House of Assembly: Vol47 - TUESDAY 19 FEBRUARY 1974
Mr. Speaker, when the House adjourned last night, I was dealing with the Government’s attitude towards promises made in the past in respect of land to be acquired for addition to the Transkei. I quoted a letter from Dr. Verwoerd to the East Griqualand farmers’ congress and the Port St. Johns farmers’ association, and I also quoted from several letters from the Department of Bantu Administration, and finally I quoted from a letter from the present Minister in 1970 in which he reiterated that the White area of Port St. Johns would remain White and would never form part of the Bantu governmental area of the Transkei. Sir, I said that the hon. the Minister, in attempting to explain away the attitude of the Government now in referring the recommendations by his department for the addition of Port St. Johns and areas in Matatiele and Maclear to the Transkei, had said that circumstances had changed in that previously individual units had been offered, but now he was dealing with the recommendation from the department with regard to the whole area. I pointed out, too, that this had not been the criterion in the past and that the letters had indicated that the position of Port St. Johns was quite different from that of other White spots surrounded by reserves and that the Government had by legislation and administrative action taken steps to entrench the position of Port St. Johns as a portion of the Republic.
I want to refer now, Sir, to a speech made by Dr. Verwoerd in this House to clarify the position; this was in 1962 on 13 April (col. 3924); he said—
He then goes on to say—
He goes on to deal with this at length but I am not going to read the whole passage. It is quite clear that the people of Port St. Johns had been given the impression by the Government that they would always remain a part of the Republic.
Given the assurance.
Yes, they had been given that assurance, and on those assurances pensioners and other people have invested money there, and in the last few years there has been considerable development in Port St. Johns.
Sir, the concern of the whole Transkei is what reliance can be placed on the word of the Government, on assurances given by the Government, if it can treat the people of Port St. Johns and East Griqualand in the manner in which they are now doing. There are two reasons for their concern. They are concerned, firstly, because of the recommendation of the department to the Minister and, secondly, because of the later speeches of Chief Kaiser Matanzima, the chief minister of the Transkei. The chief minister was reported over the SABC to have made a speech saying that it would be unreasonable to ask for the Mount Currie district to be added to the Transkei, and he gave the impression that his land claims had been settled now by the Government’s proposals and that he was going to apply for his independence. This seems to have been contradicted a few days later when he intimated that he still wanted Mount Currie, but that he was prepared to treat the Mount Currie farmers on a different basis from the White people in the Transkei proper, as it is now known. He said they would be allowed to own property, but the Whites living in the Transkei now would not be allowed to own property once the Transkei became independent. He was asked particularly about Umtata and he said that was so.
Now, one can well imagine the effect this statement has had on property owners. To say that they are most upset is putting it mildly, and I would like to have a clear statement from the hon. the Prime Minister now as to what the position will be once independence is granted. A White Paper issued in 1964 gave this Government’s decision on Whites owning property, the traders and those owning property in the zoned areas in the villages, and it can be said that those who wished to sell have been fairly treated on the whole, although there is dissatisfaction with the Government’s and the department’s interpretation of what is an urgent application to sell. I do not want to go into that now because I do not have the time. I just want to say that once any homeland is given independence, then every owner’s position becomes urgent unless he himself decides it is not.
I have raised this question of compensation before with the hon. the Prime Minister, the present Prime Minister; and I want to quote what he said in 1970 in this House. That was on 16 September—
I also raised the matter with him later, in 1971, and asked him then what the position would be after independence was granted. The Prime Minister said to me—
I interjected to say that I was talking about after independence, and then he continued to say—
Now, Sir, that is not good enough. I received telegrams and telephone calls from the Whites in the Transkei, containing the suggestion of holding meetings in order to get a statement from the Government as to what their position will be. The Prime Minister has given an assurance to the industrialists who establish themselves on the agency basis, but we want to know what about the others who established themselves before this constitutional development took place in the Transkei and those who established themselves on the normal basis, not on an agency basis, and those who own their own properties and residences. This matter is one of urgency now because of the latest developments. We have seen in Rapport and other newspapers the suggestion that the independence of the Transkei may be granted sooner than we expect. We also know that one of the reasons given for Mr. Hans Abraham’s staying on a little longer as Commissioner-General is that important decisions—one newspaper says constitutional changes—will be made at a meeting of the Transkei Assembly in a few months’ time. We know, too, that the hon. the Prime Minister is meeting all the leaders of the homelands on, I think, 6 March.
Now, with the suggestion that the independence of the Transkei is imminent, one can appreciate how worried these people in the Transkei are. I appeal to the Prime Minister now, in this debate, to give us an assurance that they will be looked after and, if he can, to give us other details of what will be negotiated with the chief minister when independence is granted. I know the Prime Minister will say he cannot tell us about all the discussions that will take place, but some publicity should be given to the Prime Minister’s intention so that the people in the Transkei can know what is going to happen. After all, this is a new development and at the present moment they are most upset and feel very insecure.
I wonder whether these questions of the hon. member for Transkei would ever have been put if there had not been a general election coming. [Interjections.] The hon. member for Transkei must not become excited now. He must restrain his nervous reactions. I shall deal with each and every one of the points he raised in the time which is available. I am not standing up to make a prepared speech.
Yes, keep calm, as the baboon said when he fell into the cauldron. Sir, I now want to reply to the points raised by the hon. member last night and this afternoon.
Sir, I want to deal with the hon. member’s points from the beginning, consequently I shall get to the last few matters he raised, too. In particular the hon. member discussed Port St. Johns. He mentioned certain other areas as well, but he confined himself more specifically to Port St. Johns. I want to explain this matter very clearly this afternoon. In the first place I want to make it clear that there is only one attitude with which these matters concerning the acquisition of land can be approached, and that is an attitude of honesty and sincerity. If we do not approach this situation with honesty, sincerity and openheartedness, we can with justification be accused at a later stage of all kinds of things. We must be honest and we must be sincere, and not only to the one side; we must be honest and sincere to the Bantu peoples involved—in this case the people of the Transkei—and we must be honest and sincere to the Whites who are involved in this.
We must take into consideration that, in the course of time, development takes place, for our policy and its application is not static. It grows and it develops and in this development process it encounters new situations. We must deal with these new situations as they arise. We encounter new sentiments and new desires, among the White public as well as the Bantu peoples concerned. As a practical political party governing the country we have to take that into account. It is only with that approach that we should consider these matters.
At the same time we must realize that with the acquisition of land in South Africa we are dealing with one of the most delicate matters to which attention is being given in our public life, and which can mar Black-White relations to a considerable extent, or in any case influence them to the one side or the other. For that reason I think it is a great pity that the United Party, with all its satellites, including newspapers, is trying to stir up this situation in regard to land purchases for their own political gain. I know that the hon. member for Transkei is doing his utmost to stir it up. He tried to stir it up here in this House, and I know that after this he is going to try to do so again.
The hon. member for Transkei must not try to deny what I am now going to say. I maintain that the hon. member is very grateful that an issue in regard to Port St. Johns has arisen now shortly before the election. [Interjections.] What he has said to me in private concerning this matter, I leave at that, for private conversations between him and me are private matters.
Where did I stir it up?
Here in this House, a moment ago, and also in the Transkei.
In Umtata and in Port St. Johns and everywhere.
But where? Tell me where?
Sir, does the hon. member now want me to give him the site number, to tell him at what address in which street? Sir, the hon. member stirred it up and I now want to say that we have not yet seen the half of this stirring up process. We are going to see this again in the time which remains between now and 24 April. I want to repeat I know from first-hand knowledge that the hon. member is grateful for being able to make a political issue of Port St. Johns, and that is a great pity.
But what about your promises?
I shall come to all that. The hon. member must not become so excited.
Who is excited?
Sir, the hon. member for Transkei is making a tremendous point of it now that we made promises in regard to Port St. Johns and other areas. Sir, we did not make promises in the ordinary sense of the word. [Interjections.] The word “promise” is of course a propagandistic and emotionally-laden word, is it not? Certain statements were made and certain assurances were given by the late Dr. Verwoerd, when he was still the Minister responsible. Certain assurances were also given by the Minister of Bantu Administration before my time, Mr. Nel, and subsequently by me as well. These need not even be looked up because it is not being denied that they were given. They were given at that time, and I have dealt with it. Now, the hon. member for Transkei, with reference to what I said, has given a distorted explanation. In the previous debate I referred to Port St. Johns, Ongeluksnek and the Limburg/Gilead area near Potgietersrus. I can also inform hon. members that there are more than just these three areas. These three areas are only the three most important areas. In regard to these three areas I said in the past, at the time when the matter was raised, that the Government had no intention whatsoever of acquiring those areas.
The dead hand of the past.
The live hand of the future; that is us. [Interjections.] If the hon. members do not want to hear the facts they must continue to sit there bellowing and braying. If they want to hear me out, they must give me a chance. I said that in the past we gave attention to those matters when they were brought to our attention as isolated cases. The examples I mentioned were the three places to which I have just referred. I said that it had come to our attention as a result of offers which had been made to us. There were people in those three regions who offered their land, or it came to our attention as a result of inquiries which people had addressed to us. That is what I said, and I repeat that that is how it came to our attention. In the distant past we had no interest in the acquisition of the Gilead area or the Ongeluksnek area, Matatiele or in the Port St. Johns area. This did not come from my department which has to advise me in these matters and make recommendations, nor did it come from the Minister. Therefore the Minister himself did not take the initiative in this regard. Where inquiries in this connection came from individuals or organizations, those replies were furnished.
The hon. members also know—I have already said this before—that we as Government have now reached a stage in our planning where we are very close to the final stage, a final stage which will give finality to the acquisition of the property of Whites in meeting the 1936 quota. The 1936 quota stipulated the quota which had to be acquired in every province. In the Cape the quota was approximately 1 616 000 morgen. We have now reached that stage where we will give finality to the provisions of the Act in all four provinces. Therefore this is virtually the last proper round which we have in which to give attention to all the areas which ought to come into consideration. Therefore I do not regard it as being irresponsible. It may perhaps be regarded as being a little risky, but this Government is not afraid to take risks. In fact, it came into power because it was prepared to take risks. The Government is remaining in power and is becoming stronger and stronger precisely because it is prepared to take risks when it has to. This Government is not afraid to take risks. The department made certain recommendations which I said we should make known so that the public could know about it. The department made recommendations which, incidentally, included all three areas which I mentioned as examples. We have already disposed of the transactions in the Limburg/Gilead area.
Now, the Ongeluksnek area and the Port St. Johns area come into the picture. What could we do? We could have kept quiet and dealt with these matters in secret, and the moment we as Government had decided to include those two areas after all, we could have announced this like a bombshell out of the blue.
It was a bombshell.
No, we did not allow it to come like a bombshell out of the blue. The hon. member is describing it in this way now because it provides him with a fine piece of political dynamite on the eve of an election. The department made the recommendations and we said: “Very well, the department has made these recommendations and we realize that this is something which requires attention at this juncture, in the last round of the acquisition of land with a view to the promise of territory as provided for in the 1936 Act and with a view to consolidation attempts. Let this be made known to all concerned in it”. That is why I said that before the Government decided and before I went to the Government to take the final decisions, we would make this known to all concerned in it. After all, this hon. member will not deny that the people living in Port St. Johns who are landowners there, as well as the local authority are concerned in this. For that reason we do not want to do things without their knowledge or behind their backs which they could label as bungling on our part. It was a misrepresentation on the part of the hon. member to have said here yesterday evening that what I had alleged here, viz. that not a single piece of land in the Port St. Johns area had been offered to us, was untrue. He called them “detached units”. I did not say these were in Port St. Johns. I referred to the three examples and I said that in respect of the three examples there had been certain casual offers and certain inquiries. There were of course many inquiries in regard to Port St. Johns. Those we replied to in the past in that way. The department did not submit them to us, and we did not previously want to consider these as detached units.
However, it is our responsibility as a Government to dispose of these matters in the last round, where we are trying to carry out the promises of the 1936 Act, if one wants to call them promises. We bear the responsibility of taking all these places into consideration, and if we did not do so, we would be irresponsible. If we do not consider them we are being hesitant as a Government to face up to all the challenges. One cannot say of this Government that it is afraid to face up to challenges. The department has made proposals to me, and the Government has still to decide on them. For that reason I am in the somewhat unprepared position today that I cannot say that the Government has already taken a decision on Port St. Johns one way or the other, for I have not even received all the reports yet on the recent investigations which took place. We shall dispose of the matter with the necessary expedition, and then the final decisions will be taken. We shall investigate these matters properly. As I have already said, it is the responsibility of the department and it is my responsibility, in this final consideration of land allocations, to give particular consideration to places such as Port St. Johns and Ongeluksnek. I am now dealing with Ongeluksnek as well here, although the hon. member did not even mention it. He allowed the opportunity to slip. He could have mentioned this as well, but he did not. He used only the example from which he could stir up the most heat from smouldering coals. It would be irresponsible if we did not also consider places such as Port St. Johns and Ongeluksnek in the final round. Such enclaves, such wedges, such areas which are surrounded by Bantu areas will now have to be considered. There is Ongeluksnek with Lesotho on the one hand and two areas of the Transkei on the other. Port St. Johns, again, is bounded on three sides by Transkeian areas. In the last round it is the duty of the Government to see to these places. Ten years ago, when we were far from the last round, we could have said that we were not thinking it. Nor were we, but now the public who have proprietary rights there, have the right to require of us that we should give thought to those areas. We cannot hesitate over a problem which presents itself and say we do not want to think about it, only to think about it subsequently when matters have reached a late stage, and then try to rake the chestnuts out of the fire when it is too late. It is now the time, pleasant or unpleasant, to give final consideration to Port St. Johns, and also to Ongeluksnek. That is why this is now being done, just as it was the appropriate time last year to give consideration to the Gilead/Limburg region near Potgietersrus. We admit openly that the department, with its recommendations to me and the Cabinet, reopened these matters of Port St. Johns and Ongeluksnek. I admit it openly; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, it testifies to an openness and an honesty for which there ought to be only appreciation on the Opposition side, on the part of the public and on the part of the Bantu peoples involved in this. I think it is a hollow, scare-mongering story of the Opposition to say that the word of the Government is being doubted. They say the word of the Government means nothing. The hon. member for South Coast shouted out a moment ago that the word of the Government meant nothing. Who is reopening the matter of the promise given by a Minister in the past? It is not another Government which is doing this, but my department, my Government and I myself. We ourselves allowed that recommendation to come to the attention of the public. When the department made these recommendations, we could have suppressed them and said: “Hold on, you may not do such things, for we are afraid of this matter; we shall see what we can do at a later stage. No, we threw the matter open. Why should we be afraid of it? Let us hear what the public has to say about it? There are two sides to this matter, if not more than two sides. I have just said that the reproach cannot be levelled at us that our word means nothing and that, since Port St. Johns might well be taken now although we did say at first that it would not we will subsequently have to take an increasing number of other places as well in regard to which we had said previously that it would not be done.
What about Richards Bay?
There a numbskull is now shouting out: “What about Richards Bay?” The hon. member ought to know very well what the position there is, for we disposed of Richards Bay in this House last year. We said that it does not come into consideration at all. The hon. member for Transkei is not that stupid. He knows the Act, and I give him credit for that. The hon. member for Transkei knows that if we have complied with the Cape quota of 1 616 000 morgen, we as the Government cannot unexpectedly give the Bantu more land. Then we cannot, in addition, add Mount Currie, the district of Queenstown or the Komga district or any other district to the Bantu areas, for then the quota has already been met. The hon. member knows this. Before we are then able to deprive the Whites of more such land and in that way antagonize them, we have to come to this Parliament and request here that the 1936 quota of 1 616 000 morgen for the Cape be increased. This is a process which will first have to be fought out here. There is therefore an extremely effective safety valve on this matter, and the hon. members have a very hollow argument to come and tell me that the word of the Government means nothing since we will probably, in a year, or two, or three, be able to do the same kind of thing with other areas as we have done with Port St. Johns. The hon. member’s arguments, therefore, mean nothing; it is only among people who have not been informed about these matters that they can try to make political capital, and they will just have to do that.
May I put a question to the hon. the Minister?
The hon. member should make a note of his question. I shall allow him, when I have finished speaking, to put his question to me. This means that the hon. member will not be able to leave the House. As I have said, we have the responsibility towards everyone for the fact that this matter is now being reopened in view of the rounding off and finalization of the Bantu homelands, since we are now finally reaching the last round of discussions for the purpose of indicating released areas on a larger scale within which the remaining outstanding “promises” have to be kept, we have to take into consideration all natural land which comes into consideration for that purpose. If we do not do so, we are hesitating to accept our responsibility. We have to do so in the light of the future political development of the areas. The Transkei area, for example, may and can become an independent area. In terms of our policy it ought to do so. We will not force the area to become independent if they do not want to. We will not propel them into independence—not at all!—for then it would not be self-determination. But, as I say, they can do so, and if the Transkei area becomes independent, do you know who will be one of the first men to come crawling up to the Prime Minister on his knees? It will be Mr. Gray Hughes of Umtata. If Port St. Johns remains a White area, he will then come crawling up to the Prime Minister to complain and to ask: “What about the poor White people who are so confined and isolated there?” It would be irresponsible of us if we did not face up to that situation now.
I shall ask in the normal manner in this House. Why should I crawl on my knees?
Very well then; he will spare his knees and ask it straight out. Nevertheless we must view Port St. Johns, and Ongeluksnek as well, in the light of the possible independence of the Transkei, and I do not think that all the people living there realize this. Some people realize this and for that reason they are addressing themselves to us in this connection. But, Sir, the Whites who are now settled in or have interests in the Transkei, there at Port St. John, would with justification be able to accuse us of reckless irresponsibility if we did not in the consideration of further Bantu areas, with Port St. Johns and Ongeluksnek as places situated there, and at the back of our minds the constitutional development of the Transkei, deal with the situation as a whole. That is why we are doing so, and with a view to that the Government will at the given time take its decision in this regard.
What do hon. members of this House think, why is the hon. member for Transkei trying to stir up so much excitement over this matter, and why is there so much excitement among many people in regard to it? It is, as I said just now, because land purchases is one of the most delicate of subjects. That is why I said that we should approach it with honesty and with a sense of responsibility, and not in such an unseemly manner by stirring it up for political gain. Let us confine ourselves to Port St. Johns. Now the hon. member must understand this very well: I am not defending the position in respect of Port St. Johns as if the Government has already decided to do what the department recommended. We shall announce our decision. We shall not flinch away from this, as we do not flinch away from anything in the world. But now, why in regard to Port St. Johns is there so much more energy and heatedness than in regard to Ongeluksnek or the Limburg/ Gilead area for example? It is for one reason, and one reason only. They admit it. After all, we read about it in most of their newspapers; we hear it being said—it is a harbour we are giving away. It is a harbour which could fall into the hands of the Russians and the Chinese. It is a harbour which could probably fall into the hands of the Esquimaux as well.
Who said that? I never said it!
You wanted to say it.
I want to admonish my hon. friends on this side and say to them: That hon. member for Transkei has been in Port St. Johns, very frequently. He knows the place. He does not say it directly, but he makes sure the suggestion works. The hon. member for Transkei knows that Port St. Johns today is not even a fishing harbour which, as such, falls under the control of my friend, the Minister of Economic Affairs.
He was responsible for a commission which was appointed at my request.
Now the hon. member knows everything. The hon. member knows that Port St. Johns today does not even have the status of a fishing harbour. What is more the hon. member knows that, from a maritime point of view, little if any value is attached to Port St. Johns as a maritime harbour. The hon. member also knows—and he is laughing up his sleeve at this but as an adroit politician he is using the situation—that if harbours do have to be developed along the Transkeian coast, there are several places which have a far greater potential for that purpose than Port St. Johns, places which are already included in the territory of the Transkeian Government.
Where, for example?
The hon. member for East London City is now going to retire as member. He will have a lot of time on hand to travel up and down that coast. He can look for the places himself. Sir, this harbour idea is being used because it has hyper-explosive dynamite in it to arouse excitement. That is why it is being used. No, Sir, even if Port St. Johns remained a White harbour for all time and longer, there are enough other places along the Transkeian coast where harbours can be constructed. That is a dishonest form of political intimidation of the public, whoever is responsible for it.
I did not say the hon. member for Transkei did it; I said others did it. I know you are sitting listening to whether I say that the hon. member is dishonest. I said that he was not doing it, but that the suggestion was being created. At the end of his speech the hon. member said that the White people wanted to know what their position in the Transkei was. But the White people in the Transkei are the last people in our country who need any doubts about their position and the Government. Suppose a final decision were made that Port St. Johns should be made a Bantu area. Let us now argue on this supposition. I ask you: “Why should Port St. Johns be treated differently to Umtata?” Umtata is a much larger place, a far more expensive place, a place which is far more difficult, a place where the Whites are actually more entrenched than at Port St. Johns.
That was not my question.
What was your question?
I asked what was going to happen if independence should come.
That is the second part of the hon. member’s question. If Port St. Johns, if Ongeluksnek, in the same way as Peddie did before in terms of our decision, should fall within the Bantu area, then those very principles which were laid down in the White Paper in regard to the Transkei several years ago, will be religiously maintained, viz. that the process of ethnic interchange, the process of take-over by the Xhosa must be a gradual process. The Government will accept the full responsibility of buying out the Whites who own land and other possessions there properly on a valuation basis and to compensate them for the properties they own. In that the Xhosa Development Corporation and the Transkeian Government can play a part in effecting the transfer of properties to Blacks who are in a position to take over and manage such properties. There is no need for those people to suffer any losses. This will be handled in a proper manner, precisely as in the other cases.
The hon. member also asked what was going to happen if they obtained independence sooner. I wrote it down here. I am not trying to evade the question. I could not reply to it first if it was a second point. I want to tell the hon. member this. In this connection he also referred to what certain Bantu leaders said about farmers who owned land, for example, in released areas.
Yes, and other places as well, in the Transvaal and elsewhere. I know the whole story as far as Pietersburg and Bophuthatswana is concerned. Let us understand this very clearly. It is against the policy of this Government, and I am saying this on the authority of the attitude of the Government as such, not only on my own personal presumption; it is against the policy of the Government—and this has been proved by the way in which we applied it in the Transkei in a semi-independent position—that Whites who own land in terms of old procedures of the past in Bantu homelands or in new areas which are proclaimed released areas, will continue to exercise those land tenure rights and will be able to become citizens of those homeland governments. I say this is against our policy. For that reason we have this expensive process in operation with the Adjustment Committee to buy out the people in the Transkeian areas, and the same process will be carried out in future released areas before they become independent and if they become independent.
When those areas become independent, there will be a whole series of matters in regard to which we will have to negotiate with the homeland government. This will form part of the independence process. By that time we may still not have purchased everything, and there may be people who will still have to be bought out, and therefore everything will be properly laid down in an independent agreement and in independent legislation which we shall have to pass in this Parliament and in legislation which they will consequently have to pass in their Parliament. The hon. member need not think therefore that we will read one morning in the newspaper, or perhaps on a Sunday morning in the Sunday Times, of all newspapers: “Transkei is independent; Whites ruined”. There will be nothing like that. Here, in this Parliament, our independence will be discussed. Here in this Parliament the safety measures will be taken. Here in this Parliament the agreement between us and a potentially independent area will be laid down in proper legislation, with the necessary safeguards for all who deserve safeguards, and our White landowners is one such category. There are others as well; there are perhaps public servants and professional people, etc.
May I put a question to the hon. the Minister?
Sir, I owe the hon. member for King William’s Town such an opportunity. He may now put his question.
I want to ask the hon. the Minister what became of the broken promise he made prior to the election in King William’s Town when he said: “King will not be engulfed?”
We are carrying out that promise. I made that promise prior to the 1970 election at King William’s Town and we are carrying it out. I stated emphatically there: “King William’s Town will not be engulfed”, and we have adopted resolutions in terms of which the Bantu areas to the north of King William’s Town—those areas towards Frankfort and Berlin—are being excised in parts, in terms of which other parts to the east are being excised, and in terms of which King William’s Town is being opened up more to the one side like a fan. I said this at King William’s Town, and there sits the candidate at that time, Dr. Lapa Munnik, whom I call as my witness. I can read out to hon. members what I said because I wrote it out. I said there that there were other areas towards Middeldrift which would have to remain where they were, and I stated emphatically there that we want to open up all along the line to Berlin; we adopted the resolutions for implementing this in this Parliament, and we have done so. [Time expired.]
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to get involved in the argument between the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development and the hon. member for Transkei about Port St. Johns. We have made our attitude to Port St. Johns quite clear. We believe that there is justification for adding Port St. Johns to the Transkei, and one only has to look at the map to see that. But, Sir, I must tell the hon. the Minister that his hopes that the African people in the homelands are going to accept the 1936 land settlement as their final demand for territory, and euphoric, because one homeland leader after the other has made it quite clear that they are not prepared to accept the 1936 agreement as a final dispensation of the land area of South Africa. Chief Mangope of the Bophuthatswana people has gone so far as to call this a dishonest subterfuge, because he states quite correctly that the 1936 Act was not designed for the purpose of producing independent, viable homelands. I know that the hon. the Minister and the Minister of Information and the Prime Minister himself all place great hopes on the African homelands becoming independent. To this end we have seen advertisements, such as the one that I have here from the Christian Science Monitor, an advertisement which I believe has appeared in other oversea newspapers as well, a full-page advertisement which must have cost the taxpayers of this country a pretty penny, which is cunningly done in white on black and which reads:
Well, Sir, the South African Government may have answered “Yes, years ago”, but unfortunately the African leaders in the homelands have not yet asked for their independence and they do not consider the existing self-rule to be as important and satisfying as the hon. the Prime Minister and his Cabinet seem to think. The rest of the advertisement concerns the argument about economic viability, but I will not go into that at this moment, although I will have something to say about it later on. For instance, Sir, the chief minister of KwaZulu has stated quite unequivocally in an article that appeared only yesterday that this self-government that they have in KwaZulu in fact does not give them self-government at all, and he goes on to say—
So, despite the fact that the Government claims that self-government has been given to Africans in the homelands, the African leaders themselves do not consider this to be true self-government.
Now, Sir, I want to come back to the general election which is going to be upon us in just over two months’ time, and I want to say at once that we are entering a general election period in what I can only call a decidedly unhealthy and depressing political climate. On the one hand there is the United Party, the official Opposition, which one would have expected to be girding its loins for the fight, if not praying for oil, if the hon. the Minister of Sport and Recreation will pardon my borrowing his remarkable phrase. Instead, they have over the last few months been busying themselves with the most extraordinary internecine warfare. This is the sort of thing, of course, which one has come to expect, from bitter experience, to happen in the United Party after an election defeat. It has happened at least twice in my experience in politics in this country. One can only draw the conclusion that the United Party caucus has thrown in the towel and that it is simply anticipating the result on 24 April. I want to say that I consider that to be a miserable let-down for the hundreds of thousands of good citizens who have been supporting the United Party all these years through thick and thin in the hope, as they had been given to understand, that this was the alternative Government and that it had a hope of taking over the reins of government at the next general election. Well, it now appears that the U.P. will just about hold together until the next general election, like a tattered old garment held together by a lot of rusty safety-pins. I want to say that as sure as day follows night the whole rotten fabric will fall apart as soon as the election is over. I cannot say that this prospect is particularly depressing in view of the United Party’s incompetent performance in this House as an official Opposition. But what does concern me and what I believe concerns every thinking citizen in this country, is the urgent need for a strong and unequivocal Opposition which will attempt to check the extremism of a Government which has been in power for too long. I want to say that the country goes into a general election with the ominous background of a power-drunk Government and with Government threats hanging over its head. There have been threats against Press freedom, threats to prohibit the political intercourse that exists between Whites and Blacks at the present time, threats against students, threats against universities and threats against church groups.
Sir, one has to take all these threats seriously because these threats come from a Government that is in power and from a Government that does not hesitate to use its powers. It does this for two reasons. The one is the Government’s natural inclination to use power; it likes to be “kragdadig”, but the other point is that it suits its political purpose to placate the Hertzog interests both inside and outside this House because there are many left in this House and there are many more, of course, who have gone out of this House and who support those who left the Nationalist Party. By being “kragdadig” against groups such as students, churchmen and others, the Government feels that it can offset the criticism which is going to come from its verkrampte right—criticism, for instance, about the fringe changes in sports policy which the hon. the Minister of Sport and Recreation has made, possibly out of his natural inclination—I will give him the benefit of that—but also, of course, in order to get South Africa readmitted to international sporting circles: And to offset the criticism, which is more serious perhaps, which is going to come from the verkrampte right Nationalist Party supporters for the change in the traditional labour pattern, which has been forced on the Government by factors which are beyond even this Government’s control. Sir, many threats have already been translated into grim reality, and I am going to give the House one or two examples. For instance, last year we had an unprecedented spate of bannings. Something like 70 people were banned by the hon. the Minister of Justice. I am sorry he is not in the House, and I presume that the hon. the Deputy Minister will be prepared to deal with this if he comes into the debate. If I had not known the hon. the Minister of Justice so well, I would have said that he was having a last fling before giving up his portfolio, but I do happen to know him quite well, and I know that the hon. the Minister acts on information that is given to him by the Special Branch, and as I have warned him and the Deputy Minister of Justice on several occasions, the information given to them by the Special Branch is often very unreliable, and indeed Government agents have been criticized in the courts of law for their unreliability. Now this year the Government has banned four young White trade union leaders in Natal. Their sin was that they were working among the Blacks, organizing the workers into trade unions. No doubt hon. members would prefer to have them described as agitators and inciters, just as no doubt the first people who were working among White workers in this country to try to get them to form trade unions—and I would not be surprised if the hon. the Minister of Transport was one of them—were also called inciters and agitators in those days.
Earlier, in the no confidence debate, the hon. the Minister of Labour told us proudly that the wages of Black workers had gone up by 300% since last year. Of course this is true; it sounds like an enormous amount until one examines the absolute figures and one realizes that in Natal, for instance, in the light cotton textile manufacturing industry, women workers in the border industry areas were getting as little as R3-50 a week. Today the minimum has gone up to R11 per week for men and R9 for women, which is in fact three times their previous wage. But that is hardly an increase compatible with decent living standards, and incidentally those pay-packets have been eroded enormously as the result of the inflation and the cost of living which has gone up enormously in the last year or so. I ask whether the workers were justified in asking for more, considering the extent of inflation, and whether these young trade union workers had just cause for their crusade. If they did not, and if they have committed a crime, I would like to ask the hon. the Deputy Minister of Justice why he does not charge them and bring them before a court of law. I say these are bullying tactics used against defenceless people. It is the sort of thing we have been getting too much of in South Africa over the years. It may be that instead the hon. the Prime Minister ought to consider who should or should not be on his Economic Advisory Council, because some of the culprits in the Natal industries serve on the hon. the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
An analysis of last year’s bannings reveals that the Government is steadily picking off another group of defenceless people, student leaders, be they White or be they Black, as the banning of the Nusas and the Saso leaders indicates. It is steadily lopping the head off every Black political leader who operates outside the homelands’ political entities, such as the leaders of the Black People’s Convention, the Black Community Programme and the Black Allied Workers. Now I wonder if just for one moment it has occurred to the Government that they are either driving people underground by banning them or they are forcing them across the border, and across the border they are picked up by exiles who are busy helping the terrorist organizations. I believe that the Government in this way has turned out to be a first class recruiting agent for terrorist organizations, by banning people, which for these Black people is the end of the road of non-violence. They then go underground or they skip the country and, as I say, having left South Africa, they are immediately taken up by these exiles who work for the terrorist movements.
The Government may think, as I said originally, that it is providing sufficient political outlet for Black people by means of self-rule for the homelands. I have also tried to show that the African leaders themselves in the homelands do not think very much of this self-rule. At the end of March the hon. the Prime Minister is going to have an indaba in Pretoria with African homeland leaders and I can only hope that it is not going to end in the same sort of stalemate as other such meetings have ended, with the African leaders asking for more land and the hon. the Prime Minister adamantly saying that he stands on the 1936 Act. I hope that at that indaba the conditions of the urban Blacks will also be seriously considered. I have no doubt whatsoever that the homeland leaders will raise this question, and also the question of their so-called citizens—and of course they are not their citizens; they are South African citizens—permanently resident in the urban areas, in the so-called White industrial areas. They will raise, too, I imagine, the position of the thousands of contract workers, the migrant workers who come from the homelands and spend all their working lives in the White urban areas. Now the hon. the Deputy Minister and perhaps also the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration—I am not so sure about him, but certainly the Deputy Minister, Mr. Janson—will have read about the survey which was recently carried out in Soweto by an organization which is a prominent advertising chain, on behalf of a large group of White companies. They were interested in the market, but in the process of carrying out this very interesting survey, they came to a number of conclusions. I want to point out that this was a statistically significant survey and that Soweto contains the largest concentration of urban Africans south of the Sahara. Inter alia this survey found that my oft-repeated contention in this House is in fact correct, and that is that it is utterly fallacious to inform Black people living in South Africa that their standards of living are higher than the standards of living of people living in Ghana, Ethiopia, Guinea or any of the other African territories. They are just not interested in that comparison. They compare their standard of living with the standards of living of the other inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa, where they themselves are citizens and where they live. That is what interests them. [Interjections.] I do wish the hon. the Deputy Minister of Justice would not make such childish and ridiculous interjections. The overwhelming conclusion which this survey reached was that in the area of Soweto the feeling of discontent is rife. That is what ought to be worrying hon. Ministers, and what is worrying the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education, Mr. Janson. I want to give him credit here and now, Sir; he is the one man to hold that job who has ever really expressed any concern for the people over whom he has such vast jurisdiction. I do not say he is doing all he should do, but at least he expresses concern, unlike most of his predecessors. I must say that the present Minister of Sport also expressed concern when he held that post, but he did so in his own rather quaint and piquant way. At least one understands this Deputy Minister. The Minister of Sport talked about de jure and de facto inhabitants and all that sort of nonsense. I can at least understand Deputy Minister Janson. He talks about conditions and he wants to improve them. I must say that he is pretty hogtied by the laws and regulations, but all the same, within the context of those laws and regulations, he is trying to do what he can. One of the bright things to come out of this session was his announcement that books were going to be given to the pupils of, I think it was, Stds. I, II and IV as a kick-off.
To forms I, II and IV.
Forms I, II and IV are to receive their books as a kick-off. That, Sir, I think is going to buy us more security for the future than all the arms we are manufacturing and all the money we are spending on defence.
This survey revealed also that most of the older generation still accept the master-servant relationship. But, interestingly enough, and as was to be expected, the younger generation does not accept the master-servant relationship between Black and White as being the norm. More than three-quarters of the Sowetans who were questioned consider Soweto to be their home until they die. Two-thirds of those questioned refused to look on the homelands as a home. I think that is very important as well. There is no doubt that most of the young Sowetans born in Soweto—there are today second and even third generation Black people living in Soweto—consider only Soweto to be their home. They know no other home. They have evolved a whole new way of life; they dress differently, they have a different type of music, a different form of dance, their language is different. Their whole way of life differs from the way of life of Africans living in the homeland areas. They are as indigenous to Soweto as the Cockneys are to London. It is absurd for anybody to imagine that any of these youngsters think for one moment that they are going to spend the final days of their lives back in a homeland they have never seen. They would be as much at home in a homeland as a fish is out of water. These people are sophisticated; they are politically aware and the process of industrialization has raised their expectations. I want to warn the Government that if those raised expectations are not realized we are in for a great deal of trouble. America discovered that and we should know that as well. If the Government thinks it can ignore the ambitions of these young people, partially educated as they are, then they do so at their peril and, unfortunately, at our peril as well. I want to bring this very much to the attention of the hon. the Deputy Minister of Justice, and to tell him that just cutting off the heads of the leaders of African political movements as they arise, is about as effective as cutting off the head of the Hydra, the many-headed monster, turned out to be. That is not the way to deal with this situation.
There is another group of Africans living and working in the so-called White urban areas that also requires urgent attention. This is another matter which I hope homeland leaders will raise when they meet the hon. the Prime Minister at the Pretoria indaba next month. This group of Africans consists of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who are here minus their families as contract workers, and who are denied the normal comforts of family life. They are here not just for a transitional period, but they are here under those conditions for all of their working lives, year in and year out. It would not be so bad if these were youngsters coming for a short time and spending their time in a hostel until some other more permanent accommodation was found for them and then being able, as they become adults and married men, to bring their families in with them. However, this is for their entire working lives. Again, people who have worked among them have found that this has led to increased drinking and enormous illegitimacy in the townships. This is an obvious sociological consequence of having thousands of men here without their wives. They are living in these soulless hostels year in and year out. If we were deliberately trying to create a violent society in the urban areas, we could not be doing any better than by encouraging this system and by extending it so as to make it the basis of our whole industrial labour system. I want to tell hon. members again that it is fallacious to go on reassuring themselves that because Europe uses a system of migrant workers, that because there are workers from Turkey, Italy, and Spain in West Germany …
It is true.
Yes, it is true, but the comparison is completely fallacious. I wish the hon. member for Carletonville were here, because he told us an awful lot of nonsense the other day in the process of inviting me to become his right hand—about the migratory workers overseas. He compared them with the migratory workers here. There is an enormous difference and the one basic difference is that our migrants are citizens in South Africa. They are our own citizens …
In your view.
Not in my view only … [Interjections.] At the moment I am talking about our own South African Africans from KwaZulu, from the Transkei, from the Ciskei, from Bophuthatswana and from elsewhere who are living inside South Africa. Until those states are independent states in terms of international law and every other form of law, let me assure hon. members that these Africans are the citizens of the Republic of South Africa. Therefore you cannot compare depriving certain people of rights, people who are citizens, and depriving people of rights who are not citizens. That is difference number one. Another important difference which the hon. member for Carletonville …
May I ask the hon. member a question?
I am sorry, but I have an awful lot to say and there is very little time left for it. The other important difference is that in these countries such as West Germany, Switzerland, France and elsewhere, the migrant workers are allowed to bring their families with them. Many of them live under very poor conditions and I am the first to admit that.
Get your facts right.
My facts are absolutely right. I made a study of this when I was in Western Germany three years ago. Apart from that I have spoken to a professor at Cape Town University who has just returned from living in France. They are allowed to take their families with them and that is a very important difference. Another important difference is that they are admitted as full citizens in the country after a certain period of time.
You cannot bluff us.
These are facts, and I am not attempting to bluff anyone. That hon. member does not like the facts; he does not like the truth because it undermines every misconception he has had on this subject for years. I can assure him that he can consult the ambassadors of these countries if he does not believe me.
There are other important differences. These people join the trade unions and they can take advantage of all the social welfare facilities that are offered in those countries. After a period of time, as I have said, they may opt to become citizens.
Let me talk about the extra-territorial people for a moment, because the ones I have been talking about are citizens already. There are other migrant workers in South Africa who are not citizens of South Africa. There are Rhodesians who have been working in South Africa for 20 years, but they are still not allowed to become citizens of South Africa. That is not the case with the migrant workers from Turkey, Spain and Southern Italy who have gone to work in Western Germany, Switzerland and France.
I want to say finally that time is running out for South Africa. But at this moment we have a wonderful opportunity of attempting to do something about the really serious matters that confront us, by providing housing, better recreational facilities, better transport and altogether by improving the whole way of life for Blacks. We could also provide more infrastructure in the homelands, and so on. All these things are so essential. I want very much to see a change in that famous statement made by one of our great historians, Prof. De Kiewiet, who many years ago said that South Africa advances politically by disasters and economically by windfalls. I would like to see South Africa just for a change advance politically and economically as a result of the windfall from this enormous increase in the price of gold. The one thing we should be doing with the money is to improve the conditions for the vast majority of the inhabitants of this country.
In these murky pre-election times there is at least one party standing for election that has consistently and unequivocally over the years advanced constitutional proposals for South Africa which will, I believe, result in a sound and secure South Africa, and that is a proper geographic federation and not a phoney race federation. This is based on qualified people who are enfranchised on a common roll and are therefore not developing certain racial animosities one against the other. I can quote hon. members of this House who made very telling judgments when they listened to evidence years ago before the Select Committee on Coloured Representation. I believe the hon. member for Transkei was one of them. If he was not one of them he will remember what I am talking about anyway, about the dangers of separate roll representation. The Progressive Party, which I am obviously talking about, has also always advocated merit as the yardstick and equal opportunities as the whole basis of our policy. I have no doubt whatsoever that at the next session of Parliament I shall be joined here by several able and energetic young men …
You will be surprised. But that hon. member is not going to be here at all, if I remember correctly. He will not be here to see it. He will have to pay us a visit and look at us from the visitors’ gallery. I will be joined by several able and energetic colleagues and I believe this will be to South Africa’s very great advantage, because a growing Progressive Party is not only South Africans’ best vehicle for change, but is South Africans’ best guarantee for the whole process of change in a nonviolent form.
Mr. Speaker, one would really have hoped, expected or thought that the hon. member for Houghton, after her leader’s statement on the provision of amenities for non-Whites in Sea Point, would have spoken with a little more humility about discrimination in this House today.
Why is she merely shouting “nonsense”? Why does she not repeat what Mr. Colin Eglin said about Sea Point? Why does she not explain why Mr. Colin Eglin does not want to provide those amenities in Sea Point?
Why do you not read the whole speech?
All we hear is the old story, over and over again. When we wanted to accommodate non-White guests in Pretoria we were not able to accommodate them in the Union Hotel. We were then forced to go to another hotel. Why does she not set her own house in order? This is the old story. No one is as intolerant as a liberalist. They want to force systems down other people’s throats, until it begins to affect them—then they do an about-face, as in Sea Point. I do not think there is any further need to discuss this matter with this hon. member.
There are a few cardinal points of the Opposition’s standpoint on which we shall have to receive a final answer. We shall have to receive it in this debate, for the session is coming to an end. If we do not receive it in this debate we shall have to find it on the platforms in the coming election campaign. They cannot escape it. They can try to evade the issue now with “fish and chips” stories, with bread, milk and cheese and goodness knows what else, but they will have to reply to cardinal questions on their policy. This penetrates to the heart of the political dispensation in South Africa, but it is indeed the case, as our hon. Prime Minister said, that the next two to five years may be of decisive importance to this country and its people. Therefore they can no longer put off eliminating for the public of South Africa these obscurities once and for all now. In the first place it is clear that the Opposition is kicking up a dust-cloud on a few matters to conceal the division, bitterness and strife in their own ranks. They have actually, in 1974, alleged for the umpteenth time that it is this Government’s policy which is responsible for the anti-South African attitude abroad, and that that attitude is attributable solely to our policy and to personally humiliating practices which are allegedly being maintained by our Government. Let us consider this charge for a moment. Does the Opposition not know what the true issue abroad is when it comes to attacks on South Africa? I can give examples of how matters stand, inter alia in the U.N. Even when South Africa displays a reasonably fair standpoint on a specific matter, even in cases where the South African Government furnishes explanations of certain matters in regard to which attacks are being made on us, even then the attitude of our enemies or critics is always that they either do not want to listen to our standpoints at all—you can speak to them, often until you are blue in the face—or their standpoint is that what you said, is in fact an admission of your misdemeanour. This is the kind of unfairness which is experienced. It is always the case that South Africa on the one hand is utterly bad, and they on the other hand are all perfectly blameless. It is in that atmosphere that we are trying to reach fair-minded people abroad, and I think we are in fact reaching them, and I hope that we will be able to reach them to an even greater extent. Let me give hon. members an example. After the South African representative had tried, on a certain occasion, to state his country’s case in the U.N. one found this kind of reaction:
The admissions made by the South African Government in regard to racial discrimination and racial segregation, its repeated attempts to embody them in law, and its unquestioned practices in gross violation of the Charter, constitute an indictment which is proven by these admissions.
This is the kind of attitude that prevails there. The speaker in question went on to say:
He went on to say that the South African Government—
Do hon. members opposite agree with this standpoint which is adopted at the U.N?
What do you say, Japie?
It is a fair question.
We have replied to that question many times.
Do you agree with the speaker at the U.N., that we pay no heed to the appeals which are made to us, and that we continue with “offending legislation”, and that whatever we say it only confirms our “crime”? Does the Opposition agree with that, yes or no?
Make your own speech.
The hon. member for Bezuidenhout says he agrees.
I did not say that. You are not telling the truth.
Whether he did or did not say it, it is significant that the passage I quoted here dates from 1946 and that it was said of the U.N. minutes after Gen. Smuts had spoken. That is not all; it was said in a debate in which a certain motion with reference to the treatment of Indians in South Africa was under discussion. Gen. Smuts was opposed to the motion in question, and he in his turn moved an amendment to the effect that the U.N. should rather request the World Court for an advisory opinion instead on the question of whether the General Assembly could, in such a way, interfere in the domestic affairs of a country, yes or no. Gen. Smuts, amendment was defeated by 31 votes to 21, with two States abstaining. The motion which condemned South Africa by implication, was passed by 32 votes to 15, with seven countries abstaining, a two-thirds majority. This was in 1946, when the U.N. had just been established and had only 54 members, when these eminent statesmen, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition said, quite justifiably had great international prestige and when all his friends were sitting in the Councils of the World, when everything was in favour of this great statesman, he who helped write the preamble to the U.N. Charter. At that stage, already, there was a two-thirds majority against him. Then the hon. member for Bezuidenhout comes here and says that our hon. Prime Minister does not have any political perspective in regard to what was happening at that time. I wonder who it really is who does not have that perspective. He told us that at the time he was apparently sitting in the Press gallery and watching the proceedings here. But what was he watching? It seems to me it was not the debates at all. All the Prime Minister said was that Gen. Smuts had been having a hard time of it even then, and that South Africa had a bad name even at that time. Here it stands. Even at that time South Africa was being condemned in harsh language for the “offending legislation” of the United Party Government. But the hon. member for Bezuidenhout alleged that miracles could have been worked in this regard. With all due respect I want to suggest to him: Let us leave the dead in peace. No one knows what Gen. Smuts would eventually have done. But I can tell the hon. member this here today: In the hostile world which arose after the Second World War and which has remained consistently hostile up to today, no one in South Africa could have had any hope of accomplishing something diplomatically if he did not have a policy which was based on the principle of self-determination. Otherwise he would have been wasting his time. In any case, the specious federation of the United Party, which fails time and again everywhere in the world and gives rise to blood-baths, would mean only disaster for South Africa. This is what the United Party will be held accountable for.
The hon. member for Bezuidenhout discussed perspective; I want to discuss good judgment. Did I hear correctly that he said in the no-confidence debate that a leading diplomat who sat listening to the hon. Prime Minister, told him that if his Prime Minister were to mess around with insignificant cuttings for an hour in his Parliament, he would be shouted down by his own members in that Parliament?
Look in Hansard.
To think that this is a member who aspires to become Minister of Foreign Affairs! The most junior diplomat, the cadet, who has only been appointed to the Department of Foreign Affairs of any Government for two or three days, knows that it is his most elementary duty not to give offence. Not even a third-grade or a tenth-grade diplomat will infringe this basic rule, not anywhere; not even a Russian or Chinese diplomat would do so. If the spokesman on foreign affairs of the Opposition does not know this, if he does not know these fundamental rules, norms and decorum, it is outrageous and then the voting public must take cognizance of this now; then the Opposition must take cognizance of the course the hon. member is adopting. The hon. member for Von Brandis and I were colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Ask him with whom he agrees. Now the hon. member has dragged an unknown diplomat into our political debate to try to score a small debating point, which he did not even prove, and which therefore fell flat. Whether that diplomat did say it to him or not, I tell him that the Prime Ministers of the democratic countries that have parliaments frequently make use of clippings. I am saying this to him if he does not know. If his third-grade, or leading diplomat does not know this, he can convey it to him. But what is important is what the hon. member’s reaction was to that diplomat when our Prime Minister was attacked in his own country. Did he call him aside and say: “Look here, my friend, you do not know your elementary manners”? Did he do that ? If he did not, why not? If he did not in fact do so, why did he then use it as an argument? These are questions which we want answered.
In the last place, as far as this aspect is concerned, the hon. member and the Opposition realize that one of their frontbenchers, one of their leaders who wants to introduce new dispensations, cast suspicion on the entire diplomatic corps in South Africa? Is that how the Opposition wants to conduct diplomacy? Sir, this is only just beginning. The public of South Africa must see how they handle their relations towards foreigners and how they then have the temerity to speak of the poor image we are creating abroad. What do they think of their image? If I were to question those diplomats who had to report the no-confidence debates to their governments on this score, what do hon. members think would they have reported about the display put up by the Opposition and by that hon. member? What would they have had to say? And in what a terribly embarrassing position are they not being placed in that when they go to receptions South Africans look at them askance and think: “Are you perhaps the unknown diplomat who was so insulting to the Prime Minister?” I do not think the hon. member realized what he was doing. I do not think the hon. member realizes what he has been doing in that party, and I do not think his party knows about all the things he has been doing.
He is irresponsible.
What really happened in this post-war period? Of what does the perspective, about which the hon. member for Bezuidenhout and the Opposition had such a great deal to say, consist? South Africa offered a haven for thousands of Jews, people from Europe who fled from racism. Those are the facts. Of course, it is true that there are powers who make use of colonialism and racism to further their objectives against South Africa, and that these represent South Africa as a racist State at all costs. Now the hon. member for Bezuidenhout is echoing them. The hon. member for Bezuidenhout and his party represent South Africa as a rotten fruit which the enemies of South Africa need only come and pluck, economically and otherwise. When will they put a stop to this kind of thing? The hon. member goes to America and indulges in gossip-mongering before the Council for Foreign Relations, and there he hears that they are of the opinion that the Minister of Defence is no good. They think less than nothing of our Minister, and then the hon. member is proud of this. He is proud that they think less than nothing of his country’s Minister of Defence. I think he would also have been proud if they had said to him: “We think nothing of your country South Africa, of its blue mountains and oceans, of its inner strength and cultural values and elegance and moral standards.” [Interjections.] This is the type which they accommodate in their ranks, and then they have the temerity to speak of political clowning. They say the hon. the Prime Minister is a political joker and that they say at a time when their own fighting, mutual slanging matches and inherent division and disruption has reached a high-water mark. The entire country is ridiculing them, and then the hon. the Leader of the Opposition comes here and moves a motion of no confidence in the Government! Is this not unsurpassed clowning? When is this kind of thing going to end? South Africa does indeed have certain problems. South Africa has a dilemma, and that dilemma is that we are a White state in a Black continent. That is our dilemma and that is their dilemma as well. But what is our point of departure? History and our idealism brought us to this continent, and all we want to do is preserve what is our own. All we want to do is preserve what is sacred to us and what we have built up over the centuries without begrudging to others what is sacred and dear and fine and beautiful to them. But, Mr. Speaker, there are forces which begrudge us these things. Is the Opposition really so naïve as to think that a little instant solution here and some or other bluff story there will effect a change in the course of present world history? Then they would be well-advised to travel overseas again and again to find out what the facts are concerning this post-war period. Of course South Africa will have problems in this period and what is more, we know why. To the communists and other hostile forces, South Africa is a great prize which has to be conquered at all costs. Does the hon. member want to tell me that he is unaware of the major international currents and power bloc shifts which are at present taking place? Is he unaware of China’s increasing power and force and subtle aggression and pressure on Africa and infiltration and penetration? Is he unaware of those matters? Is he unaware of the implications of what I shall term the new raw material era of the world? Oil is only the beginning; there are other raw materials which are also going to become scarcer, with a possibility that major power blocs, in their hunger for these raw materials, are going to cause new tensions? What is our position, South Africa’s position, in the midst of all these expected events and potential shifts which can come? These are questions with which we should occupy ourselves and argue over and debate on. But if they continue with their nonsense, or with their “fish and chips” stories in the midst of these onslaughts and disputes which the hon. the Prime Minister also referred, one has to ask oneself: “Who is playing the fool?” This side can look back—I am not saying that we are perfect; of course we are not—and say to the public of South Africa that in spite of the onslaughts and disputes, in spite of the great problems of a physical nature in our own country—storms and droughts—in spite of a population structure and historical circumstances which contain all the elements of explosiveness, in spite of many years of pressure from hostile elements against us on the diplomatic level, on the military level, on the level of sport and the church, Whites and non-Whites in South Africa are living in peace and progress which is to be found in almost no other comparable place, and in addition we have the most wonderful climate in which we are able to enjoy these things. Those are the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
May I ask the hon. member whether he is still prepared to have South Africa sign the Declaration of Human Rights and, if not, why not?
Mr. Speaker, I have stated this umpteen times and made it absolutely clear, and the hon. the Minister of Foreign Affairs made it absolutely clear that this side of the House does in fact want to guarantee the individual the maximum number of rights under our multinational policy. What we want to avoid in fact is that repugnant discrimination which they want to make an integral part of their policy, by saying to a person: “You are good enough up to a certain point, but then, my friend, because you are Black, I retain baasskap.” Where can one find a worse form of discrimination than that? Sir, let the hon. member admit this: Why is he and Mr. Harry Schwarz at logger-heads with the rest of the United Party? Let us speak openly to one another. What was the reason for the conflict in their ranks? Let the hon. member rise and tell us. It was because of one thing only: There was a small group of them who said to the Blacks: “We are going to be honest with you; you are in the majority; you are going to have the supreme authority,” and then the rest of the United Party was violently opposed to this and said: “No, we shall retain White baasskap”. And then they are concerned about the security of South Africa under our policy. Sir, while 24 April comes closer, we have two cut and dried alternatives: On the one hand we have a solid, balanced Government which does not allow itself to be stampeded but which does not wilfully confront the world either, which calmly and quietly and in the light of the historical facts of our fatherland wants to further the development of all its peoples, which says in goodwill to its people: “Let us treat one another in a dignified and decent manner,” not curse and shout like the hon. member for Bezuidenhout who says how bad we are and who hangs up the dirty washing for all the world to see.
We have a Government which talks to the statesmen of the rising Black states …
Order! Did the hon. member for Bezuidenhout use the word “lie”?
The hon. member said that I had cursed and in reply I said that he had lied. I am prepared to withdraw it if you ask him to withdraw what he said to me. I am not prepared to be insulted by a failure of a diplomat.
Order! The hon. member for Bezuidenhout must withdraw the word “lie”. It is unparliamentary.
I accept that, Sir.
If the hon. member wishes to give expression to his disapproval, he can do so in a parliamentary way.
I withdraw it. May I then ask you, on a point of order, Sir, whether the hon. member has the right to make the accusation against me which he made?
The hon. member for Wonderboom must withdraw the word “curse”.
I withdraw it. Mr. Speaker, this Government is a government which has held an umbrella of security and protection over South Africa and its peoples, under which they have been able to determine and work out their future, under which they have always been able to talk and consult with one another, under which a future dream of a power bloc can be fulfilled which could be of great advantage to the entire continent; that is the dream and the challenge. Did not we in the old days, when the United Party was governing, also dream dreams which became a reality, no matter how difficult it was? We will not abandon our idealism which is founded on realism. Opposed to this we have the rigid, antiquated, verkrampte and torn-asunder United Party. Those are the only choices which should be put before the public of South Africa on 24 April.
Mr. Speaker, we have just heard one of the rare speeches in this House by the hon. member for Wonderboom, and having heard him it may not come as a surprise to anybody why that should be so. You know, Sir, it is quite remarkable to think that we could hear what we have heard here this afternoon from an hon. gentleman who, when he first spoke in this House, pleaded for the Government to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He spent a lot of time this afternoon telling the House how it was through no fault of the Government that South Africa found herself internationally isolated to the extent to which she has, and he added to that the impossibility one would have in trying to sell the useless and outmoded federation policy of the United Party to authorities or audiences overseas. Well, to deal merely with that point, the hon. gentleman should remember that he is not the only one in this House who occasionally travels abroad. He is not the only person in this House who has acquaintances at reasonably high levels abroad, at Government level and in business and at diplomatic level. Those of us who have had the advantage of travelling abroad recently—and I have travelled extensively twice during the last two years … [Interjections.] Sir, I was about to add that I was one of many in this House who have had that privilege, and I have had the privilege to travel with colleagues from the other side of the House as well. Together with those gentlemen, and in their company, I have experienced the difficulty of trying to sell Government policy and the comparative ease with which we could sell United Party policy.
Now, the final point made by the hon. gentleman is really the key to this session of Parliament. It is the key to the election. It manifests the degree to which political insincerity can be taken. That was the hon. gentleman’s castigation of this side of the House, that what is wrong with our policy is, firstly, that it is verkramp and, secondly, that it places a ceiling on the political development of the individual, and that the policy says: So far and no further. I do not believe that the hon. member could have been in this House during the no-confidence debate when certain questions were put to the hon. the Prime Minister by the hon. member for South Coast which elicited the reply eventually—and I hope I can have the attention of the hon. member for Wonderboom for a moment—that in respect of the Coloureds and the Indians in South Africa, two large, influential and important sections of our permanent population in the White area, there will be no representation for all time, however small, in the central authority which governs their affairs. Sir, that was said loudly and emphatically, on an important political occasion, with the galleries filled with half the diplomatic representatives from abroad in South Africa, and with all the political correspondents of the overseas newspapers present. That was said not by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, but by the Prime Minister. Now, the hon. member has been in the diplomatic service. If the impact which that statement made on overseas opinion is not apparent to him, then I can understand why he is now here and no longer in the diplomatic service. Sir, to get it home to the hon. gentleman: How, when he was in the diplomatic service—and I ask him this in all sincerity—could he have defended his Government’s policy in relation to the most advanced non-White economic group in the country, the most westernized group in the country, the group closest to the White community in the country, a group having an economic stake in South Africa, in relation to their numbers, very close to that of the White group, in fact a group of people—it is the Indian and the Coloured people I am dealing with—who in every way are more qualified for political advancement than any other non-White group in South Africa. How can he possibly defend an attitude and a policy which says, in respect of these most advanced people, these most westernized people, these people closest to the political responsibility of the White man, “you shall have no say for all time, not even in the slightest degree, in the Legislature which governs the State and which is the sovereign authority of the State of which you are a permanent part”? How on earth can anybody who stands for a policy of that kind point a finger at this party which says, in respect of those very same people, “there will be a relaxation of petty apartheid; you will have a permanent say at all levels, from the federal level downwards, in the various authorities which control your affairs; you will have a maximum say, indeed an exclusive say, in the authority which controls your intimate affairs, and you will have a reasonable say in the federal authority which controls the affairs of all of us”?
A reasonable share?
Not only does one speak of this merely from the theoretical concept, and not only can one condemn the hon. gentleman and his party out of court on that basis alone, but one knows from personal experience that whilst abroad there is not universal acceptance, and there is not loud acclaim, for the principle of federation as advocated by the United Party, one can also say from personal experience that there is a very fair chance of that sort of policy, implemented by a Government, being saleable in the outside world—not generally, Sir; of course not, but amongst those countries of the West with whom we wish to have commerce, amongst those countries of the West who exercise the veto at the U.N., amongst those countries of the West upon whom we have to rely if we should be involved in any conflict. If that is the position, and I believe it is so, then I am absolutely astonished to have heard a speech such as the one we heard this afternoon from the hon. member for Wonderboom.
Now, let me come to the hon. member for Houghton. The hon. member for Houghton likened the United Party to a garment and as I understood it, she related our representation here to a rather tattered garment kept together by rusty safety-pins. Well, if we are to relate the representation of the parties in this House to garments, I am not sure that the hon. member was wise in relating representation to garments, because you know, Sir, garments are intended to cover the body. If we are to deal with our representation on the basis of garments, I suppose the Government could be likened to a long frock, because they have some two-thirds of the representation in this House. [Interjection.] I am reminded that it would be a “maxi”. I suppose the United Party would then be likened to a “mini”, and we do not need much imagination to know what the hon. member for Houghton would be likened to.
I think you had better stop there.
I suppose it would be the upper part of a very scanty bikini. That is about all we could say about her representation here.
She is a political Glenda Kemp. [Interjections.]
The hon. member for Houghton made some references to the success which she anticipates in the forthcoming election. I should like to remind the House what the hon. member for Houghton said in this regard on 19 February 1970, just before the last election. The hon. member had this to say—
They were; I came back. [Interjections.]
The hon. member continued—
Then she went on to extol their lack of materialism and their idealism, and she told us how they were going to return added Progressive representation to this House. Of course, we had the same thing this afternoon. I have no doubt that the Progressive Party’s representation after the election will be no greater than it is now, particularly if we have the sort of exhibition we had recently in Sea Point, where there was the most tortured egg-dance by the leader of the Progressive Party on the question of whether or not Sea Point should stay White, the very issue which was the main plank in the hon. member for Houghton’s platform in that constituency three years ago. Now we have the leader of that party in fact trying to say that black is white in that regard.
You should read the statement, then you would not talk such nonsense.
Mr. Speaker. I want to come to a subject which has already been dealt with this afternoon, and that is the question of the Government’s promises in regard to consolidation. I am sorry that the two Ministers dealing with this matter have left the Chamber. I was rather under the impression that when I stood up, they were here.
That is why they left.
Mr. Speaker, I want to say nothing this afternoon about the policy of separate development, of consolidation and of Bantustans. The principles involved, the philosophy and the policy have been dealt with on other occasions. I want to speak this afternoon about the methods that are used because it is this that is causing concern to a great many people. The point made by the hon. member for Transkei has not been dealt with. The point he made, in the light of what is now being said and written in the Press and elsewhere, is this: The people want to know now what their situation will be in the event of areas like the Transkei becoming independent. The late Dr. Verwoerd, in the Hansard which was quoted by the hon. member for Transkei, dealt with this as something which would be elaborated upon and dealt with after the independence issue had been settled and implemented. The concern of our people in the Transkei today—and that was the question put by the hon. member for Transkei—is that they want to know what the position is now. They want to receive the assurances and the details now as to what their position will be in the event of that area becoming independent. They do not want the negotiations to be left until after the independence has been declared. I hope that we shall this afternoon get a reply in this respect.
The Minister specifically dealt with that.
The Minister did not deal with that. Mr. Speaker, I want to deal with the implementation of the Kwa-Zulu consolidation in so far as my own province is concerned. This is a matter of great concern throughout the province because, as hon. members know, there are no major settlements, no major towns, no major communities of Whites anywhere in the province further than ten miles from a Bantu area. We are all intermixed whether it is in Zululand or whether it is in southern Natal or northern Natal. That is the geographical situation there.
Here comes Speedy in full flight.
I am glad that the hon. the Minister has returned. In order to remind the hon. gentleman, we are dealing with the question of broken promises and the concern that is being felt about the method of the implementation of consolidation. I want to deal with a particular area in my constituency concerning which I have been negotiating with the hon. the Minister for some time.
Is that your farm?
It has nothing to do with my farm; my farm is not in that area at all. The reason I raise it now is because the final reply to extended negotiations was contained in a letter dated the 11th of this month. This letter was written to me concluding the negotiations after the area had been gazetted in the Government Gazette. That is to say, whilst a Member of Parliament is already negotiating with the Minister and before the negotiations are concluded, a Gazette notice appears finalizing the issue. One then hears about it in correspondence which follows afterwards.
I wish to deal with the block of farms and the piece of land known as the Gingindlovu Corridor. It is a strip of farms which connects the coastal areas of Natal to the hinterland at a place called Gingindlovu. This is a block of farms in respect of which the late Dr. Verwoerd and Mr. Swart, the then Minister of Justice gave categorical assurances to a deputation of public-spirited men from Zululand who called on them in regard to this very question of consolidation. They were given a categorical assurance that not only would these areas remain White, but that indeed the area would be enlarged to ensure its continued Whiteness.
In addition to that, I believe the hon. the Minister himself at a public meeting in Eshowe, where needless to say I was not present, gave the categorical assurance that the area would stay White. It has stuck in people’s memories not only for that fact but because he took advantage of the occasion to tell the assembled public that I was in fact the most left-wing liberal sitting in the House of Assembly. [Interjections.] However, one gets used to these public …
Who said that?
You have changed.
Having got a categorical assurance to a representative deputation from two Ministers, the then Minister of Justice and the then Minister of Native Affairs, that this area would remain White, we had the advent of the Bantu Affairs Commission and all that followed last year. The result is that this area is now to go Black. The interesting thing is that because of these assurances that had been given, and knowing the facts of the situation, I commenced negotiations with the hon. the Minister in an attempt to reverse that decision. I was finally granted the reasons for this area’s going Black. These are very interesting because, as I shall indicate when I deal with the reasons, they are all either factually wrong or have no basis, no foundation whatever. That is to say, the reasons for upsetting the assurances of the Ministers are either factually wrong or have no basis in fact whatever. That being so, one has to look elsewhere to find reasons for this change from a White area to a Black area. I shall give what I believe are the reasons in due course.
The hon. the Minister in his letter to me indicated that this block of land, this block of White farms, should go Black because the railway line linking the areas concerned does not pass through the White territory. I would have thought that it was fairly simple to ascertain whether a railway line, which is a key means of communication, goes through a certain territory or does not. The facts are just the opposite. The entire railway line goes through the White territory and that was one of the principal reasons why it was sought to keep the area White. The next point deals with the national road. The hon. the Minister’s case is that this area is not of much use as a White area because: “The road and rail pass through Bantu area for some distance in any case.” The fact of the matter is that the greater part of the national road goes through the White area. It does go through the Bantu reserve for a small distance, a matter which could be adjusted with a trifling adjustment in boundary or road.
Let us go to the next one. We were told that to excise this piece of land would in fact divide the area of a certain tribe, but not only have I not been able to find that tribe living there at all, but it divides neither tribe nor any tribal area of any kind. It then goes on to say that the alleged assurances by Dr. Verwoerd and Mr. Swart that these areas would remain White were given at a time when there were no developments at Richards Bay. What on earth is the relevance of that? Of what relevance is it, an area 40 miles away, which is now to be developed as a harbour? Consolidation was known at the time those assurances were given, like all the other assurances we have heard about today. But it is brushed aside as of no consequence because circumstances have changed. Then it is also said that since the administration of two magisterial districts having been returned to the Department of Justice, it is clear that circumstances have changed. In these circumstances, how can one understand the responsible Minister going back on assurances given, assurances on which reliance has been placed for investment and things of that kind, and making these changes?
The answer apparently is in the last letter I received from the hon. the Ministers’ Deputy, saying that the squatters on the Dunne’s land, about which we have had many debates in this House, are to be placed on these farms. They are to be taken away from the Dunnes’ land and placed on these farms. Everybody in this House heard the hon. the Minister last year give the assurance, another one, that where farms taken over by the Bantu Trust, were sugar estates or timber estates, they would be kept in production. Of the farms bought on this occasion, every single one is either a sugar estate or a timber estate, bar two. I want the hon. the Minister to tell us how you are going to settle peasant farming Bantu in this area and at the same time maintain the sugar and timber estates in production. The final point is that the whole purpose of this operation is apparently to acquire land to resettle squatters from Coloured land. The only land available for settling squatters in this block of farms is about 1 000 acres out of the entire block of about 15 000 acres. But within the very reserve from which the squatters are to be moved, there is Government-owned White land, a Leper Institution of 10 000 acres in the same tribal area to which the Bantu squatters could be moved without any disruption and without any rejection of ministerial assurances previously given.
It is not being used.
Yes, it is not being used, except for a small leper colony, which in this day and age of modern medicine is no longer required. There is 10 000 acres for the settlement of all the squatters the hon. the Minister has and this is the only valid reason now for the rejection of the promises previously given. What is one to think? Is one to assume that the hon. the Minister has no regard to the facts and that he is driven by whim and fantasy? Or is one to have regard to the other facts of the matter? They are these: The chairman of the local Nationalist Party owns two of these farms. He is the Nationalist Party candidate for the provincial council in that constituency and is generally acknowledged to be the worst farmer in the district. Throughout the time that these negotiations and the claim for the consolidation of KwaZulu were taking place, this gentleman was in personal touch with the person who was doing the planning. Throughout the time we debated this in Parliament, he was sitting in the gallery. He was in close touch with the Ministers concerned.
I was not here at all; I was in America.
Then what he has told me is incorrect.
It was after the decision had been taken.
He spent most of the time with the hon. member for Klip River.
But that was after the final decision had been announced. [Interjections.]
Mr. Speaker, he was here the entire time because he came to see me in my office. Whatever the motives may be for this sort of thing, what is the ordinary man in the street supposed to think? The hon. the Minister refuses to see a deputation of farmers associations, of mill group boards, of town councils and of chambers of commerce. He refuses to see a deputation of every responsible body of opinion concerned with this matter. I have it here in black and white. Then he bases his decision upon reasons which are either factually incorrect or which have no basis in reason at all. Are we to think that this is utterly capricious and that it was a slip of the pen? It cannot be that. He had been placed fully in possession of the facts before the final decision was taken, so what are we to think, other than that it has to some extent been based upon political influence? There does not appear to be any other reason upon which this could have been based.
I did not even know of the owner of that farm. I hear it from you now, for the very first time.
I am very glad to hear it, Sir. The hon. gentleman must be the only person in his department who is unaware of those facts. This is not the way in which things should be done. It involves a major route and deals with a large area which has been declared released. When those farms are bought out, this will not do away with isolation; it will bring about the isolation of a large community because, until such time as there is an appropriate excision of Native reserves—and I hope we will be told when that is to take place—far from there being consolidation, you are in fact bringing about isolation. If one cannot deal with this question of consolidation on the basis of fact and reason—and there comes a time in the life of everybody when the decision is finally taken and one has to deal with it—there is going to be what the hon. member for Transkei said there already is in the Transkei, i.e. the greatest concern and unhappiness about the implementation of the Government’s policy. This is merely the first of many. There is another case I could speak about, but I will not on this occasion do so. If this is the way the first of these instance is to be handled, what lies ahead of us in the unfolding of the rest of this plan of which this is merely a beginning? Things have to be done better than this. I am going to make a final plea to the hon. the Minister in respect of this area. Things have probably gone too far already for this area not to be bought out, but let me say to the hon. gentleman: “Change your mind; keep this area as State-owned land and put it under forestry.” We are dealing with land which is totally unsuited to peasant farming. It is the steepest land in Natal. The whole of it will within a short time …
You are talking nonsense.
The hon. gentleman has obviously never been there.
I was there the other day.
It is the steepest area under cultivation in my constituency.
It is not the steepest in Natal as you said. You are talking nonsense.
I say that, without a shadow of a doubt, it is totally unsuited to peasant Bantu agriculture and, if he allows this, that land will end up in the estuary of the Umlazi River which is one of the major pleasure resorts of that area. The whole world knows this. Ask the hon. member for South Coast, who knows the area like the back of his hand, whether that is so or not. Indeed, I should be surprised if the hon. member for Klip River does not know the area. If the hon. member maintains here that that is not some of the steepest agricultural land …
You said it was the steepest in Natal and I said you were talking nonsense.
That is precisely what it is. It is some of the steepest land in Natal … [Interjections.] … and it is certainly the steepest land under cultivation. I invite the hon. gentleman to come to Zululand and say that it is not so. He will be laughed out of court. All we want is that these matters be dealt with in a proper manner and, if this is the first example of how it should be dealt with we have a sorry time ahead of us.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Zululand made use of this debate this afternoon to speak about a completely local matter in his constituency. I personally do not begrudge the hon. member the opportunity of speaking about his constituency, because I am convinced he is a little worried about whether he will be returning to this House. We must therefore not begrudge him the opportunity of catching a few votes and discussing a completely local matter in a budget debate.
But, Sir, I want to come back to one important matter which one would have expected to see raised in this discussion. This Opposition has, since the introduction of the motion of no confidence by the Leader of the Opposition, repeatedly submitted that this Government is a security risk to South Africa. This was mentioned by the hon. the Leader in the no-confidence debate, and also by other hon. members in the no-confidence debate and again in this debate. But now, with this discord that has cropped up in the ranks of the United Party, surely we have also had the element of United Party’s participation in the activities of the Schlebusch Commission. The United Party has had a lot of trouble as the result of their participation in that commission. They joined us in signing the first three reports of the Schlebusch Commission, and those reports were submitted to this hon. House. Certain things happened with respect to those reports. There were elements in the United Party which made a tremendous fuss about that party’s participation in the activities of the commission. We found that they had even agreed to a kind of cease-fire at their congress, and that it was decided that the United Party would continue taking part in the activities of the commission. But, Sir, it is not as simple as it looks. This Opposition accuses the Government and the National Party of being a security risk to the country. In the very first interim report submitted by the commission, certain recommendations are specifically made with respect to investigations with respect to certain organizations. In the first report it is recommenced that a standing committee should be established. This standing committee must consists of members of the House of Assembly, etc. I think it is today essential to South Africa, and particularly to the voters—in the light of the reaction with the publication of the first three reports—that we know what the standpoint of the United Party is going to be. Are they going to participate if the Prime Minister were to introduce a Bill to appoint a standing committee?
Ask the Prime Minister to table the final report.
It will not help the hon. member for Green Point to run away from the first report which he signed. The first report has been tabled. I just want to refresh the hon. member’s memory for a moment. This is a question we must present to the voters of South Africa today. Is this United Party going to take part in the standing committee that will be appointed and that will consist of members of the House of Assembly? It is this United Party which accuses this side of the House of being a security risk. Sir, a few passages quoted from this report will be very informative, and this will also mean that it is to be expected that a standpoint will be adopted with respect to this matter.
Paragraph 9(a)(vi) on page 5 of the first interim report reads as follows:
Then this report goes further and deals with the question of whether a standing committee should not be appointed. On page 9 of the report—I should like to deal with this in some detail to indicate to the House that we can expect an answer from the other side—we find the following (paragraph 10)—
It is very important that we should take note of these words that are used here, i.e. that the people dealing with security matters obtained information here which they would not otherwise have obtained and that the information so obtained is alarming. But paragraph 11 of the report reads as follows—
Then the report continues and paragraph 12 reads as follows—
- (a) The body should be seen as a parliamentary organ …
- (c) The body’s powers of inquiry and rules of procedure should be comparable to the powers and rules of your Commission.
- (d) The body should be required to inquire into matters of importance to internal security, referred to it by the State President. It should report to the State President.
This report, which was signed unanimously by members of the Commission, concludes as follows—
Bearing these few passages in mind and reading, in addition, in the second interim report, that the Commission stated—that is the report that dealt with certain activities of Nusas leaders—that urgent action should be taken, we know that the Government did take urgent steps. After the Government had taken urgent steps, we had outbursts from various quarters with respect to the action of the Government on the one hand and on the other hand the cardinal question which remains unanswered today in the voters laps: Is the United Party going to take part in this standing committee which the United Party itself recommended? Mr. Speaker, it becomes essential that this question should be answered. In this connection we can quote you passages. We look at The Argus of 9.5.1973 where the hon. member for Wynberg, in a pointed article in that newspaper, criticized the existence of this Schlebusch Commission and in which she said, inter alia, that members of the House of Assembly could rather be used to serve in a so-called “multi-racial commission”, rather than for investigating certain organizations. We also look at what the hon. member for Wynberg said in New Nation of June 1973 in which she expressed complete condemnation not only of the activities of the Schlebusch Commission, but apparently also of other activities. We know what the utterances of the United Party leader in the Transvaal were on this matter. We also see in the Rand Daily Mail of 23.7.1973, when the third report of this commission was published, a report which the hon. the Prime Minister personally, and this Government, gave a great deal of attention, what the Opposition said in this connection. What did we get from the ex shadow-Minister of Education, from the former shadow-Minister of Education of the United Party? What did she have to say in the Rand Daily Mail? I quote the heading from the Rand Daily Mail of 23.7.1973. It reads as follows—
The hon. member for Wynberg laughs at the report, the third interim report of the Commission, she who was the former shadow-Minister of Education and at the same time of Youth Affairs on that side of the House. What is more, the hon. member for Wynberg, notwithstanding all this, is today still sitting on that side of the House. I do not know whether she takes any notice of that side of the House, but she is sitting there.
What does the hon. member for Green Point say about this?
I shall still be coming to the hon. members for Green Point and Orange Grove. If an hon. member like the hon. member for Wynberg, who has even threatened to stand as an independent, is allowed, in public and in this House, to discredit reports signed jointly with us by that side of the House, we want to know from the Opposition what we must say to the voters of South Africa today. What is the Opposition prepared to do with respect to these reports which have been published and which we know will be embodied in legislation? The hon. member for Green Point and the “to be or not to be” hon. member for Orange Grove must tell us where they are going. The “to be or may not be” hon. member for Orange Grove and the hon. member for Green Point—the hon. member for Mooi River is not here now—must tell us what they are going to do, because the matter is going further. When the hon. member for Yeoville decided to pool his forces with the National Party, where he belongs, the hon. the Prime Minister gave the Leader of the Opposition the opportunity to assign someone in the hon. member for Yeoville’s place. [Interjection.] The hon. member for Green Point must not get excited. The hon. Leader of the Opposition had the opportunity. After the Bloemfontein congress they said they would continue with this matter, and now the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has had the opportunity—the hon. the Prime Minister told him he would create the opening for him—to assign a person to the Schlebusch Commission in the hon. member for Yeoville’s place. You must remember, Sir, that at that stage the spade-work with respect to the Nusas report had almost been competed, and that a start had already been made on inquiries into the Christian Institute and the Institute of Race Relations. Those are two matters that were referred to this commission of inquiry. The United Party is now getting the opportunity to assign a new person to this Schlebusch Commission. What does the hon. the Leader of the Opposition do? The hon. the Leader of the Opposition does not know what to do and decides that no one will be assigned to the Commission in the hon. member for Yeoville’s place. This now gives rise to a question. We are certainly entitled to ask: “Is the United Party prepared to stand by the first two interim reports which they signed with us jointly? Is the United Party still prepared to have this Commission consist of members of the House of Assembly?” The hon. the Leader of the Opposition had the opportunity to assign a member of the House of Assembly to the Schlebusch Commission, but he does not do so. The reports mention that there are alarming aspects and that action must be taken. Mr. Speaker, there is agreement on that; and the alarming aspects and urgent steps are most certainly aimed at safeguarding South Africa. If the United Party consequently does not see its way clear to taking part in getting these final reports before Parliament by nominating another member, as the party is entitled to do, the hon. member for Orange Grove and the hon. member for Green Point must answer all those questions for us today, because I believe the U.P. leader of the Transvaal insisted that there should not be another U.P. member assigned to the Schlebusch Commission. Sir, I do not know whether the United Party leader of the Transvaal or the hon. the Leader of the Opposition had perhaps become worried when the hon. member for Yeoville decided to join the National Party and perhaps thought the Schlebusch Commission could possibly have something to do with it. Then the United Party leader of the Transvaal of course insisted that no United Party member should again be assigned to the Commission because he is not in favour of the United Party’s participation. The hon. member for Wynberg is not in favour of it either. She was annoyed that she had not been appointed as a member of the Commission; that is very clear, and it is clear that under these circumstances we must ask the Opposition to specifically answer our questions about security of South Africa. We can go to the voters on 24 April with these reports, which Opposition members signed jointly with us and ask them whether they agree with the United Party’s actions.
May I ask the hon. member a question?
Sir, the hon. member for Green Point may ask his Whip for a turn to speak. He will then get a much better opportunity to explain the Opposition’s standpoint.
Will you support me to get the final report tabled before the election?
Sir, I can say this to the hon. member for Green Point: We on this side are as anxious as he is for the final reports to be tabled. That hon. member knows specifically why the final reports on Nusas cannot be tabled yet. We are certainly eager, as that hon. member is, for the reports to be tabled. I can understand that the hon. member is getting worried, because these questions are going to be put to them during the election. I wonder whether the U.P. leader of the Transvaal is not perhaps waiting with the hon. member for Orange Grove’s nomination until he has heard whether these reports are going to be tabled or not. I am actually sorry for the hon. member. But, Sir, I cannot be too sorry for him, because the hon. member was looking for it, and since hon. members of the Opposition have been looking for it, they should accept it in its present light.
Sir, I want to conclude by saying that this matter is of cardinal importance to us and that we cannot allow the United Party to run away from this matter in this debate. This is the last debate in which these two parties will have the opportunity of putting their standpoints with respect to this extremely important matter, and the United Party will have to say whether they endorse the first two reports they signed; whether they are going to co-operate with the Government in achieving the objective of this standing committee, or whether they are not going to co-operate. This will be of importance to us on 24 April.
Mr. Speaker, this is perhaps the last time I am going to address the House, since I am not returning, but whether I am here in the House or living in East London, I shall always be under the same cloud of uncertainty as far as the security of the country is concerned, because I am going back to a part of the world where there are so many unemployed that they are a powder-keg as far as the security of the country is concerned. The hon. member for Christiana, who spoke of the security of the State and the reports of the Schlebusch Commission, should rather speak of the hundreds and thousands of people who cannot earn their bread and butter, because that is where our country’s security is being threatened, and that is where the Government has fallen so far short. [Interjection.] I shall still always have those dangers hanging over me like a cloud. The hon. member for Christiana surely knows that the final reports on Nusas, etc., have not yet been tabled, and it is therefore an unreasonable question to ask members on this side what their reaction to those reports will be. [Interjection.]
Sir, I am not all that much younger than that hon. member, but I can tell him this: There are enough members on this side of the House who were members of the Schlebusch Commission and can answer his questions. It is not necessary for me to answer them.
Sir, I want to come back to an accusation I made here last year on 4 May in a debate on the Justice Vote. I am sorry the hon. the Deputy Minister of Police is not here at the moment. On that occasion I charged the Government with having been partly to blame for this unemployment and unrest, because it emanates from the Government’s policy. They shift people from the Western Cape and go and plonk them in the Eastern Cape and in the Ciskei. We have examined the statistics and the hon. the Deputy Minister was so worried that he said he would go there accompanied by someone from the Department of Bantu Administration to investigate the position. Sir, I want to give him full marks for that—he did so at the end of last year. He was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration, Mr. Janson, and the Chief of Police, Gen. Crous, and they were there for two days. In the two days there was a meeting of Bantu, 500 of them, some of the leading Bantu of the Eastern Cape and the Border, who were addressed by both the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and the Deputy Minister of Police in connection with the security of the area. At that meeting the Bantu’s attitude about what could be done to make the area safer, emerged. It must certainly have been a revelation to the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and the Deputy Minister of Police to hear those peoples’ views on what could be done to make the area safer. The next day there was another meeting of the agricultural representatives of the whole Border area’s agricultural union, the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Industries. Then the situation was discussed again—what could be done about the thousands upon thousands of unemployed Bantu in the area. Discussions centred upon stock theft, burglary and a hundred and one other things. I must mention the figures. The Commissioner of Police said that in 1972, in East London’s urban area, 1 900 people were arrested who were there illegally and who had committed crimes, and in 1973, during the first nine months of the year, 3 900 were arrested. Those were people who did not live there, who were not allowed to be there, who committed crimes. They had no work permits or other documents to be there. But that is not the fundamental matter. The question is why these things happen; what is at the heart of it? The fundamental reason is that there are tens of thousands of people who are registered as unemployed and do not work. Now, if someone does not work, how does he live? The only alternatives are surely begging and committing crimes. There are surely no other alternatives. Then the solution must certainly lie in seeking the answer to the question as to what one should do with these large numbers of people. It is no use mentioning statistics here, as the hon. the Deputy Minister did yesterday, about how many unemployed there are, how many there are in the border areas and how many there are in the Bantu areas. The fact remains that my information comes from the Department of Bantu Administration and from the Chief of Police himself. The latest information I have is that in Mdanzane, with a population of almost ¼ million—officially the figure is 120 000—there are 15 000 registered as unemployed. Duncan Village, which lies inside the White area, to the south of East London, has an official population of 80 000, and 10 000 Bantu men and 5 000 Bantu women are registered as unemployed. I am only taking those two areas. I have not mentioned Sada, Dimbaza, Ilingwe and all the other Bantu townships being created, by the Government with its building programmes and housing schemes, as urban areas within the Bantu areas. I just want to deal with those two areas, and I want to tell you that in those two areas there are 30 000 persons registered as unemployed, persons who would like to work. But the Chamber of Commerce comes along with another story at the meeting. They say I am talking nonsense; there are 60 000, because half of the people coming to them for work have no work permits. They want to work for low wages so that they can just earn something to buy food with, and if they register themselves as being unemployed, the others expect them to negotiate for a certain wage. In other words, if a Bantu comes to me looking for work as a gardener, and I ask him where his permit is, he says he does not have a permit, but he will work for R1 per day, while it is expected of them not to ask for less than R1-25 or R1-50. This is not regulated by a trade union; it is an agreement between the people themselves. I then ask: “For heavens sake, if in that area—I am now speaking only of the Eastern Cape—there are 30 000 people registered as unemployed, what is the position in the rest of the Republic?” What is the use of telling me there are only 82 000 persons registered as unemployed in the Bantu areas? That is surely unadulterated drivel in the light of the fact that in that area alone there are 30 000 people registered as unemployed. I have not included the other areas that are also becoming large cities. Other areas of this kind are, for example, Dimbaza and Sada and Ilingwe, further north and near Whittlesea. Those areas also have a population of about 60 000 to 80 000. If that is the position in the Eastern Cape on the borders of the Ciskei, how many unemployed are there throughout the Republic? Could one imagine a greater powder-keg than specifically that created by people who do not have work and cannot get work either? A while ago I heard a stupid question from the other side: “Do they want work?” A person who is hungry does want work, of course.
I am sorry the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education is not here at present, because I hesitate, in his absence, to quote what he said at the meeting of farmers and urbanites. Nevertheless, he said he had flown over the area in the direction of Sada and that he had seen a terrible amount of soil erosion. He asked whether the farmers could not hire the unemployed Bantu, even at a low wage, so that it could at least be made possible for them to buy food? If an hon. Deputy Minister gets to the point of asking such a thing, I say it is already late in the day. The hon. the Deputy Minister surely knows of criticism being levelled against the farmers. It is said that the farmers are not paying the Bantu wages that are high enough. The hon. the Deputy Minister knows, surely, that although we have that problem, there are myriads of machines doing the work. How can the hon. the Deputy Minister then say we must do away with those machines so that we can give the Bantu work at low wages? He wants us to give the Bantu work in the same way we did with the poor white problem in the ’thirties, when dozens of Whites walked along the roads and railway-lines looking for work. We are surely not living in those times anymore. Neither are we still living with such a complex either. After all, one cannot pay a person a lower wage merely because he is perplexed and hungry. One cannot give him his bread and butter that way.
I have already asked the Government countless times whether they are prepared to establish the necessary facilities. The facilities I am requesting are great in number. In the first place there is technical training. I am saying it is already late in the day to begin with that now, because we have hundreds of thousands of Bantu who are not technically trained to do any work other than perhaps pick and shovel work or street-sweeping. Is the Government not prepared to expedite the establishment of those facilities and to spend a lot of money on that so the Bantu can receive technical training to enable them to take up their places and hold their own in the economy of our country? This Government has contributed to those Bantu settling there, because it is the Government that created those complexes there. The Government is still continuing to create such complexes there. In respect of Mdantsane, where there are already 250 000 people living, the building programme for the next three years makes provision for 30 000 houses. Measured against the number of Bantu residents per house, 30 000 houses offer accommodation to an additional 250 000 Bantu because we know that an average of eight or nine Bantu live in one house. As soon as there are 500 000 people living in Mdantsane there will be 100 000 people registered as unemployed. In the meantime we continue with this policy of establishing large sites within the Bantu areas which are right up against White areas. We are creating such cities as potential labour sources for the industries we hope will be established there, but which in reality are not being established there. Why are industries not being established there? Because people do not have confidence in that area. What people can have confidence in that area? Just look what is happening in the Ciskei.
Why do they not have confidence in that area?
I do not want to shatter the confidence the industrialists ought to have in that area. I shall continue making efforts, in Parliament and outside Parliament, to encourage industrialists to go there. On my travels abroad and in this country I have already told people so many times that the Border is the most wonderful area for the establishment of industries. There is water, an abundance of labour, cheap Escom power—everything an industrialist could ask for. Time and again, however, I am asked whether they would be safe there. They ask me: “Is the Government not allowing the area to go Black by default?” Do they not plan, in any case, that it should be a Black area? It is not the intention that the East London area and its environs should simply be the harbour to serve the Ciskei and the Transkei at a later stage? I was amazed today upon hearing the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development saying that along the Transkei coast there are harbours other than Port St. Johns which are just as good as Port St. Johns and perhaps even better. That is not so. Port St. Johns could be converted into a first-class harbour. There are no other harbours of that kind in that area. I do not want to argue about that, and I do not want to argue about what could happen to the long stretch of coast and a harbour when a homeland becomes independent. Do not let us say that the Russians or the Chinese would make a point of gaining a foothold. The Americans would be stupid if they did not make a point of gaining a foothold. As long as that situation exists in those areas, as long as there are the crowds of people who do not have any earnings, the problem will remain in that these conditions can supply the spark to explode the powder-keg of revolution now and in the future. The situation is not improving, is getting worse by the day. Does this deviate from the Government’s policy? Is driving them from here to there anything but Government policy? What of the Government’s policy of moving the Bantu from the Coloured areas like Middelburg, Burgersdorp and all those areas to Sada and Dimbaza because there they get free houses and free rations? About that story of free houses and rations I have repeatedly spoken in this House. The fact remains that if a person cannot supply work to those people, yet continues with the development at Richards Bay and Saldanha at the cost of thousands and millions, what use is it? We have nothing against the development at Saldanha and Richards Bay. If the country can afford it and that kind of development is necessary, let us do it in heavens name, but let us then also take note of that area where the two Bantustans border on each other. There are myriads of Bantu in that area, more than in the whole KwaZulu, but there is no development by the Government taking place. The Government has no development plans there. Years ago large pieces of land were bought up for the development of an Iscor, but heavens know what for. There has been no development there in spite of the fact that we have already said frequently that some or other subsidized industry must be established there, whether it be Sasol, Iscor or whatever. The Government must show confidence by establishing an industry there on those plains on which East London has developed, particularly since R6 million was spent on the development. All the facilities have already been established. In speaking of the plains at East London, I am speaking of the Berlin plains, where all the facilities already exist. Three industries have thus far had confidence enough to begin there since there are railway-lines, water and everything one could imagine. As long as the Government is not prepared to establish a plant there, to establish there a nucleus of confidence so that industrialists can go along, there will be no industrial development. I want to say again what I have already said repeatedly: We who come from that area, and not only us, but also those who come from Brits and other areas near the Bantu areas, see many people walking round without work.
Where is that?
I said at Brits and in other areas lying up against the Bantu areas. There are so many of the Bantu who are walking round and do not have any work to do. As long as the Government is not prepared to face up squarely to that problem, we have no need to speak of a Schlebusch Commission and their reports about the security of the country and of the State. Let us speak of the necessity for each South African citizen—and those Blacks are surely all South African citizens—to get the opportunity of receiving wages for his labour. My hon. leader was so right when he said this Government is a security risk. It is a security risk with respect to this matter more than any other. It does not create possibilities for every citizen of this country to work and earn his bread and butter. As long as we have that situation—and I am saying this irrespective of the statistics that are quoted—of thousands upon thousands of unemployed non-Whites, and eventually also unemployed Whites, this country will be unsafe for White people, Black people and Brown people to live in. The reason for this lies with that Government which is a security risk for South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, as one Young Turk to another I should like to reply briefly to the accusations levelled by the hon. member. Decentralization is the policy of this Government. We often heard in this debate that the bad reputation we supposedly had abroad was imputable to this Government. Those accusations were answered effectively by hon. members on this side. Now I want to make a counter-accusation by telling the hon. members of the Opposition that if decentralization has not yet succeeded as effectively as we want it to succeed, I also lay it at their door that through their suspicion-mongering they have tried to disrupt the policy of decentralization, that they did not exercise on industrialists such influence as they may still have with them in this country, that from day to day they have opposed this policy which creates employment opportunities and have in that way also hampered the creation of such employment opportunities. I also want to level the accusation at them that the attitude adopted by them has discouraged the investment of capital in border industries, and that in doing so they have done the country no favour. It is true that there is a high rate of unemployment in the Eastern Cape, and the figures mentioned here by the hon. member are included in the official figures furnished by the hon. the Minister of Statistics. It is true that where bottlenecks arise, this Government will do everything in its power to create employment opportunities by making further concessions, should this prove to be necessary, so that this country may grow economically and so that there may be opportunities for every man, irrespective of colour, to earn his bread if he is prepared to work. This we have done, and this we shall continue to do. The hon. member need not be worried. Instead of raising a dust here about the matter, he should merely have done what I did in my constituency. When I had problems with my Bantu, I picked up the telephone and obtained the co-operation of the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development and his Deputy. Within a week the threatening problems in my area were solved as a result of the capable manner in which they had handled them.
Do you perhaps think that I did not do that? I had a man there.
If the hon. member had a man there, it was unnecessary to make this speech. I accept that he had a man there. In that case he may as well sit back; things will come right. They will receive the attention of this Government, which is prepared to throw in its full weight in the creation of employment opportunities. After all, that is precisely our policy. However, the question is whether the hon. member did keep himself informed of the position and whether he made a report in good time, when he had to do so. It is specifically in this regard, and further to what I have said so far, that I should like to emphasize the contrast between the National Party and the United Party, particularly with regard to their approach in respect of their policy. To the hon. members opposite who so often say that we do not talk about our policy, I want to say that we believe in the policy of separate development. That is the first difference. They have a policy in which not all of them believe. Everybody believes in his own interpretation of it. We on this side believe in a policy which was not created in a constitutional committee and then interpreted variously even before it had seen the light, but in a policy which is based on principles. There are two distinguishing main principles on which the policy of separate development has been based. On the one had there is the principle that we shall maintain our own identity and also grant others that right. We could give many other names to it: The policy in terms of which every group is entitled to its distinctiveness and that it has the right to preserve and develop its distinctiveness. On the other hand there is the policy of separate development which is based on as strong a principle, namely the principle of human dignity for all people. That is why we grant everybody the right to develop to the full, to develop his talents fully and to achieve the maximum of which he is capable. [Interjections.] We not only grant them that, but also promote this by way of investments to the value of millions of rand. We promote this by way of a positive education policy and by way of the establishment of universities.
May I ask the hon. member a question?
I am not prepared now to reply to a question. We are helping them in all spheres. We could take every Government department, one by one, and point out the positive monuments erected by us in order to make separate development succeed and in order to help, confirm and protect every man in his human dignity.
What about the urban Bantu?
That is why we have no feeling of guilt. But what are the hon. members on the Opposition side doing on the other hand? They have come forward with a new-born federation policy. What is, fundamentally, the motivation of that policy?
To save South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, that hon. member says it is their motivation to save South Africa. Their motivation, as it becomes apparent from the speeches which we hear, is to keep the non-White in this country in an inferior position as long as possible. That is how they are selling it, in the rural areas anyway—I do not know how Mr. Schwarz is selling it. If one had to set to work with such a motivation, one asks oneself how they can expect the co-operation of the others who must also share in this federation. [Interjections.] They ask me for proof for the motivation I am laying at their door. Let me refer them to the prolonged role which they are assigning to this Parliament as the regulator of their proposed federation. I want to refer them to the guarantee given by them, namely that a referendum will be held amongst the White voters before certain matters will be delegated.
Are you against it?
I want to refer them to the assurance given by them that the powers will be delegated gradually. It is very obvious that their motive is to entrench the position of the Whites. If, as against this, one tries to visualize what the motive of the Bantu, for instance, would be in going along with this federation, I accept that the Bantu will definitely not share these sentiments of the entrenchment of the Whites. Surely their motive would be to make their numerical strength felt. Our common sense tells us that the Bantu would be against such a federation right from the start, that they would rather view it as a point of departure from which they could start getting a new dispensation, if they could be induced to accept it. From this I want to draw the conclusion that the United Partys’ federation, if they should ever come into power, will either never get off ground or unleash, from the very start, an unprecedented power struggle within that new political structure which they want to create. It is not only I who believe this. Dr. N. J. Rhoodie said in his book “Apartheid and Partnership” (translation)—
That is what they want—
If this has not been the case elsewhere, why do they think it will be the case here? A person who tried to make it work, who at first accepted and wanted to implement this policy, which is now being propagated by them, Sir Roy Welensky, said the following in the course of an interview with this author, as reported by the latter—
This is their policy again. If it is analysed, it is “partnership” in essence—
That is why I say that this plan of the Opposition has no viability. That is why the policy of the National Party is and remains the only alternative, a policy which is so firmly based on principles that we except our leaders to interpret that policy. It is not manipulable as their policy is, as Mr. Harry Schwarz wants to manipulate it with his declaration of faith, and as other members in this debate have tried to manipulate it to the right in order to take a firm line with the Young Turks. The hon. member who has just entered, also tried to do this. Therefore, the salvation of this country and all its peoples lies in separate development alone, and I feel free to say that the contrast between the Opposition and the Government, as specifically pointed out in this debate once again, has reassured me that we shall come back after 24 April, stronger than ever.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just sat down made great play of the fact that the policy of the Nationalist Party with regard to separate development is the only one that has any measure of success. It is our contention, and we have said so quite clearly, that the policy of separate development, as enunciated recently, during the last week, in this House by the hon. the Prime Minister, involves the fragmentation of the country into what he calls “a number of economically viable independent blocs” which he hopes will by treaty be able to work together as one economic power bloc. “’n Magsblok in Suid-Afrika” was, I think, the term, he used. History in Europe has made it absolutely clear that if there is any road that leads eventually to conflict and war, it has been this type of “magsblok” which over the last century haunted the whole of European history until they formed federations, such as the Federal States of Germany, and Italy began to combine her various provinces into one united country in the form of a federation, initially. Switzerland too formed a federation. Even in France the various provinces were at arms with one another. All these factors indicate that when you have this “magsblok”, these separate, broken-up states, linked together by economic links, the eyes of the “have-nots” grow larger and their stomachs emptier as they watch the “haves” enjoy all the good things of life. Unless we are going to have completely and absolutely viable and independent states that enter into economic contact with each other, we are doomed from the moment we start. In fact, if we talk about a security risk, we have one in the very statement of the Prime Minister on this question of an economic bloc which I believe, and which I am sure we all believe, was announced without any real deep thought as regards detail and possibilities. In my view, it is an ad hoc election gimmick. It can only lead to an increased security risk from a Government which is embarking—if it ever will—on a policy which can only lead to conflict in this country. Before we can form any viable independent States, we shall have to give them, particularly in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, every possible assistance. Has the hon. the Minister of Finance even contemplated making provision for this immense amount of money which has to be spent for this purpose? It is only in federation, Sir, where you have a common loyalty to a State, where the good things of the country are made use of for the benefit of all sections of the people, where each particular group will have its own powers at local, provincial and greater than provincial level, and where it will eventually be responsible to a federal body which will take powers from the Central Government in an orderly way that security lies. I need not go into details. Every hon. member in this House knows that you can eventually lead these nations to a stage where they can become viable, understand each other and have a common loyalty, and have that so-called economic link which will be established not between the “haves” and the “have-nots” but between people who have a common citizenship in the wider concept of a federation. Instead of fragmentation, we seek federation. The whole of the hon. member’s point of view is based on a myth. Despite the boasting of the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, I still do not know that they will yet bring the first independent State they have in mind to a state of viability. Even the infrastructure is not yet ready. One can travel through the Transkei and the Ciskei and see thousands upon thousands of hectares completely denuded of vegetation, completely untouched and completely neglected. Where is the infrastructure? Where is the skilled manpower? Where is the training that has to be given? Does the hon. member who has just sat down have any conception in regard to what is necessary in order to create a viable State of some three million people? Just see what is needed in the Republic of South Africa to enable us to have a viable State! No, Sir, I am afraid that the hon. member was simply talking politics. It is all very well to quote from books, but let me tell him this.
May I put a question to the hon. member?
If you wish.
Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member aware that it is the policy of his party to regard five of the existing eight Bantu homelands as being economically viable? Is he aware of that fact?
No, I am not aware of it because I cannot believe it! Mr. Speaker, even if I were aware that this was what the Nationalist Government thought, I would think that they were crazy because nobody can conceive of such a possiblity in the Republic of South Africa today. Let the hon. member give me an example of one of the States that is today economically viable. It may be the policy to make them viable. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to have a debate with the hon. member across the floor of the House. He will have an opportunity to put his point of view later on. The position is, Sir, that unless we are prepared to make use of our own finances, our own wealth, our own skills and our own direction to create viable States, the whole policy is doomed. It is an impossible task in the light of happenings of the day. You must remember, Sir, that we still have not dealt with more than half of those nations who are living in the Republic of South Africa and who, according to the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education, will remain here for years and years to come. The words which he used in a broadcast once were “jare en jare lank”. For years and years to come they will be with us in the Republic of South Africa.
May I ask the hon. member a question?
No, I have no time to reply to questions now. Mr. Speaker, can you tell me how it is possible to create these viable nations and to form an economic bloc with them when, as the Prime Minister himself has stated, we give them no rights whatsoever at all? The hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education says the very same thing. They will have no rights at all; they will have no opportunities at all in the Republic of South Africa, where they will outnumber the White population by far, and yet he expects to establish viable Black States with whom we can establish economic links. The whole thing is a pipe-dream and the whole world knows it.
Do you want that land to lie idle?
Nobody believes that it is possible. Nobody in this country, not even the supporters of the Nationalist Party, believe that the Government can ever create so many viable independent States which can have economic links with the Republic of South Africa. By the year 2000 there will be 62 million Blacks in this country, of whom nearly 40 million will be in the White Republic of South Africa. Sir, if hon. members can answer that question, I would be very pleased to hear the answer. As it is, Sir, the hon. the Prime Minister cannot even tell us what he is going to do with the 8 million Coloureds and Indians in the White Republic when these economic links are established with these independent Black States. He has no idea what he is going to do with them. They have no sovereign rights here and yet they will be “independent” people. It is this sort of utter nonsense that we have to listen to from day to day on this question of separate development. Sir, let me tell you another interesting thing that the hon. the Deputy Minister said to the public. This egg-dancing on his part is unbelievable. He has now come to the conclusion that the word “apartheid” is a dirty word. He says: “Dit moet verdwyn”.
It is a “swearword”.
He does not even want to hear about it; it must disappear; we must not talk about apartheid in our country; we must only talk about separate development. When we talk about the urban Bantu, we must think in terms of separate development where each man can have all the same rights and privileges as any other person. That is the sort of preaching that we hear from the hon. the Deputy Minister when he talks over the radio, which he uses for political purposes. His other statements to other bodies which he has addressed are almost laughable, because in spite of what that side preaches, we find there is no action. We see no evidence of anything substantial being done. The hon. member for Houghton flattered the hon. the Deputy Minister by saying that he at least tries to think in these terms, in spite of the fact that nothing is being done. Perhaps his hands are bound and he cannot do what he would like to do. The word “apartheid”, which was part of the “Swartgevaar” slogan that was used by the party on that side of the House to frighten the public, a word which began to stink all over the world, has now suddenly become something that is unpleasant also to the hon. the Deputy Minister, something that has a bad odour and that must disappear. Sir, I would like the hon. member who has just spoken to bear that in mind.
Sir, I represent an area in the highly industrialized Witwatersrand, where we have to face the facts as they are. The people I represent are concerned about a few very important issues, one of which is the high cost of living; the other is the question of pensions. I must point out that the hon. the Minister of Finance, in presenting his Part Appropriation Bill this year, departed from the policy followed by his colleagues. Whereas the hon. the Minister of Transport, in presenting the Railways and Harbours Part Appropriation Bill, simply gave us the history of the past year, as did the hon. the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, the hon. the Minister of Finance became a fairy godfather and, as was pointed out by the hon. member for Parktown, repeated his performance of 1970. He gave a few concessions to the people. Well, Sir, the pensioners are very grateful for the little largess that he gave them, but, Sir, he has not resolved the problem that faces the pensioners. I want to say that we on this side have pleaded the cause of the pensioners for years. We have pleaded for the removal of the anomalies that exist. We have pleaded for the pensioners because they are unable to survive unless there are homes for the aged in which they can get a subsidized rental. We have pleaded their cause because they have to pay higher prices for food, higher prices for clothing, higher transport costs, higher medical fees and higher rentals. Their pension, which was increased from R41 to R47, was not sufficient to meet their needs, and this small increase of 10% now, which is obviously contemplated for the whole of the next 12 months, will hardly enable them to cope with the continuous spiral in the cost of living. Although the increase in the cost of living index over the past year has been 10%, it will probably be 17% to 20% this year. I feel that the whole approach to the question of pensions is wrong. We should adopt the same approach as that adopted in other countries, where the approach is to help the pensioners to meet their difficulties and problems instead of merely giving them a pittance on which to live. Sir, we have called before from time to time for a national contributory pension scheme, inter alia, to iron out the present anomalies. We have pleaded for the removal of the means test to enable every person to get a pension which will enable him to make ends meet. Sir, this is done in Australia, in Britain and in America and in most Westernized countries, where the pension is fixed at a level which enables people to maintain a reasonable standard of living instead of having to live below the breadline, which is the policy which we have niggardly pursued over a number of years. Sir, as long as we have the means test, we are constantly going to have these awkward anomalies. Last year when we discussed this matter, we pointed out to the Minister that fewer than 3 000 of these people—in fact, I think fewer than 2 000 of them—have any provision for housing. Among the pensioners you have the anomaly that some people with assets get the full pension, whereas others without assets have to rely entirely on their pension. They are obviously worse off than those who have assets. We do not begrudge those people who have assets; in fact it is satisfactory to know that to some extent their needs have been met. We are pleased that the hon. the Minister, after pressure from this side, did away with the anomalous situation under which a civil pensioner who received a pension of R58 a month could not qualify for a social pension. This is a small concession, however, because these people are still subject to the means test. Sir, under a national contributory pension scheme everyone could have the opportunity of making contributions during his working years; the State would pay its contribution and every employer would pay his part, and people would be able to enjoy a pension in their old age, a pension which would enable them to live in a dignified manner and to cope with cost of living of the day. Sir, that is what we Wanted to bring about. I feel, having listened to what the hon. the Minister had to say in introducing the Part Appropriation Bill and having listened to certain hon. members on that side, that the Government is living in a euphoric world. Over the last two years, until some six months ago, our financial situation was gradually deteriorating. We attempted to boost our economy by all sorts of ad hoc steps, and suddenly we had what the hon. the Minister of Finance had been hoping and praying for; we had a windfall in the shape of a rise in the price of gold and that has literally saved the whole situation in South Africa. All we have heard now is about the wealth we are going to enjoy and the fact that we are able to maintain ourselves and our balance of payments because of this remarkable rise in the price of gold. But this is just an incidental thing that occurred. It is a very useful thing, and in fact it is a life-saver in many senses to the finances of the country, but the lower-income group enjoy no benefit from it. The little benefit of R28 million which the Minister has granted for the next 12 months, out of the total Budget which will amount to approximately R4 500 million to R5 000 million, is absolutely nothing, because he has not met the situation. Within a few months the whole of that additional amount of money will have been forgotten and it will have been lost in the constant spiralling of inflation and the cost of living. Two years ago I presented to the hon. the Minister a petition from the housewives of South Africa. These women are still worried. Talk to any woman today in this country and she will tell you that her household allowance, even though it has been increased gradually from time to time on her insistence, cannot buy what she bought three months ago or even a month back. Month by month the housewives of this country are finding it more difficult to feed and clothe their families and to maintain their standard of living. The lower-income groups particularly are feeling the pinch very much. I must really plead to the hon. the Minister to take note of what has been said about the subsidization of food. This is not the only country in the world where this has been pleaded for. In other countries it has been asked for and it has been done. The fact that we are going to have a big crop, which will save our agriculture and play an important part in regard to solving our export problems, in relation to the oil prices, etc., is no consolation to the people who have to buy food. Food is a vital factor in our lives. For the most underprivileged people in the country, the Bantua, I believe the figures show that they spend anything from 40% to 50% of their money on food. For the White people it is something like 25% to 30% of their income which they spend on food. It is therefore a very important and vital factor. We have also pleaded with the hon. the Minister from time to time that there should be state assisted medical aid for the country so that the poorer sections can be looked after in sickness as well as in old age, but no provision has been made in this regard in the Part Appropriation or even in the predictions of the Minister for the future. I may tell the hon. the Minister that practically every country in the Western world today makes some provision for medical aid. The U.S.A., as has been pointed out before, had it as one of the most important planks in its election platform in 1960, this whole issue of medical aid for the country, and particularly for the aged. It formed one of the vital planks in the election platform and it was eventually followed up by the Congress and the Senate and became an accomplished fact. Medicines and medical assistance in this country are costing more and more every day. In fact, even the State itself has played a certain part in inhibiting the help that medical aid schemes give by limiting the refund to 80%, by reducing it from 100% to 80% for certain reasons, much against the wishes and desires of the medical aid organizations themselves. Our greatest problem is the stop-gap compensation that is given from time to time to the lower-income groups. That is the problem we face. Although we plead for a change in the margin of taxation to encourage growth in the country, and in order to allow incentive to play its part in the growth of the country, we nevertheless are still very concerned with the fact that the stop-gap form of compensation to the lower-income groups is not meeting the situation and one wonders how they are going to survive.
One other matter which I would like to deal with is the question of housing. I think—I hope the hon. the Minister and his successor will bear this in mind—an obligation rests on us to play some part in providing accommodation for elderly people and more accommodation for the lower-income groups. There should be some scheme whereby they offload some of the enormous tracts of land which the Department of Community Development owns. Such a scheme should be embarked upon in co-operation with the building societies and other financial institutions in order to meet the situation today. I remember that in 1946 after World War II the city council of Johannesburg made some of its open land available and laid out large townships. Land in these townships was made available at the cost of the land plus services, to ex-servicemen returning from the war. The ex-servicemen could then buy the land cheaply and they could put up homes.
I believe that the Department of Community Development is the largest land-owner in the country. It has acquired considerable tracts of land over the years for all sort of purposes. A great deal of that land is unproductive from an economic point of view. A great deal of that land could be well made use of in order to formulate some scheme whereby the ever-increasing price of land can be met. The price of land is one of the important factors today in the ever-increasing building costs which we are experiencing today. If land were made available, there is no question that many financial institutions, which can be regarded as being more in the form of public bodies than private enterprise, will co-operate with the State in order to provide housing for these people. I hope that the hon. the Minister will take that into account.
My final point is that the Government has also failed to give any positive direction with regard to growth in this country. I want to point out to the hon. the Minister that a great responsibility rests on him to ensure a greater rate of growth than we have at the moment in order to meet the population explosion that is taking place and will continue to take place over the next 20 or 30 years. My hon. leader has also made reference to this question of growth. Growth is the most vital factor of all. It is not only for the State to try to encourage growth, it is not only for the State to bring about growth, but it is for the State also to encourage growth for industrialists. Last week I had a talk with a group of industrialists and I put this very point to them. They are well aware of the problems and they are anxious to play a part in co-operation with the State if the State will only co-operate with them, in order to promote greater and greater growth. One of the most vital drawbacks in the whole question of growth in our country is the inadequate use of the labour force. We hear these platitudes all the time: “We must make proper use of our labour force.” Read any statement by any hon. Minister anywhere and one will notice that he makes the grandiloquent statement: “We must make the best use of the labour force available in our country.” However, we do not find them doing it. We talk about training schemes, we talk about in-training schemes and we have heard of a small technical institution being established in one place or another, but nothing substantial is being done in the country in order to promote the availability of skilled and semi-skilled trained persons to play their part in the labour of the country.
If the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education is satisfied that this 10 million Blacks will remain here for “jare en jare lank”—it is a very nice alliterative quotation and that is why I like to use his own words—and as has been predicted by the hon. the member for Carletonville they will continue to grow in number so that in another 20 or 30 years they will number 40 million, then, unless somebody is going to play a part in developing growth and unless you are going to train them in some way or another, it will be impossible to meet the situation. We cannot expect windfalls from gold prices rising every 20 or 30 years. I think that that form of good fortune which has so far attended the very inefficient Government of this country over the last 25 years, cannot hold out too long. We are almost beginning to reach the end of our tether with the one important commodity which has always been of great value to us—the discovery of gold in the Orange Free State in the 1950s and the rise in the price of gold in the 1960s and in the 1970s. But you cannot play with your country’s future by relying purely on that. Therefore growth must be promoted. This is one of the vital factors.
The final point I want to make is in regard to the question of race relations. Unless the statements of the members of the Government party are translated into some form of action, unless the platitudes that are being given out from all platforms are translated into action, then according to thinking people, people who know the situation, we are going to sail into troubled waters. It is vital to the future of South Africa and that is why we must appeal to the Government that is in power at the moment—we trust it will still be only for the next two months—that something practical must be done without the Government merely indulging in platitudinous statements. They are very beautiful and we like them, but in fact nothing practical is taking place. I trust that the hon. the Minister responsible for that will take note of our opinion.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just resumed his seat made an appeal at the end of his speech to which I want to lend my full support. This is the spirit which in my opinion should exist in all of us, namely that each one of us should do everything possible to cultivate good relations between people. I want to tell the hon. member that we in this House can set the best example to the rest of South Africa, particularly to the ordinary people of South Africa. We can also set a negative example and that is what the hon. member who has just sat down, has done with this speech of his. The effect of such speeches is not only to cloud relations between White people and Black people, but also to cloud relations between White people and other White people, in that suspicion is being sowed among people, by attributing to others motives which one would not want attributed to oneself. For example, it is necessary for me to reply to him directly on one point. I regret it if things are taking place on a personal level, because I think we have far more important things to do than to try and make petty politics of this kind out of this matter.
It is not personal.
I just want to say that if any member puts words into my mouth which I have not uttered, particularly in the way the hon. member has done, taking into account the fact that I am responsible for the welfare of the Black people of South Africa—I apologize to no one for the fact that I will serve their interests to the best of my ability in accordance with the guidance of my party—I want to tell him at once that I shall strongly resent it. He spoke about the word “apartheid”. His intention in doing so may have been twofold. In doing this he may have intended to drive a wedge between me and other people in my party. Let me put it now as clearly as possible what apartheid means to me and has meant to me throughout the years; I, like the most extreme verkrampte—to use the word—believe in apartheid as we Afrikaans people have believed in it all these years. Not only have I found that an incorrect meaning and connotation has been attached to apartheid, not only have I asked people to use it less, but I follow the leaders of my party with pride because they express the principles of my party. That is why I have followed all of them. I want to read to the hon. member what Dr. Malan said in this connection on 4 June 1948 when he, too, warned people (translation)—
Later in his speech he said (translation)—
It has taken a long time to do that.
No, it has not taken a long time. It has taken a very long time for the hon. member to grasp what words mean. The hon. member implied that this was supposedly a new course which was being pursued and that I had misused the radio for political purposes. I just want to tell the hon. member what I said about apartheid in connection with the interests of my country and my people as I saw it and not in the interests of a political party. But perhaps there are some of my own people in the National Party who think a little different about this. I know that there are definitely people who are not in the National Party and who fight the National Party from another flank, who charge me with being a liberal. I want to read verbatim what I said, from the speech the broadcasting corporation gave me. In reply to a question put by the announcer I said (translation)—
I have also read what is contained in Dr. Malan’s speech. Now all I get every time from my good friend the hon. member for Hillbrow in reply to my argument, is nothing more than a cynical laught. I just want to tell him what his kindred spirits have helped to do to this matter, and then he has to judge for himself. I do not want to make any reproaches; I think we can differ from one another and fight one another. I do not want to abuse the occasion by saying that these utterances will resound across the world, but the kind of attitude adopted by the hon. member towards the concept of apartheid is what I was dealing with.
The Chairman of the Johannesburg City Council, of which this hon. member used to be a member, made an announcement which was accompanied by a flourish of trumpets. I want to quote him verbatim and if I do him an injustice, I shall ask for foregiveness. What he said, however, stands here within quotation marks. The newspaper report reads (translation)—
If hon. members want to reproach the radio, I just want to tell them that I would not make use of the radio to make a party political speech, unless authorized thereto by my leaders. I accept full responsibility for these things I have said, because any right-minded South African, White or non-White, who denies that this word is doing us damage in the world is merely denying what is obvious. Then there is talk of people in South Africa who are “petty”. In this “fateful moment” we are accused of a “lamentable approach”. What was “lamentable” about this approach? Do you regard it as a lamentable approach? I do not want to drag this into the political arena again—I should like to respond to the call of the mayor of Cape Town—but is it a lamentable approach if people in Sea Point, through their ratepayers’ association or whatever it is, stand up for their rights? There are other considerations which give rise to people taking certain decisions. I can at least see the other side of a standpoint too.
It is the responsibility of the local authority.
Allow me to tell the hon. member that he is very late in making this discovery. He was a member of the Johannesburg City Council.
I did a great deal. The hon. the Deputy Minister can ask his own people about that.
The hon. member’s own newspapers said, concerning the “great deal” which the hon. member says he did, that the facilities in the Johannesburg city centre were lamentable. You could see the photos of the facilities which had been provided for the Bantu and they barely even complied with health requirements. Did the hon. member take the trouble to read that? Now suddenly—this was not under pressure from the National Party—because the light was seen, there is a race to tell people and announce to the world what oppressors there are on this side of the House—by people who allegedly be doing so much good for so many people before long. Because it was in the interests of our country, I made an appeal here—and I want to repeat it—that we in this Chamber may safely remove a hurtful word from our vocabulary, a word which has acquired that hurtful meaning among non-Whites, among Bantu. Let me ask hon. members a direct question: Why have we removed other words from our vocabulary? Our decision to drop them came spontaneously and grew gradually. We as responsible people knew that if things were damaging to a country and clouded relationships, we should avoid those things. Why should I call a person a name if I know that in doing so I should be hurting him? Why should I continue to use a word in a country, notwithstanding the fact that it had been used throughout the years? Thereby I am not dissociating myself in the least from what I have always believed we have meant by the word “apartheid”. I am only saying that in general it would be for the best if leaders were to make less use of this word and, rather, if they positively believe in it, make use of the other expression, “autonomous development” and let us concede that we have reached the stage where we can have the emphasis falling on “development”.
†I now want to come to the second point the hon. member made concerning the viability that we must make possible in the homeland areas. I agree with him 100% and I wish to call on him for his assistance and the assistance of that side of the House. Let us face it. It is all very well to say that these different homelands will not be economically viable—let us for a moment assume that that is correct—but whether those homelands in themselves will be viable or not, the fact remains that they will remain homelands for many people, and those people will have to earn money somewhere to feed and house their families. Therefore we intend developing those homelands.
We are with you; we always have been.
If the hon. member says he is with me in this, why did he indicate earlier that he disagreed, or did I misunderstand him?
I have said I know it is the policy, but that I have never known of any practical achievements.
Well, although I have been trying very hard to follow the reasoning of the different speakers of the United Party. I am not able to do so. In doing so. I take into consideration the fact that at the moment they are not so much united, and that there are so many differences of opinion that they may well differ in this respect too, the one with the other. If it is a fact that those areas are not economically viable, why do we accept that Lesotho will remain Lesotho and that Swaziland will remain Swaziland? Why must we be assisting the people of Botswana too?
*Obviously it is nothing but an historical truth that the nucleus of a people has lived there for many years. Now I have said—and attempts have been made to drive wedges into this and attach connotations to it, and hon. members are welcome to do so—that the Bantu living in White South Africa, as we in the National Party see White South Africa, will be here for many, many years to come. I want to repeat that, and I accept the responsibility for that. Even if the ideal could be realized, of all of them being accommodated in their homelands, in permanent homes—I say this purely hypothetically—then those people would continue to live with us as our close neighbours in the greater geographic unit of the continent of Africa. Therefore it is our aim—I make no apology for this—to establish the best possible relations with and for those people. This I can only do within the framework of the National Party policy. I should not like to discuss in a political debate, matters in which human life is involved, but in pursuance of recent cases, I am forced to put a question to hon. members opposite. One reads these small reports and they pass one by, except when one is forced by the nature of one’s work to be involved with these matters day after day. A short time ago there was an unfortunate incident at the West Driefontein Mine in which a few Basutos, as well as a few belonging to another nation, lost their lives. There was a world-wide commotion about this. Like any responsible person I, like everyone else, was sorry that such a thing had happened in South Africa; such things are always prejudicial to us. But then it was said—today the statement was again made in a roundabout way—that the clashes and what went hand in hand with that, were concerned with the question of wage increases. I want to say that wage increases must occur, and these have already been announced. There must be better training, and this is being seen to. Housing must be expedited, and I agree with that. But then it was alleged that the main reason for the trouble was the question of wages. As a result of this incident a mass demonstration was held in Lesotho, for whose citizens we provide employment here. I should like to remain good neighbours with them too, but a few days ago something else took place, something which had absolutely nothing to do with wages. Rioting broke out at Welkom. I still do not know what the death toll is, but I do know how many left because they fled for their lives. This had nothing to do with wages, nor with a difference in the colour of the skin. Hon. members can go and check whether this is the truth; mine workers belonging to two Black nations within the geographical borders of South Africa, were involved. Ten thousand were working at those mines at Welkom on the day the rioting broke out. The next day there were 6 000. Four thousand left post-haste, and a number of them died. I have yet to hear that a mass demonstration was held in Lesotho to mourn those who died. We have not had a word of inquiry concerning the reason for this incident. I shall tell you what is concerned here. There is a fact from which we in South Africa simply cannot escape—that is why we need people who can approach matters objectively and acknowledge facts—and that is that we have a number of different Black nations in South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, you must excuse me but every time the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg District sniggers like that, I am tempted to make a sarcastic remark. But then on the other hand I call to mind an old saying from the Bible. I do not want to maintain that that is what the hon. member is, but when he behaves like that, I call to mind the old saying from the Bible, even when he laughs: “Answer not a fool according to his folly.” We are now talking about things which are of import to our country. I say to him that here we are dealing with a number of different peoples. If the hon. member for Houghton wants to tell the world in all honesty that she wants to see one unit in this House of Assembly, then as far as I am concerned she is welcome to that opinion and I say that she is honest in that respect. But my approach is totally different to hers. I believe that there are a number of different peoples. I further believe that the geographical history in Southern Africa, for example here in Rhodesia, has proved something to us. There was a federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and now I can understand the Blacks’ leaving that part where the Whites lived. But why do Malawi and Zambia, who have a common boundary, not have a federation? Why not? I can give you the simple answer. It is because of the same reason which has prevented this from happening in other parts of Africa and that is that the people there have their own cultures, their own histories and their own ambitions and their own traditional fatherlands.
May I put a question? Will the hon. the Deputy Minister tell us why it is true that there is peace where we have so many Blacks in Johannesburg and that, as occurred recently, there should be so much difficulty on that mine where only two peoples, the Basutos and the Xhosas, are together?
Mr. Speaker, I say this with great sorrow, but only for the information of the hon. member. I do not blame him because he does not live in Johannesburg, but his benchmate and the previous speaker will be able to inform him on this. I must say, to my profound sorrow—and the hon. member for Houghton has often spoken about this—that this is the truth. The faction fights and murders in Soweto in Johannesburg were so disturbing that the hon. the Minister of Police had to take drastic measures for a fully manned police station there, and just outside Pretoria we had to do the same thing. To say that this does not occur there, is simply not the truth. The hon. member for Houghton, because she takes an interest in this and has made a study of it in Johannesburg, will be able to furnish you with the figures. If you give me the time, I, too, will be able to furnish figures in regard to the number of murders and faction fights which take place there. If the hon. member has not heard of them, let his hon. Leader in Natal tell him what happened in KwaZulu recently. I ask the hon. the Leader in Natal whether it is not true that the assistance of the police was called in recently by the KwaZulu Government to act in connection with fights which took place even between tribal chiefs, not between various peoples. They even speak the same dialects, but these things still occurred.
What can we do in that connection?
I shall tell you what we can do about it. I am pleased that the hon. member is now beginning to ask for advice. Follow the policy of the National Party! Do not just tell people that you are going to help them to develop, but actually help them along that road of development.
That is correct, and centuries passed before that time. In the last 26 years much has been done to clear up that heritage which we received, the dilapidated walls and the ruins, and to clear the place in order to construct a new building. More has been done in those 26 years to clear up the ruins of many years than one could ever have thought possible. [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, I am talking about the building done by this party to the benefit of everyone, of all population groups, some directly and some indirectly. This is a matter of history and of time. It would be possible for me to speak of the history of Iscor and Sasol, and of other things done over the years, but let us not go back that far. Let us speak of the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam and the P. K. le Roux Dam and the Saldanha/Sishen project; let us speak of all those things which this Government has tackled and which we are going to carry out to the benefit of all the people of South Africa. I want to tell the hon. member that we are doing the building.
But in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, we have also been concerned with a security measure, and with that I come to the end of this reply with which I have unfortunately had to supply that hon. member, and that is that in the years which have passed, it has always been necessary for us to take steps to ensure the security of South Africa. The hon. member concluded a short time ago by saying that we must cultivate good race relations; I agree with him. Sir, there are other people who have said that. Dr. Verwoerd, in one of his most famous speeches, said that in order to achieve peace and quiet in South Africa, one would not need a mighty army, but what would be much better, would be to obtain the goodwill of people, and we want to obtain the goodwill of people. To make such allegations in this House as were made by the chairman of the management committee of Johannesburg, and which were repeated here by implication this afternoon by the hon. member, does nothing positive to create confidence in the word and the motives of the White man. As far as I personally am concerned, I want to say this: Among those Black people there are, unfortunately, also those—and these are not just Black people of their own race, but from overseas—who incite people and who use people, as traitors were used in a previous world war, to undermine the peace and quiet and order in South Africa for the Black peoples as well, and we must guard against them. We must still guard against them from day to day. In the course of this week measures will again be introduced to protect the security of the country; to make an end to these riotous assemblies which do our country no good and which are organized and instigated and fired by, to use a clergyman’s term, the powers of darkness.
And the Opposition is going to oppose them.
Those measures are still going to be announced. I have the fullest confidence, Sir, that the Opposition is going to support those measures. I know that the hon. member for Houghton has already said that she is going to oppose them. This afternoon the hon. member for Houghton mentioned one Act after the other, and described them as “laws of suppression”. She alleged, “Here one is banned and there another”, as though those laws are a suppression of human rights.
It is true.
The hon. member says it is true. Sir, it is not true. What the Government has done and what it is doing and what we have in mind, is not oppression. I am referring to steps to be taken by the Government because we are already planning for after 24 April, because we know that we shall govern again. Not only are we planning; we are working on those plans, because the National Party, as I have said about the Bantu who will be with us for many years to come, will continue to govern this country for many years to come. I want to say to the hon. member for Houghton that we shall pass these laws, not in order to oppress people, to take away the liberties of people, to deal with people as if they are inferior; we pass those laws to make this country safe for her against those people who want to know nothing of the security of South Africa; we make those laws to make the country safe for everyone. But we are not passing those laws solely for her benefit, nor for the sole benefit of the members of this Parliament, nor for the sole benefit of the Whites we represent; we are also passing them for the benefit of Black South Africa, for the Black people who live here, including the Black people of the Protectorates who live here. We pass these laws to make the country safe for South Africans in the geographic sense of the word. Sir, I want to tell the hon. member that what we are doing is also being grasped and appreciated to an ever greater extent by those people, in spite of the sowing of suspicion and incitement we have. I want to give South Africa this assurance: If we go on building after 24 April, then we shall once again go to meet a happy future, a fine future which we shall create for all the people of this country, a fine future which will ultimately also be carried further north to all the people of Africa.
There is one thing which must be said about the hon. the Deputy Minister and that is that his sincerity and his bona fides and his integrity cannot be questioned. That I am prepared to say of him. But I am sorry that he allowed himself to be provoked to lowering the tone he usually uses when he speaks in this House. I do not intend to follow him; I accept the gesture he has just made. The Deputy Minister started off by referring to the concept of nationalism and the concept of apartheid as applied by this Nationalist Party over the last 26 years, and he tried to show that what he understands by these two terms is not what is now generally accepted, not only in this country but overseas as well. Sir, I want to tell the hon. the Deputy Minister of an experience I had a little while ago in London when I met a group of Americans who asked me what this apartheid policy of ours was. I tried as far as possible to explain it to them, and as fairly as possible. Do you know, Sir, that they would not accept anything, until it dawned on me that these people were using two English words, “apart”; and “hate”. And that is what it has become. I want to ask the Deputy Minister whether he believes that if we remove that word it will remove the hurts. Words can mean anything and it does not matter what words we use, but there are hurts which are being imposed on people today in terms of this policy, and does he think that by removing that word he will remove the hurts? I want rather to hear from the hon. the Deputy Minister an appeal to remove the hurtfulness, the discrimination.
I said so in the same speech.
Yes, I grant you that, but let us have a greater emphasis on the removal of the hurtfulness and the degradation which follows on this policy. The hon. the Deputy Minister also dealt with the unrest that we had at Welkom. We are all very sorry about what happened at Welkom, but the Deputy Minister confuses two entirely different circumstances when he challenges the hon. member for Zululand and asks him whether it is not the same thing as the faction fight which took place in Zululand. I want to deny categorically that it is the same thing at all. I believe the Deputy Minister is honest enough to accept that. There is no parallel whatsoever between what happened in Welkom and what happened in Northern Zululand. The Deputy Minister confuses these two facts, and the result is that there is confusion is this House when we discuss this whole matter. He talks about “stamgevegte” in Soweto, but he speaks in the past tense. Have we not still got “stamgevegte” in Soweto today?
Are they “stamgevegte” like the faction fights in Zululand, or are they “stamgevegte” as between the Xhosas and the Zulus or between any other nations, as you like to call them, or are they gang fights?
I think if we really went into it we would find that the majority of these incidents to which the Deputy Minister refers are gang fights.
Yes, maybe tribal gangs, but not fights between “volkere”. That is the point. That is what I believe. As I say, the Deputy Minister’s sincerity can never be questioned. I believe he is doing a good job of work within the confines of the policy which handcuffs him so that he is unable to get his hands on to the job he has to do and to do it properly. The Deputy Minister heard during the no-confidence debate how my hon. leader and other members stressed the point that this Government has become a security risk in this country, and one of the points they raised was the fact of the hungry non-White people, and that this was the greatest security risk we have in this country, which has been brought about by this Government and by its Nationalist policies. The hon. the Deputy Minister knows that there are hungry Black people in South Africa today. He knows why they are hungry. He knows too why they are unemployed in this country. The other day I asked him a question, to which he replied on 15 February, about how many registered Bantu work-seekers there were in each of the Bantu homelands, etc. He gave me figures but unfortunately no figures for the Transkei. The figures which he gave me as at 30 June 1973 totalled 60 216. That figure referred only to registered Bantu work-seekers who we can assume were at that time unemployed persons. They were unemployed persons seeking work. They stood apart from those unemployed persons who had not registered as work-seekers. The hon. the Minister of Planning and the Environment and of Statistics gave us a few days earlier a figure of 85 000. Can I assume that the other 25 000 are all in the Transkei, or is there something wrong with the figures somewhere? This is part of the security risk to which my hon. leader referred. These 85 000 unemployed people are only the tip of an iceberg and I am sure that the hon. the Deputy Minister knows this. He knows that they are only the visible section of this vast mass of unemployed Black people who are going to cause trouble in this country. The hon. the Deputy Minister knows also that his system of control has broken down, that in some areas there are more unregistered Black people being employed today than registered. He knows that. Why is it happening? It is happening because they are hungry. The Black man today has reached the stage, because of the increase in the cost of living, that he can no longer afford to buy maize meal. He cannot buy his traditional “mieliepap” anymore. He is buying bread. He is being compelled to buy bread. He is being compelled to buy other forms of fat than those which were traditionally used by him. They are bypassing the control points of the hon. the Minister. They are by-passing the labour bureaux and the employers are taking them on. As the hon. the Deputy Minister has said, we are going to have further demands for increases in salaries and wages until such time as we can provide a living wage and adequate employment for all these people.
I really want to talk today on the question of the cost of living, the tremendous increase there has been in the cost of living in this country and the small, the miserable allowance which the hon. the Minister of Finance has granted to the poorer people in this country in the relief measures which he has introduced. I was constrained, when he introduced those measures, to comment: “Big deal.” The more I have gone into it, the more I have realized just how small this “big deal” of the hon. the Minister of Finance really is, especially when one looks at the tremendous increases that there have been in the cost of basic commodities which are basic to the poorer people in this country and the effects which this has had on the poorer people. What have the concessions of the hon. the Minister of Finance meant to the poorer people in this country? Five per cent on those items which have a sales tax of more than 20% and 5% on some of the basic foodstuffs which are still taxed with this tax. What does the hon. the Minister of Agriculture do? Did he get anything out of this Budget? Is he going to give any alleviation to the people of South Africa in the field of agricultural products? Has he obtained any more money for more subsidies out of this Budget? The answer is “no” in every case. He has not been able to get these subsidies. I want to have a look at the effect on the cost of living which is still coming, but before I do that, I want to mention some basic commodities and their prices, prices which I have taken from retail cost tables and which show increases since May last year because unfortunately I could not get a copy of an earlier edition. The period which I am going to mention commences in May last year and ends in January 1974. Baby food shows a price increase of 14%. Cocoa, which is basic to so many things which the housewife uses today, has had a price increase of 30%. The price of instant coffee has gone up by 25%. The price of coffee grounds has gone up by 17% whilst the price of tea has increased by only 7%. The price increase of tea was the lowest one I could find. This all happened in the space of eight months, not even a full year. The price of kaffircorn malt, or grain sorghum malt as we call it today, which is a basic foodstuff for the Black people, has gone up by 33% during the past eight months. The hon. the Minister of Agriculture knows the protein content of peanuts, and its price has increased by 25%. Com flakes, which is everybody’s breakfast, especially those who can no longer afford mealiepap because it has gone up so much, has had a price increase of 24%. The price of rice—admittedly this is not the fault of the hon. the Minister of Agriculture because it is imported, but it forms part of this increase in the cost of living—has increased by 65% in eight months.
It is imported.
I agree with that; I know that it is imported. The price of kidney beans, which is something that is not imported, has gone up by 62% in eight months! The price of canned fish has increased by 10%, canned meat by 25% and condensed milk by 18%.
It is imported.
Wait a minute; the hon. the Minister says that condensed milk is imported.
Twenty-three per cent of the condensed milk is imported. [Interjections.]
The hon. the Minister tells me that 23% of our requirements of condensed milk in this country is imported, and yet he told us the other day of the tremendous surplus of dairy products which we have in this country. How does he justify that?
Yes, but butter comes from milk. [Interjections.] Whether it is butter, whether it is cheese or whatever it is, these are dairy products. Let us hear what the hon. the Minister has to say. It all comes from milk and he is the one who has told us about the tremendous, the unmanageable, surplus which we have in dairy products. Yet we import 23% of our requirements of condensed milk. This is management; this is the way in which this Government is running the country. This is what they call efficient administration. We have a tremendous surplus of milk, some of which was being poured down the drain. I hope it is not the case any more; I have not had any evidence that it is still the case. We have butter in surplus, it is lying here, we cannot give it away overseas, and still we have to import condensed milk. What about powdered milk?
There is a shortage of industrial milk.
All this is milk, whether it is industrial or fresh milk. What is happening to the mill which was erected here in Cape Town a little while ago to make powdered milk? It is running at half, or rather 60%, of its capacity. If that is not so at what capacity is it running? How much? I want an answer. This is the point. This is mismanagement and this is the point I have been trying to make to this hon. Minister since the days when he was a Deputy Minister. The answer to this is marketing and this Government has to do something about channelling, marketing and distributing the products in the right way. They must not just say: “There is the milk; take it.”
How do you market butter in competition with yellow margarine?
It should not have been turned into butter in the first place. That is the answer to the hon. the Minister. It is the milk, the basic commodity, which must be marketed and distributed. It happens in other parts of the world. Why cannot it happen here in South Africa?
Because we have a Nationalist Government.
There you have the answer from my hon. friend from Port Elizabeth Central. It is because we have a Nationalist Government; that is the reason for this mismanagement. That is why we have this imbalance in this country. On the one hand we have a surplus of butter which is being stored at tremendous cost and which we are trying to export at a loss, on the other hand we have to import condensed milk, and powdered m<u>i</u>lk too? The hon. the Minister nods his head; we are importing powder milk too. Furthermore we are paying 23% more for it because we are importing it.
We are also importing cheese.
The hon. the Minister says we are also importing cheese. I accept that. I am afraid that is also one of the commodities which has increased in price.
Business suspended at
Mr. Speaker, when the debate was adjourned we had got to the stage where the hon. the Minister of Agriculture was trying to read me a lesson on the fact that there were two kinds of milk in this country, namely industrial milk and fresh milk. I was putting the case to the hon. the Minister that there was only one cow and only one product from that cow and that was milk. The fact that he is channelling milk one way and not the other way is not sufficient excuse to justify the fact which he declared here this evening that 23% of our industrial milk—and I do not know what percentage of our milk powder—is imported and that this is the cause of the 25% increase in the price to the consumer. I believe that the hon. the Minister has to look at this. All he has to do is to consider this as a question of distribution and supply, and to control that distribution. He has to channel this milk, this basic product, into the right quarters. There is another aspect to this whole matter. This whole question does not pertain only to milk and dairy products. The week before last in the no-confidence debate we had the hon. the Minister telling us that in Johannesburg he was facing a tremendous glut of potatoes. The Potato Control Board has told the producers not to send any more potatoes, because there was no room even to unload them. On the same day the hon. member for Maitland told us that he had bought potatoes that day in Cape Town at 23 cents for a 1 kg packet.
What is your point?
My point is that it is a question of distribution. The control boards are not doing their jobs. Why is there a surplus on the Johannesburg market when the situation in Cape Town is that for 1 kg of potatoes the housewife is being asked to pay 23 cents? On the Johannesburg market, in the words of the hon. the Minister, a farmer could not get 30 cents for a 15 kg pocket. And why? Because the Potato Control Board is not doing its job.
The same applies to the Banana Control Board and the fiasco we had earlier. It was exactly the same situation. The control boards are not doing their jobs. In fairness, let us give the hon. the Minister his due. He realizes and knows that most of these control boards are not doing their jobs properly and that is why he appointed a commission of inquiry. But I believe that the people of South Africa deserve some action now. They do not want to wait for the results of this commission of inquiry; they do not want to wait for the report which will come from this commission of inquiry when it has completed its work. They want some action now from this Government to try to help them with the burden with which they are loaded today, a burden which is compounded by the hon. the Minister of Finance. I have here a notice from a building society to a bondholder stating the following—
Then follows a complicated paragraph. It then goes on—
This is an added burden on the householder of South Africa today. Those who are not house owners who have to increase their bond repayments, those who are tenants, are faced with an increase in their rents as a result of this. What is the position of the house owners, the man who has saved and who has eventually put a deposit on a house and who had budgeted to the point where he can make the necessary repayments on his building society loan? In the past when the building societies increased their interest rates, they just sent a notice to the bond-holder to say that they would merely extend the period of repayment to cover it. But what is the position of the building societies today? They have to write this—
You are guessing.
I might be guessing, but the hon. the Minister was guessing too the other day, as we pointed out to him. Does the hon. the Minister know that in the last eight months cooking oil has gone up by 11 %? Does he know that the price of salt has gone up by 14%, canned vegetables by 33%, sweet corn by 18% and bar-soap, which the poor people have to buy because they cannot afford the more sophisticated types of soap, by 43 %? Does he know that toilet soap has gone up by 25% and meat paste, which you put on sandwiches, by 40% in the last eight months? I want to issue the warning to the hon. the Minister of Finance and to the hon. the Minister of Planning and the Environment and of Statistics, who is also by nature an economist, that the householder has still not got the full effects of all the increases. I am in the business and I know that there are bodies, voluntary organizations and chain stores, that have absorbed most of the increases. As my friend, the hon. member for Parktown, mentioned yesterday, whereas the retail index has gone up by 10%, the weighted index as far as householders are concerned has gone up by over 15%, and this difference still has to be passed on to the consumers. The traders, particularly those in voluntary groups, have absorbed that increase, but they cannot continue to absorb increases. They are today facing the situation where they are compelled to pass this on and only in the next few months is it going to reach the consumer. The increases up to now have been tremendous, but the consumer is going to have to face further increases unless the Government does something to alleviate the tremendous burden which this places on the householder today. I believe that this Government has lost interest in the man in the street. The hon. member for Port Natal said the other day that the Government has lost touch, and they have indeed lost touch. I believe that on 24 April the people of South Africa are going to give this Government the biggest shock they have had in 26 years. After 26 years of mismanagement the chickens of their policy are now coming home to roost and on 24 April they are going to get their answer from the people of South Africa.
Mr. Speaker, while the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg was speaking, he addressed the hon. the Minister of Agriculture all the time. To me he looked like a person who would have liked to be replied to by the Minister himself. But he is not important enough, and his speech was too poor; that is why I shall simply reply to him.
The hon. member tried here to make out a case with regard to the rise in the cost of living, and then he made the same mistake that had been made by the hon. member for Durban Point. At the end of his speech he said that the official figures indicating the rises in the cost of living could not be correct. He believed that they should be higher. Then he started mentioning his own figures, but he only mentioned a few examples which by no means included everything. Then he proceeded to base his whole argument on them.
The hon. member had a great deal to say about the increase in food prices. Now I want to tell him that he is apparently taking no notice whatever of what is happening in the world. Here I have a report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in which this is said—
Sir, that is the basic problem. Suddenly a major shortage of agricultural products has arisen in the world. This has resulted in the prices of agricultural products increasing all over the world. Now, this year we have a splended maize crop on the lands. At the moment the price of maize on the world market is R76 and more per ton, whereas the domestic price of maize for the producer is not even R45 per ton. Now I want to tell the hon. member that this is not only the position in respect of maize. The price of wheat is R132 per ton on the world market, whereas the domestic producer gets R80 per ton. The world price of peanuts is twice as much as ours here in South Africa. If that hon. member did in any way have the interests of South Africa at heart, he would have viewed this matter in perspective. Then he would have thanked the farmers of South Africa tonight for producing food so cheaply in our country and for there being no need for him to import that expensive food. The hon. member used many words and said nothing. If he wants to be a man tonight, he will tell us what the consumer price of the anticipated maize crop should be. Should it rise or drop? The hon. member has now told the Minister that he must do something about the matter before 24 April. Why does he not tell the Minister and the people of South Africa now what to do?
I did tell the Minister.
I ask the hon. member: Should the consumer price drop or rise?
The consumer price must definitely not rise.
Very well. Now what about the producer’s price?
That depends on the production costs.
But production costs have increased.
Then his price should rise as well—it should be subsidized.
Ah! Fine! No, we are beginning to make something of that hon. member. Last year’s subsidy in respect of food was R100 million. How far does the hon. member say should the authorities go? Should the subsidy be R200 million or R300 million this year? Does the hon. member not want to tell us how much? Is he afraid? Is he perhaps afraid of the electorate? That hon. member is not going to tell us. He says we must subsidize. His leader in the Cape said the very same thing yesterday, namely, that we must subsidize. Now I want to ask him something. The subsidy is definitely going to be just over R100 million. Should the sales tax be raised in order to do that?
Ask the Minister of Finance.
The hon. member says the Minister of Finance should decide. Is he too afraid to tell us himself? If he does not want to raise the sales tax, should the company tax be raised? [Interjections.] If the hon. member does not want to raise the company tax, should the personal income tax be raised? That hon. member will not give us a reply, and therefore I want to suggest something to him.
Ask the Minister.
He says we should ask the Minister. Very well, Sir, the Minister will tell us, and then the hon. member, too, will learn something. The hon. member’s colleague the member for Newton Park said yesterday that in 1945–’47 they, the United Party, had laid the foundation of a sound agricultural policy. He went on to say that the Minister had to subsidize. Now I want to tell you what they did with subsidies. In 1947–’48 the total subsidy on food was R11,8 million. The total gross value of the agricultural production was R382 million. That included these subsidies. That means, Sir, that subsidies came to 3,08% of the total value of the agricultural production. In 1972–’73 the subsidy was R102 million and the total gross value of the agricultural production was R1 629 million—in other words, 6,27%. It has therefore doubled itself. The subsidy as a percentage … [Interjections.] Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should not be deterred; there is something else I want to tell him. He can get these figures afterwards.
Inflation was not 10%.
Do you know what the position was when the U.P. were in power? In 1940–’41 the worst conditions prevailed. They are always telling us that it was wartime. Let us assume that poor conditions did prevail. Then they had a chance to improve agricultural conditions. In 1940–’41 the production of wheat in South Africa came to 4,6 million bags. At the time they were going through the war period, and after that they experienced that most favourable period. Do you know by how much the wheat crop increased at the time? It increased from 4,6 million bags to 5,3 million bags. That is what happened during that nine-year period of U.P. régime. I want to tell you why this happened. This happened because they were not paying the farmers a price. For this reason the farmers could not produce and the women in South Africa did not have food to cook. In the time of the U.P., Sir, one could not eat White bread, and now they want to argue with me. It is those people who looked after the agricultural industry so badly that the people could not be fed, and they had to introduce a school-feeding scheme to ensure that the children were getting food. It was because they had got the entire country’s economy into such a state that the people were too poor to buy food. [Interjections.] Yes, it is true. Mr. Speaker, in 1940–’41 the farmers of South Africa produced 58 million pounds of butter under the U.P. Do you know what this had increased to in 1947–’48?—from 58 million pounds to 59 million pounds, an increase of 1 million pounds. This was the maize position: in 1940–’41 24 million bags were produced, and in 1947 the production was still 24 million bags. Shortages prevailed at the time. I say, Sir, that those hon. members are adopting the attitude they do because they do not have a proper knowledge of these matters but, in the most important instance, because they do not have South Africa’s interests at heart and because they are inspired with a spirit which is not one of “South Africa first”. That is why they find it possible to speak the way the hon. member did who spoke a moment ago. The point I want to make here is that the United Party, as it is sitting over there, is a party which is inspired with an un-South African spirit. [Interjections.] Yes, Sir. And the second proof I want to bring you in this respect is the history of the United Party. The most central question in the history of South Africa and over which the struggle for existence raged in South Africa, the one that was at issue over a period of centuries, was the question of sovereignty.
Yes, Sir, over a period of centuries, from the time of Jan Van Riebeeck, when the people of South Africa started feeling the urge and realized that it was a people, that it wanted to be a sovereign independent people. That was the question that was at issue. Sir, ever since the establishment of that party in 1910 or 1912—or whatever the date may be—they were consistently opposed to that desire of the people of South Africa to become a sovereign independent people. Their attitude was responsible for the National Party having to be established under Gen. Hertzog in 1912 with the slogan of “South Africa first” so as to create a home for the needs of the people of South Africa. Sir, where were they in 1961, at the time of the Republic referendum? Were they for it, or were they against it? What was their attitude in 1926, when Gen. Hertzog came back from the Empire Conference? [Interjections.] No, I am asking that hon. member a question now. Where were the U.P. supporters at the time? Where were they when these symbols of sovereignty, the flag and the national anthem, were created? Did they oppose them or not? Of course they opposed them. Sir, I want to mention you a third proof for my statement that the U.P. is inspired with an un-South African spirit. Next to the question of sovereignty, the question of democracy is the other important matter for which the people of South Africa had great respect and which it treasures as a precious possession.
Oom Jan was an O.B. general.
It has always been the position that, in nominating its candidates, the United Party has not had a democratic system.
See what happened to the hon. member for East London City and the hon. member for Port Elizabeth Central.
Sir, the U.P. itself has destroyed any suggestion there may have been to the effect that it is democratic in the nomination of its candidates. What are the hon. member for Newton Park and his minions doing? In Wynberg a candidate was nominated by the branch committee by 24 votes to nil, but they took up their axe and he was a candidate no more. [Interjections.]
The U.P. people are political cannibals.
Sir, the hon. member for Newton Park took up his axe and went to East London. He took a look at the hon. member for Easte London City and said, “This man is politically too young in spirit,” and he axed him. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth Central, who had been nominated by his branch committee, was axed too, and they replaced him by a person who had been rejected by his branch committee. Sir, what is the mistake that was made by the hon. member for Port Elizabeth Central? He smacked the wrong man; he should have smacked Harry.
That is an old joke.
Yes, but it is a good joke. Sir, now I want to get serious.
What about Wynberg?
What happened in Wynberg is described as political murder by the hon. member for Wynberg, who is sitting here, and she is going to take that party of hers to court. Sir, now I want to be serious and put a question. How do you think, Sir, is South Africa going to look if the State is to be controlled by that party which, in full view of the electorate, nominates candidates in such a way? What would happen if they had to appoint people to posts and if there were no election at hand for those people so that they might vote against them? Sir, surely then one would see the greatest chaos possible. I want to put another question to them: In that federal parliament which is being advocated by them, there will be a struggle for the various posts. There will probably be a Speaker and there will be office-bearers, and these will not be U.P. members only. All the peoples of South Africa will be represented there. What do you think things will be like in this country if that party should have its way?
And Harry too, on top of it all.
Sir, I want to mention another reason for my saying that the United Party is a party with an un-South African spirit. Last year the energy crisis took the whole Western world by surprise, and in South Africa an appeal was made to the South African people in that regard. That morning, even before the Prime Minister had made his appeal to the people that evening, I was travelling between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and what impressed me was the way in which the people had fallen in with this request and were fighting for the interests of South Africa with their backs against the wall. The comment we heard from everybody was that we now had to stand together in the interests of South Africa. The only false note came from that side, from the United Party. I need not tell you, Sir, what the Leader of the Opposition had to say. You have probably read what he said. He said two things. He said, in the first place, that we did not know how serious the effect of the restrictions on the flow of oil would be on South Africa, and because we did not know how serious it was going to be, we did not want to save fuel.
That is untrue. You know it is untrue.
Order! The hon. member must withdraw that.
I withdraw it.
The hon. member says this is not true. Here I have it in print—
That is correct.
He went on to say—
They say that we should exhaust South Africa’s strategic reserves. The hon. member for Hillbrow also came along later on and criticized the Government. I quote from The Argus—
What did the hon. member for Durban Point say? He said—
This report goes on to say—
In other words, he was angry about it. He said there was no law giving the Government the power to do this. Sir, now I want to tell you that there is one law which the United Party does not understand, and that is the law of patriotism towards one’s country. The hon. the Prime Minister and the Government can take a step such as this one because they understand the needs and the desires of the people, and the people have been falling in with it in every respect, but that party does not understand it. Sir, now I want to quote to you from The Cape Times the comment that came from hon. members on that side in this regard—
Sir, this is the standpoint of a person who differs with the Government but has the interests of South Africa at heart.
Mr. Speaker, I want to mention another example of the United Party's un-South African spirit. At a certain stage last year, the Transvaal leader of the United Party went along and signed a declaration of faith with a leader of another people, without any of the people in that party being aware of it.
The hon. member for Bezuidenhout was aware of it.
Yes, I suppose the hon. member for Bezuidenhout helped him to plan it.
And Nic Olivier.
Yes, and Nic Olivier, and, I assume, Mr. Horace van Rensburg as well. But, Sir, most of the members sitting on that side did not know a thing about it. This declaration contains a clause which provides that a multi-racial, consultative body will be established, while, a week or two previously, the United Party congress rejected this and said that their constitutional committee would do that work.
That is untrue.
Directly in conflict with the resolution of his congress, he went along and signed that declaration. Probably nobody in his party knew about it, and then he returned and it was announced in the newspapers.
As you are doing in South-West.
Sir, that kind of conduct, where a leader does a thing in conflict with the feelings of his own people and where he leaves them totally in the dark, belongs behind the Iron Curtain, not in a democratic country such as South Africa. Sir, I want to go further and mention an example to you. Once upon a time a leader of the National Party also had to negotiate with the peoples of the world, and that was after that referendum where Dr. Verwoerd had asked the people for a mandate to remain a Republic within the Commonwealth. And while he was conducting his negotiations he realized that if he wanted to salvage South Africa’s honour, he would have to act directly in conflict with the mandate for which he had asked the people, and this he did. But he did not steal away. He had asked the people of South Africa for a mandate and he negotiated like a man, and he returned and was received as a hero, because he was familiar with the desires of the people of South Africa. That was why he could adopt that attitude there, and as he was part of the people of South Africa, the people gave him a hero’s welcome here because he had done the right thing. But that leader of theirs in the Transvaal is not part of the people, and that is why he is unwelcome in his own party.
I want to mention another example showing why they are inspired with an un-South African spirit. The United Party realize full well that they are inspired with an un-South African spirit and that they must conceal this. I want to mention an example in this regard. Sir, imagine the National Party having to introduce into its programme of principles a clause stating that we are dedicated to South Africa. Surely it is not necessary for the National Party to do this. There is no need for us to convince anybody that this party is dedicated to the people of South Africa. Suppose the hon. member for Newton Park gets up today and issues a statement to say that he is a man and not a woman.
I wonder whether they will believe him?
That party has found it necessary to introduce into its programme of principles and adopt at its congress a deed of dedication in order to convince the people that it is dedicated to South Africa. Sir, a dedicated party does not do such a thing. After all, nobody doubts that. But I want to mention another example. Those hon. members have been saying for years that the National Party’s policy of separate development is as dead as a dodo, and I want to quote the hon. member for Pinelands. He said—
But what did they do when they drafted this federation plan? They took the homelands and, without any changes, they incorporated them in their federation plan and granted them legislative bodies. These are not things which they had had before. They took the most important part of the National Party’s policy, the foundation on which its rests, they took one of the pillars of support and wrote it into their policy. [Interjections.]
I should like to ask the hon. member whether the foundation of their policy is not that all the Blacks should return to the homelands.
That is another of the foundations on which we built our policy. But they were opposed to the establishment of an Indian Council and of a Coloured Persons’ Representative Council; however, now they also want to incorporate these in their federal policy. Why are they doing it? Why, if a man such as the hon. member for Pinelands says this policy is as dead as a dodo, are they taking it over? If a person is in a hurry to reach the winning-post, why would he mount a dead horse? It is not because he does not know that that dead horse cannot take him to the winning-post; it is because they want to conceal their nakedness, because they want to convince the people of South Africa that now, all of a sudden, they are inspired with the spirit of “South Africa first”, or with a spirit of goodwill towards South Africa. That is why I believe that this United Party is on the run and in the process of breaking up. I have only one hope, and that is that when the election takes place they will still be together so that we shall at least still have an Opposition to fight against.
The hon. member for Lichtenburg’s speech will not go down in the history of this House as a great one. He has taken a few moments off to speak about the nomination procedures adopted in the United Party but may I say to him and to hon. members opposite that while we are an independent and a rugged party, once we have chosen our candidates they go to the polls and they are returned by handsome majorities. The hon. member for Lichtenburg did not mention my name in person but it is perhaps germane to say that in the Cape Town Gardens, a prestige seat, which the Nationalist Party have tried for generations to win, they have no chance. In 1970 they put up an extremely strong candidate and threw the whole force of the party behind that candidate, but in Cape Town Gardens, one of the original constituencies in South Africa, they were thoroughly thrashed and they will be thrashed on this occasion too.
Mr. Speaker, we are now entering the closing moments of the debate on the Part Appropriation Bill, a debate of the utmost importance to South Africa, because after all we are concerned here with the expenditure of over R2 000 million, and the speech by the hon. the Minister of Finance was certainly a responsible one. I personally would like to congratulate him on his foresight in predicting that during his term of office gold would reach the record price of $150 a fine ounce. But we also hope that the prediction of a Swiss banker is correct, viz. that it will still go to $400. If one has regard to this debate, one will see that despite the fact that hon. members on the other side of this House have endeavoured to use this debate as a last minute election platform; the public of South Africa—the pensioner, the fixed-income earner, the lower-income groups, and the ordinary man in the street—has reacted only to one aspect of this Budget, namely the aspect which the Opposition has highlighted, the tragedy that under this Government we have gone from bad to worse. This is the record they ask South Africa to judge them on. There is the question of the cost of living and inflation. May I just record, since they have asked that they should be judged by their deeds, that in 1967 our rate of inflation was 1,8%; in 1968, 2,7%; in 1969 3,5%; in 1971 7%; and now it is 10%, and this under a Government which has staked its reputation that it would contain inflation.
I want to mention four particular aspects which are worrying South Africa. The hon. the Minister of Finance has endeavoured to show that inflation was largely imported but the aspects I am concerned with, and which concern the man in the street in South Africa—the pensioner, the young married couple and the fixed-income earner—are first of all the high cost of housing, and, secondly, the high cost of the decentralization of industry and the ripple effect that this has had on our general price levels. The third is the high cost of bureaucracy and, fourthly, the high cost of creeping Socialism. These are not words that I use lightly. They are words used by independent writers on the Nationalist side of the House.
I refer particularly to the high cost of housing. It has been said in Johannesburg that because of the Government’s restrictive labour policies, housing is costing inordinately more than it need do to the man in the street, and were it not for the Government’s restrictive labour policies, one could build the average house, costing R20 000 to R24 000, for R2 00 less. Sir, we are not making use of the available labour in our industry to the maximum of its ability. To that extent our houses are costing the man in the street more than he can afford and many young people cannot even afford to have houses at all. Then I come to the high cost of decentralization. This is a matter of Government policy, and it was commented on by Prof. R. G. Bell, the Professor of Economics at the University of Natal, to the effect that it is well known that it is the primary object of Government policy in South Africa to increase the proportion of the African population resident in the Bantu areas.
It is well known that the infrastructure that has to be created for ideological reasons and not for economic reasons, costs in the vicinity of R7 000 to R9 000 per job opportunity. It has been said that we in this country can only afford to give of our best to our less privileged people in the population if we make use of the rationale of economic expertise, and use all the factors of production, labour, capital, management, raw materials, etc., in that place and locality where they can best be used to the advantage of the country. By diverting these factors to our border industries which are fictitiously created near the homelands for ideological purposes, the man in the street is paying more for almost every product. We have never denied that we would favour the decentralization of industries, but what a difference when one does that for economic reasons, having regard to costs of production, the availability of raw materials and the right location for the right industry. The decentralization of industries in South Africa has been a failure right up to date. It cannot provide job opportunities for the growing population within the border areas or within the homeland areas and when you add to these numbers those job opportunities that are required, by the displaced persons who are being returned from the urban areas to the homelands, then the chances of the success of the homelands border policy is completely nil.
I pass on then to the high cost of bureaucracy. We ask ourselves why we are suffering from a crippling inflation. We know that imported inflation has a part responsibility, but the cost of a highly expensive bureaucracy as evidenced in our civil service must have an inflationary impact. While we pay credit to the dedicated civil servants, we know, when we analyse the functions of a civil service in any other country of the world, that we in South Africa have a proliferation of civil service offices and departments that would be unknown in any other civilized country. In fact, in cities of the size of London, Berlin and Paris they manage with a tenth of the bureaucracy that we have and achieve the same results. We do not have the strength of will to recognize that the majority of our White personnel, our skilled personnel, our professional personnel, are being used in the service of the State instead of being able to use their skill to produce the wealth that reduces the prices of commodities to the man in the street.
I now move on to the high cost of creeping socialism. It has been said that inflation will be the death of democracy and high inflation will bring about the death of democracy that much quicker. I want to refer to the statement of an eminent South African industrialist. Dr. Albert Wessels. Addressing the Stellenbosch University on the opening of their scholastic year last night, he indicated that South African industrialists fear that an increasing participation of the State in industry may lead to a labour confrontation with political and social consequences unacceptable not only to the State but also to industrialists. This is the danger into which we are running with the Nationalist Government in power, a Government which has professed the independence of the Nationalist attitude, their cultural attitude and their social attitude. They are becoming slaves to their own system. As we on this side of the House see it, the electorate who go to the polls must face up to the fact that their hope for the future can only lie in a party that stands for free enterprise, the maximum use of all our skills and the dignity of the individual, a party that will give a fair deal not only to the White population but also to the Coloureds, the Indians and the Blacks.
Mr. Speaker, during the past two days I listened attentively and, may I say, with a great deal of effort to the speeches by the hon. members on the other side of the House. I would very much have liked to reply tonight to the standpoints taken up by the hon. members, but on listening to the speeches I found that there was very little, if anything, to which serious replies could be given. However, I am a fair man and I want to give the hon. members a chance. I want to try to read the Hansard reports of the hon. members’ speeches, should I be able to survive it, and in reading those speeches I might perhaps find something worth replying to. Therefore I move—
The House adjourned at