House of Assembly: Vol23 - WEDNESDAY 3 APRIL 1968
Messrs. L. J. Botha and H. J. Coetsee, introduced by Mr. H. J. van Wyk and Mr. J. J. Rall, made, and subscribed to, the oath and took their seats.
Mr. Speaker, I move, as an unopposed motion—
The following Bills were read a First Time:
Building Societies Amendment Bill.
Standards Amendment Bill.
Financial Relations Further Amendment Bill.
Shortly before the debate adjourned yesterday evening I sent out a few feelers towards the Opposition, and if I were to judge from the exclamations of pain which went up there, I must conclude that some of these feelers I sent out were direct hits to the nose or jaw. The Opposition is going out of its way to try and prove to this House that they represent a very large section of the country in this House. They are also going out of their way to prove that there are certain things which are on the increase, such as prices, and that this Government is doing nothing about it. But I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that there are other figures which are also increasing, and that the Opposition is neglecting to do something about them, and here I am referring specifically to the hon. new members who are coming to this House today without let or hindrance, without any opposition from the Opposition. The Opposition had every opportunity in the Orange Free State to test the Freestaters to see whether that policy of theirs has any kind of chance. One can understand why the Opposition is so concerned about the increases; it is because they can do nothing about them, and also because they can produce no positive ideas as to how any of those increases can be curbed.
A great deal was said from Opposition side in regard to the steadily increasing cost of living. They sometimes confuse increasing prosperity with cost of living. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that since the National Party came into power, there has simply been no end to the increase in prosperity in South Africa. You know that under the National Party Government there has been greater prosperity for every member of the population. Just think of all the commodities which are being offered to-day at thousands of distribution points such as shops, garages, etc. If you walk into a chain store you can see what a multitude of commodities are being offered to the public, and for the most part the products are of South African manufacture. Do the Opposition think that producers will simply continue to produce even if there is no demand? Would the shop-owners and the dealers continue to purchase products and commodities, and display them to the public, if there were no buyers? Would the public purchase those products if they could not afford them? I want to state that the means are there in the hands of the public to share in the products of the prosperity in South Africa.
It is also being asserted that the Government could have done more towards combating inflation. I would just like to mention one example of what the Government has done, and that is the monetary and fiscal steps which the Government has taken from time to time. Last year, as you know, a tremendous price war developed in certain sectors of the trade. That price war was caused by steps which the Government took in this sense that the Government relaxed import control so that more goods could enter the country to be offered to the public and so that money could leave the country in payment of those goods. Goods entered the country; there was a plentiful supply of goods being offered to the public and to a certain extent money left the country. Supplies were built up by traders, and there was a larger choice of goods, so much so that later on there was an oversupply in comparison with the demand, and that led to the price war. If one observed the discounts that were offered by certain dealers during this price war one could only come to the realization that certain dealers—not all—had been making exorbitant profits. Not one voice was raised in protest from the other side of the House in regard to those exorbitant profits which were being made by certain dealers. The hon. member for Vryheid hit the nail on the head when he said that those were the people whose interests the Opposition was looking after in the House. They have no sympathy with the workers; they have no sympathy with the producers and the farmers. Those people who were making exorbitant profits are their friends. We know that the United Party is always out of step. The only hope remaining to them is the following: they must hope that this Government remains in power for at least another hundred years so that all the damage they caused and disgraceful things they did can sink into oblivion.
But at the same time I do nevertheless want to tell them that they will have difficulty in achieving this, because history is always there, and one must take history into account. We can go back very far. Last night, when I went back a little to before the second world war, hon. members on that side were grumbling because they are a little ashamed of that history of theirs. But let us go back even further, Mr. Speaker. Let us go back to 1912. When a predecessor of ours on this side said “South Africa first” for the first time, a predecessor of that side kicked him out of his Cabinet because he dared to put South Africa’s interests first. We can go further. When this Government’s predecessor established a steel industry of our own, the attitude of the Opposition at that time, the forefathers of the United Party, was that South Africa could purchase its steel from its friends overseas, whatever the costs might have been. You will recall, Mr. Speaker, that when we were agitating for a flag of our own for our country, it was they who said that the flag of a foreign power was good enough for them. When we were agitating for our own national anthem, they were still prepared to sing the national anthem of another country. When we were acquiring our own citizenship, they were prepared to share their citizenship with a foreign power. But that is not all. Not very many years later, when we were moulding our own form of government for South Africa, they were prepared to adopt another form of government. But the people of South Africa passed clear and unambiguous judgment in that respect, and did so repeatedly from one election to another, and I want to tell the Opposition that to-morrow we will have another member on our side. If I may use the words of a very great leader, which I heard recently for the first time, then I may say that the Opposition stands for everything in regard to which one can have a quarrel. The National Party, on the other hand, stands for everything that is good for South Africa, that is peculiar to South Africa, and the people outside will never forget it even if we remain in power for another 100 years.
Just before I conclude, there is yet another matter which I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. the Minister of Finance, and it is the position of handicapped persons receiving a pension because they were involved in an accident, such as a person who lost his eyesight in a mining accident, for which he is receiving a pension from the mining authority in respect of his eyesight. But I mention as an example the case of such a person who rehabilitates himself for the labour market, trains himself, or lets himself be trained as a telephonist, for example, and then becomes self-supporting. He receives his pension, and on the other hand he also earns a salary. But now we know that the pension he receives is added to his earnings when his income tax is being calculated. I feel that this is really very burdensome to him. It is a heavy burden to that person. He has that deficiency which was the result of circumstances beyond his control, and he is doing everything he can to care for his family and his children, he goes out to work under the most difficult circumstances, and then at the end of the year he still has to pay income tax on that pension which he received in respect of his disability. Such a person could very easily sit back and place an additional burden on the State by having the State look after his children in the form of a family allowance, but he is relieving the State of that burden. Now I feel that that group of people—and I am not referring only to the blind, there are other people as well who have other deficiencies or who are ill—since they do not have the opportunities which we as normal, fit people have, deserve special concessions from the State, because in reality they are an asset to the State and not a liability. I am certain that none of us will begrudge them not having to pay that taxation which is being collected from them, because they are setting us a fine example and want to refrain from living off the State.
Mr. Speaker, after the fiery speech to which we have just listened I find it rather difficult to follow the meanderings of the hon. member from Queen Victoria’s days through various other subjects, but I did catch some reference to Bloemfontein. I wonder whether the hon. member consulted with the Administrator of the Free State before he made his speech. I think he would have found a less glowing report on the unity of the Nationalist Party. I wonder whether he also remembers a little civic election in Bloemfontein recently where the Nationalist Party group lost every single seat which was contested. Obviously his mind is to-day not with us here in the House. His mind obviously is in Pretoria (West) where again we have the divisions of the Nationalist Party taking concrete form in a split and a “ ‘verkrampte’ kandidaat”.
What the hon. member did not refer to was productivity. The hon. the Minister of Finance has pleaded with South Africa to “work and save”. I decided to see what example the hon. member for Germiston (District) has set. I find that in his first session here he made quite a major contribution; he made two speeches, which works out at about R2,000 per speech. Last year his productivity went up and he made three ten-minute speeches. What I like about it is the high opinion of his speeches which the hon. member shares with his colleagues on the back bench. Do you know what they did, Sir? They compiled a book which contains the maiden speech of every new member on the Government side. It is a delightful book. The reason I raise this is that I want to relate it to “saving”, because they paid good, hard cash to publish this book. In it they put these masterpieces, these gems of brilliance from the back bench. They put a photograph of each member of this “1966 Club” and a little autobiography of each into the book. This is the example of “work and save” which the back bench of that side has set to South Africa. Much as I should like to follow this line of thought further, I want to go on to something else.
In the light of world events to-day, events which directly affect the security of South Africa, and against the background of certain events inside South Africa, the Opposition has an added duty in this debate to bring under the searchlight of examination by Parliament the biggest single item of expenditure, namely R252 million, which this House is asked to vote for the security of South Africa. We wish to-day to deal with the broader aspects of defence for which this sum of R252 million is being asked. We do not intend in this debate to deal with the detailed administration. We obviously agree that South Africa’s needs in the field of defence must be met by any responsible Parliament. We on this side of the House are therefore prepared to support expenditure which extends and adds to the security of South Africa. However, we have a duty to examine it and to see that it is not wasted, and that it is properly spent. That duty we will perform in more detail under the Vote. On this occasion we wish to refer more to the broader aspect of security for which the hon. the Minister of Defence is responsible to Parliament and, through Parliament, to the people of South Africa.
The hon. the Minister, when he started as Minister of Defence, set a high standard for himself. He said correctly, and we welcomed it, that he would keep politics out of defence and that he would seek to make defence a subject on which the agreement which both sides of this House seek, could be found. I must say the Minister started his stewardship on a very high level. He was well received by the forces, the Permanent Force as well as the Citizen Force. He himself, and, if I may add, his good lady, made a good impression on the forces of South Africa. Therefore I am sorry that I must start this debate with a criticism of the Minister who, I believe, has on two occasions recently fallen down in his high intentions of keeping out of politics—which we believe is necessary to maintain the proper approach to this subject. The one mistake was to become involved in a political controversy with which I do not intend to deal this afternoon. The other was that only this week he chose, as Minister of Defence, to address an election meeting at the headquarters of the Defence Force of South Africa in Voortrekkerhoogte. He chose for the first time in many years—the last one to do this was, I believe, the Minister before his predecessor—to take political issue at an election meeting amongst the people over whom he as Minister of Defence has control and command. We feel this is not the right way to keep politics out of defence.
That is low.
My hon. friends at the back here who feel this is low, must get up and say whether they believe it is correct that a Minister of Defence should become involved in political controversy in the centre of his own headquarters. [Interjections.] If other Ministers and other hon. members wish to go there, that is a different matter; nobody can object. Soldiers have every right to participate in politics. What we are attacking is that the hon. the Minister of Defence himself should do this.
I want to take it further. According to Die Burger of 3rd April, the subjects which the Minister dealt with there were subjects which my hon. Leader raised in this House six weeks ago, namely on 20th February. On that occasion the Minister replied to only one of the numerous subjects raised by my Leader, that of Simonstown, and ignored the others. Yet on Monday night he chose to deal at a public meeting with issues which we had raised here in Parliament and to which there had been no reaction, no comment and no reply. I believe that that is not the way to treat the Parliament of South Africa in regard to this basic issue of our security.
Let me at once refer to the reply which we did receive namely that which dealt with the Simonstown agreement and the situation which had recently arisen. This is our first opportunity to comment on the Minister’s reply, and I think it is necessary briefly to do so.
The first thing that became obvious was that there were obvious flaws in the agreement as such, which was based upon acceptance of good faith, on trust, and on pledges taken at their face value. It is regrettable that those with whom we entered in complete trust into an agreement, should now not be observing the spirit as well as the letter of that agreement. It is perhaps ironic that expediency should have caused pledges, and implied pledges, no longer to he honoured. Our attitude is clear. We believe South Africa has honoured her obligations in letter and in spirit. My Leader has called the British attitude one which is inexplicable and indefensible.
I do not believe that the service chiefs of Great Britain can possibly support the attitude of their Government towards the Simonstown Agreement and the defence of the coastline of Africa. It is hardly necessary to repeat that on this issue the people of South Africa are completely united. They stand as one in saying to anyone and everyone that we as a nation, not as Government and Opposition, but as a people, refuse to be jostled, blackmailed or exploited. That is a clear point of view on which both sides of this House agree. We therefore regret that where we have this agreement among our people, this issue should have become one of public debate and diplomacy by public statement. Whilst we agree with the hon. the Minister’s issuing a warning, we are not satisfied that the normal channels of diplomacy could not have achieved more than sabre rattling by public statement. The effect of diplomacy by public statement is to draw lines of no retreat. You create a situation which for the sake of saving face becomes a permanent entrenchment. Those involved are unable to withdraw from that line. We would like to be sure that the Minister is using all the power at his command to try, not by public warnings, but by discussion and persuasion, to change the situation which has arisen. It does not help to be petulant. There was provocation. I accept that. But every time one is provoked it is not necessary to react in a petulant manner. Surely it is not too late for persuasion. It is not too late to avoid irrevocable actions. Let me refer, for instance, to the question of supplies. We welcome and we are grateful to France and those countries which are prepared to supply us with our requirements. We believe that that is a realistic approach. But it would be a tragedy if we were to become dependent on countries which do not have the most stable and the most balanced of political histories. Isreael learnt to her cost that you cannot always rely on supplies. We believe that every possible step should be taken to bring about an awareness of South Africa’s strategic importance, not merely by a few speeches but by negotiation and consultation. After all Britain has at any one time approximately 800 ships in the Indian Ocean which is 40 per cent of the total shipping of that ocean. I believe that our task should be to persuade Britain and the U.S.A. and others that South Africa is more important to world security than the blusterings of temporary dictators and that pandering to hysteria and international political demands will be worthless if the balloon should really go up in the East. It will be far more important to the security of the Western World to have South Africa secure and established than it will be to have made some political gain in the debates in the United Nations amongst emergent states. We are therefore most anxious that everything possible should be done to try to get this awareness across by every possible method at our disposal. The hon. the Minister said in this House on the 20th February that they had given, after discussions in 1967, a shopping list to Britain and that they had sent one or two reminders. There was no indication that anything other than reminders had been sent or that consultations, negotiations and discussions had taken place. Until every channel of communication has been exhausted we feel that we should not abandon the important role which the United Kingdom and South Africa have to play together in the Indian Ocean.
My Leader pointed out, and I will not deal in detail with what he said, the problems in the Indian Ocean, namely the power vacuum as a result of the withdrawal of Britain East of Suez, the Russian build-up in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, Russia’s access to the Indian Ocean and the control she will have through that build-up over the Suez Canal and even the Dardanelles. Now there is the situation arising on the other side of that ocean. There we have China on the one side and America on the other. This week we had the most recent development in America’s attempt to end the hostilities in Vietnam again. If America should withdraw from that sphere of influence there will be nothing between South Africa and the East. There will be an empty ocean, and nothing between ourselves and Chinese Communism. We feel that South Africa is entitled to know what the hon. the Minister is planning and thinking and doing in regard to this situation. We realize that he is obviously aware of it, but surely South Africa, when faced with a threat of this nature, is entitled to ask of its Government and its Minister of Defence some picture of real, tangible and adequate steps which are being taken to meet it.
It is perhaps unfortunate that these issues should have to be dealt with across the floor of this House. But we have made attempts, the latest in the Other Place earlier this Session, to create machinery for consultation and for working together with the hon. the Minister. The Minister again this year in the Other Place, if I may say so, with some arrogance totally rejected the representations of the United Party for a channel of communication and a via media by means of which the Government and the official Opposition could work together. He has put up an iron curtain of secrecy which in many cases is so ridiculously unnecessary that it is a great pity that it should exist. We will perhaps deal with further details in that regard at a later stage. But if the Minister is going to put up this iron curtain and reject every attempt by this side of the House to find a channel of close consultation and co-operation, then we have no option but to raise issues of this nature in this House. There are other issues which we may have to raise later. These are also issues with security implications which I believe it would be a pity to raise in this House. But if there is no other way left, then we have a duty to South Africa to raise here in Parliament those issues about which we are concerned and about which we believe the people of South Africa have a right to information. We will carry out that duty because we believe that it is the role of a democratic parliament and that the Minister, as the Minister of Defence of any country, cannot just ask for blind, closed minds to problems of vital concern to the country. He cannot merely say: “Trust me, believe in me”, and give no indication of what he is doing and what steps he is taking to ensure the security of our country.
I have raised the question of the Indian Ocean but there is another vital question which has to be considered, namely the security within South Africa as it is affected by the policy of the Government of the creation of independent Bantu states. It is an issue which has been raised before in other contexts, but we wish to raise it now specifically in the context of defence and the problems and requirements of defence strategy. It is important that we should be prepared—as I believe we are—that we should be prepared to deal with the infiltration of terrorists and for revolutionary irregular warfare on land.
In passing I want to express the hope that we are not so concerned with this aspect that we should forget or overlook the importance of the danger from the East, the danger of little yellow men when perhaps our minds are too tied up with large black men. Mr. Speaker, in that respect the Minister mentioned, I think three years ago, for instance the establishment of another naval base on the East coast by the re-opening of Salisbury Island. It was his predecessor, in fact, who said so three or four years ago. That base is still not open, because it is awaiting the removal of the Indian university. So we go on, from year to year, with a threat to South Africa whilst an installation vital to our defence has to wait, while other departments go through the slow-grinding mill of the red tape of Government. We were told that Richard’s Bay was to become an important aspect of our defence structure. That scheme too has been postponed. We were told of the Decca screen which would give us coverage some 200 miles or more out to sea. That too was some years ago. Nothing since has been heard. These are issues which I believe South Africa is entitled to know something about. We cannot afford to bluff our people or ourselves. We cannot talk airily of new naval bases which do not materialize. We cannot talk of Decca screens unless something is going to happen about it. Secret weapons have turned out to be not so secret. These are issues on which we do not have the information which I believe South Africa is entitled to have.
Returning to the question of local defence, and our domestic security we do have more information. It is an axiom that it is not the weapon which has the last word, but the quality of the man behind it. Here we have in South Africa men with that quality and with the weapons. We have, I believe, at the head of our combat forces the perfect leader for those forces, a man who has become an expert by deep and careful study of the problems of revolutionary warfare. We have the troops; we have the calibre of man who is required to deal with irregular warfare.
But there are certain fundamental requirements. We require intelligence in depth. We must know what is happening in every sphere from which danger to South Africa could come. Obviously here we cannot expect details from the hon. the Minister; it would be irresponsible to ask. But we can expect to know that this aspect of intelligence is one which is receiving the important attention which it requires. We need a quick mobilization scheme. Here, although it is a detail, I want to raise it, because it is so important. Under the new Defence Act, as amended, Citizen Force units are finding it an almost impossible task to carry out their administration. Officers are working of their own free will night after night, day after day, because the the Department of Defence has not matched the increase in their unit strengths and resultant administration with improvements in the facilities and the administrative staff they require. Where instant mobilization is important, the administrative headquarters of the Citizen Force units is a matter which requires priority attention. Any officer-commanding will tell one that his administrative bottlenecks to-day are a serious problem. Furthermore the Minister has withdrawn their arms from the men who are not in camp. I worked it out that it takes a minute per man to issue a rifle. For a unit of 600 men it is going to take 10 hours simply to re-issue them with their rifles. These are delays which cannot be afforded in time of crisis. We cannot have a unit technically under arms and then spend ten hours giving them their arms back again, because they have been called in after the last camp.
We need mobility. We want greater attention to be paid to this aspect, namely to the transport requirements—we will deal with the detail again in the Vote—of our units, because the Citizen Force units are the backbone of our defence.
But even more fundamental than these requirements, than the initiative, the flexibility, the logistics, even more important than all this is the loyalty of the local population in any revolutionary warfare. The Government as a whole is responsible for creating or destroying that loyalty. We believe that the creation of independent states is one of the most dangerous policy directions which any government could follow in relation to the defence of the country. The ideology of total independence is one which creates for our defence incredible problems. It creates them in territories with little, if any, communications, rough terrain with tens of thousands of miles of extra boundary.
The hon. the Deputy Minister asks if I object to Lesotho. These are situations we cannot help, but seven or eight more we can prevent. We already have enough boundary problems. I do not have time, nor do I want to go into the details of our coastline problem. The Minister should know about it. We have our ground boundaries, our boundaries between Botswana and South Africa, Rhodesia and South Africa, Mozambique and South Africa, South West Africa and Angola. These are already a tremendous problem in the field of defence. We believe that the creation of tens of thousands of miles of more boundaries is adding impossibly to the burden of protecting South Africa. We have the creation of enclaves, of corridors within the perimeter of our defence. Then even more serious is the building up between ourselves and other friendly states of Africa a barrier of independent states, which is to our mind a dangerous game to play. Between ourselves and Rhodesia, for instance, there will be strips of Bantustans. On the east coast and in the north-west Bantu territories will exist where the influence of the white man is being withdrawn; and even before we get to independence the withdrawal, for instance, of traders from an area plays a vital part in our security, because those people are in daily contact with the local population.
You are talking like an overgrown child.
They are the first to hear of unrest, and they are the first to get nose of trouble. When we withdraw that white contact, we create an additional danger and an additional burden to those who have to deal with the defences of South Africa. We believe South Africa is entitled to more information on these matters.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just resumed his seat raised a plea to the effect that we should discuss our defence matters in a responsible and nonpolitical way. We also feel that one should do this. The defence of the country is a responsible task. But when the hon. member goes as far as to state that the Minister responsible for this Department, because he is also endeavouring to keep the Defence Force out of politics, may not act in a political capacity in this House or outside, then the hon. member is really going too far. The hon. member is chairman of the Defence Study Group of that side of the House. He is aspiring, is he not, if his party should make progress, to the office which the hon. the Minister on the other side occupies? If the hon. member really believes what he said here to-day, then surely he should begin to set an example right now and keep out of politics.
I do not hold meetings in a military camp.
I shall come to that point as well. I shall deal with every statement which the hon. member made in regard to this matter.
It was a school hall.
Yes, I know that story. If the hon. member aspires to the position of Minister of Defence, and if he believes that his party will ever bring him to that position one day, then he must set the correct example now and keep defence out of politics. But, Mr. Speaker, surely we know by now that the hon. member for Durban (Point) does not himself always believe what he says here. He must remember that the Minister is the political head of the Department of Defence. He remains a politician. He is also the leader of the National Party in the Cape. His office as Minister of Defence does not disqualify him from being leader of the party in the Cape. When the hon. member now requests the hon. the Minister not to react to erroneous standpoints, irresponsible standpoints, which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and he himself may adopt in this House, he is going too far. The hon. member states that the hon. the Minister is dabbling in politics by going to address a political meeting in Pretoria (West), and that this may upset things in the Defence Force. [Interjections.] After all, General Smuts also addressed political meetings. In fact, in the election of 1943 he even went to address the troops in the north. [Interjections.] But the hon. member did insinuate that the Minister was abusing his office as Minister of Defence in order to get at members of the Defence Force politically. In fact, any person listening to the hon. member would have arrived at the conclusion that he was taking it amiss of the hon. the Minister, and alleging that the Minister had abused his office in a constituency where there was a large concentration of members of the Defence Force. Let me inform the hon. member that the Minister went to address a meeting there upon request, and not in the city hall, but in a school hall there. What harm can the hon. member see in that? Is the hon. member perhaps jealous that members of the Defence Force would like the Minister? Is that what lies behind the hon. member’s action here this afternoon? Is he jealous? Perhaps he knows in advance what is going to happen to-morrow.
I leave this matter with the hon. member in the hope that he will reconsider his attitude. I want him to bring himself to realize that he is making unfair demands here, demands which he would under no circumstances be prepared to comply with himself.
The hon. member also referred to the statement which the hon. the Minister made here some time ago in regard to the Simonstown Agreement, a statement to which the Minister also referred at a political meeting. The hon. member took it amiss of the Minister for doing so. He would prefer the hon. the Minister to adopt a course of negotiations, one could almost say negotiations behind the scenes, with his official counterpart in Britain. Yet the hon. member and his side of the House feels, as do this side of the House, that South Africa is not being treated fairly in regard to this matter. This member also pleaded in this House, as his colleagues have done in the Other Place, that the nation and Parliament should be better informed in regard to defence matters. Does the public outside not have the right to know what is going on in regard to the Simonstown Agreement? Surely the hon. the Minister did not say anything irresponsible at that political meeting, or in this House? In fact, the hon. member knows that the hon. the Minister’s statement here in the House, and his reference to it at the political meeting, was made in an extremely responsible way. He offended neither his official counterpart in Britain, nor the British Government. All that he said was that they had not carried out their end of the bargain, and that is no more than what the hon. member’s own leader himself said in this House. Since that is the case, do the people outside not have the right to know that as well? Why does the hon. member not want the people outside as well to know what the factual position is? The hon. member argued that the hon. the Minister should not make use of public statements because they might evoke unfavourable reactions. But one must draw a line somewhere. One eventually reaches a point where one cannot go any further. The channels which the hon. member stated the Minister should make use of, have been used, but if satisfaction cannot be obtained in that way, surely it is right that the nation should know about it.
The hon. member intimated that South Africa should bring its bargaining power, its strategic position here in the South, and its particular role in the defence of our long coastline in the Indian Ocean as well now as a result of the imminent withdrawal of Britain east of Suez, to the attention of the world in some other way than that employed by the Minister. He wants us to do it by means of persuasion. But how will the world, how will friendly nations know of our exceptionally strategic position if we on our part do not state it openly? After all, they have to take stock of the situation from time to time. That is why it is a good thing that they should know about it. South Africa has already, through the Minister of Defence, stated what attitude it will adopt in the event of a clash between the East and West, what her attitude is in regard to her own domestic safety—i.e. that she will not be prepared to give in to any powers, whether from the East, or from the north of Africa …
Or out of the air.
Yes, nor if they should drop out of the air. The Western world must know what our attitude is. We are not hiding it away under a bushel. It is not something which we should only state in negotiations. No—we must shout it from the rooftops.
The hon. member also referred here to a plea which had been made some time ago in the Other Place in regard to the necessity for machinery for consultation. He stated that the Minister rejected that plea, a plea for the establishment of a standing select committee on defence matters which would confine itself to those aspects of defence policy which it felt could not be made public. In this argument of the hon. member we find the same erroneous logic which we found when he accused the hon. the Minister of unjustifiable participation in politics. Surely the Government is responsible for the development, maintenance and actions of our Defence Force. In the last instance it is the Government which is responsible for that. After all, it is a task which the Government conferred upon the Minister, and surely he cannot relegate it to a select committee. Of course it is a good thing that opportunities should be created for hon. members of this House and of the Other Place who are interested in defence matters to be properly informed—in fact, such opportunities are already being created. In this way the hon. member for Durban (Point) had the opportunity last year of visiting various Defence Force units of ours.
In particular he had an opportunity towards the end of the year to observe the large concentration of Defence Force men in Pretoria, and he also had an opportunity of putting questions to our most high-ranking officers. Here at Simonstown he had an excellent opportunity to do so last year when the head of our Navy practically put the charts on the table before us all in regard to the strategy for defending our coastline. So, too, hon. members of this House in the select committee on the Defence Act which was before this House last year had an opportunity to question the senior officers of our Defence Force thoroughly and individually in regard to all aspects of our defence policy and set-up. What more does the hon. member want? The Minister is still the person who has to bear the responsibility and reply to the criticism, as he has to do here to-day. Does the hon. member, with a select committee on Defence, or as they asked for earlier, a Defence Council, want to deprive the Minister of his responsibility? No, I think that we must have a clear picture of who has the responsibility and who should bear the responsibility for the defence of our country.
Do you want us to raise here those things we have noticed?
The hon. member has had ample opportunity to raise things he has noticed. If he should, during all the visits which are being arranged for him, notice that something is definitely wrong in the Defence Force, surely he has an immediate opportunity of discussing that matter with the officer concerned, or with the senior Defence Force officers who are continually at our disposal here. That is what I and others do. Why cannot hon. members of the Opposition do the same? If there are matters of policy which are really important and which he wants to raise, surely he has the opportunity to do so here, if he wants to act responsibly and feels that it cannot harm the security of our country. But in the Other Place examples were mentioned of other Western countries that are now in some way or other creating a broad level of consultation. Reference was made to the example in Britain, until the hon. the Minister had to point out to them that the Defence Council in Britain at the moment consists from top to bottom of members of the Labour Government. In other words, they are asking for something which really does not fit into our system of Parliamentary government, and this rumour that there is an iron curtain of secrecy surrounding the defence of our country, is simply not true. On the other hand, one would readily concede that there are certain matters in regard to defence which we simply cannot make public knowledge. After all, our situation is different to that of most other countries of the world. There are continual threats from the black states to the north of us in regard to how they want to invade us; there are also threats from other hostile nations in the world, and we also have the problem of acquiring the necessary armaments which we are as yet unable to manufacture ourselves. If we should continually be putting our cards upon the table and there were no question of secrecy in regard to certain aspects of our defence policy, where would we end up? No, the stories which the hon. member told here that they were being compelled to raise certain matters here, are simply not true. They have had more than ample opportunity on other occasions to raise matters which they really regarded in a serious light, with the persons concerned; and if hon. members come forward in a responsible way, as I concede the hon. member did in fact do in part of his speech, and bring defence policy into the spotlight here, then we cannot take it amiss of them for doing so. I want to express my gratitude to the hon. member for having delivered a large part of his speech on defence matters on a high level, although I do not in this way wish to intimate that I agree with him in all respects, particularly his reference to the question of domestic security which he related to the Bantu states within our present national boundaries which are becoming independent.
The hon. member referred to the traders who are now having to leave and who had always served as important sources of information. But does the hon. member really want to intimate that the Bantu nations of South Africa are all potential enemies of the white man, and does he want to imply that under the policy of the United Party, which will not establish independent nations, the Bantu will be more loyal, under those circumstances? [Interjection.] The hon. member says yes. I believe, and so does this side of the House, that a people which one helps along the road to independence has no grievances and are capable of recognizing, as you are, who is a threat not only to our safety but theirs as well.
You are naïve.
The hon. member says I am naive. The hon. member for East London City was also once a general. I do not know in what division of the Defence Force he was a general.
He was the general of the wool mannequins.
I want to inform the hon. member that it is precisely owing to the co-operation of our non-white nations, as is the case in Rhodesia and elsewhere, that we are able to maintain domestic security, and a domestic defence policy which does not take into account and which does not make use of the loyalty and the good will of our Bantu nations, would be an unrealistic one. That is why I do not see the dangers which their emergent independence constitutes for domestic security which the hon. member sees. In fact, I see, in that the opportunity for safeguarding our population, White and non-White against the attacks of terrorists and others more successfully.
The hon. member was also quite right in stating that it is manpower which to-day plays a major role in our Defence Force, and that the human material is really the most important factor which one must take into consideration when dealing with the security of one’s country. In this regard I want to say that the Budget is also giving; effect, as regards the Defence Force,—and this is one of the most important aspects of the Budget—to that view, i.e., that we have now reached a stage in regard to the increase in and improvement of our armaments that we can spend less on them. I take it the hon. member for Durban (Point) has also observed that less is being spent this year on actual armaments, or on vehicles, etc., but that R30 million more is being spent on those very men who serve the Defence Force, in the form of salaries, wages and better conditions of service.
That is a very good trend.
I am very glad the hon. member has said it is a good tendency. We are grateful for that. I trust that the hon. member has observed that special attention is being given to the accommodation of our Defence Force personnel in the Budget in the sense that R4,444,000 is being spent on living quarters for Defence Force personnel this year, as against only about R1 million during the previous year. I believe that this will not only help to ensure the happiness of the members of our Defence Force, but that it will at the same time help to alleviate the housing problem in our urban areas, in that the Defence Force men will be able to vacate houses there which it will be possible to make available to the public again. I want to express the hope that the hon. member noticed that the dependants’ allowance for married members of the Citizen Force and the commandos has been practically doubled in this Budget.
Those are all proposals which we made.
Mr. Speaker, I wish I had time enough to go into this aspect of the proposals which have been made by the Opposition side. May I just state in passing that they implied earlier this year when the Additional Estimates were under discussion, that the struggle against inflation had been won, thanks to the implementation of the proposals of the Opposition. When the hon. the Minister then said to them: “Very well, if that is the position, do you agree with the fiscal measures, with the existing taxations?” they were silenced (gezip). This is also what is happening now during the discussion of this Budget, because the great lament was that they had only received the crumbs from the table. They adopt the attitude that the Budget is an opportunity for handing out Christmas presents, very similar to the case of the inauguration of the State President when you bestow favours upon prisoners. No, this Budget, which is a powerful one, as was rightly stated here, looked after those specific fields where the need was the greatest and where alleviation could be brought. That is why we want to convey our thanks to the hon. the Minister for the provision which is also being made for the men behind our defence machine, in the form of doubled allowances for dependants, which will also now relate to members of the commandos in the sense that the consecutive period has been reduced from 42 to only 14 days.
Since I am talking about this, I should like to draw the attention of the hon. the Minister of Defence to the new system which is now coming into operation and according to which every able-bodied young man will, with effect from this year, become a member of the Defence Force. In other words, a much larger portion of the population will be actively incorporated in the defence of our country. I want to refer to the choice which is being offered to prospective students. The impression has arisen in certain circles that a prospective student is required to join the commandos; to undergo his training at a commando military college and then remain, liable for military service in the commandos for 16 years. That is the impression which exists outside, but it is an impression which in my opinion does not correspond in any way with the intention of the Act as it was amended last year, because one of the aims was precisely that of drawing leadership material, the young men who could really be of significance as leaders, to the Citizen Force which will remain the largest part of our defence force. If every prospective student were to enter the commandos, then most potential young leaders would be drawn away from the Citizen Force. I would appreciate it if the hon. the Minister would avail himself of this opportunity to state explicitly that the prospective student has the opportunity of choosing in this sense that if he is prepared to undergo his basic training first and to attend university the year after that, the door is open for him in the Citizen Force, and that as a result of that he will remain liable to military service for a shorter period of his life.
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion just a few words in regard to the human material of the Defence Force. I have already referred to the fact that under the new dispensation ever-increasing numbers of the population will be actively involved in the defence of the country because every able-bodied young man is now liable for military service. I want to plead that this realization should take root amongst us all, not only amongst the young people who have to undergo training, but also amongst their parents, and not only amongst their parents but amongst the population as a whole, that we must all stand together and cooperate to get our young people who have to go for their training motivated for that task. We are living in a very prosperous country, an economically strong country, as the Budget of the hon. the Minister testifies, and for that reason people are perhaps inclined to lose sight of the dangers which are really threatening our security and also our economic strength. Our population as a whole must be brought to believe that it is only through collective action on our part, the goodwill of the parent or the friend or the family member, that the young soldier will be able to contribute his share most successfully to the defence of our country; that is why I want to plead that in the areas in question where there are training units of our Defence Force, the members of the general public will on occasion, go out of their way to receive those young men in a friendly way and also to help make the time pleasant for them there and to impress upon them that there is the greatest appreciation of the fact that they are giving part of their lives for the defence of our country. I want to plead that in the local communities themselves, where young people will be leaving each year to undergo military training, there will be such a degree of recognition of the part they are playing, that special leave-taking functions will be arranged in order to wish them all the best for the time which lies ahead for them.
In conclusion I should like to congratulate the hon. the Minister, the commandant-general and the members of the Supreme Command on the progress they have made with our Defence Force in the past year or two. After the Defence Act was passed here last year, a major task was transferred to them. A new pattern had to be created, re-organization and rationalization had to take place. We are grateful to be able to say that we have a Defence Force to-day which is in every respect one of the best-equipped, the most modern and the most disciplined in the world. We have a high appreciation for our Defence Force and its Supreme Command. South Africa, as far as its security is concerned, is in good hands.
I can give the hon. member for Stellenbosch the assurance that I can answer him on the political statements he made, but I am most certainly not going to waste my valuable time to-day by talking politics. We have plenty of time to do that on many other occasions.
I want to use the few minutes at my disposal to draw the attention of the House and the Minister to a few specific problems regarding our Defence Force. Strong winds of change have been blowing lately, especially in the Indian Ocean, and unfortunately for South Africa these winds have swept a very friendly and strong British fleet right out of that ocean. As long as the British fleet was there, we had no cause for concern on that side. It was a friendly fleet and they helped us. But to-day there is no fleet of any significance between ourselves and certain countries which are not favourably disposed towards us at all. It is a great pity that this had to happen at this juncture, when the Suez Canal is closed and the route around South Africa is of such importance to so many people in the West. It is great a pity that the people who are so seriously affected by this do not realize how necessary it is that we should be enabled to defend this route. On the one hand, however, we are fortunate, in so far as the removal of the British fleet from the Indian Ocean is concerned, is that there is no fleet or state which is strong enough to assail us from that direction in the foreseeable future. In my humble opinion there are only two countries which can attack and invade us in South Africa, and these are Russia and America. I do not think that Russia is very anxious to get involved in a shooting war, and I do not think that even America will be so foolish as to look for another picnic, after its experience in Vietnam.
Sir, what kind of trouble is threatening South Africa? A conventional attack can in fact take place, but we must realize that a large, strong navy, a large number of ships together with a very large military force—both army and air-force—is required to undertake anything like that. I think the possibility that something like that may happen is, fortunately or us, rather slender. If such a force should come and establish a base on our continent, their problem would not yet be solved because those forces would have to be maintained and provided with supplies.
The second possibility, namely that of infiltration by terrorists, is of course a much more probable one. To tell the truth, we all know that this is taking place at the moment. We have already experienced this in South West Africa, and it is taking place in Rhodesia, in Angola and also in Mozambique at present. We must remember that this kind of warfare has been much more successful in recent times than the old kind of warfare we used to have. We have seen how successful it was in Kenya, in Algeria, in the Congo, and also in Malaya. After all, this is what is now happening in Vietnam. At present it is also happening in a large scale on the continent of Africa, in the Sudan, where thousands of people have died.
What lesson can we draw from the most recent developments? Is the lesson not that modern weapons, heavy equipment, bombers and fighter aircraft do not have much success against people of this kind where the terrain is in their favour? One is astonished to see what little success the Americans achieve with their enormous striking power in Vietnam. They cannot bring that war to a conclusion. It seems to us as though the lightly-equipped and well-trained soldier remains the answer in tackling these people in this kind of warfare. If our men could also be assisted by large numbers of trained dogs, it would be even better.
Against the terrorists. Dogs can be used to track them down. I think I am on perfectly safe ground in making this suggestion, because I know that our Defence Force is making use of such dogs. But this in passing.
In order to be successful against these infiltrators we must above all have the help and sympathy of the population where the operations take place. We are told that the Rhodesian success is largely attributable to the cooperation which the security forces there receive from the Natives in the area where the operations take place. We must all realize that in fighting against these forces to-day, Rhodesia is fighting for us. They are fighting for us. I shall go further. The fight that is taking place there to-day as well as the fight in Angola and Mozambique, is our fight as well. Having said this, I think we must realize that Portugal is not a strong country. Portugal is a poor country and these operations are costing them a great deal. We do not know for how long they will be able to keep them up, because we read that more than 40 per cent of the Portuguese Budget is being spent on their armed forces. I hope that, while we are doing our duty in Rhodesia, we shall not turn our back on these people, who are also fighting for us.
When referring to the defence of South Africa as it is to-day and to the infiltration of terrorists, we of course have in mind terrorists from our neighbouring states in the north. To all intents and purposes it is only the north that we have to contend with. I now come to the establishment of our own Bantustans. Before hon. members on the opposite side get hot under the collar about these Bantustans, I want to say that I am not going to discuss and argue the question as to whether Bantustans are right or not. They are Government policy, but we must accept that these Bantustans will create a problem for our defence. Accordingly I want to discuss them in this light. I know the question will now be asked: “Why be afraid of the Bantustans we are going to create, if you are not afraid of the former protectorates?” But this is quite a different matter. I want to put it in this way. In the case of Botswana and Swaziland we find they are completely surrounded by white areas. Botswana is more of a threat, because in the north Botswana borders on a state which is most certainly not friendly towards us, namely Zambia.
It is difficult to defend our country, because we have long borders, both along the sea and on land. No one can dispute this. We must remember that when these Bantustans become independent, two of them will border on the Indian Ocean, namely Zululand and the Transkei. A third will border on Botswana. If any of these independent states should not be friendly towards us in time of war, it would be the easiest thing in the world for people to seep into the country from outside our borders. We had a case in the last World War when we were still one great undivided country, when we were strong, and yet a German submarine landed a saboteur on our coast. He was not tracked down before he reached Pretoria.
I must honestly say that I cannot see how South Africa can be defended properly and effectively when we have independent states within our own borders. During the last War Mozambique was friendly but neutral, and it was a canker in our military side. It was a hotbed of espionage. The enemy came there and received assistance. How much more will this not be the case if these Bantustans are not friendly towards us?
I also want to mention the case of Ireland. During the Second World War Ireland was an independent country and remained neutral. Her neutrality was the cause of the death of thousands of people in the Atlantic Ocean and of the sinking of hundreds of ships in that ocean during the last War. We have not only the problem of neutrality, but various other problems as well, such as fly-over rights, violation of territorial waters, etc.
I think that all of us in South Africa realize to-day that South Africa’s security frontier is not the Limpopo. South Africa’s security frontier lies far north of the Limpopo. Above all South Africa must have people who can be called her allies and who will be able to help her. We find ourselves in the unfortunate position to-day that, as far as we know, we have only one treaty, namely the Simonstown Agreement. This matter has been discussed here many times and I do not want to elaborate on it any further. But is it not worth while to see what can be done as far as the Portuguese are concerned? We know that there will be a terrible outcry if we come to an agreement with these people to help each other, but if people want to co-operate to safeguard themselves, what is wrong with it? Surely there is nothing wrong with that. There will always be people complaining. I hope in this regard, with respect to allies and assistance, the Minister will be able to give us a reply in the course of this very debate.
I think the Minister ought to give us far more information, as the hon. member for Durban (Point) also said. I am sure that if the people of South Africa know more about what is going on in our Defence Force and if they know more about the dangers and problems which we have to contend with, they will not become panic-stricken. They will realize what the dangers are and they will stand by us. Everyone in this country is concerned with the protection of South Africa. The more we are informed in this regard, the better. In this Budget, as was done in the budgets of the past few years, a great deal of money is being spent on the defence of South Africa. From 1959 to 1968 approximately R1,300 million was spent on defence. This year it is R252 million. This is not too much to pay for our security. But my complaint is that we in the House of Assembly vote this money and then just hope for the best. We really do not know how that money is being spent.
I just want to warn that we have had this attitude before. We had this attitude before 1939 and we all know what the results were. We also know that in the fifties this House was not informed, but in fact misled as far as defence matters were concerned. We do not want a repetition of this. The other Ministers of the Cabinet are not as fortunate as the Minister of Defence. We recently spent a week on the Budget of the Minister of Transport. He had to give us an account of every penny spent by his Department. The Minister of Interior even had to give account of waste paper, but the Minister of Defence spends R252 million per year and we know extremely little about the reasons for which that money is being spent and on what it is being spent. We get the relevant heads on his Vote, but we do not get details. Suffice it to say that we must give the people full information. I am not referring to secret weapons and secret techniques. No one can ask particulars about those, but let us give the public the general information and let us publicize the activities of our Defence Force in every possible field. This will give the people a chance to take a proud interest in our Defence Force.
If the public outside knows what is really being done, we will not get nonsensical complaints from parents and employers who think that their children’s and employees’ time is being wasted for a year. I was in Israel some time ago. I am not suggesting that everything the Israelis do is good, but something which particularly struck me was that each Israeli to whom one spoke could tell one precisely what was being done. He knew the strength of his Defence Force and where they were stationed. He knew about their activities and takes pride in them. Why can we not do this? It is no use bluffing ourselves that our enemies do not know what is going on. Any enemy who is worth his salt knows much more than the Members of this Parliament about what is going on in South Africa. Neither am I so sure that it will be a bad thing for us if our enemies know how strong we are. I think it will do them a world of good. It will act as a deterrent. Surely it is the aim of any Defence Force to try to prevent a war. We do not want to make war. We want to prevent it. Let the people know how strong we are and it will do them a world of good. If our Defence Force is well equipped and properly trained, it may serve to prevent us from being attacked unnecessarily. That Defence Force will then already be a great success, even if they do nothing else.
Mr. Speaker, I am not going to react to what was said by the hon. member for North Rand. He said he did not wish to drag politics into the matter, and he did not do so. But I want to refer to some of the remarks made by the hon. member for Durban (Point). He took it amiss of the hon. the Minister of Defence for having participated by means of a public meeting in a by-election in Pretoria (West). But we still remember the political record of the United Party. Do they think we have already forgotten that period? Do we no longer remember the days of the red flash? Where were people more relentlessly persecuted, pre-eminently in the Defence Force, than precisely during election times when their Government was in power? The severest discrimination ever exercised in South Africa was exercised against people who participated in elections when they were in power. Surely they know that. They did not use Ministers alone for exercising such discrimination, but every Tom, Dick and Harry could discriminate against one at that time if one was not wearing a red flash. We do not do that kind of thing. Why then this attack on the hon. the Minister of Defence? [Interjections.]
That was the statement made by the hon. member for Durban (Point). It was a very senseless point but that nevertheless was the point made by the hon. member. Another argument advanced by the hon. member for Durban (Point), one to which the hon. member for North Rand also referred in passing, was what they referred to as the Bantustans, namely the Bantu homelands. They asked what the defence possibilities of those homelands would be when the homeland policy had been carried through to its logical conclusions. They immediately adopted the attitude, and I accept this in that light, and consequently base my argument on that attitude, that all Bantu homelands are going to become a potential terrain for enemies and terrorists. They proceed on that assumption when they present the homelands as a threat. If it is true, as hon. members of the Opposition allege, that the Bantu homelands are therefore going to be potential nests of terrorists and potential enemy territories, then my counter question simply is: “Where do I want my enemy?” When they state that those areas are going to become enemy territories, I ask myself Where I want my enemy to be. Lessons are to be learned from what is happening in Vietnam at present. In Vietnam the Vietcong by day carries an implement for harvesting rice and as soon as the sun sets, he carries a Chinese machine gun. If those circumstances were to prevail in South Africa, where would I prefer the machine gun carriers to be? If the assumption of the Opposition that they are potential enemies is correct, do I prefer to have him in a place where I can hold him at bay, or in my back yard or in my white city? But I leave the argument at that.
I want to advance an argument of my own, and I want to refer to two aspects in particular to which previous speakers on the Opposition side also referred. These aspects are the military, strategic position as far as the Indian Ocean is concerned, with special reference to the Cape route, and along with that and more specifically, the guerrilla war which is being waged against Southern Africa at the present time. I think the time has arrived for the population of South Africa to take cognizance of what is actually happening in Southern Africa. I think the time has also arrived for them to view future action from Southern Africa in its right perspective. I think the time has arrived when there must be no doubt any longer about the purpose of the struggle being waged against Southern Africa, and when cognizance must be taken of its ultimate object. A struggle is being waged and the object of that struggle is nothing but the destruction of peace and order in Southern Africa and the application of communistic doctrines, the creation of communistic chaos in Southern Africa, and the eventual take-over of Southern Africa by Black Africa from the North. Those statements are there for everyone to note. It is time for us to open our eyes and to wake up from our slumbers of over-confidence, take note and face these dangers realistically.
Now it is paradoxical that the very success we have achieved in combating this threat has given rise to this feeling of over-confidence in Southern Africa. When the hon. the Prime Minister was Minister of Justice, the efficiency with which he acted against undermining elements and against dangers threatening South Africa, created the very impression that nothing could affect us in Southern Africa any longer. The very success with which the present Minister of Defence is building up the Defence Force and erecting a bulwark against our enemies to the north of us as well as enemies from the other side of the ocean, makes our population over-confident and creates a problem for us. From this flows a feeling that we may allow ourselves all kinds of liberties and may gamble with the future of South Africa, because we are developing a feeling of over-confidence.
Let us consider the position in the Indian Ocean specifically. I should like to quote to you from the Hansard of the House of Lords, from a debate on this specific subject of Defence. I quote from a speech made by Lord Thorneycroft, former Minister of Defence of Britain. He spoke in the debate in the House of Lords on 13th March of this year. He said—
Lord Strathclyde spoke in the same debate, and he said the following with reference to the dangerous position of Britain—
I want to quote only one more person, namely Lord Teynham, who spoke in the same debate—
The hon. member for North Rand tried to reassure us by saying that no threat existed from the Russian side. But, Sir, a vaccum is being created in the Indian Ocean by the United States of America, which stated through their State Department that they were not going to fill the vacuum left by Britain in the Indian Ocean. I quote to you what Mr. McCloskey of the State Department said on 16th January of this year—
A vacuum is coming into existence in the Indian Ocean. That vacuum is being filled by the communists at the present time: In the first place Chinese communists, who already have a foothold and a base in Zanzibar, who are already moving through Tanzania to the north of Mozambique, who are already supplying arms to the Frelimo who are fighting against the Portuguese on the northern border of Mozambique. In the second place, although the Chinese have a limited naval force, they have been moving in with submarines and have started using Zanzibar as a submarine base. But the Russians have not kept away from the coast of Africa. What used to be a British-controlled area in the Indian Ocean, from the southern tip of South Africa, around the coast of Africa through the Persian Gulf all around India up to Singapore and Hong Kong, is at present an area exposed to Russian infiltration. On the east coast of Africa the Russians are already all set to step in. They already have the harbour of Mogadishu in Somaliland which they are going to develop as a base for the Russian Navy. Aden is now being left as a lure for take-over by the Russians. The Persian Gulf, which supplies 60 per cent of the world’s oil is only a small distance away over land for occupation by the Russians. The Britains will withdraw from that area in 1971. India is the logical country to fill this vacuum in the Indian Ocean, but India does not have the power to do so. India fears China and does not trust the Americans, because the Americans have not proved themselves trustworthy in the East and in the Middle East. Consequently India is turning to Russia to-day to use the Russians, and particularly the Russian Navy, around the Indian coast, as a means of defence against Chinese penetration into that part of the Indian Ocean. Because this is the case, a struggle is at present taking place between China and Russia in the Indian Ocean for a foothold and they are eager to go for each other. What are the possibilities? As I have said, Zanzibar is in Chinese hands already. Mauritius became independent the other day, she is communistically orientated, a ready-made base for the Russian Navy. The Persian Gulf, with everything which is happening there, is an area offering the richest pickings for any one who is going to take the Gulf. Further to the south, the coast of South Africa is of the utmost strategic importance. I once again quote to you from the Hansard of the House of Lords, from what Lord Teynham went on to say—
Then we come to the Earl of Glasgow, who participated in this debate and made some of the most illuminating statements. He said—
But then he proceeded—
Here he was referring to Britain.
The length of the coastline of South Africa is approximately 2,000 miles, in other words, a distance equal to half-way that to Australia across the Indian Ocean. South Africa is responsible for the defence of this coast line with its Navy. This was a source of regret to Mr. Edward Heath, the leader of the British Opposition Party, when he participated in a debate on 19th December and put this matter in its right perspective as far as Britain was concerned. He said—
What did we want to buy from Britain and what was the reason for Mr. Wilson’s act of shutting the door in our face? What was the consternation all about, also in both Houses of the British Parliament? South Africa wanted to buy four frigates for the Navy as well as a number of ground-to-air Bloodhound missiles for making our air space secure. In addition South Africa wanted to buy approximately 16 Buccaneer aircraft for strengthening its Air Force as well as 15 Shackleton Mark III aircraft for strengthening our naval defence. South Africa also wanted to buy a number of Nimrod aircraft for use against submarines. The question once again arises, and we can agree with the hon. British Lord when he says “How can one take a submarine by its propeller and hit a Bantu over the head with that during a riot in Johannesburg?” The absurdity of the position defies description.
I want to proceed and refer to the threat to South Africa from terrorists. We have the position to-day that self-confessed murderers and arsonists are being praised by the world as freedom fighters. The atrocities committed by them which constitute a threat to South Africa and Southern Africa are being extolled by them as acts of heroism. I want to quote from the London Times of 11th March, 1968—
This investigation by people of the London Times into the objectives of the terrorists for Southern Africa ought to leave no doubt in our minds. They say that the key to Southern Africa is situated on the border of the Zambesi, namely Rhodesia. They say here that the ultimate objective is Cape Town. The white man must be removed from Southern Africa, because Black Africa wants it. This process is taking place and we must take cognizance of it. Who is behind this publicity by means of which these murderers are being extolled by the world as freedom fighters and heroes? I want to mention one example, and I quote from the London Times of 15th March, 1968—
The Times singles out one of these people who is at present enjoying asylum in Britain. He is highly thought of in British Press circles. He writes for this paper and his photo appears along with the report. I quote once again—
The newspaper goes on to write that this person is making progress in the journalistic world as well as in the so-called Black Power movements of Britain. The newspaper says that Chinese-inspired communists are behind the Press campaign to give murderers and arsonists in Southern Africa the status of heroes.
Who are the fighters who are being used against Southern Africa? I want to quote again from The Sunday Times of 24th March, 1968. It contains an article by Hassan Chimutengwende which he calls “My guerrilla fight against Smith.” This person has received asylum from the British Government and in this article he makes certain sensational statements. He says—
Later he makes what are to me the most shocking statements in the entire article. He referred to the lessons which he gave through people when he himself was a terrorist, and he says—
When this man got into trouble in Rhodesia, he fled. He goes on to say—
What a shocking statement. Here we have a self-confessed communist revealing his methods to us and he says that the World Council of Churches helped him to flee to Britain. This is the threat. The question which arises is: What is our answer to that? The first answer is that we have to safeguard further our coast line against any possible attack. Britain refused to supply us with arms worth R400 million. Can we afford waiting for another Government to come into power in Britain so that it may supply us with arms? I do not think we can. I think the hon. the Minister should give consideration to ordering more submarines from France as soon as possible. I think the French firm concerned will be very pleased to supply us with more submarines. I think South Africa can afford them as one submarine costs approximately R8 million. I am of the opinion that we should acquire more of these weapons. That will enable us to wage a struggle. We have a manpower problem in South Africa. While our frigates require more than 200 men to keep them ready for action, submarines require fewer men, between 40 and 50, and in this way we shall be able to put into operation a much better means of defending our coastline. But we must also buy arms from other countries in Europe which are more realistic, and thank God there are countries which are realistic towards South Africa: there are other countries in Europe that are more kindly disposed towards South Africa. As I have quoted to you, there is also that measure of goodwill towards us in Britain. But a new concept, a new realism, is taking root in Europe in respect of the security of Southern Africa in so far as we are straddling the trade routes of the world. That realism affords us an opportunity of acquiring arms in Europe at present on fair conditions and in a way which is satisfactory to both sides. Consequently it would not be wise to delay the purchase of arms indefinitely in order to buy them from Britain and to close our eyes to anything but the British market as though that was the only market for arms available to us.
But we also have to go further and build up our defences on the local front; we must also look at our commandos. We have this ideal organization in our country to put up as an anti-terrorist defence. Our commandos with their traditions and their roots in the rural areas and with their background are ideally suited for the purpose of anti-guerrilla warfare. We must give them the arms. We must just give our commandos the arms and the opportunity to train themselves to the utmost as anti-guerrilla forces, because the guerrilla does not strike at a front; he strikes everywhere. He does not strike in a way which one expects; he strikes overnight, throughout a large area. Therefore our commandos, in conjunction with our civil defence, must be given the opportunity of bringing our anti-guerrilla defence to a high degree of readiness.
I am grateful that civil defence has now been taken over by the Defence Force. It belonged there in the first place, and should always have been there. We must, seen from the point of view of the Defence Force, take our civil defence to a high level, so that it may occupy the position in South Africa which it occupies in other countries. In the U.S.A. civil defence is considered one of the most important components of the defence of the U.S.A. against aggression, because it has been calculated that without civil defence they would lose 10 million people in an attack, but with civil defence in the area concerned they believe they will lose 2 million only.
On this occasion I should also like to ask the hon. the Minister what progress he has made in the training of girls in our Defence Force. This is an aspect in which we are very interested. We believe this is important. We should like to have a statement from the hon. the Minister in this regard and we should also like to hear what he has accomplished up to now.
I want to conclude by saying that all sections of the population in South Africa must realize what is happening. In that struggle and with that realization, we must have confidence in what the Government is doing and we should not try to sow suspicion as in the attempts which were very subtly made here. They are waging the struggle for us on all levels, on the diplomatic level as well as on the military level. We, as a nation, must see it as our task to make our country strong and united in the face of onslaughts against us which are going to become bigger and bigger. We must support them so as to enable them to wage the struggle for us.
I should like to come back to the speech made by the hon. member for Durban (Point). Let me say straight away that I have been sitting and wondering here for the past two years how long this sentimental friendship with the Minister of Defence in regard to defence affairs would continue. Here we have it in the House this afternoon, although it has already cropped up outside this House as well as in the Other Place approximately ten days ago. But merely in passing I want to tell the hon. member that, since he belittled one of us, the back-benchers, this afternoon in connection with our book, “Die Oes van Ses-en-Sestig”, we as back-benchers on this side are not only capable of coping with him, but also with his whole party. We, on our own, shall take his whole party, and that is something his party will not be able to swallow soon.
Now this hon. member comes along and quite piously he says that the hon. the Minister of Defence has said “that he would keep politics out of defence”, and now the Minister of Defence is being accused—and it is being taken very much amiss of him—of having made a speech in the High School Hall in Pretoria West. But the hon. the Minister acted quite responsibly. This school hall is provincial property and it is situated well to one side of Voortrekkerhoogte. At any rate, I quite agree that he could have held a meeting there. But what is of importance, is this. I myself worked in Pretoria West and there I did not come across one of the hon. members opposite; they were too scared of going there. I can tell them that in the constituency of Pretoria West both N.P. and U.P. supporters asked that the hon. the Minister should hold a meeting there. What is more, when the meeting was held night before last, the hall was too small for all the people, and my information is that there was a large number of U.P. supporters and at the end of the meeting everybody present gave the Minister a standing ovation for his speech. That is why that hon. member is complaining. He is not complaining about the principle of politics in defence, but because his own people gave the Minister of Defence such a reception there, something which they never expected, and to-night they are going to get an even bigger surprise when they will not even manage to get 1,000 votes in Pretoria West.
Is that why you sent the whole Parliament there?
Now the hon. member is saying quite piously that we are dragging politics in defence affairs, but let us see for a moment what his own people are doing. Earlier this afternoon I sent a message to the hon. member for Karoo to tell him that I would comment on something he had said outside this House, and I assume that for some reason or other the hon. member cannot be present, but I am not to blame if he is not here. This is the position. On 28th November, last year, the hon. member for Karoo commented in the Diamond Fields Advertiser on a speech the hon. the Minister of Defence had made at De Aar the previous Saturday, and what did he say?—
Then the hon. member for Karoo said—
The hon. member for North Rand made a very responsible speech to-day, but the other senior member in that part said the following—
It is this responsible member opposite who is saying this sort of thing. He went on to say—
That is what the hon. member said. He has never heard of the Johannesburg slums and all the other matters. Then he said—
Then he said the following—
I shall now deal with what the hon. the Minister’s attitude is in respect of defence affairs and both language groups and his actions in public and in this House in regard to these matters. Then the hon. member said—
That is what the hon. member said, and then we are not to drag politics into this debate in regard to defence affairs. But we did not do so; we have never in this Session of Parliament dragged politics into this matter. We did not do so last year, nor did we do so in the short session of 1966. But these matters are not so innocent. The hon. the Minister went to the Other Place and he moved his motion of policy and made an extremely responsible and illuminating speech. In the course of his speech, and while he was replying to speeches made on the other side, he mentioned the names of five different officers of the Defence Force, four of whom are members of the Supreme Command, and the names were those of the then Brigadier Retief …
What column is that?
Column 1403, of 12th March. He mentioned the name of Brigadier Retief, and he mentioned the name of the Commandant-General, and in column 1405, in reply to certain speeches, and pursuant to these representations that a defence consulting board should ostensibly be established here, he said, amongst other things—
That is vein in which the hon. the Minister spoke. Then the Minister said in column 1406—
Here the Minister said, only a fortnight ago in the Other Place, that he would always remain aloof from party matters as regards defence—
Then a Senator remarked, “The same old story again”, and the Minister went on to say—
This is the standpoint of this side of the House. After all, this is the way a responsible Minister acts. But as is always the case with hon. members opposite, they can after a while no longer keep their tongues in check and they must have their say. Then it happened in Col. 1431, when Senator Du Toit was speaking, and here he said—
And then the Minister asked him, “And the other generals?” and then the Senator said again—
Then the Minister said that he had mentioned more, and then the hon. Senator continued and pretended that he had not heard the Minister mentioning more names. Not a word of it. The names of five senior officers were mentioned by the Minister in his speech, without any party connection whatsoever. Why does this hon. member only mention the names of these two generals? The Minister pointed out to him that he placed these people in a very embarrassing position by making remarks of this nature in that Place or any other place. They do not deserve that and no member of the Supreme Command deserves that such a remark should be made here. Mr. Speaker, this thing is cropping up far too innocently here this afternoon. Why was this question, which was replied to on 13th February, put by the hon. member for Durban (Point) to the hon. the Minister of Defence?—
Why is this question being asked? Then it was asked how many officers had been passed by. Questions of this kind are being asked and remarks of this kind are being made. They can only be calculated to arouse feelings. Mr. Speaker, what is the standpoint of this side of the House? The standpoint of this side of the House is that we have the fullest confidence in the hon. the Minister of Defence and in every member of the Supreme Command and in all the ranks lower down. That is our standpoint; we do not make remarks in this place and then in that place and then from public platforms; we do not ask why certain members of the Defence Force were treated in this or that way. Then I just want to say this to the hon. member for Karoo, who attacked the hon. the Minister of Defence here and insinuated that the Minister also had a share in the role the National Party has been playing since its inception in 1912, namely that of doing nothing but damaging the reputation of South Africa. It seems to me as though the hon. member has never heard of what has been accomplished by the National Party over the years. The hon. member has never heard of the Flag Act; he has never heard of the Statute of Westminster in which General Hertzog played the major role; he has never heard of the Status Act and everything that followed on that—the Bantu Legislation, for instance, which was originally the idea of the National Party and of General Hertzog. He has probably never heard that we gave to our country a Citizenship Act of our own, that we abolished the right of appeal to the Privy Council, that we placed the Coloureds on a separate Voters’ Roll and that we removed the Bantu Representatives from this Parliament. I am sure that to this day he still does not know that we are a Republic, but one thing is certain—and I think that is why he is so peevish—namely that he does know that in 1966 this side of the House gave that side of the House the biggest hiding they have ever had in their history, and at the next election they are going to get an even bigger hiding, if they would only put up candidates. I think that hon. members of the Opposition should not so piously level the accusation here that we are the people who are dragging politics into defence affairs. I should like to confirm what the hon. the Minister said, namely that, despite this sort of provocation from hon. members opposite, this side of the House will as far as possible refrain from dragging politics into the Defence Force since we want a happy Defence Force, because if that is the case we also know that we have a strong Defence Force.
Mr. Speaker, what does one find if one looks at the Budget? One of the characteristics of a good budget is that it must indicate clearly whether the Government has acquitted itself well of its task by providing for the elementary national needs, such as defence, education, etc. This year we have a gross national product of R9,607 million and estimates of expenditure total more than R2,000 million, and of that amount our Defence Budget is approximately 12 per cent, and the percentage as compared with our gross national product is approximately 2.5 per cent. Although the expenditure on defence has in the past eight years been multiplied six times, it is not at all disproportionate with the position in other countries. In last year’s Budget we spent 3.17 per cent of our gross national product on defence. Compare this with the percentages in other countries: Switzerland, 3.5 per cent; Australia, 4.8 per cent; Canada, 3 per cent; Israel, 11.7 per cent; Portugal, 6.5 per cent; Tanzania, 6.3 per cent, and Kenya, 10.1 per cent. But, Mr. Speaker, there are after all very good reasons why we had to spend these large amounts on defence. Have hon. members of the Opposition forgotten what our position in U.N. is? I do not wish to elaborate on that any further. We must bear in mind that we are faced in Africa with an organization such as the Organization for African Unity, which is actually an organization for war in Africa, or so at least it would appear to one. We find ourselves in the position that there are thousands of terrorists who are preparing themselves in countries to the north of us. Earlier to-day we heard here—and we know it—that the ultimate goal of those terrorists is Pretoria. A fortnight ago they openly said so to reporters who visited them there. To-day I want to pay tribute here to Portugal and to Rhodesia and to our own police in Rhodesia, but especially to those two neighbouring states of ours who are fighting a war in those territories. A year ago I had the opportunity of visiting Rhodesia and some of those territories, not during the riots, but before them. I had the opportunity of mixing with those Rhodesians. When one is among those Rhodesians who are fighting the terrorists there, it is just as though one is among our own young men. We must be eternally grateful to those young men who, 1,000 miles and even further away, are keeping these terrorists from our borders and from us, at great loss of life and expense to themselves. We must prepare ourselves here for circumstances of that kind in which we may possibly land here. We are faced with the problem of the Indian Ocean, which was very clearly and thoroughly explained to us this afternoon. As far as the Indian Ocean is concerned, we are on the outpost of Western civilization. We are confronted with the problem of Simonstown and everything that is connected with it. I do not wish to comment on that. All I can say, is that our side of the case is right. However, we cannot say that about the other side. I can also say that our side of the case is honest. We are faced with the problem that owing to Russia’s actions, which were also explained here this afternoon, our entire sea route around the Cape has already been jeopardized. We are confronted with the problem of the arms embargo. One moment we think we are dealing with honourable friends and the next moment those very same honourable friends stab us in the back and refuse to sell arms to us. They even refuse to sell us spares for those arms. Mr. Speaker, any respectable person can understand that a salesman may say to one, “Look, I am terminating my contract as from now”, but if, however, he sells one a car and subsequently refuses to sell one spares for that car, I do not think that he is playing the game at all. Mr. Speaker, we are confronted with the problem of the U.S.A., which has, as far as these matters are concerned, adopted a very strong policy against South Africa. Listen to what is being said by the U.S.A.’s own authorities on matters of this kind. I am quoting from a report which appeared in the Cape Times dated 6th November, 1967—
The report goes on to say—
I think that in that respect we can tell our hon. Prime Minister that we are lending him our strongest support when he tells these people, “We have now had enough; we shall and we want to retain our self-respect and we shall not permit ourselves to lose our self-respect through you.” We are grateful that we have people abroad who are also adopting this same firm attitude in support of us. Mr. Speaker, these are a few of the reasons why we should spend these large amounts on defence. My point of view is, with all due respect to hon. members opposite, that they must not say here, in a spirit of pettiness, that they want to know this and that they want to know that; why did they not ask these questions last year? Why did they not ask last year already, “What about Salisbury Island; what about this and what about that?” Why did they not ask for a committee last year already, as they did in the Other Place and as they now want to do here? In last year’s Budget debate not a word was said about that. At that stage defence was really too holy a matter to be discussed across the floor of this House! But now they come forward with these little things because they feel nettled at the fact that the hon. the Minister received a standing ovation from both N.P and U.P supporters at Voortrekkerhoogte; now they are raking up these things, but these things have, of course, been brooding a little under the surface for two years.
Mr. Speaker, I have been instructed to conclude. I should just like to deal briefly with another aspect, i.e. the question our nation’s outlook and the attitude adopted by the man in the street in respect of our citizen force and our commandos. We are proud of these two defence units. We have a national army; our citizen force, as you know, Sir, is our Defence Force. Our citizen force receives assistance, in the form of training and guidance, from our Permanent Force and from the commandos. The numerical strength of our commandos is considerable. Our commandos have received their own military college. In that military college our commandos are trained in all aspects of commando training, and arising from that the whole question of what role the commandos are to play in our society is coming to the fore more and more. Unfortunately I do not have the time to discuss it this afternoon, and I shall therefore have to deal with it under the Vote, but I just want to bring to the notice of the House a matter of which one can be very proud. Sir, the type of warfare that stares us in the face, is not the conventional type of warfare. The days of large armies taking up positions opposite each other, have passed. The future war in which we shall be involved, is a type of guerrilla warfare. Our own people are being trained in it and will have to be experts at guerrilla warfare. It has also been proved that if one wants to fight guerrillas, one would virtually have to become a guerrilla oneself as far as one’s methods are concerned. In Malaya the British Tommies engaged in battle as the guerrillas would have done, and they achieved success. They are just about the only people who have achieved success in this sphere in the post-war period.
At present America has more than 900,000 soldiers in Vietnam and yet they cannot force the half-starved and shrivelled-up Vietnamese to their knees. [Interjection.] It is for that very reason that I want to deal with the question of the loyalty of the local population. For the task that awaits us it is just as important that we should have the loyalty of the local population, but before I deal with that I just want to say this. The leaders one needs for guerrilla warfare, are people who will to a large extent have to display individuality. An army man does not like it very much if one says this, but it has already been proved that air force officers, if they are placed in this sort of situation, have achieved a great measure of success. I know that my good old friend here is terribly pleased to hear me saying so, but it so happens that they have a great deal of individuality. We in this House can be proud of the men we have in our Defence Force to-day, men who are being trained as commanders, men who are almost commanders and who have already become commanders of units and commanders of commandos and who have already reached the highest ranks—young men with the necessary individuality. It is interesting to note that Laurence of Arabia, for instance, was 27 years old when he was at his peak. An officer named Michael Calvert succeeded General Wingate in Burma at the age of 30 and took charge of a very large and important army. The Cypriots, who ran amuck amongst the English, were mostly young lads and very young men. General Louis Botha was a commandant-general at the age of 37 years; General Smuts was a general at the age of 30 years, and General Hertzog was a general at the age of 34 years. To-day we have that same human material. The human material we have in South Africa to-day, in both language groups, cannot be described better than it is being done in the words of Conan Doyle in his book “The Great Boer War (1900)”. In that book he said the following about South Africa’s human material—
Mr. Speaker, two hon. members opposite have spoken since the hon. member for North Rand spoke, and I will attempt to deal with certain things that they said. In the first place, as far as the hon. member for Potchefstroom is concerned, he commented upon several matters which can be better dealt with under the respective Votes. He also commented upon a matter to which I shall immediately return. As far as the hon. member for Middelburg is concerned, he said a great deal with which I agree, in particular with regard to the aims of Communism in Africa. He made two points, one of which was also made by the hon. member for Pochefstroom, with which I disagree, and one of them I want to deal with immediately. That concerns the action of the hon. the Minister of Defence in going to speak in the recent by-election in Pretoria (West). The point we make here is this. The Minister of Defence said he wants to keep politics out of the defence force, and that is a proper and a right attitude. What we say is that where that is his aim, and it is a proper aim, he should be studious to avoid participating in an election in a constituency which is the heart of the defence force.
That is absolute nonsense.
The hon. the Prime Minister says that is absolute nonsense. Certain answers were given by the other side in regard to this point and one of them was that the same thing happened in the time of the United Party during the war. I do not know whether it did happen or not, but undoubtedly, if it did happen, two wrongs do not make a right. Moreover, undoubtedly at that time many hon. members opposite were alienated from the forces. It will be most unfortunate if the Prime Minister is striving for that same situation.
Why should he not address a meeting in that constituency?
I suggest where he is the Minister of Defence and as such at the head of the defence force, he should be studious to avoid taking part in a political election, particularly in the heart of the defence force. [Interjections.] I did not say General Smuts did not. I do not know if he did, and I do not think that hon. Minister knows. But I say two wrongs do not make a right, if it was so. The rather interesting feature about this is that we have had great confidence expressed by hon. members opposite as to the very fine results they are going to get there. Well, if they do, good luck to them, but it is interesting that such a confident and such an impregnable party should have to send down half-a-dozen Ministers to ensure they do not suffer a setback there.
I do not want to dwell in these fields. I said at the outset that I agree with a lot of what the hon. member for Middelburg said, particularly on the question of the aims of the communists in Southern Africa. He said, and I agree with him, that they wish to see the destruction of peace and order in Southern Africa. Indeed, I think these words should be underlined for the benefit of this House, and more particularly of the country. The hon. member also spoke of a certain measure of complacency—“ ’n oorgerustheid”—on the part of the people in South Africa. I think there is a certain measure of “oorgerustheid”, and I think it can be seen partly from the attitude to civil defence. I think the Minister of Defence will admit it is extremely difficult to get people interested in, let alone excited about, civil defence. I do believe the situation to-day, particularly in the light of the recent news we have had about the attitude of the American President, is anything but one which justifies complacency as far as South Africa is concerned.
Let us look for one moment with what deathly and steadfast purpose the communists are attempting the subversion of Southern Africa. We know it is part of their world plan to achieve domination, and so forth, that they claim to be anti-colonial, and all that. We have seen in their utterances on the diplomatic front continuous attacks upon South Africa in regard to South West Africa, apartheid, the Olympic Games, and all these things. But it has not stopped at words, by any means. We have had very prompt action by these people. We have seen the immediate movement into Africa of communists as soon as the Western Powers withdrew. Take the Congo. The Congo-Leopoldville got its independence in June. 1960, and Congo-Brazzaville in August, 1960. Within months we saw the start of terrorist infiltration into Angola. Zanzibar became independent in December, 1963, and no more than a month later, namely in January, 1964, we saw the communist-supported coup there. It was not later than April, 1964, a bare four months later, when Tanganyika joined with the government of Zanzibar to form the state of Tanzania, and we know what the Portuguese have been experiencing ever since then across their border in Mozambique. That is not all. We have had, as I indicated, not only their going into Africa but we also have had the instigation of and support for these so-called freedom movements. We note the incursions beginning the very moment the take-overs have occurred. So it is that for seven years the Congo has been incursing into Angola, Tanzania for three years into Mozambique, and now we have incursions from Zambia into Rhodesia. There was also one swift attack upon South West Africa. I believe that with the change of the U.S. policy in Vietnam pressures upon us here in Southern Africa will undoubtedly be intensified. It would seem the Americans are now accepting that a civil war is really taking place in Vietnam. This is the state of affairs they ask the world to accept is going on. The change of attitude on the part of the U.S. may lead to peace there, but at the very least I think it will lead to America going over to the defensive in Vietnam. The inevitable result will be that resources will be released for duties elsewhere. It is surprising and depressing that whilst the Americans have been so fully engaged in Vietnam, the Chinese, and the Russians to a lesser extent, have spared resources for Africa and Southern Africa. The setbacks which the Americans are unfortunately accepting in Vietnam are further encouragement to the so-called freedom movements. So the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. The Americans, who tried to play the role of policeman in Vietnam, have unfortunately had a setback. One remembers well that they had great success in Korea, which was their first attempt at playing this role to prevent the outbreak of another World War II. I mention the Second World War because it is widely believed that the failure of Germany’s opponents to act time-ously led to the Second World War.
I think it is important for us to look squarely at the pressures which we presently find in Southern Africa. I leave on one side diplomatic and political pressures and I will confine myself to the military side. The guerrilla war has been going on for seven years in the Portuguese territories of Angola and Moçambique and in Guinea. It is true that it may not at the moment sound particularly impressive, but the fact that it has continued for that period of time is very significant. It has been stated in this House that the cost to Portugal is something in the region of R160 million per year. That is indirectly attributable military expenditure. It has also been stated, but it needs to be repeated, that this ties down a 120,000 regular forces of Portugal, as well as certain local defence forces. I think this is something in the region of the defence force which we hope to have created. This large number is tied down by these guerrillas. We have seen, as far as Rhodesia is concerned, the first incursions of the terrorists there. The size of the Rhodesian forces engaged is not known, but it is known that our own Police are giving a hand there. So these incursions which began in a small way, seven years ago, have now spread to three fronts in Mozambique, two fronts in Angola and one in Rhodesia. It is well known—indeed the hon. the Minister of Defence mentioned it in a recent speech—that there is considerable build-up of weapons, mostly Red Chinese.
Let us look for a moment at the likely form that increased pressure may take. Various members have this afternoon referred to the possibilities of seaborne invasions and so forth. These undoubtedly will take an immense build-up, an immense amount of shipping, and I certainly to-day am going to leave them there. My own belief is—and I believe that most members of the House will share this—that the increased pressure is likely to occur by way of great intensification of guerrilla warfare. It must be remembered that this type of warfare is the least costly to our opponents. In this regard I would like to tell this House what Major Petersen of the United States Marines has said upon the point, writing an introduction to the important work “Guerrilla Warfare”, and in particular the section written by Che Guevara. He says the following:
This form of war is undoubtedly that most suited to the purpose of our opponents, and that which I believe they will exploit to the greatest extent. There has been a report—I do not know how accurate it is—attributed to Major Mike Hoare that in Zambia—unless I am mistaken, in Zambia alone—there are approximately 29 camps with between 500 and 1,000 terrorists. That is a large number of terrorists by any standard. While I do not necessarily accept that, it is a figure which he gave, and which was supported. When one knows the sort of ratio of defending troops to terrorists attacking, one can appreciate what a very large number of forces friendly to us can become engaged in. We therefore are faced with this situation, and my belief is that pressure is going to be not only maintained, but intensified on the states of Southern Africa. We have to be very certain that we are applying the correct defensive strategies in the widest sense in which that term can be used.
In the first place we naturally must seek powerful friends in order to eliminate the possibility of a seaborne invasion. Consequently, we must convince such people that it is in their interests that we should survive. There clearly are many advantages which we can impress upon them: Our strategic value, particularly in the light of the closure of the Suez Canal, the value of our resources, our trade value, and so forth. There are also obviously disadvantages and I think we must not run away from the disadvantages there are. One disadvantage is that we are a cause of embarrassment to them. Rightly or wrongly we embarrass them in their dealings with a multi-coloured world. I think we have to bear that in mind. They are continually being attacked for trading with us, for having relations with us, and so forth. I mentioned that naturally we must strengthen our forces and increase our preparedness. I mentioned too, obviously, that we must follow the right strategy in positioning that force. I shall not elaborate on it now, the time being short, but I simply repeat with interest the comment of the Administrator of Natal, Mr. Gerdener, who recently said that the Mozambique and Rhodesian territories have become South Africa’s first line of defence.
To-day I want to emphasize how vital it is that we follow policies to ensure the loyalty and support of our peoples here, it is absolutely vital that we follow the right internal policies to ensure the maximum strength and security of our base. Here I part company with hon. members opposite. I know they will disagree with me, but I believe that this policy of independent Bantustans is rapidly being revealed as military lunacy. They are breaking up our very base at a time when we are all saying that our front line, so to speak, is well to the North of us, and we have this ever-present threat, if they carry out their promises, that we shall have our very base broken up. I would like to know … [Interjections.] … No, I do not imagine I shall be told what our military advisers have to say about this and in this regard.
It is true that there are certain signs that the Government is coming around to our thinking in this regard and regrets the promises it has made. There are signs that they are running away from it and coming to our point of view, and for this we rejoice. They are certainly putting on the brakes as hard as they can. [Interjections.] But what we always have to remember in this context of guerrilla warfare, is that this policy of giving independence to these territories, was always fated to carry with it a quid pro quo, to carry with it a negative side, so to speak, in terms of which the Native peoples have no rights in our so-called white area. This is where I join issue with the hon. member for Middelburg, because he said he wanted to put a “teenvraag”. “Waar wil hulle die vyand hê,” he says. I say to him, and in the light of facts to-day and in the light of the new non-development policy of the Nationalist Party, that the people to whom he was referring are not only in the Bantustans-to-be, but they are right with us. I do not accept that they are our “vyand” at all, but I am concerned that a policy should be followed to ensure that they are not only not our “vyand”, but that they are fully sympathetic to us, and I shall say why.
I am sorry that I cannot answer the hon. the Deputy Minister now but my time is limited. I want to know whether Government policies are likely to secure the sympathy and support of the masses in this country.
There is a well-known song which goes something like this: Whenever I feel afraid I whistle to keep my courage up. All the people of this country want to preserve South Africa as the Government plans it if there is to be that sympathy. I fully concede that in a multi-racial country with people at different stages of development one has a difficult problem in getting them sympathetic to one’s attitude, but this is absolutely essential in our position to-day. I want to know whether Government policies result in a minimum of social and economic discontent. I do not believe that they do. I want to stress the importance of those factors in this situation to hon. members opposite. In his introduction to the book I have just mentioned Liddle Hart, the well-known military commentator, writing in 1961 had this to say—
I want to quote now from another book which Liddle Hart is writing—
Hon. members opposite, particularly the hon. member for Middelburg, must take heed of these figures. In only 0.09 per cent of the area of the Transvaal are there as many or more Whites than Natives. In less than .1 per cent are there as many Whites as Natives. In 16 per cent there are no Whites for every 100 Natives. In 36 per cent of the Transvaal there are fewer than six Whites per 100 Natives. In 90 per cent of the Transvaal there are fewer than 24 Whites per 100 Natives. The point I wish to make is that where the hon. member for Middelburg believes that all the Natives will be in the proposed Bantustans, he is very wrong, as these figures show. I want to repeat my question: Do Government policies result in a minimum of social and economic discontent? I say that they do not. If one thinks of the whole fundamental policy of the Government, which is to destroy the loyalty of the Natives—they are told to cease their loyalty to the Republic of South Africa and to divert their loyalty to these proposed independent states—we find that they are to look to these independent states for their weal and wealth. Thereby they are cut off from the wealth of South Africa. There is to be no say for them in this Parliament which decides the destiny of so many of them. There are many ways in which they are made unwelcome in this country which we hope they will help to defend. There are many other points which I could mention in this regard, but I do not have the time to do so. We must not underestimate these methods of the guerrillas for political subversion. We must remember that they have had success in many countries. I want to mention a few: In China, Cuba, Algeria and Vietnam. I am very glad to say that there are important differences between our situation and the conditions of those countries. In the first place the peoples are different. I associate myself happily with the words of Mr. Connan Doyle, read so eloquently by the hon. member for Potchefstroom. This is the one side of the picture. On the other side of the picture are the native inhabitants of this country—and hon. members are free to make any comparison which they care to make between them and the peoples in the other countries I have mentioned. Secondly, we are fortunate in that not so much of our country is suitable for the kind of guerrilla warfare which has succeeded in some of the countries I have mentioned. In Vietnam, for instance, conditions are far worse than they are here. But we must not underestimate this challenge. It is sometimes said by hon. members opposite that we shall clean these people up before breakfast. Have we ever thought that this is somewhat of a reflection on the Protuguese who have been fighting with 120,000 men in some cases for as long as seven years. They cannot claim to have cleaned them up yet. I am quite certain that the present policies of the Government do not provide the strategic answers we need in that they break up the country, nor do they ensure the maximum support of the local population. I believe, on the other hand, that our policy does that. We seek to obtain their loyalty and I believe that we shall obtain it. I want to ask hon. members opposite and the Government who have our future as well as their own in their hands, to review these policies of theirs which I have criticized in the light of the new dangerous phase which we are entering.
Mr. Speaker, the tone and the level of the debate conducted on both sides of the House in connection with defence matters has been of a high standard, with a few exceptions. I want to thank hon. members very sincerely for this. I want to thank the members of the Opposition who made a positive contribution. I also want to thank members on this side of the House very sincerely for the illuminating speeches which they made. It proves that there is a growing realization that members of Parliament must acquaint themselves with the activities and magnitude of the task of defence and of the Defence Force. Since my time is very limited, I just want to refer in passing to what the hon. member for Durban (Point) said about my participation in politics. When I took over the Department of Defence, I said in this House that the Defence Force belonged to all the people of South Africa. There are too few members of the United Party to defend South Africa on their own. There are also too few members of the National Party to defend South Africa on their own. Therefore both represented South Africa on the battlefields in the last World War. It was not only members of the United Party who fought there. It therefore remains the primary duty of any Minister of Defence to maintain the spirit of unity in the Defence Force. I do not think that any Minister of Defence can be expected to relinquish the principles for which he has stood throughout his life when he takes over the Defence portfolio. I want to say to the hon. member for Durban (Point) that I see my way clear to conducting myself in a fair and civil manner towards the Defence Force and all its members without their having to expect of me, because of this position, to relinquish the principles to which I have devoted my whole life.
No one has asked for that.
I came to this Parliament in the first place as a member of the National Party, and I hope to remain here as a member of the National Party until I leave this Parliament one day.
Have you no ambition?
I have so much ambition that I have satisfied it earlier than that hon. member has done. I went to Voortrekkerhoogte with these two principles in mind. I did not go of my own accord—I was invited there. But I stipulated that it was not to be expected of me to appear in the Voortrekker-hoogte City Hall, because that was Defence property. I said that another hall had to be found, and this was done. In doing so I clearly showed that I did not want to exploit my position as Minister. I made it clear at the meeting that every officer and every member of the Defence Force had the right to hold his own political views, but I added that I expected every one of them to give the uniform which he wore and the Defence Force which he served all his love and loyalty in the interests of the security of South Africa. At that meeting I refrained from acting in a manner which could in any way cause disunity in the Defence Force. Indeed, I am satisfied that the same good spirit prevailed after the meeting as had prevailed before the meeting. I now leave the matter there. All that I want to add is that I am not prepared to deny my past and my principles merely for the sake of a ministerial position.
In regard to the Simonstown Agreement, the hon. member’s complaint was that we were not making sufficient use of diplomatic channels and were discussing the matter with each other in public instead. The truth is that it was at the Government’s instance, and mine personally, that discussions in connection with Simonstown took place in Cape Town at the time. The British Government had not requested it—we had. We were even prepared to conduct those discussions at the highest level if the British Government so wished. We therefore satisfied all requirements in order to discuss this matter through diplomatic channels. But more than this, after the discussions here in Cape Town, my colleague the Minister of Foreign Affairs repeatedly conducted personal discussions abroad on behalf of the Government and the Department of Defence. Therefore every possible opportunity was taken to discuss these matters through diplomatic channels.
You did not say that in your original speech.
We must learn one thing, and that is that one does not simply blurt out everything that takes place between Governments, especially not in matters such as this one. One limits oneself to only those things which it is essential to make public.
In addition the hon. member spoke about the F.N. rifles and made a point of the fact that we are not leaving these rifles lying around all over the country. But these are expensive rifles, and they are dangerous. It would therefore be very foolish of us to leave them lying around. These rifles are kept at command headquarters and can be issued within a few hours if necessary.
I have one in my home.
Then it ought not to be there.
Hon. members also raised the question of the Decca system. It has been stated that we said years ago already that we would do certain things at Salisbury Island, that we would introduce the Decca system, and what progress has been made with it? But one does not come to Parliament every year and say where what has already been done. No country on earth does this—except perhaps a major power, such as America, which is feared by the small countries of the world. A major power could do it, but a small country, especially one dependent upon foreign sources for arms, does not go around telling in detail what it is doing. But from time to time we go out of our way to inform the country as far as it is at all permissible, because I admit that the taxpayer has the right to know what is being done in respect of defence. As far as the Decca system is concerned, I can tell the hon. member that it is in process of installation. It is a navigation system by means of which the position of a ship or aircraft can be located precisely. As I say, it is at present being installed. It is being done by way of various chains, stages. I am not prepared to say where these chains will be, neither am I prepared to say how many chains have already been completed and how many are still being installed.
Have some been completed?
I am not prepared to say. All that I want to say, is that we are busy installing this system.
As far as Salisbury Island is concerned, the position is that it is already partly occupied by us. The workshops and the quay there have already been taken over by us. The hon. member knows that the S.A.S. Tafelberg has already been reconditioned there. He also knows that naval units are maintained at the Bluff. We hope to take over Salisbury Island fully by 1969. It will then serve as an advance base. These things cost money and therefore cannot all be done in one year. Consequently they have to be done in stages.
Then the question of a select committee has once again been raised here—a joint committee or a select committee—which must decide about policy matters in conjunction with me. It can only be about policy matters, because we already have a Select Committee on Public Accounts, before which the accounting officer, the Commandant-General, appears every year to discuss defence matters in so far as it is possible for him to do so. Legislation in which the Munitions Board is being completely remodelled is before this hon. House at the moment. We hope to come forward shortly with further legislation, after which we hope to create a position in terms of which the chairman of the Munitions Board will also be accountable in respect of the funds spent by his Board. He will then have to appear before the Select Committee on Public Accounts in that capacity. I do not think we must go any further. I do not think that a Minister of Defence and a Government can shirk their responsibilities by wanting to share their policies and actions with other people after their Supreme Command and the Cabinet Committee on Defence has heard and advised them. It does not happen in Britain, France or Germany, or in any country comparable to South Africa. Why must we introduce a principle which is wrong? Should hon. members of the Opposition want more information than they think they can obtain by raising the matter in public, hon. members may come to me, if they cannot obtain satisfaction from the Defence Force, and I shall enlighten them as far as possible. But they must not ask me to blurt out in public certain information which concerns the national safety of South Africa and its good relations with other countries. We have obligations towards our friends which we must honour.
But the people need not know.
The people have appointed the Government to provide for their security, and unfortunately the Government must bear that responsibility, and if it cannot do so, it must make way for another government.
The hon. member for North Rand referred to the threat against South Africa, and he was followed up by the hon. members for Pine-lands and Middelburg. Let me say this afternoon that I shall be very grateful if this discussion can contribute to one thing, and that is to make the people of South Africa, all responsible citizens of the country, aware of the fact that a threat against South Africa does in fact exist; that we cannot simply lean back blissfully and say that all is well and that there is no danger threatening. The fact of the matter is that there are forces operating upon Southern Africa which can be of far-reaching significance. In this connection I want to read what a great European statesman, Salazar, said—
We have had certain developments in recent times, especially after Britain withdrew herself from east of Suez, and in proportion to her withdrawal Russian influence round the Red Sea has increased, and under Russian and Chinese leadership the onslaught against certain African States has increased. But it has not stopped at technical aid and technical or scientific leadership. A further development has been the building up of arsenals within those African states and by means of these arsenals they eventually want to be in a position to take stronger action against the forces opposing them in Southern Africa. We must be in no doubt about this. Sooner or later we shall be faced with this position in its reality, because it is taking place before our eyes. The British withdrawal has created a large vacuum in the Indian Ocean, and as a result the threat against South Africa and Southern Africa has increased. Now, we know that there is also another truth, and that is what Lenin once said—
What we are here experiencing is that in proportion as these forces are building up round the Red Sea and in certain African states, attempts are being made under communist leadership to infiltrate into Southern Africa to an increasing extent by means of terrorists and to paralyze the country by involving it in a continual fight against terrorists which must eventually lead to guerrilla warfare, which in turn must lead to conventional warfare. Therefore this threat is no longer a threat to be dealt with by the South African Defence Force alone; it is a threat to be dealt with by the entire State and the people of South Africa as a whole, because we must fight this threat on various fronts. It is a struggle which must be waged on the economic front, the political front, the diplomatic front, the military front and other fronts. I want to say here this afternoon that making a country available as a base for terrorists constitutes provocation of a nature which gradually becomes so serious that it turns into guerrilla warfare. Such a situation recently arose for Israel. It then becomes necessary for a country to take sterner action against those threats. I want to say this afternoon that it will be a good thing if the people who are inciting terrorism and guerrilla warfare against South Africa come to realize that provocation may eventually lead to severe retaliation for the sake of self-respect and peace.
That is my reply to the hon. member for North Rand, who raised this question. The hon. member also spoke of agreements with our neighbouring states which, as he said, must meet the same threat as we. I want to say to the hon. member that this Government’s attitude is that agreements are not necessary between friends, and I leave the matter at that. Agreements are not necessary between friends, and friends who are threatened do not need first to sign agreements in order to meet the threat.
Then the hon. member complained that we voted money and did not know how the money was being applied. Is this not a terrible thing to say? The hon. member did not mean it in that way, but he has thereby cast a tremendous reflection upon our entire Defence Force organizations. He says that we vote money and we do not know how it is being applied. Sir, this is a terrible accusation, because we have our means by which the State exercises control over the application of money. This Parliament has its means by which it exercises control. The only reason why we do not broadcast the expenditure of the Department of Defence to all and sundry is that we must obtain certain equipment and supplies which are absolutely essential to South Africa and we do not wish to proclaim to the world where we obtain them. Surely this goes without saying. But the hon. member certainly cannot suggest that because of that there is a lack of proper financial control. The hon. member knows of an investigation which has been in progress in the Defence Force for the past two years, under the direction of an independent committee from outside, which has investigated every aspect and facet of the Defence Force and has reported to the Government. I have already told the hon. member that there is a Cabinet Committee on Defence, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, which decides about every important item of expenditure before it is proceeded with. What more does the hon. member want by way of control?
What do other countries have to do with it?
Oh no, wait now. You are just bothering me.
He is a supporter.
Yes, but one’s supporters can also bother one at times.
In the limited time I have left I want to say a few words about civil defence. Apart from the aggressive weapons which a country has at its disposal and apart from the efficiency of the manpower which a defence force has at its disposal, the effective, trained manpower, there is another very important element in the defence of any country, and that is its civil defence. Therefore, after a thorough investigation was carried out by the Public Service Commission, the Government has now proceeded to make civil defence a division of the Defence Force, and we have now appointed a new chief of civil defence in the person of Combat-General Retief, who has access to equipment and to all means in the Defence Force, to make better provision for civil defence as well. Secondly, we shall go out of our way to gain the co-operation of the St. John Ambulance Association, the Red Cross and the Noodhulpliga, in order to obtain the greatest possible co-operation from the population of South Africa in the matter of civil defence. Instructions have already been given to this end and action is already being taken in this connection. Thirdly, I have held out the prospect that we shall train girls, not on the same basis as boys, but that we shall train them to handle weapons in self-defence and to perform certain essential services. We want to train them in first-aid and in various ramifications of civil defence. We have announced that we are to select a special place at Dunot-tar where we shall train them. The response has been such that I am afraid I shall have to go back to the Government with new proposals because we cannot accommodate them at Dunnottar. The applications were too many, without our having called for applications. There is far greater enthusiasm for this than we anticipated. We have even received applications to undergo this training from as far afield as Rhodesia and Zambia. The result is that we shall have to work out a new plan altogether for a centre where the girls are to be trained. I foresee that this training centre, once it has been established, will become as popular as the Defence Force gymnasiums. By this means we hope to be able to give a new direction to civil defence as well, also as far as the training of our girls is concerned. But I want to make it clear, because I have already tried to say this many times, to no avail, that we do not want to give the girls the same training as the boys. We want to give them a different training which will prepare them to take their place in the defence of our country and in dealing with emergencies in times of need.
The hon. member for Stellenbosch raised the question of prospective students, and asked me to make very clear what the position of prospective students was. Prospective students do not all have to go to the commandos. A prospective student has the option of either joining the Citizen Force and serving his 12 months in the Navy or in the Air Force or being trained as an officer in the Army or going for his nine months’ training as an ordinary member of the Citizen Force, or first going to study. If he elects to go and study at a university or a training college first, he is incorporated with the commandos; then he goes to the commando training school for his basic training and becomes a member of the commandos, but if he indicates that he first wants to receive his military training, he can receive it as a member of the Citizen Force and then continue his studies afterwards. I hope that this is now quite clear and that there will no longer be any doubt about this.
Mr. Speaker, my time is up. May I conclude with this request: I have no objection to members of the Opposition raising defence matters in a reasonable and sensible manner here—not in the least. We can have comprehensive discussions here, but then I must not be blamed if I refuse to give certain information. I want to make a special appeal to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. He was not here this afternoon, but I want to appeal to him to speak to the hon. member for Karoo about the speech which the hon. member made here on defence.
He is just an odd man out (los donkie).
I want to ask him to call that hon. member to order, because the hon. member is doing harm in South Africa. He is also a Coloured Representative, and we are engaged in taking Coloureds into the Coloured Corps. The Coloureds have a very important share in the Defence Force, and with the kind of speech which the hon. member for Karoo makes, he is doing a disservice to this country as far as its safety is concerned. I appeal to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition to call that member to order.
Although we agree to a large extent with what the hon. the Minister said here, I do not think the attack, in his last few sentences, on the hon. member for Karoo was quite fair. I am certain that the hon. member for Karoo is just as eager as the hon. the Minister to see the Coloureds contribute their share to our defence, and that he will also lend his assistance in this regard. The unanimous attitude and the agreement which exists on both sides of the House in regard to defence is an encouraging sign and I hope that it will continue in this way. I am particularly glad that the hon. the Minister mentioned two matters here. The first is civil defence, and the second is the use of women in the Defence Force on special duties. We heard about a film show given recently in regard to civil defence. As far as I could ascertain, it was an outstanding film. My only concern is that our country and our people are not yet sufficiently aware of the great task lying ahead for us in regard to civil defence; that we are too complacent and we do not realize how grave the dangers are which lie ahead.
That much as regards the hon. the Minister. I hope the hon. the Minister of Finance will excuse me if I return again to the Budget now and also for not being able, in that respect, to use the same friendly words in describing the Budget as I did to a certain extent in regard to the hon. the Minister of Defence. Mr. Speaker, I think that this Budget which has been submitted to us, was a dull, a neutral, and a meaningless Budget, but it was not half as dull as the defence of that Budget by the other side. We had the example here of the main speaker on that side, who had to defend the Budget, the hon. member for Queenstown, devoting half of his speech to the reading out of cuttings, and when he ran out of cuttings do you know what he did then? He then took the speech made by the hon. the Minister of Finance himself, and he quoted from it to prove what a good Budget it was.
We have heard a great deal here about the praise which this Budget has met with in all the newspapers, but is that really the case? You will remember that last year the Minister, when he introduced his Budget proudly informed us here how many English newspapers and periodicals had supported and praised him. The very first periodical he quoted from proudly was the Financial Mail, and last year the Financial Mail had the following to say about the hon. Minister’s Budget—
The hon. Minister quoted the Financial Mail here as authority, and that was what the Financial Mail wrote a year ago. A year has passed and we have had another Budget and once again the same Financial Mail has analysed the Budget, and what does the Financial Mail have to say this year? It is no longer a bulwark budget; it is a budget which is “uninspired and uninspiring”. It states further—
This is the authority the hon. the Minister quoted with satisfaction last year. Mr. Speaker, in my opinion this Budget is a clumsy, meaningless one. It puts one in mind of, how shall I say, a jelly-fish. It is clumsy, it is flabby, it is undirected. It drifts and bobs in the wind from one side to the other. It has no backbone; it has no marrow. It is a large blown-up yellow flabby thing which floats like an umbrella on a dead economic sea. An hon. member on the other side complained that we were casting stones at the Budget but that we could do nothing to damage it. Sir, has that hon. member ever tried to throw stones at a jelly-fish in the sea? You cannot damage it; it remains there, but that does not mean that that jelly-fish has any significance.
However, there is something which this jellyfish umbrella has concealed. There is one important thing which we have discovered in this Budget—and we have the hon. member for Parktown to thank for this. He found some-thing in the Budget which, as far as I know, not one single financial correspondent, or periodical or newspaper in South Africa has found; he has found that the hon. the Minister of Finance is concealing many, many millions from the country. The hon. the Minister tried to conceal an amount of R180 million, which was not appropriated, from the country; he hid it in his political mattress; he hid it under the floorboards of his economy. Sir, this is the great news of the Budget. Now we know perhaps why, while alleviation could perhaps have been brought to the ordinary man and woman of South Africa in this Budget, because the money is there, this was not done. The hon. the Minister is trying to conceal R180 million, a large portion of which he could have utilized for the welfare of the ordinary man and woman in South Africa, from the country. Now we know why the pensioners are receiving a meagre little increase of scarcely 3 cents per day. One cannot even buy half a cup of coffee per day with that. The pensioners have to be satisfied with that, while the hon. the Minister is sitting with R180 million.
He is going to use it to introduce television.
I would say that those ostensible concessions are probably the biggest political, one could almost say, fraud in this Budget.
Order! The hon. member is not allowed to say that.
I shall withdraw that word. Let me say instead that it is the biggest, the most colossal political bluff. In this Budget provision is being made for those ostensible concessions to the public service and to the post office workers. Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago we had the Budget of the hon. the Minister of Railways here, and he had the courage to announce that he was prepared to set aside R43 million for the improvement of the working conditions and salaries and wages of the railwaymen. Of course the ordinary public servant and the man in the post office has every right to think that they, too, were ultimately going to receive something tangible and important, and what happened? A meagre R25 million. There are twice as many public servants as there are railwaymen, but the railway-men are receiving twice as much as the public servants.
Yes, but there are many more railway workers in Pretoria (West).
Order! The hon. member must not allow himself to be interrupted.
Nobody can tell me that these ostensible concessions are any compensation for the actual increase in the cost of living since the last increase. What effect is it going to have on the Public Service? It is not I who say this; let me quote to you what the president of the Public Servants Association, Dr. J. F. Enslin, wrote in this regard, as it was reported in the Press (translation)—
In other words, it is possible that, according to Dr. Enslin, the resignations may continue.
Do you know what the extent of resignations in the public service is?
It is 9 per cent per year; it is a tremendous turnover.
If it continues in this way, then there will be nothing left in ten years’ time.
There was an article the other day in Die Beeld, one of the Nationalist Sunday newspapers, in which there was a report that public servants were talking about an imminent explosion in the Public Service because they were not getting what they deserved. Does the hon. the Minister think he is going to create a satisfied Public Service with that meagre concession he granted? Sir, we are going to hold a Festival of the Soil in South Africa—a fine Festival, I hope, within the next few weeks—but while that Festival is being held, there is a shortage of not dozens but hundreds of soil conservation officers. There is a shortage of engineers in the Public Service. Hundreds of posts are vacant, but then those same engineers have to be utilized to go and replace a submerged railway bridge at Bethulie, or they have to be utilized in rectifying a Pongola scheme which was incorrectly planned and incorrectly constructed. There is a shortage of architects in the Public Service to-day because they are not being paid better salaries. More than 25 per cent of the posts are vacant, and then the services of these architects have to be utilized to design houses for Ministers, to build Abrahamskraals and crooked Hertzog Towers while the services of those few people could have been put to better use. We have a shortage of thousands of teachers here in South Africa, and then an even more sour note is going to be introduced into the lives of these poor people in that they are now, with effect from this year, going to be compelled to teach the National Party’s policy of apartheid as part of the history syllabus in schools. Sir, has there ever before been such a disgraceful state of affairs? How can one acquire a satisfied Public Service under such circumstances?
The excuse is being presented that there is inflation, and that something has to be done about that. It is being said that ordinary people are living on too lavish a scale, that the public servant and the railwayman and the Post Office worker should economize. But when I ask the Government how those people were to economize, there was a silence and the silence continued. But you know, Mr. Speaker, it happens very often that the Nationalist women have a little more courage than the Nationalist men. I do not want to mention any names, but in the highest feminine circles of the Nationalist Party in Pretoria something was recently said in regard to how one could in fact economize. I do not think that it is really going to make for economizing. The people in South Africa were urged, by this highest of high circles, that they should put out their bedroom lights when they go out; when they hold big parties, they should at least see to it that they make their own sandwiches and tarts, and last but not least, there was the wonderful piece of advice that if one has to use paper serviettes, one must cut them into four; then one can get four times as much use out of one paper serviette. The most practical suggestion was one made by an eminent Nationalist lady in Pretoria who said that she was combating inflation by keeping her grocery bill down, and she was keeping it down by putting her husband on a diet. Possibly there is an hon. Minister—I see he is not here at the moment—who can tell us whether the newspaper report is correct in stating that he is going to bed hungry these days.
Now, joking aside, the eminent people, the Ministers in Pretoria, must realize that the ordinary man, whether he is a public servant or not, pays for his own house, his own furniture and his own crockery. He cannot receive R40,000 from the State in order to purchase new carpets and furniture for his house, as Ministers do. He must buy his own petrol; he must pay his own 5 cents for the parking meter, because there is no free parking for him. And when his car’s ashtray is full, he does not get a new Cadillac or a new Oldsmobile.
One of the meagrest of this Budget’s crumbs is this ostensible concession of the new overtime scales for public servants and Post Office workers. We know how disgraceful these overtime payments were in the past. Up to a week ago the position was that the public servant was receiving 40 per cent less per hour for his overtime then he received for his normal working hours. Now the Government has supposedly come forward with an improvement. It is an improvement, yes, however, let us consider how ridiculously minimal the scales are and compare them with the scales which are being paid by the hon. the Minister of Transport.
I hope you lose your place and never find it again.
I can see the hon. the Deputy Minister is very satisfied with this Budget. The difference between the Deputy Minister and myself is that the price of his beer has decreased, but mine has increased. Let us now compare the overtime rates on the Railways with those of the Public Servants and Post Office workers. The railwayman receives time and a third of his normal hourly wage for overtime hours. The hon. the Minister of Finance is giving the Post Office workers and the Public Servants not time and a third, but less than time and one sixth. It is less than half of what the railwaymen are receiving. I now want to ask the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs whether the Post Office employees do not work just as hard doing overtime than the ordinary railwaymen? How can he defend what has been done?
Do you realize that this is what the staff associations of the Post Office asked for?
The staff associations of the Post Office most certainly asked for much more than this. They asked for the overtime scale to be increased, and I do not concede that they asked for only this amount. I also want to inform the hon. the Minister that they asked for it to be made with retrospective effect. Has that been done? What is the Minister of Finance doing? He takes R21 million from last year’s Post Office profits, profits which were obtained, inter alia, because overtime payments were not made with retrospective effect and also because too little was paid to the Post Office workers in any case, and he is now transferring it to the Post Office fund for the next year. But not a cent is being used to compensate for the money which was taken from the pockets of Post Office employees in the form of meagre overtime payments. I wonder what went on in the Cabinet when these increases were being discussed? The Minister of Transport said: “I stand firm; my men are going to receive a good increase.” What happened? Why did the Minister of Finance say “Yes” to the one and “No” to the hon. the Minister of the Interior, one of the greatest offenders—where has he got to now?
But I do want to inform the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs that the Post Office employees are not satisfied. Nor do they agree with what his predecessor said yesterday or to-day, when he stated that the Post Office has now entered a wonderful new dispensation. Do you know what the former Minister of Posts said yesterday? He made a speech to the Posts and Telegraphs Association. Why he made it, I do now know—I think the Americans call it a lame duck speech. There Dr. Hertzog stated, “The postal services were in a critical position when I became Minister in 1958”. In 1958 ten years of National Party rule had elapsed, and after those ten years the Post Office was in a “critical position”. I do not think that is a compliment to Dr. Hertzog’s predecessor. They were men whom we respected, men such as Dr. Dönges, Mr. Tom Naude, Mr. Serfontein. Does the hon. the Minister agree that in the first ten years of National rule there was almost chaos in the Post Office?
When the man in the street asks for something in the Budget, he is told, “There is no money, you shall have nothing”. But there is a matter in respect of which unlimited millions can be spent in South Africa, and it is being spent on that fantastic, foolish, ideological fallacy, the Bantustan policy of that side. Let me state emphatically that the United Party approves unequivocally of the need for development in the Bantu homelands. What we want is that it should be under control, and that there should be assistance in the form of white capital. But when it comes to what it is going to cost the country to implement their policy, then that side states, as the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development stated here in this House, that it does not matter. Let me quote from Hansard what the hon. the Minister’s reply was when the hon. member for South Coast asked him what the cost of the Bantustans would be. He stated the following (translation)—
Here we have a foolish ideology, in terms of which it does not matter how many countless millions of rand it is going to cost. The man in the street can suffer hardships if he has to.
I have here a Blue Book of the Government. It has already been mentioned. In this Blue Book there are examples of how money has been wasted in South Africa. In this Blue Book one finds what is probably the strongest language a Controller and Auditor-General has ever used in regard to the squandering of money by a government. Let me tell you about the more than 50,000 houses which have been built by this Government in the Bantustans for Natives, of which hundreds, if not thousands, are standing empty. Listen to what the Controller and Auditor-General has to say about that. Do you know that Bantu in the Bantustans owe R3,407,000 in the form of rent and for the houses themselves? It is a normal phenomenon that a certain amount is outstanding for that, but the Controller and Auditor-General states that a proper record of that gigantic amount is not being kept in the accounts. Let me read to you what he writes. He writes about the squandering of money, the spending of money, which apparently does not matter at all. Here we have inflation. The Controller and Auditor-General writes as follows—
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is it permissible for an hon. member of this House to discuss and quote here a report which this House has referred to a select committee for investigation and report? I am doing this on these grounds, Mr. Speaker. In the first place I want to submit to you that this matter is at present sub judice with the Select Committee on Public Accounts. Secondly, if the matter is approached here from a party-political point of view, it will completely obstruct the work which the Committee has been instructed to do by this House.
Mr. Speaker, I just want to mention that this report and the words which I am reading out have already been quoted by the hon. member for Transkei. I want to quote from the same report, but different words and paragraphs. However, I will not read any more than has already been read out. I cannot see why it should be concealed. The Controller and Auditor-General is independent, and Parliament and the country must know what is going on. The Controller and Auditor-General states in the report …
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, your ruling has been requested in regard to this matter. I do not think you were in the Chair when it was quoted previously. However, if you had been in the Chair, you would have given a ruling. I want to ask whether you should not now give a ruling in regard to the point which the hon. member for Queenstown raised.
I have already given my decision. This report has been laid upon the Table, and a report which has been laid upon the Table, is open for discussion.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I hope that my hon. friends …
The hon. member must now proceed with his speech. There is no need for him to help the Chair.
I did not intend to do that, Mr. Speaker. I am reading from the report again—
I want the House to take cognizance of the squandering of money by a Government that says, “It does not matter what it costs!”. The Controller and Auditor-General states further—
It lies there rusting and corroding, but “It does not matter what it costs”! The hon. the Minister of Finance, when it comes to the pensioner and the man in the street, tells us about inflation and says that there is no money. However, he does not tell us about the R180 million in the political mattress. The Controller and Auditor-General also states—
Even some of the most important acknowledgements of debts and accounts and books in regard to finances, have been destroyed by the mice and the rats. In regard to this the Controller and Auditor-General states—
Mr. Speaker, this is supposed to be a good Government. The office workers, the ordinary workers and housewives had hoped for tangible alleviation of income tax, but they have been told that there is no money; inflationary conditions are prevailing. But building materials, bricks, pipes, fencing, worth undreds of thousands of rand, can lie unused in the Bantustans for three years. The public servants, the Post Office employees, are told: Economise; it increases production. Fine! Let it be so, but at Bantutownships, such as Selosesha, Sundumbuli and Witsieshoek, to mention only three out of the 22 townships, there are dozens of road graders, tractors and trucks which have been lying idle for two years.
The pensioner, with his meagre pension and his small room, where age and death lie in wait for him, hardly gets a meagre crumb, not even 3c per day, with which he can purchase half a cup of coffee, or one glass of beer a week. [Time expired.]
Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member for Orange Grove referred to the price of beer which has gone up for them, I could understand why he made such a fuss, because our beer usually goes down in price and theirs up. The hon. member covered such a wide field that I can see very clearly now why the hon. the Minister said that it was extremely dangerous for a country such as ours or any other country even to mention or refer to certain defence secrets. Because if there is to be such gossiping about our Defence secrets as was engaged on by the hon. member for Orange Grove about various matters of which he had not made a thorough study, one will not be surprised that a stage will eventually be reached where we shall have to withhold more information from them. The hon. member suggested here that concessions have been made from funds which have apparently been found somewhere, but let us tell hon. members that the officials of this country are responsible persons, and I think that we on this side of the House would very much have liked to give them much more if the money had been available. But the recklessness of the matter is this.
If the other side of the House had been in power and had done what the hon. member for Orange Grove asked, I wonder where in the world they would have obtained all the funds, and I wonder to whom they would have made them available. After all they were in power once upon a time, and surely they know what it means to govern. To me a government is something like an umbrella. I picture it as an umbrella. This umbrella has certain panels. Each of these panels is neatly cut and fits into the whole. This whole we call the national economy. This national economy is regulated through these panels by various ministries. One of these panels cannot be removed without the material being torn. When one compares this matter of salary increases in one sector with that in another, one can totally lose the connection with this whole. The hon. member dragged in the concessions in respect of pensions. Mention was made of various other aspects. Now I want to tell hon. members that I have experience of those stories. During the recess certain hon. members, amongst others the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, visited my constituency. They did the rounds among my constituents with these same stories. Fortunately the constituents there are reasonably well read, and they did not believe everything that he said. But the stories which he put out were among others that the Government was doing so little for the farmer, that it was failing to look after the farmer, that it was allowing salaries and wages to remain static, that the cost of living was getting out of hand and that the Government was not combating inflation. Each facet was wrested from its context in relation to the whole. I made a point of investigating the position in respect of just one of those assertions made by the Leader of the Opposition in my constituency in Northern Natal.
In passing I just want to give my wholehearted support to the hon. the Minister of Defence in reprimanding the hon. member for Karoo, who came to fight an election in my constituency, for this irresponsibility. This is not the first time that he has done it. This is how we know him.
I have quickly made an abstract and in respect of direct expenditure on agriculture, to refute this story, I want to say that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition omitted to tell the public that 10 per cent of the total Estimates on Revenue Account went to direct compensation paid to the farmer. This year the figure is higher. This year 11.67 per cent of the total Estimates on Revenue Account is being allocated to the farmers. On Loan Account no less than 20 per cent of the total loan estimate programme is going to the farmer this year. It has been set aside for matters directly concerning the farmers. But just to indicate how dangerous it is to wrest these matters from their context, I want to quote certain matters from the Estimates of Expenditure. There is, for example, the funds being voted for the Provinces from the Revenue Account. Does the hon. the Opposition now want to tell us that these funds are only being used for people not concerned in the farming industry? Are there no farmers driving on our national roads? Do they not also benefit from the money which is voted for national roads? In this way I can mention one item after another. Therefore I say that it is misleading the public to suggest that the taxes which the public pays is going to one sector only, and not to the farmers.
Natal has also received its funds from these allocations. I object to the challenges made by hon. members of the Opposition who spoke of ideological legislation and ideological objectives. The position is very clearly that the Opposition want us to spend a sum of money in one year which will be needed for a programme of 15 to 20 years, so that they may again go gossiping among the voters and say: “See how much they are doing for the non-Whites in one year.” That is what they want. Certain hon. members asked for information in connection with the expenditure requested in respect of Defence. They are continually asking where the boundaries of the homelands are. They nearly had a fit the other day at the mere mention of the question of Coloured homelands. The specific reason why they are asking for this information is that it will enable them to pin people down so that they can go to those people, knowing where they live, and slander the Government. That is the reason. But then they do not turn round and tell the people in Natal that on a budget of R26 million last year they suffered a loss of R22 million, for example, in respect of hospital services. There was a deficit of R22 million. Of that R26 million the Whites paid back R2 million, the State R2 million, and the total loss was R22 million. We must accept that if the United Party wants to give us an example of what they would have done, then they must be able to refer us to the position in Natal. I am dealing specifically with that now. We find that although they are attacking us here about our ideological policy, they already requested certain powers last year because they did not want to swim with the Indians and the Bantu on their Durban beaches. They do not tell public this. They have accused us in this regard. The loss of R22 million which was suffered, is almost exclusively in respect of services to the non-Whites. Then they turn around and tell us that we are spending too much on the non-Whites. They also spread these stories in our constituencies. One finds it reprehensible that these people are going round our country in this way.
The hon. member for Orange Grove also referred to this Budget as being an uninspired one. If they take the view—and it is probably the view of us Nationalists too—that a budget should be seen in its entirety, then this Budget is not an uninspired one, but a technically correct one, in the light of present circumstances, which has been attacked by a very uninspired Opposition. For this reason they are now running from east to west and from west to east to such an extent that when one of my colleagues entered the Chamber just now he asked me in which direction the debate was swinging. The hon. member for Orange Grove was speaking at the time and I said to my colleague that it was then swinging towards the infinite; no one could say where to. The hon. member himself did not know, because immediately after that he quoted from a newspaper article about what the former Minister of Posts and Telegraphs was supposed to have said. As far as our postal services are concerned, I think that another hon. member will deal specifically with that. But the rule that one cannot simply grant salary increases holds good in this connection as well. Salary increases must be accompanied by increased production. If we take a good look at our economy, we find that the position is that we had a 5 per cent increase in labour production and an increase of 9 per cent in wages last year.
In other words, there was a gap that had to be filled, and according to them, it is not being filled because we are paying the officials of the Post Office and of other departments too little. I do not think that we can blame these officials if they become annoyed eventually and make certain statements against these people, because their activities are watched so critically by the Opposition. I repeat that if the United Party in this House would rather take our image as a whole, develop it and lay it before the inhabitants of the Republic, both White and non-White, they would do much better. When speaking to the non-Whites, they speak for the world to hear and they stir up these black people, even though it has until now been done without any success whatsoever within the boundaries of the Republic. They stir them up and point out to them the Bantu homelands and the reduced privileges which they are going to get simply because they belong to another race. They accuse us of placing ideological legislation on the Statute Book, but the point is that in our country, where the greatest peace and quite prevails by comparison with any Western country, it is specifically the National Party Government which ensures by means of Budgets such as this one that we remain strong in the military field, the spiritual field, the educational field and the fields of each of the 52 departments for which provision is made in the Budget.
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.05 p.m.
I should like to draw my last few conclusions with reference to what I said earlier in the evening. It is a pity that the hon. member for Orange Grove is not here now. His constituency probably knows where he is. He said repeatedly that a prominent lady of Pretoria had made certain statements. I should now like to say to the hon. member and his vanished Party that we in the National Party do not have prominent Nationalists, ordinary Nationalists and low-ranking Nationalists. In our Party all are equal, and therefore we take the advice of a person in the street as well as the advice of a person who perhaps sits at the same table with a professor. But what has been very important in the entire debate as I have listened to it, is the fact that the Opposition has made various attacks on various aspects of the Budget, the taxes we have imposed and the concessions we have made to various financial institutions. Now, we in the National Party accept that we and our Ministers are the people who lay down the policy. This policy of ours is administered by a panel consisting of experts from the over-all composition of our national economy. These experts know their job, they know their obligations and they know what is expected of them. Now, the final statement I want to make in respect of the criticism expressed on various aspects of our Party’s policy is that the policy has been laid down by the National Party. If the Opposition had criticized our policy, we could have defended ourselves, but actually they only tried to pick a few fleas, not that they would find many on the head of the hon. member for Transkei. But I merely mention in passing that they criticized our people who are best equipped to submit the Estimates to this House. The people whom the hon. member for Orange Grove ostensibly wanted to benefit by means of differentiated salary increases and salary adjustments are the people who prepared the Budget speech and the Budget for us in its various aspects. They are our experts. In other words, he criticized these very experts who best knew what to submit to this House for us eventually to draw our conclusions from.
The last conclusion which I want to draw is that if the United Party and its speakers do not have sufficient knowledge of how a budget is prepared and worked out long before the time, these experts of ours are available for them to consult in order to find out how we work out our taxes, our revenue and expenditure and the whole national economy. Then they can get the information which they are seeking. They will not get it from us, because we are the political heads of departments which have technical and expert knowledge and which actually do the work for us. If they now make the statement that we have in fact paid much more to the railway officials than to the post office officials or to the Public Service, then I want to say that it is really doubtful whether they have any knowledge of how these matters are drawn up, because the persons concerned in the whole matter are actually the persons who furnished us with the information. Therefore it is a very great pleasure for me to be able to say that, while the hon. member for Orange Grove said that this was a terribly uninspired Budget, I personally find it a very interesting Budget because the advice and counsel of our experts has been accepted by our Ministers. We on this side are a team, and this is actually the great difference. I can for example quote you cases from my constituency, as probably every member can cite cases from his constituency where he would have liked more attention from the Minister concerned with those matters, as I personally should have liked in respect of planning and other matters. But we know that we work together as a team and that we depend upon the results of expert, knowledge. Therefore I say that the criticism expressed on our Budget by the Opposition … [Interjections.] Sir, I do not want to take it amiss of the hon. member, because we have had the experience in Natal that there are many of our people whose hair would not even be untidied if their minds were to turn into dynamite and one set the whole lot alight. But we also have people in Natal who would explode with a tremendous bang if one were to change their large intestine into dynamite and set it alight. But I want to say that the criticism which is being expressed and which is being leveled at our ministerial leaders, the political ministerial leaders, is actually a charge which they must lay at the door of the same officials for whom they are pleading here, and who they claim received less in salary and other concessions in the latest Budget than they are entitled to. Therefore I want to say to them that as far as I am concerned it passes me by, and I most definitely deem it a great honour and privilege to congratulate the Ministers concerned, and this does not apply to only one Minister, so that you, Sir, may perhaps rule me out of order for congratulating the Minister, but to all Ministers and their respective Departments, the Public Service officials who were in charge of this matter and each citizen who served the State dutifully and faithfully and who did not listen to gossip. [Interjection.] Sir, the hon. member ought to know what gossip I am referring to.
Order! The hon. member must not try to reply to every interjection.
I submit to your ruling, Sir. I just want to say that at this stage I want to congratulate all the people concerned with the production of this Budget, which has in fact evoked very little criticism, and we want to thank them for their patriotism, because apparently this is the final criterion by means of which the difference between the National Party and the United Party can be determined, namely that the one views matters through the spectacles of patriotism and the other through the spectacles of suspicion-mongering. I want to content myself with this.
In passing I just want to refer briefly to the hon. member for Orange Grove. To-night he once again presented to us what he alone can present and has been presenting year after year and debate after debate. It seldom happens that an hon. member rises in this House and takes half an hour to say as little as this hon. member did here to-night. I really think that the contribution he made, is a lamentable one. I have now had the dubious privilege of having listened to the hon. member several times. He reminds me of the good advice Langenhoven gave. He said that one should not approach a person back first, because he might think that one looked like that all round. I should not like to devote any more of my time to the hon. member. There is another matter which is near to my heart and which I should like to put forward here.
During the past 20 years we have had phenomenal growth and development in our country, particularly in the sphere of industry, actually since we shook off the yoke of the United Party, since those dead years which preceded 1948. Under such circumstances it is, after all, obvious that we should continually keep an eye on various points of growth. There are so many factors which are connected with that development that one has to be wide awake, and it also happened that we have often been lucky enough in that certain points of growth lend themselves, so to speak, to such development and are so self-evident that there can be no argument. In other instances it was necessary for the authorities to create those points of growth deliberately. In all these cases, irrespective of the circumstances, it is not only necessary to make allowances for the places where those possible points of expansion are located, but we should in particular also pay attention to the infra-structure, factors such as labour, housing, water, providing electricity and transport, etc.
On a point of order, Sir, is an hon. Deputy Minister permitted to stand up and hold a conversation?
I think it is high time that in investigating such points of growth, we should also look to the immediate surroundings of the Orange River project. Here I specifically have in mind what we call the Upper Karoo and the Northern Cape area.
Don’t get too excited. It is bad for your blood-pressure.
Order! The hon. member for Durban (Point) must restrain himself. He cannot go on talking and go on making interjections. He is continually making interjections. The hon. member may proceed.
I have just said that there are several factors for which due allowance must be made in the case of establishing industries. If one considers that along the Orange River, once that project has been completed, provision will specifically be made for electricity, that the provision of water is actually the main purpose, that the project is located in an area where we do not have a shortage of labour, at least not at the moment, and if we think of transport—that area is, so to speak, being bisected by the main railway line from the north to the south—and if we consider that the railway line between Kimberley and De Aar has virtually been doubled all the way, then it is most certainly time that the authorities paid attention to this area. In the limited time at my disposal I am not going to tire the House with many statistics. In passing I just want to mention that at a place such as De Aar the town council has from time to time had to turn down applications for the location of industries or for industrial development, because time and again they are faced with the problem of providing water. This also applies to the whole area, because the provision of water has simply not become a reality as yet. Mr. Speaker, it is necessary to bear in mind that when developments are pending—developments such as those all of us are expecting to see along the Orange River—industrialists are keen to obtain a foothold in those areas, and that they would like to get themselves established there in good time. When it happens that industrialists have no assurance that they will have water, as it does in that case, they look in another direction; this simply happens to be the case and we cannot argue it away, and what that area loses, remains lost. Although we appreciate the reasons why the Cabinet had to take a decision last year to slow down the work on the Van der Kloof Dam, for instance, and although we do not want to be unreasonable, I nevertheless think that it is time that matter received urgent attention once again. That area is located in such a way that the centre of our meat industry could develop there. It can be reached from other producing areas and is itself a highly productive area. I believe that from that point meat can be distributed in any direction with the greatest of ease. It is high time, for instance, that animals sent from South West Africa, should be slaughtered and processed there and distributed from there, since that is the junction with South West Africa.
Mr. Speaker, I also think of that area in other terms. Over the past few years there have been conjecture and guesses and all sorts of surmises have been expressed as to where the next iron and steel factory should be established. I do not want to be unrealistic. On a certain occasion the Minister of Finance, when he was Minister of Economic Affairs, made it very clear to us that in this respect it was not a case of charity, but that it was a question of where such a factory could most profitably be established, and we wholeheartedly agree with that. The railway line between the mines and Kimberley was electrified at high cost, and that makes one think that the object of that is that ore has to be conveyed somewhere, and any point between Kimberley and the Northern Cape and as far down as De Aar in the Karoo will, to my mind, be equally suitable for the processing of that product, since we have the assurance that there will be a supply of water and electricity and that that product can be conveyed to any harbour or any other point in the country with as much ease as is the case elsewhere. I think it is for this reason that we should start bearing in mind that this area, to which I have been drawing your attention, Sir, is pre-eminently one of the areas which is being handicapped by the burden of depopulation. I think that at present there is a golden opportunity for undertaking the necessary planning so that justice may be done to this area.
Mr. Speaker, …
The House appears to be in a very receptive mood to-night. The previous speaker will forgive me if I do not follow him, because perhaps it is appropriate after dinner to talk about food and wine and those who supply it amongst other services. Sir, the responsibility of the National Liquor Board is to classify hotels according to prescribed conditions which are mainly set out in Schedules II and III of the Liquor Act. Failure to classify by the end of the year or a later date, because there is the possibility of an extension under certain conditions, means that the particular hotel which fails to classify will lose its right to sell spirits. That is the main right that it would lose and, after all, that is where it makes its profits which it then ploughs back in order to improve the hotel. The position to-day is that many of the small hotels have decided that it is uneconomic to incur the capital expenditure necessary to comply with the conditions imposed and that it would not be worth while to continue with the wine and malt licence with which they would be left. The hon. the Minister of Justice may be in possession of later figures, but figures recently made available show that only 610 hotels out of a total of 1,560 licensed hotels have been classified by the National Liquor Board; that another 130 have asked for an extension beyond the 19th May, the closing date for all applications. May the 19th is D-day; hence the urgency of my appeal to the Minister. The position is that we may expect an improvement in the standard of hotels in the case of those hotels which have incurred the cost of complying with the conditions laid down by the National Liquor Board to obtain classification, because if a hotel seeks classification it is obviously going to try to get a grading. It is interesting to note that at first when the National Liquor Board asked for applications, it required applicants to state what grading they were going to ask for, although it had nothing to do with it. I believe that that has since been discontinued. As I have said, many of the hotels had no hope of complying, and this will result in the disappearance of these hotels. They are located in many small villages throughout the country and in the environs of the large cities. They are also located in mountain resorts and in the coastal resorts. I believe that it has been suggested that these conditions should be applied to the Transkei. If they applied to the Transkei I make bold to say that there will hardly be a hotel on the coast which will comply. I hold that a small hotelier who is making a living and has provided a service to customers should have the right to continue to exist if people are willing to patronize the establishment. Sir, let me just take a few examples at random. In certain cases I will not specify the establishments because I think it is invidious. In a certain town on the western coast of the Cape there are three hotels.
I am prepared to give the hon. the Minister the names. It appears to be certain that two of these hotels will not be able to comply. In the case of the third hotel is is very doubtful whether it will be able to comply with the conditions. If that happens in that particular town then there will be no hotel there at all.
That is one of many examples.
Then I go to Natal, to the little town of Wasbank. I am told that there is one hotel there and that it could not possibly comply with the conditions.
That applies to Utrecht and half a dozen other places.
It would wipe out these hotels. I make bold to say that there is hardly a member sitting in this House who has not heard of some small hotel establishment that is not going to disappear in his constituency. Loxton in the Cape is another instance where I understand that the hotel is going to disappear. In the case of Himeville in Natal, where there is a perfectly reasonable establishment with character, an establishment that is well patronized, a fishing hotel, there is great doubt—because the owner is improving it himself—whether he can possibly comply except over a long period of years, and yet there have been no complaints as to the hygiene and the service which is given at that hotel. These small hotels, when they are situated in towns or near big towns, comprise the community centre for meetings and social occasions. The social life of the town very often revolves around the small hotel.
It is the working man’s club.
Sir, they are reasonably cheap and, what is more, the patrons like the accommodation and the service and there is a demand for these services. It is said that on an average it would take R20,000 to improve these hotels up to the standards now required under the law. I may say in this respect that it was understood by many members when the Hotels Act was passed that assistance would be given to hotels. I believe it was discovered after the Act had gone through that assistance could not be given to a hotel until it became classified. I will say more about that a little later.
These small hotels seem to me to be the counter-part—and those who have travelled overseas will know—of many of the inns and small places that the traveller delights to stay at. There is nothing wrong with the conditions at those hotels. There is a demand for them. Those hotels on the continent and in Great Britain, in the greatest tourist countries in the world, would not be able to comply with the conditions we are laying down here. I believe that Parliament when it passed this Act did not realize the consequences. Emphasis has been on the standard of hotels, particularly those catering for the tourist trade. Publicity that has been given in this respect has been very largely given to the prestige hotel. That type of hotel has received a concentration of publicity; it has been given financial assistance, whilst the small, poor hotel is the Cinderella of the industry. The fact is that these places, particularly in the towns and near the big towns, are the working man’s club. He is being deprived of an amenity which he has enjoyed for years and years. It is only now being realized that this is happening.
The immediate requirements in Schedule II and Schedule III may be reasonable, but the difficulty arises in their interpretation by the National Liquor Board. Requirements such as the receptionist being able to be summoned by a bell, a waiter in full-time service for 16 hours, a lift in a building of more than three storeys, at least one dining room, and many other provisions appear to be reasonable. But difficulties arise which make it impossible for small hotels to comply.
It is provided under one of the Schedules that there should be two public toilets, one for men and one for women, conveniently situated.
Do you expect less than that?
I do not expect less than that, but the hon. the Minister must wait and hear what I have to say. I am; not quibbling about the number. A case has been brought to my notice where there was objection to the siting of the toilet rooms because in the one instance it was 75 feet and in the other instance 20 feet from the public reception desk. It was said, in the one case, to be too far away. The National Liquor Board insisted on them being reconstructed, and they were reconstructed, but when all this was done they were about the same distance away from the reception desk. The Schedule states that a bedroom should be 120 square feet. There are certain tolerances, up to 10 per cent. The Board apparently allow a bedroom of 100 square feet, and I am told they have even gone a little lower than that. Before this Act was passed, the regulation laid down 70 square feet. Then there was no question of lack of hygiene and cleanliness. Nobody became ill because they stayed in a bedroom of that size. People were prepared to accept the conditions in these small hotels. It is almost impossible for these small hotels to alter the size of their bedrooms.
Let us see what happens when a hotel has to comply with conditions laid down by this Board. So ludicrous is the position that hotels have been known to move the doors of the bedrooms. In the old-fashioned type of building the door-frame is rather deep and the door is swung on the bedroom side of the doorframe. In order to get extra space, the door is removed and put on the passage side of the door-frame, to comply with the conditions laid down in regard to footage. How ludicrous can it become? It would almost seem that the hotelier must get busy and chip the plaster off the bedrooms to gain the extra inch or two. [Interjections.] That is your opinion, but it will not be the opinion of the hoteliers and the public. I want to refer to another requirement which I know is not important but it shows the attitude of the powers-that-be. Mirrors must be three feet long and 15 inches wide. Prior to this regulation, the size of the standard mirror supplied by the furniture trade was 14 inches wide. But if the hotel has mirrors 14 inches wide, it cannot be classified. The mirrors have to be replaced by mirrors of the correct size.
The Schedule also lays down that the reception desk should be conveniently situated. There is a case where a certain hotel has other amenities on the ground floor, namely a bar and a café which serve the hotel residents as well as a large section of the public who patronize the café. The establishment is a first-class one of the highest standards. What happens? The reception desk is on the first floor and the rooms above, and the Board insists that the reception desk should be on the ground floor. I do not see it in the schedules which I have studied. But the Board, I believe, has decided that a kitchen should be one-third the size of the dining room. I do not know quite where that leads one to, because from what I have seen of some dining rooms, one would certainly get lost in the kitchen if it were one-third the size of the dining room. In another case brought to my notice the kitchen had a scullery and a still room. In order to comply, the hotelier knocked down the wall, included the scullery and still room in the kitchen, and thus complied with the conditions.
I point these things out to show the attitude displayed towards this problem, and it is affecting in particular the smaller hotels.
Another Board requirement is that a guest should not have to leave his bedroom and go into the open to get to the bathroom. That seems to me to be fatal for the hotels of the rondavel type. We have this type of hotel today in the Kruger National Park. It is also approved of by the Natal Parks Board. Many of the hotels in mountain resorts have these places. Yet this requirement is laid down. The public who go to these places do not mind going outside to get to a bathroom. They accept it.
Another obstacle is the requirement that hotels should have 25 per cent private bathrooms. That is one of the main difficulties of the small hotel. A well-known hotel widely patronized on the Durban seafront, for instance, where the hotelier has been for the past 35 years—he is a man who has practised the hotel trade for 50 years—has its bedrooms in the front of the hotel and the bathrooms across the corridor at the back of the hotel. I will not say there is a bathroom to every room, but it has a very high percentage of bathrooms. It is impossible to make any structural alterations in that hotel and so that hotel would be rejected. I do not think that is right. Many hotels—I have mentioned some of the instances at random—in the Transvaal, Natal, the North Western Cape, and at the coastal resorts, cannot make these alterations. A great majority of these hotels will have to close down. Whether this type of hotel is in existence or not makes little or no difference to the tourist trade. The person who patronizes these hotels is resident in the Republic. It is the holidaymaker in the Republic who wants accommodation within his means, at a cost he can afford. I believe that the hon. the Minister can consult with the Liquor Board and get a more sensible interpretation of the conditions. He should do something to qualify some of these hotels, in other words, let him cut the red tape. I believe that these hotels should be encouraged to put in their applications, whether they qualify or not. Only then will the extent of the problem be brought to the notice of the authorities. Only when the authorities get applications in from all the hotels, will they appreciate the problem. I think it is possible to provide an extension of time to those hotels, while the problem is investigated. We do not know the number, but I believe that it will be very considerable. I believe it is to the disadvantage of this country, and certainly to the disadvantage of the local travelling public. I do not think that it was ever intended that many of these establishments should be wiped out in this manner. The only remedy I see is that everybody should be encouraged to lodge their applications, that they be given an extension of time, and that during that period, a thorough investigation be made into those circumstances to ascertain whether they need financial assistance. Financial assistance, on a very long-term basis, is necessary if we are going to do anything for these people. I hope the hon. the Minister will listen to this plea. It is an urgent and a serious one, and I believe it is in the interest of the country.
Mr. Speaker, the theme of the speech by the hon. member who has just sat down, was the hotel industry. I want to admit that I am no authority in that field, unlike the hon. member who has just sat down. Therefore I am not going to try and follow him in all the aspects he went into in his speech. [Interjections.] I am convinced that the hon. member for Durban (Point), who made that remark, and I are not tuned in on the same wavelength as far as this matter is concerned.
However, I want to make a few remarks with reference to what the hon. member for Von Brandis said. I want to start by pointing out to the hon. member that the hotel industry and the tourist industry go hand in hand. On the part of the Government provision has indeed been made in the Budget this year for an increased contribution to the tourist industry. Indirectly, the hotel industry will also get its share out of this, but then it should be subject to certain conditions, namely that the services rendered by the hotels in this country most definitely have to be improved. Instead of pleading for this and encouraging the hotel industry as such to improve their services, the hon. member actually pleaded that the quality of their services should be lowered, which would mean that in future the public could be exploited even more than has been the case up to now. In recent years so many opportunities have been created for the hotel industry to set its house in order that one is quite astonished that a plea can still be made for further concessions. I sincerely trust that the hon. Minister who is charged with this will not lend his ears to pleas of this kind.
But I want to come back to the Budget as such, and I want to say at once that one of the features which struck me in this debate during the past three days is that there was a large measure of superficiality in the pleas and representations of Opposition speakers. This lack of depth in their arguments, which were larded with generalities and platitudes, is attributable to various causes. To-night I want to mention two causes for the lack of depth in their arguments.
One of the causes is of course the fact—one does not have to go far in order to find it—that one is dealing here with a Budget which is unassailable in every respect. For that we must be grateful to the Government and the Minister concerned. In this connection arguments have been put forward by the Opposition from time to time for increased expenditure on the provision of various additional services, but at the same time they sang the same old song that expenditure should be reduced. Increased services must be provided, but the expenditure must be reduced. Surely the position is that anyone with common sense calculates before he spends, and not only in terms of rands and cents, but in respect of all the implications that expenditure might have at that moment or in future.
But there is also a second reason why there is a complete lack of depth in the representations of the Opposition, and that is that their representations are inspired by political opportunism. Only yesterday the hon. member for Salt River raised a few points which will confirm my statements, and to which I will return in due course. About the peace and quiet in the field of labour the hon. member for Salt River said: “The fear of intimidation is such that these workers do not open their mouths.” Apart from the fact that it was a scandalous and irresponsible remark, coming from an extremely irresponsible hon. member of this House, it is also a dirty reflection on the worker of South Africa.
That hon. member ought to be ashamed of himself for uttering words such as these in this House. He ought to get up and apologize to the workers of South Africa. The United Party are the last persons who, should, in a spirit of political hypocrisy, plead in this House for the workers.
The hon. member must moderate his language. Hypocrisy, whether political hypocrisy or not, is still hypocrisy.
I withdraw it, Mr. Speaker. It is political insincerely of the United Party. Their record when they were in power is so poor, and their sustained opposition to positive labour legislation since 1948 is so malodorous, that even time will never be able to obliterate it. The workers of this country dare never forget what treatment they received at the hands of the United Party when that party was in power. I do not merely want to say this, but I want to illustrate and prove it. Sir, I want to tell you to-night how, when the United Party was in power, skilled workers were imported, while the local white workers were denied the opportunity to receive proper training. What is more, this was not the only injustice they did to our own Whites. They went so far as to see to it that at that time the unskilled whites, received only 11 to 20 per cent of the wages of the imported skilled workers, while in England, even at that time—and we know in what position England usually finds herself—the unskilled workers earned 60 to 75 per cent of the wages of skilled workers.
That hon. member also referred to “politically inspired trade unions”. I want to say at once that the National Party’s interest in the worker goes much deeper than merely being an interest in his livelihood. By means of its labour legislation this Government has given the workers of South Africa an anchor in life again. A labour force has been erected which attaches great value to tradition. I want to say that this Government has made possible the establishment and development of a broad nationalism amongst the workers of South Africa. This is in contrast to the flourishing of communism among the workers of most other countries of the world. This Government continually sees to it that its industrial legislation is adapted to changed circumstances, in the interests of the worker of South Africa. But what do the workers of South Africa and the Government get from the United Party? They get only opposition and negative criticism. We had this again yesterday from the mouth of the hon. member for Salt River.
Let us now take a look at a few spheres in which this Government looks after the worker in this country. It sees to it that the interests of the white worker in South Africa are protected. To-day the white worker of South Africa is master in his own trade unions again, thanks to the positive and consistent actions of the National Party Government. Because the worker is master in his own trade union again, he is enabled to see to it that his sphere of employment is better protected than ever before. If one adds to this the measures taken by this Government to introduce work reservation, one sees that particularly the white worker in South Africa can look to the future with confidence. But what does the United Party say? Yesterday the hon. member for Salt River again pleaded for economic integration. To prevent my being accused of generalizing, I have the hon. member’s Hansard report here. He referred to Japan, but he also said—
In this connection he certainly could not have been referring to the Whites only. I read on—
There is only one deduction that one can make, and that is that this hon. member pleaded very explicitly and openly that the doors should be thrown open and that restrictions should be lifted, that work reservation should be abolished and that there should be economic integration. I want to say that the worker of South Africa will in this respect take very thorough note of the attitude of the United Party.
But there are also other aspects of the policy of the National Party Government which are to the benefit of the worker. I want to say that thanks to the sound economic policy of the National Party Government there is full employment in South Africa today. However, it will never be possible to eliminate having a continual fluctuation of workers. Therefore I want to express my sincere thanks to the Department on this occasion for the services rendered to our workers through its employment offices. I am not now referring to the employment offices only, but also to the vocational services provided by the Department of Labour, which, in the words of the latest annual report, contributes towards the more effective utilization of the country’s manpower by helping prospective employees to choose a suitable vocation and to find a post in that vocation to adapt themselves to it and to make progress in it. I challenge the United Party to-night to say that such services were available in their time. But let us take another look, on the basis of figures, at what has been done in this respect during the past year.
In 1966 17,267 youths and 7,439 adults were helped in this way. Increased productivity is also referred to quite often in this debate. We agree with this, but this service rendered by the Department in fact makes a very important contribution to increased productivity because through this service the worker is placed in a position for which he is best suited. But now the poor worker must hear always how necessary it is that he should increase his productivity. There is seldom any reference to the contribution which the employer can make in this respect. Therefore I want to say that the time has come that, in view of the need for increased productivity, each employer in South Africa should make a survey of his managerial techniques and his organization, because the greatest single factor causing low productivity is often to be found here. I now want to ask whether the time has not come for the Department of Labour to establish professional services at its regional offices, especially in industrial areas, on an organized basis in order to give employees the necessary assistance in this respect. I want to go further and ask whether more cannot be done to commend the system of compensation for achievement to employers.
Is it not possible to take more positive action to make a scientific evaluation of the posts of the various employers, so that highly skilled workers do not have to perform work which can be performed by less skilled workers? In conclusion I want to say that while the National Party Government is always on the look-out to see how it can constantly improve circumstances and conditions, it primarily sees to it that the interests of the worker of South Africa are placed first. I want to repeat that on behalf of the workers of South Africa I to-night want to express our highest praise and appreciation to this Government, which is the friend of the worker, in contrast with the United Party, which is unashamedly the greatest enemy of the worker of South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, you will pardon me if I do not elaborate on what the hon. member for Springs has just said. I want to refer briefly to-night to certain remarks made here by the hon. member for Durban (Point) this afternoon. I am sorry he is not in the House at the moment. He referred to the hon. member for Germiston (District) and said that this hon. member had been sitting in this House for two years now and had made two speeches. I just want to tell the hon. member that we have a powerful party consisting of 126 members on this side of the House. On the opposite side of the House drought conditions are prevailing and they have a mere 39 members. I also want to tell the hon. member that very few people have departed from this Chamber because of things they did not say or because of the few speeches they made. There are many people, however, who are no longer here to-day because they made too many speeches. The hon. member also remarked about the books published by the men of sixty.
The men of 1966.
I beg your pardon, Mr. Speaker, I was looking at the hon. member for Kensington when I said that. Those books published by the men of 1966 are show-pieces which will be preserved for posterity as the crop which this party gained over the years. But I ask hon. members on the Opposition side of the House to publish a memorial pamphlet for those few members they have gained. If the Opposition is compared to a wheat farmer, it may be said that their crop does not even equal the seed they sowed.
I just want to deal briefly with the hon. member for Orange Grove. He could not find anything good in this fine Budget. The hon. member flung his arms about and made a fuss. I tried to follow him, but I could not. It reminded me of my youth when my father sent me to the cornfields to scare away the finches. The way he was gesticulating reminded me of that. But in spite of all his shouting and gesticulating the number of members on this side of the House has increased, while the number of members on that side has dwindled. Looking at them now, I believe their numbers will have dwindled even further after a few more budgets and after the next election. I want to congratulate the hon. the Minister of Finance on this Budget. This Budget is a sound one which cannot be criticized by the Opposition. It is a Budget which, in this fight against inflation, stands out as one of the best Budgets produced in the world in this period. There are other nations which will envy this country the position in which it finds itself. There are many countries in the world which will be glad if their financial position could be as sound as that of the rand in the Republic of South Africa. For this we owe a debt of gratitude to a pilot who has a firm hand on the tiller, unlike the hon. member for Durban (Point), who drives a motor car without thinking. We have somebody who keeps a firm hand on the tiller in order to fight the enemy, namely inflation, which has reared its head during the last few years. Inflation is like an iceberg which is concealed under the surface for the most part but which is a danger to the seafarer. But a pilot like the hon. the Minister of Finance will keep the ship on a safe course and will not allow it to collide with the iceberg of inflation. I want to thank the hon. the Minister for the concessions he has made in this Budget. I represent a constituency comprising 13,000 voters, of whom 11,000 are employed in the mining industry. The workers of South Africa thank the hon. the Minister of Finance. They thank him firstly, because he makes every effort to deal a deathblow to inflation and, secondly, for the concessions he has made. This is much more than those people can say. We know what happened to them. We know of the promises they made. As the hon. member for Springs said, the workers are happy in all spheres. They are happy in all spheres because they know that their interests are also looked after in the continued existence of this country and that they are also sharing the fruits of prosperity. And the Minister will certainly make larger concessions in future whenever he is able to do so. I am grateful that the hon. the Minister of Transport has made those large concessions. I am glad and I trust we shall receive further concessions next year if we continue in this way. I am particularly glad about, and I want to thank the Minister for, the concessions he has made as regards deductions for parents who have children. We know that it calls for sacrifices and costs a great deal of money these days to provide a family of four or six with clothing and education, but we are prepared to do so and I thank the Minister for those concessions.
Sir. I told you a moment ago that my constituency consists mainly of mine-workers, and I am very proud to represent them. They are the people who have made a contribution to the economy of this country all along in making available their services to the various companies to produce the gold which is one of the main sources of revenue this country has. Sir, you will be aware of the unrest which existed amongst those people a few years ago, but I want to thank the Minister of Labour tonight for having succeeded in solving the problem, and if the Opposition says that I may not express my gratitude they should just be grateful for having the privilege of still sitting here, because they are here on borrowed time and many of them are under final notice. We thank the Minister for the peace and quiet he has brought about in the mining industry and for the fact that it has been possible to increase the basic wages of the mine-worker. By that I mean that the mine-worker will also be able to improve his pension benefits in future as a result of the increase in his basic wages. But, Mr. Speaker, permit me to say to you that in spite of the fact that we have peace and quiet in this field, there are a large number of mine-workers who are concerned about the future because the pensions of certain people who are in the critical stage will be insufficient. I am asking the Government that should the price of gold be increased in the near future, as we trust it will, and should the mine-worker or the Chamber of Mines then approach the Government for assistance—as the mine-workers did in the case of the introduction of the wages which came into operation three or four months ago—as regards the provision of an improved pension for the person who has been working on the mines for a period of 25 or 30 years or more, the Government should provide the necessary machinery for assisting these people.
Hear, hear! But where is the Minister of Mines?
I am pleading with the Chamber of Mines to-night. I hope the Chamber of Mines will also consider doing its share for the mine-worker who is at a critical stage now, when the profits as a result of an increase in the price of gold pour into its coffers. Sir, the young man who starts working on the mines to-day will receive an excellent pension on retirement, and he owes this to this Government and not to the Opposition. The Opposition have not said a single word about this so far in this debate; they are keeping quiet, because it affects the Chamber of Mines. I say that the young man who starts working on the mines to-day, automatically contributes more towards his pension because his basic wage is higher. After he has completed 30 or 35 years’ service on the mines, he will receive a pension on which he can subsist, but those who are employed on the mines at present and who have been employed there for the past 25 or 30 years, are faced with the problem that, at this stage, they will not receive a pension on which they will be able to subsist.
Another matter I want to deal with—I have never yet heard it mentioned from the Opposition side—is the position of the proto men who are called in during the day or night when there is a fire in the mine, those proto men of whom I was one in the past. Every night these men pray that something like this should not happen, because they are the soldiers on this economic front. When a fire breaks out, these men have to get to the fire quickly and have to risk their lives to put out the fire as quickly as possible. I make an earnest appeal to the hon. the Minister and I ask kindly …
Where is the Minister of Mines?
I am speaking to the Minister of Finance. I am making an earnest appeal to him to go into this matter, if possible, and to see whether the tax on the extra amount these proto men earn, cannot be reduced. We still remember the tragic incident which occurred at the C.M.R. approximately a year ago in which four Whites lost their lives. I just want to point out to hon. members that no non-Whites are employed on these duties, but only Whites. I am making an earnest appeal, because when these men are told to go and put out a fire, they are in the same position as a soldier on the battlefield who is ordered to go and defend the most dangerous point. I want to pay tribute tonight to those people who have already sacrificed their lives for the mining industry in this country in this service, and I also want to pay tribute to the men who are prepared to perform this thankless task in the future.
Sir, it is a privilege to belong to the National Party, because I have the right to go to my father and if I ask him for bread, he will not give me a stone and if I ask a fish, he will not give me a serpent. But unfortunately the Opposition is not only without a father; it is also without a mother and despondent. I want to put forward an earnest plea to-night in respect of another matter which also concerns the mining industry, and I want to appeal to the Chamber of Mines to see to it that the various mining groups do not erect unnecessary houses wherever they sink shafts, for the purpose of housing key workers. I do not agree with them. It is unnecessary to do this, because these small townships are simply abandoned by the mining industry after it has finished taking the gold out of the earth. We had such a case at Dominion Reefs in the Western Transvaal, and that township is owned by private people to-day. This practice is rearing its head in my constituency, and I appeal to the Minister of Planning and the Minister of Mines to prevent these people, where possible, from causing these townships to spring up like mushrooms.
With this I want to say “Thank you” for again having had the privilege to-night of taking up the cudgels on behalf of a section of the working community in this country. I am referring to the mine-workers, and I pay tribute to them, from the lowest paid mine-worker to the general manager, for what they mean to and do for the economy of this country.
I wish to tell the hon. member for Stilfontein that we on this side of the House also congratulate the miners as much as they do, the people who do this dangerous job of mining for gold, and especially those proto teams that he speaks about that go down as rescue teams. We also appreciate the yeoman service that they do for mankind. As far as the hon. member for Springs is concerned, I would just like to remind him of the record of the United Party.
The United Party Government introduced the Industrial Conciliation Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act and the Workmen’s Compensation Act, all in the interest of the workers. I would like to support the hon. member for Von Brandis in regard to hotels. The question asked by practically everybody is what actually the intention of the Hotel Board is. Is its main function to cater for tourists who can afford graded hotels, and at all costs to eliminate all other hotels in the Republic? If one takes Cape Town as an example, I think they are succeeding. I should like to refer to an article in the Sunday Times of 3rd March, 1968, which says this—
I should also like to refer to Die Burger. I expect hon. members will listen to that—
Mr. Speaker, it is quite ridiculous to think that hotels in small country towns, completely off the beaten track, should close merely because they are unable to conform with the Hotel Board requirements laid down for graded hotels specially catering for wealthy oversea tourists. What I would like to know is whether a survey was made to determine the proportion of non-liquor hotels to small licensed hotels before the classification and grading of hotels took place. I think it would be quite clear to everybody that small licensed hotels were by far in the majority and could only exist because they were being subsidized by the sale of liquor. It is clear that these hotels, without the liquor subsidy, will be forced to go out of business as they could never afford the reclassification to become graded establishments.
They would have to put up their prices too.
This surely will considerably reduce the number of beds available to the ordinary family man. On the 25th March, 1968, speaking in the Other Place, the hon. the Minister of Tourism stated that South Africans touring overseas were spending approximately R62 million and that South Africa in return was only getting R51 million from oversea tourists. Surely it is elementary that to overcome the gap we must encourage our own people to travel in this, their own country. It is also glaringly clear that only a very small minority can afford to go overseas and this is the minority benefiting from the hotels classification and grading laws, but what about the majority, the family man, who can only afford to travel internally? He only requires inexpensive family accommodation. He is the man who is losing. Why is he losing? Because the hotel in which he lived last year is now classified and graded and is charging more for accommodation and not providing him with meals. It is now providing a la carte service, which is the most expensive way of eating. In respect of his particular section, which is the major holiday population, what is the Department of Tourism doing for these people to provide decent, inexpensive accommodation for the man, who no doubt is also a taxpayer, and his family? The hotel diningroom with the ordinary meals, as we used to know it, seems to have become something of the past. It is now all a la carte. Whenever are we heading? Is this still the South Africa that we know? Must we sit back and allow these foreign money-making habits to take over our South African way of life? Sir, another habit which must be stopped immediately is the service racket, or to give if a more high-sounding name, the couvert charge. Sir, here I would like to quote from an article which appeared in the Sunday Times news magazine of the 18th February, 1968—
What sort of food is that?
This is what you pay before you get a course.
It is for the serviette, knives and forks.
The writer of this letter goes on to say—
I expect it is a racket.
Then, Sir, I would like to read an extract from our own South African Travel and Trade which I believe is quite a well-known magazine—
Then, Sir, I wish to quote an article from News Check of the 16th February, 1968—
And may I add, a lot of money. Sir, this is a serious matter and the Hotel Board should reconsider the whole position.
But please do not get me wrong; we are not against tourism as such and certainly not against the Hotel Board. I admit there is a more important field of tourism in the future and in the very near foreseeable future. This is a new development in tourism that can overtake us quite soon and as a result the question arises whether South Africa is ready for the jumbo jet age tourism? Here I would like to quote from an article in the Sunday Times of the 3rd March, 1968. The writer of this article states—
Sir, this journalist’s article may seem farfetched and it may look as though he is writing about travelling in a world of fantasy, but is it fantasy? Since his article the hon. the Minister of Transport has informed Parliament that he already has several of these giants of the sky on order. Have we got the necessary hotels to cater for these passengers, as this journalist predicts? The only matter that is a known fact is that South Africa is already one of the major tourist attractions of the world and that it is already included in the computers of the jumbo jet age.
I am grateful to the hon. member for Von Brandis as well as the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) for having raised the question of hotel accommodation and classification. I must say that I am sorry that they did not do so three or four years ago already, because the position is that we amended the Liquor Act in 1963, and that the requirements for classification were laid down in April, 1964. But all this time the hotels did nothing. What they were thinking, nobody knows. When I became Minister in September, 1966 and paid attention to the matter, I found that there was a small number of hotels that had already been classified. Furthermore I found that it was commonly believed by the hotel industry that the provisions of the Act in respect of classification would never be carried out, or that an extension of time would be granted, as pleaded for by the hon. member for Von Brandis here to-night. I then made an earnest appeal to the people by way of a statement in the Press. I went further and instructed the Chairman and one member of the National Liquor Board, which falls under my jurisdiction—the Hotel Board falls under the jurisdiction of the hon. the Minister of Tourism—to visit centres such as Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Cape Town to interview hotel proprietors and to explain to them what classification meant and what requirements they had to satisfy. The fact of the matter was that the hotel proprietors did not know what they had to do. These people did wonderful work in the three weeks they spent in the various centres and they interviewed no fewer than 328 different proprietors during that period. They received very great praise and gratitude from these people for the guidance which they gave to them, and applications for classification have been coming in at a much faster rate since that date.
Do you know how many applications have come in?
About 640 or 650.
What percentage is that?
It does not represent more than about 40 per cent to 45 per cent. We must remember—and this is what we had in mind in 1963 when we had this Act passed by the House of Assembly after the Malan Commission had submitted its report—that the primary function of a hotel is to provide accommodation, a place where one can stay—not have drinks. Since it is a place of accommodation, and the Government wanted to meet the people half-way, the underlying idea ever since 1928 has been that hotel proprietors must be afforded an opportunity of supplementing their income by selling liquor, including spirits. In 1963 the Government gave hotel proprietors a period of five years within which to meet certain requirements. There were six categories, and hotel proprietors could apply for any of the six categories. However, they had to satisfy the requirements for at least the F category. If they reached the F category within five years, the Government not only allowed them to sell liquor for consumption on the premises, but also granted them additional off-sales facilities as an encouragement. If one was prepared to encourage people, one also had to make provision for those who do nothing. The Board then decided that if a hotel did not reach the F category within five yea s, it would not be closed down. They could continue as before, with such small rooms as they pleased, with no bathrooms, but they would no longer have the benefit of selling spirits.
Your licensing board requires that as a minimum now.
No. I know exactly what the wording is. I deal with these cases every day. I tell no hotel that I will have it closed down if it is not classified before 31st December, 1968. What I did say, was that if an hotel did not classify, it would not be allowed to sell spirits. That is all I said. Such hotels will still be allowed to sell wine and malt. No hotels will be closed down, but they will not be allowed to sell spirits, only malt and wine, as well as fortified wine. On the other hand, if an hotel does classify, it will be entitled to have an off-sales. What has in actual fact happened during this period of five years? This matter was dormant, and hotel proprietors took no notice of this legal provision. I am sorry to say that until quite recently FEDHASA did not really go out of their way to inform their members in this regard. FEDHASA has had several discussions with me, and on each occasion I told them that the Government was favourably disposed towards the hotel industry, but that there were minimum requirements which had to be met.
The hon. member for Von Brandis said that the people preferred it that way. That is not so. The fact of the matter is that the people have no other choice. They have “Hobson’s choice”, therefore they either have to avail themselves of what is offered or, do without it. The minimum requirements for the size of a hotel room is 100 square feet, in other words 10 feet by 10 feet. This room must contain a bed, a wardrobe, a chair and ablution facilities. How can one have rooms smaller than 10 feet by 10 feet? I am sure that the servant of the hon. member for Von Brandis, if he were to measure her or his room, has a room that is larger than 10 feet by 10 feet. How can one expect that somebody who provides those minimum facilities should enjoy the same privileges as the person who goes out of his way to serve the public properly? I repeat, a hotel is primarily a place where people can find accommodation, where they can have meals and stay. The liquor which they may consume there, is a secondary concession made to the hotel to supplement its income. If we were to say to-night, “Throw the liquor trade open to everybody so that the grocer, the chemist, the baker or anybody may sell it”, then we would hear who would be the first to complain. Then the hotel owners would say immediately, “Good heavens, no, how can you do this to us?” It is a protected trade. Surely, if one has the sole right to sell liquor, one has to satisfy certain requirements.
But now I have another difficulty. The hon. member for Von Brandis pleads that I should grant an extension of time so that the matter may be properly investigated. When these classification requirements were laid down originally, it was done in the closest collaboration with the Hotel Proprietors’ Association, not only on a departmental level, but also on ministerial level. They agreed. The hon. member said that they did not compare with the inns in overseas countries. That is exactly what we did at the time. An official was sent abroad with the express purpose of finding out what requirements were laid down in the United States, England, France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. These requirements as laid down by us in the various categories are in fact more or less the same as those applied overseas. If I were to comply with the request for a general extension of time I would incur very severe reproaches. I would find myself in the position that the 621 that have already been classified and have incurred expenditure would be in competition with those people who have done nothing. Hon. members may ask me what I expect. I honestly expect the classification of our hotels will have been completed to a very large extent by 31st December. The majority of those that will not have been classified by then, will have obtained extensions of time. Provision has been made that, if for good reasons they are unable to meet the requirements, the Minister may grant extension of time on the recommendation of the National Liquor Board. This happens every day. I grant extensions of time every day. One can obtain an extension of time on various grounds. Perhaps an expropriation may be imminent. A road or street has to be diverted and a person does not know whether his hotel is going to be expropriated. This is a difficult case, and one cannot expect such a person to have his hotel classified. In such a case we grant an extension of time, if it can be proved to be a genuine case. On the other hand there is the case where people are genuinely having financial difficulties. Incidentally, a large number of them have waited very long. They waited until loan facilities had become very hard to obtain. But we are taking this into account every day. If I remember the latest figure correctly, there were about 140 cases until yesterday in which extension of time was granted, and for sound reasons.
The hon. member rightly said that May was the month by which applications for classification had to be in. My latest information from the Liquor Board is that applications are coming in very rapidly. But after all is said and done, I feel we should allow this matter to take its course. The National Liquor Board are acting in a very responsible way. Although I am very lenient on the whole, I simply cannot grant another general extension of time for one or two years at this stage. If I were to do that, it would be unfair towards those people who have already satisfied the requirements laid down. I am however prepared to grant extensions of time in cases where sound reasons for doing so can be advanced. As I have said, extensions of time have already been granted in some cases—for periods varying from six months to four years.
Hon. members should not believe everything they read in the newspapers. This whole matter is being deliberately exaggerated. A great deal has been said about small hotels, but I now want to mention a few small hotels that have already been or are in the process of being classified. The Merino Hotel in a small place such as Grootvlei has already been classified; the same applies to Waterval Boven; the Ogies Hotel in Witbank; two hotels in Garies; a hotel in Springbok; in Hoopstad; in Jan Kempdorp; Sannieshof; the Marico Hotel (I stayed there myself the other day); Swartruggens; Brandvlei; the Royal Hotel in Kom-ga; the Phoenix Hotel in Fauresmith; the hotel in Petrusburg; in Petrusville; in Pearston—a large number of small places.
Any of them in Natal?
The Josini Hotel in the district of Ubombo; the Commercial Hotel in Greytown …
At a cost of R30,000!
This is also completely exaggerated. I am glad the hon. member has mentioned it.
Between R20,000 and R30,000.
What happens is that instead of just the minimum requirements being complied with, a brand new hotel is built. I deal with such cases every day. To comply with the requirements for an F category, much less need be spent. But, as I have said, this does not satisfy the proprietor, and he builds himself a brand new hotel.
How many hotels received more than one star after having spent between R20,000 and R30,000?
I would not be able to say. I do not have that information, as it is a question of grading. It has nothing to do with classification. The moment a hotel classifies, it immediately receives one star. But this is a matter which the hon. member must settle with my colleague the Minister of Tourism.
My point is that they do not spend more than is necessary for classification alone.
As I have said, this is not a matter which hon. members must settle with me. The minimum requirement I lay down is for an F classification. If the hotel proprietor complies with this, he retains all his privileges and in addition I give him an off-sales liquor licence.
The requirements laid down are unreasonable.
The hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) referred to an article in Die Burger headed “Large number of hotels in Peninsula sold or to close down”. This is a lot of nonsense from beginning to end.
It is not.
It is a lot of nonsense from beginning to end. Let me say what the true position is. This report states that a provisional survey showed that the following hotels had already closed down: the Albion, the Belvedere, the White House, the Waverley, the York; while the following hotels were going to close down: the Palm Court, the May-fair and the Brooklyn. But what is the true position? The Waverley and the York, hotels which according to this report have already closed down, have already been classified; their classification is over and done with. The Palm Court and the Mayfair are two unlicensed hotels and as such classification does not concern them at all.
Is it Die Burger that is telling all these lies?
According to this report the following hotels are for sale: The Good Hope, the Drommedaris, the Mountain View, the Prince Alfred and the Devon Valley, Stellenbosch. But the Good Hope, the Drommedaris, the Devon Valley and the Green Hansom have already been classified. Six of the hotels mentioned here, have therefore already been classified.
Have you reported this ascertainable lie in Die Burger to the Press Board?
This report originated with Mr. Bowman, the Vice-Chairman of the Hotel Association. According to the report he said that it was calculated that 25 per cent of the hotels in South Africa would disappear by the end of the year and that towns like Paarl and Stellenbosch would have difficulty in retaining a hotel. Let me say now what the position is in respect of Paarl and Stellenbosch. His reference to these two places also presents an inaccurate picture, because two hotels in Paarl have already been classified finally, while one has applied for classification and one for extension of time.
What are their names?
Unfortunately I do not have their names. The hon. member will have to take my word for it. As I have said, two have already been classified, while one has applied for classification and another for extension of time. In Stellenbosch there are also two hotels which have been finally classified. Mr. Bowman also referred to the White House Hotel. I should prefer not to discuss this hotel. If I do so, I may have to discuss its standard and then I may go too far.
How many hotels in Worcester will be able to continue in existence?
I do not know at the moment.
The hon. member for Von Brandis mentioned bathrooms which are situated outside the rondavels, and said it was very unreasonable to apply the requirements in such a case. He referred, inter alia, to the National Parks where we find this. But what the hon. member forgets is that in the National Parks these places do not sell spirits to visitors.
Do they have the right to supply liquor?
No, they do not sell spirits, and this is just where the difference comes in. We shall allow these hotels to continue as before. They will be allowed to carry on their business and to continue selling beer as in the past.
They have the right to supply liquor.
Wines, malts and so on.
Yes, that is all. That is the difference. The hon. member for Von Brandis also mentioned the Transkei. This is not the intention. There is only one district, namely Kokstad, which may possibly be affected. That district may be included in the future. But it will not affect the whole of the Transkei.
What about Port St. Johns?
No, nothing has been decided about that at this stage. Only Kokstad has been decided about so far.
Then I want to say something about the reports of hotels that are being sold, to which the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (District) referred. Particularly here in the Cape so many are reputedly being sold. It is mainly the smaller type of hotel that is concerned here. These hotels belonged to South African Breweries, and they themselves adopted the policy in terms of which they are now acting. Except for a small number, they have had all their hotels classified, and in the case of those that are still to be classified, they have asked for an extension of time as they must still satisfy certain requirements. I have granted them the extension of time. They have sold a certain number of their hotels, not because the classification requirements were too difficult for them, but because they felt that these hotels were no longer a proposition. These are their own words—
This is the reason for that. It is not the classification requirements that caused the Breweries to take this step, but the fact that small hotels are no longer a business proposition. The sites are too expensive, the services are too expensive, and all the expenses relating to the hotel industry are too high, with the result that it is no longer profitable to run them.
I want to make a final appeal to the hotel industry. I appeal to them to come forward and hand in their applications as soon as possible, and if these are at all reasonable, they will find both the Board and the Minister very co-operative. But I repeat: There is no question of a general extension of time.
Mr. Speaker, I should like to reply to the hon. the Minister of Justice on some of the points which he has raised here this evening in regard to the hotel trade, but I find I cannot do this because of the very limited time at my disposal and because I intend raising an entirely different matter under the Budget.
I am going to make a very special plea this evening to the hon. the Minister of Finance to do something in his next budget for the Bantu people of South Africa, because I believe quite sincerely that the Bantu people, and in particular the urban Bantu people of South Africa, have not received their fair share for the work they put in to create prosperity in South Africa. You see, Sir, the Minister has told us in his Budget that he has in fact made no concessions at all to this section of our people. He has told us too that he regards the Budget before us as an anti-inflationary Budget. But it is quite obvious the Budget has been designed by the Minister to prevent the man in the street from spending money excessively. I want to say that we must remember the term “man in the street” does not apply to the white people of South Africa only but it applies with equal effect to the Bantu persons as well as to all the other races living in our country. So I believe we should see to it that all sections of our population are compensated for the work they have put in to create this really prosperous South Africa.
We must remember that the urban Bantu to-day has become the backbone of the economy of South Africa because of his labour in our industries, mines, and commerce. We want to say to the hon. the Minister that he should see to it that we as South Africans do everything in our power to ensure that the urban Bantu is properly compensated for the work he has put in on behalf of South Africa.
To appreciate the very difficult time the urban Bantu has to-day to make ends meet, we only have to take the case of an urban Bantu living say in the complex of Soweto, Johannesburg. We find there, for instance, that an unskilled labourer earns the princely salary of R35 per month, and we know it takes at least R40 per month to feed and clothe a family of five if we accept the standard as laid down by the Department of Social Welfare in South Africa. I know that hon. members on that side of the House are going to tell me that the Bantu people in South Africa are very much better off than their compatriots on the continent of Africa. But are we supposed to compare the standard of living of the Bantu in South Africa with that of an African in an underdeveloped state in Africa? Surely we must accept the fact that our Bantu are living in this country and they have to conform to the standards of living in this particular country. Therefore I want to suggest to hon. members on the opposite side before they do this to think very seriously, because as far as I am concerned this is only drawing a red herring across the trail. [Interjections.] I want to say I am not going to be put off by any interjection from that side. I feel I am pleading a very genuine and objective case for a very important section of our people in South Africa. I want to remind hon. members on that side of the House that only the other day the hon. the Prime Minister according to a newspaper report said, and emphasized the fact, that South Africa was going through what was possibly the most difficult time in the history of the country. Therefore I want hon. members opposite to accept the fact that we require the goodwill of the Bantu people in South Africa as we have never required it before.
We have got it.
It is said that we have got it. I want to agree to a certain extent with the hon. the Deputy Minister, but I want to tell him that if we do not do our duty towards the Bantu in South Africa we might possibly lose that goodwill. I want to ask him how he thinks for instance a Bantu couple classed as old-age pensioners are expected to live on a princely old-age pension of R7.40 per month. I want to ask him whether he honestly feels this is treating people who have given their whole lives to the country, properly.
Then I want to mention to him, too, there is a feeling …
You are hypocrites.
… among certain people on that side—I call them unenlightened people—that the urban Bantu …
Order! Who is the hon. member referring to?
I said unenlightened people, Mr. Speaker.
Who are the people?
Well, some members on that side, Sir.
They are hon. members.
I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. Some hon. members on that side …
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order …
Mr. Speaker, is the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration entitled to refer to this side of the House as hypocrites?
I mean the hon. Mr. Vosloo.
Order! [Interjections.] Order! Did the hon. the Deputy Minister say that?
Mr. Speaker, which Deputy Minister?
Order! Did the hon. the Deputy Minister call members of the hon. the Opposition hypocrites?
Mr. Speaker, I am the Deputy Minister of Bantu Development and not the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration.
Order! I have asked the hon. the Deputy Minister a question. Did he call the hon. members of the Opposition hypocrites?
Mr. Speaker, I said that if hon. members on that side made that statement, it was a hypocritical statement.
No, no! [Interjections.]
Mr. Speaker, I very clearly heard the hon. Deputy Minister Vosloo say, “You are hypocrites”. [Interjections.]
Who says he was not referring to the Government side of the House up there? [Interjections.]
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, these people are toying with the Chair.
Order! Did the hon. the Deputy Minister call the hon. members of the Opposition hypocrites?
Some of them, yes, Mr. Speaker. [Interjections.] I withdraw.
Order! No, the hon. the Deputy Minister must not make a farce of Parliament. The hon. member may proceed.
Mr. Speaker, I was saying when I was interrupted that there are certain people who feel to-day that the urban Bantu can be swept under the carpet. I want to say to them that this will never happen, because if we do we will find we have to pull them out again when we realize that we cannot run the economy of this country without their labour and goodwill. [Interjections.] I know that hon. members on that side, particularly during a late evening session, do not take speeches very seriously, but I want to say to them … [Interjections.] But I want to say to them I am deadly serious in my request to the hon. the Minister of Finance to do something for the Bantu people in South Africa. I also want to say to him that, as far as I am concerned many things could have been done in this Budget without endangering the fight against inflation in any way. I want to suggest to him firstly that he could possibly have made a concession by increasing the R13 million grant from the Maintenance Fund for the education of Bantu. It might be said this seems to be a large amount. It might look a large sum of money on paper, but when we take into consideration the size of our Bantu population, then we will realize that very much more than this is needed. I want to suggest quite seriously to the Minister that when he compiles his next Budget he should give very serious attention to this matter of increasing the grant for Bantu education in South Africa. I want to say, Mr. Speaker … [Interjections.]
Did you say “Kaffer-boeties”? [Interjections.]
Yes, then you say that we are “Kafferboeties”.
I heard the word “Kafferboetie” mentioned by the other side, and I want to say quite clearly that if I am to be called a “Kafferboetie” because I get up in this House and make a plea for a section of our population who are not represented in Parliament and who look to us for guidance and to put their case before Parliament, then hon. members opposite can call me “Kafferboetie” for 24 hours a day and it would make no difference to me. [Interjections.] I want to say, too, that it is rather a sad state of affairs when one has to think twice before rising in this House and making a plea for our Bantu people. We know that over the years we have had the support of our Bantu people, particularly during times of great stress, and I want to suggest it is up to us—not only this side but both sides of the House—to see to it that the goodwill which has been built up over the years is not destroyed because the Bantu feels we do not regard him as a true part of South Africa. We have heard from the hon. the Minister of Planning and the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education that they have certain intentions in regard to the urban Bantu. I want to say to them that they are attempting to do the impossible because anyone who is a realist and who accepts the position as it obtains to-day in South Africa must realize that it would be quite impossible to run this country without the labour and the goodwill of the Bantu people of South Africa.
May I please ask a question?
Order! The hon. member would like to ask a question.
I am sorry, but I have been interrupted and I have no time.
I thought so.
I want to suggest to the hon. member that he will still have many opportunities in future to ask any question he chooses in regard to what I am saying here tonight. When we look at the position of the urban Bantu in South Africa we find he is asked to give of his services freely to our country, he is asked to be loyal to us, he is asked to stand with us in times of crisis, as he always has done, but when it is suggested that his wages be increased or his living conditions be improved, we find that hon. members opposite take it amiss and talk about “Kafferboeties”. I want to say to them, and I have said this before, they must remember that these people have no representation whatsoever in this House. Only if we do our duty and raise matters here affecting them is their voice heard. I want to say I intend raising this matter whenever I feel it should be raised in this Parliament, irrespective of what hon. members opposite think. I happen to have had a large amount of experience as regards exactly what the urban Bantu goes through because of my association with the Johannesburg City Council. We must remember that certain things have to be done by the Central Government and not by a city council. I rose here this evening to speak as a member of Parliament, to make a plea in this House for certain things to be done for the Bantu of South Africa.
What do you pay your Bantu?
A very personal question has been asked, namely what do I pay my Bantu? I want to say, firstly, that I employ very few, but I want to assure the hon. member that I pay them enough to live decently, and maybe far more than what they would have been paid by the Government, the city council, and perhaps private enterprise. [Interjections.]
What do you pay yours?
I have no Bantu; I work for myself.
The hon. member for Jeppes is being very facetious, and I think if he examines his conscience he will know that what I have said here this evening and the matters I have raised require very serious consideration by both sides of the House. I defy any member on that side to tell me how a Bantu family, or a family of size, can possibly exist on R35 per month. I defy him to show me how. We seem to forget that the Bantu, wherever he lives, particularly in the urban areas, has to pay exactly as much for the necessities of life as hon. members of this House have to pay. I want to say to hon. members on that side that if they really examine their consciences, they will find that I am talking the absolute truth. I say the time is overdue for us, and the people of South Africa, to realize the plight of the Bantu in this country. I want to make a special appeal to the hon. the Minister of Finance. I appeal to him to take the advice of his advisers to go into the conditions very carefully in regard to the Bantu in this country. I am certain that if he does that he will find that, when he comes with his next Budget, he will do certain things for the Bantu. I make this appeal to the hon. the Minister because I think it is timely, long overdue, and I am certain that if we do not do something to-day we will never forgive ourselves in the future for not doing it. I have mentioned the very sad case of the old age Bantu pensioner. I now want to mention another case. We find a case reported from Bloemfontein of a Bantu widow, who became the sole support of a family of four but who was able to earn a wage of only R5 per month. She was entitled to a grant from the Government of R6.50 per month. This means that she had to bring up a family, clothe them, feed them, fairly decently, on this princely sum of R11.50 per month.
The only shameful thing about this is that people over there say “shame” in such a facetious manner.
Order! To whom is the hon. member referring when he speaks of “people over there”?
To hon. members, Mr. Speaker. It is a shame that hon. members over there use the word “shame” in such a facetious manner when I state the case like this. I defy any one of them to tell me how these people can live above the bread line. I want any member on that side of the House to take a R5 note and see how long it lasts him. The hon. the Deputy Minister has questioned my facts. I want to tell him that the facts I have given are one hundred per cent true.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No. 23 and debate adjourned.
The House adjourned at