House of Assembly: Vol22 - THURSDAY 7 MARCH 1968
The main purpose of this War Graves Amendment Bill is the establishment of a trust fund for the maintenance of war graves, and the amalgamation of the thus established trust fund with a trust fund which was established by legislation in 1905 in the then Orange River Colony.
This provision for a trust fund for the maintenance of war graves in the Republic was envisaged when the War Graves Bill was before Parliament last year, but was not included in that measure because certain negotiations had not yet been finalized.
This matter has its origin in the former Orange River Colony, a few years after the Peace of Vereeniging. The Crown Colony Administration suggested to the Government of the Cape Colony, the Transvaal and Natal that an inter-colonial trust fund be established, from which funds could be drawn for the maintenance of war graves dating from the Anglo Boer War. The other colonies were favourably disposed towards the suggestion but owing to the depression conditions which followed upon the war did not see their way clear to contributing to such a fund. In spite of the fact that the Free State also at that time suffered as a result of the depression conditions, they nevertheless decided to establish a trust fund of their own, and on 10th July, 1905 Lord Basil Blackwood, the Acting Colonial Secretary of the Orange River Colony, moved the second reading of the “Draft Maintenance of Graves Trust Fund Ordinance”.
This ordinance is to a certain degree unique in so far as it made provision for the allocation of funds outside the boundaries of the Free State, and for the purpose of maintaining the graves of Free State citizens who had died in camps in the Cape Colony, as well as of all persons who had died in the Free State as a result of the Anglo Boer War. The Free Staters did not at that time merely think of themselves, and in the ordinance a clause was inserted which provided that the Free State Fund could be amalgamated with any other similar fund which may have been instituted in other colonies, on the understanding, however, that at least R1,000 would be spent annually for the Free State graves.
On reading through Lord Basil Blackwood’s speech during the second reading of the Draft Ordinance, the following words in particular struck me because they are as true to-day as they were at that time. He said—
During the past few years, the interest on these trust funds, which at the last audit amounted to R24,049.66, was paid over to the S.A. War Graves Board which utilized the amount exclusively for Free State graves.
When I dealt with the War Graves Bill in Parliament last year, I gave a summary of the origin and activities of the S.A. War Graves Bill, and I am not going to repeat it now. However, the Board has, since it is restoring more and more graves and laying out gardens of remembrance, been faced with a new problem, i.e. that the restored graves and monuments require maintenance costs. To defray expenditure, the Board asked the Government for a trust fund of at least R1,000 to be established of which the interest can be utilized for the defrayal of maintenance costs.
The situation has now arisen for which the Free Staters made provision as far baok as 1905, namely a nation-wide trust fund, and it is therefore possible for us now to amalgamate that trust fund with the one we are now establishing.
The Free State Provincial Administration is the administrator of the 1905 fund, and a few years ago they made the request that the Free State Ordinance should be repealed by the Central Government. The only way to appeal that ordinance would be to amalgamate it with another trust fund. This is now being done through the provisions of clause 5.
You will note that provision is also being made in clause 3 for the names of the members of the South African War Graves Board to be announced in the Government Gazette. In this way I am complying with an undertaking I gave in this House last year. The publication of the names of these persons is even more essential now because they will be charged with the administration of the combined trust funds.
The other provisions of the Bill are consequential amendments and adjustments as a result of the change in the designation of my Ministry.
Mr. Speaker, we on this side will support the measure which has been introduced by the hon. the Minister. I should Like to add to what he has already said concerning the history of the Free State fund. For a period of some 50 years or more, until the War Graves Board was established by the Government, this fund fulfilled a very useful purpose both in the Free State and out of the Free State. I believe the step which is being taken now to create a trust fund to be controlled by the War Graves Board is a step in the right direction. There are to my knowledge several small amounts which are, if I may put it that way, “loose”, in that they are at large in the Republic at the present time. These amounts might well foe gathered in and consolidated in this central fund. I think such a step would benefit the maintenance of the war graves.
The Minister has mentioned the publication of the names of the Board in the Government Gazette. We on this side welcome the step and thank him for doing so following on requests which were made last year. I hope he can perhaps take another forward step when it comes to the National Monuments Commission. I refer to the request made by the hon. member for Berea last year for steps similar to these to be taken in regard to the National Monuments Commission.
The Minister referred to the consequential amendments to section 3 of the principal Act which will create the obligation and the power to maintain burial grounds in addition to the actual graves. I think this is also a wise step as it will enable a great difficulty to be overcome as far as the board is concerned. My information is that in the case of a graveyard in which the majority of the graves are war graves, but there are some civilian graves as well, it is quite impossible to maintain the war graves in a proper state of repair unless attention is given to the whole graveyard, including the civilian graves. Therefore I welcome this inclusion. I think in Cape Town, of the graveyard in the Simonstown area, and also the graveyard in the Wetton area where this type of difficulty is experienced. This Bill will now enable that difficulty to be overcome by the board in that it will be in a position to maintain the whole area, although not all, graves are war graves. For these reasons we on this side of the House will support this measure.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a Second Time.
Committee Stage taken without debate.
Committee Stage taken without debate.
Mr. Chairman, I want to move the amendment which stands in my name on page 150 of the Order Paper—
I want to make it quite clear to this committee that I move this amendment not because I like the clause; on the contrary, I think that it is a shocking clause because this clause ties the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration legislation to the Population Register. If this type of legislation is continued, it holds out very little hope to those people who fall within its scope. I move this amendment because there is one redeeming feature in this clause, and one only. For the first time this clause provides a proper authoritative means of changing the birth registration of those people who, for want of better words, have been classified upwards. At the moment, to the best of my knowledge, there is no machinery existing in our laws which empowers the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths to change the race particulars of a person who has been reclassified. I accept that this applies in both directions. It applies in the case of those people who have been classified to a lesser class, if one may use such a phrase, because I do not know how else to describe it and to those people who have been classified upwards. For the first time this machinery ir. provided. All of us in this House are adults and we know that it is necessary to have a birth certificate to be admitted to a school. For the purposes of those families who have been reclassified upwards, it is obviously essential that they have a new birth certificate containing new particulars so that they may attend the School which provides education for the class to which they now belong. I want to stress again that if it were not for this, this side of the House would not be supporting this clause. It is in that spirit that I want to put forward the amendment I have moved.
The object of my amendment is to try and take some of the sting out of this clause. The effect of my amendment will be that the Registrar-General will still be able to alter the particulars on the original registration of a birth, but he will not be able to erase the existing particulars. In other words, if a person who was originally registered at birth as a white person, has now been classified as Coloured, he will obviously have to carry out the instruction of the Population Registrar. But he will have to leave the fact that that person originally was classified as White possibly long before the Population Registration Act was ever thought of. He will have to leave those particulars in the register. I say this particularly, because if the hon. the Minister will look at clause 3, he will find that in effecting another change, a change in name it is specified that the existing surname shall not be erased. In that clause it is provided that the existing particulars shall not be erased. Why has that provision not been put in this clause? It has been left out of this clause for a specific reason. I want the hon. the Minister to listen to this. People who are unfortunate enough—and I use this word from choice— to have a child whose birth has to be registered in terms of this law, will be subject to reclassification if the registering officer does not like the colour of their skin. The hon. the Minister shrugs his shoulders and turns his head aside. He knows the answers to this as well as I do. He should, if he knows the Bill.
If the hon. the Minister knows how these matters are linked together, and he should, he will know that now it is necessary for it to be brought to the notice of the Secretary that persons might not in fact belong to the group in which they are at present classified, and if they have not been classified by a board the Secretary can alter their classification. What easier way to bring it to the notice of the Secretary is there than for the registering officer to look at the parents when they come to register the birth and to attach a note to the application form when he submits it to the Registrar-General. I believe this is what is going to happen, because I want to remind the hon. the Minister, in case he does not know, that the Bantu population of South Africa have now been brought under the terms of this Act and have to register births. They did not have to do so before, but they do now. I have had it put to me. in no uncertain terms, that there might possibly be a danger, as the theory exists, that the Bantu might try to have their children classified as Coloured. In this case the Native Commissioner for an area, who becomes the District Registrar, I have no doubt at all. will submit with the details of registration the fact that he thinks that the parents are Bantu and not Coloureds, because only one parent has to be of the wrong class to be classified down, and not both. So this is a matter which has been introduced into something that was never regarded as an instrument for enforcing the terms of the Population Registration Act. These are some of the reasons why I say that, were it not for this one redeeming feature I would not have taken the trouble to move this amendment. I sincerely hope that, as I have taken the trouble, this hon. Minister will meet us at least half-way and accept my amendment if for no other reason than that I believe the wording is far better than the original. At any rate I am going to put it to this hon. Minister. I put the amendment on the Order Paper so that he and his Department would have time to consider it. I sincerely hope that they will accept it in the spirit in which it was moved.
To-day people are living under the shadow of the Population Registrar. Loopholes have been closed one after the other as they have come along. We are still legislating to catch the one person in thousands. This is what this is designed to do. It is to make sure that a child from birth stands no chance whatsoever of getting into another population group. Here is the basic reason for this. It is to close up all the loopholes, but I am sure other loopholes will be found and we shall have to deal with more crazy legislation, of the type we are dealing with here, to block up those further loopholes. But having this legislation before us now, let us for goodness’ sake try to be intelligent. Let us try to approach this problem with a little bit of sweet reasonableness. It is in this spirit that I moved my amendment which is, in fact, a compromise which I do not like but which is designed to improve this Bill.
I think the hon. member for Umlazi himself condemned the reasons he gave for this amendment by openly admitting to the House here that his motive was to keep those few loopholes which may still exist in regard to reclassification open. These are the loopholes the Minister now wants to close. Mr. Chairman, are these the grounds on which the Opposition should move an amendment, i.e. with the deliberate intention of creating an opportunity for confusion to arise in future in regard to any classification case where the birth certificate will be called in as evidence to decide whether a person’s race is White or Coloured? The hon. member himself admitted that it was precisely as a result of the reclassifications which had been carried out over the past few years that hundreds of people had been reclassified from one race group into another. I know from my own experience how many parents subsequently succeeded in being classified as Whites whereas it was still being specified on their children’s birth certificates that they were “Coloured” or “Mixed”. It is these parents who, before they tried to cross the colour line, had their children registered as Coloured, realizing that they, the parents, were in fact Coloured. Nevertheless they ultimately succeeded in being reclassified as Whites, whereas their children were still registered as non-Whites on their birth certificates.
The hon. member himself admits that a deficiency exists under the present legislation which makes it difficult to change these people’s birth certificates. It can be done, but only after a great deal of work on the part of the Department. There are forms which have to be filled in. Statements have to be obtained from parents, statements have to be obtained from justices of the peace, and so on, before those children can be classified according to the race group of their parents. What this Bill is now doing, is to simplify this process. Now the Registrar of Births can simply, in the cases where reclassification took place, change the children’s birth certificates accordingly. When that is done the matter is settled.
The hon. member spoke about “classifying upwards”. He mentioned an example of such a case—I take it it was a person who had formerly passed as a non-White and was now classified as a White. But now I want to ask, is there good reason why, under the circumstances, it should still be stated on the birth certificates of the children that they were non-White? Why should it be stated on the birth certificates of the children that they were Coloured, and that the Registrar had now changed that registration to White? Surely a thing like this can only cause suffering to such children if in future an inquiry should perhaps be made into their past. After all, they had no part in the matter. Surely it can only cause them suffering if it should subsequently be determined that they were not originally registered as White but as non-White.
I think this Bill is very advantageous, more especially for those people who have been “classified up” as the hon. member put it. The hon. member for Umlazi is trying too conspicuously to keep open the few loopholes which still exist and which the hon. the Minister now wants to close. In fact, he admitted it himself. But the hon. member need not feel any concern. In future a simple criterion will be laid down in regard to the registration of births. In the case of the registration of births after 1st Decembr, 1967, the Registrar, before he enters the names in the register in question, will first examine the form in which details about the child’s birth are furnished in order to determine what the classification of the parents is. Where a parent has given his race incorrectly, the Registrar will be able to change it. The matter will also be very simple now as far as births before 1st December, 1967, are concerned. What harm can it do if the correct information in regard to a person’s race is furnished on his birth certificate? The pattern of our legislation is after all that children should accept the race of their parents. There can be no dispute about that. In future it will be very easy for the Registrar to rectify these things administratively.
I know of no other reason for the motion of the hon. member for Umlazi than that he would like to create confusion should birth certificates have to serve as evidence before a board or a court in reclassification cases. What the hon. member wants is that there should be confusion in that there should be various entries on the birth certificates so that the persons who have to pass judgment should be faced with the choice of deciding which one to accept. Therefore I do not believe the hon. the Minister should pay any attention to the arguments of the hon. member for Umlazi.
If the hon. member for Parow has done anything it is to accentuate what the hon. member for Umlazi has said, namely that this legislation is introduced to get at the parents. The Minister now wants to use the registration of the birth in order to get at the parent. What happens? To-day one goes along and registers the birth of one’s child. When you go along to-day you usually indicate to what race group you belong and you produce your identity card as proof. On the basis of that you are then and there given a certificate of registration of the birth of your child. But not in future. What will now happen is that the information form will be taken by the official concerned and put through a new processing machine. This means that you won’t get your certificate of registration on the spot. The information on the form goes into the machine and from there to Pretoria to the Registrar-General who checks on the classification of the parents. Why is this to be? The hon. member for Umlazi referred to those who are unfortunate enough to have children. We all agree with him, because if you are unfortunate enough to have a child born after this Bill becomes law, then you are subject to a double check under the Population Registration Act. If you do not have to register the birth of a child you will not be subject to that double check, because quite obviously without an aid such as this it is not possible to check on the population register the classification of every single person. The hon. member for Parow asks what is wrong with that? Surely the hon. member must have dealt with a lot of classifications. We deal with a lot in Durban and they must deal with thousands here compared with the hundreds we deal with in Durban. It is not one of the things that the Department always regards as important the fact that your parents registered you as Coloured or as Mixed or as White? Is that not one of the determining factors, and is it not therefore terribly important in determining what the classification of that child is going to be when he reaches the age of 16 that in fact, if he claims to be a white person, his parents registered him as being a white person? That is what this amendment of the hon. member for Umlazi says; it says that if the information given by the parents on the form is, for example, that the child was White and this is subsequently changed by the Registrar-General because he finds something slightly different in the population register …
What, for instance?
Let me finish this and I will come to it. According to the Bill as it now stands, the original statement by the father or the mother, or whoever registered him, will be erased altogether and “Coloured” put on it, for example, so that it will for ever appear as if the parents themselves in registering the birth of the child stated on the form that the child was Coloured. This is what this amendment says, namely that you may change it if you feel you should do so, in accordance with what is on the population register, but do not erase what the parents put on the original form. That is all this amendment says.
In other words, he cannot change it before he has made sure what the classification was that the parents gave.
He can change it, but this amendment says he must not erase what the parents themselves put on the form. That is the point.
And if that was not true?
That was the opinion of the father. It can be altered, but not erased. Surely the Minister signs the letters and I presume he reads them, and one of the things in the letter that the Minister signs is: I am afraid there is nothing I can do for your constituent because I cannot change the classification from Coloured, as it is now, to White, because, inter alia, the parents of this person registered him as mixed. That is one of the things almost always stated in these letters. Is that not one of the things taken into account? If the amendment of the hon. member for Umlazi is not accepted, that form will toe looked at later toy the Department, and they will say: No, when the parents registered this child they described him as “mixed” or as “Coloured”, whereas in fact they did not. Surely that is the important thing. The hon. member for Parow must remember that in terms of the Population Registration Act you are only required to toe classified at the age of 16. The effect of this is to classify someone literally before he is even born, because this could be applied to a person who is not yet born.
But the moment he is born he is classified.
No, he is not. If the hon. member for Parow would take the trouble to look at the laws we are dealing with, he would realize that he is wrong. When do you get an identity card? At 16.
Yes, but the moment you are born you take the race classification of your parents.
Quite right. Let me take this a little further, and let me ask the hon. member for Parow, and particularly the Minister, whether this is making the law simpler, and whether this is not intended to start a witch-hunt into the parentage of the parents who registered the birth of the child through the clerk who takes down the particulars and who thinks that the parent looks a little dark or otherwise looks as if he may be Coloured. Say the father goes along to register the birth of a son and he shows his identity card and that of his wife, on which both of them are described as White. Why, with that proof, should the clerk not immediately register the child as White?
Where do you get your information from that that cannot be done?
According to this, the matter has to be referred to the Registrar-General, who has to check up on the parents.
He can issue the birth certificate immediately.
Does the Minister say that when you go along with the identity card, the certificate must be issued immediately? Very well, then we will keep the Minister to that and we hope that if this clause is not clear on that point the Minister will honour that undertaking and will put it in the Bill.
That is not necessary.
Let the Minister just listen to this one as well. Say someone went along with two white identity cards and the clerk at the counter thinks the father looks a little dark, but thinks that he has got away with it somehow. Then he will have the power in terms of this Bill to refer it to the Registrar-General. The Minister cannot deny that.
Supposing he does, what then?
The Registrar-General will then refer it to the classifications department.
But of course. That is what he is. obliged to do in terms of the clause. It is difficult enough to deal with hon. members who do not know what is in the Bill, but it is worse when the Minister himself does not know what the clause says. [Interjection.] I hope the Minister will tell us exactly what the position is. Will the Minister answer these two questions? He has answered the one. He says that if you go along with your identity card, you can get registration on the turn; you must get it. But, secondly, I want to ask him this. If you go along with those identity cards, but the person at the counter thinks you should have been classified as Coloured and that you just got away with a white card somehow, does he have the power then not to register that birth but to refer the matter to the Registrar-General for an investigation into the parentage of the child being registered? That is so, and that is exactly what the hon. member for Umlazi said, and that is what will happen. Let me give the hon. the Minister an example. I presume he will recall that last session he introduced an amendment to the Population Registration Act, in terms of which the normal tests as to whether you were a white person or a Coloured person, namely whether you were in appearance a white person or whether you were generally accepted as a white person, were virtually scrapped and in their place was substituted the test that if one or both of your parents had been classified as a Coloured person, then all the children had to be classified as Coloured. [Time expired.]
I am very astonished at the hypothesis which the hon. member for Durban (North) has just made, as well as at his argument. If I understand his argument correctly, it amounts to this: He is now blaming the Minister because in terms of this Bill the forms should first be returned in order to ascertain whether the various inscriptions are correct. That is his argument, and it amazes me. Suppose, for example, the inscription is wrong. Does the hon. member want to tell me that it is wrong that there should be a Bill which compels the person to make the correct inscription in the first place? Surely there is nothing wrong with making sure that inscriptions correspond. Surely the hon. members on the other side are aware of the fact that an incorrect inscription has no legal significance whatsoever. [Interjection.] That is what the hon. member said, but I agree wholeheartedly with the hon. member for Parow who maintained that the only purpose of this amendment was to leave uncertainty in regard to these documents. That is the sole purpose of this amendment. The hon. member’s entire argument is based on the fact that he would prefer to see an incorrect inscription on the one document and an incorrect one on the other document. This Bill is solely intended to see to it that inscriptions correspond so that everything will be correct.
Mr. Chairman, I have some difficulty in addressing you because when I look at the Afrikaans version of this clause and then at the English version, I find that they are not exactly the same in effect. Clause 2 (1) in the Afrikaans text reads—
The English version which we have before us reads—
Sir, to me “inskrywing” and “substitution” do not mean the same thing. The hon. member for Umlazi has moved an amendment to the English text so that it may conform to the Afrikaans text of the Bill, and that is to insert that he shall inscribe not “substitute” the inscription, so I see no reason why the hon. the Minister cannot accept our amendment, because it is clear from the Bill as drafted initially in Afrikaans by the Department that there was no intention that there should be an erasure. An inscription, to my knowledge, does not mean a substitution; it does not mean rubbing out.
That is obvious.
The hon. member for Parow says that is obvious. Sir, we are arguing at cross purposes, because again we have had put before this House a Bill which is not correctly translated. We have had an instance before during the course of the session where a Bill drafted in Afrikaans referred to “blan-kes” and we had to sit here and spend time unnecessarily because it was translated as “Europeans”. I think the matter is becoming serious when we find in debating an issue here that we are talking at cross purposes because of the way in which Bills have been drafted.
That is not the crux of the amendment.
The crux of the amendment is simply an inscription without erasure. If the hon. member looks at the amendment again he will find that it seeks to alter the English version of the Bill in order to provide for the making of an inscription, without an erasure. That is all that is being asked for. Sir, in debating this Bill here, we do not know whether it is going to be signed by the State President eventually in the English or the Afrikaans version, and we may be legislating quite differently from what we think we are doing, depending upon which version of the Bill is eventually signed. This is a dangerous procedure. The amendment which has been moved by the hon. member for Umlazi, even accepting all the arguments put forward by hon. members opposite, is merely designed to make the English text conform to the existing Afrikaans text and to make it clear that there shall be no erasure. If we are to accept, as I understand from the Minister’s interjections, that the duty of the Registrar and the Registrar-General is merely to record a classification which has already been assigned to the parents concerned, then there is no difficulty at all in accepting the amendment. But the fear which has been voiced from this side, which is justified by the remarks of the hon. member for Parow for instance, is that this is to go further and that the Registrar-General or the Registrar of Births who, to my knowledge, is not empowered to deal with classification matters, is now apparently to act as some sort of informer to see that these reclassifications are done. Sir, one is getting a little sick and tired of hearing about the loopholes and the borderline cases and “trying for white”. If the hon. member for Parow would only spend a little time investigating the appeals which have been heard under this Act, he will find that there are hundreds more white people who were classified as Coloured and who had to prove on appeal that they were White. It was not Coloured people classified incorrectly and then reclassified as Coloured; it was white people who had been classified as Coloured, and they had to suffer the indignity of having to go to court.
That is not true.
Sir, I ask the hon. member to put a question on the Order Paper as to how many classifications were changed on appeal from Coloured to White and how many were changed on appeal from White to Coloured. However, I am digressing from the matter that we are discussing here at the moment. The amendment moved merely asks that there must be an “inskrywing” (an inscription) and not a substitution as appears in the Bill before us.
Of course I can understand to a certain extent the objection from the Opposition side to the provisions of this Bill where we want to bring birth registrations into line with registrations under the Population Registration Act. They are raising objections because they are basically, and in principle, opposed to the Population Registration Act. That is the reason. Sir, that Act was passed by this House and it is being applied to-day, but the Opposition objects to any amendment which is intended to close loopholes in that Act. That is the intention of this measure, i.e. to close loopholes, as the hon. member for Umlazi so clearly stated. What kind of “loopholes” did he have in mind? Of course he wants as many loopholes as possible through which as many people as possible can pass from the one race group to another race group where they do not belong. He thinks the smaller they are, the better.
We want to close the existing loopholes, and that is why we have introduced this amending Bill. If one has a Population Registration Act, then it is only right tnat one’s birth registration and all other registrations—marriage registrations or whatever—should correspond to registrations under the Population Registration Act. We do not want any more dissatisfied or unhappy people; we want fewer of those people, but hon. members on that side do not want us to classify a child correctly from the outset in terms of the Act and according to the classification of his parents. They want the possibility that the child’s race can be incorrectly declared to remain, so that he should remain under the wrong impression for years and then only find out, one day when he receives his identity card on reaching the age of 16, that he has been something different to what was stated on his birth certificate for all those years. The hon. member for Umlazi forgets that people are not really classified by the Secretary or the Registrar of the Population Register, who in terms of the Act is principally the Secretary of the Department, when they are 16 years old. It is done long before the time because the birth registration is one of the notification forms which he uses more than any other when he goes into the matter. If the parents both state that they are White and that the child is White, then the child is classified accordingly. There are thousands of people who are classified according to the notification on the birth certificate, and who are correctly classified. Only a small minority of the large number of people, the borderline cases, etc., have applied for reclassification. Their cases are then gone into in order to see whether or not they have been correctly classified.
The hon. members for Umlazi and Durban (North) maintained that the entire purpose of the question in regard to the race of the parent and the child in the birth register inscriptions and the attempts to bring it into line with their classification as indicated on their identity cards, was to set a witch hunt in motion. That is one of the arguments they raised. The witch hunt will ostensibly set in motion by the Department, or by a birth registrar or an assistant registrar of deaths, and will in fact be aimed at the parents of the child. The hon. member has stated that the Department wants to get at the parents through the children. The first very important question of the hon. member for Durban (North) was whether the Registrar or Assistant Registrar of Births had the right to notify the Secretary of the fact if he happened to see the parents’ identity cards, or saw them personally and they looked very dark to him. The hon. member wanted to know whether the official had the right to bring his suspicions to the attention of the Secretary, and in such a way to act as an actual agent in setting in motion a witch hunt against the parents of the child in order to see whether he could not have them reclassified.
My reply to this question is the following: The Population Registration Act makes provision for this sort of case. When it is brought to the attention of the Secretary that people have been incorrectly classified, he can consider a reclassification. However, he need not do so. It is “he may” and not “he shall”. Any member of the public may, or has the right to bring something like that to the attention of the Secretary. It can even happen in some other way than by means of a communication from a member of the public; he can suspect it on the grounds of a form or document which has been filled in and which does not look right to him, and he can then have an investigation made on his own initiative. Anything of this nature can make the Secretary decide to make certain what the classification of the people in question is. During the discussion of the Population Registration Act I promised that no witch hunt was going to be set in motion against people who had already been classified. Hon. members on the opposite side may argue that this legislation was only placed on the Statute Book recently, but I nevertheless ask: Where has such a witch hunt been set in motion? A few cases did come to the Secretary’s attention and he did decide to refer them to the Classification Board so that a proper and impartial inquiry in respect of their classification could take place, i.e. whether or not there would consequently be reclassification. The Department did not however unleash a witch hunt. The intention of this measure is in no way that a person who wants to give notification of a child’s birth and who can furnish proof that “this is my wife”, or who gives the identity cards of the parent to another person to have the birth registered … Often the parents do not register the birth of their child themselves. Somebody else can register the birth on their behalf. What we should very much like, is that they should produce their identity cards in future, that they should give proof of their classification in the first instance. If the classification indicates that both parents belong to the same race group then the registration of the child cannot differ from that of the parents. If the parents do not have the same race classification then their child must be registered as Coloured and he must be entered as such. That is the right way.
Is it in fact right?
Of course it is right that he should be inscribed in this way in the birth register. Suppose, for example, that the inscription in the register does not correspond with the classification of the parents under the Population Registration Act, then surely that inscription in the birth register is incorrect. Consequently the race classification as indicated on the birth certificate has no legal validity whatsoever. Surely an incorrect inscription has no legal validity. Only a correct entry has legal validity. This point was gone into very thoroughly, together with the legal advisers, and they agreed that there was no reason at all for a change or for accepting the amendment of the hon. member for Umlazi because, they said, even if the race classification was wiped out completely—“if it is erased”—then, if the inscription was incorrect, it has no legal validity after all. Only the correct inscription according to the Act will have any legal validity. Consequently it makes no difference whether the indication of race to correspond with those of the parents were to be completely erased. It would not matter, because as I have said, such an inscription has no legal validity.
Classifications take place in terms of section 5 of the Population Registration Act and only those classifications are valid and are being made and regarded as valid for the purposes of the measure which is now being dealt with. In reality therefore there is no sense in retaining incorrect inscriptions on the notification forms. Correct inscriptions or notifications do in fact have legal status and may not be changed or be caused to be changed by the Registrar-General. Nor does “substitute” necessarily mean “deleting” or “erasing”. I am still coming to the point made by the hon. member for Green Point and I shall discuss it in greater detail.
In order to satisfy hon. members on the opposite side, I have given hon. members in the Other Place where I introduced the motion the assurance that I shall see to it by means of regulations that any amendment of inscriptions on a birth certificate will not mean “erasing”. A line will be drawn through the incorrect inscription and it will be changed and properly initialled and dated so that the old inscription will remain as it was. If any person should subsequently want to dispute that inscription, he may do so. By looking at the register one will know precisely who made the change and it will be possible to take steps if it is incorrect.
Why can’t you put it in this Bill?
Why should it be included in the Act if I say that I will do it by way of regulation? I have already issued instructions to the effect that this should be done. I have just finished explaining that it is not even necessary for me to act in this way by means of regulation because it means nothing in any case. A race classification on the birth certificate which does not comply with section 5 of the Population Registration Act has no legal validity in any case. Why should something which is worthless be placed on the Statute Book? I have said that I am going to do so by means of regulation and in no other way. That is the end of the story. The hon. members on the opposite side can go ahead and call for a division, they can discuss the amendment for two or even three days, but I shall not accept the amendment. That is the end of it.
The hon. member for Green Point thinks that the word “substituting” in the new section 7 (a) (i) as inserted by clause 2 (1) of this Bill implies a “complete erasure of the original entry”. In addition he maintains that the Afrikaans word “verander” in line 29 on page 6 is correct, but that the English and the Afrikaans texts do not correspond. I do not want to argue with the hon. member now, but I differ completely from him of course and I shall say why. One must read the full text of the entire subsection in question in clause 2 in order to understand the relationship between the English and the Afrikaans texts. Now I shall first read the Afrikaans text of the new clause 7 (a) (1)––
Die Registrateur-generaal kan die registrasie van die geboorte van enige persoon verander deur ’n inskrywing ten opsigte van die ras of ten opsigte van die klassifikasie ingevolge die Bevolkingsregistrasiewet, 1950, van sodanige persoon of ’n ouer van sodanige persoon op die oorspronklike geboorteken-nisgewingsvorm wat in sy kantoor geliasseer is in verband met sodanige geboorte, te vervang deur ’n inskrywing van die klassifikasie wat ingevolge daardie wet aan sodanige persoon of ouer, na gelang van die geval, toegewys is en waar hy so ’n inskrywing doen, moet hy die betrokke distriksregistrateur gelas om ’n dergelike inskrywing in sy geboortereigster te doen.
In English it reads as follows:
It is very clear therefore that all that is happening here is that the Registrar-General can change the original notification form by means of a change in the inscription of the correct classification. In English it reads as follows: “to amend by substituting for the original inscription by an inscription.” The word “substituting” relates to the word “vervang” in line 36 of the Afrikaans text on page 6 and not to the word “verander” in line 29 of the Afrikaans text. Surely the word “amend” which the hon. member wants inserted, is already contained in line 27 of the English text on page 7 and the word “insertion” or in fact “inscription” which he now wants inserted is contained in line 34 of the English text. Surely I cannot state the case more clearly than that. The clause reads correctly and its meaning is also correct. But I shall go further. The hon. member stated that this entire matter seemed so strange to him that he wondered when I went to the State President to have the Bill signed, whether I would submit both the English and the Afrikaans texts to him, or merely the Afrikaans text. I want to promise the hon. member that I shall submit the English text to the State President because according to him the English text reads better. However, I am certain that no lawyer will interpret the Afrikaans text incorrectly if I submit the English text to the State President. If the hon. member would prefer me to have the Bill signed in the Afrikaans text, then I shall do so.
Mr. Chairman, the question is not whether this hon. Minister is satisfied with this Bill but whether the Committee is satisfied with it. After the hon. the Minister’s performance a few moments ago, the fact that the hon. the Minister is satisfied with the Bill is very small consolation to us who are concerned about insuring that the English text reflects what is contained in the Afrikaans text. The hon. the Minister talks about everything in connection with this Bill being “reg”. The interpretation is correct and it is only right, according to him, that the child should be registered according to the race classification. This hon. Minister also deals with marriages. One of the statutes relating to marriages is the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. The hon. the Minister has probably heard of it.
It does not fall under my Department.
The point is not whether the prohibition of mixed marriages falls under the Minister’s department; the point is whether he has heard of the Act. It was passed in 1949 by a Nationalist Government. In terms of this Act no persons may marry if the one is White and the other is non-White. This is not just a fanciful case. I myself have three examples of this having happened. Two people wish to get married. The one is classified as a Coloured for some reason and the other is classified as White. The one person has an objection to his classification as a Coloured but it takes so long to be heard that he has not been reclassified yet. They then go to the Chief Magistrate and disclose to him that the one has been classified as Coloured and the other classified as White and that an objection is pending in regard to the one who is classified as Coloured. They then say that in terms of this law of the Nationalist Party to prohibit a person marrying anyone who is not of the same race group, they are in fact white persons. The definition of a white person in terms of this Act, is someone who is in appearance abviously a white person or who is accepted as a white person. They then get married in a church in accordance with the law of the Nationalist Party itself which says that mixed marriages should not take place. They then have a child. I want to know whether it is right or wrong that they register that child as a white person. Is it wrong that they should go to the Clerk at the counter and say that the child is white? Is that dishonest? [Interjection.] Now this hon. Minister says that he is going to change that Act as well.
I said that if that Act makes it possible for people who are classified as non-White to marry people who are classified as White, that Act should be amended to close that loophole also and prevent such marriages from taking place.
That is exactly what I thought the hon. the Minister had said. Mr. Chairman, is it not incredible that we have a Minister of the Interior who does not even know that that is possible.
Do not say that I did not know about that.
That is just what the hon. the Minister has implied. He said that if that is the position, the Act will be amended. I think that we are all delighted that the hon. the Minister has indicated to us something which we already knew, namely that he is not in charge of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. I want to say that if he had sat in this House and listened to his colleague the Minister of Justice last year, he would have remembered that there was an attempt to change the definition of a white person. Having heard the arguments in this House the hon. the Minister decided that it was not advisable to do so. He therefore advised the Committee to vote against an amendment to the definition of a white person as contained in that Act. There you have a concrete example of what has happened in my own experience three times. On each of those occasions I felt very sick indeed. They are married as white people in terms of a law which stipulates that only Whites may marry Whites. They then register their child and say that he is White. They were married in the sight of God and in the sight of the Nationalist’s Party laws as white people. I want to take this matter a little further. They will register this child and justifiably say. “We were married as white people and we will register our child as a white person”. What is going to happen to them in terms of this clause? They are going to be caught up in this vortex. They are going to be caught in this machine and go up to the Registrar-General. He is going to make investigations and find that the one is classified as a white person and the other as a Coloured person. What is he then going to do? He is of course going to change that child’s classification to Coloured immediately. His birth certificate will also be changed to Coloured. The hon. the Minister wants everything to be nice and tidy. He wants all the parents and relations, as far as it is possible, to be of one race group. Mr. Chairman. I will tell you what he is going to do. He is going to see to it that the father if he was white is then classified as Coloured so that both the mother and the father are Coloured simply because the child is Coloured in terms of the law passed last year. That is what is going to happen. And believe me, Sir, this can happen. The hon. the Minister should know it. It can happen, that if a person was classified as a white person before the amendment of last year, which makes descent the test in classification, if he was classified as a white person before the passing of this amendment, not by a board but because he was generally accepted as a white person, he can now be reclassified as a Coloured person in terms of the amendment. Because they might find that one of his parents was classified as a Coloured person, but did nothing about it.
I have another example of that, where some old chap was classified, a man of nearly 80, as a Coloured person. But he did nothing about it. He could not care less, even if he was classified as a Chinese. He was living in his house. He was at the end of his days, and he did nothing about it. The time elapsed. Because of that in terms of the amendment of the hon. the Minister last year to the Population Registration Act all his children had to be classified as Coloureds.
I think the hon. member for Parow has made it very clear that what they are getting at here are the parents. The hon. the Minister has made it very clear that we have to have everyone the same, that there cannot be people registered as White and getting a white birth certificate if one of their parents is in fact classified as something else. Then the hon. the Minister accentuates this and gives strength to our argument by saying that, if the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act has a definition different from this, it should be amended. Mr. Chairman, under the reasonably fair interpretation of this clause outlined by the hon. member for Umlazi I must say that, having heard the hon. the Minister’s interjection, my personal attitude to this is that this clause would be very difficult for anyone to stomach, for anybody who knows anything about the Population Registration Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act.
Order! At first I regarded this amendment as being in order, but after listening carefully to the arguments on both sides, I am inclined to the view that the amendment is destructive of the principle as contained in the Bill. The intention is to have only one registration. If the amendment is accepted, there will be two registrations: the original one and the one now intended to be included. I am, however, prepared to hear hon. members on the point.
With respect, Sir, the Afrikaans text as has been pointed out during the debate by the hon. member for Green Point, talks about a “inskrywing”; it does not talk about an “erasure”. If that is in the Afrikaans text, I ask you, Sir, to have regard to that. Secondly, I ask you, Sir, to have regard to the interpretation the hon. the Minister himself put on it by saying …
Order! I will hear the member only on whether or not the amendment is destructive of the principle of the Bill. I am prepared to listen to the hon. member’s argument on that point.
Mr. Chairman, my argument on that point is: If one looks at the Afrikaans text, it makes it clear that what is required, is "'n inskrywing”, an insertion, as I understand the Afrikaans language. What the hon. member for Umlazi proposes in the amendment, is to do precisely that, i.e. that he may insert something. But it is put slightly differently. It is put in a way in which it says he may change it, but he may not erase the original. If one does that, it is exactly the same, in my submission, as an insertion; it is just put somewhat differently.
Order! I wish to refer the hon. member to the word “ver-vang”, which means “substituting”, in line 36 in the Afrikaans text.
Mr. Chairman, you have just indicated that this may be destructive of the principle of the Bill. But the following appear in the long title: “For inscription in a birth register of the classification in terms of the Population Registration Act, 1950, of any person whose birth is registered, any person born on or after the 1st day of December, 1967, and the parents of any such person; for the alteration of surnames in the birth registers in certain cases; for specifying the classification in terms of the Population Registration Act, 1950, of a person born on or after the 1st day of December, 1967, or whose classification in terms of that Act has been inscribed in the births registers, on any certificate issued in respect of his birth; and for the inscription of surnames in and the application of certain provisions to certain registers kept in respect of Indians,” etc. Now, I submit that the principle of the Bill is not that the name shall be “erased”; the principle of the Bill is that this amendment shall be inscribed. I submit we are quite entitled to discuss in this Committee how that inscription shall be made. That is all it is. The amendment sets out to describe how the insertion shall be made. I submit that is not destructive of the principle that an amendment shall be made in the register. That is all.
But the hon. member says the intention is not to erase.
Well, that is just what the amendment boils down to.
The principle of the Bill is not to erase. I submit that it cannot be held that the principle of the Bill to erase the name; the principle of the Bill is to amend the name.
Order! It is to amend by the substitution of the new name.
Yes, Sir, but now the principle is that there will be a substitution. The name will be amended by a substitution. What this Committee is now considering is how that substitution will be made. The principle is not that it shall be erased; but that it shall be amended. We are discussing now in this Committee how it is to be amended, in other words the method of amending. Now, I submit that it is not destructive of the principle, with all due respect.
Can the hon. member explain to me what inscription must be accepted by a court, if the matter is brought to a court: the original one, or the one substituted? Which is the correct one?
I will put it this way: The Minister himself asked us to accept this, because he said regulations are going to do what we ask him to do. If the principle is that it should be erased, and that it cannot be substituted in the way we ask, then I submit the Minister cannot do it. Then the Minister is misleading this Committee. He has said to us that this is not necessary, because by regulation he is going to lay down how it shall be done. If that is so, we are entitled to say that we want it to appear in the Act, not in regulations, because this Minister may by regulation do what we want him to do, but his successor may disagree with him and issue another regulation. That is why we want to have what he says the position will be, in this Bill. Sir, if the amendment is ruled out of order he will not be able to issue that regulation; it will be ultra vires.
Mr. Chairman I take it that you are going to give a ruling on this. Do you want me to go further, or do you want me to go back to the previous discussion?
It is on the point of order?
Yes. I want to support the hon. member for Transkei on this point of order. This clause definitely says, in my opinion, that the object is to amend whatever information is given in the original certificate of the registration of births. This clause now gives the Registrar-General the power to amend that. This is what the clause says: According to the requirements of the population register.
It then proceeds to tell him, according to the requirements of the population register, the manner in which he shall make the amendment. At the moment it says he shall do it by substitution. It does not say that he has to erase it, and the hon. the Minister gave us the assurance that he would in a regulation say that he must not erase it, and that he must still go further and initial and date the alteration. He gave us that assurance, and he went further than that. He said he was not prepared to accept the amendment and put it in the Bill because his word was as good as that. Sir, I do not want to go any further than that, but I put it to you, Sir, that if the hon. the Minister is prepared to go as far as that, obviously with the consent of his Department, then my amendment must be in order. It was also first submitted for drafting to the legal section of this House and I have had no indication that it might be ruled out of order until this moment.
Having heard the arguments submitted I am prepared to allow the amendment.
In reply to the hon. member for Durban (North) who has now involved the Mixed Marriages Act in this matter, I just want to say that every argument used by him really was one which confirmed the necessity of this Bill in its present form and I shall prove to him why this is so. But before doing so, I just want to tell the hon. member that he knows as well as I do that the Mixed Marriages Act as well as its amendment falls under a quite different department than the Department of the Interior. It falls under the Department of Justice, and he knows it, and consequently I condemn his behaviour to the hon. Minister and his snubbing of the Minister for ostensibly not knowing the Mixed Marriages Act.
Ought he not to know it?
What do you know about the Topnaar-Bushman Act? [Interjection.] Surely it is ridiculous to expect of every Minister to have knowledge of every Act of every other Minister. That argument cannot hold water.
But now I come to my argument. I want to concede quite readily that under the Mixed Marriages Act it is possible at this stage for a person of mixed descent to marry a white person and for such person to make the inscription entirely in good faith that both parties are White. Therefore I think the argument of the hon. member confirms the fact that we must have regard to classification, because hon. members opposite know as well as I do that in terms of section 5 (5) the classification of a child follows that of the parents. Consequently it is absolutely essential to have agreement between the inscription of the child and that of the parents, because subsequently, when classification takes place, one will in any event have to go back to determine beyond any doubt the classification of the parents. This being the case, what has happened under the Mixed Marriages Act is of no concern. It is absolutely essential that these two inscriptions should be made correctly, and for this to be done at the time of the registration of the birth is surely much better than saying when someone becomes 16 years of age, “Wait a moment, your registration is incorrect and I am first going to ascertain the classification of your parents”. Surely it is much better to have regard to classification now and to make the correct inscription, in order that the child can be classified correctly at the time of classification.
The picture is now beginning to unfold and it is becoming clearer. The answer here is becoming more and more obvious as each member on that side of the House stands up. This Minister is now using the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act to do the dirty work that he has not been able to do under other legislation.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw the word “dirty”.
I withdraw it, and say that he uses it to do the work that he has not been able to do under other legislation.
What is the picture that is unfolding? This Minister has set a, let us call it, P.R. Day, a Population Register Day, and that is 1st December, 1967. That is D-Day for the beginning of the big sort-out. This Minister has failed with the legislation he has, to get the beautiful, clean, population register he wants. And what is his version of clean? It is that everyone should be in a watertight compartment, the compartment he wants him to be in. So what is he going to do now? He has rubbed out the older generation because he cannot deal with them; he has tried to deal with them to the utmost of his ability and he has thrown them overboard. They will die out anyhow, but he is going to get the young parent and the young child. That is what he is after now, and his intention is becoming more and more clear. He is going to ensure that whereas a child only has to be classified when it is 16 years of age, under the Population Registration Act through this Bill he will classify that child at birth. He cannot wait until it is 16, as the other legislation provides. This Minister cannot stand the legislation which his own Government passed in the form of the Mixed Marriages Act, and so he is going to override it here. As the hon. member for Prinshof has now said if a father and mother who were married under this Act come to register the birth of their child, he must be put in the proper compartment straight away. But has he stopped to think of the consequences to that child? The mother and the father are married under a law of this Government and as such they are allowed to live in a white area under the Group Areas Act. Now they have a Coloured child living in their house with them. Where do they go from there? Because if the hon. member is correct, then that child will have to go from a white area and a white home to a Coloured school. Am I right or am I wrong? Of course I am right, and the hon. member knows it. Yet I am expected to accept legislation of this nature. Do you think I am mad?
Then tell us what your party wants.
Did our party get into such a mess? Of course we did not introduce legislation of this nature which is creating more problems instead of solving them. How does that child live with its parents in a white group area? Let us reduce this thing to absurdities if that is what hon. members opposite want. How does its mother feed the child every four hours if the child cannot be there? Those are the questions the Minister must answer. It is very nice for him to sit in his ivory tower across the street and decide that as from 1st December, 1967, he will fix all these people of odd colours who have been living here all this time and who are giving him all these troubles, and he will clean the slate and fix the population register and history will remember him as the great man who put it right. That is what the Minister has decided to do, and what is he doing? He is creating more misery and more problems for posterity to deal with. This is a shocking clause and we will vote against it.
When one listens to the fuss and din being made, by the hon. member for Umlazi in particular, one can really make no sense of that. One is inclined to think that something must be wrong either with them or with oneself, something of which one is afraid. They have dragged the Mixed Marriages Act into this Bill and let me now say this. We have a Population Registration Act and the provisions of that Act will be the determining factors as regards-classification. If there are people, such as those referred to by the hon. member for Durban (North), who have contracted a marriage in terms of another Act, such as the Mixed Marriages Act, which allows Whites to marry non-Whites, they must know what the consequences will be. The hon. member himself said that they knew they were not members of the same group. Last year I introduced the Population Registration Amendment Bill, and as from that time everyone in South Africa ought to know that if they were to act contrary to the provisions of that Act, even in regard to marriages, they would be the ones on whose consciences it would be if such difficulty were to be experienced with their children and that they must answer for it and not blame the Government.
The hon. members opposite said they were opposed to the amendment of the Mixed Marriages Act and the hon. member for Umlazi said the Minister had said last year that he would abandon that provision in the Act; he would not force it through in order to make it conform to the provisions of the Classification Act, and that he was pleased about that. But in the same breath he reproached us with the fact that that was an Act of the National Government which had not been adapted to another Act which was more predominant. But both are Acts of Parliament. Both were before this Parliament last year, and were introduced by the governing Party, for it is definitely not the Opposition that introduces legis lation. These are the questions to which the hon. member for Umlazi wants me to reply, and that is my reply to him and to the hon. member for Durban (North) and to everyone in the country, namely that everyone in this country must know that if two persons beget children and the two persons who beget children are not members of the same race group, those children will be classified as Coloured. Then they must not come crying. The hon. member must not try to make money out of them, by taking their case to the Race Classification Board or to the Appeal Courts. Here are people, it appears to me, who are more concerned about the earnings they have been making from these things than about anything else.
Order! I think the hon. the Minister should rather not cast reflections on hon. members.
He has cast many reflections.
Is the Minister withdrawing that?
I said there appeared to be people in this House who were concerned about the earnings from the work which they have been doing in this connection and of which they were being deprived and who would like this state of affairs to continue. [Interjections.]
I want to conclude by saying that people are not classified according to the marriages contracted. The children are classified according to the classification of their parents, irrespective of how they were married. But if the parents have been classified, the classification of the children will bear reference to that of their parents.
Now I want to come to the important point. The hon. member for Umlazi said that in classifying children at an early age one was doing them an injustice. We naturally want them to know as soon as possible to what race group they belong. That is where the outlook of that Party and of our Party are diametrically opposed. We want this child to know from an early age what road he should take. He must not be confused at first because no one else knows. Therefore we want to ensure that the correct inscription will be made in the register at the time of birth, one which will correspond to the matter of population registration, so that the child may know that if he has been inscribed in the register as White, that inscription will not be tampered with ever again and that he will always be accepted as White. If he is Coloured, that is how it will remain, and if he is a Bantu that is how it will remain. Then we shall surely be eliminating the problems which may subsequently arise; we shall be eliminating the heart-ache which is being caused by the Population Registration Act and of which hon. members opposite have spoken before. Now they no longer have any feeling in their hearts for the children. What we want to do here is to remove the heart-ache.
When the child goes to school his birth certificate ought to be produced, and if the race inscription on the birth certificate is correct, he will surely end up in the right place. Does the hon. member want a mixing of the races to continue in our schools, at our universities, and everywhere in our society? Is that the reason why he is so opposed to this Bill? Does he think he can undermine the Government’s policy of separate development in this way? The hon. member has no hope of achieving that. We shall not allow ourselves to be caught so easily. This side and that are now differing in principle about a matter about which I thought there was no longer any need for us to differ. Here it is not a question of a new classification. The sole intention here is to make the correct inscription in the register of births. Why all the fuss about this? Do hon. members opposite want incorrect registrations of births? If the inscription is incorrect, then its non-validity will surely be proved sooner or later. Why not simply correct it now? That is what we are doing here, and that is the reason why we cannot come to an understanding. I am convinced of the fact that we are doing the correct thing here.
Sir, after that exhibition of old-world charm and courtesy from the hon. the Minister, I am sure that we will be able to get down to debating some of the points which have been raised here. The hon. the Minister must not get cross simply because he made a fool of himself. It can happen to anyone in this House.
If I made a fool of myself, then I know of at least two fools in this House.
Order! Did the hon. member say that the Minister had made a fool of himself?
Yes, I did.
The hon. member must withdraw it.
I withdraw it, Sir.
On a point of order …
Order! I have ordered the hon. member to withdraw and to apologize.
Sir, may I ask whether the hon. the Minister will withdraw the reflections that he made upon me? If he will not do so …
Order! That is a separate point. The hon. member must first abide by my ruling. He can raise the other point later.
On a point of order, Sir, the hon. the Minister cast a reflection upon my colleague, the hon. member for Durban (North), a reflection which is far worse than the remark made by my colleague, and if my colleague is ordered to apologize then I submit that in fairness you will ask the hon. the Minister also to apologize.
Order! What did the hon. the Minister say?
He cast the aspersion that the hon. member for Durban (North) would no longer be able to make money when the register is cleaned up because he had bad cases of this kind.
Order! Why did the hon. member not raise this point while the Minister was speaking? I asked the hon. the Minister not to cast reflections upon hon. members. The hon. the Minister did not mention any particular member of the Opposition.
I did not say it was so; I said that it looked like it.
Sir, you asked me why I am raising this point now and I want to tell you. I let the matter go because you instructed the hon. the Minister to withdraw his remark but you did not impose the penalty of making him apologize.
Order! Will the hon. member please resume his seat? I want to appeal to the hon. member for Durban (North) to abide by my ruling.
I did withdraw it, Sir.
I have ordered the hon member to apologize. I will then deal with the point which has been raised with regard to the Minister’s statement. [Interjections.] Will the hon. member please apologize?
I am just drawing a deep breath. Sir; I need a bit of breath to do that. I apologize.
The hon. member may continue. [Interjections.]
Sir, may I have a ruling now on my point of order?
That matter has been settled. While the Minister was speaking I asked him not to cast reflections on members.
On a point of order, Sir, I did not hear him withdraw it. I did not press the issue then, but he did not apologize.
Order! The hon. member should have raised that point while the hon. the Minister was addressing the Committee; not now, ten minutes later.
On a point of order, Sir, when the hon. member called the Minister a fool, there was no objection raised. The Chair on its own initiative took the point and I submit that the Chair …
Order! The Chair has the fullest right to intervene to ensure that the dignity of this Committee is maintained. Will the hon. member please resume his seat? The hon. member for Durban (North) may continue.
I must say in connection with your ruling. Sir, that the hon. the Minister has not helped to maintain the dignity of this Committee.
On a point of order, Sir, is the hon. member for Durban (North) entitled to say that the Minister has not contributed to maintaining the dignity of this Committee? It is a reflection on the Chair.
It is not a reflection on the Chair. The hon. member for Durban (North) may continue.
On a point of order, Sir, the hon. member is saying by implication that the Minister made no contribution to maintaining the dignity of the Committee. May the Chair allow the Minister to violate the dignity of the House? Because that is what the hon. member said by implication.
I cannot understand what the hon. member’s point of order is.
I am asking for your ruling, Mr. Chairman. The hon. member for Durban (North) said that the Minister’s speech did not contribute to maintaining the dignity of this Committee. My point of order is whether the hon. member is entitled to suggest that what the Minister said was a violation of the dignity of the Committee.
I shall give the hon. member my ruling. I myself interrupted the hon. Minister while he was speaking and asked him not to cast reflections on members. The hon. member’s words, if he is referring to them, were not a reflection on the Chair, because the Chair felt the same way about the matter at that stage. I think hon. members must let the matter rest there.
On a point of order, Sir. I now want to refer to what the hon. member has just said, and not to the previous incident. The hon. member has just said that the Minister did not contribute to maintaining the dignity of this Committee, and that implies that he contributed to the indignity of this Committee.
Order! The hon. member is placing a construction on words which is completely inappropriate. The hon. member may proceed.
Sir, the hon. the Minister has taken a very tough line suddenly. The hon. the Minister says that parents should know the law and that they should know that they should not get married and that they should know that they will have children. Let me tell the hon. the Minister that I know of a couple who got married under the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, before the amendment of last year. The one was classified as Coloured and the other was classified as White, and they got married as white people in terms of the Government’s law relating to prohibition of mixed marriages. After they were married, while the woman was pregnant this amendment went through, and the child of that couple who married as Whites is now classified as a Coloured person. I think the hon. the Minister has perhaps given us a clue as to what he is after. He is threatening to amend the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. He says that all the definitions have to be the same. But, Sir, let me put a question to him and to the hon. member for Prinshof. The hon. member for Prinshof says that that child must be put in his proper compartment. My question is this: What is his proper compartment and how does one determine it? Let us look at the situation that we have in South Africa to-day. The present situation is that if you want to get married then you look at the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act determine if you can get married; surely that is the proper compartment, and the definition there is different from the other two definitions of a white person. If you want to know whether you can live in a white area, then you go to the Group Areas Act and you look at the definition of a white person there. That definition is quite different from the definition in terms of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and it is also quite different from the definition in the Population Registration Act. If you want an identity card then you go to the Population Register definition, which again is quite different from the other two. The point is this: What is the proper compartment? What is so important about the Population Register definition? That is one definition for one purpose, but why must that be applied to everything? Sir, the legislature has not done that; this Nationalist Party has not done that: this Parliament has not done that. Under this Government Parliament has three definitions of a white person for three different purposes. The question that must be determined is whether a person is white or should be described as white or not. Surely if the law allows a person to get married as a white person to another person who is a white person in terms of that Act, they should be entitled to register a child born of the marriage as a white person. Surely that is the proper thing. I think there has been much confusion about this and I hope the hon. the Minister will indicate what his intention really is. Is his intention to make the population register test the test for all race determination, whether in relation to marriages or in relation to group areas? Sir, I have not produced this anomaly; it was produced by this Government itself. Let me give you an example, the case of one of my constituents who has been classified as a result of this amendment of last year as a Coloured person. [Time expired.]
I do not think that we must become as hotheaded as the hon. member for Umlazi when discussing this matter. There is no reason to get so hot under the collar. The hon. the Minister’s amendments are intended to give practical effect to an Act, and the amendments are being made for practical reasons. I shall tell the hon. member in a moment what his amendment amounts to. The hon. member for Durban (North) mentioned the example here of a white person who is married to a Coloured person and whose child has been classified as a Coloured person. How does he want that child to be classified? The wife is classified as a Coloured person. [Interjections.] The hon. member has just told us that in his constituency there is a case where a white man married a woman who is classified as a non-White, and that they have a child.
But she is a white person by appearance.
The hon. member says that she is obviously a white person by appearance, but that she is classified as a Coloured person. If this woman has a case, why has she never tried to have herself reclassified as a white person? The fact that she accepts an identity card classifying her as a Coloured person is more than sufficient proof to me that she is in fact non-white. The hon. member is prepared to accept this, but at the same time he is prepared to have the child born of that mixed marriage accepted as White. something which this side of the House will not allow. The hon. member is hiding behind the Marriage Act. It must be made clear that persons who want to contract a marriage as Whites without producing their identity cards, must expect that their children will be classified according to their, that is the parents’ identity cards. The intention of the hon. member for Durban (North), by implication, is to allow that child in his constituency, born of a mixed marriage, to go to a white school. One day when that child is 16 and must obtain an identity card, that poor child is faced with the choice of what type of identity card he should get. He does not obtain that identity card on the basis of his birth certificate, but on the basis of the classification of his mother and father. Now it so happens that his mother is non-White. [Interjections.] That woman is a non-White. If she is not, then the hon. member for Durban (North) has no case. But if any doubt exists. this woman does have the right, in terms of the procedure prescribed by the law, to prove at any time that she is White. If she can prove that she is White, that child is classified as White. The hon. member for Durban (North) wants this House to accept that children from a mixed marriage should pass as Whites. But this House passed legislation in this connection last year and we would not be worth our salt if we did not carry out that law. That law provides that a child shall be classified according to the lawful classification of his parents. What the Minister is now saying, is that that classification of the child should be done as early as possible for practical reasons—in other words, at birth. This is to prevent the child being classified as Coloured and going to a Coloured school, later to be found to be White. Then the fact that he had attended a Coloured school would be held against him.
Do you see, Mr. Chairman, the reasons why the United Party is moving this amendment? They are committing obstruction …
Order! The hon. member is not allowed to say that other hon. members are committing obstruction.
Then I withdraw it, Mr. Chairman. I say that they are being deliberately wilful in that they are trying to frustrate an Act passed by this House.
Order! The hon. member may not attempt to couch in different words the statement which he withdrew a moment ago. Besides, it is a reflection on the Chair if the hon. member says that other hon. members are being “deliberately” wilful. The hon. member must withdraw that.
Very well, Sir, I withdraw it. I say that the hon. members are being wilful, because they know the provisions of the law of the country. Even so, they want this House to accept legislation to-day which will make it possible to classify persons differently to what is prescribed by the law of the country. And they know that this is so.
The hon. member for Umlazi …
On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, if you allow the hon. member for Umlazi to speak again, he will have spoken more than three times on this clause.
Order! I keep a very careful record of the number of times an hon. member has spoken. The hon. member for Umlazi has in fact spoken a few times on a point of order. Those do not count as speeches. He has only spoken twice on the clause. The hon. member for Umlazi may proceed.
Mr. Chairman, I am sorry that the hon. member has raised this point of order. The hon. member, first of all cannot count, and also thinks that you, Mr. Chairman, cannot count either. If I am allowed to quote something without having to withdraw it, I want to say that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I should like to apply that saying to the hon. member for Parow. He tried to justify this whole argument by saying that if a white man marries a Coloured woman, or vice versa, then he must know what the law of the land is and he must expect it to be applied. But it is not as simple as all that. The fact is that he does not know the law, and he does not know that his Government keeps changing the law. He does not know that his Government has changed the definition of a “white person” many times. He uses only one criterion to judge whether a person is White, and that happens to be, for his convenience, the one included in the Population Registration Amendment Act. This is the point. What about the other definitions of a white person which his Government has from time to time formulated, the tests it has applied to people …
Order! Will the hon. member please come back to the clause under discussion? He is discussing the Mixed Marriages Act now.
I will do so, Sir, but with respect, I have to try and instil this thought in the mind of the hon. member first. To justify both the hon. member’s attitude and that of the hon. the Minister, the Minister has based all his arguments on the fact that he does not accept the Mixed Marriages Act. He has based all his arguments on that fact. He did that to try and justify this clause now under discussion. If he is wrong in his argument right from the beginning, as the Minister clearly is, then how can we ever hope to get this matter right and how can the law be changed so that it can be fairly applied to the people concerned? That is the position. [Interjections.] The hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Affairs can be flippant here, but we are dealing with serious matters. He is the joker. This is no time for joking, let me assure the hon. Deputy the Minister.
There are a few points that have not been dealt with. In spite of all that the Minister and the hon. member for Parow said, the Minister has not dealt with the various definitions of a white person. He has not tried to justify the application of this clause to people who were regarded as White at the time of the Population Registration Act, 1950, in terms of the Government’s own definition. The Government has since changed the definition.
Order! The definition of a White or any other person is not in issue now; this clause does not deal with that. There is no definition in this particular amendment.
If I may say so, with respect, Sir, the whole object of this clause is to apply the definition contained in the Population Registration Act to the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registration Act. This is the whole object of this clause. These definitions are inseparable. They are so intermingled in this clause …
Order! This clause does not contain any definition of any class of person.
May I just quote from the proposed new section 7A. (1) as found in clause 2 (1)? The new section reads, “… in respect of the race or in respect of the classification under the Population Registration Act, 1950 …” When that Act was introduced in 1950 its definition of a white person was different to what it is at this moment.
But the definition is not being amended in this clause under discussion.
The amendment refers to the Population Registration Act of 1950 and the whole case is based on the definition of a white person under that Act. This is what we are arguing about. If I may say so, this is the crux of this side’s argument.
Order! The hon. member may only argue on this particular clause.
What I am talking about is in this very clause, Mr. Chairman. It is the essence of the clause. The point I am trying to make is that that part of the Population Registration Amendment Act which is being applied to the Births, Marriages and Deaths Act is being applied through this very clause. I wish to repeat that the registration of a birth in terms of this Act has been amended since it was first brought in. The hon. the Minister as well as the hon. member for Parow based their discussion and arguments on the 1950 version. I am trying to tell them that the definition has been amended since then. This is what I trying to say. If I can get that thought through to them then I might stand a little chance of changing their attitude towards this Bill. Because this is where the whole thing has gone wrong. Those hon. gentlemen are trying to liken chalk to cheese. The person who was regarded as white in terms of the 1950 Population Registration Act is a different person from the person who is regarded as a white person under the latest amendment. The hon. the Minister should know, but I do not think he does. No, I do not think he appreciates that basic fact. This is the cause of all our troubles here this afternoon. The Minister stands up and blusters his way through and says, well, they will know from now on what will happen to them. Surely, that is not the way in which South Africans should be treated.
Whilst the Minister was talking, one or two thoughts crossed my mind, and I should like to put them to him and see what answers he will give. What is to happen to a white girl married under the Mixed Marriages Act to a non-White, married lawfully, when she wants to go to a maternity home to have her child, who will be regarded as Coloured? Let the hon. the Minister tell me some basic things now. That is what I want to know. I want to relate this measure to the ordinary people of this country who will have this enactment applied to them. [Interjections.] No, that will not do. Mr. Chairman, this Minister appeals all round the clock but he does not deal with the real issues. We have this sort of thing from time to time. I do not know how we are ever going to get legislation right in this House. The Minister is quite irresponsible; he is laughing right now whilst I am asking him this question. I ask again: What nursing home does a white girl go to for the birth of a Coloured child? This is what I am asking the Minister. Is the Minister going to answer me or is he going to laugh again? I see the Minister is laughing again. What a shocking state of affairs, that our Parliament should be reduced to this! [Interjections.]
Nursing homes do not fall under me.
This is all the reply I get from the Minister, and I want it placed on record. He says: “Nursing homes do not fall under me.” That is the reply of the hon. the Minister to such a serious question. May God forbid that this measure should ever apply to me. I also ask him this question, let him try and answer me. What happens to a child of a mixed marriage which is lawful, where the family lives in a white group area? A man classified as a Coloured person under the Population Registration Act can live in a white group area. I can produce such a case, where the man is living there quite lawfully. How will this measure be applied to people like that? There are so many complications. We on this side have sought answers during this debate, but we have received none.
It is so interesting that the only people who have tried to come to the rescue of the Minister during this debate are people like the hon. member for Parow, who participates out of loyalty, not because he knows what he is debating. He entered the debate out of loyalty to try and support the Minister. Where are all the brains of that party? Where are all the legal brains on the other side? Where are they? [Interjections.] How many legal men on that side have stood up here this afternoon to support the Minister with this measure?
They do not support him.
Of course they do not support him, and that is the answer. [Interjections.]
They know what this legislation will do; they know what this clause contains, and I should imagine that they dislike it as intensely as we on this side. If not, why have those hon. members not come to the Minister’s aid? That leads me to a further question, one which I should really not ask: Why is this hon. the Minister handling this Bill?
Before I sit down I want to register the aversion of this side to this clause. I want to register my utter disappointment that the Minister is not prepared to accept my amendment, which would alleviate the position at least to some extent and give people a legal right to try and reinstate themselves where they think they belong. The Minister has turned down everything. He has come here with a set mind, and the only thing he can see is this date—the first of December, 1967—and I hope he remembers it for the rest of his life.
Order! Before I ask the next hon. member to address the Committee, I want to point out that for the last hour more or less there has not been a single new argument raised in this debate. I am not going to allow any further repetition.
Mr. Chairman, in the course of the discussion we have not dealt in any detail with the one point on which I would like some clarification from the hon. the Minister.
In terms of subsection (2) (a) the Registrar-General shall “ascertain what classification has been assigned in terms of the Population Registration Act”. Is the Registrar-General now going to have power to implement the Population Registration Act, whereas the duty now falls upon the Registrar? I assume that this is not intended in this Bill. I should like the hon. the Minister to clarify this matter. I gather from what has been said by the hon. the Minister that, where one or the other of the parents was found to be White and the other one Coloured, the Registrar is now the person who will then insert in the child’s birth certificate that that baby is now Coloured.
I want to refer the hon. the Minister, to a judgment which was delivered on 22nd February of this year, dealing with this particular automatic registration which the Minister has indicated has to be done by the Registrar. It is the case of Pitcher versus the Secretary for the Interior. It is a judgment delivered by Mr. Justice van Winsen on 22nd February. This is what the judge says in regard to this automatic registration, which the hon. member for Parow seems to suggest is so clear and unambiguous. I quote from the judgment:
That is what Mr. Justice van Winsen has said as to the clarity of this section in the Act. And now am I to understand that not the Population Registrar, but the Registrar-General of Births is going to assume unto himself the right to apply that section by making an endorsement before the child has reached the age of 16, not saving the child the embarrassment until he reaches the age of 16 of having gone to a white school and then being classified as Coloured, but condemning that child to spend 16 years as a Coloured child, who is entitled subsequently to be classified as a white child after he has been condemned to live as a Coloured child for that period of time? I want to know from the Minister, in view of this judgment, who does the assigning of the classifications? If no assigning was formerly done by the Population Registrar, is the Registrar-General now to be in the position to do such an assigning of a classification?
With all due respect to hon. members on the other side, it seems to me as if they are all trying to draw a red herring across the floor because they do not like this Bill. The court case mentioned by the hon. member a moment ago has no relevancy at all to this particular Bill which is now before the House.
Let us return to the previous argument as to the definition of a white person. The legislation in respect of the race classification register of 1950 is the only legislation in which there is a clear definition of a white person. It relates to race classification. The other two Acts mentioned here by hon. members, namely the Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act, only contain a presumption. This is only to help an accused person. It is only for the bona fides of persons. But now hon. members come along with this clear case where one person is classified as White and the other as Coloured. They somehow get past the Act and they marry. Surely it is a calculated risk those people are taking. They are aware of the fact that the one is White and the other is non-White. They are fully aware that their children are in fact going to be non-White. They ought to be aware of the fact that the classification of the parents is transferred to the children and that they ran a calculated risk when they entered into that marriage. How can they blame us here when the Acts are so clear? They have their classification and are aware of their classification. They are aware of the consequences involved. Now hon. members on the other side want to adopt a sanctimonious attitude and blame us. Surely it is as clear as can be that a person runs a calculated risk when he does this. Surely he cannot complain if the law states that his children will also be Coloured persons. What is immoral about that? Hon. members adopt the attitude that a Coloured person is an untouchable. This is where we differ with the hon. members. We do not regard a Coloured person as a monster. He has his own human dignity. He is a human being just as I am. The Coloured person is classified as such simply because he is a Coloured person, and I as a White because I am a White. Surely no race necessarily has a stigma attached to it.
We enjoy far more privileges, do we not?
A stigma only exists for the hon. member for Houghton because she has colour on her mind. One cannot take any notice of her, and I am not going to do so either.
There is only one definition and that is under the Race Classification Act.
Question put: That the words “substituting for any” in lines 28 and 29, stand part of the Clause, Upon which the Committee divided:
Tellers: G. P. C. Bezuidenhout and G. P. van den Berg.
Tellers: A. Hopewell and T. G. Hughes.
Question affirmed and the amendments dropped.
Clause, as printed, put and the Committee divided:
Tellers: G. P. C. Bezuidenhout and G. P. van den Berg.
Tellers: A. Hopewell and T. G. Hughes.
Clause, as printed, accordingly agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Bill read a Third Time.
Report Stage taken without debate.
Bill read a Third Time.
Committee Stage taken without debate.
Committee Stage taken without debate.
In 1838 the Paarl Mountain, in extent 3,380 morgen, was granted by the State to the principal magistrate of that district and his successors in office as a commonage for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of Paarl and of the field-cornetcy of “Behind the Paarl” subject to the following conditions—
The Paarl Municipality has been exercising control over the mountain since the previous century, and during 1922 it was absorbed into the municipal area. The Municipality has in fact built roads, dams and certain buildings and has established the wild flower garden and picnic spots on the mountain. But its chief object, namely to convert the mountain into a nature reserve, cannot be realized, because, on the one hand, the Municipality may in terms of the Nature Conservation Ordinance, 1965, establish such a reserve only on land of which it is the owner, and, on the other hand, a nature reserve will not be in keeping with the land being used as a commonage.
It is deemed essential by all that the Paarl Mountain with its wealth of indigenous flora must be conserved for future generations, and, what is more, it will be a special attraction for lovers of nature, not only from the Western Province, but also for visitors from all over the Republic. It is readily accessible to and within easy reach of nearly 1½ million people living within a radius of 40 miles.
If the nature reserve were to become a reality, the Municipality would be able to attempt the re-introduction of some of the original indigenous game, as well as the eradication of undesirable vegetation and the replacement thereof by indigenous types of Cape flora, which ought to be of inestimable value to both the general public and the botanist.
The transfer of the mountain to the Municipality is a pre-requisite, but the magistrate is not in a position to give transfer. Consequently legislation is essential.
In addition it is desirable for the Municipality to acquire the mountain unencumbered by grazing rights. After all, it would be of no avail if the mountain were to be transferred to the Municipality for the purpose of creating a nature reserve but in which herds of goats and cattle, etc., would still be grazing. In view of the fact that according to the records of the municipal overseer of the mountain no use has been made of this grazing since 1958, it has been decided to pilot the necessary legislation through Parliament and in view of the private rights involved, it has been treated as a hybrid measure, i.e. the Bill has been published in advance and interested persons have been informed of the Government’s intention by means of notices in the Government Gazette and local newspapers.
Before the Bill could be read for a second time during the 1967 session, certain farmers, whose land borders on the mountain, objected to the proposed abolition of their grazing rights. The measure was then held over until this year in order to ascertain whether the Municipality could not persuade these farmers to withdraw their objections. But it has been found impossible to come to any agreement.
Under the circumstances I intend amending this Bill in such a way during the Committee Stage so as to leave also the grazing rights intact, except in respect of a portion, approximately 100 morgen in extent, on the south-westerly slope of the mountain, on which the Afrikaanse Taalmonumentkomittee wants to erect a language monument. This portion will be donated to the Government by the Municipality in due course and subsequent to that it will be reserved as a monument site as is the case in respect of the Voortrekker Monument, the Huguenot Monument, etc.
In conclusion I want to refer to the words, “also that the proprietor of the Paarl Mill shall as heretofore retain his claim to the Mill Water rising on this land”, in the preamble and I want to explain that this water right has already been acquired by the Municipality. Consequently there are only one or two dams of private individuals on the mountain whose rights will still have to be protected.
This Bill, as the hon. the Deputy Minister has explained, was held back last year to meet the requirements of farmers whose land borders on the Paarl Mountain. As the hon. the Deputy Minister has indicated that he will move amendments printed in his name on the Order Paper during the Committee State, and as there apparently are no further hitches, and as this area has been properly administered by the Municipality for more than 100 years, we on this side of the House have pleasure in supporting this Bill.
As the representative of the area in which the Paarl Mountain is situated, will you allow me, Mr. Speaker, to say a few words about this? As in all cases where there is more than one master on a farm, one always experiences trouble, and here where there are from 30,000 to 40,000 masters on the farm, one must expect to experience serious trouble. When this Bill was placed on the Order Paper last year, immediate objections were raised by a number of interested persons, approximately 70 in number, on the grounds that their rights were being affected by the Bill. I have done my utmost to bring the two parties to an understanding but this has proved to be fruitless. The wisdom of King Solomon was in fact required for reconciling these conflicting interests, and in view of the amendment now appearing on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. the Minister, it seems to me as though we shall find a solution to these problems. Consequently I want to congratulate the hon. the Minister on having displayed here the wisdom of King Solomon in finding a solution which will come as close to general satisfaction as one can imagine. I readily want to concede that all parties will not be satisfied. The Municipality, for example, would much rather have had an unencumbered right of ownership, but then one would never have obtained the consent of the interested persons. On the other hand the interested persons would much rather have preferred there to be another owner than the Municipality. But under the circumstances it is very clear to me that the hon. the Minister has really displayed King Solomon’s wisdom here. We want to congratulate him most heartily on the plan which he is now proposing for solving this very knotty problem. I envisage the Paarl Mountain becoming a very valuable asset, not only to Paarl but to the Republic of South Africa.
I am very grateful that the hon. member for East London (City) and the hon. member for Paarl accept this Bill. I have been waiting for the hon. member for South Coast to enter this debate, because if there is one person in this House who has nature conservation near to his heart, it is the hon. member for South Coast. The hon. member for South Coast has flown over the Paarl Mountain before and has seen what a beautiful mountain that is. If one flies over that mountain, one sees dams on top of the mountain and one sees that beautiful rock which glitters in the morning sunlight when water streams down its sides. Paarl gets its name from that. I would have liked it very much to live in a town like Paarl situated behind a mountain like this that glitters like a pearl in the morning sunlight. But the hon. member has not participated in this debate, and he has not done so because I know that he is jealous. There are few places with a rock formation like this where one also finds beautiful heath, beautiful proteas and vegetation. When this mountain was originally granted to the magistrate, people were not as conscious of nature conservation as we are to-day. Consequently they simply regarded the mountain as a grazing area. This grazing area extends over the whole of the Cape Flats right up to Cape Town itself. Everybody who was engaged in farming at that time had grazing rights over the Paarl Mountain commonage. Here one is dealing with from 30,000 to 33,000 owners and one can imagine what is happening. Have you, Sir, ever seen 33,000 owners having to farm on the same piece of land? The difficulty is not only that the one is driving goats and the other sheep onto that land, but also that the one is driving Jersey cattle and the other Frisian cattle onto it.
Order! Is the hon. the Deputy Minister not chasing up hares now?
With the different kinds of cattle there one would not be able to breed hares, but it will be possible for one to produce a really mixed breed; it may be possible for one to produce a United Party.
Mr. Speaker, I am very grateful that hon. members accept this Bill.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a Second Time.
I should like, by way of elucidation of the Bill, to say the following: The instruments which have been specially established with a view to the development of the Bantu homelands are the following: (a) the South African Bantu Trust, established by the Bantu Trust and Land Act, 1936; (b) the Bantu Investment Corporation, established in terms of the Bantu Investment Corporation Act, 1959; and (c) the Xhosa Development Corporation, which was established in terms of the Bantu Homelands Development Corporations Act, 1965. This Act of course also makes provision for the establishment of further development corporations for various homelands.
As far as the South African Bantu Trust is concerned, it is probably not necessary for me to go into detail here in regard to its activities. Hon. members are acquainted with the statutory provisions concerned, and the activities of the Trust have been the subject of repeated debate here.
The Bantu Investment Corporation and the Xhosa Development Corporation are also well known. The reasons for and the objectives and activities of both these corporations were thoroughly discussed and considered when the legislation relating to them was dealt with. The Bantu Investment Corporation Act has been on the Statute Book for nine years already, and those of the development corporations for three. For that reason it is probably not necessary to try and justify and explain these bodies anew.
Last year in this House however I indicated that I was not satisfied with the statutory structure, as I called it, which controlled this constellation of organizations. I then envisaged that, if it should appear necessary, I would come to this House with amendments to the structure in order to enable the organizations to perform their activities in a more efficient way and to make it possible to tackle the necessary economic development work in the homelands in a flexible manner. It is with this purpose in view that the Bill which is now under discussion is being introduced.
As the statutory structure stands at present it is possible for the Trust or the Bantu Investment Corporation or a development corporation for an ethnic area to undertake economic activities in so far as Bantu themselves are unable to do so, because it is always the first and primary consideration that the Bantu themselves ought to be able to do so. If development of a specialized nature, such as mining, should be necessary, it would not be possible to establish a specialized corporation in terms of the existing legislation, and it would probably be acknowledged that I am right if I say that the above-mentioned bodies, owing to their widespread general activities, will not always be able to tackle such specialized work. Nor is it desirable to make even further laws for such isolated, specialized purposes. That is why I deemed it desirable to unite the two existing Acts, but in such a way that the new Act would leave the existing two types of corporations intact, yet at the same time as the two existing Acts were being united it should be possible to include new additions in order to make further specialized corporations possible. In addition I wanted to have closer links between the existing corporations, as well as any possible new ones, and the trusteeship so that it would be possible for an improved relationship to develop between the Trust and all the possible corporations.
That is why this Bill has been drawn up in such a way that the specific corporations and the development corporations (such as the existing Xhosa Development Corporation) would come under the auspices of the Bantu Investment Corporation and that all of them together—i.e. the Bantu Investment Corporation included—will develop from the South African Bantu Trust. In essence that means therefore that the Trust will use corporations for this kind of economic work instead of departmental officials such as it is using for its agricultural work.
Basically this Bill is therefore a consolidation, with adjustments and amendments, of the existing two Acts in regard to corporations, i.e. the Bantu Investment Corporation Act, 1959, and the Bantu Homelands Development Corporations Act, 1965 which are both being repealed, and this consolidating Bill also makes provision of course for the other types of corporations I have mentioned.
I shall first discuss clauses 2, 5 (1) (a) and 5 (5). These clauses make provision for the retention of the existing corporations. That is to say, the Bantu Investment Corporation and the Xhosa Development Corporation, respectively, remain in existence in terms of clauses 2 and 5 (5), and in terms of clause 5 (1) (a) it is possible to establish further development corporations for the homelands of the various ethnic units, as is at present the case as well. The establishment of further development corporations, to take place, however, has now, in terms of clause 5 (2) (i), after consultation with the Bantu Investment Corporation, so that closer liaison and co-operation between the different types of corporations can be effected.
I shall next deal with clauses 5 (1) (b) and 7. Here we find the important change in the structure of the organizations: The establishment of specific corporations and the stipulation of their powers, for which provision is being made in clauses 5 (1) (b) and 7. The sphere of activities of the Bantu Investment Corporation and Development Corporation is a tremendously wide one, and this must necessarily be the case in order to cover all aspects of the economic development of the Bantu homelands. As is the case, however, with any business undertaking which is spreading its wings, the need arises in this instance as well for bodies which puts one in mind of subsidiaries. That is why provision is now being made for the establishment of specific corporations in respect of particular undertakings or projects. It therefore means that such a corporation can be established in respect of a new undertaking or a new project when the Bantu Investment Corporation or a Development Corporation has its hands full, or that an existing business undertaking belonging to one of the latter bodies can be taken over, in which case it will be possible, in terms of clause 4 (1) (v), to transfer appropriate assets and liabilities from the mother body to the specific corporation.
From this it also follows therefore that the Bantu Investment Corporation or the development corporation in question will have to be consulted in regard to the establishment of the specific corporation in order to promote close liaison and to avoid overlapping. It will be possible to make provision for the powers of such a corporation in terms of clause 7 (2). depending upon the nature of the undertaking or project in question.
As regards clauses 3, 4, 6 and 7 it would perhaps be fitting at this stage to say something about the aims and powers of the various kinds of corporations, for which provision is being made in these clauses. Hon. members will notice that the objectives of the Bantu Investment Corporation are now, in clause 3, being defined in more general terms than the aims of that corporation as provided for in section 4 of the existing Act of 1959.
In contrast to a development corporation, which is established for the homeland of a particular ethnic unit, and a specific corporation which is established for a particular undertaking or project, the Bantu Investment Corporation is the co-ordinating body for all the homelands. It must, in the first instance, initiate and carry out the economic development of all the homelands. It is only when the development begins to take shape that it will be possible to change over to a development corporation or a specific corporation, depending upon the requirements. The Bantu Investment Corporation is therefore the economic instrument of the Trustee and consequently the body with wider objectives which has to covet the homeland as a whole and must also take care of co-ordination between homelands and corporations. It follows of course that the other corporations, which I have compared to subsidiaries, are also instruments of the Trustees via the Bantu Investment Corporation. In this way too the Bantu Investment Corporation must, in the first instance, have wider powers to enable it to initiate development in all the spheres for which the Bill makes provision.
That is why the existing tasks and powers of the Bantu Investment Corporation in terms of the Act of 1959, as worded there, and that of a development corporation in terms of the 1965 Act, as worded there on the other hand, are being combined in clause 4 of the Bill as the powers of the Bantu Investment Corporation.
The objectives of a development corporation on the other hand, are in clause 6 (1) being concentrated on the particular homeland for which it was established, and provision will be made in terms of clause 6 (2) for its powers, according to the activities which it takes over from the Bantu Investment Corporation or itself initiates, until the stage is reached where the development corporation can ultimately pass to the homeland authority, which will, however, present a new situation to be dealt with. It will consequently not be possible to deal with it by means of this measure, i.e. when it must ultimately pass to the homeland’s own authority one day. Does the hon. member for Transkei understand that?
The hon. member is very sensitive on this point!
When will that day come?
I shall tell you some other day. The objectives of a specific corporation, however, are concentrated, in terms of clause 7 (1), on the particular undertaking or project in respect of which it has been established, and it will be possible, in terms of clause 7 (2). to make provision for its powers accordingly.
I am now dealing with clause 24. One major deficiency in the existing legislation is the fact that the various existing types of corporations are not very closely associated with the South African Bantu Trust, which, under the control of the Trustee, is really the body responsible for all development in the Bantu homelands. The corporations are, after all, the auxiliary bodies of the Bantu Trust. Their liaison with the Trust must inevitably be very close, and their activities must be co-ordinated with the activities of the Trust. This liaison and coordination is being achieved by means of the new provision in clause 24 where it is being stipulated that the three types of corporations are subject to the directions of the Trustee of the Bantu Trust and that the Trustee can take decisions which are binding on, and have to be complied to by the corporations.
As regards clauses 10 and 14 I should like to say the following: It will be noted that further important change is being made and that this is in fact being done in clauses 10 and 14, in which provision is being made for advisory boards of directors consisting of Bantu persons for a development corporation and a specific corporation. This is therefore something new which is being introduced into the legislation. These types of corporations can ultimately pass to the homeland governments, and by making provision at this stage already for advisory bodies consisting of Bantu persons and for the advisory bodies to exercise the power of the normal boards, it is being ensured that the Bantu are being trained in this sphere as well, so that they can deal with their own affairs.
I have now dealt with clauses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 14 and 24—not in that order, but in fact in the order in which they fit into the general pattern.
The remaining clauses are, with a few exceptions, consolidations of provisions of the existing laws, with adjustments where necessary, arising out of the new type of corporations (namely the specific corporations) and advisory boards, to which I have referred.
Clause 1 contains the usual definition of expressions which are used in the Bill; clause 8 makes provision for the acceptance of contracts which were entered into by a development corporation or a corporation before the body in question was established. The existing laws contain similar provisions. Clauses 9, 11 and 13 deal with directors, alternate directors and alternate members of the advisory boards; clause 12 contains a prohibition on the appointment of senators, members of the House of Assembly, and members of provincial councils as directors or alternate directors; clause 15 makes provision for the liability of directors, alternate directors and members and alternate members of advisory boards; clauses 16 and 17 make provision for the share capital and the liability of the shareholder; and clauses 18 and 19 repeat existing provisions in regard to expenditure and the utilization of profits.
As far as profits are concerned, provision is being made for a specific corporation to be ordered to pay over profits to the Investment Corporation or a development corporation. Such a provision is necessary because a corporation pays no dividend to the Trust as shareholder, and it would serve no purpose to allow such a corporation to be saddled with accumulated profits which it cannot utilize. The money can be utilized to greater advantage by one of the other types of corporations.
Clause 20 makes provision for exemption from the payment of licence fees and taxes, with this difference that the existing general exemption will only be valid up to 31st December, 1968, after which only the corporations will be exempted from the payment of income tax, as they have also been up to now.
Clauses 21 and 22 repeat existing provisions in regard to accounts and auditing and the submission of documents to the Trustee and Parliament.
Clause 23 makes provision for the sphere of activities of the various corporations on the existing basis with this difference that, if the Trustee deems it necessary in order to achieve the aims of the corporation in question, it will be possible to deviate from the regulation that the activities of the bodies are confined to Bantu persons and Bantu undertakings in the Bantu homelands and other prescribed urban areas. The reason for this is obvious, i.e. the corporations must necessarily, in the normal course of affairs, deviate from this regulation since they have to do business with white wholesalers in the white areas for example, and other cases may occur where it may also be necessary to deviate from the regulation.
Clause 25 makes provision for the delegation of the powers of the Trustee to the Minister—the pattern which of course also exists throughout other legislation—and clauses 26, 27, 28 and 29 repeat, with minor deviations, existing provisions in terms of regulations, liquidations, the use of the name of the corporations and the application of the specified laws to the various kinds of corporations.
Clause 30 arises as a result of the closer liaison with the Bantu Trust and the proposed amendment of the Bantu Trust and Land Act, 1936 and it is for the purpose of ensuring that expenditure under the proposed Act and other expenditure which is related to the achievement of objectives for which the South African Bantu Trust Fund may be utilized can be legally defrayed from that fund.
The position is that the Bantu Trust Fund can chiefly be utilized in and for the Bantu areas, and doubt has arisen whether it is technically correct to incur expenditure on services outside the Bantu areas, but which benefit the Bantu areas, out of the Bantu Trust Fund. Examples of this are the laying on of water and power supplies, and in some cases the building of roads to the Bantu areas only, for the exclusive benefit of the Bantu.
Clause 31 makes the normal provision for the repeal of Acts, and clause 32 makes provision for the application of the proposed legislation to South West Africa.
That then is the position as far as this Bill is concerned.
Before I conclude, I still want to say quite a good deal about the activities of the existing corporation and about other matters.
The powers of the Bantu Investment Corporation include, inter alia, the following: The provision of capital, means, technical and other assistance, expert and specialized advice, information and instruction to the Bantu; the encouraging and expansion of existing industrial and financial and other undertakings by the Bantu; to promote the establishment of new industrial, financial and other undertakings; and to encourage thrift amongst the Bantu.
One method whereby the Corporation is trying to carry these powers into effect is to make financial assistance by means of loans available to interested Bantu businessmen. Since its establishment the corporation has received 5,000 applications for loans, of which approximately 760 have been granted to an amount of more than R3½ million. Approximately 85 per cent of the loans granted are in respect of commercial undertakings, whereas approximately 13 per cent are in respect of service industries and 2 per cent in respect of industries.
Apart from the business loans granted to Bantu businessmen by the corporation, commercial credit instead of interest-bearing loans is being provided to approximately 650 retailers, Bantu persons, by the six large business undertakings which are controlled or managed by the Corporation.
In addition to business loans the Corporation grants loans for the erection of dwellings. The Corporation has already granted 299 housing loans to the value of R478,400.
Another important facet of the activities of the Corporation is the construction of business premises for renting to Bantu dealers. Bantu businessmen are of course entitled to erect their own business premises if they choose to do so, but in practice there are not many Bantu entrepreneurs who have sufficient capital to construct suitable buildings and at the same time make provision for an adequate amount of working capital. However, when a suitable building is made available at a reasonable rental to such a Bantu businessman, he can utilize his own funds for purchasing supplies, and other business expenditure. If he is successful, the Bantu businessman himself can ultimately purchase the building which he is leasing. To date the Corporation has erected 198 such business premises at a cost of almost R1 million.
As a result of the fact that there are few Bantu who have sufficient business knowledge and acumen to manage large undertakings, special authorization has been granted to the Corporation to establish commercial and manufacturing industries in cases where private initiative amongst the Bantu is unable or unwilling to do so, or where capable management personnel is not available. The idea is that the Corporation should establish such undertakings and employ Bantu persons who can receive the necessary training under White supervision and guidance so that they will ultimately be in a position to take over the management and control of such undertakings. Amongst the undertakings which have been established in this way by the Corporation, there are, inter alia, a hand spinning and weaving factory at Umtata, a meat-boning factory at Umtata, various large commercial undertakings, three bakeries, two soft drink factories, a grain mill, three workshops for repairs to heavy machinery, and three furniture factories in Ovamboland, the Northern Transvaal and Zululand.
As regards the last function of the Corporation, i.e. the development of thrift, the Corporation has already established savings banks at ten points in the Bantu homelands and the Bantu public have already invested approximately R1,900,000 at these savings banks.
The Corporation has also taken over 97 white trading stations of non-Bantu owners in the Transkei to the value of R1,242,000, with a view to ultimate sale to Bantu businessmen. These trading stations have now been transferred to the Xhosa Development Corporation which was established for the purpose of promoting economic development in the Transkei and the Ciskei.
The Bantu Investment Corporation was established with an original share capital of R1 million which has been increased over the years to R10.4 million. The Bantu Trust is the only shareholder in the Corporation. As I shall indicate in a moment, the Corporation envisages major future investments in the homelands, and the capital will therefore have to be increased as required, that is to say, as far as it is available.
The activities of the Bantu Investment Corporation, the Xhosa Development Corporation and other development corporations and corporations which are still envisaged for the homelands, are closely bound up with the establishment of Bantu towns in the homelands. Since the change-over in the homelands from a purely existence economy to a market economy is taking place at an increased tempo the need has arisen to make provision for that portion of the Bantu population which has to make a living outside agriculture. On the one hand opportunities for employment within and bordering on the various areas have to be created, which make it possible for the Bantu to take up permanent residence with his family in his own area. On the other hand the necessary residential and trade facilities have to be created in order to supply their needs. For this purpose towns are being developed within the Bantu areas by the South African Bantu Trust which make it easier for the Bantu workers to travel daily from their homes to their place of employment. Up to this stage 58 towns have already been developed in the Republic and South West Africa where approximately 328,000 Bantu persons are being accommodated, while it is expected that approximately 472,000 Bantu persons will be living in these towns by the year 1970. Sixty-two new towns are being planned for the future and it is hoped that the development of 22 of those towns will be tackled before the end of 1970. It will therefore be possible that by 1970 no fewer than 80 Bantu towns will be in various stages of development, with a population of perhaps more than a half-million. Some of these towns will remain relatively small, while others can develop into large cities.
It is clear that the various corporations will in the first place have to be of assistance in the creation of the necessary commercial facilities in each one of these Bantu towns in order to supply the basic needs of the inhabitants. The Corporation will therefore continue to grant loans in the customary way to capable Bantu businessmen and where necessary, to establish undertakings itself for that purpose. On the other hand, thought must be given to the provision of employment for the growing population of the Bantu towns, and this can be done through the establishment of industries in or near the towns which will be developed as natural economic points of growth.
A search is still in progress for new undertakings which can be established in the homelands and which can employ as many Bantu as possible there. This is by no means an easy task … [Interjections.] And the more difficult it is, the more eager I am to tackle it in my way. For the sake of the liveliness which has suddenly entered this debate now, I repeat: This is by no means an easy task, and I recently gave instructions that the search for possible new industries, as well as the utilization of the mining potential of the homelands, should be intensified. Certain points of growth, where the establishment of one or more industries will be a stimulus for further economic development, will be concentrated on as far as possible. The Bantu towns, where a sufficient supply of labour and basic services, such as electrical power, water and drainage are available, will provide an attraction for the establishment of such industries.
As far as the future is concerned, the Bantu Investment Corporation envisages the establishment of further undertakings: For example even more workshops where repairs to vehicles and machinery can be undertaken (of which one is at present being established in Ovamboland); even more large business undertakings such as those which will be established during 1968 in Ovamboland and Umlazi; several beer breweries, of which one will be established near Pretoria, one in Zululand and one possibly in the vicinity of Mafeking. [Interjection.] Does the hon. member not know that there is a Bantu homeland near Pretoria? Rip van Winkel knows it in his sleep. Further examples: The processing of sisal near Pietersburg, possibly in conjunction with a white undertaking on a contractual or agency basis; various dry cleaning factories, and the exploitation of very promising dolomite deposits in Zululand, possibly also in conjunction with an existing white undertaking. At the same time investigations are continually being instituted into the possibility of the improved utilization of raw products which are available in the homelands, such as wood, skins, wool, meat, fibre crops and other products. During the period 1968 to 1972 the Bantu Investment Corporation also expects to spend at least R11 million on the establishment of new undertakings which will apparently have to be managed by the Corporation itself. During this period the business loans to the value of approximately R5 million and housing loans to the value of approximately R1 million will be granted. In addition the erection of approximately 430 business premises for leasing to Bantu businessmen at an estimated cost of R2 million is being envisaged. During the next five years approximately 50 additional savings banks will be opened in the Bantu areas to take in the saving funds of the Bantu public and to mobilize them for homeland development.
I now want to say something as regards the activities of the Xhosa Development Corporation, which is not yet three years old. At present this Corporation is already controlling four garages and is soon expected to take over four more. Four Bantu persons have already been registered as motor mechanic apprentices and two of the garages will probably, during this year still be, transferred to Bantu persons. There are at present 148 trading posts under the control of the Corporation in the Transkei, with 76 Bantu managers who have been trained by the Corporation. In addition only Bantu are being employed at the trading posts. Ten loans for the handing over of trading posts to Bantu have already been granted, and the transfer of approximately five such trading posts per month to Bantu in future is being envisaged. On 31st March the capital of the Corporation will total R3.6 million. The Xhosa Development Corporation is also providing technical, commercial and financial advice to Bantu businessmen, and a start has also been made now with study bursaries for students, of which two have already been granted. The Corporation envisages the establishment of a large number of industries including beer breweries, a factory for the manufacture of bags from phormium tenax, depending upon an investigation which is in progress, a tannery, a clothing factory, a soap factory, a bone-meal factory, the manufacturing of agricultural implements, and a shoe factory. It is expected that during the next five years approximately R6 million ought to be invested in these projects.
Permit me now, more specifically with a view to the future, to mention a few other matters. I take a great personal interest in having every exploitable deposit or other possibility in regard to the processing of raw products and the manufacture of commodities in the Bantu areas come into their own. In this regard I adopt the attitude that we ought not to display the usual strict profit-making criteria, because the labour which is being provided to a number of Bantu persons in a specific project which is tackled with a very small profit margin, together with the other concomitant undertakings and the concentration of Bantu there, is of so much importance that we should not concentrate exclusively on large profits. After all, the development of Bantu areas, the provision of employment, are as valuable as large profits or dividends. On my instructions a proper evaluation and systematization is being made of surveys and data in regard to various sources of minerals of any kind, for example clay, stone, granite, etc., in the Bantu areas, as well as of other possibilities such as those in respect of the processing of crops, cattle, trees, fibre, etc. What I want of course is that as much as possible should come of such possibilities. Now I want to call attention to the fact once again that it is the policy that in so far as Bantu persons are unable to cope with these undertakings, not even with the support of the Corporations, the suitable corporations will have to do it in terms of this Bill. I am convinced that there are in fact Bantu persons who can with assistance initiate and develop all kinds of industrial undertakings on a limited scale, undertakings such as smithies, bakeries, shoe factories, furniture factories, mattrass and blanket factories, mills, soft drink factories and numerous others. Where necessary, the Corporations will, however, have to take a hand themselves, as has already been said, if the Bantu themselves cannot undertake these things.
Then I must, for the umpteenth time, explain that the old policy and established factors will be continued of using white entrepreneurs where it is justified, to act as agents or contractors of the Trust …
The old policy?
Yes, the old policy. We will then continue with the old policy, where it is justified, of using white entrepreneurs as agents or contractors of the Trust, the existing two Corporations, or the new ones in terms of this Bill, to tackle certain economic projects. As in the past it will probably be of a mining nature for the most part, because there is no necessity for such agency support in commerce and very little in industry. To give you an idea of what has been done in years gone by, and for those of you who maintain that this is not going to be done according to the old policy, I mention again, for the umpteenth time, that in the region of 90 such agreement have been approved over the years and are in progress to-day in respect of prospecting and mining activities in the Bantu areas.
Under whose policy?
Under our policy, because we have already been governing for 20 years—one fifth of a century.
Order! The hon. the Minister must not allow himself to be interrupted.
Mr. Speaker, I am an easy man to interrupt. It must of course be realized that there are fixed principles and methods on which this agency or contractor-ship is based and that there are stipulated conditions to which such agents or contractors must comply. This I have also dealt with in this House, but I am now going to deal with it in greater detail. I see that my school-teaching days will never end. It is in the interest of the country that I continue to teach. I am going to mention the most important of these fixed principles and methods very succinctly. (1) The agent or the contractor (the white entrepreneur) cannot obtain any proprietary rights or other lasting or entrenched rights, such as, inter alia, goodwill in the Bantu areas. That is why they are only granted permission to occupy in respect of the land.
Is that still your policy?
Old policy. [Interjections.]
(2) All kinds of links with alien interests will no longer be allowed; (3) While the agent may benefit financially by his actions in the Bantu area, he does not operate exclusively there to his own financial advantage. (4) The principle (i.e. the corporation or Trust in question) and the agent do not become co-owners of the unmoveable possessions of the principal, so that the cooperation between the Corporations and the white agent or contractors, takes the form of parallel action rather than joint action.
One of these days it will be parallel development.
It has been so for a long time. (5) Large concentration of white workers, with their dependents, in the Bantu areas, must, where it is at all possible, be avoided. (6) Agreements with agents must not be entered into for unspecified, but for fixed times; (7) The principal can assist the agent in regard to the undertaking of the latter. All kinds of methods are possible, such as the letting and hiring out of buildings and equipment (as far as the principal is capable of doing so), the provision of those services, such as roads, water, power, etc., which are usually provided by a local authority, elsewhere; (8) The Agent must pay compensation to the Corporation and/or the Bantu authority in question in the form of rent, royalties, commission, profit sharing, etc.; (9) Bantu persons must be employed as far as possible and must also be trained to hold increasingly important posts in the undertaking.
With this complete summary of the Bill, and the concise survey in regard to the activities of the existing two Corporations, I think that I have furnished this House with all the information. I hope that I will receive general support, from the other side as well, for this revised legislation because in my opinion it the economic development of the Bantu areas ought to make for far better promotion of
Mr. Speaker, the speech of the hon. the Minister has come as an anticlimax to the Bill which we received a few days ago. We expected the hon. the Minister in his speech to give us new ideas and great prospects for the development of the reserves. His speech should be known as “Alice in Bothaland”.
It is not useless.
The hon. the Minister says it is not useless. He hopes it is not useless, but it is going to be useless. I want to thank the hon. the Minister for going into the measure in such a detailed manner as he had, and also for making available to us copies of his speech to study. This is a innovation, and I hope he will do it again in future. We do appreciate his courtesy. I certainly hope that on closer reading of his speech we will find more in it than appears at first glance. In order to give me a chance to study it very carefully, to see if I can in fact find something in it, I move—
The House adjourned at