House of Assembly: Vol1 - THURSDAY 8 JUNE 1961
Bill read a first time.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask the hon. the Minister whether he can tell the House if the Bill, which he is now asking for leave to introduce, is the same Bill or one similar to the Bill introduced to this House last year. The long titles of the two measures are in similar, almost identical terms. I will read the long title of the measure now under consideration and then compare it with the long title of the measure introduced last year. The long title of the present measure is—
The long title of the Bill which was introduced last year was in the following terms—
I ask the hon. the Minister to tell the House whether the Bills are the same, or more or less identical in terms, for the reason that the Bill introduced last year caused a shock to the entire country. During the recess there were numerous protests, indicating that a Bill of such a nature was not only wholly undesirable but that it should never have been introduced to a House which stands for democratic principles. For that reason, if the hon. the Minister can indicate to us that the Bill is the same as last year, then I feel that this House should not allow a first reading of this measure. On the other hand, if he indicates that it is a totally different measure, or is radically different from that of last year, we might possibly adopt a different point of view. Therefore, before I sit down, I would like to ask the hon. the Minister of the Interior to indicate whether this is the same Bill or not. Will the hon. the Minister kindly tell us that before I resume my seat?
I just want to inform the House that this Bill which is now to be submitted to the House is a completely different Bill. Note has been taken of the objections which were raised to the previous Bill, and during the discussion of my Vote, I already stated that we would only take the first reading of this Bill at this stage. It will then be printed and will be referred to a Select Committee before the second reading.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill brought up and read a first time.
At the outset I should like to convey my thanks to the hon. the Prime Minister and the Government for having created this parliamentary opportunity, and for having co-operated in its creation, to discuss the address of the State President to both Houses of Parliament, the speech which he made on Monday. I think that it is of importance that this early parliamentary opportunity has been created, and it does not matter how brief it may be.
It is of importance for two reasons. The first is that to-day we are creating a precedent which is based on old constitutional customs relating to the relationship between the head of State and Parliament. The second is that the coming of the Republic has caused the nation to cherish high expectations of a new deal in South Africa, of an opportunity to review our problems, to see whether it is not possible to find a new approach which may achieve better results and relax the present tension. Because it can be nothing but an announcement of Government policy, it is right that we should examine the address of the State President, in order to see from an examination of this address, to what extent the people can hope that their expectations will be realized. I believe that the precedent which we are creating to-day is of importance because up to 31 May the constitutional head of the Union of South Africa was a constitutional monarch, Her Majesty the Queen. Since that date the head of the Republic has been the State President but he remains a constitutional head in the sense that his powers are defined in Section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It is laid down that he will enjoy the same prerogatives as the Queen enjoyed in South Africa. These powers are in the main the same as those which the monarch exercised in the past, but they are also subject to the same conventions as those which limited the powers of the monarchy. One of the most important conventions was of course that in his every action and statement relating to South Africa the monarch acted on the advice of his South African Ministers. That is to say, on the advice of the Cabinet, of the Government of the day. The same of course applied to the Governor-General, the representative of the monarch in South Africa. This meant that the Cabinet, that is to say the government of the day, took full responsibility for all official statements by the Governor-General, the head of State. This remains the position to-day under the Republic of South Africa. [Interjection.] The hon. the Minister sounds disappointed but I say that in view of that fact I feel that it is no more than right, and I am glad to say that the Government agrees with me, that it should be accepted that responsibility for the address by the State President to both Houses of Parliament which was delivered in the Chamber of the Other Place on Monday, is accepted by the Cabinet, that is to say the government of the day. I therefore felt that it was no more than right that a parliamentary opportunity should be created for debating the contents of that address, so that the suspicion could never arise that the State President is being used to propagate Government policy and that the Opposition in the Republic will not have the opportunity to criticize his speeches and to reply to them while those speeches reflect Government policy. In this respect I think that I can also say that the Government holds the same opinion and I am more than pleased that we have co-operated to-day to reaffirm what I believe to be a sound constitutional practice.
There is another aspect of the matter which I should also like to mention, namely that under normal circumstances no monarch in Britain’s constitutional history, and most certainly not since the days of the Stuarts and most certainly no monarch in the history of South Africa either, nor his representative, the Governor-General, has ever had the opportunity to address the two Houses of Parliament except when delivering the Speech from the Throne at the opening of Parliament. With the coming of the Republic a quite different position has of course been created. The State Presidency is not hereditary; its incumbent is elected. He holds his office for a limited period which Parliament under certain circumstances can curtail. For this reason I felt that we on this side of the House should be prepared to concede that certain opportunities will have to be created for the President when he feels on the advice of his Ministers that he would like to address the two Houses, and that that opportunity should be granted him, even if that opportunity is not that which he is granted by tradition, as for example, at the opening of a new Parliament. I feel that it is not easy to decide what limitations should be imposed on this right, if limitations should in fact be imposed, but hon. members will of course feel that if such a request is made, they would like to grant it. But I felt that such a procedure would of course entail the risk that the State President would become involved in politics. For that reason I felt very strongly, and I believe that this is also the reason why I have enjoyed the co-operation of the Government party in this House, that it was desirable to create a convention that such opportunities should possibly be limited to the inaugural speech of the President and perhaps a parting address when he retires and is perhaps not making himself available for re-election. If both sides of the House agree that that will be the correct practice, we may be able to co-operate to-day in establishing a convention with which the Ministers of the President will comply in the years ahead. This is an important reason for the debate we are holding to-day, but as I have announced previously the contents of this address, which is made on the advice of the Ministers, must also be subject to criticism, if the person and the office of the President are to be kept out of politics. For that reason it will be understood that when I criticize that speech and express my opinions in that regard, it in no way constitutes a reflection on either the person or the office of the State President. [Hear, hear!] It is for that reason that I have moved this motion to-day in the following words—
It will be seen immediately from the wording of the motion that the responsibility rests on the Government and not on the State President and that in my opinion is the constitutional position in South Africa to-day. It is impossible to move this motion without referring to the threat to law and order which we experienced during the period when the republic was established, and the way in which it was met. I therefore want to say to-day that I believe that we all owe a genuine debt of thanks to the police, to the members of the Permanent Force and to the members of the Active Citizen Force for the way in which they dealt with the position, and it is clear to me as far as one can judge that they have acted with a great sense of responsibility, with great tact and with great self-control. At the same time I want to say that if the great mass of responsible non-Whites in South Africa had not refused to respond to the appeals made upon them to associate themselves with strikes and demonstrations of one or other nature, the task of the police and the Permanent Force would have been far more difficult than was in fact the case. I think that we should also convey our thanks and our appreciation to that responsible mass of the non-Whites for their self-control and their sense of responsibility which they revealed during this period.
In my opinion there are two lessons which can be learned from these incidents. The first is that when the Government is able to provide sufficient protection to the law-abiding non-White who does not want to associate himself with strikes, disturbances or demonstrations, then it is clear that voluntary support amongst those sections of our population for such undertakings is extremely limited; and how often during the past 12 years have we on this side of the House not emphasized that it is most essential that the Government should be able to provide that protection to the law-abiding non-Whites of South Africa.
The second lesson which can be learned is that by their behaviour the overwhelming majority of the responsible mass of the non-Whites have made it quite clear that they do not seek a solution for the problem of race relations in South Africa through violence or behaviour of an unlawful nature. I think that is something for which we can be very thankful because one of the problems facing the new republic is the extent to which we are prepared to use the time still available to us to find effective solutions for the difficult problems facing us; whether we still have time to find solutions through mutual understanding and patient consultation which will be satisfactory to all. I think that it must be clear to all that the coming of the republic has not solved one single problem facing South Africa. The same problems as we have always had still remain, but nevertheless I think that there are two things that have happened.
The first is that one source of dispute has now been removed from the party political arena in South Africa and it may consequently be possible for us to decide on the still remaining problems without our judgment being clouded by that issue. It is possible that we shall consequently be able to see those problems more clearly and that we shall be able to judge them in a better perspective. It may also be that there will be those of us who will feel that they are able to judge on these problems without being hampered by former prejudices and differences.
I think that the second thing that has happened is that at atmosphere of expectation has been created which will make it possible to seek a new deal in South Africa in the sense of a new approach to our problems. As I have already said. I believe that there is a spirit of expectation amongst the people in respect of this matter and that that spirit is particularly strong and that it may be responsible for the spirit of self-examination which has already revealed itself in those discussion groups of which we are hearing daily throughout South Africa. When one examines those problems with which South Africa is faced to-day. one realizes how they have become worse even over the past few weeks. When one examines the position one cannot help paying tribute to our forefathers, to those who succeeded in uniting the two former Republics and the two former colonies into one Union, notwithstanding the great problems with which they were faced at that time. But they succeeded in doing so and I am not certain that the problems with which we are faced to-day are not greater than the problems with which they were faced at that time. [Interjections.] I agree that they had many problems, but they had a greatness of spirit, something which is lacking to-day, particularly on the Government side. But I think it will be realized that just as our forefathers only succeeded in finding solutions because the two sections of the population were prepared to co-operate in a spirit of give and take, so shall we only succeed in solving our problems if we realize that our present problems are too serious and too great for solution by one group alone, without using the brainpower and the talent of the other great section in South Africa which may contribute towards that solution. These problems have built up over the past 13 years. In the past few weeks they have been aggravated because 31 May will not only be remembered as the day when South Africa became a republic, but also as the day when South Africa left the Commonwealth. No one is quite certain what it will mean. On a previous occasion the hon. the Prime Minister pleaded for a longer period during which to examine the details, but I am nevertheless still looking for the member of that side of the House who has the temerity to rise and say that we are in a better position to-day because we are no longer a member of the Commonwealth.
From what I have already said it will be clear that in my opinion the first step which is required if we are to move towards a new deal under the Republic is that we should achieve true national unity. In the past this Government has paid lip service to that ideal, and it is mentioned once again in the address of the State President but no plan has been announced as to how this will be achieved. I think that a great section of the electorate of South Africa and a great section of the public and the world itself are asking themselves today how national unity will ever be achieved in South Africa by a Government which always places the sectional interests of a section of a section of the nation above the true interests of South Africa, a section which has always tried to make its political machine equivalent to true South African nationhood. The fact of the matter is that this Government and this Prime Minister have never conceived a formula or a plan whereby they can achieve true national unity, except to say that they desire it. Their main weakness is that they have never been able to realize that when a matter such as this is discussed, it is deeds more than words which count. They have never realized that to achieve true national unity it is necessary that we should do things and that we should tackle things together, and not merely say that they want to co-operate. Not only have they not succeeded in persuading the overwhelming majority of the English-speaking people to be prepared to co-operate with them in respect of any important matter in South Africa, but they have also not succeeded in taking with them a large section of the Afrikaans-speaking people, and I believe that the gulf between that section of the Afrikaans-speaking people and the Government is possibly even greater than the gulf between this Government and the English-speaking section. It is not necessary to ask why that is so. But one thing is certain, namely that on the other side of that gulf is to be found some of the best brains in South Africa, the descendants of our best-known heroes from the Anglo-Boer War, and friends and companions of some of the greatest names in the history of the Afrikaner. As a result of the failure of the Government’s policy in this regard and the inability of the Government to bring together these two great sections of the population—and when I say together, I do not mean merely in the political field—they have never succeeded in creating amongst the people of South Africa a feeling of joint responsibility for the overall direction of our policies in South Africa. [Interjections.] The hon. member says that they play football together. Mr. Speaker, I wonder whether he has ever succeeded in doing that. The result to-day is that half the White population and the overwhelming majority of the non-White population do not feel that they are jointly responsible for the solution of our problems because they are excluded from participation in the formulation of policy and the administration of that policy. I think that this problem is one that is unknown in practically every other country in the Western world. Hitherto we have still been inclined to speak of national unity with reference to the two White sections of the population only, but it is quite clear that unless steps are taken to create a common patriotism amongst all sections of the population—it does not matter what their race is—we shall never be able to achieve unity and nationhood in the true sense of the word. It is tragic that at the moment all the indications are that the Government is to continue with its present policy, a policy which is not able to create common patriotism but which rather creates conflicting nationalisms amongst the different sections of our population. It seems to me as though the hon. the Prime Minister does not realize that if one wants unity amongst all sections of the population, then it is necessary to create something which the psychologists describe as a feeling of security amongst all sections of our population, and that can only exist if they all feel that they are at home in that part of the common life of South Africa in which they find themselves. In the case of race relations I have already said that there is no sign of any change which will be of any real importance. There is no indication of any adjustment of an important nature, except perhaps the announcement that liquor will now be sold to the Natives. We still hear the same old story, progress within the confines of each racial group to the highest level, a pious statement which sounds strange coming from a government which applies job reservation in South Africa and which refuses to give representation in this House to the millions of non-Whites in the Republic of South Africa. Probably the granite wall is still as firm as ever and we are probably going to hear in the case of the Coloureds of the development of a state within a state and in the case of the Indians of another state within the same state. This policy is already bearing bitter fruit, as shown by the fact that during the difficulties which we experienced while the Republic was being established, an important group of the Coloureds made common cause with the Bantu for the first time in our history. Fortunately they only constituted a small group, but I have already repeatedly warned in the past that that danger exists and the only encouraging sign is that a conference of Cape Nationalists will be held to-morrow which has been convened to discuss the Coloured question in South Africa.
You are now fishing on dry land.
After the experience of the editor of the Burger, their mouthpiece in the Cape, I should like to warn them, and also the Deputy Minister, that they cannot expect any results to come from any decisions which they may take at that conference. Their advice will not be listened to. There is only one dominating figure in that party, and that is the Prime Minister himself. They might just as well not hold that conference. And why can he not make any concessions? Because he believes that if he makes one concession the whole foundation of his policy will be undermined, and I shall not say that he is wrong in that belief, because it is simply a policy of that nature. That is why they are simply wasting their time.
I am not surprised that the hon. member for Mossel Bay (Dr. van Nierop) is embarrassed. He is someone who is very fond of talking, even if the statements he makes are sometimes irresponsible.
“Onnoselbaai.” (Foolish Bay.)
Nowhere in this address by the State President is there any indication of what use will be made of the time available to us, the time to which I have referred. I have already announced before that, in my opinion, there are certain short-term steps which should be taken to relax the tension, but always based on the three basic principles of the United Party’s policy: (1) Readiness to share the fruits of Western civilization with those members of the non-White races who have already shown that they are able to share with us responsibility for the future development of South Africa; (2) the maintenance of White leadership in the interest of all groups and (3) consultation on all possible occasions, with a measure of participation in the machinery of government for these non-White races. If ever there was a time in our history when consultation was necessary in order to relax tension, then it is the present stage in our history. It is tragic to see that during its régime, this Government has practically destroyed the whole machinery for such consultation, that machinery which existed under the United Party, and which was ready for development and expansion. In its place the Government has put something else, a system which, although this was perhaps not the intention when it was established, has in fact resulted in the Government being effectively isolated from all responsible non-White opinion in South Africa.
That is not true.
The hon. member says that is not true. Where are the elected members of the Bantu authorities who can really speak on behalf of their people? My hon. friends know that it is the Government which is governing through those people; they are not allowed to represent the opinions of their people. I believe that it is because of this position that throughout South Africa to-day we are hearing demands and proposals and are receiving requests for the convening of a multi-racial conference or a so-called national convention in South Africa.
Do you support that?
This Minister is always impatient; let him listen for a little while longer. I want to say at once that any proposal for a so-called national convention with sovereign powers is, in my opinion, unthinkable, because it will infringe on the powers of Parliament, the only sovereign legislative organ in the Republic of South Africa.
Do you support a convention without sovereign powers?
Listen a while. But I also want to make it clear that I do not think it is possible to continue ruling people and laying down laws for them and not ascertaining how they feel and what their reactions are to such actions and such laws except when, for some reason or another, they resort to unlawful behaviour.
What did they say at the by-election?
I did not know that there had been a by-election amongst the non-Whites, but perhaps the hon. member was not listening. I believe that there is still a golden opportunity to ascertain from those who are in daily contact with the non-Whites, and also from representatives of non-Whites themselves, exactly what their opinions and their reactions are. A meeting or a gathering—call it a conference if you wish; I prefer to call it a gathering of people of that type, all recognized experts in this field, each in his own particular sphere, or people who can speak for a large section of the non-White population—may enable this House to obtain information which, in many instances, it lacks to-day, but which would possibly have a salutary effect on the formulation of policies in the future. I realize fully that such a gathering, such a meeting, might have disadvantages. It is possible that it would give irresponsible people, people who are not concerned about the welfare of South Africa, an opportunity to make propaganda, but of course it depends on who is invited.
Are you going to nominate the people?
If the Government were prepared to take the initiative in convening such a gathering or meeting with representatives of commerce, industry, the mines, agriculture, the recognized trade unions and those municipalities which have particular experience in the management of non-White affairs, not only to exchange opinions, but also possibly to hear directly from representatives of the non-Whites what their opinions and aspirations were …
Which representatives? Will they elect them themselves?
The Government can determine how they should be elected. I do not have the slightest doubt that the hon. the Minister would be prepared to allow representatives to be elected from the non-White employees of the Railways, and I am quite sure that they will convey opinions to the Minister which will be of importance. Or is he so certain of his case that he does not want to hear what the opinions of those people are?
I just want to have clarity as to what your plan is.
If the Government would be prepared to take such a step, then I feel that they would be able to make a great contribution to the relaxation of tension in South Africa by creating goodwill and laying the foundation on which we could build in the future. This is one way in which a feeling of participating in the affairs of South Africa could be created, that feeling which is so important for the future development of our country. I believe that it is in the first place the responsibility of the Government to take such a step, and I believe that they should be given the opportunity to do so. I believe that it will be a tragedy if they do not make use of that opportunity. But if they do not make use of that opportunity, then I feel that we on this side of the House will have to consider seriously what methods we should adopt to obtain the necessary information from time to time which will enable us to take balanced decisions on these important matters, decisions which will be based on consultation —still broader consultation than we have had in the past with representatives of the non-Whites. And if I am to judge from the contents of my daily postbag, then I do not have the slightest doubt that I shall find that the general direction in which this party will move, the direction of a racial federation in South Africa, based on the known principles of our policy which I have already expounded but which will ensure that each group will enjoy a defined share in our government, will find general approval and that the introduction of federal elements into our Constitution will provide a certain measure of protection—I do not say absolute protection—to the rights of individuals, of racial groups and of geographic units, and I believe that we must use the developments in our history which have so arranged matters that there are areas which are mainly Black and areas which are mainly White which can be grouped as political units for administrative purposes. I do not have the slightest doubt that I shall find a great measure of support for that policy and that attitude. My faith in this policy is strengthened by what I experienced last year while overseas because it is clear that the acceptance of policies of this nature will undoubtedly have beneficial results on South Africa’s international relations to which reference was also quite correctly made in the address of the State President. But it is tragic to see from that speech that this Government still persists in the misconception which has in fact caused our difficulties in the international sphere, namely that these difficulties are attributable to “misunderstandings and suspicions”. Such a misconception is dangerous because it is so far removed from the truth. Seeing that the hon. the Prime Minister himself could not succeed in making his policy appear acceptable to the conference of Prime Ministers, that conference which was possibly the best informed on South African affairs, seeing that he himself could not succeed in gaining support for his policy at the conference where there most certainly could not be any question of misunderstanding because he explained it to them himself, I cannot understand how the Prime Minister can still believe that the fact that we are faced with difficulties in the international sphere is attributable to misconceptions and misunderstandings. I fear that the unpalatable fact that must be accepted is that while this Government remains in power there is not the slightest doubt that South Africa will be and will remain in a difficult position in the international sphere. I do not stand back for anyone in my objections to interference by outside countries or powers or combination of powers in the internal affairs of South Africa, but in my opinion it is unforgivable to conceal from the public that our unpopularity overseas is not attributable to misunderstanding or suspicion, but to the world’s judgment on the policy of this Prime Minister and this Government. Here I just want to mention that when a policy is advocated which may improve South Africa’s international position, we are always told by hon. members opposite that we are trying to buy the support of the world by so amending our policy that it will gain the approval of the outside world. I want to say this: The policy which we advocate is one which we advocate because we believe that it is a sound policy and the best policy for South Africa, a policy which we support because of its inherent value. We do not support it with a view to world opinion but with a view to making concessions to our own common sense in South Africa. No sensible, responsible, educated South African can examine South Africa’s present isolated position without feeling concerned and without feeling particularly concerned at the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday that very little reliance could be placed on South Africa receiving assistance from the nations of the Western world in the defence sphere unless their own interests in Africa and South Africa were involved, and that South Africa would have to rely on herself in future. Mr. Speaker, where are our friends in the world? What has become of them under the regime of this Government? Why are we so isolated to-day? I am afraid that we must admit that while we have this Government with this policy in power, there is not the slightest doubt that we shall be practically without friends in the outside world. The world cannot understand how a Government which is so anxious to claim that it forms part of the culture of the West, that it forms part of the civilization of the West, is nevertheless prepared to violate the great principles on which the culture and the civilization of the West are based.
That is a misconception.
My hon. friend says that it is a misconception.
Order! The hon. member does not need to pay any attention to interjections. He can proceed with his speech.
It gives me an opportunity to say something which I wanted to say and it is this. Infringing the freedom of the individual, unless there are good grounds justifying such action, always makes a bad impression, and I am not surprised that in the past few weeks the action of the Minister of Justice in banning meetings throughout South Africa without informing us what the real reason was and where the communist influences which he wished to combat were to be found, has made a very poor impression on the outside world. [Laughter.] My hon. friends are laughing. Everyone knows that under the Suppression of Communism Act steps have been taken against people who have no connection with Communism; that we have created a new offence in this country; namely statutory Communism, and that it has nothing to do with world Communism. But just as our international relations are bound up with the measure of our success in achieving racial peace and national unity and showing that we respect the principles of the Western world, so the same applies to our economic position. Notwithstanding the fact that fundamentally we have a sound economy in South Africa, notwithstanding the fact that it rests on a fundamentally sound basis, our economic position is nevertheless influenced by international reaction against our policy in South Africa, and during the past few weeks we have had clear evidence of a tremendous outflow of private capital from South Africa and of a fall in our foreign exchange and our reserves. In my opinion the Government has not yet given any proof that it is taking steps that will enable it to control this position. The steps which it has already announced in my opinion merely represent patchwork and notwithstanding the rise in the reserves this week, which in my opinion is attributable to non-recurring payments—and I have a very good idea of what their nature is—I doubt whether this patchwork will be effective in the future. The proposals to develop Iscor, Sasol and Escom are to be welcomed, but I think it must be pointed out that by these proposals the Government is continuing with the expansion of State-controlled undertakings which Parliament is finding ever more difficult to control. Year after year we complain about the difficulty that Parliament cannot exercise control over these State-controlled undertakings. The position to-day is so bad that as far as they are concerned we are in practically the same position as people find themselves in many of the communist countries of the world.
What control can we exercise over Sasol and Escom and some of these other State-controlled undertakings which we never have the opportunity to discuss here? I also want to point out that the expenditure of this R2,000,000,000 over 12 years, although it may have a long-term effect, will not have any immediate stimulative effect on our national economy because the Government would after all have collected that money and would have invested it or spent it in South Africa. Consequently, although the figure sounds extremely high, it means practically nothing from the point of view of its short-term effect in South Africa, and if there is one thing which this Government lacks, then it is proper long-term planning for the economic development of South Africa and the exploitation of our natural resources. One can understand that the Government may be a little cautious as regards long-term planning because the policies which it is applying are so often in conflict with the ordinary economic laws which every economic expert accepts, that it must be extremely difficult for the Government to establish what the country’s possible economic prospects are. The fact of the matter is simply this: It is a prerequisite for the prosperity and progress of South Africa, the prosperity which we deserve and which could so easily be achieved if we had a different government, that the policy of this Government should be changed, and until that policy is changed, or still better, until we have a different government in South Africa, I am afraid that we shall have to continue moving at a slow pace in South Africa, assuming we do not actually retrogress in the economic sphere. I therefore move.
I want to say at once that the Government gladly granted the Opposition the opportunity to move a motion with reference to the inaugural speech of the State President. It is common cause between us that in terms of the Constitution the State President is in a unique position, above and beyond ordinary party politics, and that it will always have to remain like that. It is therefore obvious that such an official speech is drafted by the Government and is delivered on behalf of the Government. It can therefore be attacked by the Opposition, and the Government can rightly be held responsible for it. We were quite prepared to demonstrate that on this first occasion. There is no difference of opinion at all in that regard. It will always be our aim to ensure that the State President will in no way be drawn into the activities for which the Government will continue to take full responsibility. That, I hope, will be one of the factors which will contribute towards that basic national unity and growth for which we all yearn so much. Let the struggle between the parties continue—between the Government and the Opposition—if it has to, but let it be carried on as between members of a single nation who are all faithful to a common fatherland.
Although we did not begrudge hon. members the opportunity to have this debate I was, however, actually disappointed to find that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, in his arguments with reference to that speech, could not look to the future and show a broad vision. He practically repeated the same type of arguments which we have had so often already in his attack on the Government to-day. I expected something more and something greater from him. I shall try to reply to the various points he raised and at the same time also to look into the future a little. May I just say this still, that I have already, as he has now done, publicly expressed my appreciation to the police and the Defence Force for what they did to preserve law and order during the past weeks. What disappointed me in this respect was that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition did not see fit to take that single step further which would have been magnanimous on his part, viz. to recognize the role played by the Government, by thanking the Government for having succeeded, in spite of everything which was predicted by the Opposition, in spite of all the assistance the subversive elements received from the Press which generally supports them through many reports, and in spite of all the encouragement they received from the pessimistic statements made from time to time even in this House, with the machinery at its disposal to ensure that law and order was maintained so well. I also consider it somewhat petty that criticism should have been voiced here in regard to the prohibition of meetings which was imposed for the sake of preserving law and order, and not to obstruct any peace-loving person. In fact, at the worst, it only put the additional burden on the ordinary public for a few days to obtain exemption, which was a very easy task for every individual concerned and which did not derogate from the liberty of anybody who deserved to enjoy that liberty. This step made a tremendous contribution towards protecting peace-loving people against the incitement and threats emanating from the forces of disorder. Just a little magnanimity by means of referring appreciatively to the good government of the State would have been welcomed by the public of South Africa and would perhaps have given a nice tone to this debate.
Then I want to emphasize that I myself have already publicly expressed my thanks to the mass of Bantu and other non-Whites for acting in the way they did. That was fitting, because in this case—it is true that they were protected by the Government and the forces at its disposal—they did not give heed, as they would otherwise have done, to the threats to which they are so often subjected. Having said that, it should however be added that it proves what we on this side have always said, viz. that the mass of non-Whites are not so obsessed with all kinds of constitutional ambitions that in order to attain their ambitions they can be coerced, or would wish to participate in any form of disorder. We have often said that the mass of the Bantu are peace-loving and that they have confidence in the Government so far as their future is concerned, because the Bantu see that the Government is also trying to ensure their future for them. We have always said that it was individuals, the inciters, the small group of agitators, from amongst whom the Opposition has so often wanted to seek the leaders with whom we are supposed to consult, who in fact cause all the trouble. When once the tsotsis and the disorderly elements and those who issue the threats have been removed, the ordinary non-White public remains peaceful and continues doing its work. We as a Government too often have to face the accusations which come from the Opposition every time we take steps against these disorderly elements. Nevertheless, this time it was necessary, in the interests of the broader issue, for us to adopt a decisive attitude and to take firm steps against these elements. The Government kept control over this small percentage of disorderly elements, and the country has experienced the result of it. What we did was of great value and it particularly affected the peace-loving masses of the non-Whites. It was a sound lesson for South Africa to learn, viz. that we are not dealing with those forces which create chaos elsewhere in Africa, except for this small group of communist-conditioned people who unjustifiably enjoy the protection even of certain Whites and even of people who should show a greater sense of responsibility. Through this encouragement and protection and support it is even made possible for them to pose in the eyes of the world as being much more influential, stronger and more important than they really are. I hope that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition will also in future be more ready to tell the world that basically we are a peace-loving country and that the Government is doing the right thing by dealing with a firm hand with these communist-conditioned forces who are opposed to good order. I also ask the Opposition to lend more support to the Government when it does so.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition alleged in his motion that the speech delivered by the State President on behalf of the Government was unrealistic and revealed a lack of policy for the future. What did that speech do, and what should it have done? We are entering a new era, an era which finally writes finis to the past. It is not true, as the hon. the Leader of the Opposition alleges, that in future we will still be faced with all these problems. On the contrary, the one great and important point of conflict with which we were faced and which obstructed our handling of all other problems has been eliminated. That was the conflict between the Afrikaans- and English-speaking population groups, with their different traditions and ideals. We are entering a new era. and in the beginning of this new set-up it was right, where by becoming a republic the overshadowing point of difference in our lives for the past 50 or 60 years has been removed, to say what the task was which awaits us in future. What are the new ideals, the new tasks? Now it could not be expected that in the inaugural speech of the State President the details could be given of how the policy for the future would develop. However, what could rightly be expected is that an indication should be given as to what the policy for the future should embrace. Can the Leader of the Opposition voice criticism against the four directions which were indicated as the matters which must determine all our future endeavours? He could not even add to it by saying: “This and that and the other is also what we should do in future”! I repeat that it would have been unreasonable and wrong to expect details to be given in such a speech. This indication of our task for the future must have been correct. We did not hear a single word of criticism from the Leader of the Opposition to the effect that this summing up of our future task was not correct. He only criticized the content and aims of policies with which he was acquainted and which he says we therefore still favour. But that is something different, and merely repetition. The attack on this speech should have been directed to the indication given of the work awaiting us in future. What are those tasks? Four things were mentioned. I shall take them one by one and deal with the question of whether it is really correct, in terms of the motion moved by the Opposition, to say that the statement of that task is unrealistic and inadequate.
What is the first task? It is that in future we should concentrate on the economic prosperity of our country. Is that not true? Is that not one of the real priorities, viz. that South Africa, where it is now entering this new era, should ensure that there will be economic progress and that the Government should do everything in its power in that direction? It is obvious that when the Government tries to do that it will have to use the fundamental weapons at its disposal, viz. the assets of the country. These assets consist in the first place of its material assets, and nobody doubts but that South Africa has great potentialities, and secondly it consists of its human assets. Now it was clearly stated in the inaugural speech that the Government was aware that it had these material and human assets, and it stated unequivocally that it wanted to make the best possible use of these two assets.
Together with that everybody admits that there is a third factor of great importance which enters into the picture. It is that we need maximum confidence in the country. We all know to what extent that confidence is being undermined—partly by those who would like to get this Government out of power. But we all know also that together with the political motive there is the opportunity to shake that confidence because for the sake of its self-preservation South Africa has to follow a certain policy in respect of its colour problem which is not welcomed in many parts of the world. Together with that it is a question whether this feeling is the result of misunderstanding or whether the attempts of other countries to have a consiliatory policy vis-a-vis the African states, because of their own self-interest, prevents them from co-operating wholeheartedly with South Africa, even when in the depths of their hearts they would like to do so. In addition, the Government is faced with forces, inspired by the communist ideology, which want South Africa to come to a fall. We are therefore also fully aware that the colour policy of South Africa is a factor in our object of achieving economic progress.
When one reviews matters in this light, one finds, however, that on the Continent of Africa it is not only our policy, our colour policy, which is put to the test in connection with our economic progress. We find that the opposite policy is also being tested by its effect on our economic progress. Everywhere where Britain introduced its policy of partnership there were also economic repercussions. Consequently it is possible to compare the effect of both policies on the national economy, viz. the consequences of the policy of partnership on the economy of the countries concerned, and the consequence of the application of the policy of apartheid in South Africa on its own economy. What do we find when we draw this comparison? In Kenya, where a start has been made with a partnership policy, with the intention that concessions should be made on a small scale only through giving the Blacks really only a junior partnership in the political sphere, it gave rise to an increasing extent to ever greater concessions and even eventual surrender, until that country now stands on the eve of non-White domination, Black domination. To the extent that this constitutional development took place, away from elementary junior partnership or multi-racialism until the stage of Black domination was reached, the economy of that country progressively deteriorated. Capital was withdrawn there and, even worse, the capital assets of the country itself were undermined and its productivity is being destroyed. Attempts are now actually being made to keep the Whites in Kenya, at least as farmers and business men, to ensure that there will again be capital formation in the country and that the production will be sufficient at least partially to cover current expenditure.
There is also the case of the Federation to the north of the Republic, where the policy of partnership is also being applied, a policy which, in one or other of its forms, fits in with what the various Opposition parties here want. Did we find that as the result the outside world had more confidence in the Federation and therefore rendered economic assistance? Did they succeed in attracting more capital? Was there greater initiative? Did more workers go there? Or do we find precisely the opposite? I regret to have to say it. but unfortunately we find just the opposite in every respect. The policy of the Opposition brings with it adversity, but nevertheless one still finds in South Africa that attempts are repeatedly being made to upset the basis of our colour policy and to go in that same direction! Economic measures are being applied against us, inside and outside the country, and fear is being fostered with the object of affecting our economy. But every time we reaffirm that the Whites will remain firmly in the saddle here and that in fact there is not an incited Bantu or Coloured mass, every time it becomes clear that the policy of apartheid can stand on its own feet and make progress, there is renewed growth and expansion.
Now. and as has happened every time.
Yes, like now after the recent attempts. I am afraid that is the case, much to the disappointment of hon. members opposite. Therefore the Government was fully justified, on the occasion of this speech which is now under discussion, to say that it would devote itself, and that it believed it would be done successfully, to building up the prosperity of South Africa, in the first instance by developing its material resources, and in the second place by properly training and making use of its human assets, and thirdly, in the sphere of political policy, by continuing along the way which results in the basic safety by means of which we will once more gain the confidence of the world and the co-operation of the financiers. Was it not our duty to say that we would do so?
But is this unrealistic compared with what is happening elsewhere? No, what is unrealistic is to think that if the United Party were to get the opportunity to apply partnership here, they would be able to evade the consequences we saw in Kenya and the Federation. That is unrealistic.
There is a second great task, viz. to try in the international sphere to restore the relations which are so necessary. Will anyone deny that this is not a proper task for the future in the Republic of South Africa? Is it not correct to say that we want to try to obtain better international understanding? There can be no doubt about that. Probably hon. members say: Yes, but you will not be able to manage it because of the policy you follow. A little later I shall discuss the colour policy and use it as a test for our ability to remedy international relations, as compared with the ability of hon. members opposite to do so by means of their policy. At this stage I just want to say that, irrespective of the factor of our colour policy in this situation, it is quite justifiable for the Government to say that it will try to improve international relations by trying to bring about a better understanding of South Africa in all its facets, and also apart from our colour policy. It can attempt to get a better understanding of South Africa’s importance to the world and of South Africa’s decency and morality. In the final result, and here I support the hon. the Minister of External Affairs in the attack made upon him by the Leader of the Opposition, it must also be possible to make the world understand that the friendship of the Western world for South Africa is also in their interest, and that therefore we are justified in seeking to promote it. Just see what is happening in the international sphere. Just note how Mr. Macmillan of Britain goes to talk with Mr. Khrushchev in order to try to improve the relations between Russia and Britain and to eliminate differences of opinion and quarrels. President Kennedy seeks consultations with Mr. Khrushchev in order to find points of agreement amongst all the differences, for the sake of the United States and of world peace, and to find solutions to the differences and to eliminate misunderstanding. However great these differences might be ideologically, they still try to get cooperation and to eliminate conflict. Mr. Macmillan and President Kennedy and President de Gaulle do not thereby accept that the communist ideology is a reasonable one or that it is highly moral. They do not associate themselves with it in the least; they remain bitterly opposed to it; all the emotions are in conflict with that ideology and the atrocities committed in the name of Communism and under the flag of Communism. Their moral opposition to Communism must be infinitely greater than any dislike they can have for our policy. In spite of all this, they try to seek friendship and co-operation with communist Russia. When we see that, is it not completely realistic when we say that we can equally expect those states to be friendly to us even though they differ from us in respect of our colour policy? They cannot even condemn it as sharply morally as they must condemn Communism in the name of which so many atrocities were committed and which takes action against them, which we never do. Better relations can be created, when we see that the Western nations themselves seek better relations with those from whom they differ so radically and from whom they differ ideologically. What is unrealistic in saying that South Africa will continue to seek friendship with other countries, even in spite of its colour policy?
There was a third point in the speech. The Government stated that it would try to bring about national unity in the future. The fact of the matter is that here an opportunity arose such as never before to obtain basic unity in South Africa. I am not talking now about what the hon. the Leader of the Opposition described as one of the aims of his party, namely one nation consisting of Black and White, one mixed nation with one fatherland. He has repeated very clearly to-day that that is the direction in which he is moving. He wants to create a nation here consisting of Black and White—one nation. I do not believe in that. I do not think he will succeed in achieving it, and I do not believe that he will obtain peace in that way. On the contrary, I think it would be the basis of continual, bitter, endless strife if that were the aim. unless the Whites are prepared to be assimilated and absorbed completely in the Bantu masses. If the Whites in South Africa were prepared to be swallowed up gradually, it would be a different matter. But if one thinks of one so-called nation in which the White man entrenches himself for ever by means of a rigid constitution, so as to retain his position as ruler, then I think he is inviting strife and discord on both sides. I do not therefore believe in this aim of one multi-racial nation. What I do believe is that we as White sections of the population can and must grow into one nation, and that we are in the process of doing so already. And I believe that we can do it better now than ever before. I think it was only realistic therefore to lay great stress on this task in that inaugural speech, namely the unity of the Whites, because that is one of the fundamental aims that we want to achieve.
Let us look at it in this way: Sixty years ago we had the struggle between Boer and Briton. That struggle had its after-effects, however much those after-effects have diminished in the course of time. The advent of a republic in South Africa was always viewed as an event that would end this struggle. In this spirit it was always felt that once that happened, English and Afrikaans-speaking could truly become one nation, one nation with its two languages. We were prepared to try to promote that ideal by becoming a republic within the Commonwealth. However, we were deprived of membership. We were not deprived of it by Britain. As far as Britain is concerned, therefore, we cannot or dare not have any grudge against Britain. We were deprived of it by the Afro-Asian members who are to-day dominating the Commonwealth. This fact therefore cannot justifiably be regarded as being responsible for a continuance of the separation of the language groups.
Have we a grudge against Canada?
Those Afro-Asian states adopted this attitude in spite of Britain’s wishes and aims. What I am dealing with now is the outcome of it. To-day we are a Republic outside of the Commonwealth. In the sphere of relationships between Boer and Briton there can no longer be any obstacle in the way of our becoming a united nation. We all have one fatherland only. That is what has happened.
But not only is the position that there is nothing that prevents us from getting together. Everything points to the necessity for us to get together, because what is our problem for the future? It is to ensure that this White Republic of South Africa remains White. From now onwards it is our common White heritage that counts above everything else. From now onwards, therefore, in all our utterances, in our speeches, in our work, we ought to regard everything that divided us in the past as an epoch in our history that came to an end with the establishment of a Republic outside of the Commonwealth. From now onwards we have something else to achieve, and that something else is of importance to all of us and to the descendants of all of us, and that is that we must make it possible for a White nation to continue to maintain itself here. I shall say a few words in a moment or two about the colour question and the question of justice in that connection. First of all, let me say to hon. members opposite, whether they like it or not, that this aim to become a White nation (with its two languages and with what happened in the past accepted as our common history—whether what was done by the one side or the other side was good or bad) is being fully realized in accordance with the expectations that we cherished. Indeed, as mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition, it is one of the great hopes that we pinned on the republic for the future. On all sides one sees how we are approaching a realization of basic national unity. It can no longer be prevented. Were we not justified then in saying in the first official speech that that was the Government’s aim? Is it not a realistic aim? Was it wrong to say that that was what we were deliberately aiming at? There is simply no possibility of unity on the multi-racial basis which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition or the Progressive Party has in mind. On that basis no unity will be obtained. Indeed, it is unrealistic. Let the lesson be learned once and for all that on the basis of the policy which the Opposition has tried to propagate, party unity cannot even be retained. The idea of partnership in respect of the various population groups, with constitutions of a rigid nature in one shape or another—all leading to integration, although with different variations—has continually split the United Party asunder. The Government Party has become stronger and stronger because its ideals continue to appeal to the soul of the nation. The ideals of the Opposition are crumbling. The other day the leader of the Progressive Party asked me to bring together the leaders of the various parties for a discussion, even before the end of the parliamentary Session, to see whether we cannot obtain some sort of co-operation in some way or another. I do not see how I can do so, however much I would like to have cooperation. We differ too radically, in the light of the conflicting policies that we propagate about this essential matter which casts its shadow over all four points of the inaugural speech, namely the colour issue. Let me say to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition that if he has read what the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) said yesterday or the day before on behalf of his party, namely, that they want to have nothing to do with the Progressive Party, that they do not even want to sit down and discuss policy with them, then he will understand my reaction in exclaiming: “How on earth then am I to bring these two leaders together?” [Laughter.] Apparently we cannot even bring about a meeting of the Whites or their leaders on the policy followed by the United Party and that followed by the Progressive Party—and they are close to each other. How then can we and they, between whom there is a greater difference, find common ground? The proposal that a sort of mixed convention could achieve something is even more far-fetched! The leader of the Progressive Party supports the idea of a Black and White convention to create a new constitution. The leader of the United Party does not support it; that is to say, he does not support a convention to deliberate on constitutional matters, but he does support the idea of a convention to deliberate on other matters. Can anyone believe for a single moment that the idea of any type of mixed convention is realistic? I refer to realism because that is the basic charge contained in the motion moved by the Opposition. If the Whites in the Opposition who were together in one party, bound together in their opposition to the Government, could not even stay together in connection with the question of colour policy, how on earth is one going to achieve anything with a convention in which all these conflicting groups and attitudes of all the races are gathered together in one hall? No, I am deeply and firmly convinced that such a convention would be so wrong that everything should be done to prevent such a thing from taking place. It would be nothing but a breeding ground for communistic conditioning, for Communism which seeks to bring about discord and chaos in every country in which the communists would like to have an opportunity of intervening more and more as the result of dissatisfaction. We dare not allow chaos to arise in South Africa by permitting a platform for the seeds of chaos to be sown. That is why I adopt a very strong and unambiguous attitude against the type of mixed convention which seeks to formulate new constitutions. It is not part of a genuine search for agreed solutions to problems. It would be used by communist-conditioned persons in an attempt to steer the Republic in the direction in which they are trying to steer everywhere else, namely, a state where the policy is “one man one vote” with the object of introducing Black domination in South Africa, so that Communism can then take over and make that vote worthless. That is not the road towards unity. But the other form of unity is capable of achievement, namely, White unity which seeks to create justice for all groups, and to create a unity of their own for each of those groups.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition has stated that he believes in a type of gathering other than a convention to deal with constitutions. This other type of mixed gathering is beyond my comprehension. Apparently it is to be the sort of thing where people meet to enlighten each other about administrative and other difficulties and exchange views about particular matters. He referred, for example, to the railway workers and their problems. The holding of conferences, however, is not the way in which such matters can be dealt with. Difficulties have to be resolved and discussed in the relevant sphere itself, and such consultations do take place. Let me say now for the umpteenth time that consultation does take place continually between the State and interested parties in all sorts of spheres of non-White life. I do not propose to go into it again. In the constitutional sphere there will certainly be more opportunity in the future also for discussions with regard to the development of the various racial groups. We have not in vain created and helped to develop the various non-White authorities. As those authorities grow, they provide the responsible bodies and leaders with whom it is possible for a Government to have authoritative discussions and consultations with regard to their own further steps on the road of development. We saw what happened recently in the Transkei. There we created the machinery for Bantu Authorities, and that machinery will certainly have to be the foundation on which further development will have to take place. The necessary link between the Government and those who represent such bodies will definitely be created and established. In that sense too therefore an obvious form of cooperation is growing.
What I have tried to emphasize so far is perfectly clear: It was no more than reasonable and realistic to have stated in the State President’s speech: “We are striving to bring about economic progress; we are striving to bring about an improvement in international relationships and we are striving to bring about increased and greater unity between the Whites without recriminations, reproaches or grudges about the past.” I make an appeal to all those who are pro-national—and I hope that those who are in the opposite camp will also heed this appeal—to remember in future in their speeches and in all their actions that with the establishment of the Republic outside of the Commonwealth, we have reached the end of an epoch and that from now onwards we will all have to concentrate when we speak on talking about what lies ahead of us rather than to level reproaches in regard to what lies behind us.
Now I want to come to the fourth point …
Albert will no longer be able to make a speech now.
I am sorry to hear the hon. member make that interjection because it means that he is not imbued with the spirit with which we should all be imbued in the future if we love South Africa. That reproach of his is the first reproach of the type which I asked people to refrain from making.
I come back now to what I said was the fourth legitimate aim that was set out in the speech, and that is that in the sphere of colour policy we must ensure forms of development that will really be able to bring peace, order and happiness to all colour groups. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition says that the policy of apartheid is not a realistic one and that he is sorry to see that we are persevering with it. Of course, in the light of what is happening elsewhere in Africa, he could not expect us to accept his policy. But let me analyse his policy for a moment in terms of his own charge that the policy of apartheid is unrealistic and inadequate. Let me test his policy in respect of just a few points in that connection.
One of the points of his policy is that Coloureds should be placed on the common voters’ roll. I ask hon. members whether it is realistic to follow such a policy.
Hon. members say “Yes”. I say “No”, and I say “No” for the following reasons. The first reason is that in the past when the Coloureds were on the Common Roll it was a source of continual friction and discord between the Whites and the Coloureds. In the Cape Province it became distasteful and the Coloured was exploited to a large extent because practically nothing was done for him, not even by the representatives who were elected with the assistance of his vote on the Common Roll. Every five years they begged for his vote and then neglected him for the next five years. It is only since he has been placed on his separate voters’ roll that his standpoint as a Coloured has been stated here directly and realistically by Whites. And it is only since this separation has taken place that the Government itself, by means of its special Department, has been able to build up the Coloured in every sphere of life in an incredible way in the past five years. This is just the beginning! That is why I say that it is an unrealistic policy to restore them to the common voters’ roll—if only to prevent the country from falling back into the state of fruitless quarrelling and exploitation of the Coloureds for political purposes that we had in the past.
The second point is this: If it were to happen then one must accent as an inescapable fact, having regard to the position in the Cape Province, that it would be impossible to entrench the White man’s authority in the Cape Province, whatever rigid constitution may be devised. The vote of the Coloureds in the Cape Province would give them supremacy. I do not believe that the White public of the Cape Province, who support either that side or this side of the House, would be prepared to accept a system under which the Coloured would rule this province—within its Provincial Council and from the point of view of the role that the Coloured would play in the House of Assembly. I do not think anybody would succeed in persuading the present electorate to accept that. In other words. I am sure that hon. members of the Opposition, if they went to the electorate with such a Common Roll plan, would give the electorate the assurance, with all sorts of clever stories about their federal policies and a rigid constitution, that they are going to protect the Whites in the Cape Province against Coloured domination. And then the Coloured is going to be even more dissatisfied, with greater justification, because then he will have been promised integration although integration in the fullest sense of the term will be withheld from him. That situation will inevitably lead to continual clashes rather than peace. That is why I say that it is unrealistic because there is a clash between Whites and Coloureds as to what policy offers a solution.
Let me take the next group, the Indian community. If the United Party wants to place the Coloured community on the Common Roll, and if that is its policy, it will also have to place the Indian community on a Common Roll at some time or other.
The hon. the Leader of the Opposition asks me why. That is precisely the interjection that I wanted from him because it strengthens me in my submission that their policy is unrealistic. Why does he want to place the Coloureds here on the common voters’ roll? To bring about peace and quiet between the White and Coloured community. But surely he also wants peace between the White community and the Indian community …
That does not follow.
Does he not want that? I contend that if in accordance with his policy of integration he wants peace and quiet with the Indian community, and if he wants to seek sympathy in the outside world on the basis of his policy, and if he wants to obtain peace with India and all those who side with India, then he cannot say: “I accept political integration on common rolls for the Coloured; I accept that the Indians too form a permanent part of the population of the country, but I do not want to give the same right to them because the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) would knock off my block if I did so.” [Interjections.] If one wants to be realistic one must be completely realistic. If one adopts one kind of policy for the Coloureds in terms of that type of policy, one must also do so in respect of the Indians sooner or later. Would Natal allow the Leader of the Opposition to face that consequence with reference to the Indians with the result that alongside a Coloured-controlled Cape Province there would also be an Indian-controlled Natal? After all, that is what the superiority of their numbers would bring about there. Would he do so? Of course he would not dare to do so. That is why I say that it is unrealistic to propagate such a policy, because in that way you would cause strife and discord in Natal on a scale unknown hitherto. And if one does not make that concession one has gained absolutely nothing in the way of peace and good order in so far as the Indians are concerned, and friendship from outside due to the handling of the Indian problem, and in the way of the promotion of our economic life due to our colour policy. On the contrary, whereas people outside now say that we are at least honest and consistent, and that we try to give every group full opportunities to develop on their own (and we say that), they will say that the Opposition is not consistent or honest. They will say that its standpoint is one of giving a little and withholding much, in other words, domination and discrimination by the Whites, and in the long run this is unjust, and then one does not have a moral basis and there is no basis for peace and quiet!
May I ask the hon. the Prime Minister a question? Is he in favour of Coloured voters having Coloured Representatives in this House?
I gave the questioner an opportunity because I thought he would ask an intelligent question. It is not one because surely I have often before said that I am not in favour of it. The hon. member knows that, so why does he ask it again? That is not in line with my policy of separate development. But I have just learnt that it is not the policy of the United Party to place Indians also, like the Coloureds, on the Common Roll. I wonder whether it is the policy of the United Party to have Indians in Parliament. Can the hon. member give me a reply to that?
I can reply if I can participate in the debate.
The hon. member dare not say it over the floor of the House. Will the hon. the Leader of the Opposition then tell me whether in terms of his policy the Indians themselves must sit in this Parliament? [Interjection.] There is no reply from him; therefore, Sir, it is very clear that we are dealing here with a most unrealistic and unsatisfactory policy in respect of the Indians, because it solves nothing.
I now go a step further. The Opposition continually says that the urban Bantu should be treated separately and that they should have a say in the government of the country, through this Parliament, i.e. apart from a central federal Parliament. How must they get it? Will the urban Bantu be placed on the common voters’ roll? The hon. the Leader of the Opposition says no. He says they must be placed on a separate voters’ roll and be given just a few representatives, and that an inflexible constitution must prevent them from ever getting a greater say. Does he think that is realistic? He says that the urban Natives, amongst whom the most dissatisfied ones are to be found—and he wants to free them increasingly from control measures of all kinds—will be satisfied if they are given just a few White representatives. Unlike the position in Kenya and the demands made by the African states in respect of the Bantu, and unlike their demands here, he believes that this small concession is enough. That is realistic! Mr. Speaker, if a Government starts following the road of political integration and it cannot go the whole way, it is playing with the most unrealistic policy possible, and the most ineffectual and inefficient policy imaginable.
I want to go a step further to test his policy by his own yardstick. The hon. the Leader said that he was receiving support by post for his federal system. What is this federal system fundamentally? Nothing less than that over and above this Parliament, which he now wants to keep fairly White by means of an inflexible constitution, there will be a Federal Parliament. He says that this federal constitution will be such that the Whites will remain dominant. This constitution will entrench the Whites. The accusation of the world is, however, that we apply domination and discrimination! The Grand federal constitution is now going to bring together the Bantu and the Coloured in a Government which will be above this one and which will therefore rule the country, but it will be founded on the basis of discrimination and domination. For how long will that position be tolerated by the majority groups? Of course, if he approaches these nations with such a plan they will tell him: If you do that we shall be happy for a start. Of course. I was also told at the Prime Ministers’ Conference: If you make concessions on certain points we shall be satisfied at this stage. Surely it is a beginning. They also said: Then we have hope for the future. What is that hope? Gradually to destroy that partial integration also; to get a new platform for attacks which gives a better opportunity for attacking us than what they have when they come into conflict with our expressed policy of apartheid. In other words, this policy of a mixed Federal Government is unrealistic in the sense that the world will not permanently accept this inflexible constitution. It is unrealistic in the sense that the non-Whites here will not accept it for long; and it is unrealistic because the non-Whites in Africa and the Asians of Asia will not accept it and become reconciled to it. It is also unrealistic in the sense that UN will not accept it. It will just be the springboard for renewed and more strenuous attacks. And this plan is further unrealistic in the sense that by means of this method he will include forces in the government of the country which will exert their influence in every phase of the machinery of government. They will also have to be included in every department of the Public Service because that is the logical result of having a share in the Federal Government; and in every section of the Defence Forces of the country, because that is also the logical result. One cannot have a Federal Government of Whites and Blacks intermingled and still keep the whole of the Public Service, the Police Force and the Defence Force White and under White control! They will all become mixed. Will those people all submit to being subordinate for ever because he now passes an inflexible Act here? Does anybody believe that will happen, after having seen what happens in other African states? Or will the domination eventually in that Federal Parliament necessarily be that of the Black masses, possibly with a quite new constitution? Of course it will develop in that way if he commences that process. Therefore his policy, if he intends thereby ensuring the future of the Whites, is totally unrealistic. Furthermore it is completely unpractical because the further developments will be different to those he envisages.
As against that, we have the National Party with its policy. I am not going to analyse and explain our policy again. I am only going to reply to one point, namely the statement that this policy of ours, namely to take the example of the nations in that we shall do justice just as between neighbouring nations to each national group as though each group were a separate nation, is unpractical, unrealistic and impossible to implement. Let us examine history. At no stage and nowhere in the history of the world have people of greatly differing racial groups—whether or not colour differences were involved—lived together in harmony except when they have been living separately, though next to one another. Assimilation has taken place very rarely, even in the case of greatly differing White national groups. It has taken place, but very rarely. There are very few examples of full assimilation between White and non-White groups to be found in history, except in North Africa where a civilization was destroyed when the Black man absorbed it. I therefore say if we want peace, if we do not want one to dominate the other (whether it be Black over White or White over Black), if we do not want discrimination, then there is only one way to achieve this object, and that is by separation. I know that hon. members will claim that we only say that for political purposes and that we do not mean it. We will not carry this policy out. Do hon. members still remember that they said the same thing to me at the time when we discussed our policy of Bantu homelands and when we advocated their development along their own lines? They said: You will never really dare to advocate nor will you dare to move in the direction of truly independent development of the Bantu’s own areas. They said: You will not dare do so; this is merely election propaganda and it is unpractical. However, look how far we have already advanced along that road. We submitted the final object to the voters; we put this forward as our policy and the people accepted it at the elections; we are going from strength to strength precisely because we have advocated this object. Do hon. members also remember how they said that the Republic was simply a smoke screen? They said that this was merely a means for keeping our people in the Nationalist camp and for keeping alive an anti-British feeling so that we could remain in power by riding that wave of feeling. They said that we would never really dare nor wish to realize that object.
The hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes), who now says that it is not true, was one of them. Have we not given proof that he and they were wrong? We said that we were going to establish the Republic and we have done so. The Republic is here. I am not mentioning this in a spirit of reproach. I mention this as an example of how, when this party advocates a policy, it is a policy in which it sincerely believes and which it implements. In the same spirit I say: I believe unequivocally that the policy of separate development is not only practical, but that we shall also succeed in implementing it. And I further say that it is not only realistic, but also that it is the only realistic policy. That is the only way in which one can create friendship between the separate racial groups whether they be Whites, Coloureds, Bantu or Indians. All other methods will only result in continuous conflict. If we try to intertwine differing races, we shall have conflict in the cultural sphere, we shall have a struggle in the cultural sphere against assimilation as well as a struggle in the constitutional sphere. We in South Africa with our problems have no alternative but to follow the policy which the Government advocates.
This side of the House will obviously vote against the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. We shall not even move a counter-motion. It is not necessary. We shall simply waive it aside as a piece of nonsense which has been put forward here to-day. And as a result the objects of this Government will stand as the policy for the future.
No, not Afrikaner supremacy. No, there will remain the striving for economic prosperity through a policy which can prove itself to be successful, as against the proven failure of integration as a basis for economic prosperity. In the second place we shall work for sound international relations along the lines I have already indicated. In the third place we shall work for the unity of a South African nation, with its two languages which belong to every citizen, no matter what his origin may be. The day will come when the hon. member for Transkeian Territories will not dare to make a statement such as he has just made, just as he no longer dares to object to the ideal which General Hertzog expressed at the time of South Africa first; and just as he no longer objects to the idea of a Republic. So the day will come when he will no longer dare to say: You are merely trying to create an Afrikaner nation. He will have to accept that one great nation will arise in this country, originating chiefly from two nations, with a dual tradition absorbed into a tradition of its own, and with both the two languages as its own. [Interjections.] That is not how the United Party envisages unity. Its unity was a political unity in the form of a compromise between two groups of people. What we advocate is the development of one nation, and within that nation there can be, as there are in other nations, even political differences. There will be people sitting on that side with integration as their colour policy, and people on this side with apartheid as their colour policy, but they will regard themselves as members of one nation. The United Party has never been able to achieve national unity on that basis and its attempts to achieve unity in the other more limited sense have become ever weaker and more feeble. This nation which we want to create will have to become ever greater and stronger. Hon. members opposite will still be ashamed one day of the opposition to this ideal which we have again seen to-day.
I conclude by appealing to South Africa to face the future full of confidence in the inner strength of this nation. May it retain the faith that it will be able to solve its problems, difficult as they are, on the basis announced in the inaugural address of the first State President of South Africa.
I want to move the following amendment—
Before I come to what I really wish to say, I want to react to what the hon. the Prime Minister said about the peace that has prevailed in South Africa since 31 May. I want to tell the Prime Minister that there is not a person in South Africa who is not pleased about the fact that the new set-up which we have came about in peace. We are all pleased about that, but where I differ widely from the Prime Minister is where he and the Government want to take credit for it. I think it would be more realistic if the Prime Minister blamed himself and his Government for the fact that the possibility ever existed that there might be riots on 31 May. I must say that I am deeply disappointed in the speech which the Prime Minister made this afternoon. Once again he has revealed his unwillingness not only not to concede one inch to those people who think differently from him, but also his unwillingness even to speak to people who have the welfare of South Africa as much at heart as he does.
No, I will talk to anybody.
The Prime Minister spoke about attempts that were being made not only by members of the Opposition parties, but by well-disposed South Africans who have been in South Africa for hundreds of years, to find a basis on which not only the Nationalist Party and the White man as such, but all South Africans who are well disposed towards South Africa, can work together in order to overcome our most difficult problems. Prior to this new set-up which we have on these benches throughout acted in a way which we had hoped would provide that common basis on which all persons in South Africa could come together. But we do not wish to live in the past. I have full confidence in the future of South Africa, in spite of the unwillingness on the part of the Prime Minister; I believe that the South African nation will find a basis on which we can all live together in peace. The hon. the Prime Minister turns down everything that is suggested as unrealistic. He says that if you give in on one point, something else will follow and if you talk to this one you will be promoting Communism and nationalism; you should not get in touch with other people. You must not talk with their elected leaders because they were placed in that position by agitators. Then the Prime Minister says there is only one way in which that can be done and that is the way that the National Party suggests. I have often said that I think I interpret the feelings of everyone in South Africa, whether they belong to the National Party or not, when I say that if justice could be done to everybody in South Africa on a basis of apartheid, nobody will be against it. We have heard for years how every racial group would be given the right of self-determination, and how nobody could justify race discrimination; but for years we have been waiting for the Government to prove to us how discrimination could be eliminated under the Prime Minister’s policy. It does not avail the Prime Minister to refer sneeringly to persons who refuse to accept that his policy and that of the Government is practicable. A few days ago we all listened attentively and with respect to the speech of the President. The State President rightly explained the broad objectives of the policy. The Prime Minister mentioned some of them. The first was that South Africa should advance economically. Nobody can object to that. The second is that we should ensure a continual increase in the standard of living of the people. Once again everybody subscribes to that. Where we differ is how those objectives are to be achieved in practice. The State President told us that we should develop the tremendous material assets which we had in South Africa. He said that that was not the only asset that we had, but that we also possessed vast human resources, and it is common knowledge that unless we use the ability of every person in South Africa in the development of our natural resources, we shall not attain the measure of success which we ought to attain unless we remove the existing stumbling blocks which prevent every person from developing to the utmost of his ability; that the prejudice which exists and which prevents the non-White from developing to his full potential should be removed. If we do not succeed in doing that we will not be able in practice to achieve those broad objectives to which the State President has referred.
The State President also told us that employment facilities should be created for every scientist and every trained person. Nobody can say anything against that. We accept all that but how are we going to put that into effect on a basis of apartheid and race discrimination. If we want to train those people we will have to remove all traces of discrimination so that the non-White will be able to develop to his full potential, and secondly, you must provide him with employment once he is trained. Consequently every apartheid measure which prevents his employment should be removed. The State President went further and said that our objective in the Republic should be to develop a better understanding and attitude towards South Africa on the part of the world outside. Here too everybody will do his utmost to achieve that in practice. Nobody in South Africa wants to harm his country deliberately, but the hon. the Prime Minister must not expect us to subscribe to every idea of his or of the Nationalist Party, and when we show opposition and disagree with the Prime Minister he should not accuse us of acting un-patriotically. I think that the objective envisaged by the President, namely that we should try to get the world outside to adopt a more friendly attitude towards South Africa and to give them a better understanding of our policy, cannot be achieved in practice unless we discard race discrimination, because not one of us can justify the fact that merely on account of the colour of his skin a person should not be allowed to do a certain job or cannot do certain work in certain places in South Africa; that person is up against discrimination at every turn. Nobody can justify that. Unless we discard race discrimination, we will not achieve the object envisaged by the State President.
I do not wish to analyse the hon. the Prime Minister’s Native policy or apartheid policy in detail. We will do so at a later stage, but I want to react to what the Prime Minister said about the plea which I made to him that he should call the leaders in South Africa together in an attempt to find a common basis which would be acceptable to the people of this country. The Prime Minister has refused. He has also refused to call a convention of the leading figures in the various racial groups in order to find a basis of co-operation. I want to say with respect to the Leader of the Opposition—and I am pleased to note that he associates himself with the idea of a conference, because he stated that he would never associate himself with the idea of a National Convention—that I do not know of any responsible person who has mooted the idea of such a conference. What is envisaged, is simply that leading personalities representatives of the various racial groups should come together on a common platform.
In other words, what you want is simply what the Opposition want?
It does not matter who wants it. All we know is that the Nationalist Party do not want it, not because it may promote Communism, but because the Nationalist Party will be unable to justify its policy there. Once again I want to emphasize the fact that in spite of the deep-seated differences between the policies of the various parties in South Africa, White and non-White, there is a great deal which is common to the various racial groups. I am convinced that if we created an opportunity where the responsible persons could come together, we will find a basis on which to face the future. In the past the language question has caused a great rift between the groups. It has been said quite rightly that the idea of a republic has caused division between the people. I am convinced that if we could find an acceptable basis on which every person would feel that that which is dear to him would be protected in future, we would rid ourselves of all suspicion and hatred. I move.
I second the amendment.
I have no intention of replying to the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler). All I can say is that the Progressive Party is a political anachronism. They are absolutely determined to commit racial suicide, but fortunately they are merely a passing phase. They represent nobody expect themselves. They are here merely on sufferance and at the next election they will probably return to that oblivion from which they should never have emerged.
I want to deal with the speech of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition. I must say that I have listened to many speeches by the Leader of the Opposition in this House. I have listened to good speeches, to speeches which were not so good and to poor speeches, but I do not think I have ever listened to such a poor speech as he made this afternoon. As a matter of fact, at one stage during the course of his speech one of the Whips sent over to me a list of the names of members of the Opposition who were fast asleep, and there were 11 of them.
That is a lie.
If hon. members wish me to give the names of these 11 members, I am quite prepared to do so. Does the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) want me to give the names?
There was no one asleep on this side.
There were 11. Fortunately he was not one. I have the names here of the Opposition members who were asleep while their leader was speaking. That shows the interest taken by his own side in their leader’s speech.
Despite the wording of this motion, it is tantamount to a vote of censure and of no-confidence in the Government. The Leader of the Opposition says “Hear, hear!”. He has a perfect right to move a vote of censure or of no-confidence, but one would expect that a vote of no-confidence would at least reflect the views of the majority of the voters outside this House, because after all if a motion of no-confidence is accepted and the Government has to resign and an election takes place, a majority of the voters must support the Opposition and return them to office. That being the case, what evidence is there that this motion of no-confidence reflects the opinion of the majority of voters? I think on the contrary all the evidence points to the fact that there is a continual and progressive loss of confidence in the Opposition. As a matter of fact, I think the Opposition has become a laughing stock and a political joke in South Africa. They are hardly taken seriously today. If one looks back over the past 13 years one finds a dismal record of the United Party being revealed. One can ask what has happened to the once strong and proud United Party under the leadership of General Smuts? They have been beaten in election after election. They were soundly thrashed at the recent by-elections at Ladysmith, Bethal and Swellendam. The United Party has travelled a long road strewn with broken pledges and principles. They have shed principles as easily as they shed members. If one looks round the House one finds former members of the United Party sitting in the benches of the Progressives, as Independents, and on this side of the House, and some of their members have actually withdrawn from politics altogether in disgust, and no wonder! For 13 years they have been seeking policies. For 13 years there has been a search for policy. For 13 years they have been trying to be all things to all men. No sooner was a policy formulated than it was discarded in favour of another. No wonder that some of the newspapers supporting them wrote some time ago that the United Party is again in search of a policy. The editor of this newspaper writes—
And to show the truth of this allegation he also wrote further—
Another newspaper wrote—
I say they have been in search of a policy for 13 years, and directly they formulated a policy they discarded it again. How many editions have there been of their Native policy? In 1948 the policy was gradually to extend political rights to those who become capable of carrying out the corresponding duties. In 1951 the policy was the following—
Then came the Senate Plan. Then in 1961 a new policy was formulated which the Leader of the Opposition announced as follows—
That is only a few months ago, and recently another new policy was announced, the Racial Federation Plan.
But let us take their Coloured policy, with which the hon. the Prime Minister dealt in his speech. In 1954 the policy was to restore the Coloureds to the Common Roll and to maintain the status quo. In 1956, however, Mr. Strauss, the then leader of the party, stated that before they placed the Coloureds back on the Common Roll there would first be consultations and it would be decided what qualifications must be applied to the Coloureds. Then again there was the Senate Plan, where the Coloureds in the northern provinces would be represented in the Senate by Europeans. In 1961 the new policy was announced, that the Cape Coloureds should be accepted as part of the Western group and therefore the United Party has accepted that they should be returned to the Common Roll in the Cape and in Natal. The Leader of the Opposition said—
This is the most recent policy and it is this policy that I want to deal with. I think that the Leader of the Opposition owes it to the country to give definite replies to certain questions that I am going to put to him. Will the franchise qualifications be retained? Why only the Cape and Natal? What are they going to do about the Coloureds in the northern provinces? What about the Coloureds in the Transvaal and the Free State? Will they have no vote or will they be placed on a separate roll? It must be borne in mind that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition has only talked about the Coloureds in the Cape and Natal. In other words, those members of the Coloured community who were originally on the Common Roll. He says that he wants to restore them to the Common Roll and give them the right to elect their own representatives to Parliament. Surely the Leader of the Opposition must tell the country what he is going to do about the Coloured people in the Transvaal and the Free State. Are they going to be placed on a separate roll? Will they have the right to elect their own representatives to Parliament? Will they have no franchise or will they have the right to elect Europeans to represent them in this House? I think the Leader of the Opposition owes that reply to Parliament and the country. Will there, therefore, be two methods of representation—the Coloureds in the Cape and Natal on the Common Roll and the Coloureds in the Free State and the Transvaal on a separate roll, electing White people to represent them? I think the hon. the Leader of the Opposition should clarify this in his reply. He states that the Coloured people in the Cape and Natal will be entitled to elect their own people to represent them in Parliament. Does this mean that the Coloureds in the Cape and Natal will also have the right to become members of the United Party? Will they have the right to compete with European members of the United Party for nomination when there is a parliamentary election? I think the Leader of the Opposition should tell the public whether they have that in view. If he says that they do not then they are not politically honest. If they want to restore the Coloured people to the Common Roll, if they want to give them the right to elect their own representatives to Parliament, then he must say whether they will also have the right to become members of his party, whether they will have the right to compete with members of his party for nomination when there is an election.
And for the leadership.
The Leader of the Opposition must also tell the country and this House what the position will be in Parliament of the Coloured representatives if they are elected. I shall be very pleased if the hon. the Leader of the Opposition will give me his attention; these are very important questions to which he owes the country definite replies. They cannot always bluff the people. The people will not always be bluffed, and these are pertinent questions to which he must reply. If Coloured representatives are elected to Parliament does he envisage that they must make use of all the facilities at the disposal of Europeans in Parliament, and if they are accepted as part of the Western group, as stated by him in his speech, and they have full equality in Parliament, would that equality also be extended to activities outside Parliament? In other words, will all discrimination be abolished? The Leader of the Opposition should amplify his policy and tell the public whether he also envisages municipal franchise for the Coloured people in the northern provinces, in Natal, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State? Surely it would be most unfair to restore them to the Common Roll in the Cape and Natal and to refuse to give them the municipal franchise and the right to be elected to municipal councils. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition must also tell the House whether in that case all the conventional and statutory Colour bars are to be eliminated. Surely that is part of his plan. He has stated in his speech that they must be accepted as part of the Western group. The United Party has, therefore, accepted that they should be returned to the Common Roll. If he accepts the Coloured people as part of the Western group, if he wants to restore them to the Common Roll; if he wants to give them the right to elect their own representatives to Parliament, then obviously he must eliminate all discrimination; then they must have full equality in the House and if they have full equality in the House, what right would they have to discriminate against them outside the House? The Leader of the Opposition must tell us whether that is what they have in view; whether their policy embraces the elimination of all discrimination between Coloureds and Europeans? I say that these questions must be answered. There should at least be some political honesty in a political party which regards itself as the alternative government. I think the public wants to know the answers to these questions.
In regard to the Indians the hon. member stated that the idea of repatriation was dead, that we have to accept the Indians as a permanent part of South Africa’s multi-racial population. On that basis they should be represented in Parliament, and that representation should be on the same basis as that provided for in the Native Representation Act of 1936, that is to say, separate roll representation by Europeans. But is that honest or is it just bluff? The hon. the Leader of the Opposition knows that in 1946 legislation was passed by the then United Party Government giving the Indians representation on a communal roll, representation by Whites. Did the Indians accept that? Now he proposes that the same form of representation must again be given to the Indians. In 1946 they rejected that. Does the Leader of the Opposition think that they will accept it now? He says that there will be consultation with the Indians. Consultation about what—about the weather? Knowing beforehand that the Indians were not prepared to accept the representation offered to them in 1946, he now says that he is going to consult with them. If he consults with them he must be prepared to concede something. What concessions is he prepared to make? I think the country is entitled to know. You see, Sir these hon. members think that they can bluff the public. Whenever there is a change of weather they come forward with a new policy, and they come with high-sounding phrases and platitudes and try to bluff the people that they have a new policy that offers a solution to all our problems. But when those policies are analysed you find that they are nothing but a bluff, and if they are not merely bluff they are nothing but political dishonesty. I think it is only right that the Leader of the Opposition should reply to these questions; the public wants to know. These are the so-called policies with which they hope to catch votes. It is quite clear that this motion of no-confidence has no support outside, and in spite of that the United Party still has the temerity to move this vote of no-confidence. They are so bankrupt in policy and constructive thinking that in this morning’s Cape Times I read that the hon. member for Green Point (Maj. van der Byl) who unfortunately is not here at the moment, is reported to have said—
That is the type of thing we get. I can only say to the hon. member that that is the senile vapourings of a very old man, but nevertheless it is an indication of the trend of thought on the other side. They will do everything they possibly can to bluff the people; they are prepared to make misrepresentations in an effort to gain some support.
Now I want to deal with more recent events. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition started his speech by thanking the police and the Defence Force for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the three days prior to the proclamation of the republic, and he also thanked the non-Europeans for their conduct. Mr. Speaker, I want to refer to the hon. member’s conduct, to the United Party’s conduct and to the conduct of their newspapers during the month of May in regard to the troubles that we might have had on 29, 30 and 31 May. It must be borne in mind that this could very easily have resulted in our economy being completely paralysed and in demonstrations leading to a second Sharpeville and Langa. A three-day strike, if it was generally supported, would have paralysed our economy. Demonstrations might have led to violence; there might have been a second Sharpeville and Langa. What was the attitude of the Opposition? Did they support the Government in their efforts to take precautionary measures to prevent these troubles? On the contrary they did everything in their power to hamper the Government.
Such as what?
The legislation that was introduced by the Minister of Justice was fought tooth and nail by them; the speeches that they made were an encouragement to these agitators …
You are being childish.
They did everything in their power to hamper the Government in their attempts to take precautionary measures to prevent trouble.
What about being honest with the public now?
The speeches that they made inside and outside this House are still fresh in our minds, and I think we can come to one conclusion and one conclusion only and that is that those hon. members and their newspapers wanted trouble on 31 May. They thought that at the last moment something could still prevent South Africa from becoming a republic or that they could embarrass the Government to such an extent that they could gain by it politically. I say again that I am quite convinced in my own mind, and a very large section of the public is also convinced, that those hon. gentlemen together with the newspapers supporting them, wanted trouble on 31 May.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
You are sucking that out of your finger tips.
I am going to show the House what the conduct of United Party newspapers was, and there was not one word of protest from the Leader of the Opposition or any member on that side of the House against the attitude and the conduct of those English-language newspapers. These are newspapers supporting them and they could have repudiated them but we did not hear a single word of protest. I say therefore that I combine them with their newspapers; they would have liked to have seen trouble on 31 May. I can sum up their attitude by quoting an extract from a leading article in the Star of 3 May. This is the general attitude amongst newspaper editors and of the Opposition. The Star wrote as follows in an editorial—
“Peaceful demonstrations to air grievances” —that is how it was regarded. A three-day strike, according to this newspaper was a peaceful demonstration. A strike which, if successful, could paralyse our whole economy, was a “peaceful demonstration”. A demonstration that would inevitably have led to violence was regarded as a peaceful demonstration. These non-Europeans were to have the fullest right to make these peaceful demonstrations and the Government was wrong in taking steps to prevent that. If that was not direct encouragement to the trouble-makers, then I do not know what encouragement is. During the month of May these newspapers supporting the Opposition gave every encouragement by way of sympathetic publicity to the so-called leaders of the trouble-makers. Everything that Nelson Mandela, who was supposed to be the leader, had to say was front-page news. As a matter of fact, one reporter was blindfolded and taken to Mandela where he was in hiding, as in a detective thriller. There he had an interview with Mandela. When he came back the interview was published on the front page under sympathetic headlines. Mandela merely had to telephone one of these newspapers and the next day there would be a front-page story of everything Mandela had said, or under sympathetic headlines. This is the type of thing that was published; this appeared on the front page of the Star—
Was he not hiding in their offices?
That was the type of thing we had for a month. Every encouragement was given to these trouble-makers, inciting them in a very subtle way and hoping that there would be trouble, that there would be a strike and that there would be demonstrations. But while this type of propaganda, this type of publicity, was given to the agitators, this is the type of publicity that was given to the efforts of the Government to prevent these troubles. I quote from the Rand Daily Mail of the 12th—
That referred to the Bill introduced by the Minister of Justice. Not once did they denounce these trouble-makers, but every step that the Government took was denounced by these newspapers. The trouble-makers were encouraged. It must be borne in mind that 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the readers of these newspapers are non-Europeans, and one can realize what influence these newspapers have on these non-Europeans. If this publicity had not been given, the whole attempt to hold demonstrations would have died a quiet death. The newspapers were the cause of all the trouble that might have taken place on 29, 30 and 31 May. And during all these weeks we did not hear one word of protest from the hon. the Leader of the Opposition or any member of that party. That is why I feel that I am justified in saying that the United Party together with their newspapers hoped for trouble; they wanted trouble on 29, 30 and 31 May. They thought that would embarrass the Government to such an extent that they would gain by it politically.
That is not true.
May I ask the Minister a question?
No. Their intentions and their desires were revealed in a leading article in the Star of 15 May.
“Eendrag maak mag”.
This shows you, Sir, what was behind it.
A real unity speech!
We do not want unity with the Opposition. Heaven preserve us from that!
That has given the game away.
Are these hon. members under the impression that when the hon. the Prime Minister spoke about unity he meant unity with the Opposition? Good heavens, such an idea has never entered our heads. You cannot mix oil and water.
On 15 May the editor of the Star wrote as follows —and this shows what was actually the motive of these people—why they were encouraging these trouble-makers; why they were hoping for trouble, why they wanted trouble. Writing about this national convention about which the hon. member for Queenstown (Dr. Steytler) spoke, the Star wrote as follows—
A non-racial Government—
In other words, the intention is that the “Whites only” regime must come to a fall.
And replaced by a rebel government.
They want a mixed government, even if it is a rebel government. They want a government consisting of Black, White, Brown and Yellow, a so-called non-racial Government, because the “Whites only” regime must fall and to do that they are quite prepared to enlist the support of the non-Europeans in an attempt to overthrow the Government. That was why they hoped for trouble on 29, 30 and 31 May.
I know that a squeal will go up after this speech of mine; it will be said that I am attacking the freedom of the Press. Sir, I am not attacking the freedom of the Press; I am attacking Press licence. Is it freedom of the Press that they should deliberately endanger their own country? Is it freedom of the Press that they should be allowed to make every attempt to destroy Western civilization in South Africa? Is it freedom that they should be permitted to slander and vilify their own country in the outside world? Is it freedom that they should have the right to publish distortions, half-truths and deliberate lies?
Like Die Transvaler did during the war.
On 21 May the Sunday Times wrote as follows in a leading article—
I agree with these sentiments, but has this newspaper the faintest conception of what truth actually means? I want to give some examples of what the Sunday Times regards as the “truth”. They have a certain political correspondent by the name of Uys. This political correspondent is probably the most unscrupulous liar in South African journalism. He is a self-confessed signatory to the Nkrumah declaration in Ghana, in other words, a self-confessed traitor to his own country. He is a man who slanders and vilifies South Africa in the outside world. I want to give some illustrations of the “truth” as the Sunday Times and Uys see it. I am only going to quote a few of the numerous examples that I could quote. On 20 March 1960, Uys wrote—
The very next day the Prime Minister announced that he was going to the conference, so it was a deliberate lie. On 4 September 1960, he writes—
A good idea.
It is necessary.
On the same date he writes about a meeting of the Federal Council of the National Party held in Bloemfontein a few days earlier, and he writes to say that Dr. Dönges was the “star of Nat. secret meeting”. He said that there had been warm exchanges at the Federal Council of the party in Bloemfontein, which had met privately. Mr. Speaker, no meeting of the Federal Council was ever held at Bloemfontein; that was a deliberate lie. On 18 September he wrote—
Another deliberate lie; it never happened. On 25 September he writes—
[Laughter.] Of course, that is their conception of “truth” and that is why hon. members opposite laugh at it. That is the type of thing that they have been making propaganda with —untruths and distortions, a sign of their political bankruptcy. On 25 September he wrote—
A deliberate lie; it never happened.
It might happen to you
On 16 October he wrote—
My colleague made an immediate declaration to the effect that there was not a word of truth in that—that it was a deliberate lie. Recently on 21 May this year, he wrote—
That never happened; the Prime Minister never spoke about it. Here was a deliberate lie again.
I did not speak at all on that day.
On 21 May he writes under big headlines in the Sunday Times—
That was a deliberate lie.
Why do you not take it to the Press Commission.
What stupid interjection did that hon. member make?
The hon. Minister need not take any notice …
… of stupid interjections. Very well, Mr. Speaker. This is the conception of truth of the Sunday Times. They write sanctimonious articles about the duty of a newspaper to publish the truth. I repeat that the United Party and the newspapers supporting it wanted trouble on 29, 30 and 31 May and they are disappointed that there was no trouble.
Who is talking about truth now? You have disqualified yourself.
That is the truth.
It is a deliberate lie.
Their conduct during the month of May is ample proof of the truth of the statement I have just made. I repeat that they hampered the Government at every stage. They opposed necessary legislation. They tried to minimize the dangers in their speeches; they attacked the Government for the police raids, for calling up the Defence Force. In every possible way they hampered the Government in its efforts to take precautionary measures, and that is why I say that they together with their newspapers wanted trouble on 29, 30 and 31 May. I can assure them that the public outside thinks so too, and that is why this motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition to-day has no right to be moved in the House at this stage because it does not reflect the opinion of the public. On the contrary, as I stated in my opening remarks, the public have less confidence in the United Party opposition to-day than they have ever had before.
As I have a very limited time allotted to me in this debate, the hon. the Minister of Transport will have to forgive me if I do not refer to his speech. I am quite sure that in due course his speech will be suitably dealt with. For the present I want to deal with something more important.
My colleagues and I wish to identify ourselves with the motion moved by the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.
It is a great pity that in the address delivered by the State President and for which the Government quite rightly accepts responsibility, and indeed in the speech made by the hon. the Prime Minister himself this afternoon, the Government did not avail itself of the opportunity of indicating to the citizens of our Republic and to the outside world its intention to give some consideration to a change of attitude towards the racial problems confronting South Africa. The people of our new Republic expected such a declaration. The vast majority of the people of this country will be greatly disappointed in the hon. the Prime Minister’s attitude and speech this afternoon. They expected from him a state-smans-like declaration indicating the sincerity of the Government’s claim, made prior to the establishment of the Republic, to bring about a change of attitude with regard to our racial problems. The address given by the State President shortly after his induction indicated a very strong possibility of a change of attitude towards our racial problems. In the course of that very inspiring address the State President said this—
The hon. State President went on to say in the same address—
Mr. Speaker, I say that in the light of these statements, the country and the world were entitled to expect a declaration from the Government indicating a new attitude of mind and of heart to the difficult racial problems with which our country is unfortunately confronted. I repeat that the people of our new Republic will be greatly disappointed in the hon. the Prime Minister’s speech this afternoon. It would appear quite obviously from what he said in this House this afternoon that his granite wall attitude is to be perpetuated in our new republic. I say that it is a thousand pities that that should be the case.
In the limited time at my disposal I want to confine my remarks to-day entirely to the position of the Coloured people. One would have hoped that the Government would have availed itself of the opportunity either through the State President’s address for which the Government rightly accepts responsibility, or through the hon. the Prime Minister himself this afternoon, of indicating some hope to the Coloured people in regard to the future rôle which they are expected to play in the Republic of South Africa. Instead of conveying this message of hope to the Coloured people, the Government obviously intends to persist in the unrealistic attitude which it had adopted prior to the establishment of our Republic. I say it is a thousand pities that the Government follows this course. I am quite certain that an indication from the Government that it was prepared to give serious consideration to a reappraisal of its attitude towards our Coloured people would be welcomed not only by the Coloured people of South Africa, but by the vast majority of the White population of South Africa, including a considerable number of Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, and, what is more important, a considerable number of members of the Nationalist Party. Surely one of the most important objects which the Government must ensure in this early life of our Republic is to obtain from all our citizens undivided loyalty to our new state. The Government cannot possibly believe that its persistence in this unrealistic attitude and its policy towards the Coloured people can bring about this undivided loyalty from them. The Coloured people bye and large wish to remain loyal to their country. They wish to remain on the side of law and order. The events of the past few days, which have been referred to previously in this debate, in the days when we were celebrating the establishment of our Republic, clearly indicate the attitude of responsible Coloureds leaders. We all know that tremendous pressure was brought to bear —and I am sure the hon. the Minister of Justice will know this—upon the Coloured people to join forces with the Africans in a common front against the Government. We all know that pressure was brought to bear upon the Coloured people to join in a nation-wide strike throughout the country towards the end of May. There is no doubt to my mind that this pressure emanated from communist inspired so-called leaders, and the Government knows this. But to the credit of the Coloured people and their responsible leaders, the Coloured people paid no attention to this pressure. Their real leaders prevailed upon the rank and file of the Coloured people to ignore the intimidations of these irresponsible leaders. The vast majority of the Coloured people showed a great deal of courage in exhibiting their loyalty to the Government and to the new Republic. The hon. the Prime Minister himself and most of the prominent spokesmen on the Government side repeatedly assured us that with the coming of the Republic there would be created a new and better feeling in South Africa. I have not the time to quote the Prime Minister’s own words, but that was the effect of his words, that with the coming of the Republic there would be created a new and better feeling in South Africa. I pray that the hon. the Prime Minister is right, but I am afraid that his attitude, as shown in the speech that he made to-day, will certainly not tend towards creating this new and better feeling in South Africa. Here we have a glorious opportunity of showing to our Coloured citizens our bona fides and our earnest desire to bring about a new and better feeling towards them. Can we wish for a better opportunity than the present to draw the Coloured people closer to the White people of this country? We know that the destiny of the Coloured people is so bound up with the Whites of this country that they are virtually inseparable. Their destiny is our destiny in this country. From every point of view, and more particularly from the economic point of view, which the hon. the Prime Minister stressed so vehemently this afternoon, the destiny of the Coloured people is inextricably interwoven with that of the White people of South Africa. Surely this aspect alone should compel us to reconsider our attitude towards the Coloured citizens in our new Republic. It should induce us, I suggest, to approach the matter on a realistic basis. I appeal to the Government let us clean the slate and make a fresh start. This is our opportunity of making a fresh start. Let us forget the ridiculous approach that was previously made to endeavour to create for the Coloured people a state within a state in this country.
Do you want equal rights?
Nobody has asked for equal rights. The hon. member knows from my previous speeches what we asked for. I say the time for a reappraisal of our attitude could never be more opportune than it is to-day. The success of our republic will depend to a very large extent on the manner in which we are prepared to reconsider our policy towards our Coloured people. I earnestly plead with the Government not to allow the gulf to widen between the Coloured people and the White people of this country. There has already been far too much drifting in our relationship with our Coloured friends. Mention was made this afternoon of the Nationalist Party Congress which is going to take place in the near future in the Cape to deal with this question of the Coloured people. I note with a great deal of pleasure and interest the fact that the congress is going to take place.
Where do you get that? A congress?
From your own Press. A section of the Nationalist Party of the Cape will meet in the near future to discuss the future of the Coloured people. I hope that the hon. the Deputy Minister is not going to tell us that no such congress is going to take place. I hope that there will be a realistic approach to the problem in the light of the trend of events on this continent. Let us get away from the answers that have been given time and time again by the hon. the Deputy Minister of the Interior in this House, and which I expect he will give again in this debate, in which he has stressed the so-called practical benefits that have been given by the Government to the Coloured people.
You are an agitator.
Every time one makes a practical approach, to anything, one is called an agitator in this House. Mr. Speaker, the hon. the Deputy Minister of the Interior has told us time and time again that the Government has established a Coloured Affairs Department in which only Coloured people are employed; he goes on usually to say that the Government has made tremendous progress with Coloured housing schemes, that the Government has set aside substantial sums of money for Coloured development, and so on. But what the hon. the Deputy Minister and his colleagues on that side of the House failed to realize is that all these things that he mentions as having been given to the Coloured people are rights to which the Coloured people are entitled. No favour has been conferred upon them. One would think that these are privileges granted through the graciousness of the hon. the Deputy Minister. I say that no civilized country could survive if it failed to give its citizens these basic rights to which they are entitled. What the hon. the Deputy Minister fails to appreciate is that those material benefits which he has proclaimed times without number in this House in no way makes up for the indignities which have been afflicted upon the Coloured people. These benefits in no way compensate for the loss of the political rights which were taken away from the Coloured people; they in no way compensate for the way in which the Coloured people have been relegated to the standard of third-class citizens in their own country. The Coloured people are entitled to be regarded as acceptable citizens of our Republic. It is quite wrong for us to treat them in the same category as the Bantu, and that is unfortunately the trend followed by the present Government. By every test the Coloured people are integrated with the White people of South Africa. Their religion, their education, their language, their social background form part of the Western way of life, and surely this justifies the restoration to them of the political rights which they enjoyed for over a century in their own country. Surely in this age if we wish to make a real success of our new Republic and wish to have a contented people in our land, we should not continue to inflict upon the Coloured people the indignities of the past. We should make every effort to eliminate the causes which have brought about so much friction and humiliations in the past. The responsibility in this matter rests with the Government. The Nationalist Party Congress to which I referred, and which I hope is going to be held despite the laughing interjection of the hon. Deputy Minister, to deal with the Coloured people can help tremendously in this matter. I would commend this to that congress that they should adopt a courageous attitude, despite the attitude taken up by the hon. the Prime Minister in this House this afternoon, because I really think the hon. the Prime Minister does not know the true position of the Coloured people of this country. I say that this congress should adopt a courageous attitude. They should recommend an immediate suspension of all the harsh implications of the Group Areas Act, they should recommend the elimination of the job reservation decrees as between the White and the Coloured people in this country, and above all they should recommend courageously the restoration of the Coloured people to the Common Roll so as to enable them to take their place side by side with the White people of South Africa in exhibiting undivided loyalty to our new Republic. I repeat that the remedy of this matter does not rest with the Opposition. I say advisedly that the Government alone can bring permanent peace to our land. Mr. Speaker, a repetition of the banning of meetings, the calling-up of our Defence Force, the alerting of the Police for nation-wide riots, can do our country no good. Let us try in a realistic way to meet the basic problems which confront our country. Let us in the words of our State President “create a new attitude of mind, a new spirit and a new heart in dealing with all the peoples of our Republic”. I conclude with the words of the hon. the State President where he said—
For heaven’s sake let us not lose that opportunity.
The hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) followed his leader in the accusation which the hon. the Leader of the Opposition (Sir de Villiers Graaff) made—I wrote down his words—
The hon. member followed his leader by saying that the phrase quoted from the State President’s address has now been proved by the Prime Minister to be nothing else but lip service, because according to him the country has expected the Prime Minister to show a “change of heart”, a “reappraisal of our position We have become used to this battle cry of theirs “change of heart and a reappraisal”. But what is really meant by those words is what you have to read into them, Sir, namely that having come to the end of the struggle for symbols of nationhood a position has been created in which every South African will do his duty towards a common fatherland in a new spirit of unity. That is not something that still has to be attained. The situation has been created, mainly due to the actions of this Government. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition says that what we did in the past was nothing but lip service. I do not want to deal with that at length except to ask this question: Who created all those things that symbolize that common nationhood which we talk about? Symbols in the form of a national anthem, in the form of a single citizenship, in the form of a flag, in the form of a State to which we all swore allegiance a few days ago, with a few exceptions, with a common head at our State to whom all of us show loyalty to-day. Do those things not symbolize and personify nationhood? Have hon. members opposite made any positive contribution towards the establishment of those things? On the contrary they fought against those measures time and again. The hon. member now says that he is disappointed with what the hon. the Prime Minister has said because he has not revealed a “change of heart”. But the change has come about due to the establishment of those things. We have something in common on which we can build, something to which we can pay homage and something to which we can be loyal. That is something which we possess jointly, even those hon. members opposite in spite of the fact that they did not want it. That is what is meant with these words. In the second place I want to say this to the hon. member: Those words do not mean (does he expect it) that because we are now a Republic we should suddenly discard our way of life and change our attitude towards race relationship and that the National Party should discard its policy and that the United Party should discard its policy and that the Progressive Party should discard theirs and that we should have a round table conference and try to find something to put in its place. Is that his attitude? It is ridiculous to think that this party should suddenly discard those principles which have placed it in power to promote national unity, to promote our idea of freedom, to improve race relations, and that it should give those who placed it in power a slap in the face and say, “All those mandates which you have given me in the past constitute a lot of nonsense”. The hon. member is not a child! When we use words they mean something. I want to tell him and the hon. member for Peninsula (Mr. Bloomberg) who claims to be speaking on behalf of the Coloured people, a claim to which he is not entitled …
He is only speaking on behalf of a portion of the Coloured people, because there is a large and growing section of the Coloured community who is beginning to realize the wisdom of the Government’s attitude and of the Government’s policy.
The Union Council?
The hon. member talks sneeringly about the Union Council. But believe me, Mr. Speaker, when they meet in Cape Town he treats them and gives them tea.
That is very unfair.
I did not want to bring that in but the hon. member should not adopt such a sneering attitude. There are certain questions which the hon. member for Peninsula and the hon. the Leader of the Opposition cannot get away from and they must reply to those questions. The first question was put to them by the hon. Minister of Transport: Why only a common voters’ roll for the Coloured people of the Cape Province and Natal? When the hon. member for Peninsula talks on behalf of the Coloured people, does he also talk on behalf of the Coloureds of the Transvaal and of the Free State and if it is only the Coloureds of the Cape Province and Natal that have to be restored to the common roll, what kind of representation must be given to the Coloureds of the Free State and the Transvaal? We have to know that before we can have the “change of heart” that they plead for. We also want to know this. By restoring them to the common roll, does that mean that there will be qualifications for the Coloureds or does it mean that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition want the same qualifications that apply to the Coloureds to apply to the Whites? Otherwise he will be discriminating. Then there cannot be a “change of heart Will he also give the franchise to every Coloured over the age of 18 years in the Cape Province? And also to the women over 18 years? And if he does give it to them, is he going to give them the right to have a Coloured person representing a constituency, also the White voters in that constituency? If the hon. the Leader of the Opposition does not reply to these questions, he must not talk to the Government about a “change of heart”, because in that case he is only bluffing, and the hon. member for Peninsula is also bluffing if he wants to promote the interests of the Coloureds. The hon. member for Peninsula is a member of the United Party and he came to Parliament on the strength of the support of that party. Does he want to pass a law which will give every Coloured woman and every Coloured man over the age of 18 years the vote together with the White man? Or does he wish to introduce qualifications for the White man? Only by doing that will he avoid discrimination. The hon. member must reply to that. There is a second question to which hon. members must reply, namely this: They talk about a change of heart on the part of the Government. I do not want to detail the policy which the Government is following: I merely want to ask this question: History has reserved certain rural areas for the Coloureds, more than 2,500,000 morgen of land. It used to be more. I now want to ask the hon. the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. member for Peninsula this: Must the Government withdraw the protection which the Coloureds enjoy in those rural areas? Must the Government throw them open to free competition? Because you cannot have equal political rights, a common voters’ roll, you cannot give the Coloureds the right to represent White in Parliament, and then take certain protective measures to protect the Coloureds in those rural areas. Those rural areas will have to be thrown open to free competition between those people who are equal in the political sphere.
Do you do that to the Whites?
I am not talking about Outeniqua and a guitar and that sort of thing. I am asking the hon. member for Peninsula and the hon. the Leader of the Opposition whether those protective measures that place certain limitations on Whites who cannot own land in those Coloured areas, must be abolished? Otherwise it is so much nonsense to talk about equal rights. And if you withdraw those limitations how long will those Coloureds retain that land? It used to be more than 2,500,000 morgen, much more, it has decreased to 2,500,000 under the very system of so-called political integration, because the White man with his capital, bought up that land.
There is a third question that we must put to them and to which they must reply. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition made a speech at Pietermaritzburg and on that occasion he had a great deal to say about the policy of group areas and he talked about how cruel it was, and the hardships that were suffered under the policy of group areas. One of the basic principles of the policy of group areas is that every race shall have property rights in the area that has been set aside for that particular race.
The Natives too?
I am talking about the Coloureds at the moment. Under the policy of group areas each racial group has the right to own property in his particular area.
Mr. Speaker, I agree with you that we should not react to stupid interjections like that. I want to ask the Leader of the Opposition this: Does he want to change this principle in the Group Areas Act or does he want to retain it? Does he want to retain the principle that areas should be allocated to White and to Coloureds? Those are group areas. Does he want that principle to be applied and if he does, does he in the second place want to see housing schemes in order to implement that policy? And if he uses State funds for that purpose does he want to throw those areas open to speculators so that they can convert them into slums? Or does he want protective measures and precautionary measures introduced so that those areas cannot be used for any other purposes than those of a particular group and for the purpose of that individual who belongs to that group? He must reply to these questions and if he does not want to reply to them, he must stop getting on to public platforms and talking about the cruelty of the Group Areas Act. The same applies to the hon. member for Peninsula. It is the policy of this Government, and it applies that policy, to give preference to the Coloureds and to every group in their respective areas as far as trading licences, business undertakings, entrepreneur activities etc. are concerned. Does he want to have that particular preference which a certain race enjoys abolished and does he want free competition? I want to ask the hon. member for Peninsula whether he is promoting the interests of the Coloureds, who are economically weaker, by adopting that attitude? He talks about a “change of heart”. I am telling him on what principles we are governing and I am asking him whether he wants to have them changed. You see, Mr. Speaker, when you bring those hon. members down to earth and you test the practicability of their attitude they have not got a leg to stand on.
I want to put a final question to the Leader of the Opposition and the hon. member for Peninsula and it is this: If their attitude is that there should be political integration and a common voters’ roll, I want to know this: Do they want to give those Coloureds who have the ability to enter the Civil service the opportunity to share all administrative, clerical and professional posts with the White Civil Servants in every state department; if they have the merit and the ability to do so? In other words, do they want to throw the Civil service open to the Coloureds so that they will be on an equal footing with the White Civil Servants in every Government department? If not, what has become of this “change of heart”? It is this attitude of equality, this attitude of integration of the hon. the Leader of the Opposition, that we have to consider. Or what does he think how should we do? Our policy is to give Coloureds an opportunity to serve their own people, as social welfare officers, as welfare officers, in administrative posts, in clerical posts and in professional posts. The hon. the Leader of the Opposition should tell us whether he wants to throw the entire civil service open to the Coloureds on an equal footing with the Whites, whether he wants to abolish the protection which the Coloureds enjoy in respect of the rural areas and what his attitude is in respect of the political rights of the Coloureds. The present Government is adopting a firm attitude and we are progressing very successfully. We are progressing in spite of all the propaganda that is made amongst the Coloured people and we are getting more and more co-operation from them, in spite of the opposition that we get from certain people. I ask this Mr. Speaker: where must the “change of heart” be; where must the rights be destroyed; where must the change be; and how can that change be in the interests of the Coloured community? No, Mr. Speaker, the point is simply this that just as in the case of the struggle about the flag, the struggle about citizenship and the struggle about the national anthem, and the struggle to materialize the republican ideal, under the guidance of this party and this Government an ever increasing group of people will come forward in South Africa to seek racial relationships that will be sound in future on the basis suggested by us. That is the task for the future and in performing that task we will come together in a common fatherland with a common loyalty, with a common pride in improved race relationships in the future.
I do not think this House would expect it of me to follow the hon. the Deputy Minister at great length in the speech he has just made in order to prepare the ground for the conference of the Nationalist Party of the Cape Province to-morrow on the Cape Coloured issue. It is perfectly clear that what was happening this afternoon was that the Deputy Minister was preparing the people who will attend that conference—as was the hon. the Prime Minister and the hon. the Minister of Transport—for what they should expect from the Congress. He was making it clear that they must expect nothing at all. However, there is one thing that I should take up with the hon. the Deputy Minister who threw challenges across the floor of the House about a change of heart. When he did that he obviously forgot the very interesting statement made by the hon. the Prime Minister in this House a few weeks ago when the Prime Minister announced that, as he saw the future, the Nationalist Party is the only party in South Africa that has a policy which will eliminate any form of racial discrimination in South Africa. Does the hon. the Deputy Minister agree with that?
The hon. the Deputy Minister agrees. Then I cannot understand that he should get up and make what he thinks to be an important speech, as he did this afternoon, without explaining to us how, in the case of the Cape Coloured people there can be a policy of no discrimination when the hon. members on the Government side admit that the policy of territorial separation for the Coloured people is not possible.
I replied to your question, you first reply to mine.
The hon. the Deputy Minister was very eager with his questions. I now want to put to him one question which he should have answered if the policy of the Nationalist Party meant anything to him. How do they implement their policy of a state for the Coloured people within the common South African State in order to achieve this policy of non-discrimination, when that state will have no territory of its own? Until the hon. the Deputy Minister or the hon. the Prime Minister or any other hon. gentleman on that side can resolve that enigma, they have no right to stand up here pretending they have a policy and challenging other parties in this country on points of policy. If hon. members will disabuse their minds of their own prejudices for one moment they will agree with me that the most preposterous statement on colour policy made in this House was the statement that you can have no discrimination in South Africa if you will create for the Coloured and the Indian people separate states, with no geographic basis, but within the body of the South African State. I cannot take anybody seriously on the issue of colour on this country until they resolve that enigma. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I think I had better leave the hon. the Deputy Minister and return to what is more interesting, and that is the speech made by the hon. the Prime Minister.
We had two senior members of the Cabinet intervening in this debate to-day. We had the hon. the Prime Minister and we had the hon. the Minister of Transport. Both speeches were most revealing. The speech of the hon. the Minister of Transport was not only interesting; it was fascinating. We know the hon. the Minister of Transport as an able administrator according to his lights. A man of great qualities which we all admire. But from time to time the hon. the Minister gets carried away by his political prejudices and reveals a side of himself which is less pleasant than his positive qualities. Now I want to forgive the hon. the Minister. I want to say at once that we all forgive him. We have great sympathy with a man of the insight and the ability of the hon. the Minister of Transport who is compelled by forces that are historical in South Africa to-day, to support the policies of the hon. the Prime Minister. We know from experience that when a man finds it impossible to defend his own point of view in life, reasonably and rationally and by logical argument, the temptation to resort to abuse of your opponents tends to become irresistible. I want to assure the hon. the Minister, therefore, that we bear him no grudge. He has our sympathy and, indeed, to-night some of us will even pray for the Minister.
The speech by the hon. the Prime Minister was revealing in another sense; in a more important sense. It was revealing to all of us of the policies which he will expect the Nationalist Party, the governing party in South Africa, to follow under the new dispensation which we now know as the Republic of South Africa. We all looked forward to to-day with great interest waiting for a speech from the hon. the Prime Minister. It was his first opportunity to face Parliament on a general debate with the rules of relevance greatly relaxed, in order to give us some inkling as to his philosophy, his hopes and his aspirations for the Republic of South Africa. I want to say at once that I agree with my hon. Leader that a great many people in South Africa have been expecting great things of the Republic of South Africa. And I want to make this statement, that in the past years, and especially since the middle of last year, the political parties in South Africa have been engaged in a tussle for the support of the population on this question of a republic. And my hon. friends opposite stated all the items on the credit balance of the republican issue, and we stated, as strongly as we could, the items on the debit balance. I want to admit that there are possibly credit items on this balance too. We on this side of the House find ourselves in this position to-day, that the items on the debit balance against which we warned the people are now coming tragically true. We are out of the Commonwealth. We are experiencing growing economic difficulties. And I want to say at once that we do not gloat about this. We are South Africans. These unfortunate events must affect every one of us who are against the Government, politically, as much as any supporter of the Government. We wish South Africa well under its new form of government. If there is anything we can do to establish the Republic of South Africa in a manner which will redound to the happiness of all the peoples of South Africa we are eager and ready to do it. But we are worried because none of the items on the credit side of the balance, which were so forcibly stated by the hon. the Prime Minister himself, are becoming evident in our life—and they certainly were not evident in the speech made by the Prime Minister this afternoon.
Mr. Speaker, the interesting thing is this: If we want to overcome these debit items that are mounting up against South Africa, then the Government should emphasize and try to bring about as speedily as possible the items on the credit side. There should be some attempt to balance the disadvantages with the advantages, and that is peculiarly within the Government’s power to bring about for South Africa.
We were hoping we would get a real statement from the hon. the Prime Minister this afternoon on the question of national unity. We were hoping for some indication to-day—as the Prime Minister was so eager to indicate before 5 October last year—that once the Republic had been established there would be a tendency on his part to take into consideration the point of view of other South Africans, and not to dismiss them without proper consideration. And although he did not say this I think we are entitled to read into his words that we should not be arrogant in our belief that we alone have a monopoly of truth and political insight in South Africa. But there was nothing of that to-day. And of course, this brilliant statement by the hon. the Minister of Transport that he desires no unity with the opposition …
No, he did not say that. If he had said that I would not have criticized him.
Yes, it was political unity.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Randfontein (Dr. Mulder) did not make that speech. The hon. the Minister for Transport made it perfectly clear. It seems to indicate that the items we were promised on the credit side are still an unsigned cheque, and the Prime Minister at least is taking no action to put his signature to that cheque. National unity is one of the great things that we have been promised. But on that very score the Prime Minister made certain statements which are shocking to anyone who hopes for national unity in South Africa. I want to quote only one or two examples.
The hon. the Prime Minister made a statement, for example, on the Cape Coloured people. And let me say at once that they are inextricably a part of the South African nation, whatever reservations my friends opposite may have about the Native and the Indian people, they cannot in justice or by definition have any objection to admitting that the Cape Coloured people are for all time inextricably part of the South African nation. But the hon. the Prime Minister laid down this new political theorem. He said that there had been bitter dispute about the Coloured people while they were on the Common Roll, and therefore it was right that they should be put on a separate roll, be deprived of their rights; and therefore it was also right that to-day they should be relegated to a position where they were reduced to political inferiority below what they had been accustomed to in South Africa, and that they should gratefully receive the crumbs that fall from the table of the Minister of the Interior—crumbs to which, in any case, they are entitled as citizens of South Africa. But the thing that was so shocking is that the hon. the Prime Minister did not recall to this House a very significant fact, and that is that before 1933 the Coloured people were not in the position where they were the source of bitter dispute over their political rights in South Africa. Before 1933, when we had two responsible political parties in this country, and not only one—as we have on the Opposition side to-day—the Coloured people’s vote was not in dispute. Their status was not in dispute. And the Prime Minister’s argument that they had to be reduced in status to prevent White disunity, is simply not true. It was on the initiative of the present Nationalist Party that the Coloured people were made a political football in South Africa. Must we now conclude that it is part of the philosophy of the hon. the Prime Minister that all you have to do is to start a campaign, a bitter racial campaign against a racial group in South Africa and, if you are successful in whipping up hatred against those people and casting suspicion and distrust in the minds of people, you are entitled to take away their rights and so you find a happy solution to the problem? Is that the basis on which you are going to seek greater unity and happiness and dignity for the Republic of South Africa?
Mr. Speaker, the trouble with the hon. the Prime Minister is that he confuses the concept of nation with the concept of tribe. He does not distinguish between the clan and the nation. And as long as we in South Africa persist in that attitude, in believing that the Afrikaans-speaking people are a separate nation and the English-speaking people are a separate nation, and that the Cape Coloured people are a separate nation, I can see no hope for further unity in South Africa under the present régime.
The other major point which caused great delight to the followers of the hon. the Prime Minister was his statement on the position of the Indians in South Africa. For years now we have been waiting to hear from the Nationalist Party that they have some policy —never mind a policy, even that they have some approach to the Indian people in South Africa. There was an opportunity to-day. It is not clear from the previous statements made by the hon. the Prime Minister this Session as to whether the Indians are also to have a state within a state in South Africa. There was some hint of that in a previous speech by the hon. the Prime Minister, but is that his definite solution and his hope for the solving of the Indian problem as it exists in the Republic of South Africa? And then he turned to the United Party Opposition and he said, “Because you are in favour of a Common Roll for the Cape Coloured people, and because you are willing to let them sit in this House is that your policy for the Indian people?” But that does not follow. In a complex multi-racial society such as we have in South Africa, different solutions are necessary at this time for different groups of the people. Let us face that fact.
I want to put it to the hon. the Prime Minister that he tried to lead the United Party to an admission that for every race group in South Africa there must be one common policy. That is his attitude. But is he willing to accept the basis of the argument that he tried to use against us? Because if not it was an unfair argument which he was not entitled to use. Does he accept it? Must we accept from the hon. the Prime Minister that the only justice that can be done in this multi-racial South Africa of ours is to treat the Indians, the Coloureds and the Natives exactly alike? Is that his policy? Perhaps we shall have another opportunity to hear the hon. the Prime Minister’s answer. The Prime Minister certainly does not apply this axiom to the indigenous Native people of South Africa. For them he has a special dream. He persists in his policy of the partition of South Africa. Although I do not claim to be a prophet, I think the hon. the Prime Minister, impelled by circumstances of his own creation which have now developed beyond his control, will have no option but to try and accelerate the process of the partition of South Africa for the remaining time that he has as Prime Minister of South Africa. But look at the situation he has landed himself in. The hon. the Prime Minister says that we on this side of the House, in offering to make concessions to the detribalized urban Natives, are indulging in a most dangerous policy. He says that because we give them the little finger they will grasp the whole hand. The Prime Minister’s argument is that once you give anything you will have to give the lot. But what is the Prime Minister offering these people? He is offering them absolutely nothing in that part of South Africa where they live and have their being and make their living. But he is willing to create independent states out of the body of South Africa and then to say to the urban Natives, “You are citizens of that state”. And he is willing to say to those independent states, “These people living and working, being born and dying in South Africa are your subjects.”
Those hon. members must say that is correct because that is the Prime Minister’s policy. I want to challenge any hon. member on that side to give me one precedent in history for such folly. Is there one precedent in history where a nation, faced with the problem of a group which they regard, rightly or wrongly, as unassimilable, has created a state and has supported the establishment of that state which would become the champion of that unassimilable group—as they thought—while that group remained in their own country?
Somebody does not know his history. [Laughter.]
Mr. Speaker, I have no knowledge in history of Basutoland being created an independent state empowered to act as the champion of minority groups of its own ethnic types in another state.
That is happening now.
No, Basutoland is not an independent state. But that is the policy of this Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the only man who has deliberately suggested in any civilized period of history that one nation should create a state to become the champion of a majority remaining in the original state—a minority in the political sense. It would be as if the Poles and the Czechs had deliberately set about, at the turn of the century, to create a Nazi-German state as a matter of their policy, in order to create the incidents which eventually led to the destruction of Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1939 and 1940. I cannot understand that we are called upon to accept such a policy as a possible serious solution to the problems of South Africa. I can understand that we can believe that there will be an easing of tensions by bringing about as much separation as possible. I can understand that we seize upon historical and existing facts in South Africa which have given millions of Native people a territory of their own, unlike the Indians and the Coloureds, and that we use that accident of history in some way or other to ease tensions. But to go to this extreme and to say that you want to make those territories independent states, while there will remain in your own territory people who, under your laws, will be subjects of the new state, but who will enjoy no rights, no hopes and no prospects in the state where they live—that does not make sense. That is deliberate suicide even if it is unthinking.
The hon. the Prime Minister also attacked this side of the House with a very simple statement and that is that the policy which the opposition offers South Africa will not achieve what we hope it will achieve. He mentioned, amongst other things, that the policy we offer will not be accepted by the Africans in South Africa, nor by the Africans of the rest of Africa, nor by the Western world, nor by the United Nations. His suggestion is that we as South Africans do formulate our policies in order to appease world opinion.
Your party does.
What the hon. the Prime Minister suggested, rather subtly, the hon. member for Kempton Park (Mr. F. S. Steyn) lacking the subtlety, now announces.
Of course that cannot be. I think all of us should agree on this, that there comes a time in the life of a nation when that nation has to defend its outlook and its values, even if it stands alone and weak in the whole world. Such a time can come. It came to Finland 20 years ago, and the whole world admired Finland. And I want to say at once that it may come to South Africa too. But, at least, there should be a condition precedent for any nation to take up such an attitude in the world, and that is that the policies and the values and the way of life that you want to defend against the whole world must be one that you can also defend to your own conscience. I say that categorically, and this is where the hon. the Prime Minister is so tragically wrong—that the vast majority of the peoples who live in South Africa—four-fifths of the peoples of South Africa cannot, to their own conscience, defend the policies which this Government is following in South Africa to-day. Any hope of uniting the nation to defend what is just and right from the South African point of view—against all comers if necessary—is futile unless we are willing to accept policies in South Africa that will satisfy, not the world outside, but our own conscience and our own appreciation of what is just and right.
Mr. Speaker, I want to challenge the hon. the Prime Minister. For the past 13 years the policy followed by the party opposite has had a minimum of positive content and a maximum of negative content. Let me put it this way: for 13 years they have taken what were, at best, conventions in the South African way of life—conventions that worked; there was a certain code that regulated relations between race and race in this country, a code that worked. And having come into power unexpectedly, as they did in 1948, having created this monster of apartheid as a political slogan, they were compelled to set about it. And what could they do? All they could do was to translate these conventions into rigid statutes with punitive sanctions attached to them. And if you look back, with minor exceptions that is the history of the achievements of the Nationalist Government from 1948 to 1961 in the sphere of race relations. My challenge to the hon. the Prime Minister this afternoon is, in the time that is still left to the hon. gentleman as the political leader of South Africa, let him give some positive content to his policy. A real content, not one that depends for its execution on fictions which can bluff nobody who looks at them objectively.
Mr. Speaker, my time is just about finished and I want to give the hon. the Prime Minister one example. Let him accept the recommendations of his own Tomlinson Commission. That was a Commission which, with one possible exception, no names no pack drill—represented the cream of the intellect available to the Nationalist Party. Let him accept that report at least in this one recommendation, that he should increase the carrying power of the reserves in South Africa, have industries developed inside those reserves. And in order to achieve that he must introduce White skill, White capital and White enterprise there. If the hon. the Prime Minister will do that he may still create a different image in South Africa, he may still bring international understanding, he may still bring national unity; he may still justify the Republic of South Africa which we will all accept as a fact.
First Order read: Third Reading,—Diamond Export Duty Amendment Bill.
Bill read a third time.
Second Order read: Third Reading,—Universities Amendment Bill.
Bill read a third time.
Business suspended at 6.30 p.m. and resumed at 8.5 p.m.
Third Order read: First Report of Select Committee on Bantu Affairs to be considered.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to move the following amendment—
These two proclamations are included among those covered by paragraph II of this report to which we object. I refer to Proclamations Nos. 400 of 29 November 1960 and No. 413 of 12 December 1960, which contain a number of regulations for the administration of the Transkeian Territories. These regulations except for parts III and V which relate to entry into and departure from certain districts, namely Bizana and four other districts of the Transkei, apply to the whole of the 26 districts of the Transkei. They are of a most drastic character and in view of the fact that peaceful conditions have been restored in the Transkei, we contend that they should not be permitted to continue. They were promulgated at a time of unrest in Pondoland and to all intents and purposes they amount to a state of martial law. You cannot control the population in this way indefinitely. Under part II meetings of more than ten Natives are prohibited except under permit granted by the Native Commissioner and subject to such conditions as he may impose. Entry and departure from any of the five prohibited districts where the recent disturbances took place, are forbidden except under a permit from the Native Commissioner and subject to such conditions as he may impose. Native chiefs are being given extensive powers of jurisdiction that have hitherto been the function of the Department of Bantu Administration and the European magistrates. Under regulation No. 12, Sir, these chiefs are being given authority to order the removal of a Native subject without prior notice or trial, together with his family and all his belongings, from his place of abode to a place indicated by the chief. And the chief may cause his huts or dwellings to be demolished. If the Native fails to comply, the chief has power to impose a fine of £50 or four head of large stock or 20 head of small stock with an alternative of three months’ imprisonment. There is, it is true, an appeal to the Chief Native Commissioner, but the Chief Native Commissioner’s decision is final and there is no recourse to the Supreme Court. Under Clause 17 (Prohibition of Interdicts) there can be no suspension of the chief’s order of removal pending the appeal. The Native must move out and lodge his appeal from his new place of abode. And there is no provision for alternative accommodation for him in the latter place. Hitherto this power of removal has been the function of the Governor-General (now the State President) under Section 5 of the Native Administration Act of 1927. And the delegation of this power to Native chiefs is a dangerous procedure and may lead to grave injustice. During a previous debate it was argued that in accordance with a decision of the Appellate Division given many years ago, the power of a Native chief to remove a recalcitrant member of his tribe was inherent. That case was based upon the customs of a particular Native tribe in the Transvaal and has never been recognized in the Transkei. Ever since the annexation of the Transkeian Territories these powers have been exercised by the Government—and then only in extreme cases of internal unrest. This point of view has now been crystallized in Section 5 of Act No. 38 of 1927 upon which the Government usually acts.
Under regulation 13 certain chiefs are being given criminal jurisdiction to punish offenders for contraventions of the regulations and to impose a fine of £50 or three months’ imprisonment, including certain types of cases in which the chiefs themselves are the complainants, for acts of disobedience and so forth. Formerly the Transkeian chiefs had jurisdiction only in civil cases between Natives, in terms of Section 12 of the Native Administration Act of 1927 but they were never granted jurisdiction in criminal cases which were dealt with by the European magistrates. It is probably true that in certain of the reserves outside the Transkei chiefs were given criminal jurisdiction in cases punishable under Native law and custom. But the maximum penalty the chief could impose then was a fine of two head of cattle or £5. Even to-day, under an amendment introduced by the present Government by Act No. 13 of 1955 a chief’s jurisdiction in criminal cases is limited to a fine of £20 or two head of large stock or ten head of small stock. But he has no jurisdiction to impose an alternative of imprisonment, as is the position under the present regulations. If the fine is not paid the offender must be brought before the Native Commissioner who may impose an alternative of imprisonment not exceeding three months, but then only if the Native Commissioner is satisfied that the fine has been lawfully imposed. This procedure serves as a check against any injustice by the chief. But under these regulations the chief may impose the alternative of imprisonment himself which is. I submit, a very unwise procedure and is open to corruption and abuse.
Another clause that we consider is both unnecessary and unjust is the indemnity Clause No. 16 which deprives a person who may have suffered wrong or injury arising out of the operation of the regulations, of his common law right of bringing an action for damages against the authorities. And an amending regulation, No. 16bis, extends this indemnity to any criminal proceedings that may be brought against an officer or a chief or headman who has acted in good faith. And “good faith” is presumed until the contrary is proved. I say that is very unjust. In such circumstances, the proof of good faith should be upon the accused as being a matter within his peculiar knowledge. But here the onus is cast upon the unfortunate complainant who may be an ignorant Native and who alleges that he has been wrongfully assaulted.
At this stage I wish to refer to a case that illustrates my point—one that I mentioned during the consideration of the Justice Vote. Last year 11 Pondos were killed by police action in the Lusikisiki district. An inquest was held by the magistrate of Lusikisiki last February, and the magistrate found that four of the Pondos were probably killed by stengun bullets fired by a police sergeant. He added that the sergeant’s firing was unjustified and reckless and prima facie amounted to culpable homicide. I do not want to go into the further facts of that case, Sir, but I do say this that in such a case the dependants of the deceased should not be precluded from bringing an action for damages, should they be so advised. But the effect of this proclamation will be that those unfortunate people will not be permitted to bring any action at all. I ask, Sir, how are they to discharge the onus of proving absence of good faith in such a case on the part of the police. The only persons who could give some evidence on that point would be the four Pondos who are now dead.
Then I come to the new Clause 19 that is contained in Proclamation No. 413 and that is, I submit, the most oppressive of all the regulations. One that has resulted in a great deal of injustice and hardship. It applies throughout the Transkeian Territories and is not confined to the five districts that were responsible for the disturbances. It gives wide powers of arrest and detention that has led, I submit, to serious abuse. It provides that whenever a Native Commissioner or a non-commissioned officer of the South African Police is satisfied that any person has committed an offence under the regulations …
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, is the hon. member allowed to read his speech.
Order! The hon. member may continue.
If they are satisfied that any person has committed an offence under the regulations or any other law, or whenever he has reason to suspect that any person has or had the intention to commit such an offence, he may arrest or cause such person to be arrested without warrant for questioning and may detain him until he has answered fully and truthfully all questions put to him which have any bearing upon the said offence or intended offence. The effect of this regulation is to authorize the summary arrest of three classes of persons: (a) a person who has committed an offence under the regulations “or under any other law” (it may in fact be an offence that had nothing to do with the emergency); (b) a person suspected of committing or intending to commit such an offence and (c) a person in possession of information relating to such an offence.
Under Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1955 a person arrested without warrant cannot be detained for more than 48 hours unless a warrant for his further detention is obtained. But under this regulation No. 19 there is no such safeguard. He may be detained indefinitely without trial and without any charge being preferred against him. Under Regulation No. 20 the person arrested under these regulations is deprived of his fundamental right of consulting his legal adviser without the consent of the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development. Another point under our criminal procedure is this: Under Section 234 of our Code the persons referred to in classes (b) and (c) cannot be required to answer any questions if their answers might expose them to a criminal charge. But under these regulations this protection is not permitted. In regard to class (c) ample provision for the examination of a witness under the circumstances described already exists under Section 83 of the Criminal Procedure Act, but the essential difference is that in that case the examination is conducted before a magistrate, whereas under these regulations, the questioning may be carried out under the supervision of a non-commissioned officer of the police and the period of detention that may be imposed by a magistrate is only eight days. He may from time to time reimpose that but the man has to be brought before him every time. The magistrate has the power to impose a further detention period of eight days depending on the man’s conduct. But there is that limitation. There is no such limitation under these regulations, Sir. Hundreds of people have been detained under these regulations for months on end without any charge being preferred against them. I have a complaint of a Native, I do not know how true it is; I have referred it to the Commissioner of Police but I have not received any reply as yet. But this Native is alleged to have been detained since January in one of those Transkeian goals and there has been no charge and no trial. I cannot verify the facts, but I have referred the matter to the police. There is no doubt about it that that sort of thing has been happening.
How do you know?
I want to point out that under a Transkeian Act the Government is authorized to order the arrest or detention of any person who is dangerous to the public peace …
Mr. Speaker, on a point of order according to Rule 60 a member may not read his speech, but he may refer to copious notes.
Order! I have already given my ruling.
He may be detained by the Government if he is a person who is regarded as dangerous to the public peace. After three months the person so detained has the right to apply to the Supreme Court for an order for his release … [Interjections.]
Order! If hon. members refuse to heed my appeal for order, I shall have to request such members to leave the Chamber.
I spoke to the Minister of Justice about that, but he informed me that it was not the business of the police to inform a man of his rights. I do not think there is any doubt about it but that large numbers of those people have been detained for three months. I submit that it is the duty of the Department of Bantu Affairs, who have the interests of these people at heart, to inform them of their rights.
They usually do so, but I said that it was not incumbent upon them to do so.
Sir, it is a procedure that reminds one of the Star Chamber procedure of the 17th century. The Government has ample power to deal with any of the disorders that have hitherto taken place in the Native territories, both under the common law and under existing statutes which have been passed by the present Government and also under the extensive powers which the State President possesses as supreme chief under the Natal Code of Native Law which has been extended to the whole Union. Regulations such as those contained in these proclamations should never be resorted to except in time of war.
The hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) objects to these two proclamations that have been promulgated. In actual fact these two proclamations against which he objects are not as serious as he thinks. They are not of such a serious nature at all and we should also remember what the background is to these proclamations. Their background is a period of riots and trouble in Pondoland. According to that hon. member those proclamations should never have been promulgated. The hon. member would probably have liked to see those difficulties in Pondoland continuing on and getting worse. These proclamations were promulgated in order to restore order in Pondoland and as a result of these proclamations order was restored.
But they are applicable to the whole of the Transkei.
The hon. member knows as well as I do that there are many more proclamations, drastic proclamations, that are applicable to the Transkei; the whole of the Transkei can be governed by proclamation more so than any other part of the Republic of South Africa. There are exceptions in respect of the meetings that were banned to which the hon. member has referred. All meetings were not banned. If they go to the Bantu Commissioner they can obtain his written consent to hold a meeting subject to certain conditions relating to the time and the place for example. Other meetings are excluded entirely, such as church services, arrangement of domestic affairs, tuition, bona fide sport meetings, concerts and amusements, Bantu Authority meetings and official meetings. It is not as though there was a general prohibition in that part of the country on meetings; only certain meetings were banned, as one would expect when a state of emergency practically exists or when there is trouble in certain areas. The hon. member ought not to object to that, but he also objects to another aspect. He referred to the powers of the chiefs. These chiefs have always had certain powers. The hon. member referred to a case but he did not mention which case. It was a case which was before the Appeal Court in 1936 where the Appeal Court said this in respect of the powers of the chiefs—
The hon. member objects to that, but that was what the Appeal Court said and those hon. members always have such a holy respect for law and order! Here the Appeal Court itself said that they had that power. But they went further and said this—
That is what the Appeal Court says, namely that this power can be exercised without any investigation or trial of the Native or Natives concerned. They went still further and said this—
They say that such action is not in conflict with the principles observed by the civilized world. Yet hon. members come here and act as though such a terrible thing has been done as far as the powers of the chiefs are concerned. The hon. member for East London (City) also objected against the interdicts. Hon. members may object to it but that has been on our Statute Book for a long time. It says this in connection with the prohibition on interdicts—
That was accepted years ago in this country—that was accepted nine years ago under Act No. 54 of 1952, the Native Amendment Act. Is it necessary for hon. members to argue every year about this principle which was accepted in this House as far back as 1952? The wording in this proclamation is exactly the same. I do not think we should argue every year about a principle that has been incorporated in the law. If we were to do that there would be no end to it. That has been accepted in all proclamations and the hon. member knows that as well as I do. The hon. member also referred to another matter. I am not quite sure to what the hon. member referred, because unfortunately I could not hear him very clearly, but he apparently spoke about the removal of Natives from one place to another. It is the policy of the Department that when a Native is removed, to provide him with accommodation at that other place. That is the policy. There is legislation in certain respects, but here it is a moral obligation….
This is removal by a chief.
That makes no difference. If he is removed to another place accommodation must be provided for him. Let me put it this way: If a Native headman or captain removes a person to another place—it makes no difference whether he does it or whether the Department does it—alternative accommodation must be provided for that person. The hon. member knows that the position has always been that where a Bantu is removed from one place to another, alternative accommodation has always been provided for him. I do not think the hon. member for East London (City) can mention one case to me where a Bantu has been removed from one place to another and where alternative accommodation was not provided for him. The hon. member knows that yet he spoke as though that was not the case. He knows as well as I do that that was policy even in the days when he was still Secretary of the Department.
The hon. member also said “chiefs are given criminal jurisdiction”. He himself admitted that that did in fact happen in other parts. Section 1 says—
The hon. member objects to it that criminal jurisdiction should be given to these people but that can be done under the Native Administration Act of 1927. It is not a new principle that is being introduced here. The hon. member may very well say: “Yes, but the sentences which these people may impose are heavier than in the past”. That may be so; but under this National Party Government the calibre of these chiefs and headmen has improved considerably. I come to another point which the hon. member raised, namely that they do not have the right to consult their legal advisers. But that refers to certain legal advisers only because it has unfortunately happened that the process of the court has been abused. I do not want to level any accusations because I do not think it is necessary, when certain persons belonging to the legal profession do certain things, to drag those matters across the floor of the House. That has been done in the past. The hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) who is getting ready over there, can do so; I am not accusing anybody. But there have been certain people, not he, he need not look so guilty. I want to set his mind at rest, it was not the hon. member, neither was it any lawyer within the Transkei. I think some of the legal people are quite responsible …
Everyone of them.
Some of them even sit in this House! It was somebody outside the Transkei who to a certain extent brought discredit to the legal profession, and that was why it was necessary to do that. I cannot see how hon. members can in any circumstances object to Proclamations Nos. 100 and 113. There is nothing drastic about them. These are simply measures that were taken to bring about law and order in certain circumstances in a certain area of the Transkei and that was achieved. Hon. members are worried because we did achieve that. They would have liked us to have failed, but I think the hon. member for Transkeian Territories will agree with me when I say that the people of Bizana and those parts are very pleased to-day that measures were taken there so that law and order was restored in that area.
I am very disappointed to hear a speech of this nature by a member of the legal profession. I suppose I must pardon him because he is not an attorney and that he possibly has not got the same appreciation of the niceties of law and the freedom of the citizen which attorneys are expected to uphold. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) (Mr. J. A. F. Nel) said in reply to the hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) that these proclamations which were attacked by the member for East London (City) were “nie van so ’n ernstige aard nie”. I wrote down his words. I can think of no worse regulations that could be applied by a government affecting the freedom and the liberties of any citizen. These regulations which have been applied to the Transkei are much more stringent and worse than the emergency regulations that were applied to the rest of the country. I will deal with them seriatim, Sir, to show that nothing that the Government has applied to the rest of the country, even during the state of emergency or just before 31 May, was as drastic as the proclamations which have been applied to the Transkei. I cannot understand how that hon. members can possibly say that, “dit is nie van so ’n ernstige aard nie”. He pointed out that the proclamations was passed because of the trouble in Pondoland; that these proclamations was passed in order to bring peace to Pondoland. As the hon. member for East London (city) rightly interjected while he was speaking, I should like to point out that the troubles in Pondoland are over now. But in any event, these proclamations do not only apply to Pondoland, they apply to the whole of the Transkei. They did not only apply to the four districts that were specially affected by the troubles, they applied to the whole of the Transkei. It is no defence for the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) to get up and to say that they were applied in order to restore peace in Pondoland. He went on to say that in regard to the prohibition of meetings, which is part II of the proclamation, there was really nothing to it, because he said, they could always get permission from the Native Commissioner or from a chief of headman to hold such a meeting. I would like to point out that as far as the holding of meetings is concerned, this Government passed a proclamation just recently prohibiting meetings in the rest of the Union, but they have withdrawn that proclamation and have allowed people to hold meetings ad lib. They did not even fight the case which appeared before the Supreme Court …
Order! That has nothing to do with the subject under discussion.
I am sorry, Sir, it has a lot to do with the principle. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) said there was no hardship …
Order! The hon. member is going into too much detail now.
Sir, I am dealing with the principle of prohibiting meetings.
Order! He must give heed to my ruling.
I would like to say that as far as the Transkei is concerned, this prohibition is still there. If it is no hardship to anyone to get permission to hold a meeting, why did the Government withdraw the latest prohibition on the holding of meetings for the rest of the Republic, and why is the Transkei treated differently? If it is no hardship in the Transkei, why should it be a hardship elsewhere? But of course it is a hardship. The Government does not like the proclamation standing in the Gazette as a law prohibiting people from holding meetings, but as far as the Transkei is concerned apparently it does not matter.
The next point made by the Chairman of the Native Affairs Commission, the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North), is that he criticized the hon. member for East London (City) for complaining about the powers of the chiefs. He says that the powers given to the chiefs to remove their subjects from certain areas, to deport people, is nothing new. He says it is an inherent right of the chiefs and he quoted the Transvaal case. Sir, we all know that Transvaal case. That was a particular case applying to the Transvaal and to Native custom of the tribe in the Transvaal, but I submit that that law does not apply to the Transkei. Now the Minister and I have had an argument about this before and I still do not accept that the chiefs in the Transkei have any power of removal. All that that case said was that where the chiefs were entitled by customary law to remove people they are allowed to do so, and I challenge the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) or the Minister to give me any instance where a chief in the Transkei has ever deported a subject from his area. There is no record of any chief ever having done it and the Minister knows it, because it is not part of their customary law and that judgment does not apply to the Transkei. I would like to ask the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) whether he would like to answer the question which the Minister did not answer: If in fact it is the law, as he alleges the Appeal Court has held, that the chiefs can remove their people, why was it necessary to pass this proclamation to give them the power to remove people? They do not have the power to do it and that is why this proclamation was passed, and in fact the chiefs have not removed anybody even with that power which was given to them in terms of this proclamation.
The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) then went on to deal with Section 17 of the proclamation which deals with the prohibition of interdicts. He has asked: Why should the hon. member for East London (City) now object to the prohibition against interdicts when it is the law of the country passed in 1952? I would like to point out that we on this side opposed the Prohibition of Interdicts Act, we are still opposed to it and we still say it is wrong. No matter what was done in this House in 1952, we say it was wrong, and we say it was wrong of the Minister to include this prohibition of interdicts in the proclamation issued in November for the Transkei. I would just like to read this prohibition, which goes much further than the prohibition contained in the Act referred to. It says—
Who can make an order under these regulations? Who can find a person guilty? It is not only a court of law, it is not only a magistrate or a Judge, but in terms of this regulation the chief can do it, or any official. Now we are told that this must be likened to the Interdicts Act, but if in fact it was the same there would have been no necessity to put it into the proclamation, but it was put into the proclamation because it covers much more than the Interdicts Act of 1952.
It is the Native Law Amendment Act.
I say it was necessary to put it in here because it goes much further. Now the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) also said this, that the hon. member for East London (City) should not be so perturbed about a chief being given the power to order removal of a subject because the hon. member should know that no Native is ever removed unless alternative accommodation is provided. That may be quite true where he is removed by an order of the Department, but there is nothing in these regulations to say that the chief must see to it that alternative accommodation is provided for any of his subjects before he is removed from the area. All it says is that he cannot take steps to pull down his subject’s hut or to force him out within 30 days, because the subject is allowed a period of 30 days to appeal to the Chief Native Commissioner, but there is no provision here for alternative accommodation. Knowing how chiefs do act in these cases, I say it is a most serious provision that a chief can order a subject whom he does not like to remove from his area without giving him any alternative accommodation.
Where has it ever happened in the whole country?
The point is not where did it happen. We are attacking this proclamation because it gives the chiefs these powers. It has never happened in the Transkei before because it is not customary law, and the hon. member agrees with me there.
No, I do not agree with that.
The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) also said it was necessary in this proclamation to include a clause which prohibited an African or any other person who is arrested from seeing a legal adviser.
African or Bantu.
Yes, and he said that it was necessary because of the misuse of the processes of the Court by certain attorneys who were not resident in the Transkei. Now I know the attorney whom he is referring to. He came from outside the Transkei and he was prohibited from attending a case which had started in the Transkei. The prohibition against this attorney was subsequently uplifted and he was allowed to appear in this particular case which he was defending at the time. Now I submit that it is quite wrong and reprehensible for the Minister to issue a proclamation of this nature debarring any Bantu or African throughout the Transkei from seeing his lawyer when he is arrested because of the fact that one lawyer who came into the Transkei abused the process of the law. I do not say for one moment he did, but that was the accusation made against him by the Government. It is quite wrong to penalize 1,500,000 Natives in the Transkei from seeing a lawyer, because one lawyer, according to the Government, may have abused his privileges as an attorney and may have abused the processes of the law. I discussed this proclamation on previous occasions and my main objection to it is this, that it gives to the chiefs certain powers to try cases in which they are the Judges in their own cause. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) has said that these chiefs have criminal jurisdiction. I admit that. The chiefs in the Transkei had no criminal jurisdiction until last year or the year before and it is quite true that they have criminal jurisdiction now, but those chiefs are now being given power to try cases in which they are the complainants, and I want to read to you, Sir, when they can try a case—
I am only going to deal with the more serious of those regulations. The chiefs are interested in (a), (b), (c), (d), but take (e) in which an accused is brought before him for contravening (a) of Regulation 11. Now what does that say? It says—
The chief can then try the accused in respect of a statement subverting the authority of that chief or that headman. He will be trying a man who made a statement subverting his authority.
Then there is para. (f), which deals with para. (c) of the regulation, which says that any person commits an offence who organizes or takes part in any organized boycott of any meeting convened by an officer of the State or by a chief or headman. Now if the headman or the chief calls a meeting and the subject does not attend it, he can be charged with having boycotted that meeting, no matter why he did not attend it, and that chief will then try him. Or take para. (e) of the regulation. The offence there is that being a Native he refuses or neglects to obey any lawful order, including an order in accordance with Native law and custom, issued by a chief or headman to whose authority he is subject. Now the chief issues an instruction, an order, which he thinks is lawful. A member of his tribe does not obey it and he is then tried by the chief. The chief would not have issued the order unless he thought it was lawful, but he is going to try a member of his tribe who disobeys that order and who may quite rightly have thought it was not a lawful order. The next is para. (f), where the offence is that being a Native he treats the chief or headman to whose authority he is subject with disrespect, contempt or ridicule, or fails or neglects to show that respect and obedience and to render such services to such chief or headman as should be shown or rendered in accordance with Native law and custom. The chief is the judge. He is the accuser, he lodges the complaint, and he is the judge. He says that the subject did not treat him with respect and that he was contemptuous or ridiculed him or failed to show him respect or obedience, or failed to render such services as should be rendered to the chief or headman. Sir, it is scandalous that the chief himself should be able to judge. He is the man who accused the subject of not having paid due respect, and then he tries the case. So I can go on but I do not want to keep the House too long. The Minister has the proclamation before him and he can refer to it. But I say it is shocking that the chiefs should be given powers to try these cases.
There is another provision in the proclamation which makes it an offence for any person or a chief or headman not to notify the authorities if they think that there is somebody in the area who is not entitled to be there, someone who has come there without a permit or who may be there on a false permit. It is an offence if they do not notify the authorities. That is a very serious thing. The Minister himself has justified his actions in Pondoland—bringing in the mobile watch and taking certain other steps—by saying that the ordinary Bantu had to be protected from intimidators. I will admit at once, as I have done before in this House, that the intimidators were at work in Pondoland and that people were afraid. They were forced to go to meetings, whether they wanted to go or not. They were forced to stay away from meetings called by the chief magistrate, whether they wanted to go or not. I grant the Minister all that, but what is wrong is to make it a criminal offence for these people not to go to the chief or the headman to tell them that there is someone in the area who has no authority to be there or whom they suspect has no authority to be there. Can you imagine, Sir, what will be the position of these people, where they are being intimidated, and the Minister then forces them to go and report against the intimidators, knowing very well that if they do report they will be attacked by the intimidators, and if they do not do it they commit an offence. That is another serious objection I have to this proclamation.
There is also the prohibition of entry into the area by people who might be living in the area. My objection to that is that in terms of this proclamation a Native who is working outside the area and wishes to return to the area cannot do so unless he has a permit from the magistrate or the Native Commissioner. Now what if the Native Commissioner says he does not want him in that area? If this Native was working outside the Transkei, in some urban area, and he was out of employment for 72 hours he must get out, but he may be prohibited from going to his own kraal in the Transkei because the Native Commissioner will not allow him in. I say that, too, is wrong. A man who has his kraal site there should not be prohibited from returning to his kraal site.
We have another very serious objection to this proclamation, and that is Section 16, which gives an indemnity. This is how it reads—
And this applies to an officer of the Defence Force, too, in terms of another proclamation. Anybody acting under the orders of a chief, a headman, policeman or member of the Defence Force or a judicial officer is indemnified for any act he may commit, in terms of this proclamation, which is still in force. On a previous occasion we had a debate on the Indemnity Bill which sought to indemnify the Government and officials for acts committed in the rest of the Union.
The hon. member should not go into that.
I will not do so. We passed that Bill and all I want to say is that every objection we raised to that Indemnity Bill we stress tenfold now, because this indemnity goes even much further. It indemnifies not only the state or the Minister or the magistrate or a police officer or the Defence Force, but it also indemnifies a chief or headman in respect of any act committed by them, or any person ordered to act by the chief or the headman. I am sure that the Minister of Justice must agree with me that that goes too far. The Minister of Justice would never have dared to include that provision in the Indemnity Act, and I say it is quite wrong that a chief or a headman should be indemnified. And over what period? From 30 November until when? This proclamation is applied indefinitely, and I want to know from the Minister when he intends withdrawing it. Surely we cannot allow a proclamation of this nature to go on indefinitely in the Transkei. There must be some period covered by the indemnity and I cannot believe that any Minister can justify a measure such as this, which will go on and on forever, as far as we know. The proclamation, not No. 400 but the next one, No. 413, published on 14 December 1960, even goes further than No. 400, and it gives the officials the power to arrest. I want to read this particular proclamation to the House. The House does not know what is happening in the Transkei. I want to read Clause 19—
I must stress that “or under any other law”—
I will just deal with the last portion. He can detain him until he is satisfied that the person has answered fully and truthfully all the questions put to him. If he is not so satisfied he can detain him as long as he likes, unless the Minister orders him to be released. Now, who is to say whether the man is telling the truth or not? He may be telling the truth but if an army or defence officer thinks he is not telling the truth he may detain him. And sub-section (2) says—
Only the Minister can release him. No court can. The official himself will decide where and for how long he will detain him. He need not detain him in a gaol, but may put him in a police cell. And no person who has been arrested and detained under Regulation 19 shall, without the consent of the Minister or person acting under his authority, be allowed to consult with a legal adviser in connection with any matter relating to the arrest and detention of such person. That is in terms of Regulation 20. How can a regulation like that possibly be defended by any democrat or person with a sense of justice in this country? The least that a person under arrest should be entitled to is to consult a lawyer.
Must he consult you?
I say this is a shocking provision. It cannot possibly be justified. I know that certain Africans have been detained in gaol for as much as four months and have not been brought to trial yet, and nobody knows why they are being detained. Nobody can see them. Their relatives cannot approach a lawyer to see them without the consent of the Minister. These people are being detained without trial. If, as the Minister and the Government tell us, there is now peace in the Transkei, then I say there is no need for the continuation of this proclamation and I support the hon. member for East London (City) in asking for the withdrawal of this proclamation.
The hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) has argued as though these regulations were issued under absolutely normal circumstances. He has asked whether such “shocking regulations” can be justified. He did not think for one moment of the fact that “shocking murders” were committed, that people were murdered and huts burned down and that there were large-scale disturbances. I have here before me the report of the departmental committee into the disturbances in eastern Pondoland, and I just want to read to the House the findings of that committee—
Then there is the third finding, and it is on this that I want to place particular emphasis because it deals with the attorneys about whom the hon. member was so concerned—
And certain attorneys collected this money. We know what happened at Witsieshoek, where an attorney collected large amounts of money and later absconded and left them in the lurch. The fourth finding is the following—
But that is not all—
I could continue in this way and read a whole series of quotations from this report showing clearly that certain subversive elements were active in the Transkei. Objections are now being raised against these regulations which were issued to deal with that exceptional state of affairs. The regulations which are objected to, consist in effect of seven parts. The first part merely contains the definitions and it is not necessary to go into them; the second part deals with the prohibition of gatherings. What gatherings are not prohibited? Bona fide church services and funerals: the regulation of the domestic affairs of a kraal or household. That is to say, when the Bantu hold meetings in their kraals in order to regulate their domestic affairs, such meetings are exempted; furthermore, meetings of statutory bodies are exempted; school instruction, bona fide sports gatherings and concerts and entertainments. The meetings of Bantu Authorities are not prohibited, nor are meetings for official purposes. What then are the meetings that are actually prohibited? They are the subversive meetings which were held and which in normal times are never held in the Bantu areas. Meetings of this nature are never held in a Bantu area.
What do you know about it?
I certainly know more about it than the hon. member. We then come to the third part of the regulations. It contains a prohibition to the effect that certain areas may not be entered without the permission of the Native Commissioner. The hon. member apparently had no objection to that, except that he said that these regulations were now applicable to the whole Transkei. But that after all is not so and he knows it is not so. Certain of these parts of the regulations have only been made applicable to certain districts.
I did not say that about Part III.
The hon. member has said that all the regulations were applicable to the whole Transkei.
Certain of the regulations do apply to the whole Transkei, but what are they? The prohibition on meetings. Why not? It is precisely this provision which prevented the disturbances in eastern Pondoland from spreading to other parts of the Transkei. And Part IV has not yet been made applicable to any area at all.
I did not discuss it.
The hon. member says that chiefs have never had the right to remove a person from their area. He maintains that it was only the Native law in the Transvaal.
Let us just see what the position is. Under Section 1 of the Native Administration Act of 1927, the Supreme Chief in the Cape Province was given the powers which applied in Natal, and what does Section 2 of the Natal Act say? It says—
In other words, the State President as supreme chief can exercise that right to-day, because those chiefs did so, because they already had that power. And in 1927 this was also made applicable to the Cape Province. But what is the legal position? If a Native chief wishes to exercise that power and he goes to the courts, he must prove that custom. The hon. member as an attorney surely knows that no Native custom or Native law is officially recognized. It must first be proved in the courts that it is a Native custom or a Native law. It must in any case first be proved in the courts.
It was not customary.
I say it was a custom and on every occasion such a chief had to prove de novo in the courts that that particular custom existed. Because it has now been set out in a proclamation it is no longer necessary for him to prove it to the courts when the need arises. I have already said so before in this House, but the hon. member left the House on the previous occasion when I was speaking because he did not want to listen to the truth. He would not have raised this same argument once again this morning if he had listened to me on the previous occasion.
I then turn to Part VII. Here we have the provision which the hon. member read in its entirety, dealing with the right of arrest. I admit that this was a drastic measure. But it had to be drastic because if we had not taken drastic measures, the position in Pondoland would have got out of hand, and because these drastic measures were taken, the position did not get out of hand.
He feels badly about that.
These drastic measures were required to prevent the position getting out of hand. This measure will of course be repealed as soon as possible, but some of those people who were arrested are still being detained under these regulations and their cases have not yet been heard by the courts. The regulations cannot be withdrawn because they could then not be charged. The regulations must remain in force until the persons who are now being detained are charged. As soon as they are charged and their cases disposed of, the regulations can probably be repealed. The Minister can however on application release any person who has been arrested and who is being detained. The fact of the matter is that the Minister has only received representations in one instance asking that a person should be released, and in that case the Bantu concerned had already been released by the time the representations reached the Minister. That shows therefore that it is not so terribly unfair as the hon. member maintains.
Then the hon. member also referred to Regulation 20. It relates to persons who are detained and it says that they cannot consult their legal representatives. It is true that they cannot consult their legal representatives. The hon. member is leaving once again because he does not want to hear the truth. But it is true that they cannot consult their legal representatives. The regulations say so. But did the hon. member ever mention that such a person could consult his legal representative with the permission of the Minister? And if such an attorney, specially the one from Natal, was so anxious to earn the money which he had collected in shillings, he could have applied to the hon. the Minister for the right to represent those people. But even he has not asked for that permission. The regulation says that such a Native can consult his legal representative, but only with the permission of the Minister. But not one of these legal representatives has had the courage to approach the Minister and to say: “Allow me to consult these people.” What type of legal representatives are these? They are more interested in the money than they are in the defence of these people.
I just want to deal with one point which the hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) has raised. He has objected to Clause 16, the indemnity clause, and he says that the onus is being placed on the plaintiff to prove that the accused acted in “good faith”. But are hon. members opposite not the people who are always saying that we should not remove the onus from the plaintiff and place it on the accused? Here believe it or not they are advocating that the onus should be placed on the accused. On other occasions they say that we are grossly violating the principles of Roman-Dutch law; that we are violating the principles of justice because the Government wishes to place the onus on the accused to prove certain things. And believe it or not the hon. member comes to-night and urges that the onus to prove that the accused acted in “good faith” should be placed on the accused because it was “within his peculiar knowledge”. This is the type of argument we get from the Opposition. When it suits them, and particularly when they want to support subversive elements in this country, they suddenly advocate that the onus should be transferred, but on other occasions when subversive elements should be combated, then it is not right to do so.
It has also been said that the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) (Mr. J. A. F. Nel) has claimed that these regulations were not of such a serious nature. I want to say that some are of a serious nature, but the hon. member for Transkeian Territories has said that they are worse than the emergency regulations. I deny that. It is not so. And as far as the Interdict Act is concerned, he has claimed that the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) has said that these measures do not go further than the Interdict Act. That is true, but the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) never referred to the Interdict Act. He said that these proclamations did not go further than the Native Law Amendment Act. They have exactly the same effect. This was therefore another untrue submission which hon. members have made.
I want to express my gratification at the fact that these regulations have been issued and I also want to say that the Minister is not so unfair that he will not withdraw them when they are no longer necessary. But do not let us bluff ourselves. Many of these regulations are in fact still required, and the hon. the Minister will not be so irresponsible towards the country and the Bantu of the Transkei as to withdraw regulations before they really become unnecessary.
I do not wish to say a great deal about the matter under discussion. I just want to say that we support strongly the protestations made by the hon. members for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) and East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit) in objecting to the retention of these proclamations. I was astonished to hear hon. members on the other side, like the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) (Mr. J. A. F. Nel) and the hon. member for Heilbron (Mr. Froneman) asserting that these regulations should be continued, that although the nature of some of these regulations bring hardship, in the main there is nothing objectionable about having such regulations. It seems to me that in this country we are more and more getting used to states of emergency, to the use of force, to begins, to the restriction of the liberties of citizens, and every time this happens, it seems that hon. members are in a better frame of mood to continue with such restrictions, and indeed to welcome their imposition. We on this side of the House do not feel the same way.
If it is necessary for the sake of peace, yes.
I would like to tell the hon. member that the way to maintain true and lasting peace is not by the imposition of force, not by the imposition of emergency regulations, not by the banning of meetings, and not by restrictions on the liberties of the citizens; the way to ensure peace is to investigate the underlying causes of unrest and to set those causes right. That is the way to ensure everlasting peace.
Order! The hon. member cannot go into that now.
I am not going into any detail. I am simply replying to what hon. members on the other side have said.
Sir, we did ask the hon. the Minister some months ago to do something about investigating conditions in these areas, and he told us at the time that it was not necessary, that he was in full touch with the Bantu concerned, and that he was quite satisfied with the state of affairs. He told us a little later that there was peace in Pondoland and in the Transkei and that if conditions continued in that way he would consider lifting the emergency and lifting the proclamations for those areas. Now, Sir, it is already more than six months ago since these proclamations were imposed, and I would like to ask the hon. the Minister whether conditions have not now improved sufficiently for him to consider relaxing and lifting these proclamations. I agree with what the hon. member for Transkeian Territories said that in certain respects these proclamations are even more stringent than the proclamations that were issued during the general state of emergency last year. For instance, detainees during the state of emergency were allowed to have their relatives visiting them. As far as I know persons detained under the Proclamations 410 and 413 have not been allowed to have their relatives visiting them, and in many other ways we find that the utilization by the chiefs of increased powers has borne more hardly on the people concerned than did the general regulations during the state of emergency last year. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (North) said that Bantu chiefs have always exercised the power of removing persons from one part of the territory to another, but I want to point out that the Bantu chiefs always had to exercise their power within the framework of customs and with tribal consent. But the proclamations which give the chiefs these powers go very much further than tribal consent and tribal custom, and indeed, the hon. the Minister himself when he introduced these proclamations made it quite clear that in many ways the existing and customary powers of the chiefs were being greatly increased. He said it was at the request of the bantu’s own governing bodies that certain powers were going to be increased. For instance he said that the criminal jurisdiction of the chiefs-in-council was going to be increased. They could now impose a fine of £50 compared with £25 previously and sentences up to a maximum of three months’ imprisonment can be imposed when a guilty persons fails to pay the fine. All these are simply matters which are going to exacerbate the conditions already existing in those areas. The Minister’s own departmental committee of enquiry pointed out that there was already considerable dissatisfaction with the way in which the tribal chiefs were exercising their authority. Other investigations have revealed that this is one of the major causes of unrest in the Transkei and in Pondoland. That and matters such as taxation, the Bantu Authorities system, increased influx control—these are the underlying causes of grievances, and I put it to the hon. the Minister and to hon. members opposite that they can go on no longer ignoring the underlying causes, continuing with proclamations and with bannings and at the same time claim to be living in a democratic country.
I do not think that I need devote much time to what has been said here. I think that the hon. members for Port Elizabeth (North) and Heilbron have dealt so adequately with all the points raised that I do not need to devote much time to them. I saw that the hon. member for Transkeian Territories was once again on the point of leaving, but he fortunately decided to sit down half way.
I must honestly say that I am sorry that a plea has once again been made on behalf of the activities of the subversive elements in the Transkei. I want to repeat that I hold it very much against the hon. member for Transkeian Territories that together with the hon. member for East London (City) (I can quite understand his attitude) and together with the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) (I can quite understand her attitude as well) he, as someone who is really familiar with the position and as one of the people who should guard over the interests of the Bantu in the Transkei, has actually taken up the cudgels on behalf of the people who want to make life impossible for the other Bantu. These are a small group of Bantu and many of them have come from outside. I want to repeat what I have said before: There were Whites behind this small group of Bantu. They were the agitators. There are Bantu to-day who are bringing names to me which have really surprised me. The net is being drawn ever tighter, and to an ever-increasing extent there are Bantu today who are prepared to give us the names of Whites who are connected with what has happened in Pondoland and elsewhere.
Are you taking action against them?
I repeat that it is a small group of Bantu which is responsible for the major difficulties which have arisen there. They were trained, very well trained. Here we have had an excellent demonstration of how people use democratic rights to eradicate democracy root and branch. They have committed these crimes under cover of the principles of democracy. And now hon. members opposite actually want us to give them a free rein. I want to say this to-day: I acted with great patience in Pondoland, and I think the hon. member for Transkeian Territories will admit it. There are people who have criticized me for not acting sooner and taking more drastic action. But I believe in this type of approach because that is how I know the Bantu. He first wants to put his case fully to one; and if one does not listen to his case then one makes an enemy of him. And we have listened to what the people say their difficulties are. I want to concede quite readily that here and there chiefs have exceeded their powers somewhat. But the fact that I have listened to them has made a great impression. At certain places 10,000 and 5,000 people collected, and the fact that we listened made an impression on the Pondos of the Transkei. But nevertheless this small group of Bantu who were organized, who were used in a network, continued with their crimes and then the people had to suffer and there were murders and assaults. I want to say here to-day that I am convinced that if I had not taken such drastic action, there would have been far more murders and assaults in Pondoland and elsewhere in the Transkei than was actually the case. That is why I did the second reasonable thing which I am convinced was the correct thing to do. I convened the executive committee of the Transkeian Territorial Authority and together with the police and the officials we had a very full discussion on this matter. I asked that Transkeian executive committee, which has members who are educated men, men with LL.B. degrees what they suggested and what action we should take.
Yes, chiefs, but chiefs with a sense of responsibility, not only towards their own people but towards the Whites of the Transkei. That is the difference. Together with my officials they said: Look, these are the regulations which you must apply. And the officials who are responsible people and who know the Transkei better than the hon. member for Transkeian Territories, and who know the Xhosa better than the hon. member, considered these matters with them and the result was that in a very short time we got the whole position under effective control. Thereafter there was still a measure of fear amongst many of the Bantu but the main difficulties were behind us, and we prevented further murders and incendiarism, etc. taking place. We succeeded in stopping the activities of that group of agitators. It is not a very large group; there are not many of them. I concede at once that here and there there are one or two which are still at large and I want to catch them as well; I want them and I shall get them. There is no doubt about that. We have established law and order in Pondoland. What is more, the people of Pondoland are coming to-day not in their hundreds but in their thousands and thanking us for having issued these proclamations and for clamping down on these people. Just take Bizana, where we have one of the tribes who would never co-operate with us. The other day they called in the magistrate and a feast was are ranged for him. At the beginning there were more than 800 Bantu women who slaughtered an ox for him and arranged a feast and said: “We thank you for having taken such action.” When they were finished that was not all. They then said that there were still the men; their ox was still waiting for him. To-day in Pondoland, we have a spirit of loyalty, cooperation and gratitude which we have never had before in the history of Pondoland, and hon. members of the Opposition are sorry that that is the position.
They are very sorry about it. This is the type of love which they have for the Bantu of South Africa. The hon. member for Houghton and the hon. member for Transkeian Territories …
I live there.
Yes, but you are not doing your duty there.
I have challenged you before.
I accept the challenge.
Yes, but this is not a battlefield.
If the hon. member were to do his duty he would not plead for these criminals here, but he would thank me in the name of the Bantu of the Transkei, in the name of the law-abiding people of the Transkei; he would rise in the name of the law-abiding people of the Transkei and say: “I thank the Minister for what has been done there”. Then he would be doing his duty. But he does not do so and the Bantu of the Transkei must know of this. The hon. member for Houghton, Transkeian Territories and East London (City) are always rising here and saying: “Look, you do not consult the Bantu and that is the great weakness.” And here I have consulted the Bantu of the Transkei as to what action I should take, and hon. members blame me because I have accepted the advice of the Bantu. How is one to understand such people? I just want to say to-day that I am convinced that we have gained the loyalty and the co-operation of the Bantu to an extent which is unprecedented in the history of Pondoland.
Then why do you not withdraw the state of emergency?
To me that co-operation places the crown on our work. In areas where we have been unable in the past to obtain co-operation for rehabilitation work, etc. we are enjoying co-operation to-day which is enabling us to carry out such rehabilitation work. That has been the effect of these steps.
There have been complaints that we are giving the chiefs too much power. Do not forget that the chiefs are responsible people and that they are people who to an ever-increasing extent are taking over the administration of their areas and they are achieving most outstanding results. For that reason I have decided that we shall extend their powers, and I just want to announce to-night that I very definitely intend extending the powers of the chiefs in the Transkei still further and I am determined eventually to hand over the courts in the Transkei completely to the Bantu themselves. There are already people who are working on such a system and I hope that perhaps during this year still but in any case next year, we shall start putting this system into effect so that they will conduct their own court cases. This is the correct process and it is our policy, and it will give the people of the Transkei the necessary satisfaction. Hon. members have complained that a chief has too much power when he can remove a subject from his area to another area. I want to accept the challenge of the hon. member for Transkeian Territories. I maintain that that is the Native law, the Bantu law, throughout South Africa. Under his own Bantu legal system the chief has the right to remove a man to wherever he likes. He has that power, provided he is not unreasonable. The hon. member for Houghton has correctly said that it must be done within the framework of their laws and customs. But that framework exists in the Transkei also. I admit that for many years it was not put into practice because in earlier years there was a systematic attempt to curtail the powers and the rights of the chiefs in the Transkei. That will not happen in the future. This power is inherent in the laws and customs of the Bantu of the entire Transkei. No one can deny it. When a chief is developing his area for example and he decides to set aside a certain area as the residential area of his people, he takes such action. The hon. member for East London (City) has been personally involved in the use of this type of method. They have their residential areas in certain places; they have their lands somewhere else, and they have their grazing somewhere else. We have found, and so did the hon. member for East London (City), that one suddenly has two or three persons who say: “Look, we are staying here, we are not going to live in the residential area: we are going to stay here.” Then the chief has the right to say to these people: “Look, you are now going to live there.” The chiefs had that power and the hon. member for East London (City) knows it and I know that the hon. member was also faced with this practical problem. I know of one or two good examples in the Transkei where he was responsible for people being given their residential areas, their areas where they ploughed and the areas where their stock grazed. He had to deal with people who did not want to move to the residential areas. But throughout South Africa the chiefs have the inherent right to remove such people to such areas. Do not tell me that I am abusing that power.
There has been another complaint against me, namely that I do not allow lawyers, attorneys, to come and see these people without permits. I have two reasons for doing so. The first, as I have already said before, is that I deeply regret that I have found for the umpteenth time that there are not only vultures in the animal kingdom, but that there are worse vultures in the human kingdom, and particularly White vultures who want to fatten on the Bantu of South Africa.
May I ask the hon. the Minister whether he has submitted the facts in this regard to the various law societies? Has the hon. the Minister given them this information?
I just want to tell the hon. member that I have had a few examples of this sort of thing. I admit that there are many good attorneys and lawyers who do their duty, and I am not casting any reflection on them. But here and there an innocent person often has to suffer as a result of the behaviour of others, of a few guilty parties.
Answer the question.
I shall give a few examples. I say that there are White vultures who are descending on the Bantu.
Give the information to the proper authorities who are there to ensure that that does not happen.
I regard it as one of may duties towards the Bantu to protect them. I would be failing in my duty if I did not mention this. Allow me to give one example of what happened at Bizana. A certain gentleman came and said that it would cost £800 to defend them. That amount was paid. And, do you know he spent half an hour in the court and he then came out and said: “The court has eaten up all the money I want another £600.”
Mr. Speaker, that is a very serious charge which the hon. the Minister is making. May I ask him whether the relevant information has been given to the law society?
Answer the question.
Order! The hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan).
I just want to say something else before I reply to the question of the hon. member. A second thing which I have found is that as soon as an agitation has been launched, there are certain people who immediately start sending out Bantu, and they must collect money with a view to possible cases which may come before the courts. I want to make this accusation to-day, namely that not only in the Bantu areas, but in White areas such as Johannesburg, there are certain attorneys who earn their living solely by this type of activity. It is now going so far that they are intimidating the other Bantu: “If you do not pay 2s. 6d. or 5s. every month, we shall burn your house down or we shall rob your family.” I have approached the law society in respect of this matter. I have brought it to their notice. I wanted to introduce legislation which would deal with this matter and would impose very heavy penalties, but unfortunately I cannot do so yet. But this matter has been brought to the notice of the law society and I am trying to co-operate with them to see whether we cannot find some solution. I admit, and they have brought it to my notice, that it is a very difficult matter to clamp down on these people. The hon. member opposite who is a lawyer knows that it is a very difficult matter. But I have the co-operation of the law society in seeing whether we cannot find some method so that we can clamp down on this type of person.
With which law society have you discussed the matter?
The one in Pretoria. I am quite prepared to approach the other law societies to see whether we cannot find one or other solution. They feel that this is a most difficult matter and I feel that hon. members who are lawyers will also realize that it is a very difficult matter. But this is the type of thing with which I am faced. I just want to give another example. One gentleman went to Zululand and in a short time he collected £300 from the Bantu. When we heard about it, we found that it was only a minor administrative matter which had to be corrected by the commissioner. Do you know, he was not even in the court? He only went to the commissioner who put the matter right. He then left with the £300 in his pocket. The hon. member for Heilbron (Mr. Froneman) has shown what has happened at Witzieshoek. I have many such examples, and that is why it is my duty to protect our Bantu in those areas, and hon. members opposite must not blame me for doing so.
But there is another reason as well, namely that I have found there are people who come under the guise of wishing to defend the Bantu, but their aim is at the same time to spread the fire still further.
Where do they come from; do they come from the Transkei?
No, not from the Transkei. These are not Transkeian attorneys. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to catch one from the Transkei! I do not think that there are such undesirables amongst them, but I am keeping my eyes open. The fact of the matter is simply that we cannot allow an attorney to come from outside under the guise of wishing to defend these people, while he is really coming as a propagandist to spread the fire still further. It is our duty to protect these people. Hon. members must therefore really not blame me for doing so. Mr. Speaker, to me there is nothing worse in life than to see someone suffering. For that reason hon. members can rest assured that I shall go out of my way to help these people. But after all I do have a duty to protect the law-abiding people as well, and not only this type of person.
Hon. members have criticized me for so wording the regulations that we could immediately clamp down on those people. They have the right, if they can obtain the necessary permits, to submit their case to the courts later. But I cannot allow people to abuse this type of system, and to commit murder and assault, and then simply to go scot-free. It is our duty to take action in these cases. I just want to say that the prohibition on entry to the Transkei will be lifted one of these days. Hon. members have criticized me for not merely limiting it to Pondoland. I discussed the matter with the executive committee of the Territorial Authority and they were of the opinion that we should apply it to the whole Transkei and not only to Pondoland. The fact of the matter is that if we had not made it applicable to the whole of the Transkei those people have motor-cars and they race from one corner to the other in order to incite the Natives. It was the opinion of the responsible leaders of the Transkei that we should make it applicable to the whole of the Transkei. In this regard I work in the closest co-operation with the leaders of the Transkei, that is to say the executive committee of the Territorial Authority. I shall consult them and I do so continuously. When they consider that it is really in the interests of the Transkei that these regulations should be withdrawn, I shall do so immediately. But in this regard I must be guided in the first place by my officials and in the second place by the Bantu of the Transkei themselves. I want to give hon. members the assurance that I have the interests of all at heart, and I shall ensure that injustice is not done to anyone as far as it lies within my power to do so. The accusation has been made that we are perhaps detaining these people for too long. This is a matter which we are keeping under continuous review. It is only in cases where we feel genuinely convinced that it is in the interests of peace and the maintenance of law and order that we are obliged to take these drastic steps. I want to give hon. members the assurance that when cases are brought to my notice I take immediate action. When I feel that there are cases where there has been some degree of unfairness I take immediate action. I have very great confidence in my officials. They are in continuous contact with these people. It is well known that these officials have a feeling of fairness and justice for the Bantu and that they are genuinely trying to further the interests of the Bantu. That is why I have every confidence that they will keep me continuously informed and that they will not allow things to happen which are in conflict with the principles of civilization. But hon. members must not blame me …
How many people are still being detained without trial?
Unfortunately I cannot give the hon. member the figures at the moment, but it cannot be a very large number. I want to give hon. members the assurance that every case enjoys the continuous attention of the magistrates concerned. I think the hon. member for East London (City) knows what an outstanding type of magistrate we have there, people who genuinely treat the Bantu fairly and justly. He can therefore rest assured that these matters are in very good hands. Mr. Speaker, I repeat that hon. members must not blame me when in co-operation with the Bantu, the officials and the police, I have to take such action. I do not like doing so. But when it is in the interests of the Bantu and I have no other alternative, I must do so.
Amendment put and the House divided:
Ayes—32: Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Connan, J. M.; Cope, J. P.; de Kock, H. C.; Dodds, P. R.; Durrant, R. B.; Fisher, E. L.; Gay, L. C.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Hughes, T. G.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Moore, P. A.; Plewman, R. P.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steytler, J. van A.; Suzman, H.; Swart, R. A. F.; Tucker, H.; van der Byl, P.; van Niekerk, S. M.; Williams, T. O.
Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell.
Noes—56: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; du Pisanie, J.; du Plessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Jr.); Froneman, G. F. van L.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Haak, J. F. W.; Heystek, J.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Kotze, G. P.; Labuschagne, J. S.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Mulder, C. P.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Niemand, F. J.; Otto, J. C.; Potgieter, D J.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. W.; Sadie, N C. van R.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Scholtze, D. J.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Smit, H. H.; Steyn, J. H.; Treurnicht, N. F.; van den Berg, M. J.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Wath, J. G. H.; van Niekerk, G. L. H.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Wyk, G. H.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Viljoen, M.; von Moltke, J. von S.; Vorster, B. J.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.
Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.
Amendment accordingly negatived.
Motion put and agreed to.
That the following Resolution be transmitted by Message to the Honouable the Senate for concurrence, viz.:
That this House approves—
- (1) The sale by the South African Native Trust, in terms of the provisions of sub-section (3) of Section 18 of the Native Trust and Land Act, 1936 (Act No. 18 of 1936), of the mineral rights in respect of certain Lot B, situate in the Molopo Native Reserve in the Division of Marketing, in extent 570.2204 (five hundred and seventy decimal two two nought four) morgen as described in diagram No. 5586/43 compiled by Surveyor S. L. Moorcroft in August, 1948, to the Municipality of Marketing for the sum of £285 2s. 2d. (two hundred and eighty-five pounds two shillings and two pence) subject to the condition that all costs in connection therewith, including costs of transfer, be borne by the Municipality of Marketing.
- (2) The registration, in terms of the provisions of sub-section (3) of Section 18 of the Native Trust and Land Act, 1936 (Act No. 18 of 1936), of servitudes in favour of the Electricity Supply Commission, to convey electricity by means of wires and/or cables or other appliances, underground or overhead, on a route 19.6286 miles long and of a width of one hundred and one (101) feet measured on both sides from the centre line of the servitude, over the following properties situate in the Lydenburg district, Transvaal Province, property of the South African Native Trust:
- (a) Portion 1 of the farm Mooihoek No. 147, in extent 1,826 morgen 399 square roods;
- (b) Portion 2 of the farm Mooihoek No. 147, in extent 2,523 morgen 39 square roods;
- (c) Groothoek No. 171, in extent 3,608 morgen 350 square roods;
- (d) The Shelter No. 289, in extent 4,164 morgen 215 square roods;
- (e) Wimbledon No. 292, in extent 6,961 morgen 526 square roods;
- (f) Annesley No. 305, in extent 3,039 morgen 13 square roods;
- (g) Holfontein No. 386, in extent 2,147 morgen 396 square roods.
- (3) The lease, in terms of the provisions of sub-section (3) of Section 18 of the Native Trust and Land Act, 1936 (Act No. 18 of 1936), of a certain site—in extent 100 morgen—situate on Heuningvlei Reserve in the Division of Vryburg, to New Amianthus Mines (Proprietary) Limited, for a period of ten years as from date of approval, subject to payment of an annual rental of R1,200 (one thousand two hundred rand).
Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion for second reading,—Indemnity Bill.
[Debate on motion by the Minister of Justice, upon which amendments had been moved by Mr. Hughes and by Mr. Lawrence, adjourned on 7 June, resumed.]
When the debate was adjourned last night, I was arguing that the objection of the hon. member for Bezuidenhout (Mr. Miller) to this Bill, was merely a formal objection because it was unfounded. He based his opposition on the fact that martial law had not been declared last year and for that reason we were not entitled or that it was not proper to introduce an Indemnity Bill, just as though the existence of martial law is a prerequisite for the granting of indemnity. I want to tell him that the existence of martial law has nothing to do with the duty of the state to ensure the maintenance of law and proper public order. This particular matter has already been considered before by our courts and this very point of whether martial law was necessary before the Government could do its duty, was the subject of a case in 1915. In that instance Chief Judge Innes said the following—
This dictum of Judge Innes is to be found in Krohn v Minister of Defence, 1915 A.D., on page 197, and he relied on the decision of the Privy Council given, what is more, by Lord Halsbury, to whom the hon. member attaches so much faith, in the case of Telonko v Attorney-General of Natal (1107) A.C., at page 93—
The same applies to the basis on which the hon. member’s argument rests. It has nothing to do with it. The question is whether the state has done its duty and whether certain acts were done in respect of which indemnity should be given. That is the point at issue. If the hon. member wishes to give his argument a sound basis, he should say that there was no emergency at all. But he does not say that. He is relying on a technical point, as a bad attorney would do. I am not saying that he is a bad attorney. But this is what a person does when he does not have a good case—he relies on a technical point. It has nothing to do with it.
Then the hon. member has complained at length and with emphasis about the fact that the period is of such long duration. I have promised that I would answer him on this point. This is one of the matters which it is very difficult to discuss. They are vague and they get one into difficulties. He was not clear whether the state of emergency lasted for an unduly long period or whether the Bill covers too long a period. He has given an indication that that is what he thinks. Nor was he clear whether the period in respect of which indemnity is sought, was too long.
I should very much like to reply to all these possibilities. In the first place, as regards the length of the period, it was by no means a record. The period to be covered is as long as was required to meet the state of emergency. And do you know, Mr. Speaker, there have been instances on record where the period has been as long as seven years. I do not know whether the hon. member knows his history as well as he should when he discusses these matters.
Give us an example.
I shall give the hon. member an example. If you look at 41 George III C.54, you will find that in that instance there was an Indemnity Bill which covered a period of seven years for the quite simple reason that it was essential that it should do so.
How many hundreds of years ago was that?
It does not matter how many hundreds of years ago it was. The hon. member himself went back hundreds of years when he said that there were no examples in history on which the hon. the Minister of Justice could rely. I am not going back so many hundreds of years. It covered the period from 1794—and he knows when George III was on the throne; the 41st year of his reign—to 1801. It was merely because there was a state of emergency at that time.
Then the hon. member has created the impression that the scope of this Bill is too wide. Mr. Speaker, when one reads the Bill for oneself, one finds that it only covers those cases which arose during the state of emergency. When one divests the clause of all the elaborations which the law adviser and the legal draftsman have attached, it reads as follows: “No proceedings shall be brought in any court of law against any person by reason of any act advised, commanded, ordered, etc., in good faith on or after 29 March 1960 …” the day on which the Act comes into operation. It therefore only covers those acts which related to the restoration or the protection of lives or property within the area concerned. That is all. The hon. member has created the impression that this Indemnity Bill covers far too much and he objects to that aspect. The fact of the matter is that in the case of any state of emergency during which the police and the military authorities take action, one is concerned with three types of acts or three categories of acts. The one type consists of those acts which are done because of necessity. The common law provides for such acts and the person who did those acts, cannot be held liable. Then we have the second type which are not done out of necessity, but which are nevertheless done in complete good faith. Then in the third place we have a type of act which cannot be entirely justified. And Indemnity Bills are passed to deal with the second group, namely those cases where the military and police authorities cannot sit quietly and peacefully in their studies and consider what they should do and what they will be able to tell the jury, and how they will be able to convince the court, but where they have to act rapidly but in good faith. It is to deal with such cases that such indemnity legislation is passed. That is what is recognized by everyone in this country, and has been recognized in the past and will also be recognized in the future. I could not put it better than Chief Justice Innes did in Krohn’s case, namely—
Those people who feel themselves aggrieved in respect of the third type of act, are not without rights. They can still summon the hon. the Minister of Justice or they can still summon the republic, but the onus is being placed on them to prove that such acts were done mala fide or, at least, not in good faith.
The only objection which one can have is that one can object to the transferring of the onus. I hoped that hon. members would not object, but when a person endangers the existence of the state and he feels aggrieved as result of action taken by the military authorities, we say it is justifiable that the onus should rest on him to prove that such acts were done mala fide. There are in addition other reasons why the onus should be placed on him, and why we must therefore take this step. As the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development has said in an earlier debate, it is that in our country all the legal practitioners are not of the same high calibre. Some use such situations in order to enrich themselves and to blackmail the state. They do so by abusing the legal processes. In other words they summon the state and the state must defend itself. Otherwise judgment will be given against it by default. It costs the state in many instances much less to reach a settlement than to defend the case to the bitter end. The easiest solution is therefore to hold out for a settlement on some basis or another and when such a settlement is reached, the person who acted as claimant makes a profit. To avoid this type of thing it is necessary that we should pass this indemnity legislation.
There is one final point which the hon. member for Bezuidenhout has made, namely that the police should be indemnified, but that the state should be held liable. He is very set on this point, but this is one of the strangest standpoints which I have ever encountered, because it shows the absence of any understanding of the liability of the state. The fact of the matter is that the state is never liable for acts of authority, and if the hon. member will read the Crown Liabilities Act, he will see that even if judgment is given against the state the state is still not obliged to pay. Section 4 of that Act says that the state can pay from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but it does not have to do so. Under our constitutional law the state is never liable for acts of authority, but because it works through its officials and because the official is co-responsible, he is liable, but the state pays the account out of the kindness of its heart. When one removes the liability of the official, the liability of the state also falls away. If we were to argue any further along those lines, we would reach the stage where we would no longer hold the state liable at all. However, we want the officials to be held liable because if they acted mala fide, the Minister can still say that he is not going to pay the account. It is also right that that should be so, because at the same time it has a restraining effect on the officials with a view to preventing them abusing their powers, because such an official will have to bear in mind that if he does not have a sound defence, he will have to pay the account himself.
I have promised that I would also deal with the other two points raised by the hon. member, namely that this will act as an encouragement for the state and that this is an unsound policy. We have already discussed the policy this afternoon, and I shall not go into it now, but I want to say a few words about the point that if we refused this indemnity, it would discourage officials from using violence or vice versa, that is to say, if the indemnity is given, it will encourage the executive to abuse its powers in this way. I regard this as an immoral argument. Do hon. members want us to hesitate when such violence takes place? How many murders must be committed? How many churches must be burnt down, how many intimidators must walk the streets and keep the people away from their work before hon. members want us to take action? When one advocates a policy which will cause the military and the police to hesitate to take action, one is encouraging anarchy and chaos. I therefore say that the hon. member had no basis for his argument; he also wants to undermine our legal system by his proposals.
The hon. member for Standerton (Dr. Coertze) has based his entire argument on legalistic grounds and, if I may say so, I think he has argued his case legally rather better than the hon. Minister himself did when he introduced this Bill. I do not believe, however, that the long and the short of the matter is one of legality but that there are other considerations which are more important than merely the question of whether or not the law has been applied in its finest sense. As a layman I would, of course, not dream of going into these legalistic arguments, but I would like to say that it appears to me that the law in this matter is not very clear. I do not think that the hon. Minister has enunciated any sound principles, and from what others who have followed him in his legalistic arguments have said, I do not think the legal implications are very clear. But in what I have to say to the House on this Bill, I will deal mainly with other considerations and I will point out to the hon. Minister what I, as a layman, think was a fundamental weakness in his argument.
At 10.25 p.m. the business under consideration was interrupted by Mr. Speaker in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (1), and the debate was adjourned until 9 June.
The House adjourned at