House of Assembly: Vol3 - WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 1962

WEDNESDAY, 28 MARCH 1962 Mr. SPEAKER took the Chair at 2.20 p.m. BILLS READ A FIRST TIME

The following Bills were read a first time:

Aviation Amendment Bill.

Fencing Amendment Bill.


First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion for House to go into Committee of Supply and into Committee of Ways and Means, to be resumed.

[Debate on motion by the Minister of Finance, upon which an amendment has been moved by Mr. Waterson, adjourned on 27 March, resumed.]


I made the point that the Government with this Budget has succeeded in doing one thing and not neglecting the other thing. Besides a considerable defence programme there is a very large programme of internal development, particularly in regard to water conservation and besides the great Orange plan, there is also a large variety of smaller water conservation schemes to be set up in the country, and for this we are very grateful. I mentioned the raising of the Clanwilliam dam wall in our constituency and on behalf of the farmers of the Olifants River irrigation area I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Government and the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs very heartily for this step because the farmers in that area have had to experience continual water restrictions over the past four years and this was certainly a very hampering circumstance.

I want to go further and make the point that it is my ideal for the future that together with the development of the great Orange plan, we will continue throughout the length and breadth of South Africa with the development of smaller local schemes and I think here particularly of the rivers of the Boland, the area of which I have a reasonably good knowledge. The Boland has three rivers which are the main arteries of the Western Province, the main arteries of no fewer than seven Boland constituencies and which have recently, since the completion and coming into operation of the Wemmershoek scheme, also become the main arteries of the Cape Peninsula. No expansion, no matter in which sphere, is possible unless the best use can be made of the water of the Berg River and the Breede River and the Olifants River. I foresee that in the near future, in the next five or ten years, there will be at least three necessary schemes in the area. I think of the increasing of the capacity of the Voëlvlei Dam between Tulbagh and Wellington which is very necessary with a view to the expansion of the West Coast because that schemes assures the flow of the Berg River to the sea side. I think of a dam in the upper reaches of the Olifants River in the vicinity of Citrusdal which is very necessary to stimulate further expansion in that area. I think of a dam in the upper reaches of the Berg River with a view to the expansion of industries and agriculture in the Berg River Valley. May I just mention that this cradle of our South African civilization finds itself in the position to-day where in the dry season it is dependent for water upon the Municipality of Cape Town and therefore I foresee the building of an additional dam particularly with a view to the requirements of the farmers and industries in the Berg River Valley. I want to express the hope that where we all accept the development of the Orange plan with acclamation, these few smaller schemes will receive the serious attention of the Government and of the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs and that they will be proceeded with as swiftly as possible. I do not see the Orange plan as an opportunity for the removal of our population from one part of the country where expansion possibilities are limited because of a scarcity of water, to another part of the country. I see the matter in this way: That we must further develop the areas which have already been developed with the available natural resources and that the Orange plan must be a plan of expansion; that this must create the opportunity for a greater South Africa; that there must be the opportunity for South Africa to be able to accommodate new citizens and to develop larger industries. We wish to express the conviction that this development plan of the Orange River will also afford the hon. the Minister of Immigration a good opportunity not only to make this scheme known to people abroad, but also to make it known as an opportunity for new citizens for South Africa.

While I was speaking yesterday evening, someone on the Opposition side asked: “What about the Bantustans?” In the few minutes which I still have at my disposal I would like to say a few words about the development of the Bantu homelands. Here too it is true that the Government is doing one thing and not neglecting the other. While a great deal is being done for European South Africa in this Budget, at the same time the Government is continuing with the development of the Bantu homelands and a large variety of schemes is being developed and implemented systematically. It is very self-evident to me that this will happen because we have granted the Bantu their own homelands and together with them accept responsibility for the development of those homelands. According to hon. members on the other side this direction is the direction of the fragmentation of our country. I want to make use of this opportunity to tell hon. members on the other side that they are actually so concerned about this development of Bantu homelands because their political views and our political views differ in essence. Hon. members on this side of the House represent the nationally minded Afrikaners who are overwhelmingly by birth people with a reformed Protestant origin, and the Protestant reformed view departs from an autonomous local congregation, a small unit which is autonomous in itself and which in the religious sphere builds a larger unit from that local community. This has an influence upon the whole of our political view. We maintain a variety of local communities; we acknowledge the specific nature of every nation in South Africa and from that basic acknowledgment of an own national nature and an own local diversity, we develop a greater South Africa. Hon. members opposite are by birth overwhelmingly British and their political view is determined by the Anglican religious system which is actually Roman. This is an episcopal system which is controlled from above, for the Roman Catholics, in the person of the Pope and in the case of the British it is controlled by the British head of State as the head of the Anglican Church, and everything develops under that roof. There is no opportunity for the acknowledgment of own local communities; there is no opportunity for the development of an own national identity under that roof. All are British subjects; all are members of the same state.


But you can really talk nonsense!


When that British roof is taken away, nothing remains for the protection of the British subject and the Westerner. The hon. member says that I am talking nonsense but this is precisely what is happening in Africa to-day. Where the British roof is removed, the British subject and the Westerner are left helpless; there is then no protection for an own community; there is no opportunity for him; he is left to the mercy of African nationalism; he is surrendered. With the exception of Algeria where there is fighting, he is a refugee to-day. We in South Africa have a different domestic approach and this diversified approach of ours guarantees the future of the Republic of South Africa. It guarantees a future both for the European and the Bantu nations in South Africa; it guarantees a future for the variety of Bantu nations in Southern Africa. While chaos prevails in the rest of Africa to-day, while confusion reigns supreme, the Republic of South Africa is engaged more and more in standing out and predominating as a tower of strength. The European in Africa is pinning his hope more and more on the Republic of South Africa, the Republic which has been built by nationally minded Afrikaners with their particular view of life. Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of the funeral of the late President Kruger the representative of the French people laid a laurel wreath on his grave and around that wreath there was a circlet on which were the words: “To the late President Kruger, the representative of a small nation but of a great idea.” This is the idea of the right of survival, the independence, the freedom of a small nation in its own God-given state. This is the idea of the maintenance of an own national identity in an own country. This is the idea which we are developing in connection with the European in South Africa; this is the idea which we are developing in regard to the Xhosa in South Africa; this is the idea which we are developing in regard to every Bantu people in Southern Africa. The idea has become even greater in our time. In an Africa of chaos we are developing the idea not only of a free nation in its own God-given state but of the peaceful co-existence of free nations, each in its own state. Mention a state to me throughout the entire continent of Africa where we have a more heterogeneous population of Westerner, Easterner and African who co-exist and develop peacefully. There is not one single example. We are developing this idea and time and history will teach us that it was not only a great idea for us but that we gave the world a new idea.


Who are “we”?


Our National Government is engaged in giving the world an idea which is a guarantee to it of peace between people who retain their own national characteristics and their own national identity in their own homeland, who co-exist peacefully with other people of other nations and other races in the same South Africa.


Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the views of the hon. member for Piketberg (Mr. Treurnicht) and I would like to congratulate him on his suggestions in respect of the development of irrigation in the Boland and the Western Province. I will perhaps be forgiven if I express the hope that he will not have to wait as long for the fulfilment of those schemes as irrigators under the Orange River Development Scheme have had to wait since the plans were ready. Despite the fact that I have been a member of his church since childhood, I have never heard this precise explanation for apartheid, or for separate development. But it seems to me that since our churches in the various provinces are moving towards a federal relationship, he too will see the necessity for a federal relationship between the various communities in South Africa, and I have very little doubt that if he sticks to that philosophy, he will be one of the first converts to race federation. The hon. member will forgive me if I do not follow him any further in the somewhat tortuous arguments which he has advanced.

It is my object this afternoon to deal with certain aspects of this Budget from the point of view of the ordinary South African who differs with this Government on major issues of policy, and I believe that when one looks at it, from that point of view, there are a number of things which strike one at once. Some of them are matters which one would criticize in any Budget advanced by a Minister of Finance suffering from some temporary embarrassment; others, according to the Minister, go to the very roots of our existence and led the Minister to describe this as a “national security Budget”, and caused him throughout his speech to sustain the military analogy, a somewhat unfamiliar role for the Minister.

On the first group of matters, those that one would criticize in any ordinary Budget, I think perhaps the most striking is the manner in which the Minister has set out to raise the funds which he finds necessary to meet his commitments. He starts off in the field of direct taxation by grabbing back from the taxpayers a very large proportion of the sum which he owes them by the falling due of the savings levy. In fact, for every rand which he owes them, he grabs back approximately 80 cents from the people, as we always said he would when he adopted the expedient of making use of the savings levy. Then he proceeds to the field of indirect taxation, and we should remember that for every R2 paid by the people by way of direct taxation, something like R3 is collected from the people by way of indirect taxation. And here his proposals will probably hit the poor man harder than the wealthy, because indirect taxation bears equally heavily on the consumer of the taxed goods whether he be rich or be poor. He proposes to increase indirect taxation by R21,500,000, a figure which must affect the cost of living of the ordinary man in the street, and it is particularly noteworthy that in this Budget the Minister is again increasing the price of petrol. The additional tax which he is going to take is going to amount to R5.4 million, and this on a commodity which affects the cost of production and the cost of distribution of practically every commodity used or consumed in the Republic and thus must play a part in raising the cost of living of the people. I admit at once that the increase is very small, but these small accumulations go to make the whole, as we have just seen in respect of sugar, where the fall in price, owing to our being outside of the Commonwealth, is already affecting every family budget in South Africa. No doubt we shall hear from the Minister in his reply that the increased tax on liquor is in the true sense of the word a luxury tax. At the same time it should be remembered that it will affect and bear heavily upon the product of one of our most industrious farming communities, namely the wine-producers of the Western Province. I think that the myth that this Government is the farmers’ friend is being exploded as fast as that other myth that this is a Government for the working man in South Africa.

There is nothing in the Budget which would lead one to suppose that any special attention is being directed to the problems of the agricultural community, save a passing reference to the problem of surpluses, and an indication from the hon. the Minister that agriculture has had a good year. It seems that the Minister’s only real interest in agriculture has been in the wine-farmers as a source of taxation. This in itself is significant, because it leads one to believe that this Government is as helpless in dealing with the problems of agricultural surpluses as it has proved to be in dealing with the problem of the cost-price squeeze and the rising cost of production. I think that the average South African with just those few facts in view, would be inclined to condemn this Budget for these reasons. But when he comes to the other aspects of the Budget, when he considers this Budget as a Budget for national security (to use the Minister’s phrase), then it seems to me that there are questions which he is entitled to ask and entitled to demand an answer to from the Government in order to define his attitude.

Normally, our attitude, Mr. Speaker, would be to support almost any steps taken by the Government to put South Africa’s defences into a state of realistic preparedness, commensurate with the dangers which surround us. That is why we do not oppose in principle the additional money that the Minister is asking for Defence in this Budget. It is not necessary to remind the House that indeed for many years we have criticized this Government for leaving South Africa unprepared in the defence field and of playing politics with our Defence Forces, to the detriment of national security. And even now, despite the melodramatic statements by the Minister of Defence, I do not believe we are spending more proportionately on Defence, and perhaps in many cases not as much, as a great many other countries who are just not subjected to the dangers which we are led to believe from Ministers opposite appertain in respect of the Republic at the total expenditure—and when taking my figure Sir, then we are spending on Defence out of total expenditure—and when taking my figures I exclude the amount spent on the police—i.e. Revenue and Loan Expenditure, approximately 10 per cent, as compared with approximately 13 per cent in Australia, 25 per cent in the United Kingdom and possibly something over 50 per cent in the U.S.A.

But our support of the principle, will not debar us from critically examining the manner in which this money is to be spent, because quite apart from other reasons, in the field of defence we are entitled to the greatest measure of efficiency. Nor shall we hesitate to point out the extent of Government responsibility for the position in which we find ourselves, a position which has made this expenditure necessary.

What is the position in which we find ourselves at the present moment? How seriously must we take the statements of the Minister of Defence? I think the position should be put in this way: We face the possibility of being involved in situations of great danger—in three sets of circumstances. The first is that we as an anti-communist country might become involved, committed as we are to the Western world, in hostilities between communist and anti-communist nations in the world, either directly or indirectly by way of Fifth Column activities in South Africa.


Who objected to the Anti-Communist Act?


When one gets remarks quite as childish as that, one recalls the fact that in the Select Committee we suggested that those properly convicted of Communism should face the death penalty. One wonders where than hon. gentleman got his political education?

In the event of a struggle against Communism, either direct or indirect, we would be assured of powerful allies, but at the same time preparedness would be vitally essential.

The second set of circumstances in which we might be in trouble, would be in the event of being the victims of unprovoked aggression by one or more countries intent on changing our way of life in South Africa. Here again military preparedness is necessary, and the more so because owing to Government policy we have no allies upon which we can depend and no friends whom we can be satisfied would come to our assistance. We are out of the Commonwealth. We are not members of NATO, we are not associated with SEATO. The Minister of Defence, I think, has acknowledged that the only military treaty that we have in the Simonstown Agreement, and it is doubtful if that would apply in such circumstances. Government policy has estranged us from the entire Western world, who may well argue that it would be less embarrassing to lose South Africa as a base against Communism, under present policies, than to have to continue to try and defend the policies of this Government at the risk of losing the support of a number of potentially anti-communist nations. After what happened in respect of Goa I ask whether we could rely too much on UNO protection if any action of that kind carried the approval of the Afro-Asian and communist blocs?

What we have to determine is how serious is this threat at the present time. The Minister of Defence has told us a little. I don’t think he has told us anything that we did not know. His colleague, the Minister of External Affairs, has gathered together a number of threats made at the United Nations Organization at the last session. They don’t seem to be more serious than threats made before, nor as serious as those made by leaders of some of the African states on other occasions, as is well instanced by the conference to which the hon. member for Smithfield (Mr. J. J. Fouché, Jnr.) referred last night, the conference in Addis Ababa. The report of that conference appeared in the Economist as follows—

The point of this week’s conference was not, however, to educate Ethiopia. It was to make as practical plans as possible for the liberation from White supremacy of all Southern Africa by a date much earlier than 1970—the one suggested recently by the Monrovia heads of states. With independence for all East Africa within 18 months almost assured, the emphasis has shifted south. The atmosphere has been one of confidant militancy. The days of universal professions of “non-violent action” seem to be past.

Then we had the chief Minister of Uganda, going on and saying—

It does not matter what means we use, but they must be liberated. (Referring to the African people.) As for White Rhodesians, they must yield or quit — there is plenty of land in Australia.

It is one thing to make threats, it is one thing to harbour a desire to launch a war of liberation, but quite another to carry it out with any chance of success against a country which is properly prepared for that sort of contingency. Unfortunately up to now—I want to be quite frank about this—we have not felt that South Africa was very well prepared— either to withstand any real aggressive action or to play its part in a struggle against Communism, and the sort of preparation this Government has been making up to now has left us completely unimpressed. Our strategic position is good, and there should be no cause for alarm, unless the Minister of Defence and perhaps the Minister of Foreign Affairs are keeping a great deal from us. In fact, it seems to me that the hon. the Minister of Defence has said either too much or too little. I think he owes the country a convincing explanation. If he has exaggerated, he and the Government for whom he speaks alone will be responsible for any further loss of confidence in South Africa. But let me tell him at once that the lack of provision for any kind of a real contribution towards civil defence in this Budget, is rather disquieting. One of the first matters to which attention would, one would expect, be directed in the event of a threat of aggression, would be civil defence. And this lack leaves us with the uneasy feeling that despite the brave words that the hon. gentleman uttered, his mind is still directed too much towards internal security as opposed to the defence of South Africa.

Had we still been a member of the Commonwealth, we could have regarded these threats as idle. Had we been a member of a powerful military alliance, had we not stood isolated and alone in the world, we could have afforded to ignore such threats. The day that it becomes apparent that we have powerful friends in the world that we can rely on, the day that it becomes apparent that we once again occupy the position in the world that we occupied under a man like General Smuts, such threats will disappear forthwith.

Now while the Government can be assured that we on this side of the House, should we become the victims of unprovoked aggression, and those South Africans whom we represent, will naturally do anything in our power to defend South Africa, we must appreciate that our task will be infinitely more difficult, unless we can be assured of the loyalty and co-operation of our non-European people. I will go so far as to say that if those nations who are alleged to threaten us with aggression, could see and feel sure that the non-Europeans in South Africa would stand by South Africa in the event of attack, the wind would be taken out of the sails of such would-be aggressors. It should be an essential part of good government in South Africa to make such greater unity of all who live in South Africa obvious to the world. I want to say that I have great faith in the loyalty and the co-operation in times of trouble of our non-European peoples, but at the same time I would be failing in my duty if I did not draw attention to the fact that the policies of this Government have done much to alienate large sections of the non-European people and have done much to dissipate the reservoirs of goodwill which existed between the people in South Africa.

Apart from the two sets of circumstances in which we could land in trouble, involving us in a war against Communism, or being the victims of unprovoked aggression, there is a third set of circumstances in a way more serious than either of the others. That is the set of circumstances which could arise in the event of this Government landing in a position in which it defied the world, a position in which it is faced with international intervention, based on the dictates of international law. In those circumstances no amount of defence preparations would be of any real value. There is no substitute in those circumstances for powerful friends, friends who can and will prevent action against us, and who will use their influence to protect our interests. And in evaluating the danger in this field, we cannot afford to forget that it was international intervention which forced Great Britain and France, two major world powers, to abandon their Suez adventure. And we must remember that they found the United States going against them despite the lasting friendship which had existed between the United States of America and Great Britain. It is against this background that we must ask ourselves where the necessary friends are to be found and where. The friends without whom no amount of spending in this Budget or any other Budget, is going to give us security. That is the question to which we are entitled to an answer. An answer, Sir, not from the Minister of Defence, but from the Prime Minister himself. Tragically I do not believe that he is able to give us an answer that will reassure anyone. What is even more serious is that the area over which difficulties in this field may arise, is being extended by the policies which the Government is applying at the present time. The Government has not told the people, and I wonder whether it realizes it itself, that its plans for the self-administration of the Native areas, short of independence—and I know, Mr. Speaker, that in view of your ruling yesterday I cannot discuss the wisdom or otherwise of independence, or the dismemberment of South Africa—involving the granting to them of a separate constitution and separate citizenship, means that there is a very great risk of those areas being regarded as non self-governing areas within the meaning of Article 73 (e) of the United Nations Charter. That article would make us accountable to the United Nations for their development. It would mean that we would have to accept specific obligations for the promotion of the well-being of the inhabitants of the territories, and it would mean that we would have to report on their development to the United Nations Organizations.




My hon. friend asks “why?” Has he not read the Charter? I suggest that he starts by reading the Charter. It seems strange to me. Sir, that after there has already been so much trouble over the question of reporting in respect of South West Africa, either as an obligation under international law or as an act of grace, whichever way you look at it, that we should be embarking upon a course of action which could cause difficulties of a similar kind to arise in respect of each of the Native territories to which self-administration, a separate constitution and a separate citizenship is granted.

I do not propose to go into the legal arguments in respect of this matter. I will leave that to the hon. member for Germiston (District) (Mr. Tucker) who will speak later on, I hope this afternoon. But suffice it is to say that powers like the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and others have recognized this responsibility. In fact, the recent United Nations’ resolution with regard to Southern Rhodesia, which has resulted in the Committee of 17 being instructed to make an investigation, is based on this article of the Charter. I think, Sir, we need an answer from the Government in respect of this matter.

The picture which I have painted in so far as it affects the security is not a very pretty one. It is all too evident that, despite the Minister’s gibe in respect of boycotts, we cannot get on without friends in the world, as is evidenced by his own Budget. We need friends both from a strategic point of view and from the economic point of view. I think the provisions in his own Budget, providing assistance to exporters and providing for new manoeuvres to repatriate foreign capital, are very good evidence of that particular fact. Unfortunately the position has developed over the years in which we are having to strain the resources of the State Information Office to the full to keep public opinion in the countries that were once friendly to us or are still friendly to us, on our side. We are having to indulge, as I said before, in peculiar manoeuvres to repatriate foreign capital because a position has arisen in which we are afraid that if controls are removed entirely there will be a flight of capital from this country which will be so serious that it will embarrass not only the Government but the economic position of the country. [Interjections.] I hear hon. members protesting. Why then do you not remove control completely? Why have we to have these manoeuvres if hon. members are so confident that on the removal of control there will not be a flight of foreign capital?

The question now arises how did South Africa land in this mess? When the hon. the Minister of Finance asks us to pay up with a sense of holy martyrdom, does he really tell us who is to blame for the situation in which we find ourselves? Recently I was reminded of a remark made by the late General Smuts when he received the news that his party had lost the general election in 1948. He said: “What a bus we have missed.” That remark, Sir, is the key to the whole situation at the present moment, a situation which we have reached after 15 years of missed opportunity by this Government. 15 years that have changed the position of South Africa from the “gateway” of Africa to the laager of Nationalist obstinacy. Over the years this Government and the party which it represents has been showing an uncompromising and antagonistic opposition to the course of history. They disliked everything English, they hated the British connection, their arrogant attitude towards our indigenous peoples has led to a baasskap mentality and has nurtured the creed of apartheid. In practising this creed they have passed from folly to folly until they have finally reached the crowning point of alienating the goodwill of the Cape Coloured people. It is true that there have been signs of a change of heart; I believe even from the hon. member for Vereeniging (Mr. B. Coetzee). But in the meantime, Sir, we have missed the bus. We have missed the bus; we have seen White unity in South Africa undermined; we have seen the growth of our White population limited when we had an immigration scheme which was working so well before 1948; we have been forced out of the Commonwealth at a time when it did not suit us; lack of confidence in the internal stability of South Africa has led to a shortage of overseas capital and the adoption of emergency measures to retain what overseas capital we had in the country. We are the last country in the world which should need such protection, with all our natural resources. The hostility to the Government’s rigid policy of apartheid has become the greatest unifying factor among the new emergent states of Africa which differ from each other in so many other respects. Our country, under this Government, faces the paradox of becoming ever more isolated but ever more involved in world affairs. Without a friend in the world we see antagonism and hostility to our race policies growing. I would be the first to admit that much of that hostility is due to false evidence and misrepresentation …


By your Press.


My Press? I am not conscious of the fact that the United Party Weekblad has ever been guilty of misrepresentation. That is the only Press to which the United Party is connected. But I would find it very difficult to justify and defend the statements of the Ministers in this Cabinet overseas. I have had the experience, Mr. Speaker. I know how often the nonsense they talk here at the hustings gets reported overseas and I know the harm that it does. I hope the Prime Minister is going to be stricter with them in future. I know. Sir, that a lot of this hostility is due to the militant and aggressive nationalism of the former colonies which have gained their independence. And I have no doubt whatsoever that a lot of the trouble with which we are faced is due to the activities of the communist bloc which takes a delight in trying to embarrass our friends by placing before them aspects of our policy which they find either difficult or impossible to defend. But when you have made allowances for all these things, when you have made allowances for all these difficulties, for all these prejudices, for all these misrepresentations, you cannot get away from the fact that it is the actions of this Government and the utterances of its Ministers that have caused such difficulties for South Africa over the last 14 years; actions and utterances which have fanned the flames of extreme African nationalism, which have fanned the flames of communist propaganda and which have filled with despair those of our friends who have tried to defend us. Hansard is full of warnings that we have given the Government as to the effect of the sort of things they were doing. Those warnings were of no avail through the years. Yet last night we had the spectacle of my old friend, the Minister of Lands, making a plea that we on this side of the House should accept co-responsibility with the Government, because, he said, we too supported apartheid and the same social structure as the Government. I am sorry the hon. Minister is not here. But when that sort of thing is said I wonder how short the memories are of hon. gentlemen on that side of the House. Do they not remember the issues in the 1948 election when they were the champions of apartheid and their followers were told that we were “kaffer boeties”, that we were liberals and integrationists, that we were prepared to have our children marry Natives, to share the school benches, that we wanted to break down the colour bar and become a coffee-coloured race in South Africa? That was their propaganda, Sir. Do they deny now that is the position? Do they say now that we stand with them in supporting apartheid? Are they here as a result of political deception of the South African people? Have hon. members opposite forgotten the major fights we have had in this House over the past 14 years? Such as matters affecting the separate representation of voters, the Population Registration Act, the Group Areas Act, the Prohibition of Interdicts Act, the Act to invade the autonomy of the universities and a great many other Acts which were regarded by this Government as the cornerstone of apartheid? There are many others. But I say that I deny that we on this side of the House could ever support that apartheid, this peculiar rigid, inflexible expression of race prejudice without which the Nationalist Party could never have existed. It is true, Sir, that the United Party has accepted those conventions which, in the past, have governed the races in this country for the protection of civilized standards. But it has never meant that we refused to share the fruits of our civilization with other peoples on the sub-continent or that we refused to share with them co-responsibility for the government of South Africa.

Mr. G. F. H. BEKKER:

Join Ghana.


My friend says “join Ghana”. I believe that if he were in Ghana he would easily be in gaol after a remark like that.

We believe that one of the most fatal mistakes made by this Government has been its obsession to try to place upon the Statute Book conventions which have existed over the years and to enforce them with heavy penal sanctions. We believe that has been a terrible mistake. Apart from anything the Press may say, we should remember that all the great nations are represented in South Africa. They know what is going on here. They have noted what has happened in our Parliament. They have read the laws which we have passed; they have heard the speeches of hon. Ministers. They have been able to form their own judgments. It is for that reason particularly, Mr. Speaker, that we are so confident that with the United Party in power, a change of attitude, a change of direction, will not pass unnoticed. We do not pretend that we can ever satisfy the communist bloc. We do not pretend that we can ever satisfy the extremists in the Afro-Asian bloc.

Mr. S. F. STEYN:

They are all extremists.


Listen to the hon. member, Sir. I wonder how many representatives of the Afro-Asian states that gentleman has met? I wonder how many he has seen. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, I seem to have roused the curiosity of hon. members opposite. The Prime Minister knows; he has met a lot of them. The Minister of Foreign Affairs knows; he has met a lot of them. I want to say that we are confident that with a changed direction and with a changed attitude we will once again make it possible for responsible nations to speak up for South Africa and that there will be an end to a situation in which we have become, according to the Nationalist Press, the polecat of the Western world.

Let me sum up Mr. Speaker. We are a small country. Even if we were taxed to the utmost we could not defend ourselves against aggression from any substantial source. Internal military strength without alliances abroad is, therefore, of little avail. We must make friends abroad. We must retain the support of our non-White people at home should trouble come. How are we going to achieve these objectives? I do not believe they can be achieved without certain changes in Government policy. If the Government is going to remain as inflexible as it has been in the past, as impervious to the real interests of South Africa, as stubborn when it comes to making adjustment, then we may well fail in both our objectives. I believe there are certain steps which can be taken immediately which would not only bear tremendous dividends by way of goodwill from our non-White people but would also indicate to the Western world that much of the propaganda against us is false. It would serve to create a new image of South Africa for the world.

I believe. Sir, that we have to show a greater understanding of the dilemma in which the friends of South Africa find themselves. We have to show a sincerer appreciation of the genuine antagonism to race injustice which exists at the present time amongst the nations of the world. That does not mean that we have to accept “one man one vote” as the Minister of Foreign Affairs is never tired of telling us. After all, even Britain has not recommended “one man one vote” in the Federation or in Northern Rhodesia. Even the Tunku of Malaya after the Commonwealth Conference indicated that he would be satisfied with very much less in South Africa. I believe that even modest changes could alter the whole picture for us. It would give us an entirely different Press overseas. It is noticeable, Sir, that in its comment on this Budget the Financial Times of London was quick to point out that the Government would do better to spend more on trying to gain African goodwill and less on defence against potential African ill-will.


What more do you want us to do?


I will tell the hon. the Minister what more I want him to do. There is not the slightest doubt, Sir, that the Government would get a good deal of sympathy from abroad, that it would forestall attempts to create unrest amongst the South African people, if it devoted more attention to the economic side, to development and the raising of the standards of living of our African people, more attention to giving a man an income that would give him and his family self-respect, if he gave him ownership of his own home in the big Native townships, if he ensured that the pass laws in particular were administered more humanely and that provision was made for exemptions to the responsible class of Native. Then, Sir, you would have internal security which would be a matter of concern not only to the White man but to everybody in South Africa. It would yield us dividends overseas, dividends which might pay off to the Minister of Finance by way of availability of foreign capital which would place him in a position of not having to complain about the slowing up in the rate of economic development and assist him to raise the living standards of everybody in this country.

Another step which would lead to a more beneficial use of our labour resources and would do a great deal to change the image of South Africa would be the abandonment of the policy of job reservation, and its replacement by the policy of the rate for the job. Do you realize, Sir, that this Government in this Budget is spending five times more on defence than on the development of the reserves? Surely the Minister could have done better than that. Surely funds from overseas international sources could have been available on loan for this purpose and some of them, I believe, for a period of 50 years free of interest. Those funds could have been used for the purpose of developing those underdeveloped areas. An imaginative step in this direction would have made a far greater impact overseas than the spending of money on defence. It would have given the world the assurance that we were serious about developing the reserves. It would have shown that this policy of the Government really does have a moral content.

Let us turn to bread and butter issues, Sir. The Minister wants to know what he can do.




The oracle has spoken again, Sir. Does the hon. Minister think that there would be any danger of attack on South Africa if the African people were convinced and if we had it blazoned abroad that if they get here their greatest enemies would be our non-European population? That is the point, Sir. Is the hon. the Minister not capable of realizing it?

Turning to bread and butter policies, let me say at once that I have the greatest respect for South African employers who pay many millions of rand more to their Native employees than is provided by the minima laid down under the Wage Act. Sir, the Government can play its part. The Government should be an example in respect of the wages it pays to its own employees in the non-European field. There are other things the Government could do. There is not the slightest doubt that if it were to establish a research institute to go into the productivity of South African labour of all kinds and tackled that matter in a big way, they might do a great deal to relieve the problem of poverty in South Africa. It was not long ago, Sir, that we had to hear from the Minister of Bantu Education that education for Natives in urban areas would be limited to the attainment of a Std. II pass. Can you visualize what incentive there is to raise the wages of workers with that educational background? And the picture becomes worse, Sir, when it is remembered that it is Government policy that the contribution to Native education from the funds of the Government should be limited to R13,000,000 annually. Here, too, the Government should reform itself.

Now, Sir, I have endeavoured to point out that without friends abroad and without peace at home money spent on defence is of little lasting value. I ask you to consider that we should make efforts to win friends, both for the sake of security and in the economic sphere. I suggest that to do so we should show a willingness to try to understand what for many of our would-be friends is a genuine point of view, namely, their attitude towards differentiation between the races. We must face the fact that the Western nations cannot understand why all representation of the Native people was removed from this House. I think they cannot understand why it is that the Coloured people have been subordinated into a position and status lower than they had before. I think we have to prove our good intentions by showing that we are serious about the economic upliftment of the Native reserves and the Native people throughout South Africa. I say that in the name of peace and goodwill we have got to try to raise Native wages and raise their standard of living. We have to deal with job reservation. We have to abandon this Oliver Twist attitude to Bantu Education. We must restore the autonomy of our universities. And I can give you some others, Mr. Speaker. But unfortunately none of this is Government policy. But virtually every point is essential if we are to reduce race tension at home and get added tolerance in the forums of the world. Failure to introduce policies on those lines is going to lead to disaster for us in the international sphere. What South Africa needs far more than millions for defence is confidence that South Africa has a future. A confidence that has been singularly lacking in the last two years under this Government, lacking because too many people do not believe that this Government has got an answer to our non-White problem in the Republic. But fortunately, Sir, there are many other people who believe that we have another chance, that there is another way out, people who believe that the right solution is the solution offered by this side of the House. And it is for that reason, Mr. Speaker, that I have great pleasure in supporting this amendment.


The hon. the Leader of the Opposition apparently found it necessary to enter the debate at this stage. I think that it was very necessary because during the past few days of the debate his minions on the other side of the House have made such a poor showing, they spoke in such a confused fashion, that no one any longer knows what the policy of the United Party is on every point. It became very necessary for the Leader of the Opposition to take action to bring light into the darkness. However, I do not know whether his contribution contributed much towards giving us a better idea of the United Party policy. I do not know whether the hon. the Leader of the Opposition was himself clear and concise in everything. To mention one example, he said that if we were still a member of the Commonwealth, those military threats would not have been present. Does the hon. Leader of the Opposition forget that the strongest military threats which we experienced were forthcoming from Commonwealth countries? The Leader of the Opposition wanted to try to prove that he and his party were not in favour of apartheid. I make the accusation that those hon. members on the other side are continually engaged in attacking political apartheid but living apartheid in private. I make the accusation that the hon. members on the other side are always prepared to enjoy the advantages of apartheid but we have to suffer the attacks on apartheid on this side. I make the accusation against hon. members on the other side that they are vociferous in their opposition to apartheid but just suggest the building of a Native playground in one of their residential areas and then there will be a cry to the heavens! The hon. Leader of the Opposition will pardon me if I do not deal with all the aspects which he mentioned here because I do not have the time. I want to return to my subject. There are others who will deal with him and I can promise him that things will go badly with him. The Leader of the Opposition also showed me the typical attitude of that side of the House in their attacks upon the economy of the country. On occasion, when they think that there is something unfavourable in the economy, the Government is blamed for it, but when there is a favourable trend, it is not the Government which is responsible for it; then it is the inherent strength of our economy. We get the blame for everything that is bad or which they consider is bad, but we never receive the credit for that which is good. This may perhaps be a very good attitude for people who wish to make a cheap debating point but I think it becomes rather childish for people who wish to penetrate to the roots of our problems and find a solution thereto.

The economy of a country does not simply consist of the riches of its raw materials or the capital which it has at its disposal, or its people, entrepreneurs or workers. It also consists of the guidance and management of its Government and particularly in these times in which we are living, where a Government has so much authority over the economy of a country, this management and the guidance of the authorities forms an integral part of the economy of every country. It makes no difference how strong a country is as far as its raw materials and capital are concerned; if that country does not receive the correct guidance of its Government, in the long run it cannot have lasting prosperity. We know of countries which are poor in raw materials but countries which in spite of this fact, as a result of the quality of their people and the wise management of their Governments, have risen to great heights. We also know countries, however, which are rich in potentialities but in which people remain poor because the character of the nation is such and because there is no wise guidance on the part of the Government. The history of economy proves that the periods of the greatest prosperity in countries are those periods when private enterprise and the Government co-operate in the closest possible manner. So too in South Africa, over the past 14 years, with the remarkable growth that has taken place here, with the transformation which has taken place here, we say that these things could not have happened without the co-operation and the direction and the guidance and the management of a wise Government.


Hear, hear!


I say that in the past 14 years South Africa has made tremendous progress. This is generally acknowledged and the figures prove it and we have done this under this policy of separate development which is today the alleged cause of our contended economic stagnation. We have grown swiftly in the past but our country also has great hope for the future, greater hope than many countries which have to deal with similar problems but which have sought other solutions. I want to deal with the growth of our country, the long-term growth and the short-term growth. I do not have sufficient time to deal in detail with both of these aspects but as far as the long-term growth over this period of 14 years is concerned, I would like to give a few indications.

I want to contend that since the coming into power of the National Party, South Africa has experienced a period of prosperity unknown in the history of our country; which has no parallel in any comparable period in South Africa, and which has been swifter than that of most comparable countries. South Africa has not only become a leader and a giant in Africa but in many spheres she has become a leader in the Western world economically. I do not have the time to deal with everything but I can refer to the growth of our national income and the rise in the standard of living over these 14 years, the tremendous progress of our agriculture and mining, the growth of industry and exports, the amazing development of our State corporations and the services which the State is rendering, and the great progress in respect of the formation of capital. There has been a spectacular growth in all these spheres. However, I want to take only three in order to illustrate the growth over the past 14 years.

The first that I want to take is our gross industrial production. In 1948, the gross industrial production was R924,000,000 and in 1960 it was R2,773,000,000. During this period of government by the National Party, in 12 years, the industrial production has trebled in value. The contribution of the manufacturing industry to our national income grew from R364,000,000 to R993,000,000; not only did we increase in value, not only did we become the giant of Africa in the industrial sphere, but we raised the standard of living of the Whites and non-Whites in South Africa more than was the case in other countries. I want to refer secondly to the formation of capital by South Africa under the Nationalist Government. There was a consistent increase over the years up to last year in savings and the formation of capital, so much so that South Africa has practically become self-supporting. Do hon. members realize what this means, namely, that this country of ours which until recently had to import practically all her capital, has become self-supporting as far as the supplying of capital is concerned so that to-day she can maintain a high degree of growth by means of her own capital resources? In 1961 there was a drop. That is true, and the figures prove it, but these figures are provisional. This was also due to the fact that supplies dropped by R73,000,000. But the amazing thing of all is that in 1961, one of the most difficult years in respect of the outflow of capital for political reasons, South Africa continued to show that progress. I mention these two things as examples.

The third thing that I want to mention is our foreign trade relationships. In 1948 our total exports of gold and goods amounted to R489,000,000 and in 1961 the figure was R1,502,000,000. However, the most important point of all is that in 1948 our balance on current account was minus R341,000,000 and last year it was plus R205,000,000. In other words, the balance on current account improved during this period by R546,000,000 per annum. There are many countries in the world to-day who envy South Africa this industrial growth and the ability to create her own capital and also in respect of these tremendous surpluses on her current account.

I want to come now to the other point, the short-term growth. That is what this debate is dealing with. Hon. members on the other side attack us because of the falling-off which they contend has come about recently. They complain about the present position. It is typical of the United Party of course that they should select the most difficult period in the history of the country. They always compare South Africa when the comparison is least favourable. Of course they chose the last few years for comparison purposes, the years in which we had a Sharpeville and when we left the Commonwealth and when concentrated attacks were made upon us from abroad, the years during which we received so little assistance from the Opposition themselves. In spite of all these things we have grown and progressed. In the first place I take national income. The figures have been mentioned here. There was a net increase in the past year of 5.7 per cent and an increase in the real per capita income of 1.6 per cent, one of the most difficult years in our history. There are few countries which can emulate this. But let us take the annual increase in the national income in certain countries. I find then that between the years 1952 and 1960 South Africa had an average annual increase in respect of national income of 6.9 per cent. In contrast to this the figure for the United Kingdom was 6.8 per cent, the U.S.A. 4.6 per cent, Australia 6.5 per cent, New Zealand 6.6 per cent and Canada 4.9 per cent. South Africa was higher—I am not speaking about being higher than Ghana or Nigeria in this regard—but higher than all the aforementioned countries in the Commonwealth. The hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw) spoke last night about the three years before they went out of power, when the income in South Africa apparently grew by an average of 3.5 per cent per capita per annum. I have obtained these figures. In 1945 the per capita real growth was 1.3 per cent; in 1946 it was 2.2 per cent and in 1947 it was 1.5 per cent. These are the figures of the per capita growth in the period of the United Party’s government when South Africa was apparently flourishing. However, in the most difficult period the figure was what I have just mentioned.

I refer to company profits during this period. 271 companies were taken in 1960-1 and their profit was 10.7 per cent higher than in the previous year. Is this a sign of collapse, of stagnation and of the standstill of our economy? Take our industrial production over the past years. It is difficult to obtain the correct figures. These statistics are not always available but I want to take a few examples. From 1959 to 1961 the production of iron increased from 1.9 million tons to 2.6 million tons. Is this a sign of deterioration and stagnation? In regard to electrical power which is an indication of the growth of a country, in 1959 it was 21.6 thousand million and in 1961 it was 24.5 thousand million. Is this a proof of the stagnation or deterioration of our economy? The latest industrial census shows that the gross value of industrial production for all industries in 1950-60 rose by 6.8 per cent as against the previous year. This is surely a proof of growth, the growth of production. In practically every sphere of our economy to-day we can show an improvement over the previous years. There is no sign of a standstill or stagnation. Last year 201 new industries applied to the industrial committee for import facilities. Their capital investment was R27.2 million of which R10.8 million was foreign capital, or 40 per cent. Hon. members continually say: “The sources of foreign capital have completely dried up.” Here we have 201 new companies for which 40 per cent of the capital investment came from abroad. This year things are going even more swiftly. In a short period at the beginning of the year 40 applied and more than half of that capital was foreign capital. Is this stagnation of our economy?

I want to talk now about mineral production. The gold production rose between 1959 and 1960 by 6.4 per cent, between 1960 and 1961 by 7 per cent and to-day we are producing 66 per cent of the gold of the free world and Canada 12.8 per cent. Since 1953 South Africa’s gold production has increased by more than 60 per cent and Canada’s by 9 per cent. However, if things go well with the gold mining industry, according to the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (South) (Mr. Plewman), this is always due to the gold mines and the Government has never done anything. However, did he not read the other day what Mr. Harry Oppenheimer said at the opening of Western Deep Levels when he thanked the Government and said that it was due to the policy of the Government that mine had been made possible? We have grown in the sphere of transport and of exports recently. Between 1960 and 1961 our exports increased by 7.6 per cent and this year, in the first two months, the figures in regard to almost all of our products are record figures for exports with the exception of diamonds and prescribed materials. Share prices rose between January 1961 and January 1962 from 83 to 89.2; commercial shares from 106.1 to 118.5 and financial shares from 138.5 to 147.8. The increase in shares is a sign of confidence. People will not buy these shares if we have a falling economy. You will agree with me that figures prove that we have not stagnated; that there is energy and life and growth in our economy. There are weak places, as in the motor industry, because of import control and in the building industry and related industries, but we believe that those things will pass swiftly. The fact is that South Africa showed a growth in 1961 which many other countries to which there was a great flow of capital could not show. In this connection I would like to quote from the Statist of 16 September—

Never before perhaps since it achieved unity in the beginning of the century has South Africa had to submit to so many unhappy experiences within a short space of time as she has found herself obliged to do during the past 12 months, and in no sector is this more true than that concerned with economic affairs. Here as elsewhere the story of this period is not without its brighter side. For in this year of turmoil the Republic has demonstrated for all the world to see that her basic economic strength is nowadays such that she can keep her head above water in the face of considerable difficulties, and even to advance in future.

This is the reference which we obtained from outside.

Mention was made of the fact that there was perhaps a fall in our rate of growth. This is true. The tempo was more gradual but South Africa is not the only country where this has happened. This has always happened in other countries and is still happening there. Do hon. members not know that there are such things as fluctuations in the economic life, times of prosperity and depression, and that every country has its share of falling tendencies? We cannot stop this. I think that our country is fortunate that we have perhaps more than other countries succeeded in making these fluctuations as gentle as possible. The other thing that I want to mention is that shortly after the war there was a great demand for consumer and capital goods which Europe could not satisfy and our industries rose up to supply these requirements. But Europe came on to the market again and as she was able to satisfy the demands, those industries gradually fell off. You could not retain that stimulus which you had in the immediate post-war years. In the third place, I mention the drop in the prices of primary products. We are essentially an exporter of primary products. This is one of the greatest problems in the world economy to-day and one upon which G.A.T.T. is engaged. We have to deal with it because the terms of trade have gone against us. If we take 1957 as a basis, we find that import prices dropped by R54,000,000 or 1.2 per cent but that export prices dropped by R194,000,000 or 6 per cent. In these four years as a result of unfavourable terms of trade South Africa lost R140,000,000. Then we had the E.E.C. which brought new life to Europe and which caused less capital to flow to our country and which also caused matters here to slow down.

Fourthly, there are the gold mines. We all know that with the rise of the gold mines immediately after the war a great deal of money and capital was spent in South Africa and that this stimulated our economy but that as the developing gold mines were completed, money did not flow into the country any longer to the same, extent. In conclusion, and this is what hon. members forget, the actual harmful influence upon our economy does not lie in the economy itself but in politics and in world politics. The winds of change which have blown across the world have affected the world and also Africa. Hon. members ought to know about the changes in Africa and how the change in the attitude of other countries towards Africa has affected our economy. We are no longer living in the period of 15 years ago. Economic laws alone do not play a part in the economy but world politics and Africa politics are forcing their stamp upon South Africa whether those hon. members want it or not and their policy will not prevent this. We are paying to-day for the fact that we are part of Africa.

Hon. members asked about the future of our economy. The allegation is often made that our future development is hampered because the Government does not establish a favourable economic climate and that because of its political policy the climate is unfavourable. I want to deal with the economic climate. In the first place I want to contend that no Government in South Africa has done as much in the economic sphere to promote the investment climate and to stimulate it and the proofs are there. I mention a few important points for the creation of an investors’ climate. I want to mention firstly the upholding of the principle of private enterprise and of the profit motive. South Africa is to-day still one of the few capitalistic countries in the world in the sense that private enterprise here is given its part to play and where the profit motive is still clearly recognized and where the entrepreneur need not fear nationalization or socialization daily, and the world knows it. This is one of the greatest positive points in the industrial and investment climate. Secondly, this Government has always tried to effect industrial and labour peace and South Africa is one of the countries which knows least about labour unrest and strikes. Thirdly, we are creating a climate through the medium of effective protection. We are progressing further along the road of protection by the protection of selective industries in a selective manner. We would perhaps have been far further along this road if during its period of government the United Party had done something more in this connection and if in 1947, when our industries were still in their initial stages and when there was practically no tariff protection, the United Party had not bound us to G.A.T.T., to other countries the development of which was far higher and on the part of which there were higher protection tariffs. In the fourth place we have some of the lowest taxes in the world. Our company taxes, rebates and concessions are some of the best in the world. In other countries there are also numbers of social funds which industrialists have to deduct and which reduce their profits and undermine the initiative of their workers. In the fifth place we are combating inflation and South Africa is one of the countries which has best succeeded in combating inflation, and the cost of living in this country is much lower than in practically every civilized country in the world.

In the sixth place it is still the policy of the South African Government to support its industries by buying from them. We encourage our industries. The State buys as much as possible from our industries and we give preference to our industries. We encourage the local authorities and the provinces to do the same thing, and our industries have derived enormous benefits from this policy.

In the seventh place we promote exports. The hon. member for Pinetown (Mr. Hopewell) asked me yesterday what the outcome was of the sending of missions overseas. I think it is a little unreasonable to expect a reply to that question, because these missions came back towards the middle of last year and brought out their reports towards the end of last year, reports which were then made available. I can only say that those missions have all told us that there are enormous possibilities for South African exports to the outside world, but the initiative must come from the exporter himself. I should like to make that perfectly clear. While the State has done its share in sending missions abroad, in doing the necessary reconnaissance and in submitting a report to the nation, it is up to the traders, the industrialists and the exporters themselves to undertake the export of goods; after all, the State is not an exporter.

Mr. RAW:



Whatever that hon. member may say —and we know that he talks a great deal of nonsense—I know that our industrialists are becoming export-conscious, and an export convention is again to be held in the near future to promote exports. For our part we as a Department will do everything we can. We are at present enlarging our export division in the Department; we are increasing our staff abroad; through the Board of Trade and Industries we are making a study of industries which can be based particularly on exports and which enjoy a comparative advantage in respect of exports. I can give hon. members the assurance that the State will do everything in its power, but the actual exporter is the industrialist and not the State. After all, these missions did not go overseas with all sorts of little samples in their pockets; they did not go overseas to take orders; that was not their duty. That is the duty of the exporters.

The hon. member wants to know from me whether we are exporting more to-day to the Africa States than we are losing as the result of boycotts. I just want to say to the hon. member that the fact that last year our exports increased by approximately R58,000,000 over the previous year’s figure (which is much more than we have lost through boycotts), proves that we have found alternative markets. [Laughter.] The hon. member laughs. I do not know whether he knows himself why he is laughing. The figures speak for themselves. We exported more than the previous year and the amount of R58,000,000 is more than the amount lost by us through boycotts in Africa.

And why are those States boycotting us? The hon. member asks “What about the future?” Those States are boycotting us because of our political policy. They refuse to buy from us because they want us to accept a particular political policy—the policy of equality, of Black domination.


United Party policy.


We refuse to do so, not only because we are against that policy but we refuse to allow another State to interfere in the internal politics of our State. Let me put this question to hon. members on the other side: Are they prepared to put an end to boycotts on those two conditions, namely that other States should be allowed to interfere with our policy and that our policy must be one of equality, a policy under which the White man would no longer have any say?

We have tried to create the necessary climate here by means of an enormous infrastructure. The State has gone out of its way to provide power and water and transport, postal and telegraph services, education, buildings, housing and all those things, but it is for industry itself to carry on from there. This is an infra-structure of which South Africa can be proud; it is one on which the world congratulates us. And, Mr. Speaker, we have achieved all this—the building of our roads, bridges, railways, public buildings, etc.—with fewer than 1,000,000 income taxpayers. By means of its own undertakings such as Sasol and Foscor and Iscor and Escom, by means of the Orange River project, by means of these huge schemes that the State is tackling, it has created a climate, it has set the example, it has created confidence. These institutions have had a stimulating effect on private enterprise. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (South) (Mr. Plewman) again spoke in this connection about increasing State control. I do not know what the hon. member means; I do not know whether he himself knows what he meant because he used such big words, which were perhaps intended to conceal the hollowness of his case. He referred to the State-controlled institutions. There we have further proof of the double thinking, the double talk, of the United Party. On the one hand we have had the criticism from that side of the House that the Government should do more to stimulate the economy of this country, that the Government should intervene to a greater extent in the economy so as to promote its rate of growth, and when the Government does so they accuse the Government of intefering further in the economy. They behave in the same way as certain industrialists who continually talk about State interference, but when it suits them then they plead for more protection and more import control and more tasks to be undertaken by the State. The State is prepared to do its share, and we will do our share, but we do not expect to be attacked if on the one hand we allegedly do nothing and on the other hand if we allegedly do too much.

Mr. Speaker, this Government has created the necessary climate, and nobody can deny that in the economic sphere this Government has created a favourable climate for the building up of South Africa’s industries.

I just want to deal briefly with the E.E.C. The hon. member for Parktown (Mr. Emdin) put a question to me with regard to South Africa’s relationship with the E.E.C. The impression has often been created outside this House that South Africa and her Government have not shown sufficient interest in the development of the European Common Market in its relationship with and its influence upon South Africa. I just want to say that my Department has made studies of the E.E.C. from the very beginning; that documents have been drawn up; that our people were represented and made their contribution at all the various discussions about the E.E.C., about its relations with G.A.T.T. and about its outside tariffs. At this moment the Department is still making further studies of this matter.

*Mr. E. G. MALAN:

But Rhodesia has a special representative in Brussels.


I just want to say that I myself travelled through all the E.E.C. countries and certain EFTA countries towards the end of 1960 and discussed this matter there; that I even had interviews with the President and with commissioners of the E.E.C., that we appointed an Ambassador in Brussels who is a qualified economist and who is accredited with the E.E.C.; that we are continually receiving reports from him and that we are now taking steps to appoint a highly qualified economist in the near future under the Ambassador in Brussels to promote our cause there. [Time limit.]


When the hon. the Minister of Lands spoke yesterday afternoon, he put certain questions to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, questions which were repeated by the hon. member for Ventersdorp (Mr. Greyling), only in a different form. I do not know whether it is necessary for me to repeat those questions. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition spoke this afternoon for over 40 minutes and we had expected him to reply to those cardinal questions which had been put to him, namely, what the Opposition was going to do, where they would have us believe that had they been in power the position would have been different and where the Opposition pretended that their policy did not differ greatly from our policy, in order to satisfy world opinion and to improve the feeling against South Africa. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition had the opportunity this afternoon of telling us that, and because he neglected to do so, we want to ask the next Opposition speaker to avail himself of this opportunity and to reply clearly and unequivocally to those questions.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition also spoke about Defence matters this afternoon. He does not object to this huge amount which is being devoted to Defence, this extra amount of R48,000,000 which brings the amount which we are voting for Defence this year to the sum of R120,000,000. He has no objection to that. He says that the percentage of our expenditure on Defence is still lower than that of many other countries. But what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition really objects to is that he says it is the policy of this Government which has compelled us to spend this huge amount on Defence. It is interesting to note, Sir, that the attitude which the Opposition adopts in this House is different from the attitudes which the Opposition adopted in the Senate when the hon. the Minister of Defence introduced his policy motion there a little more than a week ago. The cry they raised on that occasion was: Where is this danger which is threatening South Africa; who is threatening South Africa and when has she been threatened? Here, however, they are meekly offering us their co-operation and not one of them has offered any criticism until the Cape Times asked them why they were so vague in their criticism. What is interesting, Sir, is the attitude of the official Opposition to these dangers which are supposed to be threatening us. This attitude is stated in the “United Party Viewpoint” by one of their responsible members and he said this—

The invasion scare cannot be dismissed as just being part of Operation White Laager. It cannot be dismissed as did Mr. John Cope in his last article as being so much eye-wash, the aim of which is to consolidate the European electorate behind the Nationalist Party philosophy of White baasskap. This is shutting one’s eyes to the real dangers and difficulties which face South Africa in the hope that if one does not look they may not be there. It is obvious that the Afro-Asian bloc of nations, backed by the communist bloc, is determined to destroy the White man’s political power in South Africa

in the next few years. It is also obvious that if the Western powers supported them South Africa would be powerless to resist any such united action, particularly of a military character.


What are you quoting from?


This appeared in the Cape Times of yesterday’s date.


But you said that was was the “ United Party Viewpoint ”.


It appears under that heading. Well, isn’t it true? In that case the time has arrived for the hon. members to enlighten their party members, because this article was written by one of their responsible members. It was written by Mr. M. L. Mitchell, M.P., who was brought from the Senate to this House. Hon. members should not shout one thing one day and another thing the other day and then repudiate their own mixture. I want to know from them why Mr. Mitchell has attacked the article written by Mr. John Cope if it is identical to the article written by a certain Mr. Marais Steyn in the Cape Argus of 23 March. They attack Mr. John Cope and now they say that South Africa is obviously in great danger. Now suddenly they know where the danger lies and by whom we are being threatened and when we are going to be attacked. But when Mr. Marais Steyn also says what Mr. John Cope says everything is quite in order. That, then, Sir, is the two-faced policy of the United Party. They have to get Mr. Marais Steyn to satisfy and attract the Progressives but then in turn Mr. Mitchell has to write to satisfy the conservative section. Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that what appears in the Cape Times in the morning is repeated that afternoon in this House by Opposition members. You need only read the leading articles or the reviews in the Cape Times in the morning and you know what the reaction of the Opposition will be in this House that afternoon.

A huge amount is budgeted for for Defence. An amount is also budgeted for for pensions but I am not going to deal with that because my time is too limited. All I want to say is that if a government which finds itself in the circumstances in which South Africa finds herself to-day, can still find money to increase pensions, when our old people and our disabled people are also prepared to bring their offerings, such a government will retain the confidence of the people, also in the future.

The third item which has brought increased expenditure about is the amount allocated to Bantu homelands. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition did not object to that either this afternoon, except to say that the amount was hopelessly too small. He put it this way that had that amount been higher we might have gained the goodwill of the Bantu people—I was tempted to say “might have bribed them”. It is just as well that there is agreement as far as this matter is concerned, but I just want to put this question to hon. members of the Opposition: Where they have now approved of it and where they have also justified it, for heaven’s sake when you get to the platteland refrain from saying to the people that this is what the Government is devoting to the Natives; what is it doing for the White people?


Like Aunt Sannie.


Yes, she is one of the members who go to the platteland and say this is what the Government is doing for the Natives; what is it doing for the Whites?

The other announcement which was of the utmost importance and which practically stunned the whole country, was the announcement in connection with the Orange River project. I do not want to call it a “scheme”. It is not necessary for me to go into the details of this Orange River project. Last Friday the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs gave a detailed exposition of that scheme when he introduced his policy motion in the Senate which was also widely publicized in the Press. However, I wish to say this: It can only be a Government which has confidence in the future of a country and which has confidence in the people which can come forward with such a magnificent scheme involving R450,000,000.


Good old Conroy.


There we hear “good old Conroy”. Mr. Speaker, we have already heard about “Robert the Bruce”—that is the hon. member for Albany (Mr. Bowker)—and we have already heard about the United Party which is supposed to have had to force the National Party or the Government to start with this scheme. I want to issue a word of warning at once.

I told hon. members opposite a moment ago that they were talking with two voices and that the hon. member for Durban (North) was saying exactly the opposite from what the hon. member for Yeoville had said. My hon. friends say “hear, hear”. They expect to have Dr. Jan Moolman here shortly. They should put him to school immediately so that he will not also say the wrong thing when he comes here because I noticed last night that he had already made a statement at East London in connection with the Orange River project and that he condemns it. Dr. Jan Moolman is not as serious about this scheme as hon. members opposite who are already claiming that scheme for themselves, but I leave it at that. [Laughter.] Yes. hon. members laugh. Dr. Jan Moolman will probably remain at school for a long time before he comes here.


What did Dr. Moolman say?


I will read it—

Dr. Jan Moolman, United Party candidate

for East London, asked at an East London meeting last night if the Government had the assurance of the United Kingdom and other independent states that they would leave our watersheds undisturbed. He said that South Africa could have the Orange River scheme only if the country had a guarantee that the watersheds would not be disturbed. The watersheds of the Orange and Caledon Rivers were situated in the Drakensberg mountains and they belong to Basutoland.

Let me put this question to the Opposition in respect of the scheme which they are claiming for themselves, the “good old Conroy” scheme: Did “good old Conroy” come to any arrangements with Basutoland in this connection? Why did Robert the Bruce of the United Party, who travelled all over the country to promote this scheme, not come to an arrangement with Basutoland? No, here I wish to use the words of the hon. member for Durban (North): “It is just so much eye-wash.” Let us give credit where credit is due. If the English Press wishes to give credit to the hon. member for Albany, I want to say this that throughout the years the hon. member for Albany has devoted himself to the idea of diverting the water from the Orange River to the Fish and Sundays Rivers, and that is what we are getting. He has assisted in that. That was what Mr. Conroy also envisaged. Let us give credit to the hon. member for Albany, therefore, as the English Press has done and let us give credit to Mr. Conroy. But if those hon. members claim credit for the Orange River project, this scheme which will satisfy the entire South Africa, this project which has fired the imagination of the whole country, that, I think, is somewhat far-fetched. I notice that, in giving credit to the hon. member for Albany, the English Press has been big hearted enough to refer in passing to Mr. G. F. H. Bekker, only that they made him the member for Kimberley (North). Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Cradock (Mr. G. F. H. Bekker) has been in this House for 23 years.


And he has had water on the brain ever since he came here.


Yes, the hon. member may have water on the brain but at least he has not got water for brains like some other hon. members. The United Party Press does after all give a little credit to the hon. member for Cradock. But they act somewhat comically when the Eastern Province Herald says this—

Mr. Tom Bowker, after all these years, assisted by the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) …

You cannot help laughing, Sir, when you read anything like that. However, the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) (Mr. Streicher) need not worry. He reminds me of Shakespeare who said: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” If the English Press wishes to thrust greatness on the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) he must simply accept it. I think he can more or less do with it.

Mr. Speaker, we have said that we wished to give credit to the hon. member for Albany, because he deserves it, but if anybody deserves credit I think the hon. member for Cradock, who has been sitting in this House for over 23 years, deserves all honour and credit. If the English Press felt that, while they were talking about Mr. G. F. H. Bekker, the member for Kimberley (North), they might just as well include all the Bekkers, they may have been right because the hon. member for Kimberley (North) (Mr. H. T. van G. Bekker), has also done his share. I wish to ask the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs to consider this: He will have many projects which will have to be named. It may be a power station, it may be one of the dams, and I want to ask the hon. Minister that, while the hon. member for Cradock has generated so much power, a Bekker power station could not be erected. But I wish to give him some further advice. There is an undeveloped stretch of land from Sheldon past Carlisle bridge which will now benefit. I believe a weir will be built there. I wonder if a weir is constructed there when development takes place, whether the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs will not consider calling it the Bowker dam. I think his name should also be immortalized.


What does the Opposition say to that? When will the Opposition make a suggestion like that?


I said a moment ago that when the Cape Times wrote anything in the morning the United Party repeated it in the afternoon, and the day before yesterday the Cape Times wrote and said that they wanted to put questions to the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs and that it was the fault of the Minister of Water Affairs that farmers in the Fish River Valley had sold out, because he was supposed to have stated at Cradock—they do not give the date, namely, 9 March, but I give it because I was present at that meeting—that he rejected the Orange River scheme, the Conroy scheme, and that was why the people became discouraged; that was why they had sold out and that he the Minister had now made a statement and that he should give an explanation. I hope I am not anticipating the hon. the Minister, but I think it is necessary to give the true facts. The Minister had not been Minister for very long at that time and he went with me and the hon. member for Fort Beaufort (Dr. Jonker). The hon. member for Cradock could not come with us because he was ill at the time. The Minister studied conditions there and Monday evening, 9 March, he met the farmers who were interested at Cradock. He met the other section on Tuesday morning, 10 March, at Klipfontein and the afternoon at Cookhouse. The hon. member for Fort Beaufort and I were present all the time. After he had studied conditions he said this to them: Look, the figures at my disposal are these: This Conroy scheme which involves the diversion of the Orange River water to the Fish and Sundays Rivers will cost R140,000,000 or £70,000,000 because we were dealing in sterling at the time. He told them that it would cost £70,000,000 for the 70,000 morgen and that he did not see his way clear to embark upon such a scheme; that they could take it that he had rejected the scheme, but he added that he undertook to have the necessary investigations instituted as speedily as possible and that he undertook that if it were at all possible, he would let them have water in the Fish and Sundays Rivers. We returned from there and on 13 March 1959 we listened to the annual motion of the hon. member for Albany. He launched a heavy attack and the hon. member for Fort Beaufort and I gave the assurance that the Minister had promised water to those people but that he had rejected the Conroy scheme, the scheme which the United Party are now claiming for themselves and which they have to-day professed was the scheme which this Minister and this Government have announced.


That is something totally different.


It is something totally different. This is something so big that they could never have envisaged or propagated it. [Laughter.] It is no good laughing about it. We came here every year with amendments on motions by the hon. member for Albany, or with motions, and the hon. member for Albany, supported by the Opposition, always introduced the same motion and that was that the water of the Orange River should be diverted to the Fish and Sundays River valleys. That was why the hon. member for Cradock and the hon. member for Fort Beaufort and I repeatedly told him that he was confusing the issue. We adhered consistently to our motion, but we were up against agitation. We had the experience of an organization such as the Cape Midlands Development Association, of which I am an executive member, which started this idea of diverting water from the Orange River to the Fish and Sundays Rivers and how development associations were established elsewhere for the specific purposes of agitating that the water from the Orange River should rather be diverted to them. Is it not interesting to note, Sir, that last year, after the hon. member for Albany had accepted the amendment as moved by the hon. member for Cradock and seconded by myself, namely, once again to ask the Government to deal with this whole Orange River project, and withdrawn his motion, the scheme has immediately been announced? Shortly after that had happened we had this announcement. But if hon. members are looking for credit and claiming credit for themselves, well and good. What is important to me is that the water from the Orange River is to be put to use, that it is to be used for the benefit of agriculture, that it is to be used for the benefit of industry and that it is to be used over an area stretching more than 1,000 miles away and that my constituency, Somerset East, which stretches along the Fish River Valley and the major portion of the Sundays River Valley, will benefit by the scheme as nothing else in the past has benefited it. That is why, as far as I am concerned, and I think this applies to the rest of the country, the announcement in regard to this project is of greater importance than the announcement in regard to Sasol or even in regard to Iscor. I wish to avail myself of this opportunity, on behalf of my constituency, and I think I can do so on behalf of the whole country, to express our gratitude for this magnificent project to the Government under our present Prime Minister who, I know, fully supports this scheme, especially to the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs and in particular also to his competent staff, the Secretary of the Department and the engineers. I must say that a government which has the confidence of the country to such an extent that it can embark upon such a grandiose undertaking can at all times rely on the support and the goodwill of the people.


I don’t propose to follow the hon. member for Somerset East (Mr. Vosloo) in regard to many of the points that he has raised. I will come a little later to this Bowker plan, because I want to deal with that, but the hon. member asked a number of questions and he particularly addressed a number of questions to the Leader of the Opposition. May I suggest to him that he can just get the Hansard report of the speech made this afternoon by my hon. Leader. He will find there that all his questions were answered before he ever asked them. That is just another example of the brilliance of my hon. Leader who is able to answer questions before they are asked. I hope it does not reflect upon the intelligence of the hon. member who was not able to ask questions until after they were answered.

Sir, there are one or two points that I should like to make in regard to previous speakers. The hon. Minister of Economic Affairs painted a bright picture in regard to the building up of our internal capital, and so forth, capital which we were able to build up from our own resources. I listened with great interest. It was a bright picture, and I would like to suggest that either before the next Budget he should confer with the Minister of Finance, or perhaps the Minister of Finance could confer with him, because the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs painted that bright picture, but what did the hon. Minister of Finance say in his speech? He said this—

The comparatively slow rate of growth of our economy as measured by real income per head and the sluggishnes of net private fixed investment, remains a source of concern.

Is that all he said?


I do not want to be unfair. The hon. Minister of Finance went on to say “It is true that similar growth rates are found in other countries”. But that is not the point. The point is that the hon. Minister of Finance said that it gave cause for concern, and the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs quoted figures to show how it had been arising ever since 1920, if I remember rightly, right up to the present time. Now they can’t both be right. Sir, these are the kind of statements which must make ordinary people really wonder which of the Ministers is really right and why they don’t consult beforehand before they come and speak with completely different voices on matters of this importance.

I also listened to the hon. Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs when he made his speech the other day, and he made a furious attack on the British authorities in respect of certain aspects of our economy and our relations with Britain. I was surprised. It seemed to come from nowhere, and I cannot understand what triggered off that attack. Why was the Deputy Minister so cross? Why did he come with such sharp criticism of the British authorities at a time like this? What good purpose could it serve? I could not see why the attack was made and what point there was in making it at the present time, nor what benefit there could be for South Africa as a whole and in respect of our relationship with Great Britain in such an attack. I think the hon. Deputy Minister should be more careful at a time like this to see that he does not harm the very necessary and very important relationship that exists between Britain and ourselves, where we have so few other friends in the world who are prepared to pay any particular attention to our needs in the difficult situation in which we find ourselves. Let us at any rate try and maintain those ties, however weak they may be to-day.

Now I want to turn to another matter and that is the point that was touched upon by my hon. Leader in the speech of the hon. the Minister of Finance: Sir, we have heard a lot about this being a farmers’ government. Now I went through the hon. Minister of Finance’s speech to find what the Minister of Finance in the farmers’ government had to say about farming in South Africa in his Budget statement, a Budget in which extraordinary large sums are being set aside for various purposes, including defence, and I found that the direct reference to agriculture in South Africa in the Minister’s speech took up precisely two-and-a-half lines. I can’t find a Budget Speech by any Minister in the past that has treated so cursorily agriculture as the Minister has done in this speech. The hon. the Minister said—

Agriculture has on the whole had a reasonably good year, although certain sections are burdened with the problem of surpluses.

Full-stop, end. That is a remarkable statement by the Minister of Finance in a Budget statement dealing with a Budget of this size where largess are passed out to all sorts of people and where he is able to talk about the strength of our economy and so forth. And may I again say to the hon. the Minister of Economic Affairs that I realize why there was this plaintive note in his voice when the Minister said “When things go right in South Africa we are told that it is our natural resources, but when they go wrong, the Government is blamed”. He asked why credit should not be given to the Government when things go right. Sir, I was waiting, holding my breath for the hon. the Minister to tell us that this Government has put the gold in the Witwatersrand. Because that is the basis of our economy. Does the hon. the Minister except that we will give the Government credit for getting the gold out of the Witwatersrand? That is not being taken out by the Government. The hon. the Minister said that some of the deep-level mining was due to the policy of this Government. How handsomely it is paying them, Sir! What would the hon. the Minister of Finance be doing without the gold-mine taxation? Let us face the fact that the whole of the economy of South Africa, the coming to fruition of the Bowker plan, our defence expenditure, the lot, is dependent on the gold-mines in this country. And let us give credit where credit is due. That was not put there because of Government action, by any government, present or past. What we are doing is that we are diminishing the asset, and what we have got to do is to cater for the day when that asset has dwindled away and South Africa has to live on a different kind of economy altogether. We have to be wise in our generation to take time by the forelock, so that when that day comes South Africa will not unnecessarily suffer. We have completely to change over our economy in the years that lie ahead so as to use the gold-mining industry to give us a basis upon which to go forward to a new economy. In that regard I want to say that notwithstanding the few words that the hon. Minister of Finance had to say about agriculture, there is one aspect to which the Government should give its attention and in respect of which the Ministers of Agriculture, both of them, are woefully wanting in the application of their attention to the particular problems of their Departments. I want to deal for a moment with the question of our agricultural surpluses. These surpluses, Sir, have become looked upon as something now that is inevitable and natural, just happening in South Africa. Attempts have been made in two directions to deal with these surpluses. The one is to find means of subsidizing internal consumption by having two prices for our products, a price paid by the general public and another price paid by needy persons. Above that, we just export, we export at a loss. I believe, Sir, in terms of the latest figures that we are consuming less than 70 per cent of our maize crop. We are exporting 10,000,000 bags at a loss, something like 60c a bag, maize that we can’t dispose of and cannot consume in our own country. So that is what it is costing us. Mr. Speaker, in these estimates we will be called upon to vote by and large for subsidies, whether it is to subsidize the consumer or the producer is besides the point—I do not want to interest myself in that aspect of it, although it is an interesting aspect—we are voting something like R34,000,000 this year for subsidies in respect of agricultural products. We cannot claim and the Government cannot claim that there is a healthy and a wholesome state of agriculture in South Africa so long as we are paying subsidies like that. Indeed I would be happy if the Government could say that the day has now come that agriculture is really on a sound footing and that the call for subsidies has fallen away to nil. That probably is something that is not practicable, not in the realm of practicability. But I give it as an example. But so long as we are voting R34,000,000 in subsidies, we have got to say that the position is anything but healthy. We have got surpluses of maize, of butter, etc. Now there are two Ministers dealing with this particular matter.


Only one is here.


There may be only one here. So far as I am concerned, they could both go and the sooner they go the better. The position is that they are both hiding behind Control Boards to-day, they are both hiding behind some other organization. They are not themselves getting down to the job of deciding what can be adopted as a State policy to provide for consumption in our own country of these surpluses that are being produced. It has been said in this House repeatedly that it is not a case of over-production, but that it is a case of under-consumption. I know it is being argued, and it is being argued very easily, that if we were to increase the rate of pay of the Bantu in this country, there would be an internal market and they could consume those surpluses. It is often being said, but it is not nearly as easy as that. The question of the raising of pay for the Bantu people in South Africa is an extremely involved question. It is not a matter that can be dealt with in such an easy manner, just saying “Let us raise their pay”. There is the question of the inter-relationship between the level of wages in those agricultural areas where the surpluses are already being produced. What is going to be done there? I want to come for a moment to the question of the two Ministers who, I say, should be applying their minds to this problem and, to associated problems, instead of just handing them over to boards. Let me come to the hon. the Minister of Economics and Marketing. I put a question to him the other day in regard to the cost price of a certain matter. He said that a survey was carried out in 1955 and he did not think any good purpose could be served in having another cost survey carried out. After all, Mr. Speaker, it is only seven years later now. The Minister sees no good purpose. But he said that the policy of that particular control board was to get the best net return. How in heaven’s name does the hon. Minister think that anybody can get the net return on a product of which the cost price has not been established? What does “net return” mean? Surely it means the gross cost less something. You deduct the cost of product, and so forth, and then you get your net return. But the Minister is satisfied to have a net return without having a cost price structure.

Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

You can’t have a net return.


Of course it is impossible to have a net return without that.

Now I want to come for a moment to the Bowker plan. The hon. member for Somerset East made great play about what happened in the past. Let me remind him of one other thing that happened in the past. The hon. member referred to the hon. Minister of Water Affairs last year dealing with the question of the impracticability of the Fish Sundays River scheme. Sir, the late Prime Minister, Mr. Strydom—it is on record—said that his children would see the Orange River scheme, and his grandchildren might see the Pongola scheme. The present Government reversed the whole position. The hon. member for Somerset East must not come and tell us what was said about the Fish-Sundays River scheme.


Where did Mr. Strydom say that?


This Government put the Pongola scheme first, a R38.000,000 scheme, small in comparison with the Bowker plan, the cost of the Bowker plan. But still a very big scheme, costing R38,000,000. Now let me deal with the approach of the Ministers to this particular problem. The first money was voted for the Pongola scheme last year. My object is not to cramp the Bowker plan in its fulfilment. On the contrary I wish it the very best of good luck. But what I am saying is that if the Minister concerned, or the Ministers concerned are not going to do better with the Bowker plan and its fulfilment than they have done with the Pongola scheme, heaven help South Africa!


Was the Pongola scheme the Mitchell scheme?


The only scheme I have got is for a kindergarten for budding politicians who jump into the Cabinet without any common sense in their heads. Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Minister of Lands was recently asked a question in regard to his share in the Pongola-Makatini Flats scheme. He was asked what markets would be available for raw agricultural products produced under this scheme. The answer was “The matter is still under consideration”. We voted the first R2,000,000 last year for this R38,000,000 scheme, and now a year later they are wondering whether they should not give some consideration to the question as to where markets are to be found for the raw products. He was asked what area of this land would be used and for what purposes, and will it be used by Whites or non-Whites, by irrigators, and so forth. He is still considering the matter. He has not made up his mind. Then we come to the Minister of Agricultural Technical Services. I asked him whether a survey has been carried out to ascertain what crops can most beneficially be grown on the land to be irrigated under this scheme. It is a scheme initiated 12 months ago, costing R38,000,000. The reply was—

A committee has submitted a report to my Department in which it is recommended that an experimental farm be established to investigate under local conditions what crops are regarded as suitable. The whole matter is still receiving the attention of the Government.

It is incredible, Sir. Are they going to do this to the Bowker plan? A year after the scheme is started—there is a young town there now, there are workmen, everybody is busy on the scheme, and the Minister comes and tells us in cold blood “We are thinking of establishing an experimental plot to decide what crops can be grown there”. The other Minister concerned says that so far as he knows the matter is being investigated. He does not know anything about available markets. Then we come to the Minister of Economic Affairs who was asked whether it is the intention to establish factories on or near the Pongola-poort-Makatini Flats irrigation scheme, to deal with agricultural products produced on the scheme, if so, what? The Ministers reply was—

I am not aware of any intention to establish factories on or near the scheme, and for that matter I am of the opinion that for the present it is too early to expect any industrial development on the scheme.

The Government does not know how much land will be available, who is going to cultivate the land, White or non-White, the Government does not know what is going to be grown there. But the Government is thinking about having an experimental plot there to see what will grow. It does not know what markets are going to be provided for the foodstuffs to be produced there. And another Minister says that he does not think it is time now to consider industrial development there to use those foodstuffs as basic material for the purpose of industrial development. I repeat: Is this going to be the basis of the approach to the Bowker plan? What is visualized on the Orange River? What is visualized is apparently an increase in our food production. The Minister of Finance says in regard to that particular scheme in his speech—

Water is our life blood, a vital but scarce resource essential to ensure for future generations adequate food supplies, and we should fail in our duty if we did not start now to develop this asset.

Are they going to develop it as they are developing the Pongola scheme? How are they going to develop this asset? Is it going to be done in a ham-handed, wooden-headed manner to produce further surpluses whilst South Africa cannot dispose of the surpluses we have got at present? You see, criticism was levelled at a reported speech by Dr. Moolman. The hon. member for Somerset East said that Dr. Moolman had condemned the scheme, but when we confronted him with what Dr. Moolman had said, we found that he did not condemn the scheme at all. He issued a warning and pointed out that river starts up in foreign territory, in a foreign country, and he said: What are you going to do to preserve your share of the water in that river, seeing that it does not start in your country? A very real warning. But there is more to it than that. Just to produce food and to produce more food under irrigation, and I am sure it can be produced in large quantities, simply to add surpluses to surpluses, where will that bring us? I want to ask the appropriate Minister, whoever he may be, to get up and tell us that it is the Government’s intention to lay before this House a detailed step-by-step scheme with a fixed timetable so that we in South Africa shall know year by year precisely what progress we can anticipate in regard to the overall scheme. We don’t want to be told in a year or two that the Government has not got any markets for what is being produced on the scheme. We don’t want to hear that the Government does not think that they should worry about processing of the produce there, and that kind of thing. Let the Government come with a proper plan, not just announce a scheme on which R300,000.000 will be expended. Let them come with a workmanlike scheme that is going to put before the people exactly what the Government is anticipating, and which is going to show not only the production of foodstuffs, but the method of handling the products which are being so produced. We have got to bear in mind that in so far as the ordinary farming community in South Africa is concerned, there are very few of them in truth who will be able to benefit, at any rate in the early years, so far as the development of that scheme is concerned. There will be a privileged group who will be benefiting. Why have the farmers in the drylands of South Africa, who have either put in their own irrigation schemes, or have had to rely on what Heaven sent them in the way of rainfall, why have they got to compete possibly against a favoured scheme in which the Government will be sinking vast sums of public money? I say that the Government will fail in its duty if it does not give us a detailed scheme. We are going to demand from the Minister, whoever it may be, to have those details. I don’t know which Minister it is going to be, perhaps the Minister of Water Affairs. Quite obviously in connection with the scheme you have the Minister of Lands, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Economic Affairs, for all I know the Minister of Bantu Administration (because I presume that some arrangement is going to be made for labour to be employed on this vast scheme that is being envisaged to-day)—I hope the Government is going to tell us precisely what it is envisaging in the form of labour. Is the Government envisaging only Coloured people as labourers on that scheme, or is it envisaging Bantu labour? And are they to be permanently employed there, and permanently housed in their own homes? Or is it going to be a system of seasonal labour? I hope the Government is going to come with the full details of the scheme so that we shall know precisely what they are aiming at, and so that year by year we will be able to judge whether they are giving effect to the scheme or whether they falling down on it.


I do not propose to follow the hon. member who has just sat down. I just want to make one observation in connection with his speech. The hon. member for Natal South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell) became highly insulting when a certain remark was made by one of the Ministers. That only goes to show what a weak case he has. When a person becomes annoyed and insulting and is unable to give a proper reply, it shows what a weak case he has.

This is the third day of this Budget debate, and in the 17 years that I have sat here I have never seen so much hedging as we have seen in the past three days. When the Leader of the Opposition got up to address the House this afternoon, I expected that this hedging would come to an end, but he disappointed me in my expectations because he was continually jumping about, unable to steer a set course. One moment he makes the accusation that we have no friends, that we are isolated, and the next moment he talks about our friends and what we should do with those friends and how we should retain their friendship. I should like to ask the Leader of the Opposition whether he can mention any friend that we had in the past whom we have lost. Can he mention a single one? I do not think he can because then, of course, he will have to admit that nations who have been our friends in the past have now become our enemies.

*Mr. RAW:

No, that does not follow.


I do not think that those particular nations would be happy if he mentioned their names here. In this debate, the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson), the first speaker on the Opposition side, simply could not find his feet. He moved an amendment and on no single occasion did the members of the Opposition justify that amendment. On no single occasion did they defend that amendment. They simply ignored it.

But, Mr. Speaker, I come to the hon. member for Durban (Point) (Mr. Raw). Yesterday evening he looked almost pleadingly at this side of the House and said: “Are you unable to criticize this Budget?” Mr. Speaker, can one get a worse example of weakness, when a member of the Opposition has to make an appeal to the Government side of the House please to criticize the Budget! I say that one can get no worse example of weakness. But what is the truth? Why did we have this hedging on the other side? Why was the United Party unable to find its feet in this debate? There is only one reply. This Budget is unassailable. If it is assailable, then it is also the duty of the Opposition to suggest alternatives. I ask you, Sir, what did they suggest? It is true that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition made certain statements here in connection with our colour policy, etc. He said that we should abandon or change our colour policy. I am surprised, however, that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition should ask such a thing. In every election that we have held we have placed firm principles before the electorate, and it is on those firm principles that the electorate returned this Government to power with ever-increasing majorities. If we were to abandon those principles, it we were to do what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition asks us to do, we would be deceiving the electorate because we would then be abandoning the policies that we held out to the electorate as the policies that we would implement, policies which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition now asks us to relinquish. I am rather surprised that he should make such a statement.

Mr. Speaker, the public is pleased and grateful to this Government for what it has done and still proposes to do. In fact I can say that the public is astounded; they are amazed at what the Government has already done and is still going to do. We usually find that during its term of office the Government in power always erects some monument or other which will always remain as a reminder of its period of office. That is what we have found in the past, except for the periods during which the United Party was in power. I cannot think of a single monument that they erected and that stands as testimony of the period during which the United Party governed —with one exception. I want to be perfectly fair. In implementing the war policy which the United Party followed, they did try to erect a monument for themselves. But I want to say in advance that the United Party must not be under the impression that only United Party members took part in that war. They would be hopelessly mistaken if they thought so. But I will admit this that in the period during which they carried out their war policy—apart from the miracles that were performed in the 1899-1902 war, which showed the world the mettle of Afrikaner people in the military sphere—they also increased the prestige of the Afrikaners through our war-time achievements.

*Mr. RAW:

Except for the sabotage.


I have never been unwilling to acknowledge the good work of the Afrikaners. I have never been prepared to belittle and to ignore the good work of the Afrikaners and I do not propose to do so now. In view of these achievements on the part of the Afrikaners, I want to say here this afternoon that those achievements will also cause the nations, who constitute a threat to the Republic of South Africa to-day and who are threatening us with aggression, to reflect what they can expect from the South African Defence Force if they should venture to attack us. I think they will think twice before doing such a thing. But, Mr. Speaker, in saying that, we must also see to it that our Defence Force is prepared for such an eventuality.

I repeat that usually a Government erects a monument that will serve as a reminder of its regime. We have monuments in the Republic to-day which testify to the periods of office of our previous Governments. The first National Party Government, under the late General Hertzog, established Iscor, which stands to-day as a monument, a monument which can never disappear and which will always serve the Afrikaner nation. Under the premiership of Dr. Malan we established Sasol, which will always bear testimony to the then Government’s period of office and which will always remain the pride of the Republic of South Africa. Then we also had the late Adv. Strydom as Prime Minister. Unfortunately he was taken away far, far too early. But during his short period of office he did lay firm foundations on which we were able to build. Now we come to this Government, the fourth National Party Government under the premiership of Dr. Verwoerd. Even at this stage, when he has only been in office for three and a half years, there are already three monuments which will always bear testimony to the period of office of Dr. Verwoerd and his Cabinet. It is difficult to prophesy to-day how many more monuments are still going to be erected. There is a great number of monuments already. Let me mention them. In the first place there is the Republic of South Africa, something which can never be undone again, something which brought our people together. There is not a single member on the other side of the House who does not accept this Republic to-day—not a single one. That is a monument …

*Mr. RAW:

And now you want to break it up.


… which has been erected during the short period that Dr. Verwoerd has been at the helm. The second monument is the self-government granted to the Transkei. It stands there as a monument and, moreover, as a step that has been taken in the implementation of our policy of apartheid. It stands there as a lasting monument. The third monument with which a start has already been made and which will stand there permanently is the harnessing of the waters of the Orange River. Here we have three monuments erected in three and a half years. And, Mr. Speaker, it must be hard for the United Party to see these monuments arising. But what can they do about it?

When we think of Dr. Verwoerd and what he has accomplished in this short time, there is one thing which is as plain as a pikestaff and that is that Dr. Verwoerd’s Government is the finest Government that we have ever had.


Is that so?


Of all the Governments that we have had in South Africa, the Verwoerd Government is the finest. Sir, these are allegations which cannot be refuted. Is it any wonder then that Dr. Verwoerd is acknowledged to-day as the greatest statesman in the world? [Laughter.] I am not surprised at the laughter from members of the Opposition. Has the Opposition ever shown any appreciation of greatness in South Africa? Never.


They cannot do so.


That is true, they cannot do it. They must always try to belittle him. It is not only I who say that Dr. Verwoerd is the greatest statesman in the world. He has shown repeatedly that is true. But we find that they belittle and try to humiliate him. No wonder, Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that they adopt that attitude that the hon. member for Vanderbijlpark (Dr. de Wet) was able to prove yesterday evening that they are a disintegrated and, I may add, a rotten party. The hon. member pointed out that at one stage they had 117 members in this House. Within nine years they lost the reins of government in this country. But what happened during those nine years? That is also the reason why they were defeated and why they had to hand over the reins of government to the National Party Government. That reason is that during those nine years the people of South Africa were subjected to the greatest intimidation and the greatest victimization that we had ever had under any Government. Mr. Speaker, are they surprised that they were rejected? Are they surprised, after what they did during that period, that to-day they have such a handful of members in this House? And what hope have they of ever getting more members?


We shall see.


Oh yes, we have been seeing for the last 14 years, and at every election this side of the House is returned with a bigger majority than we had before. They do not realize that and they will never realize it because politically they were born blind.

Mr. Speaker, I should like to refer to Defence for a moment. Provision is made in this Budget for R120,000,000 for the defence of this country. This is the biggest amount which has ever been voted by this House out of current revenue for Defence, either in peace-time or in war-time. I say it is the biggest amount that has ever been voted out of current revenue. And what is the sad spectacle that we now have to witness on the other side of the House? The hon. the Leader of the Opposition gets up and says that to arm ourselves will not help us if we have no friends, if we are isolated. The hon. member for Constantia says that they are not going to dispute and contest this amount. Mr. Speaker, they lack the courage to vote against this amount. They realize as well as we do that this amount is necessary. And when the Leader of the Opposition comes along and says that it will not help us to arm ourselves, that is a statement that we simply cannot accept. I gladly admit that he has military experience but I do not admit that he is an expert in the military sphere. That I refuse to admit. What is the opinion of the military experts we have in this country? Since World War II we have had four Chiefs of the General Staff. Two of them were at the head of our Defence Force; they were at the head of the General Staff. I refer to Sir Pierre van Ryneveld and Gen. du Toit. Then we have two retired Commandants-General. These are men who are experts in the military sphere, men of whose word one can take notice, because we put them in those positions, as the greatest military authorities in our country. What do they say? Ex-Commdt.-Gen. Mellville—

… agrees that Minister Fouché is now doing the right thing and that he is not doing this without good cause. “People who criticize him are either uninformed or reckless.”

His colleague, Gen. Klopper, goes even further—

It would be fatal not to put our Defence Force into a state of preparedness.
*Mr. RAW:

That is what we say too.


There again we have members on the other side saying, “That is what we say too”! These hon. members have opposed every Budget that we have introduced in this House. All they have done has been to “say”. They never get any further than that. And to-day their Leader says that we are not going to save ourselves by arming; in other words, what are we spending this money for? But I want to go further. Gen. Klopper says—

To-day there is a new dangerous factor— the right which people assume unto themselves to interfere in other territories. It is a question of colours beginning to choose sides.

Sir Pierre van Ryneveld says—

“We must be more prepared than ever before,” says Gen. Sir Pierre van Ryneveld, who before and throughout World War II was Chief of South Africa’s General Staff. “I have the greatest confidence in Minister Fouché and his Defence Force heads, provided they receive the necessary funds and support.” Sir Pierre believes that our Defence Force will be able to handle any possible invasion from the North just as effectively as the Voortrekkers and the 1820 Settlers surmounted their problems and the threats of those days. “A strong Defence Force,” says Commdt.-Gen. Mellville, “is the nation’s insurance against aggression and the guarantee of its existence.”

Then we come to General Matie du Toit and this is what he says. I should like hon. members opposite to listen to this because this is an expert talking—and now they must not come along and talk about scare-mongering—

“Our Defence Force need not prepare itself for a nuclear bomb attack,” General Matie du Toit thinks. “Nuclear bombs would only be used by a big power and that would mean a world war.”

What is the hon. the Minister doing now? He is concentrating on three phases of defence. He is concentrating on our Air Force, which is manned to-day by some of the best pilots to be found in the world. He is concentrating on cannons; he is concentrating on our Navy; he is concentrating on small-arms, on machineguns and automatic rifles. According to this expert, General Matie du Toit, that is what he ought to do to prepare the defences of the Republic of South Africa for any attack which may come from the North.

*Mr. RAW:



Mr. Speaker, we are not men who returned from the front for “compassionate reasons”. The hon. member who is so fond of making interjections must remember the “compassionate grounds” on which he returned from the front. What we should do is what these experts say. I contend that the defence of this country is in safe hands when it is in the hands of this Minister of Defence. We are grateful to the Minister of Finance for having made available the funds to the Minister of Defence to defend this country properly.


I want to confine myself to the agricultural industry, particularly in the South-Western Districts and in the Western Cape, and I want to try to emphasize what research has meant for agriculture in these areas. Many years ago the late Sen. Langenhoven addressed a meeting of farmers in my home-town and he began by saying, “There never has been a time when farmers have not complained, and there ever has been a time when it has not been necessary for them to complain.” At that time I fully agreed with him. But the agricultural picture has changed tremendously, particularly during the past 14 years. In saying that, I do not want to suggest—I would be the last person in this House to say so—that there are no farmers today who are struggling. But apart from that, let us just take the agricultural picture in the Republic and look at the future. Now that the new Orange River scheme has been announced, it will bring about an enormous change in agriculture. For many years it was said—and it was said even to-day—that our country was a poor agricultural country. I never believed that. I knew that if we harnessed our natural resources, we had enough land to make the Republic a rich agricultural country. In the year 2000, as we are told in the Tomlinson report, we shall have many more millions of people in this country, and thereafter even more millions in this multiracial country, and I say that the generations to come need not be afraid that they will not be able to feed those millions. Although we in this lower portion of the Cape Province will receive no direct benefit from the water of the Orange River, we will all benefit indirectly. In the first place this will have a great effect on the distribution of the population in the Cape Province; it will put a stop to the depopulation of the Cape. In the second place, I am thinking of our wine farmers in the Southern Cape; I am thinking of the deciduous fruit farmers. This scheme will benefit all of us enormously. Earlier on in my speech I talked about farmers who were struggling. In certain areas of the Karoo, for example, there are people who suffered for many years through severe droughts. Those droughts were followed by floods which caused very great damage. People who had built up a certain amount of capital had to use a portion of their capital to repair the damage; others had to take up loans. These people struggled, and we are all sorry for them. On the other hand I am thinking of what the Ministers of Agriculture, Water Affairs and Transport did to help those people. We think of what happened in South West Africa when foot and mouth disease broke out there. Is there anybody who did not feel sorry for those farmers? We can picture ourselves in their position. You are a cattle farmer and you have a number of cattle which are ready for marketing; this disease then breaks out and you are unable to market the cattle but you still have to pay your debts. The farmer is put to very great inconvenience. There are farmers who are struggling in certain parts of the country because of crop failures for a few successive years. However, we must not be too pessimistic about the position of the other farmers. I am a farmer myself and I do not think that they are going through very difficult times.

I want to come back to the South-Western Districts. From Sir Lowry’s Pass towards Mossel Bay our soil is shallow and heavy, with the result that the farmer has to let his lands lie fallow for one to three years and he has to apply rotational cropping. Research has been of tremendous assistance to us in these areas. It was only 50 years ago that research was first started at Elsenburg. Prof. Neethling was one of the people who began it. He was followed by men who built on the foundations laid by him, and time and again new types of rust-free wheat have been developed and distributed to the farmers. That was one of the factors which enabled us in the South-Western Districts to produce wheat in spite of our high costs of production. If it had not been for research we would not have been able to do so. We make use of rotational cropping in the South-Western Districts, and that is what has saved us. That also applies to the Swartland area where the soil had become very impoverished. Dr. Wagner then did research with lupins; the farmers and even the men at Elsenburg ridiculed him at the beginning but later on they saw that he was right, and the introduction of lupins greatly improved the soil. To-day we find that the Swartland is one of the areas of the Republic which carries most merino sheep per morgen. I am not talking now about farms which have been placed entirely under grass; I am talking generally. That is what happened as the result of rotational cropping in the Swartland. The Wheat Board placed a levy of 1c on every bag of wheat. The grain producers made this contribution and the Wheat Board has already given the agricultural colleges more than R100.000 out of the levy fund for research. A further R72,000 is to be given for research in the winter rainfall area. I welcome that very much. We farmers believe in research because we know how important it is, and it has saved the farmers in those districts from ruination.

But it is not only the grain producers who have benefited; there are also the fruit farmers. I wonder how many hon. members have visited Bien Donne. Wonderful work is being done there. I do not think there is any part of the world where more research is being done than at Bien Donne. The Government is spending thousands of rand on research, and I want to admit that does not apply to this Government only. Previous Governments also began to do research although it was not done on such a large scale. That research has now been extended. At first when people started planting fruit trees in their hundreds of thoustands everybody said that there would be overproduction, but now we are discovering that it will still be a very long time before there will be an overproduction of fruit in the Western Province, because the factories are canning the fruit and people are trying to get bigger and bigger quotas. The hon. member for Paarl (Mr. W. C. Malan) said here the other day that the potential for the production of fruit in the Western Province was unlimited. There are large numbers of citrus growers in my constituency, too—and I am one of them. During the last ten or 12 years the citrus growers have been receiving a better price overseas than the deciduous fruit growers, but unfortunately the citrus growers went through lean times last year because of strikes at certain docks. More than 400,000 boxes were sent to Canada, where our products were boycotted. The damage resulting from these strikes could not be recovered, and we nearly lost this market. We know that once a market has been lost it is very difficult to build it up again. The Transvaal farmers, whose fruit ripens earlier than ours, fared better. They still obtained good prices, but down here there were some people who got almost nothing, or very little.

But now we come to the wine industry, the oldest industry in our country. We all know how the Hollanders when they came to the Cape planted vines and ten years later they began exporting wine. They began in the Cape and then extended their vineyards to the Cape Flats and later on they went over the mountains to my constituency and Oudtshoorn. Sir John Cradock appointed a wine tester as far back as 1811 to ensure the quality of the wine that was to be exported. In 1885 phylloxera broke out and it went through the vineyards like a veld fire. It destroyed most of the vineyards, although not all. To this day one finds vines in my constituency which survived this outbreak. The farmers were at their wits’ end, but then research was conducted; they grafted their vines on to disease-free American vines, and what happened? No long afterwards they were saddled with an overproduction, and then they were again at their wits’ end. There was such a great overproduction that they had to let the wine run to waste. I still remember the days when the farmers received no more than a penny per bottle of wine. But then they put their heads together and established the K.W.V., one of the oldest and richest co-operative societies in the Republic. There is only a very small area of land under vines. It is only about 73,000 morgen. I want to mention here what the wine farmers mean to the State. There are people like the prohibitionists who say that, while it is true that the wine farmers pay taxes to the State, it costs the State a great deal in terms of offences, drunkenness, and illicit liquor sales. But that is no argument. One could uproot all the vines in the Cape and there would still be contraventions. That is what they found in America when they had prohibition. and there they will never go back to prohibition again. No, we must take off our hats to the wine farmers. They have been paying R25,000,000 to the Treasury, and with the new tax that they will have to pay in the future, it will be about R30,000,000, and all this is produced on only 73,000 morgen. One can argue whichever way one likes but one must admire these farmers. Not only that, but the Western Province meant a very great deal to this country in the old days, after the Boer War. I was only a lad when peace was concluded in 1902. We had relations in the Free State and in the Transvaal and those people lost everything. They came to the Cape and the wine farmers here gave a great deal of money to help to rehabilitate them. They gave them money for their churches and for their education.

The hon. member for Piketberg (Mr. Treurnicht) talked about small little dams to-day. I am just as pleased as the hon. member for Cradock about the new Orange River scheme, but I am afraid that we in the Cape will be neglected and given small little dams. However, I am pleased that the Minister of Water Affairs feels as I do. I know that he is not going to neglect us because he also comes from these areas. Recently the people in my constituency sent a deputation from Montagu to the Minister to ask that the wall of the dam that was built in the days of the late Mr. Strydom should be raised. I arranged the interview for them with the Minister. They wanted to raise the dam wall by 10 ft. but the Minister said that he would have it raised by 15 ft., and they were very pleased about it. They were so glad that they asked me whether the Minister and the Director of Water Affairs were teetotallers. I said that they were. I knew that they wanted to send something to the Minister and I also knew that they only had K.W.V. brandy, that was why I said that they were teetotallers, and they should rather give the present to me.

Mr. GAY:

The hon. member for Swellendam (Mr. van Eeden), who has just spoken, will forgive me if I do not follow him. I am sure there are sufficient members in this House who are able to deal with the matters he raised. I want to refer to the speech of the hon. member for Kimberley (North) (Mr. H. T. van G. Bekker), who treated us to an amazing display of monuments which he says stand there to record the history of the party he represents. Everyone has the right to be proud of his monuments, but I want to refer him to a monument that this side of the House erected on behalf of the whole of South Africa and which will stand after the bricks and mortar of all other monuments have long disappeared. I want to refer to the monument erected by this side of the House in their war effort in the last war when they combined the best of the two language groups who fought together to preserve Western civilization and our way of life. Something which brought lustre to the stature of this country, an achievement when our defence effort was not only the pride but also the envy of professional soldiers all over the world—a monument which nothing can destroy. I want to refer also to several other monuments which the hon. member appears to have forgotten, but which will also remain to the memory of his Government. They are also not built of stone or bricks, but they will never be destroyed. They are the monuments on the trail of broken promises and violated pledges that mark the progress of this Government. Probably the greatest monument of all, and one which has yet to be completed, was the fact that they took South Africa out of the Commonwealth and sacrificed the security of all of us. Something which this Budget now has to again provide for. [Interjection.] Is the hon. member saying that the dangers the Budget is seeking to provide for are only assumptions? That is a strange attitude to adopt. It completely contradicts the statements of the Minister of Defence. I would say that the hon. member for Kimberley (North) is in danger of becoming a Deputy Minister if he goes on like that. The job of the Chairman of the Historical Monuments Commission appears to be in some danger, too.

But I want to come to the Budget itself and refer to the remark of the Minister of Finance in introducing his Budget, that “Defence expenditure was a premium which a country paid for a policy of peace”, and that it was our duty to strengthen our defences and to provide our Defence Force not only with the means to ward off attacks but also to strike back at an aggressor. In passing, I merely want to comment that it is probably one of the greatest of our country’s tragedies that what the Minister of Finance is now advocating was not as eloquently supported by him and his friends in 1939, and again after 1948. If he had followed that policy then it would probably have saved South Africa the long and costly journey back, which he is now asking the country to take back to safety. It might also have saved South Africa from having to suffer what was practically the total destruction of our once grand Defence Force organization through political intrigue. However, I am glad he has changed his mind. After the very clear statement made by my Leader in regard to defence matters, there can be no shadow of doubt that the official Opposition will, as always, do its duty in the event of danger threatening the Republic, either in the case of internal disturbances or external aggression. We know our duty and I do not think there can be any question, after our Leader’s statement. as to the part we will play in safeguarding the Republic. But as we have repeatedly warned the Government, and as my Leader did again this afternoon, guns and bullets alone will not solve our problems. There must be a practical reappraisal by the Government itself of our internal policies which have helped to create this situation, policies which are repugnant to the entire Western World and which have helped to create the climate in our own country which provides a fertile field for the communist agitator, policies which forced this Republic into friendless isolation and so tremendously increased our dangers. My Leader put the spotlight on the keystone of the whole defence of this country, something which no one can break down. We have to give our non-Whites the right to develop their family stake in this country. A right to develop their security and their human dignity, things to which they are entitled as citizens of the Republic. Do that and none of the potential enemies mooted by the hon. Minister of Defence, will dare to attack us. That is the keystone of our defence. Behind the appeal made by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defence there lies a grim reality that the Republic is being forced to face up, in men, money and resources, to the cost of our friendless isolation. We are being forced to meet the cost of the policy followed by the hon. the Prime Minister when he walked out of the Prime Ministers’ Conference, and nothing we can do in the way of building up our defences can replace the security which was then thrown away. Even the Minister of Finance’s own newspaper, the Burger, is looking wistfully at the security that has been thrown away. That paper referred wistfully to the loss of the collective security which was due to the Prime Minister’s actions and it had no hesitation in referring to the dangers to which this country is exposed. In a leading article on 15th March the Burger, under the heading, “New Phase in Defence”, said the following—

This week Mr. Fouché, the Minister of Defence, managed to put public discussion of our national defence on a more realistic level. It was high time, for in this field, too, “the good old days” are gone forever. In those “good old days” South Africa could relieve its tremendous concentration on military affairs during the two world wars by periods of great indifference during the years of peace. At such times, militarily speaking, we could repose blissfully within the framework of the world-wide Western, and in our case, almost exclusively British, security system … We are still a Western base against Communism, but our front line has shifted south from Egypt to Rhodesia. Moreover, in Africa we now find ourselves in an antithesis in which we cannot count on active Western aid … In our present position we may still be able to count on a certain restraining influence by the Western Powers, but to go and look for active alliances there seems completely useless.

On that point I find myself for once in absolute agreement with the sentiments expressed by the Burger. When our Prime Minister walked out of the Commonwealth, he left behind him those good old days of the collective security of Commonwealth membership and the price we now have to pay for the defence of the Republic is the price of the isolation into which he led South Africa, and to which the Minister of Defence refers as “South Africa’s lone stand”. It should also not be forgotten that South Africa’s security as a member of the Commonwealth was deliberately sacrificed by the Prime Minister in his obstinate refusal to make even the slightest concessions. He deliberately accepted the great danger that he knew he was exposing South Africa to, and his refusal to make the slightest concession which would enable our few friends to help us. Those are the things to which the Burger looked back so sorrowfully, and which its readers should not forget.

I want to touch on the remarks of the Minister of Defence in the Other Place and outside this House when he spoke about our bad situation. The Minister has referred to an army of liberation, and attacks which may be made by a power close to our borders. The Minister, as my leader has said, has produced very little reliable evidence on which to build up Defence plans. He can produce, as we can from the papers, much wild talk and many dark threats, and without any doubt in his position as Minister he is very wise to keep abreast of what is going on outside South Africa, but I would like the hon. Minister to give us some definite and reliable evidence of the practicability of converting these extremist threats into positive action on the part of the people to whom he refers. The first task any military commander is given when threatened with an attack is to make what is called an appreciation of the main facts governing the enemy’s probable action. That is the term which puzzled the Minister of Finance the other afternoon when the hon. member for Constantia put a question to him and the Minister of Finance asked him whether he was serious. This is a military term but the Minister of Finance probably thought it meant something else, probably a kiss and good luck message sent with flowers. The hon. member for Constantia knew exactly what he meant when he used the term appreciation. [Interjections.] I say that the first task that a commander has to perform is to form an appreciation of the danger, and to evaluate where—when and in what strength the attack is likely to develop, and most important how are the attacking forces to be moved to and maintained at the point of attack. Having arrived at that appreciation of the position, the officer responsible for dealing with it, can then prepare his own defence, and the strongest defence of all, based on that essential information, is to destroy your your enemies before they reach you. Not to go into a laager and wait for them to arrive in your own country but to get rid of them before they arrive there. That is the accepted line of defence. The hon. the Minister may have access to information not available to us but I am asking him to leave out the dramatics for the moment and to try to give South Africa what we could call a calm, considered Ministerial appreciation of the situation which has led him to make the defence demand which he is now making. I believe that he owes it to the country, to satisfy and to calm the very great feeling of concern which his own and other similar speeches have aroused in this country amongst the every-day community— a calm and considered Ministerial appreciation based on any reliable evidence and information that he may have and on which he is basing his plan of defence to resist this external aggression. You see, Sir, from the general evidence as we can see it, the majority of the potential enemies who were dealt with in the Minister’s remarks are too dangerously threatened by other disruptive forces in their own areas and in their own territories to-day, to dare to venture very far away from their own borders. Factors which are so threatening to their own security, appear to us to be very much in the way of their launching any concerted attack on our country at the present moment. Sir, it is necessary to maintain contacts; it is necessary to be prepared, but it is not necessary to build up what may amount to unnecessary fears in our own country when dealing with this matter.

There has been a lot of criticism of the Opposition’s attitude towards this Defence Budget. I want to say that as an Opposition it is one of our responsibilities, amongst many others, to see that the Republic gets value for the expenditure that is incurred on Defence, and we do not believe that we have been doing that; we do not believe that the country has received value for the very large sum already spent on Defence. Since 1950 to date Parliament has authorized this Government to spend, including revenue and loan funds and all the various other funds that contribute to Defence expenditure, approximately R800 million, exclusive of the present Budget. If you take this Budget again, plus all the other expenditure— the additional Votes and the indirect expenditure which is incurred by other Departments but which is directly attributable to Defence— this Government has since 1950 been given authority by Parliament to spend R1,000 million building up defences for this country. The very Budget that is now before us, the very appeal before us now, shows how little has been accomplished by that expenditure. otherwise there would not be the panic shouting that is going up now to strengthen our Defences. I do not believe that even the most ardent Government supporter would claim that South Africa has received full value for that expenditure which is relatively heavy expenditure for this country. We say once again that the colossal waste which has taken place in Defence expenditure has got to stop. If things are as dangerous as they are made out to be, then the money must be wisely spent and the country should have some knowledge that it is being wisely spent. Sir, one of our most serious criticisms amongst many others, is the complete absence of any definite co-ordinated Defence policy on the part of the Government. There has never been one since this Government took over. We have ten different Cabinet Ministers giving us twelve different policies, and the hon. the Minister’s predecessor differed with the lot of them. The only things that he could agree on were uniforms, buttons and badges, a little predilection of his that has cost the taxpayer many thousands of pounds in wasted material, time and effort. Sir, all these things—the fumbling, the vacillation, the lack of decision which cripples Defence organization, the wasteful expenditure, the haphazard expansion and the frustration of the professional men who are there to assist in that expansion, the lack of forward planning and foresight due to the absence of such a Defence policy—make the task of the Military and Naval Commanders almost impossible. Then there is also the policy, which is growing, of treating the fighting forces as civil service departments, trying to run the South African Navy as a military regiment commanded from Pretoria, something which is completely destroying the efficiency of the Forces, wrapping them up in a cocoon of red tape, paper, forms, returns, and that type of thing so that the commanding officers practically have no time to attend to their military duties at all. I want to give a few classical examples of the type of thing I mean when I say that there has been wasteful expenditure. Under its defence equipment policy the Government bought 206 tanks and other equipment costing £36,000 per tank at the time. Two years ago they sold half of the tanks, 100 tanks plus other equipment, to Switzerland at just one-half of the price at which it had been purchased, a clear loss at that stage of R5 million to the taxpayer of this country and to the Defence resources. It is true that the Middle East commitment for which the tanks had been largely purchased at that time had fallen away, but the hon. the Minister of Defence has recently told the Other Place and the Burger has said so again in an article this week that our borders, from the point of view of resisting attack, have now moved from the Middle East, from North Africa, down to the borders of Rhodesia. The Burger on the 15th of this month said—

we are still a Western base against Communism but the line has shifted south from Egypt to Rhodesia.

If that is so, then why give away the equipment which we required to protect the line further north and which could conceivably be quite useful to protect the new line further south? Over 4 years ago Defence spent R2½ million on building 233 houses in the naval township of Da Gama Park in Simonstown. To start with against the expert advice of people who knew what they were talking about, they paid R60,000 for a site, the market value of which was less than half of that amount. Due to the isolated situation of the site itself, the development and site works cost R700,000, at least four times the amount that should have been spent on any scheme of comparable size. But that is not the main feature that I want to deal with. For the past eighteen months 160 of the 233 houses built and occupied by naval families have been seriously affected by damp. Water is running through the walls; the health of the families is being jeopardized; there are cases of pneumonia and bronchitis amongst the families; furniture is falling apart, due to damp. That situation was brought to the notice of the Defence Department and of the Public Works Department. That deplorable state of affairs was first reported 18 months ago to Pretoria, and for 18 months the Public Works Department and the National Housing Board, who planned and had the scheme built for Defence, have been trying to pass the buck the one to the other. But for 18 months the inhabitants of those houses have had to live under those conditions, conditions for which, if it was private ownership, the landlord would have been prosecuted. I want to put this to the Minister of Defence: I think he will agree that manning is one of the principal problems that we have with the Navy—the training and the keeping in your service, the men that you have trained to man the ships that we are building up. How does the Minister expect to keep in the Navy men whose families are treated like that to 18 months of neglect? I want to say to the Minister that it is time that as Minister of Defence he took an active part in this dispute that is going on and got them to cut the cackle and get on with the job; get them to do the job and put those families back into decent housing conditions, the same sort of conditions under which he and I would like to live. Get a contented homelife for them and he will then have contented men in his ships. Sir, I would ask him to tackle this right away and if it has not been brought to his notice before, then if I were the Minister I should want to know why I had been kept in the dark all this time. The Departments themselves can settle who was responsible for the mishap afterwards, but get these defective conditions attended to first.

Then I want to refer briefly to the chequered career of the two biggest warships in the South African Navy, our only two destroyers, the Jan van Riebeeck and the Simon van der Stel. They were also bought by the hon. the Minister’s predecessor, and these two ships with their high-powered turbine machinery, which calls for very specialized handling, were problems to our Navy from the very day we got them, but at any rate we had them and there they were. But neither has ever been efficiently used, and finally the Van Riebeeck was laid up in 1952 and the Van der Stel in 1955. Let me trace the somewhat unchartered course of these ships after that. They were laid up and slowly deteriorated under these conditions, because an idle ship does deteriorate quickly. Since then these two ships, in four years, between 1957 and 1960—and these are figures supplied by the hon. the Minister in reply to a question—cost the taxpayer R100,000 to maintain whilst laid up. In reply to a question on January the 27th 1961 the hon. the Minister of Defence said—

The Simon van der Stel and the Jan van Riebeeck are awaiting disposal as they have now reached a stage where it will be uneconomical to modernize them.

Last year, in 1961. they were publicly advertised for sale but they were not sold. I understand now that there is another change in policy regarding these two destroyers; that orders have been given that they are to be repaired immediately and put into sea-going condition, and in addition the two ships, which were uneconomical to modernize 15 months ago and could not be sold 9 months ago, are to be modernized and converted into two Helicopter carriers for completion by December, a major job for the engineering and ship-building resources.


Advertise them in the swop column.

Mr. GAY:

I would like to ask the hon. the Minister if that is correct and for what purpose it is intended to use these ships. Is the South African Navy now satisfied that the engine-room trouble, which has been such a handicap before, has been overcome? I know there is a shortage of that particular type of engine room staff in this country and for that matter all over the world. I think the career of these two ships alone give point to our criticism of vacillation and lack of clear policy which causes a great wastage of Defence money.

Sir, my time is limited. I have a lot more that I should like to bring to the Minister’s notice but I will do that privately. I believe that there is a lot that he should learn about Defence and I shall try to help him. I want to close on this note: The Minister of Defence and other Government speakers have painted a grim picture of what the Republic has to prepare to face on our own in the way of external aggression. I want to close with what I think is a somewhat sobering thought, to which I believe all of us, no matter what our political views are—all of us who are South Africans—should give very careful thought before we commit our nation. The nations whom the Minister of Defence appears to regard as our potential aggressors—and there are only three of them that I have taken into account here—can muster now between the three of them, without any external assistance, a minimum of at least 1 aircraft carrier, 2 large cruisers, 17 destroyers, 24 frigates, 9 submarines, 35 landing craft including 19 tanklanding craft, which can come onto any beach, 5 fleet-oilers and a terrific number of smaller craft. No matter how justifiably we are proud —and we have the right to be proud—of the progress made in building up our own South African Navy, we dare not let this pride outweigh our clear thinking and sense of proportion in dealing with the question of national defence. I would commend that thought to the hon. the Minister and to all of us who have any sense of responsibility towards the defence of our country, because these are some of the facts which have to be appreciated and considered and weighed up before we finally make up our minds as to how we are going to deal with the danger if and when it comes.


Allow me right in the beginning heartily to thank the hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) for his friendly, wholehearted offer to come and see me privately and to give me a few lessons in regard to defence. One always welcomes a friendly offer of that nature. Judging from the hon. member’s speech this afternoon, which one would have expected to be made on my vote, I am beginning to doubt, however, whether that advice will be of much value, but let us first find out.

The hon. member for Simonstown repeated what other hon. members had said, namely: Give our non-Whites the opportunity to show their allegiance to South Africa, then no dangers will threaten us. That is a very facile manner of stating things, which cannot be put to the proof. I do not believe there is anybody in this House or in the country who begrudges the non-Whites the opportunity of being faithful to their country. It is the policy of this side of the House, in fact, to do those things for the non-Whites which will make them faithful to the country. But we differ as to what is necessary to make the non-Whites happy in so far as policy is concerned. On that point the two sides of the House differ. But where do hon. members get the right to say that it is a question of policy; that when we have satisfied the people in the country— White and non-White—no dangers will threaten us? Surely that is a bit of niavete of which no adult person should be guilty. Even the hon. the Leader of the Opposition announced here to-day: Satisfy our people in the country and no dangers will threaten us. Mr. Speaker, what do we learn from conditions in other countries, the defence expenditure of which was mentioned here by the Leader of the Opposition himself? Has Australia such an unhappy population that they must spend so much more on defence than South Africa? Has Canada such an unhappy and dissatisfied population that they have to spend such large sums on their defence? Has Great Britain such an unhappy population, and America, which spends more than 50 per cent of their budget on defence. No, it is in fact a specious argument that if in this country we have absolute satisfaction, no dangers will threaten us. Where do people get that from? The hon. member for Simonstown repeated it this afternoon. I believe that we in this country—and it can be proved—have as much satisfaction as it is possible to have in any country in Africa. Take the people beyond our borders. Must they not expand their defence force? What do our neighbours spend on defence? Whence the argument that it is the policy of this Government which makes our people dissatisfied and therefore we must spend money on defence?

The argument has been advanced here that we are not trying to build up our defence in order to defend the country against external aggression, but for internal safety. I have the most serious objection to that. If anything is calculated to harm South Africa, it is the argument that we are now building up a defence force to maintain internal order. No man with a sense of responsibility, if he knows what he is talking about, will publish such an idea to the world. I went overseas last year. I negotiated with various governments, and if this is the idea which is published to the outside world, that we are busy building up our defences here to ensure our internal safety, it will be a sorry day for us when that report is published abroad. Mr. Speaker, I want to pose this question: For what reason did we require aircraft which can fly at twice the speed of sound? To maintain our internal peace? One cannot use those things for police purposes. For what reason do we need antiaircraft guns which can fire 300, 400 and 500 shots per minute? To preserve peace internally? One cannot use those things here. For what do we require this complicated radar system we are building up? For internal safety? We will never use those things here. Why do we need the F.N. rifle which we purchased and now manufacture here? For internal safety? It was not necessary to spend a penny of the money now being voted for the maintenance of internal safety.


What are the police doing with it?


In order to maintain law and order.


In time of trouble the police will not only guard our internal security, but they will also have to assist in combating aggression from beyond our borders.

I now want to go further and I want to make an appeal to the Opposition: Do not let us drag Defence into party politics. Ever since I became Minister of Defence I have tried my utmost to keep Defence as far as possible out of politics. But we cannot allow an idea like this, that we are building up our S.A. Defence Force not to cope with external aggression but to maintain internal order, to go out into the world. Nothing can be worse for South Africa than that. We who are practical people surely realize fully that the defences of this country have always been strong enough to deal with internal aggression. The hon. members for North East Rand (Brig. Bronkhorst) knows that it was not necessary to reinforce our defences for that purpose, he knows that the aircraft we have here are quite fast enough and good enough for the maintenance of internal order, and he knows that a .303 rifle is quite good enough for the maintenance of internal peace. He knows that all the weapons we have in the country are quite sufficient for the maintenance of internal peace. But I am afraid that we dare not publish these arguments to the world. It is one of the most fatal things we can do to tell the world that South Africa is building up its defences and that this year R120 million will be spent on strengthening our Defence Force, or maintaining it, in order to preserve internal safety. Nothing could be further from the truth.


That was not said by us.


Of course it was said by you.


The hon. member for Simonstown quoted from the Burger and said the Burger was wistfully recalling the days when in peace-time we did not need to spend large sums of money on defence because in those days we found ourselves in the midst of the West. That is true. The circumstances of every country in the world change, and world conditions have changed. It is true that a few years ago the S.A. Defence Force never concentrated on being anything more than a complementary force. But now I want to pose this question to the Opposition: Is there anyone in this House who, under to-day’s conditions, believes that our Defence Force must still be built up to be a complementary force? The hon. members themselves mentioned examples. One of the hon. members mentioned this afternoon what happened at Suez and what happens in different circumstances. With the conflict of interest there is in the world to-day, South Africa cannot do anything else but build up a Defence Force able to stand on its own feet. If we have to fight in a major war tomorrow on the side of the West, we will also be much more valuable to the West if we have built up our Defence Force as an independent unit and not as a complementary force. As the result of the fact that we have always been a complementary force, during the last war we could declare war, but we were only able to start fighting eighteen months after the declaration of war because we had a complementary force. Does the hon. member for Simonstown expect us still to go on on that scale to-day, that we should stand on the basis that we are a complementary force and that we can console ourselves with the idea that if the balloon goes up to-day we will have eighteen months’ time in which to prepare ourselves to take part in the war? Surely we know that cannot happen. I take it that it was in that sense that the Burger spoke, and if it was, I agree with it; those were the good old days, but circumstances have changed in the world and they have definitely changed in South Africa.

Mr. GAY:

What has removed our margins of security?

*Mr. G. F. H. BEKKER:



The question is what has removed our margins of security. The reply is simply changed world conditions. I want to ask the hon. member for Simonstown whether he has never before heard that the West is abandoning Africa? Then the hon. member asked me to prove that the threat we referred to was a fact. Cannot the hon. member realize that we are experiencing a tremendous cold war? Cannot hon. members realize that communist countries are waging a tremendous cold war against all Western countries, including us? And now I want to put this question: Of what value would the communist cold war threats be if they did not have the military strength to back up those threats?

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

Evening Sitting


When business was suspended I had more or less dealt with the argument of the Opposition that we are preparing ouselves only to preserve internal security, or primarily to preserve internal security. I pointed to the danger inherent in that argument. Before concluding, I should like to quote from the British House of Commons Hansard to indicate what the real danger is which is inherent in that sort of argument. When Mr. Heath was discussing the legislation in regard to South Africa, he said this—

The hon. member (Mr. Brockway) also protested at the supply of arms to South Africa. Our policy towards all foreign countries is to allow arms sales to countries with whom we are in normal relation, but we scrutinize all requests from the political as well as from the strategic and economic aspect before they are authorized. This applies to arms supplied to South Africa, and the possibility that such arms may be used for harsh measures of repression is taken into account. I remind the hon. member, however, that not all arms are used for repression. I will not go into details of this. It has frequently been dealt with in the House on previous occasions.

I think that we on this side of the House who at the moment form the Government, as well as the official Opposition, should be very careful in regard to arguments of this nature. Let us rather leave arguments of this nature to the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman). I take it the world outside will know how much value to attach to a party with only one member. But I want to appeal to hon. members that we should not make ourselves guilty of this.

The hon. member for Simonstown and also other hon. members asked that we should give proof of the military appreciation of what we expect the attack against South Africa, the aggression, to be. The hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) asked the same question and then the hon. the Minister of Finance asked whether the hon. member was really serious in asking it. Now I just want to say this: Do hon. members really expect me to divulge things which are not general knowledge? That which is general knowledge in regard to the threatening dangers has already been mentioned by various hon. members in this House, on both sides. Does the hon. member for Simonstown really expect me to say to-night what the possible attack will be, how we expect the attack to be made and what we will do to combat that attack? I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible than that I should accede to such a request. No hon. member opposite can expect me to comply with the request. We did not set to work without any plans. We have made a proper military appreciation, to which much time was devoted by experts, and one which took months to prepare. We are not unsystematic. But does the hon. member expect that this type of information which is regarded as top secret in any country in the world should be divulged by me in public? Surely I cannot do so, and hon. members who asked me to do so cannot be serious.

I want to go further. The hon. member also said that we have no value for what we have spent in the military sphere since 1948. The hon. member made a big point of how the present Government has hitherto wasted its money on defence. The hon. member said—I do not know whether I understood him correctly—that up to now we have spent R800,000,000 on defence. The figures I have here in regard to the actual expenditure show that it was R450,000,000 since 1951. Where the hon. member gets the R800,000,000 from I do not know.

Mr. GAY:

I took the figures from the budgets over the years.


I did not frame the budgets, but the actual expenditure amounted to R450,000,000. But I am not making a great point of it; I am only mentioning it. Now we find that in any country of the world more than 50 per cent of a country’s military expenditure is spent on its Defence Force as such, its personnel. Now we find that of the R450,000,000. £72,600,000 or R145,200,000 was spent in salaires alone. Another big item was subsistence and transport costs, R12,360,000, and another big item is rations and uniforms, R14,000,000, and another big item is equipment for the Army, R27,600,000; other supplies, including fuel. R42,300,000. If all this is added it will be found that perhaps we spent R100,000,000 at the most in purchasing military equipment abroad. And of course military equipment becomes obsolete. The hon. member also mentioned the 206 tanks purchased, of which half were resold at a very low price. Of course such things happen. That is just the trouble; it is just the problem of defence that the equipment one buys becomes obsolete even whilst one is buying it, because the next one is already being designed. That is just the very problem, that equipment becomes obsolete so quickly. The hon. member for Simonstown knows that the watchword in regard to building up defences to-day is the mobility of the army. Those tanks which were purchased at the time for defence in the Middle East are by far not mobile enough under present-day conditions. Hence the decision to sell half of them to Switzerland.

*Mr. ROSS:

What about the sea?


The hon. member puts a question which no one can understand. I think he asks what about the sea? Yes, we use dam water. Mr. Speaker, let me tell you this that we cannot possibly be saitsfied just with what we have purchased. We must make our Defence Force more mobile. Now the hon. member has said that we have no defence policy because we have not made use of the things we bought from time to time, or used them in a different way. But that happens in any country in the world in regard to military equipment. The hon. member mentioned the case of the two ships, the Simon van der Stel and the Van Riebeeck, and he said that last year I gave the reply that it was not worth while modernizing those ships and that we want to sell them. That is correct, and it is also correct that we have now given instructions for them to be modernized. But why? Because in the meantime the whole method of attack at sea has been changed. We know that not even England uses the torpedo tube any longer to-day, and the ships being built for us there now will not use the torpedo tube. These vessels must now be changed so as to be able to carry helicopters, because helicopters alone can now do that work, with a view to the changes made to the Russian submarines. Because that is so, we were now able to rebuild these two ships at a cost which would be economic to us, but would not have been economic previously under other conditions. Conditions have changed and the whole technique of attack has changed. And if it now costs us a few hundred thousand rand to modernize the ships, it is economic, but previously it was not economic. That is why we said at the time that it was not worth while altering them, but now we say it is economic to modernize them.

One of the hon. members asked whether we were still an asset to the West, in view of the fact that due to our racial policy we are such an embarrassment to them. I was asked in the Other Place whether Simonstown was still of any value to the West. Again I want to quote from the British Hansard. Here the Minister who handled the Bill, Mr. Heath, again says this—

The hon. member (Mr. Brockway) contended that the South African Air Force has facilities in the High Commission territories and also that the Simonstown base is of little use to us. I am happy to tell him

that on both counts he is entirely wrong. The South African Air Force has facilities to overfly the territories, just as we have facilities to over-fly the Republic to and from the territories. This is important to us. The South African Air Force has no airfields and no staging facilities in the territories, nor have the South Africans any other defence facilities in the territories. Simonstown is important to us in safeguarding the vital sea route round the Cape. The hon. member may take it that I would not be categoric on this unless I knew that the Minister of Defence with the advice of the chiefs-of-staff entirely endorses this.

Now the difficulty I have is that the value of South Africa is continually being disparaged. I cannot understand why any hon. member should want to belittle South Africa’s value to the West. Is it not in our interest to be as important as possible to the West? What is the object of hon. members in belittling our value to the West?

Another point raised here to-day was that we now have a military problem as the result of the fact that we have left the Commonwealth. Practically every hon. member opposite made a point of saying that we now have a military problem because we are no longer in the Commonwealth. Allow me to quote again what Mr. Heath said in the British House of Commons—

I should like at this point to say a word about the question of our relations in Defence which are dealt with only in minor aspects in this Bill.
The co-operation between the United Kingdom and South Africa in defence matters does not depend on Commonwealth membership and does not stem from legislation. As hon. members are aware, my right honourable friend, the Minister of Defence, had talks with the Minister of Defence of the Republic of South Africa, of how best to meet our defence requirements now that there is a new relationship between the two countries. We subsequently reviewed with South African authorities the whole field of defence co-operation. our conclusion is that no significant changes in the existing pattern of defence relations are involved. Our relations in the future will be the same as those of other friendly countries. Where special arrangements of a Commonwealth character are no longer appropriate, alternative arrangements will be made.

I do not think it is possible to find clearer words than these. But I want to point out, further, that the whole fight waged against me in recent weeks since I submitted my policy motion in the Other Place was, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said, that I said too much or too little. Heads I win, tails you lose. Now the position is that I said in my policy motion that I set out from the standpoint—that was in the beginning of my speech —that we in South Africa and all of us in the world are in a cold war to-day, a cold war which is being waged against all the Western countries in the world. We in South Africa are involved in a further cold war while the Afro-Asian states are waging against us. What is the value of a cold war unless it is backed by military power? No country in the world can wage a cold war successfully unless it has military power. For the same reason no country in the world can defend itself against a cold war attack unless it also has military power. Surely that is simple. We are not being pretentious in South Africa. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition himself mentioned the dangers to-day. Other hon. members also did so. Every time they say they do not believe that the other states can make a success of it. I do not believe it either. But I only believe that they cannot be successful if we are well prepared in the military sphere. All the problems confronting those countries will not worry them if they believe that South Africa is militarily weak. One of the hon. members in the Other Place said that we might as well melt down all the arms we have because they are no use; we have no defence. Irresponsibility of that nature is most annoying. In this debate the point was also made continuously that we are waging a hopeless struggle. The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) (Mrs. Weiss) made out a case last night that South Africa’s dangers are so great that it is useless for us to build up our defences. If we are to reveal that spirit of defeatism in our country, where will we land? She asked what use our defence is to us; they will bombard us with projectiles from all over the world, and how will all this avail us? Le me say this: South Africa cannot prepare itself against a war of that type, a war of projectiles and atom bombs. That is so, but by the time those weapons are used—that is how I see the position—we will be involved in a world war and then we will inevitably be on the side of the West.

*Mr. J. A. L. BASSON:

Will the West accept you?


He is stupid.


May the hon. the Minister of External Affairs tell another hon. member that he is stupid?


I will put it another way. My reply is that if this is the type of military question put by the hon. member for Sea Point (Mr. J. A. L. Basson), he is definitely not very bright.


He was a captain on the homefront.


Let me say this, that we on this side of the House are fully aware of the dangers. We all know there are dangers. We all know that there are circumstances which South Africa cannot combat. But I want to say this, that if we in this country stand together, if as a nation we join forces, then we can become a tremendous power. The hon. member for Benoni is mumbling again, but nobody can really hear him.


You refuse to hear.


I just wanted to say that we in this country cannot in certain circumstances ward off an attack, but I also say that if we stand together we will be a real force. On three different occasions in the past 60 years Afrikanerdom was involved in a war. In all three cases they were tremendously divided. During the Anglo-Boer War a small portion of this nation fought, and they were divided. They fought against the strongest power of those days, and they kept it up for 3½ years. In 1914 we participated in a war and we were also a divided nation then.

*Mr. J. A. L. BASSON:

Who divided us?


Our men fought …

*Mr. J. A. L. BASSON:

Who is “our”?


South Africa’s menfolk fought. But I am pointing out that although we were divided, South Africans fought there, and fought with great honour. During the Second World War we were again divided.




We were again divided, and when I was in Europe recently I had the honour of laying a wreath on the graves of our men who fell there. And do you know what I was told by the Mayor of that town? He said: “They were gentlemen and they were soldiers.” We are proud of it, and that is what we could do as a divided White nation.


May I put a question to the hon. the Minister? The Minister said we must stand together. I would like to ask him whether “we” also includes the people represented in this House by the four of us?


I am talking about South Africans, and at this stage I was referring to White unity and co-operation. Now I just want to say that with the economic potentialities of South Africa, and with the willingness of the Government to make available funds for defence, we can put up a reasonably strong resistance in this country if we are united. I am convinced that what was said by the Leader of the Opposition and other hon. members is true, that if South Africa is attacked we will form a solid front. I accept that, and because I accept it I want to tell anyone who wants to attack us: They may overwhelm us with their superior force, but those who tackle us will suffer extremely severe losses if we stand together.


Why did you not say that during the last war?


Some hon. members are prepared to die at the gates of the future because of the past. I am not prepared to do so. I am concerned about the future of all of us, and not about the past.

I think the reasons why we have to spend R120,000,000 this year in building up our defence are clear to all. Somebody said here: “It is only a flea-bite”, R120,000,000! Let me say very clearly that this is of course not the sum total of what we are going to devote to Defence. Where we have bought heavy equipment, every hon. member knows that we are now paying only the first instalment, and that in future there will be additional expenditure as and when this equipment is delivered and has to be paid for finally. But the question is how are we going to spend the money now. We shall certainly not do it in an aimless way. We can very easily waste money on defence. It is one of the Departments where that can happen very easily, firstly as the result of unsystematic purchases. This equipment is tremendously expensive and if one buys unsystematically one can of course waste money. But immediately we decided on expansion we had a proper military appreciation made, a military appreciation which stretched over a long period and which was made by military experts. All the possible tasks to be entrusted to us and our Defence Force were studied as far as they could possibly be foreseen, and after the matter was studied we decided how to tackle these tasks and how far we should go in expanding our Defence Force. After having received this military appreciation, I must tell hon. members that I approached the Government with a quaking heart when I realized what everything would cost, but I came away with a smile of satisfaction because the Government appreciated the value of the defence to the country and gave its consent for this expediture to be incurred. It was a Government decision. [Time limit.]

Mr. GAY:

I am rising on a point of personal explanation. I think it is important that I should put the matter clearly so that there can be no misunderstanding. The hon. the Minister quoted figures in regard to expenditure on Defence which differ from the figures which I quoted. I want to make it quite clear that the Minister’s figures I understand relate to actual expenditure on defence. The figures I quoted are correct and are the official figures taken from the Budget statements over the years in question of the money authorized by this Parliament for expenditure at the request of the Ministers of Defence, for the defence of the country.


Mr. Speaker, I think you will agree with me that the hon. the Minister in his speech was most disappointing. The hon. Minister spoke for more than 40 minutes and he told us precious little indeed. He told us that he denies that we are arming for internal security. He has told us, I admit, that he is buying supersonic aircraft, modern anti-aircraft guns, radar systems and special rifles. He has also told us that since he has been Minister of Defence he has tried to keep politics out of Defence. Well, I have said before in this House that the hon. the Minister has tried his very best to do so, and we give him credit for that. But then the hon. the Minister went on to tell us about the preparations we are making against this cold war. Now, Mr. Speaker, you only use your Defence Force when a cold war has become a hot war, and we want to know from the Minister where he is expecting that hot war to come from. We are not asking him how it is going to come and how we are going to repel it.

On the opening day of this debate, the hon. member for Constantia (Mr. Waterson) asked for a general appreciation of the situation facing this country. Various other hon. members have asked the hon. the Minister for such an appreciation. That is all we are asking for. The hon. the Minister of Finance has quite rightly said that this Budget is a security Budget, and therefore we are entitled to more information.

I don’t think after my hon. Leader has spoken to-day, it is necessary to tell this House again where this party stands as far as the defence of the Republic is concerned. There is no ambiguity about it whatsoever. We are also all agreed that we must have a strong Defence Force in South Africa. A weak country in these dangerous times is looking for trouble. Therefore we are all agreed that we must be strong. And if we are strong and our Defence Force does nothing but act as a deterrent, then the money will be well spent. But I say again that we have a right to more information from the hon. the Minister. The public must be told what we are up against. I want to quote to the hon. the Minister the example of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, who never hesitated, no matter how black the news was, to tell his people exactly what the situation was. I have no doubt that if this hon. the Minister tells South Africa exactly what we are up against, he will find that the country will back him up to the hilt. Mr. Speaker, secrecy can be abused. This Minister’s predecessor has abused it for years. Whatever question was put to him he avoided it, and what information he did give in this House on many occasions was false.


Order! The hon. member must withdraw the word “false”.


Certainly, Mr.Speaker, I withdraw that. May I say that some of the information he gave was incorrect? I’ll quote just one example. Year after year he told us that he had 15 squadrons of aeroplanes, whilst he had nothing of the sort. The hon. member for Simonstown (Mr. Gay) has already referred to the hundreds of millions of rands which were spent on defence during 1948 to 1960.

Mr. G. H. VAN WYK:

May I ask you a question?


No, I am sorry. My time is limited.


You are scared.


The hon. member is quite right when he says that I am scared, because I am scared of war, and if he knows what war is like, he too will be scared. I was saying that large sums of money were spent during the years from 1948. I disagree with the hon. the Minister where he said that he had a lot to show for it. What he had to show was a demoralized force, a completely demoralized force. In this connection, I want to refer to what the hon. member for Kimberley (North) (Mr. H. T. van G. Bekker) said to-day. He recalled what four previous Chiefs of Staff had said about this Budget. I would like to remind him that three of these were co-responsible for the breakdown of our Defence Force.


Are you now trying to run down our defence force?


It is quite obvious, Mr. Speaker, that we are to-day being called upon to pay for the neglect of those years. I want to say again that the country is entitled to hear from the hon. the Minister exactly what he is preparing for. He must tell this House more, because whatever he knows is already known to his enemies. In the modern world an enemy knows the smallest detail about his opponent. He even knows his order of battle. It is no use, therefore, keeping this House in the dark. If the hon. the Minister knows of the existence of any serious threats, he must not keep it as a surprise for this House. He must tell us now. We want to know who our immediate enemies are and what forces we are to meet. In this connection, I should like to say that not even during the war was General Smuts so secretive as this Minister and his predecessor. I should like to quote what the present Minister’s illustrious predecessor said when he was attacking the budget of 1944. At that time General Smuts asked for an amount of £51,000,000 for defence purposes. On that occasion Mr. Erasmus said the following—

I say that this is a blank cheque which no democratic Parliament in any democratic country will vote without details.

Remember, Mr. Speaker, that this was during the war time! Moreover, this was the time when Mr. Erasmus advocated that we should withdraw from the war. Mr. Erasmus went on as follows—

General Smuts told us that the Sixth Division after a year of training will shortly enter the battle zone again.
Mr. G. H. VAN WYK:

Where were you?


Order, order! If hon. members do not want to listen, I shall have to take steps.


Sir, that hon. member was court-martialled once and it looks as he is due for another one!




Mr. Erasmus went on to quote General Smuts as saying that the number of troops at that time was about 50,000 to 60,000. And remember, Sir, that this was during a time when there was a war on! But to-day we are not given even the smallest detail; not even a general appreciation of what is facing the country. I say it is completely wrong that we should be asked to vote large sums of money while we are not told on what it is going to be spent. But Mr. Erasmus on that occasion went further and said—

The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister in that regard takes up exactly the same attitude as the dictators in dictator countries.

I think, Sir, the hon. the Minister should realize that when he orders any major item of equipment from overseas or in South Africa, it becomes common knowledge immediately.


If you know, why do you ask?


This House is entitled to know. The hon. the Minister should realize that, whatever preparations are contemplated, and whatever items of equipment are ordered, it becomes common knowledge in the services and is soon also public knowledge. Why then keep it away from this House? I think the Minister must come clean and take us into his confidence. In the absence of an official statement on this matter, you get all sorts of false rumours flying about. We are not asking for information on items on the secret list, but we are asking merely for a general appreciation of the situation. In the absence of such a general appreciation, the Government cannot blame people for drawing their own conclusions and conjure up all sorts of enemies.

Despite the contentions of the hon. member for Ventersdorp (Mr. Greyling), I do not think that South Africa can take on the whole world. South Africa alone can also not fight Communism. To do that, we must link up with the major powers. Here again I disagree with the hon. the Minister. If we want to fight Communism, we must link up with the major powers and be allotted a task. We must then train ourselves for that task. We must, however, not set out blindly on our own. We must fit ourselves into the overall picture and be taken along in the big show, but we should not go out on our own. We must tell the major powers what we can give, and they must tell us what we can expect from them.

The Minister mentioned this so-called army of liberation when speaking in the Other Place. I was waiting for him to tell us a little more about that to-night, because it is completely irresponsible to talk about that sort of thing unless you have very reliable evidence. Let us look at this so-called army of liberation. Is such an army of liberation really a practical proposition? Remember, Sir, that this so-called army of liberation is said to be established by the Afro-Asian nations. But we must remember that these States are at loggerheads with one another. They agree on one thing only, namely their hatred for South Africa. Now, how can such people build up an army? How large an army can they build up?


Is that a reason for not building up our defences?


Suppose, for the sake of argument, that they decide that they will need an army of from 200,000 to 300,000 men to attack and annihilate South Africa. Then the question arises how they are going to do it. I agree that manpower is no problem to them. They have, however, nothing else, or at any rate very little. The arms which the hon. the Minister mentioned in the Other Place are not going to equip an army of that size. Another question is who is to train them? With all our resources in South Africa, we find it difficult to train even 10,000 a year. Yet they have to train from 20 to 30 times as many. Besides, who is going to equip them? Their economies are all in a very shaky condition and cannot, therefore, bear the cost of the necessary equipment. And nobody is going to give them all that equipment! What is more, who is going to lead them? They are quarrelling amongst themselves and have nobody to lead them.


Russia is going to lead them.


And even if this army can be trained and equipped and made ready for battle, the question still remains how they are going to get here! Are they going to walk 15,000 miles? Mr. Speaker, this is not practical politics and I am quite sure that the advice the hon. the Minister got about this so-called army of liberation did not come from his service chiefs and then I am not talking about those stooges which were left behind by the previous Minister of Defence.

The hon. the Minister himself admitted that a nuclear war was unlikely because the Russians, who are the friends of the Afro-Asians, are not going to hand over nuclear weapons to anybody else. I agree with the Minister, therefore, that a nuclear war is unlikely. So is an invasion by sea.

So we come to the next question. Is the Government prepared to challenge everybody about South West Africa? The Transvaler as recently as 12 March said the Republic could under no circumstances allow South West Africa to be removed from its control. It said—

South West Africa would have to be de fended against any onslaught in the same way as if it were soil of the Republic.

If that is the case, Sir, the Minister should tell us. The country is entitled to know that.

There is only one other way in which South Africa can be attacked and that is by air. And it will have to be an attack by bombers carrying conventional bombs. Attacks like this cannot, however, be mounted on a very large scale. Raids will be nothing more than prestige raids, and I am quite sure that will not annihilate South Africa. I am also certain that the South African Air Force with the equipment it has and which is going to be acquired, will be able to cope with that.


So am I.


There is, however, one very important proviso, namely that the Minister should have reliable and intelligent information from reliable sources, because these raids cannot be stopped by a radar screen alone.

In view of the fact that the Minister has told us nothing, it is understandable that some people accuse the Government that it is preparing for internal security only. If the hon. the Minister does not take us into his confidence, they cannot blame people for making these accusations. They have only themselves to blame if people make such accusations.

I have already said that to-day we are called upon to pay the price of the neglect during the years gone by. We are paying for the follies of a Government who refuses to face up to the realities of 1962. The Government cannot defy the world. The fact that an army of liberation is not practical politics does not, however, mean that there are no serious threats or situations which might arise. The hon. member for Ventersdorp touched on them last night but he did not elaborate on them. He spoke about our neighbours— Mozambique, Rhodesias, Angola and South West Africa. If these territories should fall under the control of hostile Governments, we would have a situation in South Africa which would be identical to that existing in Algeria to-day and which has existed there for the past eight years. Let us warn now that nothing will save South Africa then. We have the evidence of Algeria where metropolitan France with all her resources and manpower behind her and with 400,000 trained troops, had to give up the struggle, because the type of war which was waged there, could not be challenged even by such a vast force. Our position will even be worse when territories like the Transkei get their independence and form Tunisias or Moroccos within the boundaries of South Africa. What is the Govern ment doing. Sir, to ensure that those territories I have mentioned, remain in the hands of friendly Governments? We know that the hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs said about a year ago that we would stand by them. What does that mean? The security of the Republic depends upon the security of those States and the Government must, therefore, do something.

But there is an even bigger task waiting for the Government. It has been said over and over again that we must look for allies and conclude alliances with them. The hon. member for Pretoria (District) (Mr. Schoonbee) when he spoke last night, could not care less if we had no friends in the world. He pointed out how Britain had let her friends down. Mr. Speaker, that hon. member does not know what an alliance means. If you have an alliance with a country, you go to his assistance and he to yours. That is what it means, and that is what we should have. There are many countries in the world who would like to stand by South Africa. They are our friends and would like to stand by us and conclude alliances with us. But this Government must make it possible for them to come and stand by us.


What happened in Goa?


The Government has followed certain policies for 15 years. These policies have failed and have landed South Africa in trouble. They tell us that the policies we, on this side of the House, follow will also land South Africa in trouble. Well, all right. If that is so, they must make another plan. They pride themselves on the fact that they are a “Boere” Government. Well, “ ’n boer moet altyd ’n plan maak ”.

*Mr. G. F. H. BEKKER:

I am not such as expert on military matters as the previous speaker, the hon. member for North East Rand (Brig. Bronkhorst). I am only surprised that they dismissed a person like him after the war, because when I listened to him discusing world affairs, I realized that the Defence Force had lost a famous man! I leave it at that.

I really want to talk about something else. I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Defence just as the country is congratulating him. [Laughter.] Yes, even members opposite have done so and have said that they supported him, but having listened to the speech of the previous speaker, I find it difficult to believe that they were sincere when they promised their support. However, I want to talk about water. That is something which is very valuable in our country. It is the lifeblood of South Africa I wish to congratulate the hon. the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance in this connection … [Interjections.]


Order! I will be pleased if hon. members will give the hon. member an opportunity of making his speech. He never interrupts another speaker! [Laughter.]

*Mr. G. F. H. BEKKER:

Members opposite are such wonderful South Africans that when something is being done which is for the good of the country, they laugh about it. I wish to talk about this wonderful scheme which the Government is going to undertake. This scheme is worth more than defence even to South Africa, because it will produce food and without food we cannot exist. While hon. members opposite are laughing I want to inform them that the country from north to south is jubilant. Everybody is very grateful to the Government for this new scheme. I have also had the honour of visiting America and I can assure the hon. the Minister that the scheme which has been announced in respect of the Orange River will put even the Tennessee Valley scheme in the shade. The upper reaches of the Tennessee Valley are used for the generating of power only. It is only the lower reaches of the Valley which are used for agricultural purposes. If you study the upper reaches of the Orange River you will find great similarity with the Tennessee Valley. But the Tennessee Valley scheme is very much smaller than the mighty Orange Fish River Scheme. I wish to say that a great amount of thinking lies behind this scheme;-the people who tackled and worked out this scheme are big men. We have in the first place our Prime Minister who had courage and a vision for the future. The result is that, although there are people opposite who laugh, the whole country is jubilant about the Orange River scheme. I should like to sketch the events which have led to the birth of the Orange River scheme. I am not doing this in order to detract from what anybody else has done and to seek credit for myself. I wish to acknowledge everybody who has had a share in it. Everyone of us tried in our humble way to create something of which everybody is proud to-day. You will remember, Sir, that the entire Fish River Valley was originally nothing more than an ordinary irrigation scheme. It was only at a later stage that dams were built and legislation passed to afford protection to those dams. It so happened, however, that ever since those dams were constructed there was never sufficient water in them. People like ex-Minister Reitz also contributed their share to assist the valley. The farmers in that valley were so poor that the Government was obliged to appoint a Commission—the Rudd commission—to inquire into the position of the farmers in that valley. The Vlekpoort soil conservation scheme was introduced at a later date. I wish to acknowledge ex-Senator Conroy for the good services he rendered there. I do not want to disparage anything that he has done. But those days are far behind us to-day, because in spite of all those schemes there has never been sufficient water throughout the years. All these years we have been thinking about the possibility of bringing water from the Orange River to the Fish River Valley. Such a scheme would have cost approximately R140,000,000 and it would have been possible to irrigate 70,000 morgen of land, in other words, it would have cost R2,000 per morgen to bring water there under that scheme. Every Minister throughout the years has said that scheme was too costly. I remember an occasion when the late Gen. Smuts attended a show at Cradock in those days when he was asked when work on the tunnel, that is the Conroy tunnel, was to be commenced. His reply was that their grandchildren may one day perhaps see the completion of that scheme. That was his reply to the people of Cradock. I know because I was there myself. I wish to pay tribute to another big man who is not always sufficiently acknowledged in these matters, namely the late Adv. Strydom. He laid the foundation of the scheme which has been announced. He gave us the Commando Drift dam and he said that he was constructing that dam to serve as a nucleus of bigger works to come in the future. He realized that we had to have water from somewhere. He said in a statement which he made at Colesberg that the entire Orange River scheme would be investigated. But as hon. members know the old irrigation laws did not allow water to be diverted from one riverbed to another riverbed. The late Adv. Strydom then appointed a Commission in 1954 with the object of consolidating all the water Acts. Prior to that Adv. Hall had already laid the foundation for such consolidation. I remember that at that time I made a speech with the approval of the late Adv. Strydom in which I insisted that the water resources of our country should be utilized for the benefit of the country as a whole. That was how the foundation of the Orange Fish River scheme was laid. The late Adv. Strydom is therefore, the father of this. In 1956 an Act was passed consolidating and amending all the water Acts of the country to confirm with the requirements of our country. Since those years investigations have continually been instituted with the object of determining in what way our water supplies could be used to the benefit of the country as a whole. Those investigations were started under the late Adv. Strydom and were continued by subsequent Ministers. It was under the present Minister of Water Affairs in particular that attention was concentrated on this matter. We must, therefore, thank him and we must thank his engineers and his Department for the miracles they have performed. I make bold to say that had it not been for our present Minister of Water Affairs and had it not been for our present Prime Minister and our present Minister of Finance this scheme would not have been possible. I give them full credit for that. Members of Parliament and Senators of the National Party submitted the scheme to the hon. the Prime Minister. He was very interested in it and he gave us to understand that he would do everything in his power to combat the droughts in the Karoo and to do something about the waters that were continually flowing down to the sea. After that the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs made a statement to the effect that the scheme would be tackled before 1963 but hon. members opposite said at the time that it was an electioneering cry and that nothing would come of it. Last year we had a debate on this subject in this House. In this connection I wish to give the hon. member for Albany (Mr. Bowker) the credit which is due to him because throughout the years he has been pleading for the old Orange River scheme, in other words the old Conroy scheme. I admit that originally I also pleaded for that scheme together with him because we wanted water in the Fish River. Nevertheless we felt that everybody who was concerned in the waters of the Orange River should be brought together. Members of Parliament and the Minister of Irrigation then negotiated with the riparian owners and for that purpose all the riparian owners from the southern Free State and the northern Cape were brought together. There it was decided that the scheme should be tackled as a whole. Thereafter I introduced a motion in this House as an amendment to the motion by the hon. member for Albany. In this respect I wish to say that he and the hon. member for King William’s Town were big enough to admit that it would be better to tackle the scheme as a whole. He thereupon withdrew his motion. The Minister then got up and announced that the Government accepted the motion, in other words, that a scheme would be embarked upon comprising the entire Orange River and the Fish River. The Minister then instructed his engineers to start investigations and to draft plans and he consulted with the Minister of Finance. I wish to say this. The money which is voted is to the credit of the National Party. I am not saying that Mr. Bowker has not done his duty as well and I wish to give him some credit too but he at least was wise and not as foolish as some of our friends over there. He realized that we wanted a bigger scheme and that the country wanted it and the severe droughts which we had experienced and the millions of sheep that had died, all contributed towards making this scheme possible. I referred to the wonderful idea of our Minister of Water Affairs. When I said that I envisaged the entire Karoo becoming the land of Canaan I was ridiculed at the time. The United Party said it was bluff, but it has happened. That is why I say that if ever a service has been rendered to South Africa, the biggest South Africa has ever experienced, then it is being rendered by means of this scheme under which the water of the Orange River 90 per cent of which flows to the sea at the moment, will be used for the benefit of everybody in South Africa. Not only for a section, but for the benefit of all. The chairman of the Midlands Agricultural Union, an Englishman, came to me and he thanked us and told me that they could never express sufficient appreciation of what we had done. The people in the Free State are jubilant to-day because there will be no fewer than ten power stations. It is not only water we. are getting but we are also getting power, and who will not be happy about that. If anybody wishes to oppose this scheme we in the Eastern Province will deal with him. I feel sorry for him because he will be jeered at. Where the farmers along the Fish River experienced very difficult times the Government introduced a voluntary scheme and said that if anybody wanted to sell their land to the Government, they could do so voluntarily, and the Minister of Water Affairs and the Minister of Lands and the Minister of Agricultural Economics and Marketing assisted us greatly. They paid those people a very good price for their land and everybody was happy because the Fish River farmers were so poor that many of them could no longer obtain credit at the shops. Those farmers praised the Minister for the wonderful assistance he had given them. He rehabilitated those people so that they were once again credit worthy. I personally put the matter to them and told them that if they could wait for six years the waters from the Orange River would be brought to them but many of them could not do so and the Government purchased 6,000 morgen of their land but all those people emerged, not as poor Whites, but as people who could go elsewhere to purchase land. That is why I again wish to thank the Minister and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. We have nothing but praise for the whole scheme. It has rehabilitated us and prevented us from becoming poor Whites and we shall praise them in future throughout the years. I envisage something for the Eastern Provinces which has never been envisaged before and that is the growth of industries with Port Elizabeth as the main harbour. The Government has looked after those people in all respects. They have graded our railway line, they have given us national roads and to-day there is not a farmer, who is in good health, who does not know that his future is assured, because all those citrus farmers have been saved. Wherever the canal to Lake Mentz may be constructed, we are still grateful for this wonderful scheme. We never thought that anything like that would happen in South Africa. There is a certain person in this House, Sir, who often makes me think and who sometimes make me feel sad because of her interjections. She reminds me of my old Show cow, old Mathilda, I only hope she will yield a little more milk. [Interjections.] I wish to say this to the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell). He also spoke about over-production and surpluses. He even went so far as to attack the Marketing Act. He said the Minister was shielding behind the boards but surely he knows better than that. I have already heard him say sensible things but I could not understand him when he spoke to-day. Does he not realize that this is a growing country and that we shall have to feed millions more people in 20 years’ time? [Interjections.] I want to know from the hon. member for South Coast whether it is not possible for him to change his views?

Who will deal with the surpluses if there are no boards? I want to say this to him. The farmers have responded to the appeal of the Minister to produce more. Whereas the yield per morgen in respect of maize was six bags 10 years ago, we have surpluses to-day.

I now wish to return to the policy of the United Party for a moment. Do they remember the days when maize was lying at the stations going rotten? They did not even have tarpaulins to cover them and thousands of bags were just lying there. During the war they followed a policy entirely of their own and the most the maize farmers ever received was 21s. per bag. There was a surplus in those days and the United Party exported it and what happened? They placed the proceeds in the State coffers. After they had allowed everything to lie and rot at the stations, after the farmers had suffered all those losses, they exported the maize and it was Minister Havenga who paid that money into a pool in order to subsidize export. So the United Party must not talk about their agricultural policy. We remember their Strauss meat scheme very well, and so do they, when we got 7d. for our meat, they even took our ewe lambs and even commandeered sheep at the stockfairs at Cradock. I think they are the last people who should talk about an agricultural policy. When you get to the platteland and you talk about the agricultural policy of the United Party, people laugh at you. I believe we will be able to do much better in the future and that we will be able to expand our marketing system.

Mr. Speaker, I just came here to say that I was not claiming anything for myself but I claim the highest credit to the late Adv. Strydom who is the father of this scheme. Without his improvements to the Water Acts we would not have had what we have to-day. All that has been crowned by this strong Government who looks after its people and ensures that it will not again be necessary for people to stand in queues and faint from hunger as they did under the United Party.


Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself with what was said by the hon. member who has just resumed his seat, and I want to confine myself more or less to agricultural matters. I would like to refer to a remark made earlier to-night by the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. D. E. Mitchell) when he referred to the Minister of Finance and acused him of having said nothing about agricultural matters in his Budget speech. I do not think anybody is more disappointed than we are on this side of the House because the Opposition had so little to say about agriculture. Seeing that they realize that agriculture is such an important factor in the economy of South Africa, one would at least have expected them to have discussed and to have criticized the amounts set aside in the Budget. If the hon. member had referred to the various Departments of Agriculture and the money provided for them, he would have seen what tremendous sums have been set aside for agriculture and what importance the Government attaches to the development of agriculture in South Africa. What really surprises me is that the hon. member blamed the hon. the Minister of Agricultural-Technical Services and Water Affairs for having announced the Orange River scheme without having worked out all the details of that plan. He said that the Minister should have come along with a fully evolved scheme, with a definite roster of what would be done, and when, a scheme which would reflect not only food production but also how to dispose of the surpluses. I am surprised at such an experienced member as the hon. member for South Coast, for whom I have respect, expecting, in regard to such a tremendous scheme, that all the finer details should now be worked out right to the end. I think that is expecting too much. What the Minister has produced was a complete irrigation plan which will develop into an agricultural plan, which will come later when the dams have been built and the canals have been excavated and the soil has been prepared and the irrigation works have been completed. Only then can one plan one’s crops, and thereafter comes the planning of secondary industries. Those things will still take much time. It will be a long time before we get to the production stage, let alone the erection of factories.

I first want to confine myself to another important matter, in regard to agricultural research. I wonder whether hon. members realize with what a threat South Africa is faced in regard to foot-and-mouth disease. I want to discuss this matter because I am dealing with it in South West Africa, and I would like to give the hon. members a picture of what the outbreak of that disease entails. If hon. members realize that it is not impossible for that disease to spread, and very rapidly, right throughout South Africa and even to the Western Province and Natal and the Eastern Province, and what the consequences would be, I wonder whether they realize that the exports of our agricultural products would then be restricted so that we would not be able to export a single bale of wool. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) laughs, but he ought to be serious if he realizes that we would not be able to export a single bale of wool or any maize or fruit. Then he would realize how serious this matter is.

I want to tell hon. members how this disease affected us. Overnight, in the very heart of South West Africa, there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, 150 miles from our borders, and to-day we still do not know how it got there. We could not trace it. The disease spread like wildfire. It did not spread by infecting the cattle from farm to farm. It jumped even 50 and 60 and 70 miles. If we discovered it in one spot today, within a few days we would discover it 70 miles further. If one realizes what it meant to the farmers to discover that their income was completely cut off overnight, and they could not sell milk or cream or remove an animal from their farms, and they had no income of any kind, and it happens on the scale on which we had it, then hon. members will realize that it can paralyse the whole economy of the country. The results of the outbreak of that disease were the following.

We immediately had to throw a cordon around it of 600 miles, manned by 2,000 people, and around that cordon roads had to be bulldozed. I will give the figures of what it cost us. Here I want to express my thanks to the Minister of Agricultural-Technical Services and his staff, who immediately came to Windhoek where we held discussions and made plans to localize the disease and to combat it. Not a minute was wasted. After it was decided to cordon off the disease, the mobilization started. When hon. members realize that within a week we recruited more than 300 men from the Republic and had to provide 1,000 tents and 1,000 mattresses and blankets for the cordon, they will appreciate that it was a mobilization on no small scale. Here I want to thank the Railways and the Department of Defence who assisted us to make it possible.

But that is not all. When those people were on the cordon they had to be supplied with food and water. We had to provide medical services and make arrangements for their post to be delivered. Nobody can realize what tremendous sacrifices it demanded from the South West African Administration. We mobilized the whole of the Roads Department. We employed those men on the cordon because we could not find enough others, and the whole of our agriculture came to a standstill because the whole country was placed under quarantine, and even now we cannot export animals to the Republic, with the exception of a small number of animals coming from the area where the disease had been allayed. The State had to carry those farmers. We had already been carrying them for four years because of the prevailing drought, and this year we had to carry them because of this disease, in addition to which there was also a drought. We are faced with the possibility of losing the whole of our herds this year. We cannot shift them because of quarantine and we cannot export them and we did not have enough rain, so hon. members can realize with what we are faced.

But that was not all. We immediately made arrangements to combat the disease. We had no vaccine, because in South Africa no vaccine is made for foot-and-mouth disease. We had to get it from overseas, and with the splendid co-operaiton of the Pirbright Research Institute, under the leadership of Dr. Galloway, they undertook to supply us with vaccine. Mr. Speaker, only the transportation costs of the vaccine, together with the packaging costs, amounted to over R150,000. That vaccine had to be packed in ice, a big package for a small bottle, and transported by air, and as soon as it landed here it had to be repacked in order to preserve it, and then it had to be transported further. It had to be transported in refrigerators on lorries to the places where we wanted to use it. I mention these things to make the farmers in this House realize how serious that disease is. So far we have vaccinated more than 2,000,000 animals, and we would never have been able to complete the task without the assistance of the Veterinary Department of the Republic. They sent teams of people there. At one time we had 26 teams in the field. There were the Chief Veterinary Officers, one from Onderstepoort and one from Field Services, Dr. Jansen and Dr. Lamprecht. They flew to England to make arrangements for the vaccine. They came to South West and took control and assisted us. The Minister sent us numbers of cattle inspectors. I may say that we think that to-day we have to a fairly large extent conquered the disease. It is not so easy to obtain and to use this vaccine, because it is dangerous. Every consignment of vaccine which arrived first had to be tested. We could not test it there; we had to set up a testing-station in the desert, hundreds of miles away from the nearest animals, and we had to take healthy cattle there in groups of ten by lorry and inoculate them with the vaccine to see whether it was safe. Only after ascertaining that the vaccine was safe could we use that consignment, and those animals again had to be taken back to the infected area, so that if they got the disease they would be in an infected area. I may say we took every precaution, because we could not take chances; we could not take the risk. We had to make sure, because we were afraid that unless we did so we might introduce a new virus which we had never had before in the country. I may tell hon. members that there are about seven different kinds of virus causing foot-and-mouth disease, of which three are known in Europe, one in Northern Africa and three in South Africa, and inoculating against one virus does not immunize the animals against another. One can vaccinate against one and have an outbreak of the other to-morrow.

I now come to the cost. I forgot to mention that we had to erect game-proof fences. We have the difficulty, because there is so much game in South West, and particularly kudus, that those animals also contract the disease, and we think that is the reason why the disease spread so fast. In order to prevent it spreading over the whole country, we had to erect game fences 8 ft. 6 in. high with 15 strands of wire and poles and droppers, and all that material had to be transported there. We have now put up 1,000 miles of fencing. The costs are as follows: The game fences— and that is just up to 30 November—cost R265,000. The wages for the cordon men amount to R318,000, the mileage paid to cattle inspectors to R51,000, road construction R202,000, railage R209,000, vaccine R181,000, depreciation on camping equipment R12,000, vehicles and depreciation on them R128,000, miscellaneous R3,000. Altogether South West contributed R1,435,000, and the contributions made by the Republic were as follows: Air transport for the men on the cordon, R4,000, salaries paid to Government veterinary surgeons and cattle inspectors R33,000, cost-of-living allowances R2,000, altogether R39,000. That brings the cost of the campaign so far, just up to the end of November, to R1,474,000, and that is not the end yet. We do not know where it will end.

Now we come to the indirect costs and damages. The disease affects the birth figure of the animals. They could not be moved. One could not sell cream or hides. One could not export. Now hon. members can realize in what position those farmers are.

That, therefore, brings me to the point I want to make, and that is that a research station for foot-and-mouth disease has become an urgent necessity in South Africa, and I am glad to be able to intimate that the hon. the Minister of Agricultural-Technical Services has informed me that it has already been decided to establish such a research station, and money has already been set aside for it in the Budget. It does not specifically say that it is for that purpose; it is included in research. The research station cannot be stablished at Onderstepoort because the disease is too virulent. If we establish it there we may perhaps find to-morrow or the day after that we have infected all the animals in the country with the disease through the vaccine used. But it will be established near Onderstepoort at a properly fenced-off place which will be kept in strict quarantine. These men have already been deputed to qualify themselves specially in virology. The Chief Virologist of the Veterinary Department, Dr. Weiss, has already gone overseas to see how the research stations are run there, and two young virologists are already busy completing their studies. But I would like to ask the Minister to speed up this research. Dr. Galloway did us a great favour by manufacturing this vaccine so speedily and on such a large scale. But I am informed that he is no longer going to do so. It has now been transferred to a commercial firm, and I do not know what the vaccine will cost us now, or whether they will still manufacture it on such a large scale. But I want to plead with the Minister to establish this research station as fast as possible, because I can tell hon. members that we are now wedded to foot-and-mouth disease in South Africa. It is endemic in the Kruger National Park and it has already broken out on a farm bordering the Etosha Game Reserve in South West, and if it spreads to that game reserve it will also become endemic there. There is only one way of combating it, by means of vaccine, and we still have no vaccine which is 100 per cent effective against this disease. Our technical men will therefore have to move in top gear in order to combat this disease. If the Minister can give us the assurance that no time will be wasted in establishing this research station and that we will be able to get the vaccine on as large a scale as possible, it will mean much to us.


I should like to congratulate the last speaker on his dissertation on foot-and-mouth disease and to agree with him that it is time that some further research should be carried out in this disease, although I must say that there was plenty of warning that the disease would recur. Anyone with any knowledge of the disease at all would have known that it must recur, because it recurred some years ago and it was bound to happen again. It seems to me that if you analyse carefully what the hon. member has said, it shows that the Department of Agricultural-Technical Services was caught very badly unprepared, both in personnel and skilled technical biologists, and probably also in technical materials and technologists to deal with this outbreak, and it was only after months that they decided to import this vaccine. If I understand the hon. member correctly, they are still unable to manufacture this vaccine in this country. For a cattle-raising country like we are; to allow its technical services to relapse into such a state of unpreparedness that it takes months before it can meet the threat is something which does not call for praise of the hon. the Minister. The hon. member thanked the Minister for what he had done.


But I am not responsible for the veterinary services in South West Africa.


Let us return to the Budget. I had intended making a few remarks on the somewhat lengthy interjection of the hon. member for Cradock (Mr. G. F. H. Bekker), but unfortunately he is not here now. This Budget was introduced with a considerable amount of carefully prepared verbiage, words designed to distract attention from its undesirable qualities and to focus attention on the few possibly acceptable items in its composition. Constantly, Sir, three times on one page of his speech, the Minister referred to his Budget as a “socio-political Budget”, a Budget presumably designed for social services through political means, based, as he said, on the economy of the country. Nothing, Sir, could be more acceptable to the country or more desired by the taxpayer, than a Budget which had these unusual characteristics. A casual glance at the speech of the hon. the Minister shows that the social aspect is not a prominent feature. On page six of his speech the Minister says—

The aim of the Budget-planner is always complex … it can be reduced to three main elements: (1) Security against external attack; (2) the greatest possible degree of economic progress and stability, within the context of general government policy:

Surely, Sir, the greatest possible degree of economic progress and stability is the Government’s policy. It should be. How can the “greatest possible degree of economic progress and stability” be without the context of general government policy? And —

(3) the alleviation of the lot of the handicapped and other less fortunate members of the community.

Note, Sir, that social services is the last one on the list. Not only is it last but it is also least. It is a bad last. Of an expenditure of some R754,000,000 we find that R3,500,000 is to be devoted to the improvement in social conditions for the aged and disabled. It amounts in round figures to roughly ½ per cent of the expenditure. Half per cent of the expenditure is devoted by this hon. Minister as a generous donation to the people who find in the increasing cost of living an insuperable difficulty in keeping body and soul together. This Government is not blameless in regard to the increased cost of living. It is notorius, as was pointed out by my Leader earlier to-day, that indirect taxation bears most heavily on the lower income group. And one of the features of the economic policy of this Government is that it has disproportionately increased indirect taxation. Mr. Speaker, indirect taxation rose 7½ per cent of the amount of taxation from 1952-3 to 1962-3. The proportion of indirect taxation to the total of direct and indirect taxation has increased from 30 per cent to 37½ per cent. In other words, it is about 25 per cent higher. The odd increase in the pensions and allowances will lighten the burden of a few of those most heavily borne down by malnutrition and poverty, but it will not brighten their lives. To be happy and contented in our old age, Sir, is one of the least of the guarantees that this State should give; but to be happy and contented one must be well-nourished. In this Budget a few people who formerly could not afford a newspaper will be able to do so. Perhaps some will be able to afford a beer but with the increased tax on that commodity other will find that the beers will be fewer. The increase is insufficient to pay for the increased wireless licence. This pittance which the Minister is giving is welcome, particularly welcome to those who retired before 1953. It is most welcome and I am sure it will be most appreciated but it remains a pittance—it is as it were the crumbs from the rich man’s table. It is the leavings after the Government’s profligacies in other directions.

The Budget speech of this Minister is reminiscent of the speeches of the great war lords of the past. I hesitate to compare it with those pre-war fiery calls to arms from the European dictators, but it hardly concords with the annual financial statement of a prosperous, peace-loving and contented late twentieth century republic. It is recolent of war and the Minister scatters war terms like the despatches of a successful general. Let us take a few of the words he used. Sir. This hon. Minister who is giving us a prosperous Budget used these words on pages 1 and 2 of his Budget speech: “South Africa is under fire”. Not only is it under fire but it is “under cross-fire”: “Our peace must be disrupted”; “threats of violence and disruption”; “covetous and hostile eyes are trained on us”; “hostile forces” are against us; there is a “hot war”. Then he talks about the “aggressor”. He constantly talks of “attacks”; of a “plan of campaign”. And fianlly he gives—I am using his words—“a military appreciation of the position”.

Mr. Speaker, he finally misquotes Vegetius —“si vis pacem para bellum” (he who wants peace must prepare for war). I suggest he checks his reference. His tone to me was not one of wanting peace. I should rather have suggested that he quoted Virgil “arma virumque cano ” (I sing of arms and men).

The Minister says “our national security is not actually threatened now, but I say that it very soon will be”. In other words, Sir, there is still time for us. We are not yet threatened; there is still time to avoid aggression. There is time for us to negotiate. I quote to him the words of Mr. Bonar Law in the House of Commons. He said “If ever war arose it will not be due to inevitable causes, for I do not believe in inevitable war. I say it will be due to want of human wisdom”. In this Budget the well-being of the country is reversed. The hon. the Minister is to spend R120,000,000 on military matters; he provides that tens of thousands of our young men should be taken away from their work and from their education. How much better would it be if he were to spend the R3,500,000 on defence and use the R120,000,000 for social services. Then, Sir, he would go down in history as a great financial Minister. The position which he now occupies in the hearts of the country would be changed.

There is still time to avoid strife, both internal and external; and I use his words “internal and external”. It is not necessary, as this Government seems to be doing, to rush like a bull at a gate. It is unfortunate for us all that we now have a Government composed of people who are so aptly described by Jeremiah: “A foolish people and without understanding which have eyes and see not, which have ears and hear not”.


I was almost moved to tears, particularly when the hon. member who has just sat down came to the lamentations of Jeremiah. I think that the lamentations of Jeremiah must have made a particular impression upon him. I want to state that as far as the contributions which are made on the part of the State by way of pensions and by way of social welfare services are concerned, I, since I became Minister, have always dealt in this regard on a non-party-political basis. Not only have I done so here but I have also done so outside. The doors of my office have always been open to any hon. member who wished to approach me with any matter in this connection. I think that this is the correct attitude to adopt. This debate had of course to deal at some or the other time with the second portion of the amendment of the Opposition. If we study the amendment in its entirety we will find that it does not consist of four parts but actually of three. The first part is the climate, economic climate which must be created. It appears to me that hon. members on the other side have become so overcome in this climate that they are still suffering from shock. The third and the fourth parts can be taken jointly and this was dealt with by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition; it deals with the dangers to national security which, according to them, spring from the Government’s policy, a policy which it regards as wrong but which it wishes to maintain wrongly in the future. The fourth part is to obtain the friendship and the co-operation of the Western World.

The hon. the Minister of Finance in his Budget speech said that it was a three-legged bugdet. Hon. members on the other side had also to find a third leg for their amendment and this they found in this part of their amendment where they ask “for a more generous attitude to the needs of handicapped persons and social pensioners”. I have sat here during the whole debate and this evening is the first time—except for the fact that it was only mentioned—that an hon. member, without making out any case, has merely hurled accusations in connection with this budget and in respect of this matter. I take it greatly amiss of the hon. member. I readily agree that if hon. members on the other side are not satisfied with what is done from time to time in connection with assistance to disabled persons, they are of course entitled to say so. I may just tell them that we do not always do things which are 100 per cent perfect; we do what we can under the circumstances of the country. To make an attack as was made by the hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) is the clearest proof to me that it was merely an effort to bring this part of their amendment into the debate, namely, “a more generous attitude to the needs of handicapped persons”. So far not a word has been said about handicapped persons. They talk about a “more generous attitude”; that is a general statement. It causes me to think of the French saying: Je sême à tout vents—I scatter to the four winds. It appears to me as though the whole idea is to see whether there cannot perhaps be some or the other person who will say: “The United Party in its amendment really did also think of the handicapped persons and of the social pensioners”.

One thing struck me in the speech of the hon. member for Durban (Central). He and I are good friends and he knows that we discuss welfare matters and pensions and the affairs affecting the lesser-privileged sections of our community with one another in a very intimate and well-disposed fashion. What struck me in his pleas was that in spite of all the fine words which we heard from the other side of the House, in spite of the fact that some of them said that the R120,000,000 on the Estimates for Defence was too little— some said it was too little and some said it was too much. The hon. member for Durban (Central) said that it would perhaps have been a far better budget if we had given the R120,000,000 to the disabled persons and the social pensioners and the R3,500,000 to defance. That was his standpoint.


He is only a chiropractor!


The hon. member put it in that way and I wrote it down in that way. He also made this statement: This is a budget with carefully prepared verbiage. In other words, it is a budget full of leaves. [Laughter.] Hon members on the other side think that he is right. They think therefore that he is right that R120,00,000 should not be spent on defence and that R3,500,000 should not be spent on welfare services; they agree with him that the position should be reversed. We should ignore the rest of the country and spend R120,000,000 on social services!


Would you not have been pleased if that had been the case?


I and the whole world would have been more satisfied if conditions in the world had been otherwise but we are unfortunately living in a world of realism, as it is to-day. I am surprised therefore that he came to light with a plea of that nature.

The hon. member also departs from another standpoint which I would like to clarify. I listened with interest to the hon. member. The question of social services is a very important matter. The point of departure of the hon. member is that the State must bear practically the full responsibility in respect of pensions. In other words, all social pensions and all welfare services and everything that is done for the lesser-privileged sections of our population should be the responsibility of the State. Mr. Speaker, how often have we not stated in this House and outside that this is a particular service? It is special in this respect that it is a service which is not only rendered by the State. Last year and the year before last I stated both here and in the Other Place that in respect of child care and the care of our aged I thought that when parents could care for their children, it was their bounden duty to care for those children; then they should not leave the children on the streets and expect the State to care for them. I also said the opposite. I said that when the children were comfortably off and their parents were experiencing difficulty then those children had just as much a duty to perform in respect of their parents as the parents had towards their children. I also said that it was necessary for us so to educate our people that they should not expect that care to come from the State alone but that it should be forthcoming from the State and from welfare organizations of which there are more than 2,000 registered of religious institutions. These are the organizations which have to give those services to those people and which do so readily. As I have often done previously, I want once again this evening to express my great appreciation in respect of all religious bodies—I do not exclude one—for what has been done, and to the welfare organizations which are distributed throughout the whole country. They are doing a particular service in the undertaking of the interests and the care of those lesser-privileged people in our country. They are performing a very great service. They are performing that service not only by means of the contributions which they make from their own pockets but they are also performing that service with the affection and warmth which is required. I simply wanted to make this general statement.

I come now to the most important accusation in the speech of the hon. member for Durban (Central). He said: “Social services are last and least on the list”. Mr. Speaker, it is necessary for us to review this position. I do not wish to devote all the time at my disposal to this matter but nevertheless I want to make a few remarks in this regard. In the first place I want to say that in the years which are passed, with the exception of two years, improvements were made every year as regards the position of the social pensioners and the position of those persons receiving maintenance allowances. The tempo which has increased from year to year, continues to increase. It is to the credit of the State that in the year when South Africa is called upon to spend such large amounts in respect of other necessary services which are required of us because of the position in the world at present, still further assistance can be given to these pensioners and disabled persons. I think that it is an achievement that this can be done in this particular year. While the hon. member has used that almost irresponsible language in respect of our social services and social pensioners, I think that I cannot do otherwise—he has compelled me to do so— to draw this comparison between the position in 1947 and that of to-day. In 1947 there was 60,000 pensioners. In 1962 there are 86,000, almost 87,000. In 1947 the means test and the pension was R180. In this regard the position has greatly improved. Where it was R180 in 1947 it is to-day R324, a considerable improvement, a percentage increase of nearly 80 per cent. And then the hon. member says that the position of these people has been neglected throughout. I want to give a table in respect of the maximum basic pension. In 1947 it was R120 per annum and to-day it is R144 per annum. However, there is an additional pension of R84 per annum and we also have the bonus allowances of R66 per annum. The result is that if we add all these together the position in connection with the maximum pension is as follows: In 1947 it was R120 per annum and to-day it is R294 per annum, an increase of 145 per cent. I ask you, Mr. Speaker: There has been an increase of 145 per cent since we took over and then a person still dares to stand up here and say that these people are practically always left in the lurch! I think that this is an incorrect reflection of the true facts.


Is it sufficient?


I will come to that just now. I will also perhaps deal with the secret agenda but it can remain a secret for a little while longer.

Let us make a completely objective comparison: The expenditure in 1947 was R6,574,988. At that time the cost of living index figure was 139.7. The actual expenditure in 1962 rose to R23,238,808. It has risen in this way over the years. I say therefore that from time to time there has been a remarkable increase in the assistance given as the cost-of-living rose. Let me compare these percentages. The cost-of-living index figure was 139.7 in 1947 and in 1962 it is 20.6. There has therefore been an increase in the cost-of-living of 65.06 per cent while social pensions have risen over the same period by 145 per cent. The increase in expenditure is largely due to the considerable concessions which have been made from time to time. I do not have the time now to deal in detail with all these things. The percentage increase in the pensions in comparison with the percentage rise in the cost-of-living index figure indicates clearly that since 1947 pensions have been more able to keep pace with the rise in the cost-of-living. I am not looking for credit; that is not the reason why I am making these comparisons. I am very grateful that over the years we have been able to effect improvements from time to time. I am being completely candid when I say that this question of social pensions and of maintenance allowances is not something which can remain static. The position changes from time to time. Where it has not remained static over the past years I wish to give credit here to whoever has been responsible for the fact that there has been a rising tendency in the budget in respect of concessions to those lesser-privileged persons in our community.

I often attend conferences of welfare organizations and of religious institutions. I open many of the conferences and I have never experienced criticism on the part of the people who have to deal with social services and neither have I experienced criticism from these people in regard to this budget. What I have experienced on their part has been sincere gratitude and appreciation that in spite of all the difficulties which the country has, they have still been considered.

I want briefly to add the following. As far as social pensions, maintenance allowances and so forth are concerned—there is a legion of these matters—our field services are distributed throughout the whole country. Every magisterial office is the centre of an organization. Every religious institution is the centre of an organization. Each one of those more than 2,000 voluntary registered organizations is a centre which covers various branches of an organization. We concentrate upon telling the officials who are at the head of affairs of the eight regions in South Africa that they must contact the branch officers in their region and the magisterial offices in that region. Year after year a conference of regional heads is held in Pretoria and year after year I attend that conference. I do not ask these people whether they are Nat or Sap. I ask them to give me a clear picture of their requirements as they see them in those parts which they visit and in which they work. The National Welfare Organizations Board holds meetings regularly and I always attend those meetings. If I was not in a position to do so, my then Deputy Minister attended them. People of all parties who have to deal with this matter assemble there and they discuss all these things and we take note of the requirements which there are. But it is not only social pensions which comply with the requirements; there is also this rising tendency in the provision of housing for the aged. I think that it will be a good thing for me to say something in this connection. It is not adequate merely to give pensions to the aged or to infirm persons. Great progress has been made particularly recently in respect of the provision of institutions for the aged. I want to give these figures. During November 1961 there were 84 subsidized old age homes and there were 19 new applications under consideration. In 1949 there were 25 such old age homes as against the 84 which we have to-day and the 19 which are under consideration. There has therefore been an increase of 300 per cent as regards the care of our aged. I think that it is a very good undertaking to erect those old age homes. In speaking about this I want to issue this warning. The purpose of the Department of Social Welfare is to spread those old age homes more or less evenly throughout the country and to erect them where the need for them is greatest. It cannot be expected of us to erect an institution of this nature in every small town. You have to distribute them more or less in such a way that they are within the reach of those who wish to go there. Therefore, we will have to consider that aspect in regard to the applications which are made now and avoid having too many of these old age homes in one area and to few at other places where they are also required. These 84 subsidized old age homes which provide accommodation for more than 3,000 subsidized persons are maintained with the assistance of subsidies by the Department of Social Welfare and Pensions. No subsidy is paid in respect of persons with an income of more than R40 per month but when that person’s income is less than R40 per month this subsidy scheme comes into operation. There is a per capita subsidy of R3.50 per month in respect of normal aged persons and there is a per capita subsidy of R10 per month in respect of approved old people who are infirm. Prior to 1 April 1961 this amount was R8. This has again been raised. Then there is a subsidy of a maximum of R90 per subsidized inmate in respect of furniture and equipment.

At 10.25 p.m. the business under consideration was interrupted by Mr. Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (1), and the debate was adjourned until 29 March.

The House adjourned at 10.26 p.m.