House of Assembly: Vol23 - FRIDAY 29 MARCH 1968
For oral reply:
asked the Minister of Transport:
Arising out of the hon. the Minister’s reply, is he in a position to say whether the dependants of those who were lost on the ship will be able to obtain compensation through the Workmen’s Compensation Act?
I am afraid I am not in a position to reply to that question.
It should be directed to the Minister of Labour.
asked the Minister of Defence:
- (1) Whether trainees in the Officers’ Training Corps at Heidelberg, Transvaal, were recently required to answer questions submitted to them in a questionnaire; if so,
- (2) whether any of these questions related to the South African flag and anthem; if so, (a) what were these questions and (b) what was their purpose.
- (1) Yes.
- (2) Yes.
- (a) The following statement and possible replies thereto, appear in the questionnaire:—
Trainees were asked to express their views by means of a cross opposite the possible answer of their choice.
- (b) The statement appears in a questionnaire, the purpose of which is to determine by scientific method leadership potential as part of a personnel research project. This research project is undertaken by the Military Medical Institute in conjunction with the National Bureau of Educational and Social Research. It is clearly explained in the questionnaire that the evaluation of the replies will be used for the purpose of posting of national servicemen in various capacities in the Defence Force, and that the replies to the questions are not evaluated separately but as a whole.
asked the Minister of Planning:
- (1) Whether his Department has completed its planning of the group areas in Pietermaritzburg;
- (2) whether any decision has been taken in regard to the extension of the Coloured residential area in Pietermaritzburg; if so,
- (3) whether he will make a statement in regard to the matter.
- (1) Group areas for Whites, Indians and Coloureds have been proclaimed but, as at any other place, changed circumstances may from time to time demand adjustments.
- (2) The advertisement of further areas for investigation as Coloured group areas is being considered by the Department of Planning.
- (3) No.
asked the Minister of Water Affairs:
- (1) (a) What is the total capacity in gallons of the Sterkspruit Dam at Hammarsdale and (b) how many gallons of water were in storage on 31st January, 29th February, and 15th March, 1968, respectively;
- (2) whether it is expected that this dam will have sufficient water to supply all users during the next six months; if not,
- (3) whether he has made alternative arrangements to provide sufficient water; if so, what arrangements.
- (a) 50 million gallons,
- (i) 31st January 1968: 50 million gallons
- (ii) 29th February 1968: 44 million gallons
- (iii) 15th March 1968: 32 million gallons
- (2) No; this dam alone will not be able to meet the needs of all consumers.
- (3) Yes; provision has already been made for the acquisition of additional water from the following sources:—
- (a) 900,000 gallons per day from the firm Ferraloys
- (b) 600,000 gallons per day from the Department of Water Affairs own boreholes.
Arising out of the Deputy Minister’s reply, can he tell us with regard to the last category, i.e. 600,000 gallons per day, which is to come from the Water Affairs Department’s own water, where he will obtain this water?
asked the Minister of Water Affairs:
When is it expected that (a) raw water from Midmar Dam will be available at (i) Hammarsdale and (ii) Cato Ridge, (b) the purification works at Umlaas Road will be commissioned and (c) purified water from this purification plant will be available at (i) Hammarsdale and (ii) Cato Ridge.
- (a) Raw water from Midmar Dam will be available to
- (i) Hammarsdale in May 1968; and
- (ii) Cato Ridge in May 1968.
- (b) The purification works at Umlaas Road will be completed at the beginning of 1970.
- (c) Purified water from the purification plant at Umlaas Road will be delivered to
- (i) Hammarsdale from the beginning of 1970; and
- (ii) Cato Ridge from the beginning of 1970.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (1) (a) Where is the population register kept at present and (b) how many offices or rooms are used in connection with the register;
- (2) whether copies of the register with particulars as required by section 8 of Act No. 30 of 1950 are maintained at offices in every magisterial district; if not, (a) why not and (b) in which magisterial districts are the records maintained;
- (3) whether steps are being taken to keep the register up to date; if so, (a) what steps and (b) with what result.
- (a) In the building of the Department of the Interior, Pretoria.
- (b) As the population register is completely amalgamated with other divisions of the Department of the Interior and the maintenance thereof is being regarded as part of the normal functions of the Department, no particulars can be supplied regarding accommodation used exclusively in connection with the register.
- (2) No.
- (a) Due to the limited use made of district records by interested parties.
- (b) None.
- (3) Yes.
- (a) By noting particulars in regard to births, deaths, immigrants, emigrants and divorces in the register.
- (b) Satisfactory.
Arising out of the reply of the hon. the Minister, is the population register being kept separate so that one may consult it, or is it spread throughout the Department itself—at the Registrar of Births and Deaths, for example?
I think it is clear from the reply that it forms an integral part of the entire organisation, but it is definitely being kept separate.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of Bantu Education:
Whether any disturbances resulting in the suspension or expulsion of pupils occurred in any schools during 1967; if so, (a) at which schools, (b) on what dates, (c) what was the nature of the disturbance, (d) how many pupils were (i) suspended and (ii) expelled and (e) in what standards were they at the time.
- (a) Vryheid Government Bantu School and Nongoma Vocational Training School.
- (b) On 14th August, 1967 at Vryheid Government Bantu School and on 1st February, 1967 at Nongoma Vocational Training School.
- (c) Vryheid Government Bantu School: Demonstrations against the hostel master. Nongoma Vocational Training School: Dissatisfaction with food.
- (i) None.
- (ii) 19 at Vryheid Government Bantu School and 5 at Nongoma Vocational Training School.
- (e) Vryheid Government Bantu School: 19 Form V pupils. Nongoma Vocational Training School: 1 third year pupil, 4 second year pupils.
asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:
Whether any (a) aid and (b) youth centres have been established in terms of the Bantu Labour Act; if so, (i) how many and (ii) where are they situated; if not, why not.
(a) and (b) No; Youth centres are not established in terms of the Bantu Labour Act. The provisions of that Act relating to the establishment of aid centres are permissive and for application when necessary.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (1) Whether the publication True Africa has been banned during the past two years; if so, (a) on how many occasions, (b) how many complaints were lodged against the magazine, (c) what was the nature of the complaints and (d) how many complaints were proceeded with;
- (2) whether any complaints were lodged during the same period against any other picture magazines published in South Africa; if so, (a) what are the names of these magazines and (b) what was the nature of the complaints;
- (3) whether any of these magazines were banned during this period; if so, how many.
- (1) Yes.
- (a) On two occasions.
- (b) Three complaints lodged.
- (1) That the contents are both objectionable and dangerous,
- (2) The published plays and pictures are objectionable to the Bantu people—pictures of naked women and stabbings, etc.—magazine sold to youth and adults who are not able to appreciate that it is fiction and not fact;
- (3) Too much organized crime and violence.
- (d) Three.
- (2) Yes. (See list below).
- (3) Yes—8 magazines and one cover banned.
TITLES OF MAGAZINES
NATURE OF COMPLAINTS
1. LIFE OF A STAR—Lance Lockhart
Indecent or obscene or offensive to public morals and that it has the tendency to deprave or to corrupt the minds of persons who are likely to be exposed to the effect or influence thereof.
2. DIE LIEFDE VAN SODOM, Fotoroman No. 19—W. van Rensburg
Harmful to public morals. It deals in an improper manner with cruelty, sadism, interal assault, sadism, nudity, etc.
3. ZELNA DIA, No. 7—LOSPRYS R15,000
Harmful to public morals. It deals in an improper manner with murder, cruelty, sexual assault, sadism, nudity, etc.
4. TANZANA, No. 2—NAGWIND BRING DIE DOOD
Harmful to public morals. Deals in an improper manner with cruelty, sadism, intermingling, etc.
5. ZELNA DIA, No. 16—HAMER EN SEKEL OOR AFRIKA
Harmful to public morals. Deals in an improper manner with cruelty, sadism, intermingling, etc.
6. CAPTAIN DEVIL—Saboteur No. 2—AVENUE OF MURDER
Jeopardizes good relations with neighbouring African States.
7. RENE VIDAL—THE STRANGER IN TOWN. THE BEAUTY QUEEN MURDERS (Cover), No. 2, June, 1967
Cover disgusting and distasteful—printed in S.A.
8. TESSA ROUX, No. 2—DIE LYK MET VERKOUE
Cheap reading matter which comes into the hands of children: (a) prostitution; (b) swear words; (c) ridiculing of religion; and (d) nudity.
9. CAPTAIN DEVIL, Saboteur No. 6—DISCIPLE OF DEATH
Magazine alleged to contain potential to increase crime rate in South Africa—killing in cold blood—effect of such reading matter on the minds of children 12 to 15 years old—glorifying murder, etc.
10. SPIOENE SERIES—Dirk Duval, No. 2 (Cover)
Silhouette of nude female figure on cover of book.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (1) Whether any complaints have been received during the past two years in connection with (a) the publication Scope and (b) the newspaper Telegraph; if so, (i) how many and (ii) what was the nature of the complaints;
- (2) whether any action has been taken against these publications; if so, what action.
- (1) (a) and (b) Yes.
- (i) Scope—two.
- (ii) Scope—first complaint:
- That it contains a dreadful and disgusting article—“Sex Habits of the White Ape (Man)”—calculated to appeal only to the lowest instincts of all ages and races, that is, to those who are not revolted by it.
- Second complaint:
- That article in Scope dated 12th January, 1968 in connection with “The Naked Ape” is disgusting.
- Telegraph—first complaint:
- That the publication can be harmful—initially to those who read it and ultimately to the moral life of our nation as a whole.
- Second complaint:
- Poster of homosexuals getting married in church—photos of marriage in paper—dreadful contents of papers sold here in our shops. Papers devoured eagerly by some of the lowest types of Coloured people. It would seem that some inflexible rule should be laid down as to the limits of decency in our South African magazines and newspapers or where will this all end? More crime, more immorality more illegitimate births—illegitimate birth rate of coloured people exceeds those of children born in wedlock—these papers are freely circulated amongst Coloureds.
- (i) Scope—two.
- (2) Scope:
- The Board found the article to be not objectionable, consequently no action will be taken against Scope at this stage.
- The complaints against the Telegraph are still under consideration.
—Reply standing over.
asked the Minister of Transport:
- (1) When was the present Durban railway station erected;
- (2) whether any improvements to the station have been undertaken during the past five years; if so, what was (a) the nature and (b) the cost of the improvements;
- (3) when is it anticipated that the station will be replaced by a new station.
- (1) In 1898. During 1903/4 a further two storeys were added to the station building.
- (2) Yes.
- (a) and (b) The provision of a new bookstall and enquiry office and alterations and additions to the reservation office, the Local Accountant’s office and the parcels and accounts offices, as well as to the catering facilities for Whites and non-Whites. The total cost of these works amounted to R45,800.
The raising of the platforms at Durban and various other stations is at present being undertaken to facilitate the use of the new sliding-door coaching-stock. The cost of this work, which involves several stations, is estimated at R500,000.
- (a) and (b) The provision of a new bookstall and enquiry office and alterations and additions to the reservation office, the Local Accountant’s office and the parcels and accounts offices, as well as to the catering facilities for Whites and non-Whites. The total cost of these works amounted to R45,800.
- (3) It is not possible at this stage to say when the existing station will be replaced by a new station.
asked the Minister of Information:
- (1) Whether he has been approached with requests that his Department should sponsor a film depicting the women of South Africa to be used for publicity and propaganda purposes overseas; if so (a) by whom, (b) when and (c) what was his reply to the suggestion;
- (2) Whether any steps have been taken to implement the suggestion; if so, what steps.
- (1) Yes.
- (a) The Cape Town branch of the National Council of Women.
- (b) On 3rd September, 1966, and again on 24th January, 1967.
- (c) The reply in both instances pointed out that in view of available funds the Department’s film programme is planned according to priorities and directed to a number of more urgent targets.
- (2) No.
asked the Minister of Health:
- (1) Whether his Department provides the services of visiting dentists and health nurses to pupils at Indian schools in Natal and the Transvaal; if so, how many (a) dentists and (b) nurses are so employed;
- (2) (a) how many schools in each province have been visited during the last year for which figures are available and (b) how many pupls have been examined;
- (3) whether any incidence of ill-health due to malnutrition has been found.
- (1) Yes, health nurses but not dentists.
- (a) Falls away,
- (b) Natal 9, Transvaal 1.
- (a) Since the institution of the service in August, 1967: Natal 109, Transvaal 14.
- (b) Natal 16,201, Transvaal 3,000.
- (3) Yes.
Reply standing over from Tuesday, 26th March, 1968:
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS replied to Question 9, by Mr. E. G. Malan:
Whether work on the Orange River Scheme has been curtailed or stopped; if so, (a) what is the extent of the curtailment or stoppage, (b) what is the anticipated reduction in expenditure for the current financial year, (c) for what period will the completion of the works be delayed and (d) what is the anticipated dates of completion of the works.
- (a) Yes; civil as well as mechanical work on the P.K. le Roux Dam has been postponed for an indefinite period. Notice was given by Government Notice No. R1644 of 13th October, 1967, and a Press announcement on the same date.
- (b) R1,724,000 as far as the P.K. le Roux Dam is concerned.
- (c) The completion of the P.K. le Roux Dam will be delayed depending on the date on which the main contract for the dam is awarded. The said award to be made as soon as the Government is of the opinion that the danger of inflation has been sufficiently curbed. From that date it will take five years to complete the dam.
- (i) The Hendrik Verwoerd Dam must be completed before or on the 4th July, 1971.
- (ii) The inlet section of the Orange Fish Tunnel must be completed before or on the 18th January, 1972
- (iii) It is estimated that the outlet section of the Tunnel will be completed during May, 1972.
- (iv) It is expected to award the contract for the plateau section of the Tunnel in May 1968 and it is further expected that this section, according to estimate, will be completed during November, 1972.
May I ask whether any date has been fixed for the completion of the P.K. le Roux Dam as well?
For written reply:
asked the Minister of the Interior:
How many names, in each race or group provided for by the Population Registration Act, (a) appeared in the population register, (b) were added to the register and (c) were removed from the register in each year since the establishment of the register.
- (a) The names of approximately five million persons in the race groups Whites, Coloureds, Malays and Asiatics appeared in the population register during 1951.
- (b) 2,653,720 names were added to the register.
- (c) Although particulars pertaining to deaths and emigration are noted in the register the records are not physically removed and the numbers involved are therefore not known.
It is not possible to supply separate figures in respect of each year.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (1) Whether an estimate has been made of the number of changes of address which take place annually in respect of the names on the population register under each race group; if so, what is the estimate;
- (2) (a) what is the estimated number of notices of change of address in respect of each race group received (i) on an average each year since 1950 and (ii) in the most recent financial year and (b) how many were noted in the register;
- (3) whether any prosecutions have been in stituted for failure to notify changes; if so, (a) how many in each year since 1950 and (b) with what results;
- (4) whether steps are taken to note in the register address and other changes which are furnished to the State in connection with (a) deaths, (b) voters’ rolls, (c) compulsory military service, (d) income tax and (e) the transfer of persons in the service of the State, the Railways or Provincial Administrations; if so, (i) what steps and (ii) with what results; if not, why not.
- (1) No estimate has been made.
- (2) (a) and (b) Statistics are not available.
- (3) No prosecutions have been instituted.
- (a) and (b) Fall away.
- (a) Yes. Deaths are noted in the register.
- (b) Yes. Addresses are noted in the register following supplementary or general registrations of voters.
- (c) to (e) No. Not provided for in the Population Registration Act.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (1) (a) How many posts of (i) Population Registrar and (ii) Assistant Population Registrar have been created and (b) how many of them (i) have been filled since 1957 and (ii) are filled at present;
- (2) how many members of staff have been engaged on the population register each year since 1957.
- (a) (i) One. (ii) Two.
- (b) (i) All. (ii) None. Relative posts have since been redesignated.
- (2) As the population register is completely amalgamated with other divisions of the Department of the Interior and the maintenance thereof is being regarded as part of the normal functions of the Department no separate record regarding members of staff engaged is maintained.
asked the Minister of the Interior:
- (a) What has been the expenditure in connection with the population register since 1950 to date and (b) what was the expenditure in the last financial year for which figures are available, in respect of (i) capital expenditure and (ii) other expenses including salaries and wages.
As the population register was at the beginning of 1962 completely amalgamated with other divisions of the Department of the Interior and the maintenance thereof has since been regarded as part of the normal functions of the Department no separate record of the expenditure in that connection is maintained.
—Reply standing over.
Reply Standing over from Friday, 22nd March, 1968
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT replied to Question 14, by Mr. L. E. D. Winchester:
- (1) What staff shortages exist at present in the harbours of Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, respectively, in respect or (a) crane-drivers and (b) tug crew;
- (2) what is the average overtime per month worked by the staff in these categories at each port.
No. of vacancies
(2) Hours per capita—
The following Bills were read a First Time:
Armaments Amendment Bill.
Post Office Re-adjustment Bill.
I had not intended to devote very much time to refuting the allegations that have been made in this House about the Progressive Party’s actions during the Provincial Council elections in 1965. Anybody who has read the report of the Commission of Inquiry will realize that it is unnecessary for me to devote much time to all that, but unfortunately the allegations were made again, in a veiled way by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition when he referred to “exploiters” going unpunished, and by the slanderous and vicious attack of the hon. the Minister of Defence yesterday, and by the hon. member for Piketberg last night. So it is necessary for me to spend just a little time on these allegations before I get on to the Bill before us.
The report of the Commission reveals that absolutely no evidence of any significance whatever was brought before it to justify the allegations which had been made about an unclean roll, about fraudulent registrations, etc. Even the hon. member for Yeoville, who is by no means a friend of the Progressive Party, admitted that when the debate on this report rook place. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition did have the grace to say that such travesties of the law as had taken place could have been dealt with easily under the Electoral Act. But the implications, of course, in this debate, particularly by the hon. member for Piketberg, went a good deal further than that, and I want to say quite categorically that my party played no part whatever in any of the irregularities that took place during that election. [Interjections.] And that is revealed not only in the report of this Commission, because I will refer to the famous Mr. Brink in a few moments, but that was also revealed in the courts of law. Not a single member of the Progressive Party was found guilty in the courts of law of any transgression. Only one member of the Progressive Party was in fact charged, and he was found not guilty. Now if hon. members here know more than the courts of law, then it was their duty as citizens of the country to come forward and give evidence before the Commission.
Not one single member of the Progressive Party was found guilty in the courts of law. Now this gentleman, this Mr. Brink was quoted by the hon. member for Piketberg—I would not even have bothered to mention his name, but I have to, since the name of one of the most respected ex-members of this House, Mr. Eglin, has been dragged into disrepute, and I might say, a member who, when he was here, could give cards and spades in ability and in integrity to the vast majority of members in this House, if not all of them. This man Brink, who is now brought up as evidence against the Progressive Party, in the evidence he gave—and I am glad the hon. member has now just come in in time—was questioned by the hon. member for Peninsula, who put a lot of leading questions to him, not one of which would have been admitted in a court of law. He drew from him a lot of lying statements and insinuations, not one of which has been substantiated, and indeed I believe neither Mr. Brink nor the hon. member for Peninsula would repeat outside this House and outside the Commission what in fact they said under protection.
Would you repeat outside this House what you said about Mr. Brink?
Certainly I will say outside what I say here about Mr. Brink. [Laughter.] Will the hon. member for Peninsula say outside what he said about Mr. Eglin?
In the public interest I would say it.
More than two years ago. Do not forget that. Now Mr. Brink was never a progressive. He was a nominated member of the Coloured Council, nominated by the Government. He was the brother-in-law of the late Mr. George Golding, and Mr. George Golding, as everybody knows, was a close associate of the hon. member for Peninsula. Now, Mr. Brink was provided with some unsigned registration cards, not by the Progressive Party …
… but by a Mr. James C. Samuels. This is the evidence quoted in a court of law. This is not what I am saying; this is evidence which was quoted in an actual case in which Mr. Brink was found guilty of registering voters without having witnessed their signature. Now, Mr. James C. Samuels was a former employee and information officer of the Coloured Affairs Department, and not of the Progressive Party. I might say that at the time when Mr. Brink committed the irregularity, Mr. Samuels who brought him the cards, was the secretary of the executive of Mr. Tom Swartz’s Federal Party. So far was his connection from the Progressive Party, and to the best of my knowledge …
Did Samuels work for Mr. Eglin?
You would know more about the way that Coloured election was carried out than I do. Whatever Mr. Samuels did, he received no instructions whatever—and this is the important thing—from Mr. Eglin to carry out any of these practices.
Did he do it off his own bat?
Yes, if he did it, he certainly did not do it off our bat. It may be that he did it off the bat of the hon. member for Peninsula, but I know nothing about that.
Not the Progressive Party’s?
No. Yours, to get us into trouble. I would not be surprised if the whole thing was a trap. I would not put it past the hon. member for Peninsula to arrange that.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw that.
Very well, I withdraw it. Now I want to point out further, before I leave this subject, that Mr. Brink was not an ignorant Coloured man who was prevailed upon to do any of this by the Progressive Party. Mr. Brink was a teacher and he knew perfectly well that what he was doing was illegal. He had only to say “No”, and he should have reported the matter to the electoral authorities. That is as far as I want to go in reply to the hon. member for Piketberg. I say again that there is not a shred of evidence before the Commission to reveal any gross irregularities. 129 Cards out of over 20,000 handed in by the Progressive Party were found to be incorrectly signed. I might say that most of these people were put on the roll eventually because they were qualified to be on the roll. I want to add, further, that the Government does not make it easy for Coloured voters to be registered. Unlike white voters, in whose case there are paid enumerators who are sent round to put them on the roll, every possible difficulty is put in the way of the Coloured voters to be registered. That was brought out very strongly by the representative of the Department of the Interior for the Cape Region when he gave evidence. He points out these difficulties and he points out that the way in which to improve matters is to have better machinery for registering voters.
Now the hon. the Prime Minister immediately disowned the hon. the Leader of the Opposition when he said the other day that the reason why he has agreed to the extension of the lives of the present sitting members was because the roll was unclean. The Prime Minister said indignantly: “I said no such thing; I said there had been meddling by the Progressive Party”. Meddling of course only became meddling after the Progressives won the provincial elections of 10th March, 1965. That is when it became meddling to win a Coloured seat, because until that time there had been no talk and nobody had said anything about the abolition of the Coloured seats. These members could have sat here indefinitely if the Government had only found a way of doing it, but I will come to that in a minute and I will explain why I say that. But, as I say, the hon. the Prime Minister disowned the Leader of the Opposition, and I hope that will teach the Leader of the Opposition a little lesson, that there is some truth in the old adage that when you sup with the devil you need a very long spoon indeed. Of course, he grasped speedily at the offer …
Order! Is the hon. member referring to the Prime Minister in those terms?
No, I was merely referring to an incident, and not to the hon. the Prime Minister himself. I am just using a little idiom. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition grasped eagerly at the opportunity of finding some way of delaying the Coloured election. He, too, was just as keen at that stage and therefore he accepted this excuse, this literal interpretation of the words “improper interference”. The hon. the Prime Minister did not mean that at all. He just meant that a party which was bitterly opposed to apartheid, and which had made no bones about its bitter opposition to apartheid, was entering the field across the colour line in politics. That is what he meant by “improper interference”, and that is what every other member on that side of the House means when he talks about “improper interference”. Now. I opposed the first reading of that Bill which went back, as I said at first reading, to the first prolongation of the lives of the Coloured representatives; it went back to 1965. Now, what interests me about that particular Bill is that it made no provision whatsoever for not filling vacancies. That very first Bill did not lay down that in the ensuing period, when the lives of the Coloured Representatives were to be prolonged, the vacancies would not be filled. Now we had some very dramatic words last night from the hon. members for Peninsula and Karoo. They said dramatically that they would resign here and now if the Government would give the undertaking that those vacancies would be filled and that the Coloured people would have the right to put in the people of their choice. Sir, why did they not resign when that opportunity arose? They had a whole year; they had more than a year, because that Bill was passed in 1965 and it was not until late 1966 that another Bill was introduced which did not provide for the filling of vacancies. Why did they not do it at that time? Did they not know at that time? [Laughter.] This has nothing whatever to do with my row with the United Party; it is quite irrelevant. The point is that they did not say that they would have nothing to do with this nefarious scheme to stop the Coloureds from electing the people of their choice. Oh no, they sat here until another Bill was promulgated making provision that the vacancies would not be filled, and now, three years later, they make this dramatic gesture. That cuts no ice with me at all.
We followed the example you set when you left the U.P. [Interjections.]
I say that the Government had no intention whatsoever of removing these Coloured Representatives originally. They could have sat here for time immemorial. I do not join in these paeans of praise for the wonderful work they have done. I think it suited the Government to have them here and they would never have been removed. This is borne out by the fact that when in 1964 the Coloured Representative Council was established there was no talk of that being a substitute for representation in Parliament.
But the first doubt entered the Government’s mind in March, 1965, when we won the Provincial Council seats and they knew, because those two seats get divided into the four parliamentary seats with the same voters, that the chances were that we would win those seats—certainly three, and possibly four of them. The results were pretty well clear-cut, and they knew it. But even then they did not really want to remove those Coloured voters. We had assurance after assurance from the then Prime Minister, Dr. Verwoerd, thereafter. As far as I am concerned, Dr. Verwoerd was determined to retain the Coloured representatives here; he wanted to honour his assurances—contrary to the impression that the hon. the Minister of Defence wanted to create here yesterday that Dr. Verwoerd thought one thing and said another. What a despicable manoeuvre. I wish the present Prime Minister was here. He could have told the House whether he thinks Dr. Verwoerd was lying to this House when he told us that he intended retaining the Coloured representatives. I am sure he would not say that. I am convinced, and every thought I have about this Bill increases that conviction, that Dr. Verwoerd instructed his Parliamentary legal advisers to find a formula for retaining the Coloured representatives and at the same time preventing the Progressive Party from winning those seats and from “interfering”, directly or indirectly, in the elections. I am convinced of that because in 1966, after agonizing birth pains and after we had all waited for its long delayed birth, came the ugly Improper Interference Bill. I am convinced that the reason why that Bill was such a tortured monstrosity was because the then Prime Minister was determined to stick to his assurances to retain the Coloured representatives. So, every possible loophole had to be covered to stop the Progressive Party “interfering” directly or indirectly in the elections of these representatives. And let me say that as late as 26th August, 1966, the Minister of the Interior, this hon. Minister who has now introduced this Bill, also gave an assurance that these Coloured representatives would be retained. He said so during the Budget debate in reply to a question put to him by the hon. Leader of the Opposition. This is what he said—
Not at that stage. [Interjections.]
This was just after an election. The hon. the Minister quite correctly says that if that was the intention the country should have been informed—not after the election, but before. Of course, it was not their intention then, and I will tell him in a minute why it was not. In any event, that is what he said. I presume he was not thinking differently—as a matter of fact, I should say he was not thinking at all. That was on 26th August, 1966 (see Hansard, Col. 1542). As I was saying, the Government at that time still thought that it could stick to its promises. And even when the present Prime Minister took over in September 1966 he too hoped it would be possible to retain the four Coloured representatives. He wanted to do that; he was frantic to find a way of doing that. But there he was, faced on the one hand with this monstrosity, the Improper Interference Bill, and his desire to retain the Coloured representatives on the other hand. Because this Improper Interference Bill was too much even for him, he decided to set up a commission in the hope that it could find a simple way of retaining those seats and at the same time of preventing the Progressive Party from fighting and winning those seats in an election. And the Prime Minister did not give up hope of finding such a simple formula because as late as 4th April, 1967, the Prime Minister, in his address to the present Coloured council, said he wanted to make it absolutely clear that not a single promise made by his predecessor will not be carried out by his Government. Famous last words, Sir!
Meanwhile, there was the commission battling away for two years in search of a simple solution. It could not find any evidence, in the literal sense, of any “interference,” which it could use. Neither could it find a simple formula for retaining the Coloured seats and at the same time preventing the Progressive Party, or any other anti-apartheid party, from fighting those seats. That being the case, the hon. the Prime Minister came to the conclusion that there was nothing for it but to abolish the four Coloured seats and to introduce legislation to prohibit “improper interference”. The essence of this new legislation is to prohibit multi-racial parties. These then are the reasons why we have to face this unholy trinity of Bills in the House to-day. That is the only explanation. We do not want to know what Dr. Verwoerd meant because we know what he meant, as we also know what the present Prime Minister meant and even what the present Minister of the Interior meant—and, believe me, that is difficult enough. Meantime all these assurances have joined the dead hand of the past. There is now a veritable forest of these dead hands of the past. That is how far we have gone in South Africa.
I am not going to delve too deeply into the ignoble history of Coloured franchise in South Africa although I want to reply briefly to some of the assertions which have been made about this “meaningful” substitute for what was “meaningless”. I will be the first to admit that there were many inequities under the old Common Roll. But these inequities could have been put right. Coloured women could have been given the vote; the vote could have been extended to the other provinces. In this and other ways all these inequities could have been put right and the Coloureds retained on the Common Roll. And despite the fact that the Coloured vote represented only a section of a section, it exerted a meaningful influence on the power structure in South Africa. Indeed, the Coloureds were increasingly affecting the number of seats which could be won by one or other of the two white parties. The majorities with which these seats were held were approximating the number of Coloured voters on the roll. That is the simple reason for the Coloureds being kicked off the Common Roll by this Government—because the majority of the Coloured vote was adversely affecting the Nationalist Party. That was the reason why they were booted off the Common Roll and not because the Government wanted to save them from being a political football.
And to-day we see the end of Coloured representation in this House for a similar reason—not because these votes are meaningless but because they are meaning more. That is the reason why we are to see the end of Coloured representation in this House. In the 1950’s the Coloureds lost their vote on the Common Roll because they were voting United Party and the Government did not like it; to-day the Coloureds are to lose their representatives in this House because the Coloureds are voting Progressive and the Government does not like that either. That is the reason. The Government does not want to see four members sitting in this House, members elected by the Coloured people as proof of their unequivocal rejection of apartheid—despite every assertion the Government is making that the Coloureds have accepted and indeed are enjoying apartheid. That is the long and the short of the whole thing. But not only does the prospect of four more Progressive Party members sitting in this House frighten the Government out of its wits—it also frightens the United Party out of its principles. As a result their undertaking to restore the Coloured voter to the Common Roll is gone. They knew perfectly well—as a matter of fact this is what the Connan Commission revealed—that there would be more Coloured voters than Whites on the roll in the Cape. They could not face the white electorate with that knowledge. In any event, they knew that the Coloured voters would vote for the Progressive Party. So, it did not suit them either way. Consequently they abandoned the Common Roll principle—for no other reason than that they could not go to the country in the knowledge that the number of Coloured voters on the roll in the Cape would outnumber the Whites. So, gone are all those sentiments of “the century-old franchise rights of the Coloured people”, and gone are all the warnings about the dangers of a bloc vote. We do not hear anything more about that from the United Party.
Sir, I think that when future historians examine this somewhat sordid chapter in our history, they will not find the United Party’s role very much less ignoble than that of the Nationalist Party. Because I do not now know why they fought so hard right through the fifties for the principle of the Common Roll. I do not now know why they went to all the trouble of fighting the High Court of Parliament Act, of fighting the cases in the courts of law, of fighting the enlarged Senate; all these strong and stalwart stands they took on a principle. At that time they said there was no danger of the swamping of the white voter by the Coloured voter, and they were prepared to stick to their principle. The minute the danger evinced itself, the principle went out of the window. I must say I am sick and tired of all the talk I hear in South Africa and in this House particularly, about this ganging up. [Interjections.] I will stay as long as I want to, and I will talk as loudly and as long as I want to talk. The hon. members can lump it as far as I am concerned. [Interjections.]
Sir, as I was saying, I am sick and tired of all this sanctimonious talk in this country about the Coloured man belonging with us and our civilization, talking our language, going to our churches and so on. I am sick and tired of that, because it means only one thing. It means ganging up; that is all that it means. Let us all gang up against the black man. I do not know why we equate—and with the examples before us—a white skin with civilization. I cannot imagine why we do that, because there are many non-white people, believe me, who are just as civilized, if not more, than the hon. members sitting around me. I must say that the most sickening thing about this whole shoddy business is all the self-righteous cant that we have to listen to about this being better than anything the Coloureds have ever had before.
Order! I think the hon. member must come back to the Bill now.
I am, Sir. I am talking about this very Bill now. Hon. members tell us that the Coloureds are receiving more than they had before. But all I can say, is that they are not getting a good bargain, that the council, which I shall discuss in detail when that Bill comes before the House, is no substitute for a Parliamentary vote, which is the badge of citizenship. A vote in this Parliament is a badge of citizenship; everybody knows it. Nobody would exchange it for a council. No white man would exchange his vote here for a vote on a council which has only local governmental power. In passing, I might say that this abandonment of the M.P.C.s by the United Party is also a disgraceful matter. I wonder if they would have been so ready to throw them over if Messrs. Friedlander and Braak of the United Party had been sitting there instead of Messrs. Wollheim and Van Heerden of the Progressive Party. The Nationalist Party may deceive themselves, but they deceive nobody but themselves. I might say that this is a sorry spectacle, the spectacle of an all-powerful white party relentlessly pursuing a helpless minority group, because that is what it is, until the last vestige of their franchise has been destroyed.
I say finally that it is an ugly characteristic of this Government, that even the rules which they made themselves and the unwelcome laws which they thrust down the throats of people, unwelcome …
Well, the laws, Sir; I withdraw the word “unwelcome”. If it does not suit them, those laws are changed. If they find they cannot win the game, the rules are changed as well. I say quite categorically that this is gerrymandering. It is fundamentally in opposition and incompatible with the whole concept of Parliamentary democracy. It shows little respect for the concept of Parliamentary government to mess around with the nature of the electorate, because that is what this Bill is doing, by arbitrarily changing the rules, always at the expense of the underdog when they do not prove to advance the ideological aims of the top dog.
We have done more for the underdog than any other party in this country!
I just wonder—I leave this final, deadly thought with this House—if this thought has struck other members as it has struck me. If this is the way this all-powerful Government behaves when its power structure is not remotely affected by four more seats in this House falling to the Progressive Party or to a party which is anti-apartheid, how will this Government behave when it does perhaps feel its power-threatened? I wonder if this deadly thought has struck other members on the Opposition side as it has struck me. How much respect will this Government have for the institution of Parliamentary democracy when its own power structure is indeed seriously affected by events in the future?
Mr. Speaker, I have on various occasions had the privilege of listening in this House to the hon. member for Houghton, but I have never seen her as frustrated and as bitter as she showed herself to be in her conduct this morning. But we need not search far afield for the reason, because this legislation which we are now piloting through the House will prevent the Coloureds from continuing to be thrown to the political wolves of the Progressive Party. She is so frustrated that I would also like to express my contempt for the comparison she made here this morning when she termed these three Bills an “unholy trinity”.
It is really a disgrace …
Your Bills are “’n skande”.
… that such a comparison should be made here, because we on this side of the House, and I believe the majority of the House as well, still have the deepest respect for something like the Trinity.
She has not.
Mr. Speaker, I think that she and her Party were sufficiently castigated in advance yesterday by the hon. member for Piketberg. I shall not deal with her any further, because after all it is a fact, even though she did behave in such a bitter and unladylike fashion this morning, that she and her Party are by no means the greatest offenders as far as the Coloured vote is concerned.
You are putting it mildly.
In this respect the United Party has always been the greatest offender. I should, in due course, prefer to discuss this matter a little with them, because I should like to avail myself of this opportunity of reproaching them here this morning with incidents from their past. With this legislation now before us, we have arrived at the final chapter of a period in our political history. Actually we are now completing the final touches to our apartheid legislation. The United Party has stated by means of interjections and by way of argument that this legislation would never have been there if the Coloureds had voted for the National Party. I want to reject those allegations. I want to state explicitly here that even had they voted for the National Party we would still have piloted through this legislation because this legislation is the logical outcome of everything we have been doing over a period of many years. I should also like to state that in our entire political history there has never been a greater evil than the fact that the Whites and the Coloureds were together on the same common voters’ roll. There was nothing which disturbed and bedevilled good relations between the groups as much as this very fact.
Let us now consider an item such as registration. I am pleased that the Bill which the Minister of Coloured Affairs is soon to pilot through Parliament will make provision for compulsory registration for the Coloureds. If we had not been serious about this matter we could merely have said that there should be registration and have left it at that. A small number of Coloureds would then have registered. But let us take a look at the past, when the United Party was actually responsible for the registration of the Coloureds. What did they do? In those constituencies where a man could win the seat if he was able to register enough Coloureds, the United Party had everybody, from top to bottom, everybody who could possibly be registered, placed on the list. Many who should not have been on that list, were placed on it, and subsequently had to be deleted from the list. What did they do in the safe constituencies? There they did not concern themselves at all about the Coloureds. They felt that it was not necessary to overload such constituencies with Coloured votes. If we want to see what evil arose about this joint voters’ roll we must return to some of the elections in the past.
But surely we are not arguing about that.
This measure is the outcome of all those things. I want to tell my hon. friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect and of whom I am very fond, a few things in regard to what the United Party did in those years. [Interjections.] Just a minute, you can relate what the National Party did. I shall tell you what you did.
Order! The hon. member should rather address the Chair.
I shall, Mr. Speaker. Let us consider an election such as the one in 1943. I do not know whether you still remember it, but we called it the “Khaki election”. Even then I was participating as a young boy in electioneering work. It was then that I saw what disgraceful practices the United Party were applying in regard to the Coloureds and the Coloured vote, and I prayed fervently that the day would come when I would be able to do something about the situation. That is why I am very pleased that I have been afforded the opportunity this morning of saying something in respect of this legislation, of voting for it and helping to pilot it through the House.
But surely that was done a long time ago.
Listen a moment, just keep quiet for a bit. During the khaki election of 1943 the night-schools of the United Party for the Coloureds were flourishing. Yesterday the hon. the Minister of Defence told us a thing or two about these night schools, but I should now like to tell you something else. They brought the Coloured together and then supplied them with political information. They told them why they should vote against the National Party. However, they were never able to tell them precisely why they should vote for the United Party. Admittedly there was nothing the United Party could offer the Coloureds. They told the Coloureds, “Vote against the National Party, because if that Party comes into power, certain unpleasant things will happen to you”. What did they tell the simple Coloureds would happen to them? I can mention the place where this happened. They told these people: “Look you must vote for the United Party, because if the National Party comes into power, they are going to load all the Coloureds onto a large ship, let the ship sail out to sea and then a big bomb will explode on the ship and you will all be drowned.” Now they themselves are sitting on the bomb. You will probably laugh at that to-day, Sir. Our Whites reject such propaganda with contempt. We will pay no heed to it. When one group of Whites slanders and calumniates the other group amongst simple Coloureds, what is the reaction of the latter? Their minds retain some of it, and to-morrow or the day after when the Whites have to co-operate with the Coloureds then they see how suspicious the Coloureds are of them. I want to state it as my honest conviction now that since we placed them on a separate voters roll the suspicion and lack of confidence we always experienced at elections has disappeared, and is no longer inflaming the hearts of the Coloureds as it did before.
Then there were the night-schools.
Did they have to learn to write there?
The hon. member is correct. Let me tell hon. members how the Coloureds learned to write there. We often watched them secretly. A soft, feminine white hand would take the Coloured’s hand, and she would stand a little distance away so that she did not have to touch him, and the hard, brown, calloused hand holding the pen would by guided and the Coloured would be taught so that in seven or fourteen days’ time he would at least be able to sign his name, by which means he would then be placed on the voters’ roll. When he had finished making his mark, that Coloured was forgotten and then he could as the hon. the Minister of Defence said here yesterday, return to his shanty because he had done what was required of him for that Party, but even to-day the reward is still not forthcoming.
I think the United Party will want to wash its hands of the whole affair to-day. They will say that it was never their policy to do such things or to make such propaganda. That may be true. But the agents they sent to do that work did not mind what they did. They did not mind what the battle-field looked like when they left. They were not concerned about the attitude amongst the people who would have to remain behind there and who had to continue to live together in future. They paid no heed to that at all. For them there was only one purpose, i.e. to get hold of a vote, to get hold of a seat, at all costs. It did not matter to them what price had to be paid for it.
One would think that such intimidation and suspicion-mongering was a thing of the past. But it is so deeply-rooted in the tactics and conduct of the United Party that we have over the past few days seen this phenomenon cropping up here in the House in various places. I am pleased the hon. member for Cape Town (Gardens) is here this morning. He is one of the respected members of this House. When we were discussing the Commission’s report here the other morning, the question being dealt with was why the Indians did not give evidence. What was the hon. member’s remark? He said they were afraid the Security Police would victimize them. Here something which we had in the past is cropping up again, the intimidation which was so rampant. The people must be intimidated. Suspicion must be sown amongst the people to the effect that, if they want to co-operate in any way with the National Party and the Afrikaner, at some time or other they would have to suffer for it, they would have to pay for it. I want to maintain that even the hon. the Leader of the Opposition cannot be exonerated from this. Did he not insinuate here that the Coloured Persons’ Council might perhaps after a while be abolished and that that mouthpiece of the Coloureds might also be removed? Even at this moment we still have the intimidating stories which that side tells so that the hair of the Coloureds actually straightens out and stands upright. That sort of thing is not entirely a thing of the past yet.
T can understand very well why the Indians, and many Coloureds as well, did not appear before the Commission, and why they were actually disinterested spectators. Their make-up is entirely different from ours. There is something different about them. I should like to say that there is a difference in nature between us and the Coloureds. I cannot for one moment accept that they would act in exactly the same way as we would in the same political situation. Consequently I would like to make the assertion that in the first place they are not so much interested in the franchise, but rather in improved living conditions. That is what they would rather have. When the legislation in regard to the removal of Native representatives from this House was being discussed here years ago, someone—I think it was Professor Schoeman—who had travelled through the Native areas, who had interviewed many of them and who was an expert on them, said that he had only found a few who had come to him with inquiries in regard to a vote. But he found thousands of them who wanted very much to ride in a motor car. This reveals their needs to us. They would like to share in the civilization of the Western world; they would like to have the comforts we have. They are not primarily interested in whether they can make their mark, which has never meant anything to them. Strangely enough, it is the Whites who realized what power lies behind those crosses and who are so interested in the Coloureds’ vote and who want to do everything in their power to consolidate those votes behind them. This is apparent from the actions of the hon. member for Houghton and of her Party in this case and in the past.
But, Mr. Speaker, surely we are not merely abolishing Coloured representation in this House; if we had taken such negative steps then I would have said that the Opposition had many grounds on which to criticize us severely. But look what we are giving them in its place, bearing in mind what I have just said, i.e. that the majority of the Coloureds are not primarily interested in the vote but in improved living conditions. That is what we must bear in mind.
We are giving them a Coloured Persons’ Council, and we are giving them control over various aspects of their national life. Take education for example. What more does any person who wants to do something for his nation, who is interested in the future of his people, want than the right to be able to guide the training and the education of his people in the direction in which he would like it to be guided? Through the establishment of this Council which is replacing what we took away from them, we are placing the Coloureds in a position to have their children educated in a way best suited to their nature. The same applies to welfare services.
If one discusses the matter with welfare workers, many of them will tell you that the well-to-do Coloureds are not interested in doing welfare work amongst the Coloureds. If one stands in the street with a collection box, collecting funds for the Coloureds, then it is the well-to-do Coloured who walks past, and one has to, as it were, buttonhole him to get him to make a contribution. One can understand this quite readily; it is because that welfare work was not primarily their responsibility, but with this legislation we are placing that responsibility: squarely on their shoulders, and it will be they and they alone who will be responsible in the first place for welfare work amongst the Coloureds.
Sir, there are tremendous problems such as the abuse of liquor amongst the Coloured population, an evil which is really dragging many of them down into the depths. There is also the problem of shiftlessness amongst the Coloureds. The task is now being handed over to the Coloureds to try and find a solution to these problems themselves, and here I want to add that the Whites will be only too eager to give them guidance and support in this regard, because after all it is we who are providing the funds for that in the first place. I believe that with these three measures we are going to create a new dispensation for the Coloureds, and that they will in the end be much better citizens and far more satisfied with the higher standard of living which this will bring them.
I am sure the House was amused by some of the fairy stories of the hon. member for Mossel Bay. What the hon. member did not explain, having said what a great evil the “gemeenskaplike lys”, was, was how suddenly the Government’s own creation, that is to say a separate roll, has also become a terrible evil. Sir, I feel that I ought to say a word as well to the hon. member who spoke before the hon. member for Mossel Bay, namely, the hon. member for Houghton, who took a left-handed and a right-handed swipe at other members on this side of the House, not to mention a backward one at the hon. member for Peninsula.
The hon. member says that we have been frightened out of our principles and that the abolition of representation on the Common Roll is an abandonment of principle. Well, Sir, I think reasonable men may differ on this. We have not abandoned any principle. The principle that is involved in our stand is the principle that there should be representation in this House for members of every race group. That is the principle, and that is the principle that we are trying to uphold here to-day.
A very flexible principle.
Sir, as long as you have principles you can apply them and you have to apply them according to the circumstances which prevail at the time. Sir, I hope the hon. the Minister of Defence is going to come into the House. We have in fact asked him to do so because I am going to deal with what he said here. The hon. the Minister of Transport must not say things of that kind when one of his colleagues is guilty of what Barney Barnato was guilty of and that is to say: “Look, these are my principles, but if you do not like them, well, I have others.” That is what is happening here as far as that hon. gentleman is concerned. So far as changing one’s mind is concerned, I think the hon. member for Houston should perhaps not have raised this matter because when the last election for the Coloured Representatives in this House was held in 1961 the Progressive Party said: “Oh no, we are not going to take part in those elections; we could not possibly be associated with an election on a separate roll; it is against our principles.” So they did not take part, and then in that same year the Progressive Party was decimated and rejected by the white electorate, leaving only one Progressive Party member in this House, the hon. member for Houghton, Then, like Barney Barnato, they changed their principles. They suddenly found that they had other principles because it was not possible for them to get Members of Parliament in this House through the normal way. I hope therefore that this sort of accusation by the Progressive Party will now be forgotten.
Sir, I want to start at the beginning and remind the hon. the Minister of what he said when he introduced this Bill. He said that separation was a traditional way of life in South Africa. Sir, you will remember well, as everyone in this House will remember who took part in the passing of legislation to change the status of South Africa from that of a dominion into a republic, the preamble to that constitution. You will remember well, Mr. Speaker, as will other hon. members, that the preamble of the Constitution contained the “gees”, if I may use that word, of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The preamble of that constitution starts: “In humble submission to Almighty God, we declare that whereas we are conscious of our responsibility towards God and man; Are convinced of the necessity to stand united; Are prepared to accept our duty to seek world peace,” and then come the following—
The Constitution that followed reflected what is in that preamble; it reflected Coloured Representatives sitting in Parliament. That is surely part of the tradition and the history of South Africa, and if it was not, then that preamble means nothing at all. And you know very well, Mr. Speaker, as does every other hon. member who took part in those debates, that this was a very important part of our discussion. The representation of the Coloured people in this House was enshrined in that Constitution but now it is to be jettisoned: it is to be cut out. You can amend an Act of Parliament and the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act is an Act of Parliament, but it is more than that. Surely our Constitution is more than that. It was a solemn pact that we made. This is our contract; this is the beginning of the Republic, and the Constitution was supposed to express the history and tradition of our land. The position appears to be that as far as this Government is concerned our traditions change according to what is politically expedient at the time. Are our traditions and our history changeable with a change in Prime Minister, because that is what appears to be the position? Sir, what is the value of the assurance of any Nationalist Prime Minister concerning the rights of any people any longer? To what depths have we sunk in our public life when because it suits them to do so, a dead Prime Minister’s confidant can attempt to avoid the public utterances and assurances of their former leader by now making out that he was in fact misleading the public, that he was lying to the public, when he said he had no intention of removing the Coloured Representatives from this House? To what end was this done by the hon. the Minister of Defence in this House? To serve his new master and his ideas, at the expense of his last master who is now dead and can no longer speak. Sir, what base political barratry is the attitude of this Minister!
Order! The hon. member is going too far.
I withdraw the word “base”. The Minister of Defence when he was Minister of Coloured Affairs, introduced the Coloured Persons Representative Council Bill, this Act which it is now alleged by hon. members opposite is to take the place of the rights that the Coloured Representatives have in this House. One must remember that they are saying that this Bill, of which he was in charge, was to take the place of those rights, but during the second reading of that Bill I asked him whether he would answer two questions: Are the Coloured Representatives going to stay here? That is in Column 4259, 1964 Hansard. The answer was: “Yes”. I then asked whether Coloured people would be able to sit in this House, and the answer was “No”. True, I was cad enough not to believe it. I said that I accepted his word that they would not go now, immediately, but I did not believe him when he said they would not go eventually. But the hon. the Minister of Defence, in making out that in fact this was to be a temporary arrangement, is condemned out of his own mouth by what he said in that same debate. The hon. member for Bezuidenhout said in Column 4175—
To which the Minister of Coloured Affairs replied: “I give it now”. There can be nothing more clear than this. Then the hon. member for Bezuidenhout went on and said—
To which the Prime Minister replied: “I have already said it here”. That was on 14th April, 1964, during the second-reading debate of the Coloured Persons Representative Council Bill. Sir, how can the hon. the Minister of Defence now come along and say that no such assurance was given, or that it meant something else? “Permanent” means “permanent”. But it is worse than that. When the hon. the Minister replied to the debate he then took this matter up in col. 4352. He said—
And then we had what is so significant and quite incredible, namely that the Minister then went on to give extra assurances, to give added weight to that assurance. He then quoted the passage from Hansard of 23rd January, 1962, col. 94, of what the then Prime Minister. Dr. Verwoerd, had said, the very passage which my hon. leader quoted in this House yesterday in order to point out that this assurance was given by that Minister. That is very significant. How can the Minister of Defence in the face of that possibly say what he did? Frankly, knowing what I do of the late Dr. Verwoerd, I cannot believe the hon. the Minister of Defence. Such speculation on the part of a Minister of the State is not only reprehensible but it is a very sad reflection on the depths to which our public life has sunk, that this can be done in the interests of party-political expedience. The hon. the Minister of Defence acted very extraordinarily yesterday. One wonders whether he does not need some medical attention. He said that the outburst of the Leader of the Opposition and those sitting around him was typical of members of the Opposition and their forbears, who ever since the days of Queen Victoria had exploited the Coloured people.
What a rotten statement to make, about his needing medical attention !
I think he needed a tranquilizer. The Minister made a vicious attack upon my Leader. No one can make such an attack and get away with it. What was the object of mentioning Queen Victoria and our forbears? Was this designed to promote unity between the two language groups?
But I want to ask hon. members what interest they have taken, those who speak so piously about the Coloured people. What is their interest in the Coloured people? Under the Separate Representation of Voters Act, a Senator was appointed to represent the Coloured people. The person who was appointed died nearly two years ago. He was the late Senator Olivier, and nothing has been done to replace him. All the Government has to do is to nominate someone in his place but he has not been replaced, and I wonder whether they will ever replace him before this Parliament dissolves, when of course it will fall away altogether.
In this ill-conceived proposed legislation, this Bill, we have had talk of a white Parliament, and we hear in speech after speech that this is to be a white Parliament and that the people here must represent only the white people and only the white interests. That is the goal of hon. members opposite.
We never said that it was to represent only white interests.
Yes, it is to be a white Parliament and so we abolish the Senator who is appointed to represent the Coloured people, and who is appointed by the Government because of his special knowledge of the Coloured people. That is going to be abolished. What would he represent except Coloured interests?
What do they do to achieve this object? They go to the Constitution Act and hack out all references to the Separate Representation of Voters Act—like a hen foraging in the farmyard, so they are pecking away at our Constitution. But after having pecked everything out they left section 29 (2) (b). This is a very interesting section. It provides for the nomination of senators by the State President. Let us now have a look at section 29 (2) (b). It says—
Here follows the important point—
Where is the white Parliament now? This is the object of this operation—to appoint those Senators not only on account of their knowledge of the wants and wishes of the Coloured population but also to serve as the channel through which the interests of the Coloured population may be promoted. Is this going to remain? Or is this to go as well? Is there to be another mutilation of our Constitution? Is there still something more to be hacked out of it because it is politically expedient for the Nationalist Party? Or did they forget about this provision altogether? Or is it perhaps the intention that the promotion of Coloured interests should come through the Senate only and not through this House also? Is that what is intended? Or has the Government so little regard for our Constitution that it is unaware of the existence of this provision? Or does it indicate perhaps that in appointing people to those posts the Government has no regard to this provision at all? One would like to know the answer because one wonders about these things. And if the Government is aware of this provision, is it also to be removed? Are we going to have yet another Bill placed before us to remove this particular provision? And if so, will it remove only this qualification or are there going to be five or four less Senators than there are at the moment? Or is it intended that the Senators should represent only white interests? These are the things we should like to know, and I hope the hon. the Minister will give us an answer. One wonders what this Government means. One sees the mess it has got itself into. “What a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” It is not the first time, but here the Government is in a hopeless mess. As a matter of fact, the Government has got itself into such a mess that it is going to have to send out the hen into the farmyard once more in an endeavour to see whether something more cannot be pecked out.
You are talking absolute nonsense.
Will that hon. member then get up and tell us what all this is about? What are these Senators going to do then? Are they going to remain, or are they not going to remain? And if they are going to remain, are they going to act as a channel for the promotion of Coloured interests? We should like to know. I want to say this, that section 29 does reflect the preamble of the Constitution. It does indicate something best suited to the traditions and history of our land. That is the way in which it always was and that is the way it should be now. The object of a Member of Parliament is the object stated in section 29—in other words, to promote in this Parliament the interests of those who have elected him. That is why it is stated like this in the Constitution; and that is why we are fighting this Bill.
One cannot compare, as hon. members opposite have tried to do, the rights and privileges to be enjoyed by the Coloureds in their Coloured Representative Council with the rights and privileges they can enjoy through their being represented in Parliament. The Coloured Council is an instrument through which the Coloured people can participate in the activities of government. That is the channel through which they can take part in the administration of the various matters concerning them as a group, matters of peculiar interest to them. We decentralize these administrative powers for the benefit of the group because otherwise they cannot participate in Government. That is why one has to have a body such as this in order to do it. But that is something quite different from representation in Parliament. Parliament itself is not an instrument of government. It is, rather, the place where the people through their representatives can scrutinize and debate and, if necessary, check the exercise by the Government of its powers. Let us examine our own position as Members of Parliament. Am I as a member here participating in government? Of course I am not. I am only part of the consultative process—that is all. I am here to represent certain people and to express their views. But I do not have any part in government. That is done by members of the Cabinet and by members of the Civil Service. They do the governing.
This brings me to my main point, namely that the Coloured Representatives are here on that basis. They are here to benefit Parliament and its members. They are here to tell Parliament what the views of the Coloured people are. We want to know and we should know what those views are if we are to legislate for them, in the same way as we should know the views of the Bantu and of the Indians if we are going to legislate for them. That is the function of a member of Parliament. And if a member does not fulfill this function he will be out at the next election. It is not a point of growth—rather is the communal council the growth point. Representation in this House is not a growth point for anything. It is merely a process of consultation. Representatives of the Natives were in this House from 1936 to 1959—for 23 years three representatives of the Natives in the Cape sat in this House and four Senators for the whole country in the Other Place. And they told Parliament what the views of the Natives were. As I say, they were here for 23 years. During that period their numbers were not increased. There was no suggestion even that they should be increased, although they themselves would have welcomed it. But that never came to pass. The function of a Member of Parliament is to consult with Parliament and not the Government. About this there is confusion, deliberate or otherwise, in the minds of hon. members opposite. As my hon. Leader pointed out yesterday, they seem to equate consultation with the Government, i.e. with the Minister, with consultation with Parliament. They seem to think Parliament is the Nationalist Party’s caucus. Well, it is not. That the Government should want to consult with them and that Parliament should want to consult with them are two different things. The confusion in the minds of hon. members opposite in this regard is very dangerous. The attitude abroad amongst hon. members opposite as far as this is concerned is a dangerous attitude. I want to tell them that they should have more regard for Parliament than they show by their attitude in this Bill because here they are depriving Parliament and themselves of the benefit of hearing the views of the Coloureds through their representatives when we have to make decisions affecting them. In the 1950s the courts were considered to be thwarting the will of Parliament. It was then that we heard a lot about Parliament, that the “volkswil” through Parliament should be protected. I say, Sir, the “volkswil” through Parliament must still be protected. But the “volk” can have no “wil”, they cannot express their opinion if they are not properly informed, and Parliament is being denuded by this step. I wish the same attitude would apply now as in the 1950s.
This is the end, as the hon. member who has just sat down said, of an era in our political history. It is marked, as were all the other aspects of this chapter in our history, by a disregard for proper respect for our Constitution and our democratic agencies which the whole ugly history of the Nationalist Party’s struggle against the lives of the Coloured persons representatives, reflects. The humiliation and shame which our courts, the democratic process and our country suffered as a result of the high court of Parliament, was part of this. The enlarged Senate was also part of the same ugliness, and the dénouement of the tragedy here in the end is the repudiation of promises and assurances, solemnly given by a Prime Minister of this country, by the persons who during his lifetime associated themselves with those assurances.
Sir, we have reached the lowest depths and the hon. the Minister of Defence has led the way. This Bill is the end, not only of an era in our political history, but of an era in our political honour.
Mr. Speaker, I listened very attentively to the hon. member for Durban (North). I do not intend replying in the same vein, I shall concentrate my attention on other points. However, I shall, in the course of my speech, reply to certain aspects which he brought forward. During this debate it has become clear to me that there is a very deep-rooted difference in attitude and approach to this entire question of race relations between these two sides of the House. I am deliberately saying these “two sides of the House”, because there is no real difference in approach between the standpoint of the Progressive Party and that of the United Party. To my mind the proof of this is this very feeling of bitterness which prevails between them, for as you know if brothers—or should we in this case say, if brothers and sisters—fall out, the feeling of bitterness is greater than when the subject of dispute is principles. The subject of dispute here is degrees of conduct between them, and not the principle. The basis of their standpoint is that they believe that we in South Africa are one, multi-racial nation, whereas we on this side believe that in South Africa there are various nations, that we are not one great multi-racial nation with one fatherland, we consist of one fatherland with various nations. We have various Bantu nations; we have a white nation; and we are lending the Coloured nation assistance in the difficult process of becoming a nation.
Do they have citizenship in South Africa?
They are a nation in South Africa; they have full citizenship in this country, and that is the principle behind the standpoint of this Party, of this Government.
I am coming to that. I am now dealing with the political emancipation of the Coloureds. That is the subject I want to discuss, and hon. members must please not be so hasty. This debate has revealed a deep-rooted difference in approach. Now I want to know from the Opposition: Do they differ from me when I level the accusation at them that their approach is that we are one nation in South Africa, which consists of different colour groups and races? Or do they disagree with me? Am I charging them with something tangible or not?
The Coloureds are a separate group.
I am astonished at the tremendous silence on that side. I shall come to the hon. member for Newton Park in a moment. He is the only one who is trying to furnish a reply, although he cannot furnish me with one.
Are they a separate nation?
They are a separate group.
Yes, they are a separate group, but are they a separate nation?
May I ask the hon. member a question?
No, I am sorry, I do not have the time. The hon. member can put his case later on. I have now put a question to them, and they are maintaining an absolute silence in regard to this matter. We are making no secret of it; we believe South Africa is our common fatherland, and that there are various nations. We are engaged in developing that pattern of various nations alongside one another in a common fatherland, South Africa.
Do you believe in a South African nation?
Of course I believe in a South African nation. In South Africa there are various peoples, but not, as you believe, one nation. Mr. Speaker, there is a tremendous difference between what I am saying, and what the hon. member, who is becoming so serious now, is saying. That hon. member is merely trying to evade a reply which hon. members on the opposite side owe me. We believe that whatever we do in this country, we must help the Coloureds, who are a nation of heterogeneous descent, in the difficult process of becoming a nation. We regard it as our moral, our bounden obligation towards those people. Hon. members on the opposite side see the Coloureds as an appendix to the white nation. That is where we differ, and it is a profound difference. The hon. member maintains that I do not know what they said, but I am going to tell him what the hon. member for Bezuidenhout said. That hon. member referred to the Coloureds as the brown Afrikaners. Is the hon. member satisfied, or does he deny saying that? It was the hon. member’s point of view that the Coloureds are the brown Afrikaners. We say, however, that South Africa consists of various peoples. The word “Afrikaner” is the designation given to the population group to which I belong, namely, the white South African to whom the Afrikaans language and traditions are peculiar.
Does that include me?
I do not know. I do not know to what group you belong. You must decide for yourself. We are one great white nation, with two languages and two cultural groups. I am referring now to the language and cultural group to which I belong. You must therefore decide for yourself to which group you belong. The Coloured is no brown Afrikaner, nor does he want to be one. No man wants to be labelled as an appendage to another group. Neither the Whites, the Coloureds, nor the Bantu want that. From experience we know that no population group wants to be an appendage to another group. We know that the Bantu in South Africa desires not only to be known in general as a Bantu, but as a Xhosa or a member of whichever other race group her may belong to. The same applies in the case of the Coloureds and the Indians in South Africa, as well as the Whites. The Government acknowledges the Creation, which established various ethnic groups in South Africa, and the Government is building our ethnic composition on that pattern.
May I ask the hon. member a question?
No, I am sorry. The hon. member made an interjection a moment ago to which I still want to reply. On this pattern of the ethnic composition in South Africa we are building up an ethnic unity. The hon. member for Houghton referred to the level of civilization of the Coloureds who have the franchise, and who will now lose it. This legislation has absolutely nothing to do with levels of civilization. I wish it would get through to the hon. Opposition that what is involved here is not the level of civilization of people. South Africa consists of separate nations. The Government does not want to integrate these people or make them part of the white nation. Nor does the Government want to make them an appendage to the white nation. The Government does, however, want to help the Coloureds towards nationhood, so that they can develop an intrinsic self-respect as an independent nation. I want to tell hon. members on the opposite side that the Coloureds are at present developing a national pride of their own. The Government is helping them to do so. There is another matter I should like to reproach the Opposition with. To be continually undermining a person’s national pride by telling him, “If you cannot belong to another nation, you are an inferior person”, is an immoral act. Hon. members must come to my constituency and go about in the reserves there and they will hear what those Coloureds have to say about the people whom we call, “try-for-Whites”. They call them the “climbers” (opklimmers) and say that they want to have nothing to do with them. They ridicule and scorn them because they are trying to be something they are not. The whole basis of the Government’s and the National Party’s policy is our acceptance of the realities of South Africa. I have said that I shall reply to certain points touched on by the hon. member for Durban (North). Unfortunately he is not present at the moment. I take it that after all the bitter things he had to say, he has gone to have a cup of sweet tea to sweeten his throat. I really do not blame him for doing so because I think that after one has said such bitter things one must go and drink something.
He discussed here what our Constitution has to say about this matter. He said that the Constitution of the old Union of South Africa spoke of a constitution “best suited to the history and conditions of South Africa”. To my mind the best proof of that is the very fact that we still have a number of different peoples in this country and that we are not one mixed nation, which one would not really be able to recognize. One would not know, if such a nation had to be classified into one of the three main ethnic groups of the world, whether it was White, Black or Oriental. In South Africa to-day we have clearly definable races and peoples, and that proves the strong desire on the part of the people of South Africa not to integrate. I am glad to see that the hon. member for Durban (North) has now returned. As I said, the different peoples in this country have not become one, and in that I see clear proof of something which the hon. member for Durban (North) has never been able to recognize, namely that here in South Africa various peoples are developing, and that in respect of them emancipation over a period of years must take place. Surely it is generally accepted that the white nation is at this moment the guardian of the non-white nations. I shall dwell on this again later on, and I shall then have something to say about the social, the economic as well as the political emancipation in this country.
The hon. member also said in his speech that senators concerned would also disappear now. He wants to know what is going to become of them. How is consultation going to take place? Did the hon. the Prime Minister not furnish a very positive reply to this? Did the hon. the Minister of Coloured Affairs not reply to this very positively in his speech? [Interjections.] He did. Let me tell hon. members on the opposite side what he said. He stated that we would not at present divulge what the basis of consultation was going to be. We are not divulging it at the moment because we first want to consult with the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council and that that consulting body will be established after consultation with the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council. [Interjections.] He said “after consultation with the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council”, so that the Government can be given an indication, and can be assisted in adopting a resolution in regard to this very difficult matter. [Interjections.] Yes, of course the United Party wants us to consult them, and then we will not know what to do because they will give us four different pieces of advice! We do not know from day to day what the hon. Opposition’s policy is. They do not have advice for themselves. They have told us, We do not always know where we stand.
When the hon. member for Mossel Bay reproached that side with what they had said in the days of the Common Voters’ Roll, the hon. member for Newton Park stated that they were no longer arguing about that matter that it was a thing of the past. Well, to me it sounds very much like taking precautions. I think that if we accost them again in the year 1970 and reproach them with what they had said this year in respect of the representation of Coloureds TV Whites in this House of Assembly, they will tell us, “But surely this is the year 1970. Why are you discussing things that we said in 1968? Surely those are things of the past”. We cannot help recalling what the various standpoints of the Opposition have been. We cannot help recalling what the hon. Opposition did in years gone by. I still remember very clearly what I saw in Grabouw on election day, in the days when I was still a young boy. There I saw poor old farm labourers arriving at the polls on election day in big black Packard motor cars. Then those old Coloured men, whom I knew so well, said to me, “Little master, to-day at least I am an important man, because look, I have the vote.” We remember those days. We remember what a political football was made of the Coloureds and how they were kicked about. At that time the Coloureds did not realize what was happening to them, because they did not know any other system. But approach the Coloureds today and ask them whether they want to return to the old Common Voters’ Roll, and hear what their reply is. Hon. members need only glance at the Commission’s report. Their reply is, “No, we do not want to. It does not work out. At that time we were being deceived”.
Now you say the separate roll does not work out either.
Yes, the separate roll does not work out either, and that is why we are going to give the Coloureds something better. In two years time the hon. member for Newton Park will also say we must not speak about what happened two years previously and that we should rather argue about something new. I can understand very well that if I had been sitting on that side I would also have gone to a lot of trouble to get rid of my past. After all, you know that the skeleton in the cupboard can sometimes cause great embarrassment and many problems.
I spoke about the three components of becoming a nation, of building a nation. The first is economic upliftment. Now I want to ask hon. members on the opposite side the following question. Have they ever, when the Government came forward with a new project, admitted that it was in fact in the interests of the Coloureds? When we removed the Coloureds from the slums and let them live in their own residential areas where they could live together like civilized people and as a nation without being regarded as intruders, did that side support us? Or did they present a distorted picture of what we were doing and say to the Coloureds, “You are being taken from your homes and thrown into another place”? They no longer dare to say that to-day. Of course not. Because it does not work out. They cannot tell the Coloureds a thing like that to-day because he will reply, “I am not a baboon”. The Coloureds do know that these projects were well meant. When we uplifted the Coloureds in the field of education, when we gave them their own schools and their own university, do you recall, Sir, what we were forced to hear across this floor? Do you remember the dust clouds which were raised in this beautifully clean Chamber? They were the dust clouds the Opposition was kicking up. After all, they sometimes do the impossible. At that time we were forced to hear how we were going to suppress these poor people, exploit them and supply them with inferior training and inferior facilities. Will hon. members on the opposite side repeat those things today? Will they repeat them? No, they will not. The hon. members are sitting without saying a word now, and they cannot be blamed for doing so because if I had been sitting on the opposite side I would also have been sitting in silence
About your legal or illegal treatment?
We have treated them honestly and fairly. We have given them the fairest treatment. Fair and honest treatment has never been illegal, and the hon. member ought to know that if he knows nothing else.
Were you in Parliament then?
The hon. member is evading the issue here; he should rather stand still and take his medicine. The Opposition requested this debate, and they must not be so over-sensitive now. It is they who are debating this Bill, they are the people who have accused us here of immorality and when we tell them what they did in the past in regard to similar legislation in the emancipation process, then they must not be oversensitive about it. We have now come to the third leg of the process of emancipation of the Coloureds, and this is the political leg. The emancipation process stands on three legs. The first two are the economic and the educational, and as far as those two legs are concerned, I challenge the Opposition to tell me that we have not treated those people honestly. I shall say nothing for a moment to give hon. members on that side an opportunity of saying to me, “No, you will not”. Zip! They are now as quiet as a mouse. We are now coming forward with the third leg, and they are kicking up a great cloud of dust and saying that we are immoral. If we should come forward in three years’ time and show them what we have achieved with this, then the hon. member for Newton Park will tell us: “Surely that was in the past; you must not rake up old issues.” Mr. Speaker, these are not old issues, these are old United Party men with old United Party stories we are raking up. We come now to the political emancipation of the Coloureds. We are giving them their own council. We are not merely taking away here; this is no mere negative step; this is one of those major positive steps in the emancipation of the Coloureds in South Africa. At the same time as we are taking away Coloured representation in this Parliament, we are passing another Bill in terms of which we are giving the Coloureds their own representative council. We are giving them governing powers and we are also giving them administrative powers. Do hon. members of the Opposition want us to do what is being done abroad? Must we do what they did in the Congo, i.e. come forward one day and tell the people: “To-morrow you are free and then you must govern yourselves.”
Are you going to free the Coloureds?
We are emancipating the Coloureds politically.
We are engaged on that now. The hon. member is a Rip van Winkel. He does not know what we are engaged on. I maintain that we are engaged on a process of emancipation. Does the hon. member understand that?
What kind of freedom did the Congo receive?
Does that hon. member want us to apply the emancipation process immediately? Surely that is ridiculous.
No more than he wants to apply his integration policy immediately.
If the hon. member is dissatisfied with this process of gradual emancipation, does he want immediate integration in its place?
We do not advocate integration.
As far as the United Party’s policy is concerned, there is simply no objective. We indicate our course clearly, and it is the principle of autogenous nations in South Africa.
Where is the Coloureds’ country?
The objective of our policy is autogenous nations. That is our course and we are developing in that direction. No one can see the objective of our policy at this early stage; it is foolish to expect anything like that, but we are indicating our course very clearly. We are moving in a definite direction. Nobody can go to the nation and level the accusation that the National Party Government does not know where it wants to go to. The National Party’s objective is clear. We are building different nations in our common fatherland. We are engaged on a pattern which is new to the world, and that is why it is suspect, but people who come to South Africa and study this pattern, admit that South Africa has something which the world has not seen before. Surely hon. members of the Opposition know that integration is not working anywhere in the world. It is not working in America, it is not working anywhere in the world, and it will not work in South Africa either. The United Party’s entire policy is heading for integration. Hon. members on that side know that their policy can only lead to one thing, and that is integration.
Mr. Speaker, I would just like to indicate briefly to hon. members what many of the Coloureds themselves think of their franchise. In the reserves, in the Coloured rural areas in Namaqualand, in my constituency—and this rural area covers 1.25 million morgen—the Coloureds have a system which they described as their citizenship. In those rural areas one finds citizens and tenants (bywoners). Citizenship is an hereditary right, or one can earn it by good behaviour as long as one is resident there. One can apply for citizenship. Under their system the citizen has to pay certain taxes, whereas the tenant lives there free of charge. The citizen also has the right to elect his governing board. The citizen has certain political rights within that reserve. All the Coloureds have to do to obtain franchise is to approach a magistrate or someone else and fill in a registration form, but one-third of the names of the people who are entitled to vote do not appear on the voters’ rolls. Why not? Because the franchise means nothing to them.
Because they know that that council (raad) means nothing.
Sir, that is a very important admission, i.e. that the people here in the House (Raad) mean nothing, because that is what I am talking about now. That hon. member has really made a very important admission now. I know that hon. member to be an honest person, but sometimes he speaks rather hastily. The Coloureds are not registering for the franchise to send representatives to Parliament because the franchise has no value for them; the hon. member is quite correct. But that citizenship has a tremendous value for them. I know of Coloureds who work in Cape Town; I know of Coloureds who have been working on farms for many years, and who have never exercised the privileges of citizenship, but the first thing they do at the beginning of the year is to pay their citizenship fee. I have had these citizens in my employ for many years, and what happens? Come January, they ask you to send their citizenship fee, whatever it may be—and it is a considerable fee—away immediately.
What are you afraid of?
I am not afraid of anything. If the hon. member could understand Afrikaans he would realize that I am proving that this citizenship is of value to them and that the other thing is of no value at all to them. If the hon. member cannot understand me at all, I shall translate what I have just said into English for him, if Mr. Speaker would allow me to do so.
What did they tell the Commission?
They told the Commission that their own Coloured Persons’ Representative Council was something of value to them and that their citizens’ council was something of value to them. What happens every day in practice, proves that those things are of value to them.
Before I resume my seat I just want to refer to the hon. member for Karoo, who said in the course of his speech that he was regarded as being a very good member. He told us how much he meant to his people. I found it exceptionally interesting, because I actually represent two constituencies; I represent the Whites of Namaqualand, and to a very large extent I also represent the Coloureds. If I ask the hon. member’s voters why they do not go to their M.P., they reply that they have never seen him and that they do not know who he is. They then come to me and ask me to do something for them. Sir, we know politics. We know, and all the M.P.’s on that side know, that the M.P. to-day has, to a very large extent, become a public liaison officer who has continually to convey the representations of his voters to the Government and other bodies. I now want to put this question to hon. members on that side: Are the Coloureds’ interests going to be served better by four members here whom they never see and who never come near them, or are their interests going to be better served by 60 representatives who live amongst them and who can convey their representations?
But did the hon. the Minister not say that the work which was being done here by the Coloured Representatives was commendable?
Yes, we commend the work which they have done. I have no objection whatsoever to the work they have done. I am merely comparing it with better work which can be done. I am not insinuating in any way that the present Coloured representatives have not done their work. After all, the four Coloured representatives sitting here could never have looked after the interests of all their voters in the extensive areas they represent. The alternative is to have 60 White representatives for those people in Parliament.
Can you look after the interests of all your White voters in Namaqualand, plus the interests of the Coloureds?
I cannot accomplish that, and that is why I am so grateful that those Coloureds are now going to have their own representation in future. It is an impossible task. I am grateful for the assistance I am now going to be given here. The hon. member admits that four people cannot look after the interests of all the Coloureds in the country. Does he therefore want 60 White representatives here in the House of Assembly on behalf of the Coloureds?
No, he wants non-Whites here.
Or does he want 60 non-Whites here to represent the Coloureds? Sir, the hon. member should really be consistent. He must reply to me, and not snatch things out of the air here. [Time expired.]
Sir, in reply to these hon. gentlemen who are airing their ignorance on my left here, let me say that I am one of the few gentlemen in this House who represent Coloured voters.
Does it matter how many? I do represent Coloured voters.
Half a dozen.
They must not come here and air their ignorance. Let me say to the hon. member who has just sat down that I think he is a little bit of a Rip van Winkel himself, judging by what he said here. I think he thought that he was back in a debate which was held in this House a little while ago on the report of the Select Committee on the Prohibition of Improper Interference Bill. I think he forgot altogether that we were discussing legislation which has been presented to the House; in fact, he freely admitted it, but, Sir, I want to reply to some of the things that he said here. He referred to an “eindpunt” in their policy and he said that we had no “eindpunt” in our policy. We asked him directly what was the “eindpunt” of the policy of the Nationalist Party and he said that it had no “eindpunt”.
I said that the final outcome of your policy would be integration.
I agree with the hon. member that their policy has no “eindpunt”. The Nationalist Party policy has never had an “eindpunt”.
You do not understand Afrikaans.
They have not even been able to see a year or two ahead. They are opportunists; their whole policy is based on an adjustment according to circumstances.
Whenever they find themselves in a corner they go to the right or to the left, whichever way suits them best. Let me say here and now that this side of the House does not stand for integration in South Africa. That allegation has been denied often enough in this House and it has been denied often and often outside and I cannot understand why hon. members on that side will never get it into their thick skulls that we do not stand for integration. Sir, I want to cross swords with the hon. member when he talks about “Bantoe-volkere en ander-soortige volkere” in South Africa. What exactly does he mean by this? I think he is playing with words.
Peoples. Do you understand that?
Very well, “Bantu peoples”. But then he talks about the Zulus, the Amaxhosa, etc. What are they?
They are peoples.
What about the Welshmen, the Scots, the English, the Irish, the French; what are they? Are they “volkere”, to use his term?
They are a white people.
He says “hulle is ’n wit wolk”. What is the difference between a conglomeration of Scots, British, Welsh, French and various other nationalities and a conglomeration of Amaxhosa, Amazulu and the rest of it? Sir, there is no difference. This is a sign of the confused thinking on that side of the House when they try to justify their illogical policies.
The hon. member also referred to the question of developing “ ’n eie nasietrots” amongst the Coloured people. This is a very high-sounding ideal. It is something which I do not think one can dispute, but according to the way in which this hon. member sees it, there must be a centre of gravity; there must be a centre around which this “eie nasietrots” can be built.
The hon. member agrees with me. I want to ask him what that centre of gravity is in terms of the policy of the Nationalist Party. Have they got or will they have their own land, their own “tuisland”?
They have their own culture.
Will they have their own legislative assembly, their own parliament, which will be able to deal with their own affairs in their own land? It has been pleaded for by hon. members opposite. Even this hon. member referred to “reservate” for the Coloureds. This is a new concept, as far as I am concerned.
It has been there for hundreds of years.
You do not know South Africa.
We are not coming to the concept where this Government, in terms of what this hon. member has said, is going to put these people into Reserves. All the Coloured people are now going to be herded together in Reserves. That is what he said, and he goes on to talk about “burgerskap” which they will have in these “reservate”.
It already exists.
Is this Government now suggesting dual citizenship for the Coloured people? Have they presently got dual citizenship? Now I cannot get an answer. I want to go further in regard to what the hon. member said about “reservate”. I want to know where they will be, when they will get them, and what they will be like; and when are they going to get their freedom, in the words of the hon. member himself, like the Congo? I will deal with the other points raised by the hon. member during the course of my speech.
We are sincerely happy to hear that, because ever since you have come to this House you have never made a speech but have only asked questions.
The short title of this Bill is the Separate Representation of Voters Amendment Bill. I want to suggest to the new hon. Whip on the other side that the short title should perhaps have been “Bill to provide for the Non-representation of Voters in Parliament”, because that is what it is going to be. That is what is meant by this Bill. These people are presently voters in this House, and after this Bill is steamrollered through by the Government they will still be voters in the Coloured Council but they will have no representation. They will not have any representation at the seat of government, the point where it matters. This Bill does away with representation in the only legislative body in this country. The Minister, when he introduced this measure, told us that the Coloured people had had representation here for over 100 years, and that they had enjoyed this privilege as a right. Now this Government is using every excuse to get them off. This Government has said that every population group must develop independently within its own group, or in the words of the Minister, that we must have “eiesoortige ontwikkeling”. The Minister and other hon. members opposite claim that this is “the traditional way of life” in South Africa. I want to disagree with those hon. members and say that this is not so. South Africa is, and always has been, a unitary state. The history, the nature of the administration, and even the constitution of the Republic, as was pointed out by the hon. member for Durban (North), have made t e independence of groups, as the hon. member for Namaqualand likes to call them, in South Africa impossible, even if this was truly desired by all the people in this country.
Order! I think the hon. member should get back to the Bill.
Sir, may I say that we are all common citizens of one land, and this Bill strives to separate us and to remove some of those common citizens from the right to have representation in this House. These common citizens that I am talking about are today perhaps even more inter-dependent than they have ever been.
What do you mean by “common citizens”?
Are we not all South Africans? In fact, this Government has practised this policy of apartheid …
Order! The hon. member must come back to the Bill.
Then let me put it this way. If apartheid had really been the traditional way of life in South Africa, there would not have been any Coloureds and there would have been no necessity for the legislation we are considering to-day. I want to say, further, that as we have these Coloureds their development can only take place together with that of the Whites in South Africa. The Coloureds have always bad a say in the government of our country. It was only after the Nationalists came into power that their rights and privileges were curtailed, and I think that has been admitted by the Minister and by other speakers. The Prime Minister, on a previous occasion in this House, and the hon. the Minister now, have claimed that now, for the first time, 900,000 Coloureds are being given the vote. But the vote for what? I know I cannot discuss other legislation that is before the House, but they are getting the vote for a body which is not the same as this body, which does not have the power of this body, a body which is going to be a very poor sop to the Coloured people for their loss of rights.
That point has been advanced over and over again.
Speakers opposite have also claimed as an “inalienable right” that each group has the right to live and strive according to its “traditional way of life”. Recent history has amply demonstrated the falsity of such an assertion. The “inalienable right” that has been claimed by the Coloured people, according to the report of the Select Committee, is the right to participate fully in the government of their country, the country which they share with other non-Whites and with the Whites in South Africa. Complete separation in the political sphere is not accepted by the majority of the Coloureds. I think the evidence before the Select Committee shows that this is not accepted by the Coloured people, nor is it accepted by a large number of Whites in this country. We could perhaps understand the thinking of the Nationalist Party, and we could perhaps understand the reason for this Bill, if the Government was to create this as an all-white Parliament representing only the Whites in South Africa and legislating only for the Whites. But Parliament legislates for all South African citizens, white and Coloured, and also for the other non-Whites, whose “inalienable right”, if the Government wants to use that phrase, is the exercise of their democratic privilege, which is inherent in a parliamentary system such as ours, to vote for representatives to represent them in this House, which is, as I said before, the highest governing body in the land.
I have allowed the hon. member to make these general remarks, but he must now come back to the Bill.
In this Bill we are faced with the provisions that representatives of the Coloured people who are sitting here now will, firstly, have their period of office extended; secondly, if any vacancies occur, they will not be filled; and, thirdly, their lives will terminate with the life of this Parliament. We find, further, that there will not be any further representatives for the Coloured people elected to this Parliament at the end of that period, and that also includes the Senator who is appointed to represent the Coloureds in the Other Place. But in terms of our Constitution, there are five Senators nominated to the Other Place for their knowledge of and acquaintance with the Coloured people. I want to know from the Minister what the position is of those five Senators in terms of this Bill. No mention is made of them. Is it the intention of the Government to retain those five Senators because of their knowledge of and acquaintance with the Coloured people? If this has been asked before. I did not hear it and I would like to hear the Minister’s answer.
There is another question which is not answered here and on which I should like to hear the Minister. What is to be the position of those Coloureds in Natal, to whom I referred earlier, who are still on the Common Roll?
Read the Bill and you will see.
I have read it, but I cannot see it there. Perhaps the Minister might enlighten me. As I said earlier, this Bill provides for the extension of the lives of the existing members and not to fill the vacancies. I want to protest most strongly against this. I say it is a principle of democracy that the voters should be allowed to pass judgment on their representatives. Some of these persons were elected as far back as 1961. The effect of this Bill is now to extend their lives until 1971, which is a doubling of their normal life of five years. I want to say that this is an extremely dangerous principle with which this House is toying to-day, namely, the extension of the life of a Member of Parliament to ten years. As was pointed out previously, will this not happen again to all of us when this Government finds itself in danger of losing control of this country?
In conclusion, I want to say that I find this Bill completely offensive as these Coloured people share the same culture, languages, customs and religion as we of the white group. Many hon. members have quoted evidence of the change of heart and the change of policy on the part of the Government. I want to quote, in conclusion, words which were used in this House in 1930 by the late General Hertzog, when he said this—
Sir, I agree with the late General Hertzog; I reject this Bill completely, and I support the amendment of my hon. Leader.
I would like to take up the hon. member who has just sat down on a question relating to the Constitution. It is quite obvious that the Constitution arranged that the political power could be transferred from Great Britain to the Government of South Africa. There is nothing in the Constitution that I know of that says that the nonwhite people have an inalienable right to take part in Parliament. In fact, it was one of the terms of Union that no non-white people would sit in this House. General Botha said if this was not so, there would have been no Union. But the Constitution did say, however, that the Coloured vote and the Bantu vote in the Cape could only be removed by a two-thirds majority of both Houses sitting together. That was legally done. The courts said it was legal.
Yes, legally. It was constitutionally done. [Interjections.]
Mr. Speaker, it was said of the old Bourbon family of Europe that while they had learnt nothing, they also had forgotten nothing. After 20 years of National Party Government, when we are doing nothing more than carrying out the mandate which was given to us by the electorate to solve the problem of South Africa on the basis of separate development …
When did you get a mandate from the electorate to remove the Coloured representatives?
We received the mandate in 1948, and with every successive election, to carry on and to govern on the basis of separate development, and this Bill marks the continuation of that policy. I see no tragedy here. The outside world is being made to believe that there is a tragedy here, but there is none. I see a pattern unfolding. In 1948 the National Party was elected by the white electorate of South Africa and given a mandate to carry out this policy. In a world where nationalism, not only white nationalism … [Interjections.]
… is awakening, I can understand that the United Party cannot understand the feeling of nationalism of the non-white people and the desire to be themselves and to rule themselves, because they could not understand the national aspirations of their own white people. In 1960, when the National Party went to the electorate and asked for a mandate for a republic, the United Party completely misunderstood the feeling of the electorate and they opposed it. Not only did they oppose it, but I remember how shocked I felt when, during the republic referendum campaign in Pinelands, the Leader of the Opposition made a speech in which he warned the farmers in the Western Province that if they voted for a republic the peaches and plums would rot on the trees. [Interjections.] In other words, the highest ideals of the nation were equated by the United Party with an export market in fruit.
I can understand that the United Party does not understand the nationalism of the Blacks. It was the National Party that solved the extremely difficult problem of black nationalism in South Africa.
Now we come to the Coloured man. The United Party defends the status quo, the so-called right by Coloured people in the Cape—males only, not the women, and only in the Cape—to vote on the Common Roll, which, as everybody knows, was imposed upon South Africa by Great Britain. And this is what they are defending. In 1945 a book was published by B. K. Long, a member of their party, in which he said—
Order! The hon. member must come back to the Bill.
That was when the Coloured voters were still on the Common Roll. After that, as we know, they were put on a separate roll. In 1966 the hon. member for Peninsula quoted from a letter which he had received from a man who the hon. member said “opened his heart as to the sordid manner in which he was drawn by the Progressive Party leaders into conflict with the law”. I want to requote a portion of that letter, that portion recorded in Hansard, Vol. 18. Col. 3178. The relevant portion reads as follows—
When I heard this in 1966, it seemed to me that that man was not only appealing to the hon. member for Peninsula. He was appealing to this House to save him and his people from this wicked and cruel exploitation by the Progressive Party. It is very necessary that this step be taken. The time has come to end Coloured representation in this House. It is in the interest of the Coloured people themselves, because the Government is going to give them something much better. It is true that we as white people want to be ourselves and have our own Parliament. The Coloured also wants to be himself; he also wants separation from the Bantu; and he also wants a place where he can live himself out as a Coloured man. I believe that the legislation before us is going to open for the Coloured man a new dispensation for his greater happiness, his fuller development and a greater racial peace in South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who just sat down I believe said that the British government forced the 1910 Constitution on South Africa.
I did not say that. I said the entrenchment was forced on us.
Well, that is part of the Constitution. Of course, Sir, there is no truth in that. Our National Convention drew up our Constitution. The entrenchment was a bargain arrived at by the different provinces and colonies—call it a compromise if you like—and it was accepted by our people, the same as was the Constitution, and the Constitution was accepted by the British government. The British government did not force anything like that on us at all.
Why were those sections entrenched?
Because we knew what was going to happen. And why should those provisions not have been entrenched? We believe in entrenchment. Indeed, why are our language rights entrenched? They are entrenched and they should be entrenched. At a later stage in our history the Nationalist Party also entrenched our language rights because they should be entrenched. The other sections were also entrenched, and for very good reasons, as we found out subsequently.
The hon. member for Green Point said yesterday there was no proper motive for the introduction of this Bill now before us. He referred to a number of motives which were mentioned here, but he said there was really no real motive behind the introduction of this measure. It certainly was not motivated by this report of the commission, because the report shows clearly that the evidence given before the commission is completely against any suggestion that that evidence affords a reason for the introduction of this measure. The hon. the Minister told us the Coloured people were not interested in politics, and in proof thereof he stated that only about 33,000 Coloureds were on the voters’ roll. But I think he should know, and I am sure he does know, that at election times the Coloured people do take a tremendous interest in the politics of this country, just as the white people do. White people mostly take an interest in politics at election time, and in the same way Coloured people also take a tremendous interest in our politics when elections are held.
The fact that there are so few registrations is not because they do not take an interest in political matters. It is due in the first place to the fact that they are frustrated by this Government’s policies and the manner in which they have been treated. In the second place many of them are not registered because this Government has gone out of its way to make it extremely difficult for a Coloured person to register. This is one of the main reasons. This Government did its best to keep them off the roll. They have to register at a police station during the police station office hours, and those were the same hours when they had to work, which made it very difficult if not almost impossible for them to reach a police station during the registration hours. Apart from that, many of them do not like the idea of having to visit a police station to register and they prefer to register at other offices. I believe this Government did nothing whatsoever to encourage them to register as voters. In fact, they did their best to handicap them wherever possible.
The hon. member for Malmesbury accused the hon. member for Peninsula of making an “opruiende toespraak”. The hon. member for Peninsula condemned this Bill in no uncertain terms, and we agree with that. His speech was anything but inflammatory. We on this side, the same as the hon. member for Peninsula, certainly have the right to criticize measures such as this Bill which we believe are not in the interests of the people of South Africa. But whenever we criticize legislation of this nature, hon. members on that side tell us we are un-South African. I think it is an autocratic attitude to adopt to say that if we on this side criticize legislation in this House we are doing South Africa harm. It is our privilege, as the Opposition, and it is our duty to criticize measures before us if we are so inclined. We have the right to disagree with legislation, and in spite of what hon. members on that side say and think, we on this side will continue to do so where necessary. We will continue to fight Bills which we believe do more harm to the image of this country, both inside and outside South Africa, than any criticism which we can make. I do not believe for one moment that a Bill of this nature which removes the last remaining political rights—which are small enough—of our Coloured people, which removes their representation from this House, can do the image of South Africa any good in the outside world, not to mention amongst those people in our own country.
I already said I do not believe this Bill could possibly have been motivated by the commission’s report. My hon. Leader mentioned that there were something like 27 witnesses, including political parties and bodies, which testified, and who categorically stated they were not in favour of the abolition of Coloured representation here. They strongly advocated that these representatives should not be removed from this House. A few witnesses, seven or nine, were in favour of the proposed abolition, but they were mostly individuals. The main Coloured political parties stated unequivocally they did not agree with the suggested removal.
The hon. member for Malmesbury quoted from Mr. Fortuin’s evidence. Mr. Fortuin belongs to the Conservative Party. The hon. member tried to show that Mr. Fortuin was not completely in favour of political representation for Coloureds in this House. Well, I have gone through Mr. Fortuin’s evidence and I think that on something like six occasions he stated unequivocally that he wants representation for the Coloured people in this Parliament. In this connection I put the following question to him (see page 129 of the report)—
He was not keen to answer the question and the Chairman told him that the commission should like to know. He then replied as follows—
This is a man who supports the Nationalist Party policy of separate development, Mr. Speaker. He went on to say—
Business suspended at 12.45 p.m. and resumed at 2.20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, when the House adjourned for lunch I stated that the evidence in the report of the commission was overwhelmingly in favour of the rentention of the representation in this House of the Coloured people. All the political parties of the Coloured people gave evidence before this commission, namely the Conservative Party, the Federal Party and the Labour Party. The Conservative Party, with Mr. Petersen as chairman, stated categorically on page 130 of the report:
Mr. Fortuin, also a very prominent Coloured man, went on to say that if you take something away from a person he has a grievance. He said that Dr. Malan promised that the Coloured representatives would not be removed from Parliament. He went on to say:
I take it that he was referring to the previous Minister of Coloured Affairs.
I just want to ask the hon. member on behalf of which party Mr. Fortuin spoke.
Mr. Fortuin spoke on behalf of the Conservative Party. I am dealing with the Conservative Party now. Before proceeding, I want to say …
Order! The hon. member commenced his speech in English.
Mr. Speaker, just before the House adjourned for lunch I quoted from the report and said that it was what Mr. Fortuin had said, but I made a mistake because Ds. Steenkamp said that. I want to take this opportunity of rectifying that error.
Mr. Fortuin said that Dr. Malan promised that the Coloured representatives would not be removed from Parliament. He went on to say that that assurance was also given to the Coloured people by the late Dr. Verwoerd as well as the Minister of Coloured Affairs. I presume that he means the previous Minister of Coloured Affairs, Mr. P. W. Botha. He said that you must have Coloured representatives in Parliament but at the same time he said that you must not have two voices. I refer to this matter because it was raised by the hon. member for Malmesbury. He gave us to understand that Mr. Fortuin was not in favour of Coloured representation in Parliament on the basis of this statement. According to the evidence that statement was made because he did not want the representatives in Parliament to be elected by the general electorate. He wanted them to be elected by the council. According to him if they were elected by the council, they would then speak with one voice. He insisted that they must have representation in this House. It is not a case of Mr. Fortuin meaning that they must not have representation in Parliament. That was how the hon. member for Malmesbury interpreted what Mr. Fortuin had said.
Did Mr. Fortuin not say that experts should be appointed to represent the Coloureds in this House?
That is not the point at the moment. I know about that. The point is that they want representation in Parliament. Mr. Fortuin went on to say that they should have six representatives, namely four for the Cape and two others. He stated emphatically that they should have six representatives. On page 138 of the report he says:
In other words, he maintains that the Coloured people feel so strongly on this issue, and to that extent do they insist on having representation in Parliament, that if he were to fight an election he would be rejected if he advocated the abolition of this representation. He continues:
They regard it as a matter of good faith. What a shock this will be to them if they now find that the representation in Parliament on which they have insisted and which has been promised to them will now cease to exist. I think that that will be a tremendous shock to the goodwill and good faith that exist between these different race groups.
I now come to the Federal Party, whose chairman is Mr. Tom Schwartz. He too insists on representation in this Parliament. On page 146 we read that the chairman asked him whether it was the late Prime Minister who said so, to which Mr. Tom Schwartz replied:
He stated emphatically that they want this representation maintained. On page 147 he goes further and again states that they not only want representation in Parliament but that that representation must be by Coloured people. On page 148 he also says that if they were to advocate the abolition of their representation in Parliament, he might as well disband his party. This shows how strongly they feel and how strongly the Coloured people and their supporters feel about this. On page 149 of the report he again says that he would have to disband his party if he were to advocate t is. There is no question whatsoever that the Coloured people feel very strongly on this representation. They want to be able to exercise full political expression and to be able to play a part in the government of South Africa. They also want a voice in Parliament. The other members of this deputation, and I think there were five of them, also categorically stated that they supported the statements made by Mr. Schwartz, the chairman. He also said that the late Dr. Verwoerd had said that it was not the policy of the Government to remove the Coloured representation from Parliament. These people had faith in Dr. Verwoerd in regard to this and they feel strongly about it. They feel that this promise was made to them and they want the Government to abide by it. The members of this deputation under Mr. Tom Schwartz are not supporters of my party. In fact, they are strong supporters of the separate development movement. On the whole they are supporters of this Government. They were subjected to very heavy cross-examination and in spite of that, they were firm in their attitude that Coloured representation in this Parliament must remain. There again, what a shock it must be to Mr. Tom Schwartz and his Conservative Party to find now that the Government is coming with a Bill in order to remove the representation that they have in the Central Parliament.
I now come to the Labour Party under Dr. Van der Ross. He states quite categorically that he prefers the Common Roll. He is prepared, however, to accept the separate roll but under no circumstances is he prepared to have the representation of the Coloureds in this Parliament abolished. He also refers to Dr. Verwoerd, who made it plain that he had no intention to remove Coloured representation from Parliament. It is well known amongst the Coloured people that this was the view of Dr. Verwoerd and of the Nationalist Party. They regard this as a promise made to them and it will be a shock to them to find that this Bill is here before Parliament. The hon. the Minister told us that the Coloured people were not very politically-conscious. Sir, I can assure you that these people are fully politically-conscious; they know what they are talking about and they know what they want.
I now want to come to two white witnesses who gave evidence. One of them is Ds. Steenkamp, who is the Moderator of the N.G. Sendingkerk. He has worked amongst the Coloured people for 40 years and he knows them. He knows their wants, he knows their wishes and he knows their aspirations, and he categorically states that the Coloured people should have representation in Parliament. In fact, he goes further and says that they should be represented by Coloured people. Then I come to Ds. Botha, who has also worked amongst the Coloured people for some 16 years. Ds. Botha states that he has made an intense study of the Coloured people over many years. At page 162 he also states definitely that they must be represented by Coloured people; that their representation in Parliament must not be abolished in any circumstances, and that it would be much better if they were represented by their own people.
Is that your choice also?
The hon. member should surely know by this time what I feel and what my policy is. Mr. Speaker, you can go through the evidence and you will find that a great proportion of the Coloured people who gave evidence and a large number of the white people who gave evidence, insisted that Coloured representation in the Central Parliament must be maintained. I am sure that these two gentlemen to whom I referred a moment ago are not supporters of my party. They are supporters of the Government’s policy of separate development, but they are emphatic that the Coloured people must be represented in the Central Parliament. Sir, they are people who know the Coloured people. They are fully acquainted with their wants and their desires. I have no doubt whatsoever that the vast majority of the Coloured people in this country want representation in the Central Parliament. I am absolutely convinced of that, and I am absolutely convinced that it is in the interests of all the peoples of this country that they should have that representation, and I think it will be a sorry day for our relations with the Coloured people if that representation were abolished. It will be a shock to the good relations which exist to-day; it will be a shock to their faith in the white man and I hope that the Government will reconsider its attitude.
Then I just want to discuss one little matter which was raised by the hon. member for Mossel Bay. When I was speaking in a previous debate I mentioned that many of the non-European people were intimidated. I was speaking about the Indians in that particular instance and I expressed my regret that so few Indians had come forward to give evidence before this commission. Mr. Havemann asked one of the prominent Indian witnesses, Mr. Poovalingam, why the Indian people were apathetic. The witness’s reply was—
In other words, that is my information, that the Indian people are intimidated …
That is why they would not come forward.
… and I am prepared to say that there are also many Coloureds who are afraid.
In conclusion I want to repeat that I am convinced that the right thing is that the Coloureds must have representation in this Parliament. It would be a very sorry day if that representation were abolished.
It is being claimed today that Britain is a toothless bulldog. But it is not only England that finds herself in this embarrassing position. Here in our country an old relative of Great Britain’s is experiencing a tremendous amount of trouble with its teeth. It is the United Party.
A toothless mongrel.
They may have a few teeth left, but those have become blunt. Ezekial said that the old men had eaten unripe grapes and that the children’s teeth had become blunt. Sir, that is exactly what has happened to the United Party. The present and the former leaders of the United Party picked unripe fruit from the tree of relationship politics, tasted it, threw it away and grabbed another. As a result their teeth became blunt, so blunt that they can no longer bite but only bark, and it is particularly in their conduct as regards the political rights of the Coloureds that this fact is reflected so well. Sir, in the past 15 to 16 years the United Party has had no fewer than four policies in this regard, and they all differed drastically from one another. Just to refresh the memory of the more junior members of the United Party: in the fifties they had the do-not-want-to-know or the do-not-want-to-tell policy. They did not want to tell us whether or not they would reinstate the Coloureds on the Common Voters’ Roll. At that stage Dr. Friedman packed his bags and left the sinking ship. In 1958 the U.P. stated that the Coloureds would be reinstated on the Common Voters’ Roll, but that they would be represented by Whites in this House. In 1962 the U.P. came forward with their race federation policy. This is what the U.P.’s Manifesto for Better Race Relations, dated August 1963, has to say about this race federation on page 3 (translation)—
The 1962 policy stipulated further that the Coloureds would be reinstated on the Common Voters’ Roll and that they would be represented in this House by their own people. Then we came to 1967, and then we had “the Daddy of them all”, the greatest abdication in the political history of South Africa. The race federation, which in 1962 was held up to their supporters as being such an excellent policy, was exchanged for a territorial federation, irrespective of the bitter experiences that attended this type of federation all over the world, and irrespective of the warnings they issued in 1962.
Where do you get “territorial federation” from?
In spite of the fact that up to that stage they had been putting up a fight to the last trench for the retention of the Coloured vote on the Common Voters’ Roll, in spite of their solemn promises to the Coloureds, do you remember, Sir, what the hon. member for Constantia said in 1955? He said—
In spite of those promises they decided in Bloemfontein on 25th November, 1967, that the Coloureds would be placed on separate voters’ rolls. I now want to put this to the hon. member for Gardens: That was the undertaking you gave the Coloureds in 1955. If you are men of your word, as you pretend to be, why are you and the other U.P. members of the Cape still sitting in U.P. benches in this Parliament, where your Cape leader said that if that were to happen, the United Party would lose 12 members? However, you are still sitting here to-day. Mr. Speaker, in 1958 the U.P. propagated integration on the Voters’ Roll and apartheid in the House of Assembly. In 1962 they advocated integration on the voters’ roll and in the House of Assembly, and in 1967 the United Party advocated apartheid on the voters’ roll and integration in the House of Assembly. And then the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has the audacity to accuse the National Party of “somersaults”. Let me tell him what one of his old stable companions, Colin Eglin, has to say—
They are becoming more progressive than the Progressives.
Sir, if one seeks to ensure the peaceful co-existence of the various races in this country, there is one predominant requirement i.e. that one should be honest towards each group. Every group in the country must know where it stands with one and what one plans for it. To this day the Coloureds still do not know where they stand with the United Party. The United Party has never been honest with the Coloureds, and it is not only I who say that. In 1952 the Natal Mercury wrote—
Listen to what was said in a letter to the editor published in The Star dated 20th November, 1967—
But the United Party’s bona fides, as far as the Coloureds are concerned, are also belied by their own statements. To-day they are the people who tell us that we are treating the Coloureds so badly, but in 1966, in the constituency of Graaff-Reinet, they attacked me because the Government was building such fine schools for the Coloureds at Aberdeen and in Graaff-Reinet. On 23rd November, 1967, the Leader of the Opposition said the following in Rondebosch (translation)—
But, surely, then the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is not honest with the Coloureds. This statement of his proves indisputably that in spite of the promises, the Coloureds will never be permitted under the United Party’s policy to develop to their full potential.
Up to what stage will they be permitted to develop under your policy? That will never happen.
The United Party believes in vertical integration, with the Whites at the top and the Coloureds at the bottom Such a policy did not succeed in America, and what reason have we to believe that it will succeed here in South Africa?
I shall go further. On 2nd November, 1966, a voter of mine the hon. member for Walmer, who unfortunately is not here to-day, told me the following—
Why does he want to fight for that? After all, we all admit that. It is generally accepted that the Coloureds form part of our Western community. But then the hon. member for Walmer continued and said—
Why does the U.P. not want to fight for that, for this right which it does not begrudge the Coloureds? He says that if the Coloureds want to fight for that, the United Party will welcome them here, but the United Party will not raise a finger to help them to get here. The United Party leaves the practical implementation of its colour policy in the hands of the Coloureds knowing only too well that under the present circumstances the Coloureds would never be able to make the grade on their own. The road along which the United Party wants to lead the Coloureds, is a road leading nowhere; it is a road which can only lead to frustration. The legislation before the House at the moment is the logical consequence and the result of the National Party’s policy of separate development. Speakers opposite kept on harping on the so-called conflicting statements made by Dr. Verwoerd and the hon. the Minister of Defence, but even if their argument is valid, any such amendments are still based on the policy of separate development and still lead to the road we have envisaged for the Coloureds. We have not been dishonest towards them. This legislation has been provided, not because we think we are better than the Coloureds, but because it is our honest opinion that it is in the interests of the Coloureds that they should enjoy their political rights separately from the Whites. This has been the trend in South Africa since the earliest times.
Order! Would the hon. member kindly refrain from reading his speech?
I am merely quoting from reports. I say that since the earliest times it has been the trend in South Africa to move in this direction as far as the Coloureds are concerned. Sir, I want to take you back to 1893. At that time there was talk …
May the hon. member read it now?
Yes, the hon. member may quote, but he must not read his speech.
In 1893 there was talk of a Malay, Ahmed Effendi, standing for Parliament, and there was a strong possibility that this Malay would be elected to Parliament. The then Government immediately launched legislation through Parliament in order to put obstacles in the way of his being elected to the House of Assembly. I have the Hansard in front of me and I just want to read what was said at the time. Rhodes said—
That was Rhodes, who was certainly not a member of the National Party. Hofmeyr said this—
Merriman voted against it and said—
In 1903 a commission was appointed, the South African Native Affairs Commission, which sat from 1903 to 1906, and this commission, the members of which were certainly not Nationalists, reported as follows—
The point I want to make is that this has been the trend over the years. It was felt that these people should not sit in the House of Assembly. I just want to quote a brief passage from the book written by B. K. Long, where he refers to the change—and he was a United Party supporter—and says—
I say that the legislation before the House now is a result of a trend which has been in existence in this country since the earliest years and in respect of which the voters of the country have proved from time to time that they want it that way by returning the National Party to the House of Assembly with greater majorities at each election.
I cannot refrain from mentioning the contribution the hon. member for Karoo made yesterday. If I were to use the right word to describe it, Sir, you would send me out of the House, but I just want to tell the hon. member for Cape Town (Gardens) the following. The hon. member for Cape Town (Gardens) says that he stands by the hon. member for Karoo, who ended his speech with the following words—
What purpose did these words serve in this House? Will somebody from the United Party rise and repudiate the hon. member for Karoo? That was intended for consumption abroad. It can only damage the reputation of the country if such words are used, and it serves no purpose as far as the discussion of this legislation is concerned. The hon. member for Karoo said we were treating the Coloureds like dogs. I do not wish to quote a National Party source; I want to quote what Dr. Van der Ross said, and as you know, Sir, he is not a supporter of apartheid. On 2nd April, 1967, he said the following (translation)—
The hon. member for Karoo also said that the only people who would vote for us, would be those appointed by the Government to positions, but I just want to read from The Star—
And they voted for apartheid. The U.P. claims that only those Coloureds whom we appoint to councils, will support us. I shall read from the Sunday Express dated 5th March—
And this is not a National Party newspaper. But despite that the hon. member for Karoo says that we only have the support of those few Coloureds whom the Government appoints to this Council, but here the Sunday Express states that we have achieved a “break-through” as far as a large percentage of the Coloureds is concerned.
I do not have any time left. In conclusion I want to quote what was published in the Cape Argus about what was said by Professor Murray of the University of Cape Town—
Yet that side says that we are taking away the rights of the Coloureds. On the contrary, we are granting them more rights, and that is why it is a great honour to me to-day to be able to support this legislation here in this House to-day.
Mr. Speaker, I am surprised at the speech made by the hon. member for Graaff-Reinet. I really expected something much better from him.
What do you know about the interior, seeing that you were born amongst the Bantu?
Perhaps I have not quite the personal contact which the hon. the Minister has had with Coloureds, but I know the Coloureds very well. The hon. member for Graaff-Reinet started off by referring to Britain; he linked the United Party with Britain and said that the United Party “se tande het stomp geword”. I intend dealing with the speech made by the hon. the Minister of Defence later and I have asked him to be sent for, and I hope he will be here by the time I reach that stage of my speech. Meanwhile I will hold over my reply to him and I deal with the “stomp tande” charge then.
The hon. member for Graaff-Reinet spent some time dealing with the United Party’s change of policy. What I want to point out to him is this. There is a big difference between us changing our policy and the Nationalist Party changing its policy, for this one reason: Throughout we have stuck to one principle and that is that the other racial groups must also have representation in this House. We have stuck to that principle. The Government, on the other hand, has departed from principle altogether, and our attack on them during this debate has been their lack of principle. I do not know where the hon. member gets his information about what our policy is. If he comes to me I will give him some literature to read. He says we now stand for a territorial federation.
That is nonsense.
He is confusing Dr. Verwoerd’s policy with ours. Dr. Verwoerd spoke about a territorial federation, a commonwealth with the Prime Ministers meeting in a high court. That was Dr. Verwoerd’s policy. If the hon. member has been under a misapprehension I think he should go back to his constituents and tell them he wants to join us here on this side of the House. He accused us of abdicating from our undertaking to put the Coloureds back onto the Common Roll. We did not abdicate from any undertaking given to them. As hon. members said, we fought to keep them on the Common Roll and we fought this because what the Government was doing was to apply their law unconstitutionally and illegally. The United Party spent many years and a lot of money fighting the Government, and every time we won. Every court held that the Government had acted unconstitutionally. One thing I will say for the hon. member for Graaff-Reinet is this: He was never a member of the High Court of Parliament.
I was—I was a “judge”; “ek was ’n Juts’.”
They have forgotten all about that. We fought on principle then, and eventually admittedly we were beaten with the enlarged Senate and we then accepted the position. As far as this allegation of abdicating is concerned, when we changed our policy as regards the Coloured voters being on a separate roll rather than on a Common Roll, we made it quite clear at Bloemfontein why we did that. We said we had changed our policy because the Coloureds themselves had now come to accept the position that they were a separate group after so many years of Nationalist rule. They were prepared to accept the position and they preferred to be on a separate roll. They had become used to it. We made it quite clear that we were released from any obligation there might have been to put the Coloureds back on the Common Roll because of the actions of this Government.
Now, the hon. member for Graaff-Reinet is an attorney and I am surprised that he should read letters written to newspapers as evidence against the United Party. I wonder who wrote those letters. I hope the hon. member is not blushing. Who wrote those letters? Nobody knows who wrote them
You can have them all; you can read them.
We know the Nationalist have “ghost” letter writers in the English Press. If it comes to letter reading, we can certainly beat the Nationalists because we get many more letters against the Nationalists and saying most scandalous things against the Nationalists, more so than they can ever say against us.
The hon. member also attacked the United Party for the following reason. He said that when once he stood in an election somebody in his constituency accused the Nationalist Party of spending too much money on Coloured education.
The hon. member for Durban (Point) was there.
Again I wonder if the hon. member was not thinking of a previous election when he attended a United Party meeting and heard Nationalist Party members attacking the United Party for spending too much money on the Coloureds, because that was the attitude of the Nationalist Party all the way through, namely that the United Party was spending too much money on the non-Europeans.
The hon. member also read from some speech made by some member that the Coloureds stand close to our hearts. I remember listening in this House to a speech by a Nationalist Cabinet Minister who said that “Five million hearts will beat as one”. I repeat: “Five million hearts will beat as one.” That was said by Dr. Dönges.
What is wrong with that? [Interjections.]
How do you have five million hearts beating as one? The hon. member wants to know what is wrong with that. Well, then I ask him: Will 18 million hearts beat as one? Does the hon. member for Brakpan now say 18 million hearts are going to beat as one? Is that what he says?
Now he is blushing.
If they all feel the same way about this country, yes. [Interjections.]
The whole purpose of Dr. Dönges’s speech was to show that the Coloured people were standing with the white people. That was the whole purpose of the speech, that we were being treated as one. That was the purpose of his speech.
“Admittedly right,” the hon. the Minister says. Exactly. Well, if that is so, if five million hearts are beating as one, and we will all stand together—if that is what Dr. Dönges meant—why treat them like they are being treated now? Why give them this slap in the face?
Do the hearts of all the Common Market countries beat as one?
I have heard some foolish statements from this hon. the Minister, but never as bad as this! He asks whether all the Common Market countries’ hearts now beat as one. What nonsense is that?
If they beat as one?
But they don’t. [Interjections.]
If they did, would it mean they are regarded as belonging to one nation? [Interjections.]
Order! The hon. member should be allowed to make his own speech.
We have had various reasons given for the introduction of this measure into the House, and it has been said it all stems from the report of the commission of which I was a member. What justification for this measure do we find in the majority report of the commission? Let us just read what they do say in clause 14 on page xvi, talking about the careful consideration and study of the memoranda and the evidence:
Where are they going to evolve to? What is the final step? Where are they going to go to? Here the Government takes a backward step by denying them rights which they at present enjoy, and they say that it is a forward step! [Interjection.] They then go on to pay tribute to the present members representing the Coloureds:
Well, if that is so, why must they now be removed? If the commission was in earnest, and if the Prime Minister was in earnest, because he also paid tribute to them in this House, why then must they now be removed?
Now, Sir, what evidence was there before this commission that there was an “unfortunate exploitation” of the political rights of the Coloureds? Not a bit of evidence! The only evidence we have, was that there was certain malpractices as far as the voters roll was concerned, but there was not a bit of evidence in this report suggesting that there was “unfortunate exploitation”. Then they go on and remark that it “will before long give rise to seriously disturbed and troubled relations”. What is the evidence we heard from all the members on the Government side about the relations between the Coloureds and the Whites? Everyone remarked how good the relations are. In fact, they are proud of the good relations between the different race groups. If that is so, why change the system which has brought about these good relations? Is any hon. member here going to suggest that the relations are bad between the Coloureds and the Whites?
They can become even better.
Sir, we are told that they are better than they have ever been, and they could not be improved.
They can be improved, of course!
This hon. member says they can be improved. I hope he will tell us in what way they can be improved.
Then they talk in section 15 about a “lasting settlement”. Who decides whether it is lasting or not? We were given the impression that when the Coloureds were put on the separate roll, after listening to assurances given by the Prime Minister and others, that this was the lasting settlement. Dr. Verwoerd in reply to the hon. member for Bezuidenhout said this was permanent. Does “permanent” not mean “lasting”?
How long do you want it to be?
The representation here? We advocate that the representation be continued.
But you want to change it from white to Coloured. Does your party then not want to change the present position?
We are talking about the principle of representation in this House. As I said, reading the recommendations of this commission there is nothing one can find to justify what this Government is now doing. We want to know what the ultimate goal is. Every member on the Government side talks about what they have in store for the Coloureds. What have they in store for the Coloureds? We thought we had certainty from Dr. Verwoerd and from the Minister of Defence, who was then Minister of Coloured Affairs. They told us what the policy was. Now we find that they meant something different altogether. I will not go into that part any further, hoping that the hon. the Minister of Defence will come back. The present Prime Minister has shown only evasion. All he does is evade, and we cannot get any direct answers from the hon. the Prime Minister on any question that we put to him. Unfortunately he is not here this afternoon. We wanted him to commit himself to say what his ultimate goal with the Coloured people was. We have already had one statement from the hon. the Prime Minister. This is what he said in 1966 (Hansard, vol. 17, col. 2657)—
As regards the question of where this road lying ahead for the Coloureds will lead to, my reply is that we shall see how far they develop, what their capacity is, what responsibilities they can carry, with due consideration of the fact that they do not have a homeland of their own in which they can live and develop.
Now what does all that jargon mean? It means nothing at all. We want to know from the hon. the Prime Minister whether he intends giving them a homeland? These questions were also put to Dr. Verwoerd, but we got no definite reply. I want to know from this Prime Minister whether he agrees with Dr. Verwoerd that you can have a state within a state, and whether he too proposes to have a commonwealth. Does the present Prime Minister propose to have a final settlement along those lines? If the expansion of the council by giving it more power is such a big thing for the Coloureds, why do we not give them as much as we gave the Bantu in the Transkei? Why do we not give their council the same powers? Why must the Coloured people be treated as inferior to the Bantu in the Transkei, after all that was said for them by hon. members on the other side and hon. Ministers?
Have you read the Bill?
Yes, I have read the Bill. Has the hon. member read the Transkei Constitution Act? It was an unanimous recommendation of the commission that the chairman of the Coloured council should be elected, as the chairman of the Transkei council is elected. The people in the Transkei have the right to elect their own chairman and chief minister. The Coloureds, however, are not given that right. The Government will nominate the chairman of their council. The Transkei cabinet can introduce any legislation they like into their House. It has to get the final assent of the State President before it becomes law, in the same way as our laws. The Transkei cabinet however can introduce legislation. Can the Coloured Council do this? Of course they cannot. The introduction of their laws are subject to the approval of the Minister.
On what legislation is the hon. member speaking now?
I am dealing with the case put up by the Government that they are giving the Coloureds through the representative council more than they have ever had.
The hon. member must come back to this Bill. The other Bill is a separate one, on which the hon. member can make a separate speech.
But, Sir, the hon. Minister of the Interior, who introduced this Bill, linked the two Bills. Other speakers on the Government side too have linked the two. They go together and are part of the pattern. The hon. the Prime Minister said that the Coloureds had never really enjoyed political rights, and therefore they were really losing nothing. In any event, the Government was giving them other political rights in this council, for which every Coloured will have the right to elect members. Previous speakers have thus linked the two bills together.
I want to make one final point on this issue. The members of the Transkeian Legislative Assembly have absolute privilege. They can say what they like in their Chamber just as we can in this House, without any action being taken against them. That does not apply to the members of this Coloured Council.
Order! The Coloured Council is not under discussion now. The hon. member must return to this Bill.
You might know something about the Bantu, but you do not know anything about the Coloureds.
I challenge the Minister of the Interior to get up now and say that anything I have said about the Coloured Council and its powers is incorrect. He does not know what the powers of the council are. He talks in ignorance.
I now want to deal with the speech of the Minister of Defence yesterday when he replied to my Leader. The Leader of the Opposition accused the Minister of Defence and the late Dr. Verwoerd of having acted deceitfully, if what the Minister of Defence had said was true. Mr. Speaker, you will remember that the Minister of Defence had said that although he and Dr. Verwoerd were giving assurances to the Coloured people that they will not lose their political rights in this House and this Parliament, they actually intended doing away with these rights as part of their positive action. I will give him his due—he did say that he did not want to take part in this debate. I say that it is a pity that he did, because all he did was to lower the prestige and honour of the white man. All this ranting and raving here yesterday and his insinuations and allegations did not conceal the fact that he did not reply to the allegations made against him. He tried to justify his attitude by referring to a speech that he made in Port Elizabeth at a Nationalist Party congress.
At Port Elizabeth?
It was in 1965, but I am not quite sure where it took place. At any rate, it was at a festival congress of the Nationalist Party. He is now trying to dodge the issue by raising the question of where it was held. He was trying to prove that although they were saying that they were not going to take the vote of the Coloureds away, they were nevertheless thinking of it and that the public should have been forwarned because of the speech he made in 1965. He said this—
I might say that in his speech he used the word “gedwonge” that is a forced compromise—
Firstly, I want to say that the Minister in referring to this speech again yesterday said that my Leader had attacked him at De Dooms, I think.
Not as a result of that speech.
No, but he had attacked you. The Minister said: “Hy het na De Dooms toe gery en my daar oor my waarskuwings aangeval”. Whatever the place, it concerned the warnings my Leader had issued. I want the Minister to listen intently and then reply to a question. He went on to say: “Daarna het hy op ’n gekose komitee gedien. Hierdie beer wat so ’n hoë respek het vir ’n mens se woord”. On what committee did he serve after that?
You used the word “hy”. The impression gained from this is that after my Leader had attacked the Minister he went to serve on a commission or a committee. The Minister’s speech in this regard appears quite clearly in Hansard. To attend to the other warning the hon. the Minister gave, I want to quote what he had to say—
I now want to ask the Minister, which member on the Government side, be it Minister or an ordinary member, got up in this House and justified the measure which we are now discussing because the Opposition had presented the Government’s policy as being illogical? This is the speech the Minister read to us to justify the attitude that they are now adopting. What justification have they brought to prove that this representation is being abolished because we have attacked their policy as being illogical? What did the Prime Minister say in this regard? What reasons has he given for introducing this Bill? He said that Coloureds had never had political rights.
That is correct.
That happens to be quite wrong. The Prime Minister did not say that this was being done because the Government’s policy had been attacked as being illogical. The hon. the Prime Minister made a lengthy attack on the United Party for changing its policy at Bloemfontein. The Prime Minister spent his time attacking the United Party. He never mentioned that we had accused the Government of having an illogical policy. He said that this would be done because of the increased representation given by the representative council and the link which is to be created. Nobody knows what that link is going to be. He did not say a word about the Government’s policy being attacked as illogical. This Minister made a vain attempt to try to excuse what he has done. What did he succeed in doing? He only succeeded in reducing the stature of the white man in this country. How can we expect any of the non-white groups in future to respect the word of the white man given from this Parliament? How can we expect that after the speech made by the hon. the Minister of Defence? He does not attempt to hide the fact at all. In fact, he is quite proud of it. He said that in the meantime they were working on a positive plan for the Coloureds. I want to say that he did South Africa an unpardonable wrong. That Minister cannot expect anyone to accept his word in future.
Do you think I care whether you accept my word or not?
He may not care what I think about him, but I want to tell him that we are always accused by the Government side of giving a bad name to South Africa because of what we say about this Government. Anybody reading about what this Minister had to say about his word and the late Prime Minister’s word will realize that we do not need the Opposition to give this country a bad name. He is the Minister of Defence. He is the man who has got to enter into contracts where only a gentleman’s word is given. They do not have treaties in matters of defence because a gentleman’s word is sufficient. This is the gentleman who expects to have his gentleman’s word accepted. He expects this after his behaviour and after telling us what he did and talking with his tongue in his cheek. He, and the late Prime Minister, who is not here to defend himself, were talking with their tongues in their cheeks. Why did he say that they were doing it? He said that they were doing it because the Opposition would exploit the position. That is why they did it. They did it because they were so afraid—and that brings me back to the “stomp tande” the hon. member for Graaff-Reinet spoke about—of our congress that they went out and told deliberate lies for fear of meeting us on that ground. It is shocking what they are doing to the Coloured people. This hon. Minister must take the responsibility for this because he was the Minister who gave the assurances together with Dr. Verwoerd. He must take full responsibility for what is done if the Coloureds resent it as they will. How can they not resent what is being done to them? I would refer him again and ask him to bear in mind a speech made by his colleague, now the President of the Senate, when he was Minister of the Interior. He must bear in mind what they are doing to the Coloured people and the breach of promise the Coloured people are suffering. He must also think of the deliberate lies told to the Coloured people. I should like to remind him of what the then Minister of the Interior said after the Sharpeville crisis—
We all remember the tense time of crisis through which we went at the time of the Sharpeville risings. He went on to say—
This, Mr. Speaker, was in 1960.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just sat down, amused me a little, but the predominant impression I retained of his speech was, as the old English proverb says, that his bark was worse than his bite. He raised one or two matters here to which one can reply. However, the rest was a succession of nibbles here and nibbles there, nibbles which cannot hurt at all. He wanted to know what course we were following as regards the Coloureds, and I just want to tell him what course we do not intend to follow. We do not intend to move along the road of political integration, nor do we intend to move along a road leading to biological integration. Since he claimed that in comparison with the Bantu of the Transkei the Coloureds were being treated in an inferior way. I should like to ask him how he arrived at that conclusion. The Coloureds are amongst us. They are granted the right of ownership in our midst. They are getting a Council which has a sphere of activities and functions which is as extensive as that of the Government of the Transkei. As regards his objection to the so-called superiority of the Transkeian chairman as compared with the chairman of the to be established Administration of the Coloured Council, I just want to tell him that the chairman of the Administration of the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council is being entrusted with an enormous amount of money for which he will be responsible. That is why it must be possible for the State to exercise control over his actions. As regards the Transkei, the spending of the funds allocated to them is to a large extent still in the hands of the Department of Bantu Administration and Development. But I shall leave this matter at that.
Once again reference was repeatedly made to the late Dr. Verwoerd’s so-called assurances in this House. I just want to tell the hon. member that a word to the wise is enough, and if that is the deduction made by hon. members opposite, it makes one wonder whether they really understood Dr. Verwoerd at that time. If they could not even understand the hon. the Minister of Defence yesterday when he explained that he had meant the Commission on which members of the United Party, the Leader of the Opposition’s Party, served—they want to split hairs as to the meaning of words—then I wonder whether they understood Dr. Verwoerd correctly at that time. I really do not think so. The late Dr. Verwoerd was the last person to whom one could attach the label of rigid political thinking, and that is what the Opposition wants to attach to him through their claim that he would have adhered to a so-called assurance in the light of changed circumstances. I repudiate that entirely.
Sir, one cannot discuss this Bill if one does not return time and again to the concept of reassessment, which it is in point of fact, of the political rights or the kind of political rights the Coloureds have been enjoying in the Cape. It is a fact that the white representation of the Coloureds is disappearing and that there is a diminution of political rights of this particular kind. But in order to understand the logic of such a measure and to see it in its proper perspective, one must in the first place, when one comments on this, view the basic points of departure of the Parties in this House in respect of race or ethnic relationships and how they—to put it this way—are going to affect our kaleidoscopic image of various ethnic groups in Southern Africa in the future.
The National Party’s policy of multi-national separate development is a dynamic one and its proceeds upon the view that the arrangement in respect of the political development of the non-white ethnic groups has not yet been cast into a final form. The National Party has accepted the responsibility for the emancipation of all these ethnic groups. It accepts this responsibility and it shows it to the world and it propagates it with an open mind. Also attendant upon this realization is the need for a nation or an ethnic group to adjust—and we are dealing here with adjustment—as it grows and develops and as it gradually shows the ability to accept, staff and utilize correctly its own administrative institutions. Such a thing must be done from the bottom. It cannot come from the top, and that was one of the major mistakes of the past.
What happened in the past to the political rights of the Coloureds? They were sham solutions which were given from time to time and continually changed over a period of 100 years. They were in respect of a group of people who were different fundamentally, and it was a kind of participation in government which was given a head at the top without a body, or a neglected body which did not always know where its head or tail was. There were never any real political rights. Mr. Speaker, if I repeat a few things that have already been said here, then I ask you to have a little patience with me because one cannot repeat a truth too often, and if one is dealing with people such as hon. members of the Opposition, then one has to repeat it over and over again and rub it in on their sensitive spots. No arguments raised by that side of the House can blow up the rights enjoyed by the Coloureds into something which has the appearance of being constructive. Proceeding upon this view that a body has to be cared for if it is sick and if it is immature, the National Party has since it came to power in 1948 continued to do its duty in accordance with the way it saw the needs of these ethnic groups, in accordance with the experience it had gained in the past.
It is now being said that at this stage the Coloureds are being deprived of their last political rights and that they are getting nothing or fewer rights in exchange for them. What are they getting in exchange? I think that in exchange for those rights, they are getting at this stage a political position the foundations of which have already been built up through hard work over a period of six to seven years, and they are becoming their own political masters, in the first place, in the field of local government. Let hon. members opposite tell me now that rights in regard to local government and free elections do not constitute political rights. After all, they form the basis on which government is founded. That is where any nation ought to start if it has not yet been trained in government. In this way they are most certainly getting their political rights. Exercising such rights is less complex at this stage and the Coloureds can deal with them much better. Six years ago there was only one independent local government or local body with any measure of independence in the Cape, and that was the Health Committee at Pacaltzdorp in George. To-day we have 56 consulting committees in the Republic; we have managing committees, and in the rural Coloured areas the Coloureds have eight advisory boards and ten managing boards. The Coloureds have gained additional experience over the years and they are prepared for the day when they will receive political rights which, at their stage of development, they may exercise in the sphere of education, in the sphere of finance, in the sphere of rural areas and settlements and in the sphere of social and community welfare and pensions. Now they can develop in the direction of eventual self-government, and that is why Mr. Fortuin, one of the members who gave evidence before the commission, said that it was only since 1948 that they had been hearing people referring to the Coloured nation.
We have now reached this stage where the Coloureds are being granted a system of government in which they can emerge, where they can make themselves useful and accept responsibility, but at this stage we are saddled with a politically dualistic system. Who are the leaders who will really be speaking on behalf of the Coloureds to-morrow and the day after? Mr. Speaker, it is an appendix; it is chronically diseased and has to be removed. In referring to points of departure in regard to our approach to these rights which at this stage are undergoing a change in this legislation, we must also consider the United Party’s basic race approach. At its Bloemfontein Congress the following slogan was adopted: “One country, one nation, one loyalty.” I call this the hotch-potch policy. The supposition is that with the aid of the principle of group representation in a Central Parliament, one may hope to retain for ever white control in the future. Besides, this idea that the Coloureds can represent themselves, is after all really in conflict with this very strong plea for white representation, and therefore there is an inconsistency in the United Party’s policy in this regard as well, and that is why this is also a cul-de-sac.
If one wants to arrive at the right goal with any policy, one has to take the right road. If one has the wrong point of departure of “one country, one nation and one loyalty”, then it is to me a wrong beginning, because one does not accept the multi-rational nature of, the fundamental differences among, the ethnic groups here, and with that wrong beginning one will eventually arrive at the wrong goal. That is why I have difficulty in believing that these pleas, this sacrosanctity, these moral utterances, are based on a sympathetic understanding of the problems of the Coloureds. I do not think that moral considerations constitute such an important fact here. I think we must seek the actual reason, and the actual reason becomes evident from a report which appeared in the Sunday Times dated 29th October, 1967, and in which the following was written subsequent to the congress in Bloemfontein—
Are you not aware of that?
Sir, here we have the vulture policy once again; here once again we have a wrong view, a wrong evaluation of what is going on within the National Party. Here we have the reason for this change in policy, i.e. to see whether one can find a split, whether one can cause a rift in this Party, or whether by means of such opportunistic action, if I may call it that, one cannot take over the government of the country—the divide and rule principle. If one comes forward with such points of departure, one reaches the stage where, on the one hand, one pleads for a Coloured Council that has to be elected—and agrees with it—and, on the other hand, for elected representatives in Parliament. Mr. Speaker, as against the United Party’s point of departure as regards this Bill and the removal of the so-called political rights which have been in existence for a century, we have the Progressive Party’s basic view which is very clearly going to lead to eventual biological integration. But they, in turn, have a different way of doing things; they want to scoop off the cream consisting of the best of the Coloured nation, and they are a much better “promise” party than the United Party can ever be. The hon. member for Houghton is in the act of leaving this debating chamber. I would have liked to pay her a compliment; I suppose I can still do so while she is standing nearby. Since the hon. member for Karoo was so ready with his challenges yesterday—he is becoming a chronic challenger—he might as well challenge the Progressive Party to share the platform with him and to join him in fighting an election.
He is a progressive himself.
Yes, but he falls under the caucus of the United Party. I think he will find out that they are going to outbid him by far with all the suns the moons and the stars they will promise these young people—I say “young people” because I regard the Coloureds as still being a developing nation and as children in a certain sense. The hon. member will find that he will fall out very badly. His challenges are extremely comical. It is astonishing that a member such as that one wanted to know yesterday why more rights were not being granted to the to be established Coloured Persons Representative Council. I think he failed to look at the tremendous scope, at the details, of the task this Coloured Persons Representative Council has to accept. If he had taken the trouble to read through the Bill, he would have seen that these people would hardly have enough people to carry out these functions; of that I am convinced.
And he is without a job.
What I found the strangest of all, is that according to him this Council has to be granted more rights already, but the Council has not even been established as yet; the Council does not even function as yet, and already he wants to grant more rights to this body. After all, there must be development before such a council can prove whether it can carry out all these functions. The hon. member also said that the Council would receive a certain sum of money and that once the money was spent, the Government would say to the Council, “There is no more for you; you must fend for yourselves now”. Has the hon. member not noticed over the years how the allocation to the Department of Coloured Affairs, which built up these people’s position for them so that they could take over something which was already in progress, was increased from year to year in accordance with the needs of the Coloureds as they develop? Does he think that in this respect, too, we are so rigid that from year to year only a certain sum of money will be granted to these people and that they would have to make do with that? To my mind this is a rather misshapen form of logic, if I may put it that way. Now, we have basic differences in our points of departure, and that is why it will not be of any use to us to be at cross-purposes. There is just one thing that is to be deplored, and that is the kind of labelling which one finds and which becomes very personal at times. I do not know whether this is perhaps unparliamentary, but this morning the hon. member for Houghton seemed to be like a vicious lynx which was even more vicious because she was caught in a trap. Among these people who gave evidence before the commission-there were many whose evidence was used and blown up as coming from people to whom we ought to listen. Some of them are people who in everyday life are considered to be of very high repute in the ecclesiastic sphere. We had a certain Professor B. Engelbrecht who spoke extremely well on the Christian approach and their view in respect of the Coloureds, and who even said that he believed that it was not wrong for a political party such as the National Party to try to retain its authority. But listen to what is stated in the editorial of the publication Pro Veritate, of which Professor B. Engelbrecht, who gave evidence, is the editor. The editorial is concluded as follows (translation)—
I do not think that these are words that are fitting to be used by a person who gives himself out to be one of the spiritual leaders of our country. But it is people of this kind that we must listen to. This is the sort of disposition one finds, a disposition which is deeply rooted in one and which comes to the fore in this way. Can we therefore listen to that type of evidence if this is what is prevailing in the minds of these people?
I want to conclude. If the Opposition expects us to accept their view as being sincere, i.e. that they are also seeking the good of all the people of our country, then they will wait a long time before they apply to us such epithets as this one about oppression, which they are laying at our door. I repudiate it because it is entirely wrong. Then we shall in any case never be able to reach a settlement and we shall never be able to understand one another. But I can understand the grief and the grievances that are at the root of this vehemence. The white representatives who are to disappear from the scene, have a personal interest in their position here, but they must also be fair and admit that their constituencies are not of such a nature that they can do their work properly, because they are hopelessly too big. I should like to ask the hon. member for Karoo how many times he has visited the north-west in the years he has been the representative for that area. In my own constituency I have hundreds of his voters, and some of them, educated people, ask me who their representative is.
He prays for television so that they will be able to see him.
Let us be fair now and let them admit that personal interests should not play a part here. But it seems to me as though such interests play a rather big part here. I could not fail to notice in the evidence before the commission how the witnesses were continually asked the following: Do you not think that the white representation should at least be continued for another while until one day? But one wonders when this “one day” will be. It will probably be when the present representatives are too old to sit here. I honestly feel that we can expect co-operation from these people. If Tom Schwartz must realize when his time has passed, then they must also realize when their time has passed as regards this particular position in which they find themselves. The Progressive Party also feels resentful, and I can understand that. That little Trojan horse from the story of Helen of Troy which they brought in here, simply does not want to multiply; it is barren. We shall not allow it to multiply either; we are going to give it “the pill”. Then, finally, there is still the last group of people—apart from the United Party about the grievances of which I am not at all worried, because the United Party is tired and disheartened. But the last group of people who feel resentful—and to a certain extent we can understand that—are the ambitious Coloureds who regard themselves as leaders, and amongst them there are some who have qualities of leadership and who are indeed leaders. They are a small group of people who want to leave the vast majority of their people—their human hinterland—in the lurch, and who want to integrate with the Whites; they are people who, along with the Progressive Party, regard themselves as the cream and who will bring about a much more dangerous and unjust form of apartheid among the Coloureds themselves. On the thin wedge of political integration they gradually want to enter this Parliament, because as long as we retain the white representatives here the possibility does after all exist that they, too, may enter this House. Then they want to bring about political integration in that way, and then they will become totally isolated from their own people. Is that right? They will definitely abuse the anomaly which exists here at the moment, and they find it regrettable that it has to disappear at this stage. But I should just like to address this message to them. Last year, on 4th April, the hon. the Prime Minister told the Coloured Council that there was more work for every leader amongst his own people than he or she could do in a lifetime; one may not dissociate oneself from one’s own people.
When the white representatives of the Coloureds disappear from the white Parliament, we can expect there to be agitation at first. We can expect there to be grievances at first. This prediction that was made by the hon. member for Karoo, will come true to a certain extent-for do we not know the history of the “Torch Commando” and the United Front? At the moment they are in their graves, but we shall have them again. However, they will gradually return to dust, because it is my contention that, as the Coloureds move away from those who want to abuse them and as they move closer—even if it is in a way which looks like coercion—to the people whose intentions towards them are sincere, because they are demanding something for themselves but they do not want to deprive the Coloureds of anything, the Coloureds will accept this dispensation. They should simply be left in peace and then they will positively assist in shaping their own future, a privilege which was denied them all the years under the dispensation that obtained when the United Party was in power.
I do not want to follow up on what the hon. member for Gordonia said, but since the hon. member stated so clearly that what the Coloureds are now going to get, when their representatives in this House have been abolished, will be better than what they had before, I would just like to put this question, since the hon. member also spoke about the definition of the rights of the new Coloured Persons Council. Suppose that in regard to liaison with the Central Parliament, the new Coloured Persons Council requests that their representatives in this House be retained, what is the reply to that?
They will not get them.
The hon. member for Potchefstroom says that they will not get them. In other words, what it amounts to is that the new Coloured Persons’ Council is now being told: We will now consult with you in regard to what liaison with the House of Assembly will consist of, but you may not request direct representation there. That is what it amounts to. It is quite clear that there is not only confusion and an absence of clear thinking on the part of the Government in regard to what the Coloured representatives must expect, but that they are not even definite as yet in regard to what the new Coloured Persons Council will be allowed to ask for.
I should like to confine myself to the persons whom this legislation deals with, and who are involved in this matter, and who form an integral part of our population in South Africa as a population group and not as a nation. I want to begin by quoting from J. S. Marais, “The Cape Coloured People, 1652 to 1937”. He states—
J. S. Marais was writing about the period 1652 to 1937. What he did not deal with is the fact that the process which led to our having a Coloured population group began as far back as 1488, and that is why Mossel Bay is such an important place in the history of the Coloureds, because it is there that Bartholomew Diaz landed in 1488, and it is on record that he traded an ox from the Hottentots and took in supplies of fresh water before continuing on his way. I understand that early in 1489 the first Coloureds were born at Mossel Bay. I am trying to go back to the origins of the situation as we have it to-day. I once asked an hon. member what he would suggest as a reason for there being in South Africa since the earliest days of the establishment of civilization at the Cape, this separation between White and Coloured, firstly between the Whites and the Hottentots, and subsequently between the Whites and the Coloured groups which developed. His reply was that it came about as a result of the strong element of Calvinism displayed by our forefathers of that time. How logical the reply is I leave to you to decide. But what we have found is that our same forefathers who came here in 1652 also, to a large extent, colonized the East Indies. We find that Commander Jan van Riebeeck was transferred from the Cape to the East Indies, and other governors came here from the East Indies, and colonists came here from the East Indies or departed thither from here. We find that in South Africa separation developed so that to-day we still talk of a Coloured population, whereas in the East Indies there was total integration. It is merely attributable to the fact that in the East Indies our forefathers came into contact with a population which adhered to the Mohammedan religion and which therefore applied the hygienic teachings of Mohammedanism, and were on a much higher level of civilization and hygiene than the Hottentots at the Cape. But this separation existed, and in the process of the migration from the Cape into the interior after the settlement had been established, we found, and it is recorded in history, that the bastard population was continually being driven ahead of the Whites advancing into the interior.
What has that to do with it?
It has a great deal to do with it; just wait a minute. We know the history of Adam Kok, a manumitted slave. He settled in the Piketberg area and died in Namakwaland, where his son took over from him. That group of bastards, as they called themselves, eventually ended up on the banks of the Orange River, from whence one group migrated to where Rehoboth is to-day. Chiefly as a result of the smallpox epidemic, the original population of the then Cape Colony disappeared almost entirely. The Hottentot as such has disappeared entirely. Mention is no longer being made of Hottentot tribes. The only tribe to which overt reference can be made is the Griquas, but they have nothing to do with a Hottentot tribe. Until the year 1843 they called themselves bastards. A certain Scottish missionary, with the name of Campbell, found this name repulsive and persuaded them to accept the name of Griqua, which is actually a corruption of the Hottentot word Chiqrikwa, which means white man. Then this population group became a reality, and it is no longer possible to associate them with any other native tribe or population group. The existence of this mixed population group was politically acknowledged in 1853 when the Cape received representative government. I do not want to go into this history, because all of us are probably acquainted with it. They were established in 1873 when responsible government was established. In the meantime that population group played a very important role in the distribution and development of the white civilization in South Africa and the perpetuation of the Afrikaans language. They also played a major role in the military field as regards the protection to the white Western civilization in South Africa. [Interjection.] I am not going to slow down; I must speak quickly, because I do not have the time to sketch that history here. I sometimes find it remarkable to see how ignorant some people are, particularly of the military role which the Coloured population has played in our history. Few people know that for 80 years the Cape Corps formed the bulwark between the white civilization in South Africa on the one hand and the Xhosa on the other. This state of affairs and the recognition of that population group was re-established in 1910 when the National Convention reached a compromise to the effect that the Coloureds in the Cape Province and Natal should remain on the Common Voters’ Roll.
Such a great deal is being said about irregularities. I do not want to dwell on the question of the Common Voters’ Roll, because that is something of the past. We are dealing now with the measure at present before the House. The hon. Minister of Defence has mentioned here how people went about with cans of wine, etc. I do not deny it. He was at that time a party organizer in Caledon, and that is probably what he is referring to. I am going to confine myself to what I myself know. My own experience is that the irregularities which were committed in obtaining Coloured votes at elections were not confined to one political party. That was not the case at all.
What did you do?
I shall come to that. I do not want to hurl reproaches at random now or rake up old issues because that will avail us nothing. But as a result of certain criticism which was leveled by hon. members on the Government side, I should just like to set the record straight. J remember only too well how I, just after the result of the by-election in Hottentots Holland in 1948 was made known, had to go to speak to an old student friend of mine who was then working in the National Party offices in Keerom Street. I was then a student again after the war. When I arrived there the chairman of the Coloured Committee and other Coloured members of the National Party Committee of Elsies River, were there to receive their pay for the work they had done in that by-election. This happened on both sides therefore. I was an organizer and official of the United Party for nine years. I began in 1948 in the constituency Hottentots Holland. I remember only too well how, on the day when I came to an agreement with Sir De Villiers Graaff, the then United Party candidate, I received from him a copy of the Electoral Laws Act. His instructions to me were, “Study the Electoral Laws. It does not matter what you hear from other persons or what you know; act in accordance with the Electoral Laws, and remain within the scope of the Electoral Laws.” Those were his instructions to me, and I am saying that in all honesty here. I have tried to comply with those instructions. I do not deny that at previous elections irregularities took place in that constituency. But such irregularities were committed by both sides, and I can prove that. On the day of the general election in the Strand, in the Hottentots Holland constituency, there were two tables for Coloured voters at the polls. One table belonged to the National Party. The chairman was a Malay with the name of Baderoen, and his secretary was Sylvester. The other table was for the United Party supporters. There were a number of strange things to be seen there. The supporters of the National Party’s Coloured Committee vaunted a broken-off spade handle, while the United Party supporters had a bucket full of earth with a small spade in it, and they were saying, “To-day the “Graaf” (the spade) is going to dig up the earth.”
I do not know what happened elsewhere, but I can testify here to-day that at that time I drew up the election accounts for the Hottentots Holland constituency and it was not necessary for me to disguise or conceal one penny, or to cook the books in any way. I acted strictly according to my instructions. I knew what the standpoint and instructions of the United Party candidate was, and I acted accordingly, and I say that there were no irregularities. But we cannot deny that irregularities occurred on both sides in those years. I myself objected to Coloured voters on the list. In those days the Steenbras pipeline was being built. I recall that there were many Coloureds in the Coloured labourers’ camp at Firgrove. I had their names removed from the list because they were not competent to vote there, the reason being that they were not resident there—they were only temporary sojourners there while the project was under construction.
I remember how I once attended a meeting of the Boland General Council of the United Party. It was under the chairmanship of an ex-senator. There a certain man, who subsequently became a member of this House, stated that if they wanted to register a Coloured person, they merely gave him a bottle of wine. Another person said he gave them five shillings. I thereupon got up and walked out, and just outside I met Sir De Villiers Graaff. He asked me why I was leaving the meeting, and I told him what had been said there. I told him that I wanted nothing further to do with the matter, because those were not my methods. I say again that the fact that such irregularities did occur is no justification for what is happening here to-day.
What did Sir De Villiers Graaff then say?
He repeated what he had told me in 1948 when he gave me those instructions. Time went by and we reached the stage where the Coloureds were placed on the separate voters’ roll. Then the election of the Coloured Representatives took place in 1958. I took part in that election. I can tell the House of the frustration, the doubt and the lack of confidence which prevailed amongst the Coloureds, because they did not understand the position. Then there was also the boycott movement which wanted to have nothing to do with the election. Initially I had four opponents. One withdrew before nomination day. At the election I therefore had three opponents, and I won the Outeniqua seat. I got to know my constituency and the people I represented, from Umzinkulu up to Caledon and from Aliwal North up to Port Elizabeth. At the outset I was a member of the United Party Caucus. After the election of 1958 when I had been declared elected, I travelled through my constituency and went to address meetings at one place after another. I held meetings at places such as Caledon, Riversdale, yes, throughout my constituency. Each time the chairman of the meeting introduced me as the first Member of the House of Assembly who had ever returned after an election to the people whose votes he had previously asked for. At first I was somewhat embarrassed at hearing these words, but in time I realized that they were the truth. In any case, this separate representation became a reality. It is the only representation the Coloureds have had in this House up to now. They have made use of it. That boycott movement was broken, and it disappeared. Some of those people subsequently became my best supporters because they made use of the services which I could reader to them as their legally elected member of the House of Assembly. Let me just add the following. That constituency is a thousand miles long, and the election cost me £933. Hon. members can form their own conclusions as to how the money was spent.
Over a period of time I came to recognize clearly the frustration and despair of the Coloured people. Group areas were declared from place to place. There was no alternative, as far as those people could see. However, that is a thing of the past. Let us take places such as Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, George and Knysna. There I had to lead deputations to the local town councils to ask them to approach the Group Areas Board with the purpose of obtaining alleviation for the Coloureds, because what the resolutions of this Board amounted to was simply that all Coloureds had to get out of the towns. In all the places which I have now mentioned, active development began to take place with the coming of the Verwoerd era, so that to-day there are fine Coloured townships there. Now it is the white town councils who are trying to hamper the policy of the Government, as happened recently at George. These town councils consist mainly of businessmen who do not want to see Coloured businesses developing in the Coloured residential areas. But at that time, when the Group Areas Board was sitting there, the slogan was merely, “The Coloureds must get out of town!” After the coming of the Verwoerd era the people began to realize what positive advantages separate development implied. A change of heart occurred. They accepted that they were now being directly represented, and that they had access to their own member. They began to accept the policy of positive development, and something took the place of what they have lost. They appreciated being transferred from their slums to new, clean houses. They were hygienically accommodated in new areas. I can state that that change of heart took place, and I encouraged that change from place to place. Members of the Security Police can testify to that, because I always welcomed them at my meetings.
Thank the National Party.
I shall come to them. Let me first finish my story—do not anticipate me. I am talking now about those days when there was active development. Goodwill was reciprocated. When goodwill developed on the part of the Coloureds, it also developed on the part of the Whites. Prominent Whites, learned men, influential people, began to realize that the Coloureds had become an integral part of the population of South Africa, and they also began to propagate this idea. Another approach began to reveal itself. At subsequent elections the political parties realized that seats were at stake. As regards interference, I do not want to repeat the story, but I merely want to say that in 1961 it was brought specifically to my attention that such interference was in fact taking place. I realized the consequences of that, and warned against them. I read the speech made by the hon. member for Karoo during the discussion of the Muller Report, and I also listened to his speech yesterday. His speeches, the words he used, and the blame which he directed at that side of the House, put me in mind of the day in Piketberg when I was about seven, eight years old. In those days there was a certain Coloured rugby team which called itself the Lily Whites, and that is what the hon. member put me in mind of. It is the duty of the hon. member to protest against this measure now before the House. But he knows himself what intrigues he was involved in in respect of Coloured persons in order to get a seat in this House. When he now states that he may as well leave because “he will be more profitably occupied elsewhere”, one wonders why he struggled and intrigued so hard and tried to out-manoeuvre me in order to get in here!
I should like to react briefly to the exclamations of “Daantjie Scholtz” which were heard here. I just want to say that I did help Mr. Scholtz in that election. The National Party had nothing to do with it. On the contrary, whenever I sought assistance from the National Party, they either refused to help me or were reluctant to do so. This happened when trained, experienced white organizers inundated the Coloured Commissioners of Oaths in various places and tried to convince them with all kinds of bluffs to transfer postal votes to them. We had to look for Whites to deal with the postal votes, and because we could not of course approach the United Party, we had to approach the Nationalists. The climax was reached when the Progressive Party won the provincial seats in 1964. I do not want to dwell on that because there has already been enough discussion of this matter. I only want to say the following. The Progressive Party only did what other parties had done before them—only they did it much more thoroughly. Then the Improper Interference Bill was introduced. I now want to dwell on this for a moment. What caused me concern during the discussion of the Muller report here, and again during this debate, is the fact that Dr. Verwoerd’s name was mentioned across the floor here. In the past, when the removal of the Coloureds from the Common Voters’ Roll was being discussed here, there was no surviving member, except General Smuts, who had sat in the National Convention, and who knew the spirit in which that compromise had been entered into. Reference was made here to the dead hand of the past. To-day reference is already being made to Dr. Verwoerd, in the spirit of the dead hand of the past. I feel unhappy about that, because on two occasions I had the honour of having an interview with Dr. Verwoerd. The first was somewhere in 1964. It was in regard to a minor matter, and it did not last longer than 15 minutes. I walked out there with a new idea of the man, whom I had got to know merely through the image of the man presented by a certain section of the Press. I came out there with the firm conviction that I had been dealing with an absolutely honest man whose intentions were open and above board, whether I agreed with him or not, and one who would never have broken his word. This has always been my honest conviction.
In March, 1966, as a result of a report in Die Vaderland that the new Coloured Council would elect members of the House of Assembly, and a remark which I made to an hon. member who is no longer a member of this House, I received a message that the hon. the Prime Minister would like to speak to me. The day when I was called, I was unfortunately absent. When I was ultimately able to go to his office, it was after the results of the provincial Coloured elections in 1964 had been made known. I spent a half an hour in the Prime Minister’s office. I was amazed at how well informed he was, even as regards the political position and the tendencies amongst the Coloureds in the various constituencies. He questioned me concerning my views in regard to future Coloured elections, and I gave them to him honestly. There the hon. the Prime Minister stated clearly to me, the following words. I think I am almost correct in every respect when I repeat them from memory. “In my opinion the Coloured Representatives must be independent. I do not want to know what the policy of the National Party, the United Party or the Progressive Party is. I do want to know what the needs of the Coloureds are, what the Coloureds are thinking, and what the Coloureds are feeling. If there is criticism, then I want to hear that criticism, but I want to know that the criticism is coming from the Coloureds and not from a political party which is already known to me.” That is how I acted before the time as well as since. When I express this criticism to-day, I hope that the Prime Minister and the Government will accept this criticism in the spirit in which it was prescribed to me by Dr. Verwoerd. We discussed Coloured representation at length. The question in regard to future Coloured representation also came up for discussion; I raised it. The reply furnished to me by the then Prime Minister was that the Coloured representation in the House of Assembly was not the point at issue. His problem was how to keep white interference out of Coloured politics. He referred me to what he had already said in the House in 1964. In all the ten years I have been a member of this House, I have never been so seriously and honestly convinced as I am about what I am going to say here now. I believed the then Prime Minister and accepted his word as that of a man who would keep his word at all costs. He referred me to what he had already stated in 1964 in the House. Let me declare before God and man that I am speaking the truth. I challenge any Minister or any person to tell me that I am telling a lie. On the other hand I shall never accept or believe that between March 1966 and the tragic day of 6th September, 1966, Dr. Verwoerd altered his standpoint, his view or deviated from his word. In fact, at the moment when the tragedy played itself out here, the following happened. The bells of the House were ringing and I was on the point of extinguishing my cigarette and walking in when I saw the hon. member for Newton Park walking up. At that time the Improper Interference Bill was being discussed. I waited for him to catch up with me. I was standing facing the dining room and said to him: “Myburgh, what is your party going to do about this legislation?” His words to me were: “We are going to oppose it. It seems to me Verwoerd only wants Nationalists here to represent the Coloureds”. Trusting in the Prime Minister, as I knew him, and as he had revealed himself to me, I became somewhat annoyed—I think the hon. member for Newton Park will remember this—and said to him: “Man, you are talking absolute nonsense. I believe absolutely in Dr. Verwoerd’s honesty in regard to the Coloureds.” A few seconds later there was a shout behind me. It was the hon. member for Maitland. We ran into the Council Chamber.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to conclude with the following. As I stand here I feel absolutely convinced that it was never Dr. Verwoerd’s intention, within this short period of time, to bring legislation of this nature before the House. No matter what is said by anyone to the contrary, it is my absolute conviction and belief which results from what he said to me personally. The second thing I want to state here with absolute conviction is the following. Inter alia I want to refer to the hon. the Deputy Minister, who was chairman of the Improper Interference Commission, and his disappointment at there being so few Coloureds or Coloured organizations who came to give evidence. From my constituency there was only one Coloured of whom I know, namely Mr. King of Heidelberg. When he holds a meeting, it is attended by approximately six people. He is a follower of Mr. Schwartz. The voters of the Outeniqua constituency, and the Coloured population as such, trusted to their member to represent them before that Commission in this House. If reproaches are hurled in regard to the neglect of the interest of the constituency. I can say that the hon. member for Klip River—he is not present in the House—was amazed when he officiated at a Group Area Inquiry at Kokstad and I represented the Coloured population there. When he officiated at the District Six Inquiry in Cape Town, I went on my own, because I know Cape Town and I have represented them there. I did not miss one single meeting of the Separate Facilities Commission nor the Heunis Commission. I did not miss a single meeting of the Separate Beach Area Committee, of which the hon. member for Klip River was chairman for most of the time. In my thousand mile long constituency, I speak here on behalf of every voter and every Coloured who is interested in the political future and the general future of the Coloureds, except a few lost souls here and there, as one finds everywhere. I am speaking on behalf of the majority of my voters and the Coloured population of my constituency. In the first place they accepted the words of honour of the late Prime Minister, Dr. H. F. Verwoerd. Secondly, they do not want to lose their representation in this House. [Time expired.]
Mr. Speaker, I do not know the hon. member for Outeniqua well, nor have I known him for a very long time. I did not know what to expect when he started making his speech. Last year I listened to him on one occasion and his speech was reasonably constructive. Consequently I find it a pity that he had to speak here this afternoon for 20 minutes on the unsavoury aspects of his representation, the so-called irregularities and everything that it involved.
Did I start that? I was replying to your side of this House!
I am speaking to the hon. member in his capacity as a representative of the Coloured people, and I say that I found it a pity that he had to devote so much time to that matter. During the last five minutes he was more constructive and told us what he had done in the interests of his voters. I think he was much more constructive than his colleagues who participated in this debate yesterday. We shall come to them later.
When the hon. the Leader of the Opposition moved the adjournment of the debate on the Coloured Persons Council yesterday, one wondered what the real motive behind that was. It did not take a very long time to determine that. Since then the conviction, about which we had a great deal of clarity right from the beginning, has grown, namely that we are dealing here with a trilogy, three pieces of legislation, of which the one at present under discussion affords the best opportunity to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and to the United Party of building up a psychosis, of creating an atmosphere here, which would give them some protection against the hon. member for Houghton and her Party. What they are trying to do here. Sir, is an attempt to convince this House and the readers outside that the United Party is the Party which really represents the interests of the Coloureds here. Because you see, Sir, they are dwindling from the right and from the left. The fact of the matter is that the people who are disappearing from their ranks to the left are going to the hon. member for Houghton. Consequently it is only logical that the United Party will do everything in its power to try to convince this House that what they are engaged in here is of much more importance than the Progressive Party. Consequently they suddenly tried to hamstring this legislation. But one wonders, when one considers yesterday’s spectacle and the quarrel amongst the members about the irregularities and everything else which had occurred there, why these people are so keen in trying to give themselves out as being in special need of Coloured support rather than any other support. On page 141 of the Muller Report one of the witnesses gave a very striking and appropriate reply to the hon. member for Yeoville. He said—
Here we have numerous other examples to show to what extent the United Party and its henchmen have in fact failed the Coloured.
I want to come to the hon. member for Karoo who, unfortunately, is not present at the moment. He made a statement here yesterday which simply astonished one. After having associated himself with his Leader and numerous other speakers who tried to convince us that the people who had given evidence were not the leaders of the Coloured community, he made the following statement towards the end of his speech—
Sir, what else did this hon. member say which was not confirmation of what happened in the front benches last year when Dr. Van der Ross came under discussion here and when there was a sharp exchange of words about his price. The hon. member for Karoo said exactly the same thing yesterday. He said a person would not get into the new council without his supporting the Government’s policy. In other words, as soon as he supported the Government’s policy, he would get into the new council against the wishes of his people. Consequently such a person would be accepting a price. The word “price” was not used by the hon. member for Karoo but I say that that was the deduction we made yesterday while he was speaking. I obtained a Hansard copy of his speech in order to ensure that I had not misunderstood him. Sir, as long as we are faced with this type of approach on the part of the United Party I ask myself, if they are not honest and sincere as regards their view of the needs of these people even at this stage, when will they adopt an honest and sincere attitude towards these people?
Much was made of the fact here, and I have already referred to this, that the leaders of the Coloureds were not the ones who had given evidence. In addition hon. members opposite gave out that they knew the Coloureds, that they knew his needs, that they knew exactly how he felt. But the more this discussion progressed, the clearer it became to me that their knowledge of some of the Coloureds was based on their political interest and on really nothing more. When the hon. the Leader of the Opposition spoke some time ago during the general debate on the Muller Report, and again yesterday he too emphasized this matter. At the time of his first speech I had not yet had an opportunity of reading the report, and if it comes to that I could have been influenced by what he said. Subsequently, however, I perused the report looking for confirmation of the statements made by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. Statistically it is correct that more people gave evidence in favour of the one side and fewer in favour of the other side. But in this report I found quite an amount of evidence which presented the Coloured to me as I had got to know him when I was a young boy in the Western Province years ago. I also recognized the Coloureds from their evidence as I subsequently got to know them in the Transvaal. I should like to read a few examples from this report. When one of the witnesses thanked the Commission for the way in which he had been received—on page 145 of the report—he said, inter alia—
Witness, Tom Schwartz, who has often been quoted, gave the following reply to a question put to him (page 156)—
Then one of the members of the Commission put the following question to him—
To this the witness immediately replied “Yes”, without any qualification.
I also want to quote to you the reply given by a witness to a question by the hon. member for Peninsula. We find that on page 175 of the report—
I want to quote another witness, one whom you know better, to show to you what the Coloured witness really meant. I wanted to quote from Hansard, but that report is too long and I have consequently decided to quote a short summary of that speech from The Cape Times. I am referring to the speech made by the hon. member for Peninsula when he was letting off steam in the front benches last year. I think The Cape Times gave a very correct summary of his speech. I quote—
Mr. Speaker, here we have the case of a witness saying, “But these things must be explained to them”. At that time the hon. member for Peninsula admitted here in a very long speech that a change had come about in the attitude amongst the Coloured community and he said, “provided its benefits were demonstrated to them”. Later he said, “provided they were treated fairly”. When we see the matter in this light we do not find it strange that the Government too has experienced that things are going better with these people as far as their attitude towards the Government is concerned.
We must admit that the road traversed by the Government up to the point where we are dealing with this legislation to-day, has been a difficult one. It has been a difficult road because so many political obstacles have been placed in the way of the Government intentionally. I want to mention a few of these obstacles. The hon. member for Cape Town (Gardens) said during the 1964 debate—
The United Party begrudge these people independent development. Later in the same speech the hon. member said. “The result of this legislation may be that the Coloured may develop a new … ultra-nationalism”. What actually happened in practice? The Coloureds did not develop an ultra-nationalism, but in fact developed a natural nationalism. Nothing happened to cause a mass uprising on their part.
The hon. member for Sea Point stood here in 1964 as if he was addressing a Sunday school class and told the full Biblical story of King Ahab and Jezebel. He then made the following shocking statement, “If we do not conduct ourselves properly and pass legislation in order to get the Coloureds on our side, it may well be that our blood will be licked up in the streets of our capital”. Statements like these make hon. members opposite believe that there is dissatisfaction amongst the Coloureds. It is that kind of leadership which makes hon. members opposite believe that something will happen which will create unrest and strife in this country, and that the Government will be embarrassed in that way.
The hon. member for Yeoville wrote the following in The Cape Argus of 23rd February—
In this way hon. members continue to create unhappiness, strife and uncertainty amongst the Coloureds.
The few examples quoted by me prove clearly that if we want to see the goodwill of the Coloured in its right perspective, the Government need have no fear at all that this legislation will not succeed. But there are basic differences. The hon. member for Yeoville often refers to “fundamental differences” in his speeches and writings. On the basis of the Government’s knowledge of the Coloured and its approach to their problems, we do not know of a single example in the world where any government has to contend with something similar to South Africa’s Coloured problem. Here we are dealing with a social reality. We are dealing with the social reality of the existence of a white community with a Western culture. Secondly we are dealing with the existence of another social reality and that is a Coloured community with a Western culture within the White community with its white Western culture. Thirdly we are dealing with the social reality that these two groups, both following the Western culture, differ from each other. It is from this difference which exists that the Government derives its strength to-day to come forward with legislation of this nature for us. This reality of two separate groups with the same Western culture, but which are different, is the cause of our having to deal with a practical social reality, and that not only in social life, but also in the political sphere. While we have to study state-craft from German, French and other European textbooks at this stage, the time will arrive when countries will come and ask us for textbooks. They will ask us for information about the way in which we tackled our problem. The time will arrive when new political concepts and new administrative methods will be sought from us, because there are going to be other countries which will have the same problem.
I want to mention another matter. That is the fact that the opposite side of this House obviously does not accept the fact that the Coloureds form a separate group that must be dealt with and cared for separately in the political sphere. I want to mention three examples. In an interview with Dagbreek on 19th November, 1967, the hon. member for Yeoville said the following, inter alia (translation)—
Later he said—
A little later he said that he accepted them as a group in the social sphere. He said that the United Party did not want to integrate the Coloureds, they recognized separate residential areas, etc. But the United Party said that the fact that the Coloureds were undergoing a change in their mental attitude, was to be regretted. I want to quote, from the simple mouth of the people, what one of the witnesses said on page 140. He said—
In conclusion I want to quote somebody else, a man to whom the opposite side of this House has also referred. He is a man who undoubtedly knows the Coloured. I am referring to Dr. I. D. du Plessis. In respect of the Coloured’s identity of his own he said the following on page 327 of the report—
Here we have three premises. We have the one from the mouth of the people which is that we are going to start in our own house. A man who knows the Coloureds says that this feeling of identity is growing stronger and stronger, and he is saying that this is for the good. In contrast to that we have the political voice from Yeoville which says that this is to be regretted. This is our problem when we come to this House with three pieces of legislation such as these in succession. We are not dealing with the abolition of the representation of a few people in this House only. We are dealing with the solution of the entire Coloured problem. We view this matter in its entirety and in all its facets. Consequently this attitude of a few of the Coloureds who displayed this fine and good attitude towards the members of the Commission, will be the attitude we shall adopt in the future in the application of this legislation.
Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that we have now reached the stage in this debate when it has become useless to set one argument against another. Apparently the merits of arguments are no longer applicable. For this reason then I also do not intend to follow the hon. member for Westdene in his flights of thought along the lines of social culture and the other matters which he mentioned.
I want to approach the matter quite differently. Mr. Speaker, I say right away that I shall not take up the time which you would normally have granted to me, because what I want to say I can say within the space of a few minutes. I had not intended to take part in this debate, but I have been sitting here for two days, listening attentively to what has been presented to us here. I have now come to the conclusion that my children will ask me one day what my reaction was when this matter came up before the House. I therefore do not want to cast a silent vote. I want to state my attitude so that it may be recorded, and in case anyone should ever be interested in it, it will be there to see.
We are dealing here with a matter which forms part of a much larger programme being enacted here in South Africa over the past few years. This is but another scene in a picture which has been unfolding before us over the past 10 or 20 years. I think that we must see it in that sense. Neither do I want to approach the matter as a politician, because the moment one views it as a politician, one has a specific role to fulfill. I want to see it as an ordinary South African who is intensely interested in what happens to my country and my people. If I approach the matter in this way, there are just a few quite ordinary questions which I must ask myself. The first question which I must ask myself is: Does the legislation at present before the House give more than it takes away? This is the question I have to ask. I am not talking to the outside world now. I am concerned with my own conscience. This is a matter of conscience. I can lie and deceive and tell the outside world whatever I like, but I can never do that with my own conscience, because I have to live with it to the end of my days. But what does my conscience tell me? My conscience tells me that we are here taking away more than we are giving. Other members may have other kinds of consciences, and in that case their consciences may tell them something else. I am now speaking of myself, because what I am submitting to you is more in the nature of a personal confession.
But then I also ask how the Coloureds will accept this legislation. By the grace of God my skin is white and not brown. But if my skin were brown, how would I have reacted to this? Would I have felt that I was receiving more than what was being taken away from me? No, I should not have felt that. That is why I cannot support this legislation, especially not when I view it against the history of my own people. After all, we are descendants of those hardy old Voortrekkers who were prepared to brave the dangers of a wild interior rather than subject themselves to a system which restricted the full development of their personal rights to any extent.
Do you want to retain the status quo forever?
The hon. the Minister must just listen. I did not interrupt him when he was speaking. If I were therefore to support this legislation it would be a negation of my own heritage and of my past. If I were to support it, and this is what my conscience tells me, it would be a violation of the future of those who come after me. I myself, and this my conscience also tells me, am not prepared to be a party to this form of violation.
Then there is a second simple question which I must ask myself. It is: Do I have a free choice in this matter? Am I not already committed? If I examine what General Hertzog and Dr. Verwoerd said—and this has already been bandied to and fro across the floor of the House—it is clear to me that I stand committed. I do not have a free choice in this matter. If words have meaning, then the meaning which must be attached to Dr. Verwoerd’s words is surely very clear. That is how the hon. member for Outeniqua and I accepted it. That is how the Coloureds accepted it. That is how the outside world accepted it.
What about your Leader? After all, you did not follow Dr. Verwoerd or General Hertzog; you followed your Leader.
I am speaking of the promises which they made.
No, the hon. the Minister must listen for a while now. I am speaking of the promises made by Dr. Verwoerd and I say that the impression created outside was that he meant them. Now there are people who say that he did not mean them in that way. But I must judge according to the impression which was created outside. I accepted that he had made a promise. I frequently had to go overseas at the time and people then asked me what South Africa’s standpoint was. People criticized what was happening in South Africa. Many said that the Nationalist Government would never retain the Coloured Representatives in this House, but what was my reply? I said that Dr. Verwoerd had promised that they would remain here. If there is one lesson which is clear in Africa, it is that the white man never beaks his promise. The Coloureds also accepted that he meant what he said. It is now being said that he meant something else, but I must judge according to the impression which was created outside. When Dr. Verwoerd made these promises, he spoke not only as the leader of a party or as Prime Minister. He spoke on behalf of the white man of South Africa. He also pledged my word and good faith. Therefore I must oppose this legislation, because if I support it, I will break my own promise and cast my own good faith into the dust. Then I will be kicking my own promises around in the dust.
Now I ask, if people under these circumstances are prepared to do what the Government is now doing, why are they doing it? What is their motivation for proceeding to this step, because there must be exceptionally strong motivation for doing so? I listened attentively and here and there in the speeches it began to filter through. But one finds the best indication of this in the writings of Dawie, because Dawie has become the ideologist of the Nationalist Party. Dawie himself naturally stands committed in this matter, because a few years ago he made strong pleas for the Coloureds to be represented here by their own people. We now hear very little of that. For the sake of convenience it is completely forgotten. But Dawie recently drew up a manifesto which, according to the Beeld, was issued to members of the House of Assembly and to Nationalist Party organizers to convey to them this new dispensation and to explain why this step was being taken. I read it because he tried to motivate this standpoint. He began with quite a number of matters, but one could see that he had little relish for them. Eventually the final dénouement came for which we had been waiting. He said that if there were four Coloureds in this House, they might vote against the Government. Here is a Government with 126 members which has become afraid that four may vote against them. Here is a Government which says that it is becoming stronger from day to day. It says that it is going to get more members and now it has suddenly become afraid of four members who may vote against it. Here is Goliath who has now become afraid of David even before he has taken up his arms. If this is the fundamental motivation, I know that I dare not support this legislation.
Now I want to project my thoughts into the future a little. I shall now read what a newspaper will say in five or ten years’ time. The editor of Dagbreek recently spoke of his own Press as a slavish Press which followed slavishly and did not protest when they should have protested. He then mentioned a number of things about which he should have protested. He also wrote about this constitutional issue with which we are dealing at the moment, namely, the question of the representation of the Coloureds. In five or ten years’ time we shall read what the editor of Dagbreek has to say about this matter now before the House, if he is still there—and we understand that he has been severely reprimanded by the hon. the Prime Minister and others and that that is why he is as quiet as a mouse.
I now come to my final thought. The hon. the Minister has great powers in his hands as far as the Constitution is concerned. The hon. the Prime Minister, who is not here at the moment, also has tremendous powers which are conferred upon him (by the Constitution. I stand here as a novice, but I do not need years of experience in this House to say what I want to say now. What I am going to say now I can feel intuitively and my whole being encourages it. Great South Africans have sat in those treasury benches. They were people who performed great deeds for South Africa and who had great ideals. But for me this legislation now before us does not testify of great thoughts. It is pettiness that is involved here. We are holding a funeral address here. We are burying more than we are aware of. We are not only burying a few Coloured representatives. We are burying the white man’s honour, good faith and promises. Those who are responsible for this and who now want to take this step, as well as those who sit still and do not protest, will have to shoulder the blame in equal measure in the years to come.
Before I say a word or two about what the hon. member for Hillbrow said I just want to try and rectify something which the hon. member for Gardens said here earlier this afternoon. He made an attack on me in regard to something which I had supposedly said yesterday. This is the first time to-day that I am participating in the debate. If a man gets such a drubbing, he eventually becomes so confused that he no longer knows who he is and it seems to me the hon. member in the garden is trying to pick apples from a pear tree.
There is no one who will tempt him.
I should just like to express a few ideas with reference to what the hon. member for Hillbrow had just said. He spoke in the first instance of his children. Mr. Speaker, I also have children. Fortunately my children will never have to feel ashamed of their parents and I will never have it on my conscience that I did not try to ensure the future of my descendants here in South Africa. The hon. member also spoke about a conscience. I think that if there were ever a group of people whose consciences were worn thin then it is the hon. members of the Opposition. Talk about not keeping one’s word! They are the last people who can talk about not keeping one’s word. What about the word of their own Leader? He is the man who broke his word to the Coloureds. Why does he not talk about that? He now wants to drag in our deceased former Leader here.
The Minister of Defence did that.
Sir, the hon. member for Yeoville makes me laugh. Last week he went to address a meeting in Pretoria and he is the man who at that meeting spoke again of Nazis and the actions of the Government. The hon. member is supposed to be such a vehement opponent of the Nazis. Did the hon. member say something like that at that meeting?
I do not know what you are talking about.
I am sorry I do not have the newspaper report here. Did the hon. member speak there about radio broadcasts, and the education of children as it took place in Nazi Germany?
The hon. member is supposed to be such a great opponent of Nazism. I now want to ask him where he was when the war was in progress and when the fight against Nazism was being waged? Where was he hiding; why did he not go and enlist and play his part like a man? Now he sits here and has a lot to say.
He was a key man.
Where were you?
I did not enlist because it was against my convictions. I was never too cowardly (papbroekig) to stand up for my convictions, but I know of a coward …
You have a cheek.
The hon. member said here that this powerful party was now afraid of four Coloured representatives. Mr. Speaker, it is they who are afraid that they will now lose the last few votes they had, because where did those people always vote? The hon. member spoke here about a funeral. I almost shed tears when he became so worked up, because this is only the beginning of the funeral service on the United Party. I have been listening to this debate here during the past few days. The arguments put forward by the United Party here were nothing but a continuation of the struggle for integration which has been in progress here since 1948. Their policy is nothing but a policy of gradual and general equalization between White and non-White here in South Africa. It can only lead to political integration, and that is what they want.
Who said that?
Hon. members on that side are advocating it every day; after all, they want to vote with the Coloureds; they want to vote with the Bantu, and they want to come and sit with them here. If their policy is carried into effect, it can only lead to social integration and ultimately to biological integration. Under the policy of the United Party the Coloureds as an autogenous population group with an identity of its own and its own will to survive will simply be swallowed up by Bantu who would ultimately take over this Parliament if the United Party should come into power.
Why don’t you try to be honest sometimes?
The United Party is only trying to rouse hate and vindictiveness against this positive measure of autogenous development.
Order! The hon. member for Musgrave must withdraw that remark about the hon. member.
Mr. Speaker …
Order! The hon. member must withdraw it.
I withdraw it.
Since 1948 the United Party has been opposing this policy of autogenous development tooth and nail. We know, and they also know that it is the only policy which offers every population group security, and when this Bill takes effect, it will once again be proved that the word of the National Party will occupy a place of honour. The National Party has given its word of honour to the Whites here in South Africa, and the Whites have passed a damning judgment on the United Party. That is why the United Party will always sit in the Opposition benches and will continue to decline and diminish. But the word of honour of the National Party will occupy place of honour because the National Party gave its word of honour to the Coloureds that they would also occupy their rightful place in this country and that they must also accept responsibility in other spheres in respect of the development and expansion of South Africa. The representation of the Coloureds here in the House of Assembly is nothing but a curse for the Coloureds, because it gives them the impression of power, which is nothing but a false illusion. Surely it is an accepted fact that the responsible Coloured accepts the policy of separate development here in South Africa. They would also like to see it implemented, and to-day we have the position that we have people here in the House who are not interpreting the feelings of the Coloureds, people who do not support the policy of separate development, people who do not stand for the retention of the identity of the Coloureds, but whose policy can only lead to a Bantu-controlled Parliament where the Coloureds, as well as the Whites, will disappear.
Sir, in 1964, the prophets of doom on that side of the House predicted that the establishment of a Coloured Persons’ Representative Council would increase the rift between White and non-White and that the National Party was building a dividing wall between White and non-White. I wonder whether they still maintain that to-day. They cannot say that, because never before have the relations between all the population groups here in South Africa been so amicable as they are at present because the Coloureds have taken in all sincerity the helping hand which the National Party held out to them. They have shown through their co-operation and their spirit of goodwill that for the first time in the history of South Africa they are recovering their self-respect and own identity. But the United Party is still continuing to oppose the National Party’s policy of separate development. I challenge the United Party to go to the Coloureds and to ask them whether they want to return to the position as it was before 1948, before the National Party came into power.
We have asked them, and they do not want to.
The United Party has lost contact entirely with the Coloureds. They do not know what the feelings of those people are. Go and ask the Coloureds whether they want to live amongst the Bantu again, from whence the National Party removed them. I represent a constituency where there are all of 12,000 Coloureds, and I am continually receiving requests from those people to the effect that Bantu should be kept away from their area and that those Bantu who have received identity cards classifying them as Coloureds should be reclassified. There are Indian traders in that area, and the Coloureds are continually asking that those Indians be taken away. Why? Because they want to develop themselves and subsist there as a distinctive group. We had the case there of an Indian doctor who wanted to practise in the Coloured area. At the request of the Coloureds, that Indian doctor was prohibited from practising there. It was not the Whites who asked for that; the Coloureds themselves asked that he should be prohibited.
No, there is no fault to find with this Bill; the fault lies with some of the representatives of the Coloureds in the House of Assembly. Here we have for example the hon. member for Karoo who is a member of the United Party, who was elected under the auspices of the United Party, and who is a member of the United Party Caucus. How is it possible for him to arrive at objective judgments in regard to the interests of the Coloureds? Surely he has to do what his Leader tells him to do, and we know what a false trail his hon. Leader is following. The hon. member may not adopt an impartial attitude. Mr. Speaker, I should like to read out portion of the evidence which was given before the Muller Commission. I am quoting from a memorandum which the hon. member submitted to the Commission—
Here it is not only a matter of his interpreting the feelings of the Coloureds, but if these words are not an incitement of non-Whites against Whites, then I really do not know what incitement is. The hon. member for Outeniqua told us here to-day how the United Party had intrigued behind the scenes, and yesterday you heard the same thing expressed here by other hon. members. The Coloureds, under the United Party policy, will always be castaways—and they know it—but since 1948 the National Party has gradually created opportunities for the Coloureds to become self-respecting. Under the policy of the National Party the Coloureds are not being suppressed and treated as an appendage, and their votes are not being misused on polling day. We have let the Coloureds start from scratch and build up their own political development. Opposed to that we have always had the United Party which discriminated against the Coloureds. We know that when the Coloureds were on the Common Voters’ Roll together with the Whites, it was the United Party that discriminated against them. They did not want to abolish the qualification vote in regard to the Coloureds, and we know how they have made another about-face now in regard to the Coloured vote. Even at this stage they are still discriminating against the Coloureds. If their intentions in regard to the Coloureds were honest, and they are pleading for representation here for the Coloureds, then they would not have acted in such a discriminating manner as to want to give the Coloureds a mere eight representatives in this House of Assembly. They should at least have been honest towards those people. Opposed to that the National Party is honest and sincere towards the Coloureds and the Coloureds know where they stand in respect of this Government. The Government has decided to expand the Coloureds’ political rights by means of this representative council. It is a positive step in the Government’s programme of separate development.
It is no more than right that it is the birth right of a nation to enjoy political rights, but justice cannot be done as far as this is concerned if it is not cast in the mould of development along its own lines, and that is the course the Coloureds here in South Africa have to adopt to achieve their own development. They ought not to be excluded from responsibilities in regard to making their own contribution to the welfare of this country, and here we are now affording the Coloureds the opportunity of developing the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council into a full-fledged political mouthpiece of the Coloured population. This council is composed in a democratic way. Those representatives are elected by and for the Coloureds themselves. Surely it is logical that the representatives of the Coloureds cannot have two mouthpieces. How can they have representatives in this House who say one thing, and at the same time have representatives in the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council who say something else? We know that the responsible Coloured supports this policy of the Government. May I read a letter from a very responsible Coloured living in Boksburg? This letter is dated as long ago as September, 1966, and he says the following (translation)—
This is what a Coloured had to say. [Interjection.] Here is a long list of associations in which the writer of this letter plays a leading part. He is a very responsible man. But does the United Party not also want to learn this lesson from our history, and do they not want to learn from what happened in other countries? I am asking them to show me one country where there is racial peace, where white and non-white are sitting in the same upper house of representatives. After all, it is a fact that 5 per cent of the Coloureds are being represented in Parliament, or even less than 5 per cent. Plus-minus 33,000 out of a total of 700,000 voted, whereas with this positive step of development the Coloureds are now for the first time going to have full political representation. But it is not only the Coloureds in the Cape, it is also the Coloureds in the Transvaal who are now, on an equal footing with all the other Coloureds in South Africa, going to meet the future, a future which will bring them only happiness and prosperity. I can say that those Coloureds will never look back or return to their old course. I want to ask the next speaker on the United Party side to tell us whether they are going to do away with the Coloured Persons’ Representative Council which they have opposed tooth and nail? Are they going to do away with the local governments which the Coloureds have been granted? Are they going to do away with those Coloured areas which have been created? But I want to make this prediction here to-day. It will not be long before the United Party will thank this Government for what they are doing to-day as a positive step in the development of the Coloureds.
The Government Party is rapidly becoming a “has been” party. They have quite lost the road for the future, and speaker after speaker harks back to the past. Now we have the hon. member for Boksburg even daring to rake up the war and the particular contribution of a leading and respected member on this side of the House in that war.
He himself started it at that meeting.
Let me say to him, and I hope that every other Government member will take note of this and will thereafter respect the fact, that the hon. member for Yeoville on three occasions attempted to join the Forces in the last war. On the first occasion he was taken down by the hon. member for Vereeniging and attempted to join the Forces, and I challenge any hon. member opposite to show that that is not so, including the hon. member for Vereeniging. But after he had been rejected on medical grounds, he made two further attempts to join the Forces and was unsuccessful, and thereafter he did his duty in other respects to which he was called.
May I put a question?
If the hon. member wishes to apologize, I will certainly yield to him, but if he wishes to dispute what I have said I will ask him to face the challenge we have issued. I would say this to hon. members opposite. We respect the fact that they had a certain view about the war. They took the view that the Nazi Government in Germany was a great and fine government. Fortunately, with the passage of time the scales started dropping from their eyes and they came to have an insight into the situation, the same as we had.
Order! I have allowed the hon. member to reply to the allegations made by the hon. member for Boksburg as far as the hon. member for Yeoville is concerned, but the hon. member must now confine himself to the Bill.
I will do that. I am just grateful that the scales fell from their eyes. I will deal with other things raised by the hon. member for Boksburg, but I want to deal at once with the question he raised when he repeatedly referred to the “erewood van die Nasionale Party en sy eerlikheid en opregtheid”. Let it be stated absolutely clearly here that the one party which is going back on the principle it has held since its inauguration is the Nationalist Party. Since 1912 when the Nationalist Party was inaugurated, they stood for representation of the coloured people in this House. It is perfectly true that they changed after the time of Gen. Hertzog and said that that representation should be given in a different way, the very same change that this party is making. This party has likewise moved away from the position which Gen. Hertzog held; but this party of ours to-day stands for the representation of those people in this Parliament as they always have done. Therefore, though the method by which that representation may be expressed is different, in fact the principle of that representation is as solid to-day as it ever was. But the same cannot be said of the party opposite. I should like to add that whether it was, as the hon. the Minister of Defence said, a compromise that at one time hon. members opposite supported separate representation in this House, the fact is that they did support representation then, and even in 1948 they approved of representation for the Coloureds in this House. It is from that position that they are running away to-day and are abandoning their principles.
In the course of this debate we had many reasons advanced why this is a good Bill and I would like just to examine some very shortly and then advance certain reasons which I believe are the truer reasons. It has been hinted by some that it is the desire of hon. members opposite to see the Progressive Party out of this House. I do not accept that. No less a person than the hon. the Prime Minister did his best to boost the sole representative of the Progressive Party during the 1966 elections.
He issued a manifesto for her.
I am informed that he issued a manifesto for her. He did his very best to boost that representative and to ensure her return, because he hoped that this would embarrass the United Party thoroughly in its activities. So I do not accept that this is the reason why this has been done. While I am referring to the Progressives, I would have expected a little more graciousness from the hon. member for Houghton. Where the United Party stands for a policy which would enable Progressives to get back into Parliament by virtue of the coloured vote, I would have expected her to acknowledge that attitude and the firmness of principle in accepting that position, notwithstanding that she believes that it would be to our detriment if that were done.
It is interesting to note that you stand on the same principle.
We do not stand on the same principle at all. I thought the Minister knew that the Progressives did not stand for separate representation for the Coloureds. [Interjection.] We stand for the principle of representation for which that Minister and his party have stood since 1912, a period of 56 years, and he is the unhappy Minister who is having to abandon that principle and pilot this Bill through the House.
There is another reason that has been advanced. We have said that this is clearly against the wishes of the coloured people. My leader and others have said that it is against the weight of the evidence that this representation should be done away with. The hon. member for Randfontein unfortunately is not here now, but he appeared to misunderstand the concept of weight of evidence. Of course, he is not a lawyer. I am sure we would not have had the same argument from the Minister of Justice. The expression “weight of evidence” is a well-known legal term. The hon. member for Randfontein appears to think that we were simply counting those who stated that they were in favour of retaining the representation and subtracting from them those who were against. But it is well known that the expression “weight of evidence” involves an evaluation of the evidence, weighing whence that evidence comes, who gave it, what is the substance of the organization or institution which advanced that evidence, how did it stand up to cross-examination, and how impressive were the witnesses who gave it. It is on that basis that this side of the House has used the expression, and I suggest that it cannot be seriously contended that on that understanding of the expression the weight of evidence is not overwhelming. Any court would have said it is overwhelming that the coloured people want this representation to be retained and that it is in the interest of the country as a whole that it should be retained.
But judges sometimes differ in their evaluation.
Yes, but what we are saying is that no judge would differ from another on this evidence.
The third reason advanced for the abolition of these coloured representatives from this House is that the coloured people are being used as a political football. In one of the Nationalist organs in the Transvaal there recently appeared a cartoon by which they tried to demonstrate this. But this was also the argument which was used for taking the Coloureds off the common roll. The allegations made here about malpractices in the elections—and I am sure that most of these allegations were unfounded—were not shown to have occurred under the present set-up, save in so far as certain wrong registrations are concerned. But all the other things we heard of, the allegation amongst other that “vaatjies wyn” were carted around to purchase votes, occurred during an earlier period. Of course, I do not concede that these allegations are true. I am not aware of any convictions in this respect but if there were convictions I am sure there would have been as many convictions of hon. members opposite and of their supporters.
Another reason advanced for this step by the Government is that if this representation is to remain it will prevent the coloured people developing. This goes together with the argument that they are being given something better. These points have been adequately dealt with already. It has been shown how there can be institutions alongside one another, all of them functioning properly. Surely it cannot be said that in the case of the Coloureds this will retard their progress. Member after member came forward with the argument that the Coloureds were getting something better now. But why cannot the two exist side by side? The hon. member for Boksburg, for instance, argued that the new set-up will advance the self respect and “eie identiteit van die Kleurling”. It would help him to regain that self respect and “eie identiteit”. If the new Coloured Representative Council will bring that about we shall be pleased but we feel coloured representation in this House should continue alongside it. I feel that this particular argument is a completely hollow argument.
I want to come to what I believe to be the true reasons for this measure. It has already been said that the coloured voters no longer return Nationalist well wishers to this House. There is no doubt that if ever there was an election the Government hoped to win it was the election in which Mr. Scholtz took part. Everything was thrown in support of him, but to no avail.
Yet they say all the Coloureds support them.
Yes. But the rejection of Mr. Scholtz cannot be better evidence to the contrary. He led on postal votes but when the Coloureds brought out their votes they completely swamped him and returned his opponent.
I believe that the new leadership of the Nationalist Party could not stop the progress of their policy—hence this Bill. There have been conflicting statements in this House about what the attitude of the previous Prime Minister was—whether or not it was his policy to do away with these representatives of the coloured people. On the one hand we had clear statements from the late Prime Minister indicating that he intended to retain his representation even after the so-called coloured parliament had been established. There is much to support this. Many of the supporting facts have already been quoted—inter alia his letter to the Australian Prime Minister. In clause 7 of the Bill to prevent political interference, the Bill introduced when he was still Prime Minister, there is specific reference to the Senators and Members of Parliament representing the Coloureds here. This seems to suggest that he was in fact thinking of retaining this representation. So, as I say, on the one hand there is this clear evidence that he intended retaining this representation. But, on the other hand, we had statements from two hon. Ministers in this House indicating that this was not so and that the late Prime Minister in fact intended doing away with this representation. Even the present Prime Minister when he spoke implied that Dr. Verwoerd intended doing away with this representation. So then one asks whether the whole Cabinet was aware of this situation, which apparently three members of the late Prime Minister’s Cabinet were aware of.
Was this Minister aware of it?
Yes, was he aware of it? I hope that when he gets up, he will tell us …
Let him tell us now; he has been very talkative.
Let him tell us now and put us out of our doubts. Was the present Minister in charge of this Bill aware of it that the late Prime Minister intended to do away with the coloured representatives?
But you know Dr. Verwoerd was dishonest, according to the Minister of Defence.
I shall reply to you when I get up.
He has nothing to say now.
What we have in this situation therefore, are two possibilities: Either the hon. the late Prime Minister had no intention of abolishing coloured representation and we have heard wrong statements to the contrary here, or he did intend abolishing it, in which case he certainly misled the country upon that point. I am going to assume that the late Prime Minister may have intended to abolish these representatives. It certainly is quite consistent with quite a few aspects that we know about his approach. He was a man who was extremely rigid in many spheres, and he could not tolerate anything illogical in this way. First of all, in support of that, we have the statement by the present Minister of Defence, which he read to this House only recently. He said that this was a statement he made in September, 1965. He said that he made the speech, and before he delivered it, it was approved by the late Prime Minister. In the speech he said inter alia as follows:
This was something that the late Prime Minister could not tolerate, anything that he thought was illogical. We know that he was not prepared to receive black diplomats in this country, because this would be illogical and dangerous. Likewise, he was not prepared to receive Maoris in a rugby team here, because it would be illogical and dangerous. So, this is fully in line with the attitude that he did not like the illogicality of this particular representation. Now we find that in some respects all this has changed. We find that black diplomats are received here, in accordance with the Nationalist Party’s policy; one can have Maoris here, in accordance with the policy; but there cannot be this representation in the House. Therefore I say that the hon. members opposite are now in a thoroughly contradictory state in regard to their philosophy. On the one hand they tolerate one thing, and at the same time they cannot tolerate a similar thing. I believe that it is therefore true to say that, in accordance with the philosophy of the new Prime Minister, this Bill should not have been brought forward. But he and his Government did not have the courage to stop it coming forward. This is why it is here and why it evokes little enthusiasm from hon. members opposite. Therefore, in this respect, I think it is true to say that we are no longer on any road. The late hon. Prime Minister had a road. We believe that that road was leading nowhere at all. We believe that the present Prime Minister has gone into orbit on this matter, and that he is quite off the road, and that it is almost improbable that he will ever get back onto it again.
The fact is that we have four population groups in South Africa. The Coloureds, like ourselves, have only got this one country. They are, admittedly, at a different stage of development, but their fate is completely interlocked with ours. They have their own views, wishes, and ideas which should be brought to the notice of the Parliament that decides on their fate. It is essential that they should have a say in the Parliament that decides their fate and controls their future. Die Burger, nowadays, is a much more disciplined organ, and has been brought into line. Die Burger said quite clearly in 1965 that the Coloureds should have “’n eie stem, of stemme, om oor hulle lots-bestemming saam te praat”. That is also what we plead for. In regard to their destiny they should have those voices to talk along with others. It may only be a small say. I think that we, as the Parliament controlling their destiny, have a particular duty to give careful attention to that small say, small as it may be. It is in the nature of democracy that the majority party must listen with very great care to the wishes of a minority opposition party. Unless this is done one gets away from the spirit of democracy. I would like to read to the House what the late Dr. Conrad Adenauer stated on this point in his Memoirs. He said that—
If that is true of democracy, and which country knows it better than the great German people, this is even more true in our situation here. The say of the Coloured people is small and limited, but it behoves us more particularly to ensure that that voice is heard, and to give great respect to that voice. In the words of Dr. Adenauer “respect for other men, and for the sincerity of their desires and endeavours”. It is absolutely vital that there should be respect for their views and their wishes. It may not always be possible to comply with these wishes. Race relationships, however, are a very delicate matter in South Africa. It is difficult enough in a country where the people are homogeneous, but where you have different groups, and moreover, groups at different stages of development, it becomes even more difficult. One should therefore be extremely reluctant to deny any group a say. Secondly, where throughout the history of your country, that group has had a say, one should certainly move completely away from the idea of doing away with such a say. One should completely reject it, because of the injury it can do to the respect, the dignity, the wellbeing and the rights of these people. One should be very careful not to injure their dignity in this respect. I do not doubt that it is partly for this reason that there were bold spirits on the side of the Government who, for long, fought to retain that say for these people in this Parliament. They fought for it, because they knew that one cannot simply deal with a tiresome problem by legislating to avoid it, or to abolish it. They knew that this question of race relations requires that careful evolution, respect and mutual understanding. Those spirits in the Nationalist Party—no mean spirits—wanted very much that that injustice and indignity should not be done. They wanted that that voice should be heard so that attention could be given to their desires.
In conclusion I want to say that this measure represents an appreciable setback in our race relations, especially between Whites and Coloureds. We have had many setbacks over the past 20 years. That must be conceded. If anyone doubts that, I ask hon. members opposite why you have so many coloured people leaving South Africa to go and make their lives elsewhere. We cannot get the true figures from hon. members on the other side. They seem unprepared to divulge them, or make any attempt to do so. We are informed that there are no such figures. These people have been leaving, and this is an indication of their opposition to what has happened here. Another indication is that they are steadily moving away from support of the governing party, so far as elections are concerned. This setback will have to be put right. I make bold as to say that the policy of this side will help that process to start. It will start the healing process, and it is vital that that healing process start immediately.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just resumed his seat, advanced quite a number of arguments which had already been used earlier to-day. However, I want to refer to a few points raised by the hon. member to which we on this side of the House definitely object. The first point is that the National Party allegedly took no further interest in the representation of Coloureds after a certain election had been lost by a certain Mr. Scholtz. It is absolutely untrue that there was ever any intention on the part of the National Party to use this representation for its own ends. These evil intentions only lurked in the ranks of the Opposition. Yesterday the hon. the Minister of Defence, and also the hon. member for Stellenbosch, in a crystal-clear way refuted the Opposition’s arguments as to what had been said and what had not been said in this connection. In spite of that the hon. member for Pinelands comes along this afternoon and tries to improve on it. I maintain that he in no way succeeded in doing so. However, it is not enough for the hon. the Opposition to try to get at the hon. the Minister of Defence in a reprehensible manner, but the hon. member for Pinelands has now even tried to get at the hon. the Prime Minister. He made the statement that the hon. the Prime Minister did not have the courage to stop this legislation. This hon. Prime Minister had the courage to deal firmly with the communists and the liberalists in South Africa like no other person before him. How can the hon. member for Pinelands then say that the hon. the Prime Minister does not have the courage to stop legislation? We object most strongly to the hon. member for Pinelands’s making such a suggestion about the hon. the Prime Minister. We are further astounded at the fact that the hon. member for Pinelands came along this afternoon and quoted what Dr. Adenauer is supposed to have said in connection with democracy. The hon. member for Pinelands speaks of democracy as an ideology which holds sway in the ranks of the United Party. What democracy is there in their attempts to give six representatives in this Parliament to one and a half million people? This is definitely not democracy. When one speaks of democracy, one must speak of the 60 representatives, their own people, which this Government wants to give to the Coloured population. One’s thoughts can take many directions. However, I want to return to what is probably the crux of the arguments raised in this debate. I want to say that the United Party and their liberal associates cannot progress to the point of thinking of the Coloureds as a separate national group with the potential to develop to full nationhood. This is what they stop at every time. We can understand this, because they themselves struggled for decades and generations to think of themselves in terms of nationhood. We had to try for decades to bring this thought home to them. Progress has been made. We can understand that to-day, when we are dealing with the Coloureds here, they are once again finding it difficult to think of the Coloureds in terms of nationhood. As far as members on this side of the House are concerned, it is of course a much simpler matter. We know our history and we know that in the first 50 years of the settlement here in South Africa the Whites consisted of heterogeneous groups. There were Hollanders, Germans and French. The Whites differed as much among themselves as the Coloureds do to-day. Who would have said before 1700 that from those heterogeneous White groups one nation would grow with the deep mutual feeling of alliance which one finds among the Afrikaners to-day. For that reason it is obvious to us that if it was possible in our case, the possibility is by no means excluded in the case of the Coloureds as well.
But there is also another reason why it is so difficult for the hon. members of the Opposition to think of the Coloureds in terms of nationhood. It stems from the fact that even to-day they are still labouring under the old ideas of imperialism and conquest which still lurk in their ranks. England conquered Wales and Scotland. She destroyed their leaderships and then Wales and Scotland were drawn in with England in subordinate positions. That is where the idea originated that one should actually absorb the superstratum of the Scottish and the Welsh into English society. After the analogy of that they are still thinking in terms of absorbing the superstratum of the Coloureds into the ranks of the Whites. But what is interesting is that the Coloureds have begun to become aware of this situation. The Coloureds have begun to discover, and they say this, that it is not in their interests that a small superstratum be skimmed off and absorbed into the ranks of the Whites. The interesting thing is that in proportion to England’s regression, there is a new upsurge of nationalism in Scotland and Wales and they are achieving spectacular election victories in the times in which we are living. This is interesting, and we wish that the members of the Opposition would observe it and take a lesson from it. In South Africa the members of the Opposition and their liberal associates have attempted to create a pattern over the years. They have argued over the years that, if they could absorb a few Coloureds into their universities, churches and associations, more or less on a basis of integration, it would be good for them and for the Coloureds. I want to give them credit for probably having done it with the best of intentions. After the analogy of the fact that they do not think of the Coloureds in terms of a potential nation, but in terms of a loose mass of individuals who do not or cannot really constitute a nation, they have since 1853 followed one policy and pattern in connection with the political rights of the Coloureds, namely that rights should be granted to a small, select circle. They must then exercise those rights on behalf of the Coloured population as a whole. It appeared very clearly from what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. member for Durban (North) said that their point of departure is not that they think in terms of separate race groups. They think in terms of one nation consisting of many race groups. That is their point of departure. That is why they are fighting for the retention of this representation. But if they can get away from this basic point of departure of theirs, I feel that they will eventually develop an understanding of what this Government has in mind in removing these Coloured representatives.
However, there is a more deep-seated reason why this Government is so anxious to put an end to this type of representation and to create a new political institution for the Coloureds. It is that this Government has a very deep realization of the fact that each person has a deeply rooted yearning for self-esteem. It is to-day no longer possible to think that one can give certain rights to a small number of people from a specific population group and that they, because they enjoy those rights, can actually carry the honour of that group as a whole. This goal can only be achieved if not only the Coloured as an individual is uplifted, but also the group in which he finds himself. It is an inescapable fact that to give an individual a feeling of self-esteem, one must allow him to develop it in the context in which he finds himself, namely in his group context and his national context. Accordingly one cannot do what the hon. members of the Opposition have advocated until now. This idea of theirs led a distinguished Coloured leader such as George Golding to sum it up in the forties by saying that the Coloureds were the appendage of the White man. In saying this, he put the whole pattern followed here up to that stage, in a nutshell. That disposition led to the development of a strong feeling amongst the Coloureds to try and get away from their own ethnic groups—“to try for White”, as the expression goes. This mentality amongst the Coloureds must be broken down gradually and they must come to realise that they can achieve a real feeling of self-esteem only if they also achieve worth as a population group and possibly eventually as a full-fledged nation. The changes which occurred, especially after the Second World War, inasmuch as worth as human beings was no longer going to be limited to individuals, but was something to which everyone had a right, came, fortunately for South Africa, at a stage when the National Party came to power, because the National Party has the basically correct approach. Step by step the National Party has led the Coloureds along a road which will eventually enable them to achieve those great objectives. This is being said by their own people. It has for example been said by a man such as Dr. Ronald Forgus. He also told the Coloureds: “You will only realize yourselves to the full as human beings if you make good, but you must make good as Coloureds. You must not try to get away from your own people and then make good. You must make good in your own ranks as Coloureds.” The United Party is fighting a rearguard action to-day. They are fighting in the last ditch to-day. Their problem is that they want to maintain an old pattern which is being rejected in South Africa and in the world to-day. They cannot understand these new trends, these new institutions which are being created, because their point of departure is wrong. It is quite in order if they cannot understand everything. But what is so tragic and what saddens one, is this: When this Government established a university college of their own for the Coloureds, the United Party labelled it a “bush college”. At the very stage when the National Party began to build up a feeling of self-esteem amongst the Coloureds, they were engaged in demolition. They wanted to get at the National Party, but in actual fact they are insulting the Coloureds. Because that is what offends the Coloureds. They talk here of how the National Party is supposedly offending the Coloureds, but they forget that at this stage, when the National Party is for the first time creating for the Coloureds political institutions of their own, they are labelling it “parish representation”. First it was “bush colleges” and now it is “parish representation”. This appeared in yesterday morning’s Cape Times. A new invective is being used in regard to these new institutions for the Coloureds.
The Coloureds in South Africa are standing on the threshold of a new dispensation, but it must be preceded by the negative step of the termination of the present type of representation in this House. This legislation is dealing the death-blow to that old pattern, that old train of thought. That old appendix may just as well be cut out now. We can build political institutions of their own for the Coloureds on the road to full nationhood.
Mr. Speaker, we have now listened to many reasons why the Coloured South African should not be represented in this Parliament. First, we heard a lot of bunkum about exploitation, malpractices, and corruption in connection with the Coloured vote; and the wildest accusations were made here against the United Party. I grew up in Paarl in the Boland, and became active in party politics when I was still at school in the early thirties. I studied at Stellenbosch, where I assisted the late Mr. Henry Fagan to defeat Mr. Bruckner de Villiers. I worked in Cape Town as a political organizer and stood as a candidate at Moorreesburg at the time when the Coloured voters were still on the common roll. So I know what I am talking about when I say that if ever there was a party notorious for its underhand activities among the Coloured voters, that party is the Nationalist Party. There is not a single practice, or malpractice—“wynvaatjies” included—of which hon. members on that side have been accusing the United Party, which their party was not guilty of itself. There was a time when the Nationalist Party commanded a very considerable Coloured support, and it also employed agents to solicit support among the Coloured people. There was a time when a prominent member of the Nationalist Party after his election was physically carried up the steps of this House into Parliament by a group of Coloured supporters. Any attack on the United Party for having solicited Coloured support at elections is therefore hyprocisy of the worst possible kind. The simple fact is that when the Nationalist Party started with its extremist policies of apartheid, to get White support, it became impossible for Coloured voters to go on supporting the Nationalist Party, and it is only since that time that the Government party became sour over the Coloured vote and started accusing its opponents of practices of which they themselves were past masters in their time. In any case, I know enough of political practices to be able to say that the exploitation which took place in White elections, especially in respect of postal votes, in the last decade and more was many times worse than any kind of malpractice that ever took place in Coloured elections. Therefore there is no justification in the argument that the right of Coloured South Africans to sit in this Parliament should be cancelled on the grounds of certain electoral malpractices which are common to all elections, White and non-White.
The second argument advanced by hon. members opposite is that Parliament should be for the Whites only. Of course, there would have been good ground for the point of view that this should be a White Parliament if this country had been a country of Whites only. But as things are, this is not a country where there are only Whites. Whites and Coloureds share a common homeland; Coloured people form to-day an integral part of the defence forces of South Africa. In fact, when the 18-year olds were given the vote for Parliament some years ago, the main argument of hon. members on that side was that the man who is good enough to defend his country is good enough to vote for Parliament. They like to accuse others of applying a double standard, and yet they themselves are the world’s masters at this game. Not only do the Coloured people form an integral part—I use the words of the previous Minister of Defence—of the South African defence forces, but they also form an integral part of our police forces. In fact, without the active cooperation of the non-Whites of this country there can be no question of security for the White people. So I can go on, and I say that to insist on a “White Parliament” in a country which is not only White, in fact to deny to the Coloured people every right to a vote for Parliament, to remove a right which exists, is I believe an act of selfishness which marks the decadence to which some political thinking has sunk in our country.
A vote for Parliament is the badge of mature citizenship. Once this Bill is passed we will have a position where every Dick, Tom and Harry from the most miserable country abroad can come to South Africa and in time qualify for a vote for Parliament, but never a true-blood South African who has been classified as a Coloured man.
A third argument has been advanced. It is that only a small percentage of the Coloured people at present exercise the vote. Even in respect of the Whites our system of Parliamentary representation has never been completely logical. Under our present system the value of some White votes is as much as two to times that of other White votes, especially in the platteland. Here we sit as an Opposition. According to the hon. Leader of the House, the Opposition commands the support of 45 per cent of the White voters of the country, and yet we have little more than 20 per cent of the seats. There are many anomalies in our South African Parliamentary system. But what hon. members overlook in respect of the Coloured vote is that while a fair percentage exercise the Parliamentary vote at this stage, the existing law as it stands makes it possible for every Coloured male in the Cape to become a voter for Parliament. With the growth of education there is no doubt that, under existing law, every Coloured male in the Cape Province will in time indeed become a Parliamentary voter. It is therefore not important how many Coloured voters now exercise the vote, and to say that “we are only removing the vote exercised by 30,000 or 32,000”. The important thing is that this Bill seeks to remove, to abolish a right, the right of every Coloured adult male in the Cape Province to qualify for a Parliamentary vote. Let us not forget that 90 per cent of the Coloured people live in the Cape. It is therefore a very extensive, a very considerable right which is being removed by this Bill. It is true that some 10 per cent of the Coloured people who live in other provinces have so far had no Parliamentary vote; but what kind of logic is it to argue that, because ten per cent of the Coloureds cannot qualify for the Parliamentary vote, the right of 90 per cent who can qualify should be abolished? Surely, if the Government regards the existing voting rights of the Coloured people as being inadequate, the remedy is to improve it, not to make it more inadequate by abolishing that which exists. There is, therefore, no merit whatsoever in the argument that, because at the moment only a percentage of Coloureds exercise the vote, all the existing rights and all future rights should be abolished. Another argument is used, one which has emanated from the hon. the Prime Minister, of all people, and that is that now for the first time the Coloured people of South Africa “are really being given political rights”. He was referring, of course, to the new Coloured Representative Council. What the Prime Minister said is clearly not correct. He is a lawyer and he should know better. He should know that the term “political voting rights” has no uncertain meaning. The right to vote for a city council does not constitute a political right in the accepted sense of the term. For instance, in South West Africa, noncitizens exercise the municipal vote, but they cannot vote for the Legislative Assembly or for Parliament, and nobody would say that, because they vote for a city council, they have political rights. Everywhere the term “political rights” is taken to mean the right to vote for the highest political authority, not for the lowest. That is the meaning of the term political rights, and anything less would be regional or local and semi-political.
Ninety per cent of Coloured males of South Africa, as I say, do now indeed enjoy political rights in that they may qualify for the Parliamentary vote. But what are they going to get in return for the disappearance of their representatives from Parliament? Nothing near what one can honestly call political rights. This is not the time for us to go into the details of another Bill, but it is relevant to this point for me to point out that what the Coloureds are going to get in exchange for the removal from this House of their representatives, in exchange for their Parliamentary franchise, is a body lower in constitutional rank and status than that of a city council. The Coloured Representative Council will be entirely dependent on the funds voted by this Parliament. For that matter they will be no more than an agency paying out money voted and allocated by this Parliament, powerless to do more than what they are told to do. Unless such a body has the right to raise money independently, and the power to spend such money independently, there can be no question of calling such a body a governing body. The concept of government and of a governing body rests on the means to direct affairs, at least with some measure of independence. Because this power will be missing in the case of the Coloured Representative Council, it cannot be termed a governing body at all. Its main functions will be advisory and administrative. Its constitutional status will therefore be below that of a municipality. So there can be no question of political rights in the generally accepted sense of the term, no matter how closely they follow the pattern of Parliamentary elections. I say therefore that the hon. the Prime Minister is completely wrong and that the voting rights he proposes to give to the Coloured people cannot be termed political rights. What political rights they have, will be taken away.
There is a fifth argument raised by hon. members opposite, and that is the argument pursued especially by the hon. member for Randfontein. It is the argument of the “two voices”. The Coloured people now have direct representation in the city council; also representation in the provincial council and in Parliament, to say nothing of all the other bodies in which they are represented. But has anybody ever suggested that they are speaking with three or more voices because they are represented at different levels of government? The Whites are represented in countless town councils, in divisional councils, in four provincial councils, in one legislative assembly, and in Parliament, to say nothing of the multitude of statutory and other local bodies. Surely, if it is right for one population group to speak with a score of voices, can it then be wrong for another to speak with “two”? When one deals with different levels of government there can be no question of two or more voices. A provincial council is competent only in respect of matters of a provincial nature, and so will this Coloured Council deal with matters at the level of its powers; whilst the representatives in Parliament clearly will deal with matters of higher national importance which fall outside the jurisdiction of lower and minor bodies. Of all the arguments advanced by the Government side as to why Parliamentary representation should be abolished, this one of the so-called “two voices” is the most ridiculous of all.
Another argument that has been advanced is that Coloured witnesses have shown that they would not be against the abolition of White representatives for Coloured people in this House. The evidence of this kind is so thin that it cannot be put forward as a serious argument at all. The simple truth is that there are many ignorant Whites, stupid people I should rather call them, who believe that members of Parliament are here for their own pleasure and that they are of no value to them or to the country. We have Whites who say members of Parliament are useless; they only sit here for their own pleasure. And so we also find stupid Coloureds who believe that Members of Parliament can be of no value at all to the country. We all meet people in the ordinary course of life who do not understand Parliament and the machinery of Parliament and what Parliament is all about. We just forgive them for their ignorance. But what is unbelievable is that certain hon. members, and especially the hon. member for Randfontein, could come here and actually go so far as to call such ignorant people in as their allies, and on the basis of their opinion try to prove that nearly two million Coloured people are not adverse to the abolition of the Coloured vote for Parliament.
There is a major principle underlying Parliamentary representation. As I have said, it marks the mature citizenship, and only the most gullible man could believe that this principle is of no concern to the Coloured community. But if proof is necessary, let me remind hon. members that this very matter was debated twice by the existing Coloured Council. It twice considered the question of Parliamentary representation and on both occasions they decided in favour of representation in this House and in favour of the representatives being Coloured. I have here a report in Die Burger of the time where the following is said—
—so it was the second time—
I can go on and read more. Here this body established by this very Government, the members being mostly nominated by the Government and carefully selected men, itself on two occasions decided unanimously in favour of Coloured representatives in this House and that they should be Coloured. They stood firm on the principle that they should be represented here. If this is not proof enough for hon. Government members, then I think one can now already say that they will take no notice of what the new Coloured Council will in future have to say.
Finally there is the one argument—I would like to call it the one honest argument—put forward by hon. members opposite, and that is the blatant admission that the actual reason behind the removal is that the Coloured voters seem to prefer the Progressive Party. I do not believe in this view at all. I am convinced that with its policy of direct representation of the Coloured people, if properly put to the Coloured people, the United Party would defeat the Progs. But party considerations are not important here. We are dealing with the vital rights of a people. One thing I rather like about this Government argument is that at least it is an honest admission of the failure of the Government’s policy in respect of the Coloureds. By that they admit they have failed to attract the support of the Coloured people; and as time goes on I am convinced that that failure will become more pronounced in the new Coloured Council. While I like that admission of failure, what is alarming is the open way in which the Government uses the machinery of Parliament to curb a legal democratic party just because it does not like the party’s politics. I can think of no more dangerous development for a democratic system than this. The Government forced the Coloured people to elect White people. White politicians, after all, have a point of view. They were forced to elect White people with political points of view. But simply because the Coloured people exercised their vote in a manner which the Government did not like, the whole right to be represented in Parliament is to be abolished, and Government speakers, even the hon. the Prime Minister, make no bones about it that this is the main reason why the Coloured representatives have to go. I think it is one of the most undemocratic actions ever witnessed in this Parliament, and only a fool can have any further faith in the declared democratic outlook of the Government.
I have not heard one single reason why this Bill should not be opposed, and on the positive side let me say that we oppose it, in the first place, because it abolishes all meaningful political rights for the Coloured community of this country. What they get in return cannot be called political rights in the proper meaning of the word. Secondly, it will justifiably be seen by the Coloured people as a repressive measure and as such it will increase the feeling of unjust treatment which already exists among them. Thirdly, it will adversely affect the White population. It will make the whole White population appear in the eyes of the non-White as selfish and unfair. And as a White man one must rebel against that. What is more, it will deprive Parliament, it will deprive this House, it will deprive us of the benefit of the views and the voices of two million people whom we must govern. Parliament will become more unreal than ever.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No. 23 and debate adjourned.
The House adjourned at
Mr. SPEAKER announced that the following persons had been declared elected Members of the House of Assembly on 29th March:
- (1) Mr. Louis Johannes Botha for the electoral division of Bethlehem; and
- (2) Mr. Hendrik Jacobus Coetsee for the electoral division of Bloemfontein (West).
Mr. Speaker, I wish to move the following amendment—
- (i) a long-term plan to combat rising living costs in order to help the ordinary working man;
- (ii) the incentives required for increased production and productivity;
- (iii) more adequate measures to rehabilitate the stricken farming industry; and
- (iv) economies equivalent to the sacrifices which the Government is requiring the public to make in order to combat inflation”.
The Minister ended his speech last Wednesday with a eulogy on gold and said that 1968 may well be a golden year for the Republic. I think it is only right that I should begin at this point as the Minister in his speech said very little about gold.
Since the Minister last addressed us on the Part Appropriation Bill there has been a crisis in gold which culminated on the 18th March, when an announcement was made that gold would no longer be supplied to the London money market or on any other foreign market. This was the decision of the Western Central Bankers who on the 17th March agreed to a two-tier system for gold as the answer to the gold rush which has imperilled the world’s monetary system. The Minister will remember that in 1949 the late Mr. Havenga suggested that there should be two prices for gold. The Minister and I were both in the House at the time and he will remember that announcement.
Mr. Havenga in this House recommended that South Africa should decide to sell gold in the free market. The Minister then said that arrangements had been made for Mocatto and Goldsmid to purchase strip gold for sale on the open market. The hon. the Minister will also remember, I think, that the then member for Kimberley, Mr. H. F. Oppenheimer, warned the late Mr. Havenga that this was likely to be regarded in an unfavourable light by the international monetary authorities, and shortly after the Minister’s announcement a representative from overseas visited the Minister and shortly after that the scheme was dropped. We are now back to the position which was criticized in 1949. The Washington communiqué represents a defeat for the Americans, which means the end of the gold pool, which was brought into being as a result of American pressure.
The gold pool was established in 1961 after the price of gold in the London money market had risen to 40 dollars an ounce in 1960. Essentially the gold pool represented a consortium of countries who undertook (a) to buy gold with agreed quotas, the United States to be responsible for 50 per cent of the pool’s total commitments (b) to buy gold if the demand slackened in the market and (c) to sell gold out of official stocks if the demand was intense and threatened to push the price of gold above 35 dollars an ounce. The price went beyond the limits that the pool could manage; hence the meeting and we are back to a period of uncertainty. Most responsible people agree that the two-tier system is a temporary device, and I think the Minister will agree with that. It cannot last for any lengthy period. People are not agreed as to what the end result will be. There is a very significant sentence in the communiqué issued after the decision taken in Washington on the 17th March. The communiqué reads as follows—
Sir, I want to repeat the significant sentences “They no longer feel it necessary to buy gold from the market”. Does that mean that London will no longer buy gold for monetary purposes? Can we have an assurance from the Minister of Finance that the whole of the gold mines’ production which up to now has been channelled through the Reserve Bank, will be purchased by the Reserve Bank in the coming year? Can we be further assured that if the Reserve Bank wishes to sell through its customary agent, The Bank of England, they will be able to sell the whole of the South African gold production for the coming year in the London monetary gold market? I emphasize that—“the London monetary gold market”. This question has not been answered in any of the comments that I have read in the papers and the various financial journals which have commented on the recent gold crisis, but I think it is a question which vitally affects the future of South Africa. I am sure the Minister will agree with me there. South Africa may be able to sell in the free market, but as the International Monetary Fund has completely reversed its idea of 1949, which looked with disfavour upon two prices, one can assume that it would approve of South Africa’s selling in the free market. If South Africa sells in the free market, would it not be helping to increase the supply and therefore contribute to a decline in the free gold price? I think it is significant at this stage to mention that the gold market opened again this morning and the latest report that we have is that the gold price fixed in the London gold market was 38 dollars an ounce. Many opinions have been advanced in recent years as to what the price of gold should be and some experts have even suggested a 110 per cent increase on 35 dollars an ounce. I admit at the present stage one cannot draw any firm conclusions from the price of 38 dollars an ounce on the market this morning. It is too early in the day to make any decision. When we realize that in recent months people have been talking of an increase of 110 or 120 per cent, and we think of what has been done over the years as regards this question of the increased price of gold, we can see that now that there is a free price of gold, the problem is very much with us and the guessing days are over. One is entitled to ask the question whether the two-tier system has not been devised to test the market with a view to establishing what the real price of gold on the free market should be. Will not that set the pattern for the increased gold price, if that is to come? Is this just a device to test the market or has it another objective? In that event, is it the opinion of the hon. the Minister that South Africa should withhold gold from the free market as long as possible, so that if this device is a test the final outcome will be a decision favourable for South Africa? A dual market for gold can only have a most disturbing effect and will confirm the opinion of some that the devaluation of the dollar is inevitable. I think the Minister will agree with me that it is impossible to have two prices in a market for the same commodity. It will keep the international exchanges in a state of tension as long as the two-tier system persists. The week-end announcement shows that France is still defiant. Nine countries came to an agreement whilst one stood out. I think the hon. the Minister will agree that while one country, especially a country as powerful as France, decides to stand outside, it will be very difficult indeed to make any predictions as to the future. I suggest that these matters overshadow the whole of the Budget. Now, I appreciate the Minister was at a disadvantage and I appreciate the difficulties he had at the time, but I think that the whole question of the price of gold overshadows the whole of the Budget speech. It is vital to the future of this country. The whole of our economy is based upon gold and the whole of our future depends on the way in which the moves are made outside our borders. Moreover, there is nothing to prevent the central banks, and there are more than 100 of them which are members of the International Monetary Fund, from changing their dollar holdings into gold for sale on the free market. I agree that will complicate the issue considerably. One does not know whether the central banks are all going to play the game according to the rules. One wonders whether some may not be tempted to take the opportunity to sell gold on the free market. I am quite sure the hon. the Minister could not give that assurance that all these more than 100 central banks will toe the line and do what the majority feel are in the best monetary interests of the countries of the world as a whole.
I think the position is that if the price of free gold is likely to be more than 35 dollars per ounce there is a grave risk that any number of the central banks will be tempted to sell their gold on the free market. So long as the free market price is in advance of 35 dollars per ounce the temptation is there, and it can affect the whole central banking system. So much for the so-called paper gold. I think the future as far as that is concerned is very dim indeed until we have some more clarity on the matter. Having the opportunity to sell gold in the free market will mean that official gold stocks can be sold outside in the free market. Even the latest news over the last two days indicates this possibility. Furthermore, the holding of monetary gold will depend upon the success achieved in eliminating the balance of payment deficit. This must be priority No. 1 if the international monetary system is not to break down. That is one of the main reasons why France would not sign this agreement as one of the 10 nations agreeing to the paper gold. France was not satisfied that America was serious about reducing its balance of payments deficit. Until America faces its balance of payments deficit there will be doubt, unrest and tension. That will be the result if the two-tier system continues for a period. As long as that two-tier system continues many of the other central banks will be inclined to channel off some of their monetary gold into the free gold market to take advantage of this position. This will of course help to accelerate the leakage. It is clear from the attitude of the French government that its plans for the meeting in Stockholm include the demand for a firm measure of discipline over the deficit in the balance of payments position of the U.S.A. France has said categorically that it means above all not to finance the American deficit. So far the measures adopted by the U.S.A. to rectify the deficit in the balance of payments have not satisfied the financial world. They represent further big steps into the morass of specific controls into what used to be called the Schachtian system. The Minister will know of this through his experience in Germany prior to the war when Dr. Schachtian was an eminent German banker. He used this device because he had no other method of getting out of his difficulties. That involves a laborious system of special controls which in the end proved almost unworkable. Measures still have to be introduced to stop the inflation in the U.S.A. If the inflation in the U.S.A. is not curbed and the U.S.A. has a deficit balance of payments in its foreign trade, then all it will do is to export the inflation from the U.S.A. to other countries. The U.S.A. must put her financial house in order. These measures must be introduced against the background of the American presidential elections. In view of what we have heard this morning the position is going to be more confused than ever because there will be no direction between now and election time. The Minister knows how elections cloud the issue.
It is a great pity that South Africa’s standing in the outside world is at such a low level. South Africa produces 75 per cent of the world’s gold and yet the outside world is trying to avoid an increase in the price of gold because it feels that it will help Russia and South Africa. When I was in Washington about five years ago when the World Bank Conference was held there, the hon. the Minister’s predecessor, Dr. Dönges, made a very convincing speech in favour of an increase in the price of gold. But this left the delegates stone cold. I know that this hon. Minister has since then spoken on the question of an increase in the price of gold and that he has had very little sympathy. The market will now be tested because of the introduction of the free market. We will now see whether an increase in the price of gold will be a reality. The whole question of the price of gold is in the melting pot. South Africa stands to gain if the price of gold is increased but there are strong forces marshalling themselves on the side of paper gold.
They are working for the demonetization of gold. I think the hon. the Minister will agree with me that if the school in favour of the demonetization of gold gains any success, it will involve very hard decisions as far as the future of this country is concerned. I am still one of those who believe that gold as a basis of currency is still one of the most reliable. It is far better than any agreement among nations. You can never be sure of the attitudes of individuals, but gold has stood the test of time. At the same time we must face realities. A free market for gold has been established. After the gold market had been closed for the best part of a fortnight and opened as it has done to-day with the price of gold at only 38 dollars an ounce, we are entitled to say that the future must be faced with a great deal of caution. As South Africa is already committed to an increase in the price of gold and as such a decision would in effect devalue the American dollar, the fight is going to be a stern one. It will be one in which South Africa can have little influence. As from the beginning, she is an interested party. It is well to remind ourselves that, although South Africa produces 70 to 75 per cent of the world’s gold, the absorption of gold in the private hoards amounted to 25.5 million ounces in 1966, or slightly more than the estimated industrial consumption of 18.3 million ounces in the same year. These figures should be compared with South Africa’s gold production in 1967, which amounted to approximately 30.5 million ounces. What was absorbed by the private hoards in 1966 amounted to 25.5 million ounces. And yet South Africa’s production of gold last year was only 30.5 million ounces of gold. The general trend, according to demand over the years, is an upward one, although fairly large fluctuations have occurred from year to year. When the final figures are available for 1968 it will show a considerable move upwards in comparison with the figures of the previous years. I think that will be generally agreed. It is presumed by gold authorities that increased discussion of the gold problem will stimulate additional hoarding. I think the Minister will agree with that. So long as there is uncertainty, the hoarding will increase. Numbers of rather weak speculators may come into the market as the likelihood of a price increase grows within the next few years. It is therefore difficult to forecast hoarders’ demands for gold over the next 10 years.
Barclays Bank Trade Review for 1968 contains an article by Mr. Lloyd-Jacob. He is an economist with an intimate knowledge of the market. He said in that article:
The article goes on to say that, only because gold is freely available at 35 dollars per fine ounce, is the price of gold held down to its present level. No central bank outside the United States will be prepared to sell gold in significant quantities at 35 dollars an ounce if the United States ceased doing so. The official gold stocks of the United States are therefore a critical element in the gold price. The article says further that although it is reasonable to expect some sales of gold to be made by the Soviet Union in the years ahead considerations of declining production of gold in the free world, together with rising non-monetary demands for gold, pointed to a sustained decline in the stocks of monetary gold held by the free world. The world realizes that ultimately, gold mining and production will cease. We realize in this country that our gold mines’ production has almost, so to speak, passed its peak. But in the meantime the fixed price of gold will shorten the lives of many of our mines in South Africa. The Minister’s taxation proposals indicate his appreciation of that problem. As an increased price of gold infers a devaluation of the dollar, America is determined to make a fight against the increased price, and France is prepared to face up to that fight. The present run on the dollar arises precisely because of the continuing weakness of the United States balance of payments. The continued deficit in their external accounts since 1949 has doubtlessly played an important part in supplying the world with monetary reserves. But the process has clearly gone too far, and there is now an excess supply of dollars in the world, and the world is now on the dollar standard. There is an increasing reluctance to hold the dollar claims which are theoretically cashable against the American gold stock. They are not cashable now, of course. One can describe the problem as an excess supply of dollars where there is too narrow a margin of gold supply. It is suspected that what has been happening is the leakage of gold from official monetary reserves, as well as a tendency in the gold production to by-pass official monetary reserves. I think the hon. the Minister will agree that this is so. Since 1965 international monetary gold stocks of the former gold pool countries steadily declined. That is why France opted out of the gold pool arrangements last June. She took the view, as other countries have done, that the dollar problems could not be dealt with until the gold problem had been tackled. If the two-tier gold price was a solution to the dollar problem, or even a dependable stop-gap, why did Washington not admit this in 1961? The case against the two-tier gold arrangement is that it reduces the convertibility of the dollar in the market, except under very restricted conditions. Some of the more hopeful architects of the scheme do not take this view. They believe that the shortage in stock can be met by special drawing rights. The most intelligent realize that it will take considerable time before the credit substitutes for gold are created on a sufficient scale, and even more time before they are fully accepted as a supplement to gold by the majority of banks, and France’s attitude was adamant. France will take the longest to convince that there is a substitute for gold. Three questions remain. If the International Monetary Fund feels that it is no longer necessary to buy gold from the market, will South Africa make its gold available in the gold commodity markets, or will it withhold gold from the free market and hope for a price rise? A suggestion has been made that there might be a consortium arrangement between South Africa, Russia and Canada, to market their gold with the idea of achieving a higher price. This has already been done with diamonds but I doubt whether it is practicable with gold. In these changed conditions it is apparent that short of substantial dishoarding, the normal non-monetary demand for gold cannot be filled without gold from South Africa. The policy we follow is certain to have wide implications. I do not think we are in the position to get what we want by setting out, as De Gaulle is apparently doing, to embarrass the American and British monetary authorities. The free gold market has, however, been established for use and a significant proportion of South Africa’s newly mined gold could and should be marketed at a premium. The quantity we should market in this way, outside the monetary system, must depend on what the market positions are from time to time. Wide short-term fluctuations in the free gold price would certainly not be in our best interests. We should rather aim at a large orderly free gold market at a fair premium. What that premium should be is, of course, difficult to judge. This is where the Minister shall have to bring his judgement into play on the advice of his officials and experts. We are dealing with a question which is vital to the economic interests of the whole country. Let us hope that the Minister when he replies to this debate will be able to make a clear statement of the policy to be adopted by the Government. Can the gold mines in the meantime be assured that the Reserve Bank will continue to take their gold? Furthermore, will the Bank of England purchase South Africa’s gold, as it has done in the past? Finally—if gold is to be sold on the free market, will that be done by the Government, or will the Government agree to this marketing being done by the gold mining industry on an orderly basis? The plain fact is that an international monetary system will work only if those participating in it are prepared to work closely together. Its success depends on the complete co-operation of all the monetary authorities concerned and upon their playing according to the rules. But at the present moment there is already clearly a rift in the camp, and until such time as that rift has been healed no one can speak about the future with certainty. What is required, I think, is another world monetary conference. Nobody but the communists have a stake in the collapse of the international system, a system in which South Africa has a rather peculiar importance.
I realize that this is a rather delicate matter, but it affects the whole future of South Africa. However, I have endeavoured to state my case as objectively as possible and I hope the Minister will give us a full reply, at least as fully as is advisable.
I now leave gold in order to come to the domestic economic scene. Of course, gold is the key to the whole issue. If the gold price goes up, the Minister is in for another period of inflation unless very strong controls are introduced. If, on the other hand, the gold price goes down and the free market price of gold is less than 35 dollars per ounce the Minister will have to face other problems, and the optimism expressed by some about this Budget may not appear to be entirely justified. Regarding the domestic scene, the Minister said that lethal blows had been struck at the dragon of inflation. While we rejoice at the measure of success achieved, we can by no means be certain that the battle has been conclusively won. During the debate on the Party Appropriation Bill this year, the Minister said on the 14th February that there seemed to be the impression abroad that now that we were winning the battle against inflation the end of all restrictions was in sight and that a new inflationary boom was just around the corner. The Minister said there was no foundation for this belief. As a matter of fact, the situation called for a retention of the anti-inflationary measures probably still for some time to come. Earlier in the same speech he said that he hoped and expected that the pressure for higher wages would diminish, particularly in view of devaluation of sterling. It was important, he said, that we should, wherever possible, avoid increases in our cost structure. The Prime Minister, speaking at Queenstown last week, said we were on the brink of another forward move. The Minister of Transport, in his Railway Budget, said we had contained inflation. It had been overcome. Who is right? Do we have a choice in the matter and choose either the Prime Minister, or the Minister of Transport, or the Minister of Finance? As far as I am concerned, I agree with the Minister of Finance that the battle against inflation has not yet been won and unless the position is firmly controlled the stop-go trend must continue.
Only last week Mr. Spiro, chairman of Union Acceptances said—
I think Mr. Spiro is right. This stop-go policy has been carried on for far too long. The Minister said that the rise in the consumer price index had been arrested. One must realize, however, that while the pace of increase might have been arrested the cost-of-living figure is still high. People are still concerned about the future; they are still concerned about the gap between living costs and the purchasing power of the earnings they receive. The ordinary man in the street is still finding it difficult to make ends meet. It is no solace for him to be told that conditions are worse in other selected countries. The ordinary man of South Africa must live here, must suffer here and must prosper here. He is concerned with what is happening in this country. The Minister said that the main objective of our policy of restraint was the curbing of expense from fixed investment and the total of such outlay shows an increase of only 6 per cent in 1967, which was lower than the figure for the previous year. Last year we claimed, and the Minister agreed, that the figure was too high, so it can hardly be a favourable comparison to compare it with the previous year. Fixed investment in the private sector rose by 3½ per cent, and in the public sector by 5 per cent. Should that be so at a time when money conditions are as they are? It is essential that the expenditure in the public sector should be further controlled in the coming year.
If financial discipline is to be maintained, the pattern must be set by the Minister of Finance. He must get the backing of his Cabinet. Every Cabinet Minister wants to see his own particular Department grow. He wants to see his Department prosper and develop. Empire building is a common weakness in Cabinets all over the world. Every Minister wants to see his pet scheme developed in his own political lifetime, which in some cases is very short. A successful Minister of Finance must be a financial disciplinarian first and a politician second. Every spending department should come under the discipline of the Minister of Finance, and the priorities should be revised to ensure that such capital expenditure as can be delayed should be delayed for the time being. Having regard to the shortage of particularly qualified manpower in this country, costs are increased as soon as the public sector and the private sector come into competition for the same manpower. That is evidenced when one compares particularly the rising costs in the building industry over the last year or two. One sees that there is competition for public building and private building, and one realizes that the costs have spiralled because of the shortage of manpower as the private and the public bodies compete for the same limited amount of labour.
I now come to the monetary, banking and financial conditions. The Minister said that conditions on the capital market remained tight throughout the year. He said that these conditions appeared to be due largely to the preference of investors for equities and other investments which hold prospects of capital gain. One of the weaknesses in the present financial position is that insufficient long-term money is available for long-term projects. Most Government capital expenditure is for longterm ventures. That, as far as possible, should be financed by long-term money. The Minister is pleased with the success of his R.S.A. loans. Incidentally, while dealing with that, perhaps the Minister can tell us how much revenue he has surrendered as the result of the R.S.A. loans. These loans are medium-term loans. But I think the Minister will agree with me that perhaps now is the time for a major funding effort. He says it is difficult to get money; it is difficult to compete with investors who prefer equities and other investments which provide prospects of a capital gain, but has he any discipline over the Minister of Economic Affairs? You see, Sir, the Minister of Economic Affairs controls the Industrial Development Corporation and we have the I.D.C. entering the financial field, the field of open-end trusts. The Minister only recently gave an address to the pension funds association, and he warned them about tying their pension funds to open-end trusts. He said they could be on a sounder basis, or words to that effect. The Minister gave that warning, and I think he was quite right when he pointed out the danger of tying long-term pension funds to open-end trusts. Yet, on the one hand we are being asked to find money for the I.D.C., and on the other hand we have the I.D.C. entering the field of private investment. I have no criticism of the officials and directors of the I.D.C., who have done a first-class job in developing South African industry. But when the I.D.C. goes into an organization like National Selections or it goes into the open-end trust field, then I submit it is outside the scope of the original intention of the Act establishing the Industrial Development Corporation. I suggest that the Minister has no cause for complaint when he comes to this House and reads us a lecture on the difficulty he has in obtaining funds for long-term Government ventures when he has the control on his own doorstep. Let the Minister clear up his own doorstep first and tell the Minister of Economic Affairs that it is not his function to go into the private capital market and to compete with private industry in the financial sector, because it only helps to spiral costs in a very narrow market, as the sharemarket is to-day. These spiralling costs will result in the very danger against which the Minister warned the country a short time ago. During the debate on the Part Appropriation Bill the Minister warned people about buying shares and getting their fingers burned, and yet some of the organizations which are encouraging the building up of portfolios are the open-end trusts, and one of the partners in this venture is his colleague the Minister of Economic Affairs who is in charge of the I.D.C. I suggest that he should look to one of his own Cabinet colleagues for reform. Government long-term funds have always offered a lower return than the return on equities. The Minister remarked on that fact, but it has always been the position, that longterm Government loans give a lower return than equities, and the Minister need not complain about that. If he wishes to get his loan structure in better balance, then he must first look to his colleague the Minister of Economic Affairs.
I now come to the Revenue Account. The Minister must not be misled by the apparent pleasure with which the outside world has regarded his Budget. It is not that they are pleased with the Budget, but rather that they are glad that the load of taxation has not been further increased.
They are not pleased; they are relieved.
Last year we told him that he was over-taxing the people. His surplus proves now that our criticism was justified to the full. He admits, in effect, that the tax burden has become onerous, and he faces up to the position by providing fringe benefits for public servants so that while they will get the benefits, a certain portion of those benefits will escape taxation. I think that is the purpose of these fringe benefits. Some of the fringe benefits he offered public servants will enable them to avoid income tax. The success of his R.S.A. bonds was due to the tax-free element. So we find the interesting position of the Minister on the one hand wanting to tax the country, and on the other hand offering the people a way of avoiding taxation. The plain fact is that the burden of taxation on the middle-income group, i.e. those affected by the bulge, is extraordinarily high and compares unfavourably with many other countries in the world. I have here a table which shows the percentage of income which the married man with two children and in employment retains after taxation. The position of a man in the group earning R10,000 a year is as follows. In France, after paying tax, he retains 87.1 per cent of his income. In Canada he retains 79.6 per cent, in Italy 80.2 per cent, in Switzerland 77.6 per cent, in West Germany 76.7 per cent, in Spain 80.5 per cent. But in South Africa he retains 73.3 per cent. In the United Kingdom it is 72.6 per cent, as compared to South Africa’s 73.3 per cent. The only other ones which are worse off than South Africa are Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway. The United Kingdom is just a point or so below. It is for that group that we pleaded last year, and we reiterate our plea again this year.
The recently announced remissions for married women on closer examination prove to be very little. I do not propose to go into detail about that now, but during the discussion in Committee of ways and means we will bring it to the Minister’s notice and give him a few examples.
The incentive to the gold mines does help the low-grade mines, but it does not encourage new mines, nor does it encourage prospecting.
It is significant that the Minister’s concessions to civil servants are less than the concessions given by the Minister of Transport. Has the Minister of Transport more influence with the Cabinet than the Minister of Finance, or does the Minister of Transport care more for his employees than the other Ministers? It is very clear even at this stage that the civil servants are already making comparisons with their railway colleagues and as and when the details become known we can expect to hear of further dissatisfaction. The Minister’s reply, of course, will be that the dragon of inflation has not yet been defeated but the Minister of Transport says it has. It would be interesting to see the outcome of their respective differences.
As far as children’s rebates are concerned, we welcome the increase, but it is a very insignificant amount. When it comes to medical allowances, it is interesting to note that a wealthy bachelor gets an allowance of R250 a year for medical expenses while the family man with four children also gets an allowance of only R250 a year. The Minister of Health, when considering medical schemes, insists that the medical benefits shall have regard to the size of the family, but the Minister of Finance makes no such distinction. It is surely inequitable in these days not to have a sliding scale for medical expenses so as to assist the family man.
When we come to civil and social pensions, while any crumb is acceptable, the increase of R1 per month in the allowance does very little to bridge the gap between the living costs and income and the means test is still a formidable hurdle for many of our old people.
Agriculture too looks in vain for assistance from this Budget, with one or two exceptions. The wool farmers get R1 million out of this Budget. The hon. the Minister has indicated that assistance will be given to the fruit farmers but no tangible figure is yet available to them. The deciduous fruit farmers and canners have no idea as to how to plan for next year or the year thereafter. Many of them are faced with a very difficult future. Their market in Europe has been cut to the extent of the difference brought about by devaluation. In addition to that, with Britain’s entry to the Common Market, they are not certain how they are going to meet competition from other countries in the world, and while on the one hand we have the Department of Agriculture suggesting methods to farmers for the growing of tea and coffee as new crops, about which there is a certain amount of doubt, farmers with existing and established crops do not know how to plan for the future. The farming industry as a whole is dissatisfied with what is offered to the industry in this Budget.
Apart from the tax concessions, there is very little in this Budget to encourage increased productivity. I think that the Government, as a means of curbing inflation, has concentrated on reducing the supply of money rather than doing anything to increase the supply of goods. The stepping up of productivity is the most positive step that can be taken to reduce costs. While shifting the burden of taxation is one measure of encouragement, I have mentioned in passing that the payment of living wages is also of fundamental importance if we are to get increased productivity. I hope the Minister of Labour will take another look at the iron and steel wage agreement before he approves of it. The increase of 2 cents from 17 cents to 19 cents for the lowest paid employees still leaves them below the poverty datum line, and I do not see how you can get increased productivity on the basis of such low wages. In the case of the middle income group particularly, they are still as heavily taxed as before, and in spite of our criticism of the rate of tax last year, the bulge is still there. I know that the Minister has appointed a commission to inquire into this matter and bring out a report. The Minister will remember that years ago there was the Steyn Commission on Income Tax. That commission reported after some years, and the matter was then referred to a select committee of this House, a committee of which the Minister was the chairman and I was a member. We sat on that for another year or two before the new, revised income tax was introduced. We know that even if this committee is most energetic and does its work, we cannot expect any results within the next two or three years. Perhaps the Minister can tell us during the course of his reply when he expects this commission to submit its report, because I think it is important that we should know when the revised taxation is going to come into force. While waiting for the report the present inequitable taxation still persists and productivity is suffering.
Sir, I suggest that another field for investigation is in the spending departments. Has the time not arrived for us to have an inquiry into the Civil Service? I cast no reflection on the civil servants as such. But we want a better paid, better equipped and more highly qualified Civil Service. I know that the former Minister appointed a committee to go into the matter, but I think a considerable amount can be done in the Civil Service by giving the civil servants more training, by getting people with higher qualifications and by getting more modern equipment. I wonder how many senior officers in the Civil Service in South Africa are doing the laborious job of writing letters? We find that literally hundreds of senior officers in the country write their letters because they cannot get qualified people to whom they can dictate letters. Letters are written by hand; they are then taken to the typing bureau and back they come again for correction and signing by senior officers. In commerce and industry one sees dictating machines of various kinds being put into operation, and yet we seldom find these machines in district offices. Various departments have embarked upon the purchase of computers. It is a status symbol nowadays for a department to have a computer, and yet how much money has been wasted in the acquisition of computers which are not doing the job adequately because they are only being used for a comparatively short time. A computer, to be efficient, must be occupied for the greater part of the day, preferably for 24 hours a day. Most of the big computers in other parts of the world are being occupied for 24 hours a day on a shift basis to ensure maximum output. I feel sure that greater use should be made of the computer equipment in the various Government Departments by better collaboration between the Department and the introduction of more up-to-date office equipment in many of our offices. I suggest that if we want to get increased productivity, we should start with the Civil Service itself by getting better paid, better equipped and better trained civil servants. Recently in Britain there was appointed a powerful committee under Lord Fulton to examine the structure, improvement, management and training of the Civil Service. Might I suggest that a similar investigation be done here?
I think the Minister will agree with me that the Treasury is or should be the strongest department in the Government service. It controls the purse strings and therefore can encourage or retard development in any field. This is the instrument for determining the pattern for the coming year. This Budget shows under examination that the Minister has dug in and, like Mr. Micawber, is waiting for something to turn up. It is true that he is embarrassed by the international gold position, but it appears also that he is embarrassed by different points of view in his own Cabinet. There are certain differences of opinion between the members of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council where the economic theorists and the practical realists differ in their approach as to the solution of South Africa’s present problems. The Minister has chosen to stand still and watch things develop, but there still remains South Africa’s most pressing problem of increased productivity, the narrowing of the gap between rich and poor, the provision of adequate food, clothing and housing for all the races in the country, full employment of all South African resources, the expansion of its export markets, full development of its internal market, the offers of help both in technical knowledge and financial assistance for neighbouring countries, and the growth in the country as a whole so as to maintain that measure of progress which will ensure a better life and a more peaceful life for all its citizens. This Budget is inadequate in that it gives no direction. It is a stalling operation, and the vehicle of State will not progress while it remains inactive.
Mr. Speaker, during the first half-hour of his speech the hon. member for Pinetown gave me the impression that he was not very eager to deal with the Budget and he therefore spoke about the sale of gold and the problems of the international monetary system. To me the conclusion of his reasoning in the first half-hour was what he said at the end of it, namely, “If the gold price is increased, it would mean a very serious period of inflation for us”. Having said that, he embarked upon the second half-hour of his speech and in spite of the conclusion he had reached, he went further and pleaded for tax concessions. On the one hand we have an international situation which is so uncertain that it implies for us in South Africa the threat of serious inflation, and in spite of that, while, according to the hon. member, this sword was hanging above our heads, he pleaded for tax concessions in the second half-hour of his speech. He cannot take it amiss of me if I say that the second half-hour of his speech greatly strengthened my suspicion that he was not keen to come very close to the Budget.
I now want to state frankly that this is a good Budget, a good Budget by a good Minister of a good Government. [Interjections.] I want to extend to the hon. the Minister and the Government, as well as the officials who assisted in this task, my cordial congratulations on the 1968 Budget. I am not the only one to say this; the whole of South Africa is saying so. Let me read out very briefly what was said in a few newspapers. The day after the Budget the headline in The Cape Times was as follows, “All-round Praise for Prudent Budget.” Then it reported as follows—
But that is the English Press.
What is wrong with that? I can quote all the Afrikaans newspapers in South Africa in this regard, and then the hon. member will complain again, “You are only quoting from Nationalist Party newspapers.” I am now quoting from newspapers which are as a rule not unfavourably disposed towards the United Party. In its editorial The Cape Times wrote as follows—
If the hon. member wants a quotation from an Afrikaans newspaper, let me read out to him what Die Burger has to say. Die Burger wrote as follows (translation)—
Let me quote some more. The Star wrote as follows—
Let me quote from a newspaper published in my part of the country, namely the Daily Dispatch. Under the headline “A Sound Budget” this newspaper wrote as follows—
Then the Dispatch also says the following, and it seems to me as though the Opposition might as well wear this cap if it fits—
I think the Opposition might as well wear this cap, because, after all, in the Part Appropriation the other day they loosened the purse strings and started distributing things. The hon. member for Pinetown donned his long red gown and his white hood and started distributing things. It is not that I consider him to be the handsomest Santa Claus imaginable! I want to tell him that we on this side of the House will not really run away at the sight of him, but I think he should rather stay away from small children! On that occasion he was very zealously assisted by the hon. member for Parktown in the role of Black Pete. Now I want to say that on that occasion, as on previous occasions, those hon. gentlemen covered the entire field. The hon. member for Pinetown rose and said he was pleading for the middle income group; the hon. member for Parktown said he was pleading for the higher income group; and the hon. member for Salt River rose and pleaded for the lower income group. Another hon. member opposite pleaded for the women, whereas the hon. member for Umbilo pleaded for other people. It was almost as it was with the farmer who had two sons; the one had planted wheat and the other had made bricks—no matter what the weather did, one of them would suffer losses. The hon. Opposition covered the field so thoroughly and so widely that no matter what the hon. the Minister did in a Budget, they must be right somewhere.
Has anybody ever thought out a concession for which they have not yet pleaded? Heaven help South Africa lest a Minister of Finance should in one year include in his Budget everything advocated by that side! Now I just want to address this to the hon. member for Pinetown. On Wednesday afternoon, after the hon. the Minister had spoken, he rose and said that they had advocated many of those things. The hon. member will recall that. He said: “But, surely, we have advocated those things.” But that evening he issued a statement to the newspapers in which he said: “What did we get in this Budget? Crumbs that fall from the table.” First he pretends that they have been advocating those concessions, but subsequent to that they stand convicted by their own words, i.e. that what they are advocating for the nation of South Africa, and what they are satisfied with, are crumbs from the table. Those are their own words.
I shall come back later to the hon. member’s speech as well as the amendment put by that side. First of all I want to deal briefly with the Budget, and I want to say that to my mind this is a good Budget, and I say this for two main reasons. The first is that this is a Budget which is calculated to preserve and develop the strength of our economy and which is eminently successful in achieving this object. In the second place, I consider this to be a good Budget because in a judicious manner it causes benefits to accrue where they are necessary. Other speakers on this side and I shall come back to these points and illustrate them further. Mr. Speaker, name me any country in the whole world which will not envy South Africa because of a Budget such as this one. It reflects the fact that the South African economy is one of the strongest and the soundest in the whole world. It tells South Africa and the world that the Government intends to keep it this way. To the highest extent this Government meets all the demands which South Africa as the fatherland can make upon it in 1968. What South Africa needs in these times, times which viewed from many angles may perhaps be uncertain, is a bulwark and a bastion of economic strength. Without it this country is defencelessly being delivered into the hands of everybody who is not favourably disposed towards it, but with it we have been finding our way from year to year,
successfully so far. This Budget carries on the good work done by last year’s Budget, and it consolidates the successes achieved then and also by the monetary policy of the Government. It guards against the dragon of inflation and it reinforces South Africa in its economic strength to cope with any contingency. That is why I regard this as a good Budget.
I should also like to deal with the amendment moved by the hon. member for Pinetown, particularly with the first part thereof in which he says that this Government failed to introduce a long-term policy plan to combat rising living costs in order to help the ordinary working man. I should very much like to give the hon. member this reply. I want to tell him that in its monthly newsletter in March the First National City Bank of New York mentioned 45 countries in the world. It took a period of ten years, from 1956 to 1966. Over that period the rate of inflation of these 45 countries was 3.4 per cent, whereas that of South Africa was only 2.2 per cent over the same period. Therefore, if people tell me that the Government did not have a plan to combat living costs, I say that the result does after all speak very clearly for itself. Here we have the result. In comparison with the rest of the world South Africa’s performance was better than most. The article states—
During that period only eight countries in the entire world showed a lower rate of inflation than South Africa did. Those eight countries were Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, the United States, Luxembourg, Canada, Australia and Greece. In the past three years there were only three countries in the entire world which had a lower rate of inflation than South Africa did. Last year there were only two countries which had a lower rate of inflation. Is this not adequate proof that the Government’s fiscal and monetary measures for reducing the living costs in South Africa have met with outstanding success? From June to December last year consumer prices remained stable in this country. During the first two months of this year they showed a very slight increase. I almost want to go as far as to say that the hon. member for Pinetown displayed audacity by leveling this charge against the Government this afternoon, now that we are indeed being conspicuously successful, as compared with the rest of the world, in surmounting this problem. Just listen to what they had to say in the latest newsletter from America—
Whilst other countries are struggling, South Africa is achieving outstanding success. In looking at the wholesale price index, we see that we merely had an increase of 0.8 per cent last year. In point of fact, from June to December last year it showed a decrease. I want to point out that this is not only to the advantage of the man in the street, but that it also places our exporters in South Africa in a competitive position where in the markets of the world they have to compete against other countries which have a higher rate of inflation than we do. I think that this achievement of the Government’s is outstanding. As the hon. member argued this afternoon, if South Africa may possibly obtain a higher gold price—and we should like our gold mines to be able to derive the greatest benefit from it by means of extracting lower grade ore from deeper levels—then we may not allow inflation to neutralize those benefits. That is why I think that, instead of this charge being made, the House and the country are indebted to the Government and the Minister to-day for the major success they have had in regard to combating living costs in South Africa.
In the past few years we have been asking our people to return to the old basic financial values. Last year the Minister told us, “Work and save”. If we do conquer inflation, would we not perpetuate in our national life these lessons we have learnt? One asks oneself who the people are who reach the top in life. Are they not the people who work hard? What nations reach the top in the world? Are they not the hard-working nations? One can enjoy a high standard of living and the standard of living can rise from year to year, but one has to work hard. We as a nation must also work hard.
Since we have been talking about the living costs, I want to add this. It is relevant here. [Interjections.] The hon. member for Durban (Point) must listen very attentively now. He will also be given the opportunity to speak. Over the past five years the real gross domestic product per capita increased by 4.3 per cent per annum. Last year it increased by 4.5 per cent. It represents the actual increase in the per capita product. In other words, it represents the actual annual rise in the living standards of our people due allowance having been made for inflation. It represent an actual increase of 4.3 per cent over the past five years, and of 4.5 per cent over the past year. I challenge the hon. member for Durban (Point) to refute this figure when he speaks. If he does so, I shall reply to him when the Appropriation Bill is discussed at the end of the Session. I called this Budget a revelation of the strength of the South African economy.
It is the strength to which the hon. the Minister referred in his Budget speech. He said that we had succeeded in curbing the rise in the living costs. I want to say that this testifies to a second great point of strength of our economy. That was done without our prejudicing the rate of growth of the country in the least. In the article from which I have just quoted, it is also said—
We have consistently managed to do so. Before I deal with another aspect of this matter, I just want to read out to the hon. member what a very well-known financial author wrote in March of this year. He writes articles in various English publications in South Africa. He said—
That is my reply to that hon. member. Our country’s economy is doing well.
Whom are you quoting?
I think the speaker was Mr. John van . . . [Interjections.] I did not want to mention his name, because I was afraid that one would have this second-rate attitude on the part of the Opposition. First they insist on knowing who he is, then they react in this way! I do not even want to tell the Opposition about the balance of payments. I do not even want to tell them about the full employment South Africa is experiencing. I would rather ask them whether this looks like the “streets thundering with the footsteps of the unemployed” to which they referred, since that hon. member is adopting such an attitude. Does it look like that? The only footsteps of the unemployed I hear thundering nowadays, are those of United Party Members of Parliament looking for seats.
The Opposition said at the time that the banks would close down. Since then nothing but new banks have been opening all the time! Last night we heard on the news that yet another new bank would be opened this morning, on 1st April. Instead of closing down, more and more banks are being founded in South Africa. I should like to deal with one or two points mentioned by the hon. member. The hon. member spoke about public servants, the high taxes paid by persons earning R10,000 per annum, and about agriculture. I have here a table of taxes payable in the Cape. A person who earns R10,000 per annum pays R2,699 in taxes. That amounts to 26.99 per cent. If that person were to have four children, he would be paying R2,566 in taxes; in other words, approximately 25½ per cent of his income. Therefore I do not know what the hon. member for Pinetown was referring to. The hon. member must have referred to the marginal scale, but he did not say so. What the hon. member did say, was that he had to pay that amount in income tax. If I understood the hon. member correctly, he brought the House under a very wrong impression. A person who has an annual income of R10,000 in South Africa, pays approximately 25 per cent of that amount in taxes in the Cape, all taxes included.
The hon. member also referred to public servants, and I also want to say a few words about them. The hon. member and the hon. Opposition need not try to make a political point out of this. The Government has always been sympathetic towards the officials, and will also be so in the future. The Government stands on its record.
Have they had a square deal?
The fact of the matter is that relief has been granted, as the Association itself did indeed request. The hon. member must study these concessions thoroughly. In the long run these concessions are worth a great deal to the public servants. The hon. the Minister of Finance could not, in the interests of our economy, take steps which would spark off a chain reaction in South Africa in respect of wages and salaries. The hon. the Minister could not do so at this stage. The hon. member also told us that there was a possibility of large-scale inflation descending upon us. He said so a moment ago. At this stage the Minister could not take steps which would spark off a chain reaction in regard to wages and salaries. That was why he granted benefits to the Public Service in a way which would have the least inflationary effect and which would also be of value to them.
But the Railways can wait!
Hon. members persist in dragging the Railways into this matter. If one does so, one would be comparing bodies which are not comparable at all. [Interjections.] No, do not laugh at me; I am speaking the truth, in the Railways there were changes in the salary structure and hon. members are now comparing them with the rationalization of conditions of service in the Public Service. Hon. members are quiet now. The Railways is a business organization, and as a business organization it saw its way clear to granting increases to its workers. Hon. members might as well leave it to the Public Servants Association to make further representations to the Government at the right time, when it will be in the best interests of the economy and of themselves. At that stage the Railway workers cannot say again: We must also get an increase now. At that stage those hon. members will again play off the Railway workers against the Government, since only the public servants would be getting increases then.
This is a good Budget. Hon. members opposite can try to disparage it as much as they please. I think that they are making such a fuss because they cannot say anything against this Budget. That is why this hon. member ran this afternoon at half past three already and took refuge under the wing of S. E. D. Brown.
In respect of the working woman in South Africa—and the importance of this cannot he underestimated—a considerable improvement has been effected in this Budget. The family man, with higher deductions for his children, also benefits by this Budget. Medical allowances have been increased from R200 to R250, and in the year in which a baby is born, it will be R350, together with an additional rebate of R8 on the income tax in that very same year.
They are too old to know that!
In this way we can look at the marginal mines. The Minister is prepared to invest, over a period of eight years, the amount of R80 million in the marginal gold mines and so to obtain for South Africa additional gold to the value of R332 million. Estate duty has been improved; in the Committee of Ways and Means I shall cast this in the teeth of those hon. gentlemen. Just consider, Sir, that if a person were to die to-day and he has a surviving spouse, the rebate is R50,000 straight away.
Who has been pleading for that all these years? [Interjections.]
The National Government. Not that member! I can tell him that commissions from this side of the House have repeatedly had discussions with the hon. the Minister. But, according to them, nothing the Government is doing, has not been advocated by them already. And then they say that these are crumbs falling from the table.
I want to conclude by reading from the hon. the Minister’s speech two sentences which, to my mind, are typical of this Budget and of my approach to the Budget. He said—
And then he concluded by saying—
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Queenstown has had his half-hour of praise and I think he is right in some respects. I think undoubtedly the hon. the Minister of Finance is envied by many of his colleagues in other countries of the world, where they are struggling to balance their budgets, to correct their balance of payments, to maintain the strength of their currency and to halt inflation. The Minister has been able to report to us that our balance of payments on current account during the second half of the year produced a surplus at an annual rate of R26 million after an adjustment for seasonal influences, that our gold and exchange reserves at the end of February last amounted to R630 million, that the rand is one of the strongest currencies in the world, and that inflationary pressures which since 1965 had been increasing at an average rate of some 4½ per cent per annum had been reduced in the full year of 1967 to 1.8 per cent. Then, to add to the hon. the Minister’s bounty, he finds himself, we hope, in the happy position that he is likely to derive immense benefits from an increase in the price of gold, at the moment from the free market and perhaps in the not too distant future from a general rise in the gold price. Let me say at once that we do not begrudge the hon. the Minister his good fortune, because it is also the good fortune of South Africa. But let me once again, as we have done in the past, point out to the hon. the Minister that the fortunate position he has now arrived at could have been achieved much earlier if the correct measures had been taken at the right time. There is one matter which cannot go unchallenged, and that is the matter already raised by the hon. member for Pinetown, namely the Government talking with two voices.
The hon. member for Pinetown has told the House that the hon. the Minister of Transport says inflation is over and the hon. the Minister of Finance tells the House that we are still fighting inflation. This difference of opinion between Ministers is no new thing. On the Commerce and Industries Vote in 1966 I had to say this—
who is now the hon. the Minister of Finance. This Budget once again demonstrates the vital differences of thinking within the Cabinet. Surely the one thing we can expect is that the Cabinet should speak with one voice, because if it does not one is perhaps led to a very simple conclusion and that is that the Prime Minister is not in full control. When we hear from the hon. the Minister of Transport that the R45 million increase in salaries to the Railway workers is not inflationary because the amount will not be paid out all at once, then we wonder who is guiding the financial destinies of South Africa, because nothing could be more inaccurate than that statement.
The hon. member will forgive me if I do not reply to him. Let him ask the hon. the Minister. Because the increase of R45 million to Railway workers is completely inflationary. Any pumping of additional funds into the economy is inflationary, and it does not matter whether you pump the funds in all at the same time or whether you spread them out over a period. It has exactly the same effect, Sir, but really I have not the time to read the hon. member a lecture in economics.
Now, what is happening in education? In the second reading debate on the National Education Policy Bill last year, the hon. the Minister of Education said this, and I quote Hansard, Vol. 19, col. 1582—
And then the Minister added the following, in col. 1584—
Now, where in this Budget have we accepted this challenge? Where have we invested heavily in human resources? Where is top priority given to education to bring our expenditure on education more into line with that of America or England or Russia? Are the hon. the Minister of Finance and the hon. the Minister of Education also on different planes?
What I want to do now is to delve a little beneath the golden surface of this Budget and to find the real basic position of the country that it discloses. When I have done this I think we will find that below the facade presented by the hon. the Minister’s Budget, much of a fundamental nature is very deeply disturbing. But, firstly, I want to deal with one or two details of the Budget itself.
In the Part Appropriation debate this year I warned the hon. the Minister that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and I am glad to see that he has taken heed of my warning. He is probably just as afraid of the female species as we are. The additional relief to married women is welcomed, but only as a step in the right direction. More relief is still needed, and particularly in regard to the earned income of married women. You see, Sir, we have never differentiated between earned and unearned income, but perhaps the time has come for us to do so. No doubt this matter will be considered by the commission on income tax and fiscal and monetary policies, and here let me say that we welcome the appointment of this Commission. It was long overdue. I had a private member’s motion on the Order Paper as far back as 1965 asking for such a commission. Eventually we got it, as usual, three years too late.
Assistance to the marginal mines is interesting, because here for the first time we apparently have a feasible plan for assisting these mines. I am glad go see that the hon. the Minister, in planning assistance to the mines that may close down within a period of eight years, has accepted the proposition we put forward in 1966 that what we should give aid to is not marginal mines but marginal ore. The hon. the Minister has provided R4 million to assist those agricultural export industries which may find it difficult initially to retain their markets in devaluing countries. I want to ask the Minister whether aid is going to be limited to agricultural industries. I understand that there are a number of non-agricultural industries which will also be affected, and I hope the hon. the Minister will provide assistance for them as well.
Now I come to investment trusts. I am sorry that the hon. the Minister has decided to increase the contributions by investment trusts to approved securities by a further 5 per cent. When the Minister legislated in 1966 to force investment trusts to contribute 10 per cent of their investments to such securities, I told him then that I believed the principle to be wrong, and I still believe it to be wrong. This requirement is a discriminatory one. There is a basic difference between insurance companies and pension funds and investment funds. It is wrong that people who invest in the market as a group, which is all that investment funds are, namely group investment, should be penalized as against private investors who are doing exactly the same thing, i.e. investing in the market. I believe that if you follow the principle through to its logical conclusion, then you should demand from every share investor a 15 per cent contribution to approved securities, and if you do not you are discriminating.
The hon. the Minister dealt very cursorily with the new stamp duty proposals, and it is a strange thing that the over-all impression among the public seems to be that these proposals for our benefit, and that the main feature is simply that we do not have to put stamps on receipts any more. But of course the exact opposite is the case. We are being asked to contribute an extra R6.5 million per annum to the Exchequer. Some of the proposals are for our benefit, and that the main cheque in stamp duty, will affect all of us and others such as the increased cost of registering mortgage bonds, will have an adverse effect on house-owners. This is quite a serious matter. You cannot collect R6.5 million from the public for the Exchequer without hurting somebody, but we will discuss this more fully when we go into Committee of Ways and Means.
We are sorry to see that the discriminatory tax on beer has not been removed. Sir, this is an ugly tax and we hope the Minister will give further consideration to it next year.
I now come to the monetary details of the Budget. The Minister has reported to the House an estimated surplus on Revenue Account for 1967-’68 of R42.9 million after providing for Additional Estimates of R51 million. I venture to suggest that the real position is somewhat different. For 1966-’67 the Minister produced a revenue surplus of R33 million which he never used. He simply froze it temporarily by investing it. So he actually began the 1967-’68 financial year with an unused balance of R33 million. If you add this R33 million to the disclosed surplus of R43 million, the Minister ended the year with a total surplus of R76 million. Further, it is now very apparent that the Minister had no need to provide in advance last year for a transfer of R43.7 million from Revenue Account to Loan Account. His Loan Account has been so buoyant that he has been unable to use the money, and he has now transferred an amount of R88 million from Loan Account to the Stabilization Account. So if we add the R43.7 million to the R76 million, the hon. the Minister could have, and perhaps more correctly should have come to the House this year with a surplus not of R42.9 million but a surplus of R120 million. Then we have the extraordinary cash account of the Minister. He told us that his total expenditure on Revenue and Loan Account for 1968-’69 is estimated at R2,098.5 million, and that with his revenue income and loan borrowings he will end the year with a cash surplus of R5.1 million. But what about his cash balances? What has happened to them? I make his cash balances at the end of the 1969 “fiscal year” not to be R5.1 million, but R180.7 million, a slight difference. At the end of 1966-’67 the hon. the Minister had a balance on Revenue Account, still unexpended, of R33 million. For 1967-’68 he has an estimated unexpended balance of R6.9 million. He has transferred to the Stabilization Fund R88 million, and as I understand the Stabilization Fund it is really a tuckaway. It is something that the hon. the Minister will use in terms of the Finance Act of 1964 to help his flow of fund but he never expends it. It is there until he decides to use it for some other purpose. He has this tucked away. Then he has an estimated unexpended balance as at 30th March, 1968, on his Loan Account, of a small matter of R47.7 million, and an estimated cash surplus in 1968-’69 of R5.1 million, a total of R180.7 million, which the hon. the Minister at the moment is not using. He has not provided for it in his Budget; he has not provided for it in his income and he has not provided for it in his expenditure. Sir, it is this R180.7 million which is the heart of the matter. The R10 million which the hon. the Minister has given for the minerals’ account, the paltry increases in children’s allowance and in pensions and the other items of the Budget, important though they are, are all run-of-the-mill normal Budget proposals. But the real focal point of the Budget is this R180.7 million that the Minister has uncommitted and tucked away unspent in various places, and in the hon. the Minister’s Budget speech there was not a single paragraph, not a single sentence, not a single word, about this vast sum of money. He does not tell us what he is going to do with it. Sir, this is the reality we find when we dig down below the facade of the Budget.
What is the hon. the Minister’s position, Sir? Under normal circumstances we would have expected him to return portion of this money to the taxpayer from whom he took it. But circumstances are not normal. Let us face the issue and accept that. The cloud of inflation still hovers on the horizon and could very easily be blown up by international winds. I believe that the hon. the Minister could be gambling with the future by any reduction of taxation at this stage. There he sits, a modern Croesus, with R180.7 million tucked away in his pocket.
And the bulge.
He cannot return it to the taxpayers, from whom he took most of it, and on the evidence of his own Budget speech, he has difficulties in knowing what to do with it. Sir, this is the irony of this whole Budget. The hon. the Minister controls an economy which he has told us, a statement which we accept, that grows stronger and stronger each year, but he has geared his thinking and budgeting to an era which we all hope is now out of date. The hon. the Minister has reported to us that inflation has now been halted at 1.8 per cent, and if you look at the report of the Reserve Bank, which came out on Saturday, you find that in the last six months of last year the increase was only .3 per cent, although the hon. the Minister did tell us that for the first two months of this year it again shot up to 1.5 per cent. I hope the hon. the Minister, when he replies, will take the opportunity of telling us why it went down to .3 per cent and then went up to 1.5 per cent. It will help us to help him with his forward planning.
Sir, with all our prosperity, our entire economic structure is harnassed with credit squeezes, with import control, with exchange control, with building control, with rent control, with price control and probably a few other controls that I have forgotten about. Another strange thing is this. Because of the preference of investors for equities and other investments which hold out prospects of capital gain—these are the hon. the Minister’s own words—we have to “buy” fixed income investment capital by preferential tax privileges on such investments as RSA bonds and building society deposits. I am not saying that they were not necessary but we are now establishing the principle that where we cannot get people to invest in non-equity investments we must pay them to invest by giving them tax reductions. We continue to live on this day-to-day basis, the money piling up with no long-term plan to use it productively, or to better the lives of the people who provided it. We live in fear of good fortune. If the price of gold exceeds the official parity price of R25 per ounce, we will have greater wealth and prosperity but a new potential for inflation. If we have favourable conditions in agriculture and more productivity in our industries, then our exports expand and bring us more wealth with a resultant stimulating effect on our economy which the hon. the Minister tells us, quite rightly, is one of the possible inflationary influences.
Sir, we are going round in a sort of circle. The more we create, the more problems we have. It is the duty of the Minister to break this circle. Strangely, knowing the effect of exports on inflation, we still have to provide export incentives and assistance to exporters in the markets of the devalued countries. The whole thing is getting a little crazy, Sir. The hon. the Minister, financially the envy of the world, might well be saying to himself, “All that glitters is not gold,” with this cycle going round. The hon. the Minister knows full well that in order to plan meaningfully for soundness and stability, he must use all the human resources of South Africa to the fullest extent. But in the context of Government policy he cannot do so. He and the Government have become the prisoners of their own creation. Even worse, Mr. Speaker, there is nothing in this Budget to demonstrate any dynamic advance in those areas of development that fall within the compass of the Minister’s own ideology. Indeed, in this Budget the Estimates of Expenditure indicate a slowing down of purpose, and one can only presume that the Government has got itself well and truly bogged down.
South Africa has reached a very interesting stage. It has been said, and it is still being said, that economic factors and not political factors, will determine the future of South Africa, and it may well be that economic affluence could herald the turning point. In this Budget, Mr. Speaker, we see the mirror of South Africa’s greatness and of her tragedy. In any significant planning of our future, the retarding factor will always be the fear of inflation, and therefore the hon. the Minister, in any forward planning, will have to take measures to neutralize any inflationary trends before they have a chance to develop. As a first step, therefore, I would suggest that the hon. the Minister should give consideration to the following matters: Firstly, the further relaxation of import control, including control over the importation of capital goods for improved productivity. It is quixotic to expect local manufacturers to meet increased competition from abroad, as a result of relaxation in import control, and, at the same time, deny them the right to acquire the tools to meet such competition. It just does not make sense. Secondly, I would suggest to the hon. the Minister that he gives consideration to the selective relaxation of exchange control and the planned unfreezing of blocked rand. I would be the last to suggest the complete removal of exchange control, but I do believe that we are now in a position to allow greater latitude for funds to leave South Africa, particularly for investment purposes. I also believe that we could now begin to phase the freezing of blocked rand. I have no idea of the quantum of blocked rand still in the country that originated prior to exchange control being imposed in 1961 or 1962. But has the time not come to allow a predetermined amount of these funds to be repatriated each year, and then to apply the same principle to funds that come into the Republic and were blocked after 1962? Both these measures would be deflationary.
Sir, the hon. the Minister says that 1968 may well be a golden year for the Republic. But the question is: A golden year for whom? Perhaps for the share investor, for the land speculator, for the property developer, for the mines and perhaps for some sections of commerce and industry. But will it be a golden year for the white-collar worker, for the working man, for the householder, for the pensioner and for the taxpayer who is to-day paying high rates of tax? Will it be a golden year for the Bantu, for the Coloureds and for the Indians? We must ask ourselves: Will 1968 be the golden year, or will it be the year when the golden opportunity was lost? For in this Budget there is no imagination and little creative thinking. There is no major provision for an improvement in Government services, through modern methods, through modernization and through mechanization. There is no surge forward for higher education or for technical training. There is no proposal for the full utilization of all the human resources of the Republic. There is no grand design to end poverty in the midst of plenty. Great wealth, Sir, carries great responsibilities. I doubt whether this Government can measure up to the challenge.
In the course of my speech I shall return to certain remarks made by the two hon. members of the Opposition who have spoken up to now. But I first want to draw attention to the fact that we had four by-elections last week in a certain Western country where the Government of that country has only been in power for a few years. Three of the four seats were held by the governing party and the fourth by the opposition. The governing party lost all four by-elections, Mr. Speaker, this afternoon you announced the results of two by-elections in the Republic, and what do we find? In spite of the fact that this Government has already been in power for 20 years and ought already to have been very unpopular according to all democratic norms, the Opposition did not even have the courage to put up candidates in these by-elections. In both these cases the Government candidates were returned to this House unopposed.
They could not get candidates.
In one month and 25 days, to be precise, this Government will have been in power for 20 years, and what a success story the history of these 20 years has been! In every field of national life this Government has left its hallmark for the better, and among the sectors which probably figure most prominently are the financial and economic ones. The hon. the Minister of Finance has now placed the shining crown of a brilliant Budget on this 20-year success story. Seldom has a Budget evoked so much spontaneous praise from the Opposition Press. Seldom has the Opposition Press afforded so little assistance to Opposition speakers in their speeches here. Let us look at this success story, Mr. Speaker. Step by step our citizenship was developed until we attained our own Republic in 1961, a Republic which on 5th October, 1960, could admittedly muster the support of only a little more than half the registered voters, but which now, after seven years, is the proud possession of almost 100 per cent of all the citizens of the Republic.
I really want to speak about the economic development over these 20 years. While our national income in 1948 was R1,701 million, our gross domestic product in 1967 was R9,363 million. This is, admittedly, at present prices, but even at the prices which prevailed in 1958 this still amounts to R7,859 million, or R5,240 million at the prices which prevailed in 1948, i.e. still three times as much as it was in 1948. But not only has the over-all prosperity of the country increased to this extent—the prosperity of each individual citizen has also increased. In the last ten years alone the real gross domestic product per capita increased from R282 to R371—an increase of 31 per cent. This is indeed a success story which one encounters nowhere else in the world. I want to concede that this success may to a large extent be attributed to our rich mineral resources, but we must not forget that their development and exploitation were promoted and facilitated by a sound financial policy. We find the same enormous progress in our industrial production. It increased from R401 million in 1948 to R721 million in 1966—it more than quadrupled. To a large extent this may be attributed to the enterprise of entrepreneurs and loyal workers. Nevertheless I think that a large part of the credit for this can be claimed by this Government, especially on account of its policy of protection in respect of industries and its sensible labour legislation, which has brought about unprecedented labour peace.
Under the circumstances I do not want to be harsh with the hon. the Opposition this afternoon. They most certainly have a thankless and, indeed, an impossible task. A Government with such a record of success over 20 years and a Budget such as this, which crowns its proud achievement, stands like a mighty concrete fortress upon a mountain—unassailable. The poor Opposition now has to assail this fortress with nothing more to hand than a few stones of dissatisfaction—such as the fact that the excise tax on beer has not been reduced, as mentioned by the hon. member for Pinetown; that the salaries of public servants have been increased to a greater extent; that there has been such a small increase in pensions, a pitiful R1 per month, they say; and that the farming community is not being granted sufficient assistance. For this reason I say that I am not dealing too harshly with the Opposition, because the weapons at their disposal are totally inadequate for attacking this fine Budget. This Budget once again shows the remarkable strength of our economy. During the past two years, and especially in 1967, we had to take drastic monetary and fiscal steps to curb inflation. The countries of the West had the same problems as we had. They also had to adopt severe measures to curb inflation. What was the result? In most Western European countries the annual rate of growth decreased to under 4 per cent per annum. I shall now quote a few figures to indicate what the expected rate of growth in the present year is according to the predictions of the European Economic Commission. West Germany virtually had no growth in the past year. They expect that in West Germany which is experiencing a measure of revival, there will be an economic growth of 4 per cent. In France, which had a growth of only 4 per cent last year, they expect 4.5 per cent this year. In Austria they expect 3 per cent, in Denmark also 3 per cent, in Sweden 3.3 per cent, in Finland 3 per cent, in Italy 5 per cent, and in the U.S.A. 4.5 per cent. Let us examine our own position. According to the White Paper our real rate of growth (not according to market prices) for the years 1962 to 1967 was no less than 6.9 per cent per year. In 1967, when we had to take drastic measures to curb the economy a little in order to check inflation, we still had a rate of growth of 6.9 per cent, and not one of less than 4 per cent as in the case of the Western European countries. This is the amazing thing about our economy, namely that in spite of these restrictive measures to combat inflation, we still had a rate of growth of 6.9 per cent. Now the hon. the Opposition asks—and the hon. member for Parktown has just tried to make much of this point—“Who is this golden year of 1968 for?” They say that it is most certainly not for the white collar and ordinary workers. Let us examine the facts. It is a fact that our cost-of-living index has increased by 22 per cent since 1958, because with 1958 as the basis, at a figure of 100, the index figure now stands at 122. During these years the figure has only increased by 22 per cent. On the other hand, wages and salaries for these people about whom the hon. member for Parktown is so concerned, namely the white-collar worker and the public servants, have risen by 41 per cent, as compared with an increase of 22 per cent in the cost of living. The wages of mine-workers—these are the workers about which the hon. member is so concerned—have increased by 44 per cent: this is precisely double the cost-of-living index figure. The wages of factory workers have increased by 47 per cent. The important point which I want to emphasize here, is that despite the drastic monetary and fiscal measures we are able to maintain this amazing rate of growth. This applies not only to the overall picture, but also in respect of each individual citizen of this country. Although our rate of inflation increased by only 1.8 per cent over the past year, the gross domestic product increased by 6.9 per cent. As a result our rand is to-day one of the strongest monetary units in the world. We do still have rate of exchange control. I readily concede this. The hon. member for Parktown also referred to it. But I understand from the Treasury that a new phenomenon is becoming evident. Previously, when foreign investors wanted to invest capital in the Republic, they always first got in touch with the Treasury and tried to reach an agreement about the repatriation of that capital. Now that capital enters without inquiries necessarily being made as to whether the capital may be repatriated. Where can one get a better and firmer assurance of the strength of the rand than precisely this? What striking proof of confidence in this Government after 20 years at the helm! As far as the Opposition is concerned, I want to leave it at that. I repeat: I am glad that I am not in their shoes in having to attack such a Budget with nothing but a few stones in my hands.
I now want to draw attention to a few aspects of the Budget which in my opinion deserve to be mentioned. Firstly, I want to refer to a figure which we do not find in this Budget speech, but which we do find in this statement of revenue and expenditure. I am referring to the subsidies paid to Provincial Administrations. These subsidies are calculated in terms of Act 38 of 1957. According to that the basic year is the financial year 1955-’56. The subsidy is calculated on 50 per cent of the total expenditure of the province, excluding national roads and including a subsidy of 30 per cent on special roads. I am saying that the subsidy is calculated on 50 per cent of the expenditure of the province for the year 1955-’56. I want to add that the subsidy was subsequently increased by 6 per cent per year. The result was that the percentage of the subsidy in relation to the province’s own revenue decreased from year to year. It decreased to such an extent that in the year 1967-’68 the subsidy portion of the provincial expenditure in the case of the Cape Province was only 36 per cent. The provinces have not been able to provide the necessary services because the position has deteriorated over the years. Approved building schemes in the Cape which have accumulated have now reached a total of R111 million, and this year, according to the Estimate of Expenditure on Loan Account, buildings to the value of R25 million can be built. Fewer services are being provided on Revenue Account as well. We have for example the position that free books are being issued in the Transvaal, but not in the Cape. Just recently I had the case of a mother who phoned me and asked me, “What is the matter with you people here in the Cape? We have just moved here from the Transvaal; there our children received free books, amongst other things, and here we must pay for books”. Mr. Speaker, this is the result of an outmoded subsidy system, which it is hoped will soon be changed. But I also want to point out that the poorer provinces are compelled, not only to provide fewer services, but also to impose higher taxes, such as higher income tax, more expensive motor vehicle licences, not even to mention the Free State dog tax, in order to be able to continue providing the limited services.
The relatively weak position of the Cape Province is attributable to two factors. The first is its tremendous area, because the Cape Province is as large as the Transvaal, the Free State and two Natals together. Consequently the Cape Province cannot afford to provide all the necessary services, such as road, school bus services, etc. Secondly, it is a relatively poor province. It does not have many natural resources. It does indeed have diamonds and tremendous iron ore reserves, but the people controlling these riches live in Johannesburg and Pretoria, with the result that they pay income tax there and that the Cape Province does not receive its share of the money from those resources. Then the Cape Province still has its divisional council rates, which are very onerous, especially for the farmers of this province. Do you know, Mr. Speaker, how much the farmers of the Cape and townspeople who also pay divisional council rates, paid in respect of divisional council rates in 1966? No less than R9,520,544. This Budget makes provision for an extra-statutory payment to the Cape of R17,495,000 as against R4,055,000 last year. This is a very great relief to the Cape Province, but it is an ad hoc concession, which really ought to become permanent, because even this extra-statutory payment does not bring the total subsidy of the Central Government to the Province anywhere near the 50 per cent mark. The subsidy system in terms of Act No. 38 of 1957 has the effect, in the words of the Borckenhagen Commission, of strongly favouring the haves. I want to repeat this. The Borckenhagen Commission’s interim report said that the subsidy system had the effect of strongly favouring the haves.
In 1962 the Schumann Commission was appointed to investigate all these matters. I understand that the Department is working very hard on the report of the Schumann Commission. I trust that it is not beyond human ingenuity to devise a formula which will afford equal treatment to all the citizens of the Republic. Such an equitable formula simply must be found, one which is not on an ad hoc basis, but on a permanent basis, and which will do justice to all the citizens of our Republic. Because if we cannot do this, I am afraid that this provincial system of ours will more and more become a dividing factor in our national economy, and that must not happen. In the meantime I want to say thank you very much on behalf of the Cape Province for this extra-statutory payment of R17,495,000 this year.
Lastly, in the very short time at my disposal, I want to refer to the announcement by the hon. the Minister that the Government has appointed a commission of inquiry into the fiscal and monetary policy in South Africa, with the special injunction to investigate the relation of taxation and related matters to the maintenance of economic stability and growth. Mr. Speaker, may I submit something for consideration by this Commission and by the Government? I indicated earlier that the amazing fact about our economy over the past 20 years, and especially in the past financial year, was that we succeeded in checking inflation to a very large extent, in spite of the fact that we maintained a real rate of growth of almost 7 per cent. But there is one distressing bottleneck in this economy, namely a considerable shortage of skilled manpower. The Opposition’s solution to this problem, as the hon. member for Parktown indicated, is the shortcut of the abolition of work reservation. The late C. J. Langenhoven said that there was a very good reason why the main road did not run along the route taken by the short-cut. Therefore I also want to be wary of this shortcut and rather by-pass it.
Another solution is large-scale immigration. It is valuable in augmenting our skilled manpower, but it is not enough. Therefore I want in all modesty to suggest a third method. Up to matric all education is free. Now, I do not want post-matric education to be completely free as well, but I want at least a very large portion of it to be deductible for income tax purposes. The State recognizes the principle in agriculture, mining and manufacturing industry that capital expenditure incurred with a view to securing increased income in future is deductible for income tax purposes. I can think of no better place for the application of this principle than higher post-matric education. Where can one find a better example of increased earning capacity than in the case of higher education? Purely from the fiscal point of view, it will be a sound policy to encourage such higher education by means of tax concessions. A few years ago I saw the results of an investigation which was made in the U.S.A. Those heads of families in the U.S.A. who have only had a primary school education have an average income of only $4,800 per year on which tax is paid. In the case of heads of families who have had a secondary school education it increases to $6,300 per year. In the case of heads of families who have had university and college education it increases to $9,300 per year. This results in these men having to pay much more income tax in the future. Therefore I say that, from a fiscal point of view, it would be a very sound policy to make the costs incurred in preparing people better for their role in life, to a large extent deductible for income tax purposes. Because it will not only help us to relieve this bottle-neck of a shortage of skilled manpower, but it will also make it possible to collect a much larger amount in income tax in the future, as these men will have much larger incomes. I therefore foresee for us not only a golden 1968, but also golden years far into the future, which will have the result that this Government will remain in office for many years to come.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Paarl said that he wishes to treat the Opposition gently. That is very kind of him. He also said that he is glad he is not in my shoes in having to follow him. I am also glad. If he in the Opposition were to make a speech like that, we would have to consider putting him into another provincial group. We could not accept anything as weak as that. He appears to be the statistician of the finance group on the other side. I remember that once Mr. Havenga reminded us of the old saying that figures never lie but liars figure. I have always had that in mind so that I have been very nervous about quoting figures unless I was quite sure of what I was doing. When we say that under this Government great wealth has been created, it is quite true, but the Government does not create the wealth. The Government’s function is to hold the ring and to create the conditions and as they have protested themselves, to give private enterprise the opportunities to create the wealth we need. Agriculture, industry, mining and so on have to be assisted to make it possible for them to create this wealth.
I am very glad the hon. member spoke about the desirability of immigration. We should never forget that they destroyed a magnificent immigration plan for this country. I am an immigrant and I am very interested in immigration. A flow of immigrants comes to a country after some great disturbance in the world. In this case it was after the Second World War. They also came after the First World War. But after the Second World War we introduced this scheme under the Smuts government and this Government destroyed it. What a pity that was. But as we say in Afrikaans: “Ons moenie ou koeie uit die sloot haal nie.”
When the hon. member pleaded for more expenditure on education, was he referring only to the education of the Whites or did it include the Coloureds and the Bantu? I am not quite sure about that. I do not think that an historical survey of the past 20 years is part of this Budget debate. He will have plenty of opportunity to make those speeches at Paarl when the celebrations on the 20 years of Nationalist government are held next month. He should not hold them here in advance.
I should like to have a word with the hon. member for Queenstown who was the chief speaker on the other side in support of the hon. Minister of Finance. I am not going to go into detail about his speech because it was dealt with by the hon. member for Parktown. He spoke about estate duty. He has more experience of estate duty than I have but I would say that I think estate duty is not a tax we should have. I was born and bred in a country which has never had estate duty and for a very good reason. We always regarded it as a tax on capital and we were opposed to any tax on capital. Tax a man’s income but not his capital. An estate duty is a tax on capital. Some years ago the hon. member for Peninsula proposed that it should be abolished altogether. I think that is a very sound suggestion. What is the income of the Government from estate duty? It is surely very little.
It is R20 million.
Well, that is not a great deal. I should think it is hardly worth the trouble involved. I think the hon. the Minister should also consider whether the gifts’ tax in its present form is really worth the candle. I do not think it is.
I come now to the most important part of the hon. member for Queenstown’s speech. When he quoted from the newspapers he was really at his best. He told us what the English-language Press and the Afrikaans-language Press said about the Budget and about the general feeling in the country as a whole. These are some of the phrases he used: “A Budget of strength; holding the balance; good Budget, good Minister, good Government, etc.” [Interjections.] I am very glad the hon. members agree because what they say is exactly what the people I spoke to about the Budget had to say. Why did they say this? They say it is standstill Budget and that we are marking time. They say there is no need for change. The taxpayer of this country has been so drubbed and kicked about by this Government over the last ten years that when he gets a Budget which does not increase taxation he says that it must be a good Budget. I asked a man—a fellow we call the man in the street—the other day what he thought of the Budget. He said: “It seems all right. They have not raised the taxes, have they?” They have become so accustomed to this Government raising taxes that when a neutral Budget that does nothing is introduced, they say: “Thank goodness for that.” In other words, there is no chorus of praise; there is a sigh of relief. That is the attitude of the public to-day. They say: “Thank goodness it is over for another 12 months.” Last year the hon. the Minister even threatened that he might revise taxes in the course of the year. He has not mentioned that this year. Only once did he talk about that and I shall return to it later.
I should like to say something about the Budget as well. The hon. the Minister has a magic word: Inflation. Whenever anything of a financial nature is discussed nowadays we must bring in the word inflation. In his speech the hon. the Minister gave us in his first paragraph and in his last paragraph warnings of the threat of inflation. All through the Budget speech we heard about inflation. I should like to talk about this. We have a picture of the hon. the Minister girding himself in armour with his escutcheon shining in the sun, sallying forth to fight the dragon and saying: “To the battlements to struggle against the dragon and the many-headed hydra.” One of the cartoonists was so swept away that he put the many heads of the snake on to the dragon. He probably felt that we should have it all at once. The contributors to the Budget should really get together and get their metaphors right because they clash at times. We are fighting inflation. But where does it come from? It is not something that has crossed the border overnight. It is not an invasion of the terrorists. According to the attitude of hon. members on the other side this is something that had to be fought in 1967. It is nothing of the sort.
Now that hon. members are quoting the White Paper, I should like to have a shot at quoting the White Paper myself where the figures are given for consumer prices from 1962 to 1967, a period of five years. Here we see that the price of food has increased by an average of 4 per cent per annum. They did not talk about that three or four years ago. I have the Budgets for the past three or four years. The hon. the Minister of Finance said two or three years ago that there was no immediate danger of inflation, but there it was. It had been there for years. I return to the White Paper. The average increase on all items is approximately 3¼ per cent for the same period. Inflation was there all the time and the Government did nothing about it. Now they say that inflation is with us, it has invaded the country. They shout: “To arms. We must drive it out!” It is unfortunate that this should happen. With proper control it would not have been necessary. What is happening to-day is that the Government is waking up to the danger of inflation. They should have been awake four or five years ago. Then we would not have had this position. That is the difficulty we have to-day.
Now, Sir, what is this danger of inflation? What are the elements and the factors in this inflation? I am going to follow the argument of the hon. the Minister, a very well stated argument, if I may say so. I want to follow his order. One of the first dangers, he says, is the inflow of capital, and he gives us that several times. He says that with capital coming into the country and looking for employment, more inflation is inevitable. Well, I do not think the Minister is quite logical. For many years I have asked questions in this House about blocked rands and the non-resident shareholder’s tax. When the man from overseas wishes to get his money out of the country, the Minister makes an offer to him, about once a month. In the year 1967 I asked this question: What was the total amount of blocked rands invested in Government five-year loans during 1966? The answer was R1,222,000—R1,222,000 over 12 months! What is the good of having it? And then this year, a week or two ago, I asked a similar question. I asked what was the figure for 1967. I asked how many issues of five-year nonresident bonds were there. The answer was 13, and the total amount was R3.5 million. But the Minister gives us figures of R1,600 million coming into the country. Why have this blocked rand account at all? We do not need it. Is it not possible for us to say to investors that they can invest their money here freely, and after all, is this not the Government that said to the American-South African Investment Corporation: You can invest your money in South Africa and take it out whenever you like, take out your profits and take out your gold, provided you do not have a South African shareholder? That was ten years ago.
Surely the time has arrived when the South African investor ought to have a chance to invest in these companies. There are so many of them, petrol and oil companies and tyre companies. If a company comes to invest in South Africa, the South African investor should have the opportunity of taking part in their investment, not only to supply the labour, not only to have preferent shares, but they should have the right to subscribe to the equity of the company. Perhaps the Minister thinks he should sell those blocked rand bonds. I do not.
The next cause of inflation, according to the hon. the Minister, is the rise in export earnings. Surely he does not object to that. Is that inflation, too? The Minister told us about the balance of payments which is the indicator, as the eyes are to the human body. But the rise in exports has been very good. I do not think that is a serious consideration for causing inflation. Is there anybody in this House who thinks a rise in the exports of this country is a cause for concern about inflation? Let us get on to the next one, the harvesting of crops. Because they had a good year last year, that is inflationary! What do we do about that? As a matter of fact, it was so inflationary, according to the speech, that had we had another good mealie crop this year we would probably all have been ruined! If this is inflationary, inflation would have got out of bounds, according to that story.
Now we come to the next one, the expectations of investors in equities. Why should we not invest in equities? The Government is indirectly investing in equities. The Government owns the I.D.C., which has just been issuing shares in investing companies, competing with the mutual savings funds. We have just had National Selections put on the market, and over-subscribed 15 times. That is a Government investment. Give them some more. In other words, sell the assets of the I.D.C. to the people. That would remove one of the chief causes of inflation. They are doing it at present, but they are doing it on a very small scale. But that is the answer. Industrialists have recommended that for years.
We come to the next one. The public sector is not yet satisfied. We must have more money for that, and this is inflationary, too. But after all, that is for the infrastructure. If the Government is going to spend, that can be justified, but if private enterprise is going to spend, that cannot be justified. The infrastructure must be provided. Therefore he tells us that he must have more money for his own departments.
We come to the next one, salaries and wages, salaries to the Railways and public servants amounting to R43 million and R25 million, injected into the economy. Think of the effect of that on the cost of living. But, you see, Sir, that is done by the Government. Let me quote the Minister on this point. I think he is really at his best here, when he gives us this wonderful euphemism—
And now the word “inflation” is never mentioned—
Sir, all increases in salaries and wages are spread over a period of time. But when the Government is putting that money in, it is justified. That is justified inflation, but in the private sector it is not. If the private sector says they are going to raise wages as well, the Minister tells us in his speech that would not be justified. Surely that is illogical. Why should they not raise wages if the Minister has done it? They have the right to do it.
Then I come to the next one. I wish to deal with the tax concession. I want to say that all taxation concessions are welcome at any time. There was not very much for the family man, but what there was was good. Then we come to wine and beer and the tax on them—Bantu beer, not ordinary beer. About three years ago we had the tax on beer increased and the tax on wine has been decreased regularly ever since I have been in this House, so that I now doubt whether there is any tax on it left. Not only did we increase the tax on beer, but we said that one brewery would be taxed at a higher rate than another brewery because it produces more beer. Can anything be more absurd than that? But that was passed through the House in spite of our arguments and objections. I now want to tell the hon. the Minister in all seriousness what has happened. We have been anxious to change the drinking habits of our young people. Young men, after their rugby or tennis, used to have their beer or two, but it is expensive to-day. They do not drink wine; one cannot because that is not the time to drink wine, so what are they doing? I have been told by people who are good observers that they are beginning to drink spirits. I think that is a very serious development in the case of our young men. If any hon. member here has children, he would regard that as a very serious development indeed. I would suggest to the Minister that he give this second thoughts. It is most important that he should.
I come to the next one. There are no concessions for income taxpayers. The Minister had a perfect reply to that, not only this year but also for the future. He has a commission, and if he has a commission the thing is easy.
As to the gold mines, I should like to say a word on behalf of the shareholders, and not only those in South Africa. When we think of the mines, we cannot tax the mines; we tax the shareholders who have shares in the mines. An adjustment has been made, and it has been done by consent. Nothing has been given. It is a new arrangement, and an adjustment by consent must no doubt be sound because it is an agreed measure. But I come to what the hon. the Minister had to say, and I should like him to explain one thing. I do not like what he had to say to us about mining. He said that if the price of gold on the free market should rise considerably above the official price and the income of the gold mines increase substantially, it might become necessary to take additional steps to ensure that this additional income would not cause undue inflationary pressure on the economy. I want to remind the Minister that if there is an increase in the price of gold of, say, 50 per cent, giving a gold price of about R52.50, the Minister in some cases will get 77½ per cent of that through his leases and through his income tax. Then he is not satisfied with that; he taxes the dividends in the hands of the shareholder as well. The shareholder will get 22½ per cent. I do not think the hon. the Minister should issue any threats or warnings of this kind, but I will leave that for the time being.
I now come to one concession which was not given but, I think, should have been given, because we have asked for it for years. As it is put much more eloquently than I can express it, I want to read a short statement in a letter from an old colleague of mine, a school master now retired. He writes on 29th March, two days after the Budget—
That sums it up. There should be no loan levy, as we argued here, for any man over 70. What you are asking this man to do is to save for posterity. He does not want to do that; he wants to spend his money. The thing is absurd. Many of these people have spoken to me about it. If a man is over 70, why should he have to pay at all? Well, we have tried to persuade the Minister.
I come now to the stamp duties and the marketable securities tax. I should like the Minister to have another look at that. The Minister talks about dealings through brokers on the Stock Exchange, but what about dealings which are not through brokers? What about sales over the counter? What about the third market, deals between one person and another? We will discuss that when the Bill comes before us, but in the meantime I would say to the Minister that the best course, in my opinion, would be to abolish the M.S.T., the marketable securities tax. I do not think it should be adjusted; we should be rid of it altogether, without any loss of revenue.
Now I come to the public servants. Three years ago I introduced a plan in this House for non-contributory pension schemes for the public servants, and more especially for the fighting forces. That plan was condemned by the Minister of Pensions and by the chief speaker for the finance group opposite. They said that we could not possibly have it. We have it in other countries like the United Kingdom. Instead of saying that we are going to give various fringe benefits, I say: Let us have one big one; let us pay all their contributions. The Minister of Transport has done it. He has raised wages all round. If you pay the whole of the pension contributions, you are raising wages all round. That is my suggestion.
Then I come to the question of aid to the African states. Sir, there is an old adage that charity begins at home. What about aid to the Africans in the Republic of South Africa? I have here on my desk two accounts, the first being the Estimates of Expenditure and the other the Bantu Education Estimates of Expenditure. Why are these people left out in the cold? We have a Department of Bantu Administration and part of that department is Education. Why should we have a special department for their education; why should we have a special account? Why cannot they have the same chance as the Coloureds and the Indians? Why should they be treated in this way? The hon. the Minister started off with his “shining escutcheon”. Sir, it is a big black blot on the escutcheon of South Africa that we treat these people differently. We pay for their education and we give them a fixed amount of R13 million plus their own personal tax. Sir, it was R13 million 10 years ago. We have just heard about the cost of living and what inflation there has been over 10 years. That money has depreciated by at least a quarter of its value and we have never given them a penny more than the R13 million in that account. I think the hon. the Minister should do something about this. I think hon. members on the other side will doubtless agree. They want to educate the Bantu child to go back to his homeland—“home sweet home, there is no place like homeland”. We on the other hand say that he must be educated in this country. Why do we not do it? Why do we keep this separate account?
My final word is this. I have asked the hon. the Minister on previous occasions to extend to the veterans of the 1914-’l 8 war what Mr. Eric Louw did for the veterans of the Anglo-Boer War. Sir, it is a coincidence that while the hon. the Minister was delivering his speech, boys were selling in the streets the Argus with an account of the 50th anniversary, to the day, of the Battle at Marriere wood, where the South African brigade, in its last stand, held up a whole group of the German army trying to thrust through in the biggest advance in the war by the German army. Our fellows were completely wiped out. There are some of them alive, perhaps half a dozen, some over 70 and some over 80. Why discriminate between the man who has fought in one war and the man who has fought in another war? Let the hon. the Minister follow Mr. Eric Louw. I should like to read out all that Mr. Eric Louw said but I have not the time. He was most eloquent. Mr. Eric Louw to-day is a man for whom we will always have the greatest respect. Let me quote just two very short sentences from his speech—
The same argument—
If the hon. the Minister feels that might be benefiting a man who is very well off and who pays R1,000 in income tax or even R500 in income tax, then let him keep that old soldier out. But what about my old friends, the veterans of World War I, who are not drawing a veteran’s pension, who are not in receipt of an old-age pension and who just fail to qualify under the means test? If the hon. the Minister wants to live in the memory of the old soldiers of South Africa, this is the thing for him to do.
The hon. member for Kensington raised so many matters here that it would take me almost an hour to deal with them all, but I do nevertheless want to react to a few of the points which he raised here. One of the first points he raised was that this Government had put a stop to immigration after 1948. But let us take a clear view of that matter. When the United Party was in power, it had one obsession, and that was to bring immigrants here as voting cattle. That was during a period when there was unemployment in the country; it was during a period when the United Party Government had to find work for returning soldiers. They did not have work for those people. [Interjection.] That hon. member knows it. Since coming into power this Government has always looked after its own people first. Where we needed workers to absorb into our industrial economy, where there was a shortage of artisans, we brought out immigrants. In recent years there has been a great shortage of these people, and this Government took the necessary steps, but we are not bringing immigrants to South Africa as voting fodder to walk round here without work. We as a party have always believed that there should be immigration through the cradle. That applies to all nations of the world, but when one finds a situation, such as exists to-day, where one needs workers, then one has to bring immigrants out here. Since I am talking about this subject, I want to advocate that in future we should even make use of our taxation system in order to encourage larger families. As far as I am concerned we can even do away with the basic primary rebate of R62 for married couples; let us rather make it R46. I am not concerned about seeing a couple married; I should like to see children in that family. As far as I am concerned we can rather increase the child allowance to R100 per child. That is the direction in which we ought to think in future. What is the situation at the moment? This Government is spending R3.6 million annually for support to immigrants. Very well, but let us retain it, but let us spend an equal amount, or even more, on child allowances in order to encourage larger families in South Africa.
The hon. member for Kensington also pleaded that we should do away with estate duties. This amounts to R20 million annually. A moment ago the hon. member for Transkei said by way of interjection that the United Party had been pleading for many years for the abolition of estate duties. I just want to inform the hon. member that during the past recess I had the honour of leading a deputation of members on this side of the House to the hon. Minister of Finance in order to present him with the facts. We did not approach him with wild requests; we submitted facts to him, and made out a sound case, and on the strength of that the Government subsequently saw its way clear to making certain concessions. That ought to be a lesson to hon. members on that side. If they want something, then they must make out a case for it.
We were pleading for that before you came to this House.
The hon. member for Kensington also pleaded for the abolition of the donations tax. Does the hon. member not realize that if the donations tax should be abolished, there would be the danger of estate duties disappearing entirely, because then people would donate away their estates. The donation tax must be retained therefore as a precautionary measure in order to prevent people donating away their assets. The two taxes go hand in hand, one cannot separate them.
How much are we getting out of estate duties?
Approximately R20 million; the hon. member knows that.
The hon. member for Kensington stated that he had discussed the Budget with a number of people, and that they had heaved a sigh of relief because the Budget did not make provision for additional taxation. It shocks me to hear that when the public heaves a sigh of relief, a sigh of gratitude, he should be angry about that. We can be grateful for the fact that the public is actually heaving a sigh of relief because the taxes have not been increased. Then the hon. member came along and told us that consumer prices have increased and that the prices of foodstuffs had increased by 4 per cent, a sign of inflation, and that the Minister then said that the increase had only been 1.8 points. Surely the hon. member knows that this increase is not attributable to inflation; it is attributable to the drought in South Africa. Why does the hon. member not furnish this House and the people outside with the real facts? Why does he intimate here that this increase is attributable to inflation? It is a specific item which is not attributable to inflation. It is attributable to the shortage of foodstuffs. Mr. Speaker, no matter how much money one has, one cannot send the price of tomatoes soaring by eating up three cases of tomatoes in one afternoon. No, the price increases as a result of the scarcity of the product. There is a world shortage of perishable products, and we are having to import perishable products.
I just want to react to the remark made by the hon. member for Pinetown, to the effect that the hon. the Minister of Transport was wrong since he had granted a salary increase of R43 million to the railway officials, in saying that inflation had been broken, and the hon. member also maintained that this was in conflict with what the hon. the Minister of Finance had said. Sir, what the Minister of Transport said is not in conflict with what the Minister of Finance has said. The hon. the Minister of Transport said that inflation had been dealt a death-blow, but if one has dealt inflation a death-blow, then the enormous body still lies there kicking, and it must still be eliminated. The hon. the Minister of Transport saw his way clear to granting the railway officials an increase of R43 million, but what percentage does that comprise of the total wages and salaries for 1967? The total was R4,797 million. An increase of R43 million therefore only amounts to 1 per cent of the total amount paid out in salaries and wages. What difference is that going to make to our economy as a whole?
I shall return to the hon. member for Pine-town. The hon. member said here the other day that this Budget was a standstill Budget, and secondly that the public had only received crumbs. Sir, what is the state of affairs? Let us look at what happened. There was a surplus of R42.9 million. How is that surplus subsequently divided up? The former Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Dr. the hon. Albert Hertzog, pleaded as far back as December, 1966, that the Post Office should be managed on business principles and as an independent business and should be given a nest egg.
The Opposition tells us that it has always pleaded for that. It was stated by the Government at that time already that if that should happen a nest egg would have to be put aside for the Post Office. In order to implement this policy of the Government, R21 million is being transferred to the Post Office in this Budget. Ten million rand is being set aside for the strategic minerals account, i.e. the search for oil. Hon. members of the Opposition stated last year in this House that we should not spend money on searching for oil in South Africa. They do not want this country to be independent and be able to stand on its own feet as far as oil is concerned. Sir, that the Opposition should come along and plead for something like this in these times in which we are living, is simply beyond my comprehension. What happened further in this Budget? Five million rand is being set aside for the Loan Fund, for the promotion of economic co-operation with neighbouring states. I want to ask hon. members of the Opposition whether they are opposed to that. The hon. member stated that this money should have been ploughed into our own private sector. Are they against our setting aside R5 million to bring about economic co-operation with our neighbouring states? What is the hon. member for Kensington’s reply? Is he opposed to it or is he in favour of it? No, he is as silent as the grave.
Sir, is this Budget a standstill Budget? In the Estimates of Expenditure we are being asked to vote for R1,504.4 million. That is 6.1 per cent higher than the revised figure for 1967-’68. Far from being a standstill Budget, there is here this tremendous increase of 6.7 per cent. Sir, what arguments did hon. members on that side of the House put forward when we were dealing with the Additional Estimates? One of their arguments was that we should not have voted this R10 million, R5 million and R2 million for pensions this year. They objected to that and stated that the Estimates were now being increased by 4.5 per cent, and that that was far too much. However, there is now an increase of 6.7 per cent in the Estimates, but with the by-election coming up in Pretoria (West), they say the Estimates are standing still; they should have been larger. To the additional amounts in which the 6.7 per cent has been included, we still have to add other expenditure.
There is assistance to wool farmers, to the value of R1 million. For the wattle growers there is R.15 million. Concessions to public servants amounted to R22.7 million, and to pensioners R4.5 million. For increased dependence allowances there is another R.2 million, and altogether that is R28.55 million extra. It pushes that 6.7 per cent up much further. We must also take into account the taxation concessions which have been deducted from income here, and we will then see that it is even much higher. The following concessions have been made; marginal gold mines, R1.4 million; Bantu beer, R2 million; wine, R0.05 million; crude oil, R0.1 million; exporters’ concession, R2 million; income-tax for married women, R2 million; medical and confinement concessions, R0.1 million; and child rebates, R2 million. This is an amount of R9.65 million which we must add, and that gives us R38.2 million. We must also add the surplus of 1967-’68 which was also additionally incurred, i.e. R36 million, and that already gives us R74.2 million above that 6.7 per cent increase. No, this is not a standstill Budget. If we add to that the Loan Estimates, the increase of R12.66 million, and we make an adjustment for a non-reciprocal amount in respect of the purchase of the shares of the I.D.C. last year, namely R18.5 million, then that gives us an amount of R105.36 million more than the 6.7 per cent.
I want to maintain that this Budget is logical, it is consistent, it is correct, and it is healthy. As former hon. speakers have also said, the poor Opposition are finding it difficult to attack it.
As far as I am concerned, the State has three important functions to fulfill. The one function is the maintenance of the safety of the State. In that respect the State is taking outwardly directed steps. It must also take care of the safety of its inhabitants, and that task is being fulfilled by the Police. It must also see to the basic factors necessary for a thriving economy, namely the infra-structure. One of these factors is transport. The Railway Estimates dealt with the other day comprised part of our country’s finances. It goes together with the hon. Minister of Finance’s entire policy. In these Loan Estimates, R159 million is being requested, and that is R20 million more than was voted last year for transport. Surely this is not standing still. We are moving forward. Good planning is being undertaken. We shall see to it that the transport system of this country remains on a sound basis. Let us take our communication system. Here we are dealing with the Post Office, We find under the Revenue Account and the Loan Account, jointly, an amount of R145,828,000, which is R13,218,000, or 10 per cent more than last year. Surely that is not standing still. To the Post Office amount we must also add the nest egg of R21 million, and the concessions made to Post Office officials, which were included in the R22.7 million. This brings the total up to far more than R26 million. At present the amount is almost R30 million. All these figures indicate one thing only: We are making progress with our Budget. It was well planned.
We think of power, something which this Government is also making provision for. If we do not have power, if we lack water and an efficient communication system and there is anything wrong with our transport system, the private individual cannot develop and grow economically.
The Republic comprises only 5 per cent of the surface area of Africa, but we are producing twice as much power as the other 95 per cent of the continent of Africa. We possess more than 80 per cent of the continents coal. However, it is no good to leave it lying where it is. This Government must see to it that it is mined and utilized. With the encouragement and the necessary assistance which this Government is giving to Escom, the necessary development in this sphere is also taking place.
I also want to thank the Government for the steps which have been taken to assist, through Escom for example, the Cabora-Bassa scheme so that we will in future obtain power from there. The Kariba Dam further upstream on the Zambesi is only yielding an annual 9,000 million kilowatt hours, and the Aswan Dam on the Nile only 10,000 million kilowatt hours. The Cabora-Bassa scheme is going to supply 50,000 million kilowatt hours. This shows us how large in extent this scheme is. This Government has also played its part in helping this neighbouring state to move in this direction. In 1974 Escom is going to buy 1,000 megawatts of this power, and in 1980 it will have increased already to 1,700 megawatts. That is a total of 2,500 to 3,000 megawatts of the total which will be generated each year. That shows us how far ahead the Government can foresee, it sees what is good and what is necessary.
Let us take water. There is only a limited amount of agricultural land in South Africa. Globally seen there is only 121 million morgen of land in the white and in the Bantu areas, and of this only 15 per cent, that is to say 18 million morgen, can be cultivated. Of this 18 million, 16 million morgen is already being cultivated. That leaves us with only 2 million morgen on which crop production can take place. The other 103 million morgen cannot be cultivated, because it is too mountainous, too stony, too shallow, or the rainfall is insufficient. We need 20 inches of rain per annum to cultivate this soil. What are we doing to assist production on the portion which can in fact be cultivated? Water is required there. This year R75,489,000 is being spent in respect of our water affairs. Is that not a tremendous amount? The average rainfall in South Africa is nearly 18.7 inches, which is less than the 20 inches which we normally need. If we bear in mind that only 8.5 per cent of our rainfall reaches our rivers, that all goes to show in what an unfavourable position we find ourselves as compared with a country such as Wales where the corresponding percentage is 70. In the Netherlands the figure is 57 per cent. That merely goes to show in what an unfavourable position we find ourselves as regards the application of irrigation. I repeat: This Government is playing its part.
It has been alleged by hon. members on the opposite side that the public have merely received the crumbs from the table. Let us look at the crumbs which the Government is giving the public. The estimates of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing contain very interesting particulars. We find assistance and subsidies to save and maintain livestock, and to ensure that we have livestock for the future. The amount being requested for this is R3 million. This livestock assists the farmers as well as the consumers. Everyone, the farmer as well as the consumer, all members of the public, are being assisted in this way. The amount for the stabilization of butter is R4,652,000, whereas the amount for the stabilization of bread amounts to R27.788 million. The subsidy on fertilizer is R15.5 million. Expenditure and subsidies in respect of the stabilization of the price of mealies is R25.6 million. And so I can continue. That gives us almost R78 million which is being paid out in the form of subsidies by this Government in order to assist our public.
The hon. Opposition should really not try and make everyone believe that the public outside are only getting the crumbs. They are getting something sound and healthy, they are also getting what is necessary.
I want to discuss something else as well. I not only want to talk about money, because man cannot live by bread alone. There are also other things in this life which count. As far as this is concerned, I want to say a few words about the morale of our nation, in regard to certain morals, traditions and customs. Although the hon. Opposition is continually attacking us and attacking us a great deal, and we them, I nevertheless hope and trust that as far as this appeal of mine is concerned, the Opposition will not differ from me this afternoon. Mr. Speaker, excuse me for standing here reading a newspaper now, but I have Saturday morning’s Transvaler in my hand, and I now want to discuss the apparel of our women in South Africa. The following report appears on the leader page (translation)—
The report refers to an article which appeared in a certain periodical, and I am quoting the following section further on (translation)—
I think it is time that we, from this House and from all our platforms, said to the ladies of South Africa: “Please do something about your mini-dresses. They do not do you credit.” [Interjections.] I see on the front page of this newspaper photographs of four young girls in their tennis clothes. When I look at their faces I see that they are long and sour, but if I look at the next page, I see six air stewardesses with pretty, long and decent dresses, which come to just above the knee, and all all of them have friendly and animated faces. It is a pleasure to look at their faces. They do not have long faces. The dresses are a little longer.
We are not all “verkramptes”.
On paging further through the newspaper, I see a photograph of the Johannesburg College of Education’s Autumn Queen, with her two princesses. Is it not a pleasure and a pride to see how happy and animated they are?
How many inches above the knee?
Look, we do not want to become prudish, and I find it a pity that the hon. member for Durban (Point) is adopting this flippant attitude. I think he ought to feel ashamed of himself. It does not behove a person in this House, who must help to keep up the morals, the fashions and the traditions of South Africa and the honour and character of our nation to come forward with remarks like this. I think it is a disgrace.
It is your own thoughts which are like that.
I really counted on the hon. member’s support. I do not want to be prudish, but I did think that we should be sensible and decent, and I want to ask that decent clothes should be worn. We are not going to demand the impossible or the ridiculous. Or is that what that hon. member wants? I may not say what I think he wants … That is why I should rather leave this topic.
I want to conclude by saying the following. On our part we want to thank the hon. the Minister of Finance for this excellent Budget, and we hope that South Africa will be blessed with such a Minister for a long time to come.
Mr. Speaker, I was surprised to hear the previous speaker suggesting we must do away with mini-skirts. After all is said and done, the fashions over the past few years have been most attractive, especially in regard to what they show. I have no fears for the youth of the country in that regard, especially the young women, because they all know how to behave themselves. The wearer of the mini-skirt to-day becomes a mother a year or two later, and they all make good mothers and bring up their children properly. I think the hon. member should divert his attention to something more useful. I noticed when he looked at the newspaper he took a long time looking at the faces of the women appearing therein to tell us whether they were brunettes or blondes. His mind was not on his job.
I should like to discuss with the hon. the Minister of Finance a few matters connected with the financial discussion we have had here to-day. The field was covered very ably by the hon. members for Pinetown, Parktown and Kensington. Whatever may be said about the merits or demerits of the Budget, the fact remains that this is another arrangement of figures, shall I say, brought before the House and which is not really a Budget at all. The hon. the Minister, like his predecessor, estimates his revenue low, his expenditure high, does not spend as much as he expected to spend, gets in a bit more revenue, and produces a surplus. It is just as simple as that. Whatever may be said of the bounty of the Minister the fact remains that the ordinary man in the street still finds prices high. They find that steak still costs as much as it did before. He does not have it too often for that reason. The prices of foodstuffs have not come down. Young married people with two or three children have great difficulty in making ends meet. For tax purposes the concession for children is good. It is long overdue. The fact remains that young people have great difficulty. Everybody knows that the salaries of young married people with children are stretched to the limit when it comes to paying the bills at the end of the month. How many young people can buy a house to-day. A house to-day is so expensive that it is beyond the capacity of an ordinary young man starting out in life to meet the instalments. When one looks at the rate of interest charged by the various lending institutions, 8½ per cent, 9 per cent, one wonders when will it end and when will the hon. the Minister come forward with a proposition which will really bring interest rates down and make it possible for the building of houses at a price which will be within the means of young people. The question of housing is getting out of hand. The sub-economic scale is being raised quite regularly. I was disappointed in the Budget, not from the point of view of any relaxation in taxes or for any other benefits which I think were fairly well received, but I find that the hon. the Minister has no vision of the future as to where we are going, and where we are heading. What sort of a plan or goal are we intending to achieve? For the white community everything is fine. It is wonderful, but for the great mass of our people in this country there is very little. The hon. member for Kensington mentioned the state of the Bantu in regard to education, where at long last after many years an additional appropriation has been made available. I believe that, until such time as we realize and accept that these people have a stake in the country and are able to make a contribution, we will never get past this bugbear of having too few people for too many jobs, with the resultant spiralling of prices, both in regard to the purchase of merchandise and the payment of wages. What is happening to-day, is that one employer bids against another employer to get his staff away from him. I think the time has come when the Government should seriously consider taking some steps to make sure that the training of all people in this country is done on a basis, which will give them all an opportunity to earn a wage upon which they can live. I would like to see a minimum wage, based on some scientific calculation which the Government is well able to do, and that wage should be the minimum. I would like to see a minimum wage and that there be a progression because …
Irrespective of colour?
Well, the white chap will always be in front. He must be; his abilities will keen him in front. In this country of great wealth, with the tremendous assets we have, one still sees people walking on the streets in rags. It is not their own fault if they are in rags; they simply have not the means or the opportunity to earn enough money to clothe themselves decently. Until everybody in this country, even down to the lowliest, is able to earn a wage with which he can keep his family, then we are failing as a community to make the maximum use of the resources with which we have been blessed in such profusion. I know the hon. members over there always come back by …
May I ask the hon. member a question?
I do not have the time. Just be seated like a good boy. If the hon. member wants to make a speech, he can do so when he likes.
Mr. Speaker, these are the matters which affect the vast majority of people in this country. For example, the hon. the Minister was good enough to increase the old age pension for Coloureds by 50 cents. That is a princely amount. I often wonder if any hon. member in this house has tried to find out how far 50 cents goes when meeting the monthly bills. In 1966 Whites received an extra R2; Coloured people did not get anything. This year Whites receive R1; Coloured people get only 50 cents. The difference in the scale is such that to-day a white person on an old age pension, which I do not think is adequate, receives R32 a month; the Coloured man gets R15. I believe that from all these globular amounts which are mentioned, surely some of these pensions should be raised. Surely the ex-serviceman, as appealed for by the hon. member for Kensington, in regard to the Coloured man as well, from the first world war, should be considered. Surely these people should all be brought into the scope of the bounty of the Minister, because some of those men laid down their lives; some came home. They spilled their blood, the same as their white colleagues did. Those who survived and came back, should surely be looked after. Surely they should get something more than they are getting.
The hon. the Minister spoke of allocating an amount of R5 million for aid to underdeveloped countries. I do not quarrel with that; but I do put it to him sincerely that he could spend that money at home to greater advantage. A matter that should be discussed at some length in this House is the conditions under which this money will be granted or paid to these under-developed countries in Africa. Surely Parliament should have some say. Surely we should know the terms and conditions under which this is going to be done. Surely we are not going to be called upon to vote quite blindly an amount of money like that, which creates a precedent and establishes a principle. I say that there are enough under-developed people in our own country claiming our attention before we go outside and start looking for other customers.
When I see the conditions in the various townships which are allocated to Bantu, I wonder when we as a community expect them to enjoy and share in the privileges which we enjoy. When I see houses so small that one cannot swing a cat, where there is no water laid on—and they have to go down the road—the rooms so small that they can take no furniture. All that can really be said, is that it is a roof over their heads and a wall to keep the wind out in the cold nights. I realize better than most people do, what a formidable task it would be to uplift these people to a scale and a standard which one would say is in keeping with a civilized nation and its achievements. We have succeeded in all fields of activity. Our technical skills are high. Our engineers and medical men are among the best in the world. But we have this enormous mass of people whom we do not consider as part of our country when dealing with our finances every year. I therefore ask the hon. the Minister to consider making more money available for the benefit of these underprivileged members of our community. The Minister could quite easily budget for a deficit if he really needed the money because if these people were given the training and the opportunity to do a job, they would become an asset. We have just heard from one of the speakers on the other side that immigrants are going to provide the necessary manpower, the journeymen to fill the vacancies. It is a strange thing that we have with us in our own country two million Coloured people whom we know could quite easily be the immigrants required. They are with us and they are good tradesmen. They have the skill and ability to learn. Surely our thinking in 1968 should be directed into the future. Surely we should be looking to the future because we sit down here at the bottom end of a vast continent and we expect to stay here a long time. We expect to develop all we have. We should consider what kind of assistance we are going to give our neighbours. Is it to be technical which I believe to be the right thing. I think that we should teach people to help themselves.
I therefore come back to my theme of this afternoon, namely that we should help the Bantu to help himself and stand on his own feet and make the best of his opportunities. But we have to give him the tools with which to do the job. As an illiterate man he has no prospects, but as an educated man he has every prospect. I say quite frankly that although the hon. members on the Government side are always so afraid of any progress by the black man, I can assure them that the white man will keep in front. His technical skills are superior and always have been. His tradition, his knowledge and his background are such that he must always be in front. I cannot understand why we should have this anxiety and fear or, if you like, a phobia in regard to this matter.
We have in my opinion far too many financial institutions. We have had discussions as to whether foreign companies should have equities in this country and whether our people should have the opportunity to buy those equities. I often wonder whether the number of financial institutions in relation to the amount of money circulating among them are not responsible for the inordinately high state of the stock market. I think that we must look into the future with a certain amount of anxiety as to what could happen. In regard to the problem with which we are faced now, namely the gold question, I should like to know from the hon. the Minister whether we have observers at the meetings which are taking place overseas. Do we have firsthand knowledge of what is happening there? Do we know how America intends to defend the dollar? Do we really know the reasons why the French wish to stay out of the gold pool? These are questions to which I think everybody wants answers, because, if anything went wrong in regard to gold, we would then really be in a sorry state. I only hope that good sense is going to prevail. There are three schools of thought in this country, namely the one which advocates adhering to the gold pool, the one which advocates adherence to the French group and another which advocates a little bit of each, in other words to sell some gold on the free market and to channel some into the gold pool. Whether or not what is being done is possible or not, I am unable to say. I do believe that by now the hon. the Minister should be in the position to give us some indication as to what the intentions of the Government are, or at least, the lines along which they are thinking. I do not think that this is a matter which can be allowed just to drift, because we are providing large sums of money. One which comes to mind is the enormous sum of money we are again spending on Defence. We have to be prepared and we realize that. What does strike me is the amount of money which is being put into the special equipment fund. I should like to ask the hon. the Minister whether the money in that fund is being spent. What happens to it and how much stands to its credit? I ask this because this is a large amount of money. I think that the House is entitled to know what is done with it. We have heard reports of the difficulties we have been encountering in obtaining the latest and most modern equipment. I think that this House sympathizes with the Minister and the Government in that regard. But in terms of hard cash, the fact remains that an awful lot of money is going into that department. I think that we are entitled to know whether the Minister is satisfied, that it is being spent wisely. I should be quite happy to accept from him any assurance that that is the case. I should like to have an answer in regard to the special equipment fund. I should like to know how much stands to its credit and how much has been spent.
Another matter which causes me great concern is the amount of money which has been allocated under the Coloured Affairs Vote. It is a little more than R50.000.000. I should like to ask the hon. the Minister whether he is satisfied, because he must have been consulted, when the Government decided to establish this new Coloured Council, that that Council can at any time become so independent, as to be independent of him, and the control he has over the financial affairs of all the departments in this country. We know that every income tax form asks for a declaration as to whether one is White, Coloured, Asiatic or Bantu. I should like to ask the hon. the Minister whether he gave consideration to the question of the expenditure of this large sum of money by the new council. I want to know whether it is possible, in his opinion, to split the finances of this country, because unless the finances of this country are split, equitably, with this council, which will be independent, and with the sky as the limit, the whole scheme will fall to the ground. I should like the hon. the Minister to deal with this question and make a statement. He must have been consulted before these estimates were presented. We have had assertions from the other side that this amount of money was going to come under the control of this council, in due course. Therefore, the Minister should have known and he should tell us how it is going to work. Are these people ever going to be independent financially? Does he think that is possible, no matter how far in the future? Does he think this can be brought about? I ask this because there are many people outside who are wondering what is going to happen.
I now want to refer to the R.S.A. Fund. The Minister has taken the credit for, and is pleased about, the amount of money which has flowed into this fund—the 6 per cent Treasury bonds free of tax. My experience in this field tells me that this amount of money is money that has merely been transferred from the smaller lending institutions to this fund, the attraction being—it is a good though unfair one—that those investments are not subject to tax. I recall that when participating bonds were first introduced there was a large flight of money into these bonds because they carried something like 8 per cent or 8½ per cent interest. The Minister then decided to put a stop to it and made these bonds long-term bonds for three years. But the building societies still lost money; money still left them until they reached the stage, where they found themselves without funds to finance the building of houses, for which applications came before them. Now building societies are allowed to accept tax-free investments to a limited extent. All this gives me the impression that financially speaking, the hon. the Minister is like a dog chasing his tail. I think it is time that he gets down to this problem properly because, by offering one set of conditions, which is more attractive than another set does not create any new money—it is merely taking money from one institution to another. By this he creates problems which ought not to have been created. The question of controls has been discussed here by more abler men than I. Experience teaches us that one control calls for another; the one cures one disease whilst another may create a disease, which may even be worse than the one cured. One of the troubles with this country is that we have too many white-collar workers filling in forms, making returns, avoiding this that and the other pitfall, whereas they could be gainfully employed in productive work. I should like to see the hon. the Minister of Finance initiating a campaign to do away with all this paperwork with which the business community is being saddled. To-day we are looking for artisans to man the machines and to make the wheels of the factory turn, while we have a whole host of workers in offices filling in forms and asking for this that and the other thing. These days have come to an end, because in the modern age, the computer age, these things ought to be streamlined—not least of all the Government service itself. To me the entire situation presents an opportunity for investigation of efficiency in all fields with a view to getting more people to do productive work and fewer the paperwork. Everybody having dealings with the Government knows how many forms there are to fill in—as a matter of fact, they are pushed under one’s nose over every counter. The time for this has passed. We live in a modern age. We have got to be competitive; we are competitive; and we can be competitive, because we have the ability, we have the brains and we have the people. All I say is that all these should be used more productively and the person who is to bring that about is the Minister of Finance.
Mr. Speaker, there is an old English proverb which says that “A fool can ask more questions in one day than a wise man can answer in a lifetime.” Now, if I look at all the speeches made by hon. members on that side of the House on the Budget to-day, I must say that this proverb is applicable to them par excellence. I want to refer to what the hon. member for Karoo, who has just sat down, said at the beginning of his speech. The hon. member began his 30-minute speech with an impossible, and I would almost say stupid, statement. He said that what we are now discussing “is not a budget at all”. Now I should like to know what a budget is if it is not the expression of the financial policy of the party in power? If hon. members on the opposite side had taken the trouble to determine for themselves without any prejudice what the concept “financial policy of a state” meant, they would have had to admit that this Budget in every respect meets the requirements set by the financial policy of a state.
However, I first want to deal with a few matters mentioned by the hon. member for Karoo. The hon. member said, inter alia, “The man in the street finds prices high.” That is true. But it is also true that the policy of this Government, and especially last year’s Budget of the hon. Minister of Finance, has been a great help towards South Africa’s winning the fight against inflation. The higher prices against which the hon. member objects are therefore being curbed. The hon. member also asked, “Who can buy a house to-day?” Has the hon. member not read the White Paper? Out of a total appropriation of R2,098 million an amount of R76.9 million is being provided for housing. This amount is over and above the amount of R14 million which the hon. the Minister of Transport voted for Railway housing in his Budget. This makes a total of R90 million. In spite of this, however, the hon. member asked, “Who can buy a house to-day?” The hon. member also said, “We have no vision for the future”, whereas the hon. the Minister of Finance put it clearly that the main object of the Budget is to counter inflation finally. It is precisely about not taking sufficient action against inflation that hon. members on that side of the House have been blaming the Government for years. The hon. members for Pinetown and Park-town often make the complaint that “We are doing too little, too late.” The hon. member for Karoo, however, now comes along and says: “We have no vision for the future.”
He is talking about the United Party.
That must be it, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member also said, “There are too few people for too many jobs.” When the hon. the Minister of Finance says that credit restrictions must stay, it is criticized by that side of the House. They want to create still more employment for non-existent people. Why? I can see only one reason for this. The hon. the Opposition wants to force this Government and the National Party by economic means to apply labour integration. It would serve their purposes with a view to eventual political integration. They could deny this now, but they are not saying a word.
The hon. member for Karoo also said, “Pensions must be raised.” The hon. member made a lengthy plea that pension benefits, which have already been increased by the hon. the Minister of Finance, should be increased still further. The Government is blamed year after year for not curbing Government expenditure. Government expenditure is alleged to be the very element which encourages inflation. The hon. the Opposition, like the hon. member for Karoo to-day, says year after year that “pensions must be raised”. The hon. member for Karoo also referred to the nonwhite townships. He said that there was no water supply, that the rooms were small, and added a whole series of other complaints. Surely this implies more Government expenditure? This only serves to emphasize the lack of policy of the hon. the Opposition with regard to Government finances. The hon. member for Kensington said that it was typical of the Government to increase taxes annually. If it so happened that increased taxes were not announced in any particular year, it was a good budget. The hon. member implies that there should be a reduction in taxes, that there should be more “hand-outs”, that more money should be spent. Surely by these arguments the hon. Opposition destroy their aims?
I want to come back to an aspect dealt with by my colleague the hon. member for Sunny-side with reference to the impression which the hon. members for Parktown and Pinetown tried to create here. The Government was allegedly blowing hot and cold as far as inflation is concerned. These hon. members said that the hon. the Minister of Transport had said that the battle against inflation had been won, whereas the hon. the Minister of Finance said that inflation had not yet been overcome. Because the memories of hon. members on that side of the House are rather short, I should like to quote what the hon. Ministers said. The hon. the Minister of Transport said in column 2062, No. 6 of the weekly edition of Hansard, that—
The hon. the Minister did not say that the war against inflation was over. What he did say was that the war against inflation was being won. Surely this is true. Who would dispute it? Do those hon. members want to dispute it? On page 24 of the White Paper we read under the heading “Price indices” that—
The hon. the Minister of Transport was therefore entitled to say that the war against inflation was being won. I also want to read to you what the hon. the Minister of Finance said. This hon. Minister says on page 5 of his Budget speech—
He says the same thing as the hon. the Minister of Transport did—
Do hon. members on that side of the House want to deny the truth of this statement? Surely it is true that at a later stage this monster might unexpectedly rear one of its heads again, and therefore we must be on our guard.
I should like to point out the background against which this Budget was drawn up. I want to quote from a newspaper which has never been favourably disposed towards this side of the House, but which is the mouthpiece of that side of the House, namely the Sunday Times. In the Business Times Section of the Sunday Times of Sunday, 18th February, Anthony Davenport writes as follows on page 5 under the heading “Investors expect inflation to continue”—
I want to point out that this article was not written to serve as a basis for the hon. the Minister’s Budget. The article was in fact written to provide ammunition to that side of the House in case the hon. the Minister’s Budget had not been as sensible as it is. Hon. members on that side would then have been able to say, “But surely the hon. the Minister knew. Here the Sunday Times said on 18th February that inflation was continuing.” The same article goes on to say—
Do hon. members want to tell me now that Union Acceptances Limited is speaking the language of the hon. the Minister of Finance, or that they are controlled by the I.D.C.? I mention this to illustrate that definite inflationary dangers were mentioned by these people to serve as ammunition for that side of the House. I want to mention another criterion by which the hon. the Minister of Finance was led. I quote from page 1 of the Business Times Section of the Sunday Times of 4th February, from an article under the heading “Optimism sweeps Industry, says Report.” The report mentioned is a survey of the Bureau for Economic Research of the University of Stellenbosch. As a result of inquiries, addressed to 830 private business undertakings the following fact emerged—
The background against which the hon. the Minister had to prepare his Budget is this wave of optimism, whether it was excessive or not, and whether it was based on facts or not. The hon. the Minister, however, had to make due allowance for the possibility of a continued wave of inflation.
There were other danger symptoms as well which the hon. the Minister of Finance had to take into account in preparing this Budget. I quote the data furnished on page 17 of the White Paper under the heading “Total Capital Movements”. Here it is shown that over the three years 1962, 1963 and 1964, there was a total net capital outflow of R214 million, as against a total net capital inflow of R532 million during the years 1965, 1966 and 1967. The latter figure would have been R84 million more, that is to say, the total net inflow for those three years would have amounted to R616 million, an average of more than R200 million per year, but for the fact that the Central Government and the banking sector made repayments to the amount of R11 million in 1966 and R73 million in 1967. Now, the position is that during the first months of 1968 this capital inflow was continued, especially and mainly because of the increased foreign buying of shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It is a fact that the net capital inflow of the order of R200 million per annum can only be seen in perspective if we bear in mind that our total estimates on revenue and loan accounts amount to approximately R2,100 million this year, in other words, a net capital inflow of approximately 10 per cent of our total Government expenditure per annum may cause serious inflationary pressure, and in preparing his Budget the Minister had to take this into account. But if we look at another little report which appeared in Dagbreek on 31st March, we read that according to a broker’s letter Americans now hold more gold shares than South Africans; in other words, they seem to be more confident about an increase in the price of gold than we are, or their own Government is. Sir, surely it goes without saying, and the hon. members over there know this, that an uncontrolled rush on gold shares by foreign investors could have serious repercussions and cause serious inflationary pressure in South Africa. It goes without saying too, as the hon. the Minister made very clear in his Budget speech, that an increase of the gold price, whether on the free market or in respect of the price as a whole, may also cause serious inflationary pressure here, not only because the price of gold has increased, because it is a fact that we can skim off the price increase, but, because as a result of increased activity in terms of old mines and marginal mines and new propositions waiting for exploitation, much larger expenditure may be undertaken on the part of the private sector, which will lead to serious inflationary pressure. It was extremely necessary and sensible that the Minister should have prepared a budget making provision for all these possibilities; and the position is as the hon. member for Queenstown pointed out, namely that practically the whole of the people and nearly every paper and publication in South Africa agree with this Budget. It is a fact that this is so. Let us just take a look at the terms in which some of the English-language newspapers have described this Budget. I quote the heading to the leading article of the Natal Mercury. I bought the paper specially to see where the hon. member for Pinetown would get his ammunition from, but unfortunately he could not use this because it did not serve bis purpose. The heading reads as follows: “Dull but prudent,” and just to illustrate the wisdom of the Minister’s budget to hon. members on the opposite side who do not know what “prudent” means, I want to quote from the Groot Woordeboek of Kritzinger, Steyn, Schoonees and Cronje, which says that “prudent” means “versigtig, verstandig, wys en beleidvol”—as against the lack of policy in financial matters and statemanship as again displayed by that side of the House to-day.
Did you read what the Mercury said?
Yes, I read it, but I do not know whether the hon. member for South Coast has read it, and if he has, I do not know whether he understood it, but I shall tell him what the Mercury said. It said—
The Mercury admits that what the hon. the Minister has done was necessary, non-inflationary and correct, as against the complaining we had to listen to from that side of the House to-day. But the Mercury goes further, and I mention this because the hon. member for South Coast perhaps only read the front page. To show him that he has read that incorrectly as well, I want to read what appeared on the front page on 28th March. Under the heading “Quote”, it says: “The South African economy still remains a model for the rest of Africa and, indeed, for most nations in the world.” The Mercury took this from a speech by a “Paris broker”. It is not only in South Africa that the Budget has met with great acclaim, and I now quote from page 5 of the newspaper of the hon. member for Parktown, The Star, of 28th March. Under the heading “World reaction to S.A. Budget”, we find inter alia the following—
This is the world reaction to the Budget. The hon. member reproaches me now for telling him these things, but either he has not seen them, or he is politically speaking too scared or too dishonest to admit it here, and now he is acting like an old hen trying to make a nest amongst a lot of feathers and little sticks, and trying to lay an egg.
The hon. member for Pinetown had a great deal to say about gold this afternoon. If the hon. member was a card-player and if I had to give him any advice, I would advise him never to play for money, because the moment he opened his hand, he would put all his trumps on the table. After all, South Africa has the trumps. Why should we play our cards before it is necessary? Why should we answer all these questions the hon. member asked us to-day? After all, we have the trumps and we shall play our cards when the time comes.
I want to conclude by expressing the thought that the Western white civilization in the Republic of South Africa has one primary task and that is to ensure the continuation of the norms of civilization as we have received them from previous generations, with particular emphasis on the retention of identity and order; order also in so far as the finances and economy of the country are concerned. I want to say that the Budget for the year 1968-’69 is once again a landmark in the fulfillment of this task, measured in terms of this as well as of the norms of a sound Government financial policy. For the sake of the Opposition, please allow me, Mr. Speaker, to illustrate to them once again the norms for a sound Government financial policy. It may be aimed at full employment; this we have and we are again achieving it by means of this Budget. It may be aimed at economic stability. This we are striving after; we almost achieved it last year and our experience in the first few months of this year proves that we are successful in that direction and that we are going to remain successful. This is proved by the security of the State and our continued spending on defence and internal security. As regards the welfare of the individual, the Minister’s taxation proposals and his concessions for social and pension purposes testify to that. As regards the aim to balance income and expenditure accounts, the Budget is a significant manifestation of that. Measured in these terms, this Budget has fulfilled what I regard to be the primary task of Western civilization in South Africa and it complies with every principle of sound Government financial policy. Seen in this light the criticism and I almost want to say the stupid questions of the Opposition cannot be taken seriously.
Sir, the hon. member for South Coast told me once that the worst thing that could happen to a Member of Parliament was that he should be thought to be an economist, and I was not quite clear from the speech made by the hon. member for Wonderboom whether he was trying to be thought an economist or trying not to be thought an economist. But judging by his speech he certainly appeared to be totally unable to understand the claim on this side of the House that there is a difference between the policy of the hon. the Minister of Finance and of the hon. the Minister of Transport in their approach to budgeting this year and the claim that inflation has been beaten. The hon. member quoted the hon. the Minister of Transport as saying that the attempts to combat inflation have been crowned with success, while the Minister of Finance was cautious and said that we must continue to hold down expenditure and that we must continue to control inflation. But what the hon. member failed to recognize was the difference in the practical steps taken by the two hon. Ministers, because the hon. the Minister of Transport released R43 million by way of direct salary increases to his staff while the Minister of Finance has done it the other way round. There is a direct contrast between the actions taken by the two hon. Ministers in their approach to the inflationary situation as we have it in this country to-day.
Variety is the spice of life.
It may be the spice of life but I would be very interested to hear from that hon. member how the respective approaches of the two Ministers to the inflationary situation can be reconciled. Variety may be the spice of life but I do not think it has much to do with budgeting.
Sir, I want to come to the hon. member for Sunnyside who spoke here once again this afternoon about immigration. This is an old story. I want to ask him whether he and the Nationalist Party are still glad to-day that there are not a million more Whites in this country as there might well have been if they had not ended the United Party’s immigration policy.
What kind of immigrants? The good and the bad?
It does not matter what kind or what type. Let me tell hon. members opposite, as I have told them before, that I was in Europe at that time. It was the young people who were leaving, the people with vision, the people who had the whole of their futures to build. These people were leaving by the hundreds. As far as my own friends in London are concerned, only two out of 20 are left to-day in England. The rest of them are in Canada or Australia. Not one of them came to South Africa because the Government closed the door in their faces. They were not allowed to come here; they were looking at South Africa with interest and wanting to come here, but the whole scheme was dropped by the Nationalist Party and by this Government. That is the sort of person we could have had here in South Africa. These people who emigrated at the time are well established to-day with young growing families—the sort of people we need here, and then this hon. member has the temerity to sneer at them to say, as they all do, that the Nationalist Party did the right thing in closing the gate at that particular time.
The hon. member went further. He started on something which he did not go on with—I do not know what his end-point would have been—when he was talking about the morals of the country. He attacked the wearing of the mini-skirt. I want to say that the hon. member ought to apologize for what he said or at least explain what he meant because I want to say straight out that I am proud of our young people in this country, of the colour that they bring, of their beauty and attractiveness, of the flair with which they wear their clothes, of their fashion-consciousness and of their modern approach to life, as against the old nineteenth century approach that that hon. member seems to adopt. I think the hon. member should be brought to book for the things that he said here on that subject. After all, it is commonly accepted that the length of a lady’s skirt varies directly with the prosperity or lack of prosperity in a country. When skirts are high things are going well. I think the Minister should claim the credit for himself that the mini-skirt is being worn in South Africa.
Is that the barometer of prosperity?
Yes, the barometer of prosperity. That is a noble phrase, if I may say so. The height of the skirt is the barometer of prosperity. I wonder whether the hon. member wishes now to go round with a tape measure and measure it, with skirts only four inches above the knees.
Sir, I wish to return to a rather more serious subject, and that is the subject of gold. The hon. member for Wonderboom says that we here hold the trumps as far as the gold position is concerned. I would ask the Minister of Finance whether he agrees that we hold all the trumps in our hand? The hon. member for Pinetown was accused of showing his hand; he was told that he would win no money if he were to play poker, and that kind of thing. Sir, I think that hon. member has a lot to learn when it comes to this kind of thing. He will find his trumps being over trumped. I think he made a mistake. The question that I wish to raise with the hon. the Minister is this: Obviously the Minister was in a difficult position in preparing his Budget because the Group of Ten had just met and they had just agreed on the two-tier price of gold. The International Monetary Fund had still to meet; it only finished its meeting last week-end, and obviously the Minister was not in a position to make any kind of statement as to what he was going to do. He did in fact make a statement on 18th March, to the following effect—
That was his position, and he stated it quite clearly on that particular occasion. But I think we would all welcome and the country would welcome a statement by the Minister on his position when he replies to this debate. He has had time to think about the matter. He can see now which direction things are taking; by the end of this week, when he replies to the debate, we will have had a week’s experience of the operation of the free gold market, and I think the Minister would be well advised to make a statement as to the position of South Africa. I think we are facing a very serious and difficult position indeed, and that is that the American Government have embarked on a course which can only lead to the demonetization of gold, and what that means to South Africa is quite obvious to everybody. The Secretary of the American Treasury has said quite frankly that he is prepared to spend every single ounce of gold at the disposal of the American economy to bolster the price of 35 dollars an ounce.
I believe that this move away from gold as a backing for the American currency has been going on in the American Treasury for some time, simply because the economy of America is so incredibly vast that the gold reserves as they are to-day in the world are not sufficient to back the dollar. I would be interested if the Minister would comment on that. Will he tell us whether he accepts that position or whether he sees that this is the future position. What is the position of South Africa, placed as we are, the major producer of gold in the free world, without some major source of new gold becoming available? We heard that the American companies have found some way now of freeing gold which was locked in carbon compounds which before was not available though the cyanide process. That was expected to make a large amount of additional gold available but whether that is going to be enough to meet the need, I do not know. I doubt it. I do not think so, and there was no indication from the report that it was in fact so. But the tremendous strength of the American economy and the fantastic gross national product of the American economy is such that their leading economists have for some years now been considering abandoning gold completely as backing for their currency.
It is due to this that the special drawing rights have been mooted with the consent of the International Monetary Fund. It has been stated quite frankly by the American President that an increase in the price of gold would only be encouragement to people who are “unfriendly” nations. That is the word used by the American Government. That means us as well as the Soviet Union. It means South Africa. I believe that it is something which is very serious, that we should be regarded in this light.
Mr. Speaker, what is happening in regard to the gold position? I think this is the position but I hope the Minister will perhaps agree with me. I believe that the French Government to-day are tied to the tremendous gold stock that they hold. They have been buying gold steadily. They have left the Gold Pool, because they wish to reserve to themselves the gold holdings that they have. It comes down to this that the French Government under President de Gaulle have virtually embarked on an economic war with the United States on the price of gold. It is important to us to know where we stand. This is obviously something which is political in inspiration. The French President has made no secret of his wish to get the Americans out of Europe. I think there is no more effective way in which you can do it than precisely this way. Because by forcing a devaluation of the dollar, or a revaluation of gold, he is increasing his own position tremendously. He is blunting the ability of the American Government to give foreign aid, for instance, and to allow investment funds to flow into other countries, particularly to Europe. In fact, what he is doing, is strengthening the control that France has over the European Common Market and this new idea of President de Gaulle of Europe being the third force between the East and the West. It is almost as if Europe is being gathered under the umbrella of France. If he can succeed in revaluing the gold hoard of France, he is going to put himself and France in a very strong position to penetrate economically other areas. I believe and it is my own thought, that he is looking particularly to Communist Eastern Europe, where there are all sorts of forces at play to-day, and which is traditionally the French sphere of influence. For centuries now, France has been the major dominant power of influence in Eastern Europe. And to-day those countries are in a state of almost active revolt against the economic policy forced upon them by Soviet Russia. I think that we have to take cognizance of what is going on. I think we have to try and realize the motive which makes the French Government act in the way they do. I think that we have to look at our own position very seriously indeed. The two-tier market for gold can depend on two factors: The price which is paid for gold is based either on speculation or on the industrial use of gold, namely the price gold will fetch on the market for its industrial use. Let us just consider the position. The guaranteed price of gold is 35 dollars an ounce. That is guaranteed by the American Government. Then there is the free price in the market. You can buy gold if you want it at whatever price you get it for. What will make people buy it? That is the big question that hangs over the future of our gold production in this country. What will make people buy gold? They will buy it either as a speculation against the dollar, or because it has some other use. I do not know what other use the hon. member for Heilbron can think of.
As security value.
It has no value other than 35 dollars per ounce because it will be bought at that price.
It is all right the hon. member obviously cannot follow what I am saying. What is happening with the free market price? People are speculating on the weakness of the American fiscal policy. I do not think anybody, neither the hon. the Minister nor anybody else, doubts the strength of the American economy. But what is being speculated on is the way in which the American people control the balance of payments which has been running against the dollar for the past so many years. Let us face it, the balance of payments has been running against the American government because of the aid they give, the money they spend on the Vietnam war, and because of all kinds of extraneous matters which are not related to the actual trade figures of the American people. This is what is happening. The other activities of the American Government are leading to a balance of payments crisis, a deficit. I think this is something which we have to look at again and take cognizance of. One of the most undesirable ways in which it can be remedied, is for America to go back into economic isolation, or to engage in a trade war with some of the European countries, or to limit investment capital abroad, or to require the repatriation of investment capital abroad, or to require the payment of debts by other countries within a certain specified time. It can be done and the American Government can restore its balance of payments immediately by actions of that sort which will have the most tremendously detrimental effect on world trade as such and on South Africa to a very great extent.
I believe the chance is here, and this is really why I raise the matter, for the hon. the Minister to take up a position for South Africa which will be to our advantage. We are in a strong position. I do not agree we have all the trumps, as the hon. member for Wonderboom said. But I do believe we are in a strong position.
Are you pleading for America or are you pleading for South Africa?
I am trying to make a serious contribution to the debate, and if that hon. member will keep his mouth shut perhaps we can get on a bit faster. I believe our position is such that South Africa as a country with the gold that we produce can use our position of strength to make available to us export opportunities and markets by negotiation with America and France and all the people concerned. Because gold is a wasting asset. Whether it is going to be revalued or not, it will be only a certain period of years before this gold which we have which has been the understay and the underpinning of our economy for so many years will get less, because the production will decline. It will decline irrevocably unless we have some fantastic new development or discovery which nobody yet suspects. What our future depends on and what the Western civilization about which the hon. member for Wonderboom spoke depends on, is the development of export markets and the strengthening of our economy. Again I believe the Minister, or some other Minister, or the Government as such, by negotiation with the interested parties in this gold dispute, can establish for us a very strong position in export markets by means of concessions made to us for the action which we will take either as regards stabilizing the dollar by holding the price of gold at 35 dollars an ounce, or by agreeing to limit the amount of gold which we will sell in the free market, or by means of some other steps which will occur to the hon. the Minister. It is not for me to pretend to know what steps will have to be taken. But I believe we are in a position of great strength.
We must twist their arm.
Yes, we must twist their arm. What kind of a chance have we got if we do not twist their arm? We are a small country and we are regarded by the American Government as an unfriendly nation. In their own words, and in the words of their President, we are an unfriendly nation. We are now in a position where we can impress them with the financial responsibility of South Africa and with the contribution which we are prepared to make to financial stability in the Western world. It was Lenin who said the easiest way to beat the capitalists is to debauch their currency. It can be done quite easily. All that must be done is to ruin the financial system of the Western world and then you ruin their ability to support the wars against Communism, to support the development of under-developed peoples and you ruin all the things the West have been doing in an attempt to check Communism. I believe it to be on the cards to-day that should there be a major recession or a major war of international finance between America and the West, this is what will happen.
The Minister made concessions to those exporters who are investigating foreign markets. I welcome those and I believe this is something which we have to press ahead with as fast as we possibly can. We must create markets, we must find markets, we must make our selling people, our exporters, the most aggressive people in the world, because our future depends on them. They deserve every kind of incentive that they can possibly get.
What it means is this. France has to-day exposed herself because she is the only one of the Group of Ten who is not supporting the special drawing rights. As long as she maintains that position then speculation against the dollar will continue. It must go on. Perhaps our Minister could play a part in attempting to persuade France that she must come in and help. As long as there is speculation against the dollar there will be no stability at all, not for us nor for anybody else. I am not worried about the dollar; it is our rand, our own money, that worries me. If we can stabilize trade and stabilize the western monetary system …
Is that the way to do it?
I would be happy if the hon. member for Heilbron would get up and tell me how he thinks that must be done. I am sure he has some very bright ideas, and when he tells us we will be very grateful indeed. [Interjections.] I think the supply of gold to the free market is going to be crucial to the price at which it is going to settle. Here the responsibility of the Minister comes into play. The question was asked how this gold will be sold, through what agencies, through what markets, will they be sold by the gold mines themselves, or what will the position be. Well, the Minister is in control and I welcome from him some kind of indication as to how this is going to be done and what responsibility he will insist on to see that this is done in a regular way. [Interjections.] The decision to free the gold price was a very bold step indeed on the part of the U.S.A. It was a bold decision to free the gold price, to put it out on the world market and say, “Well, let us see what this is going to be worth; we will be interested to see”. But it has a certain effect, and I think this is important. The matter was raised by an hon. member on this side. The American Government is going to have to limit its economic aid to countries in its own interests, and I wonder whether we cannot show our responsibility as far as assistance to other countries is concerned. The hon. the Minister has put aside R5 million for this purpose. We could afford more; we could make more available for such assistance. It could be done by means of bilateral treaties which will guarantee to us some tangible advantage. We have the money and the Minister has the power to use it in that way. At the same time we will be doing something to relieve some of the pressure on the American taxpayer and the American economy at this particular time. The Minister could well think of using what we have in this country to buy friends for ourselves at this particularly difficult time …
We do not buy friends.
The hon. member says “we do not buy friends”. How do we get friends in Africa if we do not go to the countries concerned and show them how to uplift and educate themselves, how to establish industries? How do we do those things if we do not help them with money? What is the Government supposed to be doing in the Transkei?
That is what we are doing.
You are doing just that. You are buying friends in the Transkei. [Interjections.]
They are not buying friends in the Transkei, but they are investing money there, they are taking all the white civil servants and others to the Transkei, they are uplifting the people of the Transkei, but they say they are not buying friends there! But if these things are done in some other country then it amounts to “buying friends” and that must not be done. Of course it is absolute nonsense. This is a way in which to use our surplus and at the same time gain friends for ourselves and turn to our own advantage something which is a crisis to-day in Western monetary circles. I would ask the Minister to approach it in that light. He must use the power which we have, in the first place, to establish for ourselves export advantages, and in the second place, to make for ourselves friends beyond our borders. We can use our wealth to support, lead and help those people. In that light I recommend these proposals to the hon. the Minister.
Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the hon. member for Mooi River. He discussed one matter only, i.e. the gold price problem, and where South Africa stands in that regard. I must say it is significant and also astonishing that this was the hon. member’s only contribution to this debate, although he was left with quite a lot of time at his disposal. In addition I want to say that I think the hon. member stated his case in quite a responsible way. Initially I came under the impression, during the speech made by the hon. member for Pinetown, that he was trying to create an atmosphere of crisis, an atmosphere of crisis which I do not think can be reconciled with the true state of affairs. Initially the hon. member for Mooi River also created this impression in my mind, but subsequently in his speech he moved on to safer ground.
The short statement made by the hon. the Minister proved the complexity of this question of the two-tier gold price, and the fact that the Minister had so little to say about it, is a further indication that we should not at this stage say too much about it. However, it does not mean that we should not give our attention to this matter. I am convinced that the Minister and his staff are devoting their full attention to this question, which is of such great importance to South Africa. The fact that the London monetary market has been closed for almost 14 days is further proof that there is great uncertainty in regard to the possible implications of the resolutions taken in Washington. There is no doubt about that. Because there is such a great deal of uncertainty in regard to international finance and particularly in regard to its stability, and because South Africa is playing an important role owing to the fact that it is such a major gold producer, our responsibility in the first instance as regards international finance is so much the greater. The hon. member stated that it did not matter to him what happened to the dollar or other monetary units, but what did matter to him is what happened to the rand. However, I hope that the hon. member realizes that there is a close connection between the future of international monetary units and the future of the rand. For that reason, and because the implications are so far-reaching, it is so much more important and essential that we should be extremely careful about what we say in this regard. But the last thing we should do in South Africa is to create an impression of weakness, and the last impression we should try to create, is that of a crisis. By creating this kind of impression, we would not be doing the international monetary unit a favour, nor our own. I do not want to say much about it. However, I do want to say that South Africa’s attitude in regard to this question will not result from any antipathy towards any country, not even as regards countries that are hostile towards us and which would like to prevent an increased gold price at all costs. South Africa will not be negative in its approach to this question. Nor will what we do be a token of revenge against any other country. Our actions will not be determined merely by what would be to the immediate advantage of the rand, but by what would in particular be to the long-term advantage of our monetary unit, within the framework of our international finance.
South Africa is at present in the fortunate position that our gold and currency reserves have never been as strong as they are to-day. When the Minister introduced his Budget here on 27th March our gold and currency reserves had reached the highest level they had ever reached before in our history, namely R660 million. We know that this situation was to a large extent caused by the great influx of foreign capital to South Africa during the last six months of 1967 which has continued into the first two months of this year. We know that the Minister can bide his time and choose the right time to take the necessary steps and make the necessary information available to the South African public. The right time is extremely important, because if the Minister chooses the wrong time to reveal his plans, it can only prejudice our monetary unit. That is why it is necessary for the Minister to display so much caution. But because our gold and currency reserves are so strong, the Minister is in no haste to allow gold sales to take place abroad. We have enough reserves at our disposal to bide our time, to wait and see what happens and then, in the light of the experience we have gained, to decide what would be the best method to apply in the light of the present situation.
We also know, and this is also being acknowledged in London to-day, that the two-tier gold price already means a partial devaluation of the dollar in terms of the free market gold price, a price which to-day is more than the normal 35 dollars per ounce. We must accept that that price may fluctuate, but it may decrease to 35 dollars and even lower, but the general feeling, and it is one with which we agree, is that this measure is aimed at gaining time. If America and Britain do not succeed in restoring their balance of payments within the foreseeable future there will be a renewed lack of confidence in those monetary units. Confidence will once again be concentrated on the one anchor which exists to-day, namely gold. For that reason we say that we can expect fluctuations in the free market gold price; it can increase or it can decrease. That is all I want to say about the gold price.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No. 23 and debate adjourned.
The House adjourned at