House of Assembly: Vol47 - WEDNESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 1974

WEDNESDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 1974 Prayers—2.20 p.m. NO-CONFIDENCE DEBATE (resumed) *Mr. P. A. PYPER:

Mr. Speaker, when the debate was adjourned yesterday, I was pointing out to this House that where the Government was erring was that it was trying to over-simplify the problem in South Africa by giving out that we were dealing with a geographical problem only. I said that I believed that it was politically dishonest for one to give so-called independence and sovereignty to people in a country where they would eternally be doomed to poverty and where they would have to renounce that which was their legitimate share in South Africa, a share in the prosperity of South Africa. What I do find even more shocking, however, is that this sovereignty will be afforded to only a small section of them and that the rest will be compelled to move outside those homelands, or Bantu mini-states. The moment they do this, they become subject to “baasskap” at all times, and from that moment on for all time they are exposed to petty apartheid and the iniquities incidental thereto. When we on this side of the House say that we believe that an evolutionary constitutional change through federalism in South Africa holds hope for the future, we may say this, because it shows us the way of progress on which no group or community will be expected to renounce that which legitimately belongs to them. Last night I also said that a time arrived in the history of any country when it had to say farewell to an old era and enter a new one.

†I should like to add to this the words of Pres. Paul Kruger, that we must take from the past what is good and build the future thereon. The hon. the Prime Minister mentioned something about history. He mentioned something about there having been three momentous moments in the history of South Africa. I have no inclination to argue with him about that, but it is common knowledge that the most momentous moment in the history of South Africa in so far as its constitutional development is concerned, was unification in 1910. This came at a time when the policy of sovereign mini-states in South Africa had failed during the 19th century. It furthermore came at a time when they had already tried the system of vassal states. The more I hear the hon. the Prime Minister suggesting a power bloc in South Africa and realizing what the foundations of that bloc will be, the more it looks to me that we may enter a stage of having vassal states in South Africa. However, consider the following: Unification came within a decade after a cruel war but it was made possible at that time because our forefathers were prepared to get together and they considered and introduced a constitutional formula in South Africa which catered for the then needs of the communities which counted in South Africa, the communities of the two ex-Republics and the two British colonies. This, however, could never have been done if it was not for the fact that they also introduced into that constitution certain watered down federal elements. Without that concession unification would never have materialized. We are however no longer living in 1910; we are now living in the 1970s. The challenge of our time is to find a constitutional formula which will cater not for the needs of the Whites only; we must find a constitutional formula which will cater for the needs of all the communities which comprise this country. In this respect we have the Coloureds and the Indians. I am not impressed by the hon. the Prime Minister when he says that in the future there will be no sovereignty for them. What about the urban African community? Can anybody deny that there is such a community? No; when everybody else thought that the last word on constitutional development had already been said and written in South Africa, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition took the initiative and appointed a constitutional committee to investigate this matter. While other political parties ran to text books to find a solution for South Africa’s problem, good patriots, good South Africans, such as the hon. members for Durban North, for Durban Point, for Von Brandis and for Orange Grove and people outside this Chamber like the hon. Senator Horak and provincial councillors such as Jac de Villiers and Harry Schwarz got together and found a formula on which the United Party’s policy is based. I listened carefully to the criticism levelled by the hon. member for Worcester at our policy, but all the time it was criticism which was levelled not at us, but at a party which is advocating a geographical federation in South Africa. In this respect I believe it should be criticism which should be levelled at the Progressive Party with its idea of a federation. That is the party which, in fact, is still blinded by late 19th and early 20th century Liberalism. A pure geographical federation does not offer a solution to our problem. The ignorance of people who advocate this is clearly illustrated by an Old Guard Progressive such as Mr. Ray Swart when he recently advocated and tried to make a case for the creation of a KwaZulu State north of the Tugela with a preponderance of Blacks. However, what he did not say or what he perhaps was too afraid to say was that the other state, the state south of the Tugela, would also have a preponderance of Blacks. No; I do not believe that this is something which is worth-while exploring. In any case I believe that the policy of that party, which is bent on legalizing communism and the free use of dagga, is not worth using in any federal policy.


That is not true.

Mr. P. A. PYPER:

That party also believes in a common voters’ roll with franchise for every man and his wife if they can read and write as long as they own property worth R1 350. That, of course, is not the solution. It is not a solution because it does not get to the roots of the problems in South Africa. It will lead to a multiplication of the difficulties we are experiencing at present. I only want to say to the hon. member for Worcester that none of the criticisms which he levelled against us should be levelled against us because we are in fact not dealing with a geographical federation. We are dealing with a federation of peoples, the only way in which we can safeguard the future of South Africa. He asked whether we believed in evolutionary change. I want to say quite clearly, Sir, that the sovereign Parliament has to fulfil an important task; it acts as the source from which power comes. If people think that there is in fact a clash between the phrases “sharing of power” and “White leadership”, I can only say that it is a fact that the people who have the power at present are the White people in this country, and what they must do is to give the lead to bring about change in South Africa, and we on this side of the House are prepared to take up the challenge to ensure the security of South Africa. Sir, there is no clash over this. Even Chief Buthelezi says that it is up to White leadership to lead us out of the dilemma of confrontation which must inevitably flow from the policy of the Government. Sir, the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs had a lot to say about options. Under the policy of the Nationalist Party there will be no option left to us but confrontation and arguments about land and arguments about boundaries and arguments about where Richards Bay must go and where Port Shepstone and East London must go. Is that the road that we should choose for the future? We must accept that in this country there is fear and distrust amongst Whites and non-Whites, and for that we must thank the Nationalist Party, because through a quarter of a century it has perpetrated a policy based on fear. Having listened carefully to the speeches from the other side of the House, I am quite convinced that they are going to enter this election again with the old cry of “Swart-gevaar”. Sir, we must accept it as a reality that such fear and distrust exist. It would be completely irresponsible not to accept it. But then we must do something about it and the only way in which we can overcome this is by advocating, as we are doing on this side of the House, a policy of evolutionary change in South Africa, a policy under which we can give people power to share power with us, and a policy under which we can build up mutual trust and understanding.


Mr. Speaker, I rise in the first instance to reply to the hon. member for Green Point, who launched an attack yesterday on my department in connection with the handling of applications for visas and passports. I shall refer to this matter very briefly, because I want to go on to discuss politics a little more.

As far as the question of visas and passports is concerned, I just want to make the following brief statement to hon. members of this House: Every Government has a policy of visas and passports to control people entering or leaving its country. If the argument used by the hon. member were valid, i.e. that we had nothing to hide, so for what reason should we not allow people to enter the country, we should abolish the whole system. That is the easiest thing in the world; it would save my Department a good deal of trouble; abolish all control and let anyone who wants to come here do so. But there is a reason for control, not only in our country but in all the democratic countries of the world. The next question is how does one exercise control and exactly what does one do in regard to this whole matter; what factors does one consider before taking a decision? The hon. member mentioned all kinds of anomalies here between what had happened earlier on and what had happened later on.

*Mr. L. G. MURRAY:

And contradictory decisions.


Yes, he referred to decisions which in his opinion were contradictory. Every application for a visa or passport is considered in the light of the circumstances, internal and external prevailing at the time. That is the deciding factor, namely what the position is at that moment inside and outside the country. The facts as they are at that moment, according to reports submitted to the Minister, determine the decision the Minister will take. Sir, circumstances change from time to time, and therefore certain applications for passports which were turned down a year or two or three ago, might succeed at the present time, and others which succeeded two years ago might be turned down today because circumstances vary from time to time. Every application is considered on its merits according to the circumstances prevailing at that moment. I hope this is clear. In addition I should like to say to the hon. member that one could easily dispose of the whole question of visas and passports by saying: Look, we have a hard and fast rule that such and such people may enter the country and that such and such people may not. But it is not as simple as that. I have a whole series of departments who send me reports together with applications for visas or passports, and those reports are thoroughly compiled and thoroughly considered, As the responsible Minister I must immediately give them the necessary attention and ultimately take a decision, and if I am not satisfied in my own mind, or if the matter is so serious that it must be submitted to the full Cabinet for decision, then I do that, and then the full Cabinet decides. All decisions taken in this sphere are, in the final analysis, taken in the light of one single criterion, namely, what is in the best interests of South Africa; that is all that counts with me, nothing else. If the hon. member differs from me on any decision I have taken in regard to a certain visa or a certain passport, then he must accept that we differ on that point, but he must also accept that we have taken that decision in the light of the facts at our disposal. Why should we want to act against certain people or penalize or hurt certain people? There is no purpose and no sense in that. Let me also add this: In the dual position which I at present occupy as Minister of Information and Minister of the Interior, hon. members may rest assured that I am doubly careful with visas and passports for the very reason that I as Minister of Information know the reaction they will cause overseas; for that reason I am doubly careful, and that is why the hon. member may rest assured that when a visa or a passport is refused, there are sound reasons for the refusal, reasons which make me see my way clear to do so, because I know my Information staff will have to defend my decision overseas. I hope the hon. member understands the position now. I also want to add that I think we are exaggerating the whole matter and taking it out of its context. I just want to furnish this House with statistics to illustrate what the true position is In 1972, out of a grand total of 184 489 applications for visas, we in South Africa turned down 1 400, that is to say, 75%. In South Africa, in other words, we turned down about eight out of every 1 000 applications for visas. In 1973, out of a grand total of 220 804 applications for visas, we turned down 1 786, once again, 8%, or eight out of every 1 000. But these eight out of every 1 000 enjoy so much publicity and cause such an uproar from the ranks of the Opposition that one would swear we are a police state which is setting the world on fire in all respects. Sir, let us look at the statistics of the freest country in the world in the opinion of all of us, or according to the general opinion, namely the United States of America. I have never yet heard anyone in this House or in the Press saying that America is a police state or that America is a state which is cruel and which refuses to allow people to enter its borders, and that America is terribly strict as far as passports and visas are concerned. All of us still have the impression that it is a free state in the free world. Sir, I obtained the figures for America in the Report of the Visa Office 1972, Bureau of Security and Consular Office, United States Department of State, Washington, D.C. What is the position in America? Out of 2 290 576 applications, 264 232 were turned down, in other words 10,34%. In South Africa, 8% is turned down and in America 10,3%, but we are attacked as a police state and America is the freest State in the world! Sir, I want to add that this number of visas does not nearly constitute the number of people who visit our country, because these visas which are issued allow more than one entry into the country. People can enter the country three or four times under the same visa; in other words, seen as a whole, the number of visas which are eventually turned down is minimal. I want to give the hon. member the assurance once again that we consider all the statistics and detail from time to time. We have good reasons for doing so. If I were to start going into the details of one or two of these people now, I would come up against a problem. There are thousands of reasons for refusal. I have furnished reasons in certain cases. There are other cases where the reasons are so delicate that one is unable to furnish them, because, in the first place, they will put that person in an embarrassing position. Let me mention an example: The greater part of these applications are turned down because we are satisfied that the people do not have the financial means to undertake a journey to the country concerned and back and to comply with the requirements in full. This is one of the reasons for applications being turned down. Am I to make this public so that the person may read in the newspaper the following day that his funds are inadequate to take him there and back? This is one of the reasons for their being turned down. This is one of the most common reasons for passports being turned down, i.e. if a man does not have sufficient capital funds for completing his journey. So this is the kind of action hon. members expect me to take to the detriment of that person. Sir, there are other arguments which are so sensitive, and the source from which we get them is so sensitive, that I am unable to make them known because by doing so I would be betraying the source and rendering it useless to me from then on, whereas it is in the interests of South Africa for that source to remain. If one considers the position concerning passports, precisely the same figure applies. Out of a total of 225 469 passports for which application was made last year, 152 were turned down, as I told the hon. member the other day in reply to a question; here, 08% of the total. Eight out of every 10 000 passports were turned down, but to judge by the fuss kicked up here, one would say I turned down 80 % of the applications. Having said this, I now want to drop this whole argument. I shall be pleased to discuss all these matters in full on my Vote. I have here a quotation which I want to read …

*Mr. L. G. MURRAY:

You have not replied to me in connection with the refusal of a passport to Dr. Beyers Naudé.


In connection with the refusal of a passport to Dr. Naudé I want to say in brief that there is a certain section of the reply which I do not want to give here because I am of the opinion that it is in the interests of the country not to do so. That, in the first instance, is the fact of the matter. The fact remains that Dr. Beyers Naudé knew that he was infringing a provision of an Act by refusing to testify before a presidential commission. He was aware of that. At any time thereafter the Attorney-General could have decided to prosecute. At that moment Dr. Beyers Naudé decided: Forget the law in South Africa, forget the court in South Africa, forget everything; I am going overseas now.

*Mr. L. G. MURRAY:

There was no such decision that Tuesday.


In other words, the jurisdiction of the South African courts simply had to wait until such time as he should eventually come back from overseas. In the light of this it was decided to withdraw his passport until the matter concerning him had been dealt with. This is one of the reasons. Mr. Speaker, I do not want to give a further reply to this. I still have a very long debate to conduct, but I shall just repeat my standpoint for the hon. member, which is that we shall do two things under all circumstances, namely we shall maintain law and order in South Africa and we shall not let anyone whomsoever dictate to us as to what we should do. [Interjections.] I have no desire to say anything more concerning this matter.

I prefer to come back to politics and to the federal policy of the United Party. There is an election ahead and in my opinion it is probably necessary for us to deal with matters of this kind at this time.

Now I must say at once that the United Party has issued statement upon statement as to how united it stands. In the first place, on 19 August 1973 its leader, Sir De Villiers Graaff, took up a very strong standpoint—

I and my provincial chairmen are determined to root out the bickering and quarrelling which have done so much to tarnish the party’s image and to impede our progress in recent months. I hope that it will not be necessary to mention this matter again but I want you to rest assured that if action is necessary, it is going to be firmly and ruthlessly taken without regard to person and position.

These are the words of a strong leader; the date is 19 August 1973, but then the agitation began in the United Party, this way and that way and to and fro. It became necessary at that time to repeat the threat of “firmly and ruthlessly without regard to person or position” at the Bloemfontein Congress on 9 November 1973—

Anybody who now broke ranks in the United Party would receive no quarter, the Leader of the Opposition, Sir De Villiers Graaff, warned last night when opening his party’s national congress. “My lieutenants and I are determined to fight as a truly United Party.”

At that stage, to all appearances, the unity was perfectly sealed, but it was then that the trouble really began. Then we had the Buthelezi declaration with Mr. Harry Schwarz and we had Mr. Cadman’s dissatisfaction because Mr. Schwarz had come and interfered in his province without his having been consulted in the matter. He is sitting over there, so he is in a position to deny it if he is not satisfied. The leader himself originally said he knew nothing of the whole business, but subsequently it was alleged that it had been done with his approval. We still do not know whether he did or did not know. The Prime Minister put the matter very clearly. The candidates’ committee is going its quiet way; they are kicking the poor hon. member for Port Elizabeth Central out of his seat. They are taking Dr. Nic Olivier from the Cape to the Transvaal for a seat. They are kicking Oliver out of his seat in Johannesburg. They are holding a sword permanently over the head of the hon. member for Orange Grove. He still does not know whether he is a candidate because negotiations must still take place. The Young South Africans throw out the member for Turffontein as their leader and replace him with a more “verligte” man. The harmonious unity of the party and the action without regard to persons on the part of their leader, are ignored by these people. They carry on freely with their fights.


Are you worried about it?


No, you need not whimper about that. The fact remains that these are facts. Now, after the whole fuss has died down, they have a week-long caucus and once again it is said, “We are united as we have never been before. The United Party is united in all respects.”

Now, leaving all this agitation aside, I want to take a look at the United Party’s unity idea. I want to put two or three questions only, because I do not have time for more. In the first instance I want to say that the United Party in the Transvaal was addressed by three non-Whites this year. It is their right to do so and they did so. I just want to remind hon. members that it was clearly put that the unity of the party was preserved and that there was no problem. Now the leader of the party in South-West Africa, the hon. Senator Niehaus, comes along and, when asked about his attitude in regard to non-Whites addressing such a congress, he says, and I quote from the report in this regard—

“The congress of the South-West African United Party will not be addressed by Black leaders,” the South-West African Opposition leader, Senator Percy Niehaus, said in an interview yesterday. “That is not our idea of consultation. We prefer to sit around a table to express points of view”.

Now I want to ask the hon. member for Zululand, the party’s leader in Natal: Are non-Whites going to address his congresses in Natal in future? I should like to know. Is he going to allow them to address his congresses in Durban? [Interjections.] I want to ask the hon. member for Newton Park: Is the Cape congress going to be addressed next time by non-White leaders? I am waiting for a reply. [Interjections.] I should very much like to have an answer. I should like to hear what the hon. member for Newton Park says.




I beg your pardon? [Interjections.] I am asking whether they will address you or not? The hon. member for Durban Point has the courage of his convictions. Is the United Party member for Durban Point going to allow Black people to open the congress in Natal or to address it? I want to know this from you. I should very much like to know this. [Interjections.] The voters of Pietermaritzburg South want to know what the position is. The voters of the new constituency of Eshowe want to know what the position is. I want to ask the hon. member for Durban North what the position is. Is he going to allow Black people to address their congress in Natal?


A public statement by the chairman of the party in Natal has already been issued, and I am surprised that you, as Minister of Information, are not aware of it.


But just reply and tell me what the position is exactly. [Interjections.]




Hon. members must not try to evade me. They must tell me what their standpoint is. One provincial leader has already taken up a standpoint and said that it will not happen with him. Here are three other leaders who refuse to talk. I know that one man who will have the courage to say “no” at once, is the hon. member for South Coast. He would not allow that. [Interjections.]


I would not even let you address our congress. [Interjections.]


Mr. Speaker, that one small sentence has given me two replies. The hon. member will not allow Blacks nor will he allow me because I would convince the congress of the National Party’s standpoint. He will not allow Blacks. Now I want to say at once, particularly after there has been such hesitation to speak, that a standpoint has already been taken in regard to those who refuse it. Here is the standpoint—

Mr. Harry Schwarz, the re-elected leader of the United Party in the Transvaal, said after the congress ended in Johannesburg last night that anyone who thought there was something wrong with non-Whites speaking at a congress would not find a home in the United Party.

Now hon. members must ask themselves whether they still have a home in that party. As it is Senator Niehaus no longer has a home in the party and must leave. The hon. member for South Coast no longer has a home, and the same goes for other men in the party against whose names there are question marks. The standpoint is very clear. So this is the United Party which is going forward unitedly to fight the election. This is the first standpoint. Harry Schwarz says these people do not have a home in their own party.

I want to mention a second argument, namely that of the powers of this White parliament in the new United Party dispensation. This parliament has a rich tradition which has been built up over the years by our forefathers and we sit here today as national leaders who make laws for the whole of South Africa. What is the future of this parliament under the United Party’s policy of race federation? At present we have a long story in this regard, one which goes in all directions, but in the federal concept, the question in the last instance remains: Will the White Parliament continue to exist; will it have a task to fulfil in the new federal situation, or will it disappear?


Have you read this exposition?


Yes, I have read it in full. What are the facts? Let us take a look at them. Sir de Villiers Graaff, the Leader of the Opposition, said on 19 November 1971:

It was scarcely necessary to remind the congress that the whole federal plan would be piloted and implemented by Parliament, which in this creative process would relinquish none of the internal and external security keys.

It would therefore retain all control internally and externally as regards security. For how long? For ever, or just for a time? Last year it was a question of giving them the powers, but of taking them back in the event of their being abused. Do hon. members still remember that or have they passed that stage by now? This Parliament, therefore, would give up none of its powers in this regard. Then the hon. member for Durban North spoke, not Mr. Harry Schwarz, and I have two quotations here. He said the following:

It is hoped that as this plan develops the confidence of the different communities will grow and the need for the regulating White Parliament will disappear.

The next quotation reads as follows—

In terms of the party’s federal policy a central Parliament might become redundant.

Read a little further on.


I do not have the hon. member’s full speech here, but only these quotations. If they tell me that Parliament itself will decide about that, then that is in order and I am satisfied with it. However, the fact remains that that hon. member says that this Parliament may become redundant and disappear. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, on the other hand, states that this process will be completed without this Parliament having to forfeit one of its internal or external powers. On 24 April South Africa’s voters will want to know what is to become of this Parliament under a U.P. government. It is because we want to know this that we shall persist in demanding an answer from the Opposition. If the hon. the Leader of the Opposition is in a position to give a reply in this debate, then we should very much like to hear it. What becomes of this Parliament under their federal policy?

I want to put a further question. In the federal policy of the United Party mention is made of an umbrella body, which they call a “federal assembly”. According to the pamphlet that body will be comprised of three representatives of each of the constituent parts, a total, therefore, of 45, of whom 12 are Whites while the others are non-Whites, Coloureds and Bantu. In terms of their constitution there are more than 60 additional members. There are more than 60. I am using approximate figures. [Interjections.] As soon as they get into difficulties, they sing in a chorus in an attempt to drown me out. There are more than 60 other members. I ask any member of the United Party who has the courage of his convictions to tell me on what basis those 60 will be elected. The hon. member for Durban North, the chief mouthpiece, says once again in this connection:

The federal assembly, apart from a minimum of, say, three representatives from each community will be comprised of representatives of each community in proportion to the contribution of each to the national whole.

Very well. Now I want to put a question to the hon. member for Durban North. He is going to speak later in the debate. We have the complete set of 1972 statistics. We know precisely what the national income was. We know precisely how much each population group paid in tax. We know precisely what the labour contributions were. We know everything for 1972. All the facts are available. The hon. member must tell me, in the light of the 1972 statistics, how many representatives the non-Whites would have in this federal parliament if the United Party were to come into power? What would the ratio be? The voters of South Africa would like to know how that parliament would be constituted. Let him work out the statistics for us neatly.


May I put a question?


No, my time is too short: I do not have time. I should like to hear this from the hon. member for Durban North. Suppose the Opposition were in power, how many Whites, Blacks, Coloureds and Indians, respectively, would there have been, in the light of all the figures and statistics available in that umbrella parliament? What does he regard as the contribution made by the various population groups to the national welfare, seen as a whole? After all, he can now work it out by means of figures and statistics. He need not dream or be vague about it. He can go ahead and be specific; after all, we have the complete set of figures for 1972. I think the voters of South Africa would very much like to have that reply because that little figure is very important to us. When we vote on 24 April, we want to know precisely what the position would be and how it would change in time to come.

I want to deal very briefly with the following point. It is once again the question of the powers to be transferred to that parliament. Now, at this election, South Africa’s White voters must make their choice. They must choose between the federal policy of the United Party and the policy of the National Party pitted against it. They have very little clarity in regard to the parliament envisaged in this federal policy. I want clarity; I am not engaged in scoring political points here. I think that in an honest country such as ours, with an honest Opposition, and party against party, it is undoubtedly necessary to put the two standpoints, one against the other, honestly to the voters. We shall be able to pit standpoint against standpoint if hon. members will give us honest replies to these questions. Then the electorate will have an informed choice which it will be able to exercise properly. If the Opposition is right in its standpoint, it will win the election: but then it must just give us the facts. I just do not want them to catch the voters on false pretences or bring them under false impressions.

Then I come to the next standpoint. I do not even want to expand on it. I want to ask what the standpoint of the Opposition, of these leaders, the hon. members for Zululand, Newton Park and Durban Point, is in regard to the “multi-racial federal secretariat, to liaise with the leaders of all racial groups”, that composite multiracial federal secretariat which Mr. Harry Schwarz tried to sell them. Are they in favour of that, or not? Is it going to be accepted or rejected? What does it hold for the future? I am curiosity itself to know this. I want to make an endeavour to state the United Party’s problem. The United Party’s problem is that in 1959 a growth developed in its body. The surgeon, Mr. Douglas Mitchell, tried to remove that growth in 1959 at the congress in Bloemfontein, with the result that the present Progressive Party broke away. He tried to cut away the liberal elements in 1959, but he did not perform a thorough operation.

Certain trace elements of that growth remained in the body of the United Party, and these have once again begun to grow and grow, and have become ever larger. At present they are in a more dangerous position than in 1959. That is very clear now. I want hon. members to listen. Now, according to the Pretoria News of 20 August, Mr. Harry Schwarz says—

The Progressive Party will become the home of people who are more extreme, and the bulk of Progressive supporters will find their way back into the United Party, because our policies are more realistic.

In other words, it is very clear where he is looking for support, where he is courting. I want to say this to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition; I definitely do not envy him his position. Where the late Dr. Malan could say with great conviction “bring together what belongs together by virtue of inner conviction” his impossible task is to “keep together that which, by virtue of inner conviction, does not belong together”. That is what he is trying to do. What is the choice confronting the hon. the Leader of the Opposition now? I am honest when I say that I do not envy him his position. The choice confronting him is the following: He must choose either Mr. Harry Schwarz and his Young Turks and the hon. members for Bezuidenhout, Wynberg, Port Natal and Florida as well as the largest section of the English Press, and in this process loose the rest of his party’s supporters, or he must choose the latter section and enter the election without Mr Harry Schwarz and his people and without the support of the English Press. That is the choice which confronts him.

The hon. member for Bezuidenhout should definitely not be so quick to enter into the game, because he is one of those who is faced with very awkward problems. The game he is playing is very clear to me. Often when two long-distance athletes from the same team run in a race, one sets the pace for the first three rounds while the second just jogs along behind him, but when the last round comes, he passes the second man and breasts the tape. At present. Mr. Harry Schwarz is setting the pace, but when the last round in the leadership struggle in the United Party comes, Mr. Japie Basson will overtake him and try to breast the tape. [Interjections.] The hon. the Leader of the Opposition is confronted by an unpleasant choice. He does not have a pleasant task and I do not envy him in the slightest. I want to tell him that his strength for and his value to the party at the present moment lie in his inability to take up a strong standpoint in this struggle in spite of all the words. If he were to make a choice and stand firm, he would cause a rift and by not choosing, but attempting to appease both sides, he can keep the sore festering; it will continue to fester, the fever will rise, and it will break out afresh into the open each time.

That is why I say that this is the choice which confronts us. It is the so called “united” party with its undefined federal policy or the National Party with its well-tried policy. The people will indeed return their verdict on 24 April.


Mr. Speaker, we have heard a very interesting speech from the hon. the Minister of the Interior this afternoon and although I very seldom find that I am able to agree with him, I do agree with a great deal of what he has said this afternoon. When I say that I am of course not referring to the earlier part of his speech. In the first part of his speech he dealt with passports and visas, and I hope to have another opportunity to discuss that subject with him. I shall be interested to learn from the hon. the Minister why he thought it was in the best interests of South Africa to deny visas to Prof. Gwendolyn Carter, the renowned African Studies expert, and Mr. Tom Karis, who was in the American State Department before becoming a professor. However, we shall leave that on one side today.

Before I come back to the major part of the hon. the Minister’s speech, I would just like to correct one misinterpretation by the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education in his speech of yesterday. He quoted from a statement which he said was made by the chairman of the Progressive Party in Sea Point concerning the establishment of a recreation centre there for Coloured people. The Deputy Minister said that the United Party and the Progressive Party were running a race, a rat race, I think was the word he used, to try to get amenities for non-Whites in Sea Point, but when these amenities were suggested in the area they objected to them. He quoted the example of a proposed recreation centre in the old Aquarium. The hon. the Deputy Minister has misrepresented that. The chairman of the Progressive Party in fact attempted to get a recreation centre for Coloured people in Sea Point. He did object to the Aquarium as a particular site, but in its stead he suggested the old Town Hall in Sea Point and the nearby venue of the Green Point Common. In other words, the hon. the Deputy Minister’s interpretation was not correct. I want to mention one other thing to the hon. the Deputy Minister. For him to say that because there was home ownership for Africans in Alexandra township and in Mabopane, slum conditions emerged, is really the most absurd piece of reasoning I have ever heard. There are home ownership schemes all over the country where there are no slum conditions …


I did not say that.


He gave these as examples of home ownership schemes and of slums. I want to tell him quite categorically that the reason for the slums is the desperate shortage of housing both in Pretoria and in Johannesburg and it has nothing whatsoever to do with home ownership. I hope that he is not going to confuse two completely dissimilar issues.

I want to come back to the hon. the Minister of the Interior. I believe he is absolutely right in saying that we are, on the eve of a general election, entitled to clarity of policies from the parties that are going to put up candidates in this election. More particularly, we are entitled to know the policy of the official Opposition which, after all, purports to be the alternative Government, although from the way it has been carrying on more recently, I would say it had a death wish. That is the only way in which I can describe it. During the course of this debate we have had speeches from the hon. member for Transkei and various other members on this side in which they claim to put forward the policy of the United Party. Yesterday the hon. member for Transkei said: “I cannot understand why you say you do not know our race policy. For two sessions,” he said, “I have been telling this House what the race policy of the United Party is.” What the hon. member forgets, however, is that a lot has happened to the United Party since the last two sessions. Harry has happened, the Young Turks have happened, the Transvaal congress and its Act of Dedication has happened, and the Bloemfontein congress of 1973, where the Declaration of Faith was endorsed, has happened. More recently in this year the Mahlabatini Act of Faith, signed between Mr. Harry Schwarz and Chief Gatsha Buthelezi, has also happened. A great deal in all that is different from the policies as annunciated by the United Party in previous years. I would like to put some specific questions to the official Opposition to see whether one can get some clarity on this subject.

Mr. W. V. RAW:

Will you tell us of your franchise policy, please?


We have not changed our policy at all. It is written down. It was formed in 1961 and has been reiterated time and again. I will send the hon. member a copy of this policy, which has not changed.

Mr. L. F. WOOD:

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the hon. member a question?


No, I am sorry, I have no time. I want to say at once that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has endorsed the Mahlabatini Declaration, to which of course I have absolutely no objection in principle. In fact, all five principles contained in that declaration have for a long time been Progressive Party policy. I refer to such principles as multi-racial consultation, the bill of rights and the federal policy, albeit very different from the United Party’s race federation policy which is indeed the federal policy as proposed by Chief Gatsha Buthelezi. The other principles I refer to are non-violent change and, most of all, equal opportunity. These have all been basic concepts enshrined in Progressive Party policy. So, I am not arguing about the good principles that have, in fact, been retained in the Act of Faith. And I am not worrying about the protocol side of it; that is none of my business. I am quite sure that the hon. member for Zululand and the hon. member for Durban North are able to defend their honour. That has nothing whatsoever to do with me. However, I am interested in obtaining clarity on policy. It would be nice if, for once, we could get some unequivocal answers.

As I say, the United Party has committed itself to a federal system of government. The hon. the Minister of the Interior has already asked a number of questions concerning the sovereignty of the White Parliament. I have no doubt somebody is going to answer him on that point.


I hope so.


I hope so too, so I will leave it at that. I am also hoping for clarity on the functions that are going to be handed over to the federal parliament. I think the hon. the Prime Minister did the hon. the Leader of the Opposition an injustice when he said in his speech that the only function that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition had mentioned as being one that would be handed over to the federal parliament was tourism. I can remember two others: They were pollution and water affairs. These two were also functions that were going to be handed over to the federal parliament; they could also be taken back. It would be very interesting to know whether there are defined functions which are going to be handed over to the federal parliament.

More particularly, I would like to know something about the equal opportunity principle which has been enshrined in the Declaration of Faith to which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has given his blessing. Sir, I am not going to waste time on what to me was a patently absurd claim by the Transvaal leader of the United Party that equal opportunity had always been part of United Party policy. That is patently absurd. What I would like to establish quite definitely and unequivocally is whether, since the adoption of the Declaration of Faith, equal opportunity now is indeed the policy of the United Party. Can we for instance thankfully bury a statement which was made by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition in this House during the no confidence debate in 1969 where he said the following—

I want to emphasize that as far as we can see ahead the peace and the necessary progress of our people can only be achieved by maintaining the leadership and political control of the White people in South Africa. I know I will be told that this means there will be no equality between the various race groups in the federation that we propose. Of course there will not; why should there be?

In 1969 the hon. the Leader of the Opposition stated firmly and unequivocally that there would not be equality in the type of federation that he was proposing. Now, Sir, the United Party claims, or rather the Declaration of Faith claims, equality of opportunity as one of its major principles, and I want to know whether we can accept that this is now the principle of the United Party.


Did you read the leader’s statement?


I not only read it, I listened to it. I think the country is entitled to clarity on the important question of labour in South Africa i.e. the labour policy of the United Party. Paragraph 5 of the Central Congress Declaration made at Bloemfontein in 1973 binds the United Party to implement the principle of industrial representation for all races. I want to know what this means. Does it still mean the three-tier policy which was enunciated last year by the hon. member for Yeoville when he was still the right and left hands of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition? He told us that the United Party had a three-tier labour policy in terms of which only really skilled labour would be permitted to join the mixed trade unions or form unions, and the vast bulk of the African labour force, that is the unskilled labour force, would only be permitted to have works committees, the system proposed by the Government and which I believe to have proved to be a dismal failure. Does the new labour policy and the principle of industrial representation of all races now extend to allowing trade union recognition for African workers? In other words, will they now be allowed to join registered trade unions, either mixed unions or Black unions? I think that that is a very important point and we are entitled to know about it. Has the United Party changed its labour policy since it became Steyn-less? That is what I should like to know. After all, equal opportunity to enjoy collective bargaining rights must surely be extended to Africans since White workers, Coloured workers and Indian workers enjoy that opportunity.

Then, Sir, there was a statement that was made by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition in 1970. He had this to say—

As far as we are concerned, we have stated categorically that we stand by the traditional colour bar in South Africa which makes provision for the customary colour bar as it is known and includes the Mines and Works Act …

And, he said, the Railway Act, and was quickly corrected by the hon. the Minister of Transport, who stated that there was no colour bar provision in the Railway Act. Does the official Opposition still stand categorically by the conventional colour bar in industry? After all, surely this is one of the major questions on which an election ought to be fought. It is a major question to which all voters are entitled to have an answer. I hope that in his answer on Friday the hon. the Leader of the Opposition or one of his lieutenants will give us the answer to that very important question. And then, Sir, there was another famous statement made by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, and that was also in reply to a question from the hon. the Minister of Labour on the same occasion in 1970. He said—

All he (the Minister of Labour) wants to know is whether we will allow Whites to work under non-Whites. The answer is “No, just as little as he would”.

Now, Sir, I want to know whether the answer now is “Yes” after the Declaration of Faith, after all the talk about equal opportunity, after all the other principles which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition says he endorses in that Declaration of Faith, because these are very important differences.

There are one or two other matters which require some clarification. There is the whole question of the sanctity of family life. That is laid down as a flat principle adopted by the United Party at Bloemfontein at its congress in 1973. Does that mean, Sir, that the United Party is now going to do away with influx control and pass laws? Because it says it is in favour of the sanctity of family life and that it is against laws that split husband from wife, and parent from child. Sir. I know of no law that splits husband from wife and parent from child more than do the influx control laws and the pass laws. I very much want to know whether the United Party is now going to announce to us whether or not it is going to abolish the pass laws and influx control and allow a husband to be with his wife and allow parents to be with their children. Sir, I listened to the very good speech made by the hon. member for Johannesburg North yesterday in which he simply reiterated the old United Party policy, and that is that they will maintain influx control and that they will administer the pass laws more benevolently. But this, Sir, is in direct conflict with the principle adopted quite baldly, without any qualifications whatsoever, at Bloemfontein. That part of his speech I do not approve, but the rest of the hon. member’s speech was excellent. He called for a commission of inquiry into urban life. But the part of his speech where he referred to the United Party’s policy on influx control and the pass laws is in direct conflict with the declaration made at Bloemfontein.

Now, Sir, I would like to say something about the new policy of education, if there is one. The hon. member referred to elementary education for all children. I would like to know whether elementary education for all children is in fact the United Party’s policy, and whether this means in terms of equal opportunity, that it is going to iron out the gross disparity that presently exists between the money expended per capita on education for White children and the money expended per capita on education for Black children. I think that is a very important point.


Why don’t you talk to the motion?


The motion is a motion of no confidence moved by the Leader of the Opposition …


In the Government.


Yes, agreed. That motion presupposes that since the Leader of the Opposition has no faith in the Government, his Party will take over as the alternative Government, and therefore I am entitled to know what the policy of the supposed alternative Government is. Sir, I am dead against Government policy and I have made that very clear in all the years that I have been here. I have made it equally clear that until now I have been dead against many of the principles enunciated by the United Party, otherwise I would never have left the United Party and put my career on its troubled course as it obviously has been since I am here alone; I would have stayed deep in the cosy bosom of that family. I want to know whether the United Party has so altered its course that I can assume it is now finally, after 15 years, following in the direction set by the Progressive Party in 1959. And I want to say again that I am entitled to know this.

Now, let me come to the Government, and I sincerely hope I am going to get answers, unequivocal answers, which can be used in the election fight in Houghton, Sea Point, Rustenburg, Krugersdorp and everywhere in the country. I hope I shall get the same answer to these questions. It would be very useful if for once we knew that the United Party was at least telling all the voters of South Africa the same policy and not a different policy for every area. Now, there is one thing that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said in the no-confidence debate with which I heartily agree. I am turning now to the Government side. That is when he said there is no doubt whatsoever—and the hon. the Minister of Information, who has been travelling the world, I am glad to see, and broadening his mind, I hope, will, I think, also agree with this—that there is nothing that is more important to our standing in the outside world than our handling of the racial question in South Africa. There is no doubt about that whatsoever. Despite the fact that the world wants our gold, our uranium, our coal, our wood and all the other wonderful resources which we have, basically our relations and our standing with the rest of the world are determined by the way in which we handle our racial problem. The leader of the Progressive Party, Mr. Eglin, who has just returned from a trip overseas, told me that he found that the strategic arguments for closer links with South Africa were everywhere outweighed by political considerations, and I think the hon. the Minister of Information will agree that that is so. Mr. Eglin was told this by NATO officials. He also learned that economic considerations are overshadowed by political considerations and that, for instance, any agreements that E.E.C. countries might reach with countries on the African Continent are going to stop at the Zambezi because of political considerations. The hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs will no doubt know more about this, but this is what I have been told.

Now, what determines the whole question of our race relations and the handling of the problem? There are areas of priority which the Government could get stuck into right away to improve the whole racial climate of this country. It could do something about the desperate housing shortage, provide free and compulsory education for all children, including Black children, and at least make a gesture at providing free school books out of the bonanza we got from the increased price of gold. It would be an enormous step in the right direction and towards better race relations if we did a thing like that. Those are various things I could mention. There are others, and I hope I will have an opportunity on another occasion to go into them.

But there is one major aspect of our policy where we have reached an absolute impasse, to my mind, and that is on the homelands policy. Whatever the hon. the Prime Minister said the other day, we have reached an impasse on the homelands policy, and what are we going to do about this? The hon. the Deputy Minister for Bantu Administration told us that the bill for consolidation was about R500 million and it could be expected to be even higher. Now I consider this to be a complete waste of money, to go about consolidating the homelands and shifting thousands of people around, Black and White, none of whom wants it. Now, what is the point?


And it has solved nothing.


It solves nothing. It is a ludicrous waste of money, and even after consolidation the homeland leaders say they will not ask for independence because they do not believe that the amount of land allocated under the 1936 Act is enough to make the homelands viable. I agree. The 1936 agreement was never intended to make viable homelands out of the existing Native Reserves. Therefore I agree with those leaders when they say they require more land. But the important point is that they are not going to ask for their independence, and I think it was the hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs who last year made a statement to the effect that we badly needed an independent homeland in order to establish our bona fides in the outside world, or words to that effect, that nothing would do more to establish our bona fides in the outside world than the establishment of an independent homeland. Well, I do not think the hon. the Prime Minister is going to have an independent homeland under the present circumstances. So we are back to square one. We have a policy of fragmentation which is costly and, worse, which is completely unworkable. It leaves us with a so-called White Republic where the Whites are hopelessly outnumbered by Black people, Coloureds and Indians, and with poverty-stricken homelands that are going to be dependent indefinitely on the earnings of migratory workers. I think it is essential that this whole question be reconsidered. There have been very interesting conferences held in South Africa recently. There was the Umtata summit conference where the African homeland leaders talked about a Black federation. There was the recent conference on federation held at Bulugha near East London, which was multi-racial …


A Progressive conference?


Yes, it was Progressive, and I might say that homeland leaders, journalists and academics attended it as well. It was a brilliantly organized congress. Excellent ideas emerged, and there was complete consensus on geographic federation, let me tell the hon. member for Durban Central. There was consensus on geographic federation, not a phoney race federation which obviously can solve no problems whatsoever. Sir, it is not too late. Only last month Chief Gatsha Buthelezi reiterated his desire to participate in meaningful dialogue, even on the basis of formulae such as separate development which were conceived, as he said, by the Whites solely from an all-White perspective. Sir, I wonder whether the Prime Minister has any conception of the generosity of this offer from a Black leader? I wonder whether he has any conception of this offer to negotiate from the basis of the separate development formula, when Black leaders know perfectly well that there is a rising tide of Black consciousness which is motivated entirely by a feeling against separate development. This was a brave offer and I believe it would be reckless for the Prime Minister to turn it down and refuse to negotiate with these leaders.

It is true, as the hon. the Prime Minister said the other day, that Chief Gatsha Buthelezi is only one of many homeland leaders. He is one of eight leaders, but he is a very important man. He is an important leader and he is highly regarded not only at home among the Blacks but at home among many thousands of White people including, I might add, myself. In addition, he is very highly regarded abroad. The hon. the Prime Minister should not simply brush such offers aside, more particularly when other homeland chiefs like Chiefs Mangope, Ntsanwise, Phatudi and Matanzima have also stated their willingness to co-operate on the basis of the homelands concept. These people are aware of the realities and of the power structure in South Africa. They know what the realities of life are, and I believe that they have displayed a most sophisticated attitude, in many ways more sophisticated than the attitude of the Prime Minister himself, more particularly when he discussed the concept of federation, which he seems to think is an evil plot to undermine the sovereignty of the White people in South Africa. I believe it was in March last year that Chief Buthelezi sent a memorandum to the hon. the Prime Minister to discuss various matters such as passports, pass laws and so on, all from the point of view of separate development. Nearly a year has gone by and I believe valuable time has been lost in making contact. I wonder whether the discussions which the hon. the Prime Minister said should take place between Chief Gatsha Buthelezi and the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration on this particular subject have indeed taken place.

Sir, I want to come back to the question of federation very briefly. I want to say at once that federation per se is not a magic formula. I would agree to that. It is not a formula which is going to solve our racial problems overnight, but, as I have said, it is also not an evil instrument for undermining the sovereignty of the White people. Many countries, multi-racial countries, operate on a basis of federalism. I do not believe it is an instant solution for our multi-racial society and its problems. I certainly do not see race federation as any solution at all. It is just a fancy name for communal representation, that is all, and nobody even knows on what basis that representation is going to be granted. Nobody knows how many members of the different racial groups are going to end up in this federal parliament, and what is meant by “the contribution to the economy or to the Republic”. How anyone can use that as a yardstick, I would not know. A real federation, that is a geographic federation, can be a solution depending on the nature of society that operates within the framework of that constitution. There must be a real commitment to equal opportunity. That is an absolute sine qua non for this to work in a multi-racial society. In a multiracial society it will of course also have to mean an end to all forms of racial discrimination, which is what we propose. It would have to guarantee equality before the law for each individual. I think that within the framework then of a federal system, South Africa would have every opportunity of having a sound foundation for security for all our people for the future. It will lessen racial tension in this country and I believe it will ensure us a welcome in the Western world. That basically is the proposal of my party. The details of policy, as I have already told the hon. member, have not changed in any way.


Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member for Houghton will forgive me for not entering into a debate with her. I am sure other members on both sides of the House will gladly do so in due course.

*I enter into this debate because the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, in particular, and also other speakers opposite have had a great deal to say about South Africa’s foreign policy and relations with which I cannot associate myself and which I feel obliged to refute. His first important statement was that South Africa was ostensibly totally isolated in the international sphere. Then the hon. the Leader claimed, and reminded the House, that last year I had painted a gloomy picture of South Africa’s international position. I had done that; that is true, and it is my duty to do so. The hon. the Leader himself did it too. He referred, amongst other things, to “the flight from sanity” by the international community. This was also done by the hon. the Prime Minister, and he did so in a very striking manner. He referred, inter alia, to the great uncertainty, the fluidity in world politics. This situation is getting worse and worse; it is being obscured more and more by the new and more refined technique of blackmail in the international sphere which is the order of the day at present. This blackmail takes place mainly on a group basis, absolutely to the advantage of those practising it. One does not know how long this phenomenon is still going to continue, but we must accept that in future countries will approach their relations more and more selfishly, more and more on a basis of direct advantages and disadvantages to themselves. One could describe this development as balance-sheet diplomacy, because economic aspects are carrying increasingly more weight. In this international maze the decisive factor is not merit, the merit or justness of one’s case, but what one is worth to others, what raw materials one has at one’s disposal and what other essential requirements and facilities one can offer. This does not mean that we should write off the traditional methods for the handling of international relations. At a later stage I shall have more to say about that aspect. However, we should duly take into account that this new dimension takes up a very important place in the international sphere. This is one of those limiting factors to which the State President referred in his address and to which reference was also made, jeeringly, by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. A good example of this new technique in practice is the experience of the state of Israel. We all know that Israel has made extremely valuable contributions to the development of Africa. In that process Israel built up excellent and extensive relations with a large number of African states, so much so that Israel was the envy of many states in this respect. But as a result of this new development in diplomacy, Israel’s relations with Africa virtually broke down in next to no time, overnight, so to speak. I mention this because we must realize that in the present circumstances there is no instant solution for South Africa, just as there is none for any other country in the world; there is no gimmick approach with lasting results for international problems.

Now, what is the attitude of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition in this difficult situation in which South Africa and the world find themselves? Instead of hitting out at the evil forces that are responsible for this dangerous situation in which we find ourselves, he uses this important debate for launching an attack on the domestic and foreign policies of the Government. The hon. the Prime Minister pointed out—and I do not want to repeat it here—how difficult South Africa’s international position had already been at the end of Gen. Smuts’s régime. He pointed out how Gen. Smuts, in spite of his grand international status, had been disappointed, frustrated and gravely concerned about South Africa’s position. Now I want to state that, in spite of the storm-clouds that had already been gathering for South Africa at that time, in spite of the intensification of the feud in the international sphere which has been raging against South Africa since the Second World War, in spite of the inevitable setbacks and disappointments which South Africa has suffered in the international sphere, the National Party Government has under very difficult circumstances over the past 26 years not only maintained South Africa’s position internationally and held the fort, but has in fact also succeeded in improving South Africa’s position internationally, as I shall indicate.

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

How do you mean?


Give me a chance. How does one determine whether or not a state is isolated? How does one draw up a balance sheet of that state? Many factors can and must be taken into account. The answers depend on many questions: For instance, how do matters stand with regard to that particular country’s international trade relations? We all know that South Africa’s international trade relations rank among the best, as the hon. member for Green Point admitted yesterday. I shall therefore not elaborate on that aspect; that would be unnecessary. A second question that one could put is the following: What are the relations of such a state with its immediate neighbours? With the three Black neighbouring states on our borders we have a customs agreement which has been in existence for 64 years and which was reaffirmed after those states had gained independence. It was given a new lease of life and it is functioning smoothly, to the advantage of all of us. This is an example of international co-operation between neighbouring states which is virtually unique in the world. The latest example of co-operation with these three neighbouring states of ours is the conferences that took place on both ministerial and official level for the purpose of discussing the oil crisis and determining the best methods whereby we shall be able to meet that problem jointly and individually. Take our other neighbours, the White-controlled areas. Our relations with them rank among the very best, and the same applies to Malawi, which is situated further away. In the case of a neighbouring state such as Mauritius, I can say that only recently, during the course of talks between Ministers of South Africa and Mauritius, agreement was reached on new steps for promoting trade between us and that state.

The co-operation with our other neighbouring state in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, was excellent until they had a coup d’état in which President Tsirinana was overthrown by a new régime which, in the international sphere, has apparently orientated itself differently towards the West from the way its predecessor did. This has hampered the relations with South Africa. I admit that as far as Zambia and Tanzania are concerned, we do not have any co-operation except in the sphere of trade, and that is mainly with Zambia. How can things be different as long as they openly advocate violence and terrorism towards South Africa? The Minister of Foreign Affairs of one of these states did this again two days ago. How can things be different as long as they offer refuge and assistance to terrorists operating against South Africa? Let us look a little further than Africa.

Take our relations with South America, to mention but one example. Over the past few years regular air services were introduced between South Africa and two important South American countries—in other words, air services between the two subcontinents. This is a development which has in quite a short time brought about a radical change for the good in our relations. After all, things like these do not happen to a country which, like a drowning man, is being swallowed up in an ocean of isolation.

I take it that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition had the United Nations in mind when he was talking about South Africa’s isolation. When talking about our position at the United Nations, we should always remember that the numerical strength of the so-called Third World, which has never been sympathetic towards us, has been augmented to such an extent that that group, along with the communist bloc, can carry through at will any resolution on any topic against any country at any time. During the latest session of the General Assembly South Africa’s credentials were rejected by 72 votes to 37. This took place in spite of the fact that the countries of the West, including the whole of Western Europe and those states of the Americas, of the East and of the Middle East which normally stand by the West, had never before at the United Nations voted so solidly in our favour in respect of South African affairs.

However, in the light of the preponderance and the numerical strength of the Third World and the communists these 37 votes were not sufficient to prevent that rejection. However, these 37 countries include all those states with which we have over the years traditionally maintained a practical international intercourse in the economic sphere, in the spheres of trade and culture and in other spheres. Now, I also want to sound a warning here at once that at the forthcoming session this year this preponderance of votes at the United Nations is probably going to be used against us to the same extent, and perhaps to a much greater extent. Even if the Government were to take over the Opposition’s race federation policy in its entirety, it would make no difference whatsoever to this state of affairs at the United Nations.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition also referred to the so-called breakdown of the contacts with the Secretary-General of the U.N. on South-West Africa. I may remind the House that for almost eight years my department and the South African legal team have been making an unrelenting and hitherto unprecedented effort to maintain South Africa’s position before the World Court and thus in the U.N. as well. I shall even go so far as to say that this effort cannot be improved upon. We achieved success at the World Court, but the vast majority at the U.N., who wanted a different resolution to be passed, simply ignored everything, and with their preponderance of votes they passed their own emotionally charged resolutions. Subsequent to that we, along with the Secretary-General and his representatives, made serious and sincere attempts for almost two years to find a practical solution to this very difficult problem.

Good progress has indeed been made, but I must remind the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. House that, even before I had had those final talks with Dr. Waldheim in Geneva on behalf of the South African Government, i.e. long before the Security Council had passed its resolution, this numerically strong group had already decided, and had already made their decision public, that they would in anticipation reject everything arising from these talks. I do not mention this instance, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has said, in the spirit of the lamentations of Jeremiah; I do this to emphasize further that matters are being approached by groups on a basis of selfish objectives of their own, and that their decisions are forced on others. That the South African Government can be blamed for this, simply passes my understanding.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition referred disparagingly to the increasing number of important official visitors from countries abroad and to the extension of our diplomatic relations. That so-called total isolation must surely be measured against something. How does the hon. gentleman explain the fact that last year more Ministers and other official visitors came to our country than had probably ever been the case before? This includes representatives of states which in the past were reluctant to send their people to South Africa or refused to allow them to come here. These visitors included Ministers from all the continents of the world. After all, such people do not go to states that they want to isolate. Surely they would stay away from them.

The prospects for this year are even better. Several visits, including a state visit by the president of a South American state, have already been planned. This is totally unprecedented; even in the days of the United Party it did not happen that a president of a South American state came to South Africa on a state visit.

If I want to go back further than 1973, I can remind you, Sir, of our own State President’s very successful visits, by invitation, to Iran and Malawi, and of the visit by President Banda of Malawi to South Africa. However, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has been creating the impression that nobody wants to talk to us, let alone visit us here or invite us to visit them. It is perhaps not being blazed abroad, but my colleagues and I are also being invited regularly to friendly countries. Last year I myself represented South Africa on two occasions at major official functions abroad, and I have already been invited to another function of the same kind. Apart from these, three of my colleagues were the guests of other governments, and at least a further three of us will in the near future visit several friendly states by invitation. Apart from those of us who go abroad as official guests, several members of the Cabinet regularly undertake journeys abroad in connection with their work. Wherever they come they are received and granted interviews in a friendly manner. These are not pleasure trips, nor holiday tours, but hard work, and wherever we come dialogue is conducted.

For instance, every year I have in New York numerous talks with colleagues from all parts of the world. In the case of the United States of America we have, for instance, succeeded over the past few years in ironing out certain difficulties and eliminating certain unnecessary points of friction by means of dialogue, contact and talks. These things were done quietly and were not blazed abroad. They have inter alia paved the way for the useful, substantive discussions which I myself had last October with Dr. Kissinger and other leaders from various political parties in the United States. These developments, have also made it possible for my colleague the Minister of Information to have fruitful talks last month with the Vice-President and other influential persons in the United States of America.

All these things refute the Opposition’s wild allegations concerning the total isolation of South Africa. Surely these things should also have been reflected on the balance sheet; surely we should also be given credit for them?


And you are perfectly satisfied?


I am not satisfied. I sounded a warning last year, and I shall sound more warnings if my time does not run out. However, why should one paint so gloomy a picture and try to make the electorate and the world believe that we have no friends, that nobody wants to cooperate with us or takes any interest in us or wants to talk to us?

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has also referred rather disparagingly to the statement in the State President’s address that we have extended our formal relations with other Governments. What is a better indication of international isolation or the reverse than the establishment of relations, the accreditation of official representatives and the opening of missions? In this sphere the progress has indeed been impressive, in spite of deliberate efforts and United Nations resolutions for a diplomatic boycott to be applied against South Africa. It may astonish you to hear that since I became Minister of Foreign Affairs, exactly ten years ago, South Africa has in the case of no fewer than 11 foreign states accredited representatives or opened missions, and that does not include the new consular missions in countries in which we previously had representation.

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

But today there are almost twice as many independent states.


This is a remarkable achievement under difficult circumstances. I concede that the position is by no means ideal, but there is progress, not deterioration as is being suggested. I concede that the position in respect of Black Africa is not what is to be desired. But the suggestion that dialogue with Africa is dead, that it has broken down—I think that is the term used by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition—is not correct. Dialogue is not dead. Dialogue has in fact gone underground, but it has by no means been buried. There are still many influential leaders in Africa who continue to believe in contact with South Africa and who continue to strive for it. In the same way there are influential leaders in Africa and elsewhere who continue to believe that peaceful co-existence in Africa can and must be brought about. Only two days ago the British Foreign Secretary said this in Dar-es-Salaam for the umpteenth time. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we and others who are trying to bring about peaceful co-existence in Africa, will not be discouraged by setbacks. We know that we have a long and difficult road ahead of us, but we shall continue with our efforts because we believe that greater realism will and must come in Africa and that it is our duty towards Africa to promote it, even if we have to do so in secret sometimes.

The hon. the Leader of the Opposition insinuated that we were having talks with others at the back door. I want to remind the hon. the Leader of the Opposition that in the international sphere, in all cases where significant successes have been achieved in recent times, such as the détente between the Iron Curtain countries and America, all those negotiations were conducted in secret, and that announcements were only made after success had been achieved. It is no disgrace to conduct diplomacy on a confidential basis. That is why we must make use of back doors, just as all others have to do who want to make progress.


They also do it that way.


Mr. Speaker, the whole world is experiencing a serious energy crisis at present. With South Africa’s vast uranium resources and advanced techniques, we are in a position to play a very important role in the development and establishment of new energy resources for the world, and let me assure you that the outside world is aware of this. I want to predict here today that there will be increasing recognition of South Africa’s importance in this sphere. But the making of contributions in the technical and scientific spheres is not limited to the exploitation of uranium in South Africa. Our advanced development has enabled us to cooperate with and grant assistance to numerous states in the technical and scientific spheres, states not only in Africa, but also in Latin America and even the Middle East. And yet the hon. the Leader of the Opposition suggested that South Africa was not in a position to participate in the restoration attempts being undertaken in the world.

The second aspect of the speech by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition which I want to deal with, is his solution to the problem of isolation. What his attitude amounts to, is that South Africa’s international relations are hopeless because of separate development. As against that, he believes that his race federation policy will normalize the situation overnight. Mr. Speaker, surely this is extremely naïve. He has but to look at what has been happening around us in recent times. Let him take a look at Rhodesia; let him go back further, to the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. They had no separate development there. But their policy was not acceptable to Black Africa or to the U.N. or to the world. Take our other neighbours in Angola and Mozambique, where for more than ten years a war has been waged against terrorists, with the vast majority of the whole world on the side of the so-called freedom fighters. The hon. member would do well to study the U.N. resolutions and analyze the voting in the case of these countries; the pattern is virtually the same as it is in the case of South Africa, although the Portuguese have for years, and virtually for centuries, been advocating an official policy of racial integration. It is easy to generalize. I admit that our domestic policy is not acceptable to the outside world. But the United Party’s policy and also the policy of the Progressive Party is, if anything, even far less acceptable to the outside world, for the United Party’s policy is seen by many of us in South Africa, and abroad, as being a policy of “baasskap”. How would the United Party ever satisfy the outside world, or does the hon. the Leader of the Opposition intend to go on changing his policy until the U.N. is satisfied with it? No, it goes much deeper than that. Let us be honest and admit that we have problems. Time does not permit me to go into this matter more deeply. We all admit that we are living in a very dangerous world, and not only we in Southern Africa. We are still very fortunate here. But let me conclude by pointing out that in the case of South Africa the root of our problem in the international sphere is not the Government’s relations policy. That is just an excuse; that is just a pretext. The policy of the United Party or that of the Progressive Party will by no means solve our problems; they will aggrivate them. I say this because a United Party Government in South Africa would simply not be able to maintain racial harmony in South Africa as the National Party Government is doing. [Interjections.] It must lead us to political rivalry among the various population groups, to friction and confrontation and to eventual conflict, and that is precisely what our enemies are waiting for. That is why I consider it to be my duty as Minister of Foreign Affairs to sound a warning against this, and I am grateful that the electorate of South Africa is going to be given an opportunity to strengthen the Government’s hand in its difficult task of preserving peace and order, stability and security in South Africa.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

Before I reply to the standpoint expressed here by the hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I should like to refer briefly to certain matters raised here by the hon. the Prime Minister. I want to begin by saying that during all the years I have been sitting in this House, I have never once made a personal attack on another member of this House. [Interjections.] Anyone who doubts that is welcome to go through my record. Obviously I have frequently hit back in self-defence, but I have never in all these years made an attack of a personal nature on a member on my own initiative. To the best of my recollection, this is also true of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. In fact, it is one of the many reasons why the hon. the Leader of the Opposition enjoys the respect and the high regard of his entire party, and I sincerely hope that he, too, will never deviate from that practice. In the American Congress there is a rule that a member is not allowed to make a personal attack on another member, and if he should do so, the Speaker would call him to order. We do not have that rule in our Parliament. I think it is a pity. In principle I am, and have always been, in favour of it. But I am afraid that if we were to have had such a rule, the Prime Minster would never have been able to make a complete speech. [Interjections.] Sir, what did we find here on Monday afternoon?


May I just tell you what the difference is between you and I?

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

No, I think the members here can see it clearly enough. You did not want to listen to me. Sir, what did we find here on Monday? The Press benches were full. There were foreign journalists and foreign observers. The diplomatic gallery was packed. Everyone was eager to hear something which they could report back in order to improve relations between our country and their countries. In addition, the Prime Minister told us that our country was on the edge of a slope, that the world was coming down on us and that a decisive period for our continued existence lay ahead for us. And what did we get from him as Prime Minister of this country? From him, who is the Prime Minister, on whom the responsibility rests of retrieving South Africa from the plight in which it finds itself, we had nothing more than a political circus which in my opinion, in view of the importance of the occasion, was simply dereliction of duty towards the pressing interests of South Africa. A leading diplomat who sat listening to the hon. the Prime Minister, told me yesterday that if his Prime Minister were to mess around with insignificant cuttings for an hour in his Parliament, he would be shouted down by his own members in that Parliament. [Interjections.] “The task of a Prime Minister”, in his country, “is to deal with the programme of government.” We had nothing of that nature from the Prime Minister. Compare that with the image of our politics which the Leader of our country in our Parliament presents to the world.

The Prime Minister took it amiss of me for referring to him as “you” (jy), by way of an interjection. In general I treat people with respect, and I am prepared to do so in his case as well. Sir, perhaps I ought to show him more respect, but I must tell you this: I want to give him credit for one outstanding talent, which is that he is the greatest political joker I have ever seen in this Parliament. For that very reason I am very sorry to say that when I sit listening to him I find it very difficult to think to myself “there stands a statesman”. Instead it seems to me more as if we are holding a party-political meeting in the street.

The hon. the Prime Minister quoted ad nauseam from newspaper articles of 1946, and what the foreign position of South Africa in 1946 was. He then tried to prove that in the time of Gen. Smuts it was as bad as it is today. The hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs has now come to light with the same old story that conditions at that time were as bad as they are now. Sir, everyone knows that that is not true. Let us consider the position. It seems to me that the hon. the Prime Minister simply does not have a political perspective of what was happening in the world at that time. The Second World War, which ended in 1945, was a kind of watershed in the world as far as relations between people and countries were concerned. It was the beginning of the emancipation of the Coloured people, and it was the beginning of the end of the period of colonial domination. Before the Second World War, as everyone knows, the European, the White man, was master and ruler. He was master of virtually all Black, Brown and Yellow peoples, both in Africa as well as Asia. All of us know that with the fall of France, Belgium and Holland, with the exhaustion of England—they were all large and smaller powers that possessed colonies at the time—with the destruction of Europe and also as a result of many other factors, the world entered upon a completely new situation after the Second World War. Every colonial power was in trouble—England, Holland, Belgium, France, America and our country as well, particularly because of our colonial control over South-West Africa. All the Western leaders were meeting with stiff opposition in respect of two things, racism and colonialism. These are two separate issues, and that is why I am astonished that an informed person such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs can compare our position with the unfortunate position in which Portugal is seen in Africa or in which Rhodesia was. In those countries the issue is the charge of colonialism, and the attitude of the world towards them arose as a result of that. These problems are quite different; there is no comparison. Sir, no one denies that in the time of Gen. Smuts, after the war, he also met with stiff opposition, as all the other major White powers did. But surely the story did not end there, and that is where the stories of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs end. In view of events in the new world the colonial powers immediately began to emancipate their colonies. When they did not do so themselves, pressure against them increased to such an extent that they were forced to withdraw, much more rapidly than many of them had wanted to. We had the classic case of Belgium with the Congo. Secondly, wherever there was colour discrimination the White countries began just as hastily to set their own houses in order systematically and to emancipate their Coloured people in so far as there were humiliating practices against people of colour in their countries. Mighty America, the great power, was also compelled to do something. America also knew that it could not stand alone in this world and had to terminate the official humiliation of the Black people in that country. Even India, which was our principal accuser in the days of Gen. Smuts, had to terminate its own double standards and had to terminate the centuries old caste system, which was nothing but a system of Colour apartheid, officially by way of legislation. In our case, Gen. Smuts, as leader of South Africa, returned from the United Nations in 1946-’47. For several years I was a journalist and sat here in the Press Gallery. Subsequently I was a youth organizer of a party in the Cape, and attended all the major debates in this House of Assembly in the days of Gen. Smuts. Let hon. members read the speeches made by Gen. Smuts at the time. He returned from abroad and said to this Parliament, and warned the Whites of South Africa, that we were facing a totally new situation in the world, a new world had been born and that not only did South Africa have to take this into account, she had to make adjustments as well, drastic adjustments. He would have made those adjustments. For the Prime Minister to suggest to us now that he would have been in the same position today, is totally erroneous and unrealistic. But what happened in our case?


When you heard that, you joined the National Party.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

I have already dealt with that, too. Why are we in trouble? Whereas all the other White countries made adjustments, that party, when it came into power, did not alleviate the position, but aggravated it. Colour discrimination, colour humiliation, and colour exploitation became the official norm. There was a treble standard, one for the White man, one for the Brown man and one for the Black man. This was elevated into the official norm and the official policy, in direct contrast to what the rest of the Western world was doing. While the rest of the world, every White country, sought to get away as quickly as possible from the practices which were injurious to human dignity, the party opposite began to do precisely the opposite. It started with a process and forced statute after statute through this House which placed a stigma of inferiority upon a man of colour. Now the hon. the Prime Minister suggests that the United Party would have been in the same position. There are many things for which one can criticize Genl. Smuts, but even in the short period after 1948, after the National Party came into power, when he was sitting here as Leader of the Opposition, he warned that in the new world of colour emancipation “apartheid would become a curse to South Africa”—I am using his words—and that it would lead to the downfall of this country if we did not adopt a new course in time. The Government can argue as it pleases. It can look for as many scapegoats as it pleases. That is perhaps human. But the dangerous situation, at home and abroad, in which South Africa finds itself today, is attributable to one thing only—and note that a government can improve its internal situation with a foreign policy—a country need not always see the matter the other way round; but the Government can argue as it pleases—apart from its failure in South-West Africa, the situation in which we find ourselves is attributable solely to the realities of the Government’s statutes and policy which force apart and humiliate people in our country on the basis of race and colour. Now I know that many lies are being told overseas about South Africa. One does encounter this. But, Sir, it has always been my experience that a lie is easy to counteract. One finds that a blatant untruth does not easily find acceptance among responsible leaders of state. One can combat untruths with a reasonable measure of success. But what one cannot easily combat are the truths of apartheid, the facts of the apartheid policy which are, in the eyes of sensitive people everywhere in the world, totally indefensible and have placed and are still placing our country in the worst imaginable light. I have seen many of my colleagues on that side in action overseas, including the hon. the Minister of Information, who toured Britain with me for a month before he became Minister, as well as other members. Sir, I have seen how members on that side become completely entangled when they have to defend South Africa. As soon as they have to defend certain apartheid practices, they become hopelessly entangled.

The hon. the Prime Minister alleged here, on the basis of newspaper stories which he quotes in his inimitable manner, that I had supposedly stated at a meeting of the Witwatersrand Council of the United Party on 24 February that I have never had anything with which to defend South Africa. It is only now for the first time, as a result of the action of the United Party, that one is able to defend South Africa. That was his statement, Sir, I never said anything like that, nor is anything like that stated in any newspaper.


But read what is stated in the newspaper.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

Yes, I did read it; but it is not as the Prime Minister stated it. But apart from that, I drew the attention of the hon. the Prime Minister to the fact that there were no journalists present and that all reports in those newspapers were therefore second or third-hand reports. The Prime Minister is the last person who should apply a double standard. If a matter affects him, he demands that the Press should check their facts before they write anything. But he does not apply that in this House.


Why did you not deny it?

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

What did he say when I gave him the assurance that there were no journalists present and that what had appeared was not correct? He then said that I ran to the newspapers to present them with speeches made at domestic meetings. What evidence does he have for saying that? Sir, he has none. I think I know most of the important journalists in South Africa. He can send his eavesdroppers to any journalist in South Africa, and he will not find one who will support him or who will agree with him that I go to the newspapers with speeches and statements. Just the opposite is true. But now to present the facts of the matter of what I said at the closed meeting in Johannesburg! I said nothing there which I cannot state in public. I said the meeting had before it a motion of support for the Mahlabatini declaration, and together with that a motion of confidence in the elected Transvaal leader of the party. I said that I supported the intentions of the Mahlabatini declaration 1 000%, and I reiterate this here. Obviously I had no difficulty in expressing confidence in the party’s Transvaal chairman in regard to this matter, just as I have never had any trouble in expressing confidence in the national leader of the United Party. As regards the question of the defence of South Africa: I discussed race relations at this meeting and pointed out that apartheid had placed us in an indefensible position in the world. I said that in October I had the privilege of addressing the meeting of the American Council on Foreign Relations in New York on the policy and the course of the United Party. I can tell hon. members that the meeting lasted five hours, and I can add to that that the foremost opinion-makers in America were present there. What they think of the hon. the Minister of Defence, the person who has to win allies for us, the person who has to make friends for us and who has to buy weapons for us, is less than nothing. However, I shall deal with that on a subsequent occasion. My experience of that meeting was that the federal course of the Opposition and the fact that the foremost Bantu leaders supported, the federal idea as a basis for the solution to our relations problems, proved to be a new light for South Africa in the darkness abroad. I went on to tell the Johannesburg meeting that the best service the Opposition had ever done South Africa, and one which it was repeating every day, was the continual insistence within and outside Parliament that the Government should abolish petty apartheid. I also said that when the United Party was in office, as in the City Council of Johannesburg, it was taking the initiative today in the elimination of humiliating practices. I then said (still at the meeting in Johannesburg) that it was practical steps of this nature by the United Party which was arousing new hope abroad that things in South Africa could come right, and which for the first time had made it possible to defend our country successfully abroad in the political sphere. Those were my words, and I shall repeat them anywhere.

The hon. the Minister of Information was recently in America and according to newspaper reports, inter alia, in the Sunday Times, his visit was triumph, a success. Whether this is true, is not relevant here now, but I am always prepared to give any politician who done something worthwhile the necessary credit for doing so, whether his name is Connie Mulder, Harry Schwarz, or whatever his name is. There are only two points I want to raise. If his visit was a success, I shall lay money on this table today and wager that it was only a success because the hon. the Minister spoke of South Africa to the people he met and conversed with as a country of change and renewal, in other words a South Africa in which colour discrimination was being done away with and in which there would be equal opportunity for people to develop themselves. In other words, if the hon. the Minister achieved any success abroad it was because he was selling a brand of politics which is far closer to the image of the Second Republic of the United Party … [Interjections.] … than to the existing realities of the First Republic of the National Party. The second point I want to mention is that if the hon. the Minister was successful, I predict that his success will be temporary. I say this because the hon. the Minister of Information had hardly returned to South Africa when, in his capacity as Minister of the Interior, on the first day of his return from America, he introduced motions here which seek to abolish the fundamental right of appeal to the courts and to introduce a drastic system of authoritarian political control over writers and publications in South Africa. I want to tell this House that Russia’s actions against those of its writers and thinkers who write daringly, unleashed a flood of harmful publicity for it in the Western world. In due course we shall discuss in greater detail the Government’s intentions in regard to publications, but for the moment I just want to say that the hon. the Prime Minister’s constant threats against the freedom of the Press, the growing hand of censorship and the proposed abolition of the basic rights of the writer and the publisher to have recourse to a court if he feels that he has been wronged—to say nothing, if the reports are correct, of the prohibition by the Director of Education in the Cape on scholars making the acquaintance of well-known writers—will lead to us again being seen abroad in the worst possible light in the cultural sphere. Then the hon. the Minister of Information, once again at the great expense of the taxpayer, will have to rush over to America to rectify the mistakes made here in South Africa by the hon. the Minister of the Interior. These are the reasons why we regard this Government as a security risk to South Africa. The source of our insecurity today is the Government sitting there. A few months ago Commodore Edwards of the South African navy, in a brilliant article in Paratus, provided an analysis of the onslaught which is developing against South Africa from all over the world. We know that we are already involved in a total onslaught. This is what he had to say in that article—

Countering the hostile strategies being employed against South Africa is not a task for the security forces alone. Total onslaught requires a total defence. This means a total defence strategy must be devised to meet, withstand and prevail against the total hostile strategy.

On that score the Government collapses completely. It can say that it has a defence force—and according to the figures of what we are spending on this, we ought to have a defence force which is as strong as we as a small country can bear and afford—but our problem is not our defence by the defence force. Where we fail, is that we are not on the basis of “a total defence”. If one wants total defence one must in the first place ensure that one has strong allies. There is not one who, in difficult times, will stand by us. Every time it is brought up short by the policy of colour apartheid of the Government. We need a great power that can help us as America helped Israel with weapons when that point was reached where the combatants stood exhausted because of the destruction of their weapons. We do not have one such ally. Each time we try to establish such an alliance it is brought up short by the policy of colour apartheid. We need neighbours who can help to create a ring of security around us. The hon. the Prime Minister referred to a power bloc of states which he envisages, and he mentioned Lesotho, Botswana. Malawi and Rhodesia. Why does he not create something like this now? Surely he need not wait until other areas become independent. He cannot create it because—I say this again—we have a situation which is already causing Lesotho and Botswana to associate themselves morally with those who lend their support to what they call the freedom movement in Africa. They have joined what one could call the Lusaka-Dar-es-Salaam group. [Interjections.] They know that the moment one of their citizens crosses the border he is dealt with in a different way to a foreigner from another country. Again everything is brought up short. The hon. the Minister cannot create a power bloc; it will be brought up short by the colour apartheid policy of his Government. If we want a total defence, we have to solve the South-West Africa issue. Consultation in this regard is necessary, and I think that it can in fact be done. But, above all, if we want to be defensible—and our policy is to make South Africa totally defensible—we have to have the entire population on our side, and in this regard the Government fails more than in anything else. The hon. the Prime Minister spoke of independent states. Where are the states? Does he regard the patchwork quilt of KwaZulu as a state which qualifies to become a sovereign, independent state? Where are the states that have to form the power bloc? When is he going to create those states? He stated here in the debate that those states have to achieve sovereign independence. I thought this policy was self-determination, but now we hear that his policy is pre-determination by the Government. They are told they “have to become independent”. Is that self-determination? They are living in a dream-world. I shall make a wager: There is not one Black leader of whom I know who will accept the policy of that Government and sovereign independence on the Government’s terms.


May I ask the hon. member a question?

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

No, unfortunately I only have one minute left.


What Black leaders support your policy?


I have this piece of news for the hon. the Prime Minister: He shall have to decide whether he adheres to self-determination which gives those people the right to decide what they want to do with their present South African citizenship, and he shall have to decide whether they will be granted the opportunity of sitting down with the White man to plan the future. While he fails to do that, the plan he is trying to submit remains nothing more than a dream. For that reason we emphasize once again that in all respects it is the Government which is a security risk to South Africa. It can argue as it pleases about federation or confederation. It is merely a question of time and then the federal idea, based on decentralization of power, and co-operation at the highest level on the basis of agreement and of no domination of one by the other, will be the policy and the only policy which will be able to effect co-operation with retention of identity without the one ousting the other in this country.

If there was ever a government which deserved no confidence, it is this one. Actually, it was not even necessary for us to move a motion of no confidence. When the Prime Minister stood up and told us that after 26 years of government by that side South Africa was more deeply involved in a crisis than ever before in its history, he moved the best motion of no confidence in himself and in his government there could ever have been.

*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

Mr. Speaker, it was my intention to participate very calmly in this debate today, but I think you will understand that after the speech we have just had to listen to from the hon. member for Bezuidenhout, it is extremely difficult to restrain oneself. The hon. member boasted of being a person who would never make a personal attack on anyone in the House. He then proceeded at once, after a personal attack on the hon. the Prime Minister, to make an attack on South Africa and our security. He devoted most of his speech to condoning, defending and presenting as justified the enemies of South Africa and the unjustifiable criticism of South Africa. I regret that the United Party intends fighting the coming election on the basis which they announced, viz. that the Government is a security risk, and that in their campaign they are then going to set the tone and commit the irresponsibilities we had to hear from the hon. member for Bezuidenhout today. The Opposition will not benefit from this, but South Africa could suffer. We in South Africa grew up in a tradition, which is that an opposition has the right to fight a government with everything in its power, but that it should always be a faithful opposition and a loyal opposition. I ask the responsible members on the opposite side of the House to take another look at and read what the hon. member for Bezuidenhout said here today and then ask themselves whether they can go to the people in that spirit of irresponsibility and of anti-South African sentiment.

The hon. member said that the hon. the Prime Minister as an accomplished political joker. I should like to apply this word to him, but leaving out the r at the end. [Interjections.] The hon. member adopted such a pious tone on what our attitude should be towards the non-Whites in South Africa. He forgets his own history. Since the days of Gen. Smuts it was my privilege to attend to the propaganda of the United Party, and during all the years I was involved with United Party propaganda, the United Party never said that it stood for White baasskap, except on one occasion, and then it was not the United Party itself, but an ally, an associated Party. It was in 1947 during a by-election in Otjiwarongo in South-West Africa, that a pamphlet was issued in which it was stated that the United Party's policy was White baasskap. And that pamphlet was signed by the hon. member for Bezuidenhout. Mr. Speaker, that was in the year when Gen. Smuts had to defend South Africa before the world in respect of South-West Africa, when he had to return and complain of the trouble and the difficulties he had experienced. Then one of his own followers in South-West Africa was disseminating that kind of propaganda …

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

You are talking nonsense.

*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

… and today we have to listen to moral sermons from that hon. member. Mr. Speaker, I am glad he tried to explain what he recently got up to at the closed meeting of the Witwatersrand General Council of the United Party. He now maintains that what appeared in the Sunday Times was not the truth, where the Sunday Times reported that he had told Mr. Schwarz that he was 100% behind him and that he would follow him …


1 000%.

*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

… that he was behind Mr. Schwarz 1000%, and that for the first time now he was able to defend South Africa’s good name. In other words, in the 18 years the hon. member for Rondebosch has been leading that party, he was unable to defend South Africa. Now the hon. member is denying it. He says the report was incomplete. But, Mr. Speaker, when did the hon. member for Bezuidenhout hear of the report for the first time? Was it on Monday when the hon. the Prime Minister spoke, or does he not read the Sunday Times? I do not think I can give him so much credit for good insight as to believe that he does not read the Sunday Times. Sir, I want to put a question to him. Perhaps he does not know; but will he deny that although it was a closed meeting, there was a representative of the Sunday Times, a staff member by the name of Mr. Neil Hooper, at that meeting? Will he deny that it has become the practice of the group in the United Party known as the Young Turks to give themselves out to be very pious at the top meetings of the United Party—that they are people who want peace, people who want unity, and if they make mistakes they are very sorry, and if the leader disciplines them they accept it and say that their loyalty towards the leader is proved by the fact that they accept that reprimand. And then, Mr. Speaker, they go to other bodies of the party, such as the Witwatersrand General Council, which they control, and do just the opposite; they make covert attacks on the Leader of the Opposition and make sure that every word spoken at that meeting leaks out to the Press. Those are the tactics, and the hon. member for Bezuidenhout ought to know it; he has been in the party for a long time; he has seen it happening. And when he saw that leakage, that he had set the Transvaal leader above his national leader, he had to deny it, or otherwise he associated himself with it until the hon. the Prime Minister called him to order in this House. Mr. Speaker, when I think of the attitude of that hon. member when I think of the speech he made today, my sympathy for my old Party becomes greater than it already is. When the hon. the Leader of the Opposition announced his motion of no confidence on Friday, there were gales of boisterous laughter on this side of the House. But my hon. friends here will forgive me when I say that I did not share in that laughter; I could not, for my memories of that great party opposite, as it was, are still too fresh in my mind. My hon. friends here may not agree with me—it is their rights—but as far as I am concerned, the United Party in its time played a wonderful and a major role in South Africa. It produced great men for South Africa. It produced men such as a Louis Botha and a Jan Smuts and a Patrick Duncan and a Schreiner, and it produced a man such as Douglas Mitchell. It has many things of which it may be proud and there are many things in regard to which all of us can acknowledge as South Africans that it played its part to the best of its ability. But what is happening to the United Party now? Where is its former greatness, its former pride in the fact that it stood for national unity? There was a time when that party, more than any other, stood for unity between English and Afrikaans-speaking people, and it conducted a great experiment in that direction in the days of Gen. Hertzog and Gen. Smuts. But the facts of history, the war, caused that experiment to fail. In the war days the United Party underwent a temporary metamorphosis. We thought it was temporary, for everyone who supported the war effort joined the United Party, whether or not they were in spirit supporters of the United Party. Even communists belonged to the United Party in those days; and then, after the war? Then the tensions in the United Party became too great for all those people to remain in it, and some of them broke away. In 1959 my hon. friend, the hon. member for Houghton, broke away with her people. I do not for one moment want to imply that they were communists. But in spirit they were no longer part of the United Party. They were in spirit no longer part of the United Party as it then was. In fact, they had never in spirit been part of the United Party. But unfortunately they did not succeed in taking all who thought as they did with them. Unfortunately for the United Party there were people—and the hon. member for Houghton knows that I am telling the truth—who were of the same persuasion as they and who would have joined them in leaving, but when the hon. member for Houghton and others walked out in 1959 and those people saw how few of them were doing so, they turned round and resumed their positions. She knows that I am telling the truth. But then in 1970, through a convergence of circumstances, the United Party began to make progress for the first time since 1948, or appeared to make progress, and then the people who had remained silent after 1959 began to come forward again; and today the United Party is two parties; today it is two parties, Mr. Speaker. It is a divided party; it is a party of conservatives and it is a party of middle-aged and decrepit Turks. [Interjections.] The question to which I was unable to receive a reply in the United Party, the question to which the people of South Africa are unable to receive a reply, is which wing of the United Party predominates today? And if the United Party should win the next election, whose policy, whose standpoint, whose attitude, whose philosophy, will triumph in South Africa? We do not know. We know only that in view of the election the quarrel has been patched up and there is now a sham unity, a temporary halt to hostilities. But the people of South Africa are nevertheless entitled to know, if they have to choose between a Government and an alternative Government, what they will get if the present Government should be re-elected, and what they will get if the Opposition should take the Government’s place. I have sympathy for the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. I respect him and have a high opinion of him. I shall respect him as long as I live, but I say to him that he cannot allow his party to go to the people at the end of April and ask them for their votes before he tells us who is setting the tone now and who will in future set the tone in the United Party. I can understand that he has to try and patch things up, that he has to try to retain what he can retain, but if I may give him a piece of advice, it would be this: He must remember that a surgeon who is too gentle leaves stinking wounds. We expect, and we have the right to expect, clear statements from the Opposition, not only on national affairs but also on the two different interpretations of its policy and its approach to national affairs, different interpretations which exist in the United Party. There is uncertainty. For example, uncertainty prevails in regard to the United Party’s standpoint on the principle of White leadership. Attempts have been made to eliminate this. But has the hon. member for Bezuidenhout changed his standpoint or does he still believe that if one speaks of White leadership, one is insulting the non-Whites in South Africa? That used to be his standpoint.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

Your people say that.

*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

No, it was your standpoint. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, through you: It was his standpoint.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

Do you still stand for White leadership?

*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

I stand for White leadership, unashamedly and proudly. The day I have to say that White leadership is an insult to the non-Whites in this country, I have no confidence in the character or the ability of the Whites in South Africa. [Interjections.]

But the crucial question is what the United Party means with its new federal policy. I want to discuss that for a few minutes today. I think we would all agree that the federal idea presupposes two basic political concepts. The one is division of authority and the other is the sharing of authority. Because there are differences in a society—these may be racial differences, religious differences, or merely language differences as in Switzerland—it is difficult for them to govern one another in all respects and for that reason they have to separate authority so that each exercises authority over himself in those matters which affect them intimately. For that reason we have constituent states or collective states which establish a federation. Since they are, however, being forced together owing to predominant common interests, there must also be a central authority in which all are represented, but in which certain balances are preserved so that the one does not dominate or maltreat the other. To my mind—I think this goes for all of us—this is the political meaning of a federation: A division of authority among communities where this is possible, and the sharing of authority where this is necessary.

Is this the policy of the United Party today? It used to be its policy. The federal policy, which was called the race federation policy, which I supported wholeheartedly and—I want to emphasize this—was proud to support, recognized those two principles.

*Mr. J. D. DU P. BASSON:

You are, therefore, still in favour of race federation.

*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

Provision was made for communal councils to ensure self-government and the division of powers, and there was a central Parliament in which all the races of South Africa would be represented in order to decide on matters of common interest. Then, in 1972, a committee was appointed, on which I did not serve. This committee then produced a new policy. That new policy then envisaged a new kind of federation, a federation which cannot exist, which in its essence denies a federation; for the new policy lays down that a purely White Parliament will be in charge of everything. This is a mighty victory for the National Party since the United Party states that the final destiny of South Africa has to be decided by the White Parliament. In addition the new policy makes provision for a federal council and for communal states. However, it is not a federation. The moment one has a sovereign power which has the final decision, which controls the keys to the security of the State and in which the other constituent elements of the federation cannot share, then it is not a federation. [Interjections.] It is a monstrosity.

When this new policy was formulated, I had to ask myself certain questions. I raised those questions in the inner circles of the party—I do not want to betray any confidences—and I was told: “I have never heard such a stupid speech in my life” when I said more or less what I have now said. We have to ask ourself what the future of the Opposition’s White Parliament is. If it remains there for all time, it is not a federation; it is then brutal White baasskap which the United Party is advocating. If it does not have to remain there for all time and has to disappear, then it is the duty of the United Party to take the people into its confidence and to say that this is what will happen. But what is stated in the policy of the United Party as it was dictated to me? It states that the White Parliament will regulate the entire constitutional development of South Africa, that it will transfer powers to the federal council. The rapidity and the scope of such transfer will be determined, inter alia, by the responsibility shown by other races and the way in which they accept their responsibility of self-government in the federal council. This is of course very vague and can mean many things. It can mean different things to different people. But there is a criterion. The criterion is that the federation will only be finalized when the other races prove to the satisfaction of the White Parliament that they can be trusted to share in the central authority as well. Now, a simple question occurs to us. Suppose the non-Whites do not, in the opinion of the White Parliament, meet that criterion. What is the policy of the United Party then? This, at least, the people have the right to know. The hon. the Minister of Water Affairs pointed out correctly that the alternative would then be the policy of the National Party. He will probably not take it amiss of me if I say that there is another possibility as well, that if the United Party is in power and that criterion fails, it could then continue blindly in the maintenance, against its better judgment, against the conscience of modern man, with a policy of unmitigated White baasskap. I think we have the right to know this. Since I am opposed to these things—and this is the only respect in which I want to be personal today—and because I am opposed to White baasskap which can be brought about in this way and exist in this way in the policy of that party, I am the verkrampte. But there are still certain people in the United Party who see what a contradiction it is and how impossible it is.

If one states that the Government’s policy is a security risk and, for that reason, it has to go, one should at least be certain that one’s own policy will not be a risk, for you are then the alternative Government. What non-White leader with a sense of responsibility accepts this abomination of a federation with which the United Party has now come to light? Mention one to me! The Transvaal leader of the United Party went to a place called Mahlabatini and there signed a “declaration of faith” with the leader of the Zulu nation, Chief Buthelezi. This is a very interesting document. What does that document mean? It contains five points, and most of them were platitudes with which all of us agree. Two of those deserve a little closer consideration. The fourth point reads—and I have it here in English—

The federal concept appears to provide the best framework on which to seek a constitutional solution for a South Africa free from domination by any group over others and ensuring the security of all its people.

This “federal concept”. What does that mean? How can one enter into an agreement of any value or significance if one is not even certain that one has defined one’s words? The Arabs and Israelis can meet under Henry Kissinger tomorrow and enter into a solemn agreement that the territory of Israel belongs to its lawful owners. But that agreement will mean as much as this “declaration of faith” of Mahlabatini. The ink was scarcely dry on this declaration when both the signatories ran away from it. The Cape Times of 7 January reported Mr. Schwarz as having said the following—

Mr. Schwarz emphasized that he had not signed the document on behalf of the United Party.

It was a deed of individualistic exhibitionism; that is all. But more than that: It was a deed of uncontrolled emotional irrepressibility, if there is such a word.



*Mr. S. J. M. STEYN:

Yes, it could have been immaturity. Listen to what Mr. Schwarz had to say—

Chief Buthelezi and I signed the declaration spontaneously in our personal capacities. It emerged from a five-hour discussion in which we had reached such a degree of emotional accord that we wanted to record it in writing.

“… emotional accord” about what, Sir? Mr. Schwarz added immediately that the federal concept they had been discussing was not the concept of the United Party. The newspaper then had the following to say about Chief Buthelezi—

Chief Buthelezi said last night that the federal concept he had agreed to “was a matter of broad principle right now”. He has his own ideas about federalism, and would say exactly what led to his signing the declaration when he spoke to Cape Town University students next week. But at the same time the Chief rejected “utterly”.

The word “utterly” is in quotes—

… the United Party’s version of federation.

This is the agreement. This is the “act of faith”, the unconcealed rejection of the United Party’s policy, rejection of the United Party, What does it mean? Where are we going with our politics if we play the fool in this way with the realities of South African politics? A few days later, at the University of Cape Town, at a meeting of the Institute for Race Relations, the Chief stated what he meant by a federation. The most important point which he made was that there should be no central authority, not for years. What kind of federation is that? The United Party wants a central White authority with an uncertain future. Chief Buthelezi does not want any central authority. However, we have to believe that this is an act of faith, reciprocal and mutual! Sir, we cannot play the fool with South Africa. We must conduct our politics on a higher level than that.

I then come to the next portion of that declaration, which I want to mention briefly. I do not have the time to read it in full. It states that there should be equal opportunities for all our people. Equal opportunities where? The speaker after me on the opposite side of the House must please tell me: Equal opportunities! But will there be any opportunity for the non-Whites to serve in the Parliament which will retain control over the keys to the security of South Africa? Or will they be disregarded in that extremely important aspect of government in South Africa? Will it be equal opportunities on a level of the “petty apartheid” which the hon. member for Bezuidenhout is so fond of discussing? We have been called upon to believe that the Johannesburg Municipality has now set an example to us of what one should do to get rid of “petty apartheid”. But, Sir, Mr. Oberholzer then says: We do not want apartheid, but we want apartheid. When it comes to buses, swimming baths and toilets, then they want apartheid. Where does petty apartheid begin and where does major apartheid end. In the toilet? Sir, let me show you what is happening. I say that we should not play the fool with the major problems of South Africa. In the debate in question the Johannesburg City Council said that all races could visit the Johannesburg Art Museum in Joubert Park; but they will not be allowed to use the toilet facilities in the art museum. If they need to do so, they will have to have recourse to the facilities in Joubert Park. Is that elimination of humiliation? Is that an end to petty apartheid? Or is it an emphasis of something which is perhaps less desirable in the local application of apartheid?

Sir, I find myself today, contrary to my own expectations, on this side of the House, I am on this side of the House because I saw, as a result of the experience of the United Party, that the White people of South Africa are not willing to share their authority and sovereignty with others. That is why the United Party has had to scrabble back and have recourse to a White Parliament; the idea of a parliament representative of all races, as it advocated previously and which I advocated, is not acceptable to the people of South Africa. Consequently we had to find an alternative, and the United Party as an alternative accepted a form of baasskap, the White Parliament. I considered the policy of the Progressive Party and I considered the policy of the National Party and I became convinced that since the people were not willing to accept a multi-racial sovereign body in charge of their destinies, there was only one reply for South Africa and that is a policy of full development, separately, for the various communities of South Africa. This policy is an embodiment of one of the golden rules all of us learnt as children, which is that one should do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I maintain that I am convinced that we have in the leadership of the National Party a man and men who with determination, confidence and an honest belief in the justice of their case, are going to work to see that ideal realized. There are many problems which will have to be solved. But problems have to be overcome. One thing is certain: Until such time as the United Party and the Progressive Party are able to produce such a clear policy, a policy which is so clearly based on an understandable ideal, the people of South Africa will continue to return this Government to office and entrust its future, the future of the Whites, the future of all the other people in South Africa to those people who know where they are going and who are willing to make sacrifices to get there.


Mr. Speaker. … [Interjections.]




Mr. Speaker, all that I, as a political pupil of the hon. member for Yeoville, can say to him this afternoon, and then I am saying this in all sincerity, is “We look upon you more in sorrow than in anger”. [Interjections.] A few months ago I saw snatches from a political documentary in which the hon. member for Yeoville appears very prominently and in which he puts the United Party’s case by way of summing up. That role he played unsurpassably. In that film he comes across better than everyone I saw appearing in it. This afternoon we saw the hon. member for Yeoville taking part again, but this time he was playing a new role. I must say that the hon. member’s performance was again superlative. My problem with the hon. member, however, is that under the auspices of the United Party he appeared very much more sincere than he professed to be here this afternoon in his new role. That puts one in mind of the historic story of “The Devil’s Advocate”. Apart from the metamorphosis which the hon. member for Yeoville underwent, something which, in my humble opinion of course, must have been an almost inhuman task, with one impulsive decision he not only struck at his own political credibility, but he has also placed the credibility of every politician in South Africa under the worst kind of suspicion.


Hear, hear!


The hon. member has become a legend in the framework of South African politics. What confidence did I not personally have in that hon. member! What confidence did thousands of voters in South Africa not have in that hon. member! Together with a De Villiers Graaff, a Douglas Mitchell, an Arthur Hopewell and a Gray Hughes, his whole life long he has been the foremost protagonist of United Party policy, the most outspoken opponent of the Nationalist Party, and the most formidable opposition to Nationalism in South Africa, but this afternoon, in this House, he has renounced his own political philosophy. He was such a good member of this party that only last year the hon. the Prime Minister made a statement about it in this House.


Forget Hansard, man! [Interjections.]


On 9 February last year (Hansard, Vol. 42, col. 365) the hon. the Prime Minister said the following—

For let me put it on record, Sir, that there is nobody who can ever have any doubts about the fact that Marais Steyn is a U.P. supporter through and through. *An Hon. Member: A traditional U.P. supporter. *The Prime Minister: With him it is not a question of making a compromise with any other party whatsoever; he is a person who will at all times give the United Party everything he has. There can be no doubt about that.

Upon which the hon. member himself said in this House: “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”. Let us understand this … [Interjections.]


Order! I want to appeal to hon. members to give the hon. member a chance to make his speech. When his opponent was speaking, the Opposition was silent. Give him a chance to make his speech.


The hon. member for Yeoville’s own reaction was therefore: “I fear the gift-bearing Greeks”. Where does the hon. member find himself today? His name appears on the honour roll of a Harry Lewis, a Howard Odell, a Senator Groenewald, a Badenhorst Durrant, a Blaar Coetzee and a Frankie Waring. In my wildest dreams I could not have thought that one of my political heroes’ names would appear on that honour roll. This afternoon the hon. member called the United Party to mind here. I just want to ask him one question, because this is the test of his integrity this afternoon: if he were to have won that election against Harry Schwarz for the chairmanship of the Transvaal in 1972, would he have been sitting on that side …




… or on this side? He can test himself by that. Is he not on record as having said very recently that if the United Party were to get rid of Mr. Harry Schwarz he could again consider coming to join us? Sympathy there is, in truth, right or wrong, for a man who has suddenly lost his political prominence after such a long and colourful political career; discontent is understandable, right or wrong, at setbacks and attacks which he has had to endure the past two years; but no one inside or outside this hon. House can either accept or credit the impulsive conduct of that hon. member. What justification can a person expect who renounces his own political faith overnight? And that is a person who, exactly four days before taking that step and in the company of a crowd of students at Potchefstroom University, in my presence, persuaded no fewer than three young Nationalists to join the United Party! All politicians go through deep waters and face trials from time to time. And let me now be completely honest and say that I have some experience of that. I was also kicked out of a position in the United Party. I lost the national leadership of the United Party’s Young South Africans.




I came up against a test. [Interjections.]




Mr. Speaker, the principles, for which I stand, find their home in the United Party, and personalities have nothing to do with that. Some politicians probably go through deeper waters than others. The hon. member for Yeoville probably had an overdose.


Who wrote that speech for you?


I want to tell the hon. member for Langlaagte that he is a person who did not even gain nomination. He must not come and talk of speeches.

There is an idiom, is there not, to the effect that the highest winds blow on the highest hills. But to renounce overnight everything one has fought for all one’s life, deserves no more than the contempt which this hon. member will get from the electorate of South Africa. When this old political teacher of mine gets up in the morning and looks at himself in the mirror, it would not surprise me if he were to ask himself: “Marais Steyn, is it really you?” I said at the very beginning, and I want to repeat this, that no person was a more outspoken and more formidable opponent of everything around which Nationalism was cultivated. Perhaps one should call to mind a few of the utterances from the hon. member’s own mouth. Amongst other things, when the hon. member stood up he attacked the hon. member for Bezuidenhout on the security of South Africa. Do hon. members know what he said as recently as 31 October 1971, according to a report in the Express? I quote—

The Transvaal leader of the United Party, Mr. S. J. Marais Steyn, angrily lashed out yesterday at the Government for starting a new campaign of playing politics with South Africa’s security. In a statement he attacked the Prime Minister, Mr. Vorster, and senior Cabinet Ministers and warned that there was a deliberate plan to use our security problems to prop up the ailing Nationalist Party.

Those are the hon. member’s words, but this afternoon he attacks other hon. members on such a matter. But the hon. member is also the person who is on record as having said—

This is the worst Government that God has cursed this country with.

When the hon. the Prime Minister took him to task about that in this House, he said—

I will not apologize to the Prime Minister because I don’t apologize to people with double standards.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is my hon. friend’s political leader. Here are a few more—

Mr. Steyn once again slammed the Government’s Bantustan policy describing it as stupid, dangerous and inconsiderate.

So one could continue. One could quote one Hansard after another, one of the hon. member’s speeches after another. He also said the following, inter alia

Exploiting race hatred is typical of the Nationalist and Communist Parties. It is one symptom of the panic that is destroying all vestiges of intelligence which might have existed in the Nationalist Party.

Today, Mr. Speaker, he is a member of that party. He said of Mr. Vorster—

Mr. Vorster has failed as a leader; the Nationalist Party now have their weakest Prime Minister.

Then he also said—

All political parties have problems. The Nationalist Party’s chief problem is to educate Mr. Vorster.

When the hon. member was asked a question by the newspapers of South Africa about the speculation that the hon. member would join the Nationalist Party, his reply was—“In a single word: Nuts!” I would not like to go beyond my limits as a backbencher. The hon. the Prime Minister is not here either, but the hon. the Minister of Labour is here; perhaps he could tell us: Why does the hon. member get such miserly treatment from the Nationalist Party? Why are they so reluctant to receive him? Is it, then, that they do not feel like having him After all, the hon. the Prime Minister caught a big fish from Opposition waters—a big fish—and I must add that the hon. member looks very much like a fish out of water. But apart from his rightful place, which the Nationalist Party gave him as the most senior frontbencher just this side of the Cabinet, he is offered a seat which I do not believe he will win. Mr. Speaker, it looks to me as if the Nationalist Party has now had their use of him …


That is your swan song.


… or is the Nationalist Party trying to create embarrassment for both pupil and teacher by putting the hon. member up as a candidate against me in Turffontein or, Sir, is the Nationalist Party not over-anxious to have the hon. member back in this House?


That is correct.


Why, then, be so reluctant about the big fish they have caught? Like many other politicians, the hon. member also tried to say that he had changed his political affiliations in South Africa because the United Party had supposedly changed so much and because the Nationalist Party had changed so much that he simply had to make a natural decision to go over to the other party. Sir, are hon. members on that side happy at the fact that the hon. member thinks the Nationalist Party has changed so much. I am thinking of the hon. member for Rissik. Sir, there are strange happenings in politics. If a senior frontbencher of a party in South Africa crosses over from one party to another, and if a Cabinet Minister resigns from a Cabinet and establishes a new political party, and if the hon. the Prime Minister makes a statement in this House, as he did this week, to the effect that the Nationalist Party accepts the United Party’s Coloured and Indian policy as embodied in our federation plan, and there is an election to be held on 24 April, then South Africa is faced with a choice, and this is an hour of decision for one and all. Mr. Speaker, what is necessary is leadership. What is necessary is steadfastness, credibility and political integrity in South Africa. Where does the hon. member for Yeoville stand, or must we leave him out of things as someone who has run away from himself and his own political faith. Let there be no illusions, Mr. Speaker, basically and fundamentally there are no changes to be found in the philosophy of the United Party. The hon. member said here this afternoon that he stood by White leadership. If that is so, Sir, I do not think he is sitting in the correct bench on that side of the House. There has already been a great deal of talk about White leadership; there has already been a great deal of talk about the federal council; there has already been a great deal of talk about the future of this Parliament. The hon. the Minister of Water Affairs was so eager to know whether the White Parliament would continue to exist forever; whether White leadership would be maintained in South Africa for all time. The hon. member for Yeoville subsequently came along with the same question. Sir, on the basis of evolutionary development, in the direction of a federal constitution for South Africa, it will be this White Parliament which will act as the regulator, which will confer powers to the central council from time to time …


Which powers?


… which, from time to time, will delegate powers to the various legislative assemblies. This Parliament, Mr. Speaker, is in the hands of the Whites of South Africa. This Parliament is South Africa’s highest body of authority and this Parliament remains in its own hands. Sir, a clear guarantee is given by this party to the people of South Africa. This Parliament can transfer all the powers, which it has at its disposal today, to the federal council, except—and here I should prefer to quote from a booklet (because I do not want hon. members to understand this incorrectly), the hon. member for Yeoville being the chief lieutenant when it was drawn up—

The whole federal plan will originate in and be implemented by Parliament, the present sovereign authority in South Africa. In this creative process Parliament retains authority over all matters affecting the internal and external safety of the State, over all matters which may be described as holding the keys to the safety of the State. It will not transfer any of these powers to the federal assembly, nor delegate any of them to the legislative assemblies without the consent of South Africa’s electorate given at a special referendum or election.

Let us consequently hear no more of the stories we have been hearing from that side of the House. And let us now be completely honest. This policy was reconfirmed by the national congress of the United Party, and Mr. Harry Schwarz and anyone who is with him in the Transvaal, to whom these hon. members refer, supported this policy. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, this Parliament is the leader of South Africa, and is the sovereign body of South Africa. Surely that is White leadership, Sir. After all, do we not today have White leadership under the Nationalist Party? That is surely one of the reasons why the hon. member for Yeoville is now sitting on the other side. Let us test the hon. member on this point this afternoon. Here I have the aims and the principles of the United Party. Under point No. 4 it is stated very clearly (translation)—

White leadership in the interests of all our people and as the promoter and sponsor of orderly progress.

Hon. members may read this. What is stated here, and what is stated in any other document of United Party policy decisions, is still the policy of the United Party. Here it stands in black and white, and hon. members are welcome to bring us a booklet in which their policy is set out. [Interjections] But now I want to say this to the hon. member for Yeoville. One day before he resigned from this party, after a meeting at which he became so angry that he was like a child saying “Now I am taking my toys and leaving”, a statement was issued by my hon. Leader, with the approval of every provincial chairman of this party in South Africa, and the hon. member endorsed that document, but the following day he crosses over to the Nationalist Party. Here it stands—

Asked to comment late last night, Mr. Steyn said he had read the statements to both Sir De Villiers and Mr. Schwarz. “I have read their statements and they confirm everything I have ever said about White leadership.”

With what futile arguments does the hon. member come to this House? What is it that the hon. member for Yeoville does not agree with, or is it a matter of any other United Party objective that has been incorporated? There is the second objective, respect for the protection, dignity and freedom of each individual. Sir, I want to ask the hon. member whether he agrees with banning without trial in South Africa? Let him tell us. The third point is the creation of a broadminded community in which social justice is assured and the interests and welfare of all individuals and groups will be protected. Does he agree that the aged in South Africa get a sufficiently large pension to live on? There is talk here of White leadership. Sir, this Government is abdicating White leadership in South Africa. Does the hon. member agree with that? Sir, I can only feel sorry for him, a big fish from Opposition waters which lies gasping in the sandy desert of the Nationalist Party. There is nothing the hon. member ever said in this connection, up to 1 December 1973, that does not accord with what I have just tried to prove. But overnight he goes and smashes the legend he created for himself in South Africa’s politics. Can hon. members identify themselves with separate nation-states in South Africa which are quieted by a franchise dummy, while nothing more goes on at any level of development in the Bantu homelands? There are the urban Bantu who are placated, from the cradle to the grave, by the concept of temporary permanence within so-called White South Africa. There are the Coloureds and the Indians who are accepted as a part of the White nation-state, in terms of a statement by the hon. the Prime Minister, but who—and I am quoting the hon. the Prime Minister—will never have any say in the sovereignty of that nation-state. Sir, then the hon. member for Yeoville speaks of blatant “baasskap”. I want to ask him: What is that if it is not blatant “baasskap” in South Africa? For the homeland Bantu “the sky is the limit”. Everything one gives oneself, to quote the hon. member for Yeoville this afternoon, one must be prepared to give other people as well. Is the Nationalist Party also prepared to give the Coloureds and Indians in South Africa everything they give themselves? [Interjections.] For me there are two fundamental truths around which the whole of South African politics revolves. Firstly, in South Africa we have various communities, race groups or peoples, each with its own identity and with a right to self-preservation and continued existence. The United Party distinguishes between the Whites in the four provinces, between the Coloureds, the Indians, the urban Bantu and the various ethnic Bantu groups in South Africa, while the Nationalist Party only distinguishes between the Whites, the Coloureds, the Indians and separate Bantu nations in South Africa. This brings me to my second fundamental question. Though the Nationalist Party foresees separate nation-states for South Africa, according to their philosophy of multinationalism in the framework of a fragmented South Africa with no answer for the Indians and the Coloureds, there is the approach of this side of the House: A federation of communal states with the idea of a joint future and joint loyalty.

This debate in this session of the House of Assembly is only a short one, but it has once again brought new rays of light. I am referring only to the Coloureds and the Indians. Although the Nationalist Party wants to carry the policy of segregation and apartheid through to the end—“the sky is the limit”, to quote the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development—to the point of sovereign independent Bantu states, there remains, in the so-called White South Africa of the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians. While we in the United Party foresee a federation of communal states—“communal states” is an expression that comes from the hon. member for Yeoville—in which we acknowledge as federal units the four White provinces, the various Bantu ethnic groups in the Bantu areas on a geographic basis and the Coloureds, the Indians and the urban Bantu on a community or group basis, and we are creating for these people a future in South Africa, a framework within which we can all, in our own communal state, have a share in one common South Africa, the Nationalist Party is still caught up with separate nation-states for some of South Africa’s people and—I want to repeat—* blatant “baasskap” in respect of the Indians and the Coloureds.

Even in respect of that dream image of separate nation-states there have already been strange utterances from that side of the House, from the hon. the Prime Minister who toys with the idea of some or other association between future separate nation-states in the economic sphere and from the hon. the Minister of Information: I quote the latter from an article in The Star of 26 June 1973 in which the following appeared under the heading “Mulder hints at federation for the future”—

In a significant speech in Stellenbosch last night the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Mulder, opened the door to the possibility of a federation being established in South Africa in the future in terms of Government philosophy. This could happen, he said. Once the various nations within South Africa had become sovereign independent States, they would be free to form a federation with one another, a confederation, or even an integrated unit, should they all agree unanimously to it.

Back to square one!


“Why now” I ask as a young man in South Africa upon whom the future waits …

*Mr. W. J. C. ROSSOUW:

You do not have one.


I do not have a future under the Nationalist Party, but the South African electorate will change the Government and then I shall have a future. [Interjections.] Why must the Nationalist Party first break up South Africa and fragment it in respect of certain parts of our composition while we have a party in South Africa that comes along with a federal plan that can grow from a natural basis to co-operation and progress in South Africa, all within one state under the leadership and the supervision of this hon. House? I as a young man, and many thousands of young people in South Africa, are turning their backs on that side of the House. [Interjections.] The election will prove this. Hon. members opposite may shout just as much as they want to; we shall see what happens on 24 April.


Mr. Speaker, it is conspicuous that the hon. member for Turffontein claimed that the youth of South Africa were ostensibly rejecting the National Party, because it does after all sound very bitter coming from the lips of a man who has been rejected by the youth of his very own party. Furthermore, while I was listening to the hon. member for Turffontein. I became even more strongly convinced of the truth of a proverb from the Good Book which says that a pupil never excels his teacher. His teacher spoke first and then the hon. member came along and proved that the hon. member for Yeoville was still his master. I have seldom listened to such an adulation, albeit with a bitter taste in the mouth, of a man who left that side of the House because there no longer was any room for him and because his convictions are different from those of that side of the House. And this is so because that side of the House suffered its greatest loss in that its leader lost both his right and his left hand. When I listened to the hon. member for Yeoville, and who could think that Yeoville would ever be represented in this House by a member of the National Party?, I said to myself and to my colleagues here that it was absolute murder. When I looked at the faces of the members on the other side of the House, it was absolute murder.

I shall not enter into what was said by that hon. member for Turffontein—perhaps I should add: the temporary member for Turffontein—because I think he has sung his swansong here this afternoon. Here I want to add that the candidates of the National Party are not nominated in the same way as those on that side. The Nationalists of Turffontein asked the hon. member for Yeoville to stand for election in Turffontein and to teach his pupil the last short lesson. The hon. member asked the member for Yeoville whether, if he had been elected as leader in the Transvaal in 1972, he would then still have crossed the floor. If that side of the House had not adopted a different course by electing a leader with different views, a different idiom and a different political philosophy, the hon. member for Yeoville would probably not have sat on this side of the House today. But it is precisely because that party allows itself to be swayed and ruled over by someone with views such as those he has that it loses people. I now want to ask the hon. member for Turffontein, and he does not have to answer me now, whether he too has not perhaps not considered following his teacher by crossing over to the National Party. [Interjections.] I have heard it said that “the lady protests too much”, but he protests too little.

In this no-confidence debate, the important topic is the question where does the sovereign power over South Africa lie. Who has the sovereign power over the various peoples in South Africa? When I look at the federation plan of the United Party, I am prepared to say that the U.P.’s federation is only a variation on integration, because it means the White man’s abdication and if it is not that, it is the frustration of the rest.

I want to point out at the start that apparently there are points of agreement between the National Party and the United Party. I shall mention a few of them, and then I shall indicate at the same time to what extent there is actually no agreement. But we recognize, in general terms, the diversity of peoples in South Africa. If one were to examine the language used by Mr. Harry Schwarz, together with Mr. Buthelezi, in that declaration—or is it a confession?—it would strike one as being strange. If one were to examine that declaration, one would see interesting things. On the one hand, under point two of this declaration mention is made of “all our people”. Something I really find striking is the way the United Party is unable to differentiate. Speaking for myself, I would say that “all our people” is the state population of South Africa, as it still is at present under one Government and one sovereign power. But then they go further and under point five of that declaration they speak of “safeguard the identity and culture of the various groups constituting the people of South Africa.” There they recognize a diversity in the population of South Africa. But the extent to which that recognition of the diversity of that population corresponds with reality, the claims, the aspirations and the idealism of those groups, is another matter again, to which I shall return presently. On the surface, therefore, it appears as if, in that five-hour discussion at Mahlabatini, those two gentlemen accepted the idiom of a diversity of peoples.

But now I do not quite understand what the hon. member for Transkei actually means. We listened to him here yesterday, when he in fact took exception to a statement made on the part of the National Party, namely that Mr. Buthelezi had allegedly admitted that he was a Zulu and that he was proud of it. And what do we witness on the part of the hon. member for Transkei? In effect he was trying to apologize for the fact that there had been such a quotation from the mouth of a leader of a homeland, that he identified himself with his own people. Now he says—

It does not mean to say that because I am proud of my English descent, I now want to be an Englishman.

It is so typically the idiom of the United Party. He wants to speak of his descent, but here in South Africa he is “just a South African”, in the language of The Cape Times, of 1949, when this was said—

We must teach our young children to be neither Afrikaans nor English, but just South Africans.

The former U.P. leader of the Free State, Mr. Wolfie Swart, said: “No Afrikaners or English, just South Africans.” I believe the hon. member for King William’s Town expressed the same thought. One may be proud of one’s descent, but not of what ones is now. If a member such as the hon. member for Transkei is running away from his identity, he should not try to imply that other people are also running away from theirs. As far as the whole pattern of cooperation in the political sphere is concerned, the Afrikaner is not prepared to repudiate his identity. On the contrary, he maintains it; he stands for it. But this hon. member now wants to imply that the others, namely the homelands leaders, are not proud of their own. He says now that he is proud of his English descent, but he does not want to be an Englishman, and “I don’t want to have a separate English country”. Very well, then, unfortunately he cannot have it, should he have wanted it. But, Sir, if he cannot have it separately, and he is ashamed of his identity on top of it, does he want the representatives of other peoples in South Africa also to be ashamed of their identity? Does he want them to be treated the same as the rest, as all other people who live in South Africa, as regards residential areas or the franchise? If he says they must be granted exactly the same rights throughout South Africa, such as he has within the White ranks, then I do not understand the policy of that party. For that party consistently and systematically echoed the language of the National Party as regards the differentiation relating to peoples and their rights, until it accepted the homeland idiom and the separate voters’ rolls for Coloureds and others, a matter which in fact it opposed until blood was drawn, figuratively speaking, some twenty years ago. That they accept. One could pursue this point further, but I want to point out that there are points of apparent agreement which, however, are in fact not points of agreement. In all fairness I must point out that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition touched upon this point last year in col. 34 of Hansard. He spoke of the three inescapable realities of the situation in South Africa. The first reality was the different levels of culture, heritage and development of the peoples in our country. There the hon. the Leader of the Opposition recognized the existence of peoples in our country and of the differences which are to be found among them. The second reality which he took into consideration, was the fears and anxieties which arise from those differences. I want to go a little further. I only want to draw attention to this point of apparent agreement, and that is that we do not want domination by one people over another. The National Party has been saying consistently that it does not want domination by any other people over the Whites in South Africa. Last year and again this year the hon. the Prime Minister forcefully made that point in this House. He said that he would not share with anybody the sovereignty, the control and the power to govern over his own people. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition took up a similar standpoint and, in the same column which I quoted, he spoke of the fears and anxieties which arise from those differences. That is the brave party which, by the mouth of its leader in Natal, painted for us a picture of peace and calm in South Africa. He looked at Cape Town and saw that Whites, Coloureds and Bantu were coexisting in great numbers and that they wire “well-fed”, and I do not know what other adjectives he used in this connection. He painted a picture of peace and calm, and that picture is supposed to suggest that we as Nationalists have a groundless fear with regard to the race and the ethnic situation in South Africa. It was that hon. member’s leader who spoke of anxieties arising from those differences. I have even read in the declaration by Messrs. Schwarz and Buthelezi that they are taking a similar reality into consideration. In point number four of their statement they say that they will do their best for a “constitutional solution for a South Africa free from domination by one group over others and ensuring the security of all its people”. This sounds very good but, as I want to indicate, the security and the self-determination of the various peoples in South Africa have by no means been guaranteed in the United Party’s recipe for federation. I shall try to indicate this presently.

There is a third apparent point of agreement between us. We envisage self-determination for the various peoples. I am not so sure whether the hon. member for Transkei envisages self-determination for the various peoples. As I have just indicated—the hon. member was not in the House then—he actually suggested that the Zulus and others were running away from identity. He said they could look back on a descent from a Zulu community but, and this I gathered from his words, great emphasis was not to be laid on a Zulu identity; a Zulu did not want to refer to a Zulu nation, just as the hon. member did not want to refer to a Zulu nation, just as the hon. member did not want to say he was an Englishman. Last year, when he spoke about the two changes which had been effected in the standpoint of the United Party on the basis of the policy which the National Party had carried through in South Africa, his leader took up a standpoint in column 385 which was fairly clear. This is how they accept the realities created by the National Party in South Africa. On that basis they come along and say: Now there are two steps which we should take; the first is (Hansard, Vol. 42, col. 385)—

First of all, we should eliminate to the maximum extent domination by one race group over another in respect of its own, most intimate affairs.

Up to now we have a point of apparent agreement, but where the United Party now chooses the political method whereby this right of self-determination is to be exercised and whereby there should not be any domination by the one over the other, there he fails hopelessly. It holds up to us a federation concept in terms of which the political self-determination of the White man is not going to be maintained in the long run and, if he wants to maintain such political self-determination in this Parliament and if this Parliament is to exercise authority over the whole of South Africa, it advocates the kind of “baasskap” which is abhorrent, not only abroad but also in South Africa. Neither the Nationalists, nor the Whites nor the non-Whites in South Africa would put up with that “baasskap”.

May I point out where, in my view, the difference lies between the United Party’s vague, hollowish idea of a federation, where talks are held and so forth, and the standpoint taken up by the National Party. The very first question is: What will the position of the non-White peoples under the sovereign White Parliament be? If I am not mistaken, the Leader of the Opposition intimated in reply to a question that this Parliament would retain its sovereign authority. But I think there was a rider attached to that as well, namely “unless it delegates some of those powers to the federal parliament from time to time”. If this Parliament is to retain the sovereign authority, and if it is to be a parliament consisting of Whites, it simply means that the rest of the peoples in South Africa will to a greater or lesser extent be kept or put in their position of subordination. I do not think that we can escape that conclusion. It means subordination. Suppose those nations were dissatisfied with subordination, or suppose it was our intention to maintain it; suppose we did not arrive at the rider which the United Party adds to its idea of the sovereignty of this Parliament; suppose we were faced with a referendum and the Whites said “that will be the day when we relinquish the sovereign control over our people and share it with other peoples”; suppose we said that we would refuse to do so—then one would be placing oneself on a powderkeg, because then one would not only be denying the right to self-determination of the other peoples, but would be oppressing them and seeking to keep them in that state of subordination by main force. Then one would be creating the most dangerous position in South Africa. No developed people will resign itself to subordination, and if the White man who is in a position where he is not subordinate, will accept a position where he will indeed be subordinated, then he will have forfeited his self-respect and relinquished his sense of self-determination.

I do not foresee that the White man in South Africa will reach that point where he will say, “I am prepared to relinquish my authority over my people or to share it with other race groups in South Africa.” In South Africa we visualize not only a White nationalism, not only a self-determining White community, but also a Xhosa nationalism, a Zulu nationalism, and this goes for as many peoples as there are, peoples who come to have a sense of identity and reach the point where they can claim self-determination in South Africa. Of course the hon. the Prime Minister said that we did not intend to force independence upon these people, because that would be a different way of exercising constraint upon them. That course is open to them, but if they do not follow that course, if they do not exercise the right to have their own self-determination, it will not mean that they will by those means be able to claim a share in the control over the self-determination of the Whites. The Prime Minister made this very clear. Perhaps this is also the answer to the hon. member for Turffontein. I think he has disappeared since I called attention to his desire also to cross over to this side of the House. At the same time this is also the answer to him as far as the Indians and the Coloureds are concerned. We say very clearly: You will not sit in this Parliament; you will not have a share in the control over the White man and his self-determination.

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

And what about their self-determination?


When that point crops up, it will be dealt with … [Interjections.] After all, those people must come and ask. The same applies as regards the Bantu homelands. If those people do not come forward to ask for their self-determination, it will not be forced upon them. The hon. member may as well forget about that.

We are opening the way, not only for White nationalism, but also for the development of nationalism in a variety of other peoples in South Africa.

I want to put a further question. What will be the position of the White Parliament in the federation? Suppose the federation has come into being. What, then, would be the position of this Parliament? There are a number of possibilities. The one possibility is that it might retain its sovereignty over the whole of South Africa and regard the federal parliament merely as a little playground where a limited amount of discussion would take place, where no binding decisions would be taken and where no sovereignty would be exercised. Then we would have a retention of the sovereignty of this Parliament—of the White man—over the whole of South Africa. I think we may feel free to say that we do not want to go on exercising such an authority over the whole of South Africa and over all peoples into the distant future. We do not want to. And secondly I want to say that I also do not think that we can do it. For moral reasons we cannot do it, and it will also be politically impossible to do so in the end, i.e. when each of these peoples are going to exercise that which we ascribe to a self-respecting people, namely to reach self-determination and, in a sovereign capacity, to decide on its own fortunes.

But there is a second possibility, and that is an immediate suspension of its sovereignty and to pool its authority with the rest of the peoples in South Africa. If this Parliament should give up its sovereignty and, as the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs pointed out, were to sit in conference on the basis of one man one vote, equal, around a table with the rest of the peoples in South Africa … It has now said: I have given it up and now we find a common formula for the future. Then it will have reached a point of, in fact, no return. Then it will not be able to contract out again, because it will have placed itself on a basis of dialogue, on a basis of “now we are equals and now we find the formula for the future”.

The third possibility of this White Parliament is that it may gradually transfer its authority, also the supreme authority, as the United Party foresees. Last year the Leader of the Opposition admitted that this Parliament could give away its power. On paper it can certainly give it away, but once it has done so, it cannot, in my view, recover it, unless it grabs it back by force. And that is not so easy. That will not be so easy. But here it must be added that if one gives away the supreme authority of this Parliament and one wants to take it back again—the old people have a proverb to the effect that to give something and then to take it back is worse than stealing—one will not be allowed to do so. That sovereignty which one will have abandoned, one would then no longer have.

One cannot eat one’s cake and at the same time serve it to one’s guests tomorrow. If one should want to take back that sovereignty by force, one would have a revolution and the most dangerous position in South Africa. But the members on the other side see their way clear to doing this. Then, opposed to that, I say that I stand by the standpoint of the National Party. I am not going to give away my right of self-determination and then start deliberating in order to have part of it back. I proceed from this assumption: I retain my authority over my people in that area over which I exercise sovereign authority, and then I confer with the other people so as to guide them to equivalent self-determination side by side with mine, but not to a sharing with me of control over my interests.

Sir, what will the position of the White man in that federation be? Suppose the federation is in existence and suppose one has thought away this White Parliament; now one has sailed out in good faith and now finds oneself in the great waters of the federation. What is the position of the White man there? Sir, to be concise this is what it will be—and this the Leader of the Opposition said as far back as 1959, and he said so in almost the same terms as the late Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd had done—namely, in the long run it is the numbers that are the decisive factor. In that federal parliament one will then have been delivered up to the numerical majority, and then the White man will be nothing but a powerless, an impotent appendage. His economic strength may then be great, but he will then have relinquished his political authority, and the National Party says: That we shall not do.

Sir, what are the powers of the federal parliament? Last year the Leader of the Opposition said there would be a number of things: the one is tourism, the other is pollution, and then, later on, water affairs. This will probably be done with the understanding that the White Parliament will, at least, still be there to bear the responsibility and to exercise the sovereign authority. Sir, that federal parliament, which will then be the highest body in which the non-White peoples will be represented, will surely not be satisfied. Surely the representatives of the non-White peoples will not be satisfied merely to, as they say, join in discussions, to take a small part in consultations and to give a little advice to the White Parliament. Surely they will not be satisfied to be saddled with tourism and pollution. Sir, surely those people will want to know: what about defence?

By the way, Sir, with due respect, it is a long time since I have listened to as irresponsible a reference to the defence of South Africa as that of the hon. member for Bezuidenhout—irresponsible with regard to our defence position in the world. Sir, surely that will mean that the federal parliament will demand a federal defence force; it will mean that there will be federal troops. Sir, in South Africa with its history and its tensions and, as the Leader of the Opposition said, with its fears too, can you imagine what the position and the function of a federal force, a mixed force consisting of Whites and non-Whites, will be? Do you think that that federal parliament will be satisfied?




Let me say to the hon. member for Hillbrow that he is under the sovereign authority of this Parliament, but if one has a federal parliament with a non-White majority, then surely they will determine and dictate what the function of its defence force will be. Has the hon. member for Hillbrow not thought as far as that?


He does not know what he is talking about.


Sir, we must warn the hon. members. South Africa has, in its history, had bitter experiences of a government which did not see the realism in South Africa and which used Coloured pandours to arrest and shoot Whites. I am not trying to defend the Whites, but it was folly to use those people to arrest Whites and to put them in such a position of power over them. I want to ask hon. friends on that side whether they want to do this again. I want to say this to them: The differentiation and the feeling relating to people and colour and race in South Africa, you will not think away and talk away and federate away, and because you cannot do so and will not do so, the National Party says: Respect those people in their own right and open up for them a road leading to self-determination side by side with that of the White man.

Mr. Speaker, concerning the power of their federation, one could ask the hon. members: What about foreign affairs; what about the relations of South Africa with the outside world? Surely federal parliament will want to say with what countries it wants to establish connections—and that is the party, Sir, which says, up to the bitter end, that Black states may develop which may establish communist connections once they become independent. No less a person than the previous Prime Minister, Dr. Verwoerd, said to them from that bench. “On paper there possibly is such a danger, but, when you have your federal system, there is a bigger danger that the whole of South Africa will have been delivered up to a Black majority and that the Black majority may establish those connections which you now fear so terribly.”

Sir, what will be the internal position under their federal policy? The hon. members on the other side also vote for residential segregation now; they too, stand for separate voters’ rolls, but suppose the federal parliament, in which the sovereign authority is vested, were to say to you: “Down with your residential segregation and down with your separate voters’ rolls”—then you will have been delivered up to a majority in South Africa. Sir, it is a foolish policy which the United Party is holding up to South Africa. It is a foolish policy, dangerous for the White man, unpractical for the whole of South Africa, and with no prospects of self-determination for the various peoples in South Africa.


Mr. Speaker, I do not intend following that hon. gentleman in his flights of fancy, or to deal with all the ghosts he saw today, because I think we should get back to the subject under discussion, which happens to be the motion which is before this House. But I want, however, to refer to one or two aspects of this speech. I do not know why this hon. gentleman gets so excited about “baasskap”. It is known that he flirted openly with the Hertzog Party; in fact he only came here when it became quite apparent that the Hertzog Party was not going to get anywhere. And, surely, “baasskap” is fundamental to the whole of the Hertzog philosophy.

Sir, he made great play of the concept of self-determination, but this is a vague concept and we must get this straight now. Every year we hear from the other side that the Black people of this country have the right of self-determination, but in terms of Government policy they have nothing of the kind, because what they are told is that they can become independent in impoverished little Bantustans but cannot share the riches of the rest of South Africa. That is the kind of self-determination with some of the most important objects excluded. That kind of self-determination is of no consequence to anybody. He talks about the Black Nationalism that the Government has evoked in this country. But that is precisely what we are concerned about because this Government has made promises which they cannot keep, and they have kindled aspirations which they cannot fulfil. Those things in the long term will cause South Africa considerable difficulty. He is also worried about the counting of heads. He says it will ultimately be a question of superior numbers. But this honourable and learned gentleman, who always quotes to us from erudite works, has misunderstood one of the fundamentals of a federal approach, because it is precisely under a federal system that you do not count heads. We know that under the American federal system a State like Alaska with 50 000 voters has two Senators, and New York State with 50 million voters also has two Senators. That is your safeguard in a pluralistic situation, where you have minority groups. It is to be found precisely in a federal system.

We have now reached the stage where we have devoted nearly half the time set aside for this debate.


May I ask a question?

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

I have only just started. In any case, the hon. member always asks such stupid questions that I do not want to waste my time by replying to a question now. The hon. member will have many other opportunities to speak.

†I have been interested in this debate because here my leader has launched this scathing attack against the Government to which there has almost been no response. I have been watching the key figures on that side. I saw the hon. the Prime Minister and his crown prince, the Minister of the Interior, but what a pathetic performance did we have from the hon. the Prime Minister! The hon. member for Yeoville once said that this is the weakest Prime Minister that we have ever had in South Africa, and based on the performance we saw on Monday I think he was quite right.

It is a pity that he should now have put himself in a position where he has to make sycophantic overtures and put himself in a position of servility to the hon. the Prime Minister after the observations that he has made previously. I also listened to the hon. the Minister of the Interior. He is the crown prince, we were told. However, this idea of turning this whole place into a joke—he was even trying to do that today too—makes me think that they should not refer to him as the crown prince, but as the clown prince. That hon. Minister has all the political weaknesses of the Prime Minister but none of his redeeming features. What is apparent here is that that side is just running an election. They are shrewd politicians, as my hon. leader has indicated, but they are very poor administrators. This whole debate is just a pre-election gambit as far as they are concerned. You can see the way they treat it; you can see that every single thing that is done is aimed at the ballot box, because the hon. gentleman on the other side are obsessed by votes. They crave votes in much the same way as the devil desires souls.


Give us your policy. [Interjections.]


To indicate how that side approaches the problem—in this, of course, they are helped by their Press—I want to deal with one or two observations made by the hon. the Prime Minister. The hon. the Prime Minister the other day attacked the credibility of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. One would expect the hon. the Prime Minister, with his training—he is a barrister by training—to weigh his words very, very carefully. If he attacks the credibility of other people, one would expect him to take great care to protect his own. The hon. the Prime Minister has the facilities of a vast civil service to understrut him, to give him all the up-to-date information. In fact, he had copious notes and newspaper cuttings and everything. The hon. the Prime Minister ought to have at his disposal all the facts of the situation, and it is the hon. the Prime Minister who has threatened to take action against the Press if they write, as he called them, ascertainable lies. One would therefore expect him, in particular, to be somebody who weighs words very carefully as far as quotations from other people are concerned. When he made his speech on Monday, in dealing with the so-called statement by my hon. leader on the oil issue, how did he express himself? I want to quote from his Hansard. He said—

Verlede jaar het hy gesê dat ons ons strategiese voorrade moet opgebruik want daar sal geen oorlog wees nie.

This is absolute rubbish. My hon. leader never said anything of the kind. One can see how these things are manipulated, if I may use the word. You can see this is the communist approach. You take a statement, there is one small distortion to it and then it gathers more and more momentum until ultimately—that is what you find in so many newspapers too—it becomes a big lie.


Order, order!


Sir, I was referring to newspapers; I was not referring to anybody in the House.


No, you were referring to the hon. the Prime Minister.


Order! I gained the impression that the hon. member was referring to the hon. the Prime Minister.


No, I can assure you that I was not, Sir, but in that case I withdraw it. I am not casting any aspersions. I am referring to the technique which in this case consists of taking one item of information, of taking a small untruth, which ultimately, through repetition, becomes the big lie. What happened in this particular case, because we must see it against the background that obtained here? In October last year, on 21 October, I think it was, the hon. the Prime Minister, in dealing with the oil issue tried to convey to us that in South Africa everything was rosy and that we, more so than any other country in the world, had no need to be concerned about the situation. I quote him, and I quote correctly—

Sover ’n mens se kennis strek, kan ’n mens die versekering gee dat voorrade, sover ’n mens in die toekoms kan sien, voldoende vir ons behoeftes sal wees.

The point that he could not see more than a month into the future is for the moment irrelevant. But we were given this assurance, in fact, we were told that we get the bulk of our oil supplies from Iran and it was suggested to us that because of the farsighted administrative genius of this Government South Africa would be the one country in the world that would have adequate supplies. That was the situation that was sketched and put to us by the hon. the Prime Minister and other hon. Ministers who support him.


Where was the Prime Minister supposed to have said this?


He was quoted in the newspapers as having said so and if the hon. the Minister has not read it then I will certainly make it available to him. Does he deny that the hon. the Prime Minister made that statement? [Interjections.] There are lots of things that he does not know about; that is precisely the problem. Here we had this encouragement, this guarantee, given to us in late October. All of a sudden in November the Prime Minister however rushes to the radio and makes another announcement. Now severe petrol restrictions are going to be imposed we are told and there is even talk of petrol rationing. Against this sort of background my hon. leader referred to this matter. I thought what he said was perfectly permissible under the circumstances. He said first of all: If they, the Government, want the full co-operation of the public they must take us into their confidence. Why not? You see, this is the situation that obtains in this country. Whenever the Government wants to hide anything, whenever they are vulnerable, then all of a sudden it becomes a State secret. I can assure hon. gentlemen there, if they do not know it, that as far as petrol supplies are concerned the world intelligence systems probably know to the nearest 10 000 barrels how much petrol we get into this country.


So what?


I was in America with that loquacious hon. gentleman a year ago, and in his presence our agricultural attaché told us that if he wanted to know what our maize crops in a particular year in South Africa were likely to be he did not ask our local department, but got the information from the Americans, because with their satellites that circle the earth they know precisely what South Africa is going to produce. Any intelligence system in the world, I can assure hon. gentlemen there, knows exactly what oil supplies are available and that is why the Prime Minister of a country like Holland, a country under greater pressure than any other country, released full information on the extent to which their oil supplies were cut back. The Americans publish to the nearest barrel exactly what oil they have. You are bluffing nobody when you try to pretend that this is a State secret. You live in a fool’s paradise if you think people do not know. Of course they know and so I thought it was perfectly legitimate for my hon. leader to have said that if the Prime Minister gave the public more details the chances of their full co-operation would be greater.

But my hon. leader went on, and I quote him word for word, not as the Prime Minister has quoted him. He said: “As at present advised it is difficult to understand the Government’s reluctance to use the strategic reserves. They are unlikely to be used for military purposes in the near future.” But how does the hon. the Prime Minister quote him? He says: “Verlede jaar het hy gesê dat ons ons strategiese voorrade moet opgebruik, want daar gaan geen oorlog wees nie.” There is no correlation whatsoever. You see, in any case, my hon. leader did not suggest that the strategic reserves should be used for joy-riding, but that they should be used for industrial and commercial purposes. Anybody that knows anything about the oil position will know that oil consumption by the private motorist accounts for less than one-third of the total oil that is used. The oil that we use in this country is used primarily for industrial and commercial purposes. Would hon. gentlemen now dare tell us that they would let the economy of the country run down and come to a complete standstill in order to keep some oil in certain places hidden from view? Is there anybody who can give me a guarantee that not a single gallon of strategic reserves has been used or is being used at the present time? No, Sir, but this had to become a great thing. The patriotism of my hon. leader had to be questioned. Whenever there have been problems in South Africa, his patriotism was not found wanting. But we cannot say the same of that side of the House.

But this question now goes further. After the Prime Minister had made this major mistake, my hon. leader had to express views on this matter again. He then said “I made a mistake”. He admitted it quite frankly. He said: “T must admit to an error of judgment. I did not realize how bad they were. I made a mistake, because I took the Prime Minister’s assurances seriously”. But how is it presented by the hon. the Prime Minister? He said, and I quote—

Tot sy krediet moet ons sê dat hy later verskoning gemaak het dat hy so “stupid” was.

What is the implication here? The implication is that if you believe the Prime Minister you are stupid. What an admission to make! This is the kind of tactics we are going to get in the election. It was clearly set out by the hon. the Prime Minister, not quoting what my leader had said, but exhibiting wishful thinking, putting words into his mouth, indicating what he wanted the Leader of the Opposition to say. And he is followed throughout by his Press. This is the standard of political morality in South Africa. I think it is far preferable to put a picture of Glenda Kemp in the newspapers than to allow them to use these kinds of tactics.

*Mr. P. C. ROUX:

What the heart thinks, the mouth speaks.


That hon. gentleman obviously talks from experience.

I want to come back to the issue raised by my hon. leader. He made it quite clear that what this Government is doing is undermining the future security of South Africa. I think that if there is one field which constitutes a classic example of precisely how this Government is doing this, it is in the field of labour and manpower utilization. What the Government is doing at the moment is risking the future security, not only of the workers in South Africa, but of business and of the country at large. This comes from a party which claims that they are nationalists and patriots. For people who are nationalists and patriots to follow a policy that will have the deliberate result of undermining our future security, is unbelievable. Now we are told that to the north of us there are many enemies who are ready to pounce upon us. I would have thought that under these conditions one would follow a policy which would make South Africa economically strong because in the long term it is our economic strength that will assure our future survival. The difficulty here is that we have a Government that is obsessed by an ideology. When the ideology determines that there can be no economic integration, then everything else is made subservient to it. Here we have a Government that is obsessed by an ideology, by race, by a myth that was dated even at the time of the great flood. They are trying to revive it, they are trying to bring it back and this apartheid idea of theirs, this piece of political illusion, this piece of crass political arrogance, they unleashed upon South Africa at a time when we were so well-placed to surge forward, to reach new heights and to get to a position where we could play a leading role in the world in which we find ourselves.

They impoverished us because of this ideology. I want to say right away that this idea, this system of separate development, this system of apartheid, would never have come to South Africa during Dr. Malan’s day because he had his feet much too firmly on the ground. It would never have come to us during Mr. Strydom’s day, because he was an acknowledged White baasskap man and he would have had no truck with this kind of neo-colonialism. This policy came to us via Drs. Eiselen and Verwoerd. Dr. Eiselen was a social anthropologist and he not unnaturally thought in terms of ethnic groups, little compartments and little separate entities. The role of the psychologist in this scheme is also quite clear. He had to try to persuade people that what was unattainable was in fact within their reach. So they formed a very formidable combination. In this way separate development, this whole idea of “Blank maar arm” and all its connotations was born. The tragedy for South Africa is that neither of these gentlemen had any understanding of economics and it is on the economics of the situation that this whole philosophy is floundering. That is why it is so ironical that today one of the severest critics of this policy should be Dr. Eiselen himself; in fact he indicated last year that the whole thing has got out of hand and that it has gone much further than he ever thought it would. In fact he accused the Government of having created a Frankenstein monster. Who is there on that side of the House who nowadays still quotes Dr. Verwoerd on these issues? Only the Hertzogites quote his pronouncements from time to time to boost their flagging spirits. But on that side of the House Dr. Verwoerd is forgotten. What has happened is that they are chiselling away at his basic policy, they are whittling away at it under the guise of making adaptations. Nobody is more active in this field than that busy little bee, the Minister of Sport and Recreation. They cannot, however, touch or change the basic tenents of the policy, because that would destroy the very reason for their existence. Here we have the situation, where today we are landed with this “arm maar Blank ekonomiese en arbeids-beleid”. This is what is left over from this combination by these two hon. gentlemen. This policy will fail because any economic policy which seeks to limit and to restrict the supply of labour is doomed to failure since it will affect the economic growth rate and in the long term it will affect our very existence. Hon. members must come to realize that all its basic premises are false. That side of the House was the side that told us that they were going to reverse the flow of people to the cities. In fact, 1978 was going to be the dramatic year when everything was going to change. Mr. Blaar Coetzee put his whole political reputation on the fact that he was going to send them back. Admittedly he did not have much of a reputation to put at stake, but what has happened to him today? He is in the unique situation that he must be the only man that the Prime Minister has fired twice! As we know the hon. the Prime Minister does not fire people readily because if he made merit a consideration, the Cabinet benches would be deserted. We are left now with the promise that they were going to reverse the flow. Anybody who knows anything about economics will know that, when you industrialize, you urbanize, and that people will flock to the cities in much the same way as water flows to the lowest-lying areas. You can put up dams and retaining walls and you should do so—there is nothing against that—but here we have a Government that wants to reverse the flow and that wants water to flow uphill. This is beyond the ingenuity of even that Government. In the meantime the hon. the Minister of Bantu Affairs has sleepless nights. He cannot work out whether the million Africans who live in Soweto are temporary permanent sojourners or permanent temporary sojourners. It is of no consequence because he is not going to be able to move them. They will be there for all time. You cannot make Soweto vanish like mist before the morning sun. To think that Soweto will disappear is to live in a fool’s paradise. Not only is Soweto there, but I want to say to you now that at the turn of the century, under the policy of this Government, Soweto will not have one million people but two million. You must come to terms with the reality of the situation and not live in the clouds as this Government is trying to do because, although they cannot meet the requirements of their own policy, we are left with an absolute network of laws and regulations that place a stranglehold on our economy and that prevent a free flow of workers to the areas where they are required. This is what undermines the future security of our country.

Now, if you have thousands of people who live there, obviously they must be stabilized. The hon. the Deputy Minister gets highly excited because I said they must be given citizenship rights. Does he want to deny them that? Is this not a fundamental right? He is a humanitarian, Mr. Speaker. He says that you cannot get them to own their own homes in Soweto because the next step will be that they will want to own a home in Houghton in Johannesburg. How stupid an approach to this matter! They are not asking for homes in Houghton, they are asking to buy their own house in Soweto. What has Houghton to do with it? It has absolutely nothing to do with the argument.


What if they should ask for a house in Houghton?


But, Sir, you have the migratory system, and this is what we are talking about when we say they must be granted citizenship. Under a system where people enjoy citizenship rights husbands will not be separated from their wives purely through administrative executive action. In a system where people enjoy citizenship rights children will not be removed from their parents as is happening at the present time. Sir, under this system of the Government, can you not see that the whole migratory system, which is an absolute blot on our society, will grow with leaps and bounds? Under this system the hon. the Minister—after all this is his policy—wants to make all Black workers migatory workers. When we talk about that system, perhaps you will just permit me, Sir, to quote somebody who is authoritative and who, concerning the migratory system, said the following:

In order to achieve the highest standard of living, we need the labour of Black men and we cannot do without it. If we must build our prosperity and our wellbeing on a wicked system, we should pay whatever it costs to get rid of that wicked system or do without that labour. One cannot as a moral human being say, “I will have migratory labour and thereby destroy the moral life and fibre of these people because it enriches me”.

The hon. gentleman who made that illuming statement is none other than the hon. member for Yeoville. I hope, now that he finds himself on that side, he will still continue to uphold these lofty ideals of morality. Under the present system that you have, you create a situation where the migratory system will become indispensable part of your industrial machine. It is for that reason that we must try to phase it out. What is apparently not understood by hon. gentlemen on that side is that they say that we can have no integration. I do not know what they are talking about. Let us look at the mining industry. Mining as you know is the basis to our whole economy. In fact, right at the moment gold-mining alone probably brings in foreign revenue to the extent of some R2 500m a year. But in mining we have 30 000 White workers and nearly half a million Black workers. The ratio between White and non-White is 1 to 17. Now, what are they talking about integration for? Integration occurred a long, long time ago. You cannot stop it. But the hon. the Minister says: No, it is not integration; it only becomes integration when a White worker takes his orders from a non-White supervisor. Then it becomes integration, otherwise not. The whole approach is farcical, myopic and extremely dangerous to South Africa.

Mr. Speaker, I want to turn now to the important field of industrial relations. [Time expired.]


Mr. Speaker, we have just been listening to the shadow Minister of Labour. He spoke for half an hour in his new capacity as shadow Minister of Labour. It is virtually possible for one to write down what he said on that subject on the back of a postage stamp, there was so little of it. This, then, is the party and its mouthpiece that want to go to the voters on 24 April to convince them—in the workers’ constituencies as well—to vote for the United Party’s labour policy. Today, in this half-hour speech, we heard precisely what the labour policy of the United Party consists of. We had an egg dance so as to explain away the Opposition Leader’s error of judgment, and we had everything but a statement on labour policy. And why is this so? Surely this is extremely significant. Why is it that we should have had a speech of this nature today from the shadow Minister of Labour of that side in a no-confidence debate which should in fact indicate the pattern for the election? Why is it that we should have had a speech such as this with a total lack of reference to anything which might be of importance to the workers? It if for one reason only and that is, to be specific, precisely the same reason as that which is prompting them to try to sell their federation policy to the voters. In other words, it is nothing but a big swindle. What we have had with this line of action, is completely in accordance with the way in which the United Party thinks, viz. that they think they can sell their federation policy to the voters of South Africa by giving them to understand that this Parliament will remain White and will decide which powers it will transfer to the Federal Assembly. Consequently there is nothing to fear. But anyone who is conversant with the realities of Africa knows without a shadow of a doubt that when this happens under a United Party such as this—which did not even have the courage today to state its standpoint on labour—the United Party government will be forced, step by step, to grant more and more powers. So, within a fairly short time, one would find oneself in the very position which we foresee, namely that the authority of the Whites in this Parliament and in this country would disappear. This is the swindle of the United Party with its federation policy and this is the kind of swindle we had today with their standpoint on labour. But these people are not going to get away with this with the voters; nor are they going to get away with it in this House.


Tell us about job reservation.


Today you are going to hear everything about job reservation there is to hear. At the election our people will want to know about it. The workers will want to know what the standpoint of the United Party is in this regard.




The hon. member will get it before the half-hour is over. The hon. member will not get an evasive answer; he will get an answer concerning the essential matters if he will only wait for it. Whereas this shadow Minister of the Opposition has now, without any argument, without any substance, implied in a passing remark that the Government’s labour policy is a failure, that the Government’s whole policy has failed, I think the most important question in this regard …

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

Tell us who said that.


Mr. Speaker, I think in this regard there is but one cardinal question to determine whether our policy has failed or succeeded. We say to this House and we say to the country: Test this Government on the basis of what we have achieved while we have been in office. The other speakers on that side who are going to take part in this debate, can test us on that basis and they can test us on that basis on public platforms in the election campaign and afterwards. Let them test us on the basis of this single question: What have we achieved while we have been in office? I think that possibly one of this Government’s greatest and most important achievements during its term of office has been to govern this country in such a way and to develop it in such a way that today we have employment opportunities for our people. That is one of our greatest achievements. In this the Government has succeeded brilliantly. We have virtually no unemployment today. Today, in this country, we have full employment. Everyone who is able and wants to work, has work of one kind or another.


What about the Black people?


Sir, it is interesting that we always get that reaction from the other side when we make this statement. Do that hon. member and other Opposition members know that we have between 320 000 and 350 000 foreign Blacks in this country—people from outside our territory? I just want to ask these parrot-like questioners whether they think that these 350 000 foreign Bantu are in this country because there is unemployment among our own Blacks? These 350 000 foreign Bantu are here because there are employment opportunities for them here; because our own Blacks are not economically active enough to do this work; that is why South Africa has 350 000 foreign Black workers today, and that is why it is so senseless for the Opposition, when we speak of full employment, to keep on asking: “Yes, but how many Blacks are unemployed?” In the light of these facts I want to tell hon. members that there are good employment opportunities in South Africa for the Blacks as well. Sir, this question concerning whether or not we have failed in this regard can also be tested against the way in which this Government has managed labour relations in this country during its term of office. The hon. member said that he wanted to deal with labour relations, but he said absolutely nothing meaningful on the subject. As far as labour relations are concerned, this Government has created the necessary and the appropriate legal machinery for White and Black to negotiate with their employers about their wages, and thanks to this action on our part, we have industrial peace in this country.


What about the strikes in Durban?


The hon. member asks that question with great and joyful interest and I am going to come to that shortly and shall also deal with the United Party’s role in the matter. Mr. Speaker, despite the recent Bantu strikes to which I shall refer in a moment, together with the United Party’s role in the whole affair, I just want to say that South Africa has non-comparable industrial peace. It is thanks to this industrial peace that South Africa has been able to raise its productivity so tremendously in recent years.

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

It is one of the lowest in the world.


I again want to read to you from the report of the Economic Adviser as submitted to the meeting of the Economic Advisory Council which took place on 19 and 20 November. I think it is of such great importance, in view of this type of accusation, that I must read a paragraph or two (translation)—

Apart from all the favourable developments referred to herein, there has been a notable improvement in yet another aspect, which has elicited considerable comment in the council and which augers well for the future. This is the improvement in the manpower situation.

This is what you referred to in a single half-sentence; but listen now, and you will get it in its entirety (translation)—

In contrast with the position over the past few years when most industries, virtually without exception, complained that their expansion was being restricted by the shortage of workers, skilled workers in particular, a number of the employers’ organizations, such as the Chamber of Mines, the Federated Chamber of Industries, the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut and the Federation of Steel and Engineering Industries of South Africa reported at this meeting that the position has now improved and that skilled labour, for the present at least, does not constitute a serious bottleneck. The development in the labour sphere is so much more noteworthy if regard is had to the fact that it coincides with a substantial increase in the physical production of most sectors.

Now I come to productivity, which you are rejoicing about so much because it is so low. It reads as follows (translation)—

At least part of the explanation for this is to be found in the improved utilization of the available manpower. This is clearly apparent from the fact that whereas the production per manhour in industry dropped by 0,9% in 1970, and by 0,04% in 1971, compared with the previous year in each case, it increased by 1,8% in 1972 and by 4,7% in the first nine months of 1973, compared with the equivalent period for the previous year.

Therefore, Sir, noteworthy improvement in our productivity has occurred, but now it is necessary for us to realize that this rise in our productivity could never have occurred if our White workers, who play such a key role in our whole labour pattern, were to have felt insecure as far as their jobs were concerned in the midst of the various steps taken by this Government to utilize Black labour more effectively.

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

May I put a question?


Yes, since you have said nothing about labour up to now, you might as well ask a question about it.

*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

I just want to ask whether the hon. the Minister accepts that the economic development programme is based on productivity rising by approximately 3% every year, and that the figures he has given us fall far short of even his own economists’ figures?


If the hon. member had listened attentively, he would have heard that I read out that it had increased by 4,7 %. [Interjections.] But be grateful now. The situation has improved as a result of all the steps taken, but now it seems to me as though you would rather plod along in the mud than applaud with us the progress of South Africa. But what is important, and this is something the United Party has failed to do in this debate and may also fail to do in this election, is to give the White worker, who plays such a key role in this whole production machine in South Africa, the assurance that his position will be safeguarded against pressure and the undermining of his standard of living. Without that, one would not have had this 4,7% rise in productivity. What one would have had, however, would have been the White worker resorting to the strike weapon in order to safeguard his position. But it has been unnecessary for him to resort to the strike weapon in these years because, in the first place, he knows that there is a National Party Government which will protect his position by means of, inter alia, job reservation. That is why he has not considered it necessary to resort to the strike weapon. But what does the United Party offer him? What is the United Party going to offer the workers’ constituencies in this election? I see that they have even nominated a man in Alberton to stand against me. What is Mr. Bands, evidently the brother of the hon. member for Um-hlatuzana, going to offer in Alberton? What will they offer? Absolutely nothing! After all, we had the proof of it today. The only thing that has been said about labour, is what the hon. member for Johannesburg North said yesterday: “Job reservation must be scrapped”. That is what has been offered and beyond that absolutely nothing on the part of the hon. shadow Minister today. As against that which the White worker is going to be offered in this election by that side, I say that as far as the National Party is concerned, there is nothing that is not clear concerning the policy of this party and the Government in regard to the White worker and labour affairs in this country. We shall continue in the spirit of the speech made by the hon. the Prime Minister at the meeting of the Co-ordinating Council and regarding which the hon. member for Hillbrow—it seems to me he is much better at Press statements than he is here in this House—said that there was doubletalk between the Prime Minister and myself about the question of the utilization of Black labour. I think, therefore, since the hon. member did not make that part of his speech in this House, that it is of importance that I refer to it. In the speech made there by the hon. the Prime Minister on 5 November 1973 he said, inter alia, (translation)—

The Government, therefore, does not stand in the way of the adjustment of the traditional labour pattern which would allow Black workers also in the White areas to enter categories of employment for which a larger degree of skill is required and in which they are able to earn higher wages than before and it is therefore untrue that the Government’s labour policy imposes restrictions on our economic growth. The condition on which these adjustments can be made is, however, that the security of the White worker is not endangered thereby and that they should therefore be affected in an orderly way and with the consent of the trade unions concerned, as I clearly stated in Cape Town recently and as the hon. the Minister of Labour has repeatedly stated and yet again at Krugersdorp on 20 September.

That, in brief, is the standpoint. I want to repeat the words I used at Krugersdorp. I said there at a regional conference of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (translation)—

The Government does not stand in the way of the improved training and utilization of the Bantu workers. On the contrary. The Government desires this and helps as much as it is able to give impetus to the process. To dispose of this aspect, I want to say: Train your Bantu workers to be more productive; consult your White workers in the process of making labour arrangements and you will decidedly have made a positive contribution towards increased productivity.

Thanks to this attitude on the part of the Government we have this rise in productivity today, because today, the White workers know that despite the greater utilization of the Black labour force which is taking place at present, development in this sphere will take place in our country in an orderly manner, and industrial peace will be maintained and their feeling of security will be acknowledged and they know that job reservation will be retained by the National Party Government.

At times we hear the cry from that side of the House, when they are issuing Press statements and not when they can be called to account here, by which they imply that it is this very system of job reservation of the National Party Government which is detrimentally affecting production and economic development. I want to quote from something which none other than the president of the F.C.I. said and he said it on the evening when the hon. member for Hillbrow was sitting not far from him. This is what Mr. Morcombe said—

All too often it has been stated by industrialists that the restrictions on the employment of labour have militated against industrial efficiency, have increased manufacturing cost and that employers in this sector must be given total freedom from all restraints before they can be expected to improve the effectiveness of their operations. It has become all too easy for us to take refuge behind such legislation. While it is true that some constraints do exist on industry’s freedom to improve the efficiency of its labour, it is nevertheless clear that at least under the present circumstances a greater degree of freedom exists and is being made use of by many industrialists.

I think that this confirms the sound standpoint of the Government, that one must maintain these measures to provide the necessary security and in that way, obtain protection. Therefore, it is as little the intention of this Government to abolish job reservation as it is to do what the United Party is asking us to do these days by way of Press statements, namely to acknowledge Bantu trade union rights.

I now want to refer to statements by the hon. member for Hillbrow. After the visit to this country of the British Trade Union Council, the hon. member said, inter alia, the following in a Press statement which appeared in the Rand Daily Mail on 12 October 1973—

U.P. wants Blacks in existing unions. United Party leaders have told the British T.U.C. delegation that they would prefer Africans accommodated in existing trade unions rather than that they set up their own trade unions. Confirming this last night Dr. Jacobs said …
*Dr. G. F. JACOBS:

But Marais Steyn says the same thing.


I do not think it is going to help the hon. member or his party to hide behind the hon. member for Yeoville in this election. They will have to try to stand on their own two feet. In dealing with the interests of these Black workers, the Government deemed the existing channels of communication which we had created, to be the best. The fact that today more than 700 liaison committees have already been established, is surely proof that this extended form of communication is serving its purpose. But according to the hon. member for Hillbrow and also according to one of their newly nominated candidates, Dr. Anna Scheepers, who must fight for them in Boksburg, it does not meet the requirements. In the Rand Daily Mail of 29 January 1974 the following, inter alia, appears, emanating from Dr. Anna Scheepers—

South Africa is at the cross-roads. Either we grant the mass of Black labour force trade union rights or you will have to accept the future loaded with threats of worsening labour trouble … All Black workers should be covered by the Industrial Conciliation Act.

Let me say at once that this federation-obsessed United Party apparently cares very little about the disastrous effect of this line of action and policy of the United Party on the labour situation in our country. Hence this reaction a few minutes ago concerning the strikes when the question: “What about the Natal strikes?” was asked with so much jubilation. Now I come to the Natal strikes. As far as these Natal strikes and the attitude of the United Party towards them are concerned, I want to say at once that the United Party must ask themselves in what company they find themselves with regard to these strikes. As far as these Bantu strikes are concerned, it is very clear that Whites are behind them, Whites who want to use the Black worker only as a weapon to upset the existing order in this country. If there is one thing which this Government will by no means tolerate, it is agitators who do not want to make use of the workers’ existing constitutional channels, and want to undermine law and order in this country. That is why the Government banned four people in Natal. It is very striking that not even the shadow Minister referred to that. Do you know what one of the reasons for that is? Because he has apparently heard that the industrialists, his own political people in Natal, considered this action to be the correct one by a Government which wants to maintain law and order after its having given these people fair treatment. The fact is, the communication channels which the Government created last year and the wage increases which were granted in this year that has just ended, definitely bear witness to the very fair treatment which this Government wants to give its Black workers. For the first time our Black workers have a statutory right to strike; but that is not enough for certain elements in this country. No, those people, such as those hon. members, who now refer jubilantly to the Natal strikes, regard this machinery as inadequate. This has been said by this very same approved U.P. candidate for Boksburg. They say that this works committee system will not work.

Here the primary concern is not the inadequacy of this machinery. The aim of these people in Natal is to twist the Government’s arm by means of this incitement and agitation, so that it may recognize Bantu trade unions in this country. That is what is behind this. Their aim in doing this is not to achieve a better wage position for the Blacks in this country, but to try to force this country in the direction of their political ideal. It is in that company that the United Party finds itself. To what extent the United Party finds itself in this kraal, I read in this report of the British Trade Union Council which they sent me. In this report they mention what a struggle it is to obtain Bantu trade union rights here, and about the attitude of the Government, which is supposedly unhelpful. Then they use these significant words—

Finally, the political opposition in the country was moving towards support of African trade unionism, and that was a factor which had not existed in the past.

The action of the United Party in support of Bantu trade union rights is now a ray of light for these people. This is a situation which did not exist in the past. That is why I say: Statements such as this concerning the United Party in the British T.U.C. report, coupled with this statement by the approved candidate for Boksburg and their own Press statement in the Rand Daily Mail definitely indicate that the United Party has today placed itself in the vanguard of those who agitate for trade union rights in this country. Since they have done this. I want to put it very clearly that this Government which regards that trade union organization as unnecessary and in the interests of neither the Black workers, nor South Africa, will continue with this present system of communication.

On the part of the Government I want to repeat that the machinery which has now been developed to meet South Africa’s circumstances and requirements, is the right machinery and the best. But now the United Party, together with the British T.U.C. and Tucsa of South Africa, want to force a trade union system on the Black man here in South Africa for which no spontaneous need exists and for which he is not asking either. This is what the United Party, the British T.U.C. and Tucsa now want to force upon the Black workers. The fact that more than 700 liaison committees exist today, is an indication of where the true need lies. That is why I want to tell you that the Government will continue with its policy to promote the interests of the Bantu workers in the best way and will not allow itself to be dictated to by outsiders. Least of all will the Government allow itself to be guided by advice from trade union leaders whose approach in their own country is at this moment steering their own country towards a state of chaos. We shall not allow ourselves to be guided by such advice.

In accordance with Standing Order No. 23, the House adjourned at 7 p.m.