House of Assembly: Vol107 - FRIDAY 14 APRIL 1961
The MINISTER OF FINANCE laid upon the Table:
The: I move—
That the report be printed.
The report of the Commission announced on 9 February has now been issued, and I propose to lay it on the Table of the House, and to move that it be printed. There is, unfortunately, only one copy available, so, until it is printed, it will probably not be available to hon. members, as that copy will*be required for printing. Then, after it has been printed, it will naturally, in due course, be considered by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders and by the Cabinet. I move.
I second. Agreed to.
For oral reply:
asked the Minister of Public Works:
- (1) Whether it has been brought to his notice that the building “ Waterhof ” in the Gardens, Cape Town, is in danger of demolition; and, if so,
- (2) whether he will take steps to ensure that this historic building is preserved for the nation.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) No.
asked the Minister of External Affairs:
Whether any agreements have been made between the Union Government and Commonwealth countries about the status of their heads of mission after the establishment of the republic of South Africa; and, if so, what agreements.
This and other matters in connection with the future relations between the republic of South Africa and Commonwealth countries are receiving attention.
asked the Minister of Transport:
Whether second-class fares on the Cape Peninsula lines have been permanently abolished; and, if so, (a) why and (b) to what use are the former second-class coaches now being put.
The change in the suburban fares structure with effect from 14 February 1961 must not be regarded as an abolition of the second-or the first-class fare, because neither was abolished, but, instead of two fares, one, fixed midway between first and second class, was introduced, thus reducing the two classes of travel to one, which is now called first class. The new arrangement enables the Administration better to cope with the large numbers of passengers offering in peak periods, and must be regarded as permanent.
All saloons for Whites on the Cape Peninsula lines have been labelled one class, and will be used until replaced by the 394 new suburban sliding-door vehicles for this area now on order. The new coaches will be coming into service at a rate of 16 per month, commencing April 1961. Afterwards most of the old coaches released will be converted to third-class coaches.
Arising out of the hon. the Minister’s reply, can he tell us whether the second-class coaches which have been de-classified are now being used as first-class coaches under certain conditions?
I am afraid the hon. member will have to give notice of that question, as I am not able to reply to it now.
asked the Minister of External Affairs:
Whether the Government is considering the extension of the existing territorial waters limit of three miles; and, if so,
- (a) what will the new limit be and
- (b) what steps will be taken to notify other countries of the new limit.
The whole matter is at present under consideration.
asked the Minister of Defence:
- (1) Whether chaplains of the Dutch Reformed Church are employed by his Department; if so,
- (a) how many,
- (b) what are their names,
- (c) in which areas do they work,
- (d) what salaries and allowances do they receive and
- (e) what other facilities are granted to them;
- (2) whether chaplains are permitted to make speeches of a political nature in public; and
- (3) whether he has received any complaints about the actions or conduct of any of the chaplains; if so, what are the names of the chaplains about whom such complaints have been received?
- (1) Yes.
- (a) Seven.
- (b) The following are the names of the chaplains concerned who were appointed in this capacity in the Permanent Force with effect from the dates indicated against their respective names—
Comdt. S. W. Burger, I May 1946.
Comdt. C. W. de Kock, I May 1946.
Comdt. G. J. J. Boshoff, 24 March 1961.
Maj. H. C. Hopkins, I March 1955.
Maj. J. H. Lourens, 22 May 1948.
Capt. W. J. Meintjies, 9 April 1956.
Capt. P. E. de Kock, I August 1960.
- (c) Comdt. Burger, Voortrekkerhoogte.
Comdt. de Kock, Voortrekkerhoogte.
Comdt. Boshoff, Voortrekkerhoogte.
Maj. Hopkins, Wynberg.
Maj. Lourens, Potchefstroom.
Capt. Meintjies, Voortrekkerhoogte.
Capt. de Kock, Voortrekkerhoogte.
- (d) Salary—
Comdts. Burger, de Kock and Boshoff, R3,960 per annum.
Majs. Hopkins and Lourens, R3,480 per annum.
Capt. de Kock, R2,760 per annum. Capt. Meintjies, R2,880 per annum.
But for a first outfit allowance of R160 they do not receive any other allowances.
- (e) Medical treatment, including their families, transport required for the execution of their chaplains’ duties and, if available, departmental housing at the prescribed rental according to rank.
- (2) No.
- (3) No.
Arising out of the hon. Minister’s reply, can he inform me whether he is aware that a certain Comdt. Boshoff made speeches of a political nature?
My reply is no, not since he has been in our service.
Arising out of the reply of the hon. the Minister, may I ask him whether it is usual practice to give differing ranks to chaplains in the armed forces?
Arising out of the hon. the Minister’s reply, may I assume that these men are all employed full-time and that their only congregations are in the forces?
asked the Minister of Public Works:
- (1) Whether the accident in the Rissik Street post office building, Johannesburg, on 7 April 1961, when, as reported in the Press, the clock weight fell through three ceilings, has been brought to his notice;
- (2) what was the amount of the damage caused;
- (3) (a) when and (b) by whom were the clock and its mechanism last inspected and (c) what was the nature of the inspection;
- (4) whether any warning was issued that the weight might drop;
- (5) whether any previous mishaps of a similar nature occurred to this clock; if so, what mishaps;
- (6) whether any other clocks under the control of his Department have a similar mechanism; if so, how many; and
- (7) whether precautions are taken in each case to prevent similar accidents?
- (1) Yes.
- (2) Approximately R90.
- (a) 14 March 1961.
- (b) The maintenance contractor.
- (c) A normal routine inspection.
- (4) On 17 March 1961 the maintenance con tractor reported that certain minor repairs were effected and suggested that the cables connected to the weights be checked. On 4 April 1961 the maintenance contractor was requested to quote for the replacement of all cables.
- (5) Yes; a cable snapped on 13 March 1961 and was repaired by the maintenance contractor—see (3) and (4) above.
- (6) Clocks in other Government buildings over the Union will have to be inspected individually to establish similarity of operation.
- (7) All clocks are maintained by reliable contractors under annual contracts.
asked the Minister of Justice:
- (1) Whether any persons are still being detained under the emergency regulations as a result of the disturbances in Pondoland and other parts of the Transkei; if so, how many; and
- (2) whether it is the intention to bring these persons to trial; if so, when.
- (1) 524.
- (2) Yes. As soon as the investigations are completed.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
- (1) Whether it is his intention to terminate the state of emergency in Pondoland and other parts of the Transkei in the near future; and, if not,
- (2) whether he will make a statement in regard to the matter.
- (1) A state of emergency has not been declared in Pondoland or any other part of the Transkei. If the hon. member has in mind the regulations published under Proclamation No. R.400 of 1960, as amended, then I can inform her that the early withdrawal of the application of Part III of the said regulations in the five districts in which it is in force is at present under consideration.
- (2) Falls away.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
- (1) Whether it is the intention of his Department to issue instructions to officials on courtesy towards Bantu persons; and
- (2) whether such instructions have been issued previously; and, if so, with what result.
- (1) Yes. A general guide regarding conduct and procedure is under consideration.
- (2) The Department has impressed upon its officials the necessity to treat all members of the public, including the Bantu with whom they are continually in contact, with courtesy and respect. These instructions have had the desired effect.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (a) How many persons acquired South African citizenship since the coming into operation of the South African Citizenship Act, 1949, to 14 February 1961; and
- (b) what was the total amount in registration fees paid during this period by new citizens.
- (a) 17,557.
- (b) This information is not available.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to newspaper reports that a number of South African citizens are serving with the armed forces of the Katanga Government;
- (2) whether he has any information about any such South African citizens; if so, (a) how many are serving and (b) what are their names; and
- (3) whether any such citizens have been killed or wounded; if so, (a) how many and (b) what are their names.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) and (3) No information other than that which appeared in the Press is available.
May I ask the hon. the Minister, in view of the serious repercussions which may flow from the service of South Africans in these forces, is the Government contemplating making a statement as to the action it will take against South Africans?
The Government has already made a statement to that effect.
asked the Minister of Defence:
Whether he has any information as to whether any South African citizens on the Reserve of Officers of the South African Defence Force are serving with the armed forces of the Katanga Government; if so,
- (a) how many are serving and
- (b) what are their names.
No. As already announced by the Government passports are not issued to South African citizens if there is any indication or suspicion that it is their intention to serve as mercenaries in the armed forces of the Katanga Government. If, therefore, any South African citizens on the Reserve of Officers are serving in such a capacity then it is without the knowledge of my Department.
- (a) and (b) Fall away.
Arising out of the hon. the Minister’s reply, may I ask whether his attention has been drawn to a statement to the effect that Britain has given warnings that passports will be withdrawn from people who serve under such conditions?
No, I have not seen that statement.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
Whether, after 31 May 1961 immigrants from Commonwealth countries will continue to qualify for South African citizenship after five years’ residence in South Africa.
There is at present no intention to amend the South African Citizenship Act, 1949 in this respect.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
- (1) Whether the Government intends to implement the recommendations of the Tomlinson Commission in regard to the incorporation of the British Protectorates as the basis of the proposed Bantu homelands; and, if not,
- (2) whether any alternative steps are contemplated; if so, what steps.
- (1) In the absence of an agreement between the United Kingdom and the Union Government about the matter (a circumstance of which the hon. member is no doubt aware), I do not feel called upon to reply to this part of the question.
- (2) The Protectorates have not been taken into account in regard to the Government’s plans for the development of the Bantu homelands.
asked the Minister of Justice:
Whether members of the Security Branch of the South African Police who are sent to report on speeches made at meetings are (a) qualified shorthand-writers, (b) instructed to take verbatim reports and (c) sworn translators.
I regret that it is not considered in the public interest to furnish the desired information about the Security Police.
asked the Minister of Economic Affairs:
- (1) Whether a departmental committee of inquiry was set up during 1960 to examine the desirability of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Reach and the South African Bureau of Standards being separated; if so,
- (2) whether the committee has submitted its report; if so,
- (3) whether it is his intention to implement the recommendations contained in the report; and
- (4) whether the report will be laid upon the Table; if not, why not.
- (1) Yes. I wish to invite the hon. member’s attention to a statement I made on 13 April 1960, during the Budget debate on my Department in response to a question by the hon. member for Pinetown;
- (2) yes;
- (3) the matter is still under consideration; and
- (4) no. The report is one of an inter departmental committee and, as was pointed out in my statement referred to under (1), it was intended solely for my guidance.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
- (1) What were the terms of the alleged defamatory statement made by him for which claims of £5,000 each were instituted by 13 members of the public against him and for which a settlement was arrived at as reported in paragraph 5 (2), page 218, of Part II of the Report of the Controller and Auditor-General for 1959-’60; and
- (2) where and on what occasion was the statement made.
- (1) The following is the text of the statement:
The City Council of Johannesburg has for the umpteenth time acted in characteristic manner, viz. without a proper appreciation of its statutory relation vis-à-vis the Central Government and above all without a proper conception of events occurring in the city entrusted to its care.
For a considerable time a fairly large number of Europeans in Johannesburg have held mixed parties—characterized by excesses—in their homes in contravention of well-known South African custom. Lately liquor was flowing freely at such parties and the results thereof can be left to the imagination.
Afrikaans- and English-speaking South Africans as well as the Bantu find such gatherings offensive. To put a stop to this kind of gathering in the urban area of Johannesburg I approached the City Council of Johannesburg in the manner prescribed by law. I wrote a letter to the council on 12 December and allowed the council three weeks to inform me whether it approved or disapproved of the measures I proposed. I proposed issuing a notice prohibiting such gatherings in the urban area of Johannesburg and on 13 premises indicated confidentially.
If the city council knows what is happening in the area under its jurisdiction, and we can rightly expect that they should have this knowledge, they will be well aware of gatherings which occur fairly regularly on the premises indicated. If their law advisers had advised them correctly it would be quite clear to them that the prohibition of such gatherings on only the premises indicated would be ineffective unless the prohibition was applied to the whole of the city because the gatherings could simply be held on premises not mentioned in the proposed notice.
I have approached the city council in the manner prescribed by the law. Up to now I have received no reply to my letter but certain newspapers have already been informed, as happens regularly in such cases.
In future nobody need be surprised at the steps taken by my predecessor when he appointed a departmental committee for Johannesburg. The appointment of a Natives’ Resettlement Board to evacuate the slum areas of Johannesburg must be viewed in the same light.
Must I now accept that the City Council of Johannesburg is well satisfied with the mixed drinking parties occurring in the city? Must I accept that they were completely unaware of what regularly happens on the 13 premises indicated? Must I accept that they do not know how to get in touch with my Department or that it even refuses to do so?
This is the council which regularly complains that the Government trespasses on municipal terrain. A Government which does not in such circumstances protect the national interest would be neglecting its duty.
In conclusion I must state that the discourteous behaviour of the council has deeply disappointed me.
- (2) It was brought to my notice that the conditions referred to in the statement existed in Johannesburg and a letter was accordingly addressed to the city council with a view to action in terms of paragraphs (f) and (g) of sub-section (7) of Section 9 of the Natives (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act, 1945.
I considered the matter as confidential but, in terms of the procedure of the city council, the letter was not treated as confidential; the contents became available to the Press and in the light of subsequent newspaper reports I felt obliged to issue a statement to the Press. Some newspapers, however, had also obtained and published the names of the persons concerned, which gave rise to the claims.
—Reply standing over.
—Reply standing over.
—Reply standing over.
—Reply standing over.
—Reply standing over.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of Defence:
- (1) For what period are new trainees of the Active Citizen Force required to undergo continuous training; and
- (2) whether he has considered extending the period Of continuous training; if so,
- (a) what will be the required period of continuous training,
- (b) when will the extended period of continuous training be introduced and
- (c) for what reasons is the extended period deemed necessary.
- (1) Two months, in the first year.
- (2) Yes.
- (a), (b) and (c) The information cannot be given now as it will be placed before Parliament in legislation for approval.
asked the Minister of Defence:
Whether any change in the distinctive dress worn by cadet bands is contemplated; and, if so, what change.
asked the Minister of Transport:
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to Press reports on 11 April 1961, that a number of international aircraft had been directed to bypass the Ian Smuts Airport;
- (2) (a) what aircraft were involved, (b) what was the cost involved to (i) the South African Airways and (ii) the owners of the aircraft concerned and (c) what were the reasons for the by-passing;
- (3) what navigational aids and instrument landing systems are in operation at the airport;
- (4) whether these aids and systems were in proper working order; if not, why not;
- (5) whether the radio stations at Isando and Bapsfontein were in operation; if not, why not; and
- (6) whether any other aircraft were unable (a) to land at the airport and had to be redirected and (b) to proceed to this airport from other airports in the Union and South West Africa; if so, (i) what aircraft and (ii) what was the additional cost involved.
- (1) Yes.
- (a) and (c)
5 April 1961: Pan American DC.8 flight P.A.150 diverted to Bloemfontein— cloud 300 feet, sky completely closed.
SAA Boeing flight S.A.221 diverted to Bloemfontein—cloud 300 feet, sky completely closed.
10 April 1961: SAA DC.7 flight S.A.257 diverted to Durban—fog and cloud 100 feet, sky completely closed.
SAA Boeing flight S.A.223—returned to Salisbury—fog and low cloud 100 feet, sky completely closed.
El-Al charter DC.7 diverted to Lourenço Marques — complete closure with fog.
BOAC Comet flight B.A.121— diverted to Durban—fog and low cloud 150 feet.
KLM DC.7 flight K.L.591—diverted to Durban—fog and low cloud 100 feet.
In all the above instances the information on the weather conditions at Jan Smuts Airport was conveyed to the pilots concerned who made the decision to bypass the airport.
- (b) The Department has no knowledge of the cost involved to SAA or any of the other owners o aircraft as a result of these diversions.
- (a) and (c)
- (3) Radar 3.232, Very High Frequency Direction Finding equipment (VDF). Very High Frequency Omni-directional Range (VOR), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and Instrument Landing System (ILS).
- (4) All aids were serviceable except ILS Localizer which is being moved to the end of the extended runway. The lack of a Localizer did not affect the diversions.
- (5) The new transmitter and receiver stations at Isando and Bapsfontein are not yet in operation due to the installation of equipment, but the existing temporary transmitter and receiver stations were in operation.
- (6) Yes.
- (a) 6 April: Viscount flight S.A.510 ex Durban diverted to Bloemfontein.
10 April: Viscount flight S.A.304 ex Cape Town diverted to Kimberley.
Skymaster flight S.A.602 ex Windhoek diverted to Durban.
DC.7 flight S.A.362 ex Cape Town diverted to Kimberley.
Viscount S.A.308A ex Cape Town diverted to Kimberley.
- (a) 6 April: Viscount flight S.A.510 ex Durban diverted to Bloemfontein.
- (i) 10 April: Flight S.A.506 and S.A.502 ex Durban remained at Durban. Flight S.A.404 ex Port Elizabeth remained at Kimberley and flight S.A.308 ex Cape Town remained at Cape Town.
- (ii) The additional cost is not known.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF BANTU ADMINISTRATION AND DEVELOPMENT replied to Question No. *VIII, by Mr. Hopewell, standing over from 11 April.
- (1) What were the total amounts collected under Section 2 of the Native Taxation and Development Act, 1925, in respect of each of the tax years from 1956-7 to 1960-1;
- (2) whether there has been any refusal to pay these taxes; if so, (a) in which districts and (b) for what reasons; and
- (3) what amounts are estimated to be outstanding in respect of the tax years 1956-7, 1957-8 and 1958-9.
1960-1: R6,973,956 (unaudited)
- (2) (a) and (b) I have no information of any refusal to pay the taxes.
- (3) R800,000 for the three years.
The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR replied to Question No. *X, by Mr. Hopewell, standing over from 11 April.
Whether he will state—
- (a) under what group members of the Japanese race are classified in terms of the Group Areas Act; and
- (b) why are they so classified.
- (a) and (b) In terms of the provisions of Section 10 of the Group Areas Act, No. 77 of 1957, any person who is not a member of the White group or of the Bantu group is included in the Coloured group. Sub-section (2) of Section 10 of the Act, however, provides that the Governor-General may by proclamation define any ethnical, linguistic, cultural or other group of persons who are inter alia members of the Coloured group, and declare the group so defined to be a group for the purposes of the Act.
For the purposes of the Group Areas Act members of the Japanese group are regarded and treated as members of the White group.
The MINISTER OF JUSTICE replied to Question No. *XIII, by Mr. Oldfield, standing over from 11 April.
- (1) Whether his attention has been drawn to a report in the Rand Daily Mail of 5 April 1961, that legal aid bureaux are to be taken over by State officials;
- (2) whether he will make a statement in regard to the matter; if not, why not.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) As a result of a comprehensive investigation by the Department of Justice in connection with the legal aid bureaux which have been subsidized to a large extent by the State, it was decided to place the rendering of legal aid on another basis. After consultation with the General Council of the Bar and the Association of Law Societies it was decided to appoint legal aid officials, who are public servants, at all centres where such a step is justified and where there are attorneys who are prepared to render legal assistance in deserving cases which are referred to them.
The first legal aid official appointed under the new scheme, holds the rank of magistrate and is accommodated in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court Building.
For written reply:
asked the Minister of External Affairs:
Whether the publication of proceedings at the United Nations has been discontinued; if so, why; and, if not,
- (a) when will the next issues be made available; and
- (b) what periods will they cover.
The hon. member’s attention is directed to the reply given by me on Tuesday, 26 January 1960, to the hon. member for Turffontein to a question on the same subject.
First Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.
House in Committee:
[Progress reported on 13 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.]
Last night I was pointing out that there were several matters still outstanding between the Committee and the hon. the Prime Minister. There was the question of the S.A.B.C. which was showing signs under the present administration of serving the ends of one political party at the expense of the general public, which is the first indication of totalitarian tendencies. I hope that in dealing with this matter the Prime Minister will not shield behind the pretence that the Government has no control over the S.A.B.C. That may technically be the position, but it is quite clear that, as the Board of Governors is appointed by the Minister concerned, by the Cabinet, the Government must be able to exercise some influence on them. A word of disapproval or a public warning by the Prime Minister to the people that the news should be regarded as suspect will have a very salutary effect. The other question we have to put is this, that if the S.A.B.C. is to continue on its present course, can the Cabinet allow the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, which is directly controlled by the Government, to continue to act as the agent of the S.A.B.C. to collect licence fees from the public in order to support this misguided organization?
I also pointed out that the Prime Minister owes an answer to this Committee on how he intends to protect South Africa from the consequences of the cold war in which he has involved South Africa with practically the whole world. Then he owes an explanation to the Committee of what his immediate policy is in the sphere of race relations in order to ease the tensions building up in South Africa among the various racial groups and the tensions which are becoming more severe in our international relations.
But perhaps the most important question the Prime Minister should answer is what is the ultimate pattern of the race policy he has devised for the Union. In his previous speeches in this Committee he could give us many suggestions as to what he would do to-day and to-morrow, but when it comes to defining to the people of South Africa where his policy will end, he deteriorates into vagueness and uncertainty and the people have no idea of what their ultimate future will be. Finally, I think the Prime Minister owes this Committee —we have asked him again and again—an explanation of how he hopes to further the idea of national unity, as apart from political unity, when he is deliberately being sabotaged by other prominent members of the Nationalist Party who hold important posts. During the discussion two examples were quoted to the Prime Minister—only two—the example of the utterly irresponsible conduct of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs and the more recent example of the activities of the Transvaal Administrator in diminishing the influence of English-speaking people in the Transvaal in the school boards and over the education of their children.
I may just add before I go on that it is interesting to see the shrill contrast between the activities of the Transvaal Administrator, who is a Government appointee, and the policy also adopted by the Nationalist Party in the Cape Province towards school boards. I was most interested to read in the paper only this morning that in the Cape Province English-speaking provincial councillors who differed politically from the Administration are appointed to the school boards. I believe the Nationalist Party in the Cape should be congratulated on that. That is a very healthy policy, but surely it proves to you by contrast how very far distant from any conception of national unity in the best sense of the word the Nationalist Party in the Transvaal, of which the Prime Minister is the leader, is from any idea of national unity. Surely the Prime Minister owes some explanation to the nation on this point. We are waiting very patiently for the Prime Minister to answer these points. I think that if he has no answer he should tell us, and if he has an answer he should give it. I can say that we of course can be very patient. We have 125 hours in Committee of Supply. If the Prime Minister so wishes, we will gladly devote the full 125 hours to his Vote. We do not wish to do so, but we do feel that the Prime Minister owes a duty to this Committee to answer these very pertinent questions we put to him, answers which the people are awaiting from him. But we are perfectly happy to adopt the attitude of the Prime Minister. Two people can play at this game. What is more, we are glad that he is delaying these answers, because at last the people of South Africa are beginning to realize the difficulties in which the Prime Minister finds himself and his total incompetence to deal with the situation. [Time limit.]
Like other members, I looked forward to the moment when the hon. member for Yeoville would take part in the debate, because many questions have been put from this side of the House to hon. members opposite which have not been replied to. Now we know that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is not here, but the hon. member for Yeoville is the future Leader of the Opposition and one would expect him to give replies to those questions. [Interjections.] Now the hon. member says it is cheap of me to say that the hon. member for Yeoville is going to become their leader, but surely the hon. member for Yeoville is not cheap, in spite of what hon. members say. The hon. members need not take exception when I praise the hon. member for Yeoville.
The hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) put questions to the hon. member for Yeoville last night, and it surprises me now because I have respect for the hon. member for Yeoville. He is not a man who ever runs away from questions. I am just surprised that he did not reply to those questions which were put to him pertinently. Now it can be only one of two things. Either the hon. member for Yeoville does not have the answers to those questions, or else he would have given them to us, or he is acting on the instructions of his present leader not to reply to those questions. Now the hon. member for Yeoville, when he commenced, started with the old story about the S.A.B.C. Is it fitting, I ask, that these matters should be discussed under this Vote?
I at least expected him to leave that to his backbenchers who cannot speak about anything else. Sir, do you know what the hon. members remind me of when they come along with these stories under this Vote? They remind me of the old man in the Bushveld. All his family ate was meat three times a day from January to December and then a visitor turned up and asked whether they did not feel like eating vegetables once in a while, and his reply was: Yes, but when we feel like eating vegetables we slaughter a pig. [Laughter.] The hon. member for Yeoville considered it his duty to refer to another matter also in his attempt to evade answering the questions put to him, and that was to refer to the Administrator of the Transvaal and to interpret the matter as if rights were here being taken away from the English-speaking parents. But surely he knows that that is not so. No rights are being taken away here. The English-speaking parents in the Transvaal to-day have more rights as the result of the amended ordinance than they ever had before. [Laughter.] Hon. member may laugh, but the fact is that the ordinance was amended to give English- and Afrikaans-medium schools representation on the new school board, and in the rural areas of the Transvaal where the English-speaking parents never had representation before on the school boards they have it right through to-day.
But I do not propose to allow the hon. member to escape from the questions put to him in regard to this new federation. I now want to accuse the hon. member for Yeoville of the fact that their policy is aimed at or will result in Coloureds being represented in this House by Coloureds, Indians by Indians and Bantu by Bantu. Not only the Bantu in the White areas will be represented in this House by Bantu, but also those who are in the reserves. I want to level this accusation at the hon. member for Yeoville and I am going to do so not only here but also in Bethal-Middelburg that it is the policy of the United Party that Bantu should be represented by Bantu in this House. Now I ask the hon. member, and I know he is not a man who will evade answering if he can answer in any way: Is it the policy of the United Party that Bantu should be represented by Bantu in this House?
You know that is not our policy, but you nevertheless say so.
Mr. Chairman, I now want you to listen to the reply. He says I know it is not their policy, but I still say so. In other words, I am telling an untruth when I say it is their policy. Good. Let us accept that I am telling an untruth, but row I ask hon. members who have so much to say: Do they know Marais Steyn, M.P. for Yeoville? Surely he is not a person who tells untruths, and I want to call him as my witness in this connection. On 14 July 1960, according to the political correspondent of the Rand Daily Mail, Mr. Marais Steyn, M.P. for Yeoville, addressed a meeting of women in Pretoria and this is what he said, referring firstly to our policy—
[Hear, hear!] Now I would like to see whether hon. members will again say “ Hear, hear! ”—
[Interjections.] I very clearly asked the hon. member whether it was their policy and he said that I knew it was not and that I was telling an untruth when I said so. Why does the hon. member then tell it outside and tell the women of Pretoria that it is the policy of the United Party that “African representatives would come ”?
I did not say that.
Now the matter becomes even more interesting. Now the hon. member denies that he said it. Then why did the Rand Daily Mail publish as if he did not say it? Why did they put words into his mouth?
Ask the Rand Daily Mail.
That is even more interesting.
Berman also said it in the Senate.
Yes, precisely. This is now the alternative Government which has been asking for days that we should be rejected. If one asks the Leader of the Opposition what their policy is one get no reply. Then the hon. member for Yeoville announces policy outside and if one questions him in the House about it he says one must ask the Rand Daily Mail. But that is so; I must go and ask the Rand Daily Mail because that is their master. But now I want to ask the hon. member this: Did he tell the Rand Daily Mail that he had not said this? This report was very prominently featured in the Rand Daily Mail. Did the hon. member see it when it was published? He should not tell me that he does not read that newspaper. [Time limit.]
It was interesting to see the Prime Minister joining in the Bethal-Middelburg by-election diversion a few minutes ago, and what we have just listened to for the last ten minutes has been typical of the attitude of this Government throughout the debate. They have tried to run away from their own failures and follies. It is not the United Party’s policy which is being discussed under this Vote, but the policy of the Prime Minister. My Leader has stated our policy in this debate. We have asked the Government to deal with their policy and their failures, and this Deputy Minister and every other speaker come back every time to evading action, trying to cover up the refusal of the Prime Minister to answer the questions put by this side of the House. It is the complete inability or the deliberate refusal to answer. Either the Prime Minister cannot or he will not answer. If he will not answer, then he is hiding the facts from the people of South Africa. If he cannot answer, he should make way for the Leader of the Opposition to take his place.
The hon. the Deputy Minister asked why we raised this question of the S.A.B.C. under the Prime Minister’s Vote. He knows perfectly well it is because in debate after debate we have tried in vain to get any answers out of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, because he has refused time after time to give the people of South Africa or this House the information to which they are entitled, and we therefore come to the Prime Minister who appointed the Minister of Posts and we appeal to him under his Vote to give us the information. What is more, we come to the Prime Minister because the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs whom he appointed and who serves under him in the Cabinet has for months now been doing his best to destroy every vestige of good spirit between the English- and the Afrikaans-speaking people, because he has gone out of his way to create bitterness and hatred, because he lives in the Anglo-Boer War. He makes violent speeches. In speech after speech he goes back to that period of division and so we come to the Prime Minister as the only source from which we can get relief, both from the attitude of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs and his refusal to answer questions on his Vote. But we also had no answers on the question of Defence. The hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) pointed out that it was not the technical administration of defence in which we were interested, but the position of South Africa as the result of this Prime Minister’s action in withdrawing us from the Commonwealth. We are entitled to ask him where the borders of South Africa are to-day and who are the people to whom we are turning for help. With whom are we negotiating? What is the form of the negotiations taking place; what is the objective we are seeking in securing agreements to protect South Africa against possible aggression? We are entitled to ask the Prime Minister what steps he is taking in regard to the protection of our borders if those borders should be endangered by international action and if, as the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, other nations should leap-frog Angola into South West Africa and our border should then be even closer to us. What action is being taken for our protection? We are entitled to ask who does South Africa consider as a potential enemy, and what steps are being taken in regard to our planning against aggression. We are entitled to ask what the position is in regard to the defence of our 4,000-odd miles of coast line. Have we sufficient ships to protect our coastline? We are looking at the broader picture now, the picture for which this Prime Minister is responsible. He cannot pass the buck to the Minister of Defence. He has put South Africa into this isolated position and we are entitled to demand of him an answer as to what he has done to make up for what he has thrown away. We are entitled to ask what negotiations or agreements he is contemplating in regard to inter-continental missiles and modern forms of warfare, whether he is in touch still and will be able to keep in touch after 31 May with the sources of information upon which efficient defence must depend. We are entitled to ask of him whether the policy of the Government in regard to defence, whether the proportion which defence will now assume in our Budget will remain unchanged, or whether because of our isolation, Defence will now take up an increasingly greater proportion of our expenditure. These are issues which the Prime Minister should answer. No matter how much the Deputy Minister or any other diverters try to get away from the fact that their Prime Minister is not answering the questions about his own policy, we will not be diverted and be led astray by red herrings. If the Deputy Minister wants to fight an election at Bethal, let him go there and distort our policy.
On a point of order, may the hon. member say that the Deputy Minister distorts their policy?
I withdraw that, and say that the Deputy Minister misrepresents our policy. He has said in this House to-day, and he admits that he knows it is our policy to have White representatives representing the Bantu in Parliament, that he would go to Bethal and say it was our policy to have Black representatives. I say that is a misrepresentation of our policy and the Minister has admitted the tactics by which his party misleads the people, in order to win votes. The Minister admitted here flatly that he was going to Bethal to tell the voters that the United Party stands for something which he knows we do not stand for. That is shocking. [Time limit.]
The hon. member has now accused me of deliberately misinterpreting the policy of the United Party.
I have never yet given an interpretation of the policy of the United Party which they themselves and their Press did not give to it.
Whose newspapers? We do not have newspapers.
Now the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) says they have no newspapers. Let us accept that. I am now going to make a further statement. Seeing that the hon. member says they have no newspapers, I want to ask him whether the Weekblad is a United Party newspaper.
Yes, the Weekblad is a United Party newspaper. Now I am going to make a further accusation against the United Party, namely that through the Weekblad and prominent United Party members who write in the Weekblad the United Party reproaches the hon. the Prime Minister and says that the sin he commits is that he wants to keep us White in South Africa. I make that accusation and I base it on what appeared in the Weekblad. the official organ of the United Party, seeing that the hon. member for Green Point now dissociates himself from the other newspapers of the United Party.
He put his foot into it. (Hy het sy bek verbygepraat.)
Order! The hon. member must withdraw those words. They are not parliamentary.
The hon. member now dissociates himself from the newspapers which keep the United Party alive. There was a time when the hon. member thought that the Argus was his newspaper, so much so that he made representations that Mr. Broughton should write no more articles in the Argus. But let us go further. The hon. member for Green Point admits that the Weekblad is their paper, and I now want to quote what was written in the Weekblad by the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell), the man who says that he does not want to be in a laager with me. When the hon. member said that and, like the Pharisee, beat his chest and thanked God that he was not like others, I was even more thankful that there is a difference between us. Because when one goes into a laager with a man he must be a dependable man.
But what does the hon. member say in the Weekblad, the official organ of the United Party? He says—
What is wrong with that?
Then he continues to say in another article: “ Dr. Verwoerd wants to protect our whiteness, not our Western civilization.”
I want to come back again …
Quote that article.
I want to ask the hon. the Deputy Minister whether he will give us the date of that report and also the date of the other report he has just quoted as to what the hon. member for Wynberg is supposed to have said?
Do you want to go and do research?
The date is Friday, 23 September 1960 and the other one I will give to the hon. member as soon as I have finished speaking. I will fetch the newspaper in which it appeared.
He is struggling now; he does not have it.
The hon. member now says that I do not have it. I will quote it to him and I ask the hon. member for Wynberg now whether he used these words or not: “ He wants to protect our Whiteness, not our Western civilization”?
That is precisely what he does.
He therefore admits it.
I will bring him this article in which he said it.
What else is he trying to protect?
In other words, this United Party which now denies that they are in favour of Bantu being represented by Bantu in this House …
You know that is untrue.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw that.
I withdraw the words that he knows it.
I will hand the other quotations to the hon. member as soon as I sit down. The hon. member now says that I deliberately misrepresent the policy of the United Party. Will the hon. member deny that this report I quoted from the Rand Daily Mail of 14 July 1960, not even a year ago, was published under the name of the hon. member for Yeoville?
Are you saying that you know what our policy is?
If the hon. member for Yeoville says that is their policy, am I not to accept his word? Now I come back and pertinently put this question to the hon. member for Yeoville: This is such a cardinal part of their policy; why did the hon. member for Yeoville not deny it when it appeared under his name in the Rand Daily Mail and was printed very prominently? There can be only two reason, either that the hon. member said it or else that he was prepared for this to be published as the policy of the United Party. Otherwise I cannot with the best will in the world understand why the hon. member did not deny it. Will he now get up in this House and tell us why he did not deny it? Is he prepared to do that? I am prepared to accept his explanation if it is in any way reasonable. But can hon. members now blame me for drawing this inference when it stands under the name of the hon. member for Yeoville, and can they blame us for believing the hon. member for Yeoville? Can hon. members blame us if, moreover, we draw all kinds of inferences if they consistently refuse to reply to the questions put by this side of the House and to say what their policy is?
Whose Vote is under discussion?
Can we be blamed, in view of the fact that it was very clear to us in the past that this is precisely the thing for which hon. members opposite are playing; that they do not want us to have a White South Africa, but that they eventually want one South Africa, quite Black? Does the hon. member for Yeoville want to tell me that one can be so naïve as to believe that one can give the Bantu eight representatives and that that will be the end of it? The hon. member knows that it will have to be 16 to-morrow, and 32 the day after, and then 64, and then 128. One must eventually reach the position where the Bantu will say: We want representation according to our numbers and we are in the majority. If one concedes the principle that he should be represented in this House, it must eventually lead to that. I am now going further, and until the hon. member for Yeoville takes part in this debate I say that he did in fact say this because it is published in this newspaper, and he tells me that he did not deny it. If one then goes further and says “ African representatives will come ”, then one’s policy must eventually result in South Africa becoming Black and this Parliament becoming Black. Surely there is no alternative. Sir, to the hon. member for Yeoville and others who are still young and who still have to live in this country for years and to us it is of cardinal importance to know whither we are going. We put these questions and we expect the hon. member for Yeoville, as the chief propagandist of the United Party and as one who has always spoken with authority on behalf of the United Party, to get up in this House now and give us the replies to these questions.
I think it is time for us on this side to set an example to the Prime Minister and not to try to evade pertinent questions. The hon. the Deputy Minister is now trying to protect the hon. the Prime Minister by making a counter-attack. I understand his motives and I admire his loyalty.
Just answer the question.
The counter-attack consists of a quotation from a report which appeared in a newspaper of a meeting of the Women’s Council of the United Party which I addressed in Pretoria. The whole attack is based on one sentence. As I remember, and as the Deputy Minister quoted it, that sentence states that the policy of the United Party is that Natives right throughout the Union will be represented in this Parliament on a separate roll by Whites, but that later Natives would represent them. If my memory is correct, that is more or less the quotation. I want to say immediately that I did not read that report. I hope the Deputy Minister will accept that. I did not read it but I know very well what I said, because I know very well what all of us in the United Party say about this matter. What we say is this, that it is impossible in any state to deny sections of the population representation in the highest council which controls their fate. It is not only impossible, it is dangerous, and one of the most dangerous steps taken by this Government—and now I leave aside the international repercussions for the moment—in regard to internal affairs and internal peace, was the mistake made a year or so ago when the Natives’ Representatives were put out of this House. The United Party will restore that system and extend it to the other provinces. Our policy is determined by the Union Congress of the United Party. That policy says very clearly that that representation will be through Whites. But the hon. the Leader of the Opposition had already declared in this House that although that is the policy of the United Party, that does not mean that future Parliaments may not decide differently, and that is what I told the women in Pretoria.
“ Cannot decide differently?”
The Leader of the Opposition said that that was the policy of the United Party, but he did not exclude the possibility that future Parliaments should decide differently. But that does not in the least derogate from the fact that the policy of the United Party is that if we should come into power the Natives will be given representation through Whites who still sit here.
For the present.
No, in so far as our policy is concerned, it will be Whites. In so far as future Parliaments and future generations are concerned, they will have to decide.
With reference to what you have just said, is that the basis of the racial federation your leader propounded here the other day, viz. that it will be a federation where the non-Whites will be represented here by Whites?
The basis of the racial federation is that every race in South Africa will have a definite share in the government of the country. That is the basis. There is no other basis. I hope it is clear now. [Laughter.] Sir, I am glad of that reaction. I hope it is now clear that the policy of the United Party is that that representation will be by Whites.
Also in the federations?
That is the policy of the United Party. Now I just hope that we will have an equally clear reply to our questions from the Prime Minister. We asked a number of questions and we are patiently awaiting the replies. The Prime Minister is still cogitating; he is still considering. At the moment, because of the silence of the Prime Minister in regard to the policy of his party— and that is the policy in operation in South Africa to-day—we find these peculiar speculations …
I will get up in a moment.
It is high time. I wonder whether the Prime Minister realizes that the fact that he is so vague, that he refuses consistently to face his policy—even when he gets up the most pertinent questions remain unanswered in a spate of words without any actual meaning—I wonder whether he realizes that speculation is rife amongst the people, not amongst the United Party supporters but amongst his own followers. For example, we see in the newspapers of the Nationalist Party that the Prime Minister intends immediately to establish five independent Bantustans and to ask that they should be represented in UN. Why are there those speculations in the Nationalist Party newspapers? Because the Prime Minister cannot tell his own people what his policy is and they are guessing and speculating; they confuse the people; they create unrest and uncertainty in the minds of the people. It is the duty of the Prime Minister to give those replies, and I am glad to hear that he is going to speak. I for one will listen to him with great interest in the hope that there will be clarity for the people of South Africa in regard to what their future will be as long as the hon. gentleman is Prime Minister of South Africa.
This debate has, of course, followed the usual pattern, and that is that hon. members on the other side reproach me in the first place for replying to them in too great detail. They then refuse to give us some sort of indication as to the duration of the debate so that I can know when it would be reasonable for me to take part in the debate again to reply to all their questions, so that it becomes unnecessary for me to rise too often. And then, when I wait patiently until they have apparently said all they want to say, they suddenly represent it as though they have to force me to reply! Those are the old tactics. We have had the same tactics frequently before. The instrument for the last stage is usually the hon. member who has just resumed his seat. I was really waiting for his speech therefore as an omen that they had more or less had their say and that they had no more questions and that they were becoming anxious to hear something from me again for a change. The fact that I rise at this stage only is not an act of discourtesy to the House therefore, and it has never been my attitude that I am not going to reply. Everybody could see that I was sitting here making notes. Everybody probably saw that I was trying to sift the wheat from the very great quantity of chaff (“ kaf ”), and I must say that there was a great deal of “ kaf ” (nonsense) and little wheat. What happened was that I could not get the slightest indication, in response to inquiries, from hon. members opposite as to when they will have reached the stage where I could reasonably enter the debate to reply.
I propose to deal with the various points which have been raised but first of all I want to deal with the episode that we had here a moment ago. The reply that the Opposition only wants White representation is one of the most amazing replies, and the denial of the member for Yeoville is one of the most astonishing denials I have yet heard. This whole debate deals with the Opposition’s submission that we must be realistic and that our policy does not comply with world opinion and is not in consonance with the basis on which we have been able to retain our membership of the Commonwealth. The gravamen of the attack upon me at the moment is that we are being unrealistic. The Opposition, however, is supposed to be very realistic. It has also been stated that the reason why we are having all these difficulties with the Commonwealth and with UNO and why all these questions have to be raised here about defence and the dangers facing us, is because we are discriminating against the Bantu and the Indians, and the Opposition allegedly does not want to discriminate.
Who said so?
Where do you get hold of that?
Do they admit then that they do discriminate?
There is not one party in this House which does not discriminate.
I am pleased to hear that admission. I have always contended it but have never heard an outright admission from them. Here we have a specific admission that the United Party policy deliberately discriminates against non-Whites in South Africa. If they deliberately discriminate, I am 100 per cent right in my contention that they would have been obliged to withdraw from the Commonwealth just as we were obliged to do so. The fact of the matter is—I have said it previously and I want to repeat—that when the Tunku and all the others indicated that they would have been satisfied with minor concessions, they meant, as Mr. Macmillan also put it, that they would only be satisfied because there would then be “ hope for the future ”. In other words, they would have accepted a certain amount of discrimination now provided it was not the policy to apply discrimination permanently, and further changes would therefore follow. He also wanted representation for the non-Whites by their own people, even though that representation was small. Hon. members opposite have now told us that it is their policy to continue to apply discrimination in the future and to have White representatives only. That, however, is at the root of our struggle here and overseas. That is why I constantly try to explain that I believe that our policy is one in terms of which it will be possible in due course to avoid discrimination. Hon. members opposite do not believe that that is going to be the outcome of the policy of apartheid. I do believe it.
The Opposition has now come forward with another policy, and that is the policy of racial federation. It is true that my Vote is under discussion now, but when the Prime Minister’s Vote is attacked, then the Opposition should tell the country at the same time what they propose to do in connection with the essential points at issue if they should come into power. They cannot, as this Opposition always is, simply remain negative. An Opposition must become positive, otherwise it cannot be weighed up as an alternative government. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has now accepted that that is his duty and that is why he has said; “ I am going to adopt a positive attitude now and I am going to put my new colour policy to you, namely the policy of racial federation.” All the criticisms which have been directed at our policy should be used as a yardstick now to test their policy to see which of the two policies will give us peace with the nations which are our friends and peace with the world. What is the policy that they put forward? They put it forward as a policy not only for the moment but as a policy for the future—a policy which is to develop in the future and which is to solve all our problems. That is the attitude that the Opposition adopted. I want to add that when I stated in connection with the Coloureds that I had only outlined the development up to a certain stage —it does not indicate the absolute limit of development because I believe that at that stage one will be in a better position to judge how to go further forward along the same road— the hon. the Leader of the Opposition reproached me for not having given a final blueprint. In other words, I am expected to describe every detail of our constitutional planning up to the very end, but when he himself referred to his policy he stated that that was how he saw the position for the immediate foreseeable future, and that one must leave future developments to be determind in the future. In other words, he adopted precisely the same attitude as I, that it is not necessary to describe all future development in advance. Yet this reproach was levelled at me! Illogically enough, he demands that right for himself. To-day it has come out more clearly than ever before why he adopted that attitude. It now seems that the Opposition realizes that their policy will lead to one result only but that they dare not admit it to-day. The hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) must be aware of the fact that he has put his foot into it to-day, in this respect: The Opposition’s claim that it has given a reply, which satisfies the world, to all the questions in connection with colour policy by putting forward a policy which it now calls racial federation, can only succeed if this policy will result in complete equality of rights, and the member for Yeoville cannot tell me that his party supports that.
I put it to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition how I understood his racial federation and thereafter, although in fairly vague terms, he explained what he meant. What he said he meant did not differ much from what I said I had understood him to say. I want to repeat it. I understood in the first place that in that federal government the Black representatives of the Bantu reserves would sit as co-rulers. That is the first place therefore in which there will be Black people in his central federal government, and in the same way there will be Coloureds. There will also be Indians in their central federal government. If they are not going to have direct representation there, I said it then meant the following; that there will be a mixed area, which I call White, and in the Parliament of that mixed area the Coloureds will have to be represented; the Indians will have to be represented and the Whites will have to be represented and, as the Leader of the Opposition stated, the urban Bantu will also have to be represented there. I went on to say: I understand that the intention is that to begin with the representation will have to be through Whites, but that in due course it will have to be through representatives of the people themselves, in other words, Whites by Whites, Coloureds by Coloureds, Indians by Indians and the urban Bantu by Bantu. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition did not then say that I was wrong in this interpretation, but it is now being stated that I was wrong, except in so far as the Coloureds are concerned, and that that is not the policy of the United Party; they do not know how their future congresses may change this, but it is not their policy to-day. That was fair enough; it is the same as I had said previously, that as far as the Coloureds are concerned, direct representation by Coloureds themselves is not the policy of my party. Congresses may change it, but the policy of this party as it exists at the moment, is that, for all time to come, Coloureds will not be represented by Coloureds in Parliament. Hon. members opposite, in order to be consistent, have to say the same thing. For all time to come, therefore, their policy is that the various groups (except the Coloureds) must be represented by Whites. If that is so, then the whole racial federation is a fiasco on the one hand, because it will give no satisfaction at all to any one of those groups. The Coloureds will not say that they can now support the United Party because it offers them a future, if United Party members say: “ Under our policy you personally will be kept out of Parliament for ever; there will always be Whites here to represent you.” Similarly the Indians will not be satisfied and India will not be satisfied; the world will not be satisfied, and the Commonwealth Conference would not have been satisfied with a United Party which says that the Indians will be represented forever by Whites only. Neither will the urban Bantu, who think that they have an ally in the United Party because they think its intention is that eventually they themselves will be able to come to Parliament, be satisfied. In other words, it will not be possible to obtain peace in South Africa along the lines of this type of so-called racial federation. Hon. members on the Opposition side adopt this attitude, of course, because they are afraid of the voters of South Africa, because they know that the electorate is not prepared to have a mixed Parliament. But then there is another point that I made in my previous statement that still stands, and that is that since the United Party says that this is going to be a racial federation and that therefore there must be a federal parliament—and in this connection they admit that there are going to be Bantu homeland areas which may be represented in the federal parliament and therefore also in the federal government—Black people will at least have to come from those areas into the central federal parliament and into the federal government. The supreme parliament and the supreme Cabinet will therefore be mixed, in spite of White representation of Indians and Bantu in the present parliament which will then be a provincial parliament. The United Party cannot get away from the fact that, as far as the supreme government of the country is concerned they are going to institute a mixed parliament and a mixed government in South Africa. All the consequences that they visualize in connection with our policy will then also follow in respect of their federal plan. They continually ask us how the Bantu homeland areas, as its neighbours, are going to act towards the White state. Those arguments are going to apply also to the United Party policy. After all, the Bantu who represent those homelands in the federal government are going to oppose it if the Bantu in the mixed parliament of this mixed (or White) area under the United Party plan cannot be represented by Blacks but only by Whites. Their whole policy has therefore collapsed like a pack of cards this morning. It has now been proved to be no genuine solution for South Africa’s problems, either as far as our race relations are concerned or with regard to our relations with the outside world if the aim is appeasement by way of concessions. All these concessions that the United Party would be prepared to make under this plan, will not be good enough unless they go further. At the same time such a federation would give rise to discord and strife in South Africa, such as no other plan that we have ever heard of.
Let me warn hon. members opposite. They should look at what is happening in the Federation of Central Africa, the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. There they also have a federation, and this federation has at least one Bantu homeland in it, namely Nyasaland. Not only is this Federation collapsing in the sense that that Bantu homeland wants to be out of it and become just an independent neighbour—in other words, it wants what we want to give our Bantu homelands but what the United Party refuses to give them—but we also notice that in Northern Rhodesia Barotseland, like Nyasaland, is striving to become an independent Bantu homeland, entirely separated from the Federation. These Black territories want what we want to give but what the United Party refuses to give. In that existing Federation one sees the consternation, the outflow of capital, all the evils that flow from that sort of federation idea. There the Bantu are fighting for a share in the government and direct proportional representation in these admittedly mixed partnership territories. In Northern Rhodesia, one of the two mixed partnership areas, they are already demanding rule on the strength of their superior numbers. They are not demanding it in Southern Rhodesia yet, because as a first step it does not suit them to do so, but they will demand it, just as they will demand it here if such a partnership federation comes into existence here. This example of what is happening in the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, because of this partnership policy, is the clearest sign of what would happen here if this United Party federation idea were accepted. The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland has already gone one step further than the maximum concessions which the United Party is apparently prepared to make to-day, because the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland do allow Black representatives in their Parliaments and in their Cabinets. In other words, that Federation, which is under pressure because of the dissatisfaction it creates, has progressed a good deal further in satisfying the Bantu’s ambitions than the highest ideals cherished by the United Party with its federation idea, according to the hon. member for Yeoville. In this first analysis of the United Party’s racial federation plan it has been shown this morning that South Africa is going to be placed in great danger of experiencing the same economic and political setbacks as those experienced just north of us. We have always contended that. The United Party cannot go to the country and contend that with its policy it is going to create harmonious race relations. It cannot go to the country and say that it would have kept us within the Commonwealth after what we have now heard from the member of Yeoville. It cannot go to the country and say, “ We will have political peace and racial peace and harmonious relations here ” after what we have heard to-day about White representatives. It will not be able to say that there will be no withdrawal of capital here and that no financial problems will arise after what we have heard to-day about its policy of deliberate discrimination. After all, we have the clearest example just north of this country of the consequences of this type of policy. I say therefore that the United Party’s policy is an iniquitous policy. Apart from all the arguments I have mentioned, it is based on the acceptance of permanent discrimination and permanent domination by the Whites, because the hon. member himself said: “ Who says that we do not want to discriminate?” Their policy of racial federation, as it has been explained to us this morning, implies deliberate permanent discrimination and permanent domination.
The hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope) has said that discrimination and domination are the soul of this whole debate and the situation in which we find ourselves. It is the soul. And the Government is trying with its policy to escape from this dilemma. During the transition period we may still have to apply certain forms ôf discrimination, and during this period there may be White domination. But the basis of our policy is to try to get away from it. That is why we adopt the policy that the Bantu, wherever he may live in various areas of his own, must be given political control and domination or dominion over his own areas and people. Just as the Italians in France retain their vote in Italy, so the Bantu, who are living temporarily in our urban areas, must have a say in their homelands. They should be able to get it up to the highest level, and we want to help them to attain that position. After all, there cannot be domination by Whites over Blacks where there are two neighbouring states, the White state and the Black state. We are also trying to solve the problem of the Coloured and of the Indian by accepting the principle of a state within a state so that within the borders of one territory for these two groups, each will be given the fullest opportunity to control its own interests. I admit the difficulties in that connection, and I have always admitted them. But I have said that when one finds oneself in that dilemma, one has to choose between these three alternatives, namely either the United Party’s stand of perpetual discrimination and domination, or absolute equality and Black domination, or apartheid. To a large extent discrimination is also inherent really in the Progressive Party’s stand if they want permanent White leadership to be retained. If, however, they say “ No ”, we know that eventually it will lead to Black domination …
Well, I shall come back to the Progressive Party. As far as the United Party is concerned, its policy theoretically therefore includes a form of perpetual domination and discrimination by the Whites, even though I do not believe that that will remain the position. They will lose against the powers that they are letting loose. The same applies to the Progressive Party unless they accept Black rule as a further aim. The inevitable result of such a democracy in a country that they want to govern with a mixed population, as in a country without a mixed population, must be majority rule. That is the only true democracy in a mixed father-land. Any form of mutual arrangement whereby, by means of a constitution, one seeks to deprive a majority group of its rights by limiting its rights to smaller representation (even though it is in connection with members of its own race) so that another group which is smaller, although more skilled or civilized, can retain an equal or a major say, is and still remains discrimination. In due course at least it must disappear as the other advances in civilization. The moment you say, “ I want to give equality; I do not want any domination ” (which is the same) then you cannot even say that by legislation you can give a group of 10,000,000 Bantu equal rights with the White group of 3,000,000 and equal rights to a group of 1,500,000 Coloureds and equal rights to a group of 750,000 Indians. It simply cannot be described as equal rights. The consequence of an attitude of “ no discrimination ” and “ no domination ” and “ absolute democracy ” in a “ mixed fatherland ” is “ one man one vote ”. That is the only consequence. If you do not accept that but a sort of so-called rigid constitution in which you place each group in separate compartments and lay down the limits within which group can acquire authority, however civilized these people may become, with the object of being able to say, “ I am protecting the equality or the supremacy of the Whites ”, then there is still discrimination and domination. That is why I say to the hon. member for Parktown that he and his party are in precisely the same difficulty as the United Party and that they are faced with the same dilemma. One should try, however, to get out of this dilemma. The only alternative is our way, and that is to see that every group is given complete control over its own interests. When members of one group come into the other man’s area, or on to the other man’s terrain in the case of the Coloureds and the Indians, they must be prepared to accept that they are guests there. If the White man goes into the Bantu areas he cannot expect to be given joint control there. And this is what I believe to be a mistake in Britain’s handling of Basutoland, and it may become her mistake also in the handling of Swaziland. The former cannot become a multi-racial state. As far as the latter is concerned an attempt is apparently being made instead of sharing it and giving the White man and the Black man each full authority over that portion which he occupies or which is his, to create a multi-racial authority and then to try, by means of all sorts of legal provisions and measures, to see that the Black man does not get sole control. I see only one road, however difficult it may be and whatever further consideration it may require as one progresses from step to step, and that is the policy of separate areas. Then the leaders of the various racial groups can meet, as is done at a Prime Ministers’ Conference or when different nations meet, on a basis of absolute equality in a consultative body to discuss matters of common interest. That is why I said that I foresee that the eventual outcome of this policy will be no discrimination and no domination. Each group will look after its own interests, and they will then meet in a consultative body where they can sit together to eliminate as far as possible all points of friction and difficulties by means of discussions and negotiations. That is the only way, and hon. members who have tried to ridicule this, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has also tried to do, are being superficial. What they themselves propose then has been proved to be completely ridiculous. Every argument of ridicule, every criticism that the hon. Leader of the Opposition and other members have tried to put forward in respect of our policy, can be applied to their policy, as has been done here to-day. For the umpteenth time therefore I say that no solution has been put forward by the Opposition. Along the road which we are following, we are squarely facing all the essential differences which confront us; there is no bluff; this road offers protection to the White man because along this road we recognize the fact that there must be differentiation. The minute you refuse to recognize and to accept the necessity for differentiation, and you make equality the basis of your policy, you find yourself in the difficulty and the trouble that I have outlined. Whether you want it or not, there will ultimately be Black domination. I do not want to pursue that any further.
I want to deal now with specific points raised by hon. members in regard to colour policy. Before doing so, however, I want to deal briefly with various other problems which the hon. members have raised. Reference has been made to our country’s defence and hon. members have said that I owe it to South Africa and to this House to tell them exactly what we are doing to ensure that we have proper weapons and equipment to ensure the safety of our children who may perhaps be called upon to carry them. I am expected to say exactly what alliances and agreements we have entered into, both with neighbouring states and other countries. I am also expected to say exactly what we intend doing if we have to defend ourselves against some attack or other, etc. Everyone will realize that these questions were only asked to embarrass the Government, because no Government can reveal the details of its state of preparedness and of its plans in the event of trouble. What hon. members are entitled to ask is whether our country’s defence enjoys high, or perhaps even first priority. Are we squarely facing any possible danger that may threaten the country, whether internally, near our borders, or from distant parts? I am prepared to say that we regard the present position as very serious, and that we should be properly equipped to meet it. We should plan in advance for any eventuality, so that we will be prepared when difficulties do arise, which we trust will not be the case. In other words, I can give hon. members the assurance that the Government is giving all its attention to this problem and that it has instructed the organization at its disposal to prepare the most detailed plans. We also want to enlist the assistance of the industries in this country for the manufacture of armaments so that we shall not be solely dependent on countries abroad, and so that we ourselves will be able to supply what we can and what we regard as necessary. We shall not hesitate to ask Parliament for the necessary financial assistance that we may require from time to time for the proper protection of our fatherland.
I want to add another thing. A great deal has been said about the protection which we allegedly enjoyed in the past, particularly also from the Commonwealth, and what continued membership would have meant. I can only say that we have not received such a great deal of protection in the past as hon. members allege. The position has rather been that we have given assistance and co-operated with other countries. In the second place, in the case of the biggest struggle that is engaging the attention of the world at the moment, namely a possible struggle between the West and the communists, there is no doubt as to which side we will support. Right from the beginning we have stated openly that we stand by our friends of the West and they have said they will stand by us. In such a struggle, therefore, we will be allies; there can be no doubt about that. However, the whole world trusts, as we do, that that danger will be warded off. Every new scientific development, such as the recent flight into space, makes one desire all the more ardently that the position will not develop into a state of actual war. As far as problems of a more local nature are concerned, for example, in regard to the Black states of Africa, or whatever they may be, hon. members know that whether we had remained a member of the Commonwealth or not, we could not expect much help from that quarter. Whether we are a member or not we will not get much help there for the very same reason that we got only a limited amount of assistance in respect of our continued membership of the Commonwealth (in which respect it was much easier for them to assist us). Our friends in the Commonwealth have interests there and they have to look after those interests, interests in the first place which make it necessary or desirable for them rather to support the Afro-Asian states on certain issues. I do not for a moment believe that they will support them in a war against us. Indeed they will not do, just as they have adopted a clear stand at UNO against sanctions. But one doubts, Sir, whether they will help us if we are attacked from beyond our borders.
It should also be realized that as far as the cold war is concerned, our main opponents are within the Commonwealth. Those who attacked us most strenuously at UNO were members of the Commonwealth. It is not only now that we are leaving that they are acting in that way; they have been doing so for a long time. The position as regards the help which South Africa can expect in the case of any trouble which may arise in future, therefore, has not changed because of our present position. We will stand with those with whom we would have stood; those who would not have helped us, will not help us to-day either. As in the past we will now have to stand on our own feet. We realize all that. We are wide awake in that regard and we are equipping ourselves properly.
I have been asked by the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) whether it is our intention to exercise Press control. I may say that the Press is certainly not making it easy for us, for the simple reason that the Press is going far beyond what freedom of the Press means, and is approaching very closely to what “ licence of the Press ” is. Consequently, when one reads the newspapers, one only hopes, although it seems to be in vain, that the Press will organize some form of self-control itself. I am not referring particularly to Press comment. Anybody who has read the Cape Times’s leading articles during the past week, or some of the commentaries in that newspaper must however be amazed that South Africa can be called a police state when such comment is allowed. But we do allow it. We have allowed it all these years. I am not sure that we have been wise in allowing such malignant comment during all these years. I am not sure that our present situation with regard to the Commonwealth, with regard to the United Nations, is not the result of having allowed such licence of the Press during all these years.
May I ask the hon. the Prime Minister a question?
No, please don’t interrupt me now. I want to say that nobody can regret this more deeply than I do, because I believe in the freedom of the Press, and I believe in not imposing external control. I have always hoped and still hope that it will not be necessary to call the Press to order. I hope that the Press will take this to heart and that those in control will get together and will find means of avoiding further harm to South Africa by going further than they should.
Does this apply to the whole Press, the Nationalist Press as well?
Order! The hon. member asked whether he might be allowed to put a question and the hon. the Prime Minister refused to give way.
Mr. Chairman, I am not referring to political comment which is reasonable, I am not referring to criticism from any side. I don’t mind criticism, neither from my opponents, nor from my friends. Wisdom can often be gained from the criticism which comes from many sources. I don’t object to that. I do object to untruth; I do object to libellous comment, because a leader does not easily sue when libel is found in the newspapers; I also object to distortions in the Press of what the policies are, of the government or other parties. In fact I object to anything which can harm our country. Particularly do I object to false news and news being sent overseas through the channels of the South African Press, when this happens. I don’t think that South Africa is benefiting by much which is found in its Press to-day. This is a grievance in many countries. Nowhere unfortunately has wrong information been sent and distortion of policies taken place to the same extent to the detriment of a country as in the case of South Africa. Therefore I say that while no government wishes to intrude upon the freedom of criticism, while no government wishes to restrict the freedom to present news properly put, any government in this country must view with great concern, and may be forced to take steps, if South Africa is harmed by what goes beyond the exercise of freedom.
Who will be the judge?
The Judge may be the courts. There may, however, be circumstances in which the Judge has to be found elsewhere so that quicker action can be taken in the interest of the country. But I am still laying the burden only upon the Press itself, which I do not think has organized itself in the past at all to make sure that justice is done to our country.
*Reference has been made to the Broadcasting Corporation and to the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. That was nothing but a continuation of a feud and nothing but propaganda on the part of hon. members opposite. I do not intend saying much about the Minister personally, because I do not think the attack that was made on him was in good taste, I wish to state that the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs undoubtedly administers his Department in a very efficient and capable manner. I want to go further and challenge hon. members to mention a single person in his Department who maintains that the Minister acts unjustly towards any member of any language group. On the contrary the information which I have in regard to both his Departments is to the effect that the Minister has the co-operation of his whole staff, and that there is the greatest impartiality.
Apart from his capabilities as a Minister, he has been accused of spoiling the relationship between the Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking sections because of his speeches and because of the matters he refers to in his speeches. Let me say this to hon. members that unfortunately I have to regard this as another method on their part to thwart the strenuous efforts on the part of the Government as well as on my part to establish unity. To prove my point I wish to give a few examples. I have not got the relevant papers with me, but a short while ago an attack was made in the Press on a speech by the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, and arising from that the Cape Times asked the Minister a series of pertinent questions in order to draw him to give his opinion about certain happenings in the history of our country and to ascertain his exact attitude towards the English-speaking people. It is a well-known fact that the hon. the Minister is married to an English-speaking woman and that he has been happily married for many years. It is also a well-known fact that when a Secretary of Health had to be appointed, the hon. the Minister immediately recommended an English-speaking official. A correct deduction would have been that he harboured no hostility as alleged. The Cape Times then asked those pertinent questions. The Minister replied directly to those questions. It was very clear from those replies that hon. members have misinterpreted his references to history incidents. Secondly it was clear from those replies, that instead of feeling hostile towards the English-speaking people, he desired friendship and unity with them. It was a direct and clear statement under his own signature. It only appeared in the Cape Times. If he says anything that hurts hon. members, according to them, it gets taken up by the newspapers, but when he gives a direct reply which counters that sort of propaganda, and which creates goodwill, it appears in one newspaper only; it does not appear in the others.
I want to deal now with the second case, namely the Blood River speech. The hon. the Minister also made certain references in that speech, which were seized upon to launch a national attack upon him similar to the one we have had here. I was worried about that and I asked the hon. the Minister for his notes. The hon. the Minister keeps very copious notes of his speeches; practically verbatim records. I was therefore able to see for myself exactly what he had said and to compare it with the newspaper cuttings which were available to me. I did that because I am serious in my desire to put an end to this national feud. What did I find? I found that the hon. the Minister had quoted from the Cape Argus, I think, it may have been the Cape Times …
You said the Cape Argus on a previous occasion.
It appears then that he quoted what the Cape Argus had said after Mr. Macmillan’s speech here in Cape Town. For the purposes of his speech the Minister thought it fitting to quote something which the Cape Argus had written, and his notes showed it clearly as a separate quotation. The newspapers, however, printed the words which the Argus had written in inverted commas and ascribed them to the Minister. The nation-wide attack which followed was based on that very paragraph. Following upon that the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) wrote a letter to me in which he told me that he was holding me responsible for what the Minister had said and that he was publishing his open letter to me in the Press. He said that if I did not reply I would be held co-responsible. That was a further result of the quotation which was incorrectly ascribed to the Minister, but which was really an opinion which the Cape Argus had expressed about the Macmillan speech. It was a form of blackmail and I do not think it is proper to make such demands. In the circumstances I forwarded my reply to the same newspapers to which he had written—I think it was the Natal Tribune—setting out the specific facts as I have given them here and I also quoted from the Cape Times. I did not see the report in the newspaper but I assume it was published because the hon. member for Drakensberg (Mrs. S. M. van Niekerk) has referred to it although she did not refer to the crux of the matter, but to all sorts of irrelevancies. Did any member see any reference to this matter in any newspaper? No, it was not taken up. That was clear proof that the attacks on the Minister were unjust. I leave it at that, but I want to add that I am not prepared to allow a Minister who has suffered so many injustices to be victimized.
I now want to deal with the attacks on the Broadcasting Corporation. The complaint is apparently that the Broadcasting Corporation shows partiality in its news broadcasts. I will not refer to what was said about my arrival. If hon. members are jealous because so many people attended gatherings where I was present I am sorry but I cannot do anything about it. I cannot assist them in attracting people to their meetings.
Unfortunately I seldom have time to listen to the news over the radio but to judge from what I have heard, on the few occasions that I have listened in, and to judge from certain news items about which I have received written information because they had been criticized, I wish to say this. Hon. members opposite are so accustomed to getting their news in the form in which their prejudiced Press has been presenting it to them, that they do not recognize and cannot tolerate objective news. There have been radio reports, like reports on Parliament and other events, which I myself have objected to because I considered them partial in favour of the other side! I take it therefore that the Opposition also regards certain reports as partial in favour of this side. Every newspaper in the world that I know of, including those of the highest standing, are sometimes accused from various quarters that they have been partial in one or other respect. It all depends on the angle from which you read the news, Sir. However, if you get away from your personal opinions, you must realize, as I as a former newspaper man do, that this organization and its officials are trying to do the best they can—with due regard to human fallibility—to give news impartially. That is why I think that the attack on the Broadcasting Corporation is based on fear on the part of hon. members opposite. Where Afrikaners generally read both Afrikaans and English newspapers and consequently see the position from both points of view, and where the English-speaking section is not so well informed, hon. members opposite are afraid that the English-speaking section will now get what they have always wanted, namely, impartial news. I am convinced that the attack by hon. members on the Broadcasting Corporation is without substance.
There has also been an attack in respect of the appointment of members to the Transvaal school boards. Let me say at once that I am very sorry that there were no English-speaking people amongst those who were appointed to the Witwatersrand School Board. I am sorry that the Administrator did not appoint English-speaking persons when he made those appointments to the school board. But I want to say immediately that our critics opposite lose sight of the fact that even before one word was said in favour of it in this country, the very Administrator and Executive Committee that they are now attacking, seriously tried to treat the English-speaking sections in the whole of the Transvaal more justly. It is a fact that in the case of all the school boards throughout the Transvaal, apart from what has happened in the case of the Witwatersrand School Board the English-speaking minority has been completely ignored in appointing members to the school boards. The Administrator and the Executive Committee then deliberately changed the ordinance so that it will not only be possible, but essential, for the minority group to be represented on every school board. In other words they ensured that the English-speaking section would be represented everywhere, not over-represented on a single school board, as the position was in the past. By introducing the method of election which they did, they have ensured that the minority group is represented on every school board.
But the Nationalists are always in the majority.
That is un avoidable where they are in the majority. But I say this that not even the United Party have done what this Administrator and his Executive Committee have done for the English-speaking section in the Transvaal, namely to ensure that in all areas where there is a school board, the English-speaking people are represented so that they may know what is happening and so that they may play their part in all matters affecting their children. There is definite proof, therefore, that there is no malice towards the English-speaking people, as the propagandists would make us believe. In saying, therefore, that I am sorry that they did not appoint English-speaking people to the Witwatersrand School Board, so that we would not have had this hullabaloo, and so as to demonstrate in a practical way that we are striving for unity, I deprecate the fact that what happened there is now held out to the country and to the people as a deliberate act to thwart this attempt to create goodwill between the Afrikaans-speaking and the English-speaking sections.
But you say they are political appointments, don’t you?
It is represented by hon. members as a deliberate act to undermine the desire for unity in the broad sense of the word, between Afrikaans- and English-speaking sections and it has nothing to do whatsoever with the question of whether or not they are political appointments. It is not necessary for me to go into that any further.
The hon. member asked me what the Government is doing in connection with our capital position. The hon. member for Pine-town (Mr. Hopewell), I think, referred to the fall on the stock exchange and the consequent probability that the banks would have to restrict credit for industrial development. Fluctuations in share prices have taken place, but they always occur. They have taken place very substantially recently. But they recovered again, very substantially, immediately afterwards.
To the previous levels?
No, but they have also recovered substantially in these same few days. And this sort of thing happens continuously. I am afraid that as long as we have antagonistic influence at large— the influence about which we know—including the kind of criticism which is uttered by hon. members on the other side, we must expect these fluctuations. I have before me a weekly market review by a firm of Johannesburg stockbrokers V. H. Simpson & Company, which is a most depressing market review and which is sent to all its clients. It is true that they try, in order to cover themselves if recovery takes place, to put in a few advantageous points. But by and large this is a most darkly coloured outlook on the stock exchange future.
Do you not agree with it?
No. I do not agree.
Is that not confidential from the broker to his clients?
That illustrates my point precisely, namely, that through private and confidential reviews sent to the clients—I am not one of its clients, and do not know who has sent this to me—through these private and confidential forms of information the belief of the clients, of the people buying and selling, is undermined. [Interjections.]
Order, order! The hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) knows how to put a question if he wants to do so.
This is not only done in this country. This is done elsewhere as well. You can find newspapers overseas suggesting that this Government is going to deduct from the dividends which should be sent overseas, a percentage for building up the Bantu homelands. That is a suggestion which has never even entered the mind of anybody in South Africa.
Nobody from this side suggested that.
No, I said that this appeared in a newspaper overseas. When that sort of thing happens, surely one must expect people to start to doubt the future of the country concerned. It has even been suggested that there will be attempts from our side to stop capital from overseas being repatriated to its country of origin. I am not suggesting that these hon. gentlemen have done that, but it has also been suggested in newspapers overseas in order to harm South Africa. That too has never entered our minds. As a matter of fact, the hon. the Minister of Finance has repeatedly stated that that is not the intention of the Government. Consequently, if there are fluctuations from time to time in our share market, that is the result to a very large extent of false criticism and unjust views which are disseminated by people who should know better. At the same time I want to add that our market is not influenced only by what happens in South Africa or by what happens at UNO. It is also most unjustly, influenced by what happens in the rest of Africa. When the Congo situation developed, that hit us as well. People overseas do not always distinguish clearly between South Africa and other portions of Africa. As a matter of fact, some people overseas thought, when the Congo disturbances took place, that that was either within South Africa or right up against our borders, silly though that may seem to us. All kinds of influences therefore, have their effect, but I have no doubt that in the course of time knowledge of the real position of stability in South Africa, of the true value of investment in South Africa, will predominate and that our troubles times, as far as our economy is concerned, will pass.
The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman) also referred to the outflow of capital and the virtual cessation—as he called it—of private capital inflow, and the consequent danger of unemployment. He asked for an assurance that the Reserve Bank’s loan of R14,000,000 from a foreign banking institution was not a panic move and did not establish a new precedent. These were the three points made by that hon. member. The information at my disposal is this, that despite the fact that South Africa did suffer a considerable net outflow of capital in 1960, there was still a substantial amount of new capital investment from abroad. The full figures are not available, but it is known that foreigners bought South African shares from South Africans to an amount of R37,200,000 while overseas investors increased the value of their shares in South African subsidiaries by R6,000,000. The unemployment figures certainly do not bear out the hon. member’s fears. And the Reserve Bank loan was concluded last year. It is a transaction between the banks concerned and does not concern the Government. However, far from this creating a precedent, similar loans were arranged with the same institution two or three years ago, and the hon. member was informed of this before he spoke. That loan has subsequently been repaid. There is therefore nothing abnormal about this loan to which he referred.
But what was the net outflow of capital?
I do not have the figures for the net outflow.
The hon. member for Jeppe (Dr. Cronje) again raised the question of the large capital inflow during 1947 or 1948, and contrasted that with the capital outflow of 1959 and 1960. This point has been dealt with over and over again. Everybody realizes that the capital inflow of 1947-48 was funk capital.
Yes, but does it not fly to a safe place?
That was not the argument. Certainly not the whole amount was of this type, but it was largely funk capital and it was sent here when the Labour Party régime achieved office in the United Kingdom. Much of it was not invested in South Africa, it was only put on deposit here, to our embarrassment …
It was safe here.
… without contributing anything to the development of the country. And we had to deal with the re-trievement of that capital a little while later.
When you came into office.
Yes, when we came into office, but when the Labour Party lost office. That is when the capital again returned to Great Britain, and all that time it was of no value whatever to us. This capital sought refuge in South Africa against the socialist government.
They will not do it now.
That does not matter since this means absolutely nothing ta a country and hon. members know it.
I think I have now dealt with all the various matters, except for certain less important allegations made here …
What about the border industries?
Yes, I shall say something in that regard. There were certain general points of attack, such as that Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Menzies are said to have condemned us in regard to apartheid. That is true. But we have just as much right to condemn them for the policy they apply. If we were to say that the policy of partnership as applied in Kenya and the Federation unjustifiably causes great trouble to those countries, that is also true. Would hon. members then infer that we speak with greater authority than Mr. Macmillan just because we criticize? No, they would not do that. If Mr. Macmillan talks about South African conditions, about which he knows very little because he does not deal with them every day —as I told him at the time after his Cape Town speech—then it is, however, described as being authoritative. But when we talk about it or about territories under his control we are not speaking authoritatively. Mr. Menzies also has his problems. In fact, in Papua they also have apartheid. They have the advantage that it is an island, separated from their continent. Therefore the similarity is not so obvious, but the policy applied there is practically identical to ours. Then there is the White Australia policy. Just imagine that if a policy which in a sense runs parallel to ours, the White Australia policy, were not to have been implemented in the past and was not maintained in the future, what would have happened to Australia if the masses of Red China and India could go there to seek a home? If that were to happen, would Australia tolerate it? If the world is to become one, with one world policy and with no chance for a nation to protect its own separate existence, so that a nation can disappear as the result of other people coming into its own country, then all the White states will disappear. If a country like ours is not allowed to evolve a method by which its different population groups can be allowed to exist as separate nations next to each other, then surely Australia as a White nation cannot protect itself against non-Whites either. In other words, if plans cannot be made to counteract the consequences of an immigration policy of the past or of the future, surely that country will be in the same trouble as South Africa is. Therefore when Mr. Menzies criticizes South Africa because he still does not have this problem, but he still takes steps to obviate being faced with that problem because he knows what the consequences will be, the same as for South Africa, I feel that he cannot be quoted as an authority when he condemns South Africa.
Yes, but how do we get out of our difficulties?
I have already repeatedly stated our policy, but the hon. member is the type of person who just continues chewing the cud and never derives any food for thought from what he hears.
Now hon. members opposite have asked me to explain a few further points in connection with the Native reserves. I would like to do so. One point was raised by the hon. member for Jeppe (Dr. Cronje), who said that I referred to the curve of the Tomlinson Report in regard to the Bantu in the cities, in connection with the increase or decrease in their numbers, but that we had not complied with the conditions set for the development of the reserves inasmuch as we are not spending approximately £120,000,000 within ten years. That is just a repetition of the old trick of hon. members opposite of continually raising arguments here which have long since been disposed of. Over the years I have often shown how that expenditure of £120,000,000 was arrived at in terms of the old-fashioned method of paying for everything done by the Bantu in their own areas for themselves. I have proved that if betterment works are tackled in terms of the system which has been in operation since 1956, by which the Bantu authorities do work which is intended for their own benefit by means of their own labour and do the upkeep themselves, the same amount of work (according to the calculations of the Department in respect of the two systems) can and will be done for an amount of £30,000,000 over a period of ten years. Why must this argument, which is based on the ordinary direct estimates and can therefore be disposed of on a practical basis, be repeatedly rehashed?
Then he also made an allegation in regard to cities in the Bantu areas, viz. that they are only figments of the imagination. Very well, he can call them that. If an architect draws up a plan for a house, that plan is also a product of his imagination, but the house is built. In this case where the Department is busy developing no fewer than 60 townships which we can develop into urban areas, as e.g. in the vicinity of Newcastle—just as soon as the industrial development comes in that border area—we have to do with something similar to the planning of an architect. In other words, these are not merely figments of the imagination, but planned projects which are already partly being put into practice, which is something quite different.
I must say that the hon. member for Jeppe used an expression here which I must deprecate in passing. It is that he referred to our policy of one of “ enslavement ”. In other words, he tells the world, whatever the consequences might be, that we are creating conditions of slavery here. I do not quite know what he meant by that. Certainly it is not true. He was merely trying to debunk the Government, but I still think that even when a Member of Parliament tries to debunk his opponents he should cast his eye beyond the borders of South Africa and think of the effect his words might have when it is said that an intelligent Member of Parliament who is an economist himself states that South Africa enslaves its non-Whites.
The hon. member for East London (North) (Mr. van Ryneveld) also made certain allegations. I will deal only with those which seem to be the most important to him. He said that the way in which the Bantu homelands are demarcated means that they will not be able to develop fully, because there will be four or more such separate areas.
They will not have a single national identity.
The hon. member says that they will not be able to develop fully. I cannot understand that, because I cannot see why not. I have repeatedly made it clear that one should compare the development here with what happens in Europe where smaller national units become more dependent economically also, and even some which are bigger, but where they, while retaining their political independence, ensure their own full development in the cultural and other spheres by means of intimate mutual economic interrelations. That is how I see the position here also, viz. that one can satisfy the ambitions of the racial groups in the political sphere separately, even though they cannot all be economically independent but must accept continual mutual economic dependence. Our development of border industries is intended to create sources within the White area which we are able to create and at a fast tempo, and which the private initiative of the Whites can create in their own area, where the Bantu living in the Bantu areas can earn an income which he can spend in his own area and which therefore will assist him in the initial stages of the development of those areas. That results in benefits being derived from mutual development apart from what the industrial development which will be able to take place in the Bantu area can give to the Bantu areas. On the one hand industrial development by the trustee which is the Union will be established, and on the other hand it will be undertaken by the Bantu him self, assisted by special financial and investment facilities which the White guardian or neighbouring state will help to provide. In other words, I accept that one cannot give economic viability to each of these areas, economic independence, but I say that this is not necessary for their development because they can enjoy full political, educational and cultural development as well as mutual economic development in South Africa as a whole, in the same way that a broader economic unit than the separate nations is increasingly developing in Europe.
My point was with reference to political development. I am not concerned about the economic development at this stage. If you have a national unit like the South Sothos who will live in four or more different areas, each surrounded by White areas, how can you say that you are offering them political independence? These four areas will be inaccessible to one another.
That is really the hon. member’s next point which I wanted to deal with. The hon. member intimated that one could not consolidate these areas properly. In regard to the removal of the black spots, certain ridiculous statements were made, that it would take 300 years. The circumstances in which those statements were made are completely different from what the case will be when the development takes place with which we are busy now. Let me deal with that first. The clearing up of black spots is difficult as long as the Department has strenuous opposition from the Bantu living in those black spots and there is no support from the magnet which must draw them nearer, viz. their own central Bantu authority. The Bantu simply think, and certain members of the Opposition sometimes also say so, that the Government is stealing land and cheating the Bantu. Through their conservatism they have also become so accustomed to living in those areas that they refuse to go to other areas which are even better residential and agricultural areas. When we adopt forceful methods by removing them for their own good, we have the whole world against us. Therefore the process of gradual persuasion must be adopted. In that way we do in fact remove them and later they are mostly very grateful but that process is very slow. The moment there is a Bantu authority, say of the South Sotho group, and that authority itself is anxious to have all its people staying together in one area, so that it assists in clearing up the black spots because it wants its people to live together, this can be done much faster. I therefore believe that the consolidation will be much easier as soon as these large ethnic authorities come into existence. Nevertheless I believe that certain areas will always be separate from each other. I think, e.g., of the Zulus who have areas in northern Natal and southern Natal. That will cause a certain amount of difficulty, but it is the same problem Pakistan had but which it managed to solve. In the case of Pakistan I believe that the two parts of the state are separated by 1,000 miles. This will cause difficulty, but it is not insurmountable.
I think I must now come to the hon. member for Springs (Mr. Tucker). With reference to the concept of a state within a state, he asked whether that meant that the Coloureds would have a separate area. I said quite clearly in the beginning, however, that that is the case and that it is in fact an unorthodox idea because it had nothing to do with separate areas. I would not have used the words “ a state within a state ” in the case of separate areas. Then my parallel would have been that of neighbouring nations, as my argument is in regard to the Bantu. The hon. member raised the further point that the Indians should have political rights in some form or other, and therefore it would have to be in the central Parliament. My reply is that that is evidently United Party policy. I dealt with that in the beginning of my speech. But as far as we are concerned, I say that those hon. members always make the mistake of thinking that the only type of political rights is to have rights in the same Parliament, whereas I consider that political rights can be given in the other ways which I explained.
The hon. member for Pinetown (Mr. Hope-well) asked whether I would explain the programme in regard to industrial development in the border areas near the reserves, and he asked certain particular questions. I want to point out that I have an economic adviser who continually gives me advice. At the same time he acts as the liaison officer to the Economic Advisory Council, and that Council is also informed in regard to the planning of border areas. Together with that body certain further conditions for development have been evolved in this regard. The Economic Advisory Council will meet again and what has happened in the meantime will again be discussed with its members. Therefore the economic advice and machinery are in full operation. Apart from that, as the result of consultations and requests, a special body has been established under the chairmanship of Dr. Viljoen, which investigates and takes action in regard to all kinds of steps in connection with the decentralization of industrial development. It has broader implications, but it includes the border areas. This body asked for certain privileges from the Government for the border area development, and it has already been announced— I need not repeat it—what the Government had to say in this regard. I understand that the hon. member is also concerned to know whether Pinetown falls within the area which will be granted such privileges, because he said that Durban did not fall within it. The fact is that Durban is of course already a highly developed industrial area and it would be unfair to grant privileges to it which are not given to Cape Town or Johannesburg, because it is not necessary to provide a stimulus there to bring the Native workers nearer to their own areas so that they can live in the reserves whilst working in the industries. Of course the object of border development is to hasten the process of withdrawing the Bantu from the White areas. At the moment I cannot say whether Pinetown merely adjoins a city location, or whether it is near enough to a Bantu area or reserve and whether it complies with further requirements. This is the type of question which should be put to that Committee, of which Dr. Viljoen is the chairman, which is concerned with the details. He will be able to say whether this particular area falls within the privileged areas or not. I must therefore refer the hon. member to the body specially appointed to deal with local matters. It is true that in Natal most of the urban areas are within a reasonably short distance of such reserves, and under those circumstances it is true in my opinion that Natal will perhaps derive greater benefits from the border development than other provinces.
He asked a further question: Will Indians and Coloureds have the right to participate in the border development in so far as industry is concerned, or will each of these groups just be limited to industries in their own group areas? The group areas are mainly residential areas. Trading is still allowed in certain other areas, but in general we try to reserve the trading rights in the group areas for the group which lives there. However, as far as I can remember, it has not been decided that Coloureds and Indians may not establish undertakings in the industrial areas. That is the position up to now in all the various cities and I do not believe that this Committee has arrived at a different decision. It is not the case that these three groups which must live separately are prevented from establishing industrial undertakings in the industrial areas. I think that disposes of this point.
The hon. member also asked whether this would not lead to Natal becoming quite black now. My opinion is that Natal in this way, by better segregation, will make its White areas whiter and its Black areas blacker.
Business suspended at 12.45 p.m. and resumed at 2.20 p.m.
We have had the Prime Minister speaking for more than an hour, and what we expected has happened. The pertinent questions put to him by this side of the House, except for two exceptions, were left unanswered. From the point of view of the Committee and the country, it was a most unsatisfactory performance, and in view of that we on this side have no alternative but to express our disappointment in the Prime Minister by moving—
The Prime Minister left the major questions put to him unanswered, with two exceptions. He was very definite in the threat he uttered against the free Press of South Africa, and the most remarkable feature about this threat is that he, a politician, would take it upon himself to discipline the Press unless they conform to his idea of what Press freedom should be. But he could not substantiate the general charge he made against the Press by any specific example of the abuse of freedom. It was a general allegation unsupported by any arguments; and what is worse, this threat by the Prime Minister anticipated the most dilatory commission in the history of South Africa. For something like seven years now, or longer, a Press Commission has been sitting investigating this very question, but the Prime Minister pre-judges the report of that judicial commission and did not produce any concrete evidence in support of his claim that there is abuse of freedom by the Press. There the Prime Minister was definite. There again we see the value of the protestations we have had that the republic to come will be a democratic republic. On the very eve of its establishment, in one of the first utterances by the Prime Minister after the House passed the third reading of the Constitution Bill, we have the announcement that the freedom of the Press is at stake in the future republic.
The second item on which the Prime Minister showed that he was definite was in his defence of the S.A.B.C., and he made the most amazing statement, that for the first time in the history of South Africa now the people are getting objective news. Does he suggest that for the past 12 years under previous Nationalist Prime Ministers the S.A.B.C. was not broadcasting objectively? Will he deny that for many years before the new régime we have had men in the Press gallery reporting the proceedings of Parliament for the S.A.B.C., and never has this side of the House raised any objection or criticism to those reports, because they were fair. Surely it is significant that throughout South Africa voices are rising in protest against the news and the comments on the news given by the S.A.B.C. only since the new chairman was appointed.
But on the true issue before us, which is what is the future of South Africa in the present circumstances, in the complete isolation in which the Prime Minister has landed us, there was no reply from the Prime Minister to any of the many pertinent questions put to him by this side of the House. His whole scheme and his policy evaporated into vagueness. We still do not know from the Prime Minister what he envisages the ultimate relationship to be between South Africa and the independent Bantustans. He speaks vaguely of a relationship similar to that of the Commonwealth, but in the same breath he tells us that White South Africa cannot survive in the Commonwealth because the majority of the members are Black. But he wants to create a Commonwealth where seven or eight states will be Black and only one will be White. We ask the Prime Minister about the future position of the Coloureds and the Indians. In a previous speech, days ago, he told us about this idea of parallel parliaments. Our leader put it to him that you cannot have the writ of two sovereign parliaments running over the same territory and asked him what the relationship would be between these two parliaments, but there was no reply. But the Prime Minister told us to-day that his policy was intended to move away from the domination of one race by another. I want to know, and the people want to know: If there is, e.g., a Cape Coloured parliament and a White parliament, will they both be sovereign, and if so, what organization will exist to correlate their activities? Or if they are not both sovereign, if the Coloured parliament is not to have jurisdiction over matters like defence and communications and foreign policy, which parliament will have it? The White parliament? And if the White parliament has it, surely the Coloured parliament is subservient and there is still domination. All these questions are left unanswered.
I think the people should realize what the trouble is with the Prime Minister. He has a programme for the moment, but not a policy for the future. His programme for the moment is that in all aspects of life there must be White domination but there must be no contact which can be avoided between the various races. He has a programme which finds expression in such preposterous activities that the Eoan Group, which makes a remarkable contribution to the culture of South Africa, cannot get a subsidy from the Government because they will not agree to play only before unracial audiences. That is the programme for the moment, but there is no policy for the future. Sir, he speaks about detail, but he suffocates South Africa in detailed administration of our race relations and he thinks that all these little detailed acts of discrimination constitute a policy. The difference between the Prime Minister and us is that while he and his supporters suffocate South Africa in detail, we have a policy for the future.
What is it?
It is perfectly true that we do not offer the people of South Africa every minor detail of the concept we have for South Africa, because we know that a great many people will have to co-operate in working out these details and we do not want to take up the attitude of the Prime Minister, who believes that a parliament, unrepresentative of the people of the country like this one we have to-day, should take unto itself the function of determining the future course of South Africa without consultation and recognition of the other race groups who will be affected by that policy. The difference between him and the United Party is that we say this is the concept of a race federation, but we are willing, in consultation with all groups here in the sovereign Parliament of South Africa where the final decisions are to be taken, to work out the details.
With their own people?
In the case of the Coloureds, yes, with their own people, and in the case of the Natives, with their White representatives. Sir, I am surprised at this emphasis by my hon. friend opposite on this point. The difference between them and us is not who represents whom; the difference between them and us is whether anybody will represent the other race groups in South Africa. For people who, as my leader said, the themselves up in an ideological straitjacket and who believe that it will be the end of White civilization for people representing other race groups in South Africa to take their seats in this House, for them to quibble about whether the representatives of other race groups should be white, pink or blue, amazes me. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) has shown himself this morning to be more adept at asking questions than at replying to questions because he is an hon. member who asks a question not in order to elicit a reply, but as a pretext for a story. Although he has been given a full reply by the hon. the Prime Minister, he has once again shown this to be so. The hon. member must not think that we shall so lightly leave him in the rôle of questioner. They have raised these questions, and the hon. member has given a more urgent character to these questions by the last sentence he used on the last occasion he spoke, that is to say when, in discussing the United Party’s racial federation, he said: This is a federation in which each race will be given a share in the government of the country. This is the first time we have been given more detailed clarification of this plan. In other words this will be a racial federation not based on a geographic division alone but on a racial division. The Leader of the Opposition has made that clear. The separate Bantu areas as such will form geographic components of the racial federation. We have further been told that each race will be given a share in the government. What is this if it is not the concept of a state within a state? The Coloured race will constitute a federal unit within their racial federation; the Indian race will form a federal unit within their racial federation, and apparently the urban Bantu either alone or together with the Whites will form another federal unit within the racial federation. These are the gentlemen who put forward such unformulated vague ideas, and who ridicule the Prime Minister because he has put forward the concept of a state within a state. And if what I have now said is not correct, namely, that they are speaking of a racial federation on the basis of a state within a state, then I say that the whole concept is nothing but a colossal bluff, an untruth, which they want to foist onto South Africa. Then they are not speaking of a federation. Then they are advocating nothing but a mixed Union Parliament. Then the whole concept of racial federation is a misused concept; then there is nothing federal about this whole idea. But let us take the matter a little further. The hon. member for Yeoville and his leader have now begun defining what exactly the difference is between their proposals and those of the Progressives. The Progressives propose one common fatherland in which these various races will be intermingled in the government and in which the place of the White man must be safeguarded by a rigid constitution. When the idea was raised by the Leader of the Opposition, the intention was that this federal concept should protect the permanent rights of the White man in South Africa. If their concept of a racial federation envisages a grouping of the races in this country, what mechanism will they use to entrench the discrimination in favour of the Whites? Because the hon. member for Yeoville has admitted this morning that they want to discriminate in favour of the Whites. What is the difference in principle between the Progressives and those hon. members? No, the hon. member for Yeoville and his leader are not seriously propagating a racial federation. The hon. members are referring to a misleading concept in order, for a time, to serve their party political purposes and their criticism of the Prime Minister is not based on the fact that the Prime Minister is not giving clear guidance to South Africa. The member for Yeoville was one of the executioners of his party’s former leader, Mr. Strauss, and he and all his colleagues now want to be the executioners of our leader. This whole refusal to understand what the Prime Minister is saying is an attempt to discredit the Prime Minister. We do not say that our Prime Minister is infallible; he has taken up an unequivocal stand in respect of the principle of the right of self-determination for the White man and the right of the White man to live in this country, but he is the first to concede that he is a mortal like all of us and must consult his own counsellors and all those who have knowledge of these matters. He also admits his mistakes but this is the difference: he represents the will to survive in South Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister is the bearer of the vision that we should tackle our difficult problems and the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and his main supporters are the bearers of the concept that we should be oppressed by fear, that we should shrink within ourselves, that we should seek compromise, escape and security at any price. We can describe our leader as the voice of life in South Africa with all its tribulations and the Leader of the Opposition as the seductive voice of death in this country. Let us make this quite clear. The course of history is not determined merely by the mechanical plans and behaviour of a country’s leaders. Every great development in history has arisen and ended when the will to fight of mankind has given place to weakness. The will to fight is the strongest political and military weapon of all time, and what this Opposition are trying to do by their questions and by their omission and refusal and inability to understand, is trying to paralyze and to weaken the political will to fight of White South Africa and in the place of that spirit they put these vague generalizations which they themselves have not yet thought out properly. This brings me once again to the aspect of a state within a state. It is not so terribly strange. If hon. members would refer to the extensive studies of the minority problem which were undertaken by the relevant committee of the League of Nations during the period 1923 to 1932, they would find a great deal of material dealing with the concept of how the rights of a minority can be dealt with by the evolution of functional powers within a state instead of territorial powers. The old Ottoman empire existed for centuries with its whole State organization based on the millets which had separate religious communities and extensive rights not only in respect of all educational and family matters, but even the registration of deeds and other activities within that community. The present constitution of Soviet Russia, the friends of those gentlemen who previously blessed the weapons of that State, provides in its constitution for the establishment of what they call constituent republics, autonomous republics, autonomous areas and national areas. These national areas and to an extent these autonomous regions of the Soviet Union are nothing but a modern realization of the concept of a state within a state. Section 11 of the constitution of the Soviet Union and its application make this quite clear. Section 11 of the Constitution provides—
And the comments of the author O. Janowsky are—
I do not intend dealing with the remarks made by the last speaker. I want to come to the statement made by the hon. the Prime Minister in connection with the freedom of the Press, and I want to tell the Prime Minister that nothing will shock the country more than the statement made by him this morning about the freedom of the Press. I was shocked to hear the Prime Minister of South Africa say these things. We are used to members like the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) and (Wolmarans-stad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg) indulging in these extravagances, but we never expected the Prime Minister, particularly at this juncture of our history, to indulge in the language that he used. It was a clear threat to the freedom of the Press of South Africa. It was a clear serving of notice on the Press of South Africa that if they do not change action will be taken against them. The crux of the matter is that we have to decide whether the Press in South Africa reports news and offers comment freely and fairly on incidents in South Africa. That is the crux of the matter, and I would like to know from the Prime Minister who is to be the judge—the National Party, the Government? Who is to be the judge in this connection?
I do not for one moment want to create the impression that mistakes are not being made by our Press in South Africa. Mistakes are made by the Press throughout the whole of the world. Exaggerations are indulged in and mistakes are made and sensationalism is indulged in. All that we know, but we also know that right throughout the free world, the judgment is left to the readers of the Press, and should the Press indulge in unfair comment and the slanting of news in an unfair manner, they lose their influence and their readers.
That is why the Transvaler has no circulation.
We in South Africa have become used to the practice that no limitation is put on the freedom of the Press. I say most categorically that the reputation that the Press in South Africa has built up is recognized throughout the world and it ill becomes the Prime Minister to throw this suspicion on the good name of our Press.
What good name?
The hon. the Prime Minister has told us more than once, particularly now that we are going to change to the republican form of government, that the people of South Africa need have no fear, we will still be a free country under the republic, democracy will still be practised in the country. What sort of democracy are we going to have? We are going to have a democracy in which every individual will have to obey the dictates of the Nationalist Party. If not, he or she will be banned. If the Press does not heed the dictates of the Nationalist Party, they will be controlled. For publishing comment in which they sincerely believe, they have been labelled as comrades in arms of the communists and they have been accused of undermining the State. I want to say once again that this is one of the most unfortunate happenings that we have had in this country, particularly at this juncture. Reference has been made by the hon. member for Yeoville to the fact that for ten years the Press in South Africa has been operating under the shadow of a Press Commission. For ten years the taxpayer in South Africa has had to pay thousands upon thousands of pounds to have this investigation made, and we still have no information to this day as to the findings of that commission. When are we going to have it? In addition to that, instead of waiting for the findings of that commission the Prime Minister pre-judges the whole position, and to-day he issues that threat to the Press of South Africa. I say once again that if that is the future for South Africa, then I doubt very much whether there is going to be a future.
In reply to what the Leader of the Progressive Party has just said, I want to thank the hon. the Prime Minister, on behalf of the right-minded Whites of South Africa, for the statement which he has made this morning regarding the Press in South Africa. I want to thank him for the fine and patient way in which he has appealed to the Press of this country to come together and to examine their own position and to examine their own consciences. Mr. Chairman, it is not a shocking statement which the hon. the Prime Minister has made. I shall tell the House what is shocking in this country. It is shocking that a Press like the English-language Press of South Africa is being allowed to say these things about the country in which they have their home and in which they are located and in which we and our children must live. This statement by the Prime Minister is not shocking. I shall tell the House what is shocking. What is shocking is the leading article of the Cape Times which appeared during this last week, because I cannot describe it as anything but treason against South Africa. I am not afraid of the word “ treason ”. The time has come for us to take action and stand the consequences.
Repeat that outside.
The hon. member must keep quiet. We knew him when he was a journalist. We also read his articles when he sat on the Press gallery of this House, and he must now cease making interjections whenever we discuss these matters which affect him. This has now become his practice, and I do not think that he can afford to do so. If I were to become personal and insult him in this House he would have asked for it. I say that it is the most shocking thing possible that the Press of this country can publish an article in which it is stated that South Africa is a police state. Would any newspaper in a police state be allowed to say such a thing of that country and that government? The question which must be answered is whether a newspaper in a police state would be allowed to say that that country is a police state, if it is a police state, and then to continue publishing its articles every day? No, we have had certain admissions here, and I am very glad about the admissions we have had from the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn). I think the hon. member for Yeoville should now join us …
We do not want him.
…in seeing that something is done about the Press. Or is the hon. member satisfied with the article which appeared in the Rand Daily Mail reporting his speech?
Yes, I am satisfied.
We do not need you to help us.
Is the hon. member satisfied with the contents of his speech as reported in the Rand Daily Mail and as quoted by the hon. the Deputy Minister of Education?
Must I now discipline the Rand Daily Mail?
Is the hon. member satisfied that a newspaper which provides news to thousands of readers has reported him incorrectly on a political matter which is a very delicate matter and which could cost the United Party many votes. Because, if the hon. member had not had the opportunity this morning to say that he had not read that article, then the readers of that newspaper would have been entitled to interpret the contents of that article as published in that newspaper. No, we shall take this matter to its conclusion; we cannot go on like this. I should like to associate myself with the hope, as the hon. the Prime Minister has stated quite clearly, that it will not become necessary for higher authority to call the Press to order. I trust that our Press in South Africa will make a positive contribution towards the creation of greater national unity. [Laughter.] Here we have this hollow laughter. Those hon. members must not think that we are going to become soft in order to achieve greater national unity. If we did not regard this as such an absolutely serious matter, if we were not in such absolute earnest in our attempts to create real national unity, we could destroy the United Party and the Opposition if we were prepared also to scratch in its past and to reveal what it has done to the Afrikaans-speaking people of this country.
But I want to ask: Let us leave it at that, not because we are afraid of the past, but because we are striving to achieve a finer future for your children and mine. We are in earnest when we discuss these matters, but do not expect us to sacrifice our principles which are necessary to safeguard the position of the White man in South Africa.
I want to thank the hon. member for Yeoville briefly for having replied to one of our questions by saying that, in this proposed United Party federation, under this new policy, there will be discrimination. He has told us something else, and we now know that the representatives of the non-Whites in that federation will be Coloureds. I should now just like to have further clarity on this point: The hon. member has said that the Coloureds will be represented by Coloureds.
Yes, if Coloureds are elected.
Very well, I just want clarity in respect of the Whites first of all. Will these White representatives of the non-Whites in this federation be elected or will they be appointed? I am very stupid in this regard, but the hon. member has left us in the dark.
I have said “ representatives ”.
Yes, representatives elected by the Natives.
I said “representatives ”, not stooges.
Will those representatives be nominated or elected by the non-Whites?
Just answer the question if it is so easy.
If the hon. member still does not have clarity on this point, then he should tell us that this is a part of the policy which has not yet been worked out. Must I accept that they will be elected?
If they are representative they must be elected. What childishness is this?
If they are to be elected, will all the Bantu vote? Will they vote on an ethnic basis? Which Bantu will elect those representatives?
You are not addressing a school board now.
How many Bantu states will there be? Mr. Chairman, the hon. member must not make me discuss school boards. I was a member of the Transvaal Provincial Council and I know what humiliation the Afrikaner experienced when the United Party was in power, when there were United Party school boards. He must not talk about school boards. I am putting questions to the hon. member for Yeoville, and I shall not allow him to distract me. He is altogether too junior in politics to ask me questions in that regard.
How senior are you? [Interjections.]
Order! The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) must please stop making interjections all the time. He is talking continually.
I said “hear, hear”. I can say “ hear, hear ” to my members.
Order! The hon. member must cease continually making interjections.
With all due respect, I only said “ hear, hear ” to a remark made on this side of the House; it has nothing to do with the hon. member.
I am referring to remarks which the hon. member has been making repeatedly during the last minute. The hon. member may proceed.
I am putting this question and I hope the hon. member for Yeoville is senior enough in the United Party to reply for himself. I do not want distracting replies from backbenchers on his side. I want to know how the electoral colleges are to be constituted which will elect the Whites who are to represent the non-Whites in his federation.
I shall send you a copy of our policy. It is made quite clear there.
Is it printed already?
I should just like to know whether it will cost 5 cents or whether we will get it for nothing, or whether it now costs more.
You can have it for nothing; you need it.
Thank you. I now expect the hon. member to send me one free of charge. We had to pay 6d. for the other one.
As regards the Coloureds who are to be represented by Coloureds, have the United Party now abandoned their policy that they will strive to restore the Coloureds to a common electoral roll or will they keep them on a separate electoral roll?
That is also in writing.
On this issue the United Party have expelled a member from their party and from this Parliament, namely Dr. Bernard Friedman. I should like to know what the new amended policy of the United Party is as far as the Coloureds are concerned. Are the Coloureds to remain on a separate roll when they elect their representatives in the federal parliament, or does the United Party still stand by its 1946 policy and by the statement of the late Mr. Hofmeyr to the effect that the Indians should also sit in this House, that the Indians should also be represented here? As regards the Whites who are to represent the Bantu here, which Bantu will elect those Whites and what will their franchise qualifications be? Will only male Bantu have the franchise or will female Bantu also have the franchise? How far does the United Party’s discrimination go and how democratic can it be if it wants to safeguard the position of the White man in that federation?
I should like to refer to the remarks made by the hon. the Prime Minister in discussing the educational system in the Transvaal, especially the election of school boards. I do not suggest for a moment that the hon. the Prime Minister has misled the House and his followers but I think he has been misled by his representatives in the Transvaal. The position in the Transvaal is briefly this. The system that we had for almost 50 years, from before the time of Union, was that two-thirds of the members of the school boards were elected and one-third nominated. In the case of a school board of 12 members, eight were elected and four were nominated by the Administration. Where there were nine members, six were elected and three nominated. The voters’ roll was the voters’ roll of the taxpayers. Everybody voted whether they had children at school or not. After the result of the election was declared, very often not on political lines—in the country districts especially it was often not on political lines—the Administration used to nominate (I am speaking of personal experience now), on the advice of the magistrate and usually the local Provincial Councillor. They nominated one representative from each language group or two from each group. I remember on one occasion a local predikant was nominated and an English-speaking merchant, and in that way a certain balance was observed. Both sections of the population were nominated and both sections were represented. Now the Nationalist Government in the Transvaal have introduced a new system. They have introduced the ward system where members of the board—again two-thirds of the members—are elected on a ward system where the parents of the children vote. English-speaking schools and Afrikaans-speaking schools are put on two separate rolls. In other words, in the Transvaal we are perpetuating the system of dividing the children in the schools. The National Party are quite determined to do that, and now that we are speaking of national unity I think this system should be revised. However, that is the system. As a result of that system we find that the School Board that the Nationalist Government in the Transvaal were anxious to tackle was the Witwatersrand Central School Board in Johannesburg. In one of the elections some years ago seven anti-Nationalists were elected and one Nationalist, and the anti-Nationalists were not all members of the United Party. Some of them were not active politicians at all but it was seven and one, so that with four nominated Nationalists they still did not have a majority. But now they have this ward system of election they have five anti-Nationalists and three Nationalists. By nominating four, with their three, they have seven Nationalists and five anti-Nationalists. In other words, they have used the nomination system to upset the voting of the parents. The question is: what is the motive? There is no question about the motive. When I quoted the motive the hon. member for Vryheid (Mr. D. J. Potgieter) tried to add his explanation. It is a coincidence that we have representatives of the various provincial administrations in the city to-day. Yesterday one of them from the Transvaal was interviewed. A newspaper correspondent tried to have an interview with the Administrator of the Transvaal but he said that Mr. van Niekerk, a member of the Executive Committee was responsible directly to the Executive Committee for the administration of education. Mr. van Niekerk, two days ago, was perfectly frank, brutally frank, in saying that they are making political nominations. I am very pleased, and very grateful to the hon. the Prime Minister for saying, that he regrets that they have done it in that way in Johannesburg. I think that was the opinion of most people who have the interests of education at heart. This is what Mr. van Niekerk said—
Mr. van Niekerk said that every group chose its own representatives and the Government then nominated the remaining one-third of the Board from people who were well disposed (goedgesind) towards this Government.
That means, Sir, that these are political nominations we are having in education. The hon. the Prime Minister pointed out that in places such as Potchefstroom and Lydenburg (I know them both well) where they did not have English-speaking representatives, they could now have them. But they did have them before we had this Nationalist Administration. We did have them under the nomination system. As I explained, the Administration of the Transvaal nominated representatives of the minority group.
Where? Give us one example.
I think it is most regrettable that in our education they are now trying to capture the only school board the Nationalists could not capture, the Witwatersrand Central School Board, and that they used this device, that they stooped to this device, in order to control the Johannesburg School Board. The next point I should like to come to, Sir, is rather an unpleasant one. I regret very much indeed that the hon. the Prime Minister in order to bolster up his case, should have produced in this House a circular by a stockbroker to his clients. Sir, when a stockbroker sends out any document, he has to send that document to his clients and only to his clients. Here I have an annual Investors’ Financial Directory sent out by a firm of stockbrokers, and it says very clearly “ Issued for the information of clients by …”. A stockbroker under the rules of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange may not send circulars to any person except his clients.
Why do we get them?
You get them because a client has given it to you, or you have dealt with the stockbroker.
The Prime Minister was not a client of this stockbroker.
The hon. the Prime Minister did not say that he got it as a client. The hon. the Prime Minister is much too discreet for that. I presume the hon. the Prime Minister got it from some person who said “ This stockbroker has sent out a very pessimistic circular; his weekly circular is very pessimistic”. He mentioned the firm. I will not mention a firm. I am not a stockbroker, but I have had experience of the Stock Exchange. What has happened is that in the weekly circular, the stockbroker has reviewed the international and financial situation and he has advised his clients what they should do in the circumstances. The same firm, to my knowledge, has criticized the United Party at times. This time they criticized the Government for using the word “apartheid ”. It is a bad word in the world to-day; it is not mentioned in respectable company. He says “ Make it a little gentler for my people overseas ”. From week to week he sends out his review of the situation. Should he always send out an optimistic report? That is the question we have to ask.
Then he would be misleading his clients.
Had a stockbroker a year ago sent out a circular to his clients, after Sharpeville, saying: “ This Government has blundered again; it will go from bad to worse. This is only the beginning. They are also going to have a referendum, and should they win the referendum, there will be another slump on the market ”—had he said that, that would according to hon. members opposite not have been in the interest of South Africa. But it would have been in the service of his clients, and it would have been true. He would have been giving good information. Now his advice to-day may be “ Don’t go into the market yet, wait a little while, but don’t sell what you have ”. That he may say to his clients. He does not make a public statement. He may not make public statements under the rules of the Stock Exchange. He merely says “ Don’t rush in to buy to-day. I think the situation seems worse than ever, judging by UNO; it is 93 to one now; 3,000,000,000 people in the world are opposed to this Government ”. [Time limit.]
I was discussing the concept of a state within a state and the fact that we had historical as well as modern examples of the devolution of powers on a functional basis within the state and not necessarily on a geographic basis. I now want to discuss briefly the very clear picture which the hon. the Prime Minister has given us of what this party’s concept of the future is. I am now discussing the Coloureds, but in principle my remarks apply to the Indians, except that the Indians will not have a representative here in this Parliament. What has the hon. the Prime Minister indicated? In the first place he has indicated that there will be a devolution of powers as regards the own interests of the Coloureds in respect of matters such as education, social welfare and so on. In the second place, the hon. the Prime Minister has indicated that there may be a devolution of powers which are also linked to certain geographic matters, insofar as they relate to the control of towns and cities occupied exclusively under the provisions of the Group Areas Act by a particular population group. And these general indications can obviously be supplemented now or at any later stage and—more wisely from our own experience by saying: This or that interest of this community will fall under the control of their own legislative assembly. As a co-operative spirit is established, these powers can be made very extensive. But, Mr. Chairman, what is cardinal to and clear from the speech by the hon. the Prime Minister is that as far as the Coloureds are concerned, the Coloureds who form part of this Western community with a common fate which occupies South Africa, they will retain their Parliamentary representation on the present basis through Whites, while this devolution of powers of a state within a state is taking place. And as regards the Indians, the hon. the Prime Minister has quite rightly been silent on the point because it is not the intention that the Indians should be represented here because the Indian has a long way to go within his own group community.
I now want to compare this extremely clear concept with the racial federation of the United Party. What do the United Party say about their racial federation? They say: (a) the Coloureds will be represented by Coloureds in this Parliament: Question 1: In what numerical proportions will the Coloureds be so represented? Will they be given a number of representatives based on the number of qualified Coloured voters, or will the Coloureds be restored to the common voters’ roll which is still the policy of the United Party as has once again been indicated during this Session? And if we are to have a varying number of Coloured representatives, how is the federal conception to be expressed? Is the United Party going to give these Coloured representatives federal powers in respect of Coloured affairs? What is their attitude, and if this is not the position why then are they speaking of a federation if they do not want to mislead us? Then we come to the second aspect, namely the position of the Indian. Here exactly the same question applies. According to the present edition of the United Party’s policy, the Indians will not be given a large number of representatives, an unspecified number, but will the Indian representatives also have federal powers in respect of their racial group? What is their policy?
And now we come to the urban Natives, in the first place. And here the United Party must speak. Will the urban Natives, whom they say must also be represented, vote on the basis of a separate Union-wide voters roll for a fixed number of representatives? How will that electoral roll be drawn up? What qualifications do they have in mind? What numbers do they have in mind? Sometimes they speak of six, sometimes they speak of 12 Native Representatives. Why six and why 12? They must begin to clarify their federation, already asked in passing: Are these urban Bantu going to form one federated group together with the Whites, or are the Bantu going to form a separate federal group within the group, and what will be their federal functions? Hon. members are laughing and I do not blame them. Any reasonable person would laugh at such nonsense, because this is what the United Party are advocating. They have advocated the most absolute unformulated nonsense in an attempt merely to have something to contrast with the clear ideas of the Prime Minister.
The clear ideas?
Yes, the clear ideas. Mr. Chairman, the United Party contains three types of member.« The one type of member is like the hon. member for Yeoville who can understand but who does not want to understand because he wants to mislead the public. Then there is the category in which the hon. member for Sunnyside (Mr. Horak) falls, namely those who cannot understand, but who do at least want to understand; and then we have the category in which the absent member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) for example falls, namely those who cannot or do not want to understand. He just wants to make a noise. Mr. Chairman, I say that the United Party’s concept is a most vague, confusing and misleading concept which they have merely put forward in order to have something with which to counter the clear policy of the Prime Minister.
I want to make one final point and it relates once again to the hon. member for Yeoville who is not in the House at the moment. I listened very carefully to his reply to the hon. Deputy Minister of Education relating to his reported statements which the hon. member for Yeoville did make not at a chance meeting, but at a meeting, as he himself has admitted, of the women’s council of the United Party in Pretoria. The hon. member for Yeoville did not specifically deny that he made the statement which has been reported, namely that he regarded it as essential that the representatives of the Natives in this Parliament should in the course of time be “ Africans ”. He has stated that he remembers that the general tenor of his remarks was that no population group could remain unrepresented and that future parliaments could always decide on a change. But the hon. member has not stated categorically and clearly: “ I deny that I said before the Women’s Council of the United Party in Pretoria that in the course of time the Native Representatives in this Parliament would be Natives.” The hon. member has had the opportunity to rise and to confirm or to deny specifically that he made that statement. Let the hon. member now take the opportunity to say whether he specifically denies that he said what the Rand Daily Mail has attributed to him, and if he does so, then the hon. member will be giving strong support to the complaints which have been made about the sense of the responsibility of the South African Press. Because if the hon. member for Yeoville did in fact not make this statement, namely that Natives should be represented in this House by Natives, and the Rand Daily Mail has falsely attributed these words to him, then that paper has done a great injustice to the hon. member for Yeoville which gives us reason to consider taking some type of action against such misrepresentations. It is now up to the hon. member for Yeoville to choose between the two alternatives.
I want to associate myself with all those hon. members who have objected to the attacks which have been made on the Press of South Africa. We in South Africa have good reason to be proud of our Press, the Press which ever since the days of Fairbairn and Pringle has been built up in South Africa over the years by honest and hard-working journalists, and which has been built on the great principles of journalism, which we have derived mainly from overseas countries and particularly from Britain, where the principle of Press freedom is regarded as being of the utmost importance. That is why I regard it as so deplorable when we have attacks on the Press such as that made by the hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg). The hon. member has risen and accused a great South African newspaper, the Cape Times, of treason. The word “ treason ” is one of the ugliest words which can be used as an accusation against a newspaper or a person. I now challenge the hon. member to repeat this accusation against the Cape Times on a public platform outside, and if he does not do so he is a political coward.
Order! The hon. member may not say that.
Coming from the hon. member for Orange Grove, I do not have any objection.
I do not think it befits the hon. member to make such an accusation.
I have never used the words which you are attributing to me.
I call the rest of the House as witnesses that the hon. member used the word “ treason ”.
Just check it up in the Hansard report.
If I were the hon. member for Wolmaransstad, I would not have been so ready to use that word in view of the actions of the newspapers which support that side of the House in the past when South Africa was in great danger. At that time I was a member of the Nationalist Party and I wrote things which I now realize were completely wrong, and which I regret to-day. I admit it. The difference is that what was written at that time is still the Nationalist Party’s policy to-day and it was the Nationalist Party’s policy at that time. It is no longer my policy.
We can safely examine the court judgment in the case in which the hon. the Prime Minister was involved. The House will remember that he instituted a libel case against the Star. The Star had apparently said that the hon. the Prime Minister and his newspaper were instruments of the Nazis. The Prime Minister instituted a libel case against the Star, and lost his case. The Judge said that the Star was right in its accusation against the Prime Minister. Mr. Chairman, what is going to happen as regards this threat against the Press of South Africa? Hon. members opposite have made far too many threats over the past few days for us to think that nothing will come of what the Prime Minister has said to-day.
A few weeks ago I placed a question on the Order Paper. I asked: Is it the Government’s intention to re-introduce the Publications Bill. The hon. the Minister of the Interior then gave a vague reply. I think it was a reasonable question and I now want to put it again directly and pertinently to the Prime Minister. Is he going to re-introduce the Publications Bill, and if so, is he going to do so during this Session, or will he do so under the republic? We want to know. The country was delighted when we heard that that Bill was no longer to be introduced, that it had been withdrawn. We now see that there is once again a threat and that pressure is being exercised on the Cabinet and the Prime Minister by certain organizations to have the Bill introduced. We want to know what is going to happen in this regard and what is going to happen in respect of the Internal Censorship Bill? It is important that we should know what further steps against the Press of South Africa are being envisaged.
Press freedom is not something which is a gift from the Government. Press freedom is something on which the whole democratic system depends. Press freedom is something which should be accepted as something which should not be exposed to the subjective decision of a government on this side or a government on that side, or of any government. Hon. members have referred to the irresponsibility of the Press. Who is to judge what is irresponsibility? The hon. the Prime Minister does not have the right to do so, nor does his Government, just as little as the United Party would have the right to judge and to say simply because the Press expresses opinions what is irresponsibility. There are laws relating to libel and there are existing laws which define high treason. These laws are more than adequate to ensure that the Press do not overstep the bounds of propriety. There are laws dealing with libel and pornography. Very well, let those laws be applied. Do not let us have further threats and attacks on the Press which do not agree with the opinions of hon. members opposite. When we on this side of the House say that Press freedom should not come under the control of the Minister or a board or anything else, then the hon. member for Ventersdorp (Mr. Greyling) says that is not an argument. The truth as regards Press freedom is very well put in the words of Mil-ton, namely: “Let truth and falsehood grapple; whoever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter.” If the truth has any substance, then truth will triumph.
Mr. Chairman, why are we having these threats against the Press? Because the hon. the Prime Minister was unable to explain our case and the case of the Nationalist Party at all convincingly at the Commonwealth Conference. It has been said that we are encouraging the Press to tell untruths. We do not have the same ability to influence the Press as the other side of the House with its Information Service. The Prime Minister went overseas himself and explained personally to the other Commonwealth Prime Ministers what South Africa’s position was in his opinion. And at that Conference where he had personal contacts, where he had his Minister of External Affairs with him, where he spoke to Mr. Macmillan, and where he had Press interviews and appeared on television, he was a failure. And at UNO where he has his diplomats, where they have their contacts in the lobby, where they regularly have the opportunity to explain South Africa’s position, where pamphlets of the Information Service are distributed, where newspaper advertisements are placed, where television is used, they have failed.
Why? Can hon. members not see why they have failed? Has it not at some stage or another penetrated to their minds that perhaps the fault to some small degree lies with them, that there is perhaps a little error somewhere in their thinking, as well as in their ideas and in their policy? Are they so ossified by the granite curtain which the Prime Minister has drawn around them that they cannot see the other side of the case? That they cannot see that there may in fact be reason for criticism? And can they not see that one does not smother criticism by trying to extinguish it, and that one of the most dangerous things which they could do to South Africa would be to institute some type of Press censorship? If anything of that nature should ever happen here in South Africa, then it could herald the end of our country as we know it to-day. [Time limit.]
It surprises one that certain hon. members opposite rise and speak with great indignation because Government members are interpreting a feeling of indignation and dissatisfaction with certain parts of our Press which is prevalent in the country. I can come to no other conclusion but that certain people may apparently have guilty consciences. The Press is a mighty weapon which plays a great rôle, particularly in respect of the attitude of people overseas. It is an instrument which can also play a great rôle in determining the relations in our country between the various racial groups, White and non-White, and Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking. When one sees what has been done in the past, then there is every reason for the indignation which has been expressed on this side of the House and the contention that the Press should start disciplining itself. I want to quote today what has been written by someone who is in a position to present the Afrikaans-speaking section to the English-speaking section. In 1945 this person wrote about one of the greatest statesmen our country has produced, namely Dr. D. F. Malan. This person wrote as follows—
A few years later, in 1951, this same person wrote the following words, but he was then writing in a different publication. His subject was once against the character (not the policy) of Dr. D. F. Malan. On this occasion he wrote as follows—
The person who on these two occasions discussed the character—and not the policy—of Dr D. F. Malan and who interpreted him in this way to the people for whom he was writing, is the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) who has just sat down. I therefore think that I am correct in saying that the indignation which the hon. member has expressed does not befit him at all. The hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) has also just referred with the utmost indignation to the fact that we dare object to the actions of the English Press. I do not want to disclose personal conversations between the hon. member and myself, but I do not think I am doing the hon. member an injustice when I say that in the course of private conversations with me he has said that much of the discord in South Africa has been caused by the English Press of our country. And now I should like to discuss the reasons for the indignation which exists, and in doing so I am not urging that steps should be taken against the Press, but I am doing so because I feel that the time has come for the Press to discipline itself. In 1952 we also had difficulties and disturbances in South Africa. The House will remember the disturbances at New Brighton. After these disturbances, and before the Government had taken any action as yet, the Cape Times wrote on the morning of 21 October 1952—and I regard the date as very important—
It then went on to discuss what the Government might do, and said—
It went on—
And then in conclusion it said—
But, Mr. Chairman, what I regard as being of importance is what appeared exactly 24 hours later in the same newspaper. This time it was not reporting on the disturbances at New Brighton, in respect of which no action had yet been taken and in respect of which suspicion had already been created against the Government. On this occasion it was reporting that the British Royal Air Force had bombed the Mau Mau in the Aberdere mountains of Kenya. On 22 October 1952 under the heading “ Swift action in Kenya ” the same newspaper wrote as follows—
This is the British Government of that territory—
And it stated repeatedly how commendable this strong action was in Kenya. Then this newspaper ended as follows—
That is comment.
When we object to comment, it is suddenly something quite different to when we object to distorted reporting. The objection which we have to the behaviour of newspapers such as this is the following. When an Afrikaner Government in South Africa wants to take action, suspicion is aroused against it in advance in the minds of the English-speaking people of this country and in the minds of the outside world which reads this Press. But when the British Government bombs the Mau Mau in Kenya it is applauded as vigorously as they can. That is the difference. The difference is simply that here we have an Afrikaner Government which must be broken; there in Kenya it is a British Government which must be supported in the actions it takes and in times of emergency. It is because of behaviour of this type that the people of South Africa feel aggrieved, and it is because of behaviour of this type that I want to express the hope that the Press itself will realize that, under the conditions with which we are faced, the time has come for it to discipline itself.
In this debate we have heard a great deal of discussion on me subject of our potential losses of the material benefits of membership of the Commonwealth, particularly in the economic and military spheres. But very little has been said of our loss as a nation of opportunity to play our part in the great team of nations in promoting and protecting those fundamental institutions and conceptions culminated to foster individual human liberties. In this respect I want to refer particularly to the world fight against Communism.
The hon. the Prime Minister has on many occasions claimed that South Africa is a very valuable ally of the Western world because we are strongly anti-communist. But we on this side of the House believe that by their unimaginative treatment of the unprivileged people of South Africa the Government have, in point of fact, created a most fertile possible field for Communism and are, possibly unwittingly, the strongest allies of the communists in Africa. I believe that the hon. the Prime Minister himself acknowledged that when, on his return from England, at the D. F. Malan Airport he made the following statement. Referring to the London conversations, he said—
In other words that was surely a very frank admission that in the fight against communist aggression South Africa was an embarrassment to Great Britain. I believe in the Prime Minister’s treatment of the Indian people in South Africa, with the inevitable repercussions on the nation of India, he has given an outstanding example of how he is failing the Western world in this fight against Communism. We have heard him introduce the new concept with his unique capacity for explaining the inexplicable and defending the indefensible, in speaking of the four parallelisms and the conception of a state within a state. He made it quite clear that it is his ultimate intention to place the Indian people of South Africa under a Department of Indian Affairs very similar to the Department of Coloured Affairs which controls the lives and the future of the Coloured people of South Africa. When boiled down this is merely a policy of population fragmentation on tribal lines, and I believe that it is a dream which bears no relation at all to the reality of an integrated society. It is totally unsuited for the highly cultured, highly intelligent and highly commercialized society such as the Indian people are to-day. It is, of course, simply another variation of colour discrimination. To me it is remarkable, after all that has been happening at UNO during the last few weeks, where we stand alone condemned by the whole world for our colour discrimination, and also following the developments in the Commonwealth Conference at which we were forced to leave the Commonwealth because of our colour discrimination, that the Government should press on in this manner to underline the fact that they are continuing with racial discrimination with regard to this important section of our people. I believe that to do so at this stage is not only a defiance of the whole world but also a provocation. Because, although precise details of the Prime Minister’s plan are not yet known, we must recognize that he holds out no hope whatsoever of any alleviation of the embarrassments and restrictions under which the Indian people in South Africa work and live. We must remember that they are not only the most voiceless but also the most defenceless section of our people and, possibly for that reason they are the most subject to racial discrimination.
Let me remind the hon. the Prime Minister of the appalling restrictions that are placed upon the Indian people in so far as domicile in the various provinces is concerned. Let me remind him of their restrictions in respect of ownership of property, of the manner in which the Group Areas Act has been used— to the extent of 90 per cent or more—against the Indians, to deprive them of their property, and to destroy their commercial preponderance in certain areas as to force them into other occupations. Quite apart from that, we know how they are subject, more than any other racial group, to the prejudices and conventions which limit their participation either in the Civil Service or employment in Government Service, or in provincial government or local authorities. They are also subjected to considerable difficulties in participating in various professions.
Consequently, to come along at this stage and introduce this new conception of a Department of Indian Affairs, envisages the possibility of still further restrictions upon the Indian people. Whatever way you look at it, it is inevitable that it will be regarded as another method of introducing an administrative ghetto for the Indian people. It will certainly perpetuate the racial inferiority which has always characterized the treatment of the Indians. With that goes the inevitable humiliation of an inferior social status. Added to that it seems almost inevitable that there will be further limitations of opportunity, both economic and industrial and, on top of that, a possible restriction of area. We have had vague hints of Indian homelands thrown out. I do not know where the hon. the Prime Minister is going to find these Indian homelands, but that is a possibility. So that even if they are allowed to develop to the fullest possible extent in those areas, it is quite obvious that their participation in the government of the country will simply be limited to local areas, to questions of roads and drains and, possibly, of schools, of hospitals and other minor matters, without any possibility of participating in the major administrative affairs of their own country, or of considering themselves as full citizens of South Africa. Whatever happens they will also inevitably be under the absolute arbitrary rule of the White man.
It is quite obvious that the Indians of South Africa will not accept it; nor will India accept it; nor will UNO, and still less will the Commonwealth or the Afro-Asian nations. I believe that to introduce a scheme of this sort at the present time is to introduce racial discrimination which will simply exacerbate our affairs and our relations, not only internally with the Indians but also with the Governments of India and Pakistan. This aspect is one which demands greater consideration, because, after all, India and Pakistan are our two most powerful neighbours, quite apart from being the dominant partners in the Afro-Asian bloc, and they exercise a tremendous influence in the world to-day. They occupy a midway position between the communist East and the civilized West. Surely it is important that we in South Africa should realize our responsibilities to see that nothing is done to exacerbate opinion in India which might possibly throw India or Pakistan, or both of those countries into the arms of the communist camp.
It is quite true that India some years ago withdrew her High Commissioner and has since exercised trade sanctions against South Africa. But surely that does not prevent this hon. Prime Minister from exercising statesmanship of the highest order and making some constructive gesture towards restoring relations with those two countries? Pakistan has shown her goodwill towards South Africa, and that is surely something on which we can work. But this treatment of the Indians in South Africa will do nothing to help that. [Time limit.]
I hope the hon. member who has just resumed his seat will not blame me for dealing with what he said. I want to confine myself immediately to this little Press war which has just broken out in the House. Taking into consideration how the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) posed here as the adopted father or uncle of the Press, one cannot blame him for doing so, because as has been pointed out from this side of the House on repeated occasions, it is the United Party which uses the Press against our country in the outside world in order to try to break the National Party.
Give one bit of proof.
There is so much proof that if I had to give all the proof I can give the afternoon would not be long enough. I would like to express my appreciation to the hon. the Prime Minister for the significant way in which he warned the Press in our country to-day. I also want to associate myself with what the hon. member for Vryburg (Mr. Labuschagne) said yesterday when he expressed his disapproval of the behaviour of the Press. That was also done by the hon. member for Middelland (Mr. P. S. van der Merwe). The general consensus of opinion in every country of the world is that the Press bears a grave responsibility in regard to the education of the people. The trends of thought, ideals, etc., of the people are all influenced by the Press all over the world. I am not one of those who believe that the Press and public opinion should be stifled. But I am one of those who believe that where we do not want to control the Press, the Press should control itself, particularly since South Africa decided to leave the Commonwealth, because at that time a tremendous attack was made on us through the medium of the Press. We on this side of the House cannot be blamed for saying that many of the assertions of the United Party were devoid of all truth. The irony of the Press is this, that when someone gets up here with very good intentions to state a case, no publicity is given to it; but when somebody succeeds in playing off the one against the other and propounding the sort of thing in this House in which the people outside are not interested and do not care for, then there is publicity. I want this afternoon to be fair towards both sides of the House and I want to appoint myself as the barometer of how the Press treats hon. members. A little while ago I pleaded for a railway link between Lichtenburg and Mafeking, something which affects the interests of my constituency. I also pleaded for the building of a grain elevator in East London. The Minister of Transport agreed with me and said he was in favour of the building of such an elevator in order to reduce the production costs of the maize farmers.
Order! The hon. member cannot expand on that now.
I am now dealing with the Press in that connection. The Press could find no space to give publicity to this. This is something affecting the farmers and the whole country. But, Sir, when I had the opportunity to attack that political acrobat in this House, the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) I received publicity from one of the English newspapers in Cape Town, which said that it seemed that I had received an “ agterskot ” from Heaven to chastise him in that way. I ask myself, and the people outside ask themselves, what purpose this sort of publicity serves. In these days in which we live it is necessary for us—and this has been said from both sides—to be tolerant. Just before the adjournment the hon. the Prime Minister again wisely gave us guidance and a warning. Where we all attempt to achieve this out of our deep convictions and very sincerely, and where we have all at one time or another used slogans in regard to building a nation, the Press negatives and destroys everything. In my constituency United Party supporters came to me. They are people whose opinions are always worth considering and for whom I have the greatest respect, and also some of our own party supporters have said that as long as the Press in South Africa is allowed to continue with reports like this we will not have unity in South Africa. Now the Press should not blame me. What I say here I say with the best intentions. I think the time has arrived for the Press in South Africa to consider what it says. If the political parties are serious, as they all profess to be, and as I believe, in saying that we need each other, that we have our backs to the wall and that dark days are awaiting us—nobody with any intelligence is prepared to deny that—then it is necessary in the first place that there should be a mutual approach in a spirit of tolerance. But when we try to foster this spirit, everything is destroyed and negatived by the Press. On behalf of this side of the House and of the people outside, who believe every word uttered by the Prime Minister here and again this afternoon before lunch in regard to the Press, I want to thank him heartily for it. I am sure that he has rendered the country a great service by issuing this warning, in spite of the fact that there are members who do not appreciate it and declare that he has given the wrong advice.
There are other matters about which we heard much here under the Prime Minister’s Vote, one of them being the so-called injustice which was done in regard to the composition of the school boards in the Transvaal. The old adage has it that history repeats itself. I cannot understand for a moment what right the United Party has to charge us with injustice in regard to the composition of school boards. The Prime Minister gave a very clear explanation. I just want to remind hon. members opposite of their own sins of the past. They must put their hand into their own bosom. In 1943 I had the honour of becoming the provincial councillor for Lichtenburg. As you know, Sir, the provincial councillor recommends the three members of the school board who are appointed by the Administrator and the Executive Committee. [Time limit.]
I have sat here now since Monday and listened to three long speeches by the hon. the Prime Minister, anxiously hoping he would show some approach or solution the dangers which are facing South Africa, and particularly in regard to world opinion. But now I am more deeply worried than ever. It is no use appealing to him. The time for debating points has passed, and I only want to mention what the lessons of the past have shown us, and apply them to the present position of South Africa, as a warning of things to come.
On Monday I quoted a speech made four years ago It was then already clear to me that the hon. the Prime Minister had ideas of infallibility and that if they continued to develop and he came into power he would be a danger to our Western civilization. Recent events have proved only too clearly that the warnings that came from this side of the House were only too correct. His remarks about the Press to-day must have shocked every South African and will shock the world. It was not a question of advising them to follow a certain course, it was definitely a threat to the Press and will have adverse repercussions throughout the free world. And now it has been taken up by every hon. member on that side of the House and has become Nationalist policy. Since he became Prime Minister his dangerous ideas of infallibility have grown. The best way I can express them is by quoting from a letter written by a young Nationalist to the Burger of yesterday’s date. He said—
Then this young Afrikaner goes on to say …
Who wrote that?
It is written by a man named van Wyk. He is a student at the University of Stellenbosch and he has the courage to sign his name. Later on, speaking of the Afrikanervolk he says—
The time has come for the political power to be taken out of the hon. the Prime Minister’s hands. He has become a danger to our existence as a nation. If his party will not do so, then the voters of South Africa, regardless of their political affinities, must demand that he hands over power to some other Nationalist leader—and it must be a Nationalist because they will be in power for another two-and-a-half years-be he a Minister, be he a member or be he one of their great financiers or industrialists or some great church leader. We ask for no part in the government. All we ask for is a modification of the Prime Minister’s deadly policies. Then, at the next general election in two-and-a-half years’ time the people of South Africa can say whether they want a change of Government or not.
Probably the hon. the Prime Minister has seen a movie called the “ Birth of a Nation ”, Does he realize that he is to-day writing the script of a future movie which will be called the Death of a Nation? Mr. Menzies has pointed out, in words more serious than those used by any other Prime Minister, the doom and the terrible things that lie before us. Surely thinking members on the Government side of the House can see that these ideas of infallibility are becoming infectious? The President of the powerful German Press Club, Mr. Luth, whose earlier speech I quoted on Monday, has decided to leave the country three days earlier than he intended to because of the rudeness of a little potential dictator, the Director of Information. On the same day we see a staunch Nationalist of International fame, both on the sports field and in the scholastic world, Mr. Gideon Roos, has suddenly left the SA.B.C.; no doubt because another potential little dictator in that organization has had the impertinence and the lack of a sense of duty to use a non-political public utility corporation for the use of Nationalist propaganda. And the latter, in doing so, has made himself guilty of a misdemeanour. Because there is no difference between using a public utility corporation, like that, for political propaganda, and the public servant who uses a Government car to drive Nationalist voters to the polls. He had no right to do it and he is using his powers as Governor for the wrong purpose. It is the beginning of a dictatorship when non-party corporations are used for Government purposes. This is nothing more nor less than the creating of a Goebbels of South Africa.
Who are you talking about?
If you cannot follow what I am saying do not waste my time now: I refer to Mr. Meyer of the S.A.B.C.
Do hon. members opposite realize that though it is used against us to-day, to-morrow it will be used against them unless they toe the line? They must act at once if they want to safeguard their freedom and their rights. Do they not realize, after what happened to a man like Rohm that they who are friends of dictators to-day are their enemies to-morrow? Rohm helped to bring Hitler to power, then he was destroyed. All those thousands of industrialists who supplied the money to put Hitler into power; what happened to them the moment he got in?
Mr. Chairman, I said I was going to give the lessons of the past in order to show what is happening to-day. Napoleon imagined at the end (as he thought honestly), that he had a destiny which urged him on until he brought France down. But that was only because he united all his enemies against him. Finally they dragged him down. Mussolini thought that he was infallible, and he rolled Italy in the dust. Hitler was convinced that he, and he alone, held all the sources of knowledge and wisdom and he brought Germany to her knees. All those men—and they were great men or they would not have been in those positions—had one thing in common; they were psychopaths; or were paranoiacs. So in passing I venture to say that had those highly intelligent and powerful characters even been right, they would still have brought their country down because they had been able to create sufficient enemies; like the hon. Prime Minister is doing for South Africa now. That is the position. I instanced three great men who because of their belief in their infallibility created disaster for themselves and their countries and united against their countries too many enemies. Cannot hon. members opposite see that the hon. the Prime Minister is following step by step in the path of those men, and that he will ruin South Africa if he remains in power? As sure as night follows day, we will have disaster. Already most people in South Africa are sensing the twilight which heralds the dark night into which South Africa is moving: a dark night without the hope of a dawn which at least even in the two republics in 1902 people could hope for.
Sir, there is only one remedy. The hon. Prime Minister must go if we are to save this country. It embarrasses and distresses me very much to say this, because as a man I have the greatest regard and respect for him. All the letters I have had, or seen, from people in England, be they statesmen, be they leaders of the services such as air marshals and generals and Members of Parliament and members of the aristocracy, they all said the same thing, that whilst they disagreed with his policy he conducted himself with the greatest dignity, courtesy and politeness. In fact, he acted like a cultured gentleman and therefore it distresses me deeply to have to say this; but it is my duty to do so. Sir, I would be a coward, and I would be lacking in my duty to my country, if I did not warn them that the Prime Minister to-day is becoming a danger to our safety. Like those I have mentioned, he has ideas of grandeur and he is becoming nothing more nor less than a paranoiac. That is the danger. He is to-day a paranoiac and that is the trouble …
On a point of order, may the hon. member say that another hon. member is a paranoiac? It is an ugly (lieder-like) word.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw it.
Mr. Chairman, I apologize to you and the House for having to use it, but I cannot withdraw it. It is my duty, and in the autumn of my life I want to warn my country, as I believe I am speaking the truth. I stand by it. I am sorry, but I cannot withdraw it. I would be a coward if I did.
The hon. member must withdraw and apologize to the Committee.
I am sorry, but my conscience will not allow me to do so.
Then the hon. member must withdraw from the House for the remainder of the day’s sittings.
Whereupon Major van der Byl withdrew.
The hon. member for Green Point said that there was one solution to our trouble, viz. to get rid of Dr. Verwoerd as Prime Minister. For the information of the Opposition, I want to say that it is not Dr. Verwoerd who adopts this course but the National Party. It is the declared policy of the party which is being carried out by Dr. Verwoerd and which is being implemented by him, and also the policy of past Prime Ministers. The hon. member upset himself to such an extent that he had to leave the House and therefore I will leave him there, but the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) got up here and made an attack on the Prime Minister and put words into his mouth which he never used, to the effect that the Prime Minister is alleged to have said that he would take action against the Press. But the Prime Minister never said that. He has left it to the decency of the Press itself to know the limits to which it can go.
We heard here about a police state. The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) continually interjected to say that we were a police state. Just imagine, Sir, if we were living in a police state, how could that hon. member still sit there to defend the Press, as she is freely allowed to do? Then I must say it is a very gentle police state in which we live. But neverthless that unsavoury type of propaganda is sent out into the world and I should like to see in such cases that action should be taken to eject members like that from the House, where they ought not to sit, because they are no asset to South Africa but only a danger because of the type of language they use. [Interjection.] That hon. lady’s leader now wants to defend her, but he should leave it to her.
When one listens to the venom emanating from members opposite, one can come to only one conclusion, and that is that hon. members are frightened because the English-speaking people are now joining the Nationalist Party by the hundreds, and that is a fact; I am not just imagining it. I can show hon. members letters from English-speaking voters who say that Dr. Verwoerd is the only man who can save us, and that is a fact. If we were to lose Dr. Verwoerd to-day, as the hon. member for Green Point suggested, can anyone tell us which hon. member opposite can take his place to lead us out of danger? Then South Africa and the Whites and our civilization will really be in danger of disappearing. The Prime Minister has repeatedly explained our policy, but hon. members opposite still ask what it is. Is it not peculiar that they simply refuse to listen? The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) cannot understand it; the Prime Minister has now spoken for an hour but according to those hon. members he has told us nothing in regard to his policy. But I want to tell the hon. member for Durban (Point) that he should go to his constituency because there are hundreds of English-speaking people in Durban who are joining the National Party, and a new branch of our party is being established there.
There are only two branches in the whole of Durban.
And the same thing is happening throughout the Union. We are accustomed to the word of the Prime Minister being questioned, but one thing consoles me, viz. that the Prime Minister has now convinced the Opposition in regard to the language rights of the English-speaking people. Now we no longer hear that we are going to deprive them of their language rights. We heard that ad nauseam but it now seems to me that they are convinced that their language is not in any danger.
Another reassurance given them by the Prime Minister before the referendum was that the Union flag would remain as it was. Then hon. members opposite said “ That is a lie ”. But there we have it. The flag is still the same as it was and now they are quiet. I now want to make this appeal. Accept the Prime Minister’s word that he and he alone can lead us out of this trouble to better times, and that is what will happen, we want unity and co-operation, but how we are going to get that from an Opposition which deliberately just sets out to obstruct is beyond my comprehension.
Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to spend any of my valuable few minutes on refuting the allegations of the hon. member for Langlaagte (Mr. P. J. Coetzee). This is the second time he has attacked me personally in this House and I do not intend to waste any time on him. What I did say by way of interjection is not that South Africa is a police state, but that as far as the non-Whites are concerned it is a police state.
You said “Africans”.
I am a native of Africa, but he knows perfectly well that in the accepted meaning of the word “ African ” means a Native.
I want to come back to the point I dealt with last night which was tied up with the interesting talk given us this morning by the Prime Minister on his analysis of the policies confronting South Africa and the relative possibility of those policies getting our readmission to the Commonwealth. He analysed his policy of apartheid, which each time has a different name. Two years ago the Prime Minister, in his “ new vision ” speech, called it the policy of non-discrimination. This year he has had a newer vision and he calls it the policy of the four parallelisms. But whatever he calls it, and it does not smell any sweeter by whatever name he calls it, it is still basically apartheid and contains all the essence of racial discrimination, and the Prime Minister was unable to persuade the people overseas that his apartheid policy and his Bantustan policy were non-discriminatory. He tried to explain that by virtue of giving people rights in their own areas it was non-discriminatory. Where this policy falls down so palpably, as well as his explanation, is not only in the ineffectual development of the Bantustans themselves, the lack of facilities, transport, fuel and the lack of the 50,000 jobs a year which were to be created and the lack of secondary and tertiary industry and the difficulties about consolidation mentioned by the hon. member for East London (North)—apart from all these and the fact that nothing really has been done to produce a viable state, not only viable economically but politically, in these areas, and in spite of the Bantu authority system, which is not being accepted wholeheartedly, as the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration knows was evidenced by the events in Pondoland, the other explanation offered by the Prime Minister about the Africans in our White areas is so obviously without substance that the policy cannot be accepted as non-discriminatory. I refer to the analogy of the Italian migrant workers which is used repeatedly by hon. members opposite to explain why it is that if you give rights to the Africans in the Bantustans you need not give rights to them in the White areas. There are several good reasons why this explanation does not hold water. The first I mentioned last night, but I want to repeat it, viz. that the Italians working in Switzerland and France are not Swiss or French citizens; they are Italian-born and therefore they get their rights in Italy. The Africans working in the White areas are South African-born citizens and therefore they are entitled to exercise their rights wherever they live in South Africa. The second important point is that the Italian migrant workers, having crossed the frontiers of these foreign countries to work and having been given permission to work there, are not subjected at every turn to all sorts of discriminatory practices and undignified practices. They do not have to produce passes to the police of those countries all the time and do not have to reside in segregated areas and are not confronted by notices in Switzerland saying “ For Swiss Only ”, and in France “ For French Only ”. They are treated as ordinary persons, with the exception that they cannot vote. They are certainly treated better than the “ guests ” the Prime Minister refers to when he talks about our Africans coming from the reserves and working and living in the White areas.
The third and perhaps most important reason why this analogy does not hold water is that the Africans living in the White areas have been here for two or three generations. They live in houses provided by the Government as permanent residences with their families. Their children are born there, unlike the Italian workers, whose children are born in Italy and not in Switzerland or France. Our Africans in the towns and on the farms have been living there for generations. Their children have never seen the reserves and they have no contact whatever with the reserves. There is no analogy at all between those permanently urbanized Africans living permanently in the White areas and the Italian migrant workers. The only Africans with whom you can make that comparison are the proper migrant workers like the mine workers who come here and live in compounds and then go back to the reserves. But the urbanized Africans and those living on the farms of hon. members, where they and their families have been for generations, are not migrant workers. The most important reason is that while the Italian migrant workers supply a valuable additional labour force in Switzerland or France or Germany, these African workers in our towns and farms are the very backbone of our labour force. They do not just supply an additional labour force. They are the basic backbone of the labour force in our industry and on the farms and they are here permanently and we cannot do without them. Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany can at a pinch do without those workers, because they are simply an additional source of labour, but in South Africa these African workers who have been here for two or three generations have come to stay with us permanently and they are the backbone of our economy and therefore it is patently absurd to compare them with the Italian workers and to say that therefore they can expect no rights in our area and that a quid pro quo has been given to them in that they can exercise their rights in the reserves, areas which they have never seen and have no connection with, and which in some cases their grandparents have never even seen. It is an absurd comparison, and that is one of the reasons why the Prime Minister in London was unable to persuade the Prime Ministers at the Conference that his policy of apartheid is non-discriminatory and he will never be able to convince us on those grounds. I am not even going to discuss now the question of a state within a state he mentioned for the Coloureds and the Indians. How he is going to work that one out, I have no idea. [Time limit.]
Rather than continuing to kick against the pricks, the Opposition should accept three things. The first is that South Africa’s past cannot be bought out. There is no going back. The second is that the Government is not prepared to make adjustments and adaptations along the road of integration; thirdly, that the Government is prepared, however, to consider and to make adjustments on the basis of separate development. If in the future the Opposition still want to make a worthwhile and constructive contribution to the building up of this country and the solution of our race problems, they should view their task in the light of the latter course.
The Leader of the Opposition stated in the course of one of his speeches that the Government’s homeland policy, although not wrong perhaps was nevertheless impracticable and unrealistic because the Government was unable to implement it. The tempo at which our developmental programme is being carried out may be criticized perhaps, but then it must be borne in mind at the same time that the scope of this task is immense and that it is a very complicated task. It is our desire that the tempo should be accelerated where it is at all possible to do so. It is our desire that the tide in respect of the influx of Bantu into White areas should be turned as quickly as possible. Moreover, it ought to be an obsession with every right-thinking White person, particularly in the Western Cape, to get rid of the Bantu in this area.
But what has the Opposition done to assist the Government in this colossal task except to obstruct every sincere effort on the part of the Government and to criticize it and to make it suspect? The United Party has not helped to check this influx. On the contrary, their policy is to encourage the Bantu to come and settle here in the White areas together with their families, to come and settle here permanently amongst us, and to give them permanent rights in the White areas. Let me quote what the Provincial Council member of that party, Mrs. Taylor, said as reported in the Argus of 15 September 1959—
The successful turning back of the Bantu to the Bantu homelands and the Bantu’s total evacuation from certain areas like the Western Province is one of the corner-stones on which the policy of Bantu homelands rests, and what have the Opposition ever done to support the Government in this undertaking? If they have done nothing in the past other than to thwart the Government, what right has the Leader of the Opposition to criticize us now and to make the charge against us that our policy has failed or that we are incapable of implementing it?
Another important step to ensure the success of our programme of separate development is the establishment of border industries. What have the United Party done in this connection to support the Government? The United Party have great influence with the people with capital, with industrialists and big investors. Just think what it could mean to South Africa if the Opposition would use that influence and encourage these people to accept the principle and desirability of border industries and persuade them to give their active support to that principle. On the contrary they are negative and they regard it as impracticable and it is in that light that they represent it to the investors. It is absolutely essential that these industries should be established as soon as possible. We are aware of the fact that in this connection a great deal of spade work is already being done, but perhaps it is necessary at this stage that we should be given the full picture as to what has already been done.
Although large-scale planning is being undertaken in this connection, I want to ask whether the Government, in the interests of the Coloured in the Western Cape, will consider the question of investigating this area and regarding it as a border area for the planned establishment of certain types of industries and also applying the benefits, which will be applicable to the border industries, to industrial expansion of a certain type in this area.
A third important point in the implementation of our Bantu homeland policy is that it is necessary to purchase land, as is provided for in the 1936 Act. What was the United Party’s contribution in this connection? As the Cape Argus put it on 11 September 1959 it was immoral and indefensible. I quote from a translation which appeared in the Burger in this connection (re-translation)—
If the United Party has done nothing in the past except to oppose and to thwart the National Party in the implementation of the policy of separate development, what right has the Leader of the Opposition to come along now and to criticize us and to say that although possibly there is nothing wrong with this policy, it is impracticable and incapable of implementation because we have done so little in that connection?
What has struck me in this debate, having listened to the hon. member for Wolmaransstad (Mr. G. P. van den Berg), is the fact that a certain pattern of law has developed in South Africa. I regard it practically as an inevitable pattern of development in carrying out the policy of the Prime Minister—and I have said already that I am prepared to support him as far as possible—that we shall have to sacrifice every bit of freedom of both non-White and White in order to have any hope of achieving the Prime Minister’s ideal of saving the Whites along the lines of separate development. As far back as five or six years ago in this House I made bold to say that amongst other things the freedom of the Press in this country would inevitably have to be destroyed. I went further at the time, because this is by no means the end of the story, because what has been happening in the S.A.B.C. in the past few weeks is only the beginning. If the Government follows this road it will have to go in for what I described at that time as thought control, and as long as people are still able to think—and it is going to be extremely difficult to put a stop to it—so long will people differ from the course on which the hon. the Prime Minister and the Nationalist Party have embarked. When we think of the apartheid policy, we think in terms of economic sacrifices. I have often said that before this problem is going to be solved in any way it is going to involve economic sacrifices, not to the tune of hundreds of millions, but, as an economist, I maintain that eventually it is going to run into thousands of millions of pounds or rand before any progress is made in this direction, and those economic sacrifices will be sufficient utterly to ruin the economy of what we call White South Africa. If that happens, it will be the ruination of the White man. But what is this struggle all about? Fundamentally this struggle, not only in our country but also in the world, is one against an ideology. It is an ideological struggle against Communism. It is a struggle between Christianity and Communism. But what is significant throughout the West to-day and particularly in South Africa is that step by step we are following the pattern of Russian Communism. It is as though that is our destiny. I have said here on a previous occasion that you cannot fight fire with fire, and you can never beat Communism by imitating the methods of Communism. Year after year, day by day the West is throwing overboard those values which are characteristic of the philosophy of the West. Day by day they are throwing overboard the idea of freedom in an attempt to find a counter-measure to Communism. We have lost faith in the values of our own civilization. We in South Africa are following the Western pattern, and it would be well worth the trouble for hon. members to read a book that I read a number of years ago already, a book which is in our library here. I refer to “Three Who Made a Revolution (Trotsky, Stalin and Lenin)” by Wolfe. I say that the pattern of legislation over the past ten years in this country is precisely in accordance with the pattern of legislation in the Czarist régime in Russia, which eventually resulted in the position that we have to-day. Why has Communism gained such an easy victory in the past 40 or 50 years? Not even 50 years have elapsed since the revolution took place in Russia and look what has happened. Year after year Communism spreads. Everywhere the West and the Western ideology are losing ground. Why is that so? Because Communism has allied itself with the new dynamic force, the emergent nationalism, with those nations which have been oppressed and kept in a state of subservience throughout the centuries. The West—and here I am also talking about South Africa—has been obliged time and again to ally itself with the reactionaries, with those who want to maintain the old order, and here we have the secret of the Russian success. We have not stood for the principles of our own Western civilization to extend freedom, and we have given the communist the opportunity to give the oppressed nations, the Colonial nations, the impression that the communists stand for true freedom. To these nations Communism has become a symbol of freedom, while the West with its Colonialism has become the symbol of oppression. We contend that Communism has given an ersatz freedom to the nations, while Communism accuses the West of oppression and domination. These nations believe it in the light of the past of the West; they believe that Russia is the deliverer, and the great problem confronting both the world and South Africa to-day is to convince these nations that the freedom which Communism offers them is an ersatz freedom which will lead to a new enslavement which is unparalleled in the history of the world even under Colonialism. By simply offering another form of ersatz freedom, domination, the West will certainly not succeed in its struggle against Communism. [Time limit.]
I want to take part in this debate at once because the Whips have agreed that we should terminate the debate. There are just a few speakers left, and I am pleased to see that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is here. Sir, what is the reason for the hostile spirit which the Opposition has revealed in this debate to-day? When I recall what has taken place during this week, how the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Nationalist Party have behaved towards each other on a high plane of mutual respect and have set an example to this House, then I want to express my strongest displeasure at the personal, reprehensible attacks made by the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) upon the Prime Minister of South Africa.
He is not here at the moment.
The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) is just as great a sinner. Let me say this quite clearly: Is it fair on the part of the United Party to come along now and, as it were, to attack the leader of this party in his personal capacity? After all the leader of this party represents the National Party. He is inseparably linked up with the implementation of the policy of the National Party, and I say that those tactics are wrong. How must one analyse their attitude? What is the reason for this hostile frame of mind; what is the reason for this unprecedented fury on the part of the hon. members for Hillbrow, Wynberg (Mr. Russell), South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) and on the part of the hon. member who had to march out of this House a moment ago? Mr. Chairman, I shall tell you what the reason is. It is because this Opposition is becoming a dangerous Opposition. And do you know why? Because they are suffering from a greater sense of frustration than any party in this country. That is the reason for this fury. That is why they have found it necessary in every debate in recent times to let loose a flood of hatred and venom against the person of the Prime Minister of South Africa. Why this fury? Why not the objectivity and magnanimity that we expect from the Opposition? I shall tell you why. In the first place they are suffering from a greater sense of frustration than any other party as the result of their own conduct and as a result of the leadership of that arch-propagandist, the Goebbels of the United Party, the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn). In the third place they no longer take into account the South African spirit in approaching our problems, but they look to the outside world to bring about South Africa’s ruination. If that is the way they carry on in a Budget debate they are still going to suffer from frustration for many years. They are going to suffer more and more from a sense of frustration and, unless they are careful, they are doomed to remain on the Opposition benches for ever, as a result of the way in which they are acting here. Why do they suffer from this sense of frustration? In the first place it is because the Opposition knows perfectly well now that the whole of the White population of this country has accepted the establishment of the republic as an accomplished irrevocable fact—and the Leader of the Opposition himself has said this. Moreover, in spite of the fact that they have done everything in their power to prevent it, all the Whites in South Africa, including the English-speaking section, however, unexpected and however, painful this may have been for them, have resigned themselves to the inevitable, and that is the fact that we are going to be outside of the Commonwealth, in my opinion irrevocably. They are aware of this reaction, and hence this further frustration and this fury and this type of conduct on their part.
Now I come to the hon. member for Yeoville. He is the propagandist of the United Party. He is the person who always said that it would never be possible to carry out our policy. He is an eloquent speaker, but he will never translate his words into deeds. I want to read out to him what a young member, an equally gifted, eloquent member said some time ago. I should like hon. members to listen to this. That hon. member, when we were discussing the republic, said this—
He was referring to the recipe of apartheid and of a republic—
There the hon. member sits—the member for Yeoville. He has made the charge against us that this constitutional development, that the desire to convert South Africa into a republic, is nothing but a slogan as far as we are concerned. Hence the fury of the hon. member over there. He said that this was an idle slogan, that it was purely lip service on the part of the National Party, and this week his leader has had to announce that the members of their party, as good citizens, resign themselves to the advent of the republic in South Africa. Can you see the reason for his frustration now? I want to predict that although he said that the establishment of the republic was nothing but a slogan to us and that our policy of apartheid was also a slogan, he will accept this republic, which he described as a slogan, and that he will come to regard it as a great deed that we have accomplished in the constitutional sphere to bring about an independent, self-determining republic. In just the same way the party over there will still accept the traditional policy of South Africa, namely apartheid, over which we have had this fight here in the past few days. The hon. member comes here and says that national unity is a farce as far as this side is concerned. But let us be reasonable. National unity was also a slogan of theirs. They say that to us it is just a slogan. That is not so. Show me any party which has caused more national disruption and which has done greater harm to this ideal trend of development, namely national unity, than the party on that side. That is the pattern, those are the tactics, of which they have made use in past years. I want to say to them to-day that nothing will be able to stop the fulfillment of this ideal, which they regarded as a slogan, namely national unity. It is simply a question of time before we will have unprecedented White unity in South Africa. And do you know on what basis? Firstly, on the constitutional basis of the republic and secondly on the traditional policy of apartheid. They know that that is so and that accounts for the frustration on their part. They must not lose sight of the outlook of the people in South Africa. Do they think that the Whites do not know what is going on in this country? They are well aware of the clash in Africa, of the awakening in Africa. They know what has given rise to that clash. Moreover, they are aware of the horrible murders in the Belgian Congo and the happenings in Kenya and Angola. They see how in Southern Rhodesia former sworn supporters of the retention of the Imperial connection in Southern Rhodesia are to-day up in arms against the recipe which is being dictated to them from abroad. Mr. Chairman, to-day we have the position that the English-speaking people too are developing a South African outlook. They know that they cannot solve their problems if they retain their link with the Commonwealth. They want to fit into a South African pattern, and it is this South African outlook which will bring about White unity. The conflict between Afrikaans-speaking and English-speaking is something of the past. We can forget the words “ racialism ” and “ racial scaremongering ”. The Whites have got together already and hence the fury and frustration on that side. As I have said, they are doomed to remain for ever on the Opposition benches, and I rejoice in their political sorrows. [Laughter.] Hon. members may laugh, but they cannot laugh away a fact. The English-speaking and the Afrikaans-speaking in South Africa have an ardent desire and the greatest desire to resolve this intricate, vexatious problem on an honest, fair and Christian basis, because it is only along those lines that it will be possible to eliminate racial clashes and to obtain a degree of racial peace. I want to ask the hon. member for Hillbrow, since it is the ardent wish of the Whites in South Africa to obtain an honest moral basis for the solution of this problem, what basis he would suggest? [Time limit.]
I had decided to intervene in this debate solely on the report of the Whips as to the unfortunate incident which had taken place a few minutes ago in respect of remarks made by the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl). After the speech of the Chief Whip on the Government side I wonder whether I am right in intervening, because I have seldom heard such bitterness and vitriol and such stupid statements from what should be a responsible member, as I have heard from that hon. member. But I want to say that no matter how much bitterness, no matter how much strength of feeling has arisen in South Africa as a result of the incident over the past few weeks, I feel that the language used by the hon. member for Green Point, which was quite rightly disallowed by you Sir, is not language with which this side of the House is prepared to associate itself in any sense or form. I want to say that as far as we are concerned whatever my differences with the hon. the Prime Minister may be —and they are fundamental—they will certainly not be expressed in language of that kind. I wanted that to be known because I feel that if we are to have any future for South Africa, if we are to get out of the mess in which we are at the moment—and we are in a mess—we are only going to get out of it by trying to put our heads together and using the best brains and the best talent that are available in the country in a civilized and proper manner. It is for that reason that I regret so much the sort of remarks that we have heard from the Chief Whip, who quite frankly seems to me to be carrying the matter far too far. We will never get unity or a united approach if that is the attitude we are to have. While I had expressed my disapproval of certain remarks made on this side, I do want to say that it does seem to me also that there have been remarks made on that side which, although they may be parliamentary were much better left unsaid in a debate of this kind.
I should just like to refer to a few observations made by the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Prof. Fourie) when he stated that the Western countries have now completely thrown overboard their idea of freedom and that we in South Africa are doing so as well. He then compared it with the attitude of Soviet Russia and stated that with their method they were achieving much more success than the Western countries. I just want to ask him where and how and when the Western countries have abandoned their democratic ideas in respect of the freedom of the individual and the freedom of nations. I think that they made themselves much more guilty of that in the past when they practised Colonialism, as the hon. member stated here quite correctly a few days earlier. To-day they are really allowing the scale to tip over too much in the other direction, so much so that they are now prepared with undue haste to grant freedom and self-determination to nations which are not yet ripe for it, which are still immature, which have not yet reached the necessary level of civilization, which are by no means capable of understanding and assimilating the Western democratic principles of government. As far as the Russians are concerned, I just want to say this to the hon. member—he knows it and we all know it— that whatever they have achieved, has been accomplished at the point of the bayonet and the sword. Those countries to which they gave so-called freedom were first trampled upon and oppressed, and then an iron curtain was drawn around the country and to-day they refuse to allow us to look behind that curtain. They hold out the prospect of perfect freedom, imaginary freedom, to other nations. I would remind hon. members of Austria and all the Eastern European countries which were included after the war within the Russian sphere of influence. I would remind hon. members of the action of the Chinese, who are really applying the pattern of the Russians in Tibet and other places.
But I also want to make a few observations with regard to what was said here by the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) when she once again referred sneeringly to the discriminatory effects of our policy of apartheid. I should really also refer to the hon. member for Jeppes (Dr. Cronje) who in his attack here the day before yesterday upon the Prime Minister and this side of the House referred to all the discriminatory features which are characteristic of the application of the policy of apartheid. He referred to what allegedly makes apartheid abhorrent to the world and said that this Government had closed the open universities to non-White students, had introduced job reservation and that at every State institution, at railway stations and at the post offices, foreigners and non-Whites continually come up against irritating notices on boards saying that this place is reserved for Whites only and that place for non-Whites only. In other words, that these notices must be removed and that the closed universities should be made open universities again. I want to ask the hon. member for Jeppes now whether he meant that if his party ever comes into power again they will abolish all these measures? But I mention this really so as to draw the attention of the mothers and the daughters of our nation to what has been said here and what the removal of those notice boards imply. What is the position going to be if those notices, which were not put up by the National Party but which formed a feature of the segregation policy of General Hertzog, have to be removed? These notice boards are a feature of a social separation which was in force in the days of General Smuts and much even earlier. It is a characteristic of the whole social structure in our multi-racial country. You must forgive me, Mr. Chairman, if I am somewhat profane (“profaan ”). What is the position going to be if those notice boards have to be removed at the sanitary conveniences of our public places, those well-known “ Amadola ” and “ Abafazi ” notices which indicate that this place is reserved for non-Whites, while the other is for Whites? I want to warn the mothers and the daughters of our nation against the evil day that will dawn if those notice boards should be removed according to the liberalistic pattern. Then I want to refer too to the remarks of the hon. member for Houghton. She says that the urbanized Native no longer has any roots in his homelands or in the Bantu areas. That is not the position. They still have their roots there, and even those who have been living for generations on farms or in the urban locations are still proud of their origins as Zulus, Tswanas, or whatever the case may be. They are anxious to get back to their homelands. I could show hon. members a letter from a Native with high academic qualifications in one of Pretoria’s big locations. That Native is the assessor of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church of the Transvaal. He told me just recently how anxious he was to go back; how anxious the enlightened teachers and the older persons who have lived in the urban locations for generations are to go back; how they yearn to have a piece of land and a home in those areas from which they came originally, in the areas of their ethnic group. It is no use telling us here that those Natives cannot be placed in their ethnic groups and be given citizenship in their areas. We have a fine example in connection with Basutoland. A year or two ago when the Basutos were called up to vote for their governing board there, the vote was given to approximately 90,000 so-called detribalized Basutos in the Union … [Time limit.]
Initially this debate covered the whole of the international plane. In the early part of this debate most speakers reviewed South Africa’s position in relation to the world, UNO and the Commonwealth of Nations, and as the debate developed its scope became narrower and narrower, and in the last few days the debate has been confined mainly to the domestic affairs of South Africa. I am very glad that this is so. I do not think there is any person in South Africa to-day who still has any doubt that the main issue on which we in South Africa have to decide is whether or not we want to continue on a basis of racial discrimination. I do not think there are many people who do not realize to-day that the difficulties in which South Africa finds herself are due to discrimination on the basis of colour. This matter has now been clearly high-lighted and it must be clear to everybody in this country what the basic problem is that faces us. In this respect I want to say that I am disappointed that no lead has come from the Government side except the old story about parallel development or apartheid or Bantustan, or whatever one chooses to call this policy. The hon. the Prime Minister—and I do not want to query his faith in it—is of the opinion that the solution of South Africa’s problems lies in the policy for which he stands. The hon. the Prime Minister has been working on this policy, not only in this debate but during the last ten or 12 years. We have done our best to see whether there is some basis on which the policy of the Government can be implemented, whether it has some basis on which we can build, on which we can build up not only the position of the White man but also build up Western civilization and the standards that go with Western civilization. We reject that policy. We agree with the hon. the Prime Minister that everybody in South Africa who thinks that we can maintain ourselves in South Africa on a basis of racial discrimination is living in a world of dreams. We do not agree with the hon. the Prime Minister that racial discrimination can be eliminated on the basis of the Nationalist Party’s apartheid policy. I do not want to go into the details of that policy. The Prime Minister has explained the whole position as he sees it time and again, and when we come to other Votes later on we propose to make it clear in what respects we differ from this policy. At this stage I just want to say that this party will support any effort that is going to be made to develop the Native reserves of South Africa. We have already indicated in the past that we are determined that the areas which are generally known as the Native reserves should be developed to the utmost. We have stated clearly that we shall support every effort made by the Government to carry out the White man’s promise to the Natives of South Africa, and we will support every effort to make available to the Natives of South Africa the balance of the land promised to them, but I want to say clearly that in my opinion the development of the Native reserves does not offer a solution for the cardinal and fundamental problems of South Africa. We agree with the hon. the Prime Minister that racial discrimination must be eliminated. But in our opinion it cannot be done on the basis of his policy. In his last speech in this debate the hon. the Prime Minister created the impression that even on our basis there would be discrimination on the ground of colour. May I correct the hon. the Prime Minister with respect? This party and hon. members who sit on these benches reject discrimination on the basis of colour or race. We realize that unless we reject it, South Africa will be forced to reject it. We reject it firstly because we cannot justify it, and we do not believe that there are only two alternatives for South Africa, namely, White domination or non-White domination. We do not believe that the only alternative to White domination is a policy which will result in non-White domination. We believe that there is a basis on which all persons in South Africa, on a non-discriminatory basis, will be able to exercise the right of self-determination. Numbers of my hon. friends on the other side have said that the basis of their policy is that they believe that the White man in South Africa too has a right to self-determination. That I do not query. If the White man has that right of self-determination, then the non-White in South Africa similarly has that right and, Mr. Chairman, there is only hope for a peaceful future for South Africa if we can find some basis on which all persons in South Africa to whichever race they may belong will be able to exercise that indisputable right of self-determination. [Time limit.]
This has been a peculiar debate. Hon. members of the Opposition ensured that its length almost became a record, if it is not in fact a record for the length of a debate on the Prime Minister’s Vote. In my opinion, that could have been justified if in the course of the debate serious and thorough consideration had been given to a number of the greatest problems of the country. But I regard such a debate as worthless when, as in this case, a few problems are in fact dealt with, but when after they have been cleared up for the rest hon. members just kill time in order to create the impression that this lengthy debate proves that the Opposition recognizes the seriousness of the present position and have to blame the Prime Minister for it. They could really not keep it up as a thorough and relevant debate. During the last few days I sat listening with surprise to the inanities that can be uttered when people in serious times like these just want to give a demonstration by stretching out a debate instead of confining themselves to what is important. I sometimes wonder whether we should not follow the British system more closely, where for certain classes of debates selected speakers who are well prepared to speak in the debate and that is the end of it. Really, to sit listening for five days to a debate like this, where so often hon. members did not get to the crux of the matter, appears to me to be a waste of time.
Before continuing, I want to express my appreciation for the fact that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition dissociated himself and his party from the expression used by the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl). I am a psychologist myself, and I am quite aware of the connotation of the term used, and that connotation is really very serious, as anyone will realize on consulting a dictionary. I am grateful for the good spirit and the understanding revealed by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, and for the attitude he adopted, because I want to say that I also believe in fighting hard for one’s beliefs. I do not take it amiss when people say that I am obstinate because I adhere to my standpoint. In my opinion, the hon. members opposite have adhered to their standpoint just as obstinately all these years, and I do not blame them for it. Surely it must be inherent in one’s aims to do the best for one’s country, and one must adhere to that standpoint. Apart from that, it should be possible, particularly in future, for us as private individuals and as members of the same Parliament and of the same nation to get on with each other and wherever possible to co-operate. I thank the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.
If I had to sum up the debate, I would say that after what happened this morning this afternoon’s debate was just a smokescreen. It seemed to me as if a smokescreen was being put over what happened this morning. Then something of real interest emerged, which I again want to analyse briefly. This smokescreen was put up by means of making various misrepresentations which I just briefly want to deal with before coming to the crux of the matter. The one unfair allegation, which seemed to me to be ail accusation against me, was that I made misuse of a certain circular issued by a certain firm. Let me state very clearly that I am not and was not and never will be a client of the particular firm which issued the circular, because I am not interested in shares. The fact that the letter was marked “ Confidential ”, because that is a requirement of the Stock Exchange, therefore has nothing at all to do with me. It is a document in which a certain firm adopted a certain standpoint. It was not handed to me personally but it was put into my hands in an envelope and I did not know where it came from. I therefore have no responsibility towards the firm which issued the circular. Apart from that, the argument I advanced this morning proves that I was not making dishonourable use of it, as the hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) appears to have insinuated although he did not put it into so many words. I was answering the question as to why there was such a big fluctuation on the Stock Exchange. My one argument was that when even stockbrokers paint a dark picture to their clients, then one must expect, in view of all the recent incidents, plus this sort of information, that there will be fluctuations. That is what ordinarily happens. I referred to this particular letter because although one cannot complain if stockbrokers submit various opinions and facts to their clients, particularly of an economic nature or calculated to influence the economic position, it becomes a different matter in my opinion when they make direct political allegations and practically attack the Government. Now I want to read just one extract to show what kind of allegations are made in this document, which in my opinion goes beyond normal advice in regard to selling shares and which smacks of participation in the political struggle. That must cause additional depression on the part of members of the party which this person evidently wants to support in a practical way and to assist by blaming the Government for financial losses. The clients who receive these circulars are the holders of shares which they can sell, or they are potential buyers of shares. Therefore it must have an influence on them. The part of the circular to which I wish to refer appears under the heading, “No Compromise ”, and then these brokers write about it in their advisory capacity—
A little face-saving can be detected by the substitution of the word “ self-development ” for the word “ apartheid “ Apartheid ” was the noose used by the Nationalist Party to snare the electors in 1948; it has now become a noose around the party’s neck.
I have no objection if this co-party member of theirs says something which they also say. That proves even more clearly that this is obviously a party-political judgment which this stockbroker is distributing amongst his clients. It is an example of the type of allegation also made by hon. members opposite in order to cause panic among the public of South Africa. All I am doing is to accuse such political stockbrokers together with the political party whose standpoint they state in their business circulars of having a share in causing the panic which leads to a fluctuation in the price of shares. I do that again now, and I do so without making any misuse of an exhibit.
The second form of putting up a smokescreen we had was the way in which my words in regard to Press control were dealt with. I said very clearly that I am a natural protagonist of freedom of the Press, but that at the same time I also firmly oppose any abuse of the Press when that is done to harm one’s fatherland. I ask whether any hon. member in this House differs from me when I say that the Press of a country dare not harm that country? I further said that in my opinion this in fact happens and that the position in which we have landed, both in the Commonwealth and at UN, is to a large extent the result of inaccurate reports and a wrong interpretation of the policy of the Government and also of what is sent overseas by means of repeating what has appeared in the Press here, as well as by means of the type of reports sent overseas directly, partly by persons employed by this Press. I adopted the attitude that I condemn this type of action as being wrong. I also added that I would like to see the members of the Press coming together and doing what the Press does in other countries, viz. to ensure that they apply self-control and discipline themselves, and to ensure that their patriotism also serves as a background for them jealously to supervise their own profession, just like any other profession organizes itself to supervise the actions of the members of the profession. I said that I hoped this would happen, because our Press is not at the moment organized to do that.
It is the best disciplined Press in the world.
The Press in South Africa is not, like other professions, organized to apply self-discipline. There is not a single method by which exact reporting can be ensured. It has been said by the Press union from time to time that it was considering something on those lines, and suggestions have been submitted to them, but up to now no organization has been formed for that purpose. The furthest I went this morning in adopting that attitude was to express the hope that something would be done on those lines, because South Africa cannot be allowed to suffer continuously, particularly in view of the fact that it now finds itself in a crisis, as the result of inaccurate reports and distorted interpretations of policy and motives. What did hon. members opposite, however, make of that? They intimated that I had announced by implication that Press control would be established by the Government, or that I had at the least uttered a threat in that direction. Now I want to repeat that abuse of the Press can just as little be tolerated in a well-ordered state as the abuse of the rights and privileges of any other profession, and that I therefore insist that the Press, in the interests of South Africa, particularly in the times in which we live, should exercise care and that they should keep an eye on each other. So far I have said no more than that.
Yes, I repeated that they should discipline themselves, and I say it once again. If it should become necessary for me to say more on a later occasion, I will not hesitate to do so, but I hope and trust, as a protagonist of the freedom of the Press, that it will never become necessary for me to say more. Therefore I ask the Press, and I am merely doing what other Prime Ministers before me have also done, now to give heed to such appeals, although hitherto they have to a large extent neglected to do so, and to be careful in these serious times, which are perhaps more serious than they were at that time. Everybody realizes to-day, perhaps better than ever before, what such actions on their part can lead to. For that reason I made this appeal in this very serious time and with the greatest sense of responsibility, and I seriously deprecate it when hon. members opposite put more into my mouth than I actually said.
Hitherto I have been referring to the smokescreens put up to hide what happened this morning, because what in fact happened this morning? It is a pity that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition was not present this morning, because then we would have known to what extent he associated himself with the views expressed here by the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) on behalf of that party. I will therefore now in his presence just state briefly what the crux of the conclusion to which we arrived was.
Before doing so, I first want to deal with the Progressive Party. The position in regard to this party has also become clear now. We accept that our problems in the Commonwealth and at UN have been caused by the belief held by the outside world that we do not want to act humanely towards our non-Whites, that we want to be oppressive and that we do not realize that the human dignity of the non-Whites should also be recognized; that they want it to be recognized and that there is a general belief that we as White people want to apply unlimited discrimination and domination. These are the conceptions which cause the trouble. It is also misapprehension in this regard which in our own country apparently leads to the constant mutual recrimination. This morning we tried to get clarity as to how each of the three groups here stand in respect of this cardinal test: Is it our motive to oppress, to dominate and to discriminate? My reply to that was that it was the very circumstances under which this happens which creates the dilemma for which we are all seeking a solution. I first said on behalf of my party that we all realize that in our history, for which the forefathers and all of us were responsible, the position was that the White man ruled in South Africa, and just like Britain in respect of its Empire, governed all the nations over which it had obtained domination. In regard to that period one can say that there was discrimination and domination applied by everybody. However, no one in the world is innocent in that respect. Now a new period in history has dawned. In this new period those who were subordinate are trying increasingly to get rid of domination. This process of emancipation was relatively easy in the case of clearly separate nations, but it is very difficult when there are more than one racial group within the same geographical borders.
In many of these countries there is still discrimination, including those which say that they are the enemies of discrimination. Amongst those countries where the position is really bad, our accusers are in the forefront. In India, that is true in respect of various groups; some of them have already been mentioned in public. The Nagas are the youngest section, but there were also others like the Sikhs. In Ceylon there is discrimination against the Tamils. In Malaya there is discrimination in respect of the Indian section of the population, and even to some extent in respect of the Chinese there. Britain also is not guiltless of still practising domination, as e.g. in the Protectorates. Australia is not guiltless of ruling over others. It is the guardian over the population of Papua in New Guinea. Canada is not guiltless of discrimination in respect of its behaviour towards the Indians and the Eskimos. All these countries say: Yes, that is true, but it is not the policy of our Government; it is only characteristic of a transition period. Now my standpoint this morning was that as far as we were concerned the Government in fact tries to find a policy whereby, whatever might happen in the transition period (and therefore just as in the case of the other countries), it is the object and the motive to evolve a method as a result of which eventually there need not be discrimination or domination. That is just as much a motive of the Government here as it is a motive of any of the other countries in the world, inter alia, those I mentioned. However, those countries do not want to view our policy in that light. They want to view our policy in the way they interpret it, viz. that we want to dominate and oppress for ever. All of us are co-responsible for this wrong impression, all the parties here, and I do not exclude my own party, nor do I exclude myself personally. The fact is that previously we spoke a lot about domination. We used words like that. As we developed our policy and put our case more clearly, inter alia, having regard to the latest world developments, we arrived at this clear standpoint that discrimination must be eliminated by carrying separation far enough. That is an attitude that I put forward at a very early stage already (something for which I have often been reproached by the Opposition), namely, when I stated on the occasion of the dissolution of the Natives’ Representative Council, “ Our policy of parallel development is aimed at domination for you in your areas, just as we want domination for ourselves in our areas”. Therefore at a very early stage already I indicated that our moral basis was that we were trying to give everyone his full rights in respect of his own people. That is the goal that we are striving at—just as other countries which, like us, are still in a transition period, say they are doing. I tried to emphasize clearly again this morning, and I do not propose to go into it again, that our idea of four kinds of parallel groups of authority eventually, is that you then actually follow/a method whereby the one racial group will not permanently rule the other, but that every racial group will be given self-rule in respect of its own people, in an area of its own where possible.
Hon. members may differ from me with regard to the practicability of our policy, and they may differ from me with regard to the possibility of the application of some part of the policy. But they cannot continue to proclaim to the world that we are being dishonest in saying that that is our motive. They have no right to do so At this stage I cannot enlarge further upon our attittude. I just wanted to explain this point.
I went on this morning to talk about the Progressive Party’s policy. In that regard I adopt the following attitude. The members of this Party say that they are against discrimination and domination. I accept that they are being honest and that their motive is to get away from it. But just as they try to test my method either in the light of its practicability, or by some other yardstick, so I am entitled to test their stand by the same yardstick. In testing their stand I say again, as I did this morning, that although they say and mean that they do not want discrimination, they will not, as things will work out under their policy, be able to get away from discrimination or domination, viewed from the angle of the Black man, unless they visualize as their ultimate goal a democracy in which the principle of “ one man one vote ” applies. If they accept that form as the ultimate goal, which according to them they do not, then the Blacks will of course govern South Africa by virtue of their superiority of numbers. Then of course the Black man will achieve domination over the White man and over the Coloured and over the Indian. According to them they do not want that. That is why I contended that if they do not contemplate that, and if they say that their policy will not result in that, then I must accept that what they want to do implies discrimination (namely, to have a type of Constitution under which, say, 10,000,000 Bantu will have only limited control for ever). They say that they do not want to discriminate on the ground of colour. The Progressive Party wants to discriminate only on the basis of a civilization test. If, however, they want to discriminate on the ground of civilization tests only, then they must either accept that those 10,000,000 Bantu will never all become civilized or they must accept that at some time or other they will all become civilized. If therefore the Progressive Party is always going to apply a civilization test only, then they must accept that eventually the Bantu will all be able to have a full share in the government of the country, and then it must mean that they will have the decisive say in the government of the country by virtue of their superior numbers. I personally cannot see what else could happen. If the Progressive Party now says, “Yes, but we believe that he Whites to-day are the most highly civilized group and and that they must therefore remain in control for all time to come, and that is why we want to introduce a rigid Constitution under which the rights of everybody will be permanently entrenched”, then I say that if they stand by that, they are just as prepared to discriminate as any other Party. After all, it means that by means of that constitution they guarantee a measure of control and power to one group, whatever level of civilization the other group may reach. Surely by providing now for a rigid constitution, which is the Progressive Party’s intention, a constitution which cannot be changed easily, they guarantee certain rights and concentrate those rights in some way or other in each of the various groups. Because they admit that unless they do so they cannot guarantee White authority to the extent that they do. Although they do not use the word “ colour ” they give protection, behind this protective wall of civilization, to the colour groups according to the different degrees of civilization that they have to-day. They fix these rights for ever in that rigid constitution. Then surely the only object is to discriminate against the non-Whites. They cannot get away from it.
May I put a question to the hon. the Prime Minister? He has said that where a rigid constitution gives the preponderant power to minorities, it is a form of discrimination in favour of those minorities. Is it also the hon. the Prime Minister’s contention then that the constitution of the United States of America is a discriminatory instrument?
I do not know what the hon. member is getting at but comparisons with other countries need not affect this argument of mine. If in asking that question the hon. member is suggesting that it is right that a certain fixed right, out of proportion to their numbers, should be given to each of the minority groups—Coloureds, Indians and Whites—then it means that he must accept that those minority groups are protected at the expense of the majority group, which is the Black group. Otherwise it means that the Blacks will rule and that the minorities will only be given certain amount of limited protection. If that is not the case, if those minority groups are going to rule, then there is discrimination. At this moment, therefore, I cannot see at all how the Progressive Party, in spite of its intentions with regard to discrimination and domination, which are as good as ours, can get away from the accusation which causes us so much suffering and which also comes from them.
Yes, but we are being just.
I am afraid that that is a little self-righteousness, because it simply means that hon. members are saying, “ We may discriminate, but we do not call it that, and therefore you are not entitled either to say it about us. You discriminate although you say that that is not so, but because we believe that, we are entitled to say to you that you are doing it.” That will get us nowhere. That is perfectly clear to me unless the Progressive Party puts forward an unambiguous solution for the dilemma in which I have placed them. They protect the White minority for ever so that it can rule for all time to come, because they accept that the Whites will always be the most civilized group, to such an extent that they will automatically retain control, and then there is discrimination and there is White rule. Alternatively they say, “ No, we are against discrimination and White domination because the Blacks are going to acquire civilization and in the long run, when they have acquired civilization to such an extent that practically the whole of the population will be reasonably civilized, the country will be governed on the basis of one man one vote ”; in other words, the Black man is going to dominate. If in terms of a rigid constitution enacted years ago, protection continues to exist for minority groups in what is then an entirely civilized population to such an extent that they still retain control to the same degree as in the old days when the argument was based on the civilization test, then I maintain that it is discrimination. Otherwise the Progressive Party must say (what it still does not want to admit as its policy) that it knows that eventually the Blacks are going to rule South Africa. And to that end then its policy will have to make this change in its “ rigid constitution ” possible. Otherwise this accusation against it still stands.
Now I come to the United Party. The United Party has been vacillating a good deal lately with regard to this new allegedly “ revolutionary ” idea with which they have come forward, the idea of racial federation. I have yet to discover what is new in it. What is revolutionary in it, as it was put to us this morning, I still have to discover too. Neither can I understand how it can interest South Africa in the least, as their newspapers boast it does. The simple facts are simply these: Previously hon. members opposite stated that for the time being they wanted the Coloureds to retain separate representation. Now I believe they are in favour of placing them on the common roll again. I believe they are constantly saying too that the Coloureds should be represented by Coloureds. In so far as “ racial federation ” is used as a term therefore, it does not apply to the Coloureds at all then, because, after all, in that way the Coloured will become part of the White community as one political entity. If those two promises are carried out, there can be no alternative.
Then we come to the Indians. In this regard they were very far from clear. But the hon. member for Yeoville has told us this morning that according to their policy of racial federation, the Indians will be put on a separate roll —for ever, as far as their policy goes to-day. Their congresses may change it later on—they do not know—but as far as they themselves and their motives are concerned, their own United Party view, the Indians will for ever be represented in this Parliament by Whites for whom they will vote on a separate roll.
Thirdly it is clear that the urban Bantu will be represented in the same way in this Parliament. As far as present-day United Party policy goes the urban Bantu will for ever be represented here by Whites. The United Party leaders do not know what their congresses are going to do in the future, but as far as their basic policy is concerned, it is their deliberate policy, the policy with which they persist and for which they seek public support, to have the Indians represented for ever in this Parliament by a few Whites, and the same applies to the urban Bantu. In the light of these statements which were confirmed this morning by the hon. member for Yeoville, I then said that surely they could be accused of practising discrimination and domination. In that case there was more justification for accusing them than us, because no matter how hard the Government has to struggle to carry out its policy, it at least aims to do away with discrimination and domination, because according to its policy the four separate groups must eventually govern themselves. The attitude and aim of tile United Party, however, is to discriminate and dominate for all time, because they say that there will always be limited representation by Whites and the White minority will always dominate in a mixed fatherland. In that case the United Party members, and not we, are the people who should be in the dock at UNO. In that case there was more reason for putting them in the dock at the Prime Ministers’ Conference than there was to put us there.
I went on to say that this concept of a racial federation policy was open to criticism not on that ground alone. There are other grounds condemning the idea of racial federation. It still embraces the idea of Bantu homelands and there will be local Black parliaments in those Bantu homelands, just as this piebald parliament which I have just described will be established in what I call the White area, but which he calls the piebald area. There will have to be a federal parliament for the whole country—a central federal parliament—in which this discriminatory parliament of the piebald area or the mixed population will have to be represented and in which the parliaments of the Bantu areas or the Bantu people will have to be represented. A piebald super-parliament must lead to a piebald Cabinet and that will be the super Cabinet of the country. In other words, the contention of the United Party that the White man will remain in power is not correct either, because he will not remain in power in that federal parliament—only in the parliament of the smaller piebald area. Once that federal parliament has been constituted with a preponderance of non-Whites further pressure will be exerted to ensure that White domination also ceases in the piebald area and in its parliament (which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition says will happen under our policy). This idea of a federation therefore collapses under the impact of the first accusation I have made, namely that there will be discrimination and domination. In the second place it collapses because of the fact that it will still give South Africa a mixed central parliament in the long run. (So they need not try so hard to win the by-election at Swellendam by telling the people that the colour groups, apart from the Coloured people will be represented in that parliament by Whites only.) The United Party has been caught in its own trap because they advocate a central federal parliament with Black and White members, a parliament which will be superior to this Parliament.
In the third instance I said that in order to ascertain its value to South Africa this idea of a federation could be tested in the light of what is happening in an existing multi-racial federation. And that, Sir, is a race federation, in which more concessions have been made to the non-Whites than will be made under this model race federation of the United Party, as the hon. member for Yeoville has outlined it. The federation that we know, namely the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, has already manifested certain characteristics. In the first place it appears that the separate Black states, such as Nyasaland, do not wish to remain members of the Federation. Their leaders as well as the people want to secede. Our policy foresees that the Blacks will want to rule quite separately. His does not. His policy wants to keep them in compulsorily, as they are doing at the moment in the case of the Federation to which I have referred, and where it is causing trouble. There too a Black territory is being forced to remain a member of the Federation. Barotseland has similarly indicated that she does not wish to become a member of a multi-racial federation. As far as the piebald areas are concerned, it has been proved in Northern Rhodesia that their Black nations do not want to remain a piebald area, with a rigid constitution, in which the Black man only plays a limited role. It is true that the Black man was told that the reason for that was that he had not reached the same standard of civilization as the White man. In spite of that he wants to govern the country. They are already making further demands in Southern Rhodesia in spite of the fact that the concession has already been made to have Black members of Parliament and Black Ministers. That is why I said that it has been tested in practice whether this type of federation will work or not. If the Black man does not even want that federation where he has so much power because of his numerical strength, how can you expect him to be agreeable to accept a federation less favourable to him here? I say therefore that it has become clear this morning what this struggle is about. I am more convinced than ever that the only road along which South Africa will find its salvation is the road which this Government is following. That is the only road, no matter how difficult it may be, to get away from discrimination and domination. That is the only road that will lead to a situation where the White man will not ultimately be subjected to Black domination. All the other methods will fail, as far as the moral and practical aspects are concerned, as I have pointed out in analysing them.
I therefore appeal to the people of South Africa—and in doing so I am not disregarding the Leader of the Opposition or the Leader of the Progressive Party; it is not really important whether or not they are disregarded—I appeal directly to South Africa, as their present leader in the political sphere, not to fall for battle cries such as race federations. From the outset the Nationalist Party have given a meaning to the idea of separate development. Hon. members of the Opposition have as yet omitted to give full content to their colour policy, but insofar as they have, this race federation idea of theirs is doomed just as much as the Senate plan. The Graaff Senate plan failed. The Graaff race federation plan is equally weak. That is why I appeal to the people of South Africa not to be misled by slogans such as that in the place of a positive policy, and not to be misled by emotional accusations accompanied by an unjustifiable moral claim that the Government policy is wrong. Let the electorate go down to the roots of this struggle in regard to policy, as we have done, particularly to-day, and if they do that they will stand by the Government, come what may, because the Government offers the only hope for the survival of the White man also.
Amendment put and the Committee divided:
AYES—39: Barnett, C.; Basson, J. A. L.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Connan, J. M.; de Beer, Z. J.; Dodds, P. R.; Eglin, C. W.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lawrence, H. G.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Moore, P. A.; Oldfield, G. N.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher, D. M.; Swart, H. G.; Swart, R. A. F.; Tucker, H.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.
Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell.
NOES—71: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Dönges, T. E.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; du Plessis, P. W.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Fouché, J. J. (Jr.); Greyling, J. C.; Haak, J. F. W.; Heystek, J.; Jonker, A. H.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Labuschagne, J. S.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Louw, E. H.; Luttig, H. G.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Martins, H. E.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Pelser, P. C.; Rall, J. J.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, J. C. B.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Serfontein, J. J.; Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Steyn, J. H.; Strydom, G. H. F.; Uys, D. C. H.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Walt, B. J.; van der Wath, J. G. H.; van Niekerk, G. L. H.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Vosloo, A. H.; Webster, A.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.
Amendment accordingly negatived.
Vote No. 4—“ Prime Minister ”, as printed, put and agreed to.
Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.
House to resume in Committee on 17 April.
The House adjourned at
First Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.
House in Committee:
[Progress reported on 14 April when Vote No. 4 had been agreed to and precedence had been given to Votes Nos. 2, 3 and 12 to 20.]
Vote No. 2.—“Senate”, R163,000, put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 3.—“ House of Assembly ”, R515,000.
For many years past it has been the unfortunate position in Parliament that there have been complaints about the general facilities available to members. I think at this stage we are all happily agreed that with the building of the two new wings that day is past. I think it is only right and proper on this Vote to record our appreciation of the services of those who have made this possible. I refer in particular to the Clerk of the House and his staff, because as one who has been intimately connected with the arrangements I know what an arduous time he has had in looking after the various matters which cropped up from day to day in connection with the building programme, as well as taking over his new post as Clerk of the House. It is only right that we should pay our tribute particularly to the Clerk of the House as such and to the staff under him. We must not forget those members of the P.W.D. who have made their contribution. I would even say on this occasion that I believe that when you have a building contractor, by the time the building is finished you have usually fallen out with him, but on this occasion we can all say that a good job was done and I would like our appreciation to be recorded.
There are two matters I want to raise which I think fall appropriately under this Vote. One is a matter which has caused considerable comment outside the House itself, and that is the non-observance by Parliament of statutory holidays proclaimed by Parliament in celebration or in recognition or in honour of certain national events which Parliament should be honoured throughout the country. It is a fact that Parliament itself in many cases fails to observe as holidays those days which it itself has made a compulsory holiday for everybody else. I wonder whether this is not a matter which should be considered by the committee concerned, because it does seem to detract both from the honour that we wish to pay to the memory of a particular national event or the tribute which is paid to a particular person by declaring a public holiday, when Parliament itself does not observe that holiday. I think that Parliament should set the nation an example by honouring such public holidays itself, and I commend this to the attention of those who are responsible for dealing with this matter.
Then I want to refer to a matter which was publicized on Saturday in the Cape Times and which will have a material bearing on the wellbeing of members of both Houses and on the staff who compulsorily attend Parliament. I refer to the scheme which was published in the Cape Times on Saturday dealing with the proposed redesigning of Stal Plein at the top of Parliament Street. According to the paper this is to be a matter for joint consideration between the City Council and Parliament through its Internal Arrangements Committee. I think this falls into line with the sentiments expressed by the Chief Whip on behalf of all of us, namely our satisfaction with the improvements which have been made and with which sentiment I wish to associate myself. This proposed further scheme will undoubtedly be another wonderful improvement. The scheme, according to the article in the paper, is to be considered by the Select Committee on Internal Arrangements some time after Easter, and it envisages the establishment of a very large underground parking area in Stal Plein capable of parking 100 to 150 cars, a proposal which I think every member will heartily support, but in addition to that, according to the article this scheme will provide a fitting forecourt, not only for Parliament itself, but for Government House.
It goes on to say that in that scheme, which would have to be a joint scheme between the Government and the local authorities, it is proposed in the general layout that the statue of General Louis Botha, which now adorns a portion of that area, will be transferred to a raised pedestrian way, specially designed to set off, not only Government House, but also the historically valuable Thibault gate. It is in that particular aspect. Mr. Chairman, that I want to ask that when the matter may be considered by the Internal Arrangements Committee, that in the design of a fitting forecourt for Parliament, the possibility of siting of the statue of the late General Smuts somewhere also in that area could also be considered. These are two figures who undoubtedly, whatever our political views are, have played a tremendous part in the work of this Parliament and in the build-up of this Parliament. If the Government and the City Council are to endeavour to design a fitting forecourt to Parliament, I can think of no better project than to have those two great national figures associated in that area. It is a scheme, I believe, which could be accented by all of us, irrespective of whatever political views we may hold, and I believe it would be a scheme which would give general satisfaction. I know it would to the people of this area and to the people of the country in general, to know that associated with the Parliament in which they have both served with distinction for so many years on behalf of the country. The memorials of those two great figures could also be associated in some form in any fitting forecourt to Parliament which is to be brought into being, and in respect of which in the one case up to now there have been difficulties in finding a site which is acceptable to all concerned. That matter in itself I think should also be referred to the appropriate committee for consideration as a matter of parliamentary interest when the joint scheme is being planned.
If I may come back to a more mundane matter, following on the Chief Whip’s suggestion, and seeing that we have had such magnificent service from the staff itself, I am going to ask them during the months which lie ahead in the next recess also to give some attention, seeing that they have been so successful in the other sphere, to the seating accommodation in this Chamber itself. Not particularly with regard to the siting of the seating, but with regard to some of the sharp corners and the knobs and bumps which adorn these seats, a design which belongs to a long-forgotten age, and when we sit here for five months on an average of anything up to seven to eight hours a day, I believe hon. members will agree with me, these knobs are far from ornamental in so far as their effect on the anatomy of members is concerned. We have had an Anatomy Bill before the House, but I think myself that this is a matter which, if the officials, who have been so successful in the other direction, would turn their mind to, they might be able to evolve some satisfactory solution of this problem also.
I rise to say a few words about Hansard. I want to congratulate those responsible for the compilation of Hansard, and to state that hon. members appreciate the work of Hansard very much, not only because they do the work, but because they do it so thoroughly. It is worth While, because it is the only reliable source from which the country can really deduct what is actually being said from time to time by hon. members on both sides of the House. It is the only reliable source. Some efforts are, of course, made by different newspapers to try to tell the public what happens in Parliament, and there are some hon. members of the House, not all of them, who, from time to time for many years, have been the victims of inaccurate reports by many newspapers in the country. It is bad enough when an inaccurate report is broadcast or a distorted report is published by a newspaper, whose representatives have the privilege of sitting in the Press gallery here, but when something which he has never said is attributed to an hon. member, and when things which never happened are reported in Parliament by certain newspapers, then it is very serious, and there are many hon. members of this House who have then got only one means of justifying themselves in public and to their voters in connection with what their actions were and what they actually said in connection with a matter, and that is by referring to Hansard. As the hon. member for Lichtenburg (Mr. M. C. van Niekerk) said recently: When one talks nonsense and insults an hon. member, then there is plenty of space to publish it to the world, but when one makes out a good case, there is just not space in the newspapers to publish what the hon. member said. That goes for both sides.
Therefore, I ask that the small number of Hansards available to hon. members should be increased if possible. This work of high quality should be made more readily accessible to the public. I think I am correct in saying that in Australia Hansard is published and is supplied to the public at about 2d. per weekly issue.
That was the position earlier, but it is no longer so.
I do not know what the exact price is at the moment, but I think hon. members on both sides will agree with me. We do not want to argue about this, but it just does not help to argue about it and to refer to distorted reports and the wrong way in which hon. members of the House are treated. It just does not help. The newspapers’ greatest fun to-day is to make a fool of a Member of Parliament. It is their greatest fun while the House is in session. Therefore, I ask whether it is not possible to have twice as many copies of Hansard printed so that each member will have more copies at his disposal, and make the price of £1 10s. per session, as it is at present, 1s. 6d. per copy. I am convinced that thousands and thousands of copies will then be purchased throughout the country. Then the country will be better informed about what happens in this House. If we take into consideration the number of voters in South Africa to-day and the number of copies of Hansard available to each hon. member, then the number is so small that it has absolutely no value. Let it be made more readily available to the public at a reduced price. Then we can use this efficient service supplied by Hansard for the benefit of the public. The public does not get the benefit of it to-day. It is only the party organizers, party officials all over the country, who perhaps have the privilege of obtaining these copies, but the broad public is deprived of the privilege of knowing what actually happens in the House.
I would like to support the plea of the hon. member for Krugersdorp (Mr. M. J. van den Berg) that Hansard should be made more freely available, and perhaps the hon. Minister of Transport might be able to help us. But I would like to say that in my experience, while admittedly in brief reports of speeches mistakes are made, I do believe that the Press of this country does attempt to give a fair reflection to the public of what happens in this House.
Vote put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 12.—“ Treasury ”, R6,867,000,
This is a Vote which it always is rather difficult to deal with because there are so many things one would like to take up with the hon. the Minister, but on the other hand you, Mr. Chairman, quite rightly, would not allow us to indulge in a second Budget debate on the hon. the Minister’s Vote. Therefore, one is limited in what one can say.
Sir, the hon. the Minister, in the course of various speeches, inside and outside the House, has recently talked about the storms that loom ahead, storms worse than ever that lie ahead of us, and he has said very little about them and he has not enlightened the country as to what he is doing to meet those storms. We tried most of last week to elicit from the hon. the Prime Minister how he was mobilizing his Government to deal with the cold war upon which we are entering at the present time. We obtained no satisfaction from the hon. the Prime Minister, and therefore we are compelled in the course of these Votes to tackle each Minister individually on the subject and to ask each one of this band of bewildered, frightened men just exactly how they visualize the position and what they propose in their particular sphere to do to help the country to face the storms which we are told we are about to face. We asked the hon. the Minister of Finance a number of pertinent questions in the course of the Budget debate, none of which did he answer. Let me cite just one. The hon. the Minister told us that the outflow of capital constitutes the most important economic symptom requiring attention. He made that statement before the ignominious failure of the hon. Prime Minister’s mission to London, and nobody, not even the hon. the Minister, will suggest that the Prime Minister’s visit to London did anything to encourage the flow of capital to this country or to discourage the outflow to which the hon. the Minister referred. That outflow is continuing. I don’t know whether the hon. the Minister has got the figures for the first quarter of this year. We know what the figures were to the end of 1960, and I have no doubt that the hon. the Minister and his Department are keeping the closest watch on the position, since this is the most important economic symptoms requiring attention, and I hope the hon. the Minister may be able to give the House the nearest estimate of what the net outflow of capital has been during the first quarter of 1961. Because as far as we know that outflow is continuing. The momentum has been a little bit stayed, simply because of the weakness of the market—stockbrokers are piled up with selling orders which they cannot execute because there are no buyers, and that in spite of the fact that South African stocks, many of them, at their present prices, offer a very much better yield than similar stocks overseas to which the money would be repatriated if the stocks here are sold. The hon. the Minister has done nothing whatever to enlighten the House and the country as to what steps he is taking to deal with this important economic symptom, nor has he indicated as to what steps he has taken not only to stem the outflow, but to promote a return flow of capital. The hon. the Minister has told us that he has in this country to redeem something like R127,000,000 of capital this year—that is all locally held stock. And, Sir, that again brings us to the point to which we have referred in recent years, of the undesirable practice which has been growing during the time of this Government to depend more and more on short-term borrowing. If you look at our loan position to-day, you will find that the overwhelming proportion of the loans are short-term loans which have to be repaid in a very short time, although they have been used very often for long-term investment projects.
Is that not the world tendency?
I am not concerned with the world tendency at the moment, but I do know that at the present time there is no difficulty in the London market to get long-term loans for approved clients, nor in the United States, and what we want to know is: With this outflow of capital, what is the Minister doing to check that flow, how is he going to stop it? Because, if it goes on, it is only a matter of time before some kind of exchange control will have to be imposed, and that is what is worrying financial people in the country at the present time as to whether the position may be rectified without the imposition of exchange control because of that outflow and all that goes with it, because from that outflow of course flows import control, and if you are thinking of severe import control, price control is almost inevitable. That is the path on which, if we are not very careful, this country is going to find itself. That is why it is most important for the hon. the Minister to take the country in his confidence and tell the country how he views the position, what are the storms that he is worrying about, what are the storms, how he is preparing for them, what steps he is taking and what he expects the country to do about it. In other words, in view of what lies ahead, according to the hon. the Minister, we want to know where is the money coming from to maintain development in this country without which disaster lies ahead of us, and what he has been doing to take steps to strengthen our financial position so that he can counter the hostile measures which are envisaged in what is going on overseas at the present time.
The hon. member is still pessimistic. We have already got to know him as the most pessimistic member in this House. The first matter he raised was the outflow of capital which is still continuing. Nobody will deny that our foreign currency has at times been in a stronger position than it is now, but I also remember that the late Mr. Havenga once asked in this House what we wanted to do with all our foreign reserves and that one should not have more than one needs. I do not want to say that we have a superabundance of foreign reserves, but one thing is very clear, and that is that throughout the years we have always had, in the first half of the year, from January to June, a decrease in our foreign currency, and in the second half of the year it again increased, and if we look at the decrease we had just recently it is not abnormal at all. The hon. member in this connection also referred to the stock exchange and various other things. In recent months, and even after the Prime Ministers’ Conference in London, the decrease was not abnormal. It was a few hundred thousand rand per week. Therefore we should not be alarmed by that. We also know that in regard to this matter the Government will not allow itself to be caught napping. If necessary, it will try to control the matter properly by means of stricter import control. The hon. the Minister will perhaps say that I am going too far, but I want to say that I think that a matter of R109,000,000 in foreign currency is a reasonably safe position in view of South Africa’s external trade at the moment, and that is equivalent to our gold production for approximately two or three months. We have such a tremendous gold production that foreign reserves do not constitute such a problem in our case as it does in the case of other countries. Our powers of recuperation as the result of our gold production cannot be equalled by any other country in the world and therefore I believe that we need not be so concerned about the matter as other countries are.
The hon. member said something which I rather deplore. He said: “ Stockbrokers are piled up with selling orders which they cannot carry out because there are no buyers.” Surely that is not true. On Monday last week there was a rush on the Stock Exchange to sell shares and there was an appreciable fall in the price of shares, a big fall. What was the cause of that? There was an article in the Sunday Times to the effect that a certain stockbroker in England had sent a circular to his clients advising them to sell all their South African shares. As hon. members know, about 80 per cent of all people in South Africa who operate on the Stock Exchange read the Sunday Times. These people were greatly alarmed when they read that report, and on Monday they were in a panic and threw their shares on the market, with the result that prices dropped. But it was an old circular; it was already two weeks old but the public did not know that, and in addition it then appeared that the broker concerned was not even known to the stockbrokers and that he was just a little insignificant man in London who had tried to make a name for himself. The other day the hon. member for Kensington blamed the Prime Minister for having quoted a broker’s letter. Nobody ought to know better what the rules of the Stock Exchange are in regard to the circulars issued by brokers than the financial editor of the Sunday Times. I want to ask why the hon. member for Kensington did not take him to task for the report he published, because did he not break all the rules by doing so? But fortunately the public soon realized that this was a weak circular which caused them to lose millions of pounds and the market recovered as from Tuesday, and to-day it is just as firm as at any time before that. Even the sellers overseas are now buying back the shares.
Just a final point. The hon. member for Constantia again raised the matter of short-term loans. He is very concerned because the Government takes up short-term loans and uses the money for long-term expenditure. The hon. member has been a member of the Select Committee on Public Accounts for many years. He ought to remember that when the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman) was Auditor-General this matter was raised pertinently in the Select Committee on two occasions. At that time the percentage of short-term loans was 16 per cent to 17 per cent of our total debt, and then the Treasury advanced the argument that we had an expanding money market in the Union and that as the money market expanded we should make provision for the State to accommodate short-term capital, and the Treasury further stated that, in view of the position our money market had already reached, 16 per cent was not a dangerous percentage. Notwithstanding that, our short-term debt is to-day a much lower percentage than it was at that time. Out of a total debt of R2,530,500,000, the total short-term debt amounts to only R240,000,000, i.e. less than 10 per cent. But that by itself does not tell the whole story. One must analyse these figures. Then one finds that of the R240,000,000—I refer the hon. member to page 60 of the Estimates—R170,000,000 is really short-term debt, i.e. only 6½ per cent of the total national debt. That is a very low percentage, even lower than it was during the war when nobody apart from the State could borrow money in South Africa. Then it was 7 per cent. We find, further, that the loan levies are regarded as short-term debt, but that is a levy which was borrowed for five years. Long before this money has to be repaid the State knows when to make provision for it. The loan levies alone amount to approximately R60,000,000 of this R240,000,000. Then there are tax redemption certificates amounting to R8,500,000. Surely the hon. member does not want us to abolish these certificates. It is a concession to the taxpayers, and one knows more or less when people will come and pay their tax, and one can make provision timeously. In practice it of course amounts to this, that one does not repay these people. They pay in the deficit on the tax redemption certificates, and then it is of course transferred from the one account to the other but it stays in the Treasury. The rest consists of personal tax and savings levies. All these three are amounts which are not connected with Treasury bills which have a short term. But I want to say here that unless the Government makes a larger proportion of our national short-term debt, then our short-term investors will have trouble one of these days. We know that the position ten to 12 years ago was already that people who wanted to invest money on short term in South Africa could not do so because there was no investment market here, and therefore they had to invest it overseas. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Pretoria (Central) (Mr. van den Heever) has quoted Mr. Havenga as saying at a certain period of our history that he did not know what we were doing with all our reserves. Well, the hon. the Minister of Finance knows what he would like to do with the reserves. He would like the reserves to be a bit more healthy than what they are at present. Then the hon. member said that the market to-day is not abnormal. I should like to know what he regards as an abnormal market if this is not an abnormal market. The selling is coming from all over the world, and any support for the market is coming internally in South Africa from good South Africans who believe in this country, who are bullish, as I am, because they look forward to the day when the country will get rid of this Government. For that reason they are bullish. They believe that South Africa will not for ever tolerate a Government of this kind, and because of that there are buyers in the market. The hon. member said that it was a Sunday Times market because of a report in the Sunday Times. We have these reports every week in our newspapers. People are accustomed to them. I think hon. members on the other side pay too much attention to what is reported in the Press. The Press in South Africa, where it is a free Press, is regarded by the ordinary reader as a Press which expresses an opinion. I don’t think the English-speaking reader of the English Press feels that here is the truth in everything that is said. He feels that here is an opinion. And now I should like to go a little further. My time is very limited and I will reply to all these questions if I get in again, but at the moment my time is too limited. I should like to say to the hon. the Minister of Finance that the relations between his Department and the Stock Exchange for many, many years, to my knowledge, have been excellent. And I think the reason for that is the very fine example that was set by a former Secretary for Finance, Dr. Steyn. He took the Stock Exchange Committee into his confidence, and there was a spirit of co-operation which I can recommend to the hon. the Minister to-day. I am sure that by appealing to the Stock Exchange Committee he would receive cordial co-operation. And because I believe that and because I know that is true from my experience, I regret very much indeed that the hon. the Prime Minister saw fit to read in this House from a private and confidential weekly market report by a stockbroking firm to their clients. I reget that, and I should like the hon. the Minister of Finance to discuss that with the hon. the Prime Minister and to explain to him that it makes his position as Minister of Finance embarrassing. I think there is a great deal he can do in that direction. The hon. the Minister of Finance will find co-operation from the Stock Exchange. The relations to-day, I understand, are very healthy indeed, and I am sure that they will be maintained.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I find myself in the embarrassing position of having to pay a compliment to the hon. the Minister of Finance.
Shall I go out?
No, no. We must have a little light and shade in the picture. When I look at his estimates I realize that in his own Department he has been pruning the estimates. When we look at the figures we find that there are no great increases. In spite of the fact that he is carrying out additional work every year, there is not a large increase in the estimates. What I would like to suggest to the hon. the Minister of Finance is that he should prune the estimates of his colleagues in the Cabinet. I think the hon. the Minister of Finance has that duty to the country. When I look at the estimates of the Department of Education, for example, then I feel that the hon. the Minister of Finance should exercise very strict control on the estimates of other Departments. It is quite Hear to me from his estimates that he is exercising that control in his own Department.
The next point I shall come to is this: I should like to make an appeal to the hon. the Minister of Finance in regard to a subject that I raised in the Budget debate. He will have observed that since we had the Budget debate no less a person than the President of the Chamber of Mines has also appealed to the Minister for reconsideration of his Budget proposals in regard to the taxation of gold mining profits. The hon. the Minister has provided in his Budget for a reduction of 3 per cent on company taxation, and I appeal to him now to reconsider applying that reduction to the taxation of gold mining companies. We have spoken about capital leaving South Africa. How does capital come to South Africa; how does it leave South Africa? We all know the manner. The South African companies that are popular throughout the world are generally gold mining companies. Our industrial companies are not in the same category. How many blue chips, as we call them, are there among our great industrials? Very few indeed. But there are some very fine companies in our gold mining section. I feel that if the hon. the Minister wishes to have confidence restored—and I think it is necessary to restore confidence—he would do well to reconsider the taxation of gold mining companies, because that is the avenue by which capital comes to South Africa. Gold mining shares are quoted on the New York Stock Exchange, they are quoted on the London Stock Exchange, in Amsterdam and in Pans. Any gesture in the manner I have suggested would, I am sure, help to restore confidence. I think it is necessary to restore confidence to-day. There is a loss of confidence in South Africa. I feel that if the hon. the Minister could say “ We intend to treat our gold mining companies in the same way as we treat our industrial companies and our commercial companies; there is a field for investment; we have confidence in the future ”, I am sure he would do much to reverse this flow of capital to which the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) has referred. That suggestion I leave to the hon. the Minister for his consideration.
The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) said a moment ago that overseas investors had lost confidence in South Africa, and one of the reasons he mentioned for it was the fact that we had left the Commonwealth. The hon. member for Constantia is one of those who for several years now has been trying to destroy confidence in South Africa. I am afraid that since I first heard him speaking in this House he has said very little that was constructive, and the same applies to hon. members opposite. When I say that the hon. member is trying to create distrust and to make statements which harm the economic position of South Africa, then I want to refer to one such statement here. In the Cape Argus last year, a month or so before the referendum, the hon. member said—
Then we read the following—
The hon. member therefore said that if we become a republic outside the Commonwealth “ international trade agreements ” would operate to prevent Britain and other Commonwealth countries from continuing to give trade preferences to South Africa. Now I want to ask the hon. member what these international agreements are to which he referred which would prevent these preferences from continuing. The hon. member can have the opportunity to tell us if he wishes. But now he sits quiet. I take it he referred to G.A.T.T. Those are the only international agreements which can affect these preferences. But he gave this reply after the Minister of Economic Affairs had said that G.A.T.T. does not affect it, and this statement made by the hon. member for Constantia was really in reply to the Minister who said that these agreements should continue to exist and that they were not prohibited by G.A.T.T. But then he tried to show what harm South Africa would suffer if we no longer enjoyed these preferences. He tried to cast suspicion on their continued existence. But now we see, after the announcement was made that South Africa would no longer be in the Commonwealth after 31 May, that the British Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons, and inter alia, we read the following. Referring to these international agreements—I take it they are the same as those referred to by the hon. member for Constantia—the British Prime Minister said this—
We therefore have that statement, and the same was said by Mr. Sandys, the Minister for Commonwealth Relations, in the House of Commons. I need not even quote it. Here we therefore have an example of the type of thing being said to shock confidence in investment and trade in South Africa in future. But fortunately we know that there were also other reactions which followed immediately. So, for example, we see that the Economic X-Ray on 20 March—therefore after the announcement— wrote the following in connection with South Africa—
There we have a proper summing up of the financial position between South Africa and Britain. It is the declared desire of our Prime Minister that this should remain in existence. There are also the statements of the British Prime Minister that it should remain in existence, and we see no reason why the position should deteriorate. In conclusion, the Stock Exchange Gazette thereafter summed up the position very correctly when it said—
That is the position. It depends on the investment possibilities in South Africa and it is time for the Government, through the Ministers who handle these matters, to do everything in their power, in spite of the position in which South Africa finds itself, to make the best of it and to make us economically as strong as possible and to preserve and to expand those financial and economic bonds with other countries which are mutually advantageous.
It is quite apparent from the remarks of the hon. member who has just spoken that he does recognize that South Africa has become a bad financial risk for external investments. But what he fails to do, of course, is to see the beam in the eye of his own side as the reason for that, and he is trying to concentrate on the mote which he sees in the eye of this side of the House. He would do far better to concentrate on the beam in the eye of his own side of the House.
So far as the hon. member for Pretoria (Central) (Mr. van den Heever) is concerned, he seems to think that short term borrowing is a matter which you can adjust on a percentage basis. Short term borrowing is on the increase, as the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) has pointed out. And much of our short term borrowing is tantamount to overdraft financing. Now there is nothing wrong with overdraft financing provided the capital is used for working capital and not for fixed capital outlay. But that is what is happening here, it is fixed capital outlay that is taking place here.
That theory of yours was repudiated in 1954 by the Treasury.
I am dealing with the current position which has become more aggravated since 1954. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with short term borrowing, with two reservations. Firstly, it must be kept within the bounds of safety and, secondly, the means for repayment must be readily available. The hon. member would have been much more helpful if he had tried to ascertain what are the bounds of safety; what are the limits of safety. I personally have tried to get this information from the hon. the Minister of Finance, and from his predecessor, without any success.
As regards the ready means available for repayment, may I point out to the hon. member that for the current year, repayments on external loans amount to something just under R50,000,000. And all of those loans are, in effect, short term borrowings which now have to be repaid. The fact, therefore, is that we are now committed to frequent refinancing operations in which, of course, the Reserve Bank and the International Monetary Fund are playing a certain part. But there are certain aspects of the matter that I would like to raise with the hon. the Minister himself.
The first point is this: Provision is being made under Vote 12, for R6,000,000 as a contribution towards the Decimalization Fund. That is the second contribution of R6,000,000, and I hope the hon. the Minister will tell us what is contemplated as to the amount that will have to be contributed to this Fund. The country is, of course, entitled to this information and so is this hon. House, and I hope the hon. the Minister will indicate to us precisely what amount is involved and for how long these contributions are going to take place.
The second matter I want to raise with the hon. the Minister is what our relationship is, firstly, with the International Monetary Fund. A substantial contribution had to be made last year. It was something like £4,500,000. I think the hon. the Minister should inform this Committee what the position is. Is there going to be any further contribution towards the International Monetary Fund in the near future or not? And secondly the same applies with regard to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. No amount has appeared on the estimate as such. The hon. the Minister did indicate during his Budget speech, that an amount of R1.6 million was going to be paid to the International Bank during the current year. Here, again, I hope the hon. the Minister will inform the House precisely what the relationship is between the Union and this World Bank; what our commitments are for the future in regard to it, and whether this is a final instalment payable, and the circumstances under which it has become payable.
I support the hon. member for Constantia who has indicated that we have not had an adequate reply in regard to what the Government proposes to do in connection with this outflow of capital funds that is taking place. The position as it stands at present is something of this order, that the gold and foreign reserves stand at something round about R180,000,000 at the present moment. But that figure takes into account, of course, some R28,000,000 which has been contributed from two sources; firstly there has been a contribution or a drawing on the International Monetary Fund of some R13,500,000. The hon. the Minister told us that the Reserve Bank itself had entered into a short-term loan from a private source, of R14,000,000. Those two items do not go into the Loan Account, as he told us, they go direct to the Bank. But they do affect the balance of reserves. And taking off those amounts brings us perilously near where we were in May 1958, because, disregarding those two items, the reserves stand at something like R150,000,000. I hope the hon. the Minister will therefore deal with the position as raised by the hon. member for Constantia and make quite clear what the position is. I think he should tell this Committee whether more than the R13,000,000 has or has not been drawn from the International Monetary Fund.
I think the hon. the Minister should also take this country and the House into his confidence in regard to this loan which was raised by the Reserve Bank itself. I think we are entitled to know when the loan was raised, when it is repayable and what the rate of interest is, and the cost of that loan to the Reserve Bank. The Government is, of course, practically the whole shareholder in the Reserve Bank, and for that reason should keep the country informed in regard to the matter. I raised this matter previously with the hon. the Minister but I have not had a reply, and I therefore hope that he will now clarify the position in regard to that loan by giving the information for which I have now asked him.
I am surprised at the remarks made by both the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) and the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman), particularly those of the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) in regard to the short-term loans which, according to them, are so easily available and too big in the Union. They made that statement without producing any evidence in proof of it. They must forgive us, therefore, if we do not pay much attention to it.
However, I think it may interest the Committee to know that the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) is really, what shall I say, the villain or the hero in this story. This has been his pet subject for years. The development of a short-term money market in the Union is really his brain child. When he was Auditor-General he repeatedly urged upon the Government to establish a short-term money market. I want to quote from the report of the Select Committee on Public Accounts of 1951. Mr. Loveday, who was the right hand of the Auditor-General Mr. Plewman, the present member for Johannesburg (North), gave evidence before that Committee. The Chairman asked Mr. Loveday the following question—
This was with reference to the Auditor-General’s report that there were insufficient facilities for short-term investments in the Union and that as a result of that people were investing their money overseas to the detriment of the Union. I congratulate him on the fact that he was a good citizen in those days. The reply was—
The Auditor-General then complained that that money was lying idle. A question was then put to Dr. Steyn who was Secretary of Finance and he said that if we had such a market that money would be utilized in this country. It was as a result of that that the Government tried to utilize those short-term investments in this way. The Government has saved millions of cents because the rate of interest on these short-term investments is only 4 per cent. I have with me the latest report of the quarterly statistical journal of the Reserve Bank for December—I think it is the latest, but I am not sure. There is a list of the rates which were paid and you will find. Sir, that it never exceeded 31 per cent during any month. It therefore pays the Government. The only complaint one may perhaps raise is that the ratio between short-term and long-term debt has become too great. When we compare the position in this country with that of other countries, we find that our ratio is still very favourable. As a matter of fact, it is a fraction of what it is in other countries. In England the ratio between short-term and long-term debt is 20 per cent. In South Africa it is 9 per cent. It is ridiculous to say that our short-term debt is at a dangerously high level. Financiers of repute say that it can reach 16 per cent. The hon. member said so when he was Auditor-General.
No, he disagreed with that.
Treasury said so. That is a point of difference which has not yet been decided. But it does not have to be decided because we are at 9 per cent. When we look at the position of those countries outside the Commonwealth, we find that in America the period for long-term credit is seven years. It is absolutely ridiculous, therefore, to say that we will obtain long-term credit in America. The American Government never lends money for longer than seven years. We regard any period shorter than six years—five years—as short term. If we deduct all the levies which the hon. member for Pretoria (Central) (Mr. van den Heever) has mentioned, and the further advances which are for periods of over a year, this figure of 9 per cent becomes as small as 6 per cent. To attack us on this point, therefore, merely shows that Opposition members do not really know what they are talking about. They do not know what to talk about so they again raise this matter.
I can quite understand that the whole of South Africa is concerned that confidence should be restored. But let me say this: The main reason why confidence has been shocked is the fact that many people overseas and in our own country are afraid—as the hon. the Prime Minister said the other day—that we will not be able to see things through in this country. The easiest way to restore that confidence is not only for the Government to say that it will do everything in its power to see things through, but also for the Opposition to say that the White section, who in any case organizes everything in this country, will see things through and remain here. If they were to go further and tell the world outside to cease interfering in our affairs because by doing so they are merely aggravating our position, and that they do not achieve anything by doing so, confidence in this country will be restored much easier and much sooner, because the stock exchange about which they are so concerned is very sensitive to any political and economic disruptions. However, if we counter those influences with counter-influences confidence will be restored just as easily. We expect every White man in. South Africa to say to those people who try to influence the position here and who try to create unrest and to undermine confidence in this country, those people who try to disrupt the peace and to undermine the confidence, that they will not succeed in their attempt. By doing so they consolidate us all the more. If we tell them that, confidence will immediately be restored.
I think we can quite safely leave the hon. member for Standerton (Dr. Coertze) to be dealt with by the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman). But I am sure he will wish to do, what I think I would do in his place, namely leave him severely alone, ignore him. Let me say this in passing: If the hon. member for Standerton could lay claim to a long record of disinterested service to the State such as that rendered by the hon. member for Johannesburg (North); if he could more often approach our parliamentary debates with the same degree of high-minded objectivity as my colleague, one could forgive him a little for his brash vulgarity. Mr. Chairman, I wish to make an appeal this afternoon for the total abolition of death duties. Taxes on capital are always more offensive to us than any other form of taxation. We all know that we must be taxed in order to get the money to pay for the security and the defence of the realm; to provide those services which we expect a Government to supply to sustain the aged, educate the indigent and administer the State. In that context we accept the justice, for example, of an income tax, although we may, and indeed do, complain with a great degree of volubility about the inequalities of its incidence. But a tax, which is not a tax on revenue, not a tax that we can “ pay as we go ” from what we earn; a tax that seeks to remove the capital reserves we have built up; capital on which taxes have, iii most cases, already been paid; such a tax is, to my mind, one that is unsound in many respects. All of us, I presume, are prudent heads of families who have aimed to build up an estate for our dependants. That is why we feel that when you tax capital in this way, you strike at the very roots of domestic stability and destroy the incentive to build up an estate, which is one of the finest incentives for production. Mr. Chairman, I maintain that death duty is a tax which might well be abolished. I have looked at the statistics available to me. I find that in 1958-9, which is the last year for which I have the figures, death duties produced some R7,400,000 out of a total Government revenue collected of some R664,000,000. As a percentage of the total Government revenue, death duties represented 1.12 per cent. And this at a time when that revenue per head of European population was just over R216. Never before has the percentage of estate and succession duty, in relation to total Government revenue, been so low. Way back in 1921-2, in the days when a mere R550,000 was collected out of a total Government revenue of some R50,000,000, death duties as a percentage of Government revenue was again 1.12 per cent. At that time revenue per head of the White population was R32.25. Since then it has waxed and waned. It has gone as high as 4 per cent in 1950, and as low as our present 1.12 per cent. The argument used by the Minister of Finance does not hold water when one reckons that never have we had a stage in our fiscal history when it would be easier to do away with estate duties without sacrificing any great percentage of revenue, especially for a Government which has been producing the most staggering surpluses for a number of years. I think we can make out a convincing case for the total abolition of death duties. It could be abolished without undue hardship to the Treasury. The Minister could well afford to do so. I would remind him that one of his predecessors, Mr. Havenga, suggested, when he began to lessen the incidence of death duties, that those who followed him should continue this wise course. He regretted having to introduce estate duties in the first place and he hoped, with the wisdom of a second thought, that finance Ministers, who followed in his footsteps, might see their way clear to easing it still further. I am sure he envisaged its eventual total abolition.
I make the point, which I think is most important, that we do not wish to follow the course followed in England and intensify taxation of this sort which destroys the incentive to produce. Production incentive is needed much more in a young and developing country like ours than in an older and more settled country like England. Even there they found, in the case of small family businesses particularly, that heavy death duties destroyed not only the incentive to build up those businesses, but when several fortuitous deaths took place in succession they often handicapped very severely, if they did not destroy, the capacity of such firms to survive. Our farmers in this country may well be placed in the very same position. Having built up something flourishing and stable for their family, all may be jeopardised should the father and the eldest son die soon after each other. I would suggest that in a country like ours (I speak now as a man recently engaged in commerce when I say that farming and industry must always be the backbone of the country) we should give every possible incentive to industrial and agricultural development. We should not handicap production by death duties, especially as the percentage of tax it produces is infinitesimal compared with our total revenue collected. To me it is quite clear that the abolition of death duties should logically lead to the abolition of the gifts tax. This tax was only introduced as a deterrent against an avoidance of death duties. Its abolition should be concurrent. Never before in our financial history have we so urgently needed an inflow of capital into our country. Nothing would be more calculated to bring capital to the country than the course I suggest. If we abolish death duties it will be a great attraction for capital from overseas, capital that we so sadly need to replenish our impoverished coffers and keep the wheels of progress turning.
I want to touch on a few points of principle and ask whether the hon. the Minister can give us any information. I saw in the Press that it was the intention to draft legislation to provide for the transfer of pension benefits from one pension fund to another and to prohibit persons from drawing benefits from the funds before reaching a certain age, say 60 years. That is a matter for which we have pleaded on various occasions in the House and I would very much like to hear from the hon. the Minister whether such legislation is being contemplated and when it can be expected.
Last year concessions were made to self-employed persons to provide for their old age and to deduct amounts of up to £300 per annum from their income when making their returns for income tax purposes. This year that amount is being increased to £400. I am quite convinced that the hon. the Minister has laid down this policy for the future but there are still people who are doubtful. They say that it is something new and they ask whether the hon. the Minister will continue with it or whether he will say in a year or two that he is no longer going to continue with that policy. I would like the hon. the Minister to clarify his policy for the benefit of those people who make provision or who want to make provision for their old age, and that he should state it as being his policy for the future from which he will not deviate.
My final point concerns the question of taxation on benefits derived from pension funds. We would like to encourage the people to make provision for their old age. The contributions of ordinary people are free of tax up to £200 and that of self-employed persons up to £300 per annum. They can deduct it from their taxable income, but when a person receives his pension the State comes along and demands a share of the income derived from the pension fund. People who have reached the age of 60 years or more consider it to be very unfair that the State should come along when they draw their pensions at the end of their working life and demand a share of the cash amount or of the annual income if it is high enough. The hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) has just pleaded for the abolition of estate duties. I want to point out that at the end of a man’s life he is finished, but here the State is demanding certain taxes while the person still has a few years to live but no longer earns any money. I want to plead that where they are now allowed to deduct the contributions from their income during their lifetime the income which they will ultimately receive in their old age from the pension funds should also be exempt from taxation. It cannot cost the State much and it will be an inducement to those whom we want to encourage to provide for their old age to do so.
There is nothing in the previous speaker’s remarks to which I cannot lend support and therefore I can proceed with my own case. In his Budget speech the Minister said that our customs tariffs were low and that there were various items able to bear a moderate increase in import duties without having any noticeable effect on the cost of living, and he tabled a schedule of such items in which the increases range from 5 per cent to 40 per cent. The Minister also assured the House that mainly non-essential items were affected and that goods produced by local manufacturers had as far as possible been excluded from the schedule. The main point at issue is whether the new duties will affect the cost of living or not. The Minister assured us that they would not, but I must say that it looks as if he has not been entirely thorough. I would like to point out that certain of these: increases will have a very material effect indeed on the cost of living and that this is so obvious that I wonder why the Minister did not spot it. I think it is wrong for him to speak about the cost of living not being affected materially, because surely if the cost of houses goes up that has a material effect on the cost of living and it is equally sure that if the essential goods used by housewives in the house are taxed that will lead to a substantial increase in the cost of living. These items are important and I take it they come into the schedule although the demand cannot be satisfied by local manufacturers. In this connection I can do no better than to quote from notes prepared by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of South Africa, in which they say this—
73 (1) (b): Millinery, drapery, haberdashery and textile articles of furnishing and napery. This item includes a wide range of essential goods used by the housewife.
113 (1): Hardware: This item includes practically every item of builders’ hardware and ordinary household fittings. It would seem that apart from paints and tools, this item covers a large proportion of the articles stocked by the average hardware retailer. Whilst the tariff does make specific provision for some hardware items, it is true to say that the bulk of hardware as interpreted in the way of common usage falls under Item 113 (1). Certain lines are manufactured locally, but imports remain a most important factor in meeting the requirements of the householder and of the building industry. The item covers fittings for doors, windows and furniture; angles and brackets; padlocks and ordinary locks; curtain fittings, etc.
If you go into the details of the cost of a house, you will find that that is quite a substantial proportion of the cost. The notes then go on to say—
I will not go into these notes further. I think they say enough to prove that there are some things that the Minister should go into in more detail. I must say that this is just another case, in my opinion, of the Minister passing money-raising legislation without sufficient investigation. This year he is amending his legislation in at least two instances where last year we pointed out to him that it was ill-considered and not thoroughly investigated. I refer to the allowances now made in respect of industrial and hotel premises and to donations to universities. In each case he has now seen the light and has accepted the suggestions we made last year. But I hope that this time, because this matter will have a direct effect on the ordinary person, he will investigate the matter I have put forward, and if he finds that I am right that he will do something about it before next year.
I cannot resist suggesting to the Minister that in future he calls upon our finance group, under the usual arrangements for secrecy, of course, to help him in the preparation of his financial measures, in order to keep him out of these little difficulties which seem to arise.
I want to refer to one other matter, and that is the special tax-free bonds that the Minister seems to re-introduce. He said in his Budget speech that he introduced these to attract capital from the private investor and expects R14,000,000 from it. Personally I shall be very surprised if he does not get it, as the rate of interest he is giving to the man in the high income group is nearly 14 per cent per annum. If a man’s income is at the stage where he pays 12s. 6d. in the £—and there are many such—he is left with 7s. 6d. If he pays 12s. 6d. in the £, and if he invests £10,000; in this manner he pays no tax on the last lot, which gives him 14 per cent. If that is not buying money I do not know what it is. I do not know whether it is tied up with this long discussion about short-term and long-term loans and whether we are in such a parlous financial position that we have to get money quickly in order to meet the demands shortly to be made on us, but surely this is buying money. It is not new. We pointed it out to the Minister’s predecessor but nothing was done, and now it is being reintroduced. It looks to me as if it is going to go on being reintroduced. It is very attractive, but look what it will cost us. As the money markets overseas become more difficult for us, and we get shorter and shorter of money, we will end up by paying 14 per cent on many millions.
Finally, I hope that the Minister has listened closely to the speech of my colleague in regard to death duties, because as he pointed out, the abolition of death duties, which do not bring in a substantial amount, will be a very important factor in encouraging people to come and live in our country and to bring their money with them.
I cannot allow the speeches of the hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) and the hon. member for Benoni (Mr. Ross) to go unanswered. The hon. member for Benoni’s complaint is that the import duty which is levied to-day will raise the cost of living and by way of an example he mentioned three items which appear on the list of goods that are affected by the import duty. Let me ask him another question; He asks the Minister to investigate the position but he himself has made an inquiry to ascertain how many of those items are manufactured locally, and does he not think it is more South African and more patriotic to buy a locally manufactured article in preference to the imported item? The reason why the import duty has been levied is partly to stimulate the love for their fatherland of those who are not as patriotic as they should be and partly to protect our foreign currency. One has to start at the bottom to reach the top, Sir. There is a saying; “Take care of the cents and the rands will take care of themselves ”, in recognition of the hon. member for Kensington. If he studies that list properly and looks at our producers, he will realize that no difficulty can be expected in respect of any article or that there is anything that will aggravate the position of the consumer.
He also raised the question of the person who is in the highest income-tax bracket. I think the least we say on this subject the better because if we told Treasury what people who fall in the highest bracket pay in other countries, he would be surprised to find how fortunate he is in only paying 12s. 6d. in the £. The highest bracket in South Africa, according to the table compiled from the most recent data, is 47.5 per cent of the taxable income. It is 91 per cent in America. It is 88.75 per cent in England. How would the hon. member like to pay 47 per cent right from the start? Those people pay that much sooner than we do because their scale is much shorter than ours. In Canada it is 80 per cent and in Ireland 77.5 per cent. In no country in the world do the people pay as little as we do in South Africa, except in Switzerland, and if the hon. member thinks it so wonderful that they pay 8 per cent in Switzerland why does he not rather go and live there? Perhaps he will reveal a greater love for his fatherland in Switzerland than here.
There is another point to which I must reply and that is in respect of the abolition of estate duty. You know, Mr. Speaker, when the Greeks bring presents you must watch out, and when the Opposition pleads the cause of the farmer you must know something is brewing. They say the farmer should have an opportunity to build up an estate but they forget that he enjoys various privileges in respect of capital expenditure. A farmer has a greater opportunity to build up an estate by way of capital investment than the person engaged in many other concerns in the country. It is completely erroneous to think that in abolishing estate duty a person will be able to build up an estate. There are other measures that can be resorted to. As far as estate duty is concerned we will be making the biggest mistake that we can make in our economic life if we abolished it, because the object with estate duty is not to derive income; that is why the argument that so little is derived from estate duty that it should be abolished is not a good argument. Estate duty is imposed for socio-economic reasons. There is a tendency for big estates to become concentrated in one hand; a tendency to become concentrated in a dead hand. The object of estate duty is to whip it up in that hand so that it will fall into more hands. We have a very good example of that in our country where one of our prominent citizens died recently. During his lifetime he had acquired more than 100,000 morgen of land and when he died the estate duty was so heavy that 100,000 morgen of land had to be divided between approximately ten members of the family because the heirs could not pay that duty. That was quite right. Whereas previously only one man and his family had lived on that land, it now carries ten families. The object is not to derive income, but the object is more to return to the economy which has been drawn from it. That is the wholesome effect of estate duty. I agree that with over-taxation we may stiflle initiative; you have to consider the amount of the tax. When taxation is so high that the individual is no longer interested in making every extra threepence that he can, you are endangering your whole monetary system and your economy. The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Water-son) and the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman) and I have argued on that point ad nauseam. We pointed out that that stage was only reached when taxation reached the figure of 25 per cent in relation to State expenditure, but when it is 14 per cent, as in our case, or less, there is no danger at all. That is why I say, Sir, that when the Greeks bring presents you should be careful.
I would like the Minister to give us some indication as to what he thinks the future pattern of interest rates will be, particularly having regard to the present pattern. The Minister knows that overseas today South African stocks are paying nearly 9 per cent on short term, and if the Minister proposes to float a long-term loan on an overseas market, in view of the present interest rate, it will be interesting to hear what he expects the future picture to be. As the Minister knows, the interest rate on long-term loans sets the interest rate for the whole of the country. I will leave that now because other members have raised the question of interest rates and possibly when the Minister replies we can go into further detail.
I come now to the next matter, the report on the provincial finances. Some three years ago the Minister’s predecessor advised this House that he proposed to set up a commission of inquiry to go into the provincial finances. So far this report has not been received. The commission took evidence in one or two provinces and it looks as if it will be at least another 18 months before the report is available. In the meantime the various provinces have to carry on as usual with increased demands for hospitalization and more children going to school, and consequently an increased financial burden, and the sources of revenue are limited. The other day I put a question to the Minister of Finance in regard to the taxation that was accruing and which showed for 1956-7 and 1957-8 and 1959-60 that the taxation from individuals showed a generally even trend. Although the Minister in his Budget report said that the income tax was increasing, when we examine the figures and break them down we find that while over-all the taxes are increasing, that impression is given because there has been a considerable increase in the amount of taxation accruing to the Treasury from the gold mines. But if we break it down into the various sections, viz. the income tax from individuals, from companies other than gold-mining companies, from gold and diamond mines and other mines, the figures show that in 1956-7 the income tax from individuals was R106,000,000 and in 1959-60 it was still R106,000,000. The income tax from companies other than mining companies in 1956-7 was R124,000,000 and in 1959-60 it was R118,000,000, so there was a downward tendency in the income from companies. To give the intervening years, in 1957-8 it was R116,500,000, and in 1958-9 it was R119,500,000, and for 1959-60 it was R118,000,000. So one sees from the analysis of those figures that the tendency of income from individuals and from companies other than mining companies has either been to remain static or to go down. And the provinces are taxing the taxpayer a percentage of Union income tax, so the tendency is that although the provinces are having increased demands for services, they will be forced, in spite of the Minister’s assurance that there will be a deduction in taxation, to ask for additional taxation unless there can be some alteration to the formula. I would like to know from the Minister when we can expect that report, whether he has had an interim report and when the provinces can expect some relief, because it is particularly the smaller provinces, the Orange Free State and Natal, which are hit hardest as a result of this formula. I am sorry to say, but I am afraid the Minister has a reputation for procrastination. It is either that or it is overwork.
We would like to know when the Minister is going to give us a consolidated Income Tax Bill. It is just on 20 years since the first Income Tax Act was introduced. It has been amended from year to year. Last year the Minister said that it was a very difficult matter, but that he would go into the question of a consolidated Bill. His predecessor also said that he would consider the matter. Practically every financial periodical refers to this matter. A recent edition of the Taxpayer also recommended that this matter should be considered, and we would like to ask the Minister if he can give us some indication as to when we can expect this Bill. We would also like to know when we can expect the Bill for the present Session incorporating the Minister’s tax proposals. Last year there was a complaint that the Bill was tabled at the last minute and that very little time was given for consideration. I hope we will not have to make a similar complaint this year. I hope the Minister will make up his mind as to what he wants with regard to the final clauses of the Bill and will ensure that the Bill is put before us at the earliest possible moment. The Minister’s Department, as far as I am aware, should have completed this Bill by now. We have had the tax proposals and one is entitled to assume that when the tax proposals are put before the Minister, the Department has a fairly good idea of as to what the tax proposals are and what legislation is needed in order to give effect to those tax proposals. I hope that the Minister in the course of his reply will give us some indication as to when we can expect that tax Bill. At a later stage, under the income tax Vote, we propose to go into greater detail in regard to the recent report by the Select Committee of Public Accounts on the Department of the Commissioner for Inland Revenue, but at the moment we are dealing with general matters. I hope the Minister will be able to give us a reply on these general matters so that we can get them out of the way before we go into the detailed items falling under the Minister’s various Votes.
The hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) blamed the Prime Minister the other day for having quoted from a circular sent to their clients by stockbrokers. He then said that those circulars were very confidential, and unless I am wrong—he can correct me if I am—the position is that in terms of the rules of the Stock Exchange they must be treated as confidential and clients cannot use them for any other purpose than for their own personal information. The hon. member blamed the Prime Minister, but did he blame the Sunday Times for publishing such a confidential document, a confidential document which cost the investors and the Johannesburg stockbrokers millions of pounds in one day on the Stock Exchange? I am referring to the circular in regard to which the Sunday Times of 9 April wrote as follows—
Was that not regarded as confidential? Was that not advice given to his clients by a stockbroker?
I do not know; it emanated from London.
It must have been clear to the Sunday Times that the information contained in that circular was completely untrue, because all they needed to do was to phone the Treasury to hear whether the information was correct. Because why does this so-called stockbroker recommend that his clients should sell their shares. Not because he has no confidence in South Africa’s position; not because he thinks it is not a good investment, but because he says that one of these days the Government will prevent capital from leaving the country. Then he gives the following reason—
And the most scandalous part of it is that this is not a circular which arrived in Johannesburg towards the end of that week. People in Johannesburg had known about this circular for a fortnight already, and the stockbrokers in Johannesburg, as well as the investors who study the market knew that it was nonsense, and that is why it caused no reaction on the market, but then the Sunday Times came along with this sensational report which they could have controlled either by telephoning the Minister or the Treasury to ascertain whether that was so or not. But they told the public that the Johannesburg stockbrokers had announced that they would advise their clients to sell because the Government would restrict the outflow of dividends, and the hon. member for Kensington knows what the result was. He says that the stock market did not drop as the result of this report in the Sunday Times, but surely he knows that it did fall as the result of that report because on that Monday shares fell by 5s., 6s., 7s to 8s. each, and there was panic on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange such as there has not been since Black Friday. All the small investors who could least afford it lost millions and millions of pounds, and the fact that this took place as the result of this report is proved by the fact that late that afternoon the stock market had recovered, and before 3 p.m. on Tuesday every penny which had been lost that Monday had been regained on the Exchange. But the small shareholder lost 4s. or 5s. per share since 10 o’clock on Monday morning as the result of this report because then they panicked. They rushed to the brokers and handed in as much scrip as they could with instructions to sell at any price, and by 2 p.m. or 3.30 p.m. that afternoon the market had dropped lower than it had done for years before, and by 3 p.m. the next day all the losses had been wiped out, and I am sure that those who instigated it bought as many shares as they could. The hon. member who was an important member of the Stock Exchange in Johannesburg, does he have no word of condemnation for this scandalous and shocking manipulation on the Stock Exchange? Because he knows it is not the big investor who suffers, because the big investor holds the shares; he does not sell in a panic. It is the small investor, the man who has only £100 or £200 or £500 to invest who suffers; it is those people who have been robbed of their money in this way, and then the hon. member still comes along as a responsible person and as one of whom the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the investors of South Africa take notice, and says that the fall in prices was not due to this report which appeared in the Sunday Times. I then asked him: If it is not due to this, why did the stock market recover on Tuesday? Will he get up and tell me why it recovered on Tuesday? It is clear that it dropped as the result of this false report. The financial editor of the Sunday Times ought to know what the rules of the Stock Exchange are. In the first place he contravened those rules and in the second place he published the report which was clearly false and the correctness or otherwise of which he could have controlled simply by phoning the Treasury, but as the result of this scandalous thing the small investors in South Africa lost millions of pounds on that Monday. It is the panic caused by this type of report, and that caused by the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) saying that there are no buyers on the Stock Exchange, which result in the small investor losing millions of pounds. The hon. member surely knows that he is talking nonsense. If there were no buyers, how could the market recover again the same day? There were many buyers when the market reached a certain point. No, one expects a greater sense of responsibility from the hon. member for Kensington, and if I could give him advice I would advise him to invest every penny he has in shares. If he does not want to do so he can lend me the money—I will give him good security—and then I will buy shares, as the market is now, because there is not the slightest doubt that as the market is now there are many buyers but those buyers are just waiting for the next Sunday on which the Sunday Times again tells a lie or until the hon. member for Constantia again causes panic and then they buy De Beers (Preferred) not for 135s. but for 130s. The position therefore is not that there is any fear. Everybody knows that these shares pay a good dividend. Take a share like De Beers (Preferred), which is a gilt-edged security. It is as good as the Bank of England and at to-day’s prices it gives you 10 per cent on your investment, of 9.8 per cent at Friday’s price. Does the hon. member for Constantia want to tell me that there are no buyers for that type of share? Of course there are buyers and they will come forward one of these days, just as soon as the public becomes accustomed to these shock tactics we have had since we left the Commonwealth. There is simply a state of panic, encouraged by the English Press and by sensational and false reports like this one, encouraged by a Jeremiah like the hon. member for Constantia, although I think that the public has now become so accustomed to him that they no longer take much notice of him, but also encouraged by irresponsibility on the part of a man like the hon. member for Kensington whose word still counts in financial circles and with the investors. I think that when he discusses these matters he should forget his politics for a moment and show a greater sense of responsibility.
The hon. member seems to be confusing many things in his speech. The point I made was this (perhaps the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) was not in the House): The Prime Minister read extracts to the House from a private and confidential weekly letter sent by a Johannesburg stockbroking firm to its clients, and not only did he quote from it but he quoted the name of the firm. What the hon. member for Vereeniging is quoting is something altogether different. His complaint is of a different nature. His complaint is a complaint against newspaper reports having an effect on the market.
On a stockbroker’s note.
He is quoting what a London stockbroker said. It may be a London stockbroker or a New York or a Paris stockbroker, but that is something quite different from the case I raised in the House. The hon. member for Vereeniging is naturally disappointed that the Press should have behaved as it did. I do not know what the effect of a Press report is on the market; we get many Press reports, but my experience is that the public generally do not pay such a great deal of attention to Press reports as the hon. member thinks. I do not think for a moment that they are stampeded by news. They are stampeded by Sharpeville and I think with good reason, but the selling after Sharpeville came from overseas, and selling is still coming from overseas. South Africans have from time to time shown confidence in the market, but there is a limit to their resources. I should like the hon. member not to confuse what happened here in the Prime Minister’s debate and the complaint he has against the Sunday Times.
What was your objection to the Prime Minister quoting from that note?
Perhaps the hon. member will first tell me whether he was in the House last Friday?
No, I was not.
Sir, the hon. member is not familiar with the facts. I will tell him privately afterwards what the facts are; I do not wish to take up the time of the House. We discussed that matter under the Prime Minister’s Vote. I think the hon. member for Vereeniging is not in possession of all the facts. I have now obtained copies of the reports to which the Prime Minister objects, and the hon. member will see printed on the report very clearly “ Private and Confidential ”. My chief complaint was that the hon. the Prime Minister was indiscreet in reading those reports to the House. I do not think any person should read a report by a financial adviser to his clients in public. I would not mention the name of that firm; I have never done so.
It is quoted in the newspaper.
But there is another aspect to it, and perhaps the Minister of Finance will consider this as well, that when the hon. the Prime Minister mentioned the name of the firm—he was giving the firm a free advertisement. If a firm has been pessimistic and bearish for the last 12 months, the firm has been right because the market has been bad during the last 13 months. Confidence overseas has decreased. Any firm that said 12 months ago that Sharpeville would have a bad affect on the market, whether the Sunday Times said so or not, was right. It would have advised its clients as it should have advised them, to the best of its ability. If after the referendum campaign and the result of the referendum the firm had said that “ this is another bear point for the market ”, they would have been right again, because it was a bear point for the market; and when the announcement was made of a republic outside the Commonwealth that was another bear point for the market. A broker who says that in London is obviously right, and if a newspaper repeats it the newspaper is right as well. Sir, that is the unfortunate part and there is nothing we can do about it.
The hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) cannot get away with it so easily. What has he really blamed the Prime Minister for? For quoting from a circular sent to his client by a stockbroker and marked “ Confidential ”. But surely he knows that all circulars from stockbrokers to their clients are marked “ Confidential ”.
Do you expect them not to advise their clients?
Of course they must advise their clients, but that is not my objection; it is the hon. member for Kensington’s objection. His objection is that when the hon. member for Wynberg’s stockbroker gives him certain advice, that advice should be treated as confidential. That is the objection of the hon. member for Kensington, and not that he advised his clients. The hon. member for Kensington’s objection is that the Prime Minister made use of a confidential document of that nature, but he has no objection when the Sunday Times makes use of an equally confidential document which, as they say, “ a leading firm of London stockbrokers ” sent to its clients confidentially.
That is not a South African stockbroker.
What difference does that make? What makes this matter worse is that the information given by the London stockbroker to his clients, although confidential, was clearly false, and any financial man who poses as a financial expert, anyone who dares to write about the Stock Exchange must have known it was false. I ask the hon. member for Wynberg whether he knew that it was false.
I didn’t see it.
Then I will read it to him. They do not recommend that their clients should sell shares because they have no confidence in South Africa, but they recommend it for this reason—
Was there ever such a danger? Did the hon. member for Wynberg and the hon. member for Kensington know of such a danger? The Sunday Times did not know such a danger, but they published it on Sunday, and the Rand Daily Mail said on Monday morning that every broker in Johannesburg had been rung up by his clients on Sunday to ask whether they could not sell their shares on Sunday. That was said by the Rand Daily Mail, and on the Monday morning when the Exchange opened prices fell before High Change by 7s. and 8s. and up to 20 per cent. I know of a number of shares I kept which fell from 20s. to 16s., but that same afternoon when it became clear that it was not a new circular— they had had that letter for the past fortnight already—the market started rising and before 3 p.m. the next day it had completely recovered. Now the hon. member for Kensington wants to intimate that this fall in prices was not caused by newspaper reports. Does he want to deny that the financial editor of the Rand Daily Mail said on that Tuesday morning that the whole collapse of the market that Monday morning was due to nothing else but the report in the Sunday Times?
Now they say it is good.
They say that incidents like Sharpeville cause the market to collapse, but on that Sunday there was no Sharpeville and the Minister of Finance did not decide on Sunday to place an embargo on dividends leaving the country. Nothing happened that Sunday, except that it rained very nicely in Johannesburg. There was no Sharpeville, there was no Langa, the hon. member for Constantia did not make a pessimistic speech, we did not leave the Commonwealth, UN did not chop off our heads, nothing happened, but on Monday the Stock Exchange fell by 20 per cent and on Tuesday it rose by 22 per cent. And then the hon. member for Kensington still says that newspaper reports had nothing to do with it. He says there are so many newspaper reports. He does not have the courage to condemn this scandalous thing which caused people to lose millions of pounds. Of course he will never condemn the Sunday Times. He will condemn Sharpevilles, but not this sort of thing which causes people to lose millions of pounds. On Tuesday morning the financial editor of the Rand Daily Mail said that the total collapse that black Monday was due to one thing only, viz. the report which had appeared in the Sunday Times. Sir, I think it is one of the most shocking things to have happened in the history of the Stock Exchange of Johannesburg, and I wonder whether the Minister of Finance cannot do something to make this sort of thing punishable.
I want to ask the hon. member for Pinetown (Mr. Hopewell) whether he thinks this type of lie should remain unpunished, a report in which they say that the Government should restrict the transfer overseas of dividends? Is that the truth, or is it a lie? It is an infamous lie which cost people millions of pounds that Monday. Why should they be allowed to get away with that? Simply to sell their ridiculous little newspaper, and as the result people are robbed in this scandalous manner. Must we allow such reprehensible action towards our country and its investors? There is not a word of disapproval from that side, but when one says that this type of villainy should be restricted, hon. members opposite say “Oh!”, and then it is suddenly an attack on the freedom of the Press. This bunch of scoundrels can rob people of millions of pounds …
Order! The hon. member must moderate his language.
Sir, I say that the man who wrote this article committed a knavish deed, and that he is a scoundrel, and I do not see what claim he can have on your protection or that of any other person. It was a dastardly thing to do, and what I blame hon. members opposite for is that they do not condemn it. Sir, you know how many millions of pounds were lost in Johannesburg as the result of this false report? Millions of pounds, and it was lost by people who were advised to invest in the country, people who have confidence in South Africa, people who follow our advice and invest their money in industrial shares and in sound gold mining shares. The banks and the insurance companies advise them to do so and they do it, and then this mean type of thing happens and they lose 20 per cent to 25 per cent of their investment as they did that Monday, but those hon. members opposite do not express a word of disapproval. They defend this type of thing. I say it is one of the most shocking incidents in our financial history.
I just want to say that I have now allowed two members on that side of the House and two on this side to talk about the Stock Exchange, but they must now come back to the vote.
In compliance with what you have just said, I do not want to follow the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) to any great extent. I only want to say that it is a pity that he so often spoils his case by the unrestrained nature of the language he so often uses in this House.
You are the last person to talk about unrestrained language.
We know that brokers are often obliged to make forecasts on behalf of their clients, and it often happens that those forecasts are wrong, but this does not justify one in attacking them in the way in which they have been attacked here.
Order! The hon. member must come back to the Vote.
I now want to discuss a different matter, a matter which will certainly calm the emotions and which will enjoy the sympathetic consideration of all sides of the House as well as that of the officials of the hard-working and efficient Department which falls under the Minister. I am referring to the great and critical staff shortages which exist in the Departments which fall under the hon. the Minister. Extremely severe staff difficulties are being experienced, particularly by two of these Departments, that is to say the Department of Inland Revenue and the Department of Audit. We appreciate—I think the hon. the Minister will do so as well—how important it is that there should be adequate staff in these two Departments particularly because this is a matter which could cost the country not thousands or tens of thousands, but in fact millions of pounds annually. We must remember that under Act No. 58 of 1960, the Department of Inland Revenue, for example, is prohibited from correcting errors once three years have elapsed. In other words, if the Department of Inland Revenue cannot correct such errors within three years, that money and that revenue is in effect lost for ever. May I quote from what the Commissioner for Inland Revenue himself has said in evidence before the Select Committee on Public Accounts. He said—
The work of the Department of Inland Revenue has increased. In the first place there are more income taxpayers and in addition the loan levies which have caused a tremendous amount of additional work have been introduced. We find, for example, that there is a great staff shortage in the offices of the Receivers of Revenue. There are 803 authorized posts; of those only 698 are filled; in other words, there is a shortage of 105. When we see under what difficult conditions the Department of Inland Revenue is working, then I say that it is in the utmost national interest that urgent steps should be taken to correct the position. During the four years from 1956 to 1960 no less than 4,350,000 tax assessments had to be checked, but by August 1960 only 1.6 million of those assessments had been checked, that is to say, only 37 per cent during those four years.
When we examine the evidence which has been given, we can see what could actually have been saved and what additional revenue could have been collected for the State. It would certainly also have eased the task of the hon. the Minister of Finance if the inspectorate of the Department of Inland Revenue had had sufficient staff. The inspectorate has done excellent work. For the year ending on 30 June 1960, for example, the inspectors carried out 64 income tax investigations, and those 64 investigations resulted in the collection of no less than R1,100,000 in additional taxes. I can also mention in passing that the Department of Audit has also undertaken 18,000 investigations which yielded no less than R600,000 in additional taxes. This shows that vast amounts—ten, 20 or 30 times the present rate—could be saved or collected on behalf of the State if this problem could be tackled and solved. I appreciate the Minister’s difficulties in finding staff and I also appreciate the difficulties facing the Public Service Commission, but I feel that something should be done. The Department has done a great deal in respect of mechanization and reorganization, but as the Commissioner for Inland Revenue has said—
We also find a very similar position in the Audit Department. This Department is also doing excellent work, but once again we find that there are posts on the establishment which cannot be filled. We find, for example, that there are 479 posts on the establishment of which 289 are filled by permanent units, 130 by temporary units and 60 are vacant. There are problems created by the resignation of staff. Of 58 appointments which were made in one section in the course of one year, no less than 38 resigned. There is a shortage of clerical assistants, Grade I. Of 95 posts only 20 are filled by permanent units. The outside audit is suffering as a result. Outside audits should take place regularly, particularly in the platteland areas, that is to say at least once every 18 months. At present these audits are only being undertaken every three or four years and once again the State is losing hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result.
There are other problems. The Department of Audit and the Department of Inland Revenue are for good reasons which were given in the evidence perhaps not as popular as careers as other Departments among the ordinary public servants and many of them are being attracted to a Department such as the Department of Commerce and Industries where there are far more senior and important posts, such as that of Trade Commissioner. I think that we should guard against the Public Service Commission promoting officials from these Departments to other Departments. Perhaps the solution is to create additional senior posts in these two Departments. I do not know. The Minister is in the best position to know what the answer is.
The question can even be asked whether the best solution as far as the Department of Audit is concerned, may not be to place it under the control of Parliament itself instead of under the Public Service Commission. This is the position in Canada. Then different salaries can be laid down for this Department which will not be subject to the ordinary Public Service regulations. I do not say that that will be the solution, but this is a matter which could be investigated. These are matters of the utmost importance because millions of pounds could be collected in additional revenue at a cost which would probably not equal even one-tenth of that amount. I am convinced that the Minister and his capable Departments will give attention to this matter and will perhaps be able to find a good solution.
In reply to the previous speaker I just want to say that the Department is of course fully aware of what has taken place on the Select Committee on Public Accounts and the evidence given there relating to the under-assessment of persons who should pay tax. This of course gives us cause for concern because it is always the position that if some people pay too little tax it means that others must pay more because we must find the total amount. This is therefore a matter in respect of which the report of the Select Committee on Public Accounts will be examined by the Department and the necessary replies will be given at the appropriate time. But I understand that it is already accepted that the Auditor-General on the one hand and the Commissioner on the other hand have reached an agreement in this regard and that this agreement is now being confirmed by the Select Committee on Public Accounts.
The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) has raised a number of general questions. He has asked me what is the figure of the capital outflow for the first quarter of this year. The figures are not yet available. The nearest I can give him are the figures in respect of the reserves. On 31 December, last year, our reserves stood at R171.1 million, on 14 April (the latest figures available) they stood at R177.1 million; in other words, R6,000,000 more than at the end of December. But in the meantime account must be taken of the fact that R18,000,000 has been drawn from the International Monetary Fund. Therefore there would not have been an increase of R6,000,000, but a decrease in the neighbourhood of R13,000,000, if the amount of the I.M.F. is taken away. It is interesting to compare that with the corresponding figure for the first quarter of last year. In the first quarter of last year the position could not have been very much affected by the Sharpeville incident, which only took place towards the end of March, but, if my memory tells me correctly, the drop in the reserves for the first quarter of last year amounted to R16,000,000. This is, of course, the season when one expects the reserves to drop. Apart from any other considerations, that is quite normal, and that is not confined to South Africa. Other countries are also faced with this problem. I read what quite recently happened in Australia in the Statist from 11 February this year—
So, it is not a situation that is confined to South Africa alone. It is no use blinking the fact that there have been factors, and particularly the factor of “ Africa ”, which have caused a loss of confidence in everything that pertains to Africa. That is one of the main reasons for the outflow of capital in the last couple of months. As I say, this time of the year one does expect it. I think the amount of the outflow has been increased by this factor, which, I think, is the result of a loss of confidence in any investments in the Continent of Africa as a whole. The remedy, by the same token, would be an attempt to restore that confidence, and I think it is very important and a matter in which I can call for the co-operation of all sides of this House in an attempt to restore confidence. I think I cannot only call on members on both sides of this House, but I think I can fairly appeal to all South Africans, also outside the House, particularly those who are in the position to influence opinion that they should at this time be very careful in the remarks that they make, in the advice that they give. If there is any publicity to that advice, it can have important results. Therefore, I think I can make use of this opportunity to say that in the last couple of weeks my attention has been drawn to what I can merely say is a spate of rumours at present in circulation to the effect that the Government is considering all sorts of drastic measures, such as, for example, restrictions on the repatriation of capital invested in South Africa from abroad, or the dividends, interests or profits on such investments.
This is a time of rumours, some of them deliberately spread for ulterior motives. The bearish element is always there. Most of these rumours are so foolish that it is hard to understand that anyone can seriously give them any attention at all. To deny each one of these rumours individually would place an impossible task on my shoulders, and would also give these rumours an importance which they do not deserve Therefore, I hope hon. members will accept my statement that it is impossible for me to deny all those rumours individually as they crop up. But I take this opportunity to say that the rumours of restrictions on the repatriation of overseas capital or of the income earned thereon are completely false. Even in the most difficult times when our balance of payments position was in a far more parlous state than to-day, we never imposed any such restrictions, and we are certainly not considering the imposition of any such restrictions at this time.
It is, indeed, regrettable that these rumours should have been given currency and publicity at a time when we want to build up confidence. We all know how sensitive the Stock Exchange is to rumours of this kind. We know, and I want to say that I agree with the hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) that our relations with the Stock Exchange are very healthy. But I think I can also say that the one thing that is troubling me, and I think it is troubling the responsible members of the Stock Exchange too, is that in their attempt to encourage people to invest in the share market, every time a thing like what happened last Monday comes along, they are pushed back further than they were. Not only the money was lost, but it is confidence that is lost in the Stock Exchange. That is their problem, and that is my problem with them to see that this sensitive machinery, this sensitive mechanism of the Stock Exchange is not used in a manner which sometimes makes one think and feel that there is something deliberate and sinister behind it. I know it is a difficult problem, and I am not here to solve it, but I have spoken to the leaders of the Stock Exchange, and I think they know, as I know, that they share these views and that they are also hard put to find a solution for this trouble.
As far as the question of confidence and the effect it has on our balance of payments is concerned, I would say that the general antidote would be to restore confidence. But there are other measures which one can also take to protect your reserves in the meantime, and that is that, although there may be an outflow on the Capital Account, our balance of payments, if there is a sufficient balance favourable on the current account of balance of payments, that can reduce to a large extent the drop in reserves. Therefore, naturally, one feels that on the one hand everything should be done to encourage export and by the same token, as far as possible, steps should be taken to discourage the import of unessential goods. If that is. done, the favourable balance on the current account, which we have at present, can be increased, and that, to a certain extent, can counteract the outflow of capital.
As I have said, those are two ways which do not deal with the matter itself—the real question of confidence—but they do help us to bridge a difficult time. I am not saying that there must be any limitation on imports as far as essential goods, capital goods are concerned, goods required for the development and expansion of the country. I think, however, there are many things which are unnecessary luxuries which are imported.
I think many things are imported which are manufactured in South Africa, and if there is a curb upon these imports, it need not mean any deprivation on people who used to enjoy those articles, because they can then switch over to obtain the same goods made in South Africa and save our foreign currency in the process.
May I ask the hon. the Minister a question? Do you suggest by that the further tightening up of import control? Are you going to take further steps?
No, I said that that is one way of doing it, to discourage the import of such goods and we have taken that step already. But apart from what my colleague, the Minister of Economic Affairs has done, in the introduction of tariff increases on certain articles, I have gone in the same direction. That is the one way. My colleague has adopted the other way. But I do not believe that that is a permanent answer. At this stage, however, the steps taken are very necessary and I think they will bear fruit. As far as my humble contribution is concerned, I have to a very small extent raised the tariffs on certain non-essential articles. The hon. member for Benoni (Mr. Ross) has suggested that that has a greater effect than I think. Well, I will deal with that when I come to reply to him. The hon. member for Constantia has also again raised the question of short-term borrowing. I gave a very full reply in the course of my reply to the Budget debate, and I do not propose to cover that field again, except just to say that it is the general experience in all comparable countries that the proportion of short-term loans has increased and is increasing. It serves a very useful purpose as far as the maintenance and growth and expansion of the money market is concerned. Actually as far as South Africa is concerned, I do not think the position in respect of our short-term loans is one which in any way should cause uneasiness or fear. Our short-term borrowing in actual fact has decreased by R64,000,000 over the year 1960-1. So I do not think we need be so very much concerned on that account. I have given a full reply to this point in the course of my reply to the Budget debate, and I think I can leave it there now.
The hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) has said that we should preserve the good relations with the Stock Exchange. I have already referred to that. The relations are good, certainly from my side, and I hope they will remain good. As far as I am concerned, they will. I think they realize and I realize that both of us have a function to fulfil in the economic future of South Africa, and as long as every one does his duty in that regard, I do not think they will find me quarrelling with them.
The hon. member for Kensington has also said that while I have pruned the expenditure of my Department, what about my colleagues? In reply to the Budget debate, I said that our position is extraordinary healthy as far as expenditure is concerned. If the hon. member compares the Estimates of Expenditure for this year with the original Estimates of Expenditure of last year the increase is in the neighbourhood of 5 per cent, which I think is a very reasonable increase; and even after I had to make provision for extra items, for my colleague, the Minister of Defence, and for the development of the Bantu areas, it was only a little over 6 per cent, which I think is a very conservative rise in the Estimates of Expenditure, I must say that my colleagues have assisted, they and their departments, have assisted the Treasury very much indeed in regard to this curtailment of expenditure. I hope hon. members on both sides of the House will also assist me in one respect in this matter and that is that they will try and curb the demand for new services, for additional services which bring about additional expenditure. If they put the same curb on their expenditure ideas as my colleagues have done, we will be able to maintain a very sound position in that regard.
The hon. member for Kensington has also come back to the question of gold-mining taxation. I have also dealt with that and I do not want to deal with it again, except to repeat that the goldmining industry has received more concessions in recent years than many other branches of the economy, and they are going to benefit further by this stretch-out programme in respect of uranium which is going to put a very severe strain on our balance of payments for the next four years. We have done that with our eyes open because it was manifestly in the interests of the goldmining industry, and through them in the interest of South Africa.
The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman) has asked questions in regard to the contributions to the International Monetary Fund. No further increase in our quota is envisaged. We were given the opportunity last year, in company with all the other member states, of increasing our quota by 50 per cent, and we did so. Now it remains there. In terms of a fixed statutory appropriation, annual amounts of R1.6 million are subscribed to the International Bank up to a total of plus/minus R13,000,000. The amounts that we have to pay to the International Bank are twofold. The first is a 2 per cent gold cover and 18 per cent cover in ordinary currency. And that we are allowed to do in instalments, until we have paid off the whole amount, i.e. 18 per cent of R100,000,000 or R18,000,000. That would be the amount that we have to pay. That is paid annually in instalments until it is paid off, that is to say, until our full contribution has been paid. It is not a repayment of loans. Loans are repaid in instalments, but they are not necessarily short-term loans. They are term loans on which we have to pay an amount every year. There are public issues that we have, three years, four years, five years issues—I think that was a private placing that we have. All these have to be repaid back.
The hon. member has raised another point, and I am very sorry that he has raised that point again. He said that the Government is after all the chief shareholder in the Reserve Bank. That of course is not so. The Government has no shares in the Reserve Bank. The loans between the Reserve Bank and other financial institutions, either in the country or outside, is a matter for that statutory body. Any ordinary bank may have to make financial arrangements with financial institutions overseas. There is nothing which they publish. There are many financial arrangements which the Reserve Bank has to make to carry out its function as the Central Bank of South Africa, and amongst them was the one item that I mentioned in my Budget speech. That was as far as I could go to say that that amount had been received by the Reserve Bank, because it affected our balance of payments, our reserves. But I can’t give further information where it comes from, but I understand my Department was prepared to give the hon. member further information …
I did not ask where it came from.
I do not know whether the information was given, but the fact is that this is no precedent. It is a normal function of the Reserve Bank that they have been carrying out in this case with that particular institution. A transaction to the mutual interest of the other overseas financial institution and the Reserve Bank. Therefore I find it very regrettable that the hon. member should without proper inquiry have come even to suggest that this may be a “ panicky ” measure on the part of the Reserve Bank. It is nothing of the kind. But, as I say, they are private transactions of a financial institution of which I cannot give details. I hope the hon. member will leave it there. I give him the assurance in any case that this is nothing abnormal, that it is one of those transactions which are normal and which are entered into for the mutual benefit of both sides.
The hon. member for Wynberg (Mr. Russell) has suggested that we should do away with death duties altogether. I have learned to regard any member of the public who makes a suggestion like that to me as an indication more or less of the strength of his own estate, or expected estate! I have never been able to be too worried about it. Actually our death duties in South Africa are very, very mild indeed, and if one compares them with other countries, then we have very little reason for being aggrieved. For instance, capital gains are not subject to income tax in South Africa, as they are in some other countries, and it is not unfair to my mind that some contribution should be made by the estates of rich men, and when I say rich men, I mean rich men, because only the richer estates are taxed.
You are not suggesting that one raises a question like this in one’s own interest?
No, the hon. member must try and retain his sense of humour! I can only say that I have never been so interested as even to suggest that there should be a doing away with a tax of this nature altogether, and when a rich gentleman from overseas asked me the other day “ What is the ceiling?”, I said: “Well, really I could not tell you, I have not been sufficiently interested to find out.” I asked him to ask his neighbour, and even he did not know. The other point that one has to remember is that income derived from this tax is in the neighbourhood of R8,000,000 per annum, and it would certainly put a tax, even on the hon. member for Wynberg’s ingenuity to suggest where I should find that R8,000,000 were 1 to accede to his suggestion. I would lose that money, and that money has to be found.
But your total revenue is about R660,000,000.
It does not matter what the revenue is. I would have to find R8,000,000 of that total revenue, and the hon. member has not suggested where I can find it. He has airily suggested that we have a lot of surpluses, but if there are surpluses available for tax remissions then one has to investigate where they can be granted with the greatest equity to all. It seems to me that where you have a tax in lieu of the capital tax obtaining in many countries, a tax on estates which falls only on rich estates, it is not unfair to suggest that if I have the money available I should rather employ it in other ways and bring greater relief and greater happiness to a greater number of people than by exempting the few rich estates from this taxation.
You must tell that to your farming groups.
May I ask the hon. the Minister a question relative to the reply he has just given? Is he satisfied with the situation where you get variations in the valuation of the same farm between R10,000 and R20,000 for the same property, and the taxation is imposed on the higher value?
That relates to the method used not the principle. Hon. members have raised this matter before. They asked that we should have Land Bank valuations as the basis of estate duty, and we agreed to that because it was the lowest basis. We agreed to adopt the basis of the Land Bank valuations. I do not think you can find any four people coming together and agreeing on a valuation of any property to-day. Even if the Angel Gabriel were to come down from Heaven he would not be able to get unanimity as far as the valuation of any particular farm is concerned. But we do know that the basis of valuation for the Land Bank is altogether different from the market values which may be inflated at any particular time. This is a matter which does not affect the principle. I do not want to be drawn into the question of valuations now. I am considering the question of the principle and, as I say, it seems to me that if I have to find some means of making it up I simply have to say that I cannot do it. We have to leave the position as it is.
*The hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) has put one or two questions. The first relates to the transferability of pension benefits from one fund to another fund if the contributor goes from one employer to another employer. The House discussed this matter last year. I think it was felt, and I said that I thought, it would be a sensible step to provide that any person, on reaching the age when he could no longer work, would receive a pension. If whenever a person changes his employment, we allow him to draw his pension benefits in cash, we shall have the position that when he can eventually no longer work, he will not have a pension either. It is this difficulty which was emphasized in last year’s motion. I said that this was something that we would tackle. The Registrar of Financial Institutions has also stated in his annual report that it will be done. But the legislation in this regard will not be introduced during this Session. It is a matter which we must still investigate. Certain representations have been made in this regard—I think representations from persons who do not quite appreciate what the real value of this step will be as far as protecting their own interests is concerned. In any case the legislation will not be introduced during this Session.
Then the hon. member has asked what the position is as regard the rebate which persons who are self-employed are allowed in respect of their contributions to a recognized pension fund. Last year the figure was set at R600, and this year it has been increased to R800. The principle is that when a person is employed, then he as an employee can deduct up to R400 from his taxable income as representing contributions to a pension fund; and his employer is entitled to contribute £ for £ up to an amount of R400, so that the total is R800. I have laid down that basis this year. The hon. hon. member now asks whether this position will remain unchanged. I cannot bind any future Cabinet or Parliament. I can only say that this is the law of the land at the moment. Just as the figure is R400 in the case of the employee and R400 in the case of the employer, so it is R800 in the case of the self-employed person. It is on the same basis. That is our policy, and I do not have any reason to believe that any change will be affected.
Then the hon. member has also asked in connection with pension payments whether pensions drawn by pensioners can be exempted from taxation. This would of course involve a vast loss of revenue. I do not think it is as little as the hon. member thinks. But it would represent a departure from the basic principles of income tax, because a person who receives his income by way of a pension or by way of a salary for which he works, is in both instances in receipt of income. Whether he worked for that income in the past or over the past 12 months, it still remains income, and all income is subject to income tax. It would, therefore, be quite contrary to the basic principles of the Income Tax Act if we should exempt one type of income. This would also immediately expose us to applications and to requests for the exemption of other types of income as well. I do not think we can do anything in that regard. This is income, and we are trying in other ways to help these people who will enjoy this income in the future, to be able to do so. We grant them this rebate on their taxable income every year. This is the encouragement we are giving, so that they can build up that income. But now they must not want to have their cake and eat it. They must not ask us to surrender State revenue in order to help them build up a pension and then later say that the pension itself should also be exempted from income tax.
The hon. member for Benoni (Mr. Ross) has raised the question of the increases in Customs Duties. That is matter which will come before the House when we go into Committee of Ways and Means, and I think that is the proper time to discuss this matter. It is one of the proposals of the Budget which will have to be discussed when we go into Committee of Ways and Means. Generally, however, I can say this, that when protective duties are increased they are done so as the result of the investigation by the Board of Trade and Industries. In the course of their investigations they apply certain criteria, and perhaps I should recount to the hon. member what those criteria are. Firstly, employment value of the industry and the use made of local materials. Secondly, extent and stability of the local market. Thirdly, liability of the industry and capacity to supply the quality required. Fourthly, extended overseas competition, particularly from the East. Fifthly, the possibility of building up a sound export industry. Sixthly, the possibility of the industry attracting other related industries. Seventhly, possibility of the industry forming an inter-related unit in an industrial complex; and, finally, the possibility of the industry taking the place of gold in the earning of foreign currency. Those are the general principles which they take into account before they recommend that there should be an increase in the protective duties. The commodities recommended for increase in the last Budget were selected with a view to both the raising or revenue and the slowing down of the outflow of currency and, of course, to the protection of our local industries. Those were the purposes for the introduction of increases, and on that basis the selection was made.
With regard to the question of raising revenue, an attempt was, in the first place, made to select articles which are not strictly necessary or which are obtainable from local sources. These are the types of things: caviare; fish; pickles; juke-boxes. Secondly, an effort was made to spread the duty as much as possible. It is for this reason that the duty in respect of goods classified under the general “catch-all” items 73 (1) (b); 113 (1) and 335 were increased. But on the whole the increase was so minimal that there have actually been complaints. The overall increase is 10 per cent in the duty. In other words, if it was 10 per cent it is now raised to 11 per cent. The hon. member had read what the Chamber of Commerce has said, but I have also had representations from certain branches of industry which have complained that the increase is so small that it is really of no assistance at all. I think by and large what I said in the Budget debate represents the correct position.
There are one or two other small points with which I want to deal. The hon. member for Pinetown (Mr. Hopewell) asked what we contemplated in regard to the overseas long-term loans. I want to assure him, as I said in my Budget speech, that we are not contemplating any long term overseas public loans, because the rate of interests which we have to pay would be too high. As regards local loans, the present pattern of rates is, I think, realistic, and with the co-operation of the financial institutions we hope to be able to maintain it.
The hon. member for Constantia said on another occasion that an increase in interest rates would have a depressing effect on the expansion of our economy. For that reason I hope that we will have the assistance of all the people with any influence in this matter in maintaining the line that we have taken. That pattern, I think, is a realistic pattern. There may be certain sections of the economy which may benefit by a rise in the interest rates, but I think the economy of the country as a whole would suffer. Where we now want to give every incentive to increased production and expansion, I think it would be very regrettable if the pattern of rates could not be maintained.
The hon. member also asked me about the Schumann Commission on the financial relations between the Provinces and the Central Government. That Commission is busy, but they have a tremendous task. Hon. members will realize that has one of the most difficult assignments that you can give to any commission, but I think they are setting about it in the right way, in a thorough way. However I do not think their report will be available until, probably, the end of next year. In the meantime we have to assist the Provinces. In the Budget I indicated that whereas the formula was 6 per cent on the previous year’s subsidy—it was 6 per cent every year —we raised it to 7½ per cent last year and we are raising it to 7½ per cent this year again. The subsidies which the Provinces get are about 50 per cent of their total expenditure. In other words, if they can keep their expenditure within the 5 per cent limit as we are doing in the Central Government, then on 50 per cent they will have an increase of 7½ per cent. And on their own 50 per cent they would only increase their income by 2½ per cent and they would then be able to finance a 5 per cent increase in their total expenditure. Of course, the difficulty with the Provinces is that they follow different ways. We cannot attain the necessary uniformity. However, at a meeting with the Administrators this week I impressed upon them the importance of cutting their coats according to their cloth and not so easily raising taxation. I said that they should rather stretch out their programmes of road building, hospitalization and so forth. Where they have a scheme for three years they should make it five years and they will then find they will be able to save quite a lot. So we have given them this assistance this year again, and in the supplementary estimates there will probably be provision—as there was last year—for a special subsidy for those Provinces with special problems.
The hon. member also asked me about the introduction of the Income Tax Bill. Last year I tried to accommodate hon. members on the other side by putting it in their hands as soon as I had it myself. But the hon. member will realize that Tax Bills can only be introduced after the Committee of Ways and Means. However, I am again prepared as far as possible, with due respect to my trust in their reliability not to make it a public secret— because at that stage it will not even be a final draft of my Department—I am prepared to give them the Bill at an early stage on the understanding that they treat the information as confidential. That means they can consult with experts on it but it is not for publication, just as was the case last year.
The hon. member also asked me about the possibility of introducing a Consolidated Income Tax Bill. This is one of the things we have in mind, but it is very difficult for the very reason I have just given; because of the amendments which always flow from the Budget statement there is seldom sufficient time for a Consolidated Measure which would probably run into at least a hundred clauses. The difficulty is that there is such a short time available that we can barely get the ordinary measure through in time. The other alternative to which we may be forced to have regard is the possibility of consolidating the existing Act early in the session on the Select Committee certificate, and to amend that Consolidation Act later on in the Session, in June. That seems to me to be the only way of meeting the requirement of having a Consolidating Income Tax Act within the short time at our disposal.
Mr. Chairman, I think that that disposes of the points that have been raised.
The hon. the Minister in replying to the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) on the question of the first report of the Registrar of Pension Funds, indicated that there was no intention to introduce legislation this Session in connection with the recommendations included in the report under Item 127. I think we ought to have some more information about this position because I think many hon. members have received telegrams and letters from all parts of the country in this connection. There is considerable concern over this report. I think that that is possibly as a result of misunderstanding, and I hope that the hon. the Minister will clarify the position so that the final portion of the Registrar’s recommendation can be given effect to by those who are interested in the various funds. This is a very important issue indeed. There are over 3,000 funds with members totalling some 803,000 odd. It therefore affects a considerable number of people throughout the Union. This is what I feel the hon. the Minister should clarify: Clause 127 says—
It is in establishing what the “ foregoing principle ” is that we have this confusion. Let me remind the hon. the Minister that the principle laid down here and referred to as the foregoing principle is—
In terms of the Parliamentary Service Pensions Act there are three principles: The first is that if a member ceases to be a contributor to a fund up to a period of nine and a half years he gets all of his contributions back without interest. The second principle is that no pension can be paid out unless the contributor has reached the age limit of 50 years or more. And the third principle is that the contributor must have more than nine and a half years as a contributor to the fund. So the question arises as to which of these three principles does the Registrar refer when he says that the Minister has agreed to the Pension Fund Act being amended in due course to incorporate the foregoing principle?
The hon. the Minister can quite see how those who are interested, when they have gone to the Parliamentary Service Pensions Act to discover what this principle is, have come up against this problem I have just mentioned. I therefore ask the hon. the Minister, in view of the last paragraph, No. 127, which says this—
whether he will clarify the position. I know what the Registrar has in mind. But if the Minister is not going to introduce legislation during this Session and the funds are to give effect to this latter paragraph I think it is advisable that the Minister should indicate quite clearly what he has in mind so that they can give effect to this latter paragraph. I think that the funds would like to do something of their own accord rather than have some legislative provision enacted which may not suit their particular fund. I therefore ask the hon. the Minister whether he will give a little more information about this matter, clarifying the principle that is involved, so that the funds themselves can go into this question and they in turn, will be able to advise their members of what should be done. The other point I want to make is this: The State funds—and I am thinking particularly of the Railway Pension Fund—would not fall under this proviso, I feel, although the same malpractices take place there. But I understand from what the hon. the Minister of Transport has had to say, that he has no intention of amending the Superannuation Fund in this respect. I therefore think that if the hon. the Minister will clarify this position it will help everybody to overcome what appears to be quite an undesirable practice that has crept into the pension principles in operation in our country to-day.
The hon. the Minister, when speaking a few minutes ago said that in times of surpluses he adopts a policy of applying tax remissions to deserving cases and to the greatest number of people. I hope he will retain that sense of generosity because I want to make a suggestion to him which will amount to a concession to taxpayers. This is a matter which affects a good number of taxpayers, and I refer to the question of encouraging parents to allow their children to continue at universities and technical colleges.
The policy of every Minister of Finance has quite rightly been one to discriminate in certain respects and to try and encourage certain trends. For instance, there is the position of the married taxpayer and the unmarried taxpayer. The unmarried taxpayer is quite rightly discriminated against in the application of taxation. I believe the hon. the Minister can assist a great deal in the problem of young persons furthering their education. I believe that all hon. members of this Committee will agree that nobody should be denied the opportunity to further their education to the fullest degree without being subjected to financial stringency. This suggestion is one which has also been put forward by various Juvenile Affairs Boards, and was also discussed at their Congress last year. The suggestion is that the Minister of Finance could assist in this problem by making a concession to taxpayers in respect of children who are attending universities or technical colleges. There are two means whereby these concessions can be made. The one is in regard to the question of child rebates. The position to-day is that a rebate for the first two children is allowed in the amounts of £17 per child and £19 10s. Od. for the third and subsequent children. That rebate makes no differentiation in regard to the age of small children who are not costing the parents the same amount as the older child who is attending a university or a technical college. So that there is no differentiation between those rebates. I therefore ask the hon. the Minister to give his consideration to increasing that rebate where these children are attending universities or technical colleges and thereby, in some measure, relieving the financial burden that is placed upon the parents in these cases. The other manner in which he can approach the problem is one whereby the amounts paid and the expenses incurred for those children attending universities or any higher educational institutions would be a remission on the total taxable income. So in taking into account the assessment of the tax paid by these persons, the man should be allowed an amount off his gross income to be applied towards the expenses incurred for the higher education of his dependent children. The matter is one which I believe would give considerable relief to these parents, because it seems most unfair that talented young persons are prevented from getting higher education due to the financial difficulties experienced by their parents. I think the Minister would be doing a great service to these future citizens by doing something which could be of great benefit, not only to the persons concerned, because we all know that educational qualifications are often a deterrent to a successful career for many people. The interest of the young people and of the country require a further expansion of knowledge in regard to techniques.
Order! I do not think this is appropriate under this Vote. It should be discussed in Committee of Ways and Means.
I am putting this forward as a matter of policy under the Minister’s salary.
On a point of order, when we deal with Ways and Means, we are presented with a fixed proposition by the Minister. I do not know whether that is the right occasion to ask for taxation relief. I understand the hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) is dealing with the matter of policy now.
The matter should have been raised during the Budget debate.
If you do not wish me to do so, Sir, I will not pursue the matter. But there is another matter of policy I would like to raise with the Minister, the collection of taxes, the P.A.Y.E. system, which I raised last year, and on which I have also put questions to the Minister in two previous years. In his Budget speech the Minister said that the matter was receiving the consideration on his Department and that there were certain difficulties involved before the system could be successfully implemented. Therefore I ask the Minister whether he is able at this stage to give us some information as to what his difficulties are, and when he is likely to institute this system of P.A.Y.E.
I would have liked to say something in respect of the first matter dealt with by the hon. member for Umbilo. May I point out with respect that if we are permitted to talk about the introduction of P.A.Y.E., surely we can discuss rebates on income tax. Surely the two matters are related and therefore it is competent for the Committee to discuss it. As I understand it, we are discussing the salary of the Minister, and therefore his policy in respect of taxation or any other matter.
The hon. member may proceed.
I would like to say a word or two in support of the suggestion of the hon. member for Umbilo. He suggested two ways and he has argued that on the present basis we are discriminating in taxation between a married and an unmarried person, in regard to the tax they pay, and surely the same discrimination exists in respect of taxpayers who have children attending a place of higher education and those who have young children. There is no reduction in the rebate whether the child is 19 or 20 years old, or six or seven months old. The same rebate is allowed, but obviously the expenses of the parent are much greater than when the child is very young.
But I would like to draw the Minister’s attention to the other aspect. The Government has already accepted the policy of drawing more of our younger people to institutions of higher learning and the Minister stated certain propositions in regard to tax rebates to people who are prepared to donate money to such institutions. But surely there is a need amongst the White population of our country, particularly amongst talented children in the lower income groups, who have the ability to attend a university but are debarred from doing so on the ground of financial stringency. You find in many of the lower income groups that many children are prevented from getting this education to the benefit of the State as a whole, purely on economic grounds. With a few exceptions where bursaries are obtained, the privilege of going to a place of higher education belongs only to those people in the higher income brackets who can afford to send their children to such institutions. It is surely necessary if the White man is to maintain his position that we should have a far greater number of talented young South Africans attending places of higher education.
There is another aspect of the matter. In support of my contention that the privileged few in the higher income brackets attend the universities, that is evidenced in recent reports that students attend the university who have no ability. I think we are all aware of the Press reports in recent months of the high percentage of failures at the universities by first-year students. I know of many cases of talented students, people in my own constituency, who are prevented through lack of money from attending universities. I think the Minister will agree with me that that need exists, and if it can be achieved to create an inducement on the part of the White population to send their children to a university by way of tax remission, either by the taxpayer being permitted to deduct from his taxable income the amount of the university fees he pays or a percentage thereof, or the alternative suggested by my hon. friend, giving an increased rebate to those parents, it would be a good thing. I join the hon. member in pleading with the Minister to give this matter favourable consideration.
If the hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) wishes to add anything, he may do so now.
Thank you. Sir. The points raised by the hon. member for Turffontein (Mr. Durrant) illustrate that this is a matter which deserves consideration. I do not wish to be irresponsible and say that such a system should be implemented without a thorough investigation such as the Minister will no doubt have. We are not actuaries but laymen and therefore the loss of income to the State is something which will require careful consideration. However, as we see the position, we believe that this gesture from the Minister of Finance will also be appreciated by the Ministers of Education and Labour, because interwoven with this suggestion are the difficulties facing those Departments in regard to the future employment of young persons and the equipping of these people for citizenship.
In regard to the points raised by the hon. members for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) and Turffontein (Mr. Durrant), it seems to me, as far as I can understand it, that what they are pleading for is a graduated scale of rebates or of abatements; in other words, where our present system is that the rebate given for any child, provided the child is not older than 24 years and is a full-time student at the university, is R17 now, and instead of that they would rather have it graduated and make it less for younger children, gradually going up for the older children at the university.
To retain the present standard of rebate and have increased rebates for children attending university.
The old law until quite recently was that after 18 years no rebates were allowed. We have already gone very far in the direction in granting rebates in respect of children who are at the university. I thought the hon. member meant that it had to be graduated. That I could consider, having a lower rebate for the younger children and gradually increasing it for older children, without exceeding the present mean. That could be investigated, although I do not know what it would lead to, and possibly I could consider it. It would require some consideration, but it seems to me that that might have the germ of something practical.
The other point is that the rebate we give now on the actual tax to be paid instead of an abatement on the taxable income, is in the interest of the lower income group. If it was to be an abatement it would be much more to the advantage of the people in the higher income brackets, but this R17 actually is the equivalent of the tax on an income of about R400 to R500 for the lower income groups. It would not mean that at all to the higher income brackets. So actually the point the hon. member takes, that we ought to make it possible for the poorer people to send their children to university, is met by the fact that we make it a rebate and not an abatement. If it is an abatement it would be of more interest to the other people. But I can consider what it would mean if we could get some scheme in which the mean would be the same as we have at present, but younger children would be below the scale and children at university above the scale. Of course one must remember that there are not many children attending university and it may possibly be that the other children would have to suffer for the sake of the few who are able to go to university. I cannot say anything more about it at the moment.
The hon. member for Umhlatuzana (Mr. Eaton) asked me what the proposal is which is envisaged in the report of the Director of Financial Institutions. Well, the whole matter is so fluid at the moment that I cannot tell him definitely this is what will be in the Bill next year. I do not know myself. I would say that, as far as I know, what I have in mind is some kind of proposal to provide for an exemption from income tax on the lump sum payable to any person resigning from any fund, provided that that lump sum is paid into another fund to safeguard the ultimate pension of that person. Whether we can go further than that I cannot say. That is the prime idea of the motion we had last year, to try to find ways and means of preserving the pension by giving some inducement of this kind. You take your cash lump sum payment and you have to pay tax on it, but we will exempt you from it provided it is put into another fund and is preserved for you until you reach the age of retirement. The whole thing is very fluid at the moment. Hon. members say they have received various requests in regard to the matter, but we will have to go into the matter fully. I can only say that this is what I had in mind, but whether that is all which will be contained in the Bill next year I do not know, but I don’t think the director knows either.
The director said that the Minister would introduce legislation to give effect to the principle.
That is the broad principle, but whether it is the only principle I cannot say. The principle is to give expression to what I took last year to be the view of both sides of the House, to preserve as far as possible the pension for any person when he can no longer work. That is what I want to achieve, but I cannot give the hon. member any information now as to how it will be achieved.
Has the Minister given consideration to the P.A.Y.E. system of collection?
I really have nothing to add to what I said last year. Any collector of revenue is aware of the many advantages of such a system from the point of view of the fiscus and we are only too willing to apply it, but there are certain practical difficulties which we are still tackling. I had hoped to be able to go a step further this year, but at the moment I cannot go further than my statement last year.
May I ask the hon. Minister whether he has gone into the question which he promised to investigate last year of the discrepancy between a widow and a divorced who has to maintain children in regard to the payment of income tax? I raised the question that a widow continues to receive her marriage rebate, whereas a divorced, who may be the innocent party and is left with young children to educate, is regarded as a single person for the purposes of income tax, and does not enjoy the marriage rebate. The Minister promised to go into the matter and to see whether any relief could be granted to such a person. They get dependants’ allowances, but they do not get the marriage rebate to which the widow is entitled. I would be grateful for any information.
It is not proposed to make any change in the existing law.
The point is whether the Minister went into the matter, and whether he does not consider it is deserving of attention.
I do not know whether I went into it as a result of what the hon. member asked last year, but a case has arisen in which my attention was drawn to it, of a person who was a divorcee and who asked for this concession, but it was decided not to go beyond what the law is at present.
Vote put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 13—“Public Debt”, R41,125,000,
There is one matter I should like to raise from the point of view of obtaining some information. In his Budget speech last year the Minister dealt, under the heading of Civil Pensions, with the investment of moneys of the Central and Provincial Pension Funds in Government stock. As the Minister said, these funds have been earning 4 per cent interest since 1936. But now the Minister has decided first of all to convert the existing 4 per cent stock into local registered stock at current rates of interest, at the rate of R20,000,000 per year as from I April; and he has secondly decided, in connection with those pension funds, as from I April to invest all new funds also in local registered stock. The Minister then added this, and I am quoting from his Budget speech—
I wonder whether the Minister could inform me whether this amount is included under this Vote. I could not find it. On page 60 there is mention of R360,000,000 invested at 4 per cent, and that the interest payable on it—as I worked it out—will be about 3.77 per cent for the ensuing year, while it was about 3.98 per cent, very close to 4 per cent, during the previous year. So it cannot be under this particular amount that the R625,000 is included, unless these funds are going to be invested at a lower rate of interest, which I can hardly imagine to be the case. It might also be that the Minister intends including the amount in the Supplementary Estimates, in which case I do not think it is quite what he meant when he said that the R625,000 has already been included in the Public Debt Vote. That was on page 18 of the Budget speech. Since this new procedure has been in force since I April this year, I should like to know at what rate of interest these funds, the R20,000,000 a year, which is now being converted into local registered stock, has been invested. I assume that a million or two must already have been invested at this new rate.
I want to bring up a matter which the Minister may consider very trifling, but which, to the persons concerned, is a matter of considerable importance, and which constitutes a very justifiable grievance. It relates to the conditions of issue of Union Loan Certificates. The certificates, although handled administratively by the Post Office, are the financial responsibility of the Treasury, and it is the Treasury which lays down not only the rates of interest of the various series but also the conditions of issue. I wish to raise a point arising from the position that, after the date of maturity, no interest is payable on these certificates. The Government has embarked upon this campaign to foster thrift, and it has met with a tremendous response to this campaign for the issue of Union Loan Certificates. I see from the Auditor-General’s Report for the year 1959-60 that during that year certificates were purchased to the value of £9,500,000, representing some 19,000,000 units of 10s. each, and that the fund stands at present with a balance of about £29,000,000 as at the end of March 1960. It is true that recently the Treasury has offered inducements to people of comparative means with fairly large investment portfolios to invest in these Union Loan Certificates, but the majority of the people who buy these certificates are people of comparatively modest means, mainly in the lower-income groups. These certificates are designed to encourage thrift—not on a short-term basis of one or two years, but rather on a long-term basis of not less than five years. Studying the schedule which shows the rate at which interest accrues, it is disclosed that the rate of interest at the end of the first year rises from .83 per cent cumulative to 5.52 per cent at the end of five years, or calculated on an annual interest basis from .83 per cent in the first year to 10.56 per cent at the end of the fifth year. The Government was quite right in issuing a pamphlet pointing out that these certificates offer the highest rate of interest in the world for investments of this kind, in that the capital investment of any given amount up to the limit increases to the extent of 31 per cent by the time the five-year period has expired. But there is a provision that if the holder of these certificates holds more than one certificate, then on expiry of the first purchase certificate, on the maturity date, interest continues to accumulate at the rate of ½d. per unit per month until the maturity date of the last purchased certificate in that series when interest ceases. On the other hand, if the holder has only one certificate in a series, once it reaches maturity no further interest is payable. I feel that this gives rise to a justifiable grievance, particularly on the part of the small investor, for two reasons. In the first place, on maturity date the Post Office sends out no notice to the holder of the certificates advising him that the certificate has matured, and that the accumulation of interest ceases as from that date. In the second place, I think it is well recognized that the people who purchase these certificates, being mainly in the lower-income groups, buy them from time to time, and not only do they usually not even look at the conditions under which they are purchased, but they put them away and forget them. Therefore, whenever it happens that these certificates mature and are not cashed upon due date, the holders very often suffer severe financial loss by ceasing to earn interest. As far as the Treasury is concerned, it must be a trifling amount. I have no statistics of the number of people affected in the course of a year and the amount of interest involved, but, to those people, that trivial amount of interest is very important, particularly if it often represents the life savings of such a person, designed to keep him from poverty in his old age. From that point of view it seems to me that this provision operates unduly harshly on the people who are least capable of bearing a loss of income, and I would suggest that the Treasury should consider a revision of the terms of interest on the certificates. There are two ways, of course, of rectifying the matter. In the first place the Treasury could alter the terms to ensure that notice will be given to the holders immediately any certificate matures. That, of course, might involve the Treasury or the Post Office in a very considerable amount of work and the cost may be excessive. Alternatively they could consider amending the terms under which, once a certificate is mature, it would continue to earn interest at a given rate of, say, 3 per cent, or even at the rate of £d. per month per unit. I believe that this concession would be very greatly appreciated by the general public. There are many deserving cases, and it is quite obvious that in cases of particular hardship the Minister can only exercise his discretion and make any adjustment by creating a precedent. I believe that, by making these concessions, it would give a great deal of satisfaction to the minds of those very many thousands of investors who put their small weekly or monthly savings into these certificates as insurance for their old age.
The hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) has asked me where the additional provision is made in the Estimates for higher interest. I am instructed that it is to be found on page 60 just before the total, under “ anticipated further borrowings where provision is made for R6,025,000 as compared with R4,132,000. Apparently it is included there.
Then as far as the hon. member for Durban (Berea) (Mr. Butcher) is concerned, it is right that interest is only paid up to the date of expiry of the last certificate, but this is really a matter which has to be dealt with by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs—they do the administration. The onus is at present on the holder of a certificate to cash in on time. I think there is a lot to be said for this concession that, when the last certificate expires and interest would ordinarily cease, notice of that should be given to the holder of the certificate. I am prepared to convey that to the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. I do not know whether it will be practicable at all, but on the case which the hon. member has made I feel that some concession of that kind should be made. One must realize that the rate of interest paid on the Union Loan Certificate is far above the current pattern of interest for five-year loans. I think it is actually 5½ per cent compounded annually, whereas for five years the current pattern of interest is only 5 per cent, so there is this very great advantage which the holder of Union Loan Certificates has, that he is actually getting a rate of interest —tax free, which is much above the ordinary rate. If they have to lose something through their own lack of vigilance, it must be remembered that they have gained quite a lot in the meantime. However, the suggestion that notice should be given to them when the last certificate has expired so that they can know that unless they draw now they are going to lose further interest, is one that I will put to the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
Vote put and agreed to.
Vote No. 14.—“Provincial Administrations”, R132,283,000, put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 15.—“South Africa House, London (Administrative Services)”, R651,000,
I would like to know from the hon. the Minister what the position of South Africa House will be in the future. We had a Bill before us, which has not yet been passed in regard to the status of South Africa House. Whilst we were a member of the Commonwealth there was some justification for South Africa House being administered under a separate Act of Parliament and for the Treasury as well as External Affairs to have a say in its administration but obviously the status of South Africa House will no longer be that of a High Commission; it will have to be that of an embassy. We will now have to have an ambassador in London and on the surface it would appear ridiculous that in one particular country we have to establish an embassy by a special Act of Parliament, but in every other country where we have an ambassador enjoying the same status as the one situated in London, we have to maintain it by separate legislation.
Are you referring to the legislation on the Order Paper?
Yes, I am talking about South Africa House and its future under a republic outside the Commonwealth.
What would be the position in Australia and Canada?
Sir, when we vote moneys for Australia and Canada we do that under the External Affairs Vote; we do not do it under the Treasury Vote, and we have not got special legislation for that.
There is special legislation at the moment.
I am aware of that, but we are dealing here with a Vote for South Africa House. We are called upon to vote so much money for the administration of South Africa House, together with all these other subsidiary estimates which will come later covering different personnel, but South Africa House was a responsibility of the Minister whilst it was a High Commission and whilst we were members of the Commonwealth. After 31 May we will be a republic and out of the Commonwealth, so I am asking the Minister what he envisages as the future of South Africa House. Is it still going to exist under separate legislation such as we have on the Statute Book at the moment? Is it always now going to be a separate Vote? Because the position would appear to be anomalous and would appear to be ridiculous on the surface, because if this principle is to be adhered to, then by a special vote in this House, we are going to vote separate sums of money for an embassy in one country while we will deal with our embassies in other countries under the External Affairs Vote. What I want from the hon. the Minister is an explanation as to the future of South Africa House under the republic of South Africa as far as these estimates are concerned. We have had some legislation before us which has not yet been passed, and I assume that the Minister will now withdraw that Bill, if he envisages a different future for South Africa House. There is still a breathing space of one year while the standstill agreement with the United Kingdom Government continues to exist, but under what Minister will this Vote fall in future? Will it revert to the Minister of External Affairs, like all the other embassies or what does the Minister visualize as the future of South Africa House.
In the past there was a difference between the High Commission offices. The one in London was dealt with in a particular manner. It was not dealt with in the same way as the one in Ottawa or the one in Canberra. It was treated differently because historically there were reasons for it —particularly the large staff of locally recruited officials at South Africa House. In the past it was an anomaly. Here was one High Commission which was taken out of the ordinary rut and treated differently and in 1911 it was the only one, historically, but afterwards when the others came into being no special legislation was passed as far as they were concerned. If the hon. member looks at the Bill which is on the Order Paper, he will see that it is envisaged that in the future too there will be a distinction between this one particular embassy, as it will now be—it is a diplomatic mission to Great Britain—and the other embassies. It will be treated in a different way, in certain respects, from the other diplomatic missions. In other words, the anomaly that existed in the past between one High Commission and other High Commissions and embassies will be retained if this legislation is passed—as between one embassy and all other embassies. That is the only change. It may be that other changes are envisaged for the future but those are the provisions of the Bill. In other words, the Department of Finance will still have certain responsibilities which are circumscribed in this Bill in respect of South Africa House (the embassy in London) which they do not haze in respect of other embassies. The position continues, as far as I can see, with the simple change in name.
Vote put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 16.—“South African Mint”, R1,421,000,
I would like to raise with the hon. the Minister the question of decimal coinage. My attention has been drawn to a statement in to-night’s paper where Dr. Arndt, Chairman of the Decimalization Board is alleged to have stated over the week-end that all decimalization problems are things of the past. We do not know whether the Minister has seen the statement as yet, but it is alleged here that “ the smoothness of the currency change-over within a period of two months amazed not only South Africans but many interested people abroad He says that within a period of two months we had affected a complete change from £ s. d. to decimal coinage. Sir, it is quite clear that when decimalization was introduced there was a great deal of cooperation in centres like Johannesburg and in the country generally shopkeepers put up their price tags in decimal coinage with the prices marked in £ s.d. in small letters underneath. But if the Minister goes through the streets of Johannesburg to-day or to any shopping centre on the Reef he will find that that is no longer the position. He will find that shopkeepers have reverted to £ s. d. and that they are putting the price in decimal coinage at the bottom of the price tag. It is alleged that there is such a shortage of decimal coins and that such confusion has arisen because of that shortage that shopkeepers and traders have found it more advantageous to revert to £ s. d. instead of using decimal coinage in daily transactions of a small nature. I would therefore like to ask the Minister when it is envisaged that there will be a complete change-over in coinage when there will be a withdrawal of pennies and when decimal coins will be the normal tender in the country, because it is my view that as long as you are dealing in a double coinage, so long will people continue to use the £ s. d. currency to which they are more accustomed than decimal coinage, which is now the legal tender, and this applies in particular to the non-White and the Native populations. If the Minister goes to any trading store in Johannesburg he will find that no business is being done with Natives at all in decimal coinage; the normal transaction is in £ s. d. and storekeepers attribute this to the fact that there is such a shortage of decimal coins that it is quite useless trying to deal with the non-White customer in decimal coinage. I would like to know therefore when it is envisaged by the Mint that the change-over will be complete. When is it considered that pennies will be withdrawn and that the normal tender will be cents and half cents?
I do not know when the Mint anticipates that there will be a complete change-over. They are doing their best to provide what the Decimalization Board considers should be the amount of coinage in circulation. We are now minting about 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 of these coins per week. In the new year we anticipate minting altogether 30,000,000 coins; that is for the year beginning on I April. The original number of bronze coins available was about 30,000,000 to 35,000,000, which was hopelessly insufficient and we have been trying to make up the leeway in the meantime. But the Decimalization Board as well as the Decimalization Commission envisaged that for a certain period of lime the two systems would operate alongside each other. To start off, many of the machines have not yet been altered. Some of them are still on the £ s. d. basis. It was anticipated that 20 months would be needed for the changeover. As more decimal coins become available there will be a gradual withdrawal of the other coins, particularly as far as bronze coins are concerned. The others do not make such a big difference because they are of similar value. The main difference will be in regard to pennies and cents. While there are not sufficient coins to go round, while there are still pennis in circulation the present position will continue, but I think it was envisaged that a certain period would have to elapse before the one system could be discarded altogether and before we could switch over to the other. A sudden switch is altogether out of the question. We are trying to arrange things in such a way that the change-over causes the least friction and annoyance.
Vote put and agreed to.
Vote No. 17.—“Inland Revenue”, R3,986,000 put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 18.—“ Customs and Excise ”, R6,681,000,
I think that the matter which I am now going to raise will probably fall under the new Immigration Vote, but because it relates to Customs and Excise, I also want to put it to the Minister on this Vote. I do not know whether I should raise it on this Vote or the other Vote. We are all concerned about the flow of White immigrants particularly from Africa to our country. The White man is leaving Africa and we as South Africans feel that we should like to have those people here. The point I want to make relates to the question of the customs duties which these immigrants have to pay on arriving in South Africa, whether they are entering our country from Rhodesia or anywhere else. These duties fall under the Department of Customs and Excise, and the rebates which are allowed also fall under that Department. For that reason I am not certain whether I should raise this matter on this Vote or on the Immigration Vote.
This is a matter for negotiation between the Department of Immigration and the Department of Customs and Excise. That Department will probably make representations, if they feel they are necessary, but it is that Department which must make the representations. It is not for us to say that we are going to make this or that concession because we are a collecting organization and we are not generous.
In the light of the facts, I then want to say that I shall raise the matter on the Immigration Vote, but I just want to ask the hon. the Minister in advance to put himself in a completely favourable frame of mind when the approach is made.
Vote put and agreed to.
Vote No. 19/—“Audit”, R836,000, put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 20,—“ State Advances Recoveries Office”, R343,000,
I am rising on this Vote to thank the hon. the Minister on behalf of the farmers in my constituency for the great assistance which they have been given. But when we take into account that approximately R21,000,000 has been advanced in the form of State advances under the farmers’ assistance scheme, and when I tell the House that in my constituency alone R1,586,000 has been made available to the farmers, this of course represents immediate proof of how greatly the farmers have suffered as a result of four successive bad years. What worries me is this: The farmers have been helped, but I can give the House several instances where State advances totalling R200,000 have been advanced to farmers and they are then given 12 years in which to repay those advances. There are cases where farmers have been given R16,000 and were then given 10 years in which to repay the advance. I can assure the hon. the Minister that it is simply not possible. The farmers cannot repay these loans within that period with the result that many of them have to obtain an extension. The officials who are charged with collecting this money are not always very sympathetically inclined and the result is that these people have to approach their M.P.s. I would like to make an appeal to the hon. the Minister to-day to help these people. I know that a deputation from the South African Agricultural Union has already met the Minister and that he then agreed that in such cases where a farmer can prove that as result of factors beyond his control he cannot repay the money, he will be given an extension. But I do want to ask whether it is not possible to review these cases and to grant a longer extension, because these people simply cannot repay this money within 10 or 12 years. If they must do so, then it is pointless; then this assistance merely postpones their ruination as farmers which must eventually come.
I also want to join in the plea made by the hon. member who has just sat down and ask that consideration should be given to the case of the small farmer. We have an enormous number of small farmers in the country. Their incomes are small and it is quite impossible for them to pay back assistance loans over a short period. I feel that the Minister should consider introducing some scheme, as under Section 10, where people have perhaps 50 years to pay back a debt at a very low rate of interest. We have to face up to this question in this country whether we are going to support the small producer. Large farmers are quite differently situated. We have enormous numbers of small farmers in this country and their production is of material value to us. They contribute a great deal to the production of this country and to our rural life, and we find that there is a general drift from the country to the towns, a drift which has been accentuated during depressions in particular parts of the country. I appeal to the Minister to give this matter serious consideration.
I just want to say that the Farmers Assistance Board lays down its loan periods on the basis of the income potential of the particular farmer, but where a case can be made out for the extension of the loan period, the Department will always act sympathetically, as it has done in the past. But the period is laid down in the first instance on the basis of the income potential of the farmer concerned. If there are any other cases, then we can consider them on their merits.
As regards these loans which the State Advances Recoveries Office has made to the farmers, we are of course grateful that the Government has made this assistance available, but we do feel that one of the main reasons for this position is the fact that the farming industry involves great risks. It has already been found throughout our country that there are times when the farmers, not as a result of the price structure but as a result of factors such as periodic droughts, cannot meet their annual payments. As a result the arrear payments are then carried over, and interest is collected on the arrear amount. I should like to suggest to the Minister that he should consider whether a plan cannot be devised whereby the payments can be so arranged that the debtor will at least not be obliged to make his payments every third year—I can describe it as a respite year—because we know that there will be times when the farmer as a result of circumstances beyond his control will not be able to meet those payments. If the repayment period is extended, subject to the condition that during that period there will be years when he will not be obliged to pay but that he should try to make up those arrear payments when he can, as a result of good years, that will be an acceptable scheme. Mr. Chairman, we are still receiving letters in respect of this matter, and it remains a fact that many farmers cannot meet their payments at regular intervals and then the interest on the loan accumulates which makes the loan still more expensive.
Vote put and agreed to.
Precedence given to Votes Nos. 10 and 11 (External Affairs).
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.
On Vote No. 10.—“ External Affairs ”, R2,906,000.
During the course of the discussion on the Prime Minister’s Vote, several matters which were raised by the Opposition, were more particularly related to the Department of External Affairs. The hon. the Prime Minister replied in general terms to those points. But there are some which need further clarification, and it might be useful if I made a preliminary statement dealing with the points which were raised on the Prime Minister’s Vote, That might save time and also repetition.
Mr. Chairman, the Opposition, as could be expected, has concentrated on recent events at the United Nations, and also at the Prime Ministers’ Conference. I could not help feeling, Sir, that it was with a certain amount of relish that members of the Opposition and some of their newspapers referred to the increased adverse vote which South Africa sustained at the United Nations last week. As in the case of the Commonwealth Conference, there is no doubt, judging particularly by the speech of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, that they are determined to seize upon the Commonwealth Conference and also on recent events at the United Nations, for the purpose of making political capital, and for staging an attack on the Government. This applies also to the Prime Ministers’ Conference, even in a greater degree. They ascribed the adverse vote at the United Nations entirely to the Government’s colour policy and to racial discrimination. Apparently the Opposition has forgotten that when General Smuts went to the United Nations in 1946 he was up against exactly the same position. Then the attack was only in connection with the Indian question, but then also the attack was entirely on the colour discrimination against the Indians. The hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) in 1947 found himself in the same position. I have already in the past directed the attention of the House to the fact that when General Smuts returned in 1946, he said that he had been up against a stone wail of prejudice. Mr. Chairman, that attack which was made in 1946, and repeated in 1947, when the hon. member for Salt River represented South Africa—he put up a very good fight, as did General Smuts, against these attacks—have been repeated annually for the past 14 years. Also on the Indian issue it was based entirely on the previous Government’s policy of racial discrimination. If the United Party were in power to-day, they would be subjected to exactly the same attacks, because admittedly, particularly after the statement made by the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) on Friday, even their new policy of race federation is based on colour discrimination, a policy which I notice in this evening’s Argus was aptly described by the Leader of the Progressive Party “as an attempt to make United Party policy look respectable by world standards ”. I could not agree more! That is exactly what it is! If they were in power and were to go to the United Nations with that policy, they would be subjected to exactly the same attacks. In fact, Sir, the attacks at the United Nations, first on the Indian issue and, since 1950, on the Government’s racial policy, generally known as apartheid, are in fact, against White South Africans. Again and again, in those attacks those words recur. The attacks are against the policies adopted by White South Africans in respect of the non-White population of our country. What is, in effect, being attacked is the policy which was also enunciated by General Smuts in London in 1929. We are told, “Oh, yes, but General Smuts changed his policy since then ”, but. Sir, let me remind hon. members of what General Smuts then said, way back in 1929—
Apartheid! Separate institutions on parallel lines. He continued—
It is against that policy, enunciated as far back as 1929 by General Smuts, continued by subsequent governments in various forms that the attacks are made at the United Nations. Therefore I say that it is manifestly unfair of the United Party and of their Press to tell the people that the attacks at the United Nations are purely attacks against the present Government’s policy.
Mr. Chairman, the policy of this Government, and also the policy of the previous Government, as put up by General Smuts in 1946, as put up by Mr. Lawrence in 1947, is to stand by Article 2 (7) of the Charter. That paragraph was described by General Smuts at San Francisco and also in this House when he was sitting on this side, as the cornerstone upon which UNO rests. He said at that time that had it not been for Article 2 (7), it was extremely doubtful whether South Africa would have consented to have become a member of the United Nations. Article 2 (7) was intended more particularly as a protection for the smaller and the weaker nations. Unfortunately, during recent years. Article 2 (7) has come to be regarded as the United Nations, by our enemies more particularly, as practically a dead letter, except when they themselves have recourse to Article 2 (7) for their own protection. It is particularly India that has on several occasions resorted to Article 2 (7).
During recent years our enemies have resorted to another tactic, viz. the argument that Article 2 (7) does not operate in cases where international peace and security are in danger, and by some sort of reasoning it is sought to argue that international peace and security are being endangered because of South Africa’s policy of separate development. Which of course is nonsense! Chapter VII dealing with those matters relates only to disputes or differences arising between countries, between nations. There is no indication whatsoever that it was intended to apply to local conditions.
These annual attacks on South Africa have always struck me as a manifestation of international hypocrisy in its worst form. Many of those who are attacking South Africa are themselves practising racial discrimination. Take a country like India. At the United Nations last year, I drew attention to the extent to which racial discrimination is being practised in India. I drew attention to the fact that it is being practised in Norway and in Sweden against the Laps. I dealt with a number of other countries.
They laughed at you.
Take another country which has been in the forefront at the Commonwealth Conference, practically leading the attack on South Africa. I have evidence, received some of it only last week, to show to what extent racial discrimination is being practised in Canada. A book was recently published by a man who lived amongst the Eskimoes for some years, a very knowledgeable book. It is written with authority and knowledge, and is an indictment of the neglect of the Eskimos by the Canadian authorities. Take the case of Malaya. Their constitution enshrines the principle of clear discrimination against the permanent Chinese population of Malaya. Take the case of Ceylon. It was only yesterday that the radio carried the news that the Prime Minister of Ceylon, Mrs. Bandaranaika, had hastily returned to the capital because trouble had arisen with the Tamils. There is serious trouble in Ceylon because of discrimination against the Tamil section of the population. And what about the United States? I was there for several years, and have been there on many occasions since for the sessions of the United Nations. I venture to suggest that in certain respects, there is more discrimination against the Negroes in the United States, and not only in the deep South, but also in the Northern States, than there is in South Africa.
But it is not embodied in laws.
We are told by the representatives of those countries that they are trying to put a stop to discrimination. Mr. Krisma Menon, the representative of India, tells us that they are putting a stop to the vicious and cruel caste system, but it goes on just the same. When one hears that they are putting a stop to it, it reminds one of the old saying about “ the reformed rake ”. We are also told that in America it is not official. But, Mr. Chairman, we know that in the United States of America there are States that have state rights, of which they are very jealous. Each State has its Governor, and also a Senate and House of Representatives. In certain of the southern States discrimination against Negroes is permitted by the laws of that State. There is discrimination in some of the countries that are taking the lead in attacking South Africa, perhaps even in a more severe form. Here are just a few headlines of recent Press dispatches: “ Race clashes in India ”. “ Hindu-Moslem clashes ”. Here is another one; I need only read the headlines …
What are you trying to prove?
The Opposition has been very free with extracts from the Nationalist papers. They quote from those papers to serve their own purposes, I am doing the same. The headlines of a dispatch which appeared in the Star: “ Uncanny subtlety of colour bar in Britain.” There follows a description of what is happening there. I have here a statement by a previous Governor-General of Australia, who says that the only possible policy in Australia is to discriminate against Asiatic immigration. Mr. Menzies admits it. He told me that himself recently. Only two days ago there was an article in the Cape Times. One of their columnists wrote: “ Unhappy Africans in India.” And he gives a description of discrimination against African students in India. These things are happening in other countries, but of course when they happen in South Africa there is a great song and dance about it. As regards India, we know what is happening with the Naga there. We know what has happened in the past with the people in Kashmir. The caste system is still being maintained. According to United Nations reports, there is a certain type of slavery in India, the debt bondage system. The United Commission on Slavery says—
It is a form of slavery, but we are being attacked by these same people! Here I have another statement about the treatment of Black students in India, how they are being discriminated against. Two years ago complaints were made by these students from Africa about the way in which they are shunned, looked down upon by most of their Indian fellow-students. That was denied by an official Indian paper. Thereupon the High Commissioner of one of the dominions who had been stationed in India wrote a letter to the London Times, in the course of which he said—
I mention these cases to show up the hypocrisy that is so prevalent at the United Nations, particularly when South Africa’s problems are being discussed. Those of us who have participated in sessions of the United Nations can testify as to what is going on there.
Mr. Chairman, another attempt to circumvent Article 2 (7) is based on the argument that they are entitled to disregard that article because of the provisions of another article, viz. Article 55 and also 56 relating to Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms. That matter was discussed at the San Francisco Conference. At a plenary session a unanimous resolution was adopted that Art. 2 (7) could not be circumvented by relying on Articles 55 and 56. It was agreed to include in the records of the Conference a statement that “ nothing contained in Chapter IX of the Charter (relating to fundamental human rights) could be construed as giving authority to the organization to intervene in the domestic affairs of member nations Articles 55 and 56 of the Charter enjoin members of the member states to see that in their countries higher standards of living are being maintained, that there will be full employment, and they will give attention to social and health problems. I could keep the House busy for a long time showing what the actual position is.
Yes, We know.
I know this is unpleasant for hon. members on the other side who are always on the side of our enemies. They hate to hear anything against our enemies. Mr. Chairman, a SAPA-Reuter report from London this year stated—
If I mistake not, Archbishop de Blank was the Bishop for that particular part of London. In the latest edition of that very authoritative journal the U.S. News and World Report there is a good description of conditions in some of the West African states, which are taking the lead in attacking South Africa. According to this report a person who specially investigated conditions in Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and the Camaroons, he asks—
The dispatch refers to the tribal rights, superstition and abject poverty. It is a damning indictment of the conditions under which people are living in those countries, some of the same countries that accuse us at the United Nations for not looking after the welfare of our Native population. Last week the hon. the Prime Minister quoted a statement which had appeared in the Cape Argus, under the headlines—
This is what is happening on our borders. But in Britain we are being accused. The dispatch states that “ Mr. Katlele, Deputy Leader of the Basutoland Congress, has told the Basutoland Legislative Council that 90 patients died of malnutrition in the hospitals last year and that hundreds more have died in their homes. Quoting a world health organization expert who recently conducted a nutrition survey, Mr. Katlele said that 85 per cent of Basutoland’s population are under-nourished.” Then the dispatch goes on to describe the conditions under which the people are living in Basutoland.
According to official figures South Africa spends four to five times as much per capita of the Bantu population on housing, on social services, on medical services, on education than any other State or other territory on the whole of the Continent of Africa. Yet, we are being subjected to attacks.
Mr. Chairman, we will continue to stand by Article 2 (7) of the Charter which provides that the United Nations shall not interfere in the domestic affairs of any member-country.
I add that South African delegations have consistently stood by that article. We have also stood by other nations where attempts have been made to interfere in their domestic affairs. These include nations by whom we have stood in the past, and that are now either voting against South Africa or recording an abstention vote. I want to say here to-day that where we in the past have always stood by certain countries where attempts have been made to interfere in their domestic affairs, where we stood by them, they can no longer expect active support from South Africa.
But South Africa is all alone.
Hon. members need not laugh. The margin between the Western nations and the Afro-Asian and Eastern nations is so small today that South Africa’s vote has acquired a very considerable value.
The Opposition has made great play of the increased majorities against South Africa at the United Nations. They have also made great play of the fact that there has been a so-called switch in the votes of the British, French and Australian delegations. Again the Opposition is not honest. They fail to mention the increase in the number of Afro-Asian members of the United Nations, which necessarily must have a very material effect on the margin of votes. In 1948 there were 16 Afro-Asian states and six states from Eastern Europe (countries behind the Iron Curtain), 22 in all. As against 16 Afro-Asian states in 1948, there are to-day 45 Afro-Asian states, and as against six Eastern European states in 1948, there are to-day ten. When it comes to South Africa’s colour issue, those states always vote together. In other words, the position is that in 1948 there were 22 Afro-Asian plus communist states as against 55 to-day. So obviously there must be a greater increased majority against South Africa at UNO.
Mr. Chairman, there is also another factor. Apart from the increase in the number of Afro-Asian states, there is the important factor that during the past four or five years, there has been a tremendous upsurge in African nationalism on the Continent of Africa. It has become the custom to attack colonialism, and generally South Africa is included amongst the colonial powers. And then, there is the anti-White campaign. In this connection one has only to think back to the proceedings at the Bandung Conference some years ago; the subsequent Cairo Conference a year or two later; the discussions that took place at Cairo and also in Addis Ababa where the African front was formed. Under these circumstances it is obvious that an entirely new spirit prevails at the United Nations compared with what it was six or seven years ago. Naturally that has had its effect also on the vote against South Africa. We have seen the effects of this new spirit not only in respect of South Africa but also in the Congo, in Northern Rhodesia and in Kenya. We are seeing it right now in Angola. All this is being interpreted by the Opposition as signifying the unpopularity of South Africa as a result of our Native policy. I say that to suggest that the intensified attacks on the Union are entirely due to Government policy, is not only untrue. I also say that it is unjust.
Mr. Chairman, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has now come with his race federation policy which, as explained by the hon. member for Yeoville the other day, also discriminates against the non-Whites. That policy would be just as strongly attacked if the United Party formed the Government.
Mr. Chairman, much political capital is being made out of the switch, as it is being called, in the votes of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. As far as the Netherlands are concerned there has not been much of a switch there, because the Netherlands have never supported South Africa at the United Nations.
Exception was taken to a statement by the hon. the Prime Minister when his Vote was being discussed, that to a large extent the switch in votes was motivated by political considerations and by self-interest of the nations concerned. Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I fully subscribe to the statements made by the hon. the Prime Minister. After all, I have attended six of the United Nations’ sessions and I was at two sessions of the old League of Nations, and I can thus speak with a certain amount of experience and knowledge of what has been happening there. I can testify to the fact that self-interest, i.e. national interest, and political considerations, local as well as international, very often play an important role in determining the votes of delegations. I can also testify to another factor which influences the votes, viz. the practice of what is generally known in United Nations circles as “ horse-trading ”.
Hon. members on the other side need have no illusions about the voting. Let us take the case of the United Kingdom. Hon. members opposite have fastened on the fact that the United Kingdom on this occasion voted against South Africa as an illustration of the bad odour in which South Africa now finds itself. Mr. Chairman, what are motivating reasons in the case of the United Kingdom? In the first place the present Government is under very severe pressure in Parliament and outside Parliament from the Socialist Party. It is known that the hon. the Prime Minister of Great Britain and other Ministers are nervous about the Socialist Opposition. [Laughter.] It is no good laughing, I know that it is so. As hon. members know, the political pendulum swings very easily in Britain. There is also the pressure of the United Kingdom Press. There is the pressure exercised by religious bodies, and particularly by the Anglican Church. Another motivating factor is the international political situation, and the influence of the United States Government. We know what the position is in the United States. Only last year evidence was given before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States Senate by the official then in charge of African affairs. He said in his evidence—
The special programme can have an important role in demonstrating that the United States in word and in deed wishes to identify itself with the aspirations of the African people.
Especially under present world conditions, it can be understood that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is anxious to be in accord with the New President of the United States of America.
There is also the reluctance—another motivating factor—of the British Government to antagonize the new Black states of Africa. That was clear from what happened at the Commonwealth Conference, particularly in the cases of those Black states that are members of the Commonwealth. There is that very important factor, that motivates United Kingdom policy by the export markets of the African Continent. There is great competition amongst the exporting nations of Europe and also of Japan, to secure a bigger share of those markets. Mr. Chairman, these are all factors which, I am convinced in my own mind, were taken into consideration by the British Government when deciding to vote as they did at the United Nations.
The same applies in the Netherlands. When I had a discussion with Mr. Luns, the Minister of Foreign Affairs two years ago and suggested that in view of our cultural and other ties they should support South Africa at the United Nations, he said, quite frankly, that the Netherlands Government had to take account of the fact that part of the Netherlands Empire consisted of two Black states, Surinam and Antilles. He said they could not identify themselves with South Africa in view of their obligations to those two Black states. There is the fact that there is a Coalition Government in which the socialists play an important part.
France, I admit, was a disappointment. But then it has to be borne in mind that although France has divorced herself from her former African colonies she still maintains strong ties with them. And so from the point of view of their own interests France is going to consider their own interests in Africa, rather than to support South Africa.
In Italy there is a strong communist party and a strong socialist party. The Italian Government there is under heavy pressure, not only from these parties in their own country, but also from outside of Italy. To that I can testify because of reports which we have received.
Mr. Chairman, then there is the case of Australia: I have no doubt whatsoever in my own mind regarding Mr. Menzies’ sympathy for South Africa, not the least, although he quite frankly says he does not approve of our policies. But Mr. Menzies is, in the fullest sense of the word, a very good friend of South Africa. We saw that at the Commonwealth Conference. But he, too, is under very heavy pressure from a socialist and labour opposition in his own country. He is under heavy pressure from the Australian Press. And in those circumstances, because he has had to look to the interests of his government, his delegation adopted the course that they did at the United Nations. I have no doubt whatsoever that it was not because the Australian Government was trying to make things difficult for South Africa.
Mr. Chairman, I repeat that we have at the United Nations consistently stood by countries that have claimed the protection of Article 2 paragraph 7. Through the years, ever since I went to the United Nations, we have stood by the United Kingdom in connection with the Cyprus question—so much so, that we lost the support of Greece which, in the past, had always supported South Africa. Through the years we have stood by France in connection with the Algerian question. France also relied on Article 2 paragraph 7. As a matter of fact on one occasion, when they were a bit nervous about protesting against United Nation’s action, I was the only delegate that did so. [Laughter.]
What a man!
Do not try.to be funny! In 1949 when the Netherlands were attacked for the first time in the United Nations in connection with the Indonesian question—say “ What a man ” if you like—there again I was … [Laughter.]
You see, Mr. Chairman, that is the lighthearted attitude we get from the Opposition when we are dealing with these very serious matters.
South Africa was the only country that stood by the Netherlands. And throughout the succeeding years every year we have positively and actively supported the Netherlands in connection with the New Guinea question. But we have not been able to rely on their support.
During the past two years Italy has been having trouble with Austria over the Tyrol-lean question. There again we stood by Italy. We did not ask why, or why not. Italy was a friend, and we stood by her. And now we find Italy no longer supporting us.
It all comes down to what I have just said that every country looks after its own interests. If they can get your support, good and well, but when their own interests dictate otherwise you are left in the lurch.
Mr. Chairman, I have given this brief review in order that it may stimulate further discussion, and partly to deal with some of the points raised by the Opposition during the Prime Minister’s Vote. I want to say in conclusion that the obvious tactics of the official Opposition, their attitude to the question of the Commonwealth and South Africa’s decision to withdraw its request to remain in the Commonwealth, and in connection with the vote at the United Nations, is to scare the public. These are scare tactics. They wish to create an atmosphere of fear and despondency, and to frighten investors. It is a repetition of the tactics that we had in 1948 after the election. When the Nationalist Party came into power for the first time, we had exactly similar speeches being made by General Smuts, who told the public that the banks would close; that unemployed would walk the streets of our cities and so forth. But after we had cleaned up the mess which we inherited by imposing import control and carrying it out strictly, we had the greatest period of prosperity that South Africa had known for many years.
As regards our withdrawal from the Commonwealth, let me say at once that I am not worried about the effects of that. I do not think many people are worried about it, except the Opposition who are trying to make political capital out of the withdrawal. In spite of warnings that Mr. Tom Mboya and others have been giving to Britain and to Canada and to others, I am not worried. The White countries of the Commonwealth are not going to break the ties of friendship and trade which have existed for all these years in order to please Mr. Tom Mboya, Nkrumah or anybody else. And as regards the isolation at United Nations, I suggest that that has been grossly exaggerated. There has been a threat of sanctions. We saw what happened to that at the League of Nations. The hon. member over there probably does not know. He was a young boy when an attempt was made to apply sanctions against Italy in connection with Ethiopia. It failed. There was the time when the United Nations applied sanctions against Spain by requesting member states to withdraw their diplomatic representatives from Spain. That also failed, and they later re-appointed their representatives. Sanctions may have a certain effect, but countries that wish to trade with South Africa, particularly Great Britain and countries that have a favourable trade balance with South Africa like Britain and Canada are not going to take the risk of losing their markets in South Africa by engaging in sanctions.
I repeat, as far as the United Nations are concerned, with the very narrow margin between the Western powers and the combined Afro-Asian and communistic blocs that exists to-day, South Africa’s vote has acquired a considerable value. In spite of the attempts of the Opposition, there is no need for despondency. I wish to deprecate, very strongly, the creation of a fear complex, from what ever source it comes. Whether it comes from the United Party, and is politically motivated, or whether it comes from, perhaps, our own side I would say to Nationalists that they should be very careful not to be caught in the United Party trap. This is a trap which has been set for the Government and for the Nationalist Party.
Undoubtedly the position at the United Nations is difficult, but it is not so difficult that there are any reasons for panic. The tactics of the Opposition, both on the Prime Minister’s Vote is with the intention of creating a feeling of despondency and an atmosphere of panic. It must also be borne in mind, as far as the United Nations are concerned, that that Organization is itself in difficulties—very serious difficulties. There is this attack that is being made on Mr. Dag Hammerskjoeld, which is not unlikely to lead to his resignation as Secretary-General of United Nations. And if that should happen it is going to precipitate a very serious situation in the United Nations.
I want to say this about the United Nations. As far back as 1957 M. Paul Henri Spaak, a previous Prime Minister of Belgium; one of the founders of the United Nations and a previous President of the United Nations, writing in a very authoritative journal Foreign Affairs in 1957 expressed himself as follows—
That same year Mr. Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister of Australia, addressing a meeting in London said this—
At the Commonwealth Conference of 1958, in the communiqué issued by that conference there appeared the following—
Mr. Chairman, on that note I shall close, by quoting the opinions of two outstanding statesmen, M. Paul Henri Spaak and Mr. Robert Menzies. And I can only say that my own experience after attending six United Nations’ sessions confirm their opinions. Therefore I say that where attempts are being made to make us despondent, and to create a feeling of panic, we must bear in mind that the position of the United Nations itself is not as sound and is not as strong as it should be. And I can only deprecate the attempts on the part of the Opposition to create this feeling of panic, particularly as it is clear that they are doing so purely for the purposes of political gain.
I should like to avail myself of the privilege of the half hour.
The hon. the Minister of External Affairs rose to his feet and said that he thought he might save time by saying a few words before this Vote started. I should have thought he knew from his own experience that if there is one way of lengthening the debate on his Vote it is for him to get up and speak first. The hon. the Minister has told us that he has attended UNO meetings six times. One cannot help wondering whether that is not one of the reasons why we have so very few friends left in the world. Because this speech of his this evening which, I imagine, was intending to be a fighting speech to whip up the flagging spirits of the people behind him, has really been a flaying attack on everybody else in the world except ourselves. He has attacked Sweden, Canada, the United States, Malaya, Great Britain, France, Italy—the whole lot of them. If we had any friends before he got up to speak I think it is very doubtful whether we have any friends left now. The hon. the Minister has made such foolish statements. Amongst other things, he compares this threat of sanctions with what happened in regard to Italy and Ethiopia and what happened in Spain. He knows as well as I do that those cases were entirely different. In the case of Italy and Ethiopia the League of Nations was divided on the matter. In the case of Spain, Russia was on one side and Germany was on the other. In neither of those cases was there a unanimous vote of the League of Nations of those days against one side or the other. The difference now is that we are faced with this position, that the whole of the United Nations is against us.
The hon. the Minister has quoted what the late General Smuts said in 1929. He has done that before. And he has consistently refused to repeat what General Smuts said in 1942, 14 years later, when he said segregation had failed.
What did he say in 1947?
And the hon. the Minister has made that misleading statement time and time again. He knows very well that if General Smuts had lived during the past 13 years South Africa would not have found itself in the position in which it is to-day.
We started this debate with the Prime Minister’s Vote, to which the hon. the Minister of External Affairs has referred, by pointing out that we are now landed in a cold war. And the contribution of the hon. the Minister of External Affairs as to what we are going to do in the difficulties in which we find ourselves, is to say that South Africa still has one vote at United Nations and he proposes to horse trade it at critical moments in the hope of getting people to support him. It is so childish it makes one feel appalled at the thought that the hon. Minister for External Affairs still represents us in our overseas interests. [Interjections.]
I then come back to the cold war. During the debate last week we had statements from the other side of the House talking about deep waters, dark hours, a crisis period. The hon. the Prime Minister told us that the present position was very serious and that we must prepare ourselves to deal with it. How on earth he or any member of the Government thinks that the people can prepare themselves to deal with a very serious position without being told what that position is, I just do not understand. The hon. the Minister will agree with me that the ignorance of the people of South Africa at the present moment as to the true state of affairs is quite appalling.
The only people who can enlighten them are in the Government itself, and speeches like that of the hon. the Minister of External Affairs this evening does nothing whatever to help them appreciate exactly where this country stands.
What is wrong with it?
We tried all last week to get the Government, through the Prime Minister, to enlighten the people … [Interjections.]
The hon. the Prime Minister by-passed or evaded almost every question. He has enshrined himself in a sort of ivory tower—a white ivory tower of course —and anything that he does not like he simply ignores. And when he ignores it it automatically ceases to exist for him. Our only alternative, therefore, in the course of these votes, is to tackle each Minister and see whether he can contribute anything to enlighten the people of this country as to the position in which they find themselves.
There are three or four fronts on which this cold war is fought. One of them is the diplomatic front …
None so blind as those who will not see.
How right you are.
Mr. Chairman, I would not say that of the hon. the Minister of External Affairs at all. I would say that as far as the diplomatic front is concerned, which is one of the fronts that has to be defended, he is the Veg-generaal of the country, dealing with the diplomatic front of this cold war. The first thing of course, as the hon. the Minister has said—in fact it is all he has talked about—is this question of our position at United Nations. The hon. the Minister has referred to the various votes at UNO. He has said that of course we must expect the majority against us to increase because of the increasing number of non-European members of UNO. But, Mr. Chairman, that does not explain why all the White members of UNO have also turned against us as well. And all the hon. the Prime Minister could tell us was that we were still a member of UNO. He took comfort in the fact that the British Government had refused to support the more extreme resolution of the 24 members. He thought that that was a good sign because Great Britain had refused to vote for a resolution calling for collective sanctions. Of course the resolution that has been passed now does call for individual or collective sanctions, and Great Britain voted for it. So that that grain of comfort has been taken away from the Minister of External Affairs.
We tried to find out what the most immediate threat to our interest is in the form of South West Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister refused to discuss it on the ground that it was sub judice. The hon. the Minister of External Affairs treated it as if it did not exist; he did not refer to it in any way at all.
Is it sub judice or is it not?
It is perfectly clear. We say it is sub judice, but it is clear that the United Nations are not waiting on the grounds that it is sub judice …
Do you agree with that?
It is not a question of what I agree with, it is a question of what this Government is going to do in the face of facts, not legal arguments. [Interjections.]
Order, order! Hon. members must give the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) an opportunity to make his speech.
The facts are that United Nations is taking action and is not waiting. But our Government says the matter is sub judice. They will say nothing about it; they will do nothing; they will not admit it is going on until 18 months’ time when we shall get a judgment from the Hague Court.
What is your suggestion?
The United Nations has again appointed a Good Offices Commission to report to them on the position in South West Africa. What is the Government going to do? Are they going to agree to the admission of that commission into South West Africa in order to put in a report? The commission has said that if they cannot go to South West Africa they will put in a report without going there. In other words, Mr. Chairman, if they do not see things for themselves in South West Africa they are going to put in a report to UNO based on the kind of evidence they have been getting for years from New York. The report will be totally and entirely adverse. I want to know what the Government is going to do in regard to this commission. Are they going to refuse permission to that commission to go into South West Africa or not? [Interjections.]
Order, order! If hon. members wish to put questions to the hon. member they must do it in the proper way. The hon. member may continue.
As far as the other votes are concerned—not the South West Africa vote—the hon. the Minister says we need not worry about it. He says we can expect it now, that nobody likes South Africa and we can expect that sort of treatment in the future at UNO.
May I ask the hon. member a question?
I do not think so, no. My experience of the hon. member is that his questions are very seldom worth answering.
We want to know, what is the Government’s policy in regard to UNO? Are we just going to carry on like this? For 13 years we have been sulking in our tents at UNO and we have been letting our case go by default. The hon. the Minister told us earlier this Session, and he has confirmed it again to-night, that in practice, whatever the principle may be, Article 2 (7) is a dead letter and affords us no protection at all. The question is, are we going to continue to protect ourselves behind an Article which is no longer of any practical value in the United Nations, or not?
This Government complains about the increasing number of non-White States at UNO. But what did they expect? Thirty or 40 years ago one could say that in effect the greater part of the world was controlled by White people. That is not the position to-day. This is no longer a White world where the White man is boss. And unless this Government realizes that and realizes that the United Nations is a fair reflection of what is going on in the world, then the prospect of their being able to restore South Africa’s prestige in the world is very small indeed.
Smuts told you that in 1947.
You keep quiet and listen now. You are talking all the time.
Why should I? Why don’t you keep quiet? [Interjections.]
Mr. Chairman, may I appeal to you to ask that hon. member to keep quiet? It is very difficult to hear what is being said because of the continuous row from that side?
Oh, sit down. [Interjections.]
Order, order! Did the hon. member notice whether the Opposition kept quiet while the hon. the Minister was speaking?
We certainly did.
Does that mean that you are going to allow them to interfere, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, when the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) was addressing you, is the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) entitled to say “ Sit down ”?
I did not say that.
Yes, you certainly did.
Order, order! That is not a point of order. The hon. member may continue.
On a point of order Mr. Chairman, when the hon. member for Transkeian Territories was addressing you the hon. member for Vereeniging told him “ Sit down you dirty squealer ”. Is that parliamentary? [Interjections.]
I did not say that.
I distinctly heard you.
Order, order! Did the hon. member for Vereeniging say that?
Mr. Chairman, he is being ridiculous, he must have a dirty mind. [Interjections.]
Order, order! Will the hon. member continue.
He is just afraid to face up to it.
Mr. Chairman, I find it very difficult to continue while the hon. member for Vereeniging is carrying on a running conversation. I do not mind occasional interruptions but this is really beyond the limit.
There he goes …
Order, order! If hon. members are not going to be quiet I shall have to take serious steps against them. They must give the hon. member an opportunity to make his speech. The hon. member may continue.
Mr. Chairman, I can think back to 1939 when South Africa was a member of the Council of the League of Nations and I had to represent South Africa on that Council. I can remember one day, the 21st birthday of the League of Nations, and the meeting of the Council was adjourned in order that the Council could send a telegram of greetings to General Smuts as one of the founders of the League, congratulating him on its success and thanking him for his services to the world. In those days it was something to be a South African representing your country abroad. What is it to-day?
It is a greater honour today.
Order, order! Did the hon. member for Marico (Mr. Grobler) not hear me ask hon. members to be silent?
I apologize, Mr. Chairman.
To-day we are running away with our tails between our legs, outlawed by the world. That is what this resolution of last week means. It means that we are outlawed by the world, that the world unanimously, with one exception, has voted to take individual and collective action against South Africa. What are we to expect from all this? What does the hon. the Minister expect? Does he think that the United Nations, having passed that resolution, is going to forget all about us? What is he going to do about it?
If the hon. the Minister asks me what I would do, I am bound to say that if I was sitting in his place as a member of that Government I could do absolutely nothing. The hon. the Minister is like a commercial traveller trying to sell something that nobody wants. If I were sitting in his place I would feel bound to resign, and advise my Prime Minister to do the same thing in the interests of South Africa. Otherwise, if we go on along the present lines of the hon. the Minister of External Affairs, representing this country with something which nobody in the world will accept, we are faced with further humiliation and degradation: the dragging of South Africa’s name through the mud as it is being dragged to-day. And we are faced with the ultimate interference from outside about which some sections of the Nationalist Press have already warned this country.
The hon. the Minister knows all this. He knows it better than anybody else in this House. What can he do about it? And the next question is, what is our new position outside the Commonwealth going to be? We are now going to be a foreign country in terms of the Commonwealth. Our whole diplomatic system, so far, has been based on membership of the Commonwealth. There has been the closest possible co-operation. There has been a continual exchange of information. Our principal source of information of world affairs has been London, assisted by our own diplomatic representatives. I can remember when I was High Commissioner in London every day boxes of telegrams were delivered to me from British sources from all over the world, which I passed on to my Government. The hon. the Minister and I probably know that better than anyone else in this House. The Commonwealth Relations Office is a most valuable channel of information to enable our Government to form a sound opinion of what is going on in the world. All that will now cease. We will now be a foreign country, under the Foreign Office. I want to ask the Minister what will take its place. Moreover, we have interests throughout the world. We aim to be a world trading nation. We are always being told that by the Government. They have three missions touring the world now, ostensibly trade missions, but quite clearly with a political flavour to them, because you cannot build up world-wide trade without having political contacts with the countries you are trading with.
I do not know whether the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) has ever been abroad in his life, or knows anything about overseas trade, but the Minister will tell him that if he does not believe me. What is more, we have some 22 missions abroad, most of them very small ones. We have six consular offices, two of them in the Congo, one in Angola and one in Lourenço Marques, and two others, and we have six honorary consuls mostly in the Baltic ports who receive the princely sum of £5 a year for the right to print on their visiting cards that they are the honorary consuls for South Africa. Everywhere else in the world the British officials looked after our interests. Just imagine what that means. Whether it is trade, or consular work, or diplomatic work, the British network throughout the world represented us. What is going to take their place? Are we going to retire into a vacuum in South Africa and have no contacts? What plans has the Minister for re-establishing something to take the place of these services we enjoyed? I would like to ask the Minister whether he has in mind any kind of standstill legislation to freeze the position in the same way as Britain is passing an act to hold the position for 12 months while everything is being sorted out? Or are we not going to do anything about it at all, and just learn by bitter experience what difficulties we will get into?
We are busy with that right now. We are contemplating similar legislation.
Our whole foreign policy has been based on Commonwealth membership ever since Union, and that now goes by the board, and what we now have to have is a new foreign policy. I think the least this Government can do is to tell the country how they are facing up to the new position and what line they propose to take, and how they propose to establish the necessary machinery for our representation, and what kind of foreign policy they envisage. The only one we have heard mentioned so far from the colleagues of the hon. the Minister is that in lieu of membership of the Commonwealth South Africa should now have close treaties with Portugal and the Federation, with the idea of fighting the Black peril. Well, I think that is a very poor substitute as a foreign policy compared with our membership of the Commonwealth. The Minister of Justice made a speech about that a few days ago. I think the Minister of External Affairs had better tell the country whether the Minister of Justice spoke with Cabinet authority, or whether he was just making one of his party political speeches. [Time limit.]
It is necessary that one point should be dealt with before the debate goes any further. The hon. member has raised the question which was also raised by his leader, as to what we are going to do about the case now pending before the International Court. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, as also the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Water-son) insists that we should now inform the House as to our intentions.
The Prime Minister stated the position clearly when he explained that there is at present a case pending before the International Court. South Africa is one of the parties to that case. As in the ordinary Courts of the land, when a case is pending, any discussion of the matter before the Court is regarded as sub judice. I took up that attitude last year in the Fourth Committee of the United Nations. It is the attitude of the Government, that while this case is pending in the International Court we are not prepared, by participating in discussions, to prejudice our case in any way. It is necessary, in a purely factual manner, to inform the House as to our attitude at the United Nations.
When the Fourth Committee met shortly after Ethiopia and Liberia had brought action, I raised a point of order, namely that the subject was now the subject of contentious proceedings in the International Court and that in those circumstances the Fourth Committee should not discuss it. After having explained what the sub judice rule is, because there are a number of nations there who may not observe it themselves, and do not know what it is, I then quoted certain authorities. I quoted a very well-known international lawyer, the late Judge Lauterpacht in his work, “ The development of International Law by the International Court ”. He mentioned the case of the Electricity Company of Sophia and Bulgaria, where the International Court, invoked “ the principle universally accepted by international tribunals to the effect that the parties to a case must abstain from any measure capable of exercising a prejudicial effect in regard to the execution of the decision to be given and, in general, not allow any step to be taken which might aggravate or extend the dispute”.
Mr. Chairman, the sending of a commission to South West Africa would in our opinion be such a step.
The Fourth Committee is not a party to this dispute. Liberia and Ethiopia are on one side, and we on the other side.
Yes. The parties that have brought action against the Union are two of the original members of the old League of Nations. They are the only countries which could bring action, viz. Ethiopia and Liberia. South Africa is the other party to this case; it is one of the litigants. The United Nations as such is not a litigant. In the same way that someone not concerned with a Court action in South Africa would be judged guilty of contempt of Court if he expressed his views about a pending case, so the United Nations, would, in our view, be guilty of what might be called contempt of court if it now intervened in a case that was pending in the International Court.
The position of the United Nations is interesting by reason of what happened two years ago when the Anglo-Iranian dispute was discussed by the Security Council, at the time when Iraq nationalized the Abadan oilfields. The matter was discussed by the Security Council, which is one of the organs of the United Nations. In the course of this discussion in the Security Council, Sir Benegal Rau, later a judge of the International Court of Justice, said—
At the 565th session of the Security Council on 19 October 1951 the adjournment of the debate was proposed until such time as the International Court of Justice had ruled on competence. Sir Benegal Rau pointed out that the basic question was whether the matter was sub judice. The proposal that the debate be adjourned was carried by eight votes to one, the Soviet Union alone voting against the proposal.
I also quoted other authorities which I will not deal with now, to support my contention that the case could not be discussed by the Fourth Committee. The British delegate participated in the discussion and read to the Committee a very carefully drawn up statement, which obviously had come from the law advisers in Britain. In the course of that statement the representative of the United Kingdom said—
That is so. The report of this Committee and the complaint of the two complainant countries, contain a number of the matters that are identical. The United Kingdom delegate continued—
Then I come to an important aspect of the matter which I suggest also affects our discussions in this House. The British delegate referred to the application of the sub judice rule in Britain, and said—
He pointed out just before that that there was a difference between local courts and the International Court, and then asked what the position would be in the House of Commons. He said—
I will not read the rest of his very clear statement, but it clearly indicated that also in the opinion of the British Government any discussion by the United Nations or by the Fourth Committee would be in contravention of the well-recognized sub judice rule, which is also observed in the House of Commons. Mr. Chairman, I fully agree with the attitude taken up by the Prime Minister, viz. that it would be a contravention of the generally accepted sub judice rule if there should be a discussion of this matter. There is the danger that it might affect the Union’s position. Our legal team is working hard at present preparing South Africa’s case and it is obvious that if discussions were to take place in Parliament on the very matters which are now before the Court and which are included in the report of the Committee on South West, it is likely to prejudice or influence the Court. Therefore it is my intention to discuss this matter. I am not prepared to answer questions as to whether or not we will accept the finding of the Court. When the Leader of the Opposition was practising at the Bar and there was an appeal pending before the Appeal Court, he would not have advised his client to say beforehand what he should do if the Appeal Court were to hold against him.
Mr. Chairman, I wish to suggest to you as Chairman—-I do not think you can give a ruling on the matter—that in the interests of South Africa and of this case which we are not letting go by default it would be most unfortunate if, e.g., statements were made, say by the Leader of the Opposition, criticizing South Africa’s administration of South West Africa or agreeing with something which was said in the Fourth Committee, it might influence the International Court. Therefore, if I may take the liberty, Sir, of asking you to do what the British delegate said regarding procedure in the House of Commons, viz. to ask the Committee to exercise a certain amount of restraint in discussing this matter I shall be glad if you give such a ruling. The matter is sub judice and I sincerely hope that hon. members will realize the importance of this matter to South Africa. May I add that there is the question of the dignity of the Court itself. Any Court of Justice is jealous of its position and it would be a great pity if the members of the International Court were to be unfavourably impressed by the fact that members of this House, the Parliament of one of the litigants, were to express views which might be regarded as interfering with the functions of that Court.
In view of the fact that the whole question of the administration of South West Africa by the Government of the Union of South Africa has been referred to the International Court of Justice for decision, my opinion has been sought as to whether matters relating to South West Africa should not be regarded as being sub judice.
Standing Order No. 72 provides inter alia that no member shall refer to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending. Obviously this is intended to be a reference to decisions in our own courts of law and not to courts of law outside South Africa. Strictly speaking therefore a decision which is pending in the International Court of Justice does not fall under the provisions of Standing Order No. 72 and cannot be regarded as being sub judice in so far as discussions in this House are concerned.
South Africa is, however, a member of the United Nations Organizations and, according to paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Statute of the International Court, the Union Government has recognized the jurisdiction of that Court in regard to certain matters but not disputes affecting matters which are essentially within the jurisdiction of the Government of the Union of South Africa as determined by the Government of the Union of South Africa (see Year Book of the International Court of Justice, 1959-60, pages 253-4).
In terms of Section 22 of Act 23 of 1949 the Union has full powers of administration and legislation over the Territory of South West Africa as an integral portion of the Union and it may be contended that domestic matters affecting South West Africa are matters which fall essentially within the jurisdiction of the Union Government. If such matters were raised in the International Court or any Court other than a South African Court, discussion thereof in the Union Parliament in my view would not and could not be disallowed under the sub judice rule. However, in view of the fact that the Union Government has appointed agents and briefed counsel to appear on its behalf in the matter of the application by Ethiopia and Liberia to the International Court concerning South West Africa, any discussion in this Committee of such matters may conceivably prejudice the conduct of the case before that Court and embarrass counsel briefed by the Union Government. It may furthermore have the effect of aggravating or extending the matters in dispute and may even influence, impede, embarrass or obstruct the Court itself in arriving at its decision.
In these circumstances I appeal to the good sense and discretion of hon. members to refrain from referring to any matters concerning South West Africa in a way which may be regarded as being insulting or embarrassing or derogatory to the dignity of the International Court or which may in any way influence that Court in arriving at its decision.
I do not wish to discuss the implications or the merits of the case in regard to South West Africa and our opposition to the indictment delivered by Ethiopia and Liberia, but I think the public of South Africa should realize the seriousness of the consequences to our country and to our vital interests if that judgment goes against us, because the matter will obviously be referred to the Security Council of United Nations, with possible far-reaching consequences, and we will be called upon, as a member of United Nations, to uphold any resolution given by the Security Council based on the judgment of the International Court of justice.
I have really risen to say that rarely have I felt as incensed in this House as I do tonight. I feel incensed because to me it is tragic to consider that here we have a Minister of External Affairs, with our country in the international sphere facing probably one of the greatest crises it will ever face, with a world ranged against us, with our own previous friends in the Commonwealth having severed relations with us, with a practically unanimous damnation of the vote before the World Council. At this time we have to, enjoy the spectacle of our Minister of External Affairs rising in this House and on the basis of his own racial prejudice attempting to criticize the actions of the rest of the world and making the accusation that the world is hypocritical in its approach to South Africa; that the Government is the only one which is right and that the Minister is the only one who can have any views based on right and justice. Here we have had this damnation by the Minister not only of the rest of the world but also of our own friends, countries which loyally stood by us in the past and have given us support either at United Nations or in the Commonwealth. [Interjections.] It may be monotonous to say so but it is tragic to consider that the whole future of the country is based on our relations with other countries of the world and that we should have the Minister arraigning himself against the world purely because of his own racial prejudices, and based entirely on one accusation, that the rest of the world is hypocritical when it deals with us. Look at the contrasts. We have had the hon. the Minister damning the United Kingdom for the attitude they adopted at the Prime Ministers’ Conference. Compare it with the attitude adopted by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister was at pains to show our continued desire to be cooperative with Britain, but the Minister of External Affairs did not have a single word to say in regard to that future close relationship with Britain. All we have had was a churlish argument about the political difficulties Mr. Macmillan may find himself in if he openly supported our Government in its present racial policy. [Interjections.] I am dealing with the approach of this Minister to the other countries of the world. Let us take a few examples.
The Minister tried to say that the position at United Nations had deteriorated for one reason only, that there are now some 55 Afro-Asian states and he couples them automatically with the communist countries. Yet the whole tactics of the Western world is to draw the Afro-Asian states away from the domination and the influence of communist countries. But the Minister says no, we are damned at United Nations because the rest of the White nations are looking for the support of these 55 Afro-Asian states and therefore they voted against us. He says that the position has continually deteriorated since 1950.
Why did they vote against us?
The Minister misleads the House and the country. He knows as well as I do that before any motion can be of force and effect in United Nations it must receive at least a two-thirds vote, and if the other White nations supported South Africa the Afro-Asian bloc would be unable to get a motion passed.
Why did they vote against us in 1947?
Let me tell the hon. member the true facts about 1947, and not the picture presented by the Minister. In 1947 and 1948 there was no vote against South Africa at United Nations. The only movement towards a condemnatory motion came from the communist bloc and from India. There was never a condemnatory resolution. It never passed the General Assembly, because I sat there myself.
So you prevented it when Smuts could not?
From when did the position deteriorate? Let us face the facts. The position only deteriorated because the Minister did not talk about the statement of policy of General Smuts on the basis of parallel development and free opportunity, and the crux of our argument in those days at United Nations which was that we were not oppressing the non-Whites. As for example in this House the Coloured man sat on the Common Roll with the White man and there was equality of political opportunity. There was no resolution in those days condemning our race policies. It was only in 1950 that the first resolution condemning our race policy was introduced, and how did it come to be introduced? It was because this Minister, when he led the first delegation to United Nations after the Minister of Finance had done so, announced at United Nations that the previous arguments in regard to the policy of South Africa would not be presented because there was a new Government in power which was based on the policy of apartheid. That was the first time the word “ apartheid ” was used at United Nations, and if hon. members doubt my word, they can look at the speeches in the Library of Parliament, and the speech made by this Minister when he advocated the new race policy of apartheid at the United Nations. Even in 1947 United Nations did not use the word “ apartheid ” in their resolutions. It was only in 1950, through the persistence of the Minister to get acceptance for the policy of apartheid, which was viewed as a policy of domination and suppression, that the word “ apartheid ” became well known in the civilized world, so that every little man in the back streets of Warsaw or London or Prague, or of Brussels or of New York, came to know that word as the epitome of what is worst in racial domination and suppression. That is what it means to the world outside, and it was introduced by this Minister, but now he rises to-night to defend South Africa’s race policy and our future relationship to the world. We hoped that we would hear to-night at least about the application of some policy which would mean that we could walk a new road in the world and that we could talk as White Africans standing together and stating a fair and honest position, but there was not a word of encouragement from the Minister.
Let me take a few of his other arguments. The Minister talks about horse-trading. He says the voting at United Nations is based on the principle of “You scratch my back and I scratch yours ”, and he says why take notice of that voting? He tells the public not to take notice of United Nations, because the voting there means nothing. And then in the same breath, Sir, he says: I issue a warning: I issue a warning to these people who have voted against us. He tells them: Do not come and horse-trade with me in the future—you voted against me recently; do not ask me for my vote at all. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Turffontein (Mr. Durrant) who has just sat down based his whole argument on what he has described as “ race prejudice ”. I want to ask him: Is this prejudice (vooroordeel) or is this an opinion (oordeel)? Can he tell me that throughout South Africa’s history, the history of each province, there was not a large majority in each of those provinces, the parts of the Union which later formed the Union of South Africa, who held this opinion? What right does he have to condemn this as prejudice? I want to put this pertinent question to him: Does he not share this opinion? Does he stand for absolute equality or does he stand for differentiation? What policy does the party of which he is a member advocate? He must now reply. Do he and his party regard this as “ racial prejudice ”? Is the non-White policy of his party not based on “ prejudice”? And what is more, on “racial prejudice”? He owes us an answer.
I should like to come back to the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson). We have known him for a long time in this House. He is a member who has represented us abroad, and not without distinction. He is the same person who has come back and who now condemns the policy which at that time he, to a certain extent, furthered. What has caused this change in him? What has happened in South Africa that he has changed his opinion in this way? Has he changed his opinion because of changes here in South Africa or because of changes abroad? That is the question I should like to put to him. He has loudly proclaimed that the entire UNO is against us. His facts are correct, but I should like to ask him this question: Why are they opposed to us? We know what we must do to satisfy UNO. We need only jettison our whole traditional South African policy and say that we shall follow the world’s policy of no discrimination whatsoever, of all races forming one entity, and we shall then enjoy support at UNO again. I should now like to ask the hon. member for Constantia whether that is his opinion? Is he prepared to make that sacrifice in order to gain UNO’s support? This is a question which he must answer, and not only he but his whole party must answer it. He has relied on General Smuts. There are many people who rely on persons who can no longer answer for themselves. Why does he not rely on his own present leader? Will his leader give us a reply? Perhaps it will be yet another reply to add to the many replies which we have already been given over ¿he past year or two. We do not want to know what the opinion of past leaders was. We know these from studying history; they can no longer be changed; they are on record, but we should like to know the opinion of the present leader and we should like to know what it is before he changes it again. They must answer this question. The hon. member for Constantia has referred so insistently to the attacks being made on us at UNO, that we eventually formed the impression that he possibly, as a result of his own political standpoint, approves of those attacks. I do not want to do him an injustice. I do not think that is his attitude, but then he must be more careful when he speaks. He must not create the impression outside that the United Party is prepared to accept those criticisms merely for the sake of the party political capital which they can derive in South Africa from those attacks. He has said that the statements being made at UNO are “ a fair reflection ” of the position in South Africa. Do those hon. members who sit behind him agree with that opinion? Does the hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart) agree with him? Is this a “ fair reflection ”? Do we not have the right to demand of the Opposition that in all their criticism of us they should at least put the standpoint of South Africa uppermost? We have the right to demand that of them. He has gone still further. He has accused the Minister and said that the Minister is dragging our name in the mud. You see, Mr. Chairman, throughout his speech this hon. member has made use of very strong language. Let him tell us what the hon. the Minister of External Affairs has done that he, if he had had to represent South Africa abroad, would not have done. He must give us a clear reply in that respect. I am not referring to the statements which have been made across the floor of this House, but I am asking him what other standpoint he would have adopted if he had had to represent South Africa abroad. When he has the opportunity, he must answer this question. His next question was what our position was going to be outside the Commonwealth; With whom were we going to trade; where would we find friends? But let me once again put a counter question to him: Where do those countries who are not members of the Commonwealth find their friends? Take a country like Switzerland—-I do not want to take any particular country—or Ireland, as examples. They are small countries which are in more or less the same position as South Africa. Where do they find their friends? What argument is it to say that we who for a long time have belonged to one group, call it a family group if you wish, who have belonged to one international group for a long time, will now be faced with closed doors and that we will not be able to join any other group if—please note—the members of this group to which we have belonged no longer want us. We do not want to break off our friendships, just as little as we want to break off our general ties, but let the hon. members of the Opposition rise and tell us whether they would have remained in the Commonwealth if they had been faced with this position, or would they have been obliged to follow the same course as we have? If the answer is “ yes ”, then they must immediately add the following: Why should we not seek to co-operate with those countries who are well disposed to us and who are prepared to establish friendly relations with us?
Another question he has raised has been that of trade in general. Will we still have a general circle within which we can trade? Will we be able to trade and with whom? Once again I have to put a similar question to him: With whom do all the other countries of the world trade? Do they also only trade within their own circle, whatever that circle may be? Do Commonwealth countries only trade within the Commonwealth? Or do they seek to trade with any country which will give them favourable conditions? [Time limit.]
I do not think that I would be exaggerating if I called the speech of the hon. the Minister of External Affairs a tragic and an unhappy one which does our country no good whatsoever. I listened to the speech of the hon. the Minister and I made notes of the different countries of which he disapproved. Looking at this list it seems that there are very few countries of which the hon. Minister does approve. During his speech to-night he disapproved of Malay, Ceylon and Canada with her Eskimos; of the United States with her Negroes, of India with her caste system. He even referred to India, in what I suppose is diplomatic language, as a “ reformed rake ”. He attacked Ceylon, he attacked Britain, he had reservations about Australia’s discriminatory policy; he attacked the African states; he was against Nigeria; he disapproved of the Cameroons, of Ghana and even criticized the lack of support given to South Africa at the United Nations by the Netherlands; he disapproved of France and of Italy, and for good measure he even attacked the Anglican Church—and on top of that he disapproved of a large section of his own party which apparently has the temerity to criticize his policy. I presume he was referring to the Burger and some other newspapers which have been criticizing him in the past.
I think there should be serious heart-searching in regard to the conduct of our country’s diplomacy abroad, not only in theory but also in practice. At times this diplomacy has been so inept, so shocking as almost to be spine-chilling. Diplomacy, Sir, is a science as well as an art and when we see some of the things which are being done by the hon. the Minister of External Affairs, then I almost feel that whatever his undoubted talents are in other directions, he is psychologically not suited to this task of being the country’s Minister of External Affairs. Had he spoken at the United Nations and had he spoken at the London Conference in the way he spoke to-night, it would be no wonder that the debacle arose at those two places; no wonder that during the past two months we have suffered the two greatest diplomatic defeats in South Africa’s history, namely the defeat at the United Nations and the defeat at the Prime Ministers’ Conference where we had to withdraw from the Commonwealth.
May I mention one instance of blatant disregard of all diplomatic practice which is surely without parallel. I refer to a statement made by the hon. the Minister in which he indicated that possibly consistency and honesty may no longer be the guide to our foreign policy in future. It sounds an unbelievable statement. But I have his words here taken from the Digest of South African Affairs. The hon. the Minister said this—
He added this—
He went on—
The hon. the Minister was more specific tonight when he referred to a policy of that nature as “ horse trading ”. Now, Sir, coming from the hon. the Minister of External Affairs surely this is an amazing statement. Firstly on account of its contents and secondly on account of the fact that if the hon. the Minister has the idea of indulging in a quid pro quo policy of horse trading, then surely he should at least maintain a decent silence about his plans. We are adult people, Sir, we know what can happen in diplomatic circles but surely this statement of the hon. the Minister’s is without parallel. One has to go back to the days of Michiavelli, to the 15th century, the Italian diplomat, to find an equally blatant admission of motives. I looked up Michiavelli’s “ Prince ” to find some of the things that that political writer had said in the 15th century. He said this—
He went on to say this—
If we are to introduce Michiavellism into our foreign policy then I believe we have indeed reached the very lowest possible depths that we can attain.
Now, Mr. Chairman, this new policy of quid pro quo, this new policy of horse trading has apparently been in existence since the Minister made this statement in February of this year. What have the results been? Has there been a sudden change in favour of South Africa on the part of the other countries of the world? What are the dividends that we have been paid? The dividends are those two greatest defeats in our country’s diplomatic history. Before we indulged in horse trading we were defeated 78 to nil; after we started with this quid pro quo policy we were defeated 95 to 1. Imagine the shocked effect a statement such as that must have throughout the world. A statement such as this must have its effect on embassies of other nations. One can well imagine one shocked diplomat saying to the other: “Look old chap, we must be very careful of that man Eric Louw. After all he stated publicly that he is dealing on a quid pro quo basis with us, and it might be a bit of horse trading. Just remember what our parliaments would say if they were to hear that we have been making a deal at the United Nations or the London Conference with South Africa.” The hon. the Minister mentioned quid pro quo, Sir; what quid for what quo? I should not like to go so far as to suspect the Government of adopting the policy of the hon. member for Randfontein (Dr. Mulder) who suggested the other day that the Union of South Africa should on occasions pay R1,000 to have a favourable article about us placed in the London Times. I do not want to go as far as all that, but I would like to know what this quid actually means in our horse trading. The Burger nowadays speaks of “ aanpassing ”. Surely diplomatic relations with some other African states would have been an excellent quid, an excellent gesture on our part. After all the Minister was the person who welcomed Nigeria to the Commonwealth a few years ago, but one thing that is not a quid in this case is the way in which those countries were attacked to-night.
The attack on Canada because of her treatment of the Eskimos was a most amazing piece of work, Mr. Chairman. I hold no brief for Mr. Diefenbaker, but I do not think there is such a thing as a Separate Representation of Eskimos Act in Canada, or an Eskimo Resettlement Act or that there is separate reservation of kayaks, or that there is a Group Igloos Act in Canada. What is the quo in this quid pro quo policy? We can only assume, Sir, that, if the hon. the Minister has been indulging in this quid pro quo policy, he is indeed by no means a good horse trader. Let us be frank, Sir. The Minister has a tragic record of diplomatic failure and these failures are not in every case attributable only to Government policy. [Time limit.]
I do not think I am going too far in saying that in a debate on external affairs one ought not to have to listen to a speech such as we have just been listening to. The hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) made me think of bad business— of bad donkey business, of bad business as Orange Grove did when they exchanged this hon. member for Frankie Waring.
I want to come back to the debate and ask hon. members: On whose side are they now that South Africa is experiencing difficult times in the international sphere, not dark times, not times which frighten us, but difficult times. There are, among others, people from overseas in the gallery and if they listened to the debate this evening on whose side would they think hon. members of the Opposition are? On South Africa’s side or on whose side? [Interjections.] I will tell you what kind of assistance we have given, Sir. At the moment there are three trade missions overseas to try to seek what is best for South Africa, for that side and for this side, for the whole of South Africa. There are three such missions but what does the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) do? He says those trade missions have a political tint. He says: “ These trade missions are missions with a political flavour.” Why does he say it? To create one impression, to place those trade missions in an awkward position, to cast suspicion on them while they are trying to do good work for South Africa, trade missions which do not consist of political men but of the most highly placed men in the field of commerce. That is the kind of assistance we get here this evening. I ask again: On whose side are hon. members opposite? There is the hon. member for Constantia, and I hope that the hon. member sitting next to him, who does not know much about these matters, will give him a chance to listen to me. I ask the hon. member for Constantia what he meant when he said “ the trade missions are missions with a political flavour?” What did he have in mind? What did he try and convey to South Africa and to the world? No, Mr. Chairman, he thought well; he had some plan. Permit me to say this: Hon. members opposite will condemn anything in South Africa and will accept any assistance from outside South Africa if only they can come back into power. That is the position we have in South Africa and which no other part of the world has to contend with. Allow me to say that the future of any other country in the world must be dark if it has an Opposition such as ours. As I said before, Mr. Chairman, in the gallery we have people from abroad. On whose side must they think the hon. members opposite are? I say that we have difficult international situations and the hon. the Minister quite rightly did not make attacks on other countries but merely pointed out that while South Africa was standing in the dock in regard to her colour policy those very countries were practising discrimination. I do not expect very much from hon. members opposite but I do expect them at least to be prepared to give to South Africa what the Daily Express of London was prepared to give to South Africa. If we can only get that from the Opposition in South Africa then we have at least got an Opposition on which we can depend. Let us be honest. All the trouble in the world concerns one issue only, and that is colour. We do not want to deny that. In 1946 and in 1947 it also concerned colour. It still concerns colour; we have no argument; why should we argue about it? But let us at least show the world a united front. In 1946 the Sunday Times wrote the following, and this is precisely what the hon. the Minister referred to—
I underline “ increasing mass of ill-informed adverse opinion ”. That was how the Sunday Times saw the position. Then already the Sunday Times saw that this attitude towards South Africa in regard to her colour policy was increasing. The hon. the Minister quite rightly this evening pointed out that this situation in the world was bound up with the change which came about at UN and throughout the entire world in regard to colour. All I expect of hon. members opposite is that they should not stand on the side of Mr. Alan Patan and not stand on the side of the hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson), because what does he say? It could just as well have been Alan Patan. He says “ just like Nazi Germany ” and then he gives ten reasons on the front page of the Sunday Express why South Africa is like Nazi Germany. While I am mentioning his name—and I mention it in the same breath as I mention Alan Paton’s name— I think this House and the country are justified in asking the hon. the Minister to tell us what all Mr. Alan Patan had to say to the world, since he dealt with these matters personally. Not only do we have to face colour prejudice in the world, but we also have an Opposition such as this, and we also have Alan Patons as well as lapie Bassons. I would like to ask the hon. the Minister what Alan Patan had to say. He said certain things, and who were his defenders? The hon. members opposite, while he was busy humiliating South Africa down to the ground. While we are busy discussing this matter this evening and while the hon. the Minister mentioned certain examples, I would like to mention one thing before I quote what one at least expects from an Opposition. South Africa feels happy and would like to say that she regards Portugal as a very good friend. We do not interfere in her policy in Angola and in Moçambique but what we do know is that Portugal is one of the good friends of South Africa and we would like to tell her so. All sorts of allegations have been made against the hon. the Minister here this evening. I think that if ever there was a courageous and outstanding attempt to keep South Africa within the Commonwealth then it was that of the hon. the Prime Minister at the Conference. But one should not forget that much of the preparatory work, the good work, was done by the hon. the Minister of External Affairs, between here and New York and England in order to discuss the matter for the sake of South Africa, and then one gets speeches of the type we heard here to-night. What one expects from the Opposition, Mr. Chairman, is that they should at least give South Africa what a British newspaper was prepared to give South Africa. I want to read from the leading article of the Daily Express of London of 7 March—
I did not hear a single hon. member condemning it. Has any member opposite condemned it? But the Daily Express was prepared to do it—
Let us also hear this from an hon. member of the Opposition for a change. Let them at least say that there is one country which cannot say anything against South Africa namely the Congo because they cannot even govern themselves. This leading article continues—
Mr. Chairman, I do not agree with all these assertions. I was in Spain and I never saw these things. But although the Daily Express was prepared to go so far in order to help South Africa, we do not get that from the Opposition. [Time limit.]
Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) who has just sat down, posed the question initially on whose side the Opposition was. I would like to tell him immediately that the Opposition is certainly not on the side of the Nationalist Party, it is on the side of the people of South Africa. And for that reason it has a duty to perform this evening and that duty is to be critical, as an official Opposition, of the policy of the Minister so that the country may know what the policy is of the Government and what course it intends to pursue. It is in that respect that I should like to criticize the speech of the hon. the Minister. His whole attitude was on the defence; there was nothing positive about it and he made no attempt to explain his policy to this House. He admits —the Prime Minister has admitted—that South Africa is in a very serious position and that we can expect difficult and stormy days ahead. The House is looking forward to an exposition of policy particularly on the part of the hon. the Minister and we want to know why this Minister is not prepared to give some information as to what the Government’s intentions are to meet the problems of the day. The hon. the Prime Minister went out of his way in answering certain criticism both overseas and in this country, to talk of South Africa’s good neighbourly policy in its attitude towards other countries of the Commonwealth. What we would like to know from the hon. the Minister is what his policy is in order to promote this principle of good neighbourliness, not only in respect of countries abroad, whom he condemns on account of their attitude towards South Africa, but in respect of other countries with whom we are in close contact mainly on the Continent of Africa.
The other side of the House has often said that it was important to expand our trade. It is not only important to expand it in the older countries of the world where the competition we are facing is severe but it is important that we expand it in the emerging states of Africa. Everyone is agreed that South Africa’s export trade must increase; everyone is agreed that South Africa must make more friends; everyone is agreed that it is not only a policy which South Africa should follow, but that it is a policy which all nations wish to adopt in order to promote a better understanding between themselves and other nations and in order to promote the economic relationship between themselves and other nations.
Whilst we are sending missions overseas to some of the older countries what are we doing in so far as the countries on the Continent of Africa are concerned. It is well known that in the case of certain of our exports particularly machinery, we have a very good market on the Continent of Africa. It is also well known that of our total export trade of approximately 18.4 per cent to Africa, 12 per cent goes to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and only 6 per cent to the rest of the Continent of Africa.
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 18 April.
The House adjourned at