows nothing about it, and that he has nothing to do with it. In this regard I want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister: Is it then through his personal intervention that the South African Broadcasting Corporation has changed so greatly in character? Is it the result of his personal interference and actions? Is he responsible for the fact that Dr. Meyer, a former member of the Ossewabrandwag, has been appointed? Is it due to his personal interference that a person like Dr. Meyer who has stated in a book that the Almighty is on the side of the National Party, has been appointed? Is it due to his personal interference and his personal influence that a person like Mr. Kruger, who is a former editor of the Transvaler has been appointed to the Broadcasting Corporation through the good offices of the Minister who has made the statements to which I have just referred? The hon. member for Orange Grove has referred to the resignations which have taken place.
He was also an O.B. member at one time.
Then he was one of the few decent O.B. members. In a report on the resignation of Mr. Gideon Roos, the Broadcasting corporation has said the following—
Then they continue to say that he will not suffer financially.
What are you really concerned about?
I am concerned at the fact that we are losing such a good man, and if the Board of Directors in fact appreciate fully that he is such a good man, why did they then so arrange matters that he had to resign his post voluntarily?
Who said he had to?
It is said that it was done voluntarily. When the question was put to the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs he said he did not know about it: he had only read about it in the newspapers. The hon. the Minister never knows about anything that is going on. The hon. member for Orange Grove has said that the Broadcasting Corporation has lost its impartial character. To-day it is being used for the purposes of the Nationalist Party. To-day it is a biassed organ which only supports the Nationalist Party. What value can we attach to the appeals by the hon. the Prime Minister for unity and peace? [Time limit.]
The previous hon. member has discussed the days of the Ossewabrandwag. Presently we shall be discussing the Torch Commando and the Black Sash.
Mr. Chairman, the hon. the Prime Minister has very clearly outlined the position of our country and the policy which is being followed. Then we heard how the policy of the United Party was shrouded in a haze of uncertainty. The Government welcomes criticism in this debate, but South Africa expects from its citizens honest and reasonable criticism, criticism which is based on sound foundations, and not criticism which is tantamount to the sowing of suspicion. The main accusation against the hon. the Prime Minister has been that he deliberately tried to keep South Africa out of the Commonwealth. I am referring to the front page of the Sunday Times of 19 March, where this appeared—
I do not know what has become of the nationwide protests. I have only seen the spontaneous expression of feeling by tens of thousands of people who welcomed the Prime Minister back in the knowledge that he had done his utmost to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth. On the other hand there is every indication that a large percentage of the United Party supporters consider that Dr. Verwoerd did in fact do his duty in keeping South Africa’s honour unsullied. There are many examples of that in the Press.
The main criticism by the United Party during this debate has been directed at the Prime Minister personally because he has supposedly deliberately tried to keep South Africa out of the Commonwealth. To our surprise the Leader of the Opposition admitted yesterday that he believed that the hon. the Prime Minister had in fact done his best to try to keep South Africa in the Commonwealth. This was a fine gesture, but why did he not say it sooner? Why has the Press not given the same publicity to this statement as it has given to the suspicion that Dr. Verwoerd had deliberately tried to keep South Africa out of the Commonwealth? Great suspicion has been cast on the sincere attempts by the Prime Minister, and the United Party have rendered South Africa a great disservice by doing so at this time, while others have stood by us. I read from the Cape Times of 22 March—
In the Cape Times of 7 April we read that the following has appeared in the Daily Express (a London newspaper)—
The paper then goes on to refer to Ghana, Nigeria and Ceylon. According to the Burger of 23 March, Sir Roy Welensky has said at Kitwe—
Now the Prime Minister is being accused of having a granite policy. What should he have done; what price should he have paid to avoid being accused of having a granite policy? Should he have conceded the principle of “ one man one vote ”? Show me a member of the Opposition who has indicated what South Africa should have done at that Commonwealth Conference in order to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth. Dr. Verwoerd did not have a mandate from his voters to change his policy. He stands for the policy of safeguarding the future of the Whites in South Africa. He could not abandon that policy. It is quite clear that the policy of the United Party and the Progressive Party can and will have the sole final result that the Bantu will eventually dominate the Whites in South Africa. Many concessions have been made through the Government’s fair policy of parallel development. We want to pay tribute to the hon. the Prime Minister for the steadfastness of his policy at this time of disturbances throughout the world. What we need at a time such as this are strong leaders, leaders who stand as firm as a rock. At such stormy periods in the political history of the world we do not want leaders who will simply be dragged along by world opinion and who will lead us towards the destruction of the White civilization which has been built up over a period of more than 300 years. At such a time we do not want a leader who will gamble with that future.
Furthermore, many questions have been put to the hon. the Prime Minister as to what will happen as a result of our leaving the Commonwealth? Within the space of a few moments he has had to give a precise reply in respect of every possible future event in the complicated sphere of world politics and economics. We are glad that the United Party have such a high opinion of the Prime Minister that they expect him to be able to forecast accurately all these things. Mr. Chairman, the hon. the Prime Minister has also tried, as far as possible, to make immediate arrangements to meet the needs of the future. A report in the Sunday Times of 19 March read as follows—
I believe that at this time we should steer our ship calmly but steadfastly. It will not help to speak harshly. We Whites will have to stand together. This appeal has been made repeatedly to the Opposition. We ask them to reconsider their position. We know that many of our English-speaking people have been deeply hurt by our leaving the Commonwealth. I ask them to accept that Dr. Verwoerd acted in the best interests of South Africa in order to hold high our good name. In conclusion, I want to ask the United Party whether they seriously intend helping to solve this problem or do they form part of the problem?
The hon. member will forgive me if I do not follow him into the maze of his arguments. I was asking the hon. the Prime Minister whether he was responsible for the fact that the Broadcasting Corporation had lost its character in the recent past and, in addition, I pointed out, and I hope the hon. the Prime Minister will reply, that the person whom he had appointed as Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, namely Dr. Albert Hertzog, refused to answer any of our questions in connection with the Broadcasting Corporation for which he was responsible. This public utility corporation has become nothing but the Zeesen of the Nationalist Party. It is a public utility corporation which is supported by thousands of listeners in South Africa, and to-day it is being used for the private purposes of the Nationalist Party.
Now give an example.
I shall give an example. I ask the hon. the Prime Minister whether he approves of the fact that the corporation is showing as marked a bias in its broadcasts as is the position at the moment? I ask the hon. the Prime Minister what value we can attach to his appeals for unity and peace when we are not being accorded fair treatment because the ideals and the policies of this side of the House are not also being put to the listening public to the same degree.
But you do not have a policy.
When I say that, I link with it the criticism which we have heard in recent days from the Government benches, where one member after the other, one back-bencher after the other, has risen to urge that the Press should also be restricted in South Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister, in his speech of a few days ago, said that the people would have to decide whose policy was correct, our policy or their policy.
The people have already given their decision.
On a point of order, when the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Development was speaking, we were not allowed to make any interjections. The hon. member who is now speaking is finding it most difficult to make herself heard over the noise in the Chamber.
I ask the hon. the Prime Minister how the electorate of South Africa will be able to judge who is right or who is wrong if only biassed news is broadcast and if the Broadcasting Corporation is used as a direct organ of the Nationalist Party.
Give an example.
I shall. On the evening of 16 March the opinion of half a dozen Nationalists on our membership of the Commonwealth were broadcast as part of the news and not as opinions on the English service. These opinions were broadcast as part of the news, not as the private opinions of those people, but they were broadcast as part of the official news. Where were the opinions of those who thought differently?
They could not get them.
The hon. member should not be so silly. He must remember that the persons who support this side of the House represent more than half the voters, and if he tells me they could not find any other opinions, then I say that he is talking nonsense. Seeing that the opinions of half a dozen Nationalists were broadcast as part of the English news, I ask why the opinions of people such as Prof. Duminy, Rev. Webb, Helen de Waal, the daughter of a former Prime Minister, and various others were not broadcast? I repeat that the utmost bias is being revealed. I ask: Where in this National Zeesen, with a Goebbels at the head, do we find impartial thinking when the news reports contain sickly Nationalist Party propaganda?
On a point of order, may the hon. member say we have a dictatorship with a Goebbels at the head?
Where is the freedom of the news service; where is the freedom of South Africa? What must the overseas Press thing about this, as well as overseas persons who come to South Africa and who listen to the news here? What are they to think of this politically biassed news service?
I said at the outset that the hon. the Prime Minister was definitely responsible for the actions of his Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, and the hon. the Prime Minister has already defended the hon. the Minister more than once in this House when we have attacked him. I have here an article which has appeared in the Sunday Tribune, signed by the hon. the Prime Minister, and in which he definitely defends the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. The article, signed by the hon. the Prime Minister, ends as follows—
Rather read the false stories with which it dealt.
One of the false stories which the hon. the Prime Minister supposedly corrected related to the attack by the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs on the Press. Here we have the corrected version of the hon. the Prime Minister—
This is Dr. Hertzog speaking—
This is the corrected version which was signed by the Prime Minister. Now he asks for unity, and he asks us to stand with him. Then the hon. the Prime Minister should ensure that the news service of this country is handled on a fair basis and that the news service reflects the views of both sides and not a prejudiced version, as it does at the moment, of the views of the Nationalist Party. The South African Broadcasting Corporation has become an organ of the Nationalist Party.
I also want to plead for unity. I want to ask the hon. member who has just sat down if she can remember how she held meetings at Mossel Bay during the last election and that her charge was that the National Party was doing too much for the non-Whites?
She said it from the platform there and she also said it at Riversdale. She quoted the amounts of money being spent by the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and said that those amounts were higher than those ever spent by the United Party. She said we were “ Kafferboeties”.
May I, on a point of personal explanation …
No, the hon. member can get another chance to speak. I want to go further and say that when the hon. the Prime Minister made an appeal that we should stand together he made it to the people of the National Party and the United Party. It is very surprising to me that two former Nationalists and a lady who grew up in a Nationalist home can get up here and attack the National Party for not wanting to cooperate.
They know you better than we do.
I take no notice of the hon. member. He still does not know what party he belongs to because a little while ago he walked out and when they spoke to him he returned. If they talk to him again he will perhaps walk to the other side. The speech of the hon. member about the news service of the Broadcasting Corporation and about what the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs said was again intended to sow suspicion. The hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs made a statement to the Press and to the House on the subject which the hon. member raised.
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.
I will leave the hon. member for Drakensberg (Mrs. S. M. van Niekerk) at that and ask the nation to pass judgment on her according to that speech of hers. There are a few United Party members present here and I would like to ask them a question. During the debate and the attacks on this side of the House the hon. the Prime Minister personally and this party were blamed for having steered the country on a course during the past 13 years which was the cause of the troubles facing South Africa to-day. Their standpoint is that the policy pursued by the National Party is the cause of our troubles. Let us accept that they believe that we are the cause of it, and that their standpoint is also that if they can come into power as alternative government they will be able to save South Africa from this perilous position with their policy. Now I ask hon. members opposite: Is it incorrect to say that members of the Commonwealth, particularly the non-White states, demand absolute equality, that they do not want colour to make any difference; whether it is a small number or a large number, there must be equality in every respect?
Apartheid was not an issue at the Commonwealth Conference.
I leave apartheid aside. I ask the United Party whether the policy of the non-White states is not absolute equality. Colour should not make any difference and there should be absolute equality. Now I get no reply from hon. members opposite because it is so. Now I put this question to the United Party. Say for instance a miracle happens and they become the government of the country. They change their policy often but assume that their present policy is the policy which they will apply in connection with South Africa’s non-White problem. They say they are satisfied that it is a good policy and that it will save South Africa…. [Interjections.] I ask them: If they come into power, will the non-White states of the Commonwealth accept their policy, yes or no? Of course, they will not accept it. This means that they are now condemning the hon. the Prime Minister and this side of the House but precisely the same will happen if they come into power. They will also have to withdraw. They would also have to say that they were withdrawing from the Commonwealth because the members there would not accept their policy.
On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, the hon. member is continually referring to hon. members on this side as “ they ”. Should he not use the expression “ hon. members ”?
Order! Hon. members are referred to as hon. members.
If I perhaps make a slip of the tongue, Mr. Speaker, then you must accept that I mean hon. members. If the policy of the hon. members opposite was not accepted then what difference would it make whether they went to the Commonwealth or whether we did? But, Mr. Chairman, the reason for these attacks is not that they really believe what they say. It is because they are not good South Africans at heart. It is because they still have a divided loyalty to South Africa and to Great Britain. If hon. members opposite have not got a solution with their policy—they sit still and do not answer— then why do they attack this side and say that our policy is wrong?
Let us try.
I will tell you what we can try, Mr. Chairman, namely the appeal made by the hon. the Prime Minister. The hon. the Prime Minister has made an appeal to hon. members of the United Party to stand together on this point and to form a united front in order to be able to take action against the policy adopted at the Commonwealth Conference. What is the policy that was adopted there? There are members in the Commonwealth to-day who do not really want to be members but by increasing the number of non-Whites in the Commonwealth they see an opportunity of taking over the reins. Let us have a united front in South Africa—let us differ about our policy internally, but seeing that the policy of the United Party is not acceptable there, nor ours, let us then stand together and show the world that the policy which the Commonwealth now advocates, the policy which the non-White members of the Commonwealth want, cannot be accepted by the United Party, nor by the National Party, nor by the great majority of the White population. That was the appeal made by the hon. the Prime Minister. What I find so peculiar is that reasons are given as to why hon. members opposite cannot co-operate. The hon. member for Drakensberg said this afternoon that it was impossible to co-operate because the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs was in the Cabinet. But before that hon. Minister was in the Cabinet hon. members of the United Party did also not co-operate with the National Party. The reason which the hon. member gives now is one of the reasons which the United Party seeks with which to continue spreading dissention among the Afrikaans- and English-speaking sections. [Time limit.]
On this side of the House there have now been three speeches addressed to the hon. the Prime Minister in regard to the scandalous happenings in the Broadcasting Corporation over the past few weeks. And I think it is not without significance that not one hon. member from the Government benches who followed on the critics of the Broadcasting Corporation from this side of the House said one word in defence of the policies or the actions of the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
This is not the right vote.
It is the right vote, Mr. Chairman, because we are discussing the policy of the hon. the Prime Minister, who is responsible for the fact that the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs sits in his Cabinet. And as this side of the House, in the many discussions during this Session on the affairs of the Broadcasting Corporation, have been unable to get any satisfaction from the hon. the Minister I think we are entitled to raise the matter with the hon. the Prime Minister on this occasion. This issue has now reached serious proportions, culminating in the resignation of the Director-General, Mr. Gideon Roos in the last day or two.
The hon. the Prime Minister would not wish me to say that he has been guilty of making statements in regard to the affairs of the Broadcasting Corporation which have been either misleading or incorrect, but let me remind the hon. the Prime Minister with respect, that when discussing his policy during this same vote in March last year, he took the opportunity to make certain statements in regard to the future development of the S.A.B.C. It will be recalled that on that occasion he outlined the Government’s policy resulting in their refusal to have the S.A.B.C. agree to introduce a television service. I do not want to do the Prime Minister an injustice so I want to recall exactly what his main reasons were. He gave two main reasons for the Government’s refusal to introduce this service, or for the granting of their assent to the S.A.B.C. adopting such a policy. These reasons were firstly the cost to the listener himself as being completely prohibitive and unjustified and, secondly, the cost that would be involved for the introduction of such a service by the S.A.B.C. He said that that was out of all proportion to the value the country would obtain from such a service at the time. Let me quote the exact words of the hon. the Prime Minister in which he expressed concern for the radio listeners of South Africa. He said—
I can hardly imagine that the hon. the Prime Minister made such an important statement of policy in respect of the extension of the services of the S.A.B.C. at that time if he had not been adequately advised by the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. I take it that the statement the hon. the Prime Minister made must have been based on information received from the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. I therefore wish to ask the hon. the Prime Minister, if evidence is placed before him to the effect that the information he received was either misleading or incorrect, or even insufficient, having come from the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, which led to him making an incorrect statement to the public of South Africa, will he ask the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs for his resignation? Because on the facts as I will now disclose them to this hon. Committee, the hon. Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, in my opinion completely misled the hon. the Prime Minister and the hon. the Minister of Finance as to the programme that is presently being developed by the S.A.B.C. in regard to the Very High Frequency type of transmission. Let me remind this Committee that the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs announced to the public of South Africa, in a radio broadcast in December last year, that the S.A.B.C. was embarking on the expenditure of some R30,000,000 which would be borrowed from the Government. And the hon. the Minister of Finance has already told this House that the S.A.B.C. will be called upon to meet an interest burden of per cent on that loan, and that without this loan from the Government the S.A.B.C. would not be able to carry on or to introduce these new services. On that occasion the hon. the Prime Minister rose in his seat during the debate on his vote to make the important statement he then made. It is my contention that when the hon. the Prime Minister made this statement on the introduction of television services he was not acquainted with the full facts as to the vast expenditure which was being incurred with the consent of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, nor was he advised of the nature of the services upon which the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs wished to embark. I state categorically that the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs has misled this country and the hon. the Prime Minister in regard to the real intent of the introduction of these services.
Mr. Chairman, that is a serious allegation in itself. I have here a letter on Broadcasting Corporation letterheads which was addressed to me by an important official of the Broadcasting Corporation on the instructions of the Director-General, Mr. Gideon Roos. This letter was addressed to me as a result of a specific request from me for more information in this regard. I asked for details about the V.H.F. services that were being introduced by the S.A.B.C. This letter is signed by no less a person than Mr. Norman Filmer, the Director of Planning and Development. And this is the instruction which was issued by the Director of Planning and Development, with the approval of the Board of the S.A.B.C. and with the consent of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs—
- (2) that wherever it was practicable, due allowance was to be made for a future television service.
In other words, Mr. Chairman, the expenditure of the R30,000,000 which the Minister of Finance is asked to find by 31 December 1965 for one purpose, is actually not only for a V.H.F. service but also for the introduction of a future television service. Yet the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs continues to deny that fact. And the Prime Minister in March of last year also declared that that was not the Government policy.
I now want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister, does he think it right that he should be placed in a position such as he has been placed in by the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs as a result of which he made a statement giving false information to the public of South Africa in regard to these important developments? And there is another aspect of this matter. The hon. the Minister of Finance has already announced, during this Session, that this money will carry an interest burden of per cent. The total income of the S.A.B.C. at the present time, including the income it receives from the commercial services is something in the region of £2,150,000. The interest burden alone represents something like R750,000 per annum.
The effect of the manner in which the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs is handling this matter, having given his approval and recommendations to the Cabinet, can result in only one thing, and that is an increase in the licence fees that are paid by the 910,000 radio listeners of our country in order that the S.A.B.C. may meet this interest burden and its capital commitments. [Time limit.]
The hon. hon. member tried to direct attentions. He tries to distract the attention of the House from the debate now in progress. They come here with their Broadcasting Corporation story in order to divert to something else the debate which has been in progress for a few days now, a debate on an important and specific matter of international character, knowing full well that those questions and those old attacks and foolish matters of theirs ought to be discussed when the relevant Vote comes up for discussion. I will not react to it. I will not allow myself to be distracted and misled by replying to such irrelevant things. Mr. Chairman, do you know what they are busy doing? They got scared of the “ racial federation ”, which is another run-away policy, a newly announced policy. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition said: “ I have sign-posted the direction, the policy, the way.” Has the hon. member seen what a sign-post looks like after vandals have got hold of it? Then it sometimes points in the wrong direction, away from the road and into the mountains. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition must be very cautious with this sign-post story of his because there are many vandals on his side who, if they get hold of the sign-post and start indicating the road will carry on to such an extent that one would afterwards not know where the road actually leads to.
Mr. Chairman, where in the world does that racial federation to which the hon. member refers exist? We know about territorial federation, as in Australia, Canada, etc. but where does that racial federation exist? Now they are very silent. They want to gamble with the future of South Africa, with something which does not exist anywhere in the world and something which can least of all exist in South Africa because any child knows that where one wants a racial federation, where there is for example an enormous majority of one specific race, there the theory of federation must collapse as soon as those races all obtain equality. It is obvious. I say that racial federation is an absurdity which the hon. members got hold of while feeling their way in the dark. They cannot find their direction and now they think that if they get up with a new theory every morning, with something which sounds new, they will as the result perhaps find one thing or another to adhere to. One day it is entrenchment; the next day it is the entrenchment of minority rights; and now they come along with racial federation. The hon. Leader of the Opposition will never again dare talk about entrenchment; neither will the hon. members of the Progressive Party be able to run about with the idea any longer because they are a Commonwealth party and they allege that they want to return to the Commonwealth. If there is one thing which stands out very clearly as a characteristic of the present Commonwealth then it is, as Mr. Macmillan expressed it, that it is a Commonwealth with a characteristic and a specific feature in that it abolishes all differentiation and all differences on grounds of colour. We know that they use the word “ equality ” and when we talk about equality within the concept of the Commonwealth then it means equality without apartheid, without the discrimination which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is always so fond of referring to. Then one cannot have any racial discrimination. The hon. gentlemen must not think that we will let them pass with those loose ideas of theirs, talking about a Senate plan one day—that was their first solution— and then again about the entrenchment of rights, and now about racial federation. We will not allow it because that is how they carry on from day to day every day there is a new policy.
What about your Senate plan?
That Graaff Senate plan is as dead as a doornail.
What about the High Court of Parliament?
Those hon. members want to run away again and that is why they are now raising all sorts of points. They want to run away from their idea of federation and therefore they come along with all sorts of nonsense. We will not allow them to get away with it. In terms of the rules of the House they have the opportunity of explaining their racial federation theory to the people now. But what do they do? The hon. the Leader of the Opposition is not present’. What do they do further? Speaker after speaker rises and instead of explaining their idea of racial federation to the country they start talking about the Broadcasting Corporation. You see, Sir, that is the kind of Opposition that we have. Now that they have collapsed with their UN propaganda, now that they see that that propaganda is no longer succeeding overseas, how that they are disappointed in it, they start all sorts of stunts and tricks. Mr. Chairman, the United Party must remember one thing. We will put them to the test from now onwards and if they want to operate and fulfil the duties of an Opposition under this new deal and in this new state that we will have now, then they will have to go about it in some other way. If not, then someone else will take their place to play the role of an Opposition.
Then you can be the Opposition again.
We will see one of these days. We have already won three times. If those hon. gentlemen are not careful they will wake up one morning and all the decent people who are now on their side will be standing here and they will be left with a small handful of gangsters. Supposing that all the political gangsters in South Africa could review how they conduct themselves in connection with their own policy, then what decent citizen of South Africa, to whom it is a serious matter, will pay any attention to the stories of the hon. gentlemen opposite in connection with racial federation. While they have an opportunity to explain it they get up and talk about the Broadcasting Corporation. Can you, Sir, with all your knowledge, tell me that you have ever experienced a greater fiasco in South Africa than the present Opposition in connection with this specific matter?
Mr. Chairman, is the hon. member prepared to answer a question? Does he approve of what is happening in the Broadcasting Corporation at the moment?
I will answer that question when the matter of the Broadcasting Corporation is under discussion. We are now busy with the policy of the hon. the Prime Minister and we are busy with the declared policy of the party opposite. My reply to the hon. member is that when we play rugby we do not handle a tennis ball. That is what the hon. member opposite wants me to do now. The rugby ball is on the field now and we want to play rugby. We will play tennis on the day we deal with the Broadcasting Corporation.
May I put a question. [Interjections.] [Time limit.]
I want to come back later to what I call the National Squawkbox and Parrot Service, which is known as the South African Broadcasting Corporation. But before I do that I wish to reply to a few things said by the hon. member for Krugersdorp (Mr. M. J. van den Berg). The hon. member seems to be very concerned about the nature of our racial federation. Let me give him the assurance and the consolation that there will also be room for him in this racial federation because we will also include the Kruger National Park in that federation.
Order! What does the hon. member mean when he says that there will also be room for the hon. member for Krugersdorp because the Kruger National Park will also be included?
I mean that the hon. member can possibly become a game warden. I would like to reply to something that was said by the hon. member for Mossel Bay (Dr. van Nierop). He said that the demand was made in London that South Africa should permit total equality or get out of the Commonwealth. That is simply not the truth. The fact is that in London South Africa was merely asked to show a little reasonableness and leniency. Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Sandys both said that apartheid was not an issue there. Now I want to read what appeared in an article in Time which was written by someone who had apparently spoken to someone who was at the Conference. I would like the hon. the Prime Minister to listen to these words Time writes—
And this is interesting—
It must have been another Prime Minister or someone who attended the Conference—
These words one knows so well—
This must be genuine, Mr. Chairman. Listen—
We know that “ grating experience ”.
There is still much to be replied to in connection with the republican issue but I want to return to the Broadcasting Corporation.
I have here before me the latest Annual Report of the S.A.B.C. and it was written before the new and more serious influences than in the past came into the S.A.B.C. In the report is described what is considered to be a good news service and I agree with what appears in this report. It was possible still partly written by Mr. Gideon Roos. It says—
We agree with that. Then they say —
And this is the important part—
Unless the S.A.B.C. displays more impartiality in its news service the day will come when not thousands but tens of thousands will simply switch off their sets because they know that it is just pure bias. I will not go so far as the hon. member for Fort Beaufort (Dr. Jonker) who once said that we should dispose of all our radio sets and just listen to the B.B.C., but the day will surely come when one will turn off the set and not listen to the news service. The news services over the radio and the radio itself is a very important medium of information. Sir Ivor Jennings, the great expert on constitutional law, quoted the following from the report of the Beveridge Commission of 1949—
Then more is quoted from that report. I have not got the time to read it all, but they say that it is most essential that there should be absolute impartiality in connection with news services dealing with political matters and the proceedings in Parliament. Recommendations were made which were later adopted, that there should be an agreement between the B.B.C. in England and the different parties in the British Parliament as to how political reports should be broadcast. In particular an agreement was made that no comment would be made on any current matter within a week preceding the discussion of that particular matter in Parliament. We know how that disaster descended upon us, how we were forced from the Commonwealth, and how instead of waiting for Parliament to discuss the matter the S.A.B.C. jumped in long before the time, wholly uncalled for and to the detriment of the truth and of South Africa. I cannot help thinking that much of the blame rests on the appointees by the Government to the Board of Directors. I want to know what is going on so that the Board of Directors, all of them, are silent while these things are happening? Are they all lackeys of the Government? Is there not one of them who dare say a word when he sees what is happening in South Africa? Is it true that the new Chairman, Dr. Piet Meyer, has silenced the other members completely? I have here a cutting from a speech which Dr. Meyer made at Port Elizabeth shortly after he was appointed Chairman of the S.A.B.C. in which he complained about the position of the Afrikaner in our economy to-day. I am totally in favour of it that the Afrikaner should also have his rightful share in the economy, but he made a political issue of it. He said—
As a result of the United Party suddenly grasping at a matter which is under the jurisdiction of an hon. Minister who is not here to-night, instead of giving explanations and answers to the many questions and the allegations which have been made against them in this debate, we must now devote time to this matter. The attack on the S.A.B.C. was actually foreshadowed to-day when the hon. member for Sunnyside (Mr. Horak) very bravely tried to defend what he called the “ free Press He did it very deliberately, just like the hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) who is now sitting mumbling in front of him, …
I am not mumbling.
… the hon. member for Kensington who on the Rand last year introduced a motion with great ado before the Council of the United Party expressing the appreciation of the United Party to the so-called independent Press for the rôle they played in the struggle against the republic. They do it deliberately because they know that that Press is bound hand and foot and they want to tell the world that it is a free Press.
Bound to whom?
The United Party and that Press are now afraid, as they have always been, that the truth will reach the English-speaking section. They have always been afraid of the influence of the radio. They were afraid that through the medium of the radio the English-speaking section would be reached through the wall which they wanted to build around them in order to keep them away from the truth in politics. [Interjections.] This is not what I am saying. In the book of H. Lindsay Smith, “ Behind the Press in South Africa,” we can read what the Press tried to do when the radio was introduced into South Africa, how they tried to limit the radio to news to which the people would not attach any importance. [Interjections.] I am now talking about that Press which is defended so by the Opposition. I read from Smith’s book, where he talks about—
This is a man who worked for the Star, the biggest newspaper of the Argus group. It is not only here that we find this. I want to read what a former American Secretary for the Interior, Harold Ickes, said in his book “ America’s House of Lords ” in 1939—
To-night we see the United Party in its true rôle in politics. It is the instrument of that Press; it cannot exist for one day without the assistance of that Press. It is bound up with that Press, head and foot, just as that Press is bound up with the mining interests.
Whom does the Transvaler belong to?
Order! If the hon. member for Sea Point (Mr. J. A. L. Basson) wants to put a question he must do so in the usual manner and not shout it out.
I can read to the hon. member what Lindsay Smith says—
Now the hon. member ought to know who the Transvaler does not belong to and he ought to know whom he belongs to through the medium of his party and that Press. But I say that now we see the United Party in its true rôle, as the instrument of that Press because it is that Press which started that campaign against the S.A.B.C., through Stanley Uys in the Sunday Times and the Argus through its leading articles. The Argus said the other day in a leading article in which it referred to the programme of comment broadcast about South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth—
I am most grateful to the Argus for that yardstick of “ relevant facts ”. I would very much like to see the S.A.B.C. adopt that yardstick and then let it also, when it refers to persons whose speeches it reports, say who those people are, as the Argus desires. When they report Mr. Harry Oppenheimer’s speeches over the radio let them say who Mr. Oppenheimer is. Let us then, through the medium of that yardstick, put the complaints of the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) in perspective.
Are you prepared to hâve a commission appointed?
There is not the least reason for a commission. The hon. member for Orange Grove is mistaken if he thinks that he establishes the need for a commission by getting up here and waving his arms. I say that the attack of the Opposition on the S.A.B.C. is on the instruction of that Press. That Press is scared that it will lose its influence among the English-speaking section because there is now abundant proof that those people are prepared to listen to the S.A.B.C. That is why the Press wants to throw suspicion on the authenticity of the S.A.B.C. news services. The English-speaking section is prepared to listen and gradually they will realize where the English Press in this country has been leading them to, from frustration to frustration through the news disseminated by that Press. I do not blame the United Party because their existence depends on that Press. If the Press should to-morrow withdraw its support from that party then they will not last another 24 hours, and they know it too. One can see that that is the rôle which the hon. member for Orange Grove must play now, and has played during his entire political career in that party. I deprecate it. I deprecate the mean attacks made on the hon. Minister during his absence.
Order! The hon. member cannot talk about “ mean ” attacks. He must withdraw the word “mean”.
I withdraw it and I say that I deprecate those attacks on the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs and the Chairman of the S.A.B.C. because it is done with only one aim, namely to bring the authenticity of the news services of the S.A.B.C. under suspicion, and as I have said, they do it on instruction. But allow me to say that with the situation we have in South Africa to-day and with the sentiment which exists among the English-speaking section and the conviction taking root among them that the National Party is busy leading South Africa on the right road, and because the truth is now also being brought to those people by the S.A.B.C., those attacks of the United Party on the authenticity of the S.A.B.C. and on the hon. the Minister will come to nothing, even if the hon. member for Orange Grove should persist in it for days.
I do not want to enter into this Press V. Radio battle this evening, except perhaps to say that if the Government continues with its drive to turn the S.A.B.C. into an instrument of propaganda for the Nationalist Party and continues with its drive against the English Press, then all the lamps of free expression in South Africa will have gone out.
I want to react to the comment made by the hon. member for Krugersdorp (Mr. M. J. van den Berg), and I want to tell him he was absolutely right when he said that this Party was Commonwealth in its outlook and had a very great attachment to the Commonwealth and that it would if it could bring about a change in the situation here which would make it possible for South Africa to return to the Commonwealth, and that it would do so gradually. I also want to say that the hon. member was absolutely right when he said that the issues which hung over the Common wealth Conference and the issue that was responsible for our ejection from the Commonwealth was the question of discrimination. There has been some argument as to whether apartheid was the issue or not. It is not apartheid but discrimination, and I want to say something about discrimination.
What does discrimination mean to the great majority of people in other parts of the world, and to those of us who are concerned about the situation in South Africa? It means a number of things. In the first place it means simply the denial of rights to people of another colour on the basis of colour. That is discrimination. It also means forcing people, because they have a different colour …
May I ask a question? Do you think your erstwhile colleagues agree with you in that policy?
I am not concerned with them; I am speaking for this corner of the House and they can think for themselves. Discrimination also means inflicting burdens upon other people purely because of the colour of their skins. Discrimination means compelling the majority of our population to carry passes and to be subjected to influx control purely because they happen to have skins of a different colour. Discrimination means pushing people out of their homes, compelling them to leave their homes under the Group Areas Act because their skins are of a different colour.
That is also over-simplification.
Discrimination means banishing people from their homes and forcing them to live far from their homes without trial because they happen to have a different-coloured skin. I believe that one of the factors that has done more to harm South Africa’s cause overseas than almost anything else is the system of banishments we have in our country. I will say more about that subject at the appropriate time, but in passing I only want to say that if the Prime Minister and the Government never lose a moment’s sleep over this question of banishments, it is a pity, because I think of all the inhumanities which are practised in our country, banishment is one of the worst, and it is discrimination of a particularly inhuman kind. This matter will be ventilated fully at a later date. Well, these are discriminations and these are the basic reasons why South Africa is not in the Commonwealth today.
It is quite wrong to suggest for a moment that what was asked for at the Commonwealth, or what we ask for or what anyone concerned with the welfare of South Africa asks for, is anything in the nature of one man, one vote. That is something we have never asked for and it was never asked for there, and no thinking person in South Africa asks for it. To suggest that the nations demanded one man, one vote at the Conference is entirely wrong. All that the Commonwealth and the world asks for is that we should stop discrimination on the basis of colour alone and that we should give rights to people on the basis of equality. There is not the slightest shadow of doubt that if South Africa had a policy on that basis we would be in the Commonwealth to-day and there would not be this heavy voting against us at UN.
Now what does that amount to? We on this side of the House have put forward a formula by which we believe it is possible to give rights on a basis which does not include discrimination. There may be other formulae equally good. I do not know, but we at least have made the attempt and put forward a formula and a policy by which it would be possible to practise the traditional Cape policy of equal rights for all civilized men. That is all the world is asking for, that you should not discriminate. Arrange your rights on any basis you like, as long as you do not discriminate because a man has a different-coloured skin. We put forward a policy by which we believe that can be done, and we also put forward a policy whereby it will be possible not only to give such rights but to guarantee the rights of different groups, so that we can combine the two. There may be other approaches equally good, but the point is simply this, that unless South Africans are prepared to get together on a basis which eliminates discrimination, there is no hope and not any possibility of getting together. As far as we are concerned we will always be very happy to co-operate with any movement which stands on a basis of eliminating discrimination, because that is cardinal to any policy in this hour of crisis in which we are. No other policy falling short of this ideal has any hope of success whatever. The apartheid policy of hon. members opposite—we have seen what has happened to that and how the world has discarded it, because the world knows it cannot work because it is impracticable and it is discrimination. Other suggestions have been made. We have heard something about racial federation, but as far as we can find out these suggestions all contain the elements of discrimination, and while that is so there is no hope in South Africa of any national movement which will include all sections and make it possible not only to rehabilitate ourselves in our own eyes or in the eyes of the Commonwealth and the world. The whole of this debate boils down to the essential question of discrimination and what our attitude is towards discrimination. All the rest is shadow-boxing. All the arguments that have rolled across these benches for the last few days are shadow-boxing, unless regard is had to this cardinal question of colour discrimination.
Not colour, but race.
Discrimination on a colour basis.
General Smuts said race.
I am not going to argue about that. I prefer to use the word “colour”. [Time limit.]
I am not going to follow the example set by many members who have taken part in this debate and level accusations and recriminations across the floor of the House, but I do feel that in view of the position in which South Africa finds herself, the time has arrived for me as one of the Government members who respect the opinion of any right-minded person, and as someone who can listen to and respect what any right-minded South African says in this House and outside, to address a few words to the Opposition and particularly to the Progressive Party.
The hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) is worried and thinks that if we touch the Press in South Africa there may not be sufficient freedom of speech. I want to level a few serious accusations at those friends, particularly the Progressives and I will give them an opportunity to defend themselves if the accusations are unjust.
The Press can do a tremendous amount of harm to-day and what we say in this House can do an equal amount of harm, but what we say to people from overseas outside this House can do even more harm. We know that many visitors come to South Africa to-day, prominent people and businessmen. I had occasion recently to travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg in the Blue Train and I met prominent people from London and New York on that journey. Two or three of those prominent businessmen told me that they had met two or three members of the Progressive Party in Cape Town and that they were given the following information, inter alia, about South Africa: Firstly, that during the referendum the voting was on the specific basis that we did not mind whether we remained in the Commonwealth or not. It is alleged that members of the Progressive Party had said that. This man was very disturbed about the fact that we wanted to break with the Commonwealth. That was before the London Conference had come to a close.
The second serious complaint of members of the Progressive Party which they allegedly told this friend about, was that South Africa could not “ live in peaceful co-existence with our fellow citizens ”, Coloured and Whites and Natives. We cannot live in peaceful coexistence with our fellow citizens. The third serious complaint was that only the farmers were taken care of and that “ the Union Government subsidies farming ”. Fourthly, they had taken those visitors to Langa and Nyanga and Windermere and told them that we did nothing for the detribalized Natives as far as housing was concerned. I showed those visitor a pamphlet which the City Council of Johannesburg, which is not a National council, issued a short while ago to prove that recently in and around Johannesburg alone the Government had built houses to the value of £150,000 in co-operation with the city council.
No, the amount is £140,000.
I am sorry if I have made a mistake, but that is not so important. The point I am getting at is this that amongst those houses there are houses of £10,000 occupied by Native businessmen, better houses than the houses which some of those people on the Blue Train occupy in their own countries. They were astounded. I explained to them that the farmers were not subsidized and spoon-fed, but that they obtained loans from the Government which they had to repay plus interest.
Another serious complaint was about Portugal, namely that Portugal obtained 103.000 slaves annually from her colonies and that the Union took over those slaves and used them as slaves on the gold mines. I do not think anybody in this House will deny to-night that we are going through a serious crisis and I want to make an appeal to those friends and to everybody opposite who calls himself a true South African and who is imbued with a spirit of patriotism, not to continue in that way and to cease saying things that harm us in the eyes of the world. If hon. members want to know the name of the person I can give it to them, he is a Mr. Louis Michaels of London. I have his address and if anybody wants it I will give it to him.
In view of the fact that the hon. member has made that allegation against us, may I ask him for the names of the members of the party who had said that.
If you deny it, I shall do so.
I would like to ask the hon. the Prime Minister whether he approves of the type of speech which we had in this House this evening from the hon. member for Innesdale (Mr. Marais)? That speech does not help us in our work in this House, and it is not conducive to unity between the various sections in this country. I think the hon. the Prime Minister, after listening to that speech, must answer the questions that have been asked from this side of the House in relation to the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s operation in the last few months. Using the South African Broadcasting Corporation as a propaganda machine has not happened in the past, Sir, as it has happened during the past few weeks. This new set-up of control is to use the radio as a propaganda machine. The hon. member referred to the radio in America, but I want to tell him that the radio in America is free. It is not a public corporation; it is private enterprise. And there are several circuits which are under the control of and which are run by private enterprise. I think it is essential that we should deal with our own Broadcasting Corporation as a public company. It is a system which, up to now, has not been used for propaganda purposes. We had a man who was Director-General for many years. He was appointed by the Government itself. He has given satisfaction, and he has used the radio for the purpose for which it was intended to be used, namely, to give news, amusement and for educational purposes. I am not, of course, referring to the commercial radio. In dismissing this man—he was given a first-class character—they have paid tribute to the way in which he has controlled the destinies of the South African Broadcasting Corporation over the years. Why did this Government get rid of his services? Why did the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs bring into being a new control board, one might say, which has bowler-hatted this man who has done such good work for the South African Broadcasting Corporation over the years? I do not wish to go into that any further, Mr. Chairman, because the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) has asked very pertinent questions in that regard of the Prime Minister. Not only we in this House, but I think the people throughout the country, are entitled to a very full answer by the Prime Minister himself, because he is responsible for that Minister’s actions. Have we had another good servant of the State bowler-hatted in the same way as Marshall Clark was bowler-hatted in the South African Railways?
I would like to ask the hon. the Prime Minister, as other hon. members have already done, does he really and honestly believe that the type of speech which was made by the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs helps towards unity in this country? This is not the first occasion on which he has made that type of speech. During the last two or three years we have protested against, what I would call, the vicious speeches which have been made against the English-speaking section, speeches of an anti-English character, speeches which reveal a hatred of the English, I would say, and fighting the Boer War all over again. I want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister that when he asks the English-speaking people to come forward to try to build up unity for the republic, whether he really thinks …
You are a boer hater.
On a point of order, Sir, is the hon. member allowed to address another hon. member as a racialist (rassehater)?
The hon. member must withdraw that.
I withdraw it, Sir.
The hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (District) must withdraw the word “ vicious ”.
Mr. Chairman, I did not say it in respect of speeches made in this House. I am referring to speeches made in Natal and outside of this House….
By the Prime Minister of this House.
I did not say the Prime Minister, Mr. Chairman.
The hon. member said by a Minister of this House.
The Minister of Posts and Telegraphs outside of this House.
That is in order.
It was definitely outside this House. With due respect, Mr. Chairman, I never said, and I did not say to-night—my Hansard is there; I will apologize if I said it— but I said the vicious speeches made by the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs throughout the country, speeches which were anti-English and anti-British. I go further and say that in speeches outside this House he has trampled on all traditions….
On a point of order, Sir, is the hon. member entitled to refer to the Second War of Independence as the “ Boer War”? Is that not indicative of racialism (rassehaat)?
The hon. member may proceed.
Does the hon. the Prime Minister really think that these speeches, made on very special occasions in many instances at large public gatherings, are really helping to ensure a happy future for this country under a republic and helping towards unity between the two main races? I would like to ask the Prime Minister if he really thinks that the use of the radio as a propaganda machine when news items are on or when other special announcements are made, against the English-speaking people or against political parties, will help to bind us, as English-speaking people who listen to that, in any feeling of unity when we very often feel insulted by the things that are said?
When the hon. the Prime Minister returned from the London conference where he had failed so completely and dismally to keep us in the Commonwealth, he got a hero’s welcome, because a certain section of the Press, but certainly the South African Broadcasting Corporation had built him up into a hero after he had gone to London with the express purpose of keeping us in the Commonwealth. He said so himself, and we accepted his word, that he went there to do his very best, honestly and sincerely, to keep us in the Commonwealth. He withdrew our application from the Commonwealth. Why?
Deliberately. [Interjections.] When the hon. the Prime Minister returned he ought to have been met by crowds who should have said: “ We are glad you are back.” or “We are sorry that you did not fight it out instead of running away.” But, instead of that and because of the propaganda made by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, he was treated as a hero.
He is a hero.
We had flights of fighters meeting him at the border; we had these big gatherings organized by the Nationalist Party to welcome a hero. We accepted the word of the Prime Minister that he had gone to the Commonwealth Conference to keep us in the Commonwealth, and it was a terrible shock to the average South African when he withdrew our application without fighting it the whole way as South Africans have fought for the freedom of this country, under our internal policies, in the past in two great wars. Surely the least we could have expected from this Prime Minister was to have put up a fight and not to have thrown in his hand in the way he did. [Time limit.]
Before calling upon the next speaker, I wish to point out to the hon. member who has just sat down that in 1957 a ruling was given by the Chairman to the effect, and I quote—
It is for that reason that I still feel that the hon. member should withdraw the words “ vicious speeches ”.
Mr. Chairman, may I put it to you with all due respect …
On a point of order, Sir, I did not call anybody a liar. I did not say any such thing. Surely a man can make a vicious attack without it being a lie, without it being untruthful. “ Vicious ” has a totally different meaning from “ lie ”. It can be a vicious hit.
Order! The hon. member must resume his seat; I wish to say something. In the sense in which the hon. member used the word “ vicious ” it was an insult. The rule is left open for the addition of words. It is not only “ lie ” “ liar ” and “ deliberate untruths ” etc., i.e. words left to the discretion of the Chairman. That is how I interpret it. It is for that reason that I repeat that I think the hon. member should take this opportunity of withdrawing the word “ vicious ”.
Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, with respect, Sir, the words that you quoted … [Interjections.] This is a matter of considerable importance and I hope hon. members will allow me to put this point of order. The words that you have quoted have an underlying common theme, that is a “ lack of truth ”, a failure to present the truth. The word “vicious” according to any English dictionary that you may seek to consult, has nothing whatsoever to do with truth or the lack of truth in a statement. A man can be said to make a “ vicious ” statement, meaning that he is needlessly and emphatically driving it home in a manner which is intended to be decisive and inimicable to the person in respect of whom that statement is made. [Interjections.]
I hope hon. members will allow me to make my speech. I am making this submission to you, Sir, and I seek your protection. If hon. members continue to interrupt me like that I shall answer in kind. In those circumstances, Sir, I submit that the word “ vicious ” used in the context in which my hon. friend used it is parliamentary language; there is nothing unparliamentary about it. I suggest that, Sir, and I suggest that a reference is made to any dictionary to see whether the word “ vicious ” is a word which in the ordinary normal meaning can be used in a parliamentary sense.
Order! I do not wish to allow any further discussion on this matter. It says in Standing Rule No. 72—
I regard that word as unbecoming and I repeat that I think the hon. member should withdraw it.
Mr. Chairman, I did not mean it in any insulting way; I withdraw it, Sir.
As usual the Opposition have realized to-night what their position is namely that they have once again come off worse under the Vote of the Prime Minister and they have sought refuge in the Broadcasting Corporation in order to divert the attention from the thrashing which they have received during the past few days. We are prepared to meet them in that regard and we are also prepared to state our attitude quite clearly in that regard.
What is really the complaint of the Opposition against the Broadcasting Corporation. I want to deal with that for a moment, although I personally think it falls more appropriately under the Vote of the Minister of Post and Telegraphs. Their first complaint is that the Minister refuses to give any information to this House in connection with the S.A.B.C. That is the main complaint of the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan). The second complaint is that the Broadcasting Corporation has become a political instrument in the hands of the National Party, and thirdly that the Prime Minister on the occasion of his return from abroad, was represented as being a wonderful orator etc. He was “ boosted ” according to hon. members opposite. I want to go into these three complaints.
In regard to the question regarding the refusal of the Minister to give information about the S.A.B.C. I wish to refer to the Act which was passed in 1936 and for which the United Party was responsible. I want to quote from the speech of the Minister of Post and Telegraphs in 1936, Senator Clarkson, who was a member of the United Party and who introduced that legislation in that capacity. He states it very clearly, firstly—
When we analyse it further we find this—
In other words, even if the law does not provide that they should have a monopoly they should in actual fact have a monopoly. There were three different methods of establishing the corporation—
They decided on the third. When the matter was discussed in Committee the Minister said very clearly that he as Minister had no control over the Broadcasting Corporation as such. He said that he merely had a very gentle hand in the handling of the Broadcasting Corporation. I want to go further. During the régime of the United Party the Directorate of the Broadcasting Corporation were asked to submit certain data and the Government refused and subsequently an opinion was obtained from Adv. Strauss who had a private practice at that time. Adv. Strauss later became Leader of the Opposition. His attitude was that the Government had no control over the Broadcasting Corporation and could not interfere therefore. That was the opinion of the former Leader of the United Party in his capacity as an advocate. That was the legal advice he gave to the Opposition. I know they kicked him out as leader but do they regard him as such a poor advocate that they refuse to take his word even in this respect? [Interjections.] That has nothing to do with the matter. I am simply dealing with the merits of the case. The second complaint is that the S.A.B.C. is used as an instrument in the hands of a party in respect of certain matters.
The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) is delivering a running commentary, Sir. I think he will make a good radio announcer, if he talks less nonsense. I want to return to the attitude adopted by the hon. member for Innesdale (Mr. Marais). The English language Press in South Africa is under the influence of Britain to such an extent that no item of news that is publishes is news pure and simple. Every item of news has a little sting in it for certain reasons. The English language Press no longer gives the news objectively. The Broadcasting Corporation is not under the same influence. The S.A.B.C. presents the news objectively. But hon. members are so conditioned to read the news through those spectacles that they have reached the stage where they regard the impartial and objective news reports which the S.A.B.C. broadcast as propaganda on the other side, because it has not got the poisonous little sting to which they are accustomed. That is the trouble with hon. members, they can no longer appreciate objective news; the poisonous sting must be in it because that is how their Press have conditioned them through the years. It is the task of the radio to give pure, correct and balanced news; they have to broadcast the truth, not scandal-mongering And that is what the S.A.B.C. is doing to-day. They give the news objectively and as news. They give the news objectively and as news. I want to ask hon. members whether they have any complaints about the daily broadcasts “ To-day in Parliament ”. Have they any complaints about those? Are those broadcasts objective? I am asking the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan). He does not reply.
There is a great deal wrong with those.
Oh, there is also something wrong with those.
Your own members say that.
I want to say very clearly that that news is so objective that often when I listen to it I am surprised and wonder how the S.A.B.C. manages to credit hon. members opposite with such fine-sounding words, words which I never hear in this House.
Will they broadcast what I have said?
I want to emphasize that the task of the S.A.B.C. is different to-day from what it was in the past. The difference is this: The S.A.B.C. is no longer “ His Master’s Voice ” of Sapa-Reuter or whoever it may be. The S.A.B.C. is in a position today to get the news itself through various news agencies, to condense it, to broadcast it itself, and to remove the sting which Sapa has been attaching to it all these years.
I want to go further as far as the Prime Minister’s position is concerned and the fact that he was “boosted”. The Act provides in Section 13 (d) for the following. The Corporation, may, for the purpose of carrying out its objects—
In other words they have the right to broadcast news from the locality where it is happening. I am asking you, Sir, was it not news of the utmost importance to South Africa when the Prime Minister returned from London? Did that not have any news value? It had so much news value that 50,000 to 60,000 people gathered there of their own free will. Is the S.A.B.C. expected to have remained quietly at home? Had it done so it would have failed in its duty as the broadcaster of news in South Africa. That was news and under the Act the Corporation was 100 per cent entitled to broadcast that event. The arrival of the Prime Minister at the D. F. Malan Airport was an occurrence with news value. The newspapers publicized it, and why did they do so? Were they not also “ boosting ” the Prime Minister? Even the Cape Times had photographs, photographs which showed more than 5,000 people whereas they stated that there were only 5,000 people altogether.
May I ask a question? May I ask the hon. member whether it is not news when 30,000 or 40,000 people gather in Durban to listen to the Leader of the Opposition?
I did not think that the hon. member was as naïve as that. I want to say immediately that as a news item it was announced over the radio that the Leader of the Opposition had addressed those people but his speech was not broadcast, just as little as the speech of the Prime Minister was broadcast when he addressed 50,000 or 60,000 people at Meyerton. No, the hon. member must not pretend to be as innocent and naïve as all that. [Time limit.]
I want to deal with the extraordinary allegations made against members of the Progressive Party by the hon. member for Brakpan (Mr. P. W. du Plessis). I am not sure whether he meant Members of Parliament of the Progressive Party or ordinary members of the Progressive Party. He stated that he met a gentleman on the Blue Train—he did not mention his name— and that this person had reported to him a conversation alleged to have been held with a member of the Progressive Party. We challenge the hon. member to tell us who the members of the Progressive Party are; whether they are Members of Parliament or ordinary members of the Progressive Party, so that we can know how to deal further with the hon. gentlemen. I deprecate the fact that the hon. member comes to this House and makes allegations which he is not prepared to substantiate and consequently leaves us in a defencsless position.
I now wish to deal with the Prime Minister and the Commonwealth which have been the main issue in this debate. I want to draw the attention of the hon. member for Innesdale (Mr. Marais) to a more recent report on the National Opinion Poll than the one he quoted this afternoon. He mentioned that we were not alone and friendless and not isolated in the world. In order to prove his statement he quoted a survey which had been held by the National Opinion Polls in Britain whereby he tried to prove that at the date of the poll taken in England, the people were in favour of the retention of South Africa in the Commonwealth and that they realized the difficulties which faced South Africa. Last evening’s Argus carried a report of a later opinion poll that was taken in London and the latest figures show that a substantial majority now approve of the exclusion of South Africa. The figures show an increase in the percentage of support for the Macmillan/McLeod policy in Africa. To a specific question: “ Do you consider that Macmillan was right in agreeing to the exclusion of South Africa from membership of the Commonwealth because of her racial policies, 56.1 per cent of the people voted ‘ correct’, 2.6 per cent voted ‘ wrong ’ and 17.3 per cent voted ‘ don’t know ’.” [Interjections.] I am simply refuting the argument of the hon. member that we had many friends in Britain and that the vast majority of people in Britain concurred with our attitude as far as racial discrimination was concerned and were not excluding South Africa from the Commonwealth because of that.
The hon. member for Randfontein (Dr. Mulder) has defended the Broadcasting Corporation. I want to say at the outset, Sir, that I do not agree with the contention that the news presented by the S.A.B.C. as far as Parliament is concerned is slanted. Personally I think that they do an amazingly good job considering the amount that they have to cover from Parliament each day. My complaint is not against that. But I do join with what other members on this side of the House have said about the biased reports which have been emanating from the S.A.B.C. in other respects. In particular do I complain about the way in which the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference was presented to South Africa even before the Prime Minister had returned to this country to make his report to us. We had reports, for instance, of speeches made by Mr. Menzies which simply put over the air the approving words that he said about the Prime Minister of South Africa and completely ignored any condemnatory statement that he made about apartheid. I use that, Sir, as one example but there are many others. Later, after the Prime Minister’s return, there was undoubted slanting of news, a political slanting of news on the S.A.B.C. which I heartily deprecate.
Now I come to the crux of the question which has been confronting all of us during the last month. I want to say that I agree with the Prime Minister in two respects: Firstly, where he said that our becoming a republic per se was not the important issue which determined our remaining in the Commonwealth. Sir, I agree that that simply provided a procedural opportunity for our exclusion from the Commonwealth. Equally I agree with the Prime Minister that his having agreed to a discussion on our demos-tic affairs at the Prime Ministers’ Conference is also largely irrelevant to the issue. It is, Sir, a superficial view I would say, because you cannot remove a cancer simply by hiding it from sight or refusing to discuss its existence. Apartheid has undoubtedly become a cancer in the eyes of the world. Mr. Sandys, in his speech to the British House of Commons on the Prime Ministers’ Conference said—
He went on later to say—
Why, Sir, was it sooner or later inevitable that we would be excluded from the Commonwealth? Of course that brings me back to the point made by the hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) namely that the reason simply is the wholehearted disapproval of the Commonwealth and of the world at large of our policies of racial discrimination. Had the matter not been raised at this conference it would have come up at a later stage sooner or later with probably the same result.
Where I do not agree with the hon. the Prime Minister and with other speakers on that side of the House is the contention that complete capitulation was demanded of South Africa in England, that nothing less than “ one man one vote ” would have satisfied the people there and that complete equality of everybody living in this country was the minimum demand. One has only got to examine the speeches made by Mr. Macmillan and by Mr. Sandys in the British House of Commons to realize that this was not the position at that conference. The Prime Minister of Britain made it perfectly clear when he said that if only South Africa had shown a sign that she was prepared to relax her rigid attitude, that she would get away from the dogma to which she was attached, it would have been possible to retain South Africa in the Commonwealth.
The other day the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) quoted at large from General Smuts’ speeches in 1947 on pressure at the United Nations. I want to say this to the hon. member and his supporters on the other side, that whatever General Smuts said in 1947 about the United Nations, I am perfectly certain that General Smuts would never have taken the rigid line that was taken by the present Prime Minister at the Prime Ministers’ Conference. He would never have said “no concessions; no changes, no adaptations ”. In no circumstances would he have said that. Indeed by 1948 General Smuts had already made concessions on his policy. He had, for instance, accepted the Fagan Commission Report; he had accepted the thesis, indeed the actual fact, that the urbanization of the African was already an established fact and that completely new policies would have to be arrived at in order to make provision for the changing circumstances. So I say that General Smuts had already in 1948 said that segregation was dead and that you could as much hope to sweep back the waters of the ocean with a broom, as you could hope to continue with segregation in South Africa.
Now, Sir, what of the future? I want to say first of all that Mr. Macmillan said that if only we had shown that we were moving away from racial discrimination he could have done something to save South Africa. Because, he said, “ the fundamental difference between our and the South African philosophy is that we are trying to escape from the inherited practices of discrimination, not only racial but political, religious and cultural. We are trying with varying degrees of success, but always with a single purpose, to move away from this concept in any form ”. In other words, he admitted there was racial discrimination in other parts of the Commonwealth but the fundamental difference was that while the rest of the Commonwealth was moving away from it, we in South Africa were rigidly adhering to this dogma.
Now, Sir, what of the future in the present circumstances? What is our future position. I think the hon. member for Krugersdorp (Mr. M. J. van den Berg) was correct when he said that only the disappearance of discrimination on the ground of race and colour, would make it possible for us to return to the Commonwealth. This, I think, we have to face. Obviously the present policy of apartheid is not going to get us back to the Commonwealth. I think all of us admit that. The explanation given by the hon. the Prime Minister that his Bantustan policy is a policy of non-discrimination has not been accepted by people overseas and has not been accepted at the Prime Ministers’ Conference. There is very little possibility that even with the maximum development of the Bantustan policy and with the maximum development of the reserves, that we will ever agree that that policy is non-discriminatory by virtue of the fact that millions of Africans are left in the White areas of South Africa without any rights whatsoever. It was rightly pointed out by an hon. member on this side of the House, who said that it was nonsensical to compare the migratory workers of Italy who go and work in Switzerland and other parts of Europe and who have no rights in those parts, with the migratory workers in South Africa, since our workers are South African born citizens and they are entitled to enjoy their rights in this country. [Time limit.]
I do not intend replying to the arguments advanced by other hon. members. The few minutes I have at my disposal I want to devote to South Africa’s motto Ex unitates Vires. It is a beautiful motto. We see it daily, at least when we are in this House. It appears on our envelopes, on our documents, but unfortunately there is not much sign of it in this House. As a matter of fact, you get the impression that in many respects there is no desire at all to live up to that motto. We have been hearing a great deal about unity in this country recently. Since last year the hon. the Prime Minister has on various occasions asked the people of South Africa and particularly the Opposition to strive towards national unity. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition and many members in this House and outside have made a similar appeal, but unfortunately there has been little response so far. I want to say a few words in that regard in all sincerity. I do so in all sincerity because I am convinced that particularly to-day and in view of the difficult position of our country with the threat from the north, that will be our best and most effective weapon in waging the struggle successfully in this country, our most effective weapon. I also do so because I personally have no feeling whatsoever against my fellow-English-speaking citizens in South Africa. Indeed I have no feelings at all against any citizen of South Africa, whether he be a Frenchman, a Scotsman or an Irishman, or whatever he may be. I also do so because of the fact that my children are 50 per cent English, because their mother was born and bred in England. That is why I say I am very sincere and serious when I talk about this. We know that since Union all parties have always striven for and have always expressed the desire that there should be national unity in this country. We remember the attempt which was made in 1933 towards that end when the United Party was formed, but unfortunately we have never had success. There we see the result of that attempt of 1933, Sir. Not only a small Opposition, but an Opposition divided within its own ranks. It is no good our employing artificial methods to establish that national unity. We want something more than artificial methods, and that is the very reason why I feel that the Republic of South Africa will make such a big contribution towards that end, because under the Republic of South Africa there will no longer be divided loyalty, not in my case on this side of the House and not in the case of English-speaking members on that side of the House. We ought not to have it, we are all citizens of the Republic of South Africa. We have a common aim and after 31 May we shall be closer together and I trust hon. members will not run away before then. We shall then have one common aim and I think the only thing that will assist in establishing that desired national unity in this country will be when we have something for which we all strive and which bind all of us together. It is no good making vague remarks about unity and merely saying that we should have national unity. We should do more than that. We have to take active steps.
Like Odendaal did!
We should do something that will bring us together. In the first place I think that spirit will now develop but I want to go further than that. National unity does not mean that we must all vote together on one side on all subjects that we discuss in this House. Neither does national unity mean that hon. members opposite must all vote with this side of the House and that there should not be any differences between us. We can have our differences and our different opinions, but when it comes to the important things which affect the continued existence or ruination of our country, we should stand together and it is at times like that that we will be able to see whether or not there is national unity in this country. I want to give an example. If this House has to decide some time in future whether war should be declared in South Africa or that South Africa should participate in a war, the majority in this House will have to decide on that issue and the minority will have to abide by their decision, because we are democrats.
As in 1939?
I knew the hon. member would say that and I shall deal with that in a moment. We have to abide by that decision and once a decision has been reached it does not behove those of us who voted with the minority to say: “No, I am now going to fight against South Africa.” If I am a good South African citizen I must take up arms like the other man.
Hon. members must not argue and raise the question of what happened in 1939. There may have been individuals with whom they disagreed at that time, but I will not believe that two wrongs make a right. Do they doubt my statement?
I want to deal with our racial question. Our racial problem is of the utmost importance to us in this country to-day. It may mean life or death to us in future. I think therefore that when it comes to racial matters, we should stand together as far as possible, and once we do that we can say that we have at least achieved a certain amount of national unity. How are we going to achieve that? This side of the House has a policy and every now and then we hear about a policy from that side of the House. As far as this matter is concerned I want to suggest a new approach and I should like hon. members opposite to consider it. We are all democrats and we all abide by the decision of the majority. We have a policy which is the policy of the majority in this House. The present Government came into power in 1948, it introduced that policy, was returned to power in 1953, stronger than before, and it was further strengthened in 1958. It is the will of the people of South Africa that the policy of this side of the House should be carried out. It was put to the electorate of this country and this party was put in power. I want to appeal to hon. members opposite. We sometimes talk about cricket. Let us give the policy of this Government which was put in power on a democratic basis, a sporting chance. When I ask in all sincerity that the racial policy of this Government should be given a proper chance I do not expect you to remain quiet and to agree with everything, but the least I expect is that the policy of this Government, in so far as the important aspects are concerned, more particularly as far as the world outside is concerned, should receive the support of hon. members opposite until such time as this House or the people outside decide that that is not the right policy and that another policy is the right one.
Can’t you see that it is wrong?
It is unfortunate that that is the attitude. That gives me the impression that there are members in this House who really have no wish to obtain that desired national unity.
And if there is no policy?
We must carry on, we must not fight against the future of our own country. When we ourselves have a love for our fatherland and wish to see it prosper, we must subject ourselves to it and we should do everything in our power to promote the welfare of the country. We can raise our voices as much as we like towards each other where there are differences of opinion, but in future we should not raise our voices louder because the one is English-speaking and the other Afrikaans-speaking.
Whatever feelings we have towards each other we should show in a decent way. I was very pleased yesterday when the matter of the allegations that were made against the hon. the Leader of the Opposition was raised in this House. I was pleased that the hon. the Prime Minister revealed such a fine spirit and that the allegations were withdrawn. But at the same time and for the same reason I was sorry that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition did not condemn a similar allegation which was made against the Prime Minister in regard to his official visit abroad. It is improper when it is made from this side of the House but it is proper when that side of the House makes it. [Time limit.]
The hon. member who has just sat down, I am sure, will excuse me if I don’t follow his line of debate. My time is very limited and I want to deal with another aspect altogether. At the same time I would like to say that the subject I am going to deal with, he will find, needs that unity he has been speaking about probably more than any other phase of our national life. With regard to his views on democracy, I would merely put this to him, that we on this side of the House would like to see a demonstration rather than an explanation of democracy, a demonstration which would not run parallel with the one we have just witnessed in the Transvaal in the election of school-boards and the nominations of members by the Administrator of the Transvaal. That would be an exhibition of democracy that probably would carry a lot more weight in this country than the type of exhibition we have had.
I would just for a moment touch on a statement made by the hon. member for Randfontein (Dr. Mulder) who spoke a little while ago and the strictures he passed on the Press organization of Sapa. The hon. gentleman will find that he was very far off the mark when he was dealing with Sapa. I would like to remind him that Sapa is not an English-owned news agency. Sapa is a news agency, or an association, which is operated by both the Afrikaans and the English-speaking Press. As a matter of fact it might be news to the hon. gentleman that the Transvaler and the Vaderland and other Afrikaans papers are also members of the association known as Sapa, and when he passes strictures on Sapa as an English organization, perhaps he will realize that these strictures were quite unjustified.
I want to turn to the aspect of national defence of this country. We have heard during the last 24 hours that Russia has succeeded in putting a man into space and in orbit round the earth. When one has sat through the debates during the last couple of days in this House, one wonders whether we in this South Africa have not preceded Russia by putting a man into space and getting him in orbit, because much of the debate, much of the information, much of the two long speeches that the hon. the Prime Minister has treated the House to, have been discussions entirely in space. They have been debates with the Prime Minister so obsessed by his own divisions that he has created in this country, that he has in fact lost touch with the reality of having his feet on the solid earth of the country of which he is the Prime Minister. So much that we have heard indicated that he has completely lost contact with the practical realities of the world in which he stands, and in which we live and which we have got to work with, Sir. The views that we have heard, Sir—and we do not want any more views, we want some facts; we want some facts which will satisfy the people of this country that steps are being taken by the hon. the Prime Minister and his Cabinet at their level with regard to the security of this country in the new position in which we now find ourselves as a result of the Prime Minister’s mission to London. When we listen to these speeches, one is reminded of that very old but very true saying, and I think it applies so aptly to what we see in so many speeches in this House, including those of the hon. the Prime Minister: “ Do not bother me with facts, my mind is already made up.” That is what we find so often. You put over solid hard facts, but they just don’t register; the mind is made up and not prepared to receive the facts.
I want to know in the light of South Africa’s new position what is the Prime Minister and his Cabinet’s policy regarding the defence of South Africa against any external aggression which we might be called upon to meet? I want to make it quite clear that I am not talking about that realm of defence which falls within the scope of the hon. the Minister of Defence, the portion of defence which one might call the administration of defence after the policy has been settled by the Cabinet, because until that policy has been defined and settled, the Minister of Defence in this House and the officers serving under him are completely helpless—they have nothing to work on, nothing to hang their plans onto, and they are as I say, in a hopeless position as far as the proper organization of defence is concerned. So I want to know specifically what is the Cabinet’s policy and the overall planning upon which the hon. Minister of Defence and his defence chiefs can build up and organize the defence machine itself. Because that is what they need to know. I appreciate full well that there may be certain features of that which it would be difficult to deal with in the open House, but there can be enough told in this Parliament to satisfy the people of South Africa that adequate steps are indeed being taken and have been considered.
The hon. the Prime Minister owes a duty in that respect to the whole of South Africa. You see, Sir, when he deals with defence, he is not dealing with dream figures and dream people; he is dealing with human bodies, the sons and fathers or brothers and daughters of South African families who will have to go into the frontline if and when we get into trouble. He is dealing with human flesh and blood, and the families of South Africa have a right to know that if unfortunately that time should come, their kith and kin will at least have as good a chance as anyone else of survival under the type of warfare that they will have to face. We have a right to ask the hon. the Prime Minister to tell us that tonight. The hon. the Prime Minister also must not forget that merged in his own policy he has accepted on behalf of this country not only the defence of South Africa and not only the defence of the White people of South Africa, but he has accepted the defence of every non-White man and woman in South Africa because under the Government’s policy they are not allowed to defend themselves. Therefore we have to accept responsibility for their security, and we know well what happens to these people in a world gone mad, as is the case in the international jungle we exist in to-day. Therefore there is this added responsibility that the hon. the Prime Minister has to shoulder as a result of his own policies, that apart from defending our own families and our own country, he also has to remember that they also are South African citizens who have to be protected.
I want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister what steps have been taken in regard to collective security, because no country, large or small to-day, can stand on its own; any real security is a collective security. Heaven help us as a small country, when we become a republic, taken out from behind the shelter of Commonwealth defence which has protected us for so long, heaven help us then if we have to stand alone. On our one border we have the Rhodesias. The Rhodesias have shown us the action that they take in protecting themselves against the infiltration of trouble from other areas. What are we doing in that respect? On our other two flanks we have the Portuguese territories. They are also running into trouble at the moment, and any weakening of either of those three positions, or our own, means a corresponding weakening for all four of us. Therefore it is a case for collective security, some collective support one to the other. I want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister to tell the House whether there have been any discussions with Rhodesia or Portugal in the light of the events of to-day, to see what collective steps we can take to ensure that one or the other of these four units are not weakened, because when you weaken one you weaken the lot, and we don’t want to be the one that is weakened. I want to ask the hon. the Prime Minister to tell us that. I want to ask him what arrangements have been made for the supply of weapons to our own forces, because in many respects we are today unable to provide the weapons which will be necessary for full-scale external defence of this country—I am not referring to internal defence, that is a matter of internal security and is quite another matter. I am dealing specifically with Cabinet policy and the Prime Minister’s policy in respect of external defence. So I want to know what arrangements have been made to supply our own defence forces with the weapons they will need whenever they are called upon to use them, and also in regard to the maintenance of an adequate supply of munitions which we cannot produce ourselves and which we will need if and when such a time comes. And I want to ask with the greatest respect the hon. the Prime Minister not to try and fob the House off with the story of the Simonstown Agreement. I have not the slightest doubt in my mind from my own experience that if and when they are called upon to fulfil their share of the Simonstown Agreement, those associated with it, the Navy and the Air Force and the Army, would give of their very best. There is no doubt about that. But it is only such a minor, such a very small portion of the whole question of the defence of this country that I don’t want that red herring to be dragged across the course to-night. We can deal with that particular aspect when we come to the hon. Minister’s Vote. I want to know, have we any joint defence plan of any sort? in fact have we any overall defence plan of any sort worth calling a defence plan for the external defence of country against external aggression? Sir, defence under the conditions we have moved into over the last few weeks must take top priority in any Cabinet planning or any Cabinet talks. Everything else that we value in this country has got to rest behind the shelter of the defence that we are now called upon to supply ourselves. It is no good advancing the argument that we are in such a strategic position that some other country that is to-day voting against us at UNO and is criticizing our policies, will have to come into this country to protect its own interests because of our strategic position. We will then be in a position of an occupied territory. Take the position in South West Africa, the Achilles Heel of this country at the present moment! Can the hon. the Prime Minister take the country into his confidence to any extent as to what his plans are in that connection? [Time limit.]
I wish to say that the hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) has dealt with matters which are important in the discussion on the Prime Minister’s Vote. Hon. members opposite are the people who said that we were experiencing a crisis. I admit that there is a so-called crisis. Yet in this time of crisis we had to listen tonight to statistics and all sorts of things in connection with the Broadcasting Corporation and the radio service. As far as the defence of South Africa is concerned the hon. member once again tried to create the impression to-night that because we were no longer in the Commonwealth, South Africa was worse off then before in regard to defence matters. The hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) is looking at me and I want to ask him to mention one single Commonwealth defence agreement to which South Africa is a party. Every arrangement in respect of Simonstown is still valid. Discussions on defence matters have nothing to do with the Commonwealth. I wish to know from hon. members whether South Africa was under any obligation to help to defend Ghana or India or Malaya. Was any of those countries under any obligation whatsoever to help to defend us? Is Canada or Australia or even Britain under any obligation to help to defend South Africa as far as the Commonwealth is concerned? If they are under that obligation then surely we are under the same obligation and I maintain that South Africa was under no obligation whatsoever to help to defend any member of the Commonwealth. I want to state it very clearly to night that South Africa’s defence agreements, South Africa’s agreements in respect of defence matters, are with countries who have interests in Africa. When conferences on defence matters are held in Dakar or in Nairobi or here in Cape Town, countries like Portugal, France and Britain attend those conferences not as Commonwealth countries but as countries who have interests in Africa.
I want to deal with the matter which is the cause of the so-called crisis, namely the colour question. The hon. member for Yeoville is still looking at me and I want to ask him a question. They have now come forward with a new idea, namely the idea of a federation. What will be the component parts of that federation, what will it consist of? A federation has to consist of certain states which have to be co-ordinated in a federal government, while each one has his own government as well. As I see the position and as the hon. the Prime Minister has analyzed it there will be a Coloured state in the first instance, or whatever they wish to call it.
Where did you hear that?
Under which group will the Coloured people be classified? Under the White group? In that case I want to know what place the Coloured people will occupy in the federal state of the Opposition? Where will the Coloureds come in? They have to form either a separate Coloured unit within the federation or they have to be classified with the Whites. Tell me. After all this is to be a race federation. Where will the Transkei and the other Native territories come in? The hon. the Leader of the United Party has not as yet told us that, but there is only one thing that can happen in a federation: The Coloureds must either constitute a separate unit or be incorporated with the Whites. The Blacks in the Transkei and in the other Native territories have to be units within that federation.
With whom do you wish the Coloureds to be classified.
Or the Blacks have to form one huge Black state together with the Whites in South Africa, but if they have a federation there have to be separate states.
What about a state within a state?
Precisely. There have to be states within a federal state and I want to know from the United Party what those states within the federal state are going to be? As I see the position the Black man will have his government within his area in that federal state. The Coloureds will either be classified with the Whites or have their own state within the federal state. But what about the White states? Apparently there will not be a single White state. I will have to ask the hon. member for Yeoville: What about the urban Native, the Native within the White areas? In what respect will the Native exercise his vote? Where will he exercise his vote in that federation? The hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration pointed out this afternoon that if a single new state is created within the federation one or two things will happen. Or as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has said, the 264 states must each constitute a portion of the federation, or there will have to be consolidation of the Black areas. And if there is to be consolidation it will have to take place in one of two ways: either on an ethnic basis or by means of consolidation of areas by the acquisition of land. The United Party adopted a motion at their congress that no more land should be purchased.
In other words, they are prepared to purchase more land for the federation.
Now we have learnt something. They are prepared to purchase land. The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) said this afternoon that the Blacks should not have any more land belonging to the Whites.
He did say it. But apart from the hon. member for Hillbrow, the hon. member for Yeoville said that they were prepared to purchase land. In other words they are prepared to purchase land to consolidate those Bantu units. Now we have Bantu units. What about the other areas? What about the Transvaal and the Free State and the Cape Province which are White areas? Are they going to be White units? I say definitely not, according to their policy. They will be piebald. You will have Black units, apparently there will be a Coloured unit and there will be piebald units within the federation but not a single White unit. If there is to be a White unit where will it be?
Vanderbijlpark will always be White. I want to ask the hon. member something else. He says they are going to buy land in order to create those units. Where will the borders be; they are continually asking us: Where are the borders? Where will the borders of those units be? I want to ask him another question: They are continually telling us that we should not take any steps under our colour policy without consulting the Blacks. I would like to know from them when they have consulted the Black man in South Africa in regard to this federation? When have they obtained the consent of the Black man? They are always talking about “ government by consent ”. When did they get the “ consent ” of the Black man for this federation idea of theirs? From whom did they get consent? They suddenly come forward with this idea of a federation. When did they obtain that consent? Mr. Chairman, if they were to ask for that consent it will not be given, because on 27 April 1959 Luthuli wrote the following in the Cape Times here in Cape Town—
Not “Nationalist rule” but “White rule” and then he went on further—
He went further—
I want to know where they got this “consent ”. Do they want to consult with the Black man? When did they do so? I am asking the hon. member for Yeoville what units will comprise this federation which they want to establish and where will their borders be? [Time limit.]
If the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet), whose gallant attempt to protect the hon. the Prime Minister this evening by trying to stage a counter attack I admire, thinks that we in the United Party will fall for the obvious strategy which he is indulging in, he makes a very great mistake. It is the Prime Minister’s Vote which is before the House this evening, and which has been before the House for several days. It is the Prime Minister who has to account for his stewardship to South Africa. It is the Prime Minister who has to answer the questions which are important to every child, woman and man in South Africa today, and it is the Prime Minister who has refused to answer the pertinent questions put to him for two full days now. The hon. member for Vanderbijlpark is probably the only member of the Nationalist Party left that comes to the defence of this Prime Minister with anything like enthusiasm, but in spite of that we are not prepared to be deviated from the course which we have set ourselves, and that is to bring the Prime Minister to account before the people of South Africa. It is time that we should ask ourselves why we have to wait so long before the Prime Minister answers the questions put to him. There can only be two reasons. The one is that the Prime Minister has no adequate replies, and to judge by his two previous essays in this debate that may be the truth. But there is another possibility and that is that the Prime Minister is waiting for the correct state of somnambulistic ecstasy to dream up a new policy for the Nationalist Party, but, Sir, in case the Prime Minister is not aware of the questions that we, representing the people of South Africa, are putting to him, I think I should recapitulate them for his benefit: (1) What is the Prime Minister going to do now that South Africa is isolated? And make no mistake about the isolation! It is complete and total isolation. What is his Government going to do to assure the defence of South Africa? (2) What is the Prime Minister’s attitude to the degeneration of the South African Broadcasting Corporation? I have said elsewhere, and I want to repeat it now, that the first sign of the approach of totalitarianism in any state is when the public institutions to which all the citizens of the state are compelled to subscribe under certain conditions, are abused to the ends of a political party. That is happening to the South African Broadcasting Corporation to-day. The Minister responsible for the Broadcasting Corporation will not answer. Will the hon. the Prime Minister answer? If the test is what the South African Broadcasting Corporation is offering to-day, then I want to ask if that is the way in which the Government will implement the solemn resolution passed at the Bloemfontein Congress of the Nationalist Party on the eve of the referendum when they stated six points the republic will observe, and the second points was that the republic wants to be democratic and not a dictatorship. Is this the way? The use of such a public institution for the purposes of a political party is totalitarianism, it is not democracy. The hon. the Prime Minister owes us an answer to that question. The third question that was put to the Prime Minister is: What is the Prime Minister’s immediate answer to the situation which he and his Government have created, namely that South Africa to-day is in a cold war with the entire world? And the fourth question is: What is the Prime Minister’s immediate plan to bring about a different—and I will use the word which was sneeringly used by the hon. member for Innesdale (Mr. Marais) a different “ image ” of South Africa? [Time limit.]
At 10.25 p.m. the Chairman stated that, in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (1), he would report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.
House to resume in Committee on 14 April.
The House adjourned at