House of Assembly: Vol47 - THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY 1974
Mr. Speaker, I move—
- (1) That, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 30, on and after Tuesday, 12 February, Government business shall have precedence on Tuesdays and Fridays after Questions have been disposed of;
- (2) that notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 22 the hours of sitting shall be:
- (a) from Monday, 11 February, to
to Friday, 22 February:
Monday to Thursday:
2.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.;
8 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
10 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.;
2.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
- (b) from Monday, 25 February:
Monday to Wednesday:
10 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.;
2.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.;
8 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
- (a) from Monday, 11 February, to
As the hon. the Prime Minister has already told the House, the election will take place on 24 April. The proclamation dissolving Parliament will appear on 28 February. So Parliament must adjourn on 27 February at the latest. There is quite a lot of work to be done between now and then. We have only three weeks left. There are all the financial measures that have to go through; for example, my Additional and Part Appropriation Bills and those of the Minister of Finance and of the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. In addition there are a number of important Bills that have to be piloted through Parliament during this session.
In order to pilot all this through the House, additional hours of sitting are needed. The possibility exists that there may be more additional hours of sitting over and above those proposed here, but they will be submitted to the House at a later stage. I am very sorry that hon. members have to work so hard, but this is the normal custom. In any short session before a general election, there are usually additional hours of sitting, and this is usually accepted by the House.
You should have thought of that long ago.
It is ridiculous to make a remark like that. I am dealing here with the business of the House. If hon. members wish to object to an earlier election, they have the opportunity to do so. I am concerned with the business of the House, in my capacity as Leader of the House.
Which are the important Bills that must be passed?
I shall let hon. members have that list one of these days, as soon as notice has been given of those Bills. I must say that the Whips on that side of the House already have the list of those Bills in their possession. I find it surprising that the Whips on that side have not yet informed hon. members of this.
I should like to know what the Bills are that are so important that you have to subject the House to this.
When those Bills come before the House, the hon. member will find out why they are so important, and then hon. members will have every opportunity to debate. I am now dealing with the business of the House and the additional hours of sitting provided for in this motion. At the very first opportunity I shall tell the House which Bills have to be passed this session and which may stand over until next year.
I just want to add that the Railways and Harbours Additional Appropriation Bill will come up on Monday. I gave notice of it today; tomorrow we shall take the First Reading and the Second Reading will be taken on Monday. We hope to dispose of the Post Office Appropriation Bills next week. The Minister of Finance will deliver his speech on Friday. Then the debate will be adjourned and we shall move on to his Additional Appropriation. That will be the business for next week.
Mr. Speaker, we wish to register our protest against this method of organizing the session. Surely the hon. the Minister knew what the programme for the session would be? It is quite correct that the hon. the Minister gave us a list of Bills which would have to be passed this session and a list of Bills which might go through this session. He gave us the list and members on this side know of that list. However, I want to remind the Leader of the House that some years ago when the late Dr. Verwoerd was Prime Minister of this country, he appointed a committee to go into the question of the revision of the Rules. That committee submitted a unanimous report. The committee sat under the chairmanship of Mr. Paul Sauer and I am sure that the hon. the Minister will concede that Mr. Paul Sauer was an experienced parliamentarian. When that committee reported to the House in regard to the Standing Rules and Orders, it also had various recommendations to make in regard to the hours of sitting, which the Minister now wishes to set aside. If the hon. the Minister knows the Rules of this House, surely he could so plan the work of the House so that by sitting normal sitting hours we could have the election a week later. If we sat normal hours we could get through the programme, which is suggested by this motion, a week later, and then we could have the election a week later. It appears that the whole tactic is to suggest to the House that it was a surprise decision of the hon. the Prime Minister to announce that the election would be held on 24 April. Apparently most of the staff in the Verwoerd Building next door knew about it but many members on this side brought their families down. This could have been avoided had they known. The Opposition has been treated with almost cynical contempt. We have been told: “Here is a list of Bills; these might go through, these must go through, those are the hours, take it or leave it.” We cannot debate this matter at length because the hon. the Minister has brought this motion up in private members’ time and this time comes out of the time allocated to the no-confidence debate. Perhaps it is regarded as good tactics to do this. It is not fair to the House to ask it to debate Bills which we have only seen this week at very short notice and it also places an unfair burden on the staff. The staff also require consideration. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that this is not the way to run the programme of this House. What the hon. the Minister should have done was to work out the programme and then fix his dates, based upon the normal working hours of Parliament. The committee which revised the Rules consisted of an equal number of members from both sides of the House and its decision was unanimous. That committee recommended that our present hours of sitting were the best to ensure that there would be a proper debate, a proper study and proper consideration of legislation which came before this House. For the hon. the Minister to suggest here today that this is an election session and that we therefore can revert to the bad old days is, I am sorry to say, net a good way of ending up his career in this House.
Mr. Speaker, I thought that the hon. member would protest more than he did. I expected that hon. members opposite would debate this motion for some time. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, if hon. members all talk at once I cannot reply. If hon. members will speak one by one, then I shall be able to reply to them.
You want to get away from the no-confidence debate.
No I was under the impression that hon. members opposite wanted to get away from the no-confidence debate.
I was informed that there was going to be a very long debate this afternoon because hon. members were objecting to an early election.
Who informed you of that?
Sir, that was the general impression I gained. I was informed by the Whip that they were going to protest. He did not say how long they were going to protest, but he said that they were going to protest. Obviously if I was in the Opposition I would have protested.
Sir, the hon. member for Pinetown says that I am setting aside the recommendations of the Sauer Committee, and that we could sit the normal hours and have the election a little bit later. But surely the hon. member’s memory cannot be at fault; he knows that every short session we sit additional hours. In 1970 I moved on 12 February that from Mondays to Fridays the sitting hours would be from 2.15 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., and on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12.45 p.m., and from 2.15 p.m. to 630 p.m., and that after Tuesday 10 February Government business would receive priority after questions. Sir, it is the usual thing.
You are quoting your own precedent, so you are behaving wrongly.
Sir, the amusing part of it is that hon. members on that side supported this unanimously at that time. There were no protests; there was no debate and there was no objection. Hon. members accepted it in 1970, but today they protest. [Interjections.] If hon. members will talk one at a time, I will reply to them, but I cannot reply to a chorus.
How many morning sittings were there?
Mr. Speaker, it was unnecessary because we could complete all the work without the necessity of morning sittings, but this time it might be necessary; it depends on the Opposition. If they help me to expedite the work of the House, there will be no morning sittings; it is entirely in their hands.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say that this is the usual thing; it is nothing out of the ordinary. There are certain Bills—and I will give hon. members a list of them at the first opportunity—which must be passed this session. There are very few contentious Bills that we will pass this session—possibly one, perhaps none—and the Opposition Whips know that. I accept the protest; I suppose hon. members had to make it in view of the election. I know that they want to get on with the no-confidence debate, so I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to put the question.
Question put and the House divided:
AYES—109: Aucamp, P. L. S.; Badenhorst, P. J.; Bodenstein, P.; Botha, G. F; Botha, H. J.; Botha, L. J.; Botha, M. C; Botha, P. W.; Botha, R. F.; Botha, S. P.; Botma, M. C.; Brandt, J. W.; Coetsee, H. J.; Coetzee, S. F.; De Jager, P. R.; De Klerk, F. W.; De Villiers, D. J.; De Wet, M. W.; Diederichs, N.; Du Plessis, A. H.; Du Plessis, G. F. C.; Du Plessis, G. C.; Du Plessis, P. T. C.; Du Toit, J. P.; Engelbrecht, J. J.; Erasmus, A. S. D.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Grobler, W. S. J.; Hartzenberg, F.; Hayward, S. A. S.; Henning, J. M.; Herman, F.; Heunis, J. C.; Hoon, J. H.; Horn, J. W. L.; Jurgens, J. C.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Koornhof, P. G. J.; Kotzé, W. D.; Kruger, J. T.; Langley, T.; Le Grange, L.; Le Roux, F. J. (Brakpan); Le Roux, J. P. C.; Loots, J. J.; Louw, E.; Malan, J. J.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, P. S.; Maree, G. de K.; McLachlan, R.; Meyer, P. H.; Morrison, G. de V.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, H.; Muller, S. L.; Munnik, L. A. P. A.; Nel, D. J. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Otto, J. C.; Palm, P. D.; Pelser, P. C.; Pienaar, L. A.; Pieterse, R. J. J.; Potgieter, J. E.; Potgieter, S. P.; Prinsloo, M. P.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Rall, M. J.; Raubenheimer, A. J.; Reinecke, C. J.; Reyneke, J. P. A.; Rossouw, W. J. C; Schlebusch, A. L.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, H.; Schoeman, J. C. B.; Smit, H. H.; Steyn, S. J. M.; Swanepoel, J. W. F.; Swiegers, J. G.; Treurnicht, A. P.; Treurnicht, N. F.; Van Breda, A.; Van der Merwe, C. V.; Van der Merwe, H. D. K.; Van der Merwe, P. S.; Van der Merwe, S. W.; Van der Merwe, W. L.; Van der Spuy, S. J. H.; Van der Walt, H. J. D.; Van Heerden, R. F.; Van Tonder, J. A.; Van Vuuren, P. Z. J.; Van Wyk, A. C; Van Zyl, J. J. B.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Viljoen, M.; Viljoen, P. J. van B.; Volker, V. A.; Vorster, B. J.; Vorster, L. P. J.; Weber, W. L.; Wentzel, J. J. G.
Tellers: W. A. Cruywagen, P. C. Roux, G. P. van den Berg and H. J. van Wyk.
NOES—43: Bands, G. J.; Basson, J. A. L.; Baxter, D. D.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Cadman. R. M.; Cillié, H. van Z.; Deacon, W. H. D.; De Villiers, I. F. A.; Emdin, S.; Fisher, E. L.; Fourie, A.; Graaff, De V.; Hickman, T.; Hopewell, A.; Hughes, T. G.; Jacobs, G. F.; Malan, E. G.; Marais, D. J.; Miller, H.; Mitchell, D. E.; Mitchell, M. L.; Moolman, J. H.; Oldfield, G. N.; Oliver, G. D. G.; Pyper, P. A.; Raw, W. V.; Smith, W. J. B.; Stephens, J. J. M.; Streicher, D. M.; Suzman, H.; Taylor, C. D.; Timoney, H. M.; Van den Heever, S. A.; Van Eck, H. J.; Van Hoogstraten, H. A.; Von Keyserlingk, C. C.; Wainwright, C. J. S.; Webber, W. T.; Wiley, J. W. E.; Winchester, L. E. D.; Wood, L. F.
Tellers: W. M. Sutton and J. O. N. Thompson.
Question accordingly agreed to.
Bill read a First Time.
After having heard absolutely nothing of importance on any labour matter from the new shadow minister of labour, Dr. Jacobs, in this debate yesterday, I should now like to ask whether this attitude of running away will also be the attitude which the Opposition will adopt on crucial matters in this election. Since that hon. member for Hillbrow and the approved candidate for the United Party in Boksburg, Dr. Anna Scheepers, have now indicated by means of Press statements that they support the recognition of Bantu trade unions, I should like to express the hope that, since the hon. member has now decided to remain silent on the matter for which he was appointed, the more courageous member who is sitting in front him and who is now going to take part in the debate as well, the hon. member for Durban Point, will tell us in his contribution today whether the United Party supports the standpoint of its spokesmen, as mentioned, that trade union rights for Black workers should be recognized, and whether they are going to propagate this in the workers’ constituencies of our country as well. I think you owe it to this House, especially since we are on the eve of an election, to tell us whether the United Party is going to ask the voters for a mandate to grant Blacks trade union rights. I think the hon. member for Durban Point, who usually presents a courageous appearance, should make that statement to this House today. [Time expired.]
I do not know why it is necessary for the hon. the Minister who has just resumed his seat, to address his inquiries to me while the architect of our trade union policy, namely the hon. member for Yeoville, is sitting on his side. Last year the hon. member for Yeoville stated our policy very clearly in this House and there has been no departure from that policy. There is no departure from that. We agreed with him that it was a sound and, what is more, a responsible attitude to adopt with regard to the Black workers in South Africa. I shall not allow myself to be side-tracked into devoting the rest of my time to a discussion on labour only, but I want to say here unequivocally, as the hon. member for Yeoville, too, explained it last year, that our attitude is that there are three groups of Black workers. The top group, the professional group, should enjoy trade union membership, in other words, professions such as those of journalists, doctors, etc. Secondly, we stated it clearly that the skilled worker should have associated membership together with Whites in the trade unions, in other words, to participate in the trade union movement under the leadership, the responsibility and the experience of the existing White trade unions. Then we said that the third class, the unskilled labour, should make use of the works committee system with the necessary improvements, a system which this hon. Minister and his Government have left lying on a shelf for so many years without using it, but which they are now suddenly trying to adapt. I say this is a responsible attitude. It has regard to the position, the standards and the level of development of the various groups, from those who enjoy trade union membership to those in the works committees. I am not going to dwell on this at any length. If he wants further information, the hon. the Minister may ask the hon. member for Yeoville.
Sir, this hon. Minister showed us one face of their election tactics, namely the “wonderful Government” … [Interjections.] … which does everything right. He also showed the second face of their election tactics, namely the Black peril tactics, the tactics of “here comes the bogeyman” and of “beware of the United Party supporters!” He does not use words like “your daughter will have to marry a so-and-so”, but that is the spirit in which he abuses the responsibility of a Minister to indulge in making political propaganda, intimidatory propaganda, here in this House. In the election campaign itself we shall see the irresponsible two-faced tactics of the National Party very clearly.
What did the hon. the Minister say? Test us against our deeds. Let us look at these deeds, the deeds which the hon. the Minister mentioned himself. In the first place he spoke of “no unemployment amongst the Whites, Coloureds, Indians or Bantu”. He also spoke of the foreign Bantu, the Bantu from outside our borders, who work here. Sir, this is a matter of elementary arithmetic. This, after all, is a Minister who must handle the Post Office Budget. But he cannot do the most elementary arithmetic. The fact is that employment opportunities are increasing at a slower rate than the increase in the population. If there are more people, and the number of additional employment opportunities do not increase to the same extent, any person with a grain of common sense should realize that there must be unemployment.
†But, Sir, what is the position? The hon. the Minister uses the official statistic. What he forgets is that as soon as a Bantu worker in a city loses his job, he is quietly endorsed out and sent back to the homelands. He then ceases to be “unemployed.” He is not working but he is no longer unemployed; he has been endorsed out and so he disappears into “limbo”. That is where that hon. Minister gets his “no unemployment” from. Let him ask the homeland leaders what the position is. I challenge him to deny that the homeland leaders have complained to this Government and to the Prime Minister about the return to the homelands of people without jobs, people for whom there is no work, and that they have said “do not send us the unemployed from the cities; we have nothing to give them to do”. And that is the hon. the Minister who holds up as one of the great deeds of this Government that there is no unemployment.
He said there were no strikes, except for a few that were created by agitators. I am not going to argue that there were no agitators, Mr. Speaker. I want to issue a simple challenge to the hon. the Minister. I challenge him here across the floor of the House to bring to court the agitators and to charge them before the courts of South Africa. Then, Sir, he can show the world which criticizes us, then he can show the enemies of South Africa, that in fact there is industrial peace. Then he can demonstrate the fact that people did not strike for better wages; they struck because of criminal agitation by people trying to overthrow law and order in South Africa. That is what he said, “hulle agiteer teen die be-staande orde”. In other words, he laid the blame on criminal agitation. I challenge the hon. the Minister to bring them to court so that the world can see that criminal revolutionaries were responsible for the strikes and not R9 per week wages, R8 per week wages, or lower wages, in many cases.
The third achievement is that there is no shortage of skilled labour and he quotes one single bit of evidence. What has happened is that all his controls have fallen apart. There is no more control today. What is happening, and the hon. the Minister cannot deny it, is that more than half of the Black labour employed today is illegally employed in the work which they are doing and he can do nothing about it. Of course there is no shortage. It is because the industrialists have had to take the law into their own hands, because this Government has failed either to apply the law or to provide them with the workers they need. He said that there is industrial peace, because the White worker knows he is safe. But he does not tell us that job reservation has fallen apart, that job reservation no longer works. Let him go to Newcastle, let him go to any town, let him go all over South Africa. He himself has said that job reservation only affects 2% of the workers.
Lastly, he said that this is a wonderful Government because they are training Black workers and that they now have four training centres to do this. After 26 years of government they ask the electorate to vote for them because they have established four training centres to train Bantu workers; and some time they will start training the first Bantu worker.
This was typical of the debate to which we have listened, this clutching at straws by this Government. They have had their bit of fun, clutching at the straws of passing domestic problems on this side of the House. In fact, if it were not for that we would have had no speeches from half the members on that side of the House. Anyone can play that game. We have never had a nomination contest where we have had a full-page advertisement on why a sitting M.P. on the Government side should be chucked out, with photos of all the people who want to chuck him out. Another full-page advertisement in colour carries the caption “Uitenhage twis alweer”. Another reads “No mercy for 28 Cape Nat rebels”. Another full-page advertisement in colour has the heading “Hoë on-min oor Swiegers, L.V.” That is the sort of nomination contest they have—but they talk about us. Even the hon. the Prime Minister, who is the “great politician”, is out of date. There is a new one and here is his picture too. “Theo Gerdener, leader of realistic South Africans—meet today’s top politician.” Where was he? Was he not sitting here opposite me as that hon. Prime Minister’s Minister of the Interior? Now he is South Africa’s top politician. The hon. the Prime Minister should go and meet him. They have had other troubles and they have them now. They have the ghost of Albert Hertzog walking through their ranks. Anybody who listened to the hon. member for Odendaalsrus and anybody who has listened to some of the other speeches like that of the hon. member for Worcester and others would have heard the ghost of Albert Hertzog walking. We can all have fun with this sort of thing, but does this solve the problems of South Africa?
I want to come back to the motion moved by my hon. leader, a motion dealing with the security and welfare of the people of South Africa. He said that security means more than mere military force. It means more than saracens and FNs. It means real permanent long-term security—for your children, the children of those members and for the children of these members on this side of the House. For all our children their security is more than a machine gun. Their long-term security is the loyalty of all the people of South Africa towards law and order. We have not had an answer to that. Instead the Prime Minister stood up and announced an election because of the “uncertainty of the international situation”. We have now to accept that from that “ons sal nie buk nie” party! They will not bend the knee to foreign pressure; but the Prime Minister gives up his government a year before the time. They may not bend the knee, but they just throw their government out a year before the time because of foreign uncertainty. If I had the time, I could prove this. I have the evidence in this week’s South African Digest, blowing his argument to pieces. Nonsense? Of course, it is nonsense. It is not that “ons wil nie buk nie”; it is that “ons kan nie meer regeer nie”.
I prefer the priorities of my leader to the tactics of the Government. As I am talking here this afternoon, over 100 000 young South Africans have a military commitment to South Africa. They are making sacrifices. As we sit in the air-conditioned comfort of this Chamber, young men that we know or who are our relatives, are trudging through the heat and unpleasantness of the Caprivi and our northern borders. Yet we sit here and make jokes; we sit here and play the fool over side-issues that have no meaning.
“We,” talking of the Government. What does it mean to the man who may at this very moment be blown up by a landmine or attacked in an ambush; what does it matter to him if we have a bit of trouble internally in the United Party or if that party wants to play politics? What matters to those boys and to their mothers, to all of South Africa, is the security of South Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister somewhere between the sixth and seventh joke—no, it was between his seventh and the eighth joke—swept aside the whole question of defence by saying that it is in the hands of the “best Minister”. I want to say that the hon. the Minister of Defence and I, when we are not fighting Oudtshoorn by-elections, understand each other, and we share a common objective. In the recess, once again, the hon. the Minister invited me in my capacity as chairman of our defence group, to go with him to the border. We have had many discussions. He has made information available to me. He has made available the co-operation of the Defence chiefs—in whom I have full confidence. I appreciate it and I hope the Minister will acknowledge that I have reciprocated it. It is therefore unfortunate that the Prime Minister should have made Defence a personality issue, that he should have said that South Africa’s security and defence rests on the person of the Minister of Defence. That was his sole answer to the challenges of my leader. I want to shatter the hon. the Prime Minister’s illusion. The hon. the Minister of Defence, in normal circumstances—I will give him credit—does an excellent job.
Yes, I give credit where it is due. He listens to his experts in the Department of Defence. He cooperates; he tries to keep politics out of defence as such. I give him full marks. But the hon. the Minister, if he is scratched, if he is criticized, is too quick to anger; he gets excited and loses his cool. I want to ask: If the crunch should come, is it a recommendation to lose your cool and become excited because you are cross and get worked up? Is that a recommendation as a security risk? Sir, when we take over the government after 24 April, I do not believe that South Africa will regret the change which will be made in the control of the defence of South Africa.
I want to come back to the issue of security. We have before us in the House a bill of which I am not going to discuss the merits or the details, a bill which will call for nearly five months of additional sacrifice on the part of the White youth of South Africa. If we are to look at the whole picture we must look at it in the light of the increasing demands which we are making on the four million people who carry the responsibility for all the military defence in our country. My leader posed certain questions which remain unanswered, including the question of why the Government is so dilatory in incorporating the Black people of South Africa in the defence of our country. I recognize their dilemma with their policy of separate loyalties. The United Party has no such dilemma because we believe in a common loyalty and a common patriotism.
The police have recognized this, and I believe that loyalty to South Africa carries with it a need for participation. You cannot say to a person that he has no place here, that he does not belong here, that he has no rights here but that he must help us to keep our little exclusive security secure. If you want the loyalty and the co-operation of people, I believe that you must make it clear to them that they do not only share and have a stake in South Africa, but that they, through their patriotism, can participate in South Africa’s security.
I do not want to go into history, but in World War I there were Coloureds who were armed and who fought as operational troops. In World War II they started as transport and service troops. By 1942 they were armed and trained as infantry. Now in 1972 and in 1973 we are back where the United Party was over 30 years ago. We have records of the loyalty of these people. One’s mind goes back to Isandhlawana where the Natal Native Contingent fought against the might of the Zulus on the side of the White man. They fought side by side for the authority of the Government against the might of the Zulus which humbled British military arms. I can speak with some pride because there was a Raw and a Vause leading those Native troops. One of the hon. members opposite is laughing. He laughs at the loyalty which Black people showed to the Government under which they were living.
He is laughing at Vause Raw!
We have the example that the homeland leaders have offered and have asked to participate in the defence of South Africa. We have the example of our neighbours, neighbours such as Angola, Mozambique and Rhodesia. Then there is also the example of the police. Why then the hesitancy? Is it fear, prejudice? The police arm Africans for service internally and in a para-military capacity. The prisons arm African guards. We have armed game guards. In spite of all this the world has not come to an end. The people of South Africa have accepted it as I believe they will not only accept, but welcome the participation of patriotic Black citizens of South Africa in helping to defend our country.
I want to say that it is our policy and that when we become the Government we will form not token militia, but operational units which could help to share the burden of defence with the White people of South Africa. We talk of using aptitudes to their best advantage. Can one imagine a better advantage than an African who was born and brought up in the bush, used to the heat and the conditions, fighting for South Africa in the conditions which he knows best? Clerks, artisans or specialists from the cities adapt themselves wonderfully and they are doing wonderful jobs, but surely South Africa would be even more secure than we are now should we use the aptitudes of the people who were born and brought up in the conditions under which they would have to fight.
Obviously there would have to be control and discipline through the South African Defence Force. There must not be a divided control. Obviously there would have to be selected volunteers. We believe there would have to be separate units. We believe we could have transport units, engineering units, hygiene units. Imagine such an engineering unit being trained in the reserves, helping to build roads, bridges and dams in their own homelands while they are undergoing military training. Then they can go and help repair some of the shocking roads up on the northern borders of South Africa.
Not only do I commit this party to that point of view, but I want to give the undertaking here to the Minister, to the hon. the Prime Minister and to South Africa that if the present Government, whilst it is still in power, should do what I have suggested now, I pledge this side of the House not to exploit such action in any way nor make political capital of it. We will support it and we will not in any way exploit or make use for political purposes what I believe is necessary in the interests of the security in South Africa. We believe that this is too big a thing to play politics with. It is too big a thing for one side or the other of this House to handle alone. We have confidence in the loyalty and patriotism of the citizens of South Africa. We have confidence in their ability to play a part and we believe that we in South Africa could train them and inculcate in them skills and abilities far better than those being inculcated into the Black people who are being trained in terrorist camps in Tanzania by Chinese instructors.
We could strengthen our forces and spread the burden so that not only would all South Africa participate in the defence of the country, but all South Africans could then feel that they have a stake in the defence of the country. This is something which I believe is urgent. That is why it has to be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity. It is urgent; it cannot wait for elections. We cannot dilly-dally over it. It is something we must face now. I hope that South Africa will be able to say that here was a field in which, despite all the prejudices and fears of the past, South Africa overcame and was bigger than politics.
However, I do not want to go further into the subject. I do not now want to enter into other fields—there are many fields one could discuss. We have criticisms and things which we believe are good. But I believe it would detract from the importance of the issue I have raised if I should raise them now. I hope that we in this House will show that we are South Africans and that the issue of security which my hon. leader raised here—as a fundamental issue of this debate—is a fundamental issue in all our hearts and not a matter for playing politics and scoring debating points.
Mr. Speaker, in the course of my speech I shall deal with the arguments of the hon. member. To begin with I want to refer to statements made by the hon. member for Green Point and the hon. the Leader of the Opposition when they spoke. To my astonishment the hon. member for Green Point said the following (Hansard, 5 February 1974)—
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition, in turn, used these words (Hansard, 4 February 1974)—
I refer to these two statements because, for the sake of the record and for the sake of the truth, they cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. I do not blame the hon. member for Green Point for raising matters of this nature in a responsible way, but I do think that he did a very dangerous thing by referring to a particular country in the terms he used. It is a known fact that South Africa does for various reasons—on account of standardization and the very good quality it can get there—place large orders with a certain country. But to allege that that country exploits South Africa, to allege that that country makes South Africa pay prices which are unjustified, that, in my opinion, is an outrageous allegation for an hon. member to make in public. I am amazed that the hon. member for Green Point should be guilty of this, because usually he is very, very responsible when discussing defence matters.
The hon. member also wanted to know with whom we were conducting dialogue in the field of military matters. Is it really the desire of the Opposition that we should at all times state in public with whom we are conducting dialogue in the military sphere? South Africa is a small country but it has major enemies as a result of its situation and as a result of its particular position in the world. South Africa has good friends in the military sphere and dialogue is being conducted and not only with chiefs of defence forces either. Dialogue is being conducted by our representatives in other countries as well. We have more than 15 very good official representatives in the free world today, in the leading countries of the free world in the military sphere, and there is continuous dialogue between us. Must I spell it out? In the circumstances in which the world finds itself, in which South Africa finds itself, must I spell it out? Would it not be more correct for hon. members to make sure of the facts before making statements of this nature? Our armaments organization is building up valuable contacts for South Africa in the sphere of engineering and of the electronic industry. We have contacts with numerous countries in the armaments development process, and the know-how we have acquired in recent years is not a know-how which is to the benefit of ourselves alone but something which we also utilize on our friends’ behalf. I want to go further and make the statement today that in the field of armaments we are no longer beggars in the world. We converse with people face to face, as equals. But what is more, we are in the position today where we can choose what we produce and when we want to produce it. In South Africa we produce what we need, when it is economic to do so, and when it is not economic as a result of the numbers we require, then we buy it off the shelf or we buy it from other countries. But in South Africa today we have the know-how to make virtually everything we require, and if it is uneconomic and we need it and we cannot get it elsewhere, then we make it, whether it is economic or not. But, Sir, I want to go further and say that we are producing spare parts in South Africa today which we export to the countries of origin at prices lower than those at which they were supplied to us originally. This story that we have no dialogue, that we no longer have any links with other countries and that we are isolated, where does it originate? After all, it is not correct. There are no grounds whatever for saying this, and this statement is being made here to the detriment of South Africa and it also boosts the morale of our enemies. Sir, let me give the latest example. In the sphere of electronics, the most recent events in the world, particularly in the Middle East War, have indicated that a revolution has taken place in the sphere of warfare, but South Africa has not been caught napping in this respect, and I can assure you that, with the approval of the Government, we are also engaged in preparing ourselves in the sphere of electronic warfare for any possible danger which may lie ahead. That is why I say that the statements which have been made here are totally unfounded and unnecessary.
Sir, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said in his statement that any country today needed great powers to support it and needed reserves. In this connection I should like to point out a few matters to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. In the first place I want to advise him to take a look at an article on the Israeli War which appeared in the October issue of Military Review. In this article the author said, inter alia, the following—
Sir, I submit this for the consideration of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. Although we are seeking friends and although, in a confrontation between the free world and the forces of communism, we will necessarily be on the side of the free world and will have friends, as I shall indicate in a moment, we must also bear in mind that we must augment our own strength and our own capacity, and that is what has been happening under this Government and that is why, Sir, in spite of the insults of the hon. member for Bezuidenhout and today, to my amazement, of the hon. member for Durban Point too, I do not take any credit for myself; I am but a transitory factor. What remains, Sir, is what we have brought about for South Africa to ensure its security, its arms production and its modern Defence Force. Sir, I now want to put this question to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition: When we began to expand our defence budgets, when we came along last year with a substantial increase in the Defence budget, not only in order to modernize, but also to enable us to build up reserves, then one of his front-benchers, who is regarded as his possible supplanter, stood up in this Parliament and said that the money we were spending on defence should rather be spent by us on other things, for then we would be able to bring our Defence budget down to perhaps R50 million per annum.
Who said that?
The hon. member for Bezuidenhout said it. [Interjections.] You see, Sir, the hon. member for Bezuidenhout always speaks in such a way as to leave a loophole somewhere through which to escape. Let me read to you what he said (Hansard, 1973, col. 4209)—
But surely we are not arming ourselves in order to shoot the Black people in South Africa.
Who says that?
What, then, is the argument?
Our enemies in the outside world would then have no hold on us.
I should like to read to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition something which appeared in a book recently and was written by a man who is very critical of this Government. He is therefore not necessarily a supporter of ours. He is critical of our policy too. He says that he was in Zambia and had interviews with the president of Zambia and investigated what was going on in South East Africa. He came to this conclusion—
What is the name of that book?
Bwana, Go Home by Bob Hitchcock.
I have read it.
I quote further—
Now the point I want to make is this. The hon. member for Bezuidenhout comes along, quite naively, and says that if we were now to take away R400 million from the budget of the Defence Force and spend it on health services and education here in South Africa, these Chinese would all pack up. That is the only conclusion one can draw from his ridiculous arguments. And this is the kind of story which he, in his imaginative recklessness, tells to diplomats with whom he exchanges gossip, and when he goes to America, he goes scandal-mongering there with people about his own countrymen.
Prove that. That merely goes to show what a poor Minister of Defence you are!
This is the kind of person the United Party is harbouring in its ranks today [Interjections.] Now I want to say this to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. I want to ask him why America helped Israel. Sir, there can only be two answers. America helped Israel because Israel occupies a strategic position on one of the routes from West to East; because it guards a gateway between West and East. In the second place America helped Israel because Israel is a bastion against communism. Those are the two decisive reasons. Now I want to read to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition what is said about South Africa by the United States Strategic Institute in an article published by Anthony Harringan—
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition asks whether we have people who would stand by us. I say that South Africa’s strategic position and the fact that it is a bastion against communism, will cause people to stand by it, just as they stood by Israel when it came to the push. But there is more. Here is another well-known publication. Armed Forces Journal, in which a very long article on South Africa’s military preparedness was published recently. In this article the following is stated—
The five reasons are then given. The first is that South Africa, in economic and military terms, is the strongest country south of the Sahara. The second reason—
It is this Government which has made it so; this was not the case before. The third reason—
[Interjections.] No, but this Government has made it possible for there to be order so that it may be mined. The fourth reason—
I quote further—
Why do the hon. members not say “hear, hear” now? The fifth reason—
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition asked where our friends were. I say our friends are where our strength and the fact that we are a bastion will bring them when their interests are prejudiced as a result of our being threatened. Our position will be the same as Israel’s was in this regard.
What official alliance existed under the United Party Government with any country, except Russia, which we do not have today? [Interjections.]
But I must make haste. A second question has been put to me, namely the one concerning the use of non-Whites, of Coloureds, in the Defence Force. The hon. member for Durban Point also raised this matter. This Government has developed the South African Coloured Corps on a voluntary basis into a model corps today. It is a credit to the Defence Force, it is a credit to the Coloured population, and it is a proud unit. That is our reply to hon. members. This unit is being enlarged daily. Coloureds are also being employed in the Fleet and ships are being manned by Coloureds.
Who pleaded for that?
You may have pleaded for it, but we are doing it. Why is the hon. member quarrelling with me now? We announced that an Indian Corps, too, was to be established and developed very shortly so that it might play an important role. The hon. member also spoke about the Bantu. Let me say this afternoon that South Africa’s history is full of tragedies; anyone who has not taken cognizance of South Africa’s history cannot map out for himself a course into the future. Even in the United Party’s time the late Gen. Smuts did not go so far as to arm the Bantu unreservedly, because he knew his history. I want to tell hon. members that if they want to cause a very good thing to miscarry, then they must continue in this reckless way in regard to the arming of Bantu.
Why is it reckless?
I shall tell the hon. member why. There is a long history attached to the arming of Bantu in South Africa and there are strong differences of opinion on this matter. We have been approached by some of the Bantu homeland leaders and governments who have said that they would like to take a greater share in combating terrorism and in safeguarding their part of the country. We are negotiating with those people. The Police have already taken steps. However, one cannot let those people know that it is in order on the one day and then have the unit ready on the next day.
They have talks lasting five days with Harry Schwarz alone.
Concerning the use of Bantu, one must not only have consultation, but also take into account the cost and the availability of officers and non-commissioned officers to take care of the training and exercise control. One must take into account the type of work and the tasks one is going to entrust to them. All these matters are at present being investigated thoroughly by experts in the Defence Force in consultation with the Bantu homeland leaders. It would be foolish of me to announce a policy here today concerning something with so a long a history in South Africa without being able to tell the country that there are guarantees and firm agreements. That is all I want to say. Now let us not start any agitation concerning this matter which could only cause strife and unpleasantness if handled clumsily.
But they are armed in Rhodesia.
We are now dealing with South Africa and not with Rhodesia.
But our Black police on the borders are armed.
But that is something totally different. The training of policemen and the training of soldiers are two totally different matters. Does the hon. member not know that?
The hon. member for Bezuidenhout said that we were involved in total war. However, he said nothing new when he said that, because I said that in Parliament three years ago. Total war consists of direct and indirect strategy. This is not just a matter which can be controlled by military action. We know, too, that the indirect strategy is aimed at eroding the national will of a people and destroying a people by undermining its will to resist. I now want to ask the United Party to what extent are they already the victims of a leftist movement in their own ranks. [Interjections.] It is not only I who ask this. I am going to quote to you what the deputy leader of the United Party in the Cape, Mr. John Wiley, says in this regard. Where is that gentleman? He says—and he furnishes the names—that there are a number of members of Parliament who are being squeezed out by “Press white ants”. Then he gives the names, viz. Senator Oelrich, he himself, Mr. Streicher, Major J. D. Opperman, Mr. Jack Wainwright, Mr. Boet van den Heever, Mr. H. J. van Eck, Mr. Etienne Malan and Mr. Vause Raw. He says that there are undermining elements in that party who are engaged in squeezing out these people. What is more, listen to what the Leader of the Opposition himself has to say. He went to Bloemfontein and addressed his young United Party supporters, those young United Party supporters who threw out the hon. member for Turffontein as their leader. The Press report on this event read as follows—
[Interjections.] The United Party went to Oudtshoorn with two faces and were forcibly evicted. They have now created another two faces for themselves, and this election is going to inflict another defeat on them for the sake of the security and the freedom of South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, apart from correcting the hon. gentleman who has just down as regards his quotation—the hon. member for Simonstown was, let me point out, in fact referring to the Press, and not to other members of the party—I am sure that the House will understand that I do not wish to follow the delicate matter of defence, which has been the subject of the exchange between him and the hon. member for Durban Point.
What has been happening in this debate up to now? Here we have the Nationalists, asking questions about our policies, and they will get those answers. But, Sir, the incredible, crass impertinence of this Government on the eve of an election when they are the Government, when they are in the position to implement a policy, not being able to tell us or the country just what plan, if any, they have for the future and for our security! This whole matter started on Monday, when the hon. the Prime Minister did his thing here in the House. Sir, on Monday, you will recall, he announced this mixed White sovereign abandonment policy to the House. So startling was it that the hon. the Minister of the Interior apparently felt it was so unfortunate that he felt constrained to issue a Press statement on Tuesday, which appeared in yesterday morning’s Press, and in which he tried to put right, it would seem, what the hon. the Prime Minister had put wrong on Monday. I have never heard of such a thing, that a Minister tries to put right in the middle of a debate what the hon. the Prime Minister had said. Then the hon. the Minister of the Interior comes into this debate on the very same day—on Wednesday—but does not elucidate one point of the fumblings of the hon. the Prime Minister on Monday. He did not even attempt to do so. All he has done, is to ask questions about us. How can anyone ask the electorate to entrust its future to a party which has not even thought through the problems. You have seen it, Sir—the hon. the Prime Minister caught with his pants down when the hon. member for Zululand questioned him. He was struggling around. Eventually, he fell down. He has not been able to pull them up yet; nor has anyone else been able to help him. What is incredible is that they have not given a thought to it; they have not even tried to give the answers to what this new strange policy of theirs is. I recall very clearly when the hon. the Prime Minister assumed office. I remember him on the Senate steps saying that he would follow in the footsteps of Dr. Verwoerd. He has obviously been looking for them ever since and he has most certainly not found them. Nor will he be able to find them. What has he done? What has been happening here under this Government and under this hon. Prime Minister? All he has done is to react from time to time to the circumstances which arise from time to time. There is no through planning, there is no policy, there is no ideal and there is no goal. They do not know where they are going and yet this is the Government which is asking South Africa to entrust its future to it! If the hon. the Prime Minister’s reaction on Monday is anything to go by, then God help us.
I am very sorry that the hon. the Prime Minister left the Chamber when I rose to speak because there are further questions which require answers. Indeed, the hon. the Minister of the Interior, who also apparently knows what this strange policy is, is unfortunately absent too. The hon. the Prime Minister talks about this White power bloc which will consist of Whites, Coloureds and Indians, and says that there will be a White Parliament with no representatives of the Coloureds or Indians at all. There will just be links between this Parliament and the Parliaments of the Coloureds and the Indians. What we want to know is whether there is going to be a body at all in which they will all sit together and decide on the common matters which do not relate to the sovereignty of any one of them, other than this Parliament? That is what we want to know, otherwise the whole scheme is nothing more or less than “baasskap”. It lacks morality. What kind of statement is this; what kind of policy is this where in this strange mixed/White power bloc we are going to have a situation which is like our federal plan? The hon. the Prime Minister says that this will be the situation despite the fact that he also says that he rejects federation as any kind of answer. The naked truth of the matter is that this Government, this hon. Prime Minister and this Nationalist Party are not only afraid to come to terms with the urban Bantu, but they are also afraid to come to terms with the Coloureds and the Indians.
He talks about the sovereignty of the Whites in the peculiar sense in which he deals with it. Does he not intend that to mean those matters which concern the White man, his culture, his institutions and his way of life? That is how I think he should properly be understood. He means those matters which are in fact not the concern of any other group. That is precisely what we propose. We propose to protect the identity and the culture of each and every group. What is this sovereignty of the White bloc? What is the sovereignty which relates to those matters which only concern them and their affairs? Who then has sovereignty and where does it lie in respect of those matters which are also the concern of other groups, that is to say, groups other than the White group, and matters which concern the future of those other groups?
The hon. the Prime Minister relies on Chief Mangope as his chief witness in proposing that there shall be an economic federation of independent states between these independent blocs which will be formed and that it will be based on the European Economic Community. On this basis, he says, you will not surrender your sovereignty. That is the context in which he says it, but in the European Economic Community you have different independent and sovereign countries. They felt threatened by the super powers and they realized that they could not separately provide sufficient capital wealth or human resources to hold their own against the super powers. They tried to get together in order to increase the standard of living of everyone in Europe and the object of this operation positively is that. There is also the prospect of a future central political structure. What they realized, and what the hon. the Prime Minister does not seem to realize, is that in that situation which he envisages the situation has to be regulated and it has to be governed. The Treaty of Paris relating to the European Economic Community …
The Treaty of Rome.
I beg your pardon. The Treaty of Rome, relating to the European Economic Community, provides that these countries have all agreed that, subject to certain conditions and safeguards, they will give up part of their sovereignty and will submit in certain respects to the decisions of other bodies; otherwise you cannot regulate it and it cannot work. Can it be said that if those countries, or the White man for that matter, surrenders something for his own advantage, it is a real surrendering of sovereignty?
Quite apart from the fact that we protect the sovereignty—in the sense in which it is used by the Prime Minister—of the White people under our scheme better, under our federal plan, we also protect the different White interests that exist in this country. It is in the nature of federalism to afford and accord protection and to afford the right of self-determination to the various communities which have different interests. Natal and the Cape, so far as the White people are concerned have different interests from those the people have in the Transvaal. Under our scheme the Whites in Natal and the Cape will be able to determine for themselves what they as White people want in respect of their culture, their identity and their particular interests. Under the United Party Government they will not be dominated by the Transvaal in this regard in every sphere of life from their administration to the morals that they should have. That is what they propose should continue.
What sort of morals have you got in Natal that we do not have in the Transvaal?
I am talking of the morality of the Transvaal that Pretoria wishes to impose on everyone in this country. The White people of Natal and of the Cape do not like it. The trouble is that there is a Nationalist government in the Cape and they do not have the guts to say so. That is the difference.
I think the theme that has run through the debate so far is that there is no hope for our future unless we gain the co-operation and the understanding of all the race groups in this country, and that the day when the White man can impose his will willy-nilly and be able to administer it has gone in South Africa. The hon. the Prime Minister conceded that that in fact was so. There are two reasons why this strange mixed/white “baaskap” sovereignty policy of the Government must in any event fail. I would like to take the hon. the Prime Minister back to the last no-confidence debate when he said that no Bantustan, no homeland, could be forced into independence, but that it would be a matter for them to decide and to choose. He said the choice was theirs. Then follows a very interesting passage which I would like to read to put it on record (Hansard, Vol. 42, col. 292)—
I was referring to independence—
This is the admission of the hon. the Prime Minister. At that time we said that they would not opt out of their source of wealth and future, that is to say, the body politic of which they are now part, namely South Africa. Since then we have had evidence of this. In May of 1973, the Chief Minister of Gazankulu, the Shangaan homeland, Prof. Mtsanwise, had this to say:
There are others who have said the same thing but, in any event, why should they? Why should they cut themselves off from the only source of wealth and from their future? The choice is theirs. I shall deal with the Declaration of Faith as well. In any event, in that they indicate that they reject any such concept of independence and opt for federalism. The figures that my hon. Leader gave in this regard are an indication of what the country will look like at the turn of the century, in other words, in the lifetime of most of us. In any event, it is a picture which does not stand up to examination.
I should like to deal now with the Declaration of Faith. Certain newspapers and hon. gentlemen who sit over there try to create the impression that what they call “verkramptes” or “old guards” or whatever they want to call them have attacked this document—have attacked Harry Schwarz—because it is too liberal for them. That is just so much nonsense. Immediately after this document was published my hon. Leader said that its principles, properly understood, were in general consistent with United Party policy, and that was passed on … [Interjections.] I am talking about the Declaration of Faith. That was passed on to the Chief. Let us look for a moment at the positive aspects of this Declaration of Faith. That document is, as my hon. Leader has said, within the general principles of United Party policy. The importance of this document is the reaction that it has had. It has resulted in open and public support from Black homeland leaders and therefore it is worth examining. Not only Chief Buthelezi, but also Chief Mangope, Professor Ntsanwise and Mr. Phatudi, all accepted it. A large body of people is represented by these persons. The acceptance of this Declaration of Faith by them is a complete rejection by them of what the hon. the Prime Minister stood up here and proposed and, just by the way, it is also a rejection of the Progressive Party’s policy. Let me go further. The principles involved in that document are also acceptable to the Indian community as well as to the urban Bantu community. That is the most important community of the whole lot. Sir, what is happening here? Here sits the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development. Who are these people who are the only people among the Bantu to whom he talks? These so-called homelands are the creations of the Government. They are unreal, empty shells at the moment, having no wealth, no infrastructure, no proper development, whose independence in the foreseeable future, so far as the majority of them are concerned, is pure fiction and fantasy. Sir, apart from the Transkei, in respect of which other things are happening, it is fantasy; it is just words and words intermingled with the fear of the future which seems to have paralysed the ability of this Government to face the facts of South Africa. Sir, when did the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development last consult with an urban Africa? What does he know about their needs? He does not know that they exist. But I can tell him, Sir, that we have consulted with the urban African, and I want to tell you, Sir, that that is the majority of the Africans who live in this country. Sir, they do not want much, but they want basically what is wanted by every human being who has a soul, and the Prime Minister conceded last session that the urban Bantu have a soul; they want to live a normal life; they want security; they want to know that if they die their families will not be chucked out of the house which they have been renting or for which they have been paying. That is what they want. Sir, there are some of these people who have even shied away from some of the powers that we would propose to give to the urban Bantu under our scheme. By deliberately not dealing with this problem, this Government is destroying not only the security of the urban African, but they are destroying confidence in the whole fabric of our society and the order of things. Never mind all this talk about law and order that this Government has maintained. This action or inaction on their part in respect of the Bantu in the urban areas is a sabotaging of the security of the White man and his ability to maintain law and order.
Sir, we have had much consultation with a number of people and we have found that there is support not only for the principles of our policy, for the framework which we propose, but also for the basis on which we propose to create our federal unit. Sir, I think one must remember that the plan that we have is one which seeks not to create suddenly a new society and to break down the old, which is what this Government proposes to do, but one which we propose to build upon what is in fact a real situation, not fiction and not farce. In other words, Sir, we have to accept that after 25 years of rule by this Government there are certain institutions which you have to accept and take along with you, institutions like the homelands and the system which the homelands have, namely one man, one vote. You have to provide for that concept within that society, and indeed this is what Buthelezi said when he rejected the Progressive Party policy; he said—
He goes on to say—
Sir, let us not kid ourselves and let this Government not kid itself. The urban African is the key to the future of South Africa and if you have no solution to that you have no solution to the problems of this country and should not be entrusted with its future. Sir, this Government has created those African homelands; this Government has created the African awareness and this Government has created the rootless, rightless mass of people in the urban areas.
Mr. Speaker, I must go on to deal with the structure and answer some of the questions from that side, but I want to say that whatever flows from our side and that side is based upon a cardinal issue of difference between us and the Nationalists, and that is that we believe that we can provide a formula for all the race groups to live in one country while retaining the integrity of our country and our very way of life itself. The Nats believe it has to be dismantled and mutilated and fragmented before you can have any kind of future. From this cardinal difference in approach flows the difference in our policies, our idea of federation and theirs of abandonment.
There is another cardinal difference in approach. If you vote for the Nats you vote for the dismantling of our whole way of life. You vote to set in motion a Frankenstein monster over which you have decided to abandon control, but if you vote for the United Party in this election you vote for the setting up of a framework built upon strong, settled foundations in which we can negotiate the common destiny of all our people, and you will vote to keep your options open in an ever-expanding and changing world. You will vote for tolerance and flexibility and you will not turn your back on change. You will not run away from your responsibilities, that is to say, White leadership as understood in our aims and principles. What an abandonment of that responsibility has the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration not displayed in this debate, with the Owambo floggings! There he sits like Pontius Pilate: “I have washed my hands of it; I have no responsibility, and you can do what you like; you can flog them in public and you can subject the Ovambos to the most dreadful humiliations and indignities, but it has nothing to do with me; you can do what you like.” What an abandonment of responsibility!
Now, Mr. Speaker, in the short time left to me I want to answer some of the questions that have been put to us. The whole question of the sharing of power, the whole question of the federal assembly and so on, starts with the legislative assembly, the federal unit. We have proposed to set up these federal units for the White people, for the Bantu—for the urban Bantu and for the homeland Bantu—and for the Indians and for the Coloureds, where all the rights pertaining to each community which are their affair and nobody else’s will be protected and entrenched. They will be given to them and protected and entrenched, and they will be the real forum and centre for the exercise of power and responsibility. And it provides a place, which nobody else can, for the urban Bantu. The central authority, the federal authority, as far as possible, should do the coordination and consultation, and from this base, when we have provided that base, secure in the knowledge that their intimate affairs, their culture, their identity and their sovereignty, in the Prime Minister’s sense, are protected against interference by any other group or body, we can negotiate the rest of the federal structure with them.
I am asked about the federal assembly. What matters are they going to get? Sir, this is a developing process of negotiation. You cannot look at the present portfolios of the Central Government as if they would still be there. Tremendous power is going to be given to these legislative assemblies, and so the whole of the central authority system will have to be restructured. But I can give you some examples, Sir, of things that would immediately afterwards take place, and of departments that there would be, like education co-ordination, manpower co-ordination, economic planning, transport co-ordination, water affairs, health co-ordination and research, matters of that sort. Mr. Speaker, I want to emphasize that this will not happen at once. This is an evolutionary process and the world we are moving into is changing so rapidly. As I have said, we must keep open our options. The whole future and security of the federal process under the United Party’s federal plan are in the hands of this White Parliament and the changes are entirely in its hands. Because we are aware of the world in which we live, with its staggering rate of change in this field, and the changes that we are unable to contemplate now, we believe that the direction of our policy must envisage that the role of the White Parliament as the regulator of the federal process could disappear and that the federal assembly could deal with all matters of a federal nature which are not the exclusive concern of the Whites or of the Indians or of other groups. It is an obvious and logical option which will be open to the people.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member entitled to read his speech? [Interjections.]
Order! The hon. member may proceed.
It is an obvious and logical option which will be open to the White people at that time, but the whole question is in the hands of the White Parliament. Nor may Parliament under our scheme hand over any matter relating to the security of the State to the federal assembly without a referendum or an election of the White people for that purpose. And, what is more, that guarantee will be entrenched. The reality of that event now or soon or in the foreseeable future is not worthy of debate in this House. Such a decision can only be taken by the White electorate. But, Sir, for once I am in agreement with the hon. the Prime Minister that this is a matter one can safely leave in the hands of our children. I have faith in those who follow us. I have faith and confidence in myself, in my leader, in my party, and in my fellow White men, that those future decisions will be taken with the best judgment. If I did not believe that I would not be a member of this party. If I did not believe that, I would have no faith in the young people of this country. What we will provide for the young people of this country is a framework within which they will be able to negotiate their future, within which they will be able to keep their options open and within which they will be able to meet the changing circumstances as and when they arise. We shall not ask them, as this Government does, to cut themselves off from any future negotiations by taking the steps the hon. the Prime Minister proposes to take, from which, once taken, there can be no return.
Mr. Speaker, in just a moment I shall come came back to the hon. member who preceded me. I shall also speak about our own policy later on. However, because I need time for what I want to say, I just very briefly want to react to something the hon. member for Transkei said here the other day, and deny it absolutely. The hon. member alleged that we are participating in a kind of “land deal”, as he called it; that we had negotiated a kind of land transaction with Chief Minister Matanzima of the Transkei, as a result of which he is making requests completely at odds to those he made previously, and that he would apparently be getting independence or whatever for it, probably in exchange for it. Mr. Speaker, I want to deny with the greatest possible emphasis that there was any “land deal”, land transaction or sly scheming in this connection. I want to deny it categorically. I can only conclude by quoting to the hon. member the Press statement which I wrote myself. In my absence the hon. the Deputy Minister read it out in December. It also appeared in the Press. I quote the following (translation)—
That is the procedure throughout, and particularly in the Eastern Cape, where there are two different governments with two different homeland areas. I now want to deny absolutely that we initiated any sly machinations, and whoever says that—it makes no difference who that person is—let me say it is untrue.
A second matter I should like to comment on briefly, relates to the so-called promises that have supposedly been made. A very emotional phrase is used, and it is said that solemn promises were made in connection with Port St. Johns. I find it strange that hon. members do not list more places than Port St. Johns. It seems I have to help them. I hear nothing of Ongeluksnek. They could say the same of Ongeluksnek. [Interjection.] That is not all. What about the Limburg-Gilead area up there in the Transvaal, also called Schoeman’s Strip? Let me correct hon. members so that they understand this very well. As I said clearly in that statement, the department’s recommendations to the Government were made known to the public, as has been done previously including last year. Everyone could therefore take proper note of what is under consideration by the Government. The Government will then decide. I cannot yet say what the formal, final decision is, because I am still awaiting the reports from the latest meetings. Let me say, however, that if the department has now made a recommendation about Port St. Johns and Ongeluksnek, then the situation is completely different to what it was a few years or many years ago as far as that same case is concerned, and I will tell hon. members why. Many years ago Port St. Johns, Ongeluksnek, the Gilead area and many other places were offered to us as detached units or we received inquiries about them. In that detached context we said “no”; that was not at issue. However, I hope we are now in the last phase of land procurement and consolidation. With everything now entering its final stage, it befits the department, myself and the Government to take all aspects into proper consideration. Then the decision will be taken, and no one can blame us for not doing it openly and in plain view. Had we done it slyly, as the hon. member implies we have done it with Matanzima, then it is wrong. However, there is nothing wrong with my department and I am making this known to everyone. If we were to make a different decision, we would be doing this after consultation with all these people. None of my predecessors held more consultations with White bodies and created more opportunities for consultation with White bodies, such as those in the Eastern Cape and in other parts, as I have done. We tell them openly what is under consideration, and if we have to make another decision, we are going to tell them this frankly. Then everyone will know it is the final decision. Everyone will know that the final safety valve is there and that no more purchases can follow. Quota land was fixed by the Act, and we cannot get past that million morgen. The Government has said that it does not want to get past it. They can consequently not tell me that I am probably also going to hand over East London, Molteno, Burghersdorp and Bloemfontein. A barrier was fixed by the 1936 Act, and that is the safeguard against that. I do not want to say any more about that now.
Today the hon. member for Durban North objected here to our not saying something about our own policy. I shall do so now, but the hon. member must realize that he is in a no-confidence debate before a general election and that this is the last and best chance that they, as the Opposition, are going to have to take over the rule in South Africa on the basis of a positive statement of their own policy. But what do they do? They run away from it, do egg dances and boast with empty words, as the hon. member for Durban North himself has done here this afternoon. The hon. member takes it upon himself to say that the hon. the Prime Minister does not have a policy and a goal. Far from it. Just the other day the Prime Minister opened vistas to him here with which that hon. member could struggle much longer than with his negotiations to reach Mahlabatini. Why, though he ventured to talk, did the hon. member refer to the “Swart traktaat”? (Black declaration.) I am calling it a “Swart traktaat” because it was conceived by a “Swartman” (Black man), by a Schwarz, with another Swart of the Progressive Party identifying himself with it. He also jumped on the bandwagon. It is therefore literally a “Swart traktaat”. Why was the hon. member struggling for so long to carry out his party’s instructions to go and negotiate as chairman of the constitutional committee? He only went to do so after Mr. Schwarz of Johannesburg had stolen a march on him. Why did he not give us a little more information about that? Why did he not give us more information about this “surrender of sovereignties”, instead of just mentioning the words? In a short while I shall come back to that idea of his.
In recent times we are hearing and reading a lot of federation talk. The mistake, the tremendous mistake, which is also being made, is the precarious and illogical basis on which they thereby place themselves by not properly and realistically taking into consideration the human mass, the population of South Africa in all its groups, as they were created. They look at this mass as if it is one integrated, national, ethnic unit, while the world-wide, natural phenomenon—as we saw this morning in a film—has also revealed itself in our midst, i.e. that here in South Africa, according to the dispensation of the Almighty, we have a number of different peoples. They are not peoples in their mature and full-fledged development, but all—even the Whites—peoples in the making, peoples still on the way to their cultural and political destinations. Why cannot this realization of the existence of peoples penetrate to members of the Opposition as well? It is a realization which every political party must have, because it is based on reality.
Yes, facts. I know the hon. member for Bezuidenhout is more aware of this; a drop of the knowledge he gained from us has still remained after he crossed over. But that hon. member for Durban North does not realize it. His writings, which I could quote to you, prove that he does not realize it. This realization of the existence of peoples is the point of departure, the key of our policy. I want to tell hon. members: If they would only apply this concept of peoples universally, in respect of problems too, solutions would always be easily forthcoming. Throughout the world peoples have merged, large peoples and small peoples. Here in our own geographic context we have small peoples that are independent, for example the Swazi, smaller in number than certain of our own peoples, and having their own country. This is accepted. But if we say that the Zulu, the Xhosa and the Sotho can be similarly disposed, their voices shriek to the high heavens.
This reality, this realization of the existence of peoples, is embodied in our Citizenship Act. In it, in terms of our policy, it is very clear that a Bantu person, wherever he may find himself, is a member of his specific people. Let me tell the hon. member this: Just as in South Africa there is no single White person who does not know to what people he belongs, there is equally not a single Black person in South Africa who does not know to what people he belongs. The Tswana in the White area remains a Twana, whether he is born a Tswana in Johannesburg or whether he is going to die there. He remains a Tswana, Sir. He does not become a White, an Indian or a Coloured by virtue of having settled there in Johannesburg, in the White area or elsewhere. Therefore, here in the White area they are politically identified and linked with their people and with their homeland. And that is also why we say, in terms of our policy, that they exercise their franchise here in respect of their homelands. From here they can even become members of their legislative assemblies.
Yesterday hon. members heard examples of people, even from Johannesburg, who were so elected. There is now, in Lebowa, a cabinet minister who comes from Johannesburg, from the White area. That is correct. This is happening with the implementation of our policy. It is a natural development. As a member of his people he identifies himself with his people. He can even become a minister there. That is also why the homeland ties in respect of land area, sport, the material aspects and tribal affinities are strengthened as much as possible. With this concept of peoples as a point of departure it would also be fair for a homeland government to be able to accept responsibility for certain social matters which they offer here, in the White area, as services to their own compatriots, with the aid of the relevant departments of the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
In connection with the Bantu persons in the White area—here we are going to speak, in particular, about the political aspects—there is something which hon. members do not want to take a proper look at. Why are the Bantu persons in White areas here? What is the answer to this fundamental question?
They were born here.
I know—even the hon. member knows that—it is because they were born here. Every person must first be born before he can be anywhere. They also know that. Why were they born here and why are they here after their birth? The Bantu are not here in the White area because it is their natural and their traditional area, they are not here for the general, social, cultural and human objectives for which the hon. member for North Rand and I are here in South Africa.
I do not agree with you.
I know, because the hon. member does not understand this. The hon. member ought to know that the Bantu who are in White areas are here because of the work they want to do for the sake of personal earnings and to supplement the Whites’ lack of manpower. That is the clear, simple reason why they are here. They are not here for all those other reasons, for example social and political reasons, which brought me and the hon. the Leader of the Opposition here into the White area. It is surely so clear that we would have no claim on the Bantu in the homelands if they could all obtain work there. Then we have no right to bring them here to us from there. The same applies to us. If we no longer had any avenues of employment for the Bantu, i.e. if the Whites could carry out all the work, would we then still have to meet the obligation of having the Bantu come here? If that is the case, then we surely do not have that duty. By the way, as far as this matter is concerned, I just want to point out that many of these striking Bantu in the White area have made a tremendous blunder, because they must realize that if they strike illegally in work that has been granted to them, the reason for their being in the White area could fall away. They must realize that.
The White area is the homeland of the Whites, here the Whites rule and here the Whites have exclusive and sole control according to the policy of the National Party. The National Party will not share this control with any other race. Neither will the National Party divide up the Whites’ interests and control over the White areas amongst the various peoples. It is true that sharing and dividing are two concepts. We shall not share this with others so that they can have a say in that matter, and we will not hand over our responsibilities to Indians, Coloureds, or Tswana. We alone are going to deal with our responsibilities in respect of our area and our affairs, and we are going to do that right to the end. That is the policy of this party.
And the Coloureds? Where is their area?
The hon. the Prime Minister has replied to that question which the hon. member put.
That is why I say to hon. members that there is no question at all of the Bantu persons in the White areas having to be incorporated in a kind of federal scheme and of the National Party striving for that end. That is not at issue in terms of our policy. It is clear that the National Party does not want to share the larger area of South Africa with the various other peoples that are here. The functions have already been divided, as I have said, although there is still a great deal of rounding-off work to do, although there are still many duties for us to perform, and a great deal of development will still have to take place. I therefore want to repeat here what I have previously said and written many times, and that is: The implementation of the policy of separate development, of multinational development, amounts to the provision of bases for our Bantu peoples and the formation of homelands for them, which is essentially no more than partitioning. It is partitioning in a geographic sphere and portioning in a political sphere. We have already made tremendous progress along those lines and we are still going ahead quietly.
No, there is nothing one-sided about that. If this geographic partitioning does not perfect itself completely, I should regret that very much. But we shall not be able to have it reach perfection everywhere, but that does not detract from the validity of the principle. We know that all of us very often succeed in many things, succeed perfectly well, but we are nevertheless not completely successful. I want to emphasize again that the citizenship of every Bantu, wherever he may find himself, binds him to the people with which he is to be identified, and that citizenship of each Bantu person will be the condition for his presence in the White area. Those who acknowledge and accept their own citizenship are more welcome in our White area than those who try to obtain citizenship in the White area, and who do not identify themselves with their own people. In the past ten years we have already seen the realization of this principle in the Transkei. The Transkei has now recently had its third general election. In the past few years we have witnessed how hundreds of thousands of Bantu persons in White areas and in the homelands took part in elections in the homelands. I hope that this will apply to all of them in the future, and I regret that in some areas the institution of elections for their people have not come about, but I am little to blame for that.
It is strange that some people and some circles are speculating about the National Party’s vision for the future in connection with developments between ourselves and the other peoples. That is why I am so glad that the hon. the Prime Minister expressed himself so clearly on that aspect again the other day. In the past the road has been very well sign-posted, and if we always keep this concept of peoples, which I mentioned just a moment ago, always clearly in mind, the road ahead is an easy one to map for anyone who wants to think about it properly. Our policy centres on the people and on the citizenship of a member of his people. It is natural that, according to the policy of the National Party, we should set to work systematically and have to develop gradually. We cannot work over-hastely on that. Together with this physical development, the economic and social development of the homelands, there is of course the political development, the political emancipation of the Bantu peoples, each in its own homeland. Therefore it can rightly be said that the principles of the National Party boil down to the fact that in terms of our system, for each people in South Africa, we make provision for their own government, and that in South Africa we consequently do not have a system of a minority government, or of a minority over a majority. In so far as people are not yet independent, this is merely a transitional phenomenon, a process in transito. In terms of our policy each people has the full possibility of an individual government. We do not have a system of a minority government which rules over a majority.
Equally, we ruthlessly reject this idea of the sharing of powers, as the United Party puts it. The hon. member for Durban North spoke here today about the “sharing of power”. I listened attentively, but what did he do? He told us nothing of which powers have to be shared: he spoke of the “co-ordination of facilities in connection with health, education and other matters”. For the umpteenth time the hon. member has again dodged the question. Again he was playing with empty words. The hon. member did not tell us whether the powers between various individuals should be shared in one national context, or whether the powers should be shared between several peoples in a unit. He did not state whether there should be a separation between the Whites on the one hand and all the Bantu people as one group on the other. However, it seems to me they approach it in this way. They must explain this to us. They did not go and negotiate with eight or ten Bantu leaders; I do not suppose the constitutional committee did so. And the Leader of the United Party in the Transvaal, Mr. Harry Schwarz in particular,has not done so yet either. He only went to have negotiations with one single Bantu leader. Why is that so? Is his approach, and that of the United Party, a Pan African approach, in other words all the Bantu form one group of which Chief Buthelezi is the leader? That is a completely wrong approach. That is an approach according to which national units are misjudged.
May I put a question to the hon. the Minister?
No; the hon. member must give me a chance; I have to race against the clock. Because they only negotiated with the one leader, I have already heard it said that “a vote for Schwarz is a vote for Gatsha”. I think we shall probably be hearing this again in the election. After this election we shall see that Mr. Harry Schwarz has been of more value to us in this election than Jan Hofmeyr was to us in 1948. I am asking: “What powers must be shared?” We are not told. You may argue as you wish, you may even argue in terms of the figure eight, which the hon. member for Hillbrow mentioned yesterday, but in all three cases I have mentioned, i.e. the individual, the peoples individually or the Blacks as one bloc, the Whites are in the minority and are going to be dominated by the numerical preponderance of the non-Whites.
We know that rights and privileges go hand in hand with powers. What rights and what privileges are we going to share? What is the position in connection with land tenure? If they share the powers with us throughout South Africa, are they also going to share land tenure with us? The other day we heard that the hon. member for Houghton said they could not obtain land in Houghton, but they could in Soweto. Is that how they want to share privileges? What are they going to do in commerce? Are the Bantu going to be allowed to conduct business in Adderley Street? If one shares power, one must also share privileges and rights. With the power they share, they can allocate themselves privileges. Is that how they will have it here, or are they not going to have it. What are they going to do in the Public Service? Are they also going to have officials with us in the Public Service? Are they going to have officials in all the various Government departments? In the Police and the Defence Force, are they also going to have officers to the very tops of the ranks? Are they also going to have directors in the Land Bank Board? If one shares powers, one must also share rights. They must tell us about these things. We want to know those things and the people ought to know as well.
I am now asking hon. members opposite to tell us where in the world various peoples are found sharing powers and thereby ruling one land area? Where do you have several peoples, in one land area, sharing the powers and ruling that land area? It has never happened anywhere and it cannot happen anywhere. It could only lead to trickery, the kind of trickery the Johannesburg City Council is now getting up to with respect of separate facilities, because although they want to share certain separate facilities, when it comes to toilets they dig in their heels, and when it comes to swimming baths, they also dig in their heels. They can do away with those separate facilities at the libraries, but not where the toilets are concerned, and if one asks what about toilets in the libraries, they also dig in their heels there. This kind of thing, in the first place, leads to trickery, to clashes, to friction and to chaos, and eventually to the downfall of White authority in South Africa. That is the course they are taking.
Over the past few years we have, in terms of our policy, managed to the extent that we have quite a number of Bantu homelands that have become self-ruling areas, and we have close liaison with them. At this stage we have managed good spadework by virtue of the extensive contact we have with them. At the level of the Commissioners-General, and at the level of officials, there are hundreds of negotiations, hundreds of meetings, between the White authorities and these homeland governments. These negotiations also take place at ministerial level. At my level, at the level of my Deputy Ministers and at the level of the hon. the Prime Minister there is also extensive contact. In the past two years there were about 140 meetings between homeland governments and myself, my two Deputy Ministers and the Prime Minister, and a good half of those meetings were with me personally.
That is contact.
That is contact, yes, as my hon. friend says. I want to predict that this is even going to increase, because there are increasing possibilities and increasingly more important matters about which we must have contact. Then I am not even counting telephone calls and such incidental discussions which homeland leaders and I have with one another. I am not totalling them up. I am only speaking of formal meetings.
Throughout the world, where independent countries have come into being, this has taken place in terms of an independence agreement, and in it agreement is reached about all the matters of importance. In it there is agreement about movement through one’s areas, about posts and telegraphs, about radio services, about the security of the country and defence, about which my hon. colleague spoke this afternoon, about foreign relations and about labour. For example, we have labour agreements and we already have economic customs unions with certain countries. Those and even more aspects have to be encompassed, when any homeland becomes independent, by means of agreements that we can conclude, and the National Party regards it as very essential that the Republic’s Government will have to set up such conventions, customs unions, agreements, alliances—whatever you want to call them—with these Governments. These customs unions are very important gears in the big machinery of the independence of these various homelands. On the road towards it we shall find that some of these homelands perhaps have only internal independence as yet, not being externally independent as well, while in other more advanced cases one would also encounter external independence. In the case of those who have internal independence, we shall still have to help them in certain matters, particularly, foreign matters, and in the course of time they too will obtain their external independence. Sir, there is continuous contact between us and them on all these subjects and more, and I also want to reemphasize categorically that this association with these states and these emergent states will never, according to the National Party, have an over-all or central body exercising power; there will be no body that will make laws; there will be no body that will carry out administrative duties affecting everyone; there will be nothing of this federative nature, because we know that the essence of a federation, on which hon. members opposite do not want to elaborate, is that it exercises authority in a strong or weakish fashion, with legislative, administrative and executive powers over the people who participate in it.
They will therefore be a powerless power bloc.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I say that we shall exchange ideas with one another and hold consultations, and the relevant governments, after such discussions, will each have to return to its own legislative body and there pass legislation that is necessary to implement aspects of these mutual consultations that have taken place, and that is how we in South Africa, under our policy, will bring about an association of states, which is what we advocate, with mutual assistance to one another, and which will be like a great constellation of free peoples, each placed in its own orbits, a dispensation of peoples that is properly ordered so that no single one, in its independence, will have to clash with another, so that we shall be able to live with one another as an ordered constellation and so that we shall thereby be able to eliminate, prevent and combat the chaos, clashes and disunity, which a federative system brings about, and give everyone the opportunity to realize his free aspirations.
Mr. Speaker, we listened with interest to the speech made by the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development at his well-known great speed. The Minister denied that there had been any form of a deal with Chief Matanzima about the Transkei and about certain areas which could or might be bought. Mr. Speaker, I wonder how genuine the hon. the Minister is in that denial. This morning over the radio, over the SABC, there was a statement by Chief Kaiser Matanzima—I have it here—in which he agreed that he would no longer ask for Mount Currie to be included in the Transkei and in which he says that it is not necessary now to ask for it at all; that it would be unreasonable to demand White territories like the Mount Currie district from the South African Government. He then added—and this seems to be the other part of the deal—that the request for independence should now be put before the Government of the Republic. These were the two statements made by him: There will be no further claim for Mount Currie, but he will now ask for independence for the Transkei. I believe that Chief Matanzima is not quite satisfied with this report, and I would like to know from the hon. the Minister what actually was said in this connection. Sir, I imagine—no, I more than imagine; I am pretty sure—that Port St. Johns forms part of this deal. Does the hon. the Minister deny this?
I have already denied it.
Does he deny that he once said that Port St. Johns will never become a part of the Transkei?
I denied a deal and dealt with that question.
That is not my question. I am asking him whether he once said that Port St. Johns would never become a part of the Transkei.
I said at that stage, and I explained it today.
The Minister says “at that stage” and he says that circumstances have altered. Sir, what does the word “never” mean? It means not at any time in future—not if circumstances alter and you change your mind. The word that he used was “never”, and I believe that he will be held to that by the people of that area as well as by the country.
The hon. the Minister also spoke about a “Swart-traktaat” which was concluded, presumably, between Mr. Harry Schwarz and Chief Buthelezi. But there was no “Swart-traktaat”; there was no treaty. This is no treaty at all. It was a Declaration of Faith, a “Geloofsbelydenis”, made in their personal capacities by these two particular persons. But now he likes to come along with this phrase, “Swart-traktaat”. How reminiscent of the “Swart gevaar” with which they won elections in the past! If he can only get the word “Swart” into his election-cry he feels that he will be able to whip up emotions again amongst the ordinary voters in the country.
The hon. the Minister made great play of the “volkerebesef by alle Bantoes”, but what is he trying to prove? There is nothing wrong, for instance, in a Tswana living in Soweto having “volkerebesef”, having a realization of his cultural identity and so forth, There is nothing wrong in that. But that does not mean that he must only exercise rights in his homeland. Where that Tswana wants to exercise his rights is in Soweto itself, where he wants a say in the government of that area. That is the big difference. A Swede coming to South Africa can become a South African citizen. He will maintain his cultural affinity with Sweden, but he will demand rights in South Africa where he lives, and that is what the Bantu in the urban areas are doing today.
I come now to the speech of the hon. the Prime Minister on Monday. I have it here in front of me and I want to ask hon. members whether they have ever heard a speech by the hon. the Prime Minister which showed such a complete lack of anything constructive, and which said so perilously little about policy, the policy on which he wants to go to the country in a couple of weeks’ time. I have the speech of the hon. the Prime Minister here and I challenge hon. members opposite to show me any constructive points of policy in this particular speech which indicate what the manifesto of the Government is going to be when it goes to the country in a few weeks’ time. Sir, this is no manifesto. This consists, for 33 out of 49 pages, of allegations about an alleged disunity in the United Party.
But they are true, after all.
No, I am not admitting that, but the hon. member can count the 33 pages for himself. Mr. Speaker, I am at a loss as to why the hon. the Prime Minister has decided on a general election. Does anyone on the other side know why? Come on, get up and tell us why there must be a general election at this stage. Sir, you call a general election at a time of national calamity. Well, we are in a state at the moment of quiet desperation in South Africa, but I would not go so far as to say that there is a national calamity in South Africa. In fact, if you read the latest S.A. Digest you will find many paragraphs saying how well things are going in the country, in the Minister’s view. You could, say, at a time of a general strike, call a general election. You could call a general election, or at least there was justification for it, when Dr. Verwoerd called for a general election after the Republic had been declared. There was justification for that. There was even some justification for the hon. the Prime Minister’s decision to call the 1970 general election ahead of time, for the simple reason that after having, as he thought, consolidated his position, he thought that as a new Prime Minister he should go to the country and get the confidence of the country. Here are reasons in constitutional history why a Party can go to the country. But why in this instance? Why is a general election being called now? Let us read one or two phrases out of the hon. the Prime Minister’s speech.
I will tell you. We want to give you an opportunity to take over.
Thank you very much. That is the first time the hon. the Minister has spoken sense and it is high time too. That will probably happen, and then the Minister will indeed be more surprised than he is at the moment.
I have a copy of the speech of the hon. the Prime Minister here. He said—
was the reason why he wanted to have a general election. The world is so fluid. It was fluid last year; it will be fluid next year; it will be fluid afterwards. It is no reason, simply on account of international issues and international fluidity, to hold a general election. What is his cry going to be? “Vote Nationalist and solidify the world”? [Interjections.] Might it be that with this fluidity in the rest of the world the hon. the Prime Minister wants to show that South Africa is united on certain aspects of foreign affairs, foreign policy, and dangers to our country? But the hon. the Prime Minister already knows that there is a vast measure of unanimity between his side and this side in regard to foreign policy, in regard to keeping the terrorists at bay on our borders, in regard to internal security. Will this election show any greater unity, any greater unanimity amongst the electorate of South Africa in this regard? [Interjections.] I shall tell the hon. member what this election will show. This election will simply show that the National Party is unanimous about their foreign affairs policy, about their policy against terrorism; that is all. It will not show that South Africa has a great measure of unanimity in regard to these matters.
The National Party will be bigger after the election.
The hon. the Prime Minister said—
If South Africa is in a better position, why should he go to the country and ask for an election? Saying that South Africa is in a better position than other countries means that South Africa is in a better position in regard to the fluid world situation than, say, Great Britain or France or Western Germany or Italy, yet they are not going to their electorates on account of the fluidity in the world. He himself said—
So, there is no justification at all in this fluidity position. Why is South Africa better off in this fluid state of international affairs?
Because of a good Government.
The hon. member for Koedoespoort says: “Because of a good Government.” Let me read to him the words of his own Prime Minister—
There is the answer to the hon. member. The Prime Minister said that he did not claim the credit for South Africa being in a better position to face the dangers in this fluid world today. The hon. member must remember these words of the hon. the Prime Minister. So, if there is no credit to be claimed at the general election, and he is not going to ask for credit in regard to our foreign policies, why on earth is he going to the country at this stage, especially in the light of the petrol crisis?
*We shall see long dust-clouds hanging over the roads in the rural areas as a result of the party rallies which will be attended, causing a waste of hundreds, of thousands of gallons of petrol. That does not occur to the hon. the Prime Minister in this fuel crisis, for in this very time he is going to the country to have a general election.
†There was one point that the hon. the Prime Minister mentioned and that was the old, old one again of independent Bantustans, of independent homelands. He called this the third of the three great visions of the National Party. The first one was “South Africa first”, the second one was the Republic and now the third one is the independent Bantustans. This is not a vision which can or will ever be realized within the lifetime of anyone sitting in this House today or in the lifetime of their children. It is not a vision, it is a phantasmagoria of farce and foolishness. Last year I told the hon. the Minister and the Government that we had a diagram explaining our federal policy, showing the different legislative assemblies, the position of Parliament, and that of the federal assembly. We still have it and I challenge them to show me what a diagram of their policy would look like. They have had one full year now and instead of being prepared to pay R10, as I was last year, I will now pay R20 to the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development if he will send me a diagram of his policy. The only thing I can imagine such a diagram looking like would be simply a soiled polka-dotted handkerchief, and nothing else. Is the hon. Minister of National Education prepared to give me a diagram? Come on. R20 to any acceptable charity. Here is the chance. Will you do so? They have not even issued a booklet about their policy, Sir.
The hon. the Prime Minister spoke about a “magsblok van State” which he would like to create. When is that going to happen? This is what the hon. the Prime Minister said—
Unless you have eight independent Bantustans in South Africa you will never have that power bloc in Southern Africa. And the hon. the Prime Minister is going to the country on that issue, to ask about a power bloc in the southern area of Africa, when he knows himself that he is asking for a mandate for five years and in those five years he will never, never be able to get that power bloc working, because he himself said “dit kan nie werk voordat al daardie ander State nie eers onafhanklik is nie”. Then the question arises, why is the Prime Minister forcing an election on the country?
Why are you afraid of an election?
I will give R100 or whatever you suggest to any recognized charity if you can tell me that a power bloc will be found in South Africa as a result of a mandate the Government might receive at this election and that it will happen within five years of receiving that mandate. Now here is a challenge. Here is an offer. If this is only a mandate for the distant future, surely the reply to that is the following question: Has the Government not in election after election asked for a mandate of that nature and claimed after its victories that it had a mandate for the distant future for this Bantustan policy of theirs? Why this tedious repetition of a thing which has bedevilled our elections in the past, time after time? The real truth is that the Bantustan policy is failing in South Africa. This is becoming clearer by the day. Up to this morning, according to the SABC, not a single Bantu leader has yet asked for an independent Bantustan for his own territory except under impossible conditions of territorial demands.
Have these Bantustans become more viable? After all, before they can be established they must be viable or at least much more economically viable than they are at the moment. There must be a big flow back into the Bantustans from the White areas. What is happening? They know the answer. The Blacks are moving from the Bantustans to the cities. Here I have that answer, given in a lecture by Prof. J. H. Lange when he addressed the Afrikaanse Sakekamer in the Free State.
*In that speech he said—I am quoting from Volkshandel of December 1973—
†One and a quarter million! And why is that? Because there is no viable economy in these Bantustans today. Here again, prof. Lange, in Volkshandel, gives the proof—
*No wonder that the Bantu are coming from the Bantu areas to the urban White areas. It is because this Government has not been able to do anything or has been able to do very little to make the Bantu areas economically stronger and self-sufficient to any real degree. It is our policy on this side to make those areas economically strong. What are they doing in this connection?
I think of the promise of 1978, which is now drawing ever closer, and again I clearly recall the words of Mr. Schalk Pienaar, the editor of Die Beeld, where he said—
Mr. Schalk Pienaar goes on to say—
This is what is written by the editor of their press organ, Die Beeld—
†On this bluff, as this most prominent editor writes, the Prime Minister is trying to go to the country to ask for another utterly meaningless mandate. What one would actually have expected from this Government is some imaginative, some exciting announcement of policy with which to go to the country. Three years ago Die Beeld wrote as follows—
To what extent were imaginations excited by the claims and by the manifesto of the hon. the Prime Minister? Mr. Pienaar writes—
This is what Mr. Pienaar wrote three years ago—
*Look at the flame, look at the ardour, after this manifesto we heard on Monday! Not even a little grey smoke is rising from the other side.
This is what Mr. Pienaar wrote three years ago—
He asked for “something big” three years ago. Where is that “something big” for which Die Beeld asked? Can the hon. the Minister who is looking at me so attentively tell me where that “something big” is, and whether it is ever going to come?
† This whole Bantustan idea is a farce; it is something on which we are wasting the country’s time, money and energy, by calling for an election at this stage. It is a farce because it is going to harm the security of South Africa in this respect, that on the contrary our federation will ensure greater safety for South Africa than eight independent States. I quote the words of Abraham Lincoln. When the Southern States wanted to secede, when they wanted to form their own independent States or Confederation of Independent States, Abraham Lincoln was the great fighter for a federation in the United States of America. The words of his inaugural address still ring out over the years. He said—
That is the question that those hon. members, with their policy of independent Bantustans should ask. They should ask themselves whether aliens can make treaties more easily than friends can make laws. As Lincoln added—
*The hon. the Prime Minister attacked our federation policy. It was interesting to hear his reply to a question. He was questioned about the Coloured policy and the Indian policy of the National Party. The hon. member for South Coast asked—
The hon. the Prime Minister’s reply was—
†His policy for the Coloureds and the Indians is therefore the same as the race federation policy of the United Party and he has now admitted it across the floor of this House. Why can he not adopt that same policy for the Black people in South Africa as well? Here I have a statement which I believe to be a fair statement of the United Party’s policy in regard to federation—
What I have done is to give a translation of a leading article in Die Burger, changing the words “Kleurling” to “Black” and the words “National Party” to “United Party”. Having done so I found that every word in this is the policy of race federation, and here the hon. the Prime Minister admitted that he has adopted it. What is the difference between the policy of a race federation and what I have read here in regard to the Coloureds and the Indians? Ours is of course much better in detail, but the basic idea is that which I have read from a leading article in Die Burger. Yet he balks at it, he regards it as sinful and as a calamity if we plead for a race federation system for all the Blacks in South Africa.
What then are the real reasons for this general election?
*I believe that it is basically nothing but politicising. I believe that the Government is trying to derive some supposed political advantage from the local situation in South Africa and I ask myself whether there is not perhaps something else which is being hidden, such as disagreement on policy in its own ranks. Is there not perhaps disagreement on independent Bantustans? Is there not perhaps disagreement on what is to happen to the Coloured? Is there not perhaps disagreement on the question of whether there should in fact be a homeland for them? Ask the hon. the Minister of Water Affairs and his bench-mate about certain disagreements in their party on these matters. Is the hon. the Prime Minister not perhaps trying to outwit certain powers in the Broederbond and other secret organizations by calling a general election? We stand united today on matters such as defence, terrorism and law and order. With his call for an election the hon. the Prime Minister is dividing the country on these matters, just to get a political vote for his own political advantage—as he hopes. I hope the country will give him a full answer to that on election day.
Mr. Speaker, I want to put a question to the hon. member who has just resumed his seat: Why does the hon. member look so tired? After all, that is not as I have come to know him! The hon. member made his speech in a way I have never before heard him make one. I know the hon. member as an aggressive, charging ram, but he stood there tired and weary. When the hon. member stood there so tired and weary, it reminded me of times when I had also been tired and weary, of my courting days. It was not because I had gone courting, but because my wife would not say “yes”. I was worried because I could not get her to say “yes”. That hon. member has been waiting for weeks and weeks now for the nomination “yes”. It is exhausting him. I feel terribly sorry for him. I cannot understand it: The hon. member has been a member of the House of Assembly for just about as long as I have been one, perhaps a little longer. He is a frontbencher and shadow minister now, while I am only a perfectly ordinary M.P. But he is waiting for his nomination while my constituency is waiting for me to return to fight the election. That is the difference. That is why the hon. member looks so tired. I want to say this to the United Party: This is really no way to treat your Old Guard. You should at least display a little more gratitude towards them.
The hon. member asked on what basis we are having to conduct an election. We are doing it on the basis of something really important. The hon. member said that there was no “national calamity”. Where can one find a greater calamity than in the party of the official Opposition? If something goes wrong with the Opposition party, surely that is a “calamity”! We are therefore dealing with a calamity within the United Party. There is an election because the United Party has, with its new policy, its federal concept, dished up something of vital concern to South Africa. We must get an answer from the people on this federal concept, and the best way of doing so is to hold an election. This, together with all the other uncertainties prevailing in the world, has made a general election necessary.
This federal concept of the United Party is the most dangerous political concept which has ever been propagated in South Africa by an Opposition. Enough has been said here concerning this federal concept, but I want to put a question to the United Party: A basic, inherent component of that federal concept is the inevitable development of dualistic and/or pluralistic political structures within the same geographic boundaries. Am I right? The basic political component in their concept is that they want to construct a pluralistic political structure within one geographic heartland—call it the Republic of South Africa. This is quite clearly the case and then, when they are developing and constructing those dualistic and/or pluralistic political structures, there is one thing they cannot escape, one thing will they ever be able to escape, for they are going to come up against a factor which they cannot eliminate but which will, in importance, become a force majeure within the political construction which they want to build. That is the factor of numbers. Let us consider the question of numbers for a moment. In about the year 2020—that is within the conceivable future; it is when my grandsons will possibly be occupying my place here in this House; it is in 47 years’ time—there will be 62 million Bantu in South Africa and 11 million Coloureds, as against 7,7 million Whites. Now they must tell me: If they want to make the people believe that the Whites are to retain their authority within this geographic area, and that is what they tell us—the Whites will not abdicate; the Whites will maintain their leadership—then hon. members opposite must tell us how 7,7 million Whites will be able to maintain themselves against 62 million Blacks within the same geographic boundaries? I am asking this in all earnest, and the people must know this; my child wants to know it. Leave all this bickering about migratory labour, etc. There is still much we can say about that. They must reply to me on this crucial question. Do hon. members want to make themselves believe, do they want to make their children believe that 7,7 million people will be able to maintain themselves against 62 million people within the same geographic area …
May I ask a question?
The hon. member must kindly wait a minute. Do hon. members opposite want to tell us that those 7,7 million people will under those circumstances be able to maintain themselves within a political structure which does not, for them, have a geographic structure of their own in which it can develop? It is here that we finally come to a final parting of the ways with hon. members opposite, we are irrevocably separated and on two divergent courses. Because we say that in spite of all the economic difficulties which may lie in wait on the path of the political structure we want to build, in spite of all the financial implications arising from it, in spite of all the possible human suffering which may arise from it, which may sound like injustice and which will demand sacrifices from both the Blacks and the Whites, we say that the creation of separate political structures within separate geographic heartlands in which numbers do not play a role as the case will be within the structure which the United Party wishes to build, will be more desirable, more practical, more humane in the long run than the structure which the United Party wishes to build. This is the political problem, clear and simple; this is the choice. If I can get an answer, if an hon. member opposite can rise to his feet and can tell me how one can, within the same geographic boundaries, accommodate 73 million non-Whites as against 7,7 million Whites and then still claim that the Whites are not going to abdicate their political power, I shall be very grateful. All I want is that reply. For that is the whole political issue in South Africa today. That is the crucial question we have to answer, and I want that answer.
What about the 40 million Bantu at least who will, in that year, still be in the so-called White area?
I come now to the question which the hon. member has put. I would, without his question, have dealt with that aspect myself. Sir, when one has a heartland for a nation, then the people living in another geographic area are not a political factor there, but an economic factor. They are then people who offer and negotiate, as a foreigner from a foreign country offers his labour and negotiates. When the Blacks come from their area to the White area to offer their work, and vice versa, the White or Black employer, as befits a good employer, will in his negotiations with the person who offers his labour, see to his housing and all his social services. These are not problems; these are matters which will have to be administered and negotiated correctly. That worker, or person who offers his labour, from the one area, will not be in the other area as a political factor. He will not come here to become a source of friction within the same political structure and on the same political level. That is my answer.
Sir, this brings me at once to the question which the hon. member for Houghton has already discussed so frequently in this House. That is the question of the alleged injustice and the alleged immoral act we are committing by using the Bantu, who come some distance from their area to offer their labour in the White area, as migrant labourers, as the pattern in South Africa is in part. Sir, I want to tell the hon. member that surely it is immoral to apply a standard only in respect of one country, without also analysing the general pattern which is applicable elsewhere in the world. Sir, Red China’s frontier runs from Canton near Hong Kong far into the north over a distance of 4 000 miles, and, Sir, one finds Chinese working in Canton whose families live 2 000 miles to 3 000 miles away in the same country. They see their families once or twice a year. Sir, if certain automobile factories in Germany, in Western Europe, did not have migratory labour at their disposal today, they would have to close their doors. There are numerous factories in Western Europe which are completely dependent on and are supported by migratory labour—people from the Middle East, people from North Africa, etc.
I shall come to the hon. member in a moment, and then he and I can discuss this at our convenience. I just want to put this case. I only have a few minutes in which to speak and I cannot elaborate on it. I maintain that this standpoint which the United Party, and particularly the Progressive Party, adopt, i.e. that it is an immoral component which is woven into our policy of separate development, is an immoral argument which they use against us, because it is a prevailing pattern. With the development of the policy of separate development we shall in future, by means of a method of rapid transportation—and I say this is within the bounds of possibility—convey virtually every Bantu working in a White area to his family either every evening, or every week, or as frequently as may be possible. [Interjections.] Yes, it is within the bounds of possibility. I want to tell that hon. member for Houghton that I think she would do better to abandon the path of idealism. I have great appreciation for her idealism. I want to ask her, before she leaves this place, to follow the path of realism, as my new bench-fellow. Mr. Marais Steyn now does.
Like Marais Steyn?
He is now my bench-fellow. He was the right hand of the United Party’s leader, and now he is Cas Greyling’s left hand! [Laughter.] Now I want to tell her this. Mr. Speaker, you can do it whenever it suits you. Adapt this bench for three persons and when she comes over to us she can sit on my right as my right hand. I promise you that the Word will be strictly adhered to: My left hand will not know what my right hand is doing! [Laughter.]
Yesterday the hon. member for Bezuidenhout read us a lecture on post-war politics and its trends. But the hon. member made one mistake. His other statements were of no significance, and that is why I am not discussing them. But the one fact he emphasized was that post-way international politics was characterized by a resistance to colonialism. We must recall that he used that argument to reply to the hon. the Prime Minister’s suggestion that even if Gen. Smuts had been Prime Minister and Leader of South Africa at the present time, he would have been saddled with the same dilemma as the National Party at present. “No”, he says, “this would not have happened”, and he tried to escape the factual truth by alleging that post-war politics and attitudes were characterized by an opposition to and a mounting feeling against colonialism.
And the emancipation of the coloured people. That was more important.
The hon. member can hold more discussions with diplomats than with Cas Greyling, but I now want to ask him: When that diplomat said that in his country the members of his parliament would have done this if their Prime Minister had done what our Prime Minister did, what did the hon. member tell that diplomat? Did he defend, our Prime Minister? No, he did not defend him, for if he had defended him, why did he come here and use it as an argument against the Prime Minister? [Interjections.] But apart from that. The hon. member may have conferred to a greater extent with foreign diplomats than I have, but there is one point on which I do not agree with him. The hon. member should read his history. He should read his political history and above all he should learn to interpret history. Sir, the anti-colonial feeling of the post-war period does not concern South Africa so much. I want to ask him since when South Africa is or was a colonial power. How could it have had that much bearing on South Africa to integrate and associate and synchronize South Africa’s position with a feeling of anti-colonialism, which existed against people and countries which had, as colonial powers, been exploiting those colonial territories for decades?
You were not listening.
The hon. member cannot discuss South Africa on the same platform as the old colonial powers. The first reason why he cannot do so is because South Africa was never a colonial power.
We have a mandate over South-West Africa.
The hon. member is making a mistake. The chief characteristic of post-war politics was the rise of communist imperialism. That was what characterized post-war politics. Communist imperialism is characterized by one method of operation, and that is the militant method. During the post-war period until today, was militancy among all these liberated states not the fundamental characteristic of their actions? Militancy is the fundamental characteristic, and not anti-colonialism in respect of South Africa. South Africa is, however, the victim of post-war communist imperialism which is being strengthened by, and in its application and operation contains, substantial characteristics of militancy. Surely that is the truth. Portuguese territories lie to the east and to the north of us. We had the federation of Rhodesia and Nyassaland. Portugal adopted a policy of total integration Portugal is committed entirely to integration—equalization. In what way should they then have escaped the onslaught of terrorism? The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyassaland, as it was, has been shattered into fragments—there is not even one fragment left that one can see. After all, they did not have our policy. They had a far more liberal colour policy than the National Party has. No, the hon. member should count his words and he should consider far more carefully the context in which he drags South Africa into his “elderly statesman”-like utterances.
The hon. member for Durban Central said yesterday that the Bantu states which we want to create will live in eternal poverty. He said that everlasting poverty was awaiting the Bantu areas. Surely that is a direct charge against the United Party! Let us read what the Tomlinson Commission had to say in 1951—
We only took over in 1948.
For years the United Party did not lift a finger to help develop these Bantu areas. They did not lift a finger to place them on the road to economic independence or economic viability. The hon. member—I do not take it amiss of him, for he only recently came here—levelled a direct charge at his own party. They were in power up to 1948, and the Tomlinson Commission made this statement in 1951. Those were the conditions under United Party rule. What were the results? Today we are sitting with the baby. So stagnant was the position in the years of United Party rule since 1936, as the Tomlinson Commission proves and states, those Bantu were so poor in those areas that they simply, as a result of that, burst across the borders. We then had to introduce influx control to try to establish order. Today, when the Bantu stream in large numbers to the White metropolises and to the more developed areas, they do so because there is more development and employment here in the White areas. In those days, however, they streamed out because affliction and poverty prevailed there. I say today with the utmost conviction that with the pre-planned development schemes of the National Party within the Bantu areas and on the borders, the influx of Bantu to the White areas, regardless of how attractive these White areas will be, will in future take place to an ever-decreasing extent. Hon. members may as well take cognizance of this now. This will come about as a result of the National Party’s policy of separate development and the plans which are contemplated.
The hon. member for Hillbrow spoke yesterday. He asked where one could hope to see more integration than on the mines, where there is one White for every 17 non-Whites. I assume that the hon. member is an intellectual because he has a doctor’s degree. He is a person who is interested in labour matters, and I assume and believe that he has made a study of this. But the hon. member, and hon. members opposite, do not understand what integration is. Integration means …
Working in the same factory.
No, that is precisely what it does not mean. One only has integration when one shares political power. Secondly, one only has integration when one shares economic power and allows economic factors to have political consequences; then it is integration. One has integration when one allows biological intermingling. If one does not have those three processes, one does not have integration. If one does not have political sharing of power, if one does not allow economic factors to have political after-effects and if one does not have biological intermingling, then one does not have integration. Then the presence of 17 Bantu as against one White on the mines is in no way integration. Then they are present here in those numbers as economically active, productive factors and individuals. The hon. member does not understand integration. I have been sitting here for so many years, and I think we have wasted a lot of time. Let us now understand once and for all that on the basis on which the National Party puts it, with the policy of separate political structures, one cannot set one’s foot on the road to integration, but with the basic component which is built into the federal concept, integration is totally inescapable, deadly, dangerous! It will have a frustrating effect on Blacks and Whites in South Africa. It will ruin and destroy our social structure and all the sacrifices, suffering sorrow, if they could be called that, which may lie in the way of separate development, will disappear like mist before the morning sun when compared to the terrible danger which lurks in the federal concept. I want to ask the hon. member for Houghton whether she would not prefer to heed my request.
Mr. Speaker, one always enjoys the contributions of the hon. member for Carletonville, and I do like listening to his speeches. I should have liked to enter into a debate with him today, but he made approximately 20 varying statements in the course of his speech. If one were to try to debate those 20 points with him, it would take up one’s entire speech. However, I do want to deal with only one or two of the points he raised.
In the first place, he suggested that the hon. the Prime Minister called the election to procure a decision on the federal concept. We have had explanations from the hon. the Prime Minister himself, but it is the first time now that we hear that the reason for it is to obtain a decisive answer on the federal concept. I would be surprised, since the hon. the Prime Minister shows such contempt of the federal concept and this Opposition party, that he should feel himself obliged to call an election to procure a decisive answer on the federal concept. If he did do so for that reason, it proves to us that he is beginning to regard the federal proposals of this party in a very serious light, so serious that he decided a year or even longer before the expiry of the life of this Parliament to return to the people to hear from them whether they are prepared to accept the federal concept at this early stage.
The hon. member for Carletonville went even further and accused the federal policy of allegedly bringing about a pluralistic political structure within one geographical territory, the Republic of South Africa. What is the separate development policy of the National Government if not a pluralistic political structure within the one geographical territory of South Africa?
No, that is not true.
He mentioned a number of figures. He said there would be 62 million Bantu within South Africa in 50 years’ time, 11 million Coloureds and Asiatics and only 7,7 million Whites. Of course, these figures represent the official projections which are issued. If that is the case, does he want to tell us that, although the majority of that 62 million is going to be within the borders of the so-called White South Africa, they are going to be transported every weekend or every evening to a duplicated set of dwelling places in the homelands by means of the freeways and the new means of transport he has in mind? Sir, this is absolutely fantastic. Surely, they need accommodation if they work in the White areas? Surely, they will require the services and all the facilities to be able to live and work there. In the evening, or every weekend, these approximately 40 million people will be going home to the Bantu homelands, and houses, services and freeways will have to be available there.
I credited you with a little more intelligence.
It is not worth my while to deal with any more of the points raised by the hon. member.
May I ask the hon. member a question? The hon. member now refers to projections of population figures per population group. I should like to ask him: If the Bantu homelands are independent, does he think the governments there will not take the initiative themselves to promote the economy of their countries? Would they really still be present in these numbers in the White areas?
I do not want to start a long discussion, because I still want to touch upon another argument. However, I shall reply to it briefly by saying that if these figures are correct, 62 million Bantu will have to be economically absorbed in these homelands within the foreseeable future, say, within the next 20, 30 or 40 years. If this is indeed the case, there will have to be a growth rate of approximately 14% per year in the homelands to be able to feed, accommodate and house all these people. Ask the hon. the Prime Minister or the hon. the Minister of Finance or the hon. the Minister of Indian Affairs whether it is possible to have a sustained growth rate of 14% per year.
†I would like to go on now and deal with another matter. At this time we face one of the greatest issues mankind has ever faced in its recent history. I refer to that grave world problem, the energy crisis. It was recently described by a meeting of economists, at an international congress at Washington, as the gravest world danger short of war. The implications are far wider than the present temporary dislocation of oil supplies. The question is whether this Government understands the dimensions and the seriousness of the problem. We have no particular quarrel with this Government over its recent temporary measures, such as the introduction of speed limits and so forth, to reduce the consumption of petrol at this stage of dislocation. However, there are much more serious issues at stake. In the course of this whole debate we have not had any attempt to answer the questions which have been put by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition in his no-confidence motion. This is not a light matter; it is a matter which, it is commonly agreed, goes to the heart of our civilization. The energy crisis is going to become one of the major threats to our way of life in the rest of this 20th century. We are going to solve this problem or civilization is going to regress, or, to, put it in other words, civilization is going to move backwards. As this crisis approached, the hon. the Prime Minister expressed what might be described as some immortal words on 22 October at a meeting at Nigel. He said, and I quote from the Press—
On 14 November, three weeks later, the Government announced petrol restrictions. Last Friday, that is some three months later and with the advantage of hindsight, the Government’s views were again stated. They were expressed through the medium of the State President’s speech as follows—
This is the Government’s version of what happened. It is literally accurate in a very narrow sense, but it is so incomplete in scope, so failing in comprehension that I must conclude that the Government is either deliberately deluding the public or hopelessly deluding itself. If there should be anyone who doubts the reasonableness of this conclusion, let us briefly review the facts. I do not have time to go into the whole history behind it, but let us look at the salient facts since this problem arose. It should be clear—it is now clear, but it was not clear then—that the whole oil question is basically a price problem. It is not a serious supply problem at present, except in certain particulars. It may become a major supply problem later, but at the moment its significance is that of a price problem. For some years the oil producing and exporting countries, known as OPEC, have been trying to force up prices. In OPEC there are seven Arab countries, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Libya and Algeria; and four non-Arab countries, Iran, Venezuela, Indonesia and Nigeria. It is most important to remember this. One talks too easily of the Arab sheiks, but there are seven Arab countries involved who are not always unanimous, and four other countries. They succeeded in pushing up the oil price, which was about one dollar per barrel in 1969, to $2-20 in 1971, to something like three dollars in 1972, and now to a price of seven dollars at their ports, and approximately nine dollars on delivery. In May 1973 the pressure was increased. Col. Gaddafy of Libya took the initiative. They proceeded to negotiate further with the oil companies and demanded a further 11,1% increase in the oil price. Then for the first time the ultimatum was heard: “Pay up or we cut off supplies.” This threat was still an economic threat. It was a threat designed to force up the price. It was aimed at price increases and had nothing whatsoever, or in any case very little, to do with political issues at that time. OPEC still had no agreement on any common political objective. They had general agreement on a single objective, i.e. to push up the price. Then came the war in the Middle East which gave a special emphasis to the supply situation. Supply up to then had been a reason for driving up prices, but now supply acquired a special, different purpose. In October 1973 Saudi Arabia announced a total cut off supplies to the United States of America and to Holland and a 10% cut against any other sympathizer with Israel. All the OPEC countries did not agree. As I say, they were agreed on supply threats with a view to increasing the price but this particular threat against sympathizers with Israel was limited to a few Arab countries.
On 29 November 1973 a new issue arose. Because of pressure by the Organization for African Unity, the Arab summit conference in Algiers recommended that South Africa, Portugal and Rhodesia should have their oil supplies cut and that they should be subjected to a diplomatic, consular, economic and cultural severance of ties. In other words, they recommended that not only oil supplies but also these other links should be cut off. This again was an Arab move and not a move by OPEC. It was decided on at an Arab conference under pressure from the Organization for African Unity. Moreover, Iraq and Libya boycotted that conference and shortly afterwards ships were found carrying oil from Iraq and Libya to the United States by way of the Caribbean. By January 1974, last month, it had become clear all round the world that the supply threat had not been effective. Except for the still-boycotted countries, oil was flowing freely all round the world. An investigation conducted by The Economist, a British magazine, showed that in 60 world ports which receive oil, deliveries were normal. In the Persian Gulf ports, the supply ports, they found that, towards the end of December, deliveries had gone up by between 23% and 43%, depending on the port, over the same period in the preceding year. In West Germany, for example, where they feared that, if there was a cut of 25% as was at one time threatened by the Arab States, they would suffer a 15% cut-back in oil supplies they found last month, in January, when they produced their statistics, that the actual drop in supplies had been 11%. The pipelines from Rotterdam to Antwerp and the rest of Europe were running at full capacity. These, Sir, are the facts. It is a fact that prices have gone up very severely and are creating great new pressures and great new problems. The oil supply situation is not grave and it is generally recognized that it was in fact a false alarm to a large extent. Only a week or so ago the U.S.A. News Digest of 23 January, which is an official publication, had this to say—
Holland, allegedly under total boycott, announced on Monday that it was restoring its petrol supplies without any restriction. The only countries left under full boycott are two alleged colonial delinquents, Portugal and Rhodesia, and one alleged apartheid delinquent, South Africa. These, Sir, are still under official boycott, but I believe that the boycott will not be effective. I believe that there are means of getting oil. I will not go into such means or into figures because I believe that it is right that we should defend our position by in fact reducing our oil supplies or, at least, putting ourselves in a position where we cannot be blackmailed by the people who would like to do so. I shall therefore not go into details of how supplies can be obtained. There are methods for doing so. There are the obvious facts that Opec is not at all unanimous on the supply situation or on supply cuts although they are unanimous on price. There is a grey market developing in oil. There are complexities in regard to delivery and the distribution situation which enable leakages to take place and there is no doubt that those countries that want oil and can pay for it, will get it. But having said all that, having made it clear to ourselves that it is in fact a price situation and not a supply situation, we ask ourselves: What is the Government doing about the implications of this matter?
Nothing, as usual.
What are the implications for South Africa? This is what we want to discuss. The charges we have made, the charges the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has made, have gone unanswered. One would think that this oil and energy crisis was a triviality; that it is much better to talk the kind of nonsense that we have heard day after day: The Harry Schwarz arguments, the arguments about the Opposition’s position, and arguments about every political triviality have been bandied about back and forth by that Government which stands here to answer to a no confidence charge against it. Here we have a major world issue. It has been raised in this debate and we have heard not a single word about it from the members opposite. Do they not care, do they not know, are they ignorant of the implications, do they not realize that this is a matter of major importance and that the public want to know?
What is your complaint; what are you complaining about?
I am stating my complaints at the moment.
He is stating them and you have been evading the answers.
Our first complaint is that certain cardinal questions have been asked and that we have had no reply to them.
Had the hon. member been here he would have known what questions have been asked. There are questions which have been put by the Leader of the Opposition. We want to know what the policy of the Government is in relation to the enormous implications of this new danger which has arisen in the world and which is affecting all countries in regard to the energy situation. If the hon. member has not yet understood I shall try to be more specific. We have heard nothing from the Government to give guidance, other than on the question of how fast motor-cars should be driven. We would like to know what their solutions are to this problem. How is South Africa to gear itself to meet these grave problems with which we are faced, or is the hon. member not aware of these grave problems? Let me make it clearer to him. We face at the moment a grave acceleration of our inflation problem. Our inflation problem, of which I am sure he must have heard, is a grave one, but this oil situation, this energy problem, is going to accelerate inflation. It will act as a catalyst to drive up inflation even faster than it has been moving recently. Is there anything the Government can do to relieve this situation? They cry out in horror and they distort the words when the suggestion is made …
Order! The hon. member must withdraw the word “distort”.
I withdraw it, Sir. They put their own construction on the words used by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition when he suggested that our reserves of cheaply-bought oil might be used to alleviate the energy situation. It would be quite reasonable to mix cheap oil with more expensively acquired oil in order to alleviate the burden of the price paid by the public of South Africa. It would not necessarily involve a drop in strategic reserves.
Surely that was not your leader’s suggestion.
You mean you could buy less overall?
No, you would buy at higher prices, but in order to relieve the burden on the public …
Who would pay the higher price?
… you would use some lower-priced oil so that the full impact of the high cost does not come into force.
This is partly because of the profits on the pipeline.
Sir, there is the question of supply. What is the Government’s attitude going to be in regard to the question of supply? Let us assume, for example, that supply is fully restored at the new prices, that supply becomes freely available but at the new high prices—let us say nine dollars or ten dollars a barrel. What is the Government’s attitude going to be? Is it going to allow supplies to come in freely at those prices, or would the Government maintain control in order to keep a damper on the inflow of oil? In other words, is the Government’s policy directed at a short-term process only, which is to ensure that we get oil or that we are able to manage temporarily with a little less oil, or is it directed at a longer-term process ensuring that even when oil becomes available again, in full supply, South Africa will be gradually weaned away from the use of oil; that we will maintain a degree of restrictions in order that our dependence upon oil might be decreased? Sir, it is very important to know this because business decisions depend on it and planning depends on it. We want to know where we are going in this connection, and there has been not one word from the Government. Sir, there are people who are taking decisions already. The other day, in the city council of Cape Town, there was a debate about whether they should continue building motorways and how much money they should continue to spend on the building of motorways, and the decision was taken, at least provisionally, to stop building motorways because South Africa will not have oil. That hon. Minister will know that the decision is completely ill-founded, because South Africa may well have oil; it may have plenty of it or enough to justify the building of motorways. The question is whether South Africa should be paying the higher price; whether in fact people will be able to afford to pay these higher prices for oil and, secondly, whether they should be paying these prices. But none of these policy decisions have yet been taken, and no guide has been given.
Sir, we have various alternatives. There is the possibility of producing more oil from coal at Sasol. Will these plants be built? Then there is the question of the usage of our coal reserves. The Coal Advisory Board has given us certain figures. It believes a certain consumption will occur by the year 2000 and the life of our coal reserves is X years. Now, what are we going to do about this? Are we going to conserve coal, or are we going to export coal? Are we going to develop our coal reserves, firstly in order to build up new industries and to supplant the other industries which will fail because of the decline in the supply of oil? Are we going to build up coal exports because increased profits bring in increased revenue, which enables the coal companies to explore and therefore to extend their reserves? These are policy decisions which have to be taken. They are most important. If you conserve, your reserves remain static. If you exploit, you sell some of the reserves, but you also tend to expand your reserves. It is a most important matter.
There is the whole consideration of the uranium question. We have large reserves of uranium. So far uranium has not been economic in relation to the price of coal. If we are going to exploit our coal more effectively and less wastefully, it means that we will have to pay more to exploit our coal. The cost of coal at the pit-head will be considerably higher than it is at present, with the present methods of extraction. As soon as you do this a new equation comes in, because if coal becomes more expensive, the comparison with uranium is a different comparison again. These things need to be looked at and they should be planned so that we may know whether we should go on using coal at a certain rate, or whether we should introduce atomic energy at a certain time, and if we do, at what stage we should do so. If we do not plan these things, if we act haphazardly, we will not take the right decisions.
There is the whole question of electricity generation and the possibility of electricity storage. We have to look at our motor industry again. Are we going to go on building cars of a particular kind, of a particular consumption, of a particular model or of a particular design, or should we, in view of the fact that we may be reducing our dependence on oil as much as possible for all time and pursuing another fuel and energy policy in this country, give guidance to the motor industry? Should we not be telling them to reduce their dependence on oil? This is an important question, because I would say something like 60 or 70% of our oil usage derives from transport, and at least half of that is for the needs of private motoring. These are things we have to look at. They are most important in the light of the possibility of acquiring independence from the oil sheiks, from the future shortages and from the enormous impact of the increased price of oil on our economy.
Science, technology, the question of oil, the question of energy, the problems of mining, are all interrelated problems and they all have a bearing on this most important decision we have to take on what will prove very soon to become one of the most important fields of public concern in the world, one of the most valid fields for our deep consideration when we plan the future of this country. Sir, we would like to see these things brought together. We believe it is not good enough that they should be scattered through the Budget and be scattered through the departments, and that they should be handled by scattered committees and sub-committees. We believe that this is now a matter which demands full public attention. The public confidence of the whole of South Africa must be commanded so that people will know where we are going. We certainly welcome the activities of the Petrol Economizing Committee. There are some eminent men there and no doubt they are doing valuable work. But this is a much bigger issue than petrol economizing over the short term by a small ad hoc committee. It is a major issue. We have to bring to bear upon it all the talents, scientific, technological and planning, in South Africa. It is an economic question. It affects the rate of growth in this country. It will affect inflation rates in the country. It will affect our planning. It is something which has to be brought right into this Parliament. It must be looked at by this Government, by this Parliament and by the public in order that public confidence and public knowledge may grow so that we may handle this matter in a rational and sensible way. I contrast all this with the hon. the Prime Minister’s statement at Nigel, which I have quoted, and this most inadequate reference which we heard on Friday. I say that this kind of thing breeds no confidence.
I wish to conclude by quoting something which was stated the other day by the Ford Foundation in America about their own energy situation. This was said—
We also want a national energy policy in this country; we need one. It is essential, it is urgent. We are tired of seeing the Government play hide and seek. We do not want to see that this question is referred to committees and sub-committees. The statements which the Government has made, and which I have quoted, give us no confidence whatsoever that they either understand the problem or realize the seriousness of it. It is time to get moving in this instance so that we too may be grateful to the Arabs one day.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just spoken devoted most of his speech to the oil crisis, and obviously I shall also have something to say about this. Before doing so, however, I should also like for a moment to consider the official Opposition, the United Party.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition gave notice on the first sitting day that he would introduce a motion of no confidence in the Government, and people laughed at him. In fact, they were laughing long before he gave notice of the motion.
Not the people; you laughed.
The newspapers were laughing at him. [Interjections.] When he gave notice of the motion he was being laughed at, and even after that in conversation and in the debates which are being conducted here, the people are laughing at him. However, he is not the only United Party man who came up against this problem. There is another United Party man, a certain Mr. Jac de Villiers, who is the leader of the United Party in the Cape Provincial Council. One of these days when the provincial council is in session one will expect him as leader of the United Party to have to introduce a motion of no confidence there. One can imagine in what a position he will be—he is a chronic candidate for the Senate, the House of Assembly and the Cape Provincial Council—when he has to introduce a motion of no confidence, the governing party will say to him: “Your own people, the United Party members of Wynberg, do not even want you, for they voted 24—0 against you. Now how can you inspire confidence in this House?”
How many people voted for Fanie Botha at your congress?
I expect the same thing to happen in the Transvaal Provincial Council. There the United Party has a leader, a certain Mr. Harry Schwarz, and when he has to introduce a motion of no confidence, I wonder what they will say to him: “You, the leader of the United Party in the Provincial Council and also the Transvaal leader, were recently admonished in public for your actions by your leader, and rumour has it that you should be kicked out of the party.” The newspapers which support the United Party in this election say that Mr. Schwarz should be kicked out. He can then be asked: “Who are you to come here and ask for a motion of confidence in yourself when your own people do not even have confidence in you?”
What did Natal do to Hilgard Muller when he offered himself for election as leader there?
Even in this building, in the Other Place, there is the hon. Senator Oëlrich who is in a very unenviable position. He has given notice that he will introduce a motion of censure in the Other Place, but what can be said to him, he who is the person who said, and who admitted that he had said, that because of the disputes and squabbles in the United Party, there was most certainly no place in the party any more for him and for people like him, and that it was probably time they left. But let us see now under what circumstances the official Leader of the Opposition had to move this motion. I should like to read to him the comment of the Financial Mail. He will perhaps tell me that this is not a newspaper which supports him, but I nevertheless want to remind him that it is a newspaper which supports this side of the House even less. As recently as 1 February this newspaper wrote as follows—
I took the trouble to look up the meaning of this word “vacillating” in the dictionary. They say: “Vacillating” means “to sway to and fro; to be unsteady”. That is the adjective they are now applying to him. The same newspaper also commented on the National Party in the same report as follows—
Then the same report ends with a comment on the party to which he belongs—
That is probably enough about the party itself. It is tragic that they should introduce this motion when things are in fact going so well in the country, while there is peace and quiet in South Africa, labour peace as well, while the dangers from abroad are being effectively and satisfactorily averted, and while people are feeling safe here in South Africa. The most important consideration for the people in any case is to feel safe under all circumstances. That is how they do in fact feel today. The people, Whites and non-Whites, in this country have a higher standard of living than that of any other comparable country in the world. There is virtually no unemployment in South Africa today. [Interjection.] Where are they? The reported unemployment in South Africa is so low that it can, in terms of all economic standards, be regarded as an absence of unemployment. There is justified optimism concerning the economy in South Africa to which I shall again refer briefly in a moment.
With reference to the dissension in the ranks of that party opposite I want to say that it is a tragedy that what is at issue is not who is going to stand in this constituency and who in that constituency, but that the basis of the dissension is major questions of policy, questions on which the future of South Africa in fact depends. These are very serious questions and there is a tremendous gulf between the one wing of the party and the other wing. That is the tragedy, although that gulf has at the moment been covered over for the purposes of the election. As a fair and just person I must say that I regret having had to read out these quotations to the Leader of the Opposition because they probably hurt him. I also regret having had to read out these quotations when the sun is setting on his political life. Surely the hon. the Leader has already decided that he is only going to help them through this election, so that they can get themselves straightened out again.
Yes, he has “Kennis van die Aand”.
That is why I say that the sun is setting on his political career. That is why one regrets even more having had to do so.
The hon. member for Von Brandis devoted the bulk of his speech to the fuel problem. I do not want to reply to the details into which he went. There are only two points, raised by him, which I should like to comment on. I should prefer to use the time to furnish a little information on our fuel position. He said, firstly, that there was no real supply problem. But he then went on to say that it was a major crisis in the world, and that the Government had not yet informed itself on this tremendous crisis which existed in the world. But if there is no supply problem, why does he then say that it is a major crisis? Surely that is real nonsense now. The hon. member also spoke in defence of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, who asked why we were not using our strategic supplies. He then went further and said that we should now adjust the prices with our cheap oil, which comprises our strategic supplies. I hope I understood the hon. member correctly.
It is true our strategic supplies consist to a large extent of cheap oil. But now I want to ask the hon. member: “Is there any sense in suggesting that one should use one’s cheap strategic oil, which has been stored away, and then have to purchase expensive oil to replenish those supplies?” [Interjections.] That is what the hon. member said. At least, that is what I understood him to say. It is not necessary, for the purpose of my elucidation, to pursue this point any further; but to my mind both these statements of his are absolute nonsense.
May I ask a question? If the hon. the Minister has a refrigerator and decides to store butter which he bought cheaply, and subsequently the price of butter rises, surely he can use the cheap butter to neutralize the effect of the higher price.
Sir, this now confirms the argument of the hon. member as I explained it just now. He says I should take the cheap butter and mix it with the expensive butter.
Then both become rancid!
Hon. members, and in particular the hon. member for Hillbrow, indicated that they would very much like some information on the oil position. The hon. member furnished us with a long exposition of where oil was obtainable, who belonged to the Arab bloc and who did not, and the OPEC countries, etc. For the purpose of my argument it is not necessary to react to that. All I do want to say is that we regard information on oil today as being highly confidential, precisely because oil as a source of energy is so important in the world, for our country as well. I differ with the standpoint of the hon. member for Hillbrow that the world knows everything in any case. I do not think the world knows everything. It is in fact known that we have certain strategic supplies. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition referred to that. That is true. But we are not prepared to divulge particulars concerning this. In any case I do not think it is a sensible thing to do. Under the circumstances I think there are very sound reasons why we should not say too much about our oil supplies. In fact, I have made a request to the newspapers asking them preferably to speculate as little as possible on these matters as far as South Africa is concerned. On two occasions last year the hon. the Prime Minister gave radio talks and released as much information as we thought could be released on those occasions.
If I may, for a while, refer back to the problems confronting us, hon. members will recall that in the first place there was an increase in the price of crude oil in October. At the time this also resulted in an increase in our petrol prices. Subsequently there was a 20% cut in our crude oil supply, in fact, in the crude oil supply of the entire world, by the Arab countries which supplied oil. This was applied on a world-wide basis; it was not applied only to us. We were consequently obliged to take steps so that we could make provision to prevent ourselves from encountering difficulties with our oil supplies. Hon. members will recall that the Arab countries resolved under pressure from the African States to introduce a total boycott of South Africa. As far as this matter is concerned, too, I think it would be unwise to go into details and to disclose what portion of our oil we receive from the Arab countries and what portion we do not receive from the Arab countries. It is known that we are in fact receiving a large portion of our supplies from the Arab countries. Taking into consideration all the circumstances, we had to do something and we resolved at the time to make a start by imposing speed restrictions on our roads. The various oil companies received their information from the International Fuel Research Institute, and they supplied us with this information. On this basis we resolved to restrict the maximum speed in peri-urban areas to 80 km/h and the maximum speed in urban areas to 50 km/h. While I am now discussing these speed restrictions, I want to mention that accusations were levelled at us from various quarters, inter alia, that the speed was too high, while others thought that the speed was too low. In fact, most people said that 80 km/h was too low. Many were of the opinion that it might perhaps be more economical to impose a speed restriction of 100 km/h. In addition, there was dissatisfaction at the 50 km/h speed restriction in urban areas. Since then this has in fact gone further. We asked the Automobile Association and Rondalia to conduct certain tests, and I have the full result of the tests with me here. Unfortunately time does not allow me to go into it. They carried out tests and in most mode's there is in fact a decrease in petrol consumption when the speed limit of 60 km/h is reduced to 50 km/h. Even 50 km/h gives one, in most models, a lower petrol consumption than at 60 km/h. The saving in petrol consumption when a motor-car travels at 80 km/h instead of at 100 km/h is greater per kilometer. Consequently we then decided on 80 km/h. As a matter of fact, the oil position deteriorated at that stage and we made preparations for introducing petrol rationing with effect from 1 March. Hon. members would perhaps be interested in what course circumstances took, and what the results were of the measures we introduced. In a few words, I now want to indicate more or less how the graph went. The immediate reaction was that there was a saving of approximately 15% as a result of the speed restrictions which had been introduced. In the second week there was a greater saving of approximately 20%. I am referring now only to a saving of petrol and not to our oil supplies Petrol only forms about a 25% part of our total oil consumption. After that the holiday period began, and our saving became less; in fact, our petrol consumption increased. The petrol consumption reached its peak at the beginning of December when the people travelled to their holiday destinations, and again at the beginning of January when the people returned home. After that the position improved somewhat. Strangely enough, there has been a deterioration of the position during the past week. Our saving during the past week was not as satisfactory as the week before. I am disturbed about this because our saving percentage has dropped during the past week. It seems to me that the change which we effected, from 50 km/h in the urban areas to 60 km/h, is in all probability the reason for the detrimental change which took place.
What about the price increase?
The price increase is another tremendously grave problem.
Reduce the tax.
Recently the price of oil has increased tremendously. At this moment I really cannot tell hon. members what the price is because there is such a great uncertainty, such a grave question mark over the international price of oil. Since this crisis began Iran, inter alia, called for tenders for certain small quantities of oil, and the tender price was $16-20 a barrel, while until recently the price we paid, the official world price, was $5-10 a barrel. Today, I think, we have to assume that the price could be anything between $8 to $16 a barrel. Nevertheless, there has been a substantial increase in the price which our oil companies are paying, and recently, a few days ago, we were compelled to announce that the price of petroleum products—not only petrol, but other petroleum products as well—would have to be increased. I want to state unequivocally here that the increase in the price of petrol and other petroleum products was introduced to compensate the oil companies for their increased costs in respect of the increased price of crude oil which they have to purchase. This is our agreement with the oil companies and this increase is applied for that purpose only.
In addition I want to say that it was necessary for us, and that we have in fact succeeded in doing so, to make provision for supplementary oil supplies for strategic reasons. This entails additional costs because it cost us more. As a result a supplementary increase of 0,8 cents per litre was necessary. As the statement indicated, we resolved that that 0 8 cents per litre would provisionally have to be provided by the Exchequer. The hon. the Prime Minister has already indicated that in comparison with other countries of the world our petrol price is still reasonably low. In fact, there is only one other country, namely America, where the price of petrol is lower than in our country. In other comparable countries the price is higher. In Germany, for example, the price is already 10 cents per litre. I think that the price in France is 23 cents per litre—I cannot consult the list now. Nor does it help to draw comparisons; it is simply a comfort to know that our petrol price in South Africa is still the second lowest.
Are not the transport costs less?
Not necessarily. Europe is further from the Middle East, but it is not the distance as such which has a major influence. It is the actual loading and off-loading which has a substantial influence on the transport costs.
Before I go any further I should just like to emphasize here that the co-operation we are receiving from the oil companies is wonderful. A projection was made of the supplies which we have and of the expected supply, and according to this projection which was made available to me, we shall have to effect a 35% saving on the consumption of petrol to wipe out the shortages as we now foresee them for the next six months. Six months is the period for which we made this projection. We therefore need a 35% saving, while the saving during the past week was only about 15%. Consequently, I think we have to conclude that we cannot, with petrol alone, achieve a saving of 35%. In fact, I think that we can only achieve a saving of 20%.
Does that mean further restrictions?
Taking into consideration these restrictions which we are already applying, I think that with voluntary restrictions such as a lower speed, and so on—these are restrictions applied voluntarily by the public, without rationing—we cannot expect to save much more than 20%. For that reason we have to apply other methods. Consequently we decided that other methods will be applied, that the Secretary for Commerce will co-operate with all departments concerned, and will also cooperate with organized industry, organized commerce and with agriculture to see whether we cannot effect a greater saving than this saving which we now have as far as speed is concerned.
The hon. member for Von Brandis asked what was being done and what is being planned for the future. I wonder why the hon. members did not take the trouble to look at a statement which I issued yesterday. At the end of last year I established a petroleum saving committee. This petroleum saving committee is under the chairmanship of Dr. Riekert. Inter alia, various departments are represented on that committee, as well as various Government departments, and Government bodies such as the C.S.I.R. and the Fuel Research Institute, as well as two persons from the private sector, Mr. Bill Beck and Mr. Bem Abrahamse. This committee was established immediately and is doing very, very good work for South Africa. This statement I issued yesterday evening provides, inter alia—if I may just summarize it—for the following: The supply of electricity by Escom to the municipality of Cape Town with a view to a reduction in and the eventual elimination of the consumption of fuel oil at the Table Bay power station; reconversion to the use of coal and coal products by undertakings which are at present using petroleum products for heating purposes; the utilization of generator gas and batteries for the propulsion of motor vehicles—the hon. member also mentioned motor vehicles; raw materials for the petrochemical industry from local and overseas sources; the use of liquid petroleum gas for the propulsion of road motor vehicles. These are the subjects with which the statement, which I issued yesterday evening, deal. As I have said, this committee is doing excellent work. I want hon. members and the people outside to stop coming forward with the marvellous, original idea that we should build a second Sasol, as if they were the only people who ever thought of this. I can give hon. members the assurance that serious planning is under way in this direction as well.
Time does not allow me to say very much about economic matters which I would have liked to have discussed, but I just want to tell you this. In comparison with other countries in the world, things are in fact going exceptionally well for South Africa. I just want to quote to hon. members a passage from a document which was made available on 24 January by the European Community to the Council of Ministers. The paragraph I want to quote, reads as follows—
This gives hon. members an idea of what things are like in the European community, while here in South Africa, if I may quote the Bureau of the University of Stellenbosch, things are going reasonably well. According to them the indications are that South Africa not only had a reasonably good growth rate of approximately 6% last year, but that that growth rate will continue despite the fuel crisis and despite other problems which we experienced.
The same newspaper from which I quoted a moment ago on the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, also referred to our economic conditions as reflected with its comment, by the Stellenbosch Bureau. Sir, I want to tell you that this is a very critical publication; it is more critical of the Government than anyone else. It states—
Sir, just listen to this; this is the comment of the Financial Mail—
For that reason, Mr. Speaker, I think that we can be grateful that these conditions will continue under the National Party Government.
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to comment upon the matters regarding oil to which the hon. the Minister referred. He has indicated further conservation measures which will have to be taken. I have no doubt that the country will support those further measures loyally. But, Sir, where the hon. the Minister was so bold as to make reference to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, I would like to make reference, in the light of these further conservation measures, to the hon. the Prime Minister. I want to ask what the hon. the Prime Minister must be thinking about his own future, as he could only see such a short distance ahead. We have had further conservation measures mentioned today, but on 22 October the hon. the Prime Minister told us that as far as he could see—he used words to this effect—we would have no problem in regard to our supply of oil and petrol.
That is not true.
Well, it is more or less true. I said that he used words to that effect. That was the effect of his words. But a few weeks later he had to sing a different tune altogether.
I shall give you my speech to read and then I shall explain it to you as well.
Sir, it amounted to an indication that the hon. the Prime Minister had reached a point where he was not seeing a half or a quarter as far forward as one would want one’s Prime Minister to be seeing in dangerous times such as those in which we are living, finished speaking also had a little fun at our expense. One can understand why he should have been garnering any little pieces which might give him some fun, because was it not in respect of him that there were so many interesting suggestions in the recess? It was even suggested—I think in the press—that the former Minister, Mr. Haak, would come back to strengthen the hon. the Minister’s portfolio.
That is more or less true.
I think there were also suggestions made that he was a man of great legal talent and that perhaps more use should be made of his legal talent, with not so much concentration on economic affairs.
Sir, during this debate we have had speech after speech from hon. members opposite, from the hon. the Prime Minister down, indicating an entirely cosy confidence that if we Whites refuse all sharing of power and responsibilities, the Whites, and the Whites alone, will determine our future.
That, too, is more or less true.
I think this is something which should be carefully examined because it is the crux of our race relations policy. It is the crux of our future, and it is the crux of our future security, upon which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition so correctly focused the attention of the country. Now, if this was so simple, why should we, and why should the Nationalist Party down the years, have gone to such very great lengths to prevent the movement in of Black people? If it was simply a question of granting political rights to a “volk” or people, why was there a need over all these years to turn them back and reduce their numbers? I want quickly to put the matter into perspective by quoting to hon. members opposite the words of a great historian, Dr. De Kiewiet, who has been said by a leading Afrikaner historian to be “miskien die skitterendste ster in die firmament van Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedkundiges”. I want to give you two short quotations from him. The first is—
And the other—
I think this immediately puts into historical perspective those facile arguments which have come in large numbers during this debate from hon. members opposite in relation to this question of the sharing of power and responsibility. I would like to approach the problem this way. Today you have two ways of constructing a building. You put down the foundations and build it up from there. But in a few cases, like that of one bank building in Johannesburg, you have only supports and you build the buildings downwards. Now, the Government has chosen the second way. They have established these homeland authorities. They have fostered a separate loyalty and destroyed the loyalty to South Africa. In that way they have built from the top downwards. But the foundations of the building, in the example I am using, are the facts; and the foundations, in other words the facts of the situation, do not match this building that is being built from the top down. They are entirely different and are meant for a different building. Let us look at what some of the architects of this policy had to say on this subject. Firstly I quote the words of a person who claims to have been one of the leading architects of this policy, namely Dawie, who writes for Die Burger. In his article on 11 August last year he said, among other things—and I put it very shortly—
That is what he, one of the architects, said. What did another architect of this policy say? I am referring to no other person than the late Dr. Verwoerd. I want to state briefly what he said in regard to the Government’s decisions on the Tomlinson Commission’s recommendations—
I stress “that security would be ensured for White civilization”
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition spoke about the security risk of the Government. The late Dr. Verwoerd spoke about the security of the Whites. This was the obvious reason given to us by the Nationalists down the years: If you have economic integration, political integration will follow. Gen. Hertzog warned that you could not keep Bantu in your midst and not give them political rights in the Parliament which controlled their destiny, and so Gen. Hertzog gave those rights in this very Parliament. Indeed, those provisions envisaged an extension of those rights in the Senate. How different are not the foundations from the building that is being built from the top down!
We are told, on the most optimistic figures, that there will be seven million Whites by the year 2000, but what is the figure for the Black people? Is it seven million? It is 23 million in the White areas. I give you, Sir, not any old authority; I give you the figures of the Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Riekert. This is what he said in speaking at Lichtenburg to the Sabra youth—
If you take the present figure of Africans in White areas at eight million, that gives you 23 million. Now, where is our basis for security? The result of 26 years of building operations by this Government is that the building clearly has been constructed from the top down to find wrong foundations. I say that the facts speak for themselves in this matter.
Let us now look for a moment at these facts. It is easy enough for hon. members here to whistle to keep their courage up, but let us consider what some of their thinking people outside have said about this situation. Again I give you Dawie in a singularly open-hearted article. He said, referring to the vision of their plans, which I mentioned—
That is what he said and he knows what has become of these plans. We know what the writers of Woord en Daad said about this “integrasie” and not apartheid. We know what Prof. Gerrit Viljoen said about this whole situation. He indicated that if the position continued as it was, it would be necessary for the Whites to create for themselves a separate White homeland, a sort of trek back. I say therefore that the thing to do is to scrap this building and to use the foundations which are there, the foundations being the facts and the figures and realities of the South African situation. How right, therefore, was our leader not in describing what the Nationalists have done and are still doing as being a grave security risk to South Africa! [Interjections.] There is no “volk” in our country that has been more closely associated in the past with its intellectuals than the Afrikaner volk, but I say there has never been a time when the Afrikaner intellectuals have been so lukewarm to the Nationalist Party as they are today. I do not even refer to clerics such as the Rev. Beyers Naudé, who now has nothing further in common with them, but I speak about people like Mr. Schalk Pienaar, who says “federasie is ’n bruikbare gedagte”. I refer to others who have come to the United Party as candidates and so forth. I refer to others again who have gone to the Progressive Party. I refer to those who say that this matter should be taken out of politics. I refer to people like Dawie, who says that there must be immense changes. He says this—
That is what he says, but do we see any sign of that in the speeches we get from hon. members opposite? We do not get that. Where this deep re-examination is needed, what do we find from the hon. the Prime Minister and the Government opposite? I say they do not know which way to turn. I say he does nothing to rectify this position. He neither abandons the notion of sovereign independent states nor can he change significantly this serious disproportion of Black to White numbers which is so cardinal to their policy. Indeed, it is this hon. Prime Minister himself who has taken the most drastic step to abandon any attempt to control and reduce numbers, because it was he, during last year, who indicated—and this was again confirmed by the hon. the Minister of Labour yesterday—that the absence of Black labour would not be allowed to be a brake upon our economy. It was put in this way in one edition of the Press—
That is the approach now, very much in contrast with the approach we have had and with the policy of the Nationalist Party as recently as 1969 when the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development had this to say—
Nobody less than the hon. the Prime Minister, with this decision on labour, which we applaud but which is in complete contradiction to the whole approach which they have always had, has said that this, which I have read, shall no longer apply. He firstly takes that attitude in regard to the Blacks in the White area, and he secondly decides to press on with this idea of one bloc of sovereign independent states. I believe, as the hon. member for Transkei said, that the hon. the Prime Minister and his Government are attempting to ensure that one of these homelands asks for independence as a state. He seems to be tempting them to do so. He is prepared to take the grave risks involved. I believe he is doing this to lend apparent respectability to his policy. Indeed, there is in my opinion one and only one area which in any way could be a fit area for a state, and that is the Transkei. None of the others are suitable, because of their being so fragmented, or so small, or both. Now, this is a dangerous world, Sir, and we have heard more than once from the hon. the Minister of Defence and the hon. the Prime Minister how the communists and others are seeking the downfall of South Africa. I say that this road is a guarantee of confrontation and not of peace. I would like to remind hon. members opposite of some of the things that one of these homeland leaders is claiming and wanting, and will go on wanting, whatever arrangement may be made with him. I refer here to the manifesto of the Transkei National Independence Party, given out in connection with the last election. It says, among other things, the following—
Land demands are clearly seen in that second point. I quote further—
You can imagine, Mr. Speaker, that with those being some of the policies of this one homeland leader, and the others not differing very substantially from them, this is going to lead to a situation of confrontation and not one of good relations. We will remember in this connection how the late Dr. Verwoerd said in words to this effect: “Dit is nie wat ons sou wou gehad het nie, maar ons is daartoe gedwing deur die wêreld buitekant.” I say therefore that the hon. the Prime Minister would be wise to move in the direction of a federal form of government. My hon. leader said—
How right is that not! How true is it not that the federal policy provides a frame-work within which our relations can be developed. I infer from what the hon. the Prime Minister said in regard to the Indian and the Coloureds, that his thinking will have to go in this direction. Let me say at once that the federal idea has for a long time had a fairly wide measure of support among Nationalists. We know how Mr. Willem van Heerden himself has spoken about it. But the hon. the Prime Minister rejects a federation. He says that he does so “omdat ek nie bereid is om enige deel van die soewereiniteit van en oor my mense ondergeskik te stel aan enige ander volk nie”.
In accordance with Standing Order No. 23, the House adjourned at