House of Assembly: Vol108 - TUESDAY 2 MAY 1961


Mr. SPEAKER communicated the following Message from the Honourable the Senate: —

The Senate transmits to the Honourable the House of Assembly the Bantu Education Amendment Bill passed by the Senate and in which the Senate desires the concurrence of the Honourable the House of Assembly.
The Senate begs to draw the attention of the Honourable the House of Assembly to Clause 2, which has been struck out of the Bill and placed between brackets, with a footnote stating that it does not form part of the Bill.

By direction of Mr. Speaker, the Bantu Education Amendment Bill was read a first time.


For oral reply:

Rehabilitation of Alcoholics *I. Mr. OLDFIELD

asked the Minister of Social Welfare and Pensions:

  1. (1) Whether he has given consideration to the recommendations contained in the Fifth Annual Report of the National Work Colonies and Retreats Advisory Board; and
  2. (2) whether the Government intends to introduce legislation to amend the Work Colonies Act (No. 25 of 1949) to give effect to these recommendations; if so, when; and, if not, why not.
  1. (1) Yes. In this connection I may state that an inter-departmental committee was appointed to investigate—
    1. (a) the methods of treatment applied for the rehabilitation of alcoholics;
    2. (b) the effectiveness and adequacy of existing services for the treatment of alcoholism;
    3. (c) the planning of a co-ordinated national service having regard to the social and medical aspects of the problem,
    4. (d) the statutory provision considered necessary to give effect to a coordinated service, with particular reference to the Work Colonies Act, 1949; and
    5. (e) the estimated financial implications involved in providing an adequate service.
  2. (2) The matter will be considered as soon as the above-mentioned committee has submitted a report in regard to its findings. I may mention that the report of the committee is expected towards the end of this year.
Radio Licence Fees Payable by Social Pensioners *II. Mr. OLDFIELD

asked the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs:

  1. (1) Whether he has given consideration to granting social pensioners who own radios (a) exemption from or (b) a reduction in the radio licence fees payable by them; if so,
  2. (2) whether any steps are contemplated; if so, what steps; and, if not, why not.
  1. (1) (a) and (b) In terms of sub-sections (1) (f) and (2) of Section 25 of the Broadcasting Act, 1936, this is exclusively a matter for consideration by the Board of Governors of the S.A.B.C.; and
  2. (2) falls away.
New Institute for Production of Smallpox Vaccine *III. Dr. RADFORD

asked the Minister of Health:

Whether it is intended to provide new stables for the production of smallpox vaccine; and, if so, (a) when will building commence, (b) when will the stables be completed, (c) where will they be situated and (d) what is the estimated cost.


Yes, a new vaccine institute is to be built for the production of smallpox vaccine;

  1. (a) approximately July 1961,
  2. (b) approximately July 1962,
  3. (c) in the Maitland area near Pinelands rail way station, and
  4. (d) R135,000.
Modernization of Fort Napier Mental Hospital *IV. Dr. RADFORD

asked the Minister of Health:

Whether the modernization of Fort Napier Mental Hospital is contemplated; and, if so, (a) when will work commence, (b) when is it expected to be completed and (c) what is the estimated cost.



(a) (b) and (c) the plans for the modernization of the Port Napier Hospital are still being prepared by the Public Works Department and it is unfortunately not possible at this stage to indicate when the work will be commenced and what the estimated cost will be.

Changing of Badges of Regiments *V. Mr. ROSS

asked the Minister of Defence:

Whether it is intended to change the badges of any regiments or corps of the Citizen Force; and, if so,

  1. (a) which regiments or corps, 5693
  2. (b) for what reason and
  3. (c) what are the proposed changes.


  1. (a) Regiment Tygerberg
    Witwatersrand Rifles
    Rand Light Infantry
    Regiment Pongola
    South African Irish Regiment
    Regiment Limpopo
    Regiment Wesrand
    Regiment Wes-Transvaal
    Regiment Oosrand
    Natal Mounted Rifles
    Imperial Light Horse
    Prince Alfred’s Guard
    Regiment Pretoria
    Natal University Regiment (N.F.A.)
    Witwatersrand University Regiment (T.H.A.)
    The Royal Natal Carbineers
    The Royal Durban Light Infantry
    Regiment Noord-Vrystaat
    Regiment Oos-Vrystaat
    Regiment Noord-Natal
    Regiment Bloemfontein
    Regiment Windhoek
    Regiment Boland
    Regiment Universiteit Stellenbosch
    Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Rifles
    The Kaffrarian Rifles
    Regiment Transkei
    Regiment Groot Karoo
    Headquarters, 1 Technical Services Regiment
    29 Veldwerkplaaseskadron
    14 Field Workshop Squadron
    Tegniese Dienskorps
  2. (b) Changes in the badges of these units have become necessary as a result of—
    1. (i) the amalgamation of units, changes in names and transfer to other corps arising from the reorganization of the Citizen Force which commenced in 1959;
    2. (ii) improvement in poor heraldic designs; and
    3. (iii) conversion to a republican form of Government.
  3. (c) Particulars of the proposed changes cannot be supplied as yet because the proposed new designs have not yet been received from all units.
Appointment of Magistrates as Q.C.s *VI. Mr. VAN RYNEVELD

asked the Minister of Justice:

  1. (1) Whether a magistrate has recently been appointed a Queen’s Counsel;
  2. (2) whether it is intended to make other magistrates Q.C.s; if so, on what scale; and
  3. (3) whether he is considering appointing Judges from the ranks of magistrates.
  1. (1) Yes, Mr. F. C. Silk, LL.B. He was admitted as an advocate in the Supreme Court more than 20 years ago. He has served the country in various capacities for 40 years. He has served in the head office of the Department of Justice and has also been a government law adviser. As magistrate he has over 25 years, experience of which more than five years as Special Chief Magistrate of Johannesburg.
    He is also chairman of the Rules Board established under the Magistrates’ Courts Act and is consulted on matters of policy relating to the magisterial division of the Department of Justice.
  2. (2) and (3) Each case will be considered on its merits.
Claims for Compensation After Events at Sharpeville, Langa and in Pondoland

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE replied to Question No. *VII, by Mr. Plewman, standing over from 28 April.

  1. (1) How many claims for compensation or damages arising out of the occurrences, respectively, at Sharpeville and Langa on 21 March 1960, and later in Pondoland, have been instituted to date against (a) the Governor-General, (b) any member of the Executive Council of the Union, (c) any member of the South African Defence Force, (d) any person employed in the Public Service or Railways and Harbours Service, the Police Force or the Prison Service of the Union, (e) any person acting under the authority, by the direction of or with the approval of any person referred to in the preceding categories;
  2. (2) what is the aggregate of the amounts claimed in each category;
  3. (3) whether any such claims have been (a) accepted as valid liabilities and (b) settled by payment or an offer of payment; if so, for what amounts in each case; and
  4. (4) (a) what are the terms of reference of the departmental committee investigating such claims, (b) how many claims have been investigated by the committee and (c) how many have been rejected by the committee as invalid. 5695
  1. (1)
    1. (a) None.
    2. (b) 244, 2 and 25.
    3. (c), (d) and (e) None.
  2. (2)
    1. (a) None.
    2. (b) R895,955.77½, R13,020 and R69,496.
    3. (c), (d) and (e) None.
  3. (3)
    1. (a) and (b) No.
  4. (4)
    1. (a) To investigate claims and to make recommendations in connection with ex gratia payments in deserving cases.
    2. (b) and (c) This information will be available when consideration of the claims has been finalized by the Committee.

I move—

For leave to introduce a Bill to provide for the establishment of a Union Education Advisory Council and to determine its functions and to provide for other incidental matters.

I second.


Usually when leave is asked to introduce a Bill the contents of that Bill are not known but in this instance we are acquainted with the contents of the Bill, not only because the Minister told us some time ago that the same Bill would be placed before us, but also because he indicated a few days ago when his Vote was under discussion that it would be the same Bill that would be placed before us. Mr. Speaker, we cannot see our way clear to agree with the objects of the Bill, because in actual fact, although it is called a Union Education Advisory Board, it is anything but an advisory board. It can interfere with domestic affairs, even those of schools and with the domestic affairs of classrooms. It can interfere with matters concerning education of the various provinces. It can dictate to the provinces what they should do and what they should not do.


Where does it say that?


It provides, for instance, that before any province can come forward with any education ordinance it should first be approved of by the Board and consequently the Minister. In other words, this Bill when it becomes law can muzzle the provinces.


You do not know as yet what the Bill says.


Of course we know. The hon. Minister did not listen. I have explained that we knew what the contents of the Bill were because the Minister himself had told us in advance. As far as we know to-day the Minister has not as yet obtained the approval of all the provinces of this Bill, although he already indicated last year that he had indeed obtained that approval. We also know that during the past 12 months there has been serious objection on the part of the public and that petitions have been placed before us in this House not only from the public but throughout the country educationists of repute have lodged objection to the contents and the objects of the Bill. We as an Opposition and as Members of Parliament would indeed be failing in our duty if we did not bring the complaints of our voters to the notice of this House and if we did not discuss them and registered our protest. This Bill, as it will come before us, will do nothing else than to make inroads on the rights and privileges of the provinces as granted to them under the South Africa Act, and we cannot allow a board to be established that will interfere in the administration of our provinces as far as domestic educational matters are concerned. In other words, this Bill is an undesirable piece of legislation and its object is nothing else than to destroy the rights and privileges of the provinces. It is nothing else than an attempt—and the objects of this Government have often been explained to the public—to introduce into South Africa the pernicious ideology of the Nationalist Party, particularly in connection with its so-called National Christian education.


Order! The hon. member must not go too far.


This side of the House simply cannot allow it and we must protest against any attempt to force the ideology of a party into our educational system, and that is precisely what the Government is trying to do. The hon. the Minister now tells us that he intends referring it to a Select Committee before the second reading, before the principle is accepted. But we who have been sitting in this House for years are not so naïve as not to know—although we have full confidence in the objectivity of members of the Select Committee—that they will be told what to do in order to carry out the policy of the Government. That is what will happen. [Interjections.] Another question I ask myself is this: If the Minister really intends to give us an advisory board, why does he not call the existing advisory body together? I do not know why he wishes to establish another one. But if he wishes to create an improved board, why does he place this old Bill before us, a Bill which has already been condemned and rejected by thousands of people? Why did he not rather ask us to appoint a Select Committee that can establish a sound advisory board to advise all the provinces? In that case we would have accepted it, but as it is at the moment I have to admit that we are suspicious and we are going to oppose it even at this stage.


The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) concluded his speech by using a term which aptly describes the whole attitude adopted by the Opposition. They are suspicious, and we can infer from that suspicion that they are obsessed by a dread that education in South Africa will for once be put on a sound basis, because this Bill aims at doing nothing else. To say that it is naive to believe that a Select Commitee is not told what it should do is, I think, under-estimating the value of a Committee and the instructions of the House. The House appoints its Select Committee and gives them instructions, and the hon. member in fact wants to describe that Select Committee which represents the House as a nonsensical thing because it is naïve. I think that is the greatest reflection which has ever been cast on this House. When they are driven into a corner and do not know how to escape, this is the retreat the Opposition generally resorts to. Then they try to disparage a body of this House which has its functions to fulfil. But the suspicion behind which the hon. member takes shelter leads to his accusation that there is an attempt to force an ideology on to the children, and I want to deal with that.

I do not want to discuss the merits of the Bill and its object, but when there is reference to an ideology being forced down the throats of children, those hon. members opposite were guilty of it in the past. Now that we want to make an honest attempt to appoint an impartial and highly technical council consisting of people of high repute in their profession, the United Party accuses us of doing precisely what they themselves have been doing all these years, when they deliberately, even up to 1945, tried to force things down the throats of children, and that is why we want this Council to remedy that matter. We have not forgotten about the farce we had in the form of those dual-medium schools of theirs, a farce which affected only the one section. The Afrikaans-speaking child gradually had to take certain subjects in the other language. The whole idea was hopelessly wrong, but that was one of the ideologies of the United Party which they enforced in the schools.

The hon. member says that they would be neglecting their duty if they did not object, because thousands of people objected. I know how those objections were raised and how propaganda was made throughout the country and how petitions were placed under people’s noses, and under what pretext was that done? It was that this Council, as the hon. member has now said himself, would take away some of the rights of the provinces. That is not true. It is a chimera by means of which the voters are being misled and they are being told that the rights of the provinces will be taken away or that their powers will be derogated from to such an extent that the province, before passing any legislation, would first have to consult the Council and not the Minister. Where have you ever heard such nonsense? This has never been contained in the Bill and nobody has suggested that this Council should have authority over the provinces, because it was repeatedly said in public, and in the past week I stated it in public twice, and it was published in the newspapers that a super-department would not be established.


Read Clause 6.


The contents of Clause 6 can be discussed in the Committee Stage, but the whole idea of introducing this Bill is to make it possible to have consultation, because otherwise the main difficulty which since 1911 has been a bone of contention in the country will never be eliminated, viz. that we want coordination, and there can be no coordination without consultation. The United Party tried to do certain things without having proper consultation. The Council mentioned by the hon. member is one which deals with financial relations. It is a consultative or advisory body between the provinces, and he knows it very well, but when one becomes obstinate one puts up a feeble case against one’s own better judgment and conscience, and proof will be adduced this afternoon as to what the United Party’s own policy was in regard to this matter, and then the hon. member for Hillbrow will have to defend himself in that respect.

I do not want to deal further with all the things the hon. member said, except one point, that this Council can interfere in the classroom and in the school and exercise authority there. That was never the idea, and it has repeatedly been stated that the Council would appoint committees to investigate matters and to ascertain the facts, but for the rest it will have no authority over any school or over any department.

I want to conclude by objecting to the attitude adopted by the Opposition which is trying to make a political football of education and trying to put the blame on us. They were responsible in the past for the fact that our education system is so faulty, and now they want to put the blame on us but we are not prepared to accept it.


I admit that I was utterly amazed when I listened to the hon. member for Witbank (Mr. Mostert). I wonder whether the hon. member will give me his attention. Sir, when the Bill was introduced last year the hon. member made a speech when we opposed its introduction, and in the event the whole of the basis of the speech he made last year was found to be completely wrong. He comes along today, the man who only a few weeks ago said that when the Bill came back to Parliament it would have to have very material changes made to it before it was reintroduced, but now he comes along and says this is one of those innocent little measures where in all good faith the Government is introducing a measure to solve the difficulties of the past. The hon. member talks about a “twisappel”, and making education the playball in politics. Imagine a member of the Nationalist Party saying that after what has been done by the Administrator of the Transvaal! Just imagine that after the whole history of the past 13 years an hon. member can talk like that. Has not this Government from the time it came into power used education as the instrument to implement its policies? That has been one of the basic principles on which it worked.

The hon. member denied the statement of the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) that one of the provisions of the Bill as it was before Parliament—and we have the word of the Minister that he is introducing the same Bill this year—is to the effect that no Provincial Council can pass an ordinance dealing with education until the Administrator has consulted with the Minister of Education. That means that the unfettered right of the province even to introduce legislation is being taken away. It is true that the language used in the Bill itself referred to consultation between the Administrator and the Minister, but what does that mean? It means that if the Administrator, after he has consulted with the Minister, decides to proceed with legislation in the Provincial Council, then on the passing of that draft ordinance the Governor-General withholds his consent, and that is the end of it. The Minister will just say: I disagree with your draft ordinance and I told you I do not approve of it and now you cannot expect me to persuade the Governor-General to give his assent to it.

There is another point. It limits entirely the freedom of the Provincial Council to legislate, because supposing the Minister and the Administrator have come to an agreement in respect of the terms of a draft ordinance and it is introduced in the Provincial Council, then the members of the Council are entitled to believe that they can make amendments to the ordinance, when indeed that right is forbidden them if this Bill becomes law; because the Administrator, having approved of the draft ordinance, will be in the difficult position that every time an amendment is moved he will not know whether he can accept it or not without referring it back to the Minister. So the whole right of the province to legislate is completely shipwrecked. We are not prepared to give our approval to this. I want to make this point. Neither the hon. member for Witbank, who claims to have some influence in educational circles, nor the Minister, nor any spokesman on the side of the Government, has ever claimed that the present system was doing something inimical to the cause of education, that there was something so wrong that it had to be cured. No such wrong has been hinted at.

The next point I want to make is this. The hon. member for Witbank was badly astray this afternoon, which is once more proof of the truth of the old adage that a man should stick to his own trade. Here we had the hon. member for Witbank dealing with the Consultative Committee and standing up in Parliament and saying that this is the Committee which deals with financial matters. Sir, I want to invite the hon. member to attend the next meeting of that Committee and let him hear what they talk about. He will be surprised if he hears anything said about financial matters. There is already in existence the Advisory Committee which this Bill purports to establish. The Minister can get that advice. In the same way as there is a Joint Matriculation Board created from the various ranks of educationists throughout South Africa, so precisely the same procedure and precisely the same people can be used for the purpose of an Advisory Committee.


You are demolishing your own argument. The Minister can still advise that consent be withheld.


Of course he can advise that consent be withheld to-day, but under this Bill he can prevent legislation even being introduced. The point is that where a Provincial Council in the exercise of its powers has passed legislation, the Minister can capriciously use his power to advise the Governor-General to withhold his assent. That is what the Minister of Transport is aiming at. That is what he wants. He wants the Minister to have that power and to exercise it. If that is the Minister’s attitude and if the Minister of Transport speaks for the Government, let the Prime Minister stand up and say that is so, and let us know where we stand and that the Government will not use this Bill to get round the right of the provinces to legislate in regard to White education; let them say that they will not allow the provinces to control education any longer and that they, the Nationalist Party, will take it over, and if they cannot get away with it by passing this Bill through Parliament they will do it indirectly by getting the Governor-General to withhold his assent. Then we will know where we stand. I repeat that there is already a Committee which can advise the Minister, and I am sure that members will be only too willing to co-operate. It is cooperation we seek, and not a legislative big stick to compel us to do anything. We have certain freedoms, particularly in my province, and we propose to continue to enjoy them. And let me say that big sticks are going out of fashion. If this is to me the unity that we looked forward under the republic, then this is a curious way of starting it, because this is nothing more or less than an attack on the English language in Natal. The seat of the safety of our language is in the Provincial Council, in its control of education, and when once you attack the educational system, and when once you limit the right of the Provincial Council to legislate, when once you put that right in fetters, then you are striking at the language which that Provincial Council is entitled to protect. I say that if the Government goes on like that it is in that spirit that the measure will be interpreted outside.


Mr. Speaker, I should not like to follow the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) in his racialistic allegations that this is supposed to be an assault upon the English language. That is a typical example of the jingoism that one gets in a certain part of his province. I think this is something which should be so much beneath us that we should not take any further notice of it.

I just want to reply to one point that the hon. member mentioned, and that is his objection that this Bill may contain a provision which will stipulate that there must be prior consultation between the Minister and the Administrator in the case of legislation dealing with education. He says that this will mean that if the province passes an Education Ordinance, the Minister, if he is not satisfied, will simply say that he is going to advise the President not to approve of the legislation. One is amazed to hear such an argument from a former Administrator of a province. Surely he knows that the Minister of Education in the Cabinet has always had the right to veto any provincial legislation on education, and the object here is to ensure that there shall be no clash between the provinces and the Union authority but that there shall be prior consultation so that they can agree beforehand, and so that the province will be able to pass its ordinances without clashing with the Union authority. He knows that, or he ought to know it, because after all he is a former Administrator. The Minister has always had the right to veto any legislation dealing with education. However, I leave it at that. I also want to associate myself with what has been said here by the hon. member for Witbank (Mr. Mostert) to the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) with reference to the latter’s remarks about a Select Committee. I think the hon. member for Hillbrow must have had a certain amount of schooling in the so-called democratic technique that we find in a country like Ghana. We have a parliamentary system here, part and parcel of which is the system of Select Committees, Select Committees consisting of all parties, and the United Party are always the first to demand on every conceivable occasion that a Select Committee should be appointed to go into the matter, and now that the Minister says that this Bill will be referred to a Select Committee before the second reading, the hon. member for Hillbrow talks disparagingly and contemptuously about a portion of the parliamentary machinery of this House. I think as a good democrat he ought to reflect for a moment before he advances arguments of that kind.

Mr. Speaker, it has been impossible for me for many years to understand the United Party even in educational matters. They have a new policy every second day. I had what some people may regard as the doubtful distinction of being the founder of the Education Group of the United Party in 1948, and throughout the years that I belonged to that Party I was chairman of that group. The hon. members for Hillbrow and Kensington (Mr. Moore) were members of it and throughout those years our policy was that there should be a Union Advisory Council for education. This matter has been investigated by something like eight commissions, and every one of those commissions recommended a Union Advisory Council for education. Some of them even recommended a Union Control Board. I want to remind the hon. members for Kensington and Hillbrow that years after I had left the United Party, there was an education conference at Port Elizabeth, and at that conference none other than Mr. Bezemer, who was then the leader of the United Party in the Provincial Council, was instrumental in having a resolution unanimously adopted at that education conference, in which they recommended and demanded that there should be a Union Advisory Council for Education. If the hon. member doubts that, he can come and look at the documents in my possession signed by Mr. Bezemer. The hon. member for Hillbrow now tries to find minor points here and there with which he does not agree. We are dealing here with the principle of a Union Advisory Council and that, I say, was always the policy of the United Party. Now they have changed their minds again, of course, as they do in connection with all other matters, and now they have a new sort of policy. Mr. Speaker, in years gone by, although every province controlled education in its own province, there was a joint matriculation. The aim of education departments was to get to the stage eventually where all scholars would write the joint matriculation. But in the course of time diversified education was introduced and that common objective was abandoned, and every province followed its own trend and its own course, so much so that when this House is in session, hon. members who come from the Transvaal have to bring along their own school to the Cape to teach their children. The education was so divergent that they had to bring along their own school from another province to the Cape, so that their children could receive instruction here. That unhealthy position must and can only be overcome if we have a Union Advisory Council to co-ordinate our education, as is being done in every country in the world. Great Britain, which is probably a model to the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) of everything that is good, has a National Advisory Council for Education. Their Advisory Council is not out to exterminate Welsh as a language or Gaelic as a language; it is simply there to co-ordinate education. With that example, and with the example that we have been set in every country in the world, it is urgently necessary to have a National Advisory Council for Education in a country like South Africa. I should like to go further, but under this Bill we cannot do so, and that is to recommend that we should have a National Advisory Council for all education, not only for White education, but also for non-White education. It is more urgently necessary in our case than in the case of any other country in the world, and I must say that I simply cannot understand the new policy of the United Party. Here it is repudiating, as it has done so often previously, its whole past, a past which at times has been a glorious one, but which has now probably reached the lowest point that it has ever reached in the history of that party.


We, in these benches, propose also to oppose this Bill at this stage. Normally one does not take this course at this stage because the contents of the Bill are not usually known, but if, from the title of the Bill, it is apparent to members of the Opposition that the purposes of the Bill are utterly reprehensible, or if against the background of the time against which a Bill is introduced, the Bill is deemed to be undesirable or unwanted, then I believe it is the duty of the Opposition to oppose it, which we propose to do to-day.

Sir, we have here a Bill of which the title is identically the same as that introduced into this House on 15 April of last year. We do not know yet whether the contents of the Bill are exactly the same as the contents of last year’s Bill. [Interjections.] Well, if the hon. Minister says so, then we know precisely where we are. But, Sir, there are slightly altered circumstances attending the introduction this year, and that is that last year there was no indication in advance that the Bill was to be referred to a Select Committee after the first reading. On this occasion we have had the Minister’s assurance that that is the case. The hon. the Prime Minister, when he interviewed a deputation from the Natal Provincial Council in October last year, made the statement that it was the intention of the Government, in order to allay suspicions regarding this Bill, to send the Bill to a Select Committee before the second reading so that both the principle and the content could be fully examined. I do not believe that anybody in this House is naïve enough to believe that, simply by sending a Bill to a Select Committee before the second reading, all suspicion will be allayed, because there is no guarantee that when this Bill goes to a Select Committee it will be discussed purely on academic lines and that academic considerations alone will be supreme.


I have some doubt in that regard, because you might be there.


On the other hand, we know from our experience on Select Committees over the last two years that what invariably happens in the event is that the parliamentary majority in the Select Committee representing the Government enforce their wishes in the Select Committee report. It is obvious then that it is our duty to oppose the Bill at this stage. I want to remind the House of the fact that in 1960, when the Bill was introduced, it was examined by educational authorities all over South Africa and by organizations of parents, and that it was condemned by them almost universally.




It aroused a measure of anxiety and stirred depths of feelings to which even I could not do justice in this House, and it led to nation-wide protests, and ultimately to the introduction in this House of a petition signed by no less than 80,000 parents representative of people of all political parties and of all provinces. These protests were made in terms of the utmost clarity and they very clearly expressed the gravest misgivings. First of all, they expressed fears of centralized control of provincial education in the hands of the Government, and that fear, I believe, was particularly evident in the Province of Natal, which has always jealously guarded its right to control secondary education. It also expressed fears of the enforced uniformity of opinion and the regimentation of thought which was considered to be inevitable with the passage of this Bill. There is every reason why people all over the country should express anxiety and fear of control laid down in the policy of Christian national education, a policy which is totally unacceptable to the great majority of the people of this country. Let me also say that these fears exist against the background, first of all, of this Government’s notorious record in the field of education; the manner in which it has treated Bantu education; the manner in which it has interfered with the autonomy of the universities; the manner in which it has ended parental option in every province except Natal; the way in which it has steadily abolished dual and parallel medium schools in favour of separate schools for English- and Afrikaans-speaking children, and the manner in which it has taken over independent technical colleges. Moreover, the people view it particularly against the background of the reprehensible record of the Transvaal Education Department in matters concerning secondary education, particularly in so far as the slanting of the teaching of history of South Africa is concerned, and also the very dubious theories of racial superiority which are preached in the Transvaal schools under the heading of Race Study.


You are talking nonsense.


Furthermore, the people are concerned over the pronouncements of educational policy made by the Nationalist Party, not only in their congresses, but in this House, and by individual members in private members’ motions. Above all, we are concerned that the dangerous philosophy which underlies the whole of the Government’s policy of apartheid in this country. We believe that these fears are well founded; we believe that this threat of regimentation and the enforcement of uniformity will lead to the ultimate extinction of educational and intellectual liberty in this country.

The Government has had 12 months in which to consider the representations that have been made to them by these innumerable bodies all over the country and, had the hon. Prime Minister so wished, or had this Government decided that it was worth while, they could, with one pronouncement, have allayed all the most serious misgivings of that portion of the public of South Africa who are opposed to this legislation. In other words, the Government could have established their good faith beyond any question. They could have assured the people of South Africa that the whole question was going to be treated as an educational one and not simply as a political one which is what the people of South Africa so gravely fear. They have not chosen to do that. It is inevitable that the parents of children all over South Africa are going to be kept in a state of continual anxiety and fear about the outcome of this legislation for another 12 months. To sum up, this legislation is bad legislation; it is not wanted, and it is undesirable when viewed against the times in which we are living. We are resolutely opposed to this trend in education. We believe that it will serve only to exacerbate race relations and to heighten tension and unrest and, for that reason, we shall oppose this Bill at the first reading.


We have again had the phenomenon here this afternoon …


On a point of order, may I ask whether the hour which is allowed includes the Minister’s time?


Yes. The hon. member ought to know the rules.


The hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) was on his feet when the Minister rose.


Order! The hon. the Minister may proceed.


A year ago when we discussed this same matter during the previous session, hon. member on the other side of the House stood up and strenuously objected to the fact that this particular legislation had been placed before the provinces while they themselves had not seen it. That was their objection a year ago. Let me quote what the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) said—

Other people had this measure. Will the hon. the Minister of Transport deny that other people had it?

The Minister of Transport:

Yes, the provinces had it.

Mr. Mitchell:

But who are the provinces?

His objection at that time was that this legislation had been placed before the provinces while members of this House had not yet seen it. To-day his objection is the very opposite. To-day he objects to the fact that members of this House are given the opportunity to discuss this matter while the provinces have not had the opportunity of considering it.


That was not my objection. You are taking it out of its context.


Let me just mention the points referred to by those hon. members. The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) has stated that the provinces will be muzzled. I want to quote here what happened last year already, on 10 September 1959, when the Prime Minister gave the assurance that the provinces would be consulted on Union education. On 11 August he said—and this was sent out into the world under banner headlines—

The provinces will not lose control over the schools. That inference is incorrect.

And in spite of the fact that we have had these denials for almost a year in this country, hon. members still come along and say that they cannot trust that assurance. A very serious position has arisen here this afternoon. Mr. Speaker, my conduct has always proved that I do not regard education as a political matter. I do not think there is a single member in this House who could make that accusation against me, but in spite of that the hon. member for Hillbrow comes along this afternoon and says that if an educational matter is referred to a Select Committee of this House, that Select Committee will come out with a distorted report.


I did not say that.


He did say it, and he is an educationist. He said that the Government’s policy would be dictated in advance to the Select Committee.


No. May I explain?


Mr. Speaker, my time is short. Hon. members on that side have had an opportunity to speak.


Then you must accept my word.


Order! On what point is the hon. member rising?


On a point of personal explanation. I say that I did not say that. What I did say is that hon. members must not be so naïve as to think that members of the Select Committee will be able to act impartially as party members. They represent the party leadership there; that is what I said.


I say that what the hon. member for Hillbrow said here this afternoon is a reflection on the educationists in this House, and there are educationists of repute on both sides of this House. The hon. member for Hillbrow was connected with education for many years. If we are so naive or if we are so possessed by politics that we can no longer discuss educational matters objectively, then it is a sad day for this country that we have a Parliament like this, and I reject that accusation with the contempt it deserves.

Last year the accusation was made—and it has now been repeated to a certain extent—that there had been no consultation. I let this matter stand over until after the debate on my Vote, and there was ample opportunity to discuss it under my Vote. My attitude is simply that this House has the right to grant leave for this Bill to be introduced. This is a matter that was referred to all the provincial authorities. The provincial governments have all taken their decision in this matter. The only other body which controls a large portion of our education is the Union Parliament. The provincial authorities all appointed commissions to go into this matter. There was the Nicol Commission, the Wilkes Commission, the De Villiers Commission and the Pretorius Commission. These commissions were all appointed by the provincial authorities with instructions to investigate this matter, and they made the following recommendations. The Nicol Commission recommended a Union Educational Council; the Wilkes Commission found that a good deal of energy was being wasted and that with proper co-ordination those energies could be applied to produce results which would benefit both the pupil and the country as a whole. The leader of the Natal Commission stated that if there had been some basis of co-ordination, the country and the youth of South Africa would have benefited considerably, but that unfortunately there had been no such basis of co-ordination in the past. That was their finding in 1946. The De Villiers Commission recommended a National Advisory Council with statutory powers. The Pretorius Commission recommended a national education council with purely advisory functions. In spite of all these recommendations, hon. members opposite now want to deprive this Parliament of the right to appoint a Select Committee and to give the opportunity there to members of this House to investigate this matter again. The old Advisory Committee existed for 22 years, not only during the period of office of the National Party Government but under various governments, and because it was not functioning it was abolished in 1957. The accusation has been made here against me by some hon. member or other that I have not obtained the approval of the provinces. Mr. Speaker, this matter was submitted to the Executive Committee of the Cape, a committee consisting of members of all parties, and here I have a letter signed as far back as 26 April 1960, by the late Dr. Otto du Plessis, in which he says—

With reference to the undertaking that I gave you during our discussions on the Bill with regard to an Advisory Council for Education, namely that I would notify you what the attitude is of the Cape Executive Committee, I am now in a position to state the following: At the last meeting of the Executive Committee, in order to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding, I explained the contents of the Bill as well as the amendments that you accepted at the suggestion of the Administrator, and the Executive Committee’s attitude was that it noted with gratitude the Administrator’s action in connection with the amendments that had been put forward and approved by his Honour the Minister of Education.

The late Dr. Otto du Plessis went on to say—

I am also of the opinion that having regard to the sound basic principles of the Education Ordinances of the Cape Province and the spirit in which we conducted this discussion, the Bill will in no way encroach upon the Provincial Council’s control over that portion of White education that has been entrusted to it.

That is the finding of the Executive Committee of the Cape Province consisting of representatives of both parties, and in spite of all that, hon. members opposite still tell us that this is a one-sided finding. [Time limit.]


The hon. the Minister has referred to the fact that a Bill similar to this was introduced last year. It is a remarkable coincidence that last year’s Bill was introduced during the last week of April and this Bill is being introduced in the first week of May—about the same time. Last year we raised this objection: We said that with the over-crowded Order Paper before us it would be impossible for us to do justice to the Bill if it went to a Select Committee after the second reading. But this year it is still more difficult because we are to adjourn next week for a long weekend and we are to adjourn later in the Session for the celebrations in Pretoria. That means that we shall have less time this year than we had last year. What I should like to ask the Minister is this in the few minutes at my disposal: Why has this Bill been introduced so late in the Session? Has it been introduced for the same reason that the Separate Universities Education Bill was introduced? Is it the hon. the Minister’s intention to refer this Bill to a Select Committee, knowing full well that the Committee cannot report in the time left to us before the end of the Session, because of the interest taken in this Bill throughout the country. There are many interested bodies that wish to give evidence before the Select Committee. The Select Commitee cannot possibly finish its work before the end of the Session. Is the plan to convert the Select Committee into another commission? If that is the plan, let us have an Education Commission right away. That is the answer; it is as simple as that. The hon. member for Fort Beaufort (Dr. Jonker) says that we have a new policy every day. Sir, that is not the honour that comes to us; that is the honour that comes to him. I have just referred to our commission on separate universities. The hon. member one afternoon was the hero in shining armour defending the conscience clause. After that he was brain-washed by his party and he came back the following day and voted against the conscience clause. I hope the hon. member is not going to suggest to us that we have changed our policy. We are at least as consistent as we were last year. May I point out to him that there is no such thing.


You should be ashamed of yourself.




I should like to put the hon. member for Fort Beaufort right on his knowledge of British education. There is no such thing as a British system of education. There is an English system and a Scottish system and they differ as chalk from cheese, historically.

I want to plead with the hon. the Minister not to convert this Select Committee into a commission and by a roundabout way to have members of his party as a commission to advise on education. If we are to have a commission, let us have a commission of educationists to advise him, an independent commission separated altogether from this House. I should like the hon. the Minister to give us an assurance that that is his plan with the Bill, otherwise why is it being introduced so late? What is the excuse? I can see no reason for it whatsoever. Sir, when the Bill was introduced last year the Government became aware of the opposition to the Bill, and because of that opposition the Government saw fit to withdraw the Bill; and if they saw fit to withdraw it then and there has been no fundamental change since, why was it not introduced earlier in the Session? What is the hon. the Minister’s plan? How has he worked out a plan to put this Bill through the House? It cannot go through this Session. I think we are all agreed about that.

Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

They wanted the republican legislation.


I do not know what they wanted, but I know that they are not getting what they want. We shall oppose the introduction of this Bill more especially at this stage of the Session.

On the conclusion of the period of one hour allotted for the debate on the motion for leave to introduce the Bill, the business under consideration was interrupted by Mr. Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 161.

Motion put and the House divided:

Ayes—79: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Dönges, T. E.; du Pisanie, J.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Hiemstra, E. C. A.; Jonker, A. H.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Labuschagne, J. S.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Luttig, H. G.; Malan, A. I.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Martins, H. E.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Potgieter, D. J.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, J. C. B.; Serfontein, J. J.: Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Steyn, J. H.; Strydom, G. H. F.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Ahee, H. H.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden. J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Visse, J. H.; Vorster, B. J.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.

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

Noes—46: Barnett, C.; Bloomberg, A.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Connan, J. M.; Cope, J. P.; de Beer, Z. J.; Dodds, P. R.; Eglin, C. W.; Fourie, I. S.; Frielinghaus, H. O.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; le Roux, G. S. P.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Mitchell, D. E.; Moore, P. A.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Streicher, D. M.; Swart, H. G.; Swart, R. A. F.; Tucker, H.; van der Byl, P.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: H. C. de Kock and N. G. Eaton.

Motion accordingly agreed to.

Bill brought up and read a first time.


First Order read: House to go into Committee on Unauthorized Use of Emblems Bill.

House in Committee:

Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.

House Resumed:

Bill reported without amendment.


Second Order read: House to go into Committee on Companies Amendment Bill.

House in Committee:

Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.

House Resumed:

Bill reported without amendment.


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

House in Committee:

[Progress reported on 1 May, when Votes Nos. 2 to 27, 39, 45, 46 and the Estimates of Expenditure from Bantu Education Account had been agreed to, precedence had been given to Votes Nos. 41 to 44 and Vote No. 41.—“Posts. Telegraphs and Telephones”, R63,048,000, was under consideration.]


When the House adjourned last night I was dealing with the accusation that the S.A.B.C. was slanting the news, and I was using the example of the 12 Afrikaans-speaking people whose opinions were broadcast in the English programme. Perhaps I should just deal with this accusation from the beginning again. In the beginning of March it was announced that Dr. Verwoerd had withdrawn South Africa’s application for continued membership. That came as a shock to everybody in the country because everybody, whether he was in favour of continued membership of the Commonwealth or against it, expected that our membership of the Commonwealth would be continued, and everybody relied on it, and everybody in South Africa was dismayed for a moment or for a short time. Nobody knew precisely what would happen in future and what the consequences would be. In such circumstances it is the duty of every responsible person not to be hysterical or to cause panic, but to convince the people of South Africa to carry on calmly. In such a case I regard it as being grossly irresponsible to make hysterical statements of the type we had from the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell), not once but several times. But those are not the statements one expects from a responsible person or body. The duty of a responsible body like the S.A.B.C. in such circumstances, and in regard to something affecting all the people of the country, was to remain calm and to be reasonable and fair. Just let me remind hon. members of the words of President Kennedy a fews days ago. According to the report of United Press, he said this—

President Kennedy of the United States has called on the American Press and news agencies to impose a form of self-censorship because their reporting constituted what he called a danger to Western security. He asked the newspaper profession to heed the duty of self-restraint, as he put it. He added that every journalist must ask himself not if any item were news, but rather if it were in the national interest.

As President Kennedy put it, I in my humble opinion also regard that to be the duty of the S.A.B.C. Here we had circumstances of the greatest importance to the country and in regard to which panic could easily be caused by making the wrong statement, and in view of the fact that it was essential that the people of South Africa should face the future calmly, it is the duty of the S.A.B.C. not to carry on in a hysterial way but calmly, and not to broadcast the opinions of hysterical people like the hon. member for South Coast, but the opinions of calm people. Let me read to hon. members, not from the report of the S.A.B.C., but from the Press itself, what these various persons, Afrikaans-speaking people whose opinions were broadcast over the English programme, said. The first one (I will quote only a few) was Mrs. Jansen. She said—

The events in London have revealed the danger for South Africa in a group where the non-White vote rules.

Is that not an extremely reasonable standpoint and one which any decent person will adopt; is it not the standpoint we will adopt as a paterfamilias, a good father of the family? Is that not the standpoint of a father who will tell his children: Do not lose your heads, but be sensible. Can any hon. member opposite object because the opinion of an Afrikaans-speaking person was broadcast over the English transmission? The next one was Mrs. Maria Malan—

Because the future struggle will have to be tackled with increasing severity, it behoves to reconsider the internal situation in the light of the new situation. The White population group must stand together.

This is the type of responsible statement one can expect from an eminent person. This is the sort of message one would expect the people of South Africa to hear in a critical moment. Can anybody object to it? The next is the opinion of Maj.-Gen. H. B. Klopper—

What we now need are our own efforts and the facing of the future with courage and diligence.

Again a very responsible statement. Then Dr. William Nicol—

In the same way as the Afrikaner had to overcome the shocks of 1838 and 1899, so too we can overcome those of the present time.

Sir, the struggle of 1838 and 1899 was surely the struggle of the White man of South Africa. And we survived it. We have survived all the shocks to which South Africa has been subjected. And is it not an encouraging message to give to the people of South Africa, in a moment of crisis, to say: Just as you have survived the shocks of the past you will also survive the present ones. But then you must have courage and be patient and not become hysterical. Then another person was asked, Prof. H. B. Thom, who said this—

The building of national unity will be more natural when we are outside the Commonwealth.

Now that we are outside the Commonwealth, rightly or wrongly, we as English-and Afrikaans-speaking South Africans draw closer to each other in a more natural manner. Under those circumstances I do not think that any right-minded person, English or Afrikaans speaking, even if he is a United Party supporter, can find fault with the broadcast of the S.A.B.C. The reports it broadcast were fair, impersonal, moderate and responsible.

Let me now analyse the criticism further. I said yesterday that my trouble was that hon. members opposite simply made vague accusations and refused to give specific examples. But they referred to the Press every time, and now I must also refer to the Press to find out what the criticism of the Press was to which those hon. members referred so vaguely. Now I come to the Cape Times. One of the allegations made against the S.A.B.C. by the Cape Times was the following—

One omission was that after reporting Mr. Menzies as saying that he did not agree with apartheid, the S.A.B.C. ignored the reason Mr. Menzies gave, viz. that he did not think apartheid would work.

But, Sir, in regard to that matter what was involved was the reasons why we were out of the Commonwealth. Why did Dr. Verwoerd withdraw his application for membership? The opinion of Mr. Menzies in regard to apartheid was not relevant.

When one is dealing with a broadcast service which, from the very nature of the matter, has a limited time, and is limited as to the number of reports it can broadcast, it is bound to be relevant and not irrelevant, and the fact that the S.A.B.C. gave relevant news cannot be criticized. But now the English Press comes with a further accusation against the S.A.B.C. They say that Mr. Oppenheimer made an attack in Durban in regard to the fact that we have left the Commonwealth, and that the S.A.B.C. reported only the following about it—

The end of South Africa’s Commonwealth membership was a grave setback to the nation’s national unity.

That is all the S.A.B.C. reported. But let us take the circumstances into consideration. That was nine days after the belittling attitude this group of Black states had adopted at the Commonwealth Conference. Then Mr. Oppenheimer came along and at a graduation ceremony (listen, a graduation ceremony!) of the University of Natal he selected a subject which had nothing to do with the students or with the university or with degrees. His subject was our Commonwealth relations. And is Mr. Oppenheimer now an expert on Commonwealth relations? Is he an expert on international politics or Commonwealth politics? Mr. Oppenheimer may be an expert on mining matters, but not on these matters, and from the nature of the case the S.A.B.C. is not there to report fully all Mr. Oppenheimer’s opinions about our leaving the Commonwealth. They just took the gist of it and that was reported absolutely correctly as being “a grave setback to the Union’s national unity”. But now listen to what Mr. Oppenheimer is supposed to have said, according to the English Press—

The end of South Africa’s Commonwealth membership was a grave, unmitigated misfortune to South Africa. It was a misfortune economically, politically and militarily.

Now the English newspapers want the S.A.B.C. to have published to the world all these disquieting words used by Mr. Oppenheimer. I repeat that the report of the S.A.B.C. was absolutely correct. The allegation of the English Press in connection with Mr. Ferguson, the Chairman of the Stock Exchange, falls into the same category. He was addressing the annual meeting of the stock exchange and abused that opportunity by attacking South Africa’s colour policy, and because the S.A.B.C. did not quote Mr. Ferguson’s attack on the policy of South Africa it is said that it slanted the news. Mr. Ferguson is a prominent stockbroker, but he is no politician. He is not an expert on political matters. Is the S.A.B.C. now expected to report every man who speaks about matters in regard to which he is not an expert at all and of which he perhaps has very little knowledge. Surely it is grossly unfair to the S.A.B.C. to make such allegations. Let me take another allegation. The Press said that when Mr. Meiring returned after the Commonwealth Conference he said at Jan Smuts Airport that “South Africa would probably have more friends now than before the withdrawal”. Now the Press has a sensational story about the “widespread indignation over the fact that Mr. Piet Meiring was quoted. What happened? After that conference, which was of the utmost importance to all of us, Mr. Meiring, who had access to the highest circles in England, informed circles, comes back and he is asked: “You have now returned and you can judge what the feelings are in England. What is your opinion?” He says that after our withdrawal we will have more friends than ever before. Is that not correct? Did we not get more friendship and goodwill on the part of Mr. Macmillan and other Commonwealth Prime Ministers than before that time?


What did Mr. Menzies say?


I will come to that. Mr. Mascmillan said that it was the best action our Prime Minister could possibly have taken. He hardly expected it. Mr. Menzies said that it had been a superlative effort. And The Times said that one could not expect more from a stateman because the Prime Minister acted in such a way that instead of causing quarrels in the Commonwealth he prevented friction from arising as a result of South Africa’s continued membership. Of course Mr. Macmillan and the Conservatives in Britain and the British Press became better friends of ours.


Are you an expert on foreign relations now?


I take it that I know just as much about it as the hon. member who has just asked that question. I come to other false allegations against the S.A.B.C. The S.A.B.C. is attacked by the Press on the slightest pretext. They do not mind whether it is the truth. They even go so far as to publish falsehoods simply to make the S.A.B.C. suspect. On 19 April 1961, the Natal Mercury prominently featured a letter containing an attack on the S.A.B.C. because it was supposed not to have made any mention of the National Convention in Natal. By doing that, it tried to incite the public by pretending that the reports of the S.A.B.C. were so one-sided that they did not even report the National Convention in Natal. What are the true facts? In the 7 o’clock news service on Monday it was in fact broadcast. If, in fact, it was broadcast and the Natal Mercury makes this indirect and subtle allegation that it was not broadcast, one asks oneself why it did so? Either that newspaper is totally irresponsible, and therefore one can disregard its news service, or it is deliberately distorting the truth.

I go further. I come to the Star, the paper which is held in such high regard by the hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Cope). On 13 April the Star said that there was great public indignation about the following. He said that when the news in regard to the acceptance of the Constitution Bill by Parliament was broadcast that was mentioned first, and only after that was it mentioned that the Russians had launched a rocket. In other words, the establishment of a republic was of less importance than the Russian space projectile. This was its report—

Pride of place was given to the passing of the republican Bill in Parliament. The spaceman took second place.

In the first place, this shows the whole mentality of the Star and all those newspapers. It shows that South Africa is of no importance to them. This matter which was of tremendous importance to S.A., viz. the passing of the republican Bill, is of less importance than the fact that a Russian was projected into space. It just so happened that this happened on the same day, but that was of so much more importance to them than our becoming a republic that shows the totally distorted approach of that Press. But I say that it again gives the impression that in those circumstances preference was not given to the Russian in the rocket. That is the impression created by the Press. But do you know what the actual position was? It was that at 1.15 that same afternoon it had already been announced that the Russian had circled the earth. That was again announced in the next news service at 6 p.m., but because it was not mentioned first in the 7 o’clock news the Star wanted to tell the public of South Africa: Can you see now, the S.A.B.C. did not even take any notice of the man in the rocket? This paper does this, in spite of the fact that this news had been announced in two previous broadcasts. This distortion we see in the English Press to-day really makes one feel ashamed. One feels ashamed of having a Press which tries to mislead the public in the way the English-language Press is doing.


Why do you not call it the mining Press again?


Yes, if the hon. member wants it so badly, I will repeat if for her benefit—it is the mining Press, The hon. member for Innesdale (Mr. Marais) gave the figures. It is a Press which is controlled by the mining interests.

Let me now go further and prove how correct the reporting of the S.A.B.C. was, and how false that was of that Press which hon. members opposite are trying to defend by smiling. When Dr. Verwoerd withdrew our application for continued membership of the Commonwealth, he broadcast a special message that night to explain what had happened and why he had done so. It was of the greatest interest to us to know the facts, so that we could consider the matter reasonably. The S.A.B.C. broadcast it like that. But at the same time other reports were also received, and not only reports of Dr. Verwoerd’s radio speech. These reports were in regard to Mr. Diefenbaker. He was the person responsible for South Africa leaving the Commonwealth; he was very inimical towards the White policy of South Africa, and shortly before the decisive meeting of the Commonwealth Conference he granted a special interview to a number of Native representatives and also to a certain Mr. Reeves. Mr. Diefenbaker was so hostile that when he heard that our mission would stay at a certain hotel in London, he cancelled the booking of his mission and left that hotel.


They deny that.


In other words, everybody knows how hostile Mr. Diefenbaker was towards South Africa, but what did the Cape Times do? At the same time there was the radio speech by Dr. Verwoerd sending out the facts, and also a certain report as to what Mr. Diefenbaker had said. Do you know what the Cape Times did? The Cape Times published a three-column heading on its front page: “Verwoerd unready to respond; other Premiers strove, says Diefenbaker.” The report read as follows—

The Prime Ministers did everything humanly possible to find a solution to the South African issue, but there was no corresponding readiness on the part of Dr. Verwoerd.

Do you know what the Cape Times now says in regard to Dr. Verwoerd’s radio speech? It gives a small part of Dr. Verwoerd’s speech before the South African Club—not his radio speech at all. That was published under the feeble headline: “Immature Witch Hunt at Conference; Verwoerd gives reasons for withdrawal.” But the actual radio speech, which was the most important announcement of the day, in which Dr. Verwoerd impartially put the standpoint of South Africa to the people, is not referred to. Why? Was it a coincidence? It cannot be a coincidence. Everybody knew that Dr. Verwoerd was broadcasting. All the other newspapers knew it, and why did they not publish it? One can only infer one thing—it was done deliberately to mislead the public of South Africa. It was one-sided, distorted reporting to mislead the public.

Now let us go further. The radio also reported this, and my object is to show how well the radio reported it and how falsely the Press reported it. [Interjections.] I am sorry if hon. members are getting hurt. This withdrawal by South Africa of its application for continued membership was of the greatest importance to us. What the reasons for it were and to what extent Dr. Verwoerd’s action was justified must be inferred from the facts of the matter and also from the opinions of other responsible people who were present there. In such a case the opinion of Mr. Menzies of Australia is of the greatest interest, viz. his opinions about the fairness, the astuteness and the reasonableness of the actions of Dr. Verwoerd. On the very day when Dr. Verwoerd left London Mr. Menzies granted an interview to the Press. He arranged it specially and gave the reasons why South Africa left the Commonwealth. The S.A.B.C. reported that interview with Mr. Menzies completely and correctly.

But let me now take another newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail. The Rand Daily Mail published that important opinion given by Mr. Menzies in less than half a column at the bottom of the page. But in the middle of the main page it tried to overshadow it by means of a “Black Sash protest march” under a heading extending over five columns in bold type. Now we must see what happened to Mr. Menzies’ speech. Just let me mention the most important things he said to explain Dr. Verwoerd’s standpoint and to justify the attitude adopted by South Africa. And those things they omitted. Mr. Menzies said this. In the first place he said that Dr. Verwoerd’s actions were very wise—

At least one-half of the Prime Ministers there made it clear that they would pursue this matter every time there was a meeting, and between meetings, at every convenient opportunity.

To-day we know that, but we did not know it at that time. The Rand Daily Mail kept severely silent about it. Then Mr. Menzies said further—

Dr. Verwoerd, I think with great dignity, accepted the logic of that position and indicated that he would withdraw his application.

The words “I think with great dignity” were also omitted. They published the others but omitted Mr. Menzies’ opinion when he said “I think with great dignity”. Why did they leave that out? Why did they delete that particular phrase from his interview, although it was of the greatest importance? Simply because they wanted to distort the news! Mr. Menzies further said—

Personally, I do not think he had any choice.

Do you know what the Rand Daily Mail did? They deleted that also. Where Mr. Menzies had said that Dr. Verwoerd had no alternative, they deliberately also deleted those words, “I do not think he had any choice.” Surely it is scandalous to omit those things which were absolutely relevant to the problem of the moment, and which it was absolutely essential for us to know in order to judge the position. That shows that this Press lends itself to the falsification of news. Do you know what this paper omitted further? Mr. Menzies said—

One reason Dr. Verwoerd had in mind did him great credit. This was that if he had remained and in some way or other his application for continued membership had been agreed to, he would have remained in and divided his colleagues into those who would continue to want to be rid of him and those who would continue to have South Africa as a member of the Commonwealth. Rather than expose the rest of us to that risk, he decided to remove his application and avoid that possibility.

And then Mr. Menzies said—

It did him great credit.

Why do they leave such things out? For us to be able to judge of the actions of Dr. Verwoerd, it is essential to know these things. Why do they keep silent about them? Why do they eliminate it?


On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, the Minister is devoting all the time of the Committee to an attack on the Press. Our complaint was against the S.A.B.C. We expect him to reply to the accusations made against the S.A.B.C. and I think that he is quite out of order now.


The hon. member should not raise a point of order and then say that it is out of order. All hon. members are allowed to discuss this matter widely. Originally I tried to confine speakers to the S.A.B.C., but then they said that they would like to raise another argument by way of comparison. I have allowed it hitherto and I shall continue to allow it.


Let me now come to other examples. I want to give examples of the high quality of the reporting of the S.A.B.C. and the low quality of the reporting of a large section of the Press. I shall now take the high treason case and the reporting of the judgment in that case which we had recently. Everywhere in the world there is a cold war in progress to-day between Communism and the rest of the world. Everywhere the Natives are being incited against the Whites, and that also happens in parts of Africa. Communism is continually being promoted in that Press which the hon. member for Drakensberg (Mrs. S. M. van Niekerk) quite correctly called the mining Press, and the Government is being attacked in that regard. [Interjections.] I am glad to see that this hurts very much, because it shows that at least some of the members opposite still have a conscience. A number of years ago the communists started using the A.N.C. as a new weapon against the White man in South Africa, and the Black man is continually being incited as a method to getting a communist dictatorship which they have set themselves as their object. The Attorney-General then prosecuted a large number of the members of the A.N.C. On 29 March this year 21 of the accused persons were acquitted, and they were acquitted, it should be noted, because the Attorney-General could not prove that the A.N.C. wanted to overthrow the State by violence. The Judge’s words were these—

Violence is the corner-stone of the case.

And the Attorney-General could not prove that those members of the A.N.C. wanted to overthrow the State by violence. That was all. They were not found not guilty. It was merely found that the Attorney-General could not prove that they wanted to do so by violence. Those were the words of the court itself, “not proven”. Those were the words used by the Judge himself. He did not say they were innocent. The case was not proven. Then the S.A.B.C. broadcast that report of the judgment of the court quite fairly and reasonably. But do you know how the mining Press published it? On 29 March the Cape Argus —one of the newspapers of the Argus Group of the mining Press—reported it as follows—

There was no evidence of communistic infiltration into the A.N.C.

And this newspaper deleted the words of the Judge, “after 1950”. Do hon. members realize how scandalous this is? The Judge said there was communist infiltration but not after 1950, because in 1950 the Suppression of Communism Act was promulgated and nobody could be called a communist any longer. One could no longer say that a man was a member of the Communist Party. Now the Argus publishes this distorted and false report: “There was no evidence of communistic infiltration into the A.N.C.”, and it omits the words, “after 1950”. In other words, before 1950 there was such infiltration. Is that not distorting the judgment of a court?

Let us go further. The Judge clearly says in his judgment—

Some responsible executive leaders of the A.N.C. were members of the Communist Party which was banned in 1950.

The Judge says that, Sir, but notwithstanding that the Argus deletes the words, “after 1950”.


On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, what has it got to do with this Vote, what the Cape Times says about Communism?


Hitherto all hon. members have been allowed to compare what was published in the daily Press with what was broadcast by the S.A.B.C.


With all respect to you, Sir, I do not think that a single hon. member on this side referred to what the Press had said about Communism.


The hon. the Minister should really try to confine his speech within certain limits.


Yes, Mr. Chairman, this is the last point I am dealing with. I can well understand that hon. members opposite are trying to whitewash that Press. Now I want to go further. The Judge further said this in regard to that case—

The A.N.C. took up the attitude that communists were free to spread their ideology amongst members of the A.N.C.

He went still further and said that in the A.N.C. people were freely propagating Communism. Now the Argus further says this—

It had not been proved that the form of state pictured in the Freedom Charter was a communist state.

It therefore says that the form of state which the A.N.C. wanted was not a communist state. But here we have what the Judge actually said. He said precisely the opposite—

We are of opinion that the type of state as seen by the Transvaal Executive of the A.N.C. is a dictatorship of the proletariat, and accordingly is a communist state, known in Marxist Leninism as the People’s Democracy.

Can we imagine …


What did the S.A.B.C. say about this judgment?


I have not the exact words here, but what was broadcast was a very fair and correct résumé. If hon. members doubt that, let them give us the exact words.

Mr. RAW:

You remind me of the Naboomspruit Reporter.


The hon. member has the mentality of a journalist in a rural town. Here we had a court case which had been one of the most important to be tried in South Africa for years, and here a paper like the Argus deliberately distorts the facts. One can only infer that it was done deliberately. If it was not done deliberately I say it is one of the most glaring examples of false, distorted reporting by the English Press in South Africa. And whilst the S.A.B.C. broadcast a reasonable report, one can understand why hon. members opposite are so annoyed. All their distortions and falsifications of the news are now being exposed by the fair and impartial reporting of the news by the S.A.B.C. From the very nature of the matter one can understand the tremendous opposition to the S.A.B.C. by the mining Press and hon. members opposite.


Do you include Sapa?


I include Sapa. For the greater part, Sapa gets its news from the Argus newspapers. There are still quite a number of questions the hon. members put to me and points which they raised, but I think that at this stage I should give hon. members the opportunity to raise still further matters.


Allow me at the very outset just to say a few words of appreciation to hon. members on both sides of the House for the friendly welcome which I have received here as a newcomer. I have formed the impression that a new member can feel at home here very quickly provided he shows the necessary modesty; and as the most junior back bencher I shall try to comply with that requirement.

On this occasion I want to pay a tribute to my predecessor Mr. Rust, South Africa’s present ambassador in the Netherlands. He entered this House at a comparatively advanced age and yet within a fairly short time made his mark on the proceedings of the House and at the same time furthered the interests of his constituency very capably. I have found it very noticeable how often over the past weeks I have heard people speaking with particular appreciation of the way in which he participated at that stage in the proceedings of the House and furthered the interests of his constituency. I want to express the hope on this occasion that he will continue to render good service to South Africa in his new post. We know him as a man of culture and a good Afrikaner—let us say a South African, if hon. members prefer it. We are sure that he will represent us with honour abroad.

Mr. Chairman, as far as the Piketberg constituency is concerned, I do not need to try to describe the constituency to you. When one becomes more familiar with the constituency, it strikes one that this is a constituency with many diverse interests, particularly as far as the agricultural industry is concerned, and I have formed the impression that the Delimitation Commission has not really been able to succeed in combining groups with common interests because there is too great a diversity. But nevertheless there is one uniting factor, and I think that they consoled themselves with the thought that this was a constituency with fishermen, grain farmers, citrus farmers and so on—and the one factor which satisfied them was that the people of that constituency are Nationalists. This is in fact an important uniting factor.


I regret to interrupt the hon. member during his first speech. I shall allow him as much scope as possible, but he should really speak on the Vote under discussion, namely Posts and Telegraphs.


Mr. Chairman, I shall now come to the Vote. What I have just said was merely by way of introduction. I have listened with interest to the debate on the S.A.B.C. and it has struck me that the demand that is being made, particularly by hon. members opposite, is that the S.A.B.C. should be impartial. And one is forced to wonder whether they do not expect the S.A.B.C. at least to be true to itself and be an S.A.B.C.; in other words, a South African Broadcasting Corporation. It would surely be unthinkable in any other country in the world that such an organization would not carry the stamp of the nation and the country which it served. As far as I am concerned, it is obvious that that should be the position. That is why we are thankful to know that the S.A.B.C. is moving in that direction and is deliberately trying to be a South African Broadcasting Corporation.

We are on the threshold of a new era—the Republic of South Africa—and on behalf of the Piketberg constituency which is national and is therefore really a republican constituency, I should like to bring one or two points to the notice of the hon. the Minister. The first is the point I have already made, namely that he should continue with his policy and ensure that the S.A.B.C. becomes a South African Broadcasting Corporation. The second point is that when the republic is established our new system of government will very definitely make its mark on the S.A.B.C. This is no longer a party political matter. This is a matter which has been decided by a referendum. South Africa is to become a republic and this will be our new form of government, and we should very much like to see the S.A.B.C. very definitely propagating that concept in South Africa and in our whole national life. Let the concept and the principle of bilingualism be upheld, but let the concept be emphasized in every sphere and over every transmitter that we are all South Africans and that we are building a nation. Following this up, I want to make another point, namely that the S.A.B.C. will continue to propagate a sound national pride and a national consciousness amongst the Afrikaans-speaking as well as the English-speaking people. Is it possible that an organization such as the S.A.B.C. is actually expected to be neutral in our country? So neutral that one will not be able to infer that it is a national institution? We therefore ask that this service will render such a service to our sons and daughters, both English speaking and Afrikaans speaking, in the future that they will remain conscious of the fact that they are all South Africans with a single love for our fatherland and one object, namely to do the best for the future of our country. I ask that the hon. the Minister should bear in mind that this should also be a factor in establishing unity and co-operation between English- and Afrikaans-speaking people. I have perforce formed the impression that there are members in this House who want the S.A.B.C. to hang suspended between the Republic of South Africa and the old British imperial traditions, in order to satisfy every possible sentiment. But in future we shall only know one South Africa and we shall only have one allegiance and one loyalty, and we should very much like to see the S.A.B.C. making its contribution towards propagating that concept among our children, towards mobilizing us and uniting us so that we shall be proudly aware of the fact that we are South Africans.

I conclude by conveying just one thought to the Minister, namely that he should continue to develop the S.A.B.C. into an even greater service than it is at the moment. There is every sign that the S.A.B.C. is engaged on this task, but I think that a large part of our population, particularly the Bantu population, do not benefit very greatly from our English and Afrikaans broadcasts. There is a need, which will become ever greater in the future, that these people should also be served fully. Unfortunately, to-day they are in the hands of a Press which is trying to cultivate bad relations and to incite feelings between White and non-White as far as possible and, as it were, to clear the way for a communist coup d’etat. We should very much like to see the S.A.B.C. also providing an ever-increasing service to the Bantu people in their own languages and we should like to see the S.A.B.C. convincing these people that we are developing a concept in South Africa, the concept of peaceful co-existence by people of different races and languages. I want to express the hope that the S.A.B.C. will not hesitate to reach these people and to cultivate a healthy attitude towards the Whites and towards South Africa which is their fatherland.

Mr. RAW:

I must congratulate the hon. member for Piketberg (Mr. Treurnicht), who has just made his maiden speech. He spoke with confidence and self-assurance and I am sure he will make a contribution to the affairs of his party in this House. It is very unfortunate for him, Sir, that he should have had to follow on the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs and therefore we can understand that after an hour and twenty minutes of that ordeal it was very difficult for him to deal with the subject with which we are dealing at the moment. I congratulate him on having brought the debate back to the S.A.B.C. and to the Vote with which we are dealing.

I am afraid I cannot say anything complimentary about the atmospherics we had from the hon. the Minister for an hour and twenty minutes, and in order that we may make it quite clear to the Minister that we do not consider him a fit and proper person to administer this Department, I wish to move—

To reduce the amount by R8,000, being the item “Minister”.

We have had an appeal from the Minister to deal calmly, as the S.A.B.C. deals calmly, with the presentation of facts. We have been told that the S.A.B.C. does not become hysterical, but we have had nothing but one hysterical outburst after the other attacking the Press of South Africa, not only the English Press, but also the Afrikaans Press and Sapa, and we have had every attempt at evasion possible to get away from the clear charges made by this side of the House that the S.A.B.C. is becoming the Nationalist Party Zeesen, a plain, simple political Zeesen, and I am going to give some facts which I hope the Minister will try to deal with.

The first is that he has appointed a member to the Board of Governors, a man from Bloemfontein who stated to the Press, this Press which is so full of lies, but which published on this occasion a statement by the member appointed by this Minister in which he said—

I am a Nationalist and very active in politics. I know nothing about broadcasting except what I hear on the radio. I do not know anything about the internal affairs of the S.A.B.C., but I do know Mr. Piet Meyer.

That was an admission published in the Press by a man whom this Minister appointed to control the affairs of the S.A.B.C. [Interjection.] If the hon. member for Cradock Mr. G. F. H. Bekker) wants to get a tower named after himself, I am sure the Minister will help him. We have had so much “Haw, haw” from him that I am sure the Minister will establish a Gerhard Bekker Tower instead of an Albert Hertzog Tower.

We have accused the Minister of sitting back and allowing the S.A.B.C. so to present issues to the public as to be to the advantage of the Nationalist Party, and I want to name some specific examples and challenge the Minister to deny it. I want to challenge him to deny that the Bantu news service on 26 April, the day after the Transkeian Territorial Authority had demanded its independence—a matter of vital importance to the Bantu people and to the people of South Africa—failed to report that fact on the Bantu news service on the 26th or on the 27th, a matter of fundamental importance to the whole of our race relations.


I heard it myself.

Mr. RAW:

I see the hon. member listens to the Bantu news service. That is not surprising. The Minister tried to defend the S.A.B.C.’s misreport of Mr. Oppenheimer’s speech in Durban. He did not explain why it cut a sentence in half when Mr. Oppenheimer said this—

One section of the population have lost something to which it had a deep sentimental attachment, and the other section had appeared to rejoice at the loss.

The S.A.B.C. published the first half of that sentence and deliberately omitted the second half, the words “and the other section had appeared to rejoice at the loss”. We had example after example of the S.A.B.C. in its programmes presenting a political slant during the referendum, and I want to give some examples of that, but, before doing so, I must deal with one matter of vital importance affecting the S.A.B.C. It is that the head of the S.A.B.C.’s news service, Mr. Gert Fourie, went to London to cover the Prime Ministers’ Conference. A report came from him, as I said by way of interjection last night, that South Africa was in the Commonwealth. The Minister denies it, but I say it is so; I heard that report. The report was that we were in, but the Minister refuses to draw a distinction between what is comment on news and what is fact. I hope to deal with that distinction a little later. But what I want to know is why the Minister permitted an official of the S.A.B.C., who was there on behalf of the S.A.B.C., to report for his own newspaper, of which he is chairman, the Vaderland. The Vaderland was dependent on the reports of Mr. Fourie, and also Dagbreek en Sondagnuus used those reports. I want to know by what right this Minister uses an employee of the S.A.B.C. to send reports to a newspaper with which he is connected? I want to know whether that employee was paid for those reports, and who got the money? Did it go to him personally, or was it paid to the S.A.B.C., in whose time and at whose expense he was covering that conference? I want to know whether it was the Minister who banned the use of a certain word describing the Government’s colour policy, the word “apartheid”, which the S.A.B.C. is not allowed to use, a word admitted to be banned by one of the senior officials of the S.A.B.C., and yet the publications of the Government still use that word and the Prime Minister still used that word this Session in regard to his policy. But the S.A.B.C. is not allowed to use it, just as it is not allowed to use the word “African”. Was it purely fortuitous that a vital paragraph in Mr. Macmillan’s speech on South Africa’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth did not come through on the telex messages to South Africa? Was it just fortuitous that the key sentence, the thing which changed the whole sense and meaning of that speech, was omitted from the reports released and broadcast by the S.A.B.C., and what action was taken in order to ensure that a full report came through? Was it just an accident that it was omitted?

But let us look at some of the other things that have come over the S.A.B.C. On 24 September Mr. R. Buncher launched an attack in the programme, “This is South Africa”, on the Press and accused the Press of falsehood. I want to challenge the Minister to repeat outside this House the words he used when he accused the Argus of dishonesty and falsification. Only one newspaper editor in South Africa has ever been sentenced by a court for deliberate falsification of news and that is the present Prime Minister, when he was editor of the Transvaler. I challenge the hon. the Minister to repeat outside this House the attacks he has made and to link them to reporters or to editors or to specific newspapers. He will not do it because he cannot prove it, Sir, but he allows on the S.A.B.C. a programme which attacks the Press of South Africa, and which claims that it is biased. There was a broadcast to have been made by one Prof. Huxley on 2 September 1960 which was cancelled because its political content was at variance with the views of the Government. In the news report of 6 June, on a matter of vital importance to South Africa which had just occurred, when the first consignment of South African goods had returned to South Africa because the dockers would not unload it in a foreign country, an item which could affect the whole of our trade, that was not reported. It was not considered to be of sufficient importance to be broadcast. [Time limit.]

*Mr. H. H. SMIT:

When you listen to the hon. member who has just sat down, you can only come to the conclusion that it is an example of more bark than bite. The hon. member mentioned a series of instances where the S.A.B.C. is supposed to have broadcast partial news to the country, but has he proved anything? He made the wild allegation that only one newspaper editor has so far been sentenced by a court for “falsification” as he called it. It seems to me that the hon. member is unaware of the actions of publications of his own party, of which he is also sometimes guilty. A certain publication did something similar towards me personally about a week ago. And last year another one was ordered to pay compensation to a member of this House for the same thing—

In assessing the damages, I cannot lose signt of the fact that the information given in the article was untrue.
Mr. RAW:

Was that falsification or defamation?

*Mr. H. H. SMIT:

If the Judge found that the publication was untrue, then it was false and in that case the hon. member has made a similar accusation in this House. However, I do not wish to deal any further with these matters.

I want to confine myself to the reason for the criticism of the S.A.B.C. Is there one hon. member in this House who has good reason to complain about the news offered by the S.A.B.C.? Is there a member in this House who can complain about the manner in which the proceedings of this House are put over the air? I make bold to say that since the introduction of that service, “To-day in Parliament” in 1952 the public have become more enlightened than they were in the past. Every politician will admit that as a result of these objective broadcasts of the proceedings in Parliament the electorate have become better informed as to what is happening particularly in this House. That is so because the radio has access where newspapers have not, and news over the radio gets there much sooner than a newspaper. The radio has stimulated the desire in the nation to read. People who become interested in the news or in politics because of the radio, are stimulated to read the newspapers in order to control and to ascertain the further facts. Unfortunately the root cause of the criticism which we have against the S.A.B.C. is the position which prevails in South Africa to-day that one language group is practically encircled by the influence of the English-language Press. Now that the S.A.B.C. is breaking through that circle in an independent way, this criticism is levelled at the S.A.B.C. I maintain that if any complaint can be made against the S.A.B.C. it is this, that too little use is made of the S.A.B.C. to enlighten the public politically. In saying that, I mean that both sides of the House can do a great deal to enlighten the country on political matters, not only by means of the news service, but by making use of the radio, not only during elections but periodically and on an equal basis. I shall return to that at a later stage.

I should like to know whether the criticism of the news broadcasts of the S.A.B.C. that we had in the newspapers recently and here in this House is not simply a continuation of the criticism which we had a couple of years ago when the S.A.B.C. attained adulthood and did away with the system of simply re-broadcasting B.B.C. news items? Do you remember how vehemently that was criticized at the time, Sir? I am justified, therefore, to ask this question: Is the complaint of our friends opposite and of a certain section of the Press not that the radio has developed and acquired a positive South African personality? What is their complaint? They complain because something pleasant was said about the Prime Minister on his arrival. When a radio commentator says something pleasant about the Prime Minister they complain or if anybody dares to be optimistic over the radio, about the future of South Africa, they moan about it. Can the critics of the S.A.B.C. outside and inside this House really come forward with any well-founded criticism of the attitude which the S.A.B.C. adopts towards South Africa and its South African standpoint? I admit that it is possible to make mistakes. Mistakes may be made now and then. Those in charge of the radio service are human beings and they can make mistakes, just as Pressmen can make mistakes, but mistakes can be put right. But it is quite incorrect to suggest that the S.A.B.C. is painting an incorrect picture of what is happening in South Africa. Generally speaking, I think we can be proud of the service which the S.A.B.C. renders to-day particularly if you take into account the fact that, other than in the case of a newspaper which appears once a day, they have numerous news broadcasts during the day—since yesterday two additional ones—and that they have to work at a terrific pace in order to have the broadcasts ready. I want to ask this question, and I want hon. members opposite to think seriously about it and not to react the way they usually react, namely by laughing boisterously when we accuse them of having an unbalanced outlook as far as news is concerned. I want to ask this question: Have they in the meantime become so accustomed to the one-sided news reports that appear in the newspapers which they read that they have lost their perspective completely and that because of that they cannot differentiate between what is really news and what is not? I think the majority of hon. members on this side of the House and also our supporters outside read both newspapers.


This side too.

*Mr. H. H. SMIT:

I admit that some of them do, but I say that because we read both points of view we are in a better position than supporters on that side of the House to know when there are deliberate or shocking cases where South Africa is being left in the lurch by the Press. When you listen to this criticism which is levelled against the S.A.B.C., Sir, you get the impression that the main complaint is that the S.A.B.C. does not do what the newspapers on which they depend for their political information do, that they do not give an incorrect picture of South Africa. I want to ask hon. members opposite whether they have ever criticized the Press that supports them when it has been guilty of acting in an un-South African way? I remember the occasion when we discussed the Government’s action against Mr. Norman Phillips, that Canadian reporter who when he was in Durban sent over the most shocking reports to Canada about Langa. During that debate one hon. member opposite after the other got up to defend Phillips but not one of them said one word in defence of the honour of South Africa. [Time limit.]


I think this debate is remarkable in one respect, that we have had the Minister defending his case here by quoting from newspapers, anonymous letters and passages that have absolutely no bearing on the question we are discussing. We have been discussing the S.A.B.C. and the Minister is responsible for nominating the Governors. Having heard the discussion, and having known of the dissatisfaction that exists in the country, I realize how dissatisfied the people are who listen in to the “A” Programme news service. Now they have in Britain at present not only television, but I.T.V. or independent television. It seems to me that if the S.A.B.C. under the Governors appointed by the Minister cannot give us a better service it is time we had an independent broadcasting corporation in this country. We cannot possibly go on as we are being treated at present. The Minister tells us that even Sapa is unreliable in giving news; Sapa gives it a twist he says. Well, I think the Minister is inconsistent, because in his private capacity he is the director of a newspaper company and I understand that all these companies are members of Sapa. It is a combination; it is a company to which all the newspapers in South Africa subscribe. There is another obsession that the Minister has, his intense dislike of television. We are practically the only civilized country in the world which has not got television, and the Minister has from time to time given us his reasons why he is not prepared to introduce television to South Africa. The S.A.B.C. as an independent corporation comes to us from the original investigation carried out by Sir John Reith. His experience of broadcasting was of homogeneous communities, but we are not a homogeneous community. We are a different kind of community in South Africa, as this debate has shown. Television has come to stay in all civilized countries. The Minister tells us that people who cannot afford to buy television sets will buy them and will do this above their means. But people do not usually buy television sets in other countries; they hire them. When a viewer, as he is called, hires a television set he hires the set and gets service for which he pays a monthly rental. That is the manner in which television would be introduced. If the viewer found that it was too expensive for him he would naturally give it up. So that the story of the Minister protecting the poorer classes, the people who cannot afford to have television, has no substance whatever. He says that television is not a good thing for these people; it is not good for their eyes, and it is not good for children. Sir, television in most homes throughout the world has come as a very great boon. It has had the effect of giving great comfort to elderly people in their old age. As we say, it has taken children from their play and kept old people in the chimney corner. It would be a great boon in the homes for the aged. In education, especially in the U.S.A., it has also come as a great boon. But the point I want to make is that nothing has helped so much as television to re-create family life. Family life in the twentieth century was gradually being broken up. Television has brought the family together again. It has had great advantages and it has been a boon to the State. Now the Minister says there are things people should not do. There are many things people should not do. There are many people who tell us that we should not drink. I do not think the wine farmers of the Cape would agree with that. They would not like any Minister to prohibit the drinking of wine. The other day we had a very emotional speech from the hon. member for Brits on tobacco. Supposing someone were to say we should not smoke because smoking gives us lung cancer. This is another example of prescribing for people how they should behave. And who is the Minister to tell people what they should do? We are not being governed yet by ministerial decree. It may come some day; it seems to be on the way, but it is not here yet. There is another difficulty that the Minister sees. He says that all people throughout South Africa cannot enjoy television at the same time. Some people are situated hundreds of miles from any possible station, whilst others, such as those in the Peninsula or on the Rand, can enjoy it. The other difficulty that is similar to that is that this is a bilingual country. If we cannot have equal language rights on television, then we should wait until we can provide a good Afrikaans programme as well as a good English programme; that is the argument that the Minister has used. He said that these programmes are canned programmes—records—that are played on television. Sir, we do not say when we consider the Estimates that because the Stellenbosch University gets almost R100,000 public money per annum to produce Die Afrikaans Woordeboek, there should be a similar gift for an English dictionary. We do not say that; we are all anxious to let them have Die Woordeboek. And if a company were to come along to-day and say, “We can provide television on the Witwatersrand, in the Durban area or in the Cape Peninsula” and if they come along as the Independent Television Service does in Britain and say “We, private enterprise, can give it,” why should they not do it? Who is the Minister to say to people. “You may not spend your money on a television set”? I realize that this is not being enthusiastically supported in the Press. The reason for that is obvious. Television is an excellent medium for advertising and if the advertising pool is not great enough to supply both the Press and the Broadcasting Corporation and television then I can understand that there will be some competition. Sir, I want to put this question to the Minister: If he is not prepared to allow the S.A.B.C. under our present law to develop and to give us a television service, will he be prepared to allow private enterprise to do it?

In conclusion, I want to refer very briefly to a point raised very ably by the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (South) (Mr. Frielinghaus), the manner in which the Post Office Department carried out the conversion from £.s.d. to the decimalization of our coinage. There are three departments which were chiefly concerned with that change-over—the Department of Finance, the Department of Transport and the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. The former two departments carried out their responsibilities well, but I cannot say the same for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. It was the duty of the Department to publish months in advance what they intended to do but they did not do so. It was only after there had been a public agitation that the Post Office Department were prepared to change the regulations that they had in mind for the change-over. In the beginning they did not make provision for producing a 3 cent stamp. It was quite clear that for the internal airmail service they intended to charge 3½ cents, which would have been more than the original fourpence. Eventually, because of public protests, they changed this. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (South) has explained that the 1d. stamp has now become a cent stamp. I want to know from the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs whether his Department has made money out of the conversion.


Of course they have.


I want to know whether in all or any of his Departments he will have a greater income, because if he has then he has not treated the people of this country fairly. [Time limit.]


I do not intend to enter into the fight between the hon. the Minister and the Press. I am taking this opportunity of reminding the Minister that the Coloured people of South Africa form a very large section of the licence-holders of the S.A.B.C. and that many thousands of them listen to the programmes. We have European announcers and we have Bantu announcers, and I believe there are Indian announcers. I think the time has arrived when the S.A.B.C. should employ Coloured announcers. They could have an outstanding programme, because nobody can deny the great advance made by the Coloured people in the cultural sphere. The hon. the Minister should go and see performances by the Eoan Group and he will then see to what extent the Coloured people have brought culture to South Africa. They are very well known as people who live music and who love music and they are very keen listeners. I do believe that an opportunity should be given to Coloured people, both men and women, to show what they can do on the radio as announcers. That is one of the few avenues of employment which are still open to Coloured people, and in view of the interest that they show in broadcasting and the number of subscribers that we find among the Coloured people, I do believe that they are entitled to have their Coloured announcers. I hope the hon. the Minister will use his influence with the Board of Governors of the S.A.B.C. to consider seriously and I hope very favourably the employment of Coloured announcers on the S.A.B.C.

I do not want to deal any further with the question of the S.A.B.C., save to say that I was very shocked indeed to listen to the hon. the Minister telling this House and the country that the news from Sapa is slanted. I wonder if the hon. the Minister realizes that many Nationalist papers receive their news from Sapa. Does he suggest that those Nationalist papers print news which is slanted? The hon. the Minister will also remember the private fight between the Burger and the Minister of Bantu Administration.


That can be discussed under the Interior Vote.


The Burger published an article about what the Minister had said and the Minister denied that he had said it. The hon. the Minister must not pick out the English Press and forget the Afrikaans Press, because you can throw as many stones at the Afrikaans Press as you can throw at the English Press, and I think the Minister did himself an injustice and an injustice to South Africa and to the Press of South Africa when he made these allegations.

I just want to conclude by telling the hon. the Minister that last night I dealt with the disparity between the wages of White and Coloured employees in the Post Office. I omitted to say that there has been an improvement in one grade and I think it is only right that I should make this correction. There was an improvement in this grade by the addition of some R240 per annum. The hon. the Minister should know however that that improvement does not help the Coloured person, because by the time they reach that grade they are almost earning the amount for which the new grade provides. I hope that the hon. the Minister will give serious consideration to the plea that I have made for Coloured announcers and I hope he will not be susceptible to the dictates of the Minister of Labour that this is a job which should be reserved for Whites only. Since there are already Bantu and Indian announcers, I think it is high time the Coloured people were given their fair share on the programmes of the S.A.B.C.


The hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) has made his usual United Party plea for the introduction of television. I am not going to quarrel with him about that because in principle I have nothing against television. It will have to come eventually. But before the hon. the Minister or the Government or the Broadcasting Corporation spend a penny on television, they will have to attend to other needs in this country that are more urgent. I want to discuss one of those needs with the Minister to-day and plead that that need be met. I refer to the introduction of a 100 per cent Bantu broadcasting service. At the moment we broadcast to the Bantu early in the morning between five and six o’clock and again between 9.30 a.m. and 10 a.m. I gather from our servants that they enjoy those programmes greatly and find them very edifying. That, however, is all that is being done for the Bantu as far as radio broadcasts are concerned. I want to ask the Minister that if possible, and as soon as possible, he should introduce a 100 per cent Bantu programme just as we have a 100 per cent English and a 100 per cent Afrikaans programme at the moment. Such a Bantu programme should be conducted in the major Bantu languages. I realize that to start off with that will cost quite a substantial sum of money, but I see no reason why it cannot be conducted on a commercial basis. There is a great need to-day for advertising media to reach the Bantu and although I do not know much about this subject, it seems to me that if a service such as that cannot be run profitably, it can in any case be run as profitably as possible, if you make it a commercial service which will be carried to a great extent by the advertisers on that service. Mr. Chairman, I am pleading for the introduction of such a Bantu service, to commence at the same time in the morning as the Afrikaans and the English programmes and to close at 11 o’clock or 11.30 p.m. for various reasons. In the first instance there are more and more broadcasts from Africa to our border areas. We have Radio Accra, we have Radio Leopoldville, we have Radio Cairo and I understand there is a host of others who are continually inundating the Bantu of South Africa with propaganda from outside. We can expect those broadcasts to become more numerous; we can expect that flood of propaganda which flows over the radio from abroad to our Bantu to increase tremendously and that we should counter it. The only counter-measure that I can think of is the introduction of a 100 per cent Bantu radio service that will be so attractive to the Bantu that instead of listening in to foreign stations, he will tune in to the South African Bantu programme. The second reason why I ask for such a service—and I make no apology for advancing this reason—is the fact that the Bantu in South Africa is to-day subject to the most harmful and the most scandalous propaganda, propaganda which comes from various quarters, propaganda which comes to a great extent—and this will annoy hon. members opposite—from the English-language Press in South Africa—harmful propaganda which is nothing else than an attempt to incite the Bantu against the White man in this country. Mr. Chairman, hon. members may say that the Broadcasting Corporation “slants the news” if they wish to do so, but as far as I am concerned, I trust that if such a Bantu broadcasting service is introduced the Broadcasting Corporation will use that service to neutralize that harmful propaganda which comes not only from outside but which comes from portions of the English Press, from Luthuli, from Kgosana, etc. That is one of the main reasons why I ask for such a 100 per cent Bantu programme which will last 16 to 17 hours per day. The third reason is this: It is necessary to have such a service if we wish to educate the Bantu in South Africa. It is necessary if we wish to instil in him the ideas which we wish him to have, and it is necessary for the cultural development of the Bantu and it is something in which they can play a part to a great extent. My plea is this, therefore: Before we spend a penny on the introduction of television, the Broadcasting Corporation and the Government should go into the question of introducing such a Bantu service as soon as possible for the Black races in the country.

*Mr. H. H. SMIT:

When I spoke on a previous occasion I pointed out that hon. members of the Opposition had complained about minor matters, about a pleasant remark over the radio about the Prime Minister or when the radio was optimistic about the future of South Africa, but that they did not utter one word of criticism when the Press which supports them represents South Africa in the wrong light. The hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs has given examples of how they do that. It seems to me, Sir, that, in their outlook towards news about South Africa, hon. members opposite have become so accustomed to it that their newspapers give great publicity to bad news about South Africa and that they practically hide the good news. That good news about South Africa, as far as the Opposition is concerned, has become bad news and that bad news about South Africa, as far as they are concerned, good news. That bad news about South Africa is not given the same prominence over the radio as it is given in their own newspapers, but the good news about South Africa is given prominence over the radio whereas their own newspapers hide it. That is their complaint, Mr. Chairman; that is why we have this venomous attack against the corporation. If they do not hear over the radio what they are accustomed to read in their own newspapers, they are annoyed with the radio service.

May I draw attention to the fact that there are only four daily newspapers in South Africa, as well as a few weekly newspapers, which support the standpoint of the Government, as against plus minus 20 daily publications and an assortment of weekly publications that support the Opposition, and in spite of that unfavourable ratio, as far as publicity for the Government is concerned, the Government gains ground one election after the other and the Opposition loses ground one election after the other. You are justified in saying, therefore, that this Press, which supports them, exercises no influence over the public of South Africa because it is a negative factor in the process of building a nation. But where we are entering a new era in becoming a republic, I want to ask hon. members opposite, who have distinguished themselves in their criticism against the Broadcasting Corporation, whether we should not adopt a new approach as far as publicity is concerned and that we should make better use of the radio as the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) has also said. I want to confine myself today in particular to a few aspects of the activities of the Government of the country. I think that if the radio can be employed to give direct broadcasts of certain functions, as happens in the case of the Budget speech, if speeches from this House can be broadcast to the public, it will contribute greatly to a better political insight on the part of the public and to a calmer approach to politics. Some people even think that the opening of the Transkeian Territorial Authorities and other ceremonies should be broadcast. You think, for example, of the fact that there is very little room available in the galleries of Parliament for the public and that large numbers of people cannot be accommodated on great occasions. In the second place you think of the fact that the radio can be used, on an agreed basis, to broadcast party policy regularly—not only Government policy but also the policy of the Opposition parties.


That will be the end of them.

*Mr. H. H. SMIT:

When I ask for that I do not think merely of broadcasts during election campaigns, as was done in 1953. I feel that from time to time an agreement should be come to every year in respect of the time to be allocated to the different political parties to state their attitude over the radio. Lastly, I want to plead that in future we should again do what we did in the 1953 election namely that an opportunity should be given to the various political parties to state their points of view over the radio, as was done last year during the referendum campaign when only the leader of the republicans and the leader of the anti-republicans stated their respective attitudes over the radio. I am convinced that if we applied this principle, which is nothing new, it has already been followed in the past during elections, from time to time and during elections, the public will not only have a better insight into politics in this country—in that case people in Swellendam will no longer walk about and blame the Government for having given permission to an Indian to take part in an open golf tournament while the propagandists of that same party maintain in this House, for overseas consumption that this is a Government which is inaccessible and which cannot adapt itself—but every voter will know what the real political set-up is in this country and I believe that in that case there will be greater calm in our political life because people will have a sounder approach to our political problems.


Perhaps I should just deal first of all with a few points affecting the Post Office. The first was raised by the hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore) who accused the Post Office of making large profits out of decimalization.


He simply asked a question.


The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (South) (Mr. Frielinghaus) has alleged that, as a result of the fact that the 1d. stamp has been changed into a 1c stamp, it is going to cost firms an enormous amount of money to send their letters and receipts through the post. Let me first give the Committee the facts. The Post Office had more trouble in connection with decimalization than any other department because it has to deal with money in so many respects. The result is that it took some time before everything could be arranged satisfactorily, but arrangements were made timeously, and I do not believe that the fact that these arrangements were not announced months beforehand caused anybody any inconvenience. I do not think, therefore, that the complaint that an announcement was not made months beforehand is a serious complaint. In the nature of things, when one switches from one monetary system to another is not always easy to find an exact equivalent, and one cannot always place a precise value on the new stamp, a value which corresponds precisely with the value of the previous stamp. There are certain cases too where the value of the new stamp cannot be made lower than the value of the existing stamp, for various reasons, as hon. members will realize. That is why the penny stamp was changed to a cent stamp, which means that the person who posts one or two or three letters pays slightly more than the person who formerly used a penny stamp. But in order to overcome this problem the Post Office then took other steps. Previously, as hon. members will remember, every firm that posted 100 letters or receipts, received a discount of 5 per cent. We increased this 5 per cent discount to 25 per cent. The person who posts just a few letters therefore suffers a small loss, but the moment he posts 100 accounts or receipts, he actually scores. Let me just explain how it works. For the sake of convenience, let us take the case of 240 accounts. To post 240 accounts before decimalization would have cost 240d., minus the 5 per cent discount for posting more than 100. For 240 accounts one actually paid 19s., therefore since the introduction of decimalization the postage on 240 accounts is 240c. but one gets a discount of 25 per cent; that is to say, a discount of 60c, and in actual fact one therefore pays 18s. Instead of the Post Office having gained because of decimalization, therefore, it is the public that has gained.


Is that the position throughout?


Yes, but that is only the position when more than 100 accounts or receipts are posted. I do not think I need refer to the other cases. There the position is precisely the same, and on the whole it is estimated that we are going to lose R360,000 this year in comparison with what we would have made if the £ s. d. system had remained. I can assure hon. members therefore that the Post Office is not making anything out of decimalization; in actual fact this is a great concession.


What about telegrams? How many words will be allowed?


Before decimalization we had to pay 2s. for the first 12 words, plus 2d. per extra word. Since the introduction of decimalization we are paying 20 cents for 14 words plus 2 cents per extra word. The effect of that is this: Take a telegram of 21 words, for example. That used to cost 3s. 6d. or 35 cents, whereas to-day under the new set-up we have to pay 34 cents.


Make it 15 words instead of 14.


I think the hon. member will now realize that there is no profit for the Post Office in this change-over.

Mr. Chairman, I do not want to conduct a debate across the floor of the House again with the hon. member for Kensington about television. I think the hon. member has greatly exaggerated the benefits of television. For example, I do not think that his argument in connection with the benefits of television to education is supported by the facts. A particular lesson is given to all schools and all classes in the country at the same time over television. The children have to watch the pictures on the screen and listen to the comments of the television announcer, but the television announcer does not understand the mentality of the class in front of him. Neither does he know how far the children in that particular class have progressed. Those children may not even have reached that particular subject. They see something about a subject which they do not understand and it is explained to them in a language which does not solve their problems for them at all.


You should have been a teacher.


What I am saying here is not my opinion. This is the experience of teachers’ associations in America and in England who point out that they do not want television if it is at all possible to instruct an ordinary class with the aid of an ordinary film. I feel therefore, that the advantages to which the hon. member has referred have been greatly exaggerated. But I do not want to go into that now. I have always adopted the attitude that certain conditions have to be complied with before television can be introduced in South Africa, and I still think that the conditions that I laid down are fair and just and sound conditions. But the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee) has also mentioned another very important condition, and that is that the cost of television is so enromous and that the funds that we need to promote the interests of our own population in South Africa are so huge that we cannot think of introducing television for a considerable time to come. I think in a previous debate during this Session when the new V.H.F. system was being discussed, I explained that television would actually be a luxury service for the White man, whereas what we are doing to-day, namely the introduction of the V.H.F. service, will benefit everybody. It is a service of the greatest value particularly to the Bantu population of South Africa. We must never forget that the happiness of the Bantu and the welfare of the Bantu are also the welfare and the happiness of the whole of South Africa. We live together in South Africa and it is senseless for us not to pay attention also to the welfare and the facilities of the Bantu. We must not lose sight of the fact that the Bantu in South Africa have more and more leisure hours, and because they have more leisure hours, particularly the young Natives, they have a good deal of time on their hands which they do not know how to spend, time that we could use very profitably for upliftment and instructive work. Unless we do so they degenerate and become inciters and criminals, and then the young Native becomes a danger not only to us but also to himself. I agree hundred per cent with the hon. member for Vereeniging that in the radio service we have a wonderful means of reaching the Bantu, an instrument whereby we can reach those people who are illiterate—and there are millions of them in South Africa. Here we have an instrument to educate the Natives to appreciate their own culture, to be themselves and to enjoy themselves and at the same time to learn something about the society of which they form part and parcel. As you are aware, Mr. Chairman, our radio services for the Bantu are still very defective. They consist of the services from half-past nine to ten o’clock in the morning, which are intended mainly for domestic servants; then there is the rediffusion service, which is practically an all-day service for the Bantu, but it only reaches the Bantu in the Orlando complex. Then, as you will recall, we instituted an extra service for the whole of the Bantu population of South Africa in the middle of last year, a service which starts at 5.30 a.m. and continues until 6.30 a.m. for all Native groups of South Africa—the Xhosa, the Zulu, the North Sotho and the South Sotho. Our difficulty was that there was no special transmitter for the Bantu —there are many technical reasons for that—and the Broadcasting Corporation then had to set aside an hour of the White listeners’ time for these Bantu services. All the Afrikaans transmitters and the English transmitters had to give up an hour in order to give the Bantu of South Africa a good service, and I can tell hon. members that the appreciation of the Bantu for this service is absolutely wonderful. It may surprise hon. members to learn that the S.A.B.C. is being flooded, for the first time, with letters of appreciation from the Bantu, and this is continuing month after month without any sign of abatement. It has aroused a tremendous response, much greater than we get from the Whites. These services are very greatly appreciated, and we are convinced that if an all-day service can be instituted that will be able to reach the entire population, the appreciation of the Bantu for these services will be very great indeed. Sir, the Bantu is a strange individual. The Bantu in the rural areas particularly has not got much to talk about, and when he hears something from his neighbour to-day, he may go on talking about it for a couple of weeks. He seeks information; he yearns for news, and if he can get information and news and programmes of educational value, we can be sure that it will be very greatly appreciated by the Bantu and that it will assist very materially to make him a happier and a better person in South Africa. But, as I have said, the problem is one of transmitters. We must have transmitters to reach the Bantu, and the experts of the Post Office have gone into this whole problem carefully. I do not want to go into the technical aspect again, but there is no doubt at all that the only system that can be introduced successfully in South Africa is the V.H.F. system. We are hoping that this V.H.F. system will start coming into operation at the end of this year. The first will cover the Rand-Pretoria-Rustenburg-Klerksdorp complex. In that way we shall be able to serve the greatest concentration of Whites and Bantu in South Africa. Once the system is in operation, it is the intention to extend it to the other places where there are also great concentrations of people, areas such as the Western Cape, for example, the Eastern Cape and Zululand and Natal.


How is that going to overcome the shortage of transmitters?


Under the present system it is technically impossible to arrange for more than three transmissions from one transmission station. One station can only cope with three transmissions. But with the new V.H.F. system it will be possible to broadcast up to six programmes from one station. This means, of course, that we shall not only have a much more efficient service but also a much more comprehensive and a much better system. I can give the hon. member for Vereeniging the assurance that we are doing our best to expedite this matter. It is not an easy matter to start a new organization and to spend £1,000,000 on it in one year, but with the assistance of the vast organization of the Post Office, we hope to work at that tempo this particular year.

The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) has unfortunately made a statement here without first ascertaining whether his facts are correct. He alleges that the authority of the Transkeian Territories has decided in favour of independence.

*Mr. RAW:

They are asking for independence.


Yes, a request for independence. I want to tell the hon. member that the speech of the chairman, Matanzima, was broadcast practically fully over the S.A.B.C.’s Bantu service, and the points made in the Transkeian Council were mentioned in the course of that broadcast, not in the distorted way that we had them from Sapa-Reuter, but as the Chief himself stated them.

Mr. RAW:

Not in the news service.


Yes, it was broadcast in the Bantu news service on Saturday, 27 April. I say again that it is a great pity that hon. members make allegations in this House without having made sure of the facts first. The hon. member for Durban (Point) went on to say that Gert Fourie, according to the report that was broadcast, allegedly stated that South Africa would remain within the Commonwealth. I have ascertained that that is not what was broadcast, but that the whole trend of the report was that Gert Fourie and every other news representative were of the opinion that South Africa would remain within the Commonwealth.

*Mr. RAW:

That is not so.


I have this on the highest authority, and if the hon. member is not convinced I shall be glad if he will quote the words of the report to me.

*Mr. RAW:

The words were: “It has been decided that South Africa will stay in.”


But what were the other words that preceded this? The hon. member has omitted the introductory words.

Mr. RAW:

I ask the hon. the Minister whether it is not true that the seven o’clock news was interrupted and that the announcer said: “We have received a spot message from our representative in London to say that it has been decided at the Conference of Prime Ministers that South Africa will remain a member.”


It has been explained to me that those were not the words used, but that the whole trend of that report was that the consensus of opinion was that South Africa would stay in the Commonwealth. The hon. member for Durban (Point) made a further attack upon the S.A.B.C. and stated that Gert Fourie had also sent news to the Vaderland and to Dag breek. Well, it had been arranged in advance that Gert Fourie’s services would be available to any company that wished to make use of his services, but that in that case such a company would have to pay a portion of his expenses. The Vaderland and Dagbreek paid a portion of Gert Fourie’s expenses and as a result of this arrangement, this news was also given to them. But every company that wished to make use of his services was at liberty to do so.

Mr. RAW:

Was this offer open to all newspapers; did the newspapers pay for those services and whom did they pay? Did they also contribute to his salary?


I think he received his ordinary salary and his other expenses were paid on a pro rata basis by those who made use of his services.

*Mr. RAW:

In other words, the Vaderland received this news upon payment of certain costs only?


It depends what the hon. member means by “costs”. I would include in costs travelling expenses and salary, apart from other expenses. When I talk about expenses, I include all expenses.

The hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (District) (Capt. Henwood) also asked certain questions.

*Mr. RAW:

What about van der Linde?


The hon. member also wanted to know what comment I had to make about the appointment of van der Linde. As far as I can see the hon. member did not offer any criticism.

*Mr. RAW:

It was a political appointment.


Show me anybody in South Africa who has no political convictions. When a person is appointed one usually knows whether he is a United Party supporter or a Progressive Party supporter or a Nationalist Party supporter. It would be practically impossible to find any person in South Africa for appointment to the board of governors who does not belong to some political party to whose policy he subscribes. And if, after his appointment, a person discloses to which political party he belongs, what does it matter?

*Mr. RAW:

And he knows nothing about broadcasting.


The board of governors is composed of prominent people in South Africa, in the same way as the members of any board of directors. When the hon. member is appointed to the board of directors of a tobacco company, he is not asked whether he knows anything about tobacco. He may be asked whether he knows anything about finance, whether he knows anything about the management of a company, whether he is a sensible person and whether he is an honourable person. Those are the qualifications for which one looks in a company director, because the officials of the company are there to do the technical work. I really cannot see any objection to the fact that somebody by the name of van der Linde has been appointed and that he has disclosed that he is a Nationalist. The fact that he is Nationalist redounds to his credit and not to his discredit.

The hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (District) (Capt. Henwood) asked me why it was found necessary to increase the licence fee for second sets. I want to remind the hon. member that licence fees have remained unchanged since 1924. As the hon. gentleman knows, costs in South Africa are constantly rising: Salaries are rising and all other expenses are rising.


But are you not receiving licence fees from tens of thousands more listeners than in 1924?


Exactly, but there is a ceiling, and beyond that ceiling the growth in the number of listeners gets smaller and smaller. When a company starts, like the S.A.B.C., initially there are very few people who have sets. The result is that the initial flow of new listeners is large, but gradually more and more listeners are added and eventually you reach a stage where less and less new people come in. We have reached that stage now. The hon. member will see from the report which is shortly to be tabled that the net profit for the past year will be roughtly £99,000, but that next year they are budgeting for a deficit, as a result of rising costs. For that reason it was necessary to increase the licence fees slightly.

The hon. member for Boland (Mr. Barnett) asked me whether Coloured announcers would be appointed. I want to tell the hon. member that when a Coloured radio service is established in the Cape, he can rest assured that just as Indian announcers and Native announcers have been appointed, here in the Cape we will also appoint Coloured announcers.

Amendment put and the Committee divided:

Ayes—41: Basson, J. D. du P.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Connan, J. M.; de Beer, Z. J.; Dodds, P. R.; Eaton, N. G.; Eglin, C. W.; Fourie, I. S.; Frielinghaus, H. O.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Horak, J. L.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Mitchell, D. E.; Moore, P. A.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Streicher, D. M.; Swart, H. G.; Tucker, H.; van der Byl, P.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: H. C. de Kock and T. G. Hughes.

Noes—79: Badenhorst, F. H.; Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Dönges, T. E.; du Pisanie, J.; du Plessis, H. R. H.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Sr.); Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Hiemstra, E. C. A.; Jonker, A. H.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Kotzé, S. F.; Labuschagne, J. S.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Louw, E. H.; Luttig, H. G.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Martins, H. E.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Mulder, C. P.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Potgieter, D. J.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, J. C. B.; Serfontein, J. J.; Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Ahee, H. H.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Vorster, B. J.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.

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

Amendment accordingly negatived.

Vote No. 41.—“Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones”, as printed, put and agreed to.

On Vote No. 42.—“Health (Union)”, R18,150,000,


I want to focus the attention of the Committee on the expenditure involved in connection with tuberculosis. An amount of R9,600,000 is provided, and the important thing is that this reflects an increase of R1,600,000 on tuberculosis expenditure. Now, I appreciate that tuberculosis presents a very big problem in this country, and it was none less than the Secretary for Health speaking in Pietermaritzburg who stated that tuberculosis still remained the biggest health problem in South Africa. He said—

The disease is still very prevalent and much remains to be done in formulating plans to counter factors which lowered the general resistance to tuberculosis.

It is in connection with the formulation of those plans to counteract the increasing incidence of tuberculosis that I wish to address the hon. the Minister. Tuberculosis is essentially a condition of lowered resistance and in that lowered resistance undernourishment, malnutrition is a potent factor in precipitating tuberculosis. Quite apart from tuberculosis, we are now faced with another condition due to under-nutrition which has come very much into prominence in and around Durban. I refer to a condition affecting young children, called kwashiorkor, also a deficiency disease arising out of lack of food. Now if the plan is to be effective, then obviously in a frontal attack on the increasing incidence of tuberculosis, the Government must give consideration to the nutritional needs of the under-privileged. What have we had? We had a Department of Nutrition closed down in 1959 when certain research workers stated that the fortified foods, especially fortified bread, were valueless, and there was a loss on that Department of something nearing £4,000,000.

With the closing down of the Department of Nutrition which came under the hon. the Minister of Health, those functions have been distributed amongst four departments, and since 1959 we have seen nothing of a practical nature in so far as the application of either fortified foods or other essential foods for distribution—even if subsidized—to the less privileged of the community. Unless the attack is a planned attack, and if attention is not paid to the nutritional needs of the people, then I maintain that, in addition to tuberculosis you will get a general lowered resistance and an increase in all the deficiency diseases. And quite apart from this, lowered resistance facilitates the onset of other types of diseases which are not essentially nutritional deficiency diseases.

Where tuberculosis is concerned, the statistical chart shows that in so far as the mortality rate is concerned, there has been a decline. The mortality rate figure for Europeans is very low and compares favourably with the mortality rate in other parts of the world. But when it comes to the mortality rate of the non-Europeans we find that this has remained more or less stationary. But in the detection of tuberculosis, the incidence indicates, I think, that tuberculosis among the non-Europeans is on the increase. Therefore no scheme, no attack on tuberculosis can be effective until the Government appreciates the importance of building up the resistance of the people so as to increase that resistance not only to tuberculosis but also to other diseases.

Let us take school feeding as an example. We have had an outcry from all the organizations associated with school feeding, but the Government does not take any action and even appears to be unsympathetic. I feel I am correct when I state that the Government is particularly vulnerable on its handling of the health problem which does not apparently take cognizance of the importance of the nutritional needs of the under-privileged people of this country. Take this condition of kwashiorkor, a protein deficiency disease: one could conceivably imagine that the doctor, in view of his experience, would become case hardened in his approach to tragic condition. I would like to read an extract from a statement made by a doctor who had close association with the conditions prevailing at Cato Manor. He said—

These kids in Cato Manor are dying because there is nothing for them to eat. They need food. This is worse than damned Siberia. Can we brag about civilization when four year olds walk about with twisted stomachs before they lie down in the streets and die? I am a doctor: I am supposed to get a kick out of my work. When I look at half the kids we cure in this hospital I know that they go outside and die. That is not the kind of kick any doctor needs.

Surely this should be approached on humanitarian grounds? But quite apart from the humanitarian grounds, there is the economic approach. We talk about increasing productivity in industry, but how can you increase productivity when you are faced with a very large undernourished and mal-nourished non-European labour force? What about the political repercussions? The criticisms that can be levelled at the handling of this question, by our critics overseas. And even more important, from the internal point of view, is not an empty stomach something that is very receptive to communist propaganda and propaganda put across on behalf of Black nationalism? These, surely, are logical conclusions, and it seems to me that it is time—it is overtime that the Government, through the hon. the Minister of Health, took into account the needs of the under-privileged, not only for the countering of tuberculosis but in order to counteract lowered resistance to disease which, generally speaking, facilities the onset of disease.

There is one other point with which I want to deal. I do not want to labour this point although it would be easy to quote volumes of statistics. I feel sure, however, that the points I have made are in themselves quite conclusive and should stimulate the Government to take some action in this matter. Then I want to deal with the question of the masses, where the mass of ill-health prevails, and this is amongst our Bantu community. There have been recent reports that in so far as doctors are concerned, there is only one in 40,000 in some of the rural areas. But I am not concerned with the question of the White doctors in those areas, I want to emphasize the need for the Bantu medical practitioner to minister to the needs of his own people. It is only their own kith and kin who can break down what is fundamental in Bantu communities, and that is superstition. Unless you can eliminate superstition you will always have occasional outbursts of mob violence and so on, motivated by primitive outlooks based on the mental fundation of primitive superstition. The Inyanga himself, the witchdoctor, the medicine man is still a potent force amongst primitive peoples, and if we are to try and bring the Bantu people to our way of thinking it is essential that they are fed and fed adequately. They must not be fed only on the number of calories—which is an argument I heard advanced from the other side of the House—it is a question of the quality of the food. In so far as the Natives are concerned, they have largely gone over to a cereal diet. Unfortunately, they eat highly refined cereals which have no nutritive value. They have an energy value but not a nourishing value. It is the rural Native who goes to the mines, who goes to the urban areas to work who suffers from this. They acquire a liking for highly refined cereals, particularly white bread. As a result large numbers of Africans are now eating highly refined cereals which have little or no nutritive value. [Time limit.]

*Dr. DE WET:

It is undoubtedly true that there is an alarming incidence of tuberculosis in South Africa to-day. I am in complete agreement with the hon. member that this is undoubtedly the problem which will have to be tackled in the years that lie ahead. I think, however, that the hon. member has overemphasized the malnutrition aspect of it in South Africa. It is true that that plays a very important role in the incidence of tuberculosis and other illnesses, but it is equally true that the diet of all racial groups in South Africa compares favourably, very favourably, with that of other countries where the people are more developed. I think the hon. member will agree with me that particularly as far as Africa is concerned—not even to mention Asia—the diet of our various racial groups in general is of a particularly high standard, comparatively speaking. I think I should remove any doubt as to that, Sir.

The hon. member also said that you should not only have regard to the calorific value of a diet. I agree with him on that point and also where he emphasized the quality of food. In that connection we should not only discuss the question as being the function and the duty of the Department of Health alone. You cannot get away from the fact that here we are dealing with ingrained eating habits, and all sorts of other factors that have to be considered. You cannot get away from the fact that many non-White families can afford to feed their families properly, but unfortunately that money is spent on all sorts of other things except on the necessary foodstuffs. That is why I think if we want to be reasonable, we should not place the emphasis on the malnutrition aspect but on the incorrect eating habits of people.

As far as tuberculosis is concerned I want to refer in passing to what is being done to-day in regard to poliomyelitis. I think the Department of Health and the hon. the Minister have, with assistance and advice from the Planning Committees of the Department, certainly tackled the question of poliomyelitis this year on a scale and in a manner where few countries can emulate us. When we think of the fact that our Department is optimistic—and I think they will succeed—that they will be able to administer no less than 18,000,000 doses in South Africa from 15 May up to September, I think we have reached the furthest point that can be reached in this fight against poliomyelitis. I feel that this problem is under control. At the same time I say that the next big task which the Department should undertake on a large scale, is the task of combating tuberculosis—not so much from the point of view of feeding, but from the point of view of treatment in particular. We have the additional problem that unfortunately we have no control over the persons who carry and spread tuberculosis, because they are not all under our control and because they still enter this country from the Protectorates. I repeat that I do not wish to minimize the problem. It is a great problem that has to be tackled.

The hon. member raised another point in connection with Bantu doctors and in that respect I want to support him wholeheartedly. We must be very careful, however, Sir. You would have noticed in the Press recently, Sir, that a cry has gone up that more medical schools and training colleges should be established. One must be realistic in this regard. The hon. member also said that in some distant parts there was only one doctor to every 40,000 inhabitants. I grant him that. There is a mal-distribution of doctors in South Africa, coupled with a shortage. Not only is there a shortage, but mal-distribution is also an important factor when you consider this problem. I wish to point out, however, that when we consider the number of doctors in South Africa we find that there is one for every 1,846 of inhabitants of all races. In view of the fact that we have a tremendously large number of undeveloped people amongst the races, I think it compares very favourably with the position in Europe where there is one doctor for every 956 persons, and one doctor for every 1,050 in Britain, and it compares exceedingly well with the position in the rest of Africa where there is one doctor for every 19,400.

When we come to their training I think we should be realistic. I have the following figures which I think are fairly reliable. In Europe they have one medical school for every 2,594,000 inhabitants. That is in respect of the whole of Europe. In Africa, excluding the Union of South Africa, there is one medical school for every 15,132,000. In South Africa there is one medical school for every 2,500,000 inhabitants. In other words, more or less the same ratio, but slightly better than in the case of Europe. Or, if we take the case of the Whites alone, we have a medical school for every 750,000 people. That is why I emphasize the fact that we should be realistic in this regard. I do not think there is room in South Africa at the present juncture for an additional medical school for Whites, although there is a shortage which I do not want to argue away. But if anything has to be done, it may be that the existing medical schools should be extended. But in view of these figures I cannot be unrealistic and convince myself that an additional medical school should be established.

I want to add this that I think it has become essential that active steps be taken to establish a training centre as soon as possible, to be connected preferably with the university colleges for non-Whites, where non-White doctors in particular can be trained. I think this is our duty and that it fits into the whole policy which we are following. Mr. Chairman, at the same time we must also face up to another problem and it is this, that when the non-White doctors have completed their training, they should at least offer their services to their own people. I often wonder how many of the non-White doctors who are registered in South Africa to-day actually work amongst their own people. A second question which arises from that is this: I wonder how many of them are still in South Africa. That is why I say that in conjunction with this positive approach and policy which we would like to carry out, and have to carry out in respect of the training of non-White doctors, we have to ensure at the same time that their services are available to their own people.

There is another point I want to touch upon, and this is something which gives me cause for alarm, namely that health services in respect of all racial groups are becoming more and more the responsibility of either the Government or the provincial administrations or local authorities. I have the figures here and they show that, from a total of 7,939 registered doctors in South Africa as at 31 December 1960, no fewer than 3,082 are employed by the Department of Health and the Provincial Administration either on a full-time or part-time basis—that does not even include local authorities. Unfortunately, I could not obtain the figures in respect of Natal. But a conservative estimate would be that 40 per cent of the registered doctors are employed by one or other Government Department, the provincial administrations or local authorities, on a full-time or part-time basis. That seems to be a very high percentage, a very big burden which rests on the shoulders of the taxpayers of the country and of the provinces. That is why I want to put this question to the hon. the Minister. Although we are awaiting the report of the commission which is inquiring into medicine and medical services, has the time not arrived that his Department, in co-operation with the provincial administrations, make strong and effective propaganda amongst the public and guide them as far as insurance against illness in South Africa is concerned. [Time limit.]


I should like to record our appreciation to all the members of the S.A.N.T.A. organization for their work and the sacrifices they are making to combat tuberculosis and to remove this menace to the health and efficiency of the workers of this country. The mobile X-ray units of the Government are rendering admirable service and they are screening great numbers of people and assisting S.A.N.T.A. centres in tracing positive and primary cases of T.B.

Correct feeding is also essential in order to combat the T.B. menace, and I think this Committee should also express its appreciation to the number of voluntary workers and the contributions they make to assist those who are providing feeding services in many of our towns. We know that protective foods are essential if T.B. is to be overcome. And there is no doubt that these can only be provided adequately through voluntary helpers and the general co-operation of the public. I make this appeal regarding S.A.N.T.A. because, although the Government assists S.A.N.T.A., I do not think the Government fully appreciates the extent of and the need of those ever-increasing contributions which should be made to assist S.A.N.T.A. so that it can not only maintain its battle against T.B. and develop its nursing services, but so that it will be able to maintain its follow-up treatment of those discharged from hospital. As you know, Mr. Chairman, at many of our T.B. hospitals there is a constant return of patients who do not receive proper after-treatment, and that is why these mobile units are so valuable. They help the S.A.N.T.A. workers to watch ex-patients much more carefully than was possible in the past.

In this battle against T.B. I am afraid that sight is perhaps lost of the importance of health services in our country districts. Here in the Cape Province the Divisional Councils levy a health tax, but I do not think that due attention is paid to the health services in the country in general, or to the country clinics. I think much of the neglect in this regard is due to Government disinterest which, at present, assists witchdoctors in their nefarious practices. In many of our country areas the Natives are driven back to the old witchdoctor system which existed under their tribal system. I could quote many instances of neglected country clinics. There is one at Bathurst, for instance. I should like to quote from a letter to the District Nursing Service at Bathurst, written by the Regional Health Officer. He states—

I would like to take this opportunity of assuring you that while negotiations were in progress in regard to the transfer of the Grahamstown Health Centre from this Department to the Cape Provincial Administration, repeated representations were made by this office for the Bathurst Clinic to be regarded as an integral part of the Grahamstown Health Centre, and that it should remain under the same authority, whether central or provincial. As you know the Cape Provincial Administration finally decided to take over control of the health centre, but the Administration was not prepared to take over the Bathurst Clinic as well. Under the circumstances it meant that the clinic had to revert to a district nursing service with the usual seven-eighths subsidy of the nurses salaries as the only possible form of financial assistance by this department, and other maintenance costs of the services to be met by your committee through clinic fees, subscriptions, donations, etc. So the department, unfortunately, is not empowered to assist financially in regard to medical cover provided by private practitioners. I understood from the supervisor of Nursing Services that your committee felt it might find the financial responsibility of the District Nursing Service too great to carry. In view of the excellent service provided through your Bathurst Clinic during the past years, this would, indeed, be a real loss to the community, and I would urge your committee to make every effort to continue with the existing nursing services.

[Time limit.]

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

Evening Sitting


When the debate was adjourned, I was speaking about the neglect of health services in the rural areas and I was giving as an example that the full cost of the urban clinic in Grahamstown was met whereas the rural clinic at Bathurst is neglected and has to depend on subscriptions. I do not think the Government should shirk its responsibilities in regard to the few rural clinics. At present the Government is subsidizing the health services on a hit-or-miss basis. It should co-operate with farmers’ organizations and with S.A.N.T.A. and bring up a plan for a scheme for health services in the rural areas. The people in the country areas are not receiving anything similar to the veterinary services provided for our animals. A more efficient health service should be made available to the rural tribal Native on whom the agricultural production of this country depends. I hope the Minister will consider this plea. I feel that much time has been lost in regard to medical services in the rural areas. We find some of our rural areas very heavily infested with tuberculosis, which I claim is a much more serious disease than foot-and-mouth disease, in regard to which the Government would not mind spending R500,000 to check. Tuberculosis is affecting the health and the production of the people generally, and it is not evident more, anywhere, than in the countryside, where so much depends on the ability of the Native to work. We cannot expect service from a sick man, and many of our Natives do not enjoy the health they are entitled to have when one considers their value to the country and how essential they are to the farming industry which has actually been built up on the back of the Native.


In the first place I wish to say a few words about the injudicious scattering of medical services in South Africa. In the reserves there are very few doctors to treat the non-Whites. It is expected that the White doctor who goes into practice after completing his studies should go there to serve those people but personally I feel that it is more the duty of the non-Whites to serve their own people. The position to-day is that non-White graduates from the medical schools set up practice in the locations in the White areas and that they are not inclined to go to the reserves. I feel that the White medical practitioners can treat the Natives in the cities and that the Bantu doctors should be encouraged to go to the reserves to supplement the medical forces there. I want to ask the hon. the Minister whether it is not possible, just as is being done in other Departments where bursaries are given to students and they are then compelled to serve in certain departments for three or four years, also to give bursaries to students at the Bantu Colleges and that the Bantu student should undertake to practice in the reserves for at least four years in order to serve his own people. It is our policy that the various racial groups should be served by their own people as far as possible, it is being done in the hospitals by training Coloured and Bantu nurses to nurse their own people, and I feel this should also be the policy in regard to Bantu doctors who are trained at these colleges.

Then I want to go on to a matter which has been raised by previous speakers, namely endemic diseases. As epidemic diseases smallpox, polio and diphtheria are the greatest dangers to-day. Smallpox is controlled to some extent because of the legislation compelling every person to be vaccinated. Inoculation against diphtheria has been encouraged for years among the Whites and the non-Whites. Polio has been brought forcibly to the attention of the population during recent years and they are being immunized at the expense of the State and polio will soon also be brought under control. I feel that we should also make immunization against polio and diphtheria compulsory, just as in the case of smallpox. If this is done then that burden will be off our shoulders and there will be no need for annual propaganda campaigns. The public knows by now that there is no danger in this immunization treatment. If it is made compulsory it will force neglectful parents to bring their children to be immunized.

Tuberculosis is one of the main problems in the country to-day. It is rightly said that tuberculosis is found in cases of underfeeding, and not only among people who are underfed but also in cases of injudicious feeding or malnutrition. The fault is not always in the food; it is often found in families which can afford proper food, but the problem is intensified by injudicious use of food. If one, for example, studies the eating habits of the Native, it will be noticed that he usually buys a half loaf of bread and a cool drink for his midday meal for which he pays about the same as for healthy wholewheat bread and milk, but because it is tasty they eat the wrong food. I wonder if there should not be a campaign to try and teach these people to eat properly. Then they can use the money they earn more judiciously and obtain better food which will be more nourishing and makes them more resistant to disease. Kwasiorkor has been mentioned. We know that these illnesses are caused by a deficiency of albumen and that children can be protected from kwasiorkor by giving them more milk and eggs. I wonder if we should not make dairy cows available to these people. Perhaps some formula could be devised whereby milk could be provided to these young Natives on a subsidized basis. This dreaded illness, kwasiorkor, which is not really an illness but simply malnutrition or a deficiency of albumen, can then be prevented to a great extent. In past years the Springs Municipality subsidized milk in the locations from the profits on kaffir beer and in that way milk was made more readily available to the Bantu children. I wonder if one could not apply such a system on a larger scale. I feel that if this could be done malnutrition, especially among children, will be eliminated to a great extent.

I wish to associate myself with what has been said about tuberculosis. It is a matter which must receive immediate and greater attention than has been the case up to now. We appreciate what the Government has done up to now, for the financial assistance and guidance from the Government, but I feel that we could perhaps do a little more in future; if we can eliminate smallpox, polio and diphtheria by compulsory immunization, then we can devote all our attention to tuberculosis. We are grateful for the services rendered by voluntary organizations like S.A.N.T.A. and I feel that increasing use should be made of such organizations and that more of them should be established in all areas in order to combat tuberculosis on a nationwide basis.


I would like to ask for the privilege of the half-hour. I want to discuss, firstly and briefly, the history of the Department of Health in this country. It has suffered from a curious lack of interest on the part of all Governments, and even at the Convention there seems to have been little discussion, it was not until 1916, six years after the establishment of Union, that a Department of Health was constituted. Previously it had been under the Minister of the Interior and in many respects it is perhaps a pity that it did not remain there, because this Department is always linked with another Department, usually with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. Now this Department of Posts and Telegraphs is a trading Department, and if they lose money the Minister is judged as running an unsuccessful Department, but if a few thousand extra people die nobody really knows about it and nobody takes much interest, with the result that there is, as it were, no balance sheet. The result is that the interest of the Minister—and I am not speaking personally now—is concentrated on the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and not on the Department of Health. This Ministry also has a curious history. Three distinguished incumbents of this portfolio have died in harness. In other words, it is a rather dangerous job to undertake. It is the Cinderella Ministry of this Government. Now this Minister has been, one might say, the first to try to bring some order into the mess in which the Department of Health has managed to get itself. He has at least introduced a Planning Committee. Unfortunately in his choice of membership I am afraid I cannot altogether support him because he has not introduced any really new blood into this Planning Committee. He has, of course, the four experts on tuberculosis and poliomyelitis and blood transfusion and pathology. They have always been at his disposal, so he need not have brought them into the Committee. The other members are members of his own Department, with one other, a professor of medicine at the University of Pretoria, who seems in the opinion of the Minister to be a sort of Pooh-bah and able to undertake all sorts of duties. He is amongst other things also the Chairman of the Committee investigating the cost of medicine which must take at least another year to finish its work. I cannot see that this Committee which started off with great promise and which, speaking personally, I felt was very welcome and much needed, is going to be of great help to the Minister, and I would suggest that he reconsider the personnel. He has, curiously enough, taken the accounting officer of his Department, the Secretary for Health, and made him a simple member, whereas an outsider is in a position to dictate to him how that money shall be spent. However, it is not for me to defend the Minister’s position as regards his Secretary.

I want to give the Minister a few ideas of what his own colleagues think of the Department of Health. In May 1960 I spoke of the movement of pneumoconiosis to the Department of Health, and this is what the hon. the Minister of Labour replied. I quote from Col. 7019 of 13 May 1960, in Hansard—

I feel that the Department of Health is not equipped to control the Bureau and health on the mines. All these health services went over to the provinces, and the Department of Health is left with very little. It deals very largely with problems of general health such as infectious diseases.

That is the opinion of the Minister of Labour. This year I mentioned under the Railway Vote that I thought that the Department of Health should undertake the duties which the Railway Health Department were carrying out, and my reply from the Minister of Transport, in Col. 3127 of 17 March 1961, was—

There are a number of functions performed by the Railway Health Department that cannot be performed by the Union Health Department.

And amongst other things, he spoke about anti-malarial control measures, a check on notifiable diseases such as typhoid, smallpox and tuberculosis. You will see, Sir, that even in the Cabinet itself …


Order! Will the hon. member for Standerton (Prof. Coertze) please take his seat.


I was going to say that even the hon. the Minister’s colleagues have a very low opinion of his Department. But I will say this, that this Department has kept the Union more or less free of infectious diseases imported from outside, although it deserves extremely little credit for that. All it has to do is to maintain its international relationships and it is advised, sitting as we do at the bottom end of the continent, of what is likely to appear, and then it just has to take simple steps. It is entirely a question of international co-operation. It has managed to control polio up to a point, and the present movement on the part of the Minister is an excellent one and I hope he has every success with it, but the country has been allowed to run itself into an hysterical panic over polio and the Department of Health has not played its part in calming the feelings of the people. Because children rarely die of polio and are left cripples, this hysteria takes place. But if one studies the statistics of this Department (bad though they are), one realizes that the incidence of polio is extremely low in comparison with other serious infectious diseases. It is only because it attacks the children and leaves them crippled that all this fuss has been made about it. If half the fuss were made about the amount of diphtheria in the reserves it would have a much greater effect on the country as a whole.

This country, in the last 15 to 20 years, has changed from a pastoral to an industrial country and with it have changed the problems of health. Problems which were simple in a pastoral country become extremely grave when you get big concentrations in the urban areas, and it is chiefly on this point that this Department has failed to carry out its obligation. Take the question of pollution. This problem of the pollution of the rivers and the sea has not aroused any real interest from this Department, yet we know that with the erosion in the reserves and with the increased population there and with the complete and total absence of any sanitation whatever in the reserves, the pollution in the rivers has now reached the point where it is causing anxiety and where it is liable to produce serious health problems for the country. Take the sea. The sea on the south coast of Natal is a dark brown and remains a dark brown. This is a health problem. I do not know that drinking sea-water will do anyone any harm, but part of the recreation of the country is on the south coast of Natal and the Department of Health has not moved a finger to take any part in this. I know the Minister will tell me that this is the work of another Minister, but this Minister is charged with the health of the country, and if the other Ministers do not help him to care for the health of the country I think he is failing in his duty. But the greatest indictment of this Department is the way in which it has allowed other Departments to usurp its functions, and I speak particularly of the Departments of Mines and Labour. The health of the people who work in the mines is confined to the Minister of Mines. I cannot conceive of anything which could be worse for the miners. The Department of Mines is not particularly interested in the miner; it is interested in increasing the production of ore. It has had its hand forced by the miners so that now compensation is paid for pneumoconiosis, but the Pneumoconiosis Bureau is only a sorting bureau. It prevents the unfit from going underground.


Order! The hon. members for Ventersdorp (Mr. Greyling) and Marico (Mr. Grobler) should please stop talking so loudly.


Sir, I did not speak loudly.


Order! If hon. members are not interested in the debate, I would prefer them to leave the Chamber and not to sit talking here so loudly as to disturb the members addressing the Committee.


It is a question of the psychological outlook of those entrusted with this work. The bureau is concerned with sorting the fit from the unfit. It is not concerned with the care of any individual miner. It merely says he can go underground and when the time comes it says that he has worked long enough and he must go home and die quietly. That is not the point of view of the Department of Health, and the bureau will never work satisfactorily until it is taken over by the Department of Health, so that the men feel that their health is the concern of the Department, and not the amount of compensation they are to be paid.

Now take the question of industrial health. The Department of Labour will award compensation to an injured worker, and if the injuries become sufficiently frequent they will inspect the machines to try to save themselves money, and they will even pay for the man to recover, but have they got an organization to go into the factories and see what is happening to the health of those people? They are allowing the workman to become ill because he is working under bad conditions. They are allowing him to develop cancer due to his working conditions, and what do they do about it? They are not making an effort to protect these men. They are like the Department of Mines; they are not interested in the man. Only the Department of Health can be interested in the man or woman. The Department of Labour is interested in getting sufficient labour for industry. Another little empire which is being built up is the Railways, where we find something like R250,000 being spent on health by the Railways, and not by the Department of Health. I could also mention the Prisons Department, which also runs a small health department. Last year we had that outbreak of typhoid in the Fort in Johannesburg. Why? Because the Department of Health was not exercising its jurisdiction, in that it was relying upon that little empire which exists in the Department of Justice. On all sides I see that the Department of Health is thrust aside as being of no account, whereas it should be one of the principal Departments in the Government. There are even states where the Prime Minister is the Minister of Health. That is what they should do with Health.

What is much more serious than the psychological outlook of those who work in these little empires is the fact that they are not sheltered personnel. As the Minister knows, any medical officer of health is a protected official. He cannot be discharged although he is employed by a municipality, except with the consent of the Minister. Does that apply to those who are employed in the Department of Prisons or the Department of Labour or the Railways, or in the Department of Mines, and if not, are these small heads of empires likely to take a stand against the heads of their Department? I can assure you, Sir, that anybody who has anything to do with health will know that frequently it is necessary for a M.O.H. to take a stand against people like mayors and town councillors, and he does it knowing that no matter what influence is brought to bear he has the right of appeal to the Minister. So we have these little empires being built up by the various Ministers, functioning psychologically badly, not carrying out the functions they should be carrying out and the personnel not protected from victimization should they at any time fall foul of some official above them.

Now let us look at the Native territories, and let us take the example of Pondoland, which has not one single M.O.H. outside the town, and those are employed by the municipalities. The hon. the Minister has a few district surgeons who are occupied chiefly with caring for paupers and perhaps holding postmortems on murder victims, but his main concern is not health. We have recently had the question of whether or not self-rule will be given to Pondoland and other areas. There is not a single M.O.H. in those areas. They rely for their health entirely upon the pastoral areas that they are, and the introduction of industrialization or anything which will bring these people into close contact with each other will lead to a disaster, and that disaster cannot be confined by barbed wire to that area. It brings the danger of tuberculosis and other diseases directly into the White areas. One of the crying shames, Sir, is that the unfortunate Native miners who are discharged with third stage pneumoconiosis are looked after in theory after they return to the Native reserves. I wonder if the hon. the Minister has any record of anything having been done in that regard. We have no statistics whatsoever of what is happening in the Native areas. There are no reliable vital statistics available. I have not sufficient time, Sir, to go into much more but I would like just to mention the question of research. This Ministry has been abrogated the right it had to deal with research. All medical research has been passed on to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research with a small membership from the Ministry of Health on its council. One of the chief items of research should be the items which are required by this Department. It is this Department that should be responsible for research. The Department should be telling the universities what is needed and not the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. From the medical point of view that is a lay body and, excellent though it is and excellent though its work has been, it still remains a body which is not concerned with the health of the country and the representation which it has from this Department is not sufficient to carry out the work that it should do. Nor is it in a position to guide the work.

In the short time left to me I want to discuss the question of the shortage of medical men. I am not so greatly concerned as other hon. members on this point nor do I feel that we can do a great deal about it. But, Sir, while the White medical schools are working to capacity and are in fact turning away students, the non-White medical school has never reached capacity. It can take double the number of students that it takes at present. It is equipped to do so. It has the staff to do so. The difficulty arises not in the hon. the Minister’s Department but it arises in the fact that he has not recognized the cause as pointed out by the university itself. The cause is the lack of matriculated Native students coming forward to take up the training. The cause lies with the Department of Bantu Education. It is no good running a medical school unless the Department of Bantu Education can supply sufficient students to enter the university. That is where the fault lies and that is where the Minister must do his best to correct the position.

Mr. Chairman, in conclusion I want to say that I hope the hon. the Minister will undertake or seriously consider re-organizing the Department completely. He should try to obtain more staff. His Department has never been filled with professional men. The vacancies rarely fall below 200 on a comparatively small staff. That can only be remedied if the whole Department is re-organized. I want to quote from a lecture given at the Royal Society of Medicine in Edinburgh where a discussion had taken place on the Department of Health. This was what Dr. Perry said—

The organization of the public health services in their widest sense is to my mind no longer adequate. The civil service pattern of departmental administration was a highly satisfactory solution to the problems of the 19th century, and even to the first two decades of this century. An intelligent man with a liberal education who joined the senior civil service could be posted to any Ministry and could confidently set about acquiring the necessary knowledge of the particular technology involved. Seldom would this take him longer than a year. Thereafter he was well equipped to make decisions advised from time to time by technical experts. The position has changed out of all recognition. Policy is possibly best made by laymen, but the politician with the small staff can accomplish this. [Time limit.]

The hon. member who has just sat down will forgive me if I do not follow him in the fascinating and interesting speech he has just made. I wish to speak about the hon. the Minister’s policy, and particularly in connection with medical costs and medical services and what is known in everyday life as the middle-class man. As you are aware, Sir, the person who is rich and who has a big income is in a position to pay the doctor’s high account and the hospital’s high account when he has illness in his home. The person who possesses nothing, who is poor, can be treated by either the district surgeon or free hospitalization which is provided by the Provincial Administration. The Provincial Administration also supplies medicine for the poor man. The person about whom I and the public are concerned is the person with a salary or an income of about R2,000 per annum. I am concerned about that person who must support a few children on that income and who also has other commitments, such as rent for example. If that type of person or a member of his family becomes ill the position is simply unbearable. I have here a Press report which I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. the Minister. It will make the hon. the Minister realize in what a position the middle-class person really is. The heading of the report is “Patient receives £850 worth of medicine in a month and dies”. I want to read the report to the hon. the Minister because it is typical of what happens so often to the middle-class man in the everyday life. The report reads—

The case of a man who in less than a month in a Durban hospital had more than £850 worth of medicine administered to him, was brought to the attention of the South African Medical and Dental Council in Johannesburg yesterday. The patient died.
In an exchange of letters various institutions described this medicine account as fantastic, abnormal, unbelievable and astronomical. While the patient was prescribed nearly £30 worth of medicine every day his special meals (only one per day) cost half a crown each. On 15 February this year …

This was in 1960—

… the Entabeni Hospital in Durban sent an account for £910 5s. 10d. to the estate of the late Mr. M. J. MacFarlane, according to evidence laid before the Medical Council yesterday. This does not include the doctor’s account.
Of this amount £5 was for operation theatre fees, £2 16s. 6d. for taxis which transported the patient for blood transfusions and £45 13s. 6d. was for the 29 days that the deceased was treated in hospital. The patient’s meals cost £3 15s. 0d. The medicines which three doctors precribed for him cost £853 0s. 10d.

For one month?


For one month, Mr. Chairman. Hon. members doubt it. I have mentioned the name of the patient and of the hospital. Hon. members may verify it for themselves—

In regard to this last amount the Director of the Entabeni Hospital wrote: I have done what I could to reduce the account for medicines and drugs.
The Medical Aid Society of the Post Office brought this case to the notice of the Medical Council. The patient was a member of that society. The exchange of letters by the society in connection with the case was released for the information of the Council.
After the death of the member the General Post Office’s welfare officer wrote to the Medical Aid Society as follows: Herewith is included an account received from the Entabeni Hospital. Never before have I seen anything as fantastic. The amount of £910 5s. 10d. does not include any of the doctors’ accounts. It is no longer a case of the high cost of living but of the high cost of dying. I fail to see how doctors can prescribe to such an extent for a dying man, regardless of costs.

Mr. Chairman, these are only medical costs. Then one must add the hospital ward fees, his meals and the transport costs for blood transfusions. The doctors’ accounts are not even included.

Then I also want to bring to the notice of the hon. the Minister the fact that doctors’ fees were increased in Cape Town last week. I do not want to argue with my hon. friends who are in the medical profession. I know how difficult it is to exist on a small allowance like that received by us as Members of Parliament. I do not think the doctors are in a very different position from that of ours. What I do want to bring to the notice of the hon. the Minister is this: They say that this account was fantastic. Mr. Chairman, may be it was fantastic but it is not the only one of its kind. I have experience of something which is perhaps not quite as fantastic as this but I was surprised to see how fees could mount up in a hospital when someone from the middle-class is treated there. It is not only the hospital fees, Sir, there is still the doctor’s account. Permit me to add that it is bad enough when such a person has to call in an ordinary doctor, but can you imagine what costs he will incur when he has to call in a specialist. I want to bring this matter to the notice of the hon. the Minister. As I said before, the rich man can pay these costs; it will not break him. The poor man can be assisted through the State or the province but the person who has my sympathy is the middle-class man. He cannot afford to pay such an account. He cannot get State aid. He must pay it himself. When a tragedy strikes him in regard to illness he must pay the expenses himself. I bring this to the notice of the hon. the Minister and I think it is just as well perhaps that I bring it to the attention of the country. We must realize in what position that person finds himself when he is struck by illness.


Mr. Chairman, I am not a medical man so when it comes to matters of medicine I have, like Agag, to tread delicately. However, I would like to follow in the footsteps of my hon. friend the member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) in his request for a revision of Government attitude towards the question of malnutrition and tuberculosis, I am very interested in this matter because although I am not a medical man I am a Member of Parliament for Durban, Berea, which embraces in its centre the squalid, disease infested area of Cato Manor which houses anything up to 100,000 Africans in conditions which are probably unparalleled in any urbanized area throughout South Africa. As the Member of Parliament for that constituency I am naturally concerned with the fantastic mortality rate due mainly to malnutrition, gastro-enteritis and other diseases which attend malnutrition particularly among the non-Europeans in my constituency. I should like to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister to the report of Dr. Stephen, Durban’s medical officer of health. In this report he draws attention to the fact that the infant mortality for Whites in Durban is 23.36 deaths under the age of one year per 1,000 live births which compares favourably with any European country. As far as the Coloureds are concerned the rate is 45.51, the Asian rate 57.43 and the African rate 276.64 per 1,000 live births. I do not believe that any South African with a conscience can contemplate those figures with equanimity. In examining these figures it is quite obvious that the chief killers amongst the Africans particularly are malnutrition in its various forms, particularly kwashiorkor which represents malnutrition in its malignant form. I believe that nobody can contemplate these figures without being appalled first of all at this ghastly wastage of human life which applies not only to the urban areas of Durban, but also to the peri-urban rural areas of Durban as well. It is not only the loss of life that appals one, but the fantastic degree to which the physical health of so many of our non-Whites is impaired for life with consequent deterioration of their productive capacity in our society. In addition to that there is also the very high cost of hospitalization in the treatment and curative efforts in dealing with this complaint of malnutrition. We know that it costs more to hospitalize one case per day than it costs to feed one school child with one meal a day for a whole year and thereby keeping him alive and healthy. When one studies the provincial figures in respect of hospitalization one cannot but be impressed with the millions of pounds that are spent unnecessarily on curative medicine when a fraction of that cost could be better spent on prevention. In addition to this, I think most people are impressed by the lack of any nationally organized and directed and nationally formulated policy for preventive medicine. I believe, Sir, that had we had such a programme, a programme providing for inoculation and immunization against such diseases as smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and so on, and if in addition to that you had mobile clinics as part of this programme of immunization, and dealing at the same time with the teaching of the rudiments of hygiene and dietetics and also as a third leg an intelligent well-directed, well-financed programme to subsidize the feeding not only of expectant mothers but also of children and carrying right on up to the adult stage we would be doing a tremendous service to the country and we would be getting far better results. Because of this deficiency in our health services we have this disease of malnutrition which is assuming fantastic proportions. It is affecting not only all races but it is widespread all over the Union. This is the result of unfortunate experiments in the control of this particular aspect of health. We know how during the war the Department of Nutrition was entrusted with this task and we know how abjectly it failed in that task. We know how in the early stage the Department of Education took a hand in the problem in providing a free meal every day to scholars in the primary schools. We know how that service in turn has been eliminated and how the task was handed over to the Department of Social Welfare. Anybody contemplating the results of the handling of this problem by Social Welfare during the last few years since 1959 must be struck by the utter inadequacy of their programme and the failure of their efforts due mainly to divided responsibility. There seems to be no fixed determination as to responsibility, no planned scheme for dealing with the problem and there seems to be arguments as to who should be responsible for it—whether it is the concern of the Department of Social Welfare or of provincial or local authorities. In the case of Durban whose ratepayers provide not one single penny for the subsidization of these foodstuffs from Municipal Revenue, the Native Revenue Account bears most of the burden, the balance is entrusted almost entirely to the voluntary donations given to private welfare organizations. We know how in the case of Durban these organizations have done fantastic work and year after year the Cato Manor appeal raises some £15,000 to conduct this campaign against malnutrition, a sum which although generous in itself is totally inadequate for the task. This inadequacy of these services, the overlapping in some areas or the total absence of any services whatsoever in other areas, is producing the most disastrous results and is certainly doing very little to improve the situation. It is certainly not helping very much to save lives or to save money.

I want to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister to the very admirable report drawn up under the auspices of the Faculty of Medicine in the Unity of Natal in conjunction with the King Edward VIII Hospital and certain child welfare organizations and the Durban Round Table. That report draws the attention of the country very clearly to the degree to which we are threatened with this disease of malnutrition. It points out how Europeans are affected by malnutrition all over South Africa although not to any alarming degree. In respect of Africans it shows that malnutrition is the overwhelming problem and particularly kwashiorkor, a disease due to a deficiency of proteins in the diet. The report shows in its statistics that the mortality rate amongst the Africans in Durban in respect of hospitalized cases which only represent one in 30 of the total number of cases treated, is no less than 50 per cent and in respect of Coloureds and Indians there has been a rapid increase in the number of cases treated over the last three years. It is only fair to say, Sir, that due to improved hospital facilities and the improved methods of the clinics the infant mortality rate is decreasing although the prevalence of the disease is still on the increase. What are the causes of the high incidence among Africans? Basically of course the main cause is poverty, ignorance and superstition and bound up with that, all those complex factors that make up the outlook of the tribal African to-day. [Time limit.]


The hon. member for Durban (Berea) (Mr. Butcher) has painted us a picture of how miserable conditions are in Cato Manor. We accept that. The hon. member must, however, be aware of how anxious the Government is to improve those conditions and to bring about the necessary improvements. It will be good, and perhaps the hon. member has already done so, if he will inspan all his powers to obtain greater co-operation from the local City Council in order to solve that problem. In that case the hon. member will be making a very big contribution towards solving those problems.

There is another matter I would like to raise. It has already been mentioned by the hon. member for Somerset East (Mr. Vosloo). It would be a pity if the country got the impression that those big accounts to which he referred are common in the country. I do not want to go into the matter, Mr. Chairman, except to say that it is just as unusual as the first Russian to circle the earth.

I was very impressed by the speech of the hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford). I admit that there is very little with which one could find fault. On the contrary, one could associate oneself to a very great extent with the allegations which he made and with his pleas. I want to express my appreciation for the way in which be put the case in so far that he even complimented the hon. the Minister for being the first person to bring order into his Department. He also said that the hon. the Minister was the one who introduced measures to prevent infection from overseas from penetrating into South Africa. When a person approaches a matter in that way, Mr. Chairman, then I say that even if he criticizes and criticizes hard we appreciate it and gladly listen to criticism of that nature. I do not know if he meant it as a joke but he also played the part of a Job’s Comforter when he reminded the hon. the Minister that his predecessors were not as fortunate during their period of office. Mr. Chairman, that matter is in the lap of the gods but I think we can give the hon. the Minister the assurance that he still has years of hard work ahead of him and that he should not listen to that message of ill-luck.

I wish to say something in connection with a matter I think was raised by the hon. member for Albany (Mr. Bowker). He praised Santa. I want to associate myself with what he said. It is undeniably true that Santa renders good service to this country. We cannot argue about that; they do exceptionally good work. We also wish to express our appreciation to them. I recently saw a few reports from which I noticed that Santa had established a number of small hospitals or clinics throughout the country for the treatment of tuberculosis cases where they perform excellent work. I have been wondering if it is not possible for them, in collaboration with the Department if necessary, to consider establishing one or two big central tuberculosis hospitals inside the Bantu homelands. I mention this because I feel that can be of great value in more than one sense, not only as a tuberculosis hospital but that it could also later serve as a training centre, as a nucleus, where Bantu could be trained to serve their own people in these isolated areas. I think it is something which Santa should seriously consider; that instead of having small clinics all over the country they could perhaps establish a central hospital at one or more suitable places in the Bantu areas. The hon. member also said that he would like to see bigger contributions made to Santa. That is one of the reasons, he said, why numerous patients return to hospital. When he said that I wondered whether there was not more than one reason why that happened. I am convinced that it is not only a matter of poor feeding, of malnutrition or injudicious feeding but that there is more than one aspect to the matter. I want to mention one. I know it is very unpopular but I am convinced that it plays a very big part in the treatment of tuberculosis. I mention it from personal experience. I am convinced that patients return to the hospital time and again because we are inclined just to let things develop. It is due to the fact that there is no compulsion on a tuberculosis sufferer to receive proper treatment. What do we find in practice? Large sums of money are spent by the State as well as the public and welfare organizations. A patient is kept in hospital for a few months and when he has recovered sufficiently he is discharged on the promise that he will undergo extra-mural treatment. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that in nine out of ten cases those patients are never seen again. A check is not kept on him and he does not undergo that further treatment. He goes about spreading the disease and that makes it simply impossible for the Department to compile any statistics. We simply do not know whether we are making progress or whether we are retrogressing. I am convinced that if we treat these cases systematically, if we make it compulsory for them to receive treatment, we will undoubtedly rid the country of tuberculosis. There is compulsion in the case of leprosy. When a patient leaves the leper hospital he must report to a medical practitioner. If he fails to do so then the magistrate ensures that he does report. He receives treatment throughout until he is finally cured and discharged. I am sure that this is the only way in which tuberculosis can be eradicated from this country. I know we can do it but then it must be done systematically and zealously. I know it is always being argued that if there is compulsion then this type of patient will hide themselves because they do not want to go to hospital and that they will never be traced. I think that is just an excuse and not an argument. In practice it is found that his employer, or his doctor or his friends will produce him—I do not want to use the word “betray”—for medical treatment. I therefore do not think that this is an argument but rather an excuse for the fact that we are not doing it properly.

I want to conclude with a word of thanks to the hon. the Minister for what he has done in connection with the purposeful campaign against polio. I am sure that there are many others who share my appreciation. [Time limit.]


I do not intend to follow the hon. member who has just resumed his seat. He is a medical man and can speak with authority on this Vote that is now before the Committee. However, he did mention in passing that he did not wish to comment on the point that was raised by the hon. member for Somerset East (Mr. Vosloo) in regard to the high cost of illness. I would like to say that I think it is evident to most persons that if you have to have medical treatment in a nursing home or any private institution, you will incur heavy medical expenses, and the person in the middle income group also finds that the cost of illness is something which can financially cripple them for many years. I think it all lends argument to the necessity of having either a medical aid scheme or a national health insurance scheme whereby the financial impact of sudden illness would not have such a great adverse effect on the financial position of the person who cannot afford to pay the high cost of medical expenses as they are today.

One matter that I wish to raise with the hon. the Minister is to ask what steps are being taken by his Department in regard to preventing the spread of bilharzia. Questions have been put to the hon. the Minister during the past year or so, asking whether it is not possible to have notice boards erected in areas where the water is known to be infected with bilharzia. I think this is important because in many instances people who go to holiday resorts or on picnics find that some time afterwards they have become infected with bilharzia, and I feel that some steps should be taken by the Department to see whether suitable notice boards cannot be erected in these areas where it is known bilharzia exists. The hon. the Minister did say last year that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research was investigating ways and means to combat the spread of bilharzia, and I hope that when the hon. the Minister replies, he can give the Committee some indication as to what progress is being made in regard to that research.

Several hon. members have raised the matter of malnutrition and kwashiorkor, and I would also like to pass brief comment in regard to malnutrition and kwashiorkor because, Sir, it is obvious when we study the returns of various provincial hospitals that the incidence of disease and illness caused by malnutrition is one of the major factors in the hospitalization of persons in a given area. The position at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban bears out the contention that due to poverty a number of these illnesses, which are causing a high rate of mortality among children, are taking a heavy toll of our population. Mr. Chairman, tuberculosis, kwashiorkor, malnutrition and gastro-enteritis all stem from the poverty of the Native people, particularly in the urban areas and also in the reserves. The survey that was carried out by the Faculty of Medicine at the University in Natal showed that a large number of the cases of malnutrition that were treated at King Edward VIII Hospital were of children who were coming from the reserves. And during the debate on the Minister’s Vote last year, the question was raised as to whether the Central Government can take steps to reduce the incidence of malnutrition and the diseases that go with malnutrition, and the hon. the Minister told us that it was the responsibility of the local authorities. However, I would like to say to the hon. the Minister that the whole problem of malnutrition is one which has become a national problem. The figures show, for instance, that the mortality returns at the King Edward VIII Hospital for the year 1960 in respect of children under the age of two years were 2,032, and of that figure no fewer than 1,336 were due to either gastro-enteritis or malnutrition, or the advanced form of malnutrition, kwashiorkor. So it does appear, Sir, that this is a matter of national importance to see that some scheme is instituted whereby the prevention of these illnesses as a result of malnutrition are combated. Now it is interesting to note that in the year 1940 in Great Britain when they instituted a scheme to combat malnutrition, the War Cabinet launched a national milk scheme which has been an outstanding success. The position to-day in Great Britain is that malnutrition is almost non-existent. Here I realize that we have difficulties because malnutrition is found mainly amongst the Native people and they require education in regard to certain steps which have to be taken to prevent them developing advanced stages of malnutrition. However, I feel that we should be able to combat this problem and find some possible ways and means whereby skimmed dried milk, powdered milk, can be distributed not only in the urban areas, but also in the reserves. I think it is not beyond the possibility of us being able to institute such a scheme successfully in this country. The other matter also dealing with the question of malnutrition is that of gastro-enteritis. Here we find that in studying gastro-enteritis, it is a seasonal disease. A hospital such as the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban where sometimes there are up to 100 deaths per month from gastro-enteritis during the summer months, finds it very difficult to cope with this disease. These deaths occur during the summer months. Now we realize that poverty is one of the causes and it is beyond the power of the hon. the Minister whose Vote we are discussing to do anything really in that regard, in regard to the upliftment of/and in regard to better wages for these people and raising the standard of living. However, I do feel that the conditions that are prevailing, conditions of poverty which bring about this disease of gastro-enteritis, which is prevalent to-day amongst these people, should receive serious attention. A survey that was recently made in regard to gastro-enteritis shows that in the towns alone there are 10,000 deaths per year and scales show that the majority of these deaths are amongst the non-Europeans and amongst children under five years of age. Therefore I do hope that the hon. the Minister will be able to give the Committee some information as to whether his department or the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research are taking steps to find where and how gastroenteritis can be cured as far as curative measures are concerned, because I realize that the preventive measures in this particular instance are beyond the powers of the hon. the Minister. However, the whole question of malnutrition, of gastro-enteritis and tuberculosis are all matters which in this country which professes to be a leading country on the Continent of Africa, are providing a great danger to the health of the non-European people who provide the large bulk of our labour force. Therefore I do feel that the hon. the Minister should give attention to the matter and give some information to this House as to what steps his department is taking in this regard.


I do not want to prolong the debate, but I would like to round off my remarks which were cut short when my time expired. I was dealing with the causes of malnutrition and was pointing out that they are basically poverty, ignorance, superstition and all those complex inherited attitudes towards tribal taboos and the association with witchcraft which are associated with the African people. In addition to that there is of course very often a suspicion of the motives of the European people who are doing their best to help the African people, and there are the economic factors which are inseparable from the disintegration of family life which is attendant on the system of migratory labour in South Africa, and particularly of conditions which operate in the worst of the transit camps, such as the Cato Manor transit camp which has been in operation for ten years and is likely to operate for a further ten years, where there are almost unspeakable conditions of squalor. Quite apart from that I think another economic factor is the influence of the policy of apartheid, which carries with it the limitation of opportunity for all African people and which virtually thereby condemns the African people, or the great majority of them, to a life of perpetual poverty. There are other additional factors, such as lack of education and unsuitable housing which are, of course, gradually being remedied by the departments. But I believe that when one faces the situation as it is to-day, the Minister will agree with me —I think he will be the first to agree with me —that there is a state of affairs in South Africa that none of us should tolerate a day longer than we can possibly do. Let me say this that I make this appeal not simply on humanitarian grounds. I am quite sure that on these grounds alone I will have the support of the hon. the Minister. But even if he looks at it from the more materialistic point of view of the needless waste of money in the fantastic hospitalization accounts or from the loss of productive capacity in our economy, I feel the hon. the Minister will agree with me that steps should be taken and more drastic and more determined steps should be taken to rectify matters. I ask the hon. the Minister to face the fact that dealing with it in a patchwork fashion with divided responsibility through local authorities or voluntary local organizations or through the Department of Social Welfare is not enough. What is needed is for him to accept that this is a nation-wide task that requires the full resources of the Department of Health. Because only if he accepts that and institutes a national campaign, wholly coordinated and fully implemented by adequate financial resources and also carried through from the earliest pre-natal stages, through early infancy and the pre-school years during which the foundations of physique are laid, and through the primary and secondary school stages, can we hope to get an adequate solution of this problem. So I appeal to the hon. the Minister to consider this appeal to deal with this problem on that basis. I believe that in doing so he can do so much to restore our rather tarnished reputation amongst the Western nations overseas and also make a valuable contribution towards the improvement of race relations in this country.


Perhaps you will allow me, Mr. Chairman, to discharge what I regard as a pleasant duty and that is briefly to express my appreciation to the retired Secretary for Health who served the State so excellently and with such fine results for so many years. Unfortunately Dr. le Roux retired after the previous session, and this is my first opportunity therefore, on behalf of all of us here, to express our appreciation of his services. Dr. le Roux entered the service of the State in 1927, and throughout these years he rendered outstanding service in the interest of our country. He was not only an administrator but also a scientist. He is one of the persons who was responsible for the fact that smallpox was exterminated in the Native areas of the Eastern Province. I think that will always be regarded as one of his monumental works. As a public servant he always represented our country with distinction, not only here but also in the councils of the world where he often represented our country and made his contribution, particularly in the World Health Organization, to uphold South Africa’s name. I should like, on behalf of this House, to convey our sincere appreciation to him and wish him everything of the best in any new sphere of activity in which he may find himself.

Then I should also like to say on behalf of all of us how thankful we are that we have a person like Dr. Clark to follow in the footsteps of Dr. le Roux. Dr. Clark entered the public service as long ago as 1937. He was employed at first with the Municipality in Pietermaritzburg, and later on he entered the service of the Union Government. He has a very wide experience which is not confined to local authorities only. In 1951 he received a bursary from the World Health Organization. He paid visits to Europe and America and Canada which added greatly to his knowledge and insight. He was also a lecturer for a considerable time, first at the University in Natal and subsequently at the University of Pretoria. Personally I just want to add that in the short time that it has been my privilege to work with Dr. Clark, I have found him to be not only a very outstanding and capable medical man, but also a person with whom it is a pleasure to work, and I know that in the years which lie ahead of us we are going to derive great benefits from his efficiency.

Mr. Chairman, perhaps it is desirable that I should start with last points that were raised here, but first of all I should like briefly to thank this House for the very high level at which they dealt with these problems. We all realize that these are problems which are above mutual recriminations and that they are problems that we would all like to solve. I think if we solve one problem, ten others will probably present themselves, but nevertheless we always try to solve this type of problem impartially and I want to thank hon. members for their valuable contributions and the valuable opinions which they have expressed here.

Perhaps I should first start with the problem of kwashiorkor. Mr. Chairman, we all realize that kwashiorkor is not so much a disease as a series of consequences of malnutrition, and these are all consequences which flow from a nutritive deficiency in the form of high proteins, particularly the high proteins that one gets in milk. In other words, we are dealing here with a phenomenon of disease which is due mainly to lack of milk. Various hon. members have mentioned that it is due to the poverty of the Bantu. I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) that it is not so much a question of poverty but that it is due largely to misconceptions, to the wrong use of their income. If a child, whether it be a Native child or a White child, is given the necessary quantity of milk every day, that child will never contract kwashiorkor; in all probability it will never contract gastroentiritis or catarrh of the stomach either because these are all diseases or phenomena of disease that flow from a deficiency in high proteins. But it must be borne in mind that to-day we are able to give skimmed powdered milk to a child in sufficient quantities to keep it healthy and strong to be able to resist those diseases, at a cost of only Is. 11d. per week which is a minimal cost, a cost which even a Bantu parent can afford. After all, in most cases Bantu parents who have a small child are able to afford 2s. per week to feed that child. But our problem in the case of the Native is that he has more than one child. The first problem that we have to face in the case of the Native is that he has three or four children perhaps who have to be given sufficient milk. When we bear in mind that kwashiorkor occurs between the ages of six months and six years, we can assume that the Native will have perhaps five children who are still at an age at which they ought to be given those proteins. This phenomenon is one therefore which flows largely from the rapid growth of primitive peoples. We know that the more primitive a nation is, the higher the birth rate. Civilized parents see to it that they do not have more children than they can look after properly, and the uncivilized nations place no limit on the size of the family. That is why we have another problem in South Africa and that problem arises from the fact that the Native population is shifting from the rural areas to the cities, and when they come to the cities, they live under the White man’s circumstances and customs; they learn to use the White man’s food and they lose many of the customs and habits of their own primitive people. Let me just explain what happens. A Native couple arrive in an urban area; the man does not pay lobola for the woman, and because he has not paid lobola for her, it means that the children born of that union are not the man’s children. Those children belong to the woman’s father. The first consequence is that the man does not take any interest in that child. Not only does he take no interest in the child, but when the woman wants to use some of his money to care for the child, he simply says, “you are not going to use my money for another man’s child; that child is not mine; let your father pay for it”. We therefore have this position amongst the Natives that the children are neglected. The man does not take care of the children, and in the long run the woman also becomes partially disloyal to the child and the poor child does not get the most essential things which even a Native parent could give that child. That is the state of affairs, unfortunately, that one finds on a large scale in Cato Manor. There one gets large numbers of Native children who are neglected by their parents, children towards whom the parents feel no sense of obligation and who then contract these diseases, and then we are faced with the problem that it becomes a burden to the State and the State has to intervene in some way or other.

Another aspect of this problem is that the children of those Natives who do not take a wife lawfully but who simply live with the woman as though she is a street woman, are not even known to the father. In other words, they are illegitimate children who are not recognized by anybody and who are also neglected to a large extent by their mothers. That is the problem that we have to cope with at the present time. If we proceed to provide food—and we should like to do so; we are human beings and we would like to do so—then we are faced with this problem that when we provide food—let us say powdered milk—we get the mother there or we get the father there. We cannot give it to the child; we have to give it to the parent to give to the child. Do you know what happens then? Then another Native custom comes into operation and that is that the man is entitled to the good food and the woman and the children to what is left over. If therefore we provided powdered milk and the man had a liking for it he would take all the powdered milk for himself and the child would still be without it. There are difficult problems to overcome therefore, and while we are willing to try to assist the child, we must devise a method whereby we can give the powdered milk to the child who needs it, otherwise it serves no useful purpose. The Department is now doing something which is actually not its function. As the hon. member for Berea (Mr. Butcher) has said, we are all human beings and we feel that these are human problems and even though, strictly speaking, it is not the problem of our Department, the Department has said that it is going to intervene in any event. But we dare not be irresponsible. We cannot, as I have said, simply hand out the powdered milk to the women if that powdered milk never reaches the child. We must devise some sort of system. We have made a study of a system which is in operation in the Cape. It is operated for Coloureds by the Municipality of Cape Town and the Cape Divisional Council, and they have succeeded in working out a good system for the Coloured population. It is an involved system which necessitates the keeping of cards and it is a system in which one has to rely on the mother’s sense of responsibility. We do not know whether it will work in the case of the Natives. The Department contemplates devising a scheme to be applied to the Natives, but before we apply it on a large scale we want to experiment with it on a small scale first, and to start with we want to apply it in Pretoria. We have already appointed a control committee consisting of representatives of the Department of Health, the General Hospital in Pretoria, the City Council of Pretoria, the Peri-Urban Areas Board, the National Nutrition and Research Institute, the Dairy Board, the Department of Bantu Administration and Development, and together they will then form a big committee to test this experimental scheme in Pretoria in the first place. We want to use the clinics as the nuclei of our organization and we want to limit it to children between six months and five years. I hope that we will succeed in finding some way of giving the powdered milk to the child who needs it, so that we can then introduce it on a greater scale. But I do want to say this to hon. members: We are doing something now which is not really the function of the Department of Health, and I shall be glad if hon. members will not jump to the conclusion that we have neglected our duty in the past. It has never been regarded as the duty of our Department, and here I should like to quote from that extremely important and fine report from which the hon. member for Berea also quoted, or rather to which he referred. In that report on malnutrition by the University of Natal, it is stated—

It should be the responsibility of government at all levels, Central, Provincial and Municipal, but in the meantime the responsibility for feeding must rest with the local authorities of urban areas.

They point out that that has always been the position in the past. It was the accepted responsibility of the Municipalities of Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Springs, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria and numerous others. It has always been accepted by them as their responsibility. The report goes on to say—

Responsibility for such a preventive service on the scale required must inevitably be on the local authority of the area through its Health Department.

Then it says—

Financial responsibility, as we have said, should be borne by the Durban City Council. We expect the province to contribute, but the law divides the responsibility for health services between the province (curative services) and the local authority (preventive services). The supply of milk is a preventive health measure and so falls within the statutory obligation of the local authorities.

In saying this, Mr. Speaker, I am not suggesting that we do not want to do our duty as human beings, but I simply want to point out that in actual fact it has never been the duty of our Department, that it has always been the duty of the local authorities, and where this is undertaken by the Union Government in the future, it must be remembered that in actual fact the Union Government is doing something which strictly speaking is not its duty. This problem is of so much importance that we are all interested in it, and we are going to put our shoulder to the wheel to help to improve the position.

Before I proceed I just want to reply to the hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) who referred to the problem of bilharzia. I want to remind the hon. member that bilharzia has spread a great deal. Let me put it this way: The snail, the bilharzia parasite, is spread over a wide area in South Africa. We find bilharzia north of the Witwatersrand and all along the coast past Port Elizabeth. I think people in the Transvaal are much safer if they accept that there is bilharzia in the streams and in the waters rather than that there is no bilharzia. It would be very irresponsible on our part to put up notices.

It would be very irresponsible for us to put up notice boards, and the reason is this: Bilharzia is spreading, it is a spreading disease, and we never know whether water which today has not got the parasite may not in the near future have the parasite and then we may have been responsible for misleading people. So we are in that very difficult position that it is undesirable for us to put up notice boards, because we may mislead the people and it is better to let the people know that all the waters north of the Witwatersrand are possibly contaminated, and that it is very dangerous to bathe or to wash in those waters.

The problem of bilharzia is a difficult problem. You will remember that a few years ago the C.S.I.R. started to investigate the possibilities of combating bilharzia, the spread of bilharzia. But the C.S.I.R. came to the conclusion that the methods and the solutions they hoped for will not solve the problem at all. One of the solutions they banked on was the use of copper sulphate, but they discovered that immediately you stopped using copper sulphate, the snail is there again and the disease spreads. So that does not seem to be the solution. That was one of the methods by which the C.S.I.R. hoped to be able to combat bilharzia. So obviously we have to try to evolve another means of combating bilharzia. The C.S.I.R. are continuing their experiments and we hope they may succeed eventually. If one looks at the basic problem of bilharzia, then it is this: The parasite breeds in a snail, has its life cycle through a snail, after it has gone through that, it lands in the water. Then the human being either drinks the water or touches the water and the little parasite attaches itself to the skin of the human being and enters his system. The human being then excretes that parasite, it lands in the veld and thereafter in water and then the cycle is completed. So obviously we can solve that problem if we can break the life-chain of that parasite. We must either be able to eradicate the snail or we must be able to stop people from spreading the parasite in the veld. In other words, we must teach people to live hygienically and we must teach people in the meanwhile that they must not drink water which has not been boiled and that they must not swim in the rivers or in ponds, or in stagnant waters in those parts of the country. Hon. members of this House will appreciate the enormous difficulty of teaching millions of Natives the proper way to live, our civilized ways of hygienic living. It is a tremendously difficult problem. It can be assisted in other ways, and perhaps I may tell what can be done from my own experience, and what has been done to my knowledge by the use of our bird life. If we were to stop the extermination of our wild life, and especially the birds of South Africa, we may to a very large extent assist the Native peoples of South Africa to become free of bilharzia, although we may not perhaps totally eradicate it. It has happened that where bilharzia has been found in dams, ducks were put on those dams, and those ducks exterminated all the snails. The result was that in certain areas of which I know bilharzia has entirely disappeared. That was achieved by making use of wild life, particularly the natural enemies of the snails, and not by using scientific methods. It can be done to a certain extent by the use of natural agencies if only we were willing to spare the wild life of South Africa.


May I ask the hon. Minister a question: Does he know that elementary hygiene is on the curriculum of Bantu education?


As far as I know it is on the curriculum of almost every school child. But the difficulty arises when that child leaves school and goes back to his family and his Native tribe. He then discards everything he learnt in school and falls back to the way of living to which he was accustomed and to which his parents are accustomed. It is a tremendous problem but one which we will, nevertheless, face, and which I hope we will eventually overcome.

Another very important problem to which the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) mentioned is the case of tuberculosis. I know that this is a tremendous problem, because here again we have to do with the Native people who are still in the primitive stage of development. Neverthless one occasionally has a ray of light and I may mention this to the hon. member; per 1,000 population of South Africa, the figures for the Europeans have shown a decrease between the years 1959 and 1960 of 45.1 to 39.8. I am glad to be able to say that as far as the Bantu and other races in South Africa are concerned, but especially the Bantu, it has decreased from 506.6 per 100,000 to 464.7 per 100,000. I cannot say whether this has come to stay or whether it will be the same next year or that there will be a further drecrease in the incidence of tuberculosis. But I can say that there is a ray of light in the figures that we have for this year in comparison with last year.

Mr. Chairman, the Committee will appreciate the great difficulty experienced in keeping a Native or a Coloured man in hospital when his family needs his assistance, when they need his earnings to be able to live, and when, at the same time, this person feels well enough to think that he is healthy and can leave hospital. It happens continually that as soon as the Natives and Coloured people feel they are healthy enough, they leave the hospital. They have not been able to get rid of the bacilli entirely, and the result is that the disease becomes worse, they become chronic. And eventually you get these chronic cases coming back to hospital. So we are faced with the problem that in order to combat T.B. we must do something in the nature of what the hon. member for Odendaalsrus (Dr. Meyer) has suggested. It seems to me that we are approaching the point where it will be necessary for us to have some form of persuading that Native or Coloured person to stay in hospital until he has been cured. And eventually when he leaves the hospital we must see that he goes to the clinics for observation. At present that seems to me to be a conclusion to which we are inevitably driven if we wish to solve this tremendous problem of tuberculosis.

In South Africa at present, we have, in a few places, a very fine system of assisting the Native—and I refer particularly to the Natives —once they have left the hospital. One is in existence in the Ciskei. The Ciskei area has been very well organized by our medical representative there, Dr. Vlok, and I should like to congratulate him on the fine work he has done. He has arranged a system of treatment points in his area in such a way that once per week every treatment point is visited by him and a nursing sister. These treatment points are generally in areas more or less the size of a farm so that a Native can easily walk to the points. The Doctor has the assistance of the local headmen who know the people who are ill and who see to it that those about whose illness they have been informed visit the treatment points. The result is that we have almost 100 per cent attendance at those treatment points. It is really a fine organization.

Hon. members will appreciate the tremendous cost of an organization like that involving a full time medical man with a sister visiting a comparatively small area continually. Because of the lack of medical men at the present moment it is virtually impossible for us to apply that system all over South Africa. Perhaps I may remind members that in our Department we have roughly 300 posts, but we have filled only approximately 200 of them. There are 63 vacancies in our Department. So that we are faced with the difficulty that we cannot find sufficient medical men to fill all the vacancies in our Department which makes it impossible to build up such an organization as I have just visualized, all over South Africa. That, I think is one of the great problems which we have in combating tuberculosis.

Mr. Chairman, I may say that in the Transkei we have a similar system, but not nearly as effective as that in the Ciskei. In the Northern Transvaal we also have a similar system. But these other systems are not nearly as effective and one can say that to a certain extent they are makeshift systems. However that is entirely as a result of the shortage of medical personnel.


May I ask the hon. Minister a question: At the Tembuland Hospital in Umtata, has any thought been given to giving surgical treatment for tuberculotics there?


If the hon. member does not mind I will give him that reply in a few moments.

The hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) has given us a very interesting account of the functions of the Department and of the functions which he considers should be carried out by the Department. He has pointed out that there are certain functions being undertaken by other departments, such as pneumoconiosis which is being carried out by the Department of Mines. May I first say that pneumoconiosis is a disease which you find only in miners, and it has been considered in the past that the interest of the miner is so much the concern of the Department of Mines that where you have to deal with a specific disease such as pneumoconiosis the interest of the miner can best be served by that Department.


May I ask the hon. the Minister a question? Is he unaware of the fact that pneumoconiosis is now recognized as an industrial disease by the Department of Labour, yet he now says it is confined to the Department of Mines?


Well, I should say largely confined to mines, I am sorry. So that because it is largely confined to mines, although not exclusively, it has always been considered in the past to be something which is to the advantage of the miner himself if dealt with by the Department of Mines. That simply means that they have a small Department of Health in themselves, which deals with pneumoconiosis matters. I do not think there can be any objection to that. Surely a small department which functions in connection with one particular disease is better than having it fall under a large department with diversified interests. I cannot agree with the hon. member that it is to the disadvantage of the miner or even of the industrial world that that particular disease is controlled by the Department of Mines.

As far as the question of health in the Railways is concerned the hon. member mentioned that the Department of Transport attends to the eradication of malaria. That is quite so. We are responsible for the eradication of malaria but the Railways attend to the eradication of malaria on their premises under our supervision—or let me put it this way, in co-operation with our Department. I cannot see anything wrong in that.

*You will remember, Mr. Chairman, that there has been such a decline in the incidence of tuberculosis amongst the White people that numerous institutions are empty. For example, at Nelspoort there are quite a number of beds available for White patients. The incidence of tuberculosis amongst White people, therefore, is no longer such a big problem. The problem lies in the incidence of tuberculosis amongst the Bantu. In large areas of South Africa the Department is still conducting an inoculation campaign. They inoculate with B.C.G. But apart from that, as hon. members have pointed out, the solution lies in effective and early treatment of patients suffering from tuberculosis. In this regard we are again faced with the problem of the Native and the Coloured person. It continually happens that when a Coloured person or a Native is sent to hospital, he is only prepared to remain there for a certain period, until he is almost cured. When the patient is discharged he still has to receive further treatment for a period of one or two years. You can imagine what a problem we have, Sir, in keeping that Native or Coloured person in the hospital.

The hon. member for Albany (Mr. Bowker) referred to rural health centres and clinics and particularly the one at Bathurst. The hon. member will recall that it has always been the policy of the Department and of the Government that local authorities should undertake, on their own initiative the running of such clinics. They are then financed to the extent of ⅞ of their costs by the Department. So that the major portion of their expenses is carried by the Government. However, what we really wish is to be able to have the benefit of the initiative and the supervision of the local people. What exactly the position is at Bathurst I am not in a position to say now, but I shall let the hon. member know.

*The hon. member said that the Department had relinquished many of its functions, that it had practically delegated all its functions to other departments, and that it hardly had anything left, as the hon. member put it. I want to draw the attention of hon. members to the functions of this Department. This Department controls leper hospitals; it controls the hospitals where mental patients are treated and there is a fairly large number of those; it controls the institutions for mental defectives; the tuberculosis hospitals; the health centres; indirectly it controls the treatment of all venereal and contagious diseases; it controls the medical services to the poor; it controls all the district surgeons; the district nursing services; it controls various laboratories; mobile X-ray services; the combating of malaria, plague and typhus; the harbour health services; the defence medical services in cases where that is not undertaken by the Department of Defence itself; the medical services for the police and the prisons. The Department, therefore, still performs a great number of functions. It is incorrect to say that it has passed many of its functions on to other departments. But I agree with the hon. member that there are many functions which the Department does not perform. I think the time has arrived that we go into the question of dividing the medical services in this country. Those concerned are not only the Department of Railways, the Department of Mines, the Department of Labour and the Department of Health, amongst whom these functions are partially divided, but the provincial and local authorities are also concerned. I think the time has arrived that we go into the question of dividing these functions. I cannot promise that we shall make much progress in tackling that problem this year because there are so many problems that we have to tackle. But I want to assure the hon. member that the Department is very interested in this matter and that the Planning Committee has already discussed it.

The hon. member also complained and said that this Department was not conducting sufficient research into the question of disease and the incidence of disease. I want to refer the hon. member to a report which was submitted by a commission of inquiry which sat in 1957 under the chairmanship of Dr. P. J. du Toit. According to that report there was a tremendous amount of overlapping in the field of research in South Africa. Research work was done at provincial hospitals; research work was done by my Department, research work was done by the Medical Institute; by the Poliomyelitis Iistitute, by the Pneumoconiosis research unit; by the C.S.I.R., the National Cancer Association, the Cancer Clinic Society; the Dust and Ventilation Research Laboratory of the Chamber of Mines; the Laboratory for Applied Physiotherapy of the Chamber of Mines, etc. A great amount of research was also done at Onderstepoort. This Commission then recommended that there should be a certain amount of co-ordination between the research activities in South Africa. It recommended, however, that the Department itself should undertake certain aspects of research but that it was in the interests of research that the balance should be handed over to the S.C.I.R. or to other bodies under the supervision of the S.C.I.R. They recommended for instance that the Department should continue the research in connection with leprosy and mental diseases; as well as the research in connection with plagues, dentistry, bilharzia and tuberculosis. But the commission recommend that practically all other research should be left to the S.C.I.R. or one of the bodies under it. The hon. member will realize, therefore, that I do not disagree with him. I merely want to point out to him that his ideas are totally different from those expressed by the commission of inquiry that went into the whole question of organized research.

*The hon. member for Somerset East (Mr. Vosloo) and the hon. member for Umbilo both spoke about the high costs of medical services. I think that is a problem with which all of us are faced. I should like to remind hon. members, however, that we appointed a commission of inquiry a little over a year ago. I hope the report will be available towards the end of this year. I hope we shall then be able to devise means—firstly whether it is possible and if it is, how to solve the problem.

*Mr. RAW:

Won’t there be a recurrence of what happened in the case of the Press Commission?


No, I said I hoped that the report would be available towards the end of the year. The hon. member for Durban (Central) pointed out that there was only one officer of health in Pondoland and he suggested that an attempt be made to encourage more young Natives to take up medicine. I have already discussed this question with people in the highest medical circles and they are all of the same opinion namely that a Native finds it exceedingly difficult to pass the examinations. There are many reasons for that which I do not want to go into at the moment. They say it is highly improbable that a great number of Natives will come forward in the foreseeable future to take up medicine. We are therefore faced with the problem of how to provide medical services to the Natives in the Native areas, because in the first instance an insufficient number of Natives take up medicine and in the second place there is an insufficient number of White doctors to fulfil all the requirements of the Natives. A small inter-departmental committee has been established by my Department and the Department of Bantu Administration and they are trying to draw up a scheme whereby medical services can be provided to the Native areas. I hope that they will submit their findings during the course of the year and that we shall then probably be able to devise means whereby effective medical services can be provided to the Native areas.

Mr. Chairman, I think I have now replied to all the questions and dealt with all the problems that have been raised.

Vote put and agreed to.

On Vote No. 43.—“Health (Union):Hospitals and Institutions,” R11,450,000,


I want to raise a few matters concerning the Alexandra Institute at Maitland, the Institute for Feeble-minded Children of the Cape Western Area, and possibly a larger area in the Cape Province. In raising these matters I want to say that I do this in no way critical or in an attempt to detract from the good work being done by the people who have the very difficult and arduous task of looking after these feebleminded children. Nevertheless, there are a number of features affecting the Alexandra Institution which leads one to feel a certain concern about the direction which appears to be the policy for this institution. It flows from the fact that the Alexandra Institution appears more and more to be becoming under the control of the Valkenberg Institution for mentally defective people, and which is in close proximity to the Alexandra Institute. The effect of the Valkenberg Institution virtually taking over as the controlling authority of Alexandra is giving rise to certain matters which are causing concern to the parents and people interested in the welfare of these tragic children.

The first point I want to raise with the hon. the Minister is the question of doctors at the Alexandra Institute. It appears that provision is made for the Superintendent and two Government medical officers to be on the establishment. It is noted, however, that two posts were vacant for last year and, according to the Estimates, it is not anticipated that these two posts will be filled this year. I concede that the Superintendent has been upgraded from grade 4 to grade 3, nevertheless it appears that there is to be only one permanent medical officer attached to this institution. I would like to know whether it is the policy of the Minister not to fill the two posts which appear on the establishment but for which no provision is made on the Estimates.

Secondly I want to raise the question of the panel of doctors which has been supplying additional medical services to this institution. In the past when there were two medical doctors dealing with the physical needs of these patients, these two doctors were attached to the establishment and got to know the children there. They knew their defects, they knew of their problems and they knew the children. Now although certain other doctors are supplying this need by attending on a panel basis, these doctors do not constantly meet the same children and the children do not become accustomed to meeting a particular doctor. And when one bears in mind that these are children who are feeble-minded and suffering from certain mental defects, I think the hon. the Minister will realize the need to have a doctor who is in continuous contact with these children rather than having a roster of doctors which means that the children see different doctors each time they have medical attention.

The third point I wish to raise is the question of a psychologist. I understand once again that, formerly, there was a psychologist on the staff of this institution, and this psychologist attended to the mental needs of these children. He trained them in certain ways, they gained not only in confidence but they felt they were becoming more contented members of society. I understand that there is no longer a psychologist attached to this institution.

The next point is that I understand that the nursing staff is being retrenched and replaced with a large number of untrained staff, particularly Coloured maids, who are useful in the kind of work they are doing but who have not been trained in particular to deal with children with feeble minds. And as so often happens, they take the line of least resistance and when these children have to be fed, instead of taking a lot of time and going to a lot of trouble, training these children to feed themselves, it is reported to me that many of these children are merely fed by these Coloured maids who are taking the place of trained nurses. I would like to know if that is to continue in this institution.

Mr. Chairman, in comparable institutions overseas, every effort is made to teach these children some useful handicraft. One realizes it is extremely elementary, and in many overseas institutions toys are made and the children are given certain repetitive tasks to do which not only enable them to feel they are doing something useful but which brings in revenue for this type of institution. I should like to know whether such a scheme is being introduced at the Alexandra Institution? In the overseas institutions every effort is being made to create machinery whereby the parents of these unfortunate children can have a close liaison with the administrative and medical staff of the hospital. There are associations and special channels of communication between the parents and the interested people in these childrens hospitals and institutions. Although there is some sporadic contact in this case between the Superintendent and the parents, it is not done on an organized basis, nor is there any official or recognized channel of communication between the parents and the friends of these children and the staff concerned.

Finally I want to raise a small point but, nevertheless, a matter of some concern to parents who tell me that in recent weeks certain alterations have been made to the set up at Alexandra. The restaurant or tuck shop has been abolished, and I am given to understand that the only place at which the parents can now meet their children is outside under the trees. There is no longer a recognized meeting place where the parents can meet these unfortunate children. I would plead with the hon. the Minister to investigate these matters. I say it in no sense of derogating from the good work done by a small number of devoted officials, but these matters have been brought to my attention and I should like the Minister to investigate them.


I shall certainly go into the points raised by the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin) and I shall let him know by letter. The point raised by the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) poses a problem. You will require a very highly specialized person in order to establish such a division of surgery; you will have to have a well-equipped theatre and you will have to have highly qualified nurses. The Department does not think that that is possible at this stage in view of the shortage of staff, although it may perhaps be possible in future.

Vote put and agreed to.

Vote No. 44.—“National Housing”, R3,725,000, put.

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

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.

House to resume in Committee on 3 May.

The House adjourned at 10.27 p.m.