House of Assembly: Vol107 - THURSDAY 27 APRIL 1961


I move, as an unopposed motion—

That Order of the Day No. VI for to-day —Second Reading,—Interpretation Amendment Bill—be discharged and the Bill withdrawn.

I second.

Agreed to.


Bill read a first time.


First Order read: Report Stage,—Marketing Amendment Bill.

Amendments in Clauses 8 and 20, put and agreed to and the Bill, as amended, adopted.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time.

More than two members having objected, Bill to be read a third time on 28 April.


Second Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.

House in Committee:

[Progress reported on 26 April, when Votes Nos. 2 to 4, 10 to 24 and 27 had been agreed to, precedence had been given to Votes Nos. 45 and 46 and Vote No. 45.—“ Agricultural Economics and Marketing (Administration)”, R1,435,000, was under consideration.]


I would like to say something about the marketing of meat. Much has already been said on that subject. I regret that I have not enough time at my disposal to react at length to the statements made by the Opposition, but I feel compelled to make a few remarks, and particularly do I want to refer to what was said by the hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart). The hon. member alleged that we now have the greatest chaos we ever had in the history of meat marketing. I would like to ask the hon. member to cast his mind back to the history of the marketing of meat during the time of the United Party and he will find that we then had the greatest shortages of meat and that there was great dissatisfaction in regard to marketing. Thanks to the fact that the National Party came into power, that is now a thing of the past. Now there is plenty of meat, apart from the fact that the cheapest meat in the world is produced in the Union. South Africa supplies the consumer with the cheapest meat in the world.

But I want to refer also to something which was said by the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler). He stated that the producers had made great sacrifices in order to stabilize the marketing of meat. Let me say that although I agree with him in regard to the first statement he made, that the producers made great sacrifices, I want to draw his attention to the fact that the greatest sacrifice made in regard to the stabilization of the meat industry was made during the régime of the United Party, and that hit the meat industry hardest, because at that time the prices fixed were so low that the producers could not make a living. But those days are past now and the position has changed. I am glad to say that although it took the Government years to remedy the position, it is now quite different. All the measures which we introduced in regard to meat control and the equal distribution of meat supplies have now been abolished, except that we still have a fixed minimum floor price to-day. I am glad to say that the Government succeeded in achieving one of its main objectives, namely to supply the consumer with cheap and plentiful meat. All the parties interested in meat marketing are satisfied, except of course the producer. You will, however, agree with me, Sir, that as the result of the abolition of the measures of control the present scheme is now very fluid. Everybody concerned with meat marketing is now waiting to see when there will be a revised scheme. But I want to direct a few words to the Minister. I want to tell him that the producers are very grateful for the fact that we have a man of the calibre of the Minister. He has our fullest confidence and we look to him as one who will stand by us and see that justice is done to the meat producer. I was also very glad to hear from the hon. member for Florida last night that he has now also discovered the good qualities of our Minister.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

I knew that long before you did.


I am very glad that he knew it and that he has the courage to say so. I am gratified to see that he expects great things from the hon. the Minister.

I would like to take this opportunity to make a few suggestions for the consideration of the Minister. I do so in all humility and I want to express a few ideas so that we can regard the matter objectively. The producers to-day are in precisely the same position as they were in before the institution of the meat scheme. I feel that the time has arrived to ask the Minister whether he will not see his way clear to appoint a commission as soon as possible and on which South West Africa will be represented, to study the findings of the fact-finding committee and, if necessary, to take further evidence in order to submit a revised meat scheme which could be adapted to present circumstances. Last year I made the same representation to the Minister, but now I want to take the matter further and to emphasize it. I think the time has arrived for the producer to have full control and authority over his own industry. I feel that we as producers should take the matter into our own hands and see to it that we get full control and that we get rid of all the parasites who have been living on the meat producer all these years. There is a great gap to-day between what the producer receives and the consumer pays, and I feel that that gap should be narrowed. What do we find to-day? We find that a number of large companies control the whole meat industry. They provide what the producer should receive for his meat; they control all the cold storages; they buy carcasses at the auctions and store them in cold storage, and later it is used to compete against the producer and to keep prices low. Not only do they determine the policy as to what happens in the controlled areas, but the same thing happens at the auctions in the country districts. There the same people determine the prices which the producer will receive. I say that a change should be made, and it should be done by giving the producer complete control over his industry. What is happening to-day? We know that the municipalities provide the abattoir facilities and the storage facilities at the abattoirs. But now I want to go further and make this statement: I think it is essential that all the abattoirs and the concomitant facilities should become the property of the producer and that the producer should have full control over it. I say that we should be prepared to realize that it will require tremendous capital, but I can see no reason why the Government should not make the necessary capital available to the producers. In the final result, surely it is the producers’ own industry. To-day the farmers pay all the costs for the provision of these facilities by the fees levied by the various municipalities. Take, for example, the abattoirs at Maitland. The producer in South West has paid for those abattoirs over and over already, and although the consumer enjoys all the facilities and the benefits, he does not contribute anything towards the provision of those facilities.

I want to bring another matter to the notice of the Minister, and I do so specially in order to narrow the gap between what the producer receives and the consumer pays. I refer to the expenses. The expenses in connection with the marketing of meat are much too high. I think it is advisable that it should be reduced. There is in the first place the levy the producer pays to the Meat Board. The Meat Board has built up a large fund out of these levies and I think that the time has arrived for the levy paid by the producer to the Meat Board to be reduced. I cannot see why it is necessary to build up such a large fund. The producer has to pay a multitude of people and organizations before he gets his own share. [Time limit.]

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

I am pleased to find that in the hon. member for Etosha (Mr. Webster) we have a second convert to the attitude which the United Party has been adopting for the past two years in respect of the meat scheme.


What attitude?

*Mr. G. F. H. BEKKER:

You have never as yet said anything.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

We heard the hon. member for Marico (Mr. Grobler) last night. As far as production costs are concerned his attitude is the same as that of the United Party.


May I ask a question just to get clarity? Will the hon. member tell us what the attitude of the United Party is in connection with the marketing of meat? They have not yet told us that.


We are now discussing your policy. You are in the Government benches.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

The attitude which we adopted last year and which we are still adopting is this: We said that we stood by sale on the hook, with a floor price as an interim measure—that is our policy—but we make an urgent appeal to the Government to appoint a commission to go thoroughly into the question of meat and meat control and that is what that hon. member has also suggested. That was what we asked for.


He did not suggest that. He suggested much more.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

He agrees with us on that point. We have asked time and again that a thorough investigation should be made in regard to the meat position and the question of meat control. We maintain that the time has arrived, when we have the findings of the Commission, that we formulate a policy in respect of meat. I am pleased to see that the hon. member for Etosha supports us in that regard.

I now wish to return to the question of production costs. The hon. the Minister stated very clearly the other afternoon in his reply that in fixing the prices of products under the control boards under the Marketing Act, the policy was not to approach the question from the angle of production costs plus. I was astounded when I heard that, because if production costs plus is not the approach in determining the price of a product under the Marketing Act then the Marketing Act does not mean a thing to the farmers. Let me state this clearly. The Minister said that the approach should not be that of production costs plus in determining a price for the producer under the Marketing Act by means of the control boards. He said that the approach should be stabilization. I do not know what the Minister means by stabilization. Does stability not mean that the farmer should make a profit, or does it mean that the farmer should lose? The question of production costs plus and the question of stability are inherently so closely linked together that you cannot separate the two. The Minister will hear more about this statement that he has made, namely that it is not his or the Government’s policy to regard production costs plus a reasonable profit to the farmer as a factor to be considered. The hon. the Minister substantiated his argument by asking: “ What are production costs?”


You tell us.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

He based his argument on that and he gave the ridiculous example of maize in Caledon, which is absolutely ridiculous and a childish thing to do. Every responsible farmer in South Africa knows what is meant by production costs. By production costs we do not mean that you should try to produce a product in a part of the country that is absolutely unsuited for its production and to use those costs as your yardstick.


What do you understand by the production costs of meat?

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

I understand production costs to mean what every control board and the Minister’s Departments have understood it to mean all these years, namely: the average cost figure in those parts of the country which lend themselves fairly well to the production of that product. That is what we understand by production costs.


That was exactly what I said.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

I hope the hon. the Minister realizes the implications of what he has said and I trust the farmers will realize its implication, more particularly now that we are faced with low prices overseas and particularly now that the Marketing Act has to prove that it means something to the farmers in South Africa. Then I should just like to make this point with the Minister flowing from the fact that we will no longer be a member of the Commonwealth. The hon. Minister knows that we export secondary products to Britain on a preferent basis. A fair amount of our farm product is exported on a preferent basis. Is it the intention of the Minister or his Department or the control boards to negotiate with Britain and other countries of the Commonwealth in an attempt to retain those preferences? Did we enjoy those preferences under the Ottawa agreement, or were they bilateral preferences? I am merely asking for information, I am not asking this by way of criticism. I merely want to know what the position will be in future in regard to the preferences which we have enjoyed as a member of the Commonwealth in respect of certain of our primary products. I think the hon. the Minister owes it to the country to tell us what the position will be in future. I think everybody will support the hon. the Minister if he takes steps in an endeavour to retain those preferences.


Pursuant to what the hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart) said a minute ago in connection with production costs, I want to say that this is a question that has been the subject of investigation for many years. There are many divergent factors that have to be considered. I do not think it is wise on the part of any member, whether he sits on this side or that side of the House, to fling accusations across the floor of the House and to say that there has not been sufficient investigation into the production costs of mutton and beef. That question has been thoroughly investigated in different ways. The producers in those parts of the country where it is uneconomical to produce beef because land is too expensive or where it is too expensive to produce mutton should cease doing so and these producers should revert to some other type of farming. Generally I do not think that meat prices are so very low as far as the producer is concerned. The hon. member shakes his head.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

No, I admit that.


During the recent drought there was an excess of meat on the markets. The meat market was flooded, but there was a reason for that. I am informed, for example, that on one day there were 35,000 sheep on the Johannesburg market. These sheep were sent to the market while they were still in reasonably good condition and instead of waiting until such time as the farmer could not market them, unless he buys fodder, the farmer tried to get the best price possible. The hon. member who is a practical farmer knows that there is a good market today for sheep. Judging from what cattle farmers tell me, I think there is a good market in Cape Town and in Johannesburg for beef. We have a very good local market for our meat. I should like to recommend, however, that our floor price be fixed at such a level that when the market is flooded, with the result that the producer receives an unprofitable price for his animal, the Meat Board should be in a position to buy those animals. The trouble is, of course, that we have insufficient storage facilities. That is why I want to plead that a start be made with the construction of cold storage facilities for our meat supplies. I notice that the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) is in the House. I think the hon. member’s suggestion in regard to the meat market and permits is absolutely impracticable. It is impracticable to make permits compulsory. There are so many factors to be considered that permits cannot be made compulsory.


I did not say that; you did not listen to what I said.


I listened very well and I made a note of what the hon. member said. He said that if you had a permit for 100 or 200 sheep you must send so many to the market, and that cannot always be carried out. It is easy to explain why the permit system was a failure. There are thousands of speculators in the country who are continually applying for permits, whether they have stock to market or not. The permits are then issued. Everybody knows that on the platteland stock sales take place more or less on the second and fourth Friday of the month and it is usually during the latter part of the month and after the end of the month that the market is poor; that is the time when the speculators buy huge numbers of stock on the stock sales; they then send that stock to the markets and you find that the markets are flooded. I think it will be a waste of time to reintroduce the permit system to-day because that system served no purpose in the past. There was no control over it; one week you had a shortage and the next week you had a huge surplus on the market.

The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (Central) (Mr. Dodds) made a very interesting speech yesterday afternoon. It was clear to me that he knew something about the wool industry. He said that we had lost some of China’s trade. That may be so but we should always remember that wool is an international product and that China wants wool. If she does not buy from South Africa she may buy from Australia or from other wool-producing countries. It makes no difference to me as a wool farmer whether China buys her wool from us or from England because if she buys wool from England it is wool which England had bought from us in any case.


How are you going to get competition in that case?


Instead of China buying from us England will, and in that case you have the same competition. I want to make a plea on behalf of the wool farmers to-day. I think every hon. member in this House, whether he is a wool farmer or not, is guilty in this regard. We are doing an injustice to one of our most important producers in South Africa, namely the wool farmer.

*Mr. J. A. L. BASSON:

Tell that to the Minister.


We can increase our wool consumption in South Africa 100 per cent if every man, child and woman would do his or her duty and wear more woollen clothes. A few years ago I said in this House that if every man bought only two pairs of woollen socks that would greatly assist our wool producers. That appeared in the newspapers and the factories that manufacture woollen socks wrote me a short letter subsequently thanking me and telling me how that had increased their sales.

*Mr. J. A. L. BASSON:

Didn’t they even send you a small present?


I do not want the hon. member to treat this as a joke; this is a serious matter. That is why we regard him as an individual as a joke in this House. If every person would buy a 100 per cent woollen suit or have one made—and it is not more expensive—it immediately means that 1,250,00 or 1,500,000 more suits will be sold. And what will that mean to our wool industry? Just think what it would mean to our wool industry if every one of us were to wear woollen undergarments. The men can wear woollen underpants and vests and if the ladies were to wear woollen clothing instead of nylon, particularly during the winter months, that ought to create a terrific demand for wool.

I just want to say a few words pursuant to the remarks made by the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (Central). I know that one of our managing directors, Mr. C. C. Kriel, who is well known to him, has made it his special task to create markets for us overseas. He paid a special visit to Japan. It so happens that Japan is an excellent market because the texture of the skin of the Japanese is such that they have to wear wool. We know that in Japan we have a potential market in millions of people. Japan is at times our best buyer and I want to plead that the trade relations between us and Japan should be strengthened somehow or other. The Japanese can become one of our best customers because they cannot wear nylon clothes. I am not really pleading to-day that the price of wool should be increased, because in that case it will be beyond the reach of those people who would otherwise wear woollen clothes. [Time limit.]

*Mr. M. J. H. BEKKER:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to devote the short time available to me to the problems of the tobacco grower, and with reference to the fact that the constituency of Groblersdal plus a small part of the constituency of Waterberg produce approximately one-third of the total tobacco production of the country, I feel it is my duty to mention in, and I consider it is only right and fair that this House should thoroughly have regard to the position of the tobacco grower in general.

On behalf of the tobacco producers in that area, I immediately want to thank the hon. the Minister for the sympathetic treatment we have always received from him in the past during our negotiations. It is obvious that the weal and woe of the tobacco growers in that area is closely connected with the fluctuations in and the prospects of the tobacco industry. Mr. Chairman, I should like to show you how tobacco production in recent years has increased in that area, and I quote from the annual report on agriculture and stock production and sugar plantations for the years 1954 to 1958, and I refer in particular to the various magisterial districts in the area. In so far as the Groblersdal magisterial district is concerned, during 1954-5 1,950 morgen were planted to tobacco and 179,600 lbs. of tobacco were produced. In 1956-7 3,642 morgen were planted and 3,703,800 lbs. of tobacco were produced. In 1957-8 4,933 morgen were planted, which produced 6,092,800 lbs. In the district of Potgietersrus over the same period 5,258 morgen were planted and produced 5.272.000 lbs. of tobacco. In the year 1956-7 7,988 morgen were planted and 10,920,100 lbs. tobacco were produced. In 1957-8 10,633 morgen were planted in this district and 12,689,400 lbs. were produced. In the district of Warmbaths in the year 1954-5 97 morgen were planted and 63,000 lbs. of tobacco were produced. In 1956-7 148 morgen were planted and the production was 115,000 lbs. In 1957-8 303 morgen were planted and 291,900 lbs. were produced. In Waterberg in the year 1954-5 286 morgen were planted and the production was 225.000 lbs. In 1956-7 471 morgen were planted and 472,200 lbs. produced. In 1957-8 609 morgen were planted and produced 720,600 lbs. By means of these figures I have now indicated to the House that there was a gradual increase in the production of tobacco, and the tobacco grower is justifiably concerned. During the course of my speech I will draw further conclusions from these data.

Mr. Chairman, I should like briefly to sketch the background of the tobacco grower. Ordinarily, the tobacco grower is a small farmer. He is a man who does not have much capital and in certain cases he is a poor man. Those farmers cultivate small farms of approximately 10 to 15 morgen, and in many instances even smaller, which are not suitable for any other type of agriculture. As the result of the demands made by tobacco production, it is necessary for this small and comparatively poor farmer to invest large capital amounts in order to carry on his operations properly and to provide the necessary facilities to be able to handle his crop. As we know, the crop is reaped over a short period of the year and therefore there must be sufficient equipment and buildings available in order to handle the crop properly. The tobacco industry to-day is a very intensive and highly scientific branch of agriculture which requires knowledge and capital. We have high production costs, due to a large extent to the fact that the tobacco industry, in so far as planting and processing the crop is concerned, is not mechanized, and therefore the grower is mainly dependent on manual labour which, as we all know is very expensive and difficult to obtain to-day. The tobacco industry is the most unstable industry in South Africa, and I want to show from the official report I have just mentioned that this is in fact the case. In the aforementioned districts we found the following position in the years 1954 to 1955. In Groblersdal 1,950 morgen were planted, of which only 1,471 morgen was reaped; in other words, almost 25 per cent of that crop in connection with which the farmer incurred all these expenses could not be reaped as a result of hail and other damage beyond his control. So we also find that in the district of Potgietersrus 17 per cent of the tobacco crop could not be reaped, after the farmers had incurred all the costs of cultivating it. In the district of Warmbaths it was as high as 50 per cent of the plantings which were lost to the farmer. In the district of Waterberg also 50 per cent of the crop was lost. Now I ask any hon. member: If in his business he were to lose 50 per cent, does he still see a chance to hold his head above water? That is the position of the tobacco growers to-day.

With reference to these statements, I would like to direct this request to the hon. the Minister, and I do so with a sense of responsibility towards the almost one-third of the producers in the tobacco industry, viz. the constituency of Groblersdal and part of Waterberg: “ In view of the appreciable financial contributions to our national income provided by the tobacco industry directly or indirectly, it is regarded as desirable and essential and the legitimate request is directed to the Government to plough back an appreciable proportion of the above-mentioned revenue into the tobacco industry by strengthening the existing tobacco levy fund, thereby ensuring more independence to the tobacco industry as such for the present as well as for the future.”

Now it is obvious that hon. members and the public outside will ask what the tobacco farmer has done to consolidate and protect his own position, and I would like to reply to that. In the first place, I want to allege that the tobacco grower, by increasing his knowledge and by farming more judiciously has succeeded in giving heed to the advice given to us by the Department concerned to obtain a higher production per unit. We found in the year 1954 in the district of Groblersdal that production per morgen was 921 lbs. of tobacco; the next year it was 1,016 lbs. per morgen and the year after that it was 1,235 lbs. per morgen. That shows how the farmer increased his production per unit by means of intensive and improved methods of farming. In the district of Potgietersrus the production per morgen in 1954 was 1,002 lbs., the following year it was 1.397 lbs., and the year after that it was 1,199 lbs. per morgen. In so far as Warmbaths is concerned, the production was 649.777 and 963 lbs. per morgen over the same period. In the district of Waterberg the production per morgen was 786 lbs., 1,002 lbs. and 1,016 lbs. There we have the reply of the farmer that in regard to production and the surmounting of certain problems in growing his product he has made progress. In addition we have this: On their own initiative the growers went to the Minister and asked to be allowed to make larger contributions to the levy fund. Thereby the farmers individually contributed spontaneously towards building up a tobacco levy fund from which they could receive assistance in difficult years like the present. We also accepted a reduced “ voorskot ” or advance on the crops, as hon. members know, and the tobacco growers received only 75 per cent of the advance over the years; the other 25 per cent was left there until such time as the crop which had been delivered was sold. At the request of our own tobacco co-operative, the farmers reduced those advanced to 65 per cent; in other words, when the tobacco grower delivers his product he receives only 65 per cent of his normal income, with no guarantee for the balance of 35 per cent, and no other industry will be satisfied to do that. [Time limit.]


I want to correct an impression which the hon. member for De Aar-Colesberg (Mr. M. J. de la R. Venter) may have created. What I said the other evening in regard to permits was that in my opinion the permit system was a failure right from the start, unless it was compulsory. I think the hon. the Minister did the right thing when he abolished the permit system, because unless it is compulsory it serves no purpose whatsoever. I said that when the price scheme was introduced, of which the permit system forms an integral part, the impression was unfortunately created that the farmers had made a sacrifice at the time in the interests of a stable market on a long-term basis. That was the impression that was created but circumstances were such that the permit system failed and that was why I said that I thought the Minister had done the right thing.

Once again it has become clear in this debate what problems confront the farming industry. The first is the cost of production. We discuss this subject every year and the same points are made every year, and I think we will be discussing this for years and years in future unless we take steps to meet the position. The first step we should take is to improve the quality of the labour resources available to the farmers. That can only be done by giving them a certain amount of training.


Will it not get worse in that case?


No, that is definitely something that should be done. The Minister has told us that it was the intention of the Government to advise the farmers by means of research what type of farming they should embark upon. That is a long-term policy. But what we can do immediately and which will be to the advantage of the farmer is to improve the quality of this labour so that the farmer can reduce his costs of production.

The other problem that we discuss annually is the problem of surpluses. I differ widely from my friends as far as that is concerned. In my opinion the surpluses which we have in agriculture in South Africa are not surpluses in the true sense of the word. We only have those surpluses because the consumption capacity of the people of South Africa is too small. The obvious way to combat that position is to enable the people of South Africa to absorb more. My hon. friend wanted to create the impression that I had suggested that these surpluses should be distributed free amongst the people. That was not what I intended at all, but we should place the people in a position where there will be sufficient opportunities for them to make the fullest use possible of their working capacity. It is obvious that in that way their income will be such that they will be in a position to absorb the surplus of the basic foodstuffs that exists to-day. In this regard the hon. member for Ladybrand (Mr. Keyter) tells us every year that in actual fact our maize surpluses are not sold at such a great loss as we are led to believe. He has once again explained to us how the maize farmers themselves were carrying the major portion of those losses by means of the stabilization fund, etc. That is true, but irrespective of who carries the loss, it is a loss to South Africa and the fact that the maize farmer is able to carry those losses makes it impossible for me as sheep farmer to pay the price for maize on the local market to feed my stock, something which I want to do. That is a matter that can be put right and the way to put it is right is obvious. I think it is wrong for us in South Africa to export maize and at the same time to lose millions of stock every year through drought. That does not make sense to me and it is bad economically to farm like that. In that connection the argument is always advanced, quite rightly, that you cannot have two different prices for the same product on your internal market and that the position would be abused if we were to have two prices. During the past four or five years, however, four or five or six millers have been converting maize into balanced rations which is unfit for human consumption. The point I wish to make is this: Rather than sell our maize on the external market at a price lower than the price which the farmer has to pay for it in South Africa …


Now you are talking nonsense.


That is not the position.


I will be pleased if the Minister will tell me where I am wrong.


You are wrong.


Does the Minister want to tell me that we do not suffer a loss on the mealies that we export? And is it not the maize farmer who carries that loss? Most of our maize is bought by the Dutch farmers who in turn compete with the South African dairy farmers on the British market. They buy the maize cheaply and then we have to compete with them on the same market. We can convert the maize into something which is unfit for human consumption and in that way we can avoid the same product being sold at two different prices. We should like to have the opinion of the Minister and his experts on that question. I can appreciate that the days when there were no balance rations on the market that was impossible because there would have been room for much abuse had the same product been sold at two different prices. But now that it can be converted into a product which it is not in competition with maize as such, I cannot see why it cannot be done.

A great deal has been said about the meat scheme and whether or not it has been a success. It is obvious to me that any price that is controlled, any scheme, can only be a success if operated within the framework of the economic law of supply and demand and I think the farmer of South Africa makes a mistake if he thinks the salvation of the farmer lies in control schemes. It can only happen within the framework to which I have referred, and as far as meat prices and production in South Africa are concerned, I wonder whether one of the problems is not—and I should like to have some further information on this from the Minister—that the entire meat industry and the price of meat are being controlled by a few wholesale merchants in South Africa. I think if the hon. the Minister were to accept the suggestion made by the hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart) and appoint a commission of inquiry in that regard, that is the one subject which should be thoroughly investigated. The farmers want to know which concerns in South Africa have a stranglehold on the meat market to-day—who controls the prices. It is also clear that with the abolition of the permit system there will be increasing fluctuation in the price of meat. What happened in the past? Certain bodies in South Africa who have the facilities to store the meat, facilities which the Meat Control Board does not have, bought the meat at a low price, and when the price increased they put that meat on the market. The price to the consumer remains the same, however, the price to the consumer remains high whether the animals have been bought cheaply or not.


Physical control.


Yes, but you can only have physical control if you have the necessary facilities. You cannot have physical control if you lack the facilities. You must be able to buy on a cheap market, and the farmers should get the benefit of the higher prices which are obtained for that product at a later stage. The farmer does not get it today. The farmer receives a higher or lower price depending on the way in which the market fluctuates and, when the price is low, all the benefits do not go to the farmer, but they go to those people who have a stranglehold over the industry in South Africa.


I want to confine myself briefly to the problem which exists to-day in respect of vegetables and fruit on our municipal markets. Mr. Chairman, I think we can regard the problem as follows: It is a marketing problem in the first instance and a problem of distribution in the second instance. I want to confine myself in particular to the Johannesburg market in which I am particularly interested. I know the circumstances which prevail there. The problem in Johannesburg is that there is only one market. We know that it is a national market, but all the vegetables and fruit go to the one market. We should decentralize and the distribution should take place from various points in the city; in other words take the market to the housewife instead of taking the housewife to the market. We know that over the years the person who made the money was the middleman, not the farmer. It is a well-known fact that the wholesalers buy all the produce. They in turn sell to the retailers who in their turn hawk it around or sell it in their shops, but the fact remains that the farmer is not the one who makes the money. I now want to ask the Minister that in view of the fact that missions have been sent overseas on numerous occasions to investigate the question of marketing and have submitted reports, we do not know to this day what has happened to those reports, neither have we seen any results from the recommendations contained in those reports. The position in Johannesburg still remains as it has been over the past 50 years, and I think the time has arrived that something be done to improve the position there. It is not only the vegetable and fruit farmer who suffers as a result of the fact that everything is concentrated on one market, but the consumers suffer as well. They cannot reach the fruit and vegetables because the market is in a central position, the city is spread out, and some of them are 12 to 14 to 16 miles away from the market. I wish to draw the Minister’s attention to the fact that the City Council of Johannesburg is considering building a market to the south at a cost of approximately R4,000,000. Ten years ago they consulted experts as to the suitability of that particular site and it was considered not to be a good site because the site is surrounded by mine dumps and with the slightest breeze sand gets blown all over the place which will be harmful to the fruit and vegetables. It was rejected at that time, but now the Municipality of Johannesburg is once again considering that scheme. I want to know from the Minister whether the time has not arrived for the Government to interfere and to do something to ensure that there is reasonable distribution in the interests of the public, and that that money be used to decentralize the market and to establish smaller markets in four different places, or at a cost much less than it will cost to erect that new big market to the south. The existing market can be retained and a levy fund may be established with a control board. The farmers should organize amongst themselves and establish an information bureau which will keep them informed as to the state of the market and how they should distribute their products. Mr. Chairman, this is a very serious matter. This position has obtained for the past 50 years and nothing has been done. The farmer suffers and the vegetables may have been lying in the sun for a day or two before the housewife buys it off the cart in the street. I want to give one example to illustrate in what position the farmer finds himself as a result of the fact that there is no proper distribution. Take the case of the watermelon farmer. It happens every year that watermelons are sold on the market at 6d. or 1s. and that same watermelon is then offered to the public at 3s. 6d. up to 5s., due to wrong distribution. Had the distribution been right and the watermelon taken to the housewife I am sure the farmer would receive his fair share and the housewife would get the product in a good condition.


I wish to refer to the fact that there have been so many suggestions in respect of the marketing of meat, suggestions from all sides of the House, so much so that it reminds me of days gone by when there were so many remedies for curing colic, and after every patient had died of colic in spite of those remedies, it was discovered that they had suffered from appendicitis. You know, Sir, that we are asked from time to time to do something in connection with the marketing of meat and I want to mention a few of the suggestions: (1) sale on the hook; (2) compulsory co-operative marketing (with a system of cold storage facilities); (3) the abolition of all control measures; (4) complete physical control with cold storage facilities; (5) permits up to 10 per cent above the demand accompanied with a penalty where permits are not used; (6) sales on the hook at a guaranteed price; (7) free supply with the right of withdrawal from controlled areas, and there are another seven and another seven alternative plans which have from time to time been submitted to the Minister. The remarkable thing is that everyone who comes forward with a suggestion imagines that he is the first person to have thought about it; he submits it to the Minister in the belief that everything will be all right in future. I want to assure you, however, Sir, that most of these ideas have already been tried, in part or totally in marketing systems either here or somewhere else, with or without success. Let me illustrate how vulnerable the market is and how prices fluctuate. It is easy enough to ask for increased floor prices. I too should like to see a slight increase but I should like to point out how sensitive the market is as far as the fluctuation in prices is concerned. Before the price of meat increased as a result of control the mines gave their Native employees 3 lb. of meat per day but when meat became a little more expensive they gave them 2 lb. meat and 1 lb. fish and do hon. members know what effect that had on the meat market? As a result of the fact that the mines were supplying their Natives with I lb. of meat less per day, 70,000 fewer carcasses were slaughtered and sold every year. That is as far as meat is concerned. I want to thank the Minister for having made the assistance scheme in respect of mouth and foot disease available to the Koedoestrand district and the Waterberg North district as well, where the farmers may borrow up to a maximum amount of R4,000 at 5 per cent interest repayable when the farmer has recovered sufficiently to do so, irrespective of whether the farmer farms in a red, pink, green or blue area. We are very grateful for that and on behalf of the farmers there I want to thank the hon. member most heartily.

I want to say something in connection with tobacco, Mr. Chairman. It is a young industry which greatly influences the country’s economy and an industry which has made phenomenal progress. One need only go to Potgietersrus and Brits to realize the phenomenal growth that has taken place in those two platteland towns as a result of the expansion of the tobacco industry. That shows you the value of the tobacco industry, Sir. It was stated here last night that as a result of the increase in the excise duty there has been a decline in consumption and that decline has led to a surplus which has increased as a result of imports. In 1960 we imported nearly 7,000,000 lbs. of tobacco or 23 per cent of the total consumption of light-tobacco. That gave rise to huge surpluses in leaf tobacco and an export market had to be found at great cost, because the farmers suffered heavy losses on their exports and those became a heavy burden on the industry. In 1960, for example, the losses amounted to R2,000,000. And now one-fourth of the local market is lost to the producer because of imports which I think is an unfavourable proportion. If you try to restore the market by exporting at an irrecoverable loss, it will have fatal effects on the industry and the producers will be faced with huge financial losses. The obvious solution is to regain the market that has been lost and to keep it. That can be done, for example, by putting an end to imports, but we should always remember that we are on friendly terms with our neighbours and that that may have a deleterious effect on our trade relationships with our neighbouring states. Another solution would be to subsidize the industry to an amount equal to the loss suffered on exports, but on the other hand we should ask ourselves the question what the farmers themselves can do to improve the position, to what extent they can help themselves. In that respect the solution lies in the exercise of discipline as far as the planting of tobacco is concerned. The less this is observed the higher the levy that will have to be imposed to build up a stabilization fund that will neutralize losses to some extent. Mr. Chairman, no stabilization fund can withstand continued surpluses and continued exports at a loss. A stabilization fund can only withstand anticipated as well as unforeseen periodic set-backs due to the factors which I have mentioned and set-backs as a result of crop failures which can be as a result of a host of natural causes.

Hitherto the tobacco industry has been a self-supporting and self-sufficient industry in the agricultural economy of the country, more so than many other branches of agriculture and it has had a stimulating effect on the economy of the country.

As in the case of any other branch of agriculture this industry should be equipped to withstand set-backs, and must itself provide the necessary reserves to enable it to meet setbacks and to surmount them. However, we should face up to the particular weakness of the industry, in its initial stage—a stage which demands a very high capital outlay—at a time when it is expanding and trying to attain stability.

Individual farmers have incurred heavy obligations by displaying initiative and strengthening their position for the future at a time when the prospects of the industry were rosy. They did so because they wanted to stabilize their position for the future and it would not be fair to criticize them at this stage and to say, for example, that they acted injudiciously and that they were over-courageous and that they took risks which they ought to have known they should not take. What we should do is to protect those who are threatened and to rehabilitate those who have perhaps already gone down. As in all branches of the agricultural industry it is a profitable investment on the part of the Government to give security to the tobacco industry.

When an industry experiences growing pains it does not mean that that should be cause for alarm. That is a natural and necessary phenomenon. On the other hand that stage should be regarded as the stage of puberty which the industry is going through and it is necessary for the Government and the existing industries to treat the young industry with sympathy and to assist in placing it on a sound basis. If we want to have industrial peace in this country we have to widen our perimeter so as to include the entire agricultural field within that constellation of peace and quiet. Nowhere is there more unrest than in the agricultural field, simply because of the lack of security and also because in agriculture you come up against the fallibility of human nature, in addition to the fact that that is the one industry which gets worst hit by nature. I want to say this, however. Sir, that nowhere in the world will you find a finer example of unshakeable faith and confidence in his own industry, accompanied with undaunted courage, than in the case of the farmer. And nowhere in our governmental machinery is there a finer example of sustained interest and practical training in order to place the industry on a sound basis, than in the case of our agricultural departments and our hon. Minister of Agriculture. That being so that will also be the case in the tobacco industry in future. There is no doubt about it, that the hon. the Minister who has already done so much for agriculture and the country’s economy will also, by means of this instrument which he has in his hand, namely the Marketing Act, place the tobacco industry on a sound basis and that in future the industry will play its part in strengthening the economy of our fatherland. [Time limit.]


The debate on this Vote is now drawing to an end, but I have no doubt that this side of the House has won over the general opinion on both sides to the view that the farming industry is not in that flourishing state as is maintained by the hon. the Minister. We have had severe criticism about the state of the tobacco farmers, and we have had their position explained to us over the floor of the House during the past two days. The hon. member for Brits (Mr. J. E. Potgieter) said last night that the Levy Fund was not now adequate to cope with the surplus which will come about at the next harvest, but the hon. the Minister has not responded to that in any way at all. The hon. member for Groblersdal (Mr. M. J. H. Bekker) has also added his voice to this plea as regards the plight of the tobacco farmers. The hon. member for Brits criticized the importation of something like 2,000,000 lbs. of tobacco from the Rhodesias, yet again the hon. the Minister has made no statement with regard to the Government’s policy on the importation of tobacco from these adjoining states. We all know that this imported tobacco may be regarded as specialized leaf, but that same leaf can be produced at Vaalharts in this country. If the Government so desired this country could produce leaf tobacco of the highest quality, equal to the quality that we import from the Rhodesias, and we would like some statement from the Minister in that regard. Then there was criticism as regards the surplus of maize and the exportation of maize at uneconomic prices from this country. Pleas have been made to the hon. the Minister but he has paid no attention to them whatever. I think there are many ways in which surplus maize could be used. For instance the Government could institute depots where cattle and sheep could be brought into first-class condition for sale on our markets. These depots would be under Government control and only surplus maize need be used for fattening purposes. That is only one idea. It is also advocated that surplus maize could be used for stock feeding. It could be coloured so that it would not be possible to put it to use for mealie meal or rations.

Mr. Chairman, the previous Ministers have always maintained that surplus maize could not be used in this country because it would be detrimental to the price of maize used for human consumption in the country. But I have no doubt that if the hon. the Minister were to set his mind to it he could overcome difficulties of that nature.

My endeavour in this debate has been in the interests of the small farmers. I have pleaded with the hon. the Minister to stabilize the economy of the small farmer in this country, and exception was taken to my reference to farmers in China, when I compared their situation with that of the small farmers in South Africa. Peasants and farmers in China are receiving more Government support than the farmers who produce on a small scale in South Africa, and I would like to impress on the hon. the Minister that China leads the world in the development of co-operative farming. There is much to be learnt about co-operative farming. The hon. the Minister could send some of his representatives to see what is happening in China and in Russia as regards the building up of co-operative farming. Colossal irrigation development is taking place in China. For instance, the Sanmen Dam when completed will hold more water than the Grand Coulee and the Boulder Dams of America rolled together. It will generate 1,000,000 kilowatts of electricity and it will back up water for 110 miles. Among other dams in China, they claim they have some of the highest in the world.

The hon. the Minister laughs but I must tell him that China is no mean country. We think of China as an over-populated country, the people of which are living in restricted spaces. But in that country I think there are something like 400,000,000 acres of ground under cultivation, and there are still 200,000,000 acres of virgin soil available for exploitation and use. So we must not disregard what is taking place in China, we must try and learn a lesson from them.

In this country we were formerly predominantly a rural country in terms of our population. Then we had this industrial development and the drift to the towns, and I should say that the hon. the Minister must have some misgivings about the maintenance of adequate food supplies for our increasing population. Due regard should be paid to this. We must even think of the Commonwealth. You know, Mr. Chairman. the Commonwealth population is something like 682.000,000, and over 56 per cent of that population is employed in agriculture. vet the Commonwealth’s contribution to world food supplies is very unimpressive. Let this country, with its great possibilities, not neglect the small farmer. He is the country’s wealth, and if the hon. the Minister would use his influence with his colleague the Minister of Water Affairs, and hasten the development of large irrigation schemes, he can develop settlements like the Vaalharts. But I am afraid that even in the Vaalharts area the hon. the Minister has not developed the co-operative farming system that is required. We claim that the small farmer fails in this country because he is over-mechanized, he has too much motor transport. But the hon. the Minister could inaugurate a co-operative system of farming to meet these disabilities. The Minister could come nearer to the small farmer. There are areas in this country which are well suited for small farmers. We generally say there has been too much sub-division of our land, but there are areas of fair rainfall of which, if the Minister were to investigate, he would find areas there very suitable for food production, and by the development of co-operative farming he could bring about a greatly increased production in this country and create a stable community on the land.

I maintain that if we do not have a stable community on the land then, as a nation, we have no future. The future of all great countries, even a country such as Germany, depends upon a stable population on the land. When Germany came into the Second World War people said: “ Do not disregard their military potential because they have a stable population on the land.” They are a country’s greatest asset.

I will not speak in this debate again under this Vote, and I would now plead with the hon. the Minister to take due regard to the peasant farmer in this country. We know that the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development is going to have a big responsibility as regards the Bantustans, but do not let us fall behind. Let us institute cooperation and induce farmers to change their attitude to being independent of each other and of nursing the idea that they do not want to see the smoke of each other’s chimneys. Let them work together as they do in Germany; let them conserve their assets and the fertility of their soil; let them build up their agriculture as is done in Germany, in Holland, in Denmark, in Great Britain and in all the older countries of Europe. They have shown us the example, yet we in this country are continuing with our hit or miss policy; and we have still a Government that places its entire interest in the political climate. They are not really true patriots. [Time limit.]

*Mr. G. P. KOTZE:

I have listened with gratitude and extreme interest to this debate on agricultural matters. As a newcomer to this House I have been trying to learn as much as possible in the shortest possible time. In view of the fact that I have been very closely connected with agricultural organizations during the past ten years, and intimately connected during the past five years, it is obvious that this is a matter which is very close to my heart. I must admit that I have learnt from hon. members during the course of this debate, but to my sorrow I also have to admit that I could not follow everything that was said neither will I be able to apply everything that I have heard in practice. Unfortunately the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) (Mr. Streicher) is not here at the moment. He was fairly aggressive towards the hon. the Minister as regards the costs of production and the way they are determined. I want to ask the hon. member a few questions in that regard. Because my time is limited I just want to do so briefly and I hope he will find the correct reply when these questions are answered. In the first place, I want to ask the hon. member this: How can the cost of production be calculated in agriculture without making an economic survey in respect of the particular product. The second question: How is he going to conduct that economic survey without the qualified manpower? And thirdly: How can the results of that research be applied most economically if you lack the qualified farmer who can apply them readily? He may find a reply in the answers to these questions. Let me say at once, Mr. Chairman, that I shall confine myself to the merits of the case, as I have been confining myself during the past ten years. Then I come to the other hon. member, who is also absent, the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler). He made some very constructive remarks two days ago when he referred to the way in which the farmer should be prepared economically. I got the impression that he was getting on to the field of technical services. So when I touch upon technical services, Mr. Chairman, I do so merely to illustrate my argument. It is a fact that a higher percentage of our farmers have still to be trained to apply new scientific methods effectively. That is the very problem and that is not the solution of that problem. Does the hon. member think that a Minister of Agricultural Economics and Marketing will ignore the economic aspect of the matter? Another thing that upset me was the fact that certain hon. members implied that they did not have confidence in organized agriculture. Let me say at once that I know of no body established for that purpose, that advances such co-ordinated ideas as the South African Agricultural Union. There is no similar body in the country. Let me put it this way that the entire organization of the South African Agricultural Union is aimed at using the capital and knowledge of the country in order to place agriculture on a sound economic basis. As I have said I am upset because of the distrust which some hon. members seem to harbour as far as the South African Agricultural Union is concerned. However, my time is limited and I want to deal immediately with the statement made by the hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart) to the effect that more risk capital should be employed.

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

You missed the whole point.

*Mr. G. P. KOTZE:

Let us get the position clearly. When the hon. member said that, both sides of the House agreed with him that risk capital should be made available to the agricultural industry as an industry. Apparently he wants it to be done in such a way that when calculating the costs of production of a certain commodity, an extra item should be added, a small amount to be guessed at, as constituting the risk that the agriculturist runs. Very well, we agree that risk capital should be made available to the farmer but the point on which we differ is how that capital should be used. We differ from the hon. member as to the method he suggests how it should be used. Assume for argument’s sake that we adopt the principle he suggests and we extend it to a commodity such as wheat, for instance, which is produced along the Orange River, in the Free State, in the South-Western Districts, in the Western Province and in Namaqualand. It is obvious that each area will have to be loaded according to the risks to which it is subject and ultimately you will find that the loading will be such that in respect of the area where the risk element is the greatest this item will be the highest. Eventually, in order to strike an average, the area where the risk element is the greatest will determine the price of the product of the entire industry. In other words, as is the case in all other spheres of life, the weakest link remains the deciding factor in your whole approach to the matter.

What does the other side of the picture look like? The S.A. Agricultural Union concentrates on getting risk capital, the hon. the Minister applies it; hon. members opposite and we on this side apply it. But how do we apply it and where do wet get it? Are hon. members unaware of the fact that by using that capital the country is making millions of pounds available for research? If we were to employ the method suggested by the hon. member, rust will eventually become rusty. You will never solve your problems. The costs will always be loaded with risk capital but eventually the farmer will go bankrupt and the rust will thrive on the rust; as well as insect pests. The Minister of Agricultural Economics is tackling the problem on an entirely different basis. He makes millions of pounds available for research. In the area from which I come the farmers have successfully combated rust for two years and have saved themselves tens of thousands of pounds. You can go from one commodity to the other, Sir, and you will find that insect pests, virus pests, wet rot. mouth and foot disease and diseases of that nature have been combated in order to reduce the risk factor. There are many problems which go together to make agriculture a risky proposition and they are being combated. Hon. members should tell us which method they prefer, this method by means of which we not only face up to and fight the problem but by means of which we go to the root of the trouble and destroy it there, or the other method. Can anyone think of a better method than to invest this risk capital in research and in that way to destroy those things which constitute the risk element in agriculture at their very roots.

I want to turn to the hon. member for Queenstown. My time has nearly expired. I am not really an authority on the question of maize but the hon. member said that maize was being sold cheaper overseas than in this country. It is incorrect to say that the Maize Board sells maize at a cheaper price to the overseas consumer than to the local consumers. I am sorry that the hon. member for Queenstown is not here, because I wanted to tell him that that was not the position. The figures change from year to year, but they remain fairly constant. There is not a big difference from one year to the other, and in principle the position remains the same. In 1958 maize was sold to the consumer at approximately 30s. per bag; and along the coast it was delivered to the ships at 32s. per bag, plus the freight of 6s. plus the distribution costs overseas, which was the price the consumer had to pay for maize overseas. How does that compare with the price of 30s. which the local consumer paid? How does that compare with the argument of allegations made by the hon. member? But now I come to another matter. There seems to be a misunderstanding. At that time the basic price for white mealies and yellow mealies was 29s. The contribution to the Stabilization Fund was 1s. The marketing costs were 3s. 9½d. making a total of 33s. 9½d. less the Government subsidy of 3s. 9½d. which brought the price on the local market down to 30s. in the case of yellow mealies and 30s. 6d. in the case of white mealies. As far as the overseas price is concerned, the storage costs of 3s. 5d. per bag have to be added. You have the railage of 4s. 2d. to the coast plus other costs of 8d. which altogether amount to 8s. 3d. per bag; that together with the price of 29s. 3d. give a price of 37s. 6d. and it is sold at the coast for 32s. In other words, there is a loss of 5s. 6d. But that loss is caused locally because the maize is not carried free of charge on the railways and because it is not subsidized. [Time limit.]


This debate has now continued for some days, but since I last replied no new points have been raised. The discussion has covered more or less the same matters to which I have already replied. However, I just want to reply to one or two points which hon. members have raised again.

The hon. member for Albany (Mr. Bowker) is not here. I wanted to reply to the point he has made in respect of co-operative farming, but I shall leave it for another occasion. I just want to say a few words with reference to what the hon. member for Langlaagte (Mr. P. J. Coetzee) has said about the Johannesburg municipal market. The hon. member has said that conditions at that market are very obsolete, that the facilities are inadequate and that nothing is being done to improve the position. I want to assure the hon. member that negotiations have already been taking place for some considerable time between the Johannesburg Municipality and the Department on the possible removal of the market and the provision of improved facilities. But he must realize that, in the case of such a large project which for many people is not only a market which supplies the local consumer in the city itself, but which is also a distribution point for vegetables and fruit to other parts of the country, and bearing in mind also that approximately 40 per cent of the products sold are not sold within the municipal boundaries of Johannesburg, it means that the service which the municipality must provide, is a comparatively extensive service as compared with the use which the municipality itself makes of the market. The hon. member will also appreciate that sites near or in the vicinity of Johannesburg which are suitable for building such a market are not readily available, the hon. member will also appreciate that building such a new market entails tremendous expenditure. It is not merely a question of the cost, but it is also a question of the extensive organization which is required in respect of the rail and road transport to and from the market. To meet all these requirements and to find the site, to draw up the plans in such a way that the road and rail transport facilities and other facilities are available, to ensure that the financial expenditure is kept within reasonable limits and to decide how the funds for building the market are to be found and where they are to be found and how control is eventually to be exercised, are all aspects which require lengthy consideration before the necessary investigations and the “ blueprint ”, as it is often called, can be completed. For that reason I want to tell the hon. member that negotiations are taking place and that reasonable progress has been made at this stage. One might feel that the Johannesburg Municipality for its part could make somewhat more rapid progress, but we have every hope that these negotiations will be completed in the foreseeable future.

Then hon. members have again discussed the tobacco position, regarding which I already replied yesterday afternoon. Quite a few hon. members have asked what will happen to the preferences which we have enjoyed in respect of Commonwealth countries, and whether I shall make any representations asking that the preference agreements with these countries should continue. The Government is, of course, negotiating with these countries at Government level. There are, of course, the preferences embodied in bilateral agreements, and we know that the United Kingdom has announced that these agreements will continue for at least a year—and not only the agreements, but all the other preferences as well. But, of course, when a new situation arises, the necessary provision must be made, and the Government is negotiating at Government level with the countries with which we have bilateral agreements and is also negotiating as regards the Commonwealth preferences. If it is in our interests to retain these markets, as it is, every effort will be made to retain these preferences and bilateral agreements.

Then hon. members have again discussed the meat position. The hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart) especially has said that there are members on this side who have now been converted—and he has referred to the hon. member for Etosha (Mr. Webster)—to the standpoint of the United Party. I then asked the hon. member to what he was referring. The hon. member for Etosha has advocated that the wholesale and the retail trades, the marketing facilities, the refrigeration facilities and the abattoirs, should be controlled and the Government should make the necessary funds available so that the producer can control all these facilities. That is what he has advocated, and the hon. member for Florida now says that he has adopted the standpoint of the United Party. Is this the standpoint of the United Party?

*Mr. H. G. SWART:

I said that the hon. member for Florida had asked for a commission of inquiry, and to that extent he had been converted to the standpoint of the United Party.


I understood the hon. member to say that the hon. member had now been converted to their standpoint as regards the meat scheme, but, as far as the commission of inquiry is concerned, there the hon. member cannot boast either that he has converted hon. members to that standpoint. The South African Agricultural Union and other organizations have been advocating such a step for a long time past. I have already stated on various occasions that such a comprehensive inquiry into the meat position and the meat scheme would be an extremely extensive inquiry, and that a considerable volume of facts and figures would first have to be collected before such an inquiry could be undertaken. For that reason we have appointed a fact-finding commission which must first collect the facts as to what is actually happening in the meat trade, and what is happening on the controlled markets—we know reasonably well what is happening in the case of the latter, but we have very few figures to show what is happening outside the controlled areas. Very few people can say how many sheep, which are not slaughtered at abattoirs, are slaughtered outside the controlled areas. When one takes the number of skins being sold into account, it seems as if it is a large number. But no one knows for sure; one cannot get figures in that regard and one cannot determine exactly what the figures are. In view of the fact that there are many facts of this nature which should be investigated, we have appointed a fact-finding commission because when such a commission institutes an inquiry into a meat scheme, it will also have to investigate the facts, and then we would have a large commission which would have to investigate all the facts and devote the same time as this committee to that aspect. We know more or less what the position is in the case of the abattoirs in the controlled areas, and what facilities are available. We know more or less what the capacity of the existing facilities is and what refrigeration facilities are available, etc. We have a great deal of other information as well. We know that the cost in the case of one abattoir differs from the cost in the case of another abattoir. The capital investment in new abattoirs is far higher than the capital investments in the obsolete abattoirs; there is a difference as regards facilities, etc. For that reason, it is pointless appointing a commission of inquiry to establish an overall general basis for such a scheme, if one does not have a picture of what is required at the various abattoirs. For that reason we have appointed a committee to inquire into the whole question of abattoirs, and their control and financing, and to make recommendations as to how the position should be rectified. I have also stated on a previous occasion that, when we have the figures at our disposal—and the fact-finding committee has made reasonable progress with its work—if we find that it is necessary to introduce a new scheme as a result of this inquiry, I am quite prepared to appoint a broader commission to undertake that inquiry. But it is pointless appointing a commission to collect facts if one can do so far more cheaply by means of a committee.

There is just one thing I want to tell the hon. member for Florida (Mr. H. G. Swart). He has maintained that I said yesterday that the costs of production for a specific article could not be calculated and that the price determinations under the policy laid down by the Marketing Act are not based on the costs of production plus. Sir, I said that the costs of production plus could not be adopted as a basis in determining prices, because there were so many other factors which came into the picture when laying down prices. But I also pointed out that we could calculate the costs of production in certain recognized production areas to serve as an approximate basis which we could use to determine the costs and which could be used to see from time to time how the costs in a certain area or of certain items were rising, in order to make a comparison. But the hon. member has actually asked that the price determination should be on the basis of the costs of production plus, and that plus must be a remunerative figure which will enable all the farmers to make a livelihood. To that I replied that in the case of many products we could never lay down figures in respect of the costs of production which were not merely relative because the circumstances affecting production varied. Take an item such as meat. The conditions affecting the production of meat differ in various areas, and it is produced on nearly every small farm in one form or another, as well as on every big farm. To establish the average costs of production of meat is simply impossible. We can take one or two areas and calculate what the approximate costs of production are, so that we can have some idea of the position, but the figures are always relative and there are many other factors besides the area itself which make such figures relative, such as land prices, managerial ability, labour and capital investment. I have therefore said that we cannot take the costs of production plus as a basis under the Marketing Act in order to save our farmers because even if it were possible to lay down an average figure as a basis, and even if we were to take the average as a basis in determining the costs of production and we were to add a plus, the 50 per cent of the farmers who are above that figure would still be producing at a loss. I therefore contended that the only solution for such farmers was to produce more efficiently. The hon. member now says that I have said that the costs of production have nothing to do with the matter. The hon. member will see that on the basis of his own standpoint that is simply not true.

But there are many other products as well. Even if we were to establish the costs of production of such products, if one does not have a large domestic market for those products and if one produces surpluses which have to be exported to a competitive market, one cannot solve the problem by fixing the local price on the basis of costs of production plus, because one cannot maintain that price or the taxpayer will have to support it by paying subsidies. There is no other alternative. For that reason I have said that we calculate the costs of production and we try to carry out surveys in those areas where we can do so and we use those figures as an approximate indication when laying down prices but that one can never say that any product which is controlled under the Marketing Act can be sold on the basis of the costs of production plus. I hope the hon. member now understands my attitude, even though I do not expect him to agree with it.

I think I have now replied to the few arguments which hon. members have raised. Yes, the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) (Mr. Streicher) has also spoken and has asked what will happen to the International Wool Secretariat. The hon. member knows of course that Australia. New Zealand and South Africa who belong to the Secretariat do not belong on a Commonwealth basis but on a national and a reciprocal international basis. They are all three wool-producing countries and if it was in their interests in the past to undertake research and publicity on behalf of wool I do not see why it will cease to be in their interests to do so after 31 May, and I assume that the Secretariat will continue to function.

Vote put and agreed to.

Vote No. 46.—“ Agricultural Economics and Marking (General)”, R31,137,000. put and agreed to.

Precedence given to Votes Nos. 25 and 26 (Education, Arts and Science).

On Vote No. 25.—“ Education Arts and Science ”, R24,893,000,


Mr. Chairman, after having discussed this matter with the Minister himself, I should like, under the Minister’s policy, to deal with an experiment in education. This is a very interesting and important trend in education, and I want to express the hope that this specific aspect, this new trend in education in the world, not only in South Africa, dealing with a certain type of child, will soon be accepted in our country too as the responsibility of the State. At this stage I should like to ask for the privilege of the half-hour.

I refer to what is known in South Africa as the Rudolph Steiner institutions or schools, or the Camphill movement, as it is known in the rest of the world. This Camphill movement has training schools for children who require exceptional treatment and who cannot be catered for in the ordinary schools. This movement exists in countries like England, Ireland, Germany, Holland and the U.S.A., and, fortunately, we had it in South Africa, too, for a number of years.

These schools owe their origin to a certain Dr. König, who started them in Scotland in 1940. Since that date three of these schools have been established in South Africa. The biggest, which is situated at Herman us, is known as the Dawn Farm School, where 45 children and young people between the ages of five and 14 are housed in the Dawn Home and 19 older children in what is known as the Robert Home. Altogether there are 11 co-workers, as they are called, or teachers, and three trainee teachers. Another school, which is known as the Lake Farm School, has been established in Port Elizabeth; there are 20 children there between the ages of five and 16 and five co-workers or teachers. Earlier this month Dr. König himself, who visited South Africa and who is still here, established the Cressett School in Johannesburg, where there are 20 children between the ages of six and 12 and five teachers. At this school in Johannesburg provision is also going to be made for day pupils, who will be able to live at home and who will then be brought to the school every morning. These schools in South Africa and in other parts of the world to which I have referred already, make provision for the training of mentally retarded children and for young people known as Mongolians, whose I.Q. is below 45, and who cannot be placed in ordinary schools. The teachers feel convinced that, contrary to our own beliefs, the dormant possibilities and capacity of any backward child, however inferior it may be mentally, can and ought to be developed by loving treatment and the correct approach and by patience and care and remedial and educational instruction and physical exercise. They regard the distinction between the educable child and what we have hitherto regarded as the uneducable as arbitrary. In other words, their view is that every person, however backward he or she may be mentally or physically, is educable and capable of receiving instruction. Let me quote what Dr. König himself said: “ Their schools, therefore, give almost every child the benefit of the doubt.” But they also admit that it takes many years and a great deal of patience and devotion to discover the possibilities of these unfortunate children. That is why physical exercise, training as well as educational facilities are made available in these schools, and why it is necessary to have patient, well-trained and specially trained teachers, people with patience who regard this as their vocation. In South Africa, as well as in these other countries that I have mentioned, their methods are based on those tested in Scotland, where 95 per cent of the children with this low I.Q. are sent by the educational authorities to these institutions, and where the State is responsible for their fees.

In South Africa the Rudolph Steiner institutions instruct those who cannot be sent to ordinary schools and who, under our system, usually go to what are known as mental institutions. The three Rudolph Steiner institutions in South Africa that I have mentioned— and I trust that many more will be established in the near future—instruct those who need a very special kind of education, as well as those who are not able to derive any benefit from instruction at our schools for special education, for example, not only because they are not mentally capable of doing so, but also because many of them are physical deviates. I had the honour recently of visiting one of these schools, and it was on that occasion that I realized how essential it was to submit this matter to the Minister and to the House, so that they can know precisely what is being done for this type of child whom we have hitherto regarded as uneducable. These Rudolph Steiner schools cater for large numbers of deviate children and young people for whom no or very limited educational facilities exist. These institutions are not interested in children suffering from cerebral palsy, because they know that we have fine institutions in this country catering for that type of child. The teachers at this school, the head of which is Dr. Wiedemann, an outstanding medical man who decided to devote his life to this type of school and the instruction of this type of child, were trained at Camphill in Scotland. However, the school at Hermanus is now also training its own teachers, male and female, as well as for the rest of South Africa. In other words, to-day they also have pupil teachers there, because it requires extreme devotion and particularly a knowledge of psychology to be able to make some contribution to the solution of the extremely difficult and intricate problem that they have to deal with. In my opinion this is a national problem to which we should devote our serious attention.

At these schools the instruction is continuous and so is the inmates’ residence. There never comes a time in the life of the type of child attending the school when the principal or a teacher would say to him: “ We can no longer do anything for you; you must stand on your own feet now.” There is no such thing. This work of love and salvation continues in these institutions from the time the child arrives there until it dies, or until the parent prefers to move the child. Because, as psychologists and as devoted people, they realize that this type of child cannot adapt itself to life in the community outside, and that it becomes an outcast there. In this school at Hermanus—I confine myself more to this school because I visited it—as in other similar schools in the world, it is also the intention fully to observe this principle. At Hermanus they are now trying to buy land on which they can establish what is known in other parts of the world as “ the village ”, to which these children go when they reach a certain age. They then go for further care into this community centre or village, and there they become self-supporting as far as possible. This experiment has been going on for years in Scotland and in England, in Yorkshire, in what is known as Bottom Hall. There they have three small farms on which these young people are employed, and which serve as community centres for 70 young men and women and where they are all self-supporting. That is the advantage of the whole set-up. They work on the farm; they grow vegetables for the market, and they do all sorts of other work such as carpentry and the making of furniture and toys. They concentrate on the weaving of mats, the making of sheets and serviettes, etc., which they then sell on the market to collect money. A disability allowance is paid to every one of the 70—and this is very important—by the State. In South Africa these schools are doing similar work, but they have not yet reached the stage where they receive any assistance from the State. The State cannot be held responsible for the fact that these schools are not receiving any contribution; the reason is simply that they have not yet asked for any contribution, because both Dr. König and Dr. Wiedemann first wanted to prove to the public of South Africa that their methods are successful, and that it is possible not only to educate and to make these unfortunate children happy, but also to keep them there so that they do not become a burden to the State as such. In South Africa, therefore, these teachers are doing this work of love for practically no salary. I know what they are getting because I asked them. The costs are met partly out of the fees that they receive. Here I want to say at once that, as far as the fee is concerned, or as far as the admission of pupils to these schools is concerned, they do not ask what the income of the father or the mother is. There is no means test. They are dependent on the fees paid by children whose parents can afford to pay, and on charitable societies and individuals. Mr. Chairman, you would be surprised to know whose children are accommodated there. They are not always the children of less privileged people. There one finds the children of professors, of Members of Parliament and of some of our best, our most intelligent people in this country. The decisive factor is the care and the future of this type of child who requires such devoted care; it does not matter whose child it is or whether the parent is able to pay. I should like to express my great appreciation of the work that is being done there by these people in such an unselfish way, by people who are doing their Christian duty to these less privileged people who find themselves there through no fault of their own. We ought to be grateful that we are not in the position in which they find themselves. But we, as Members of Parliament, are the people who ought to look after the welfare of that type of child, and not only should we express our gratitude towards the people who are doing that work, but we ought to contribute generously to the cost of caring for these children. I want to make an appeal to the Minister—and I know that I am talking to a sympathetic Minister—to see that neither the teachers, nor the co-workers, nor these unfortunate children are called upon to live on charity. In other words, I ask the Minister to take steps in the near future to take these schools under his protection and to see that they do not suffer want.


I want to apologize to the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) for having to leave the House on essential business and for the fact that I could not follow everything he had to say. But I have been as quick as I could and I want to congratulate him on having raised this most important matter in the House. I do not want to reply because the Minister will outline his policy himself. But seeing that he has mentioned a specific case, I just want to emphasize in general, in order to support him, that in many cases as far as our education is concerned there is still a wall of prejudice against certain handicapped persons. Many of us do not even like to come into contact with such people, but in recent times there have been discoveries showing that a person must be very badly handicapped before he is not educable in one or other direction. Many people are still under the impression that education only deals with the mind and more specifically with the memory of a child or a person; that the more he can remember, the cleverer he is. The modern educationist has found that it does not have much to do with that aspect. The stage has been reached where the ordinary intelligence test is to a large extent obsolete, particularly when it is applied on its own. There are other tests, such as aptitude tests and environment tests—there are six or seven such tests—and when these tests are applied in the correct ratio in order to determine what is the ability of an individual, no matter how slight it may be, then discoveries are often made which surprise us when we see what can be done. I just hope that the Minister and his Department will adopt a most sympathetic approach to this matter. But it is not only the Minister and the Department who are concerned with the education of the individual. I find it very striking—and during this week I have already given two public lectures in which I have said the same thing—how great the interest of the public and the parents is when they can argue over education but it is even more striking how little interest they have in general education and its normal values. During this year, which we can call the family year, a congress was held at which certain steps in connection with welfare were proposed. The existence of the family and family life cannot be regarded as a matter apart and education in general cannot be regarded as an isolated matter either. But family life and education should be inter-twined and we should like—at least I should—to see the parents of this country playing a greater part in the education of their children and showing a greater interest and not simply relying on the State. Therefore, once the Government has put its machinery in motion regarding certain legislation which will be introduced but which I do not want to discuss at this stage, I therefore envisage that the Government will establish an organ which will be under the control of the State and which will be an exclusively State organ; an organ must be established for the parents which will be exclusively theirs. What I envisage in order to deal with these matters and to bring them to the notice of the State, is that as soon as these political developments are behind us and the Government has made the necessary arrangements, then an education year should be organized. The object of this education year should be in the first instance to bring about a reorientation in the new State which is to be formed. White races must adopt a new approach to one another in that State; we must have a completely new attitude towards education, and for that reason an institute, which we can describe as a socio-pedagogic institute should be established during this year and the resources of the parents should be combined so that there can be co-operation between the parents’ associations and the parent-teachers associations which do not really exist yet—there are parents associations but I am referring to the real “ parent-teachers associations ” which I should very much like to see established. I should like to see them, when they are established, to be linked together under this socio-pedagogic institute so that the parents and the family can speak with one voice to the State in dealing with the education of the child, as is the position in the case of agriculture for example, which is an organized industry. Agriculture speaks with one voice to the State. In commerce they have their Chambers of Commerce and their Sakekamers. In mining we have the Chamber of Mines; all the labour groups, industries and professions are organized but the parents as such are unorganized because they do not regard their calling as involving an obligation to put their family in order and to control education themselves. At the recent family year congress a clergyman rose and discussed with the best intentions in the world what we call the ideal marriage and the ideal family. There is no such thing, Mr. Chairman, but be that as it may, he then suggested that funds should be collected and utilized to help indigent families and the whole purport of his speech was that welfare work should be undertaken amongst the poor families. Mr. Chairman, the ideal family or the right type of family, is self-supporting. That is the basic principle; the family must be self-supporting and the individual himself obviously wishes to be self-supporting. The first function of this Department in particular is to take the handicapped or retarded child or young person, with the co-operation of the parent and the public, and to make him at least self-supporting. In fact there are really only three objects in education: The first is that the individual should be taught how to earn his living; the second is that he should further and ensure the cohesion of his community; and the third is that he should be contented. If such a child or person can be made contended, then the State has carried out its mission. Just make him contented, and if the family can be made contented, then the State has done its duty towards that family. But if the individual can achieve that object or by being self-sufficient and independent, then so much the better. I should therefore like to ask the Minister to adopt a sympathetic attitude towards this education year which must be held within, say, two years. During that educational year a representative, educational congress must be held and as a result of that congress a sound socio-pedagogio institute must be founded. [Time limit.]


The hon. member for Wit-bank (Mr. Mostert) will excuse me if I do not follow him on the interesting lines on which he has been speaking, although I do agree with him that the parent is at least as important as the educational institution in education, if only by example, if only by attaching importance, other than a money importance, to educational matters. But I want to say a word or two to the Minister on something which I think is more fundamental to the whole situation of education in South Africa and that concerns all those who have any contact with it, as I do as a layman, and that is that for some years South Africa has been facing something that can only be described as a crisis in education, a crisis that arises on the one hand because of the volume of what I might call raw material coming forward, the increasing numbers that have to be educated, and on the other hand the lack of a sufficient number of people of sufficient quality who have to undertake the teaching of that material, as it begins at university level and goes right down to the schools. I could give the Minister examples from a university with which I am indirectly connected, the Natal University. I refer to the difficulty we have in getting applicants for the higher posts in teaching. I do not mean to say a total difficulty, but I refer to the fact that where three or four men of the A1 calibre offered themselves competitively and three or four of the B and C categories for a particular post, now, if you are lucky, you only get one of the A category and possibly a couple of the B competing for the A post. In other words there is no choice. I understand that in the University of Cape Town there are seven chairs vacant, and in the case of several of these it does not look as though they are likely to be filled in the near future. Certain of the reasons for this lie, I think, in the situation of South Africa and in its educational policy. I will come to that later, but leaving that aside, there is one way in which we can attempt to improve the situation, and that is from the highest to the lowest to recognize that the teacher is one of the most important individuals in our society and to give him a higher status and, if possible, a higher pay. I do not say that the pay offered at our universities does not compare well with the scales of pay in other countries, but I think there is some leeway to be made up at the lower levels. By that I mean the schools, although I cannot talk about schools too much in this debate. I just refer to it in passing. But over and above that we must give a higher status to these people. The whole world at the moment is examining the same problem in the light of the great technical advance that has taken place and the fact that a knowledge of physics and mathematics has become in a sense a necessity to survival. All educational institutions are examining the number of people of that calibre in that field that could come out, but even in the education conscious and rich United States, they are so conscious of deficiencies in their educational system that they are even doing double time shifts in the schools. I want to put this to the Government: If it wishes to attract the best brains in the academic field in the world, then it should cease to create an academic field that is regarded by the rest of the world as second-class, and the reason why it is so regarded is because of Government policy with regard to separate education. Whether we like it or not in the academic mind of the world the very fact of the Extension of University Education Act has lowered the academic status of South Africa as a field of employment. It is not just a matter of getting money that attracts professors and people to a given educational field; it is whether they feel they can develop their talents to the best in that field and whether they can get a response from those who come before them. I say that if the Government wants to improve the situation in that field, then it should endeavour as soon as possible to raise the separate universities, assuming they continue to exist as separate universities, to the level of true universities, and that can only be done, whether they are predominantly White in this area and predominantly non-White in that area, by having their doors open to all races, even though it may only be a token representation of each race that takes advantage of that invitation. This is something that the Government will not immediately alter, and therefore I plead for the second point, and that is greater recognition of the value of the academic man and greater pay.

The hon. member for Witbank referred to the objects of education. In a ten-minute speech it is very difficult to define them but I will define them like this: First of all, the successful adaptation of the individual to the complicated environment in which he finds himself; secondly, the training of that individual in the ability to think so that he can alter for the better that environment in which he finds himself. And this again is a weakness in South Africa in that there is a tendency, particularly in political speeches, such as the recent speech of the Administrator of the Transvaal, to define education as something that simply adapts the individual to an existing traditional state of society and says that anything that he does to attempt to change that by implication is wrong, whereas the university should be the home of revolutionary ideas in any society. By revolutionary ideas I mean ideas that would change that society for the better, and so long as you say that your university shall be confined to maintaining, as it were, the status quo, because you see the value in the status quo, to that extent you destroy the true academic value of those institutions. A university of all institutions in a society, should be as free as possible, and next to that should be the school. At the moment huge numbers of the South African population are troubled in their minds over the Government’s policy with regard to schools. There was a Bill which was to have come before this House, and we have had petitions from all over the country in regard to that Bill because the public fear certain things. They would not oppose something which, through co-ordination, makes for a better educational system, but in the light of this Government’s record and policy they fear anything which tend to regimentation in the sphere of education, anything which discourages the individual who is being taught from attempting to change the society in which he finds himself. All the progress in the world is due to the efforts of, and everything that has been done has been done by, individuals who set out to change the society in which they find themselves, the individuals who think for themselves. These are the cream of any society in the long run, although in the short term it may be felt that their activities are temporarily destructive because nobody likes a change. All the great things in this world have been accomplished by individuals, often fanatics, who set out to change the conventions of the society in which they found themselves. The hon. member for Witbank spoke of organizing parents to act as a sort of central mouthpiece to the Government. Mr. Chairman, not only would that be virtually impossible, to get all the parents with the same ideal of education as their object, but I say it would be a very bad thing if all the parents could agree and say, “ What we want in education is this.” Sir, what we want in education so far as possible, is the maximum of variety consistent with no harm to those who are growing up under it, because it is only by the tendering of varieties in that field that you can pick what is progressive and what is good. No one would pretend to say that everything we do in our schools, every tradition that we have in our schools, good though many may be, are so good that they must be unalterable for all time. The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) has given one field of experimentation which deals with that particular type of difficulty in the educational field. But just as experimentation takes place there, so it must take place with what you might call the healthy and the orthodox child who comes for education. If you attempt to standardize in any way, however desirable it may be to co-ordinate—and I suggest that our co-ordination mechanics at the moment are quite adequate to link up different experiments in education that may take place in different provinces—so long as you set out simply to have one type of system, you are going to destroy the originality that it is necessary to develop in the teaching as well as in the child that is to be taught. I say that the thing we should guard against in this country, particularly a country that has only reached the educational position that we have reached by hard work—and we are still a young country in that sense—the one thing that that country must not discourage is experimentation, variety and originality in teaching, even though it may mean a slight disparity between the child coming from this school and the one coming from that school. The price of having a standardized system throughout the country is too big a price to pay for the advantages that come from experimentation and originality. [Time limit.]

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

Having listened to the remarks made by the previous speaker it would seem to me that he is rather worried and that he thinks our education standards are not what they should be and that we should not try to standardize our methods, etc., too much and leave insufficient room for research. I do not think, however, that there is any danger of our education system becoming such a slave to habit that there will not be room for the urge to experiment. When we talk about our standard of education and when we think of our universities and educational institutions, I do not think we need be ashamed of the standard which is maintained in any of our universities or educational institutions. I do not think it is necessary for us to hang our heads in shame and to say that they are inferior. They compare favourably with the best in the world.

I want to return to the very interesting subject which the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) touched upon. I think the entire country is grateful for the fact that this subject has been brought to the notice of the House and to the notice of the Minister concerned. If there is one type of child which should receive much more attention than he gets to-day, it is the child whose mental ability is not up to the standard of that of a normal person. The hon. member referred to the little school that was started at Hermanus and which is doing such wonderful work there. In various parts of the country there are persons who have started similar projects, either because they have been inspired by a spirit of benevolence or under the guidance of associations which are interested in mental health. Last December I had the privilege of seeing how a number of children were being trained in Kimberley. What strikes one, Mr. Chairman, is the fact that this wonderful project has two objectives; in the first instance, as the hon. member for Hillbrow has rightly said, to try to ensure that child does not become a burden on the state but that he develops the small talent, the small ability, which he has received so that he can do something for himself, and so that he will be independent one day to the extent his capability allows him to be. Furthermore, the second and most important thing is the sense of security and happiness which the child develops. He may have one talent only but that has been developed in such a way that when he performs before you and recites the little verse which he had memorized with great difficulty, and you see the pleasure that that gives him, you realize that in his case you have risen above the material things of life and that you have reached that which is the highest in life, namely not only to make him a useful person, but a happy being. That is our task and that is the task which every educationist in the world regards as his first and most important task in the educational process. Mr. Chairman, the second point which I wish to raise, namely, the stupid normal child flows from that. We who are concerned with child institutions have a great number of those children on our hands. Mentally they are as retarded as the type to which we have referred, neither are they normal children. They are what they call in psychological language the stupid normal child. You will be surprised to know. Sir, what few facilities there are to deal with that type of child. It is no good sending that child to an industrial school. A child has to be highly intelligent to attend an industrial school. This child eventually develops into a useless being because there are no facilities where he can be looked after. We must realize that it requires expert knowledge to deal with that type of child and it is only the Government that is in a position to establish the facilities for looking after that child. In addition I want to draw attention to the educational work that is being done in the case of physically handicapped children. There are a few of those projects in my constituency and I want to plead to-day, as I have done in the past, that something be done in order to provide better accommodation where this wonderful work can be carried on in future. When you see how that physically retarded child, that deformed child, struggles along over uneven terrain, the dangers he encounters and the indignity which he suffers when people see him fall, how that develops a growing inferiority in him—you must remember Mr. Chairman, that your ego is closely associated with your body, and when your body is deformed, you are inclined to transplant that deformity on to your ego and you do not feel secure. That type of child and the type of work that is being done there deserve the best accommodation that can be offered. We have wonderful equipment but the accommodation is exceedingly inferior. You cannot convert old military barracks into a school where work of the standard which that school does, can be carried out. That is why I want to plead that more should be done in future so that that type of child will not only be educated, but that he will be trained in an environment which is best suited for the purpose and that facilities be established that will make the staff realize that the work they are doing enjoys the attention of the Government and that society is interested in them. They must be made to feel that the work they are doing is work worth while doing. I plead very earnestly for that. I want to go further and point out that the parents whose children are at that school, have done everything they could for those children but it is very hard on them when they are expected to pay for the treatment and care which those children receive in that institution. That was not the position in the past. Those parents have already done everything possible for that child. That is their last refuge as far as the child is concerned. The parents have already spent hundreds of pounds. Some parents have practically spent everything they possessed to try to do something for their unfortunate child. Nothing more should be expected of those parents. I feel the Government should step in and say: I shall take charge of that child in future and assist the parents by looking after the child and educating him in an environment which is the most suitable. I also want to ask that more accommodation should be made available at domestic science schools for young girls. In one particular institution there are five, six, seven girls who should have gone to a domestic science school but who were unable to do so because of lack of accommodation and that creates all sorts of problems in that institution. The child does not fit into the ordinary school; the child becomes a social problem which influences the other children, all because the necessary accommodation is lacking. I feel the one matter that should be attended to is the provision of more accommodation in domestic science schools for girls. [Time limit.]


Firstly I want to congratulate the hon. member for Hill brow (Dr. Steenkamp) on bringing to the notice of this House and of the country the wonderful work that is being done for the unfortunate cripple-minded child who are now being looked after in the Rudolph Steiner schools. There are other places too which need help in the same way as these schools do; places which in the past have been looked upon as places of safety for the unfortunate child, as places of security where children will be looked after, more than as places where they will be educated. But in recent years it has been found possible, with patience and with the will of teachers to educate those children who previously were thought to be uneducable. They must receive as much help as possible. It is not only the Mongol child that has to be helped along on these lines, but I refer also to those children who are to-day being taught in the schools for cerebral palsied children. It is wonderful to see how the parents of these afflicted children come together, form an association on their own, find the funds themselves, get the teachers and start such schools. But because of the success of so many of these schools, we find that they are gradually becoming larger and larger and have to accommodate more children. The burden of the upkeep of these schools has become so great that they have to look to the outside for help, and I plead with the hon. the Minister that he should now do his utmost to give financial help to these deserving schools.

I want to go from the one end of the scale to the other end of the scale. We have difficulties in teaching these unfortunate cripple-minded children, but at the other end of the scale, at the university end, we find a great tragedy overhanging South Africa. It is with regret that I must say that although there are so many young South Africans willing and wanting higher education, there is unfortunately in our country so little opportunity, there are so few places where they can receive the education that they desire. There are faculties which are over-crowded in every single university that we have got. Boys who want to become architects have got to enter a university and take a different course because there happens to be a vacancy in a different faculty. I want to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister to the serious position that is facing us in the field of medicine. We have several medical schools in the country, but if you will read the Medical Proceedings which were issued a few days ago, you will find that in the next four years in addition to what we have got now, we will need another 4,000 doctors, and the country is only producing 220 doctors per annum. These figures, of course, may vary slightly, but that is more or less the figure. These figures mean that the White people of this country will have to provide the medical facilities for the whole population of this country. The number of Black doctors that are being turned out, the number of Coloured doctors being turned out, the number of Indian doctors that are being turned out are so small relatively to the size of their population groups that it is impossible for those people to look after their own, and it will only mean that the White doctors will have to go out into the reserves and do the work which we thought would be undertaken by people of the same colour. What is the end going to be? It is no use for us to plan in the next few years the sovereignty of say the Transkeian area. What chaotic conditions will we bring about if we should say to the people of the Transkei now that they are going to be apart from South Africa, that they are going to be a separate state? Who is going to look after those people? Have you got the personnel in any field to make sure that those people can look after themselves? In the field of medicine you have got these terrible shortages. I do not know of any single one veterinary surgeon. Black, Coloured or Indian, who is being turned out at Onderstepoort, not one. According to the figures I have here there are eight dentists. Eight for H million people in the Transkei.

I have figures here which say that the Health Department is trying to import doctors into South Africa because we cannot produce sufficient in our own country. What efforts are being made by the Department of Education and by the Minister, to improve the position which is deteriorating so rapidly? The conditions are deteriorating for two reasons, firstly, because of the inability of students to get into universities because of the over-crowding and lack of facilities, and secondly, and what is a greater tragedy is the fact that there is a steady flow away from our country of very highly trained personnel in all fields. We read about these things happening every day. We are losing some of our greatest brains. They are going away from this country. Well, Sir, it has been mentioned here by the hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) that it is not sufficient to have a demand for education. You must have the people to teach. So it becomes a vicious circle that not only are we not producing sufficient personnel in all scientific fields, in all professional fields, but because of the shortages the demands for their services are such that their earning capacity becomes higher outside the universities than inside the universities. Nobody wants to teach because the salaries are not comparable; e.g. what is paid a professor say of pharmacology with what he can earn if he worked for a producing chemist or manufacturing chemist. Now is the time to start to do something about this. Last year, I warned the hon. the Minister that we were facing these shortages. Some people told me that I was exaggerating, but the position is getting worse and worse. I plead with the Minister to do his best to investigate immediately the possibility of erecting more medical schools in different centres, perhaps in Bloemfontein, perhaps another one in Cape Town, if necessary, another one in Johannesburg, where they have the hospital facilities; I feel sure that on the East Rand of the Witwatersrand Complex one could easily establish another medical school; they have got hospitals there, such as the Far East Rand Hospital, the Box-burg-Benoni Hospital, and they could quite easily accommodate a large number of students. If the hon. Minister finds that he cannot erect new medical schools, may I say to him then that he must do his best to use the facilities that are at present available. And break down the barrier that has been erected during the past few months of not allowing as many non-Whites as possible to come into the hospitals, and fill the vacancies that are necessary now to be filled, because you will never be able to accommodate the wants of the non-White people in the next few years if you are going on as you are doing now. I want to say to the hon. the Minister that he must go out of his way now to make sure that dental students are encouraged to go to the universities to look after the Black people, pharmacists who can be easily trained with chemists, who can do their apprenticeship with a chemist. They can do their training in Durban, at the Natal University. They must take up pharmacy. It is high time that we had non-White pharmacists and veterinary surgeons. And then with the material you have now, make sure that at least some foundation is laid for non-White specialists to receive training. Even with the way apartheid is being legislated at the moment, there must still be an opportunity to do this. [Time limit.]


I should like to rise at this stage to reply to what has been said hitherto and without exception I want to express my appreciation for the objective spirit which has characterized this debate. I think that to-day’s rebate redounds to the credit of the House because the spirit in which the problems which have been mentioned have been approached, has been a sound spirit, a constructive spirit and not a destructive spirit. In expressing my appreciation to speakers on all sides of the House for adopting this particular approach, I should like to say a special word of thanks to the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) for having raised this particular matter and for the clear way in which he has dealt with it. I can only tell him that the way in which he has put the matter has, as he probably could see, had its effect on all sides of the House. The hon. member has discussed the children who are mentally handicapped to some degree and in whose case the demarcation line is not very clear, that is to say it is not very clear to what extent it is a question of a mental handicap or perhaps a question of a physical handicap. The hon. member has said specifically that he is raising this matter with your permission, Mr. Chairman, and he asked me whether he could do so. I had no objection, although as far as this specific type of school is concerned the matter really falls under the Department of Health. I just want to tell the hon. member what the present position is, and then I shall set out what has been done hitherto in respect of this problem because we have already had discussions on this matter. I hope the matter will be raised again on the Vote of my colleague, the Minister of Health. The present position is a follows: According to my information there are ten such schools in our country to-day. The National Council for Mental Health has been established and this National Council receives a subsidy of £5,000 per annum from the Department of Health. The National Council then uses this contribution to subsidize the schools, but the subsidy is provided by the Department of Health.


Not here.


Yes, but the hon. member has also said that certain places have not asked, but elsewhere they have in fact asked and in those cases, according to my information, it is being done.

The general principle is that if a child is educable and requires education at any stage, then the Department of Union Education under the present set-up provides for that education. That Department also provides for such a child’s physical rehabilitation, just as in certain cases at certain schools it provides for the rehabilitation of behaviour deviants. We have various schools in our country. Since taking over the Department I have visited several of these schools personally because I am interested in this matter, and I am particularly interested in the children of South Africa who would otherwise be lost if special provision were not made for them. I have spent a day for example at the school for the blind at Worcester, and I want to recommend to hon. members that if they have the opportunity they should spend a day at that school. Just as the hon. member for Hillbrow, to judge by his speech, was deeply impressed by what he saw at the institution at Hermanus, so was I deeply impressed by what I saw at the school for the blind at Worcester. I have also examined the position in the school for the crippled at Kimberley. I think there are 250 boys and it moved my heart to move amongst them and to see what was being done for them. The hon. member has touched on a point which I do not want to leave without comment, namely that to a large extent this work is being done by people who regard it as their mission in life because they wish to do this work of love amongst their unfortunate fellow-men. I saw this at Worcester where one single teacher was charged with the care of three children from the morning till the evening and one can say day and night. These three children were all blind, dumb and completely helpless, but that was the finest act of self-sacrificing love which I have ever seen in my life. We were moved by it. My wife who was with me at the time and I were moved to see what that one lady was doing day and night for those three children. It did one good to see it because one felt how much we who are so fortunate as to have all our faculties and to be well cared for, we are still lacking in gratitude for what these people are doing for those children. I formed the same impression at other institutions, including the one at Kimberley. I also formed this impression at our reformatories, where the young people of our country who are suffering from behaviour disabilities are sent. I saw the same thing there and I came to the conclusion that the great burden of educating handicapped children or the unfortunate children who are suffering from behaviour disabilities is being borne by people who work on the principle that they want to develop the potential which is still lurking in those children and to develop that potential along such lines that they can become independent people who, if possible, could take their rightful place in the community. That is their basic premise. And seeing that I am discussing in particular this aspect which the hon. member for Hillbrow has raised, I just want to inform the hon. member that there are various such institutions. I know of the one at Hermanus which I have not yet visited, but which I should like to visit; I know of the one at Port Elizabeth; I have been in close contact with people who are concerned with a similar institution in Johannesburg; I have been in contact with people who are concerned with a similar institution in Bloemfontein; and also the people who are concerned with a Coloured institution at Mowbray. I am also informed that there are another five such institutions. Because I had been in contact with several of these institutions and had had discussions with people who are interested in the matter, I already discussed this matter some time ago with my colleague, the Minister of Health, and I told him that I should like to discuss this aspect in the House if the matter should be raised. I think that here we have a position where the overlapping is of such a nature that the matter can in fact be raised on this Vote. I told my colleague that I was going to tell the House that we had already had discussions on several occasions, that our Departments had already had discussions and that we were considering what could be done in connection with these special schools to which these unfortunate children are sent. It is quite true that this type of child—I am now referring particularly to the institution in Johannesburg and to a certain extent to the one in Bloemfontein as well—deserves special attention, but there is a great demand and there is always a long waiting list. What troubles me is the very fact that there is a long waiting list for this type of education which must be provided to these unfortunate children. The hon. member for Hillbrow put the matter very clearly when he said that provision should be made for this type of child not only as regards their education, but that physical provision should also be made for this type of child. It is the position at various institutions that the type of education which it is still possible to provide, and which I believe can to a large extent be provided effectively by people who are inspired by the right spirit, is being provided at these schools. They fall under the Department of Health. These children must be assisted both mentally and physically, and they must be educated and rehabilitated along such lines that the maximum percentage will be able to support themselves in the outside world. That has been my basic premise when I visit such institutions, namely that we should like to give these people an opportunity so that, once they have attended such an institution, they will feel that they have a place in the community. I want to say to-day that there are certain of these schools which are producing children who go out into life. I am referring to the school for crippled children at Kimberley, the school for the deaf at Worcester and the school for the blind at Worcester. At those institutions children are being educated with loving care, and they are being strengthened mentally and physically. They then go out into life and in many cases they are self-sufficient and independent and they often set an example to üs who are physically healthy by showing what they can do. But what is of the utmost value is that these people feel that they have a place in the community which they can fill without being dependent on charity. I want to thank the hon. member for the approach he has adopted towards this problem.

It is true, as the hon. member has said, that the general approach in the case of such children, as this institution is doing in providing the education of which the hon. member has obviously made a study, is that the educable child and the uneducable child can often not be distinguished from one another. This is a demarcation which I feel should be clearly defined, and I can assure hon. members of this House that I shall not only give my attention to the matter, but that there are institutions, such as the institution for the crippled at Kimberley, where attention is being paid to both aspects. Under the present set-up I am convinced that much of the work which is being done in such institutions is of a medical nature which should really fall directly under the Department of Health. But, as the hon. member has said, the children have to be in the same institution and have to remain there permanently and they require both these types of care urgently—they must receive medical care and they must also receive mental care, and they must be educated in these institutions on a basis which will make it possible for us to send them out into life so that they can take their place in the community. Physical training must be available in such institutions, but mental education and mental rehabilitation must also be made available. I want to mention one further aspect which has struck me. It is that after they have received the education which is provided by such an institution —under whatever Department it may fall— there will be a certain percentage of these people who will not be able to return to the community, and we should then send them to a community centre. I would say that such a community centre should perhaps not be placed in the centre of the urban hurly-burly, but that it should be a place where they can be cared for properly and where I hey will have an opportunity to live. Under these circumstances they can then be sorted out and after receiving their education, many of them, although they cannot move about in the community, can nevertheless be employed in order to meet their own requirements to a large extent.

The discussion has moved from this specific matter to the request of the hon. member for Witbank (Mr. Mostert). He has given his support to this request for an investigation, regarding which I now want to inform the House that I shall have discussions with the Minister of Health and I hope that we shall be able to achieve clarity on this matter as soon as possible. The hon. member for Wit-bank has associated himself with this request and this led to a pedagogic discussion of the basic problems affecting education. There is so much which we can do and which we must also do as regards the general education of our children. I think it is a good thing that during a debate such as this we should exchange ideas with one another regarding the general tendencies in education, both as regards the home and the school, and later the university. The hon. member of Witbank has referred to the family year and to the family congress which was convened after the family year had been held throughout the country. He has urged that we should also consider holding what we can call an education year on the same basis, and that we should also establish a socio-pedagogic institute. Hon. members have discussed the education of our children which affects all aspects of life. They have made very valuable contributions and I think that the time has come when we shall have to give our attention to this matter as well. At graduation ceremonies and when I have spoken at the commencement of the academic year at universities and schools and on other occasions as well, I have always made this simple point: There are two questions which all of us must answer. Seeing that the whole world is in turmoil to-day, every nation, every civilization, is faced with a question which it must answer if it wants to know what the future of mankind is to be: Where are our children going and what are our children going to do? If anyone can tell me where the children are going and what the children are going to do, then I shall be able to tell him where the country and its people are going. These are educational questions which in my opinion should not only be discussed on such occasions, but which can be very fittingly discussed to-day on this Vote which deals with education in general. We can only answer this question: Where are our children going? if the education of the child is so arranged that that education will give him the opportunity to choose a course in the future; he must have a plan, he must have “ a blueprint of what his idea of life is, or what it is going to be This must already start in the school and the child must develop it further in the university, and he must leave the university not only mentally well developed but he must leave the university as a fully developed young son or daughter of our nation whose philosophy of life has taken shape and as a young person who has laid down norms for himself which he has determined during his university education so that he will know exactly how he envisages the future pattern of his own life. I therefore convey to hon. members my appreciation for the ideas which have been expressed here in connection with the general proposition submitted by the hon. member for Witbank to the effect that we should remember that education should not only be specialized and that not only the State has a duty towards our youth, but that it should start as the duty of the parent towards his child, and should be succeeded by the duty of the State towards the education of the child and that every son and daughter should have a plan, an idea of where he is heading in the community. I shall carefully consider the proposal which the hon. member has put forward. He has also said that the parent and the State should be able to speak through one channel. He has quoted the analogy of the organizations which exists in many other spheres of life, with the aim of organizing the professions, etc., so that they can discuss matters with the State with one voice. I do not know to what extent this is practicable, but the basic idea which he has expressed is that there should also be greater co-ordination in the direction which the parents give to the education of their children in their homes, in order to link that education with the direction followed in the schools, and later again with the direction followed by education in the universities.

I want to come to the hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams). Inter alia he has said: “ There is a crisis in education.” We have more children than our teachers can cope with. He has raid: “ There is a lack of teachers in all spheres of life. We have the children but they cannot be accommodated because of the lack of teachers.” I just want to tell the hon. member that this problem is, of course, not a problem which only affects university education and the schools which fall under the Department, but is a general phenomenon. We find this position mainly in the primary schools. It is an educational problem with which Natal, for example, is faced. It is also encountered in all the other provinces. He has said: “ There are less and less applications for more and more posts.” He has referred to the position in the universities and has said that the same position applies there. I just want to give him this information. When the separate universities were established, we had this position. As far as I can remember there were 14 vacancies which had to be filled. I am now referring to the separate university college in the Western Cape. The council received approximately 120 applications for the 14 vacancies.


What about the quality?


I am coming to that. As far as the quality is concerned, I said at the opening of the Coloured university college that I thought the quality of the teaching staff of that college could compare very favourably with that of any university in South Africa, if not with any university in the world. We had to select 14 from something over 120. I want to invite the hon. member to visit that institution.


I have been there.


If she has been there and if there is anything which did not please her and in respect of which she thinks we can introduce improvements, I shall be very happy to hear what she has to say. I want us to discuss these matters quite objectively. But I just want to mention this fact, namely, that we received this number of applications and that the selection which was made, was from the best people which South Africa could provide. That is the staff we have there to-day. The progress made has been very satisfactory and I am convinced that the work being done there to-day is very successful. I keep in contact with that institution. I have gone so far as to tell the rector that if anyone wants to visit the Coloured university college, they should invite those persons and receive them at the university, I have said that if the Press want to go and see what is happening, they should invite the Press. I have made inquiries to-day again. I was here on one occasion last year, and just before that the representatives of the Argus and the Cape Times spent a day or two there. I said: “ Give them every opportunity so that they can see what is happening in the classes and on the campus; let them see what type of education is being provided, and then they can write what they like.” A day or so later, I arrived in Cape Town and I read an article which appeared in the Cape Argus shortly thereafter. We could not have given the institution a more glowing testimonial than the Argus gave in its editorial columns. I want to give the hon. member for Musgrave the assurance that as far as I personally am concerned, and as long as I am responsible for this portfolio, I shall keep my eye on that institution to ensure that everything there is of the very best. As hon. members can understand, there has been some delay as regards accommodation. We have now accelerated the rate of progress and it is receiving the highest priority. We hone that before the end of the year, certain of the permanent buildings on the new site which we have prepared, will if they are not completed have progressed very far. I am informed that to-day there are 321 students at the university college.

I now want to come to the standpoint of the hon. member for Musgrave who has said that the following should be done as regards the teaching staff—and I take it that he was speaking generally: “ We should give them a higher status and they should be given a higher remuneration.”. As far as that aspect is concerned, I want to tell him that as someone who has been connected with education for many years, I personally should like to see education and the teacher taking a very important place in the development of our State. And if the position is such that it is essential that we should keep our best brains in that profession, if we must put right any shortcomings as far as remuneration is concerned, this is a matter which calls for our full attention. This matter will receive attention. The people who are going away are not only teachers. Other people are also going away. The hon. member says that people are leaving the country. People are leaving the country and people are coming back as well.




Yes, but we shall discuss that later. The hon. member for Houghton should not be in such a hurry. Despite these arguments, people are coming to this country who have never been here before. The Chairman will not allow me to discuss those matters. Where I agree with the hon. member for Musgrave is where he has said that we “ have to attract the best brain to fill the academic field ”. There I agree with him. The educators of our people should be of the best so they can give our people the best possible education. I think that we in South Africa can be proud of the great educationists we have had and still have to-day, who have educated the sons and daughters of a young nation like ours so that they could go into the world with pride and not need to doff their hat to anyone. The products which the educationists of South Africa have turned out in South Africa’s educational institutions can compare, if they cannot compete favourably, with the best in the world. We agree on that point and I am glad that we have expressed our appreciation for what has been done and that we are also, on the other hand; as the hon. member has said, doing everything in our power to effect improvements where necessary. Then he has also discussed the “objects of education ”. From my early days when I also studied education I remember this saying: “ Man is the product of heredity, environment and will.” There are various factors which combine to influence the educational progress of the human being. While I agree with him on that point, I also agree with him that precisely because that is the position, and seeing that one person while being educated may not enjoy the same advantages as another person as regards heredity or environment, or may not have the same willpower, it is the task of the educational system which is under the control of the State to supplement those facilities in such a way that we can achieve the best results in educating our sons and daughters.


The environment can be changed.


The hon. member has said that we are able to change our environment. That is so and it is also being done to a very large extent. I have not investigated the position, but if we were to go into the matter, I wonder whether we would find any other country in the world where children have the privilege of studying from early youth in the environment, in a town or city, that the children of South Africa enjoy.


White children.


I am talking now about White children. I do not want to hold a long discourse on an aspect which the hon. member has also raised, namely his submissions regarding the proposed legislation dealing with the Education Advisory Council. I want to tell hon. members why I feel in this way. Some considerable time ago I announced in the Press that legislation would be introduced into this House during this Session and I could simply have introduced it again and I could then have blocked a discussion on this Vote by so doing. But I felt that I wanted to give hon. members the opportunity to discuss the matter if they wished to do so. I have already decided and it has been announced in the Press that when this legislation is introduced, I shall refer it to a Select Committee before the second reading. Then it can be considered by such a committee prior to second reading. Evidence can be taken, papers can be called for, and any discussion which we might hold and any undertaking which I might give would probably prejudice the work of such a committee. I am quite frank as far as this matter is concerned. This announcement was made in the Press some considerable time ago, and everyone knows about it. When making the announcement in the newspapers I stated specifically that I was making this announcement timeously so that if there were people who might wish to prepare themselves in the meantime to submit new evidence or who wished to put forward their views, they would have sufficient time to enable them to do so.


Will you not consider the appointment of an expert commission from outside this House, with a view to the possibilities involved in this matter?


I think that we have already had so many commissions since 1911. May I inform the hon. member that in 1911 a conference was held, and I have here a recommendation made by that conference, namely, that a national advisory council for technical education should be established. That was the start in 1911. Then we had the Jagger Commission in 1916. This commission asked for the abolition of the provincial council system. This was one of the commissions which has considered this particular aspect of the matter. Then we had the Hofmeyr Commission of 1924. This commission made the following recommendation—

A Union Board of Education should be constituted, having full powers to bring into line, under a national scheme of policy, the diverse activities which are now allowed very largely to take independent courses. A Union Board of Education should be constituted to consider such a national scheme of policy.

That was in 1924. In 1934 we find that a provincial consultative committee recommended that one of its tasks should be coordination in the field of education. I think this is a point which has been made by the hon. member for Musgrave, namely that we should have diversity in education, but that we should have a basis of co-ordination for the whole of South Africa. Then there was the Roos Commission in 1934 which recommended co-operation through the medium of an Act of Parliament. The Roos Commission recommended that as being the only alternative. In 1935 such a committee was appointed. In 1937 this House adopted a resolution. This was at a time when the United Party was in power, and the resolution read as follows—

That the Government be requested to consider the advisability of taking steps to establish a national education board for the purpose of co-ordinating education matters, such board in particular to devote its attention to the problem of the large number of children who leave school without having progressed beyond the primary school stage.

The kernel of this resolution is once again a recommendation that a national education council should be established. We have gone further and stated specifically that it should be an advisory council. It is our policy that we consider that it should be a co-ordinating advisory council on which various bodies can be represented. I do not want to take this matter any further at this stage. We have here a whole series of resolutions which have been adopted from time to time. As far as investigation is concerned, each provincial council has investigated the matter. They have all done so. We have the report of the Natal Commission. There have been investigations by the provinces and other authorities. The matter has been very thoroughly investigated, and I feel that as far as the Government is concerned this matter can now be referred to a Select Committee of this House. It was for this reason that I issued the statement to which I have already referred.

I think I have now covered practically all the points raised by the hon. member for Musgrave. The hon. member for Kimberley (South) (Dr. W. L. D. M. Venter) has spoken with praise—and I want to thank him for doing so—about the standard of education in South Africa which is high and I think we are all agreed that when compared with the rest of the world, the standard in general is good. The hon. member has also discussed the unintelligent normal child and the inadequate facilities which exist to deal with such children. We shall consider that aspect. Then he discussed the accommodation available at the particular school in Kimberley. I have already been there. He has also discussed the domestic science schools.

Then the hon. member for Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher) has referred to “places of safety and security ”. We have such institutions and I have visited some of them. The hon. member has also said that “ the tragedy overhanging South Africa is that the faculties in the universities are overcrowded ”. The universities can of course apply from time to time for the establishment of additional faculties. When certain faculties do not provide training which we regard as being necessary, then I think the correct procedure is for this House to bring the attention of the authorities to any case where hon. members think it can be proved that the faculties as such are overcrowded. But it is also the duty of the universities. The hon. member has referred specifically to doctors and has said that during the next four years we shall require 4,000 medical doctors while the universities are only producing 222 per annum. He then referred to the Bantu, Coloured and Indian medical doctors and he said that on the present basis they cannot cope with the work. I just want to tell him that the position will of course gradually improve as the development of the universities for the Bantu, Coloureds and Indians (which has just been opened in Natal) progresses. As they progress and as the need arises—I say it is essential if we can do so to train them to serve their own people—the position will improve. I think it is a sound policy to try to educate them to serve their own people as dentists, doctors, etc. And if we can develop these universities, we shall in future have a regular flow of additional Bantu doctors as well as Coloureds and Indians to serve their own people.

I have already discussed the vacancies at the universities. I shall in any case investigate fully the case the hon. member has mentioned. Representations have already been made to me regarding the provision of additional facilities for the training of dentists, particularly in the south where at the moment there are no such facilities. I am already considering this matter.

Mr. Chairman, I think those are all the points which have been raised hitherto. I thank hon. members for listening to me so patiently and I have also listened patiently to a very interesting and fruitful debate on their part.


I should like to refer to certain items on the Vote of the hon. the Minister. Í do not wish to make a speech on the general subject of education, but there are certain items on which I should like some explanation from him.

The first item is on page 109 under A “ Examinations Branch ”. There are 52 members in the branch. Now the hon. Minister and hon. members will remember that last year, at the end of the year there was a sensation in South Africa when disclosures were made in the Press that examination papers were being made public through certain channels, that the secrecy of the examinations had broken down. And my sympathies at the time went out to the hon. the Minister and his staff. I think nothing is more disturbing in an education system such as ours where we have an annual test at the end of the year, than the suggestion—let alone any statements of the irresponsible and responsible kind that were made—the suggestion that there should be anything irregular in the conduct of examinations. And I think this would be an opportune time, during the discussion on the Minister’s Vote, for the hon. the Minister to give us a full statement on what happened at the end of last year in the conduct of the examinations of his Department. That is my first point.

My second point is this: On the same page we have “ National Bureau for Social and Educational Research ”. I have always been interested in the work of this bureau from the days when Dr. Malherbe did some extraordinarily good, original work in research through this bureau. I would like the hon. the Minister to tell me whether there have been any recent publications by the bureau, what its duties are in the Department, and how he is using that bureau at the present time. We have heard a great deal in South Africa about advisory boards, but it seems to me that when you have a bureau for research, all the information that could be given to the Minister by an advisory board could be obtained through a bureau. Through this bureau the Minister has contact with all the Provinces in the country, with all the professions, with all universities, with every educational institution in South Africa; and with proper use being made of this bureau, I have not the slightest doubt that the Minister’s great concern to have an advisory council in addition to the very efficient staff he has to-day, would disappear altogether. I do not think he needs that council.

The next point I should like to come to is on page 110 “Language Services Bureau”. I want to refer to a matter that I raised some years ago and which appears again in our discussions on the Votes this year: This question of the standard of language in Government reports. I know how we all feel; this is a bilingual country. Nothing has impressed me more favourably in this House than the charitable attitude of all members towards the other language, and I think that is typical, generally, of South Africa. Whenever one speaks of the other language or the second language, or our languages, I think that there is a disposition in South Africa to give full consideration to the feelings of every person, whatever language he speaks. Now it is true that in our official reports the standard of English is sometimes very low—certainly lower than it should be. On one occasion I referred to the standard in a report from the Education Department where, of course, the standard should be very high. Recently I think it was the Department of Justice which was discussed in this context. Now I wish to be constructive, and my suggestion to the hon. Minister is this: That in every Department of State there ought to be one man who is an expert in Afrikaans, a scholar, a man with a feeling for language. And there should be one who is an expert in English. He should be bilingual, but he should not be the perfectly bilingual man who has reached the highest standard in both languages. Speaking of the English language expert, I say he should be a scholar in English; he should know how to read Afrikaans and understand the shades of meaning, but not necessarily be a fluent speaker in Afrikaans. But he must be a man who has that 100 per cent knowledge of English and a good knowledge of Afrikaans, but not the kind of knowledge of Afrikaans we would expect in an expert in Afrikaans. And whenever a Government report—especially in English, because it goes throughout the world as my colleague the hon. member for Jeppes (Dr. Cronje) pointed out — goes out I should like our South African English to be the best possible. I would say that before any Government report goes out the language, the form of the report, should be submitted to this expert for his opinion. Now if two experts to a department would be too many, I would suggest two for two or three departments. But there should be men in the Civil Service who have this expert knowledge of language and who can see that our Afrikaans and our English is of the very best, that it is an example to the rest of the country. That is my constructive suggestion and I would say that the hon. the Minister of Education, Arts and Science is the obvious Minister to tackle this subject. Whether we are writing on justice or defence or transport or anything else, the standard of English should be maintained at a very high level.

I come now to my next point. (I think it helps the Minister if one takes the points in this way.) On page 114 I come to the Universities. Now the hon. the Minister has a very heavy responsibility in providing for the requirements of our universities. The item I specifically wish to refer to is the Western Cape University College, that is, the established college for Coloured students. I was present at the opening of that college and I am interested in its progress. There is quite a considerable grant for that college and I should like to know whether in the conduct of this institution the hon. the Minister insists on having a White council and Coloured advisory council on the same lines as we have for the Bantu University Colleges? I should like to know from him whether he takes up the attitude that White men and Coloured men, at this time in South Africa, cannot sit together on the same council to control the affairs of a university or university college? I think it is most important that in these days we should show that as a Government and as a Parliament we are prepared for this co-operation. To say, as we are saying in Bantu education, that in the beginning there will be a White council and a Bantu advisory council; that there will be a White senate and a Bantu advisory senate is, to my way of thinking, insulting to the non-White people of South Africa. I see no reason whatever why eminent educationists—and there are some on the Government side of the House—cannot sit together with Coloured men to assist them to establish their university college. I think the Coloured university college will rise to great heights. There is one distinguished Coloured member of the staff—I think he is a professor, and I should like to know whether he is a member of the senate …


Order! The hon. member’s point would require new legislation if it were to be given effect to, and that cannot be discussed here.


Perhaps the Minister will explain that when he replies. I will leave the point at that.


The constitution of the council is laid down by law.


Well, would the Minister be prepared to give consideration in the changed atmosphere over the last few years when events are moving very rapidly, especially in regard to the Coloured people, to this suggestion I have made? I leave it at that. I come to my next point. It is on page 115 and the Item K. [Time limit.]

*Mr. F. S. STEYN:

I want to draw the attention of the House to something in connection with technical training. It is common knowledge that our future wealth and our very life depend on the standard to which we develop in the technical field, and I maintain that, in spite of the fact that it is important that a great many people should be trained in the pure sciences and in engineering, the standard to which a country develops in the technical field depends solely on that small top layer of gifted students, and I believe that there are two ways in which we are losing a dangerously large number of the technicians in that top layer, technicians which are so essential to the country, firstly, that commerce and industry attract those young people before they have completed their studies. Some of our most brilliant students with a M.Sc. degree or with a doctor’s degree are attracted to industry by the good salary offered and they are the very people who, in addition to their doctor’s degree and with a further three or four years of research, will carve a new future for that industry. That is why I believe the Minister of Education should take steps to ensure that the most brilliant men in the pure sciences are kept within the academic field until such time as their talents have been developed to the utmost. We must protect them from the temptation of going into trade and commerce. The second way in which we lose men is that they go overseas, mainly on bursaries offered by business concerns with overseas connections, perhaps a company which operates in South Africa but with its head office overseas, and with that overseas financial assistance those men leave to study abroad where they build up contacts and offers are made to them and this country never sees them again. It is not a question of how many score you lose; but, if you lose one brilliant person, the whole future of the country may be changed. We should try not to lose that one.

I want to make an appeal. I notice from the Estimates that over £10,000,000 go to universities generally, and £60,000 to bursaries, and under K a mere £38,000 is provided for exchange schemes, but no provision is made to finance our own students and to send them overseas on any appreciable scale. I want to ask in the first instance that the advanced student, when he has obtained his M.Sc. degree, should be financed by means of bursaries, so that he can continue his studies here in South Africa. Flowing from that, I think we should investigate the position of the salaries paid to lecturers. The best way in which you can develop the abilities of such a scientist to the utmost extreme, is to keep him as a lecturer at a university and a lecturer receives a salary of approximately £1,200. You cannot expect people to resist the temptation of the higher salaries of over £2,000 which industry offers them if we only offer £1,200. He should at least receive a salary which will enable him to marry and to buy a motor car. [Interjections.]

Then we have the overseas bursaries. When we were a member of the Commonwealth we nolens-volens had certain overseas contacts, but in future South Africa will have to seek her own overseas contacts. To-day, more than ever, it is the duty of the Government to place the citizens of this country in a position where they can come into contact with Europe, Britain and America. I think we should make adequate bursaries available, both in number and size, to our own young men with their doctor’s degree, so that they can go overseas and carry on with their research work as far as possible and then return to South Africa. Some of them will probably be offered such attractive jobs there that they may not return, but if the Government finances their studies we can perhaps impose certain conditions. In any case, if we ourselves send him he will retain that moral contact with his fatherland. I want to make an earnest appeal that we should try to retain the small number, the five or six gifted science students which this country produce every year, for South Africa.

There is another matter I want to raise in connection with the humanistic subjects. This also concerns our new status. Not only is the standard of knowledge of modern languages very poor in South Africa, but it is practically non-existent. Very little French is taught at the universities and practically none at our schools. I think there is one university which teaches Spanish and Portuguese. I think the time has arrived for the Minister to make a point of seeing that, by means of both our provincial schools and our universities, we establish a corps of South Africans who will know foreign languages such as French, Spanish and Portuguese. It is not as though we want them all to go into the diplomatic service, but it is necessary to know those languages, also the languages which are spoken behind the Iron Curtain. I think Czech is probably the scientific language used in most of the communist countries, and I think the Department of Education should take the initiative. I want to conclude by emphasizing once again that South Africa’s future is in South Africa, our life and our death depend on that small layer of cream which floats on top of our nation’s intellect. We should not think of the hundreds of B.Sc.s and the scores of M.Sc.s. We should think of that small top layer which is the real source of inspiration and which can open up new vistas.


I ask for the privilege of the second half-hour. It gives me great pleasure to listen to the remarks of the hon. member for Kempton Park (Mr. F. S. Steyn) on a subject with which I propose to deal, namely the retention of the members of the staffs at our universities and the students of the various colleges. I believe that this is closely linked up with the whole subject of research at the universities. Before dealing with the matter in detail, I would like to quote from the publication entitled: “ The Open Universities in South Africa ”, published by the Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand. In Chapter II they say this—

In our contemporary world universities have a variety of functions, but primarily a university exists for the pursuit of truth. Its essential form is a community of scholars searching for truth and instructing others. These two functions, research and teaching, are linked together. Without the continual seeking to extend the boundaries of knowledge and understanding, teaching atrophies, and the duty of initiating his apprentices into mastery of the knowledge which he has won for himself can be the research worker’s strongest stimulus.

I believe that that puts the matter in a nutshell and that most hon. members will agree with those words. We must remember that universities are not solely concerned with being the repositories of knowledge or with passing on learning to others, but equally with the function of research in the discovery of new truths, new concepts and new principles and their application in all branches of life. I believe it is this creative aspect of university life that gives university work a purpose and also an inspiration and an incentive to attain the highest possible level. Consequently if we limit either academic freedom or the opportunity for research, either through imposing ideological limitations such as were referred to by the hon. member for Musgrave and as we have seen in legislation in recent years, or if we limit it by failing to provide the opportunities, the facilities and the finance for research, then we are restricting the universities of South Africa and preventing them from fulfilling their chief function.

Dealing with the question of research, l believe that in this very vital aspect of university work, South Africa is failing to get the best out of its universities, because we seem to fail to appreciate the importance of research generally. Either that, or else we are guilty of South Africa’s most common besetting sin, which is to my mind, complacency and satisfaction with our own existing standards, and that at a time when all over the world almost every civilized nation is straining its utmost resources to provide ever greater facilities for university education and research. The discussion of this question of research is made rather difficult by reason of the fact that the funds provided for research do not come solely from the Department of Education, and bearing in mind the limitation of the rules of debate, I want to refer to each aspect of the financing of research, particularly in so far as the Department of Education is concerned, but also dealing indirectly with the Department of Commerce and Industries and the Minister of Finance.

The Department of Education is chiefly concerned with the financing of the universities. I would not like to blame the Minister of Education for the inadequacy of the financial support of the universities. After all, it is a matter of Cabinet decision and I imagine that he is very much at the mercy of his colleague, the Minister of Finance. But I believe that he is failing to give our universities that financial support which they urgently require if they are to fulfil the expectations of this country. If one compares the amount of money spent by this Government per student capita, one finds that in South Africa the average per capita expenditure is £146, in Australia £326, in Canada £338, and in England £441, or three times as much as in this country. I have not mentioned the U.S.A. or Russia, but if one were to get the figures for those countries they would appear astronomical compared with what we spend. The fact remains that teaching and research are interrelated very closely, and research has a very vital bearing on the quality of the teaching at our universities, because teaching will not be of a very high standard unless it is based on flourishing research schools. I believe that is the chief defect of our universities to-day. Unless we offer adequate salaries and provide adequate time and facilities for research and adequate funds for this vastly expensive work of research and thus create the opportunities, we are going to fall very far behind world standards. We will not get staff of the highest quality, nor, if we do get them, will we be able to retain them long. Let us remember that although we are able to rely on a large number of highly-qualified South Africans for the highest academic posts, it is vitally necessary for us at all times to get an infusion of the highest quality men from overseas. The university world is almost an international world and we must have this constant infusion of new thought from abroad if we are to maintain our standards. The standards of education here should be world standards, and not merely South African standards. I say that this question of research should be given very careful attention. I believe that if we continue to neglect the financing of adequate research in the universities, our universities will tend to become more and more glorified high schools, or simply teaching academies. There is a very grave danger of that already present in the universities. We know that in South Africa we have the obsession of the matriculation examination. The idea is widely held here that if a man has passed matric, he is educated, and with the exception of the private schools, which are at least doing most valuable pioneering work in the field of the promotion of pre-university scholarship, the fact remains that most students go to our university far too young, mentally immature, and extremely ill-grounded, particularly in the sciences, and not only do they go there as adolescents but they are treated as such when they get to the university. This question of improving the standard of education in our schools before the students go to university is a matter which also needs the most serious consideration. I urge that we should get away from the danger of letting our universities drift into that state where they simply become teaching academies, uninspired by the field of research which alone can stop them from getting into a state of intellectual leukemia.

I have dealt with this question of the necessity for raising the standards of wages and providing the money for research, but I want to deal with the question of students, because the hon. member for Kempton Park mentioned the fact that we are losing brilliant young students. Unless adequate facilities for research are created in our universities, our most brilliant students will immediately take the very first opportunity they can get to go overseas where such facilities are available, and as my friend pointed out, the chances are that when they get there they are given opportunities and we never see them again. We are suffering to-day from the disastrous outflow of emigration. I believe that no aspect of that trend towards emigration from South Africa is more dangerous than the emigration of young people of the most brilliant calibre, and I believe that that is something to which the Government should give the most careful study.

Quite apart from the finance provided by the Department of Education, and here I do not wish to overstep the rules of debate but I must refer to it in passing, I refer to the fact that the bulk of the funds for research come indirectly to the universities from the Department of Commerce and Industries through the C.S.I.R., which is doing fantastic work in research. The C.S.I.R. are regarded as the main source of research for industrial projects. The country finances the C.S.I.R. to the extent of close on R5,000,000 a year and an additional R350,000 for specific Government research projects. Of those funds a bare R150,000 a year is allocated to all the universities combined, for all research in all sections of science, technology and medicine. What a trivial amount to give to our universities! At a recent meeting of university men and science professors it was calculated that even if that amount were increased tenfold, it would still be grossly inadequate. May I remind the Minister that in Britain and on the Continent and in the U.S.A. many of the larger universities are given funds for research purposes running into millions of pounds for a single university. To compare our trivial allocation with such fantastic amounts accentuates this ridiculous situation. After all, research is the most expensive thing in the world, but in the long run the most valuable.

I want also to add to that the fact that the universities are gradually getting an increase in funds available for what I might call contract research or project research. We know that the mining industry, the paint industry and the sugar industry have put up substantial amounts for research in certain limited fields. But even that is limited and is likely to grow very slowly over the years. There is another aspect, and that is the amount of money given to the universities by private endowments. Unfortunately in recent years, although there has been fantastic generosity on the part of the public, because of the paucity of the funds available from the Government for the building of universities in post-war years, much of the funds donated by the public have been put into buildings instead of into research. That is one feature which distinguishes us from the U.S.A., where enormous sums are made available for research, in any specific line which the university chooses. It is for that reason that I plead that the Government should make greater allocations of funds specifically for the purpose of research—money which the universities should be able to devote to the particular subject for which they are best adapted and which they can use at their own discretion. The Minister of Finance last year introduced in his Budget certain provisions designed to encourage public donations, particularly on the part of industrial or commercial companies for limited projects of research into topics in which they are specifically interested, but that concession was made subject to certain conditions. There was a limitation that it should not be more than 1 per cent of the taxable income of a company in any one year, and that 25 per cent of it should be retained in a trust fund to be used for all universities. This year the Minister of Finance indicated that the results had been disappointing and he has eliminated most of the conditions, but it is still doubtful whether even that is going to produce sufficient funds to provide our universities with adequate funds. The result of this short-sighted attitude towards research is already apparent. The hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) has referred to the straits in which the University of Cape Town finds itself regarding seven vacant Chairs of the different faculties, but that is a trend noticeable in other universities too. It is quite obvious that the reasons for this trend to-day are first of all inadequate salaries, secondly, unattractive conditions of work, thirdly, inadequate facilities for research, and fourthly, the political and ideological atmosphere which exists in the Union to-day. I do not think that we as a young, developing country can regard this state of affairs with complacency. What is needed is a full review of the whole question of financial support of universities, so that we can make the conditions of service attractive by world standard and give the universities the much-needed opportunities for research. I cannot believe that the Minister will reply that South Africa cannot afford this financial assistance. After all, if one looks at the developments in this country, one is staggered to see the extravagant amounts poured out every year in libations on the pagan alter of apartheid, and it is about time that we cast aside these immature prejudices and got down to the things which really mean something for the future of the younger generations of South Africa. As an example of this fantastic extravagance, one only has to study the finances of the Bantu universities. I am not going to deal with that now, because no doubt it will come up under the Bantu Education Vote, but I can refer to the quite unnecessary creation of an Indian university for Asiatics. No one has asked for that university. The Indians never asked for it, and the people of Natal never asked for it. Certainly the University of Natal did not ask for it, and in point of fact the university has been universally and unanimously rejected in principle by the Indian people. They will of course send their sons there, because to refuse to do so would deprive them of any university education, but the fact remains that there are these objections. The Government say that in creating this Indian university they are recognizing the existence of the Indian people as an integral part of our society. That may be true, but certainly it is a belated recognition, and was it necessary to couple with it the inherent humiliation which a separate university necessarily carries with it? The mark of inferiority is stamped on the institution from the word go. Let me say quite clearly that I do not impugn the devotion of the standards of very many excellent people from the principal downwards and the members of the Council who are serving on that university. But the fact remains that separate facilities like this, cut off from other racial groups, do put the stamp of inferiority on the institution; and the very fact that the salary scale for Indian professors are lower than those of their White colleagues shows that there is this stigma of inferiority attaching to the Indian people. Let me also say that the Indian people cannot help remembering that there is perhaps a symbolic coincidence in the fact that this university was sited on the site of the old Yellow Fever Isolation Hospital. It is an isolated institution in more ways than one. They regard it as being set aside, away from the refreshing current of world events, away from the winds of the free intellect of the world, shut up in the stagnant backwater of Salisbury Island, in the atmosphere of the mangrove swamps.

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

Evening Sitting


I do not want to reply to the hon. members who spoke when business was suspended, because if I did I would definitely ruin the spirit of what I intend to say. I think other hon. members and the hon. the Minister will reply to him. I merely want to say that the spirit which has manifested itself during the course of this debate to-day has proved that the time has arrived for us to adopt a new attitude towards education. The spirit which has manifested itself during the course of this debate has proved that the time has passed, and I think for all time, when we should quarrel amongst ourselves about the existence of Afrikaans as a language or the retention of English as a language. Ever since I have been sitting in this House I have seldom known such a spirit to exist and never in a debate on education.

There is one question that worries me, Sir. I say the time is opportune that we adopt a new attitude towards education. There is one great defect in our educational system in South Africa and that is the lack of national pride. I think the reason for this defect lies in our educational system. Our education system does not consciously strive to develop a national pride in the people and to judge from the spirit which we have seen here today the time for that has arrived. I admit that there are reasons for that. The one reason why we do not reveal that national pride is probably due to the fact that the control over our educational system is so divided. Not only is there division as between the Union Education Department and the provinces, but there is also division as between the provinces. Up to to-day our educational system has failed consciously to stir up a feeling of national pride in the people. I want to mention two facts to prove this. The one is that so far we have not revealed the necessary respect for our national flag. We got this flag as far back as 1928, that is more than a decade ago, and it still happens to-day that even at official ceremonies our national flag is hung upside down. That happens; we cannot get away from it. And it is our fault. It is the fault of our educational system; it is not done consciously. We do not show the necessary respect for our National Anthem. As you know, Mr. Chairman, since 1938 “ Die Stem van Suid-Afrika ” has more or less been the National Anthem of South Africa. Today it is our one and only National Anthem and it hurts one to see that on many occasions, more particularly at important occasions, people do not take off their hats—another one smokes a cigarette—when “ Die Stem ” is being sung, and a large number do not stand properly. I want to ask the hon. the Minister this evening whether he does not think it is the task of the Union Department of Education to attend to this matter and to give guidance to the schools. We have to admit that we have reached the stage where we are a nation and I think the points of friction have been removed but there are still a few things that are irritating. It is the task of the Department of Education to remove those irritations and to give the necessary guidance and lead to the schools. The Department, the supreme body in the Union, because that is what the Department is, must give that lead. We in this House must recognize the Department as such and the country must recognize it as such. Not only must we give guidance to the schools but we must educate the adults and give them a lead in this connection. Only then will we become a nation. Only then will the whole world recognize us as such. As far as our national symbols are concerned, South Africa is far behind every nation in the world and I think the time has arrived that these incongruities are removed. In view of the spirit which has prevailed in this House to-day, I think the time has arrived for us to tackle this matter and to tackle it energetically.


Mr. Chairman, the hon. member who has just sat down will forgive me if I do not follow him into the realms of community singing which he favours. I think there are other things that would help more to build a nation. I would rather follow my hon. friend, the member for Durban (Berea) (Mr. Butcher) and draw attention to the grave shortage in science teachers and science workers. To emphasize, I wish to say that the President of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has drawn attention very forcibly to this shortage. But being a logical individual he goes back to its source and he says that the fault lies really in the schools. He says—

The shortage of well qualified and gifted science teachers … and in these circumstances it is improbable that talented children will be inspired to seek careers in scientific research. An organization such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research can only fulfil its function by attracting scientists of outstanding ability to its service and positive action is required to break the vicious circle which threatens to cause a break-down in the entire scientific structure of the country. The cornerstone of this structure is the science teacher.

If I may be forgiven, Sir, I would say that the “ corner stone ” is really the Minister of Education. I am well aware that schools do not come directly under him and I would hate to think that he would change his mind and bring in his national education Bill at the moment. Nevertheless, he can exert great influence on the provinces and draw their attention to this deficiency which is now beginning to affect, perhaps more than we realize, the whole economy and the set-up of the country generally. When it comes to the point that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, with all its facilities, with its high reputation, with the support which it receives from the country as a whole, is crying out for help, we should realize that the position is indeed serious. The president of that Council draws attention to the shortage of funds, but of course he would not be the president of such an institution if he did not lack funds. Nevertheless, it is not funds that will come out of this Vote and I feel that the hon. the Minister should spend a good deal of thought and time and possibly money on subsidizing either the school laboratories or subsidizing teachers in science who must at all costs be obtained. He can also do it through the universities because it is from the universities that these teachers must come.

I want to draw attention to another factor which emerges from the report of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and that is the question of the Russian language. I find that the Council is giving lessons in Russian. I have no doubt that there is a good reason for it. The obvious reason is, of course, that there is much scientific literature that is only available in Russian. But this is hardly the function of that institution and I am certain that it would not undertake work of that nature if it could avoid it. It does not want to divert its funds, it does not want to divert its workers into the teaching of a language. It suggests to me that in some way or other the universities are not carrying out their functions and those universities are the direct charge of this Minister. I find also that the C.S.I.R. is giving lessons in librarianship. Here again I can well understand that scientific workers need a good library and they need a good librarian but surely, Sir, it is not the function of this institution to train librarians. I know the hon. the Minister is not in charge of the C.S.I.R. but I am trying to point out to him that owing to the weaknesses in his Department this institution is forced in sheer self-defence to take on burdens which should be the duty of a university. I hope that he will look into the matter.

I want also to support the hon. member for Berea and the hon. member for Kempton Park (Mr. F. S. Steyn) who drew attention to the loss of our best young men. I can assure the Minister that this is no fantasy. We in the medical profession feel that there is a great advantage in sending our young men, just before they go out into specialist or research practice and who have done as much as they can do here, overseas to various countries. It is not a one-way traffic; others come here so it is not because our people have not the quality. We send them overseas because we want new views and because we want to know what is happening in other parts of the world. We do not want to be ostriches, that unfortunate bird which is copied by so many of us. We want to know what is happening. However, we find to our dismay that a high proportion of these young men who have cost this country a great deal of money in education never come back. They may come back to visit their parents and they may even re-appear here representing some organization overseas, but quite a high proportion of them are lost to this country and among them are the best that we have—so much so that quite recently a professor at one of the universities told me that he shuddered when he recommended the fine young men that he had trained to go oversea. He even found jobs for them so that they could work over there. But he shuddered when he did that because so many of them did not come back. I want to say this that it is not only the English-speaking men that do not come back; it would be false to have that idea. Quite a number of these people are Afrikaans-speaking. They stay there not because they fit into the environment any more than the English-speaking do, but they stay there because the opportunities are greater, there is greater scope, the opportunities for research are provided for them and because they can live comfortably, not necessarily luxuriously, but comfortably on the salaries that are paid to them. The loss to this country of these fine young men is very grave and deserves the attention of the Minister.

Lastly, Sir, I want to refer to the wastage of the first-year students at our universities. There has been great publicity about this—why the percentage of failures is so high. [Time limit.]


The hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) will forgive me if I do not enlarge on the valuable contribution which he has made to the discussions this evening, because I rise to ask for something totally different, namely, that we should make much better research facilities available to our universities which exist in South Africa to-day and which may be established in future and which are situated far distant from provincial archives. I am not referring to White universities alone, but also to the Bantu universities and the Coloured universities which exist at the moment and which may be established in the years that lie ahead, universities which, from the nature of things, will be situated far away from our central archives and from our provincial archives in the country. I want to ask that better research facilities be made available to our students at Government expense. Whenever our hon. Prime Minister, down to the most humble member of this House, gets on to a platform, they regard it as their duty as legislators of this country to plead for it that every person in South Africa, irrespective of race or colour, should receive proper education, particularly university education. However, those students who come from poor homes cannot afford the facilities to do the necessary research to write their theses for their degrees and they do not have archives available to them to do so. When I ask for these facilities, Mr. Chairman, I have in mind a university such as Rhodes, with a sub-division at Port Elizabeth, which may in future become bigger than the original university. They are 500 to 600 miles away from the nearest archives. It will not be very expensive to make these research facilities available to those universities. Those ¡facilities can be provided by means of photostat copies and micro films, and the students can do the necessary research through that medium. I want to say this, Sir: When I ask for those facilities I qualify my request. In this connection I want to refer to the report of the Holloway Commission of 1953. They recommended that not only should the Government make more funds available to the universities of South Africa, but, at the same time, the universities should enjoy greater autonomy. I thought at the time that those two recommendations were contradictory. Two years later, in 1955, the Government, by means of legislation, gave effect to the recommendation of the Holloway Commission in respect of a greater measure of autonomy to the universities. Since then the universities themselves have decided on the question of new posts on their staffs without submitting such decision for ministerial approval as in the past. In 1958 a new subsidy formula was formulated and introduced which increased the Government subsidy. In other words, Mr. Chairman, the recommendations of the Holloway Commission were brought into practical effect, and that was done by way of legislation with what results? The result is that to-day the Government carries approximately 73 per cent of the recognized current expenditure of our residential universities. That compares very favourably with 71.3 per cent in England, for the same purpose. In South Africa the Government carries approximately 80 per cent of the interest and redemption of capital in respect of buildings. That compares very favourably with more or less 50 per cent in England. In spite of this generous assistance from the Government, our universities in South Africa are still agitating for more and more Government assistance. That is the background against which I make my plea. My plea is this: That where our governmental head, the Prime Minister, every Cabinet Minister, every Member of Parliament and every provincial council member warn our youth throughout South Africa to equip themselves by means of education to maintain their status and to carry their weight in South Africa— I repeat we recommend this to every race in the country—and where I am asking for greater Government assistance in order to make better research facilities available to our universities which are situated far away from archives and may be situated far away from archives in the future, I want to ask this one question at least: Where it is 73 per cent in the one case and 80 per cent in the other case, and where it must inevitably rise to 100 per cent in both cases, I want to know whether the time has not arrived that such increased Government assistance and subsidies be accompanied by a great measure of State control? These universities cannot continually come to the Government and ask for greater assistance for a good cause—I admit that it is for a good cause, as I am pleading for to-day —and at the same time ask for greater autonomy.


Why not?


The two do not go together. They should be prepared to retain their autonomy by way of the assistance they get from the parents, and if the parents are unwilling to give it out of their own pockets, the Government will have to give it, but the Government will have to take it out of the pockets of the taxpayers. I merely wish to leave this thought with the Committee. I am pleading particularly for the Rhodes University with which I was concerned as a member of the Archives Commission which accepted a recommendation of mine. I plead that where we want to create better facilities—and the universities must realize this—the more the Government has to contribute the more should those universities be prepared to give the Government a share in the control of those universities. [Time limit.]


I would like to express my appreciation to the hon. member for Karas (Mr. Von Moltke) for the support he has given and the plea he has made for further research facilities to be made available to Rhodes University at Grahamstown. Of course, he did not only plead for Rhodes University, he pleaded for all universities that do not have archives in their vicinities. Mr. Chairman, the assistance allocated to universities under this Vote is considerable but I do not agree that it is adequate. A nation’s development and even its existence is a greater responsibility of our universities than, say, that of our Department of Defence on which we are spending a similar amount in the shape of army equipment alone. All development expenses, educational or otherwise, is dependent on university facilities and research. We in this country are far behind other countries in the field of research and the facilities that we provide for students at our universities. In every sphere, even in the field of wool research, research is starved in this country. In all other countries of the world enormous sums of money are allocated for research. For instance, Sir, I claim that Sir Basil Shonland’s contribution in the field of research, in two world wars, may have been of greater importance than our contribution in the form of armed forces. That is quite possible, Sir. My plea to the hon. the Minister is to open the doors to more efficient research at our universities. He expressed his approval and offered his assistance in this regard last year. I allude to the universities which have no archives facilities readily available to them. Last year on both sides of the House there was a plea for the establishment of archive depots at appropriate centres, but this has been rejected and facilities have now been offered by our archives to students to obtain photostat copies and micro films of necessary material for research. It is expensive for our professors or students to come from one of the far-flung universities to carry out research at centralized archives. It costs a lot of money, more than most students can afford to pay and it takes a lot of time. On top of that they have to pay for the photostat and micro films necessary. All I ask is that the Minister’s Department should provide funds to pay for the necessary micro films and photostat copies of the documents required for research. These micro films and photostat copies need not remain the property of any particular professor or student. This assistance could be given on condition that these documents should remain the property of the particular university concerned. I would like to stress as strongly as I can that it is not only in the interests of themselves but in the interests of the country generally that the Government should go out of its way to give assistance in this regard. The amount will not be so very great. The hon. the Minister of Defence said in the Other Place to-day that there was no need to panic regarding the prospect of war. I claim that there is reason to panic regarding the facilities for research. There is no doubt about it that certain universities have archives in their vicinity and why should those universities that haven’t this privilege be penalized, why should their students be penalized? It is not the students’ fault that they cannot all come to Cape Town or Pretoria or Pietermaritzburg, etc. We cannot concentrate on just a few universities. I think that research facilities should be made available to all universities. I have no doubt, Sir, that the hon. the Minister agrees with me. I am sure he agrees with the plea put forward by the hon. member for Karas. This is a struggle which the hon. member for Karas has been carrying on for a considerable number of years in the interests of education and research. Before I sit down I would again like to thank him for what he has done and I do hope that his efforts will be successful.

*Dr. J. H. STEYN:

The hon. member who has just sat down and the hon. member for Karas (Mr. von Moltke) before him have raised a matter which deserves, and which will probably receive, the support of all sides of the House. It is merely a question of how it is to be carried out in practice, and I want to urge upon the hon. the Minister that he should see whether he cannot extend the microfilm service on a very much larger scale and make that service available to all universities throughout South Africa.

However, I should like to come back to what the hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) has said. He has raised one or two matters of essential importance. The first was the shortage of scientists which we are experiencing in South Africa to-day. I do not think that anyone will try to contradict the submission he has made. As a matter of fact, this is a position which we find almost everywhere in the world, with one or two countries the unusual exceptions. But in South Africa, as he has said, the position is particularly acute and I should like to emphasize that. Then there is another matter which he has raised and regarding which I do not agree with him, namely his allegation which he has not substantiated, that the universities of South Africa are not fulfilling their function. I shall come back to that a little later. Furthermore, he has referred to the high percentage of failures amongst first-year university students. Here I agree with him and I want to link that aspect at once with his second submission and I shall try to show that the fault lies elsewhere and not with the universities themselves. If we pause for a moment and consider that less than 7 per cent of the children who enter school ever reach the universities, we realize that there is a tremendous amount of wastage (I do not like to use that term) along the way. And we can only understand this position if we try to realize what a vast gulf there is in South Africa between our final school year and our first year at university, a gulf which is almost unbridgeable for many of the students who reach the universities. I do not think that any university in South Africa will deny that they are enrolling too many inadequately prepared students for their first-year courses. As far as I know, this is a general complaint throughout South Africa at all our universities. Certain people, and I think it has gone further than “ a few people ”, have begun to wonder whether the time has not come that the universities themselves should try to provide further training to the students who apply for admission before they are accepted by such universities. This is something which is in direct conflict with our historical divisions in education, because it will mean (and I shall not go any further into the matter) that we shall have to take certain aspects of education from the provinces and give them to the Union Government via the universities. If we accept that our universities in South Africa should enjoy the privilege and should be entrusted with the onerous task of providing an additional year’s training to the students who apply for admission after leaving the provincial high schools, we shall be touching the basis of our whole educational set-up. This is not something which I am advocating at the moment, although it is in fact being advocated in certain circles, and this is something which we shall certainly have to consider carefully in the future. On the other hand the question arises: If we do not favour such a step, should we not incorporate an additional year under the control of the present authorities, in other words, the provincial authorities, and should we not ask them to provide another year’s training before they regard their task as completed and before they send these students to the universities. I am not going to go any further into this matter. It is one which falls outside the scope of our duties here in Parliament. This is a matter which, under the present system, is more one for the provincial authorities, although I must admit that if I had to make a choice, I would prefer the first submission I have made, namely, that we should rather create the facilities at our universities so that they can provide a better education to the students whom they receive from the schools, the scholars who want to become students, prior to their studying at the university itself. There are certain subjects in particular which are causing these difficulties and it is no secret that the mathematical subjects represent a very big stumbling block to children who leave our schools and wish to become students at the universities. The tragedy is that, in the development which all mankind is following to-day, in other word the so-called technological development, mathematics is precisely the foundation of the whole structure. Of all the subjects which are required for study in the direction I have indicated, it seems as though mathematics is the great stumbling black facing our students because too little attention is given to it in the schools and also during the interim period between the school and the university. The basis of this whole policy would be a far greater measure of uniformity in our school education, which is handicapped to-day by its present diversity which in turn is due to the differing policies which are being followed by the various provinces. In my opinion this is unavoidable as long as the present divided system remains. Mr. Chairman, you have allowed me considerable scope so that I could say these few words. Strictly speaking these are not matters which fall under our Union policy, but I am so convinced that the education of the individual forms one whole which cannot be subdivided into various subjects that I have taken the liberty to discuss the matter here as one whole and to urge that this essential aspect of the human being, namely education, should be regarded as a whole. I hope that in the future it will also be formulated and included in our system as one single whole.


I regard it as a privilege to be able to convey the congratulations of the whole House to the hon. the Minister at this stage of the debate with a view to the report we have just read in the newspapers to the effect that he intends re-marrying. I think that is a subject which belongs on this Vote and that is why I have mentioned it here.

Mr. Chairman, the most important Vote on the Estimates is that of the Minister of Education. More than 80 years ago, Disraeli, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, said: “Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.” If these words were true of Great Britain 80 years ago then they are 100 times more true to-day as far as South Africa is concerned. I am convinced in my own mind that the struggle for the continued existence of civilization on this continent—and I deliberately say “ civilization ” and not “ White civilization ”—will not be decided on the political platform, and will not even be decided in Parliament or in the economic sphere, but it will be decided on the benches of our schools and our educational institutions. Dr. Malan spoke along those lines when he addressed a meeting on one occasion and used these words: “ The greatness of a nation is not based after all on the area of its domains or the numbers of its people, or even the extent of its wealth, but is based on the extent and the greatness of its inner qualities of character and mind.” That is strength, and not numbers or wealth, and it is in the light of these facts that I feel obliged to say to-night that I think the time has come for all of us to give more attention to the education of our children and that the time has come for a general change in attitude towards the education of our children and also our young people in South Africa. I feel that this is a general requirement particularly under the present circumstances. I want to say at once that a matter which worries me is the wastage (I do not like to use the term) of human material under our educational system. I call it a wastage of human material and it is something which we can ill afford in South Africa. It has been said this afternoon, and I support that statement wholeheartedly, that there should be special facilities and that special provision should be made for those persons who are not fully endowed with all their faculties or talents, that is to say, the unintelligent children, etc. I want to admit at once that a great deal is being done for these children and that ever more is being done. I do not want to criticize this humanistic approach, but in this connection I want to ask at once if South Africa is doing enough for the intelligent child, for the upper layer, for the children who must be the leaders of the future? Are we doing enough for them? Is special provision being made for them. In South Africa, as a country with unique problems and with a small White population which must provide leadership, this is of the utmost importance, and I ask the Minister specifically to think in the direction that particular attention should be paid to our intelligent children, the future scientists the future research workers, the future administrators and the future leaders of our nation. Can we afford it that they should just be carried along in the ordinary stream and that they should find their own way or follow a road which does not lead them anywhere in particular? Or under the prevailing circumstances is it not the duty of the State to say each year: Look, we are taking the best of this year’s crop. Let us fix the figure at 40, 60 or 80 of the best students in our country, and let the State say after the final matriculation examination: Look, from now on these 60 students will be our responsibility; we shall give these students bursaries so that they can study in the direction which they want to follow; we shall give them the necessary facilities; they are the best of the crop and we regard it as our duty to provide them with the necessary education. How many of our able sons and daughters who do not have the necessary financial resources, but are of outstanding intelligence, people who could be an asset to the country, and who in addition have a fine character and personality, are being prevented by financial problems and the fact that bursaries are not granted to them, from ever attending a university or are being obliged to study in a specific direction for which they can obtain a bursary but in which they are not really interested? I therefore urge that we should give special attention to the intelligent child and that we should give him special treatment.

I want to refer to another subject, and this is in accordance with the spirit of the times. Much is being said about co-operation and national unity, particularly at present. Many appeals are being made and statements are being issued by various groups of people relating to national unity. A more friendly attitude and a spirit of rapprochement between the two White population groups is definitely possible and is also noticeable; a better understanding and a more typically South African approach to our problems will certainly bring us closer to one another. But an artificial fusion of people as a result of speeches, or even the artificial fusion of political parties, will not bring about national unity. It has never done so in the past. National unity under the new set-up in South Africa will only be possible when we educate our children in the spirit of “ South Africa first If this can be freely propagated openly and without fear in our schoolrooms, a generation of English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking people will grow up in this country with allegiance to this fatherland, with a joint love and a joint interest, a generation which by these means can become one nation in the future, quite apart from any other considerations. I therefore urge a new approach in our education as far as this matter is concerned. I feel very strongly on this point, and I therefore say it is the task of the State to ensure that the people, as the creation of God, should recognize and emphasize its own national attitude towards the world and God and that the State should form the national authority which upholds and protects the continued existence and development of the nation. From this it follows that education should be regarded as a method of creating the national character of the individual and of creating national unity within the nation. Regarded in this light the school should be seen as an instrument in the hands of the nation to realize the national ideals and to serve the national objects. I therefore advocate that our children should be educated in the spirit of unity and in a spirit of South Africa first. If we adopt this policy as the background, it will entail a readjustment of practically all our curricula. It will entail the revision of practically all our curricula in order to get away from what is in many cases the colourless, spineless, non-contentious character of many of our curricula. We shall have to have more positive curricula which will have a more positively South African colour and will further a positive South African citizenship and pride. It is for these reasons that I tell the Minister that he holds a very important portfolio. The continued existence of civilization of South Africa is in his hands. The unification of the Whites of South Africa into one nation is in his hands. I ask him to take positive and strong action, and that if necessary he should take the necessary steps to ensure that that unity is achieved and that education and the schools are recruited to the realization of this ideal.


I sincerely hope that the hon. Minister of Education will not pay any heed to the plea for uniformity and indoctrination which has just been uttered by the hon. member for Randfontein. Sir, it is precisely because of that type of speech coming from that hon. member and other hon. members opposite, that the whole of South Africa was so aroused last year at the appearance of the Union Education Advisory Bill. I am sure that thousands of anxious parents throughout South Africa will be extremely interested in what the hon. the Minister said this afternoon on the question of the introduction of this or any other Bill in regard to education, in Parliament. When I say “ thousands ”, I do so advisedly because I know of very few other measures introduced by this Government which aroused the same feelings of concern and indigation as did the Bill which has been withdrawn. As the hon. Minister knows, a petition was drawn up and signed by some 80,000 parents throughout the Union of South Africa against this Bill, and against the introduction of any Bill on education without first having the findings of an expert commission on education before this House. If I understood the hon. Minister correctly this afternoon, he told us that if he was going to consider introducing such a Bill, either the old one or any new Bill on education, he had already given his assurance that before such a Bill came before the House for second reading he would send it to a Select Committee. In other words, before the principle of the Bill is adopted, a Select Committee will study the Bill and hear evidence and make its findings in the light of any changes that it wishes to make. In reply to an interjection which I made, viz. “ Would the hon. Minister not consider appointing an expert commission on education?” The hon. the Minister said that he was not favourably disposed to the appointment of such a commission, and the reason he gave us was that we had already had many commissions on the subject of education in the Union, starting right back from the days of Union and ending, I think with the Commission of 1934. I think that was the last commission he quoted, and he said that all these commissions had been unanimous …


Commissions have also been appointed by all the provincial authorities since then, and they made the same recommendations including the suggestion …


In other words, also asking for the appointment of an advisory council?


May I say that the position has been thoroughly considered by the provincial authorities. What I said was that I thought the time was ripe for this Parliament to consider the question in Select Committee.


I disagree with the hon. the Minister when he says that the matter has been thoroughly considered. It is one thing for each province to appoint commissions of inquiry, it is another thing for an expert commission of inquiry to sit on the question of the co-ordination of education throughout the Union, and that really is what we want. A lot of water has flowed under the bridges since the appointment of the last Union commission of inquiry in 1934. At that time they considered simply the innocent proposal to try and co-ordinate educational services. But since then we have had a complete change in the whole attitude towards education, and as I say, Sir, the citizens of this country are today suspicious of any suggestions that there should be uniformity in the educational system in the Union, and they have had very good reasons to be suspicious. We have had statements, and they are sinister statements, from the Prime Minister in this regard, we had statements from the Administrator of the Transvaal quite recently, and statements from various Members of Parliament on the Government side, and it is quite clear that much more than co-ordination of education is aimed at. Unformity, control and in the ultimate, indocrination, pure and simple, that is what is aimed at, according to the statements of these various gentlemen. The hon. the Prime Minister said in 1959 that there would be “ uniformity in the sphere of education, it could not be otherwise, because the nation could maintain only one ideal in this sphere ”. The hon. member for Witbank pleaded for “ active and effective control of education ”.




Recently the Administrator of the Transvaal has made clear what the ideals are that he thinks should come to the fore in South African schools. When we couple these statements together with the smashing of the school board system in the Transvaal, with the removal of parental choice as far as language medium is concerned, with the disappearance of the conscience clause in the separate universities, and most important with the type of text-books which to-day are issued, the slanting of history, and I talk particularly about education in the Transvaal, political indoctrination in the schools, Sir, particularly under the so-called euphemistic “ race studies ” which are being conducted in the Transvaal schools, it is not hard to understand the type of ideals that are aimed at by the Nationalist Government: Indoctrination and the disappearance of all liberal thought in South Africa. That is what is aimed at and that is what the hon. member for Randfontein means when he talks about one type of “ volksideaal ”.


“ South Africa First,” that is all.


“ South Africa First ” can mean many things to many people and what “South Africa First” means to me, Sir, is very different, Sir, from what “ South Africa First ” means to the hon. member there, very different indeed. I want South Africa first to be a modern country, to be accepted by the Western world, to be part of the family of nations. I do not want South Africa to be a narrow, isolated, indoctrinated little country, which is what hon. members on the other side want. In the light of all this, it is small wonder that parents throughout South Africa are suspicious and are anxious, and it is no wonder that they plead with the hon. the Minister to consider the appointment of a non-party expert commission on the question of education. Everyone is prepared to admit that there are faults in our present educational system: Too many matriculation exams, all types of anomalies which should be ironed out … But that is quite a different thing. Co-ordination in education is a very different thing indeed from uniformity in education, and I want to tell hon. members opposite that every other country in the world is working away from uniformity and away from centralization. They want diversification, flexibility in education, so that they can adapt themselves to the changes in the socio-economic world of to-day. I want to warn hon. members opposite that they tamper with the most dangerous thing when they start tampering with the education of children, and to introduce uniformity in the educational life of children, is the kiss of death. It means no flexibility, no adaptability whatsoever. Other countries have tried it. Nazi Germany has tried it. It is being tried to-day in Soviet Russia with dire and fatal results to the populations of those countries. I most ardently plead with the hon. the Minister not to tamper with a flexible system of education, and before he considers introducing any changes, to appoint a proper expert commission of educationists who can go into the whole question of what we need in South Africa to bring our system of education up to modern standards.


I would like to say to the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) that I have been very patient as far as this whole matter is concerned since I took over education some years ago, as I said this afternoon I made a Press statement on 2 December, and that statement proves exactly what I said and I hope there won’t be any room for misunderstanding because I was quite frank on the whole issue—

As announced by the Leader of the House, Mr. Sauer at the end of the 1960, session of Parliament, the Bill which provides for the establishment of a Union Education Board unfortunately had to stand over because of lack of time. In terms of the undertaking given at the time of the prorogation, the Government wishes to announce that the Bill concerned will in fact be introduced next session. That was the undertaking which we gave when Parliament was prorogued last year. The Bill provides for the establishment of a Union Education Advisory Board and in order to give every educational association, every educationist and everybody concerned an opportunity to state their attitude, the Bill will be referred to a Select Committee before the second reading. This announcement is being made now (on 2 December) so that persons or bodies wishing to submit evidence, including educationists, will all know that the Bill is to be introduced and so that these persons or bodies will have an opportunity of stating their attitude, and the Bill will then be referred to a Select Committee before the second reading for this purpose. This announcement is being made now so that persons or bodies who wish to submit evidence will have adequate time to formulate their standpoint.

The hon. member therefore had an opportunity since December of last year to consult with educationists; they all had an opportunity to let her know what their attitude is so that she could put it to a Select Committee. I think I set out the position very clearly and candidly. The statement goes on to say—

Persons who no longer have the published Bill at their disposal, can obtain the details from the Secretary of the Department of Education, Arts and Science.

That is the position here, and I stated my attitude in this connection very clearly.

The hon. member for Randfontein as well as other hon. members talked about the bursary position, and I want to express my appreciation of the pleas which have come from all sides of the House in connection with certain general aspects of our education. This is one of the matters in respect of which pleas have come from various quarters. I just want to give the Committee this information that the Public Service Commission makes available R210,000 every year for bursaries. The Department of Education, Arts and Science makes available R70,000 every year. The C.I.S.R. makes available a number of bursaries; the Railways also give bursaries, and so does industry. The universities make available large numbers of bursaries every year. All pupils who pass matriculation in the first class or better, can get bursaries for their university training. In saying that, I do not want to suggest that that is sufficient. Strong pleas have been put forward on all sides of the House for the provision of bursary facilities, for financial assistance, to what has been described as “ the cream of our nation’s intellect ”, in order to give them an opportunity to pursue their studies both here and abroad, especially with a view to research, particularly under prevailing circumstances.

Then I want to deal just briefly with certain points which have been mentioned here. Generally speaking I want to express my appreciation of the particularly objective way in which the discussion has taken place here. In particular I want to mention, with appreciation, that in this debate, more so than in any other debate that I can recall, all sides of the House have emphasized the spirit and the character of our education, and I hope that that will remain a feature of our debates on education; that we will talk about education in the true sense of the word and about the spirit and character of that education and how to meet the essential needs of our country.

The hon. member for Potchefstroom (Dr. J. H. Steyn), the hon. member for Albany (Mr. Bowker) and the hon. member for Karas (Mr. von Moltke) have again pleaded here for research facilities.

The hon. member for Albany wants the door to be opened for more implicit research and to open the door also for the smaller universities. His plea was for the establishment of archive depots, for photostats and micro-films. Those hon. members made the same plea last year and I want to give them the assurance that I intend to give special attention to this matter and that I will once again go into the question whether it is possible to assist such universities. I cannot give a specific undertaking but I can promise hon. members that I will consider the matter on its merits.

Several members referred to the shortage of scientists. The hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) and also some other hon. members blamed the schools. He referred to the National Council for Social and Industrial Research and he said there is a shortage to-day of science teachers. He asked me to exert influence on other authorities to see what can be done to spend more money in subsidizing the laboratories, etc., in regard to scientific research. This, as I say, was the general plea on all sides of the House, and I can say that this will have the attention of my Department, because we all realize that in the world in which we live we have to do as much as we can in the way of scientific, technological and industrial research.

The hon. member for Malmesbury (Mr. van Staden) referred to the general character of education and the lead to be given by the Union Department of Education. I hope that nobody in this country will consider it the sole task of the Department of Union Education. It is the task of my Department, but it is also the task of all authorities in the field of education.

The hon. member for Durban (Berea) (Mr. Butcher) spoke about academic freedom and that research should not be limited. All I can say is that it has been our aim all along not to limit research. In fact, I quoted figures when replying to the hon. member for Rand-fontein which prove that much has been done in latter years to expand research in South Africa. South Africa, the hon. member says, does not fully appreciate the importance of research, but if South Africa wants any proof that we are appreciative of the importance of research, I think this debate has proved that. Stress has been laid on the importance of research on all sides of the House, and I have given the assurance that full attention will be given to this question. The subsidy formula provides for adequate Government subsidies in respect of buildings, libraries, laboratories and staff, and in addition to all these subsidies, the C.S.I.R. makes available R428,000 per annum to universities in the form of ad hoc grants, bursaries and postgraduate research and in respect of research units at universities. It also contributes R214,000 for fish, leather and wool research.

The National Council makes available R170,000 for research in social science, conducted either by the universities or under the supervision of the department.


Does the hon. the Minister regard that as being adequate contribution?


Well, I said in my reply that as we go along it is a matter for investigation; whether at a specific period that amount which has been given is sufficient; and I said that great stress should be laid on the question of research, especially in the times in which we live. That is why consideration should be given to the pleas from all sides of the House in this regard.

The hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) raised several points to which I should like to reply. He asked about the functions and the publications of the National Bureau of Research. My information is that the functions have been set out in great detail in successive reports of the department, but the functions as set out in these reports amount to the following; (a), to act as a clearing house of educational information for the Union of South Africa and (b), to undertake research work in the fields of social sciences and the humanities for the Department of Education or other Government Departments. As far as the publications are concerned, I am unable to give details of them but if the hon. member will remind me I would like to give him more details personally, because he takes an interest in these publications and I should like him to have the full information.

The hon. member then referred to the Council. The Council consists of leading university staff in the social sciences and humanity, and this Council is intended to advise the Minister to disburse an amount of £85,000 per annum for purposes of national research. The projects undertaken by the universities and the research projects undertaken by post-graduate students or individual staff members of the university. The staff of the bureau is selected by examination tests conducted in collaboration with the highest specialists that we have in the country. I am now referring to the language services of the bureau. Not all the reports of Government Departments are translated by the bureau. For instance the reports of the Auditor-General and others are not translated by the bureau. We are trying to get the best personnel we can. We are trying to create facilities for training personnel. I was very sorry to learn from the hon. member that he was greatly concerned about the reports that had been sent overseas. I quite agree that the reports that are sent outside South Africa particularly, but also the reports in South Africa should, as far as their language is concerned, be the best in South Africa.

That, I think, deals more or less with the general matters which have been raised here since my last reply. Once again I want to express my appreciation of the spirit of a positive approach that was evident in this debate. Then, Mr. Chairman, in spite of the fact that you will rule me out of order, I feel that I must thank hon. members warmly for the congratulations conveyed to me through the hon. member for Randfontein. Judging by the spirit in which it was done, there is great unanimity in this House apparently with regard to this matter as well.

Vote put and agreed to.

On Vote No. 26.—“ Schools of Industries and Reform Schools,” R1,822,000,


Mr. Chairman although this Vote is a separate Vote it is only relatively speaking a small amount that is being voted here, but nevertheless I feel it is an important Vote particularly in regard to the re-education that is necessary at these two types of schools, the reform schools and the industrial schools. I should like first of all to deal with the reform schools and particularly the Reform School at Constantia, which is the only one for White youths in South Africa. Once again I would like to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister to the question of over-crowding at the Constantia Reformatory and also at industrial schools.

Dealing purely with the Constantia Reformatory I would like to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister to the latest report of the Department of Education, Arts and Science, which states on page 7—

At the Constantia Reformatory School for European boys the annual admissions again exceeded discharges by about 50. While 220 pupils can be properly accommodated there are at present 273 in the institution. This over-crowding imposes a severe strain on staff and pupils alike, and understandably creates tensions which make the task of re-education more difficult.

The position as I have seen it at Constantia is that certain additional buildings are being erected at the institution. However I do feel that attention should be given to the establishment of a further reform school but on a smaller basis, so as to be consistent with the more modern methods now being used in regard to rehabilitation, particularly of young persons. With the smaller units it is an accepted fact that the degree of success in rehabilitation is far more noticeable because intensive individual therapy can then be applied. I would therefore ask the hon. the Minister to give his attention to establishing a smaller reform school so that this work which is being carried out—and I might add it is excellent work—by a dedicated staff could be extended. At the present time with the institution becoming larger and larger it becomes necessary to increase the accommodation available and we find that we have larger institutions which, I feel, is not ideal. It would be far better to adopt a policy of creating smaller reform schools. I may mention that in other countries such as the United States of America the question of rehabilitating youth is handled in much smaller units such as the St. Francis Boys’ Homes in Kansas which claims a 70 per cent success in rehabilitation. But the number there never exceeds 40 inmates. They have established several of these small homes of that type, which they find to be most successful in the handling of this problem.

The hon. the Minister of Justice when discussing his Vote, made an important announcement in regard to rehabilitation centres for youths and young offenders. In that regard I should like some clarity from the hon. the Minister of Education, Arts and Science as to whether these rehabilitation youth centres are to remain continually under the jurisdiction of the hon. the Minister of Justice. In studying the courses to be adopted at these rehabilitation centres, it does appear to me that the accent will be on re-education—and quite rightly so—and that it might be possible to have such rehabilitation centres falling under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education.

The other matter which I wish to discuss is also in regard to rehabilitation and the type of hostels that are utilized for this purpose. Here I would like to mention the Cape Town Lads’ Hostel which has done excellent work in the past, and which has been established since 1935. This hostel also claims to have a high degree of success in the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. But this institution is now more or less being bypassed due to the effects of the application of the Children’s Act of 1960 whereby certified hostels are not recognized as institutions in terms of that Act. We therefore find that a hostel of this type is more or less going out of existence, and I do hope that the hon. the Minister will endeavour to elicit the support of welfare organizations for this important work of rehabilitation amongst young persons, rather than see the work that has been carried out by an institution such as the Cape Town Lads’ Hostel being thwarted by the provisions of the Act.

Another matter with which I wish to deal is the question of industrial schools. There is an amount of R1,581,000 being voted under this particular heading. Here I think the shortage of accommodation is perhaps even more acute than that at the reform schools. Once again, referring to the report of the Department of Education, Arts and Science, we find that the school of industries is reported as having long waiting lists for the various industrial schools, thereby creating difficulties in connection with the Department of Social Welfare and its work. When discussing the Vote of the Department of Social Welfare I did mention the difficulties that existed due to the fact that these industrial schools are full. This is borne out in the report of the Department of Education where it says as follows—

The fact that directly committed boys and girls cannot be admitted immediately to schools and industries, but in many instances have to be detained for months on end at places of safety, is not only a problem to the Department of Social Welfare but in some cases means that pupils do not attend school for long periods and fall into loafing and become uncontrollable.

I would therefore ask that the hon. the Minister gives urgent attention to the question of creating additional industrial schools. And in this context I should like to make a plea for the Province of Natal, because in Natal at the present time there is no such industrial school. Parents of children who go to these industrial schools, particularly those from the poorer classes, find it extremely difficult to raise sufficient money for train fare and other matters to pay for these children when they wish to come home for holidays. It is also a recognized fact that it is not good for the child to be cut completely adrift from his own parents by being placed in institutions several hundred miles away from his parents. Particularly is this so when one considers that in these industrial schools you do not merely have children who are truants and uncontrollable and, perhaps, potential transgressors. We also have a large number of children transferred from other children’s homes and who have been placed there by their parents. Therefore the parents still wish to take an interest in their children and would rather have them in a more accessible place, particularly in so far as Natal is concerned where, as I say, there are no industrial schools. I do hope the hon. the Minister will give his attention to this urgent problem which appears to be hampering the good work being done by these institutions, so that better work could be done and more adequate facilities made available.


I want to give the hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) the assurance that I listened with interest to his plea. I want to thank him for it and congratulate him on the fact that he is one of the members who take a particularly great interest in these institutions. I am glad he mentioned the institution at Constantia. I visited this institution and stayed there practically the whole day. I was so impressed with the work that was being done there that I felt that we should not really call this institution a reformatory but simply a school, so that the boys there can develop a pride in their institution. As I have said, the hon. member takes an interest in these schools and institutions, and so do I. He says that we must not make the units too large because if the units are smaller and the numbers are smaller, more personal attention can be given to the children, and that that also promotes the homely character of such an institution. He suggested various expansions for the future. I can tell him that in Kimberley there is a school which has been functioning from the beginning of the year. We are also putting up an extra school for girls. The hon. member went on to refer to an announcement made by the Department of Justice. That is a matter which the hon. member should raise under the Justice Vote. I have also been informed that since the amendment to the Children’s Act, it is anticipated that the numbers coming to these institutions will diminish, because under the provisions of the Children’s Act more children will now be placed with private families, with the result that the numbers going to these institutions will not be so great. I can assure him that we are giving attention to the needs of these schools and that we want to meet those needs because we know that these schools are doing very good work.

Vote put and agreed to.

Precedence given to the Estimates of Expenditure from Bantu Education Account and Vote No. 39 (Bantu Education: Special Schools).

On “Bantu Education”,—R21,046,000,


I wish to avail myself of the privilege of the half-hour. And when I do so it is not because I pose as an educationist but because I believe the time has come when we should try to get some light on to the tangled financial mess into which the Ban-to Education Account has been brought within the past few years. I believe that it will be helpful to see how the finances stand before there is examination of the educational policy itself, and before hon. members criticize or, in some cases, praise the exploits of the hon. the Minister who has charge over the administration of the Bantu Education Vote.

The tidy budgetary arrangements that existed prior to April 1955 when there was one Vote on Revenue Account and one Vote on Loan Account to meet the needs of the Department of Native Affairs, has ended. Instead of that simple arrangement of parliamentary appropriation, appropriation now has to come from four separate and distinct sources.

I see the hon. the Minister frowns, but there are now two accounts on Revenue Funds and two accounts on Loan Funds.


I am just doubting the validity of a discussion of that nature now, because that is an Act of Parliament.


I am coming to the matter. Let the hon. the Minister just be patient. I said we now have this involved system of appropriating from four separate sources. And the problem account amongst those four sources of supply, so far as the present debate is concerned, is this newly established Bantu Education Account. I call it a newly established account because it had its beginnings on I April 1955 by an amendment introduced by Act 7 of 1955 into the Exchequer and Audit Act of 1911. That Act is now Act No. 23 of 1956.

At that time it seemed quite a straightforward beginning, but as has happened so often when this Government deals with matters, that has been a complete illusion, as I will endeavour to show. I call this a problem account because the main cause of the financial mess into which it has been getting over the past few years is this Government’s determination to bring its apartheid obsession and its racial ideologies into money matters. Let me remind the hon. the Minister that money is colour blind, whether it is calculated in £.s.d. or whether it is calculated in rand and cents. It just will not play colour politics, regardless of all the efforts that may be made by the Government to force the issue and regardless of how many laws may be passed in regard to the matter. All that has happened in that regard to date is that in addition to the country—and the Bantu people in particular—being burdened with a tangled mass of legislation on the subject of education, it is now also being landed with a tangled mess of financial administration in regard to the same subject.

My difficulty of course, Mr. Chairman, is to keep the problem I wish to discuss within debateable limits. Let me commence, therefore, by saying that the Bantu Education Account was not created to accommodate some new-found source of revenue moneys; it merely brought about a redistribution of moneys which were already finding their way into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. So that by creating a new account we did not get any new source of money. It was merely, as I say, a redistribution of what was already coming into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The real complication arises from the fact that there is a very limited amount that flows into this new account. But the Government, on the other hand, goes on changing its policy and changing its mind and never ceases to add to the charges which have to be met from this account. Originally in April, 1955 the intention was that the cost of education provided in terms of the Bantu Education Act No. 47 of 1953, would be met from that account. And the policy was enunciated by the Government at that time that the Bantu taxpayer should mainly foot the bill of cost of education provided in terms of Act 47 of 1953. Accordingly, direct taxation on the Bantu people was diverted to this account. And into the account was placed a fixed and limited contribution of £6,500,000 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Precisely why the sum of £6,500,000 was fixed has never been quite clear to me, because I do not believe that that amount is in any way representative of the indirect tax which the Bantu people are contributing to the revenues of the country.


That was never the idea. It was the amount expended over and above the amount collected from direct taxation that year— 4/5ths of the direct taxation.


I am very glad to have that statement from the hon. the Minister because I think it helps to make the point which I intended to make. I am sure the hon. the Minister would like to know precisely in what a tangled mess this account has got into, and that is the purpose of my speech. Therefore, as the hon. the Minister himself now indicates, at that stage there was a limited amount of money which would accrue to this account. But it was clearly expected that the charge against the account would also be a limited one and would be confined to the running costs for primary education and such secondary education as was contemplated by the Bantu Education Act of 1953. The hon. the Minister therefore confirms that there was a static position in 1955 when the account was opened, and for that reason, of course, all capital expenditure in connection with Bantu Education then formed a charge against the Loan Account, just as happens in all other cases where State services are provided. The capital expenditure comes from the Loan Account. That was then the position which prevailed in regard to Bantu Education as well.

However, Sir, all of that was to change quite soon. In 1957 a change was introduced in the scheme by the Finance Act No. 81 of 1957, the relevant sections being Sections 9 and 13. By virtue of that change the capital costs of land and buildings for Bantu schools also became chargeable to this account.


Your previous statement was not right.


They also became chargeable to this account by virtue of this change in legislation and, of course, this was going to add a heavy additional burden on this account. Therefore in 1958 another change was made. A further change, as I say, was then introduced by the Finance Act No. 37 of 1958. In order to keep this new account solvent, at least on paper, Section 5 of that Finance Act provided that the capital costs for land and buildings for Bantu schools would be advanced on a loan basis from the Loan Account and would be recoverable by yearly instalments from the Bantu Education Account. There was, therefore, merely a loan system from the Loan Account with a direct ultimate charge on the Bantu Education Account. But the 1958 legislation went a stage further. It actually made that provision retrospective from as far back as April 1954 which obviously brought about a tangled mess of financial adjustments: adjusting back for four years.

Next, in 1959, two Acts were passed which provided that the cost of Bantu university college education would also become a charge to be met from the Bantu Education Account. Now the two Acts are, of course, the so-called Extension of Universities Act No. 45 of 1959, and the Fort Hare University College Transfer Act, No. 64 of 1959. But that is not the end of this sorry legislative story. Last year, in 1960, those two Acts were amended respectively by Act 62 of 1960 and Act 63 of 1960. The effect of these two amendments was again to ensure that any capital costs incurred for these tribal colleges would also be advanced on a loan basis from the Loan Account and would be recoverable in yearly instalments from the Bantu Education Account.


Where is all this money coming from?


Then, just to add full measure, the Finance Act No. 64 of 1960 made all this arrangement retrospective to April 1959. So here, again, we reach this position of a financial complication of adjusting charges already made.


You are criticizing Acts of Parliament.


I am not criticizing Acts of Parliament, I am trying to throw some light on this tangled mass of legislation and this financial muddle which has been created in regard to what, as I said, started as a straightforward simple beginning for financing Bantu education.


No wonder they want to hand over the Transkeian Territories to the Bantu Authorities.


Order, order! The hon. member must be careful not to criticize legislation passed by this hon. House.


I am not criticizing the legislation, Sir, I am explaining it. Surely I am entitled to explain what the effect of this legislation is? It means that in five years no less than eight separate bits of legislation have been passed to give effect to one change of policy after another so far as this Government is concerned. Each year since 1957 the Government has changed its mind and changed its policy by adding to the burden imposed on the Bantu Education Account. And, as we all know, there is amending legislation before the Other Place at the moment for this Session, which is also going to add further burdens to this Bantu Education Account.

Mr. Chairman, I then come to the amounts that are involved. The current year’s estimate on the Bantu Education Account, that is for the year 1961-2, gives an estimated outlay of £10,500,000—I am talking in pounds this time. That is against an estimated income of only £10,000,000. I chose to speak in pounds because I shall be referring to previous years when pounds were in use. The estimated income for the current year happens to be about £250,000 less; in fact it happens to be £370,000 less than the estimated income of the previous year. But under this deferred payment arrangement to which I have referred, and in which capital is received in the form of an advance on a loan basis from the Loan Account and is then repayable by instalments, the position is that by the end of March 1960 this account had been mortgaged to the Loan Account to the extent of nearly £1,500,000. The exact figure is £1,456,582, for which current revenues in the Bantu Education Account are now mortgaged. And it only takes a simple calculation to come to the conclusion that up to the end of March 1961 the account will be mortgaged to the extent of well over £2,000,000, very likely £2,500,000.

It is quite obvious, of course, that the full burden of the capital costs in regard to these tribal colleges has still to be met. These are new undertakings and it is quite obvious that in the first year the capital expenditure will be considerable, so that we have not even touched the fringe of the capital expenditure involved for the tribal colleges. All I can say is that it is very difficult to forecast where the Government’s complicated fiscal and budgetary apartheid arrangements are leading. It is equally difficult to try and forecast what the taxation burden on the Bantu taxpayer is likely to be in the coming years. It is already obvious that the full tax burden on the Native taxpayer for education is not all being revealed in this Bantu Education Account. I would like to draw the attention of the House to a footnote which appears on a schedule to Loan Vote N, in the Controller and Auditor-General’s report for last year, that is 1958-9. The note is signed by the Secretary for Bantu Administration and Development in his capacity as Accounting Officer for the Vote, and the note reads as follows—

The Bantu Education Account was liable for the cost of 75 classrooms in Meadow-lands and Diepkloof, in substitution of a similar number of classrooms which were demolished in Sophiatown, Newclare and Martindale. All other schools required in the Western Areas will be financed from funds provided for in the house rent of the inhabitants of the locations.

Therefore it is clear that this muddled mass of financial administration I was trying to indicate was only part of the picture. The taxation on the Bantu, for education only—I am not speaking about anything except education—is being raised in the form of house rent in certain areas.


The hon. member cannot discuss revenue or taxation.


I am not discussing it, Sir. I am only indicating that the account is in a financial mess, and I am telling the House what is reported in an official document. I am simply indicating that this account which we are trying to deal with to-day only represents a portion of the funds. There are various levies made in the rural areas, which also provide the money for education, and so the financial mess only becomes a bit more muddled and that is what I am trying to indicate.


But the hon. member is not entitled to discuss taxation or revenue.


On a point of order, I submit that the hon. member is not discussing taxation, but the laws which pertain to the voting of money for Bantu education and he says that these Estimates which purport to indicate the amount of money made available from these sources for Bantu education do not present the whole picture, and that money is being provided from another source not disclosed here. He is saying no more than that. He says that there is an undisclosed source of revenue, and this is mentioned by the Auditor-General and I submit that the hon. member is quite entitled to discuss it.


Order, Order! In a previous ruling, the Chairman pointed out that members should bear in mind that the functions of the Committee of Supply are confined to granting, refusing or reducing the items of the expenditure and that it is irregular in Committee of Supply to discuss matters involving legislation or to continue the Budget debate.


With respect, Sir, the Bantu Education Account is a very significant one. It is different from any other estimates that we have before us, because on the last page on the Estimates it gives you the sources of revenue from which this expenditure has to be met, and it says here what the estimated credit balance of the account is expected to be. Now, with respect, I am not dealing with taxation. I am merely dealing with financial accounts.


Order! The hon. member is not entitled to discuss revenue.


Sir, I am not discussing revenue, if I may say so; I am discussing the accounts and I am dealing with the accounting position which flows from an appropriation.


On a point of order, may I just point out that the levy which is collected in the urban areas to which the hon. member now refers has nothing to do with taxation levied by this House or provided for by legislation. These are purely administrative arrangements. [Interjections.] I think the hon. member is quite in order in discussing it, and therefore I would like to support him in regard to this point. But I want to raise the further point of order that I have doubt as to what the scope of this debate should be. Hitherto the hon. member’s whole speech was about financial arrangements made in terms of laws passed by this House, and if we have to discuss that we also have to discuss the laws already passed, because if we have to make changes there it will amount to amending the law, and I doubt whether that can be discussed. Personally, I would welcome a discussion on that point, but I do not know whether it can be done under the rules.


The hon. the Minister is quite in order. Legislation already passed cannot be discussed, and sources of income cannot be discussed either because the Committee does not grant supply.


I thank the hon. the Minister for helping me again. In any case, I have not been trying to discuss revenue or taxation for which this House has any responsibility, and therefore, with respect, I think I am in order in carrying on.

However, I am merely indicating that it would be a very good thing to see how the finances stand before you discuss the policy of education, and all I have done so far is to try to throw some light on to the financial situation which has arisen since 1955, when this Bantu Education Account was started. The policy of this Minister, therefore, and his administration must be examined against the deficit budgeting for the current year, 1961-2, and against future receipts in the account being heavily mortgaged, with still heavier mortgaging to come in future. The Estimates before us indicate that there was originally a credit balance in the account, in the Bantu Education Account. As I say, when the account was established it had the appearance of a straightforward beginning. I have tried to indicate that it is anything but straightforward now. So far as any credit balance in this account is concerned, it is quite obvious that it is falling very rapidly, because the picture given by the Auditor-General in his current year’s report, for 1959-60, shows that at 31 March 1959, the credit balance in this account was £873,000, and at 31 March 1960, it had been reduced to £771,000, and the Minister in his Estimates disclosed that the estimated balance is likely to be only £556,000 by the end of this year. Therefore the financial picture presented by this Minister to this House in so far as this account is concerned can only be described as depicting a depressing scene.


I will not allow hon. members to discuss credit balances. They must confine themselves to granting or refusing or increasing or reducing the items of Expenditure, and hon. members will have to adhere closely to that.


I wish to raise an incident which I feel raises an important issue between the Minister’s Department and the mission churches, and which also casts a bad light on the Minister’s handling of his Department, which shows complete disregard of the interests of the children concerned, and I want to accuse the hon. the Minister of misleading this House.

Sir, on 21 February this year I put a question in this House to the hon. the Minister. I asked him whether a school for Bantu children at Joubertskop in the Standerton district had been closed down, and I went on to ask him a number of questions in regard to that school. [Quorum.]

*Dr. STEYTLER (Sitting down):

On a point of order, I hope this time is not being taken off the speaker’s time.


I am afraid so, yes. The hon. member may proceed.


On a point of order, is the hon. member entitled to say that the hon. the Minister misled the House?


He said so, but he did not mean intentionally.


The hon. member may proceed.


I put this question to the hon. the Minister, to which he replied: No, the rest falls away. I was astonished that he should have done so, in view of the information I had received, and therefore later on, on 10 March I put another question to the Minister in which I asked him whether this school had at any time been conducted at Joubertskop, and I went on to put other questions, and in reply to those questions the Minister gave me the information I was seeking. Now the position is that on 26 January an inspector, accompanied by a local farmer, arrived at this school at 2 p.m. and summarily ordered the school to close and the children to go home and told them that they were not to return to school next day. This caused astonishment because it was a healthy school with over 100 children in it. There had been no question of any complaint against the school and there had not been the slightest intimation that there was anything at all wrong with the school. But suddenly this school was closed down. On 10 March I put further questions, to which I got a number of replies.

Now I want to tell the story of this school. The position is that this school was run by the Methodist Mission Church, a body of the highest standing, a body which is held in the highest repute and which, I believe, has always been on reasonably good terms with the Minister’s Department, and has certainly operated its Bantu schools in terms of the Bantu Education Act. Now this school had been long established and it was an excellent school and it was providing for a local need. In 1955 the school was officially classified as a farm school. The only thing that happened from 1959 up to the present date was that the principal and manager of the school had been changed in the meantime, owing to the fact that a new principal came there. Now an offer was made by the local farmer to the church for the purchase of the ground on which the mission school stood, and that offer was declined, mainly because the parents of the children were anxious that the existing school should continue, and the school consulted the parents and that was the reply they got, so they decided to continue the school. Then out of the blue on 10 January this year comes this sudden closing of the school without any warning, or any intimation that the school had not been conducted as it should have been. But, worse than that, what happened was that for the full period of from 26 January to 13 February no provision whatsoever was made for any alternative school. On 13 February an alternative school, it was announced, was to be opened by a local farmer who had received a licence for that purpose from the Minister, to be held in a fodder-shed on the farm, an old dilapidated fodder-shed half-full of lucerne and thatching grass. When the children met at the school a couple of snakes, puffadders, were seen to run into the school, and naturally the children panicked and refused to go into the school, so that the teacher was compelled to conduct the school in the open air, and the only furniture there was a table and a chair. That was the situation, with this excellent school with first-class building and all the facilities closed down, and the children being forced into this alternative school. The Minister, in replies to questions I put to him —Sir, I accuse him of misleading the House. I asked him whether …


Order! That is the second time the hon. member has used that expression.


Yes, that is my charge, that he misled the House; he misled me in his replies to my questions. My charge against him is one of giving wrong information to this House.


Then put it that way.


Very well, I say he gave wrong information to the House. [Interjection.]


The hon. member may proceed.


I asked the Minister whether instructions had been given that the classes should be transferred to this new school. The Minister said no, the pupils had been moved to a neighbouring school at the initiative of the farm owners. Well, that was not the case at all. I have explained what happened, that the inspector arrived and closed the school.


Now I am telling you that you are misleading the House.


Then the Minister can get up and make his speech and say what he likes. I am giving the facts as I know them.


That is a deliberate distortion of the facts.


On a point of order, is that allowed?


No, the hon. member must withdraw that.


I withdraw it.


One of the questions I asked was whether, when the school closed, alternative accommodation was provided, and the Minister replied that the farm owner had undertaken to erect two classrooms. Well, I have told you, Sir, that for three weeks nothing at all was done, and then the children were told to report at this shed, and I have explained what happened there. It is only later on that any attempt was made to do anything about the classroom, and according to my latest information, those classrooms are not in existence yet. Finally, when I wanted to know what the fate would be of the existing school belonging to the church, the Minister said he doubted whether the school would continue because it had become empty and the farm owners would probably not grant permission to the children to attend this school. [Time limit.]


Mr. Chairman, I should like to refer to the financial side of Bantu education, not with any desire to analyse how the funds are raised, but because the Bantu Education Account has a very important effect on the whole of education. The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mr. Plewman) spoke about the accounts not being straightforward. I do not know anything about that side of it, but I say that the accounts are a straitjacket. In other words, they restrict the development of Bantu education—and this is the Minister’s difficulty as well—they are confined to a fixed amount laid down by law: £6,500 000 or R13,000,000 contributed by the Consolidated Revenue Fund and four-fifths of the taxation raised directly from the Bantu.


Order! That cannot be discussed.


That is the difficulty. Now, how does the Minister get over that difficulty? That is what I want to come to, how has he been able to get over that difficulty, because we read in every paper, in every fact paper and publication on Bantu education that the number of children in the schools has increased, that there are more teachers and more schools, that expansion is greater than anything in Africa, and yet they are living in this straitjacket of finance. Now they say definitely in this fact paper how it was done. This is how they have done it. This is the achievement. I am quoting now from the fact paper, which was very similar to a very able paper which was delivered to the Institute of Race Relations by an official of the Department.


Order! Does that fact paper deal with the expenditure mentioned here?


No, I am dealing with the policy of the Minister and how he dealt with expanding education with the same amount of funds. He expanded the system, but the amount has remained the same, and everybody is anxious to know how that is done.


You are wrong there.


Well, the difference is that there is a slight increase every year, but that is not the point we are discussing now. This is how it was done, and it is stated in the Minister’s own fact paper. First of all, it was done by the introduction of double sessions in the sub-standards. Now, when we speak of a double session in a school, we mean a school where the children go in the morning for about three hours and then go home for an hour or adjourn for an hour, and then go back for another two hours. That is a double session. But that is not what a double session means in Bantu education. Here it has a completely different meaning. On the diamond diggings there was a double session as well. The children went in the morning for five hours, and another group of children and another group of teachers went in the afternoon for five hours. In other words, they saved on buildings but not on teachers. But that is not what we are doing in Bantu education. In the sub-standards the first group of children go to school for half a day, and the other group goes to school for half a day in the afternoon, but with one lot of teachers. So, instead of having a teacher responsible for 50 children, we now have a teacher responsible for 100 children. That is the first way of saving money, and seeing that most of the children in Bantu education are in the lower classes in the primary schools, that has brought about a saving, but it has not brought about efficiency.

The second way in which they did it is this. In the lower primary schools they have introduced cheap labour by giving posts to women instead of men. The women are paid less and in the lower classes it is a good thing to introduce them, but this is the point. The period of service they get from women as teachers is much shorter than that they get from men, so eventually there will be some difficulty, but at present, by paying lower salaries to women—and why women should be paid lower salaries for teaching in the same class I do not know—they save money.

The third way is, that when a farm school is becoming rather large—the farmer’s school would be a better name—it can be converted into two junior schools. That again saves money, because they get lower rates of salary. That practice has been followed as well. Then there is another way in which they do it, and this I think is the worst of all. They have abolished school feeding. They did not say that they would not give any more school feeding for Native children. They were much too clever for that. They asked: What will you have, food without education, or education without food? They asked the parents to decide. These parents must be very keen on education, because they said they wanted their children to get education, with the result that the food scheme in Bantu schools has practically been dropped. That is how they have brought about this wonderful expansion with this remarkable result, the only education system in the world where anything of the kind has happened. I am still quoting from the fact paper. In the period from 1953 to 1960 we know that costs have increased in White schools. The cost per child has increased, but this is what happened in Bantu schools. The cost in 1953 was R17 per head p.a.; in 1960 it cost R14 per head—less. There is no other education system in the world where that has happened. It is perfectly obvious what is happening. The profession of the hon. member for Witbank (Mr. Mostert) and my profession is paying for it, the Bantu teachers. Whether it is a Bantu teacher or a White teacher, we as members of the profession should protect him and I think the Bantu teacher is not getting a straight deal. That is obvious. What is happening and what are they doing when they do not get a straight deal and their salaries are going down? They are leaving the profession and getting jobs as clerks and messengers where they can earn more money than as a teacher. That is the situation which has developed.

Now I come to the next point. The next burden on this Bantu Education Account is that an extra Act which was not contemplated in the beginning has now been introduced. They are being called upon to pay for the Bantu university colleges. Bantu university education is being paid for out of this strait-jacket fund. That was never contemplated, not even by the commission. What has happened? We put some questions on the Order Paper. Here is a lovely question on the Order Paper. The statement was made by the Principal of the Natal University, so we thought that we had better get it confirmed. An hon. member put a question on the Order Paper and asked this: What was the cost per student at the University College of Ngoya last year? Remember that I said it cost R14 per pupil in the primary school. There were 41 pupils at this university college, and it cost R1,724 per pupil without counting capital costs. It would be much better to say to the Bantu students: Here is R1,724; go home and retire and live in the kraal in peace. And they could do it if we are going to give it to them for three years at this cost per annum. This was in reply to the question. Then we were anxious to find out what was happening this year, how many matriculated pupils there are at Ngoya this year, and we found that there were not 41 this year, but only 30. What it will cost this year I do not know, but I think the whole family would be able to retire. [Time limit.]

Dr. D. L. SMIT:

I want to raise a very serious aspect of Bantu education, namely the establishment of a large number of secondary schools without regard to the availability of trained teachers. We want to know what policy is being followed by the Minister in this direction, and what consideration the Minister is giving to the matter. I think it is very unwise to establish these secondary schools unless qualified teachers are available to fill the teaching posts. The same remark applies to the teacher training institutions and the two costly Bantu universities at Ngoya and Turfloop. Unless some steps are taken to remedy the state of affairs which has emerged during recent months, we shall have what we feared when the principal Act was passed in 1953. What is in fact happening now is that the Natives are being fobbed off with a third-rate system of education. The figures given by the Minister in answer to a series of questions I put to him earlier this Session, and statements made by the Secretary for Bantu Education, disclose a very disturbing state of affairs and show quite clearly that secondary schools are being established without the necessary trained staff being available and in the higher standards Bantu education is, I am afraid, being built on shifting sands. The figures the Minister gave indicate a steady drop in matriculation passes ever since the Government took over Bantu education from the missions, and a serious deterioration in the standards of education given to Bantu students, due to the lack of qualified teaching staff.

In 1953, when the missions had charge, 547 Bantu students entered for the matriculation examination. The number of passes was 255, a percentage of 47.1, and 19 obtained exemptions. When we come to 1960, when the Government had control, 716 students entered for the examination, 128 passed, or 17.9 per cent, and only 28 obtained exemption. This drop has been maintained steadily right throughout the period since 1953. I understand that last year at the High School at East London, 19 wrote for the examination and only two passed. At Langa High School in Cape Town, 11 wrote and only one passed. The Secretary for Bantu Education, in an interview with the Press, stated that as a result of pressure from Bantu school boards, the number of secondary schools had been increased from 94 in 1949 to 288 in 1960, an increase of nearly 200 in ten years. This fact has been published abroad in the Department’s magazine, Bantu, for March 1961, as a great achievement on the part of the Department. The Secretary for Bantu Education, in a further interview, reported in the Cape Argus, attributed the failure to the fact that less than half the teachers in secondary and high schools are properly qualified. What an admission to make! It is a shocking state of affairs. According to a further report, the Secretary stated that the Department is planning to take over the matriculation examination for Bantu students in about two years. I do not know whether that report is correct. We can but hope that it does not mean that these pitiable matriculation results will be used as an excuse to lower the standard and to create what may be called tribal matriculation. If that assumption is correct, it means that the foundation is being laid for an inferior education for the Bantu in the higher standards. On the Loan Estimates we find a total amount of R508,500 for buildings for secondary and training schools.

All very good. But bricks and mortar without teachers are a burden—not an asset.

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

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.

The House adjourned at 10.27 p.m.