House of Assembly: Vol108 - WEDNESDAY 17 MAY 1961
Bill read a first time.
Bill read a first time.
First Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.
House in Committee:
[Progress reported on 16 May, when Votes Nos. 2 to 27, 34, 36 to 46 and the Estimates of Expenditure from Bantu Education Account had been agreed to; precedence had been given to Votes Nos. 28 to 33 and Vote No. 20.— “ Interior ”, R3,578,000, was under consideration.]
Ever since the discussion of this Vote has started I have been trying to make some sense out of the speeches and I have come to the conclusion that it would be impossible to describe the speeches of hon. members opposite in the language which they deserve; you would have to spell out the words because they cannot be described in civilized language. When you start with the hon. member for Boland (Mr. Barnett) and you think of the fact that the Group Areas Act has been on the Statute Book for a good many years and that that Act has been applied for about 50 per cent and you hear the opposition of that side to the Group Areas Act and the powers which the Minister requires in order to carry out the provisions of that Act properly, you cannot help thinking of the old saying that the wise man is the man who advances facts and the man who supports his case with facts. The man who is unable to advance facts to support his case is a man without wisdom and without facts. The conclusion to which I have come after I have listened to many of the speeches from that side of the House is that there is no wisdom and that nothing has been suggested that will assist the Minister. We have only had destructive criticism and pettiness. Take the hon. member for Boland for example. He opposes this Vote under which the group areas fall and he raises a matter such as the one which he has raised, the case of a single person who was classified as Coloured the one day and as White the other day. That is the sort of argument that he uses to prove that the entire Group Areas Act as well as the Government are inefficient and not worthy of existence.
I said nothing of the sort.
I know I am hurting the hon. member and I do not care. That is the sort of argument that the hon. member uses in an attempt to belittle the Minister in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of this House and in an attempt to belittle the Government. He mentions the case of a person who received a card on which he was described as “ White ” and who was subsequently described as “ Coloured ” and who was ultimately classified as “ White ”. That is the strong case that he advances! The old saying has once again proved true: If you give an inch he will take all. Yesterday when the hon. member had to talk on the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill he raised the question of the vote for Coloured women. That shows that he had no arguments against the Bill and in his effort to get something against the Bill he came forward with the vote for Coloured women in order to make his “ good speech ” as he called it. I am merely mentioning this in order to show what a petty argument the hon. member has advanced in the interests of the Coloured people. It is nothing more than an attempt to get something against the Minister. There are a few hon. members that we have to take to task. We have the hon. member for Sea Point (Mr. J. A. L. Basson) who made his wonderful speech last night! He became so serious that he waved his arms from left to right and if anybody had been near enough he would probably have hit him. However, the arguments of the hon. member were so puerile and limited and petty that he eventually had to drag in a secret organization in the country to support his arguments. He tried to prove that as a result of a secret organization in the country the Government has become so rotten that it has passed all these bad measures. I must reply to that. This is an Afrikaans-speaking person, Sir, and there are three secret organizations in the country that we know of. The first is a well-known international (or un-national) organization, the Free Mason. We have nothing against them. The other is a well-known English-speaking organization, the Sons of England. Neither have we anything against them. [Laughter.] Yes, that is an English-speaking organization. And now an Afrikaans-speaking Afrikaner comes along and he attacks the Broderbond. The only two hon. members whom I have heard refer to the Broderbond were Afrikaans-speaking, namely, the hon. member for Sea Point and the hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson). Had the hon. member launched his attack against the three secret organizations in the country, it would have been understandable, Sir.
I do not know what happens to those organizations but I do not think the hon. member for Sea Point belongs to them because he is not strong enough to be accepted within their ranks.
May I ask a question?
No, I have not the time. The hon. member refused to answer questions yesterday. We have the spectacle, Sir, that Afrikaans-speaking members opposite select the only Afrikaans-speaking secret organization as their target. I want to ask the world what the souls of those Afrikaners must look like. As far as I know no Afrikaans-speaking member on this side has said anything against the English-speaking organizations in our country. We have the Sons of England, an organization consisting of the sons of another country, but when you have an organization consisting of the sons of your own country, it gets dragged in in order to belittle the legislation of the Minister and that organization is pulled through the mud. Words fail me to describe the pettiness of such actions. Afrikaans is a beautiful language and I shall have to sink to a low level to find the correct description and the Chairman will call me to order. Neither do I want to spell it out because in that case somebody else will read it, that is why I can only say that it is so petty that you cannot take any notice of those two hon. members. Then I come to the hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw). He is really the person with whom I like to quarrel. I like a man who stirs up my fighting spirits, but then there should at least be ground for it, his allegations must be well founded. He has tried to pull the hon. the Deputy Minister through the mud and I think hon. members opposite will agree with me when I say that the only person who became mud-bespattered in the process was the hon. member who made the accusations. Just imagine: The Minister introduces a Bill into this House and one of the leaders on the opposite side raises the question of a single house in a group area which neither the Coloureds nor the Government want to buy and because of that he condemns the legislation of the Minister. We had to listen for ten minutes to that type of frivolous argument. [Time limit.]
The hon. member who has just sat down does not appear to take the Group Areas Act and what flows from it very seriously. That, of course, is rather indicative of the attitude which has been evident throughout this debate. I want to make some general comments in regard to some of the discussions which have taken place during the debate yesterday, but before doing so, there is one specific point which I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. the Minister and that is in connection with some of the Indian community in the city of Pietermaritzburg. Sir, these are people who have applied for permits for an extension of time before which they are to vacate their premises, people who occupy or own premises which have been proclaimed under the Group Areas Act, and these people have applied for an extension of time. The hon. the Minister, or his predecessor, gave notice to these people that they would be treated as leniently as possible, that the Government and the Group Areas Board would handle them in the best possible manner. The position simply is this that they were told that they would be given time to find suitable alternative accommodation. The people in this category then applied for permits for an extension of time to remain on their premises. Now the position is that the particular Group Areas Board in the city of Pietermaritzburg is now asking these people when they apply to produce evidence that they have endeavoured to dispose of their properties without success. Each time an application is made, the applicant is written to by the board asking him what proof he has got that he has endeavoured to dispose of his property. Quite obviously nobody is going to attempt to dispose of his property unless he is assured of alternative accommodation, and the position, which is substantiated by the City Council of Pietermaritzburg, is that at present there is no alternative accommodation available to these people. Sir, this attitude on the part of the authorities in Pietermaritzburg has caused tremendous unrest and disquiet amongst the community concerned, because it seems in the light of this action that the assurance which the Government gave these people earlier that their circumstances would be sympathetically seen and that they would be allowed to find alternative accommodation, is not going to be realized, because one of the prerequisites apparently that is being set by the Group Areas Development Board is that they must first of all produce evidence that they have endeavoured to dispose of their property. I would like the hon. the Minister or his deputy to deal with this matter.
Then I want to come to some more general comments in regard to the debate which has taken place so far. I think that the debate thus far in regard to this most important Vote, has been a very sad chapter in our history. We had the hon. the Minister yesterday dealing with the whole question of the Indian population in the vaguest possible terms, dealing with the whole question of the group areas legislation also in vague terms, we had the hon. the Minister making an announcement last night which I suppose should be considered a major announcement, but the hon. the Minister came and rather casually announced to this House that the Government had decided to create a special sub-department to deal with group areas development and development in regard to housing. Now, Sir, that is a major pronouncement, and I think the hon. the Minister owes it to this House and to the country to tell us a little more about that matter. Sir, against the background of the history of the group areas legislation, I doubt very much whether the announcement that the hon. Minister made last night will in any way allay the fears of people in South Africa. I believe that it will simply mean that people will be under the impression that the Government intends to perpetuate the iniquities under the Group Areas Act. I think the hon. the Minister owes it to this House to give us far greater details in regard to that announcement.
Then he came to deal with the question of the Indian population itself. And he said that the Government had decided that the Indian population will be a permanent part of the population of South Africa. Well of course, relatively that is a great advance on the part of the Nationalist Government, because only last year when my hon. Leader made a statement in this House that the Indian community were South Africans in the same way as any other section of the population of South Africa, I can remember hon. members opposite expressing their disgust that such a statement should be made, particularity the hon. member for Kempton Park (Mr. F. S. Steyn), who expressed great disgust that it should even be suggested that the Indian community in South Africa could possibly be South Africans as good as any other community.
The hon. the Minister announced last night that so far as the Asian community in South Africa is concerned, they are going to be treated in the same way as the Coloured people. They are going to be allowed to develop in terms of Government policy on the same lines as the ordinary Coloured people. Mr. Chairman, again the old question should be asked: Does the Government believe that the Asian population or the Coloured population wants this sort of treatment at the hands of the Government? That is a question that should be asked far more frequently in this House. All the evidence shows that the Asian population and the Coloured people do not want to be treated in this way, and again we come to the position that there is no government by consent in regard to these population groups. The Minister simply stands up here and the last people who are consulted are the Asian people and the Coloured people. He simply stands up here and says that in the view of the Government these population groups should be treated in this way. It is quite clear that neither the Asian group nor the Coloured group is interested in being treated in a matter of this kind separate from the way in which other racial groups are treated. What is the hon. the Minister offering to the Asian community in South Africa? He is suggesting that they might be able to reside in some separate group areas. But does he say to them that they will have the right to move about South Africa, the country of their birth? Is he saying to the Asian people that they will have the right to find employment wherever they like, that job reservation is to be done away with in regard to that particular group, that they will be able to earn in terms of their earning capacity? Is he saying to them that they will be able to acquire land in other parts of the country? What is the hon. Minister at this time of crisis in South Africa offering a very important part of South Africa’s population? Sir, I believe that it is high time that all the people in South Africa, the Government and other political parties, should be realistic in regard to the Indian community. It is no good coming at this stage and talking in vague terms of accepting these people as a permanent part of the population of South Africa. We had the duel here yesterday between the hon. the Minister and the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) as to municipal franchise for the Indian community in the province of Natal. The hon. the Minister said that that was a matter for the province to decide. We know that the Natal Provincial Administration has so far failed to come to a decision in that regard, and when requests have come from local authorities and the Natal Municipal Association, the Natal Provincial Administration has simply dodged the issue and has passed the buck to the Central Government. I want to say that in so far as the interests of South Africa are concerned that sort of attitude will not do. We have got to decide, and those in charge and in control have got to decide for themselves what they believe the solution of this problem should be. I believe that in regard to Natal there is a very definite move that the Indian population in Natal should be given municipal franchise, and if the Government is going to refuse to give a lead in this matter, then I believe it is the duty of the Natal Provincial Administration to do so, and I hope that that will be the case. Quite obviously the attitude of the Government is to be deplored and so is the attitude of other authorities who fail to come to a decision in regard to this matter. The attitude of mind of municipal authorities in Natal is that municipal franchise for other racial groups should be considered, and I believe that if the Government is not going to take a lead, the duty must fairly and squarely fall on the shoulders of the Provincial Administration to take a lead and then throw the gauntlet down to the Government to see what the Government does about it. These are matters which I regard of the utmost importance to South Africa at this juncture. This is the time when we should have clarity in regard to the future of this racial group in South Africa. They are South Africans, most of them are third and “fourth generation South Africans, and they are entitled to know what their place is going to be in the South African community. [Time limit.]
I think I should reply to one or two points raised by the hon. member. As far as the position of the Indians in Pietermaritzburg is concerned, I can just inform the hon. member that the Member of Parliament concerned, who is present here, has already made proper representations in that connection and he has been informed as to the procedure to be followed to obtain permits and he has also been informed that every case will be dealt with sympathetically and on its merits. But there is nothing wrong in making the necessary inquiries. If the Indians there are willing to cooperate and to furnish us with information, we on our part will treat them with the utmost sympathy. But this Parliament has passed an Act and that Act must be carried out. I can assure him that the Member of Parliament concerned has already raised this matter with us on behalf of the City Council and we are dealing with it and if we get the necessary cooperation from them a solution will be found that will satisfy everybody.
Are you suggesting that this is a private matter?
No, but I give the hon. member the assurance that the matter is in good hands and I do not think it is necessary for the hon. member for Zululand to take it out of the hands of the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg. That is all. The law prescribes a certain procedure to be followed and if a permit is refused there is a right of appeal. In the second place I think the hon. member for Zululand is the last person to reproach the Minister for having said that that was the attitude of the Government. He reproaches the Government for adopting that attitude because a section of the non-Whites do not agree with it. What right has the hon. member to base his attitude on that argument? The attitude of the hon. member is not supported by the voters who put him here, neither do the non-Whites on whose behalf he pleads accept his policy. On whose behalf is he arguing? The Government was at least put into power on a constitutional basis to govern the country and it is the duty of the Government, as long as it is in power, to carry out its policy in respect of this matter. The hon. member now raises the question of local authorities but he knows that the hon. the Prime Minister has repeatedly said that the question of local authorities, in so far as the Government is concerned, can only be solved satisfactorily in their own residential areas. The policy of the Government is very clear and if the hon. member wants to fight with the hon. member for South Coast about the attitude of the Provincial Administration of Natal, that is their quarrel, they must not expect the Government to decide between them.
Vote put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 29.—“ Public Service Commission ”. R1,191,000
I wish to raise an item with the hon. the Minister under this Vote. It is a difficult matter to raise, but I believe it must be raised. It is also a matter which I think it is the duty of this House to have regard to and to question the hon. the Minister about. I am referring to the disturbing rate at which defalcations and other irregularities by public servants in connection with public moneys and public stores have been increasing over the years. I raise the matter for two reasons. Firstly, because I retain an interest in the Public Service; and, secondly, and this is more important, because I know how essential it is that there should be probity in the Public Service in connection with public money and public stores. Let me quote some figures given by the Controller and Auditor-General in respect of the number of officials involved in the misappropriation of public funds and public stores. In 1951-2 the number of such cases was 103; four years later, in 1955-6, the number had grown to 191; four years later again, in 1959-60, the number recorded was even still higher, 256. In order not to burden the House with a lot of figures, I will merely quote the number of such cases for alternate years: In 1951-2, the number was 103; 1953-4, 136; 1955-6, 191; 1957-8, 208 and 1959-60, 256. That is the latest information we have from the Controller and Auditor-General. I think the figures I have quoted confirm that the state of affairs is a disturbing one, even an alarming one. From 1951-2 to 1959-60 the number of officials concerned in such misappropriations and other irregularities totalled 1,627. The amounts involved each year were also substantial. The total amount involved in 1959-60, e.g., was nearly £30,000 that is nearly R60,000. But it is the number of cases involved which is the serious aspect of the matter in my view rather than the total amount which is involved. As I have indicated, the position is serious and the information disclosed can only be described as showing an alarming rate of dishonesty and a disturbing decline in probity in the Public Service. I naturally accept that the number of staff employed has also been increasing over the years, but I hope no one will suggest that on a percentage basis therefore, the rate of increase may not be very high. I certainly do not accept that honesty can be assessed on a percentage basis, and I am quite sure that the public and also the heads of Departments will agree with that view. As I say the disturbing feature is that the position is getting worse and worse year by year. Moreover, the facts indicate that in general we are not concerned with cases of a sudden lapse on the part of one or other official in one or other Department, nor are we concerned with officials who are simply yielding to sudden temptation. Indeed the indications are that these irregularities are widespread and that they cover a large number of Departments. I started by saying that it was a difficult matter to raise, but I believe it is necessary to raise it, because it is disturbing that dishonesty in the Public Service or the want of probity is on the increase. I raise the matter under this Vote, because the Public Service Commission is the body established to maintain optimum standards of probity, discipline and efficiency in the Public Service. And I would like to ask the hon. the Minister what active steps have been taken over the years by the Public Service Commission, either alone or in collaboration with the Treasury, to bring about a remedy to this situation. We all know that correct administrative behaviour must be inspired from above, and therefore it is so essential that the Public Service Commission itself and the Treasury should be very active in regard to a matter such as this. What is happening here is, of course, casting a stigma on the Public Service as a whole, which is a sad thing to have to point out. But that makes it all the more essential for proper and adequate safeguards to be taken to remove what I can only describe as a festering sore in the Public Service. Whilst I have indicated that the Public Service Commission is a body established to maintain optimum standards of probity, discipline and efficiency in the service, it is nonetheless a duty which falls entirely on the Minister’s shoulders in regard to responsibility for this state of affairs. Sir, it is the hon. the Minister to whom we in this House must look to tell us what steps he in particular has taken in regard to the matter over the years. I realize that he was not in office over the full period I have mentioned, but I ask what steps he has taken in the time in which he has been in office to ensure that some remedy is introduced? I hope, therefore, that the hon. the Minister will give us information this afternoon in regard to the matter, because I consider it a very serious matter.
I do not want to follow on what the previous speaker has said. The hon. the Minister will no doubt reply to him. I merely wish to bring a matter concerning the civil servants to the notice of the hon. the Minister, a matter which I hope will receive his friendly and sympathetic consideration. It concerns sub-head B of the Vote concerned— “ Subsistence and Travelling Allowance ”. I wish to point out that these subsistence and travelling allowances are based on the position as it was five years ago and that they have not been changed since then. Those officials who have to work away from their head office find it difficult to cover their expenses from their subsistence allowance. In the meantime, hotel and other accommodation costs have gone up and unfortunately the subsistence allowance has not kept pace with that; the allowance has not been adapted to the increased hotel costs. I, therefore, want to ask the hon. the Minister to investigate and to improve the position.
In reply to the speech of the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) I merely wish to say that it is very difficult to combat dishonesty, as the hon. member himself has admitted. As a matter of fact, in all professions, also in the high-ranking professions, you find black sheep, particularly where money is concerned. I am just as sorry as the hon. member that there has been an increase in the number of thefts, and I too wish to express my disappointment in the fact that in such a high-ranking service as the Civil Service, for which we all have a high regard, there are also black sheep. I want to say, however, that the measures that are taken against offenders are being applied more strictly. The Civil Service Commission and the Minister are doing everything in their power to combat this evil. It is no good appealing to a rogue or anybody who intends doing something wrong; it has no affect on him. Even threats are of no avail. I hope—and I am not casting a reflection on any civil servant—that the quality of the integrity of officials in general will improve and that we shall get a better type of person as a result and that we shall be able to get rid of the black sheep. I can assure the hon. member that this matter is receiving my attention and wherever it is possible to apply sterner measures it will be done and those measures will be applied in order to limit this evil to the minimum.
As far as the matter raised by the hon. member for Pretoria (East) (Dr. Otto) is concerned I want to inform him that that is receiving the attention of the Civil Service Commission and that they are contemplating increasing the allowances. Recently the Civil Service Commission again gave their attention to the question of improving the allowances. The matter is under consideration and I trust there will be an increase. I admit that it is difficult in many cases to come out on the subsistence allowance, particularly in cases where officials are sent to do duty somewhere else and have to pay for their accommodation. I can assure him that this matter is continually receiving our attention.
Vote put and agreed to.
Vote No. 30.—“ Printing and Stationery”, R4,670,000, put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 31.—“Coloured Affairs”. R3,036,000.
Mr. Chairman, may I please claim the privilege of the half hour? I want to avail myself of this opportunity of discussing the Government’s policy in regard to the Coloured people in South Africa. In this connection, I suggest that the time could not be more opportune for doing that. We are standing on the threshhold of a new era in the history of South Africa, because we know that on the 31st of this month, the historical entity known as the “ Union of South Africa ” will pass into history and that a new concept the “ Republic of South Africa ” will take its place. I suggest, therefore, that there could not be a more appropriate time than the present for us to talk to the Government with regard to its policies in so far as the Coloured people of South Africa are concerned. This is the time when the Government should make it clear in unmistakeable terms what its intentions are, and what its policies are going to be with regard to the Coloured people, and what role the Government expects the Coloured people to play in this new republic. Despite the fact that the Coloured people were denied any say whatsoever in the establishment of the republic, many responsible Coloured leaders feel that no good purpose can be served by continuing recriminations. They feel, Sir, that the Coloured people must accept the fact that the constitution of their country, of their own country, has been changed into that of a republic. They feel that the Coloured people, who have no other home, must of necessity continue to live in the republic as part of its citizens, and they feel that they are in duty bound to—as they have done in the past— obey the laws of their country. In the circumstances, they are very anxious to know what the Government’s intentions are with regard to their future. I repeat, Sir, that never before in the history of South Africa has it become more necessary for us than to-day to discuss our internal affairs and, particularly, our policies in regard to the Coloured people, and to do so free from bitterness and free from any political recriminations. It is in this spirit that I want to discuss this matter with the hon. Minister this afternoon.
I have said, Sir, that the matter was one of extreme urgency. We have no time to lose in our approach to this matter. I suggest that by showing a change of heart even at this late stage, and by showing a measure of goodwill, the Government can still prevent the Coloured people from allying themselves in a united militant front against the White people of South Africa. The responsibility in that regard, is the responsibility of the Government. I urge the Government, therefore, to realize that we cannot afford to waste any time in this matter; it is a matter that must receive our attention as priority number one. We are living to-day in South Africa in a state of absolute tension and no one can foretell what is going to happen before the birth of the republic, or what is likely to happen even after the republic has been established. The fact is that there exists in South Africa to-day a state of absolute tension. We have had declarations made by the Government alerting the police; we have had bannings of meetings throughout the country; we have had country wide raids; we have had threats of strikes, etc. I say all this has been brought about unfortunately by the terrible deterioration in our race relations in South Africa. We find—to my regret and to the regret of my colleagues—that more and more Coloured people are allying themselves as a result of calls which are being made to them by certain of their so-called leaders, with the Africans for the establishment of a common front against the Government and, unfortunately, against the White people of South Africa. I have previously warned the Government, Sir, of the gravity of the situation, and I have urged the Government, as I do again to-day, not to treat this development lightly. Information which has come to my knowledge, as well as to the knowledge of my colleagues, indicates beyond any doubt that there is a growing attempt on the part of certain Coloured leaders to urge the Coloured people to join forces with the Africans in a common front against the Government and, indeed, against the White people of South Africa. Endeavours are being made daily to persuade Coloured people to join in nationwide attempts to stay away from work round about the period of the republican celebrations. The situation is a serious one. It is alarming also in the sense that industrialists in this area of the Western Province particularly, do not know what is going to happen round about that period. I repeat: We cannot afford to treat the matter lightly at all. We feel that something must immediately be done by the Government—because the remedy lies in the hands of the Government—before the situation is allowed to develop any further, and before it deteriorates any further. Speedy action— and I mean real action—is more vital to-day than it has even been before. Arresting some of the leaders, and denying them the privilege of getting bail for 12 days, is not going to subdue the masses. We feel that the Government must initiate, without any delay, some means whereby consultations can take place with responsible representatives of the Coloured people with the object of preventing the Coloured people from taking the irrevocable step which will do their cause a great deal of harm. I frankly admit that it will do then-cause a great deal of harm, but at the same time it is also likely to place the White people in jeopardy. Sir, this is not the time for adopting the suggestion made by the hon. Prime Minister for tactful silence. I agree entirely with the attitude of the Burger whose appeal to action on the part of the Government has, up to now, elicited no favourable response. In a recent editorial appearing in that newspaper the plea was made for some organized action on the part of the Government to ameliorate the tension which exists m the country. That editorial further states—
It continues to state that there is a growing feeling that the Coloured people should be drawn closer to the Whites, both in understanding and co-operation, and continues as follows—
I want to repeat these last words, Sir.
When was that written?
It appeared in Die Burger a few days ago.
Die Burger is useful now!
Please do not interrupt me. This is a very serious situation and I would like this Committee to treat it seriously. I say, Sir, that I concur absolutely with the opinions expressed in this editorial especially where it asks for practical action on the part of the Government. I want to say that strong-arm action, such as that envisaged under Bills which have in the last few days been passed by this House, will not bring peace to our country. We want permanent peace and not the temporary forced peace which these measures may bring about.
With this object in mind, Sir, I made a few days ago what I considered to be a practical suggestion, one which I still think will be well received by the Coloured people and one which will prevent them from taking any hasty action in linking up with the Africans as a militant force against us. I made the suggestion a few days ago—and I repeat it now for the benefit of discussion by this Committee—that the Government should take immediate steps to appoint an independent commission presided over by a senior Judge of the Supreme Court and unfettered by party political adherence, to investigate the position of the Coloured people from the political and from the socio-economic points of view. I am fully convinced that the establishment of such an independent commission at this stage would avoid a further deterioration in the relationship of the Coloured people to the Government and the White people of South Africa. I also suggested that at the same time of establishing such an independent commission, unfettered by party political affiliations, the Government should give immediate consideration to dispose of some of the justifiable grievances which the Coloured people have and which Die Burger also suggested should be removed. The Government should decide, here and now, that some of these grievances should be removed. This, to my mind, is of paramount importance. I suggest, therefore, that simultaneous with the appointment of this commission, the Government should announce that it will suspend, with immediate effect, the harsh implications of the Group Areas Act. That should be the first step. Secondly, it should announce that job reservation decrees—some of them ridiculous, Sir— should be suspended immediately. Thirdly, it should be announced that all those discriminatory laws which have been ruthlessly inflicted upon the Coloured people and which are responsible for this unfortunate situation, will be suspended until such time as the commission has investigated the position and reported on its findings to the country and the Government. [Interjections.]
On a point of order, Mr. Chairman. The hon. member is making a most important and serious speech and I suggest that if members do not wish to listen, you should discipline them because there are others who do want to listen to the speech.
I suggest, Sir, that a temporary suspension of these laws which have brought about the friction between the Coloured people and the Government and the White people, would bring the Coloured people into a frame of mind where they would be willing and able to participate in a consultative capacity with the commission which I have proposed. I envisage, Mr. Chairman, that the first function of that commission would be to decide, in consultation with responsible Coloured leaders, what steps should be taken immediately to put right some of these grievances which the Coloured people have. I have no time to go into details in regard to these grievances now, but I have already mentioned in broad outlines what they are. The point that I wish to emphasize, however, is that the Government should set up, without delay, this commission because that will be an indication that the Government is prepared to set up some machinery for consultation with our Coloured friends. I say the matter is one of urgency because day by day, we are losing more and more of those Coloured friends. If the Government is prepared to follow the suggestion I have made to set up this machinery, it would still have the opportunity of conferring with leading Coloured opinion. An independent commission, such as the one I have suggested, would provide the machinery for this urgent consultation. The commission will, obviously, in due course make whatever recommendations it may deem advisable to restore the goodwill and to win back the co-operation of the Coloured people of South Africa. The main point for the establishment of this commission, however, is that it will be an indication to the Coloured people that the Government is, at long last, prepared to take a friendly step to prove its bona fide intention of bringing into being practical results for the Coloured people. What is needed, more than ever, at the present time, is that the Coloured people should be shown that the White people and the Government particularly are willing to extend to them every measure of goodwill. They should experience that goodwill, Sir, and the earnest desire on the part of the Government and of the White population that we are willing to deal forthwith with their main grievances.
They should show it too!
They will show it. You give them the opportunity and they will show it. Surely it must be obvious to all of us that we cannot allow this drift in our race relations to continue. We must, surely, all agree that the only remedy for this unfortunate position in which we find ourselves to-day in South Africa, is that there must be consultation in every possible way between the Government and the leaders of the Coloured people. I was struck very forcibly by a report which appeared in the Cape Times of this morning of an excellent speech made at Paarl yesterday by the Rev. Dr. C. J. Kriel, of the theological seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church at Wellington. He was speaking to the Paarl Rotary Club yesterday afternoon on race relations. He said this—and I ask hon. members to bear this in mind:
I want to pause here, Mr. Chairman, to say that this fact alone indicates beyoud any doubt the absolute necessity of drawing the Coloured people closer to the White people of South Africa if we wish to see the survival of South Africa as a White man’s country. We cannot afford to alienate our friends. Dr. Kriel went on to say—
I want to pause here to make the observation that this statement by Dr. Kriel makes more commonsense than the statement made by the hon. Prime Minister when he talked about his intention of creating a state within a state for the Coloured people. Dr. Kriel went on to say—
I agree entirely with what Dr. Kriel said here. Party politics will never solve this problem but the best independent brains are required to make an independent survey of the entire position of the Coloured people in South Africa; it needs an independent commission, such as I have suggested, to fulfill what I regard as a Herculean task. Let me say about this commission, that I do not for a moment say that the appointment of that commission would be the final solution of the problem confronting South Africa to-day in regard to its relationship with the Coloured people but I am convinced that an independent commission, on the lines I have indicated, and unfettered by party politics, will indicate to the Coloured people, and, what is more important, will indicate to the outside world that, at long last, we are making a genuine effort to deal justly with this unfortunate section of our community. It will, in my view, also relieve the tension existing to-day, and will give us breathing space to examine this whole situation de novo without party political fights. Moreover, it will undoubtedly cut the ground from beneath the feet of the agitators who are urging the Coloured people to throw in their lot with the African people of this country. I wonder, Sir, if hon. members of this Committee are aware of the tremendous pressure which is being brought to bear on our Coloured people by some of these agitators, and I wonder if this House knows how the Coloured people are being urged by threats and by intimidation to abstain from work during the period of the republic celebrations. Many loyal Coloured people have brought to me, and to my colleagues, manifestos issued blatantly by these people and signed by them—they have reached the stage where they have no longer any fears to come out into the open—urging them to adopt a defiant and threatening attitude towards their employers. In many instances this propaganda was accompanied by threats and by intimidation. Up to now I am sure that the vast majority of the Coloured people have shown the greatest restraint and moderation. They have not, up to now, fallen to these threats and intimidation and that is to their everlasting credit. Many of them have not yet yielded to this great pressure which is being brought to bear on them and for that they deserve the highest praise.
I do not want to involve myself at this stage in the various grievances, some of which I consider to be justifiable and which should be removed, but I have dealt with them in general terms. To go into more detail in that regard at the moment would only lead to further recliminations and only serve to widen the existing gulf. I am sure that every one of us realizes that we cannot allow a continuation of these unjust discriminatory laws being inflicted upon these people. They have suffered enough during the past 10 years, and I think that if the Government were to say now that it was prepared immediately to suspend these laws and to establish the commission I have asked for, much would be done to relieve the unfortunate tension which exists. I am sure that every one has been struck by the fact that in the Cape Province alone, there are over 46,000 Coloured income tax payers making their individual contributions towards our national revenue. Need we have any greater proof than that for the contention that the Coloured people have reached the standard of the White people of this country. I know that there are many Coloured families—and I know many of the Cape members on the Government side will agree with me—whose cultural and living standards are on a level with the best standards prevailing amongst our White people. How long does the Government think it can continue to deny these people the fundamental political rights which in justice should be available to all our taxpayers? How long does the Government think that it can impose upon these people job reservation decrees precluding them from taking jobs for which they are admirably suited? In this regard it is not inappropriate for me to deal with a situation that has arisen as a result of the present Minister of the Interior in another capacity issuing one of these job reservation decrees the other day. I wonder whether the hon. Minister realizes how shocked the city of Cape Town was a few days ago when he issued the decree which precludes Coloured candidates from obtaining the job of looking after parking meters in Cape Town. There were outstanding Coloured candidates for these jobs, but, by a ministerial decree issued by a responsible Minister of this Government, these men are being denied the opportunity of obtaining these jobs. But one of the most disconcerting aspects of that unfortunate decree is that I have every reason to believe that the Department of Coloured Affairs was not consulted about it, and that this was a decision taken by another Department. If the hon. Minister will give me the assurance that that Department was consulted in the matter. I will accept his assurance, but then the position is aggravated because I can hardly think that the Coloured Affairs Department would have been a party to the issuing of a decree which denies to Coloured people the right to apply for these jobs which were specially created for them. I mention this as an example of the grievances which the Coloured people have and of the injustices which are being, perhaps unwittingly, inflicted upon them. I am certain that this situation cannot be tolerated. I am certain that if we want to bring about a rapprochement with our Coloured people, actions such as that on job reservation which I have just mentioned, must stop. I say, in the words of the editor of the Burger, that urgent attention must be given to the need to remove points of friction immediately. If the Government wishes to make a genuine attempt towards a rapprochement with the Coloured people, the remedy lies in the hands of the Government alone. There is nothing that we, on this side of the House, can do to bring about that situation. It is a remedy which lies entirely in the hands of the Government. I am satisfied and my colleagues are satisfied that if the Government were to announce its willingness to appoint this independent commission, unfettered by party political affiliations, and, at the same time, indicate that it would suspend temporarily all these discriminatory laws which have been inflicted so harshly on the Coloured people, then we can bring about a greater degree of goodwill in the national interest than that which exists at present in so far as the Coloured people are concerned. We are convinced that even at this eleventh hour …
What is this eleventh hour?
By the time you wake up, my friend, it may be too late. Sir, I hope the hon. member will stop interrupting me. I say it is necessary for the Government, even at this eleventh hour, to take some action which will indicate its willingness to the Coloured people to deal fairly with them and to meet their justifiable complaints, and which will indicate to the outside world our willingness to examine de novo our attitude towards our Coloured people. Above all, it will to my mind undermine the work of the agitators who are busy trying to foment the difficulties I referred to amongst the Coloureds. If, on the other hand, the Government is not willing to take this positive action, then it must accept full responsibility, and I say this advisedly, for the disaster which will almost certainly overtake our country because of this granite-wall apartheid policy. Unfortunately if that situation arises none of us will escape. I urge the Government with all the emphasis at my command to treat this matter as one of great seriousness and in the spirit in which I have presented it here this afternoon, and to indicate to the Coloured people its willingness to examine their position from every angle on the lines indicated by me. I think that an independent commission coupled with an undertaking to suspend temporarily these discriminatory laws will do much to restore the friendliness and goodwill between the Coloureds and the Whites.
It is a great privilege for me to get up in this House for the first time. Secondly I regard it as a privilege to be able to say something in connection with the Coloureds of the Western Cape, especially those on our farms. I want to thank the Government for what it has done during the past few years for the Coloureds. I want to mention the names of two people and thank them for the part they have played. The one is the Deputy Minister P. W. Botha and the other is Dr. I. D. du Plessis. It was a forward step in the right direction when the Coloured Affairs Board which consists of 27 members was appointed. That board has already made its contribution and will in future make its contribution towards the welfare of the Coloureds. The Coloureds have representation in the Other Place, representation that cooperates with this Government. They have four representatives in this House. I do not know them but it is within their power to make a great contribution and they can facilitate the task of the Government in solving the difficult problems, our race problems, of which the Coloureds form a part. If the four of them stand together and co-operate with the Government then it does not mean to say that they must agree with everything the Government does, but they can facilitate the task of the Government as far as the Coloureds are concerned. My experience in the Other Place during the five years that I was there is this, however: When I got there there were Natives’ representatives and on more than one occasion I noticed Bantu in the bay opposite me when speeches of a destructive nature were made, speeches that incited the Black man against the White man. That hurt me. Sir. I am not saying that these four representatives are doing it. I do not believe that of them. I think they will serve the purpose for which they are here in the interests of the Coloureds in the Western Cape.
Mr. Chairman, I think the time has arrived that the Department of Coloured Affairs became a sovereign Department with a full-time Minister. That will be more popular amongst the Coloureds. The Coloureds of the Western Cape have made a great contribution towards our development. No pen can describe their contribution. I am not the oldest person in this House but I am far from being the youngest. I know the Coloureds. I played with them as a child and I grew up with them and I have been working with them up to the present. As I know the Coloureds I have grown to love them, because there is such a great deal that we can learn from them. In the first place they are generous. They are always happy and cheerful. I wish I could be like that. It is probably because they have so little else in life that we can learn from them as far as that is concerned. When you travel from Mossel Bay over Sir Lowry’s Pass and you see the thousands of morgen of land of the Swartland, you know that that land is ploughed by Coloureds under the supervision of the White man, firstly with their mules and now with tractors. All the millions of fruit trees that have been planted in the Western Province and the hills and valleys that are covered with vineyards, represent the work of the Coloureds under the supervision of the White man. That is why I am pleased that the Government has done for the Coloureds what it has done. There has never been a Government that has done more for the Coloureds than this Government. From the very beginning the Coloureds have been a tool and they have been ground to powder between two millstones, between the two big political parties. It was my privilege to vote that they should be placed on a separate roll. I did that because I thought that that was the right thing to do as far as the Coloureds were concerned and I still think so. During my election at Swellendam recently I addressed a meeting one evening. There were approximately 80 White persons and 100 Coloureds and I did not beat around the bush in what I said. I told them what this Government had done for them and why it had done it. When I left the building numbers of Coloureds came up to me and shook my hand and said “ Master, never before has a White man spoken to us in such a straightforward manner as Master did this evening. Now we understand the whole position as far as the White man and the Coloured man are concerned, and that the Government means it well with us. Mr. Chairman, that gave me pleasure. Where I come from the farmers have erected farm schools all over the place for the Coloureds. They have done so because they know the Coloured parents move to the towns so that their children can go to school. It gives me pleasure when I get to a farm and I see the children walking in rank to the school, and the little ones are neatly clothed. They are under the influence of the teachers and that even has a wholesome effect on the Coloured women, and I am pleased about that. We have housing schemes in our towns and cities which is a good thing but I think the time has arrived to extend those schemes to the platteland. You find many cases on the platteland where the Coloured houses are no credit to the farmer. You cannot be a decent person if you grow up in a shack. People often say the Coloureds are bad. They are not bad. Had we grown up in the circumstances in which many of the Coloureds of the Western Cape have grown up, I wonder where we would have been. Fifty per cent of us would probably have been in gaol. I am surprised that they are what they are, considering the circumstances in which they have grown up. I wonder whether we should not establish gymnasiums at various places in the Western Cape where the Coloured people can be trained so that their standard of living can rise. If the young Coloured persons can be trained to work properly and to work with tractors and do repairs, the farmers will be able to pay them higher wages and that will raise their standard of living. I am in favour of that but Rome was not built in one day. I am merely mentioning this as something that can perhaps be done in future. But there is one thing that hurts me and that is the infiltration of Bantu into the Western Cape Province. I know we need thousands of them to work in industry but I think we should get rid of one out of every three Bantu in the Western Cape because a third of them are loafers and vagrants. The sooner the Government gets rid of them the better will it be for everyone concerned, for the Bantu, the Coloured and the White man. [Time limit.]
It is a pleasure to me to congratulate the hon. member for Swellendam (Mr. van Eeden) on his first speech in this House. No doubt he has had some training in another place. In his first speech he indicated to the House what I believe to be a genuine understanding and a traditional attitude towards the Coloured people with whom he has lived and grown up. I can only assure him that in the near future, if he really applies his mind to testing the circumstances under which they live to-day, and reconciles their way of life with what they have had in so far as the political deal is concerned over the last ten years, if not publicly as a Member of Parliament on the Government side, but privately in his own mind, he will be shocked.
I want to touch on a matter of the utmost gravity, in my opinion and in the opinion of people who know a great deal more than I do and who are doing a great deal more than I in the way of finding out what the true facts are in regard to our race relations. Right in the beginning I want to quote from a speech made by the hon. the Deputy Minister of the Interior on 28 March before the Union Coloured Affairs Council. He said—
Die verwarring waarin die wereld verkeer, met sy oordosis van propaganda, sy bedreiging deur oorlog, dreig om alles wat mooi en verheffend is te versmoor en te vernietig. Maar dis ook ’n tyd waarin diegene met geloof en ’n toekomsblik geleent-heid kry om te bewys dat hulle ankers besit waaraan vasgehou kan word.
I have no doubt that the hon. the Deputy Minister meant these euphonious phrases very well. I can assure the House that the only anchor that the Coloured people have to-day to which they still cling with some degree of faith and hope is the Christian religion which their forefathers brought to this country from Europe. Sir, if you go into this matter and talk to these people, and if you investigate and get an idea of the deprivations they are suffering in various ways, and the discrimination under which they are labouring, I can assure this House that the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) was perfectly correct when he warned the House a few minutes ago of the gravity of the situation we are facing in South Africa to-day. These people have no hope for the future any more. They have no faith in the White man or in what the White man might be able to do for them. [Interjections.] Why? You can go back 300 years, but especially for the last 13 years and you will find all the reasons accentuated, and God help South Africa if this situation has to be faced with the sort of interjection you get from that hon. member. We have no time to play about any more. The situation is grave. The Coloured people we have known in South Africa, who owe their existence to the fact that the White man came to this country and who have stood by the White man through the centuries and fought their wars internally and externally with them, are not there any more. The times have changed. The fact that there are 10,000,000 Black people in South Africa and 180,000,000 Black people over our borders in Africa, and that the East as well as the West are backing the cause of the under-priviliged Black man, is making a deep impression on the minds of the Coloured people and they regard it as foolish, as the Prime Minister of any country overseas, when he has to choose between the friendship of 180,000,000 Black people in Africa or that of 3,000,000 White people in South Africa, regards it as foolish to stand by the 3,000,000 White people who abuse and humiliate them at every opportunity, and the Coloureds would rather seek their salvation with the 10,000,000 Blacks who are going to win according to the signs of the times. We hear shouts of ridicule from the other side and if you talk a little more you will get election results quoted. They will tell you about the great reception given to the Prime Minister when he returned from his mission of failure overseas, at Jan Smuts and D. F. Malan Airports. I do not want to go into political wrangles regarding that. All I wish to point out is that quoting election results and mass rallies is no solution to the problem. Mass hysteria has never saved a country and it cannot indicate a policy to this Government in regard to people who have no say in their own destiny, people on whose behalf we come to this House and in patronizing phrases tell them where their destiny lies and what the Government intends doing for them. Sir, it is no use hammering only on the fact that the Government is providing economic advancement for these people. Esau was a fool to exchange his birthright in his father’s home for bowl of soup. He was entitled to that bowl of soup, and so are the Coloured people entitled to the economic advancement and uplift in their country of birth. But at the same time their political rights are their birthright and you cannot divorce the two. [Interjections.] Bleating sheep will not save the situation.
If they kick you out, it will be better.
That might be true. The solution of that hon. member apparently is to kick out everyone who does not agree with him. I suppose he learnt that when culling his sheep. I feel that I must tell the Government and the Minister in charge of this portfolio that there is only one way of approaching the situation with which we are faced, and that is to investigate the problem, even if they accept what was proposed by the hon. member for Peninsula. But I feel that to show the goodwill which is the only basis on which consultation will work the time has arrived when unequivocally the Government should declare its willingness to restore to the Coloured people the political rights which have been taken away from them, to give them full franchise rights in regard to the Union Parliament, that symbol of citizenship, and to extend political rights to the Northern Provinces, because it was on that issue that they were bluffed into the Boer War and then they got nothing out of it. The basis on which they will exercise it can be thrashed out, but it can only be done by consultation. After 13 years of this Government, the time has arrived when it is no use trying to condone certain measures which have been placed on the Statute Book. Abolish job reservation immediately and give the Coloureds a chance. It can be left to private enterprise to create the avenues or to leave the avenues open for them to be absorbed in commerce and industry. Halt the implementation of the Group Areas Act in regard to the Coloureds immediately until such time as proof has been rendered that this Act is really as advantageous to them as we heard in the sanctimonious speech of the hon. member for Vasco (Mr. C. V. de Villiers) yesterday. Two years ago I warned the Minister of the Interior that his granite-like attitude in applying the Group Areas Act to the religious concepts of the Moslems in South Africa will be disastrous. Now we find that for the first time a week ago 4,000 Moslems gathered in Cape Town, and the same sort of thing is happening in Port Elizabeth. They will forego the goodwill of a few thousand people in South Africa, backed by 700,000,000 Moslems in the rest of the world. The simplest thing in the world would have been to say that the Group Areas Act will not apply to them, in regard to mosques. No, it must be done under exemption. The Moslems do not accept an exemption because they recognize no authority higher than that of Allah and they regard that ground as holy. Through a simple thing like that these people have been antagonized. They are only a small part of the Coloured population. If you go into the country and see what deprivations these people suffer and what humiliations they suffer, it is shocking. I want to quote one example. We know how South Africans felt when we heard that hotels in India had notice-boards saying “No dogs or South Africans allowed”. In the constituency of the Minister of Lands in the town of Humansdorp, there is a park in which there is a war memorial with the names of the men who fell in the two World Wars for South Africa, Coloured men. On the one gatepost there is a notice, “Geen honde toegelaat nie” and on the other pillar there is a notice, “Slegs Blankes”. This is not in India, but in the country of their birth. Not once a year are those people allowed in there to lay a wreath in commemoration of their own uncles and fathers and brothers who died for South Africa in two wars. That is the sort of thing a Coloured man in South Africa has to undergo. One experiences the antagonism built up by these things. Children ask their fathers and mothers: Why can’t we go in there? What does that board mean? It makes one wonder what the future holds for us if you consider the frustration and hatred as a result of unnecessary laws, but when one comes here one finds a granite-like attitude in regard to these matters. I appeal to the Government to do something before it is too late. Open your eyes. South Africa is going to blazes if you do not open your eyes. It is going to hell and this Government is responsible.
It was not my intention to speak on this Vote but I have listened to the last few speeches, more particularly those of the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) and the hon. member who has just sat down. I am not going to reply to him because I think his speech was nothing else but an inflammatory one; he said nothing in particular. The hon. member for Peninsula has made certain suggestions but we know that never before has a Government done so much for the Coloureds as this Government. Previously the Coloured people were nothing else than voting cattle. We established a Coloured Affairs Department that is doing wonderful work. The hon. member for Peninsula said that he would prefer to have a commission. We do not want one. They can get satisfaction by going to the Department for Coloured Affairs and any grievance that they may have is attended to. We do what we can for them. What has the Municipality of Cape Town done for them all these years? Nothing except to place obstructions in our way. The Government recognizes the fact to-day that the Coloureds are part of South Africa as the White people are. We treat them with right and justice, but what I find so peculiar is that hon. members opposite say nothing about the White people; They only talk about the Coloureds and the Natives. I think the four Coloured Representatives can do wonderful work for the Coloureds if they want to and if they use the powers that they have in this House correctly. They have already done a great deal in a certain respect. When we had the disturbances last year the hon. member for Peninsula told the Coloureds to remain calm; he can still do that but the way they talk in this House is tantamount to telling them in an indirect way: Carry on. That is the impression that the man in the street and we on this side get. The mentality of the Coloured person is different from that of the White man and they absorb every word we say. The Coloured Affairs Department is the salvation of the Coloured people to-day. Look at the universities, the schools and hospitals that have been erected for them. Hon. members opposite have done nothing for them; they have only misused their vote. All the years that I have been in this House I can think of only one occasion when the hon. member for Pinelands said something on behalf of the Coloureds. Nobody opposite has said a single word on their behalf. Now they are suddenly very anxious to do something and to cause trouble and to harm the Government. Hon. members opposite can do what they like. This Government will continue to treat every inhabitant of this country with justice. The world outside will not frighten us and we are not scared of the lies that are disseminated. Everything that is said in this House is used against South Africa. What did the American President, Mr. Kennedy, say? He said that he did not want to suppress the Press but that the time would arrive when he would be compelled to do so; he said that if they did not serve the interests of their father land, he would be obliged to interfere. I have never as yet said anything against the Press, but they abuse their freedom in a ghastly way overseas and I wonder how many hon. members opposite have a guilty conscience and I wonder how many say to themselves: If only I had remained quiet during the past year and did not stab my own country in the back. How many of them did not stab their own country in the back? They can say what they like but they did stab their own country in the back by saying things that were not true and things that have harmed South Africa. We should not lose our heads at a time such as the present. We should stand together. The time is fast approaching when all the White men who love South Africa will have to stand together. We have to close our ranks. If we do not do that they will suffer as we who say “South Africa first” will suffer. I remember the days when we first started to talk about “South Africa first” and when we fought to pass all the legislation which is welcomed to-day and which will never be repealed.
Order! The hon. member must return to the Vote.
I am sorry, Sir. I am returning to the Vote. I want to ask hon. members opposite to be careful what they say; they should behave themselves; they can do a lot of good for the Coloureds but they must be careful and not use irresponsible language in this House.
I am surprised that an old politician like the hon. member for Aliwal (Capt. Strydom) can really believe that the Government’s policy and its application is one of justice and fairness and Christianity towards the Coloureds. Is it fair that group areas in Cape Town should be demarcated in such a way that 20,000 to 30,000 Coloureds are evicted from their houses and residential areas, as compared with only 5,000 Whites, and that the Coloureds have to move to the desert areas of Cape Town and that the Whites should retain the best areas for themselves?
Your facts are distorted.
If I were a Coloured—and when I judge of something like this I try to put myself in the place of the other man—I would have sent a message to the Government to come and fetch me out of my house, and I would have let the Prime Minister know that he can come and move my furniture for me. I would have refused to move. The day will arrive when the Government and the Government Party will bow their heads in shame for what they have done to the Coloureds of South Africa.
The Coloureds are sensible people; they will not listen to you.
I want to say a few words about the Union Coloured Council and the development the Government envisages for that council. It is very difficult to arrive at a sound judgment in regard to the Government’s administration of Coloured affairs unless one knows clearly in which direction the Government proposes to move in regard to the Coloureds in the political sphere. Although I oppose and strongly oppose the Government …
… I have always set out from the standpoint that when the Government comes along with a development which is sound …
You came here to support the Government.
I shall certainly not support the Government as it is now.
Who elected you?
Order! The hon. member for Ventersdorp (Mr. Greyling) knows the rules of the House.
He must be careful of his heart.
I want to divorce myself from the present Government as far as possible. I have always set out from the standpoint nevertheless that if the Government comes along with a development plan which is sound and which is of a positive nature and which is intended to assist people to develop, the Opposition should then as far as possible support it. But then the Government must realize that one cannot support something if one is not convinced that the policy behind it is practicable, and if the Government is not able to say clearly how far it wants to go in that direction and what it is bound to lead to.
In a speech made by the hon. the Deputy Minister of the Interior before the Union Coloured Council on 28 March 1961, he explained that it was the intention of the Government to re-organize this Council, to extend its membership and to give it greater powers, and the question arises whether one can encourage and support the Government in this direction, or whether the Government is busy here with something which is futile and which must fail and which therefore is just a waste of time and money and of energy which will not take us any further. Because unless the Government can convince one that what it wants to do will have lasting results and form part of a final plan which is practicable, and which eventually will also be accepted by the majority of the Coloureds, we are in fact busy here evading instead of solving a problem, and at colossal cost to the State. At the moment the Government creates the impression that it is most confused and cannot give any proper explanation of what it envisages in respect of the political future of the Coloureds. During the past two months a whole series of conflicting statements have been published. On 17 March the Prime Minister, e.g., made a statement in London affecting the political rights of the Coloureds. He said—
Shortly thereafter, on 28 March, the Deputy Minister of the Interior in the speech he made before the Coloured Council, said that the development of the Whites and of the Coloureds should take place “within the framework of the same constitutional connection”. A little later, on 10 April, the Prime Minister took the matter further in this House and then he told us (Hansard, Col. 4277, Afrikaans)—
On this basis of a state within a state—that is what he intimated—the Coloureds can be given a full say in the political sphere (Col. 4278, Afrikaans). The next day he took the matter further and said—
In other words, the Deputy Minister spoke about the same constitutional connection, and the hon. the Prime Minister shortly thereafter spoke about a state within a state and two Parliaments, each with the fullest powers. Two weeks later the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs held a meeting at Montagu at the time of the by-election in Swellendam. I have here the report in the Burger. Under the heading: “Reservation about state within a state”, the Burger of 29 April said the following—
Then, according to the Burger, the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs added the following—
I cannot remember when last we had so much confusion and lack of direction in regard to the future position of the Coloureds as we have on the part of the Government at present, and this Committee is entitled to learn from the Minister who deals with Coloured affairs what his explanation of all this is. We expect him to give clarity to the country about what he envisages and how he wants to implement it. I want to ask the hon. the Minister pertinently: Are we to accept that the concept of a state within a state is now the official policy of the Government? In the second place, it would be interesting to know whether the hon. the Prime Minister submitted this to his caucus and whether the caucus approved of it. I want to ask him further is it the intention of the Government to develop the Coloured Council into a fully-fledged Parliament with a Coloured Cabinet and a Coloured Prime Minister, or does the Government simply say “full political rights”, without actually meaning full political rights? Further I want to ask him pertinently: Will the Coloureds be given full power over their own group areas, to such an extent that they can sell their properties to Whites and allow White factories there where job reservation need not be applied and their own wage structure can be applied? You see, you either have full political rights or you do not have them, and the Government either is honest or it is not.
You can have two guesses.
The Coloured Council either receives full powers or it does not receive full powers; only one of the two can be correct, and I think that this Committee is entitled to know whether the Coloured Council will receive actual powers or whether it is intended to be a puppet Parliament. I think the Committee is entitled to have frank replies to these questions if the Government is at all clear as to its policy. Personally, I believe that within a few years there will be nothing left of all these plans and political games of the Government. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Namib (Mr. I. D. du P. Basson) made himself guilty of gross exaggeration and misrepresentation in connection with group areas in particular. If he would be present here more often when these matters are discussed he would be better informed and his facts would not be so absolutely incorrect as those he gave this afternoon. Not only did the hon. member give wrong facts in connection with the numbers concerned in the group areas, but it seems to me that he is also completely in the dark about the housing conditions of the different racial groups. Unfortunately, we cannot go into detail on these matters now, but I just want to say that this story that the Coloureds are being harmed tremendously by group areas is a gross exaggeration and a misrepresentation. The hon. the Deputy Minister has time and again pointed out what is being done; how many decent homes are being built for people who, in many cases, are to-day living in hovels.
The hon. member for Outeniqua (Mr. Holland) always comes along with his parrot cry of “Where?” If only he would keep in touch with the Department and co-operate with them then he would know more about what is going on and he would talk less nonsense here.
The hon. member for Namib also said that if he were a Coloured he would not move, but would ask Dr. Verwoerd to come and throw him out, or something like that. I regret that an hon. member should say this sort of thing in this House, especially in these times of tension.
Who caused the tension?
What example is being set for the Coloureds through behaviour of this nature? He does not say that if he were a White man who was affected by the group areas he would wait for them to come and throw him out. No, he says that if he were a Coloured he would wait until they threw him out. I say that this behaviour of the hon. member is scandalous and objectionable.
Hon. members opposite had much to say about job reservation. We would like to reply to it, but this is not the Vote for a discussion on that matter. This hon. Minister has nothing to do with job reservation. It falls under the hon. the Minister of Labour, and we will go into the matter on the Labour Vote.
A Cabinet within a Cabinet.
I agree with the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) that it is a good thing to review the policies in connection with the Coloureds to-day. It is only a pity that so little time will be devoted to this important matter as a result of the attitude of the Opposition, which has control over the time allocated to the different Votes. If this is the interest they have in this important matter, then I say that all this talk by the Opposition about their wanting to promote the interests of the Coloureds is just so much talk. Lately the Opposition is waging a new campaign about the political rights of the Coloureds which can only be detrimental to the Coloured population. What is it all about? It does not only concern the matter of a few Coloureds here in Parliament, as some of them allege; neither does it only concern the subject of placing the Coloureds back on the common roll. No, it concerns the fundamental difference in the whole approach to the racial question in South Africa; i.e. it concerns two irreconcilable policy directions—the policy of separate development, together with the opportunities it offers to the Coloured population on the one hand, and the policy of integration and eventual equality on the other. The principle of separate communities, each with its own identity and its own character, where each can develop to their full self-realization, as opposed to an integrated community, a homogeneous community. Where will these policies lead to? Integration will lead to the breaking down of all division, to no differentiation as is being advocated by many people to-day. It will result in the Coloureds having to compete with the Whites on an equal basis, and special attention will not be devoted to them. Some people are to-day advocating that the Department of Coloured Affairs should be abolished. Such a policy would result in there not being any differentiation; that the Coloureds will have to compete with the Whites on the same level, and then the larger majority of the Coloured population will suffer because 80 per cent of the Coloured population are to-day still backward and cannot compete with the Whites on an equal footing. This group of developed and educated Coloureds—and I emphasize the word “group”—which seek escape through assimilation with the Whites is opposed to the principle of separate communities. They are apparently not concerned about the 80 per cent of their own people who cannot compete with the Whites in a homogeneous community. They see their own way clear to reach the top of the ladder in a homogeneous community. It is said that to win the support and the goodwill of the Coloureds certain concessions should be made; that there should also be a few Coloured members in this House. But the Coloureds did not ask for it, and it will not satisfy them either; and that is my main argument. These people who are continually making these demands, the vocal group, will not be satisfied with these concessions which the hon. members refer to.
Who asked for it?
In this, connection I want to quote what one of the Coloured leaders, who is often quoted and referred to here, said. I refer to Dr. van der Ross. He said—
In other words, the breaking down completely of the colour bar, as I said—
And so he continues. These so-called concessions about which the hon. members speak will not satisfy this group to which I have referred. But we continually hear that discrimination should be abolished. If discrimination, as far as it concerns the Coloureds, should be abolished then the Coloured population may not be protected; then the Whites may not be discriminated against by prohibiting them from monopolizing trade and the economic activities in the Coloured areas—towns and cities which are being created; then the Whites may not be discriminated against by prohibiting them from taking over the professions and all the other posts in those areas. But, further, the Bantu may then not be discriminated against in order to protect the Coloured. I say that the abolition of discrimination will also detrimentally affect the Coloured population. In the first stage of this process of integration the Coloured people will be the sufferers but in the long run both the Coloureds and the Whites will be the sufferers because they will be overwhelmed by the Bantu who outnumber them. In the economic and the political spheres there is no advantage to the Coloureds in integration and these Coloureds who are to-day threatening to co-operate with the Bantu are playing with fire in so far as their own future and welfare are concerned. Through their threats of siding with the Bantu they may cause great harm to the goodwill which has been established between the Whites and the Coloureds during the past years. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Vasco (Mr. C. V. de Villiers) knows the Coloureds and their problems far better than he admits. I am particularly sorry that he is giving publicity to one so-called leader of the Coloureds who is to-day brought so prominently to the attention of the public, namely Dr. van der Ross. The hon. member quoted what Dr. van der Ross envisaged and tha the would not be content with concessions. The hon. member for Vasco knows as well as I do that he is a self-appointed leader and that his influence is very little. But what must be admitted—and the hon. member for Vasco will agree with me—is that to-day the Coloureds are awakening; there is a difference of opinion. There are tremendously many factors affecting them in various directions and it is with a view to investigating the matter outside of politics that the hon. Leader of my group advanced the suggestion that a commission should be appointed to investigate the whole matter. I agree with him wholeheartedly. I think we should go into the matter to see if we cannot obtain the necessary guidance from such a commission on a non-political basis so that we can once and for all place the disposition of the Whites towards the Coloureds, and vice versa, on a sound footing We cannot play politics with this matter. It gets us no further. The matter can be approached from different political angles but no progress will be made. I am in the unfortunate position that the greater part of my constituency consists of Coloured reserves. I therefore think that it is my duty to get away from politics and to come closer to the realities of the problem. I wish to speak in particular about the reserves and the position of the Coloureds in the reserves. The other members who are so very interested in the Coloureds represent the urbanized Coloureds. Allow me to confine myself to my group. When I talk about those people then I refer in particular to the rural Coloureds.
Before I go any further I feel it my duty to express a word of sympathy at the loss which the Department of Coloured Affairs suffered with the death of our agricultural expert, Mr. Smit. In the few years that he served as agricultural expert in the reserves Mr. Smit did very excellent and hard work and I regret that we will have to start virtually anew now that he has passed away. It sets our agriculture back tremendously. It will take the new man some time to take over from where Mr. Smit left off. Mr. Chairman, when I think of agriculture there I cannot help but wonder whether the time has not come to review the old Act of 1909 on which the whole system is based and which is now being extended still further. It is an Act which was passed about 50 years ago. It is an Act which may have been very good for those times and those conditions but South Africa has advanced 50 years and everyone has developed in the interim. The only things that have not really developed are the reserves. When I say that they have developed very little it should not be construed as meaning that the present Department under the guidance of the hon. the Deputy Minister was not doing their best. I can almost say that they have performed miracles in the few years that they have been in existence. But I feel that the whole Act should be reviewed and adjusted to present-day conditions. I just want to mention one example. As a result of that Act there are in all the reserves—whether it be reserves where the main branch of agriculture is cattle farming or whether it be reserves where crop cultivation is practised—large numbers of people who are really, I will not say lazy; they do not like one to tell them they are lazy. In the reserves where the main industry is cattle farming there are large numbers—I may almost say hundreds—of people who will tell you that they are stock farmers. If you ask them why they do not try to obtain work somewhere they say: “No, Sir, we must look after our stock,” and then you find that the man has 25 sheep, but he uses those 25 sheep as an excuse for staying at home. He must look after 25 sheep all the year. Some of them have got more. There are a few Coloureds who have 700 and 800 cattle but because there is communal grazing everyone keeps 25 or 30 or 100 sheep. He cannot make a living from that but it is a reason for him to stay at home, because he is a stock farmer. I would rather have a few people there who could make a decent living from stock farming and make the others realize that they will have to find some other livelihood. I merely mention this to show that these are some of the results of the old Act. The old Act is responsible for that state of affairs. At the mouth of the Olifants River all the Coloureds have two morgen of land to cultivate. It is good soil under irrigation. But who can make a living on two morgen of land under present-day conditions? But the Coloured stays there and he tills his lands. He is entitled to keep a few head of cattle. He cannot leave there; if he does then he loses his rights. The result is that he stays there and tries to make a living from the soil. If the person had six morgen he would have progressed and become a “gentleman”, I would rather have a few “gentlemen” there than have a large number of Coloureds none of whom can make a decent living. If they cannot make a living the authorities should say to them: “This is the position; something else will have to be done; we cannot permit you to continue like this any longer.” We are to-day trying to keep the people there but they are undoubtedly a burden. You just cannot get them going but there are, however, a few who show what can be done and therefore I ask that the whole matter be reviewed.
Then there is another small matter, but which is not quite so trivial to the Coloured. The old Act determines that no spirituous liquor may be brought into a reserve. I am very sorry to say it but whenever I go there I encounter intoxicated people. No liquor may be brought into the reserve, so how is that possible? I know how it happens. In other places where liquor is prohibited it is smuggled in. There are people who make a living out of smuggling liquor. Has the time not perhaps come for that section of the Act also to be amended? I merely mention this to draw attention to it because I feel that the time has come for the whole Act to be reviewed. The Department has now had a whole year’s experience in the practical application of the Act and they should be able to tell at a glance where amendments should be made.
I now want to come to the people themselves. There are for instance the crop farmers. There are many of the reserves where they can sow a bag or a half-bag of wheat but then they have to have a few donkeys to pull the plough. I remember that when I farmed with mules my land produced half of what it produces now that I am farming with a tractor and can plough the soil thoroughly. In the reserves they only scratch the soil and with the first drought everything is lost. I admit that the Department is now buying a tractor to help a few of them for experimental purposes, but I feel we must ensure that the people obtain the necessary implements so that they can till the soil properly.
I now come to the question of livestock. The flocks of sheep cannot be built up without a decent ram. Now I ask you, Mr. Chairman, which of the Coloureds will go and buy a decent ram? They just will not do it. But we are there, the Department is there, and I think consideration should be given to supplying those people with decent sheep in order to help them along in this way also. [Time limit.]
The hon. member for Karoo (Mr. G. S. P. le Roux) has a thorough knowledge of the people living in his constituency, but I think the hon. member is wrong on one point. In regard to the existing Act, we do have the difficulty that this Act does not give us enough power to act. As the Act was amended in 1959 we have practically unlimited possibilities for the development of those areas. It is just a matter of getting those people to follow the right channels in a sensible way in order to get this assistance. The hon. member knows, for example, that our one great problem in the whole area was the question of water conservation, and I think he will agree that we have made tremendous progress in that respect. In the second place, the land lay open there and was not fenced in, and through the years the soil was simply trodden out. The other problem we had there was that there were too many donkeys. When I visited them I told the people there to kill the donkeys. The point is that these people are still applying the wrong farming methods, and in that respect our agricultural officers, inter alia Mr. Smit, who unfortunately died last week, which we all regret, did valuable work in giving these people the necessary guidance. The hon. member knows that we are in continual contact with the Department of Agricultural Technical Services and that their assistance is available to us. I do not think there is anything wrong with the Act. It is just a question of our guiding these people in making use of the correct methods. The boards of management must come to the fore much more to tackle development themselves. In regard to his reference to tractors, we are dealing with that. We cannot give every man a tractor, but we can make available tractors and machinery for communal use. In regard to the Liquor Act, I do not want to anticipate that because it falls under another Department and another Minister.
The hon. member for Namib (Mr. J. D. du P. Basson) and I have been personal friends for many years already, and even in spite of political differences which have arisen between us from time to time we have remained friends. I do not know what his feelings are but I would not like to see our personal friendship destroyed. But what the hon. member did here this afternoon comes so close to deviate behaviour that I could almost not believe that this was the man I had known all these years. Just imagine, he got up in this House and said that if he were a Coloured he would inform the Prime Minister: “Come and evict me from my house if you can,” and then the hon. member goes further and says that 30,000 Coloureds were deprived of their houses. Surely the hon. member ought to know that that is false and that it is a complete untruth which is published to the world if somebody says that! Now I declare here that anybody who now or in future is guilty of making such a statement is telling a public untruth.
How many had to be removed?
The point is that we gave one assurance after the other that not a single Coloured would be removed unless alternative housing was provided for him.
That is not the point. May I put a question?
The hon. member should now keep quiet. The point is that those 30,000 Coloureds who are affected mostly do not own their own houses. They live in hovels and in slums and in shanty-towns and we want to take them out of their hovels of hessian and tin and put them in decent houses. At the moment we are busy building 8,000 houses for them in the Peninsula, with the assistance of the local authorities.
Do they all live in hovels?
I say the majority of them do, and the hon. member also knows that a man who owns a property receives proper compensation. Sworn valuators, independent people who are not in the service of the State, value the properties, and the hon. member knows that a person has the right to object to the valuation. I say the hon. member for Namib ought to be ashamed of himself. After he had entered Parliament on the principles of the Group Areas Act, inter alia he now adopts this attitude. I helped him to hold meetings. This Nationalist Government gave him the platform to come here, and now he reviles the Government in a shameful manner!
The Government promised that the Act would be applied justly.
I regret that somebody with as many possibilities as the hon. member for Namib is so irresponsible and lends himself to such despicable actions in so far as giving guidance to the Coloureds is concerned.
The hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) began by saying: “At this late stage I want to plead for a change of heart.” In the first place, what late stage is the hon. member referring to?
Are you still fast asleep?
Does the hon. member mean that because there are threats and attempts to sabotage South Africa becoming a republic, a responsible Government must run away from its policy and from the principles on which the electorate put it into power? Does the hon. member expect that? And when he talks about a change of heart, does he mean that a Government which was elected on firm principles should become opportunistic and run away at the first threat and the first bit of gossip spread about in the streets of Cape Town in regard to imminent strikes? What kind of attitude is that? There have been repeated references to its being five to 12. According to the stories told by the hon. member over there, it has been five to 12 in South Africa for 300 years already. But it was not the people who spoke about its being five to 12 who brought South Africa where it is to-day, but people who have always seen light and had hope for better days. The hon. member now asked that at five to 12 a commission of inquiry should be appointed, a judical commission to investigate the position of the Coloureds. But in 1937 we had a commission of inquiry in connection with the Coloured population under the chairmanship of Dr. Wilcocks, in 1943 we had a commission of inquiry in connection with the Cape Flats under the chairmanship of Mr. Britton, and in 1940 we had an inquiry into the abuse of liquor by the Coloureds. In 1947 we had a commission of inquiry in connection with the Coloureds in the rural areas, which resulted in a thick and interesting report on which we are still acting; in 1955-6 we had the Professor M. C. Botha Commission in connection with the Coloureds and the future of their education. What more does the hon. member want investigated by this judicial commission? All these matters have been investigated and there are Blue Books and reports and we are still continually busy, on the basis of those reports, making preparations as far as is practicable for the development of our policy in connection with these people. We have all the expert advice at our disposal. We have a department with some of the most efficient officials who know the Coloureds better than the hon. member does. Now the hon. member says we must appoint a judicial commission. I take it that this judicial commission should concentrate on one thing only, because in connection with the other matters it surely cannot get more evidence than we already had in the long series of reports of commissions. It can only tell us what it thinks their political rights should be. But a Government which has been placed there to rule the country and which is unable to determine the political rights of a racial group in its care and has to run to a judicial commission for it does not deserve to be in power. This Government is certainly not prepared to rid itself of its responsibilities so easily. It will deal with this matter according to the circumstances and bring forward solutions as they become necessary. Let me tell the United Party and the Progressive Party that if we were to ask them to-day: “What is the end of the road you foresee in respect of political rights for the Coloured voters?” not one of them would be able to say what the end of that road is. The United Party is not even clear yet as to whether they want a common voters’ roll for the Coloureds just in the Cape Province, or for the whole of the Union. Nor has it clarity as to whether Coloureds should be able to represent White constituencies. In other words, they have not yet weighed the full consequences of the vague ideas. Why is the Government party now expected to say for generations ahead what the end of the road should be? That is absurd! The point is that there is a great difference in approach in regard to this problem, viz. what is the starting point? The great fault we find with the Opposition is that their starting-point is political rights, more political rights for the Coloureds, and then they will have reached heaven.
And you want a state within a state.
If the hon. member would just allow me to state my case, he would probably understand it. Surely the hon. member knows what our aim was in the days when he was still employed by the “Kruithoring”. Then he knew; now he does not know any longer because in the meantime he has joined the United Party. The point is: What is the starting-point? And the starting-point of the Opposition is political rights, and then they will have gained the heavens. The Government says: No, we must approach the position of the Coloureds in South Africa differently; and now I think I can make a few statements with which everybody will agree. The first is that we recognize that the Coloured has certain bonds binding him to the Whites. There are, e.g., the cultural bond, the language bond, and in so far as they practise religion, it is to a large extent the religion of the White man. In other words, the Coloured can be a potential force in South Africa to support Western civilization. If one can uplift him socio-economically, if one can relieve him of his frustrations, if one can give him human dignity, he can be an asset to Western cilization in future, and that should be our starting-point, to make him an asset. In other words, in its approach the Government is friendly towards the Coloureds. And not only do we say it, but we prove it by these amounts which appear on this Vote and other Votes in the form of services we will provide for them. But has a single hon. member got up to-day except for the hon. member for Karoo, really to discuss this Vote? Has a single hon. member analysed the various items appearing on the Estimates, just the amounts being provided under the Department of Coloured Affairs alone, apart from what the other Departments do for the Coloureds? The Department of Coloured Affairs alone is asking for more than R3,000,000, but to the hon. member for Outeniqua (Mr. Holland) that is just a bowl of lentil-soup.
They are entitled to it.
No, the stand-point held by those hon. members is that one should simply give him a potful of political rights and then his stomach can remain empty. Give him a guitar and he will be merry. The Government proves its goodwill towards the Coloureds by means of the services provided, and no less a person than a responsible Coloured man like Mr. Golding recently stated in Port Elizabeth that no Government has done more for the education of the Coloureds than this Nationalist Government. Coming from Mr. Golding, I do not think the hon. member for Peninsula will deny it. In other words, our starting-point is that we want to strengthen them as a Western group. But in the second place, the Coloured is also different from the White man. He is different for historical reasons, even though it is just a difference in degree, and in the third place he is different even though it is just because of the fact that the majority of them are backward. The real problem to-day is that 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the Coloured population is poor and backward. Is it the fault of this Government that that is so?
It is the White man’s fault.
Or is it the fault of this history of integration?
I now want to pose the question which I repeatedly ask at Coloured congresses, of Coloured leaders, and I want to put this question to-day to those people who talk about its being five to 12: What has been done for the Coloureds under the system of political integration since 1854? What can be shown to prove that the system of integration uplifted the Coloured out of his backwardness? Just mention a single thing. The Coloureds showed achievements in only two spheres. He achieved something in the sphere of education. He became a teacher. That was on the basis of parallel development. The Coloured became a parson. That was on the basis of parallel development. But for the rest, the Coloureds in the rural areas remained a section of the population which economically and in regard to their productivity deteriorated. In his own rural areas, which the hon. member for Karoo spoke about, the Coloured made no progress but deteriorated because there was no machinery of State to cater for his particular requirements. In the third place, in the cities and towns the Coloureds became slum-dwellers and lived in hovels. But a small group of individuals rose up, and they did so as the result of education on a parallel basis, and another small group rose up because they had the intelligence. And what do they do to-day? They try to escape from the backwardness of their own people and “they try for White”, they try to escape from the conditions in which their own people live, and they try to get away from their own people and to seek their salvation in the company of the Whites. These are facts which cannot be denied. Therefore we in South Africa cannot even think of consoling ourselves with the idea that we preach integration but we allow the Coloureds to continue to live in these conditions, because what will happen? Then the Coloured will become a bridge between the weaker section of the White population and the front lines of the Bantu, and he will drag down the White population, as history has proved—if you have two racial groups next to each other and the one is left in its backwardness, it drags down the higher one, and it will drag the White man along on the road to the Bantu, and not only is that the end of the White man, but it is also the beginning of the end of the Coloured in South Africa. Because if the Black man has to take over and a Black state comes into being, it will not only be the White man who disappears, but the Coloured will also disappear, because he is even weaker than the White man and he will also become the victim. Therefore I cannot understand that there can be a single responsible Coloured leader who has any following at all who will lend himself to a so-called unity movement. But there are Coloured leaders to-day who realize that. Perhaps they do not get much publicity. They do not get the publicity they should get from an unpatriotic Press. But there are Coloured leaders who warn, like Golding and Tom Swarts, like Coverdale and Fortuin, and there are others who openly issue warnings and say that the Coloured will not find his salvation in a “Unity Movement”, in a united front with the irresponsible Bantu in our country. But they do not get any publicity, because it does not suit the book of the enemies of Nationalism and of the Nationalist Government in South Africa. Now the Government says that not only do we want to preach this goodwill and not only do we want to give the Coloureds opportunities for development and uplift, but we want to do it on a different basis than the attempts which have been made for 100 years and which have failed. Therefore we commenced with an impressive development of the rural areas, not because we believed that we could house the Coloured population in those areas—far from it—but because we believed that in those rural areas we could satisfy some of the land hunger of the Coloureds. Therefore we are making a success of a settlement like the Eksteen-Snel Islands and are still developing it, and for that reason we are also tackling the development works, of which the hon. member for Karoo knows, to satisfy that natural land hunger of the Coloureds. I admit that they will be a small minority of the total Coloured population, but there we are doing what we can.
In the second place, we say that there is another facet of the life of the Coloured population, and that is the Coloured one finds in the rural areas who is employed on the farms, and I think that we should be ashamed to say that the Coloured population in the platteland, on the farms, compared with 30 years ago, has deteriorated. Practical farmers will admit that. There are various reasons for it. Their productivity has deteriorated. Their drinking habits contribute to that, and as the hon. member for Swellendam rightly pleaded here, we shall have to do something to give the Coloured on the farms, particularly in the Western Province, a higher productivity. That is why the Government is busily engaged on its idea of agricultural gymnasiums. We have progressed far in our negotiations with the agricultural unions. Our plans have been completed, and we have already obtained one bit of land at Kromme Rhee near Stellenbosch, with buildings on it, where we hope to start short courses early next year. But this planning is expensive. It costs tens of thousands of pounds. Another thing one can do in regard to this community, and as a Department we try to do it as far as possible, is to get minimum standards laid down for the housing of the Coloureds in the rural areas. If one houses a man properly, also on the farms, it must necessarily have a good effect on him.
Then there is the third group, the Coloureds in the towns and cities, the great majority of Coloureds. The hon. the Minister announced last night that the Government had to tackle the question of group areas, which is a difficult problem and where we had to evolve ways and means, in a different way. We had no examples to follow in other countries, but had to evolve our own methods, and the Government has now decided on machinery and an organization whereby we hope to achieve two things. Firstly we hope not only to speed up the establishment of group areas, but also to implement it more speedily and more effectively, because the group areas should not be regarded merely as an attempt to provide housing, but when those group areas are established towns must be provided for these people which have their own character.
The state within the state.
That hon. member is obsessed with a state within a state, but he has even more things on his mind and that is why he is where he is. I am propounding policy, and if the hon. member is not interested he should go and have a cup of coffee or something else. The point is that we say that the group areas not only has a housing aspect, but that the object should also be the establishment of their own towns with their own character, and we say that with that object in view we want to improve the existing machinery. Just to mention one example—I do not want to weary the House by giving a long list of figures—but I already pointed out in reply to the hon. member for Namib that in the Cape Peninsula we are now busy with approved plans for the building of 8,000 houses. I have before me the housing figures in regard to Durban and Johannesburg and all the big cities, showing what the Government has done and still intends doing. This Government does not do what a former Minister in a former Government, Harry the Housebuilder, did, who only built castles in the air. This Government has appointed an Inter-departmental Committee which must ascertain precisely what the shortage of housing is for the Coloureds. We have received that report and we are acting on it. The schemes which are in operation now form part of it.
Now the Prime Minister in his statement on 7 December said that further things had to be done. The first is that when we establish their own towns for them the Coloureds should have the right to manage them. But one cannot allow the Coloureds to begin where the White man stops in connection with his own self-government. One cannot simply tell him: Now you have a municipality. The White man did not get his municipality in that way. The White man started with a small committee in his own little town—a health committee—and his local government developed until he had a fully-fledged municipality. The Prime Minister explained that in his statement on 7 December. He said that we were on the threshold of the establishment of local governments, gradually of course, which would develop to maturity in those areas. And what we are doing in the towns and cities we are already doing in the rural areas. The hon. member for Karoo knows that there we have a system of self-government where by way of regulation power is given to these people to manage their own affairs to an ever-increasing extent.
The Prime Minister went further. He said that with the guidance of the Department of Coloured Affairs there should be negotiations with prominent leaders of the Coloured population in regard to the future of their education, to evolve a plan whereby they could have a greater share in and more authority over their own education. Because what is happening to-day? To-day we have a system for the Coloureds which amounts to this. They have their separate schools and the Coloureds can appoint their own teachers there. But under the present set-up—and that was also the position under the previous Government—the Coloured could not become a school inspector; he could not occupy a professional or administrative or a clerical position in that Department. That was also the position when the party opposite was in power. Now the Prime Minister has said that there should be negotiations with the Coloured leaders. We must try to persuade them that much of their feeling of frustration will disappear if they co-operate with us to evolve a system by which Coloured education will be placed in the hands of the Department of Coloured Affairs, and then we will undertake to give them their own inspectorate, even though we begin only in the primary schools; we shall make available professional, administrative and clerical posts in that Department to Coloureds and create new channels of employment for them. On that basis, because the provinces cannot do it, we will consider improving their salaries. All this was explained in the Prime Minister’s statement on 7 December. Hon. member did not know that. That makes no difference to them because that is the bowl of lentil-soup referred to by the hon. member for Outeniqua with his guitar.
Mr. Chairman, for the rest we are rendering a service to the Coloureds in the institutions we already have in the Department, in our industrial schools and reformatories, in our institutions at Kraaifontein, in Port Elizabeth, Kimberley and elsewhere which they never had before. Look at the items under this Vote. These are not promises. These are things which are in progress. Look at the university college of the Western Cape which, in spite of the Jeremiads we had from members opposite, is a splendid success. Now the Prime Minister further said in his statement which he made in this House that when once these local government bodies have been provided for the Coloureds, it can be extended further by making use of the Union Council, that Council which is ridiculed by some hon. members. Hon. members quoted this afternoon from a speech I made before the Union Coloured Council. But they very carefully omitted to quote what I told that Council in regard to what the Council had achieved for the Coloured population in one year’s time. No, they did not quote that. Nor will they do so, because it does not suit their book. This Union Council took a whole series of steps during the past year which achieved more for the Coloureds than the hon. member for Peninsula or the hon. member for Outeniqua will ever achieve. The Prime Minister said that this Council should be reorganized so as to have more elected representatives on it, also as far as the Northern Provinces are concerned. And in terms of the existing legislation it is possible to give more powers to this Council and to make it an umbrella body which can take more powers over the rural and urban and town areas, and also the education of the Coloured, and whereby the Coloured leader will then be enabled to play a practical and active rôle in the government and upliftment of his own people. What did the Prime Minister say further in this House? He said that that is as far as we see the road now. But, he said, of course nothing is static and political rights will have to be considered further on the basis of parallel development. He also said that here. Just as little as hon. members opposite are able to say what will happen to-morrow or the day after, just as little is a Government able to describe the final end of the road. We say that within the limits of their capabilities there as enough work for every responsible Coloured leader who comes to the fore and wishes to uplift his people, who wants to assist us to make his people a worthy group and who wants to contribute towards uplifting the backward masses.
Now the hon. member for Peninsula says that the Burger wrote an article saying that the Government should do this, that or the other. I want to put a question to this hon. member. They are so fond of quoting the Burger. Has the Burger ever accepted the integration standpoint? Has the Burger ever pleaded that the policy of parallel development supported by this Government should be deviated from? The Burger has never as a newspaper adopted the standpoint of integration in the political or any other sphere. The Burger stands openly for parallel development. It will not avail the hon. member to try to sow dissension in the Nationalist ranks. Let me at the same time deal with a further point also. We often hear reference here to “the Cape view and the Northern view”. Let me now tell the hon. member that the “Cape view” may exist in the imagination, because the Coloured policy as it is formulated to-day was formulated with the full co-operation and with the greatest enthusiasm by the Nationalists in the south, together with Nationalists in the north. So leave that kind of story alone.
I want to conclude with this. I want to say that the Coloureds will make the biggest mistake of their lives the day they try to lend themselves to irresponsible actions before 31 May. They will lose the sympathy of the Whites, and it will take them generations to regain it. Responsible Coloureds know this. In the second place, I want to say that there is nothing to prevent decent Coloured leaders negotiating with the Government when they want to do so. That invitation is always open to them and I repeat it. I have done more than anybody opposite to get into touch with the Coloured leaders. I have attended their congresses. I sat on their platforms and I stayed there for hours whilst they were discussing other matters. I have sacrificed Saturday after Saturday to consult with Coloureds who wanted to see me, and I shall continue to do so.
But then the Coloureds must understand one thing, and that is that they will not get this Government and the National Party to abandon the policy on which it was elected to govern this country, by threats. We cannot do that. With all the goodwill and cooperation, all doors stand open to them. There are enough sensible Coloureds who are continually in touch with us.
Finally, just this. A terrible fuss has been made here about the Prime Minister’s reference to a state within a state. Sir, what did the Prime Minister say? In the first place, he rejected the policy of political integration, and I reject it here to-day just as the National Party has rejected it. If a party is no longer accepted by the people because it stands by that principle, then that party has only one alternative, namely to go under on its own principles. If the people want to adopt the standpoint of integration, it is their right to put another Government in power. A party cannot simply get rid of its principles because there is opposition to its principles. Secondly, the Prime Minister not only rejected integration, but asked: Why must we necessarily seek a solution for the further political rights of the Coloureds along the old well-known roads? And then he made this remark: Why cannot we do it, e.g., in the form of a state within a state?
Please explain what it means.
The Prime Minister did not thereby say that the Nationalist Party and the Nationalist Government had now decided that this should be so. Of course he did not do that. He then added to it: We still have to do a lot of thinking about this matter, just as you still have to think a lot about your policy. [Interjections.] The Prime Minister also said that great sacrifices would accompany such a standpoint, but I say this afternoon that if we have to make sacrifices for it as an alternative to the pernicious system of integration, then we must do so.
Mr. Chairman, I hope that the representatives of the Coloureds will be more responsible in their actions. I hope the hon. member for Peninsula, who has a rôle to play, will get up here and issue a serious warning to the Coloured people. Because it is not the great mass of the Coloureds who participate in these things. It is the irresponsible element, the misled element, particularly in the Cape Peninsula. I hope the hon. member will still take the opportunity to-day to get up here and to say: I want to warn the Coloureds that any co-operation directed towards the White man will make them lose our sympathy, and they will be the sufferers. I hope he will appeal to them to follow the sensible people amongst them, because there are sensible people, people who are able to carve out a better future for them in cooperation with the White Government of the country.
I was very interested in the speech of the hon. Deputy Minister giving us some indication of the policy in conducting the Department of Coloured Affairs. I gather that that policy is, generally, Government of the Coloured people, by the Coloured people for the Coloured people, and that the Government is anxious to encourage Coloured people to govern their own department. I wish he had had a private talk with the hon. Minister of Bantu Education—I assume they follow the same policy—because when I asked him what he was doing about the senior 100 posts in the Bantu Department he said none was occupied by Bantu. I therefore would like to ask this hon. Deputy Minister what progress is being made in his Department in this respect. He spoke approvingly of the appointment in future of Coloured people as inspectors of schools. Last year there was one but this year provision is being made, on page 150 of the Estimates, for two. I should like to know whether both of them are going to be Coloured inspectors. On the same page I notice that provision is being made for principals of schools and Coloured principals of schools. Now, what is the difference between a Coloured principal of a Coloured school and a principal of a Coloured school? Have we then reserved jobs in the Department of Coloured Affairs? Or are we having the rate for the job? Do you pay a Coloured principal less for doing the same work as a White principal in the Department of Coloured Affairs? I am asking for this information and this is the hon. Deputy Minister’s golden opportunity to furnish that information. I want now to turn to page 156 of the Estimates. He asked us to get down to the details of these Estimates and that is what I am trying to do. As higher posts on the establishment I see that provision is being made for 12 administrative posts. I would like to know how many of these posts are occupied by a Coloured civil servant, because as the hon. Deputy Minister has told us, there are many learned, brilliant and cultured people amongst our Coloured population, men who have occupied high posts in education. One I understand is a professor or a senior lecturer in the University College of the Western Province. Under professional higher posts I notice that provision is being made for 14 of them. How many of these are occupied by Coloureds? In the second column provision is made for 19 other administrative posts and in the fourth column provision is being made for one professional post. How many of these are being filled by Coloureds? Of the 46 posts taken together, how many are occupied by Coloured people, who are well qualified to occupy them and if they occupy them, do they get the same rate of pay in their own Department as a White person in their Department? These are matters which interest me, particularly because a good deal is being done here for Coloured education. I shall be very grateful if the hon. Deputy Minister could, in his next reply, give me the information I have asked for.
I do not think I can allow this opportunity to pass without expressing our appreciation, on behalf of this Committee, to the hon. the Deputy Minister for what he and his Department of Coloured Affairs are doing for the upliftment and the welfare of the Coloureds. His speech to-day which we listened to with great interest, is evidence of the spirit and the energy with which he devotes himself to this huge task.
Most of the hon. members opposite emphasized the point that political rights for the Coloureds is the only salvation for that section of our population. The hon. the Deputy Minister has dealt with those matters thoroughly to-day. There are other things which are of much more value to the Coloured than political rights at this moment. That does not mean that they should have no political rights at all, but there are other things which are more important to the Coloureds at this stage and I would like to deal with those matters.
I want to say that Nationalists, with very few exceptions, are unanimous that energetic and constructive steps should be taken to up-lift the Coloured population as a whole socially and economically, and that certain things in that connection should be done without delay and should receive priority. In this regard the comprehensive socio-economic development programme announced by the Government is universally acclaimed, accepted and enthusiastically supported. In order to ensure its success there are a few matters which should receive urgent attention. I want to mention a few of them. There is the taking over of Coloured education by the Government. There is the combating of the abuse of liquor by the Coloureds. There is the dynamic development of their separate residential areas, and there is the protection of the Coloureds against the Bantu in the social and economic spheres.
In regard to Coloured education, we all agree that having sound relations between the Whites and the Coloureds is of the greatest importance. In Coloured education we have a mighty weapon for creating goodwill and a good spirit. But then certain things have to be altered. One of these is the salaries of Coloured teachers. We must make satisfied people of these Coloured teachers who every day have thousands of young, growing Coloureds under their influence and who have to act as the leaven in every Coloured community. The Cape Province alone cannot carry the burden which is caused by Coloured education without discriminating between White and Coloured education. The longer Coloured education stays under the provinces the greater the reaction of the Coloured will be, and also particularly of the White man in the Cape Province who correctly believes that this is not his responsibility alone.
In regard to the abuse of alcohol, it is a great pity that the excessive use of liquor is playing havoc with the Coloured community. That is one of the basic reasons why the large mass of Coloureds who for all these years have lived in such close contact with White civilization are still so backward. That is the reason why all types of serious crime have doubled since the war amongst the Coloureds, and that serious crime amongst young Coloureds of under 20 years has trebled since the war. That is the reason for the high degree of unproductivity, irresponsibility and unreliability on the part of so many of them. That is the reason why wasting diseases and immorality are rife amongst them. Just think of the 23,500 Coloured children born illegally in the Union every year, which is 36y per cent of the birth figure of the Coloureds! The unbalanced attitude adopted by numbers of Coloured individuals has its origin in the inferiority complex given to them by those conditions. Unless we intervene drastically, these matters will not only endanger the Coloureds’ own future but also the future of their children, and as the result of their increasing numbers, also the future of the White people.
In regard to residential areas, I want to mention two matters. Whilst to an increasing extent we are still giving the Coloureds educational facilities, we still have the problem of finding sufficient opportunities for employment for educated Coloureds. That has been so for all these years, and that is partly why there is such a shortage of Coloureds in the higher professions. Over a period of 15 years, between 1936 and 1951, for which we have the figures, the number of Coloured doctors, engineers, attorneys and architects increased by only 10, from 11 to 21. Within two years the Western Provincie University College will put its first products on to the labour market. When opening that college the hon. the Minister of Education said—
Those avenues of employment will have to be created. But the Coloureds are also very backward in the economic and commercial spheres. What is significant in that respect is that before the proclamation of group areas, in the biggest Coloured community in South Africa, in Athlone, only four out of 121 businesses were in the hands of Coloureds. If we really want to see a change in the relations between Coloureds and Whites, the Coloureds must have the prospect that in the economic and commercial spheres they will gradually have more independence and prosperity. The solution to these problems in my opinion lies in speeding up the tempo at which separate Coloured residential areas are developed. As the result of that, avenues of employment will be created for Coloureds at all levels of society, and others can consciously be created. And inside their own community Coloureds will be able to get a larger share in business and in the economic sphere with the assistance, inter alia, of the Coloured Development and Investment Corporation.
In regard to protection against the Bantu, I want to point out that because of the fact that the Coloured finds himself in the Western Cape, this area has a great attraction for the Bantu because he benefits from the higher salaries and wages paid here for non-White labour; because the Bantu have been living amongst the Coloureds here for all these years, and still live here to-day, and therefore enjoy greater freedom of movement than in many other places; because the Bantu coming from the reserves without his wife finds the Coloured woman here; and because the Bantu has easier access here to the White man’s liquor, with the assistance of the Coloured. When we therefore plead for protection against the Bantu, we think not only of the employment of the Coloured but also of his way of life, his social pattern which is being influenced and disrupted by the Bantu. Measures of protection should once again start by placing the Coloured as soon as possible in his own separate residential areas, away from the Bantu; by job reservation which unfortunately is misrepresented to the Coloured by malicious people as being his enemy; by giving more Coloureds technical training so that they can find employment more easily and which will put them in a position where they can compete with the Bantu better; and of course by the systematic and deliberate decrease of the numbers of Bantu in the Western Province. In regard to the last-mentioned aspect, I would like to quote a paragraph from the speech made by Dr. Eiselen before Sabra in 1955. It reads as follows—
Nowadays much is being said about the Coloured and his relation to the Whites. I think the background for this discussion is a deep-rooted fear that in this wave of rising Black Nationalism in Africa the White man in South Africa will not succeed in retaining the friendship, the partnership and the support of the Coloured. That fear is increased by the fact that Bantu agitators to-day more than ever before are active amongst the Coloureds and that at the moment they are subtly using the Coloured, particularly in the Peninsula, to spread panic amongst the Whites and thereby to create tension with a view to 31 May. Unfortunately there is also a small group of leaders without any real insight amongst the Coloureds, who do not realize what a disservice they are doing to their own people, and who for opportunistic reasons allow themselves to be used by the Bantu to do things which they themselves would never do on their own. [Time limit.]
I listened to the hon. the Deputy Minister with particular interest and I must say that I am proud of him. He displays qualities which convince me that he can still go very far …
Yes, unfortunately there is a “but”. Unfortunately I have to add a “but” because I made ticks (strepies) here which indicate a clear course to me. I made no less than 33 ticks …
I thought you only had one streak (streep).
The hon. the Minister said: “We have done this, that and the other for the Coloureds and we want to do this, that and the other for them.” I am not one of those who talk frivolously about what has been done for the Coloureds. I appreciate it. I will even go so far as to say that no other Government in the history of the country has done more for the Coloureds than this Government has done, and particularly during the past few years. That is saying much, but it will not be the end of the matter. Seven years ago, following on certain events, I said here that I knew the Government would now go ahead and do things for the Coloureds. I said that the Government could provide houses, hospitals and universities for them but no matter what the Government and the Whites did for the Coloureds it could never compensate them for what had been done to them. I want to give the hon. the Minister, who was a good student, a look into history. No nation has ever been satisfied with what their aristocrats or their ruling classes did for them. Instead they insisted that they should also have a say in what was to be done for them. They insisted that their human dignity should be recognized at all times. No matter what the Whites did for the Coloureds, it will never satisfy them until they are placed in a position where they can do things themselves which will bring their human dignity to fulfilment. We want to do much more for them, but can we not face the facts? The fact is that the Coloured is to-day more opposed to the White man than ever before in history. Do not let us entertain any illusions about this. Whether one goes to Newlands or anywhere else, one sees occurrences never witnessed before. The Whites and the Coloureds in this country have gone a long way together and they have meant much to each other. The position of the White man would have been far more distressing had it not been for the Coloureds, and likewise the position of the Coloureds would have been very miserable had it not been for the Whites. Their futures were still interdependent as in the past and I want to say this to my Coloured friends: Do not allow yourselves to be misled; the White man is still your best friend, and I believe that the Coloured is still the White man’s best friend in Africa. I would not like to see the Coloureds driven in a direction where they do not know where their future lies and that they should afterwards discover that they have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. We are driving them from the frying pan into the fire. Let us do something for these people and let us stop talking about what we have done for them and still want to do. They want to be recognized. The Whites have many sins to answer for but they should not think that it was they who built South Africa, or even the Western Province. Who built the beautiful old buildings which are to-day monuments? Did the White man build all the houses in the Western Province, all the flats and all the streets, of which we can all be proud, and all the vineyards and orchards? Those are the fruits of integration about which the hon. the Minister is making such a fuss, the fruits of co-operation between the White man and the Coloured, the product of 300 years of integration. We must continue along that road of co-operation if we hope still to build up something in the Western Province. But co-operation will not be achieved along the road of so-called apartheid. I refer to it as so-called apartheid because it is not really apartheid, and the hon. the Minister should know it. I would advise him to think more about integration. I can even give him a few lessons on it. [Interjections.] We can continue along this road but the Coloureds will reject us because we do too many things which hurt them deeply, irrespective of what one does for them. Let us realize that. [Interjections.] The Western Province is the product of the White man’s brain and the Coloured’s brawn but the stage has now been reached where the Coloured is no longer content to give his brawn to the White man. He has developed his own brain because he is a product of the White man’s civilization. They have brought each other to where they are to-day but he wants to enter the next phase where he wants to use his own brain and his other capabilities and the tragedy is that the White man is scared of the product of his own civilization. Because the Coloured wants to use his own brain he necessarily comes into competition with the Whites and the hon. the Minister is trying to deny him that privilege. [Time limit.]
I think the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Prof. Fourie) spoke very sensibly, except for the fact that he is not prepared to admit that this Government enjoys a great measure of co-operation from the Coloureds in so far as its activities are concerned. We have been told over the past 12 years that the Government will not get the co-operation of the Coloureds for its policy. Two years ago when the Coloured Affairs Board was constituted that side of the House said that the Government would never get decent Coloured people to make themselves available for election to that board. But the board was constituted and the Coloureds cooperated. Neither did they boycott the election. As I see the position and what I have experienced the majority of Coloureds do not harbour any grievances. On the contrary they are grateful to the White man for what he has done for them. I am not talking about the few skollies and agitators who are under the influence of the liberal-minded Europeans. I am talking about the broad masses of the Coloureds. The hon. member says the Coloureds do not want what we are doing for them, he wants to be placed in a position where he can do things for himself. In that case the hon. member ought to support the Government will all the power at his command, because that is the very thing the Government is aiming at, namely to place the Coloured man in a position to do things for himself. Let me tell the hon. member that the Coloured man is very grateful and he has reason to be grateful, he has more reason than the Afrikaans-speaking person to be thankful for the education that he has received. Thirty years ago the Afrikaans-speaking child did not have the privileges which the Coloured child enjoys to-day. We on this side of the House say: We have now established a Coloured Affairs Department and we want to take Coloured education away from the Provincial Administration and place it under that Department so that there will no longer be divided control and so that the Coloureds will have the opportunity for which the hon. member pleads. What opportunities are we creating for him by placing his education under the Coloured Affairs Department? We want to give him equal opportunities for employment. Then you will have parallel development. In that case you will remove the frustration from which the Coloured man suffers and you will give his children the opportunity to study up to matriculation and beyond. You have to create opportunities for them. He will never have the opportunity if he has to compete with the White man. The hon. member himself has abandoned his integration plan, the plan to which he was father. He has realized that his integration plan is worthless. Let us get away from education. The Coloured man is grateful for the health services which they receive. When the Coloured man has the opportunity to develop his own local authorities he has to start from the bottom. You have to start with small local authorities—that is how the local authority system of the White people started—that will develop into a town management at a later stage and eventually into a municipality. If the Coloured man goes along this road, and he has to travel along it to gain experience, he gets the employment facilities for which hon. members opposite plead. When you have municipalities you create positions for town clerks, typists and clerks.
It took the White men in this country 300 years to develop to that stage and in very small places they still have to start at the bottom to-day. All of us have to start at the bottom. We are all born as babies and not as adults. Why do hon. members want to hand everything to the Coloured man on a platter? He has to earn it. People do not appreciate things that they have not earned. When you get to the stage where they have local authorities, and once those have developed into municipalities—as far as White municipalities are concerned you have the position to-day that they erect housing for the Coloureds by means of Government loans—they themselves will be in a position to obtain loans from the Government to do things for their own people, which is what the hon. member wants, but he can only get that along our practical road and not along his philosophical road.
May I put a practical question? The hon. member says the Coloureds must start with small town boards, as the White people did. Will he tell the White man that because he started in a small town he will have no political rights in this Parliament?
That question brings me to my next point. There are grievances but they are imaginary. Those are not the grievances of the Coloureds but of the United Party. Those grievances have been created not by the Coloureds but by the United Party, such as the grievances in connection with the separate Coloured voters’ roll. It is the United Party, not the Coloureds who started that fight and the Coloureds are not the people who are carrying on with this fight. I think the Coloureds are more satisfied with the present arrangement than with that of the past, particularly with the way in which the hon. member for Karoo is representing them in this House. It is the United Party that is keeping this grievance alive because they would like to call in the Coloureds as their allies against the National Party. That is the only way which the United Party sees to come into power. Some hon. members opposite acclaimed the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) when he said it was five to 12. I am sorry that I have to say this but if they think it is five to 12 it seems to me that they delight in the fact that it is five to 12 for the White man in South Africa. The United Party are pleased about the position because they believe something will happen and that is why they rely on the Burger in season and out of season. They think they see an ally in the Burger to bring the Government to a fall … [Time limit.]
I do not intend to deal with the speech of the hon. member who has just sat down, save to say that when one listens to such speeches one would assume that the Coloureds have never had any political or civic rights. But I think we should realize that the Coloureds in the Cape have never had any disqualification in regard to civic rights. They are not suddenly getting political and civic rights from this Government like manna from Heaven. They have played an integral part in the civic structure of the Cape ever since the province came into existence.
I want to return to the speech of the hon. the Deputy Minister and to say that this was the hon. member to whom we became accustomed in the early days. This was the political in-fighter we used to know, who on the one hand was mercilessly flaying his political opponents and on the other hand was trying to reconcile the differences which there are between members on his side in connection with the representation of the Coloured people; here was the man who was going to explain to us what is a state within a state, but because this thing just cannot be explained he just sat down without explaining it. We listened to a skilful bit of political in-fighting which took us no further at all along the road of satisfying the reasonable aspirations and ambitions of the Coloured people. The failure of the Government and of the Deputy Minister was evidenced by his failure to answer one question which he asked himself. He said: What more do we want? We have all the information; we have had commissions of inquiry, and what more does the Government want? I want to say that what the Government needs is not facts or figures, nor theory or policy, but a little bit of human kindness, a touch of common humanity, and the realization that people with brown faces are still South Africans and human beings. I hear so much from hon. members opposite about agitators. As soon as a South African with a brown face asks for the very things which we with White faces would ask for, he is an agitator. Why is the White man who wants equality of opportunity any more or any less of an agitator than a Coloured man with the same feelings? I think we should realize that you cannot win the hearts of people by putting money on the Estimates. You cannot buy the goodwill of a group of people by building hospitals and schools for them. Under this Deputy Minister it is possible that more has been done and more money has been spent than under his predessors, but nevertheless the fact is that giving them hospitals and schools and the right to separate development still does not give them ordinary human dignity. Until the Deputy Minister realizes that what the Coloured people want is not hand-outs or what they can pick up as the result of the goodwill of the Minister, but the dignity of being full citizens in their own country, for so long will he be able to realize why he cannot gain the goodwill of the Coloured people. The Deputy Minister blamed the backwardness of large numbers of Coloureds on what he said was the process of economic integration.
I spoke about the policy of integration. I did not speak about economic integration.
What else is that but economic integration? The Minister knows there is no policy of social integration, so it must mean economic integration. What nonsense he is speaking. The hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) said this afternoon that nearly 50,000 Coloureds pay income tax. That shows the co-operation in the economic field between the Coloureds and the White man. He asks in what other fields have they made any great impression. What about the artisans in the Cape? Are not nearly all the artisans in the building industry Coloureds as the result of economic integration? What about the motor-assembly plants and the factories, and what about the integration in the cultural sphere? I can remember how the Deputy Minister was pleased to listen to “La Traviata” performed by a Coloured group. Is that not an example of integration in the cultural field? I think we must realize that integration, where it is applied in the economic field, is the one means of raising the status of the Coloured people.
I was impressed by the two opening speeches in this debate this afternoon, the one by the hon. member for Peninsula and the one of a very different nature by the hon. member for Swellendam (Mr. van Eeden). Both of these speeches were sincere speeches which carried different messages which flowed from the background against which the speakers knew the Coloureds. The hon. member for Swellendam was steeped in the rural atmosphere; his message was that Rome was not built in a day. I think the more important speech was the one by the hon. member for Peninsula which had in it a sense of urgency. I think we should realize that, although Rome was not built in a day, Pompeii was destroyed in a day. And we are sitting on the edge of a racial volcano. I think one of the tragedies of the administration of the present Government has been that, despite the goodwill and the hard work of certain officials and despite the good intentions of certain hon. members opposite, the Coloured man to-day is further away from the White man than he has ever been before. In addition, the Coloured people did not in the past think in terms of co-ordinated political action. They have been tolerant and cheerful. I want to tell hon. members that that is not the spirit which prevails amongst them to-day in the Peninsula. This has arisen because of a series of pin-pricks and humiliations and restrictions and the unfair application of laws in respect of the Coloured people. The Deputy Minister took one of the hon. members to task for referring to the inequalities in the operation of the Group Areas Act. The figures he gave me earlier in the Session revealed the fact that over 90,000 Coloureds were affected by group area proclamations in Cape Town, their traditional home, whereas only some 7,000 Europeans were affected. By no stretch of the imagination can it be contended that this reflects a reasonable and fair application of the Act in respect of Coloureds.
I want to come back to my theme and to tell the hon. the Minister that if a state within a state means anything worth while, it must offer to the Coloured people to-day the opportunity of realizing that they can become full citizens in their own country. I differ from the system the Minister wishes to impose, but if he is sincere in wishing to get the goodwill of the Coloureds, even a system of separate development and separate representation must allow the Coloured man to feel that he is a full citizen and a man of dignity in his own country; and until the Minister can explain how this state within a state and how the system of separate development within our integrated state can allow full expression for the Coloureds, so long am I afraid he will continue to build hospitals and extend education, and the Coloured people will thank him not for what he has given to them. Rather will they become increasingly aware of what he has denied to them.
An indication here this afternoon of what the Government puts across in regard to what it is supposed to be doing for the Coloured people, was given here by the fact that certain members took part in the discussion. Sir, I do not want to go into detail or to analyse what they said here, but when I see the hon. members for Parow (Mr S. F. Kotzé), Vasco (Mr. C. V. de Villiers), Malmesbury (Mr. van Staden) and last night the hon. member for Uitenhage (Mr. Badenhorst) on group areas, taking part in this debeate, then I begin to wonder. Here you have gentlemen who, for seven or eight years, stumped the country as political organizers and tried to make the White people believe that the Coloured people are just about political vermin and that they should lose their political rights. These are the same people who get up to-day and tell you what wonderful things this Government is doing for the Coloured people. I am very sorry that the hon. the Deputy Minister, with his unlimited time, did not only state the facts that he wanted to state but that he was inclined to descend to the level of the mere politician and to justify himself by attacking me or other members here.
Do not become so serious; we have become accustomed to your being silly usually.
That is all very well. The Deputy Minister had unlimited time and, when he stopped, he still had not told us a single thing. I am held up to ridicule when I compare the economic benefits held out to the Coloured people to a bowl of lentil soup. But are those people not entitled to political rights? The hon. member for Malmesbury gets up here and says that it is only agitators and members of the Opposition parties who are inciting the Coloured people to ask for political rights. And then the Deputy Minister talks about being serious! I repeat what I have said here previously, that the time has never been as appropriate as now for the Government to show some tangible sign of willingness to understand that here they are dealing with 1,500,000 people in this country who are not merely satisfied with economic benefits or whatever advantages they might get; they also want a share in the government of South Africa, the country of their birth. Sir, you cannot say that here you have a White Parliament elected solely by White people and then adopt the attitude: “We know what is best for you.” When you legitimately ask for your rights, you are told that you are being instigated by agitators. The names were mentioned here this afternoon of people who are so-called agitators. Sir, hon. members on that side who spoke and who mentioned the names of certain Coloured people, will never, as long as they live, attain the educational standards and the standard of development attained by those people whom they criticize here and refer to as nincompoops. To-day the position is that a Coloured man holding a university degree is able to hire the City Hall of Cape Town and to attract thousands of people to listen to him, and yet that sort of man is held up to ridicule and told that he has nothing behind him. But it is quite a different matter when a stooge is discovered who talks in favour of the Government or in favour of Government policies, a man who would not dare to appear in public because he would be virtually stoned by his own people. I have seen it with my own eyes. When such a person is mentioned he is the epitome of what is sensible; he is described as a man who knows the Coloured people and who knows what they want. Sir, the Deputy Minister asked here: “What is the eleventh hour, what is this late stage?” The “late stage”, as far as the Coloured people are concerned, is that the time has come when they have lost confidence and faith in the White people. We are going to lost them, and we are going to find that they are going to seek assistance and their salvation elsewhere. The eleventh hour, the late stage in South Africa in regard to our African people, is that their leaders, with whom we will have to discuss their own future, as well as ours, are put in gaol or banished, and the extremists are taking over.
The hon. the Deputy Minister made reference here to the Blue Books and the reports of commissions which have sat from time to time, and he said that they had all these documents in their possession, and that they were acting on the recommendations contained in these documents. May I ask the Deputy Minister whether those Blue Books and reports recommended the Group Areas Act? To-day, when there is a shortage of 20,000 houses, he tells us that 8,000 are being built; everything has come to a standstill in the meantime. Did those reports recommend job reservation? Did they recommend the Senate Act? Did they recommend all the apartheid measures which have been introduced over the years? Sir, I would be failing in my duty if I did not repeat that the time has arrived when we have to respect other people’s feelings and recognize the fact that they also have the right to have a share in the government of the country. With all the sincerity at my command, I call upon the Coloured people, as I have done outside this House, not to take part in demonstrations and strikes on 31 May. It will serve no good purpose. We must put their case before Parliament, as we endeavour to do when time permits. On the other hand, faced with the situation that we have to-day, I also want to call upon the employers of people who may stay away from work to consider the fact that these people live in places where you cannot urge them to leave their wives and children behind and go to work that day, not knowing what might happen to them.
I want to conclude with these few words—and this is the consensus of opinion and the feeling of Coloured people who know what they are talking about, and who have a following among the masses of the Coloured people. I want to remind hon. members opposite, in spite of all the mass hysteria that they may work up with election results or big ovations when the Prime Minister appears anywhere, that when Mussolini was hanging upside down on the square of Milan, the tens of thousands who shouted “Avanti, viva il Duce” were not there to help him. The same thing will happen in this country. Sir, in 1652 a Hollander came to this country with his soldiers, his sailors and his workmen. Less than a year after that, the first Coloured people made their appearance in this country. The attitude of the Coloured people is that they will not sit down quietly and allow another Hollander, after 300 years, to wrest away from them what is their birth-right.
I just rise to reply to the hon. member for Kensington (Mr. Moore). As the hon. member will see from the Estimates, of the 573 posts 266 are occupied by Coloureds. The highest post which is at present being occupied by a Coloured in the Department is that of Senior Clerk, but there is nothing to prevent their rising from the bottom to the highest post, as is the practice in the Public Service. In other words, in the Department of Coloured Affairs they can, if they have the ability, progress according to the ordinary Public Service rules. But it would be unsound, just because he is a Coloured, to put him in a position of superiority over Whites who probably know much more about the work than he does, and therefore these things must be done along the ordinary channels of evolution in that Department. In so far as the inspectors are concerned, I can just say that there are two inspectors. My information is that there are no Coloureds available who comply with his particular requirements. They have not yet had this type of training.
What about principals of schools?
Then the hon. member also referred to the professional posts, of which there are 15. I am informed by the Department that they advertised but that no Coloured applied. But in that regard I just want to say that we have made an arrangement with the University College of the Western Province, as the result of representations made by the Department of Coloured Affairs, to train professional men in respect of welfare services, and a start has now been made with that. The Department of Coloured Affairs is gradually also taking over the welfare services, and as soon as these people have been trained and are available posts will be available which they can fill. The reply to the hon. member therefore is that there is nothing to prevent the Coloured getting his due rights in this Department, provided he is prepared to start at the bottom and work his way up.
I merely wish to have it on record that time does not permit me to take part in this debate and to deal with the very many subjects which have been dealt with. I wish to have it on record that I hope that the time will come when I will have an opportunity to deal with these subjects dealt with by the Deputy Minister which affect the Coloured people and their future so vitally.
Vote put and agreed to.
On Vote No. 32.—“Immigration”, R1,137,000,
Mr. Chairman, when the Estimates of expenditure to be defrayed from Revenue Account during the year ending on 31 March 1962 were drawn up, an independent Department of Immigration did not yet exist, and there was as yet no clarity about the future policy. The details appearing under Vote 32 in the Budget are therefore by no means a clear reflection of what the Government aims to do in order to stimulate immigration to South Africa. On 17 February of this year I announced in broad outline in the Senate what the functions of the new Department would be, but no detailed information was provided. The Department of Immigration began functioning on 1 April last.
In the short period of 1y months it was, of course, impossible to plan a procedure which would cover the whole policy of the Government in regard to immigration. Yet it is possible for me to-day already to announce important aspects of the policy which will be followed in future to guidance and recruiting of immigrants and the spending of funds to make their migration to South Africa attractive and easier.
Mr. Chairman, I am, therefore, at this stage going to announce the Government’s decision in this connection. Not only will it facilitate later discussion of this Vote, but also make it unnecessary for hon. member to ask questions because they are not properly informed.
To carry out the Government’s plans, the following amounts which were not previously budgeted for, will be added to the Supplementary Estimates:
Contribution to passage costs
Contribution to administrative expenses of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration
Support for immigrants from certain African territories
Interest free loans to immigrants
The Government’s decisions embrace the following:
(a) three private organizations have for a considerable time already been recruiting immigrants for South Africa, namely, the 1820 Memorial Settlers’ Association Transa (Pty.), Ltd., and the South African Immigration Organization (Pty.), Ltd., (also known as SAMORGAN).
On 1 November 1960, a scheme came into operation whereby the Government lends financial aid to TRANSA and SAMORGAN to enable them to step up their attempts to bring more immigrants to South Africa.
The first-mentioned organization mainly recruits immigrants from Germany, while the latter applies itself particularly to the United Kingdom.
A subsidy is payable to these organizations on the basis of R30 per immigrant above the age of 12 years and R15 for children of 12 years and younger. This has been paid since 1 November 1960.
The claims submitted by these organizations must be accompanied by vouchers to the effect that the immigrants brought into the country:
- (i) are informed about South Africa;
- (ii) were recruited for immigration purposes;
- (iii) have housing in South Africa; and
- (iv) that the breadwinner has received employment.
The existing agreement remains in operation until 30 June 1961. Thereafter it will be prolonged for a further period.
The Government has, however, decided that the payment of the subsidy will be made only in respect of immigrants from particular countries. In the case of TRANSA the territory is West Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and in the case of SAMORGAN the United Kingdom.
The 1820 Memorial Settlers Association is similarly recognized as a recruiting organization in the United Kingdom.
The Department of Immigration will also undertake guidance and recruiting of immigrants in the afore-mentioned countries, as well as in any other country, should circumstances demand it.
At this stage I am not prepared to recognize any other organization or recruiting body abroad.
The existing position first has to be consolidated and the Department of Immigration properly established before new applications can be considered. At the same time the necessity for the continued recognition of TRANSA and SAMORGAN as recruiting organizations has also to be investigated.
(b) I have already introduced legislation to expand the Immigrants’ Selection Board in such a way that the selection of immigrants, if necessary, can also be carried out abroad. (Bill to amend the Aliens Act, 1937.)
(c) The State will contribute the following to passage expenses in respect of
- (i) immigrants transported by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (in Afrikaans: Tussen-regeringse Komitee vir Europese Verhuising):
R44 per immigrant of 12 years and older;
R22 per immigrant under the the age of 12 years.
- (ii) All other immigrants from overseas countries who are not transported by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration:
R60 per immigrant.
This contribution is the same for children and adults.
Mr. Chairman, I wish to draw the attention of hon. members to the fact that this contribution will also be paid to immigrants recruited by the already mentioned private organizations, as well as to employers who transport immigrants to South Africa at their own expense.
- (iii) Should the contribution be insufficient, a further R60 per person will be allowed as an interest free loan to approved immigrants.
The breadwinner of the family will be expected to refund the loan within two years of employment.
Again I want to point out that the loan of R60 will be the same for children and adults.
It must be noted, however, that immigrants transported by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration will not be entitled to this loan. The reason for this is that their contribution towards their migration to South Africa is very small.
Apart from the portion which South Africa pays as the receiving country, the passage costs of these immigrants are covered by contributions by the countries of origin, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration itself, as well as a subsidy from the United States of America.
- (iv) The contribution and loan already mentioned applies to immigrants from overseas countries. The policy concerning African countries is slightly different.
Prospective immigrants from nearby neighbouring countries, namely the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Mozambique and Angola, who want to emigrate to South Africa will, with the exception of the Angola farmers, not be entitled to the contribution of R60 and the loan of R60.
Approved immigrants from the rest of Africa will, however, receive an assistance allowance of R60 per head after their arrival, as well as an interest free loan of R60 per member of the family. The loan must be refunded by the breadwinner within two years of employment.
- (v) To make control easier and to save work, the payment of contributions and loans to immigrants will preferably be made after their arrival in South Africa. Should prospective immigrants need the money before their arrival, however, arrangements will be made to make funds available in the countries of origin. Every case will be treated on its merits.
- (vi) Approved immigrants who leave their countries of origin for South Africa as from 1 June 1961 will be entitled to the financial aid mentioned.
Because it will be impossible to organize the accounts section of the Department of Immigration in such a way that it will be able to function properly within the next month, no payment will, however, be made before 1 July 1961.
(d) In general attempts are being made to bring about the necessary amendments where regulations hamper the smooth running of the organization or are irritating to the immigrant. Thus, for example, arrangements are being made to delete the regulation which stipulates that every alien must pay R2 in respect of a permit before entering the country.
(e) As I have already announced in the Senate, full use will be made of the facilities provided by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), of which South Africa is a member. It offers us services in certain countries without which we would be forced to expand our own facilities considerably, which could not take place immediately and which is perhaps also unnecessary. The services embrace among other things guidance, including the dissemination of advertisement material, preliminary selection, medical examinations, security and passports.
South Africa will have to compensate the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration for these services, and provision is being made for this in the supplementary Budget.
(f) Under subhead B of Vote 32 an amount is provided for expenses involved in the transport of immigrants from the port of entry to their respective places of employment. Should an immigrant not yet have obtained employment, however, he will first be transported at State expense to his temporary residence and after that, when he has received employment, to his place of employment.
This arrangement will come into force on 1 June 1961.
The provision does not apply to immigrants recruited by the two private organizations, TRANSA and SAMORGAN.
(g) The question of temporary housing for immigrants, for which provision is made under subhead G of Vote 32, is still being investigated, and it is expected that proper arrangements will not be possible before 1 July of this year.
It is, however, already clear that receiving centres will have to be provided near Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The Maatskappy vir Europese Immigrasie (M.E.I.), an organization which endeavours to assist immigrants to settle as quickly as possible in their new environment, has for a considerable time already been attempting to have such a receiving centre set up at Brakpan. Good progress has already been made. Until such time as the envisaged receiving centres are available the plan is to allow immigrants who need housing to reside in hotels, boarding houses or other suitable institutions.
(h) It may also be mentioned that any immigrant will be entitled only once to the special concessions now envisaged.
(i) In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I want to repeat a previous appeal to all who can contribute to making South Africa’s immigration attempts a success, to do so fully.
My Department of Immigration will endeavour to obtain close co-operation with organizations such as the Maatskappy vir Europese Immigrasie, the 1820 Memorial Settlers’ Association, the South African Immigration Trust, organized Agriculture, Commerce, Industry and Mining, or any other institution which is or can be of assistance to immigration in the interests of the country.
We appreciate the Minister’s long memorandum on his immigration policy, but I hope the Minister will forgive us if we do not debate it; there is simply not the time. There is a limited time on these Votes. We have already exceeded the time available and we still have another three Votes to deal with. My only comment is that this scheme is some 13 years late. I hope the Minister will accept our explanation. It is no reflection on the Minister’s scheme which merits further discussion. I feel quite sure that he will agree that in the future some other arrangement will have to be made in regard to the time allocated for Votes, because it is quite clear that with the increased number of portfolios and the increased number of Departments, there is insufficient time for a proper discussion of matters as serious as these.
And not a week on the Prime Minister’s Vote!
Mr. Chairman, you know that the Prime Minister’s Vote is not under discussion. We gave the Prime Minister’s Vote the importance to which it was entitled.
Order! Will the hon. member come back to the Vote?
Sir, I have given my explanation as to why we are not debating this statement and I hope the Minister will accept it.
Vote put and agreed to.
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.
On Vote No. 33.—“Labour”, R6,344,000.
Mr. Chairman, may I claim the privilege of the half-hour.
Last time we had the opportunity of discussing the Minister’s Vote, last year, we had no idea at that stage that a republic would be proclaimed this year or that South Africa would be outside the Commonwealth. It is necessary, I think, to bear these two points in mind when we discuss the Minister’s Vote this year. The responsibility that rests upon this Minister as the Minister of Labour in relation to the welfare of the workers of South Africa is extremely heavy, and in terms of the Industrial Conciliation Act, the Wage Act, the Shops and Offices Act, War Measure 43 of 1942, and the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act, together with the Central Native Labour Board the interest of every worker in the so-called European areas does in the final analysis become the responsibility of the Minister of Labour. Now, Mr. Chairman, I think it is as well that the Committee should appreciate that factor, because there are those that believe that the welfare of the Bantu is the sole responsibility of the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development. That is not the case as far as the economic welfare of the Bantu people is concerned. The problems facing the hon. the Minister are perhaps better known to him than they are to members of the Opposition. I will first deal with the question that has arisen as a result of our intended withdrawal from the Commonwealth and the pressures that are being exerted upon us from outside interests as well as internal pressures which may result (I hope not) in large-scale unemployment. To get that picture in its true perspective, it is necessary to quote the last available figures that we have in respect of unemployment as obtainable in the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics for March 1961, and the latest monthly figures which are available are those in respect of November 1960 where the total of White, Asiatic and Coloured unemployed is given as 25,257 as against 28,722 in July 1959. In other words these figures show a gradual improvement since 1959. As far as Bantu male adults and juveniles are concerned, the figure of unemployed dropped from 47,000 in July 1959 to 32,719 in October 1960. Those are the figures available to us as an Opposition, but I would ask the hon. the Minister whether he can give us the latest figures he has when he replies to this debate. I think it is as well that we should know because information which we have been given, some of it from most reliable sources, is to the effect that there has been a rapid deterioration in the unemployment position in recent weeks. I do not know whether that is correct, but that is the information given to us. I would ask the hon. the Minister therefore firstly if he will give us the latest figures which are available, and secondly, if in the light of those figures, he is taking into account any plans, is he considering any plans in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Act and other Acts to combat unemployment should unemployment occur as a result of our isolation and as a result of other influences arising out of the policies of the present Government? I think it is as well that we should get this picture quite clearly before us, because it is no use being wise after the event. Those of us who remember what happened in 1932-3 when we had those depression years, will remember the recriminations that were made as to how the Government should have taken steps earlier to obviate the extreme hardships experienced as a result of that depression. Now I am the last one and this party is the last party that wishes to see anything of that sort happening. But in the interest of the workers of this country, we must bear in mind that if anything of that sort happens the first people to suffer are going to be the workers, and particularly the Bantu workers. That is why I say to the hon. the Minister at this stage that with the information which he has he should be able to say to us whether the position is serious or not serious as far as unemployment in the country is concerned, and that as far as he is concerned, he does not consider it necessary at this stage to take any steps to combat any unemployment which may be with us or likely to occur in the near future. The figure that I have been given of an increase in unemployment of some 6,000 during the last two or three weeks, if correct, indicates a very serious downward trend. I make the point that outside action against South Africa may have serious consequences. I am not suggesting that this outside action may develop because the Bantu workers in our country are worse off than in other states of Africa. The figures that are available indicate that the Bantu in South Africa are generally speaking in a more favourable economic position than in other states in Africa. But I make the point because the policies being followed by this Government in portfolios other than that of the Minister of Labour are giving ammunition to our enemies overseas and can very well bring about pressures in South Africa which this Minister of Labour, because he is responsible for the wellbeing of the workers, will have to bear the full brunt. It is a tremendous responsibility that the hon. the Minister has to bear and I am making the point now, because I think without exception it is not so much the policy being followed by the Minister of Labour as a result of which outside pressures have been built up against South Africa as policies in other Departments, but the Minister of Labour will have to bear the brunt of it. There is one exception and the exception is in respect of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. The hon. the Minister will know that this is the largest confederation of trade unions that we have in the world that is opposed to Communism, very much opposed to Communism, and it is doing what it can to further the interests of the trade union movement throughout the world, and this organization has asked the United Nations to apply economic sanctions against South Africa, mainly because we exclude Africans from engaging directly in collective bargaining. That is their main point of complaint. Now last year we asked the hon. the Minister to make greater use of the Industrial Conciliation Act in respect of Bantu workers. We were severely attacked by the Deputy Minister of Labour and other Government members for making this suggestion. Now I want to indicate how good that advice was and I bring as witness the Deputy Minister himself in this regard. I want to quote from Hansard where the Deputy Minister said this—
That is a totally different story to what the hon. Deputy Minister had to say when we discussed this matter last year. But I am drawing attention to this fact because the same Deputy Minister accused this side of the House of not being realistic in its approach to the labour problems of this country and accused us of not making suggestions which helped in any way to solve the problems facing the country. I mention now that we did put forward this suggestion of the greater use of Industrial Council agreements in so far as Bantu workers are concerned and it did not find favour at first blush with members on the other side. But I am glad to say that they saw the wisdom of it and have now accepted it, and I think we can safely say that the policy of the Government now can be said quite clearly to be the greater utilization of the existing machinery of the Industrial Conciliation Act to bring about improvements in the wages of the Bantu. This means, in other words, that a considerable number of African workers are obtaining the benefits of collective bargaining without being directly represented at the negotiations. I mention that because it is a fact which we should publicize more than we are doing. The fact that the Bantu are not directly concerned with those negotiations as far as being able to assist in the negotiations, does not alter the fact that they are getting considerable benefits from those negotiations.
The hon. Deputy Minister also indicated in this same speech that he is keenly interested in giving Africans a direct say in their working conditions by way of encouraging the formation of works committees in terms of the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act. In that regard the Deputy Minister had this to say—
We have no complaint about this at all. I think it is a step in the right direction. Now I want to put a direct question to the hon. Minister: Will this policy of encouraging the formation of works committees not make it possible for the Bantu workers employed in industries (I want to emphasize those words “employed in these industries”) to take a more active part in collective bargaining at some time in the future in respect of Wage Board determinations? I want to make the point quite clear. It is not suggested that we should have Native trade unions. Before we can have Native trade unions, I think the preliminary step is to get the Native workers well organized in terms of these works committees, forming the necessary personnel that will give us the confidence to entrust that personnel with the responsibilities of taking a more active part directly in their own well-being. In that regard I think the hon. the Minister should look very carefully at the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act, and see whether it would not be advisable to introduce an amendment which will protect those workers that do take part in the formation of works committees against victimization by employers. The hon. the Minister will know that such a clause is included in the Industrial Conciliation Act that any workers, shop stewards, etc., who take an active part in the affairs of trade unions, are protected in terms of the Act against victimization by employers. But there is no similar protection in the Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act in respect of Bantu workers who take part in the building up of these works committees, and I think it is something that the Minister should consider very carefully. I want to quote the Deputy Minister again to indicate the importance of the Wage Act as far as the Bantu workers are concerned and to give an idea of what is being done in this regard. The Deputy Minister said this—
This is a report which is not available to Members of Parliament. So I have got to quote from the Minister’s speech to give the information—
One can see the work that is being done by the Wage Board in this regard and the fact that the Wage Board has been strengthened and that the determinations take place more rapidly, in other words that there is a a quicker adjustment of wages in that regard, makes the point that I have made in respect of works committees and their recognition at some date in the future, when sufficient works committees are established, still more important—dovetailing of their activities into the first stages of negotiations, that is at the Wage Board level. That would be a step in the right direction and would give us the type of individual among the the Bantu that would enable us to build up from that to whatever may be the development in the future. I think the hon. the Minister will appreciate that until we can get a responsible element among the Bantu workers from amongst those who are actually working in the industries, that is not possible. We do not wish to have university graduates taking part in the activities at this stage. We want the actual workers themselves in the industries to play their responsible part in the formation of policy and in the development of the assistance that is necessary to build up a fine Native labour force. I have dealt with this matter at length because I feel that we have got to consider this whole question of the Bantu worker because of what is happening around us to-day. Those that believe, as some do, on the Government benches, that job reservation is going to make the position of the White workers secure and that we do not have to bother about what happens to the Black workers or the non-European workers, for those there is a considerable shock in store when they realize to what extent the White workers are dependent on the non-White workers for their very occupation and their very jobs in industry and commerce. We have got to accept that we require more than mere job reservation to protect the interests of the White workers.
While on this question of job reservation, there was a report in the Cape Times on the 26th of last month, dealing with this question of job reservation, and it said this—
It goes on to say—
I ask the hon. the Minister: What is the position now in so far as the Germiston garment workers are concerned? It is necessary to cover a little ground here so that the Committee will appreciate what has happened as a result of the interference in the economic laws in the industrial field, this establishment of border industries where such industries fall outside the machinery of the Industrial Conciliation Act and thus affect the livelihood of hundreds of garment workers, particularly in the Germiston area. The hon. the Minister will remember that representations were made to him a long time ago in this connection. In April 1959 the hon. the Minister gave notice to the clothing factories in uncontrolled areas that they must put their house in order within a year because existing industrial agreements in the clothing industry would be extended to adjoining areas. That was in 1959. In February 1960 the hon. Minister of Labour promised Rand garment workers that he would extend the Transvaal Wage Agreement to the uncontrolled areas within six weeks. I now read from a statement I have received—
Then again in March 1960—
In February 1961, a year later—
The secretary of that union said—
In March 1961—
It is unfortunate, I know, that the hon. member for Germiston (Mr. du Pisanie) is not able to be here to-night and to take part in these debates. I understand the reasons and I sympathize with him, but I do feel that the garment workers in the Germiston area have been put to a tremendous amount of difficulty through the stubbornness of this Minister in not recognizing the economic factors which have resulted in their unemployment in large numbers in the Germiston area. In this letter which is alleged to have been sent to 30 senior Nationalist M.P.s, the Minister said this—
Where do you get that?
I was not at the caucus meeting, and cannot say whether that is true, but this is information supplied which I am putting on record because of the interest of the garment workers in the Germiston area. I want this Minister to tell us to-night what he is doing to try and help those garment workers. The letter rebukes the garment workers for their
This may or may not be true, but what is indisputable is the fact that the garment workers in the Germiston area are unemployed and that they have had a most difficult time for a number of years, and I ask the Minister what is he doing. I know that the Wage Board has given a further determination which will increase the wages presently being paid to the Bantu workers on the border of the reserves, which has so adversely affected the Germiston garment workers. But I want to know what is going to happen to South Africa if this first experiment in the establishment of factories on the borders of reserves has resulted in this sort of catastrophe amongst long-established garment workers in Germiston. What is going to be the position if similar industries are established in other parts of the country with the same non-attention to the economic laws that govern in the manufacture of articles which are in competition with established factories in the European areas? The United Party has said that the rate for the job is the answer to this type of problem. The Government has rejected that and the Germiston garment workers are paying the price for that rejection of the sensible policy which has been applied throughout the years in South Africa. That is why I say that this Minister, in carrying the responsibility he does towards the workers in South Africa, cannot afford to go ahead with this type of policy in respect of border industries which is going to result in tremendous hardship upon established factory workers in the European areas. [Time limit.]
At the very outset, allow me to tell the hon. member for Umhlatuzana (Mr. Eaton) what has already been said so often, namely that we on this side of the House do not stand back for anyone as regards furthering the interests of the White workers, and I am also quite convinced that I am correct in saying that the National Party Government is prepared to do its duty in furthering the interests of all workers, both White and non-White, in South Africa. The hon. member now wants to play on the fact that we are going to leave the Commonwealth as a republic and he has said that this will have a detrimental effect on the workers of South Africa. I want to admit at once that capital is leaving the country, but fortunately we can also say that the world tendency to-day seems to be that the position of the Western world is improving. This will also have a beneficial effect on South Africa. Within the past week a Minister in the United States has indicated that the recession in the United States is over. In other words, we can expect this to have a favourable effect on the world position and also on South Africa. I want to make an appeal to hon. members opposite. I believe that they are as eager as we are to see the economy of South Africa kept on a sound basis. I therefore ask that instead of trying to make political capital at the present time out of the possible outflow of capital and the consequences of that outflow on South Africa, they should assist the National Party Government in restoring confidence in South Africa. The economy is basically sound, as important financiers have said again during past weeks. In other words, Mr. Chairman, instead of our acting as scaremongers in order to chase money out of our country, we should rather take action aimed at restoring confidence in South Africa. The hon. member has made a few points regarding Bantu wages and the machinery of the State for dealing with Bantu wages. He has urged the increased utilization of works committees. That is the policy of the Minister and of the Deputy Minister. I assume the hon. the Minister will reply conclusively to that point. I can just say that as far as I know, the main difficulty facing us is the same as that facing us in the case of Bantu trade unions, namely that there are not sufficient leaders whom we can use in establishing committees on a large scale in factories.
I also want to point out that big improvements have taken place in recent years in the wage position of the non-Whites. These improvements have come about, not only as a result of collective bargaining on the industrial conciliation boards, or as a result of the work—for which we are very grateful—of the Wage Board, as reorganized under the new legislation, but to a very large extent as a result of the work of the Central Bantu Labour Board. The work of the Central Bantu Labour Board has been so effective that in recent years we have enjoyed an unprecedented measure of industrial peace amongst the Bantu in South Africa. Allow me to tell the House that the activities of the Central Bantu Labour Board have been so successful that during the past six years which it has been functioning there has been only one dispute amongst Bantu workers which has been referred to the Wage Board. It was only in the case of the dairy industry in Pretoria and Johannesburg that it has been necessary to refer a dispute to the Wage Board for investigation. For the rest the Central Bantu Labour Board has been able to settle all these disputes itself. Earlier this year I indicated how great a degree of industrial peace we enjoy in industry by showing that last year, 1960, there were only 33 work stoppages which could be regarded as strikes. There were more work stoppages, but there were only 33 which could actually be regarded as strikes. Only 2,199 Bantu were involved in these 33 work stoppages. In other words, when one thinks of the vast number of Bantu workers in industry, then the 2,199 who were actually involved in strikes which were the result of work stoppages represent a very small number which we can regard as minimal.
I now want to give certain facts to show what the Government has done and what success we have achieved in respect of Bantu wages. I want to start with certain industries. I am thinking for example of the footwear industry—an industry which is organized on the basis of a national industrial council. In 1948 the minimum Bantu wage including the cost of living was £2 12s. 6d. per week. By 1961 this had been increased to £3 17s. 2d. per week, which represented an increase of 47 per cent. Take the related industry, namely the leather industry. In 1948 the basic wage plus cost-of-living allowance was £2 12s. 6d. per week and by 1961 it had risen to £4 6s. 6d. per week, an increase of 63 per cent. Another industry is the tobacco industry. Prior to 1952 the basic wage was £2 18s. 6d. per week. Since 1955 it has been £3 6s. 9d. and a further increase is being considered at the moment. In the motor industry in Johannesburg there has been an increase from £2 14s. 3d. to £3 4s. 1d. per week.
Allow me to give the House the figures for the particular years. In 1956, that is to say after the Central Bantu Labour Board started to function, wage increases which varied from 5s. to £2 13s. 4d. per week were granted. 151,904 workers benefited from those increases. In 1957 wage increases varying from 5s. 5d. to £4 6s. 8d. were granted to 42,459 workers. In 1958 wage increases which varied from 10s. l0d. to £3 12s. 6d. per month were granted to 29,252 workers. The hon. member has himself given the figures for 1959 and 1960. Let us take the total. The total shows that 524,000 Bantu workers have been granted wage increases since 1956. The 182,528 to whom the hon. member has referred and who were granted wage increases in 1959. received a total additional wage of £2,802,298 per annum from their employers. The 131,181 workers to whom he has referred—and the figures should really be a little higher because those are the figures for the period 1 January to September 1960—have benefited to the extent of £3,604,459. In other words, during this period of one year and nine months, that is to say 1959 and the first nine months of 1960, 314,790 Bantu workers have received wage increases totalling more than £6,500,000.
I think we should also examine individual industries to show what these increases have cost such industries. In 1960 the iron and steel industry granted wage increases to its 104,000 Bantu workers which cost the industry an additional amount of £3,000,000 per annum, and this, moreover, while the same industry had granted increases costing £3,500,000 18 months before. In other words, within a period of two years, increases costing an additional £6,500,000 per annum were granted to the Bantu workers in the steel and engineering industry. To take this point still further, I want to refer to a report which has appeared in the newspapers—
I stress this amount of £15 6s. 8d. That figure represents the wage recommended by the so-called Bantu Wages and Productivity Association. This report goes on to say—
Take the building industry. In 1960 this industry granted 75,000 Bantu workers wage increases which cost the industry £1,500,000. [Time limit.]
May I claim the privilege of the half-hour? I want, if possible, tonight, to deal with certain general lines of policy in the labour field in as objective a manner as possible. Replying to the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt), we are discussing now one of the most important spheres of activity in the country, and it is not a sphere which at this juncture of our history one would wish to make political capital out of. But in regard to his remarks about Bantu wages, which was an important part of his speech, I will come to that later in the course of my remarks.
First of all I would like to say that when one reads this Annual Report of the Department of Labour, although brevity is the soul of wit, I think one can hardly say that it does justice to the scope of activity and the valuable work put in by the Department of Labour. I think, it could well be extended in length to give a greater picture of this great scope. In South Africa we have built up magnificent machinery and a magnificent relationship in certain spheres of labour. And by that relationship I mean between worker and capital and the Labour Department. Because it is not simply the work of the officers of the Labour Department that are concerned in this, but also the work of those who conduct the self-government of industry, those who work together on conciliation boards and so forth. And if in certain aspects of the Government’s policy I differ extremely from the hon. the Minister, this is an honest difference of opinion, and it does not belittle the fact that good work is done by our Labour Department. And it is because I do not wish to see certain aspects of that work spoilt that I criticize as I do criticize.
I want to deal with certain of the basic problems that we face, not merely from the point of view of the workers but from the point of view of the economy as a whole and, therefore, ipso facto from the point of view of the workers since they are part of the economy. What are the major problems that we face at the present time—and I think the hon. the Minister will concede that we face a number of quite serious problems. The hon. member for Umhlatuzana (Mr. Eaton) has indicated that whatever may be the consequences of the loss of Commonwealth membership—and I hope those consequences will be as slight as possible—they are going to throw a certain burden on the economy of the country, and this will be transmitted down to those who have to handle the labour position. The fact that the hon. the Minister of Finance has had to put certain financial checks on, and that the Minister of Economic Affairs has had to impose certain more severe economic checks, must have a certain effect on the economy. As I say, I hope those effects will not be too severe, but, obviously, they are not going to act as a boom factor for the time being. I hope that the unemployment position which, up to this time—and the hon. the Minister may give us later information—has been within the figure of what is regarded as full employment, that is, within 3 per cent, has not deteriorated badly. And I hope it will not deteriorate still further, although it is reasonable to suppose that we may have to face a period of difficulty at any rate in the next six months. Because, notwithstanding what the hon. member for Pretoria (West) says about the United States turning the corner, it is also agreed that in the United States, notwithstanding that the nadir of the recession has passed, it will be a long time before they cure their unemployment problems. And, because it is a slow problem to cure, I hope we will not get very much deeper into that situation.
I want now to deal with what I consider to be one major problem that the hon. the Minister has to face, assuming that this is a temporary situation and we can weather certain of these minor storms. I think the first serious aspect of the South African labour situation is the shortage of skilled labour, or, shall I say, the shortage of skilled labour in certain spheres. The hon. the Deputy Minister himself is quoted in the Natal Witness of October last year as follows—
The Secretary for Education—and this is in a still higher echelon—when addressing a meeting spoke of the acute shortage of technologists. He was perhaps speaking above the level at which we would normally discuss a labour matter, the level of the very specialized technologist.
That was a statement at the Association of Chambers of Commerce. Then here is another—
The implication of those remarks was the shortage of men in those particular spheres. I have a number of other Press cuttings that I could quote, but I think the House will concede that this is one of our problems. At any rate, there is an imbalance to be considered, that where, perhaps, there may be a temporary superfluity of men of skill in a particular field, there is a shortage in others, and overall it is the shortage that we are affected by.
In another connection the hon. the Minister himself has announced one plan that, I presure, is designed to try and assist this particular difficulty. But I think we have to accept, for the moment, the question of making the best of such resources that we have in that field, and that will bring me to one of the points I am going to make in my remarks tonight, which are based ultimately upon the remarks given in an interview by the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs—I think it was to the Transvaler—to the effect that we should make better use of our labour resources.
When you read this report of the Department of Labour, you realize that a great deal is done in the matter of vacational guidance and rehabilitation, and in the matter of sheltered employment. It is a very good thing that those things are done. But these things which are done, and excellently done, are only at the very edge of the problem, so to speak; they do not cope with the problem as a whole. What I want to suggest to this hon. Committee to-night is this, that one of the great things we lack in the labour field in South Africa is an actual knowledge of our labour resources, in whichever particular labour group you are considering skilled or unskilled, or whether you are considering it racially, the workers as they fall into different racial groups. I want to suggest to the hon. the Minister that some work in that field by the Department of Labour should be undertaken. It has a great deal of statistics and it does a great deal of work, but what I want to suggest is that in the sphere in which it works it already has sufficient work to do, and what we want is either a special department within the Department of Labour, or a special body which will make it its duty to consider the whole question of our manpower potential, the availability and the possible availability in various spheres; and the various spheres in the various areas of the Union in which it has to operate. It should also have some picture of the problem that was touched upon by the hon. member for Pretoria (West), the question of minimum wages in certain fields, and the coordination of wages in different fields. Normally I myself am not a planner in the sense that I believe in the operation of private enterprise, self-government and initiative, as far as possible. But I think we have reached a pitch in the South African situation where we could very well do with greater knowledge with regards to the subjects with which we deal in this Vote.
When I speak of the availability of manpower, there has been a traditional belief in South Africa that we have unlimited resources of labour, viewed as a whole. But it is not by viewing it as a whole—apart from any selective view that you take of the situation—that you get the correct picture. What I would like to have is a picture of the extent where we draw labour resources from abroad; the extent to which we can draw upon a given volume of labour, we will say, for the development of the reserves that the Government talks about; the extent of the volume of labour that is required for agriculture; all of these as a comprehensive picture so that you can plan something. And, finally, a picture of the sort of demands that our industries are likely to make.
The hon. member for Umhlatuzana referred to a conflict between the various Ministers. I think in that regard, in terms of what he was saying, this hon. Minister does make his own contribution to the problem that the hon. member was raising, in the sphere of job reservation and in certain of the clauses of the Industrial Conciliation Act. And I am speaking from the angle from which the hon. member for Umhlatuzana was speaking, and I am sharing his views. But what I want to draw attention to is not a conflict between this hon. Minister and that, but to a fundamental schism in the whole approach of the Government itself. We have on the one hand Dr. van Eck overseas saying it is the object of the South African Government to double the total product of South Africa and double the real wages of all its workers in the next so many years—an object with which everybody in this House will agree. Then we have the hon. the Minister for Economic Affairs saying that we must make better use of our labour resources. And we have the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development putting every kind of artificial obstacle in the way of the mobility of labour. We have conventional colour bars putting obstacles in the way of the mobility in another field. And we have the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Development thinking in terms of quotas of Bantu labour for particular areas. There is an article here which I will not quote in detail—an article from the Burger in which the Minister is reported to have said that in the towns the size of the industry and its development will be determined by the quota of Bantu labour allocated in those towns. But on the borders of the reserves it can proceed unhindered. That is a policy, but so is Dr. van Eek’s a policy. And Dr. van Eck overseas is talking sense. The hon. the Minister may not in my opinion be talking sense, but he is outlining a policy. But if you put those two together you make nonsense, and that is my point. If on the one hand you are going to double the output of South Africa in terms of total product and in terms of the wages of the workers, and you are going to determine your location of industry on the basis of allocating quotas of labour rather than other economic considerations—and I am not saying we should not do it, I am just saying the two things are mutually incompatible.
I will deal with that. Let me deal for a moment with this concept of border industries in relation to the labour force. If that is purely a decentralization move, then this is another place where we need more statistics with regard to our labour forces, particularly in relation to wages (and I say this in passing), because wages are paid partly by the employer in South Africa and partly by the State. When you have a Native Services Levy Act you are, in effect, subsidizing wages, either by subsidizing transport or housing services. And when you have sub-economic housing schemes you are also subsidizing wages, so you must take that into the total cost of your wage bill. The case for decentralization—the case that has now been put by the hon. member for Kempton Park (Mr. F. S. Steyn), purely as a decentralization move, not as an ideological move, is that the cost of subsidizing your labour in the big towns, situated far from the centre of work, becomes so great that it would be better, taking into account that the big towns otherwise have an advantage, it may be better to site it away from the big towns because of the lesser costs in subsidy for transport and so forth. That is purely an economic argument.
And other cost factors also.
There are other cost factors. I will go further than the cost factor. Another advantage is that it does dispense to some extent with some of the worst evils of the migratory labour system. But it does not diminish to any degree integration, the combination of White and Black labour in partnership in industry. It merely moves it from a powerful nexus in the towns to a scattered nexus on the borders of the reserves. But I am not so much concerned with that as the fact of the cost of the labour force, and the economic effect of this, if you cannot work in a way where your decentralized industry is purely complementary to your other industry. I want to suggest to the hon. member of Kempton Park that if it is done on that basis the percentage of your industry you can move without artificially interfering is small—and by that I mean giving great economic incentive to go there and therefore diminishing the total national income, because wherever you site an industry artificially, you reduce the total national product. That is the point I was trying to make earlier when the hon. member interjected. When you interfere artificially with the play of economic forces you must, to some extent, pay a price. So your border industry scheme I do not see as a real solution to the basic problems, which I will shortly come to.
I am glad of this interjection because I did wish to make that point, that the other thing on which we do not have clear statistics is the actual real cost of the labour force, when you combine the actual wages payed by the employer with the other costs, some of which are borne by the State and some of which are borne jointly by State and employer. In that regard I am not speaking of a thing like the Unemployment Insurance Fund where there is joint cost. That is quite a different problem. What I am speaking of is the cost that comes from the decision that your labour force shall live distant from its place of work for some reason. I am not going into the merits of that, but the cost of that must be added to the cost of wages, just as the cost of subsidized housing must also be added to wages.
Here I would like to say a word or two about the concept of cheap and expensive labour. In South Africa we have grown up in a tradition, owing to the gold mines being the basis of our economy, and still being the basis of our economy—it is one of the things that makes it strong and a thing that induces a weakness. It maintains, through the fact that secondary industry is dependent on this primary gold mining to a large extent, it maintains the old mercantilist idea that the best way—to put it in plain terms—to make a profit is to keep your labour costs as low as possible. Whereas all modern thinking in terms of a national society is against that viewpoint. The aim is to make wages as high as possible, not merely because of the benefits to the workers—although everyone will support that—but because your worker is the purchasing power and the basis of your internal national market.
Will you be able to keep your mines open if you make the wages higher?
I am glad the hon. member has asked me that question, because this is one of the great difficulties that we face here. In any problem of raising wages you have to raise primary industry with secondary industry so far as possible, and in the gold mining industry you have to do it against a fixed world price. That I accept.
Forty-eight per cent would have to close if you raised the wages.
I am going to come to the question of mining and mine wages in connection with this question of cheap and expensive labour.
Now there is a popular supposition which I have heard raised very often in this House, that nearly all Bantu labour is, of its nature, inefficient. This, of course, is not true. There are circumstances such as rapid turnover and the evils of the migratory labour system, and certain historical tendencies in the Bantu people—the lack of adaptation to an industrialized society—that make it a half-truth. But South Africa happens to hold the world’s record in shaft-sinking. Now shaft-sinking is not children’s work and it is work demanding the highest quality of teamwork. White direction and Basuto labour, working together, have shown the Russians something that can be done in that field. So the assumption that you cannot make efficient labour is a fallacy. It can be pressed too hard. My submission is that with proper teamwork and greater incentive and greater opportunity for the bottom levels of our labour force, we could make a teamwork that would really begin to outsell our competitors within sight, at any rate, in an interim period of an adjustment of wages upwards.
That brings me to this question touched on by the hon. member for Pretoria (West), the question of the basic minimum wage. Now this is a difficult concept. The Government line of country is that the problem of a national minimum wage is too difficult. To some extent I am inclined to agree. But I think the question of a regional minimum wage, co-ordinated nationally, could well be considered. The figures given by the hon. member for Pretoria (West) show that we are moving towards a money wage of a minimum of, say, £15 a month. If you consider municipality and Government employment and so on I think it is a little lower still, it might be £13 or £14 a month. I am not saying that this is not very creditable. I pay tribute to the committee referred to by the hon. member, the Wages and Productivity Committee as it is known. And I pay tribute to any encouragement the Government has given, and any action taken by the Central Native Labour Wage Board in that regard. But the question that presents itself to my mind is this: Whenever this question is raised the point is put “We cannot raise that bottom wage unless there is greatly increased productivity”. Over the last 25 years of South African history there has been a tremendous increase in productivity.
What do you suggest the minimum wage should be?
I have not suggested a figure, but what I would like to suggest is immediately to have a target in immediate view of £4 a week, and then a sort of five-year plan—I do not mean on a planned basis—working upwards from there. When I speak of a minimum wage I mean something that covers, to some extent, not secondary industry alone, allowing for payments in kind related to that wage; some kind of minimum wage in agriculture and in other spheres as well. You have to have some relation between the figures that will keep a certain labour force in the reserves, a certain labour force in the agricultural areas and a certain labour force in your secondary industries. However, I do not have time at the moment to develop that theme; it is just the general case for a minimum wage that I am arguing.
The point I want to make is this, that over the last 25 years there has been a tremendous increase in productivity. That has been due, not merely to the labour force itself, but to the harnessing to that labour force, of power, and capital, as has taken place all over the world. Over that period—and this applies not merely to this Government, because I am not here to-night to say that simply the fault is all on one side—during that period, did the bottom level of the workers receive an adequate share of that increase of the national income that came from the harnessing of power to their elbows, so to speak? I think if this is examined it will be found that you cannot make a strong case there. The cardinal point in this is not whether money wages are raised—although that is a good thing—the real problem, which is the second of South Africa’s great problems, is the great disparity between unskilled and skilled wages, and the question of whether the real wages of the unskilled are rising relative to the real wages, not the money wages of the skilled. I think that that is another place where we need statistics, because the actual cost of living figure that we use is an average cost of living and I am quite confident that the rise in the cost of living of the lowest income group has been higher than that.
Has been less.
No, I think it has been higher. I can give the hon. gentleman the figure. It is in this book which I recommend to him. The author used to be an adviser to the Government. He states that the rise in certain staple articles of Bantu diet, which form a principle portion of expenditure of a person at that level, is computed at 182 over a specific 15 year period against the average figure of 152. I do not say he is right, but what I do say that there is room for inquiry in that field to see whether this is so, because it is most important if we are to build a stable and happy society here, both for the sake of the White worker and for the others, that that gap between the wages of the unskilled and the skilled workers should somehow be gradually closed. Because ultimately the only defence of the White worker is not to have to fall that great drop when he has to enter a competitive labour market. In most countries of the world your unskilled wages are something like 40 or 50 or 60 per cent of those of the skilled workers. Here the proportion of skilled to unskilled wages is six or seven to one. This is the thing to which we must have regard.
Taking into account that a new problem faces the hon. the Minister, and that is still more planned use of manpower, because defence, if I mistake it not, is going to make very great demands in the immediate future, or in the next few years, on the existing manpower position, my suggestion is that he should create something like a manpower commission consisting, possibly, of members of the Department of Labour but, I would suggest, associated with them should be men with particular experience. Men might be selected who have experience on the employing side of business and men who have had experience on the working side of business. Apart from conducting a survey and collecting information, working through whatever channels they can, through research done by the universities, etc., a composite picture of our potential labour resources may be obtained. They can also go into the question of the actual cost of living of the least fortunate members of our labour force, taking into account any subsidies they get in the way of transport and housing. Because the only figures we have had have been sample surveys done by the universities which do not cover a sufficient field from which to draw conclusions, but they are sufficient to suggest that between the subsistence cost of living of the lowest-paid worker and file wages he actually gets there is still a gap.
One last thing I would like to say is that ultimately we have got to face the fact of better means of negotiation between the employers, the Government, and the major portion of the labour force of the country, the Bantu workers. The hon. member for Umhlatuzana (Mr. Eaton) suggested one way, but that would be the extension, under the Natives Labour (Settlements of Disputes) Act, of the works committees. I doubt myself whether this will work as fast as the situation demands, although I think it might well be tried if the’ Government will try no other way. But I do want to say this. The Government has always argued when we have pleaded for the recognition of trade unions that this is a dangerous thing, that if you create Native trade unions particularly amongst those who are not sophisticated in this regard, you will create something which will be used as a political weapon against us, and therefore let us have nothing to do with such an organization. The Government is about to face a situation in which, without trade unions, political organizations of a similar kind are going to be used on the basis of the withdrawal of labour. I want to suggest that had there been in existence responsible trade unions you might have had a better basis of negotiation and you might have got those who did not agree to act politically in such a general move. What I do submit is that at least there would be no greater danger in beginning to recognize and negotiate with the major labour force of the country on the basis on which all countries negotiate when you find yourselves in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, under a similar threat without such organization being permitted. Because ultimately in this labour field, if we do not get the bulk of our labour force to identify themselves with the common effort which makes the South African product—if you cannot get them to realize that in smashing that machine they smash themselves, then you are much more likely to get irresponsible … [Time limit.]
Mr. Chairman, I should like to thank the hon. member for Umhlatuzana (Mr. Eaton) for the calm and considered way in which he has opened the debate on this Vote. He has made several good points. It is just a pity that he did not leave the last point relating to the difficulties in Germiston to the hon. member for Bezuidenhout (Mr. Miller). It is more in his line to deal with such a matter. We always think of the hon. member for Umhlatuzana as a well-balanced person but he also went off the rails to-night, and that is a pity.
I want to commence by discussing the question of unemployment which the hon. member has mentioned, namely that as a result of the fact that we are leaving the Commonwealth, he considers that there is the danger of increasing unemployment. I do not know what the two things have to do with one another and what the logic of his argument is, i.e. that there will now be increased unemployment because we are leaving the Commonwealth, and why the employment opportunities will not remain exactly the same. I think that as far as that point is concerned, I should leave it at that. That is no argument. The hon. member has tried to bring in some scaremongering arguments and he has referred to the world organization, the International Confederation of Trade Unions, which is certainly not well-disposed towards us. But there are other elements which are not well-disposed towards us, and with goodwill on all sides, including the hon. member for Umhlatuzana, we shall overcome all these difficulties. Where there are circumstances beyond our control, we shall meet them as good South Africans. I personally do not see any danger in this regard. With a view to South Africa’s economic development, the employment opportunities, the growth of this young country and our export possibilities, and in view of the success of which we have heard in all spheres, I cannot see why we need be afraid and hide our heads in the sand.
The hon. member has asked me whether the unemployment position has not been detrimentally affected. He has quoted the figures for November 1960 but the latest figures I have are those for March 1961 and they increased in March 1961. The total unemployment figure for March was 28,372, as compared with the figure of 25,000 and some hundreds quoted by the hon. member. But it is very interesting to analyse these figures. I have here the figures for Whites for March 1959 March 1960 and March 1961 in respect of White males and females and also Coloured and Asiatic males and females. These figures are worth mentioning. In the case of males—these figures all relate to March—the figure was 7,670 in March 1959, 6,223 in 1960 and 6,848 in 1961. They are constant. In the case of male Coloureds the figures are 9,236, 8,392 and 9,730—they are constant too. But we now turn to the women. In the case of White females the figure for March 1959 was 5,192 and 6,557 and 8,068 in the later years. As compared with March 1959 there were 3,000 more women unemployed. The figures for the non-White females are constant, namely 3,400, 3,880 and 3,726. I have instituted an investigation to establish why this position has arisen, namely that the figure for unemployed White females has risen by 3,000. It appears that a considerable percentage, i.e. approximately 80 per cent of the unemployed women, are married women. In a certain sense this is significant, and also in the sense that somewhere something is wrong with the Unemployment Insurance Act. It is becoming ever more apparent that the Act has so many loopholes—the Deputy Minister recently introduced amendments and at the same time we also indicated that all the loopholes could not be plugged. But when people qualify for increased benefits, married women particularly are the main offenders as regards abuses. We have that in black and white and at the moment my Department is drawing up draft amendments which we hope will be introduced next year. They represent a complete revision of the Act. That is one reason.
There may be other economic reasons of which we do not know, but the type of married women, and particularly those who register and try to find employment, are mainly older women. I shall give the facts and figures presently when I discuss the garment workers, when I shall indicate what has actually happened there and what has caused this cheap talk. The hon. member for Musgrave (Mr. Williams) together with the hon. member for Umhlatuzana has advocated the principle that the non-White, particularly the Bantu, should have a greater say in the determination of his own conditions of service and wages. The hon. member for Musgrave has gone a little further than the hon. member for Umhlatuzana. I want to congratulate him. He has adopted quite a different tone to that of last year. Last year he was much closer to advocating Bantu trade unions than he is this year. This year he has started to believe in the same solution as that which we suggested last year, namely the works committees. He has evaded the issue to a certain extent, but the hon. member for Musgrave believes that the trade unions are the final solution. We have already stated repeatedly in this House throughout the period that I have been Minister why we cannot allow the non-White at the moment to participate through these highly organized organizations in the determination of his own conditions of service but what we have said is not believed. I have here a few extracts from the report of the International Labour Organization which was drawn up for use at the regional conference in Africa which was held last year in Lagos. May I read one or two extracts, which substantiate the policy of the National Party—
These facts which I have read briefly to this House—and there are many more—are not statements made by the National Party, but statements by experts on labour matters who have made a study of the position. This cheap cry that we should do so has now become a new slogan of the United Party. I say once again that I am glad the hon. member for Umhlatazana has dropped the slogan they used last year, but last year it was noticeable and we warned them that they were moving in the wrong direction because the United Party has always agreed with the National Party that the Bantu do not have the necessary background and training and that they cannot be entrusted with this responsibility. Now the hon. members for Umhlatuzana and Musgrave have said that additional works committees should be established and these committees should gradually be granted greater responsibilities. I want to congratulate him on doing so. That is the policy of the National Party. They have taken over this policy holus bolus and I am very grateful, because that is what we have said year after year. I said last year that I envisaged a conference of regional committees. That conference was held in Cape Town on 9 and 10 November last year. At this conference all the Bantu were present, with the exception of one who was ill, and a report appeared in the Press on the good work which was done. One of the Bantu representatives himself asked for an extension of the works committees, and because they asked for it themselves, I immediately issued an instruction that works committees should be established more rapidly and on a larger scale. I can now inform the House that there were only six and at the moment there are 16, while quite a few others are in the process of being established.
I want to tell the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) that we are not using steam roller tactics; there is a certain fixed policy which lays down how this is to be done. The Bantu are not simply told: Here is a committee for you. The employer and the employee must co-operate and when the employer can find responsible persons to serve on such committees, we are very pleased to establish them. These committees have proved themselves to be an outstanding success. As a result of requests made at that conference, we have also gone so far as to put notices in the various languages in the factories showing how they can obtain such a committee. We are encouraging this process in every possible way so that these committees will form a link between the employer and the employee, and I now forecast that this is the way in which we can grant recognition, but the condition remains that such works committees must be able to accept the responsibility and the obligations entailed so that they can fulfil them to the benefit of the workers, and so that they will not become sources of agitation. For that reason I am pleased. The hon. member for Umhlatuzana and we are now agreed and let us remain together and retain these sound labour relationships. One cannot introduce much politics into labour relations. It is a most unsound position when that is done, and it is a scandal to do so. Let us continue along this road; then I can assure the hon. member that everything will come right.
We now turn to the part at which the hon. member is not so adept and which is always left to the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) to discuss, namely the mixing up of all sorts of ingredients and then making a great fuss about labour matters. He has accepted the slogan that the border industries are the cause of the terrible hardships being suffered in the clothing industry in the interior. Such a good and gentle hon. member, such a good student of labour matters, has not even taken the trouble to study the latest report of the Wage Board. It does not help to mention it, but I want to tell the hon. member what is stated in the report. Then he would never have alleged that the border industries are the cause and that they are competing with the White industries on the Rand and in Germiston particularly. Let me state at the very outset that the hon. member together with the Sunday Times and all those concerned will not succeed in driving the slightest wedge into the friendship between myself and the hon. member for Germiston (Mr. du Pisanie). If hon. members think that he and I are quarrelling, they are making a very big mistake. We have been close friends for years, and I just want to tell the hon. member that there are no bad feelings between us. [Interjection.] I pay no attention to that because he that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith. But I want to give the hon. member a few facts. I have had a summary made of the position and I want to say this in advance. In his statement on the encouraging of factories to go to the border areas, the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs used a very definite sentence to the effect that we were not going to give any rebates or encouragement to clothing factories in the border areas. In other words, for the Government’s part nothing whatsoever is being done to encourage clothing factories to go to the border areas, and this is for one reason only, namely that there is already “over-trading” in the clothing industry as a whole. But if someone wants to go there and open a factory, he is welcome to do so. He can do what he likes. It is his capital and he can do so. But what is the position? I have had the following summary made from the report. The first point is the following—
That is the first point. The second point which appears from this report is the following—
A very interesting fact is that during the past year the number of garment workers in the Transvaal increased by 1,040, while there was a decrease of 177 in the Natal uncontrolled areas. I now ask: If there was increased competition from the uncontrolled areas, then the Transvaal figure would have fallen and the figures for the border areas would have risen, but precisely the reverse is true. There is therefore a declining measure of competition and the hon. member for Umhlatuzana should have seen that when he read that report. He cannot only mention a report here, without giving the facts contained in the report.
I thought it was due to the increased efficiency of the workers.
Oh no. There are still more points contained in the report. The hon. member is now even more firmly in the trap—
During its present investigation the Board further found the following, firstly that the clothing industry in the uncontrolled areas at present account for 6.8 per cent of the total number of garment workers in the Union. Secondly, that the clothing industry on the Rand, and especially Germiston, finds itself in a peculiar position. The present investigation reveals that Transvaal’s competition emanated from the controlled coastal areas, especially Natal and the Western Province, and to a much lesser degree from the uncontrolled areas; thirdly, that should the factories in the uncontrolled areas be closed completely, the Transvaal will probably derive no benefit at all; fourthly, that exceptional progress was made within the controlled areas of the Western Province and Natal during the last two years; fifthly, that the entire increase in employment in the uncontrolled areas took place outside Natal, and indeed in the Free State; sixthly, that approximately 80 per cent of the clothing made in the Natal uncontrolled areas is mainly intended for the non-White market …
Intended and sold—
Mr. Chairman, it is not I who says this. If the hon. member is cleverer than the Wage Board after it has investigated the position and if all hon. members opposite want to pretend to be clever, then I wish them all success. In any case, I am not going to make myself guilty of such arrogance which can only result in disaster.
I want to refer briefly to Germiston. Before doing so, I should like to dispose of this one matter, namely the question of minimum wages which the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) has raised. The hon. member for Musgrave with his national minimum wage has however spoken in the air again as usual. I just want to mention what Mr. Harry Goldberg, the chairman of the Bantu Wage and Productivity Association has said, according to a report in the Star of 21 July 1960—
That is my first point. I asked the chairman of the Wage Board to investigate what such an increase would entail, and what the consequences would be if there was to be a sudden increase in wages. He reported to me as follows—
I am merely mentioning this so that we can remain realistic. We cannot merely make wild statements and put forward irresponsible demands. The economy of the country is not based on such factors. It is very easy to get on to a soapbox and to say that the Bantu are living under terrible conditions and that they should immediately be given higher wages. That is why I asked the hon. member how much more they should be given. While the Government through the medium of its machinery, the Wage Board, is trying to do so in a scientific way and to grant these increases as and when industry can pay for them without these people eventually becoming unemployed, hon. members merely make airy statements.
But I have said that I want to discuss the garment workers. The hon. member has read out a letter or extracts from it, which I have supposedly written. I do not know whether he had the correct letter, but the hon. member has read extracts from what I have supposedly said. There is only one crucial point, namely what I have supposedly done to the poor garment workers on the Rand. If the hon. member will take the trouble to read the whole letter, he will see to the last detail what has been done for them and how we have gone out of our way to help these garment workers. But what difficulties are there? I have here a report by the divisional inspector in Johannesburg. He has investigated the matter and he says—
Here we have the crux of the matter. The second point which I just want to mention briefly is this. The Germiston executive of the clothing industry always has its own unemployment figures. Allow me just to say that the official figure for the number of persons who are registered as unemployed in the clothing industry in Johannesburg is the lowest it has ever been, and the same applied when the difficulties were at their height. I do not know what the executive’s motive is in providing these incorrect figures. I do not hold Mr. du Pisanie responsible for that. These are people who form their own branch executive. There were 58 persons unemployed, but they still maintain there are 104 unemployed. What I have done is to instruct my inspectors to write a letter to each of the unemployed workers and those who did not reply to those letters were visited personally. I am mentioning this in order to expose these gross untruths. Here I have the report by the inspectors. I am not going to mention names, but the name of every woman appears in this report. For the sake of these women I am not going to read out the names. I shall read a few sentences from the findings of the inspectors. Here is one—
This is an unemployed person! Here is another one—
That is a factory. Here I have another one—
Here is another one—
Here is another one—
Here is another one—
Another one stated that she will never be available for employment again—she was living happily with her grandchildren. I could continue giving similar examples, but I want to say to-night that so much has been done for the garment workers of Germiston that this branch of the Garment Workers’ Union has become spoiled. I have done altogether too much for them over the past six or seven years. They have now simply launched a campaign. These facts which I have mentioned were sent to the branch secretary through the office of my Department at Germiston together with the names of the persons concerned. The 27 April is the latest date in the case of these facts. I just want to state unequivocally that all the stories which are being spread will not make the slightest difference to myself and the hon. member for Germiston, whether politically, as friends or in any other respect. The attempts by the newspapers and the attempts by the hon. member for Umhlatuzana are a hopeless failure. What I regret and what I deplore is that a responsible branch of the Garment Workers’ Union has put out these false reports which it is continually spreading. I can only refer the hon. member to that letter of mine which appeared in the Sunday Times. Who is responsible for that, I do not know—I assume this same branch of the Garment Workers’ Union, because how else would they have obtained it? It was only distributed here in Cape Town. I just want to point out that what I wrote was written particularly for their information. It is a summary of everything which has been done for them. I expected hon. members opposite to criticize me to-night and to say that I had done too much for the garment workers of Germiston. I have gone out of my way to help them. When the Unemployment Insurance Act was amended to provide that persons whose benefits were exhausted, would enjoy additional benefits notwithstanding the fact that they had enjoyed further benefits, hon. members opposite opposed that provision and the only group of workers which have received these benefits on a state of emergency being declared under Section 39 have been the garment workers of Germiston. My conscience is clear. I have done much too much. I want to state to-night that as far as I am concerned I shall never again make this exception, because the world repays one with ingratitude. They will have to be satisfied with the same treatment as all the other White workers whom I shall look after equally well, and I shall make no further exceptions. The hon. member should get off the horse which he has mounted with a view to political gain, because he will not make any headway on it.
What the hon. the Minister has forgotten to tell us this evening is that through the principle of job reservation and the failure to deal with proper determinations for wages in the uncontrolled area, he has been responsible for driving the White workers out of the clothing industry. In fact, he is responsible for destroying the whole structure of the White worker in the Germiston area, which is the one area in which the White worker has played an important part in the clothing industry. Before job reservation the peak figure for White workers in this industry in Germiston was 1,500. The position to-day is that it has been reduced to just over 600 workers. It is the only area where the White worker has been able to play an important part in this industry.
The hon. the Minister has also forgotten to tell us that behind this effort, has been a determination to destroy the Garment Workers’ Union. Not only his discussion to-night but a great deal of what is said in the Wage Board’s Report as to the evidence advanced, is directed towards this particular end. If the hon. the Minister feels that he has done so much for the clothing industry, why does he not explain to us the reason for having in this particular industry 11 different wage determinations and proposed determinations? There are already four determinations in the controlled areas and in these recommendations of the Wage Board’s Report there are seven recommendations in respect of uncontrolled areas for differential rates of wages. If you talk to industrialists in this particular industry you are told immediately that there seems to be no sound reason for this differentiation. In fact over the last few years those who are employed in the industry in the uncontrolled areas have achieved a standard of efficiency, particularly the C.M.T. section, whereby they are producing garments almost equal in quality to those that are produced in the controlled areas at just a little over half the cost. For example, Sir, the C.M.T. cost per pair of trousers at Charleston is 7s. as compared with 14s. 9d. or 15s. in the towns. It is now a well-known fact in the industry that in these uncontrolled areas this form of labour, which some of them still call slave labour, produces 40 pairs of trousers per day of good standard as against eight in the controlled areas by Europeans of the same quality. The competition has become so severe that a leading indistrialist in Johannesburg told me the other day that they would be forced either to close down their business or a considerable part of it, or in order to keep the business going, to transfer a section of the business to one of the uncontrolled areas. A simple example of the method in which this whole matter is being administered is the fact that do-day the areas where the hon. the Minister wishes to establish these particular industries are so near to the big towns that even the question of transport and the question of repairs and spare parts has become an unimportant matter. In the Transvaal, which is a completely controlled area, it is proposed to establish industries at Hammanskraal and a clothing manufacturer told me that at Hammanskraal, only 50 miles from Johannesburg, it would pay him, in view of the low rate of wages there and in view of the almost equal standard of production, to transfer a fair portion of his industry to Hammanskraal in order to take advantage of the low cost of labour there and so be able to produce a much cheaper article and thus enter the so-called competitive market. The tragedy is that this will be at the expense of the established industries in the towns. It is a known fact—and the hon. the Minister will know this if he has spoken to industrialists about the matter—that this form of decentralization will be at the expense of established industry. Established industry also produces 90 per cent of the garments required in the country. The other 10 per cent is met by means of imports. It is impossible to increase that market. This suggestion that the uncontrolled industries are producing for a virgin market, namely the Bantu market, is a fallacy. The industry is already geared up to produce 90 per cent of the country’s requirements and the establishment of further industries in the uncontrolled areas along the borders will only be at the expense of existing industries.
It will become more evident than it is already that the success of the hon. the Minister’s scheme will only mean the destruction of what has already been established and the creation of greater chaos in the industry. There is no other industry in the country—unless the Minister cares to refute this; which I doubt he will—that has such an enormous number of varying grades of wages in respect of its employees than the clothing industry. In fact, both employers and employees are most concerned to-day at this latest report of the Wage Board that has been published. As a matter of fact the appeal to the Minister is not to accept this report and to try to restore the principle of the rate for the job and to bring about greater uniformity in the rate of wages that is paid.
The hon. the Minister talks of the fact that the number of workers in the uncontrolled areas constitutes 6.8 per cent of the total number of persons in the industry. It is now becoming more evident that the increase in figures from 3.9 per cent in 1955 to 6.8 per cent in December 1960 is not a true reflection of the production in the uncontrolled areas which, as industrialists will tell the Minister, is in excess of what the increase from 3.9 per cent to 6.8 per cent would indicate, because what has to be taken into account is the comparative quality of the product.
The blazer trade is taken to task by the Wage Board in this report. Although blazers from the uncontrolled areas are being sold at competitive prices it is a well-known fact that the quality of the material is suffering as a result of the cheaper costs. The best quality material cannot be used to provide a blazer at the cost at which it is sold to-day. This question of the blazers is also one of the determining factors which has been used to indicate the value of the uncontrolled areas. The parents of the children, particularly the mothers who buy these blazers, are very concerned about the poor quality of these blazers and they are really costing them very much more in the long run. [Time limit.]
Hon. members have once again referred this afternoon to the detrimental effect which job reservation will have on the Coloureds. Because it was not the right time this afternoon to reply, but because the debate on the Labour Vote is the appropriate time, I should now like to answer certain of those allegations. We hear from time to time, as happened again this afternoon, of all the hardships which job reservation is causing in the case of the Coloureds. At the time we were told that 35,000 non-Whites would be thrown on the streets—the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) said that. They said that the introduction of job reservation would have that result. We have been told to-day how job reservation discriminates against the Coloureds and that it is unfair to them. I think the time has come for us to discuss briefly the effect of job reservation on the Coloureds and particularly on the Coloureds here in the Western Cape. I want to show the House in the first place that job reservation has not harmed the Coloureds here in the Western Cape but that on the contrary it is protecting them. Yes, protecting them, as I shall now prove to the House with facts and figures. In the second place I want to show the House that here in the Western Cape—the traditional home of the Coloureds—the employment position of the Coloureds is better than ever before. As a result of the continuous attacks which are being made, particularly as a result of the job reservation which has been applied in the case of traffic constables here in the Cape, I want to submit at the outset that three types of work have in fact been reserved for Whites here in the Cape. They are traffic constables, ambulance assistants and firemen. What is very significant is the fact that these groups—they are municipal workers—only represent 4 per cent of the officials in the municipal service. On the other hand, Mr. Chairman, it is a good thing to remember that this Cape Town City Council itself applies job reservation unofficially when it comes to unskilled work because Coloureds are used mainly for that type of work. We have no objection to that but nevertheless it is a type of job reservation in an unofficial form. As a result of the continuous stories that job reservation is affecting the Coloureds, I have asked our divisional inspector to investigate to what extent job reservation in the clothing industry has caused unemployment amongst Coloureds here in the Cape. Here I have this report. This is a recent report on this matter and he says the following—
No unemployment has been caused amongst the Coloureds as a result of job reservation.
Then he gives statistics for the period prior to job reservation and thereafter—
On 31 January 1961, after the introduction of job reservation in the clothing industry, the following numbers were unemployed: 79 Coloured men and 483 Coloured women. In other words, there were then less unemployed persons. I also asked him what effect the job reservation determination had had upon the engineering industry and the Committee will be interested to hear his report in that regard. It reads as follows—
I shall give the House presently an overall picture of the unemployment position in the Cape. He continues—
As against the fact that no unemployment has been caused by these determinations, the inspector says—
Does this look like “hardship?” He says—
He goes on to say—
Is this discrimination against the Coloureds? Mr. Chairman, you read yesterday that a Coloured has been appointed as matron of a hospital here in the Cape. It is the first time that that has happened. On the other hand we think of the many Coloureds who are holding public service posts, something which never happened before. What is more, when we say that this Government is protecting the Coloureds to-day as has never happened before, I think of the effect which influx control is having as a protective measure for the Coloureds. The fact of the matter is that in the Cape Town municipal area there were 48,000 Bantu in 1950 and as a result of our influx control this figure has been reduced to 37,000 in 1960. By these influx control measures we are protecting the Coloureds. To my dismay, Sir, I have learned from the report drawn up by our labour inspectors dealing with the question of why employers in Cape Town prefer Natives to Coloureds, that the employers in this area prefer Natives because they are supposedly more reliable, more hard-working and stronger. Despite that, this Government through these influx control measures is ensuring that the Coloureds are protected in this traditional area of theirs. If it had not been for these influx control measures, there would have been thousands more Coloureds unemployed to-day. And then this is regarded as tyranny! Let us examine the overall picture still further. As I have said, the Coloureds are doing better today than ever before. I want to give the House certain figures to substantiate this submission. Take for example the group of factories which the industrial tribunal, investigated. They found that as compared with 1,700 White operators in a group of industries here in Cape Town, there were 22,000 Coloureds employed as operators. Allow me to quote the example of the footwear and clothing industries. To-day 77 per cent of the labour force in these industries here in the Western Cape are Coloureds; that is 3 per cent more than in 1951. But that is not only the position in those industries; take the furniture industry. In the furniture industry 69 per cent of the workers were Coloureds in 1953 and this rose to 77 per cent in 1958. Is that what hon. members call discrimination against the Coloureds? Is that what they call “hardship”? Take the question of artisans in the building industry. In 1939 70 per cent of the artisans in this industry were non-Whites—these are the figures for bricklayers. By 1958 it had risen to 85 per cent. Do hon. members call that “hardship”? Do they call that discrimination?
What are you trying to prove?
I am proving that the Coloureds have progressed here in the Cape as far as clerical, operator and artisan positions are concerned, and that they are not being discriminated against. On the contrary they enjoy unprecedented employment opportunities to-day. This is a point which hon. members opposite could safely appreciate as well.
Allow me to outline the unemployment position further to hon. members. Allow me to give the position relating to Coloured men, in order to give the overall picture: In April 1959 the number of Coloured males unplaced, excluding those registered and placed in employment, numbered 3,500 in the case of the Cape inspectorate. This figure fell to 2,200 in April 1960 and fell further to 1,600 in April 1961, which I think serves as further proof of the diligence with which this Department and this Government is placing Coloureds in employment and it shows further that employment opportunities are being afforded them. In recent years we have placed an average of between 6,000 and 8,000 Coloured men per annum in employment in the Cape inspectorate. This number rose to 11,000 by 1960. I now ask: Is this an indication of discrimination or “hardship”? Is this an indication that we do not want to give these people an opportunity to earn a living? No, Mr. Chairman … [Time limit.]
I want to speak on something other than wages and job reservation. Those matters will be dealt with by people more capable than myself. I want particularly to refer to the question of industrial health because in this country we are faced with a unique problem at the moment and that is an industry in which cancer is developing. It is the first time probably in history as far as we know that a cancer with a mortality rate of 100 per cent has developed in an industry. I refer, Sir, to the effect of asbestos on the human lung. This really falls under three separate Ministries but I want to discuss it under Labour because I think it is in the Labour Department that these cases will be overlooked. The miners will be looked after by the Pneumoconiosis Bureau and the Department of Health must do what it can for the civil population. But the working man is receiving extremely little care at the moment from the Department. The Department is not faced with the question of reducing the amount of asbestos dust which is absorbed by the working man, the Department is faced with the problem of finding some means that will prevent absorption by the working man’s lungs. It is important for us to realize the extent to which asbestos is used in this country. In the year 1930 there were four firms in the Union manufacturing asbestos products. They used 900 tons of asbestos. In 1952 17,000 tons of fibre were used in this country. There were seven firms in Cape Town and 44 firms in Johannesburg. There are also some in Durban but I do not know how many. Sir, there can be no doubt about it that this particular form of cancer which is developing in asbestos workers has increased enormously in this country although it probably existed previously but was overlooked. In Kimberley 41 cases of cancer of the lung of this particular type have been picked up in the last three years. When I tell you that in the Henry Ford Hospital in America in 350,000 consecutive post mortems only found one case, you will realize, Sir, that 41 confirmed cases, as have been discovered in Kimberley, is really cause for alarm. These facts are well known to the hon. the Minister. You may ask me how we know that this form of cancer is associated with asbestos. It is so because the asbestos bodies are easily picked up by the pathologists and they are found in association with this particular growth. It is not necessary that there should be much exposure and that is why I say the hon. the Minister must find a means of preventing the access of the fibre to the lungs. I know of the case of one man who developed the disease whose job was that of lining locomotive boilers for the railways. There was another man who worked for one year loading asbestos into trucks. There is another man who has developed this cancer whose job it was to undo—he worked for a firm of demolishes—the padding around steam pipes. You will see, Sir, that the exposure is very short. It need not be long as in the case of silicosis in the mines. The hon. the Minister knows well that he has had a report from the Pneumoconiosis Bureau that the average length of time for pneumoconiosis to develop in asbestos workers is eight years. Eight years is the working life of a man in an asbestos factory! Probably shorter. A certain percentage of the workers in an asbestos factory is going to develop a cancer which so far has shown a 100 per cent mortality rate. Up till the present the attempt has been to reduce dust. No real effort has been made to prevent the dust reaching the man’s lungs. It has not been found practicable to do so. But here we are faced with a danger that is so great that it is not enough to reduce the dust, it has to be prevented. A spray painter must wear a mask and the oxy-acetylene welder must protect his eyes, and this Ministry will have to find something similar in the case of asbestos workers otherwise all asbestos factories will have to close down because they will not get workers. No one knows how many people have died in the Sekhukhuniland reserves from this disease. Nobody knows. That is the area from which these mines draw their labour. I am not concerned with mines but I want to say this in conclusion The contamination can be so slight that it is known that children who played on the dumps have later developed this particular form of cancer which is always associated with asbestos. It is a problem which this hon. Minister must tackle immediately. I know he will say that he has put fibrosis of the lung on his industrial health list, after a great deal of insistence from this side, but that is not enough. He cannot deal with cancer by merely paying compensation. He has to find some means of preventing the dust from reaching the human lung.
At 10.25 p.m. the Chairman stated that, in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (1), he would report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.
The House adjourned at