House of Assembly: Vol1 - TUESDAY 13 JUNE 1961

TUESDAY, 13 JUNE 1961 Mr. SPEAKER took the Chair at 10.35 a.m. QUESTIONS

For oral reply:

Distribution of Skimmed Milk *I. Mr. OLDFIELD

asked the Minister of Health:

  1. (1) Whether his Department has given consideration to the distribution of skimmed milk in combating disease; if so, what steps are being taken or are contemplated for such distribution; if not, why not;
  2. (2) whether powdered skimmed milk has been made available to his Department; if so, (a) what quantity, (b) what is the average monthly quantity distributed and (c) by whom and (d) in which areas is it distributed; and
  3. (3) whether the powdered skimmed milk is distributed to all races.
  1. (1), (2) and (3) Yes, the Department of Health is giving careful consideration to the question of distributing skimmed milk powder for combating certain diseases caused by malnutrition, but finality in regard hereto has not yet been reached. In this connection may I refer the hon. member to the explanation contained in my reply to question No. II asked by him on 18 April 1961.

asked the Minister of Agricultural Economics and Marketing—

Whether there is a surplus of skimmed milk in any of the areas under the control of the Dairy Control Board; and if so,

  1. (a) in which areas and
  2. (b) what steps are being taken or are contemplated to dispose of the surplus skimmed milk.

The Dairy Industry Control Board does not control skimmed milk.

(a) and (b) fall away.

The hon. member is referred to replies given to him by the Minister of Health on 18 April 1961 and on 16 May 1961.

Republic’s Representatives at the I.L.O. *III. Mr. E. G. Malan

asked the Minister of Labour:

  1. (1) What are the names of the Republic’s representatives at the congress of the International Labour Organization in Geneva; and
  2. (2) whether they have been given any instructions in connection with the Republic’s membership of the Organization; if so, what instructions.

(1) Government representatives.

Mr. D. J. Geyser — Delegate.

Mr. L. C. Loock — Delegate.

Mr. A. S. Treurnicht — Adviser.

Mr. A. J. Oxley — Adviser.

Employer representatives.

Mr. Alan de Kock — Delegate.

Mr. V. C. Robinson — Adviser.

Employee representatives.

Mr. J. A. van Wyk — Delegate..

Mr. R. M. Haldane — Adviser.

(2) No.

Map of Natal Indicating Race Groups *IV. Mr. HOPEWELL (for Mr. Mitchell)

asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:

Whether he will have prepared to lay upon the Table a map accurately indicating the areas in Natal to be set aside for the (a) White, (b) Coloured, (c) Bantu and (d) Asiatic groups in terms of the Government’s policy of parallel development.


The hon. member is aware that an Interdepartmental Committee has been appointed to investigate the question of the distribution of State-owned land and the necessity or otherwise of land adjustments in certain areas of the Province of Natal, having regard, inter alia, to the provisions of the Native Trust and Land Act, No. 18 of 1936, relating to the quotas and the necessity for the provision of compensating land for any excisions from or alterations to the Scheduled Native Areas or Released Areas.

Until the report of this Committee has been received and considered, it is not possible to prepare a map such as desired by the hon. member.

Reports to Law Societies on Unprofessional Conduct *V. Mr. TUCKER

asked the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development:

  1. (1) Whether he has reported to the appropriate Law Society any specific cases of alleged unprofessional conduct of attorneys of Bantu clients; if so, (a) how many cases and (b) to which law societies; and, if not,
  2. (2) whether he intends reporting any such cases brought to his notice; if not, why not.
  1. (1) (a) and (b) Available evidence in regard to seemingly exorbitant fees have on occasion been furnished to the Transvaal Society. The Association of Law Societies and the General Council of the Bar have, moreover, been consulted in general in regard to the exploitation of the Bantu by pass consultants, including attorneys who specialize in this type of work.
    Grave concern has, however, been expressed to me by responsible Europeans as well as Bantu in regard to the activities of certain members of the legal profession who accept retention fees out of all proportion to any services that can possibly be rendered and who, it is alleged, resort to touting and employ agents to collect periodical contributions. These allegations are substantiated by the observations of officers of my Department and any evidence of unprofessional conduct obtained by them in future will be brought to the notice of the Law Society concerned.
  2. (2) Falls away.

Arising out of the hon. the Deputy Minister’s reply, may I ask whether he is doing anything about the past cases which have been the subject of discussions here. He has mentioned only the future.


If the hon. member will table his question a proper reply will be given.

Mandatory Annual Leave to Office Workers *VI. Mr. E. G. MALAN

asked the Minister of Labour:

Whether his Department has completed its consideration of the extension of mandatory annual leave to office workers in commercial establishments referred to by him on 10 March 1959; if so, (a) what has been the result of the investigations and (b) what steps does he intend to take in this regard; and, if not, (i) why not and (ii) when does he expect the investigations to be completed.


Yes. The investigation revealed that the vast majority of office workers in commercial establishments are already entitled to equitable annual leave in terms of wage determinations under the Wage Act and wage agreements under the Industrial Conciliation Act, and in the circumstances it has been decided that for the present no further steps will be taken in this regard.

Courses in Social Science for Bantu Students

The MINISTER OF BANTU EDUCATION replied to Question No. *VII, by Mr. Oldfield, standing over from 9 June.

  1. (1) Whether courses in social science are available to Bantu students at State colleges; if so, (a) what courses, (b) at which colleges, (c) how many students are enrolled in social science courses and (d) how many students successfully completed such courses during each year from 1958 to 1960; and
  2. (2) whether any steps are being taken to attract a larger number of Bantu students to social science courses; if so, what steps; if not, why not.
  1. (1) Yes.
    (a) and (b) University College of the North: Diploma, B.A. Degree, B.A. (Hons.). University College of Zululand: Diploma, B.A. Degree. (c) University College of the North: Diploma, 26; B.A. Degree, 3. University College of Zululand: B.A. Degree, 6. (d) Since the University Colleges of the North and Zululand were opened only in 1960, there are as yet no students who have completed courses in Social Science, as these courses stretch over a period of three years.
  2. (2) Both at the University College of the North and the University College of Zululand the enrolment in Social Science shows a rapid increase.
    Apart from existing facilities at the University College of the North, an institute for Social Science is being built which will be occupied in 1962.
    At the University College of Fort Hare steps are being taken for the introduction of Social Science courses.
    In the meantime training facilities and employment possibilities are being brought under the attention of prospective students, with favourable results.

I move as an unopposed motion—

That Mr. Petrus Cornelius Pelser be appointed for the remainder of the Session to perform the duties of the Deputy-Chairman of Committees during the absence owing to illness of Mr. D. J. Scholtz.

I second.

Agreed to.


Bill read a first time.


Bill read a first time.


First Order read: Report Stage,—Indemnity Bill.

Amendments in Clause 1 and in the Title put and agreed to and the Bill, as amended, adopted.


Second Order read: Third reading,—Police Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time.

The hon. the Minister has accepted certain amendments which had been put from this side of the House and it is not proposed to oppose the third reading of this Bill.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a third time.


Third Order read: Third reading,—Customs Amendment Bill.

Bill read read a third time.


Fourth Order read: Third reading,—Excise Amendment Bill.

Bill read read a third time.


Fifth Order read: House to go into Committee on Post Mortem Examinations and Removal of Human Tissues Amendment Bill.

House in Committee:

Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.

House Resumed:

Bill reported without amendment.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time. More than two members having objected, Bill to be read a third time on 14 June.

Sixth Order read: House to go into Committee on Bantu Education Amendment Bill.

House in Committee:

On Clause 1,


To this clause I want to move the following amendment—

In line 10, after “ officer ” to insert “ of or above the rank of senior administrative officer”.

I am grateful to the hon. the Minister for not having turned a deaf ear to my representations, and I am also grateful that he was able, without my assistance, to ascertain what a senior official is and that consequently he was able to propose this amendment. It completely satisfies us and I want to thank him for this concession.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, put and agreed to.

On new clause to follow Clause 1,


I move—

That the following be a new clause to follow Clause One:

2. Section 6 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the addition at the end of paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) of the words “ or any hostel, teachers’ quarters of school clinic attached to, or any other accessory to, such school ”.

Agreed to.

Remaining Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.

House Resumed:

Bill reported with amendments.

Amendment in Clause 1 and New Clause 2 put and agreed to and the Bill, as amended, adopted.


Seventh Order read: Third reading,—Water Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time.

Mr. Speaker, as we told the hon. the Minister at the second reading and during the Committee Stage, we do not like the power that he has taken under this amending Bill. The Bill as it now stands gives him almost unlimited power not only to reapportion water in schemes that have been running for some time, but to make that water available and to share it out to owners of non-riparian land. That, in the view of this side of the House, particularly those of us who represent irrigators and people who own riparian rights, is an injustice to those people who have paid for and who now own those rights. It is not right that they should lose those rights because in the opinion of the Minister some of that water should be given to owners of land on which there are no riparian rights. For that reason we shall oppose the third reading of this Bill and will vote against it.

The other provision in which the hon. the Minister has taken wide powers unto himself is that which gives him the right to make large grants to irrigation schemes whereby the figure has been raised from £30,000 to £100,000. In the past, when the figure was below £30,000, if the Minister wished to grant more he had to come to this House for agreement and the matter had to go before both Houses of Parliament before such a large amount could be granted to one irrigation scheme. That was sound in principle, especially with the provisions which the hon. the Minister has imposed under another clause in which, if he gives a loan under £30,000, and the body concerned comes back with a further development scheme a few years later, he can again give them the right to borrow that money. That really enables the Minister to get past the provisions limiting the granting of large amounts over and over again. I think it is a pity that the hon. the Minister is taking unto himself these powers of giving financial aid in such large sums without coming to Parliament for permission of the granting of those sums. Parliament is losing some of its effective control in this regard, and for that reason, too, we will oppose this Bill.

I do not want to go into any further details. We fought this Bill at length in the second reading and in the Committee Stage, because we had not had an opportunity to thrash it out in a Select Committee. That opportunity should have been granted us so that a matter as important as the water and the apportionment of water rights and riparian rights could have been thoroughly discussed in detail. However the Minister has now amended this very important Water Act, which was an agreed measure when originally before the House. We will therefore oppose the third reading.


On this Bill we raised a number of points during different stages of its passage through the House. The hon. the Minister has met us on some of those points, and for that we are grateful. In Clause 12, at the Committee Stage the hon. the Minister also introduced a substantial improvement to the Act. Nevertheless one principle still remains in that clause, a principle to which we took exception and which was not improved during the Committee Stage, and that is that the Minister acquires control over all surplus waters including surplus water which was being used by the owner of riparian rights at the time when the area became a Government water control area. The hon. the Minister said at the Committee Stage that to a certain extent surplus water which was being used was included in the permit which was given under Section 62 (1) (b), which actually is limited to normal flow. If I understood the hon. the Minister correctly he said that the use by an owner of surplus water was considered when a permit was given under Section 62 (1) (b). I think that was the Minister’s explanation. But in terms of the law as it stands at present that should not be done. In terms of what will now be Section 62 (1) (d) the Minister will be limited strictly to apportioning normal flow and therefore will not be able to take into consideration any surplus water. Naturally, if it is quite certain that surplus water is going to be allowed where it was used in the past, and will not be taken away from the person who has used it, we may be said to be quibbling by insisting on the use of different phraseology to ensure that. But as we see it, if it is not in the Bill then, clearly, the hon. the Minister can at any time take away surplus water from any person and would be quite within his rights in so doing.

At the Committee Stage we spoke on this point and the hon. member for Heilbron (Mr. Froneman) moved an amendment which, in our opinion, would have met the case. We are very sorry indeed that the Minister did not accept that amendment at the Committee Stage. This Bill still has to go to the Senate and we hope that the hon. the Minister will consider this matter further and put into the Bill what he is in any case intending to do if his explanation …


Order, order! The hon. member may not discuss matters that are not included in the Bill. He can only discuss the contents of the Bill.


Mr. Speaker, this is essentially something which the Bill at present does not but should include.


Order! Then that is essentially a matter which the hon. member may not discuss.


Mr. Speaker, I then criticize the Bill for its failure to do this because it severely limits the effect of the clause as it stands at present …


Order, order! The hon. member is now evading my ruling.


The point has been made, Mr. Speaker, and if you feel it is not within the ambit of the third reading to deal with it further I shall not do so. I think the hon. the Minister knows quite clearly what our point is and I hope that he will give further consideration to it before the Bill finally passes through the Upper House.


Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on one aspect which has not been dealt with in the third reading, and that is the three clauses dealing with control of pollution. I will not go into them deeply, but we on this side of the House do object very strongly to the Minister having taken unto himself the right to give extensions of the relaxation of the pollution control measure controlled in the original Act. The Act lays down specifically what measures the Minister should take for the protection of the waters of South Africa, whether they be the waters of our rivers or the waters of the sea. Great consideration was given to that aspect, but despite that the Minister has extended to himself double the period during which he can grant exemptions from the application of those particular aspects of the Water Act. We believe that the effect of this is going to be that the present unsatisfactory conditions which pertain in relation to the control of industrial pollution of our water is going to go on for a further period of five years, and the disadvantages of the continuation of that process are going to make themselves shown in the very near future by the fact that our waters will be less useable, not only for irrigation purposes but for the enjoyment of the people of South Africa, which was also intended in the spirit of this Act. We cannot lightly allow this particular aspect of this amending Bill to pass through this House without stressing to the hon. the Minister the importance for him to get on with the job of applying these control measures. I sincerely hope that he does not have to use the full period which he has taken to grant exemptions and I hope that he approaches this in a far more sincere manner than the problem was approached in the past. Whilst we appreciate the difficulties attached to administering the particular clause we realize that it will need a very big effort indeed, but we appeal to him to make that effort so that in five years’ time the Minister does not have to come back to amend the clause again.


I welcome certain amendments which are now being effected to the Act, namely Clauses 11 and 12. Clause 12, which amends the original Section 62, places certain riparian owners in such a State water control area in a much more reasonable position—this is a concession. In terms of the original section the Minister could issue permits to persons for water that they could use beneficially and lawfully when the area was proclaimed but there was no reference to persons who had not exercised their riparian owner’s rights. In terms of this amendment the Minister may make allocations and issue permits also to those persons who are riparian owners but who have not exercised their rights. Under the original Act persons who originally developed their land and who had received permits from the Minister had a right of appeal if they were dissatisfied with the allocations made by the Minister. There was nothing to provide that permits could be issued to those persons who had not developed their land and they did not have a right of appeal to a court. In terms of this amendment it will be possible to issue permits to them and they will also have a right of appeal. I think this is a very big concession to riparian owners and we welcome and support this amendment wholeheartedly.

Hon. members have referred to surplus water. The original Act does not refer to surplus water or normal flow at all. It simply says that the Minister may issue permits to those persons who use the water lawfully and beneficially and that can include normal flow and even surplus water.


Order! The principal Act is not under discussion at the moment.


With respect. Sir, this is an amendment that is being effected. Those persons are entitled to receive permits even if it is in respect of surplus water. [Interjections.] My contention is that under the Act the Minister has absolute control over that water, and he may make allocations. Thus even in that respect the law is quite safe.

I wish to refer to the amendment which very clearly provides that the Minister may also issue permits to non-riparian owners. Non-riparian owners are not specifically referred to in the original Act, but it gives the Minister the right to include non-riparian owners in a State water control area, and if they are included, the Minister has the power to allocate water to that land. I merely want to point out that that was done in the past. In my own constituency, in the Blyde River, allocations have been made to non-riparian owners, and I think it was justified, and the people in that area welcomed it. This is an area which used to be undeveloped and unoccupied. The Water Court allocated water to non-riparian land and that land was developed beyond what was originally expected. You cannot put an end to that development and tell the people to do away with their citrus plantations. I think this amendment will be welcomed. I think the amendments in Clause 12 constitute big concessions which I personally welcome.


On a previous occasion I asked the hon. the Minister certain questions in regard to the control of underground water, but the Minister did not then have an opportunity of replying to me. Consequently, I wish to avail myself of this opportunity of reiterating my question, seeing that the effect of Clause 7 of this Bill will be that the Minister will be able to control certain sections of underground water control areas and issue certain regulations in respect of sections of those areas as far as the abstraction of underground water is concerned. We all know that Section 28 of the original Act gives the Minister the power to limit the use of any underground water source. It does not only refer to dolomite and artesian areas. If, in the opinion of the Minister, it is an underground water control area, he may issue regulations in respect of the quantity of water that may be abstracted. The fact of the matter is that we realize that because of these amendments the Minister will be able to issue those regulations in respect of certain areas only because South Africa is so big. The effect of this clause will be that there will be greater uncertainty amongst certain farmers who abstract large quantities of underground water, because there is already a rumour that it is the intention of the Department to exercise a certain measure of control in respect of the quality of underground water that may be abstracted. I wish to give the Minister the opportunity of telling us whether it is the intention to impose this control and when and where does he intend starting with it, and if it is the intention to impose control, to give a definite reply to those people so that they may know what their position is, and so that they will not spend thousands of pounds on the sinking of boreholes. Those people are still incurring expenditure, and if it is the intention of the Government to impose certain limitations on those people, they may perhaps find themselves in this position at a later stage where they have spent a great deal of money only to find control being imposed. I am asking the Minister to give them a reassuring reply.


I welcome the fact that control is to be exercised over underground water. I have said in the past that we were spending a great deal of money on preserving our water table, because we find that deep water pumps cause the water table to drop and exhaust the water supply. For that reason I welcome the fact that the Minister is to impose control. I agree with the hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) (Mr. Streicher) that we should be given an indication as to when the limitation is to be imposed, so that the people will not incur unnecessary costs, but I welcome it none the less because it has become necessary, particularly in the Karoo. A person may strike strong water, but within a month the supply is exhausted and, at the same time, the water of his neighbour becomes exhausted. For that reason I welcome the control which the Minister is to introduce, but he should give an indication when that will be introduced so that the people will not incur unnecessary expense.


The object of this Bill is in the first place to facilitate the application of the Water Act of 1956 and secondly to remove certain doubts and difficulties which existed in respect of this Act. The Minister is even sacrificing some of the rights which he had previously and others again will be subject to appeal to an impartial court. If we could have discussed the principal Act this afternoon I believe we would have discussed provisions of that Act which we do not all interpret alike. Take the case of the two previous speakers, the hon. members for Port Elizabeth (West) (Mr. Streicher) and De Aar-Colesberg (Mr. M. J. de la R. Venter). They spoke about a right which the Minister has under the principal Act namely the right to control all underground water, but which has nothing to do with this amending Bill, because these amendments only deal with dolomite and artesian waters and not other waters. We retain the broad powers and I do not think a third reading is a proper time to go further and to discuss matters which do not fall within the scope of the Bill. The hon. member for Port Elizabeth (West) agreed that if the dolomite and the artesian areas were proclaimed water areas, and you wished to exercise control, it would not be in the interests of the country first of all to inspect the whole area before instituting control, but that the Minister should be able to introduce control piecemeal instead of first inspecting the whole area and allow malpractices to continue in the meantime. In other words, this clause has nothing to do with the broader powers which the Minister has under the Act to institute control. I may just add that the rights of riparian owners, if those rights had been exercised and development had taken place, will not be curtailed if that area is proclaimed a water control area. In respect of those persons who had not exercised their water rights as riparian owners this Bill provides by implication that the Minister shall be obliged to recognize their reasonable claims as riparian owners and to allocate water to them, and for the rest they can appeal to court. This is a highly technical matter and this is a very far-reaching Bill. The changes are perhaps not as far-reaching, but because the Act is so complicated and because water is so important it is understandable that hon. members on both sides of the House may sometimes doubt whether the principal Act actually conferred those rights.

As far as the question of pollution is concerned I just want to tell the hon. member for Umlazi (Mr. H. Lewis) that he is wrong if he thinks that he is the only one who takes a serious view of this problem, but I am surprised that hon. members opposite, and he in particular, who are so anxious that this problem should be tackled and who know that you cannot do so on a Union-wide basis, are nevertheless unwilling to support this Bill, and the amendments which is the only means by which it will be possible to tackle this serious problem, especially as far as the South Coast of Natal is concerned.

During the Committee Stage and the second reading I tried to reply to the best of my ability to the criticism that has been offered, and I do not think any good purpose will be served by considering the Committee Stage further at the third reading.

Motion put and the House divided:

Ayes—88: Badenhorst, F. H.; Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Dönges, T. E.; du Pisanie, J.; du Piessis, H. R. H.; du Piessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. C.; Fouché, J. J. (Jnr.); Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Haak, J. F. W.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Hiemstra, E. C. A.; Jonker, A. H.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobe], G. J.; Labuschagne, J. S.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Louw, E. H.; Luttig, H. G.; Malan, A. I.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Mentz, F. E.; Meyer, T.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Otto, J. C.; Pelser, P. C.; Potgieter, D. J.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, J. C. B.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Serfontein, J. J.; Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Strydom, G. H. F.; Treurnicht, N. F.; Uys, D. C. H.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; vander Ahee, H. H.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Walt, B. J.; van der Wath, J. G. H.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, G. L. H.; van Niekerk, M. C.; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; Vorster, B. J.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.

Noes—42: Basson, J. A. L.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Beer, Z. J.; de Kock, H. C.; Durrant, R. B.; Eglin, C. W.; Fisher, E. L.; Frielinghaus, H. O.; Gay, L. C.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Russell. J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher. D. M.; Suzman, H.; Swart, H. G.; Swart, R. A. F.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Water-son, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell.

Motion accordingly agreed to.

Bill read a third time.


Eighth Order read: Third reading,—State Land Disposal Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a third time.

The attitude of this side of the House was made fully clear in both the second reading and the Committee Stage. We remain opposed to this measure, and will vote against it.


At this stage one cannot add much to what has already been said during the previous stages. In essence this Bill contains three changes. One is the delegation of powers to officials, against which we have no objection in principle, but in respect of which we simply requested that it should be done with circumspection. The second is the provision of a certain amount of parliamentary control against which nobody can have any objection. It was in respect of the third principle, the prescription rights as exercised in the case of State land, that we found it necessary to vote against the Bill. We are sorry that it was not possible to come to an agreement with the Minister on this matter. I repeat that we understand the arguments advanced by him, and we sympathize with him where the State land concerned is situated in distant parts, and where it is difficult to exercise any supervision. It is for the very reason that the Bill also refers to various other pieces of land that are owned by the State and that are not situated where it is difficult to guard against prescription, because we could not come to an agreement in that respect, that we found it necessary to vote against the Bill; we are sorry, but we feel obliged to vote against the Bill.


The hon. member says he is sorry, but he must vote against the Bill. I am very pleased to hear that he realizes that he is wrong in doing so.

Motion put and the House divided:

Ayes—87: Badenhorst, F. H.; Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. G; Botha, M. C; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, B.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, C. V.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; Dönges, T. E.; du Pisanie, J.; du Piessis, H. R. H.; du Piessis, P. W.; Erasmus, F. G; Fouché, J. J. (Jr.); Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Hiemstra, E. C. A.; Jonker, A. H.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Labuschagne, J. S.; le Riche, R.; le Roux, P. M. K.; Louw, E. H.; Luttig, H. G.; Malan, A. I.; Malan, W. G; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Mentz, F. E.; Meyer, T.; Nel, J. A. F.; Nel, M. D. G de W.; Otto, J. G; Pelser, P. G; Potgieter, D. J.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sadie, N. G van R.; Sauer, P. O.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, B. J.; Schoeman, J. G B.; Schoonbee, J. F.; Serfontein, J. J.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Strydom, G. H. F.; Treurnicht, N. F.; Uys, D. C. H.; van den Berg, G. P.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Ahee, H. H.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; Van der Walt, B. J.; van der Wath, J. G. H.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, G. L. H.; van Niekerk, M. G; van Nierop, P. J.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Verwoerd, H. F.; Viljoen, M.; Visse, J. H.; Vorster, B. J.; Vosloo, A. H.; Wentzel, J. J.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. von S. von Moltke.

Noes—43: Basson, J. A. L.; Bowker, T. B.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Connan, J. M.; Cronje, F. J. C; de Beer, Z. J.; de Kock, H. G; Durrant, R. B.; Eglin, G W.; Fisher, E. L.; Frielinghaus, H. O.; Gay, L. G; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Holland, M. W.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Russell, J. H.; Shearer, O. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Steytler, J. van A.; Streicher, D. M.; Suzman, H.; Swart, H. G.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, G M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell.

Motion accordingly agreed to.

Bill read a third time.


Ninth Order read: Report Stage,—National Parks Amendment Bill.

Amendments in Clauses 1, 5, 8, 13 and 14, put and agreed to, and the Bill, as amended, adopted.


Tenth Order read: House to go into Committee on Payment of Members of Parliament Bill.

House in Committee:

Clauses and Title of the Bill put and agreed to.

House Resumed:

Bill reported without amendment.


Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion for second reading,—South African Citizenship Amendment Bill, to be resumed.

[Debate on motion by the Minister of the Interior, adjourned on 12 June, resumed.]


When I rose to reply last night, I mentioned one concession which it is not necessary to repeat now. But particularly in order to assist hon. members opposite in drafting their amendments, I should now like to intimate, with reference to the representations made, that we should be more conciliatory with regard to granting South African citizenship, that I intend moving amendments in the Committee Stage in terms of which the Minister can grant citizenship to an applicant for registration for naturalization on completion of one year’s ordinary residence in the Republic if in the opinion of the Minister there are particular circumstances present in the case of this applicant. By means of this concession it will be possible to judge every deserving case on its merits and to ensure that deserving immigrants will be taken up in the community as soon as possible. As the result of these powers being granted, it will also be possible—and the amendment I will move will prove it—to be more conciliatory in deserving cases towards people who were formerly resident in the Republic but who in spite of the credit they get for it still do not comply with the residential requirements. I refer here particularly to the requests directed to me that instead of giving a two-year credit only for previous residents, it may perhaps be raised to three years. This amendment will be able to cover all those cases. If we were to embody in legislation all the concessions which could be made, it would simply become impossible to administer this Act, and I think that with these all-embracing powers to grant concessions which are given to the Minister, and particularly in view of our desire to register without delay people who have proved that they comply with the requirements, and particularly the requirements in regard to character, to become citizens, we are covering the position satisfactorily. I hope that this will obviate some of the amendments which hon. members intended moving or that it will at least reduce them in number. I have not yet seen these amendments so as to be able to judge.

Then there were a few other requests by the hon. members for Springs (Mr. Tucker) and Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) in regard to advocates and attorneys, who as the result of their work beyond the borders of the Republic have to take an oath of allegiance to another country, and who then again have to follow the normal procedure when they lose their citizenship. I want to point out to hon. members that Clause 13 of the Bill provides that the Minister may deprive a South African citizen of his citizenship. The position is not that he must or shall do so. The matter is left within the discretion of the Minister, and as I promised to do last night I shall give my personal attention to all cases where citizenship is refused or taken away, and it will not be administered departmental by officials. That will enjoy the personal attention of the Minister, and it is also possible to discuss such cases in Parliament if the Minister should act too arbitrarily. I am very sympathetic to the representations made by hon. members in this regard, and in cases like those mentioned by them I will act as sympathetically as possible. I may just mention that according to American law the taking of an oath of allegiance to another country means that such a person automatically loses his citizenship. But I shall not advocate similar treatment for South African citizens, and therefore I merely ask that Parliament should clothe me with the discretion to deal with every case on its merits.

Then the hon. member for Springs also referred to British subjects who entered the Republic before the promulgation of the Citizenship Act of 1949 and who in terms of the old Act could automatically become South African citizens after residing here for two years. Both he and the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) feel that this group of persons who find themselves in the Republic but have not yet been registered as South African citizens should now automatically be granted citizenship. I want to point out that such persons, because of the fact that they have already been in South Africa for more than five years, and in some cases for as long as 12 years, can now apply immediately, and it will not cost them a penny since the new arrangement was made that no fees would be payable. In my opinion, there is therefore no justification here for making the desired concession and I regret that I am unable to comply with the request. The hon. members referred to a promise which made made, probably under the former Union Nationality Acts and the Flag Act of 1927. If we were to take that as the basis for our legislation, we would always have to deal with cases which, however regrettable, are not included in the new legislation. We simply cannot adopt that as a principle. I therefore regret that I cannot do it. Another request made by the hon. members for Springs and East London (North) (Mr. van Ryneveld) is that all South African citizens who leave the Republic, and not only South African citizens in African states, should receive back their citizenship immediately on their return to the Republic. I cannot agree with this either. Last night I gave the reasons why we want to make concessions to these people in the African countries, because according to newspaper reports there are at the present moment various South African citizens who leave the country not because they have been driven out but because they have got cold feet. They are leaving because they say it is no longer safe here. Many of them become disillusioned after a while and then discover that South Africa is the true land of Canaan, and then they return again. Is it fair to give these people favoured treatment when they have become disillusioned and to tell them: “ Yes, you are brave ”, people who do not, like us, do their duty as good South African citizens and do not merely enjoy the privileges? The existing Act provides that a South African citizen who for any reason has lost his citizenship can apply again to become a citizen when he has been in the country for a year. That concession is great enough, and I feel that in this case we should not go further.

Then representations were made by the hon. member for Pretoria (West) (Mr. van der Walt) and by the hon. member for Salt River in connection with the language qualifications of an applicant for registration for naturalization as a South African citizen. I agree with the hon. members for Salt River and Pretoria (West) in connection with people who have been in the country for 20 years but cannot comply with the requirements. I agree with the representations of the hon. member for Salt River that we should have more regard to qualities of character than to linguistic efficiency. All such an applicant is required to do is to be able to read and write one of the official languages, and if he has lived here for 20 years he need only be able to talk and read it. The minimum requirements set for these applicants are very low. If a person shares the South African way of life, he must at least be able to speak and read one of the languages if he wants to become a citizen of the country. As I have already promised, no application for registration or naturalization will be turned down due to lack of linguistic qualifications without the Minister personally having considered the matter. This is also one of the cases which will be covered in general. In my personal capacity I have come across such persons who simply are not able to read one of the official languages but who can speak both languages well. I want to assure hon. members that no definite language qualifications are imposed here. Previously we spoke about a Std. VI qualification, but I want to assure hon. members that concessions will be made and that more attention will be devoted to the person’s character, his ability to adapt himself to the South African way of life and his ability and willingness to act as a good citizen of South Africa.

The hon. member for South Coast is not here now, but I think he raised an important matter with reference to Clause 8 (b) of the Bill. He said that it was not clear to him and referred to the words where a person can be granted citizenship if he lives on board ship for longer periods than on land. But the hon. member evidently did not see or did not thoroughly consider a few of the words in the clause. It must be a ship or vessel controlled from the Union (lines 68 and 69). From this it will appear that although the ship or other vehicle is registered in any other country than the Republic, the benefits mentioned in that clause will be given to these persons if this ship or other vehicle is controlled from the Union, i.e. such vessels which are hired or controlled by organizations within the Union. Then it is quite clear that his domicilium is here and that he can use that period to become a South African citizen.

With these few words I hope that I have assisted hon. members opposite and that I have given them an idea of what I shall be willing to consider and what I myself intend moving in the Committee Stage.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.


Twelfth Order read: Second reading,—Admission of Persons to the Union Regulation Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Regulation of Immigration Act, 1913, makes provision for the establishment of a Department of Immigration, but the function of that Department, as defined, has nothing in common with the functions which are at present entrusted to the new Department of Immigration. This Immigration Regulation Act firstly and principally regulates the entry of all persons, and therefore also visitors, to the Republic, and in this regard prescribes in particular financial, passport, visa and character and health requirements with which people must comply before they are allowed to enter the Republic. Various groups of persons are exempted from all these requirements or from some of them. One of these groups of persons who are exempted from all the aforementioned requirements is, in terms of Section 5 (1) (a) of the Act “ a member of His Majesty’s regular land and sea forces ”. Secondly, this Bill contains provisions regarding the deportation of undesirable persons from the Republic, and, thirdly, the system of control by means of immigration officials at the Republican ports is provided for. The new Immigration Department will now be concerned only with immigration to the Republic in respect of the following aspects: (1) Publicity overseas with the object of recruiting immigrants, (2) the selection of immigrants, (3) the passage of immigrants to the Republic, and (4) their employment in the Republic with the assistance of the Department of Labour and private committees, and, finally, the duty of this Department is the reception, the training and the after-care of immigrants in the Republic. This Bill provides that the 1913 Act will now be amended in such a way as to eliminate confusion between the functions of the new Department of Immigration and the Department of the Interior by doing away with the right to establish an Immigration Department which will have the functions of the Department of the Interior, and in its place to make it clear that the entry of persons to the Republic has nothing to do with immigration. Furthermore, it is proposed that instead of exempting only members of Her Majesty’s Forces from the requirements of the relevant provisions, that exemption will be extended to the members of the forces of any country when such forces enter the Republic with the consent of the Government. It is therefore just a brief Bill which separates the functions of the Department of the Interior from those of the Department of Immigration.


In the absence of the hon. member for South Coast (Mr. Mitchell) I would like to say that we on this side welcome this measure. As you know, we have felt for some considerable time that one of the things that South Africa needs most is more immigrants of the right type to help us to build up our economy and to develop the natural resources with which we are blessed. It was very pleasing to hear the hon. the Minister point out in his remarks that while he is not only sorting out the various duties of his Department in so far as people coming into the Union are concerned, he is intending that this Department should concentrate upon those people who come here as real immigrants. It gives us very great pleasure to support a measure which is going to achieve that. We feel that immigrants should be encouraged, and I sincerely hope that the one particular function he mentioned, i.e. to encourage immigrants to come to this country, shall be regarded as a very important part indeed of the duties of this new department. The provision relating to the admission of members of the forces of other countries is one which is quite understandable; we have nothing against it. It just allows for members of forces other than Her Majesty’s forces, and in the circumstances we can see no objection to such a provision in this measure. I do not think that it is necessary to take up any further time of the House. This is a measure which we welcome.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.


Thirteenth Order read: Second Reading,—Alians Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Aliens Act, 1937, reads as follows—

There shall be established an Immigrants’ Selection Board consisting of three, four or five members to be appointed by the Governor-General for the purpose of selecting such alien immigrants as desire to enter the Union for permanent residence therein.

The board established in accordance with this provision officiates at Pretoria where all applications for permanent residence in the Republic are at present being sent for consideration. This procedure necessitates that inquiries must be instituted in the country in which the would-be immigrants resides. Reports must be compiled and forwarded to Pretoria for consideration. Because of this lengthy procedure and the fact that only one board considers all applications on the ground of reports, the applicant learns whether he is acceptable as an immigrant only approximately three months after his application. These unavoidable delays which are attributable to the present procedure leave intending immigrants very critical of the Union. In order to encourage immigration by expediting the consideration of applications to emigrate to the Republic, it is regarded as necessary that the Republic, like most immigration countries, should establish immigration selection committees to select immigrants on the spot and if necessary, even to grant this authority to one person. Such a selection committee may consist of the head of the South African mission or any of the senior officials, an immigration attaché or such other person as may be desirable. The number of selection committees that may become necessary will determine the number of members of the board, and therefore it is proposed that the board shall consist of a minimum of five members. By providing that the members of such committee shall also be members of the board it is ensured that the actions will not be uncontrolled. It is therefore suggested that the Act be so amended, firstly that provision be made for only a minimum number of members of the Selection Board instead of a maximum number as at present. The Board may then be composed of so many members as may be desirable and the members of the selection committees abroad may then also be appointed members of the Selection Board; secondly, that the Selection Board he granted authority subject to the approval of the Minister to confer on any member or committee consisting of two members any powers or duties which are conferred on the board at present by the Act in question. It is also proposed that the Afrikaans version of the name of the board be changed from “ Raad vir die Keuse van Immigrante ” to “ Immigrantekeur-raad ”, since in Afrikaans the board is commonly known by this name. In English the name of the board remains the same, namely the Immigrants’ Selection Board. In conclusion, all doubt as to whether the Aliens Act of 1937 is applicable to South West Africa is removed by Clauses 3 and 4 of this Bill.


Sir, we support this Bill. This is a vast change since 1948 when I first came to this House. At that time the whole question of immigration was ridiculed by that side of the House and the Minister’s predecessor spoke in very scathing tones about any efforts on our part to introduce immigrants to this country, and I am very glad to see a change of heart. I will emphasize one particular point and that is that I hope that the Minister, when giving powers to the members of the board, will pay particular attention to the type of person who is appointed to this board. It is very important, having regard to the objective of this Bill, which is to cut red tape and to ensure a more smooth working of the administrative steps in connection with the introduction of immigrants into this country, that the personnel away from South Africa should be people of the right type who cannot only sort out the immigrants and assess them but can also deal with them sympathetically. You sometimes have over-zealous officials treating a prospective immigrant virtually as a suspected criminal, and that attitude does not enhance the prestige of the country, nor does it encourage immigrants to come here, and I do hope that the Minister in selecting the personnel for the board will bear in mind that we need as members of that board people who are good ambassadors for South Africa. At the same time they should be astute administrators so that we get the best of both worlds, namely an efficient administrator and a sympathetic one as well.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.


Fourteenth Order read: Second reading,—Public Holidays Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 1961, does not amend the Public Holidays Act of 1952. Consequently we have a public holiday on the 2nd day of July, which is called the “ Queen’s Birthday ”, whereas in future we will have no Queen. It is therefore proposed to retain this public holiday, but that its name should be changed to “ Family Day ”. This day, which falls in the winter school holidays, will be suitable for the gathering of a family which is such an important unit in our national life. This name has been selected particularly in view of the fact that this year is Family Year, and to commemorate it and to perpetuate that idea, this is the proposal I put to the House. In addition we have a public holiday, Union Day, on 31 March, the day in 1961 on which the Union became a Republic, and consequently it is proposed that to commemorate this day and this event, this public holiday should be retained but that in future it will be known as “ Republic Day ”. It now appears that the Public Holidays Act of 1952 does not apply to the territory known as the Eastern Caprivi Zipfel, and consequently the matter is being remedied with retrospective effect from the date of the coming into operation of that Act, and in Clause 3 this amending Bill is being made applicable also to that territory and to South West Africa and the Prince Edward Islands.


Right at the outset I wish to explain that the Bill before us is completely outside party politics. It deals with the history of our nation and with our country. The hon. the Minister is also the last person with whom I wish to quarrel—we were born at the same place and we both grew up there. We, therefore, know each other and we know each other’s parents. Mr. Speaker, with the establishment of the Republic we are entering a new era, a new era in our history. The preceding era is behind us, but during that period certain episodes, certain things and certain occurrences took place which were of an outstanding nature and which constituted important milestones along the road in our history since 1652. I want to talk about those happenings and in view of that, particularly in view of Clause 2, I want to make an appeal to the hon. the Minister now that we are entering a new era, not to destroy that which belongs to the past. As a delver into history years ago—before I sank to the level of being a politician —I was often very sorry to find, for example, that a Badenhorst had ploughed under a portion of Dingaanstat, and that we as historians had to struggle for years and do research work in order to restore it. As you know, Mr. Speaker, because we were annoyed and because we were angry at the deeds of a certain man, we searched for years for the grave of the bravest man in our history, namely Hansons de Lange; because we had neglected it, it took historians years ultimately to find it again. I am afraid now that we are entering a new era, that we may make it very difficult for future historians or research workers to know exactly what happened at certain stages in our history. I think that is very unnecessary. Whatever happened in the past, whether it was pleasant or unpleasant, is part of our history, it represents episodes and occurrences in the life of our nation and milestones along the road of South Africa. We will be committing a crime towards the future of South Africa if we were to forget or destroy them. Like my hon. friends opposite I am conscious of what 31 May means in our history. I am conscious of it that 31 May represents an unfortunate episode in the history of the Afrikaner, but at the same time I am also conscious of it that 31 May represents one of the happiest periods in the history of South Africa—that of 1910 and, if you wish, if you feel that way, also 31 May 1961. But because we entered a new era on 31 May 1961 must we forget and destroy the other eras? Must we replace them? Must we forget 31 May 1910 when after years of bitterness of feud, strife and suffering, our nation rose to a height where the two races, the two language groups came together? I hope we will continue to have that co-operation throughout the history of South Africa no matter how difficult it may be. I am not talking as a politician now but as somebody who is trying to do something for the sake of history, and as such I think we will be making a big mistake if we were to do away with 31 May 1910, or Union Day, as a public holiday or as a colourful day in the history of South Africa. Mr. Speaker, we established an Historic Monuments Commission of which I had the honour to be a member for years. Why? For the purpose of trying to preserve what had happened or what had been established in our history, things which the nation was in the process of destroying! Did we not recently establish a Simon van der Stel Society whose object is to do the same thing, namely to preserve with the assistance of the Government? Why should we now begin to destroy and to do away with certain things?

I wonder whether my hon. friend, the Minister, has thought about it that if our great forefathers, if a de Wet or a Hertzog, or a Botha or a Smuts or a Fitzpatrick or a Jameson or a Moore or whoever it may be, had agreed at the 1910 Convention to establish a federation instead of a union, it would have been impossible for us to have become a Republic? Do hon. members opposite realize that if a federation had been established in 1909 …


The hon. member is now going too far.


If a federation had been established in 1909 Natal, for instance, as a federal state, would not have formed part of the Republic of South Africa to-day. With due respect, Mr. Speaker, in regard to what you said, where you wish to restrain (kortwiek) me …


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


I withdraw it, Mr. Speaker, but I did not mean it in a nasty sense. I wish to say, with due respect, that I am not going too far because I wish to point out that it would not have been possible to have a Republic Day for the whole of South Africa had our great forefathers not decided on a union but on a federation on 31 May 1910. That is all the more reason why we should retain that day as one of the most important days in our history—as a victory over ourselves and over our hatred and struggle against one another; on that day it was also made possible for us, 50 years subsequently, to establish a Republic in South Africa, a Republic which includes all the old colonies. That is why I want to make an appeal to the hon. the Minister that, when we come to the Committee Stage, to consider, not replacing Republic Day—I am not asking for that because that is a very important episode in the history of South Africa—but to retain the 31 May as Union Day, which is equally important. We must not discard that milestone, that beacon, in our history, and that is why I appeal to the hon. the Minister to retain that day so that, unlike us, prosperity will not have any difficulty in gathering facts and ascertaining the beacons in our history and placing them in their right perspective for their descendants.

*Dr. W. L. D. M. VENTER:

Mr. Speaker, I think that we have all listened attentively to the case put forward by the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) and which he tried to substantiate to the best of his ability. I think, however, that most of us will be inclined to differ from him when he says that the establishment of the Republic is just as important as Union Day because we regard it as a more important event. The hon. member has mentioned a series of events, all of which could be coupled with 31 May, but it gradually became clear that the latter event was more important than the other, namely, 31 May, 1910. That is why this day has acquired the significance of Union Day for us. But a more important event than that has taken place, and this is not an event which will only be remembered by one section of our population. On the contrary it is a day on which we believe the English- and Afrikaans-speaking peoples will find one another as they have never done before. If we must erect milestones in the course of history and one reaches a milestone which stands above all other milestones, one does not after all take the name of the less important milestone. On 31 May a more important event than the establishment of Union took place. That is to say South Africa became a free Republic and the establishment of Union is to us merely a fact of historical importance. It cannot be forgotten but it is recorded in the annals of the history of the growth of our nation. The world would however be able to rebuke us for not having any sense of values or proportion if we use 31 May to commemorate the most important event in our history by using the name of a less important event. I therefore hope most sincerely that the hon. the Minister will stand firm on this point, that is to say that we shall celebrate Republic Day on 31 May because the Republic belongs to everyone in South Africa.

I should also like to say a few words about the other public holiday which is being created, namely, Family Day. The hon. the Minister has already pointed out that it is as a result of the inspiration which has been derived from the Family Year that this name has been chosen. There could not have been a better idea than this one. A nation is a living organism and one cannot keep it strong and healthy if the cells of that organism are not strong and healthy as well. That is what the family means in our national life. Particularly at this time when there are so many factors which contribute towards the breaking up of family life, we welcome the fact that a public holiday is being created which will make it possible for the family to come together once again and to re-emphasize the unity of the family. May I express the hope that churches, welfare organizations, etc., will take this opportunity to propagate the concept that all families in our country should do everything on that day to be at home, to create a family unity and to find one another to a greater extent than ever before. From time to time mention is made of a Mother’s Day or a Father’s Day. We hope that these days will now make way for Family Day so that while in the past the children, for example, gave their mother on Mother’s Day a fine bouquet or a present, or they gave their father one or other present, they will now do so on Family Day so that this day will hold a message for us and will act as a mighty stimulus towards building up the family life of our country.


We are dealing with a Bill which has become necessary as a result of the change which took place in our constitution at the end of last month. It would be unrealistic, we admit, to continue with the public holiday know as the Queen’s Birthday. The change from the Union of South Africa to the Republic of South Africa merits at least consideration being given to the possibility of a change being brought about in the name of what has hitherto been known as Union Day. As far as “ Family Day ” is concerned, I want to say that the concept “ family day ” as a public holiday is something fairly novel. It has been the tradition to link public holidays with historical events, with religious occasions of special significance, or with some event of high emotional content which is part of the national life. Although a family day does not fit in with this traditional occasion for a public holiday in South Africa, we accept it in so far as it might serve as a stimulus to the acceptance of the family as the basic unit of a civilized and stable society. As such there is possibly some merit in the idea although at this stage it is difficult to say whether it is going to have that desired effect of accentuating the need for a healthy family life.

I want to deal with the public holiday which it is intended to continue to have on 31 May. I have listened with interest to what the hon. Minister and the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) have said in this connection. Certainly, 31 May is a date of some special significance to South Africa and to all of us because it is a date on which certain important events took place affecting us as a people and as a nation. These events can be seen in a different perspective and in a different order of priority by the various sections of the community depending on their attitude to the events. One thinks of the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902 —an event which has a high emotional content for a large section of the White population of South Africa. Then we come to the creation of Union. I endorse the views expressed by the hon. member for Hillbrow as to the importance to be attached to this event, not essentially because it was the creation of a unitary system, or because it was part of a monarchical system, but because it meant the bringing together of scattered fragments which to-day form the South Africa nation. That I see as an important event and one which should not be lost sight of. Then it is understandable that all people in South Africa should consider the advent of a republic as something of importance, although it is too early to tell the nature of its importance. That we are now no longer part of a monarchical system but a separate republic, is something which is of importance and is viewed emotionally by different people in a different way. So we must take account of the historical significance of 31 May and of the varying emotions it produces amongst the various sections of the people of South Africa.

The question then is what suitable name can be given to this day which is to become the South African national day, which will become, just as Union Day has been in the past, the premier day on our national calendar. It will be a day which will be celebrated not only inside the Republic but also at South African embassies throughout the world and by South Africans throughout the world as the day which links them with South Africa. There may be something to be said for the idea expressed by the hon. member for Hillbrow that Union Day should be retained to symbolize our getting together in 1910 and there is also something to be said in favour of the arguments of the hon. member for Kimberley (South) (Dr. Venter) for recording the importance of the more recent change to a republic, but there is another emotion which transcends the emotion evoked by Vereeniging, or by the National Convention and Union, or by “Republiekwording”, and that is that we are linked by a common loyalty to South Africa. It is for this reason that I wish to urge the hon. Minister to give this date the most significant title possible, namely South Africa Day. 31 May will become the day on which we as South Africans will recognize South Africa first. I do not think that this date should be linked with any form of government. I am one of those who believe that the outward form of government is of less importance than is the common spirit which motivates all people in a union or a federation, in a monarchy or a republic. This day should have a deep and real meaning for all South Africans. I would ask the Minister to consider whether he should not link it with a fact which unites us all, namely the fact that we are all South Africans. I would be very happy to support an amendment to that effect. I hope the hon. Minister will see the wisdom of doing what I have suggested. It will not only emphasize the importance of the day, but it would embody a powerful emotional theme which would unite us all as South Africans.


This is a very important measure which is now before us, and for that reason I am glad that hon. members have spoken with such self-restraint. I just want to tell the hon. member for Hill-brow that I have also learned a little history, but this is the first time in my life that I have heard that if one does not couple an important historic event to a public holiday, one forgets that event or one destroys or replaces it, as he has said. Mr. Speaker, 31 May is a great day in the history of South Africa but in its name it has always been coupled with the constitutional status of our country at the various stages. Our constitutional position from 1910 until 31 May this year was that of a Union and that was also the official name of our State. To-day however it is no longer correct to speak of the Union of South Africa, because that name has been replaced by that of “Republic of South Africa”. Mr. Speaker, you had to call one of the Ministers to order the other day by pointing out that we are no longer a Union of South Africa but a republic.

Business suspended at 12.45 p.m. and resumed at 2.20 p.m.

Afternoon Sitting


Mr. Speaker, when the House adjourned, I was referring to a ruling which you gave the other day, that is to say when you called an hon. Minister to order for referring to the “Union of South Africa”. You then pointed out to him that we were now a republic. Here we have the kernel of the argument in favour of the change which this Bill envisages, namely the substitution for the word “Union” of the word “Republic”. The fact of the matter is that 31 May has always described the status of our country in the constitutional sphere. In the same way we want it to be descriptive in the future of the constitutional state of our country. Our Union status has now been changed into one of a republic and I hope that the hon. member for Hillbrow will understand this point.


Read Walton on the point.


The difficulty is that this hon. member has read books by persons who have died in the meantime and who were not to know that we would become a republic. The hon. member must not think that because we are now a republic, all the other historic events will be forgotten, as he claimed in his speech. The fact of the matter is that 1902 will always remain a memorable day in our history, but we are nevertheless not going to couple the events which took place on 31 May 1902, with the public holiday which we wish to proclaim on 31 May. We are not going to call it “Vereeniging Day” or “Victory Day” or any other day. The status which our country acquired on 31 May 1910, is now being replaced by another and higher status, namely that of a republic. I now want to remind the hon. member that if he wants the name of this public holiday to remain descriptive of the status of our country, he failed in his duty when the Constitution was under discussion because he should then have moved that the name of our country should not be the “Republic of South Africa” but the “Republic of the Union of South Africa”. Then he would have had grounds for his argument this afternoon, but now he does not have such grounds. As I have said, all the great events in our history will still be remembered on 31 May, but the greatest of these events was when we acquired our present higher constitutional status. I cannot see how we can take this any further, or how a new and higher status can be achieved. The same position applies to Kruger Day. Here we have a parallel. Kruger Day has been coupled with 10 October as being the birthday of President Kruger, but we do not only commemorate President Kruger but all the past heroes we have had in our history. This is analogous to “Republic Day” seeing that the latter symbolizes our most important milestone in the constitutional sphere. In this case we shall also not only commemorate the latest event which took place on that day, but also all the other events which took place in our history up to 31 May.


I do not think that the House has been convinced by the argument used by the hon. member for Pretoria (Central) (Mr. van den Heever) but I shudder to think that the reasons mentioned by him, were the reasons which prompted the Cabinet to put forward this Bill. I want to read the First Schedule which is now being amended, with a view to showing what is happening with our public holidays. This is how it will read after this amendment has been accepted—

New Year’s Day, Van Riebeeck Day (6 April), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Republic Day (31 May), Family Day (2nd Monday in July), Settlers’ Day, Kruger’s Day, Day of the Covenant, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Now, if all the arguments used by the last speaker were sound, we should not have Van Riebeeck Day amongst our public holidays and similarly we should not find Kruger Day at all. These should be supplanted by Strydom Day, or Malan Day, or something like that, beçause the fact of the matter is that Union Day is still an historic day. You cannot abolish that historical event by changing the name. It will remain.


But it is not abolished!


If this Bill goes through, then Union Day will disappear as a public holiday. The hon. member does not seem to appreciate the fact that although the significance of Union Day cannot be abolished by substituting for it a Republic Day, the fact remains that it is being so substituted as a public holiday. I object to that, Mr. Speaker, because I think we should retain Union Day. I have no objection to a Republic Day being celebrated and I would be happy to see a Union and Republic Day being celebrated on 31 May. My objection is that we are not giving the proper place in our historical set-up to Union Day, this great historical event. I have listened to the reasons of the hon. Minister as to why he would like to introduce a Republic Day. I have no objections to that at all, but I have not heard him informing this House why Union Day should be dropped, and that is what I would like to know from him. The mere fact that he is going to abolish Union Day as a public holiday, cannot alter history, but my objection is that we are not going to continue to celebrate that day as a public holiday. I hope, therefore, that when we come to the Committee Stage, the Minister would be prepared to consider amendments. We already had one amendment from the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin), namely that it should be called South Africa Day. I am not so happy about that suggestion, because it will be taking away the significance of the day altogether—it will no longer be associated with the creation of Union, or with the creation of the Republic. A happy solution would be to call it Union and Republic Day. It remains the same date and would remind us of two momentous events in the history of South Africa. I see no objection to such a procedure being followed, but I do take exception to the abolition of Union Day as a public holiday.


Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the suggestion made by the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin). I think there is a danger of confusing our terms and concepts in discussing 31 May and what the public holiday should be called. The hon. member for Pretoria (Central) (Mr. van den Heever) contended that 31 May has hitherto been called Union Day because in so doing it was associated with our constitutional status, and on those grounds he contended that it would be correct to change the name now to Republic Day. In this connection I would like to suggest that the hon. member has quoted an inaccurate equivalent. The term “Union” does not refer to a form of Government, but to the relationship between the various provinces which came together in that form. As the hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) rightly pointed out, if there is an opposite to the word union that opposite is federation. We were a union when we were a monarchy, and we are still a union now that we are a republic. I will come presently to the question of the sheer nomenclature, but I do think that there can be no doubt about that point. Where I do want to differ, with respect, from the hon. member for Hillbrow, is that he has suggested—and I think I know why—that had South Africa become a federation in 1910 and not a union, then South Africa could not have become a republic now, because one of the provinces would have seceded. It might or it might not have, that would have depended upon the constitution of the federation. He will concede, I think—and I think hon. members generally will concede—that it will be perfectly possible for us to be a federal republic, just as we are to-day a unified republic. There is therefore, in terms of the meaning of the word no incompatability between the word union and the term republic. The opposite, if one can talk in terms of opposites, of union is federation, and the opposite of republic is monarchy. It is true that as a matter of administrative change, a matter of change in nomenclature on our stationery and so forth, on our documents and in our law, where we have referred to the Union of South Africa in the past we now refer to the Republic of South Africa. For that reason it is perfectly reasonable that it should be felt that at this time there must be a necessary change in the name of this particular holiday. I am certainly not going to press for the retention, in these circumstances, of the name of Union Day. It is for this very reason, as well as for certain practical reasons which I am going to mention in a moment, that we are advocating the simple use of the name of our country—South Africa Day. This is a day, as the hon. member for Pinelands pointed out, on which we celebrate not only two but at least three momentous occasions in our history. It would be right and proper if this were to be the day on which we celebrate our very nationhood. It is along this road to nationhood that all these events have been and will be seen in the future to have been milestones. I believe that merely to name that day according to a particular change in constitutional form would not be to express enough. We should express not merely the fact that we have chosen to be governed in a republic instead of having chosen to be governed in a monarchy—important though that is—but the important thing is that we are celebrating our joint loyalty and our joint sentiments as South Africans on that day. I have always believed that that was the best spirit in which 31 May was celebrated when it was Union Day. I do not think it crossed the minds of any of us that we had one or other particular form of government. I think we tried to celebrate Union Day in the spirit of our common South Africanism. And it is so that this spirit should still be paramount on this day that we are suggesting the change of the name to South Africa Day—Suid-Afrika Dag.

There is one other advantage—I believe it to be an important advantage in this nomenclature over what is now suggested. The hon. member for Pinelands touched on it briefly, and I should like to expand his point a little. That is that not only here in the Union, but throughout the world, wherever we are represented, it will, I believe, be customary for this occasion to be marked by our representatives. I am considering, for example, what I believe would be a practical occasion, that in, say, Washington, our Ambassador will probably, on that occasion, hold some suitable function to commemorate the day. It seems to me that, on that foreign soil, to commemorate South Africa Day would be much more meaningful than merely to commemorate Republic Day. Many of the guests will be citizens of the United States of America, and they, too, are republicans. Probably a majority of the other guests at a function of that sort would be people from republics, and to ask them to celebrate the fact that we are a republic just as they are a republic, does not seem to me to have the same meaning, whatever its merits may be, as to ask them to come to drink the health of South Africa on South Africa’s national day. The same way as at present here in South Africa other nations which are represented here hold functions on their own national days. Most of us, I imagine, have attended functions of this sort held on Canada Day or Australia Day or whatever it may be. I believe that this is a matter of importance and not merely of detail, and I believe also it serves to show what the spirit and the real meaning of this day ought to be. So much for 31 May.

I now want, in far more tentative spirit, to make a suggestion about the other public holiday with which we are dealing here, about the proposal for Family Day. Clearly we can no longer celebrate the Queen’s birthday, and we must seek the most suitable title for a new holiday to replace it. I would be the last one to decry for one moment the idea of having a Family Day. I believe it is extremely desirable that we should do everything we can to promote family feelings and to strengthen family ties in this country. However, there is another idea which I would have liked to have suggested—let me put it no more strongly than that—there is another public holiday which South Africa might well have on her calendar of holidays, and that would be what I would call—there may be a better word—Goodwill Day. It would be a day dedicated to the proposition that South Africans, coming as they do from so many differing backgrounds, having as they have had, so much friction between them, and still having so much friction between them, should on one day a year devote themselves to thoughts of goodwill between one group and another. I do not know to what extent we are finally committed, and, as I say, the last thing I wish to do is to suggest that there should not be a Family Day. For very many of our people there are very many family days. I think that, for very many people, Christmas Day, as well as its special religious significance, is a day when families come together and strengthen the bonds between them. I think that for very many of our people Sundays are also family days. It might, therefore, be wise to consider whether it might not be better, having one public holiday to dispose of, to think of it as a goodwill day—as I have said, there may be a better title—as a day of dedication to the ideals of national unity which I have sketched. That, however, I say merely in a tentative way for the consideration of hon. members.

In conclusion, I wish strongly to urge the hon. the Minister to give serious consideration and, if necessary, to give time for other hon. members to consider the suggestion that the hon. member for Pinelands has made in regard to 31 May.


Mr. Speaker, hon. members will have another opportunity at the Committee Stage, seeing that the point at issue is actually the name of one public holiday. In the first place I want to thank hon. members who have participated in this debate for the restrained and calm way in which the whole subject has been covered. At no time did emotion get the upper hand to any extent, and I am very grateful for that. In the first place we must examine where our public holidays originated. The House will remember that in 1952 a commission was appointed to go into the whole question of public holidays in South Africa. The hon. member for Umhlatuzana (Mr. Eaton) has read out the schedule of public days. On analysing this, it becomes quite clear that the religious, cultural and historical backgrounds have been taken into account, as the hon. member for Pinelands (Mr. Eglin) has put it. This was a very thorough investigation. There had always been confusion; there had always been pressure for additional public holidays. Everyone wanted to add to the list, and a very strong stand had to be adopted to the effect that the 12 public holidays and the other half-days and Sundays and other holidays had to suffice, and that we would not allow any further extension.

Consequently, we must adopt the attitude in the first place that we cannot create additional public holidays. As a matter of fact, no representations have been made in that regard either. We must make the best use of the existing public holidays which we have. Representations have been put forward in favour of a South Africa Day or some other name, and I should first like to deal with those representations. The outside world is not interested in whether it is Union Day or Republic Day or South Africa Day. All the foreign representatives in our country invite us to the celebration of their national day; for example, Canada’s national day—I do not even know what the day is called in Canada itself—or the national day of America, and the same has always applied to the celebrations abroad even in the case of Union Day. The people of the outside world are not invited to celebrate Union Day, but they are invited to attend the celebration of the national day of South Africa on 31 May. Consequently, whatever name we may give to 31 May, that argument does not hold water. That will not be the position in the outside world if we should decide to call it South Africa Day—that would not be the name of our national day. It will not be called by its name, but it is the celebration of the national day of South Africa.

I now turn to the argument relating to 31 May, and whether the name “Union Day” should be retained. The hon. member for Hillbrow (Dr. Steenkamp) has not proposed an additional day. He has said that he has no objection to the introduction of a Republic Day. I do not know whether he had in mind the introduction of an additional public holiday. The hon. member for Unhlatuzana wanted a combination of names; it should be Republic and Union Day. He wants us to link the two concepts.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, when one examines the 12 public holidays, there is in reality only one of them which indicates the constitutional or political development of South Africa. Only Union Day does so. The other are historic events—it was a great event when van Riebeeck landed here; there is a day which has been created for commemorating our past heroes, namely Kruger Day; the others are religious holidays; 1 January is the beginning of a new year; the other holidays which remain are public holidays to which a particular significance is attached When one is dealing with the constitutional development of a country, the argument of the hon. member for Hillbrow collapses completely, that is to say his argument that we shall now forget Union Day. No one differs from the hon. member when he says that 31 May 1910, was a day of very great importance, that it heralded a period in the history of South Africa, particularly in its constitutional history, of which we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary last year —this was 50 years of growth, progress, etc. No one will ever forget it. I do not know how the hon. member can compare it with the other historic events which the historian has to dig out in order to ascertain when this or that event took place. We would have to indicate this constitutional development of South Africa by means of many dates if we want to fix them in the memory of the public of South Africa. Many other events have taken place in the constitutional development of the Republic of South Africa and even in the Union of South Africa after 31 May 1910.

It was after all also a very important constitutional event when the Emperial Conference took certain decisions in 1926. and the same applies to the Status Act of 1934. These are after all great constitutional events. Our constitutional development did not come to a halt on 31 May 1910; it did not merely stop at the fact that the four provinces decided to establish a Union of South Africa. This was a milestone along the road of great development, and I feel inclined to use the metaphor that on 31 May 1910, the various provinces entered into an engagement and on 31 May 1961, the marriage took place.


It was a long engagement.


Yes, we also struggled with the hon. member for a long time to get him right. Here we now stand before a new period, a great milestone. This is the establishment of the Republic, the end of the period of constitutional development of the past 51 years, but it will never be forgotten and will always be remembered thankfully. What happend on 31 May 1910, will always remain an outstanding event. But when we come to this day on which the Republic became a fait accompli, it means that this day must change its name. We have no option. Hon. members opposite admit it. In some way or other recognition must be given to the fact that the Union of South Africa has changed its form of government and become a Republic. The hon. member for Kimberely (South) (Dr. W. L. D. M. Venter) has outlined this great event in its true significance, in a way which I cannot better and I shall not repeat what he has said. I only want to say that seeing that there is unanimity on the point that this fact must be commemorated, I can really not see how hon. members can evade this problem by choosing a date other than 31 May, no matter how well disposed I may wish to be. If we want all the events which take place on 31 May to be commemorated in the name of that day and to be kept in the name, then it will eventually result in an impossible combination of names. If we call 31 May, Republic Day, and also refer to Union Day, what right do we then have to say that 31 May 1902, should not also of necessity be coupled with this public holiday? The hon. member for Hillbrow has mentioned this event and said that it was a great event which took place. This was an important event. It is not possible and it is simply not done. Seeing that constitutional development is a matter of evolution, of continuous growth, of continuous change, if this country should no longer be the Republic of South Africa in 50 years’ time, but may have quite a different constitutional form it will not remain Republic Day. Then it will probably have a different form and a different name, and I hope that those who are in authority at that time will ensure that it will also take place on 31 May. if such a development should take place. I am very sorry, Mr. Speaker, but as far as this point is concerned, it has been carefully considered. This does not represent negation of the facts of history. It does not represent a negation of what has happened, it does not represent a negation of a great and valuable and significant day such as 31 May 1910; to those who wish to remember this day, it will most certainly never be something to be forgotten because it remains the same day, but the most important and the main argument is and remains that on 31 May 1961, we established a Republic; we did not enter into something unknown, we did not enter a new constitutional period in the sense of a gamble, but we entered into a period which after a few weeks has already given sufficient proof and justification to all sections of the population that we are following the right road. As the fathers of 1910 could look back on a great, historic and valuable constitutional development, so we must give this day its name so that we can always look back on it as the greatest constitutional development South Africa has ever known.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.


Fifteenth Order read: Second Reading,—Welfare Organizations Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr. Speaker, the Welfare Organizations Act that we are about to amend, was placed on the Statute Book in 1947. It was introduced here at that time by the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence). It was a good Act and it still is to-day. The Act was introduced at that time to make provision for the registration of welfare organizations, for control over and the collection of funds for welfare purposes and, what is perhaps the most important, for the co-ordination of voluntary welfare services.

Since the coming into operation of that Act, only a few amendments have been made to it in the meantime. This is the first time after 14 years that the provisions of this Act are being revised, as it were. As hon. members will recall, before the passing of the Act in 1947, there was no co-ordination between welfare organizations. There was no Union law that made this co-ordination possible. Every province had to rely on an ordinance that was valid in its own province, while at that stage there was no ordinance at all that controlled welfare organizations in the Free State.

It was generally felt at the time that an umbrella organization should be established to bring about the necessary co-ordination, and by placing the Welfare Organizations Act on the Statute Book the hon. member, in his capacity as Minister of Social Welfare at the time, gave effect to that desire which was strongly felt by the welfare organizations of all the provinces. And with the passing of that Act in 1947 the principle was accepted by this House, a principle which has since come to the fore very strongly, that the State, in intimate and close co-operation with the welfare organizations, accepts responsibility for the welfare work that has to be done in South Africa. Because of that insistence on the part of the welfare organizations that the State should take the lead, the principle was irrevocably established that the welfare organizations would follow the lead given by the Government’s Department of Social Welfare. That is still the position to-day, and I am very grateful to be able to say to hon. members, that to this day, to an ever-increasing extent, there is the greatest and finest cooperation between the State and these private welfare organizations. I should like to make use of this opportunity to convey my very sincere thanks to all the private welfare organizations for the way in which they are performing their task. If the State had had to rely entirely on its own resources to do that work, it would definitely not have been possible to do it in the way in which it is being done at present. But it is because that co-operation does exist that we are able to achieve what we are achieving in the sphere of welfare work.

The Act, as passed in 1947, is being implemented largely by a National Board, known as the Welfare Organizations National Board. Here I propose to move an amendment when we come to the Committee Stage, because just a day or two ago I received further representations from the Executive Committee of that Board to the effect that they would like to have their name changed to “National Welfare Board” instead of Welfare Organizations National Board, for reasons which I shall then give the Committee.

Mr. Speaker, this Board consists of 24 members, and those members, as hon. members are aware, are chosen in a particular way in terms of the 1947 Act; one-quarter of the members must be people trained as social workers; one-half must be people engaged in welfare work in the cities, and the remaining one-quarter must be people engaged in welfare work in the rural areas. The purpose is to co-ordinate theory and practice, the city and the platteland, in that one Board. This is a good thing, and it has worked very well.

I want to say to hon. members at once that the Bill which I am now introducing, is being introduced at the unanimous request and with the unanimous approval of that Board as it is constituted at the moment with its 24 members. I gladly comply with the request of the Board to submit this legislation to the House. As hon. members know, apart from the 24 members of the Board, the Board is assisted by eight local welfare boards which in their turn also consist of 24 members. These boards, in terms of the 1947 Act, are appointed by the Minister, and that principle is being retained in this Bill. The provisions of the Act with reference to the issue of authority for the collection of funds by non-registered welfare organizations for a welfare purpose which is of a transitory nature, are carried out by the magistrates. Hon. members will be aware of the fact that under the Act, if a state of emergency should suddenly arise, temporary authority may be issued by a magistrate to collect money from the public for 90 days. I shall come back to this point later on again. Furthermore, in terms of the old Act, certain powers, particularly in connection with the appointment of inspectors, for example, the disposal of funds that were unlawfully collected —I shall also say a word or two about that later on—and the promulgation of regulations, are entrusted to the Minister, after consultation with the Board.

The most important functions of the Welfare Organizations National Board are (a) to arrange the registration of welfare organizations; (b) to bring about the co-ordination of registered welfare organization; that is to say, to coordinate as far as possible in a national board —such as the National Board for the Aged, for example—the functions of welfare organizations which serve the same purpose. The object is to bring about the greatest measure of co-ordination, and this is working extremely well. And its third function is to advise the Minister and other bodies in connection with social matters.

During the first year of its existence the Board occupied itself mainly with the registration of welfare organizations. Hon. members are aware of the fact that no welfare organization may carry on its activities, if its funds are obtained from the State or from a local authority or from the public or if it receives financial aid from the State or a local authority or collects contributions from the public, unless that organization is registered in terms of the provisions of the Welfare Organizations Act. The basis of that is to protect the public from exploitation by people who collect money for non-existent organizations and for purposes which are not approved of. It now appears that although the main duty of the Board was to register organizations, the Board had no option but to grant registration to an organization if that organization complied with certain requirements. It is interesting to note that at this moment, in the year 1961, the number of welfare organizations registered is precisely 1,961. Of this number, for the information of hon. members, 772 are in the Cape Province, 700 in the Transvaal, 173 in the Free State and 316 in Natal. This figure of 1,961 does not include branches of big organizations like St. Johns or the Noodhulpliga. For this purpose they are regarded as one organization in spite of the fact that the Noodhulpliga alone, for example, has 700 branches and St. Johns probably very much more. Hon. members will see from these figures how well we are served at this stage as far as welfare organizations are concerned. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that we are served too well; hence certain aspects of this legislation with which I shall deal later on.

In spite of this fact which I have just mentioned we find that every month applications still come before the Board for new registrations. Having disposed of its first task, namely registrations, the National Board had to tackle its second and perhaps its most important task, namely the co-ordination of voluntary welfare services to eliminate overlapping and duplication as far as possible in order to keep the costs as low as possible. The number of registered welfare organizations which I have just mentioned indicates that practically every sphere of welfare work is covered by private initiative. I should like to put it even more clearly, and here I should like to mention two figures. In Pretoria there are precisely 100 welfare organizations, and there are 250 in Johannesburg. That means that as far as Pretoria is concerned there is a welfare organization for every 4,000 people, and in Johannesburg there is one for every 5,000 people. When one bears in mind that fully 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the people living in those cities do not need the assistance of such an organization, that it is really only the remaining small percentage that needs assistance, one realizes that we are over-organized in this sphere. A great deal has been done under the leadership of the National Board—and we are very grateful for that fact—by the establishment of national bodies on a voluntary basis, because no compulsion is brought to bear on people to join a national body, nor is it our intention to introduce compulsion, because it takes place on a voluntary basis, with a view to obtaining better co-ordination of welfare work. In this connection I would mention the National Board for the Aged, the National Board for Alcoholism, Cripple Care, etc. Nevertheless, in spite of this co-ordination there are still many organizations which cannot suitably be linked up with a national body, and in fact many of them are barely entitled to exist. It now appears—and this is a need which is very greatly felt by the Board—that under the existing legislation the Board does not possess sufficient powers, other than on a voluntary basis to do full justice to one of its very important functions, namely the co-ordination of welfare services. That is why powers are being sought for the Board under this Bill (a) to refuse the registration of an organization if its aims correspond materially with those of an already existing and registered organization, or if the welfare aims or an organization are subordinate or additional to its other aims. I think hon. members will readily agree with them—they will find this in Clause 7 (b)—that under the conditions which I have outlined the National Board is justified in asking us for that power. Then (b), to withdraw registration certificates where an organization has not functioned for two years or has failed to do so within 12 months after having been instructed to submit its financial returns to the Board. The basis of the 1947 Act is that financial returns have to be submitted by the organizations to the Board so that the public can be protected and so that the Board can keep an eye on the way in which the funds of these organizations are spent. The Board is now asking for the power, which it has not had hitherto, to withdraw those registration certificates, and hon. members can take my word for it that there are many organizations on the books of the Board which for some years have no longer been functioning; the Board now wants to put its house in order, and if an organization has stopped functioning for two years the Board wants the power to withdraw its registration, or to do so if the organization fails, after having been instructed to do so, to submit its returns within 12 months. Unless the Board does so, this organization would continue to have authority from the State to collect money from the public while we would have no say, through the National Board, to ensure that the money is spent for the purpose for which it was collected. That is provided for in Clause 8 (a).

Then (c) the National Board seeks the power to demand that an applicant organization delete from its constitution those of its objects which are not welfare objects. That is provided for in Clause 7 (c). There are very good reasons why this is being done, and I shall come back to this later on. Greater powers are also being granted to the Board in respect of the following matters: (a) To register children’s homes and places of care as welfare organizations. According to the provisions of the Children’s Act places of care and children’s homes are excluded from registration. It is now considered desirable to include them. The reason for that is simply this, that in recent times there has been a tendency, not a very marked one but one can see that it is leading in that direction, for institutions such as children’s hotels, etc., to be established for private gain. Where they are established for private gain, it is not desirable that they should be allowed to collect funds from the public for personal gain. As hon. members will see, it does not affect those which do purely welfare work and which are not established for personal gain. Then (b), the exercise of control over the funds collected by a non-registered organization in terms of a temporary authority. That is contained in Clause 6. This is a temporary authority which may be sought from a magistrate to collect money for 90 days. I shall say more about this later on because there are many anomalies in that authorization which have to be eliminated. Then (c), we are giving the National Board this power in connection with the dissolution or organizations which have ceased to function but which are unable to dissolve themselves. That is contained in Clause 14. There are many organizations which have ceased to exist, but their constitution does not make provision for their dissolution and, as a matter of fact, there is no organization of people left to dissolve; the people have simply disappeared. There may still be a balance in the bank but because there are no people, the organization cannot be dissolved and it is felt that the Board should have the power to undertake this liquidation.

As far as the registration of children’s homes and places of care as welfare organizations is concerned, I must point out that at present they are exempted from registration by virtue of their registration under the Children’s Act. The effect of that is that a children’s home and a place of care may collect funds from the public as welfare organizations without being registered under the Act. This has been a source of worry to the National Board. They have had no control over such funds and we are now asking that they be given that control. May I just say to hon. members in passing that at the moment there are 140 children’s homes and about 200 places of care, and in dealing with this question of places of care, which now have to be registered, I am at the same time giving effect to an undertaking that I gave last year to the hon. member for Turffontein (Mr. Durrant) when he spoke under the Social Welfare Vote about chrèches over which we have no control. I said at the time that I should do something in this connection as soon as possible.

Provision is now being made for the name of local welfare boards to be changed to “regional welfare boards”. These people felt that this change should be brought about in the name because their region extends beyond the strictly local area, and we gladly comply with the request. Secondly, provision is being made for the submission to the Minister by the National Board of a report on its activities only once during its term of office of five years instead of every three years. That is being done in Clause 3 (b). It is not necessary for the Board to report to the Minister every year because the Department is in the closest touch with the Board. Its officials serve on the regional boards and attend the meetings of the National Board by invitation, and the Minister regularly attends these meetings every year, with the result that nothing happens of which the Minister is not fully aware, and it is therefore simply an unnecessary waste of time to give a formal account of these activities. In (c) provision is being made for greater powers to the Executive Committee of the National Board to promote the administrative activities of the Board. If hon. members will go back for a moment to the registration of welfare organizations, they will notice that in terms of Clause 7 (a), a would-be welfare organization which has applied for registration under the Welfare Organization Act will in future be expected to make known this fact by public notice, as well as the objects of the organization. To date the position has been that if an organization wants to register, it simply writes to the National Board, and its official, the Registrar, grants the registration. Because this field is well covered, as I have already said, the Board feels justified in asking us now to impose the obligation on a welfare organization that wishes to register in the future to make known the fact of its application, by means of public notice, as well as its objects. This is being done in order to give other interested bodies which are already engaged in that sphere and whose interests may be at stake the opportunity to lodge an objection to the registration of the new body. As the position is now, it does not become aware of the registration until it is an accomplished fact, because no prior notice is required, and very often there is unnecessary overlapping that leads to quarrelling and difficulties and wasted costs that we should like to eliminate. If hon. members find perhaps that we are going too far in doing this, I want to say that it is not a new principle that we are introducing in requiring prior notice because under the existing Act of 1947 there is a provision that if an organization has once been registered and it has certain objects and wishes to change those objects so as to embark upon a different sphere of welfare work, it must give notice of such change so as to give other organizations the opportunity of objecting. That is contained in Section 12 (3) of the Act of 1947. It is that principle that we now seek to extend.

Children’s homes and places of care, which are now to be registered as welfare organizations, are exempted from this requirement, however, because they are already registered under the Children’s Act of 1947 and we do not want duplication.

It is further provided in Clause 7 (c) that where an objection has been submitted against the registration of a welfare organization, the Board may not grant such an application except with the permission of the Minister. I expect hon. members will say that here I am asking for too much power for the Minister. I am not asking for that power because I want it but because the Board wants me to be given that power, for very good reasons, as I shall indicate. On the one hand it is the intention to re-assure would-be welfare organizations that their interests are protected, and on the other hand to give the Minister a say in connection with the registration of any organization. I should like hon. members to understand clearly that the Minister only comes into the picture when an objection is lodged against the registration of an organization after it has given the necessary notice. Hon members will readily understand why that is so. The Board itself cannot make the decision because they would be the people whose interests would be at stake and who might possibly object, and one cannot be the judge in one’s own cause. It stands to reason therefore that they do not want to take the onus upon themselves of saying that they refuse to register such an organization. They want an unbiased decision, and that decision will come from the Minister. I stated at the beginning that when the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) piloted this Act through the House—I am pleased that he is in the House at the moment because he is the father of this Act of 1947—it was clearly laid down in principle that in this matter the lead would come from the State—because hon. members will see that provision is made in the Act for the greatest measure of co-ordination between the State and the Board—and because the State is responsible for the planning of welfare services, it is considered by the Board that it will be better for the Minister to be able to intervene under given circumstances in connection with the registration of an association and that he should even be able to withdraw registration. It is for the same reason that the power is now being granted to the Minister in Clause 8 (c), after consultation with the Board, to withdraw a registration certificate on grounds other than those on which the Board can do so. As hon. members are aware, the Board may withdraw a registration under given circumstances. In this Bill the power is being granted to the Minister to withdraw certain registrations under certain conditions. The reason why this power is being given to the Minister is obvious. The Minister is the responsible person who has to take the lead through the department and in the closest cooperation with the Board. He is responsible for the laying down of policy in connection with welfare work, and he in turn is responsible to Parliament, and it is felt by the Board that the Minister should have the power, when it concerns a matter of policy, to be able to intervene, even if it concerns the character of a welfare organization, by withdrawing its registration.

I now come to a very important further provision in this Bill, and that is the improved provision for the issue of temporary authority to a person or a non-registered welfare organization to collect funds for a welfare purpose which is of a purely incidental or transitory nature. Here I would mention the flood disaster and damage in Natal last year, the Clydesdale mine disaster and the question of the Congo refugees. When those events took place applications were made everywhere to magistrates for temporary permits to collect money for these very praiseworthy purposes. This happened again recently with the floods in the Karoo. In the case of emergency conditions funds are usually needed urgently for the granting of immediate assistance, as well as for the rehabilitation of the afflicted persons. At the time of a disaster the public is very sympathetic and willing to contribute. To get the maximum benefit from such a situation, steps should therefore be taken immediately because as time goes on this sympathy naturally disappears. Consequently there is no time to register welfare organizations through the usual channels, and in any case not without prejudicing the purpose for which the funds are collected. Hence the relevant provision which the hon. member for Salt River contemplated in 1947, that one should be able to obtain such a temporary permit from a magistrate to collect funds for 90 days. During the years 1959-60, 48 such temporary permits were issued, and 45 in 1960-61. But hon. members will realize that one of the aims of the Welfare Organizations Act is to protect the public against exploitation. For this reason registered welfare organizations are required to submit their financial returns to the Board so that the Board can satisfy itself that the funds which are thus collected from the public are devoted for the purpose for which they were collected. Under the existing provision, however—and this was perhaps an oversight because at that stage one could not foresee precisely how things would develop in the future—neither the Minister nor the Board has any control over the spending of funds collected in terms of such a permit. If I obtain a permit from the magistrate I can collect funds for 90 days for a certain purpose, but nobody, neither the magistrate who has issued the permit nor the Minister nor the Board, has the right to ask me what I have done with the money and whether I spent it for that purpose. That is an anomaly that we have to remove. All that is required at the moment is that the Board must be notified by the magistrate that he has issued such a permit, but the Board has no jurisdiction over the persons or the body to whom the permit was issued and cannot ask them what they have done with the money. It has therefore been decided to substitute for the existing Section 8 of the Act a new provision, Clause 6 of this Bill which provides that in the future a permit must be issued on the directions of the Minister and subject to conditions which are prescribed by regulation. It is the intention to frame regulations which will require persons or organizations to whom temporary authority has been issued to submit provisional financial returns to the Board and to devote the funds for the purpose for which the authority was granted, and the collection lists must contain an impression of the official office stamp of the issuing officer. As the position was, any person could go and collect with any piece of paper, and we want to eliminate that anomaly.

Another feature of the new Clause 6 is that officials in the Public Service other than magistrates only may be appointed to issue such permits. Here we have in mind the officials of the Department of Social Welfare, for example, who are really in the best position to issue such permits, and the Secretary for Social Welfare may be appointed as an officer to issue such authority for the whole of the Republic if that becomes necessary. A further anomaly under the old provision was that once the magistrate had issued a permit, he could not withdraw the permit again even if it should come to his ears that everything was not strictly in order. We are now giving the issuing officer the right under given circumstances to withdraw the permit. Furthermore, we are also providing here that where the permit is issued for 90 days it may, if necessary, be extended for a further 90 days and, furthermore, that the Board may dispose of any surplus assets after the purpose for which the authority was obtained has been achieved. Hon. members will understand that the collection thus made is an ad hoc collection, and then one is usually saddled with the surplus and the group or organization concerned does not know what to do with it. We are now giving the Board the power to dispose of those surplus funds after the purpose for which they were collected has been served.

Then I want to refer to just one further proposed amendment and that is the amendment contained in Clause 13. Under the existing provision the Minister, if he is unable to return unlawfully collected funds to contributors, has to apply to the Supreme Court for an order in regard to the disposal of those funds. There have been two such cases in the past two years. In the first case the cost of an application to the Supreme Court for an order would have exceeded the amount collected. All that could be done then was to keep this money in trust for three years and to declare it State property after the expiry of the prescriptive period and then to deposit it into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. In the second case the greatest portion of the amount which had been unlawfully collected was refunded to the contributors and at the present moment we are sitting with a balance of 16s. 6d. on our books. I cannot possibly go to the Supreme Court to ask what I should do with this 16s. 6d. because naturally the costs would be very high. I therefore have to keep this 16s. 6d. in trust for three years and then deposit it into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


How much is it in rand and cents?


I apologize for having talked about 16s. 6d. I could not think immediately of the equivalent in rand and cents. In order to eliminate this cumbersome and expensive procedure it has now been decided to give the Minister the power to dispose of unlawfully collected funds that cannot be refunded to the contributors. Where the contributors are known or can be traced, it is refunded to them but as far as the balance is concerned we ask that the power be granted to the Minister to dispose of it.

Finally, I just want to repeat that the principles of this Bill were thoroughly studied by the National Board, that they accepted them unanimously and that they unanimously requested that those principles be embodied in this Bill. This is not my measure therefore and I know in advance that hon. members may be inclined, as the result of the provisions in this Bill giving certain powers to the Minister, to say that we are taking excessive powers in this connection. I think hon. members should refrain from the temptation to make that accusation against us. On the other hand I do not want to leave hon. members in the dark. I have said repeatedly, and in conclusion I want to emphasize it once again, that it is the duty of the Minister and the Department to give a lead, and I would be neglecting my duty, since I am being given the power here to withdraw certain registration certificates, if I did not do so, and if it was not in the interests of this country for the promotion of welfare purposes, that such organizations should be registered or that they should exist. In that case I shall have to make use of my powers under this Act to prevent it.


You must bear in mind that there should always be a partnership between private welfare organizations and the State.


The hon. member is perfectly correct. That was the basis of his Act in 1947. It is one that I commended and still commend to-day and that I should like to retain. Hon. members will see therefore that in this Bill, too, provision is being made for the closest co-operation at all times between the Ministries, the Department and the National Welfare Board and the local welfare organizations, and I can give hon. members the assurance that that fine co-operation will continue to exist. I repeat that the powers with which I am clothing the Minister here are powers which are being granted with the full agreement of the National Board.


You must not eliminate private initiative.


No, we dare not eliminate private initiative. On the contrary, we should go out of our way to encourage private initiative, because, as I said at the beginning, if the State alone were called upon to do welfare work it would simply not be in a position to do so. It is only when we make use of private initiative that we can make a success of welfare work in South Africa. I give hon. members the assurance that this Bill, as far as the National Board of Welfare Organizations is concerned, meets a need which has been felt for a very long time. The hon. member will recall that initially the Board was reluctantly instituted in 1947 because at that stage no organization existed, and in 1947 there were certain misgivings against the institution of such a board. During the 14 years of its existence this Board has conducted itself in such a way that it has received the co-operation of all organizations; it has fully proved itself and it can therefore be entrusted with the greater powers which are being sought in this Bill. This Board has proved itself to be a dynamic body, and the amendments which are being made here will enable it to do further pioneering work, as it has done in the past, and I have great pleasure in asking hon. members on both sides of the House to give their full support to this Bill which I am introducing to ask for these powers for the Board.


The hon. the Deputy Minister has outlined the intentions of his Department with regard to the provisions of this amending Bill. He referred to the original Act, the Welfare Organizations Act of 1947. I feel at this stage that I would like to pay a compliment to the framer of the Act of 1947 seeing that only one small amendment has been introduced over a period of 13 years, which indicates that that Act functioned satisfactorily during that period. I think it is necessary in considering the provisions of this amending Bill to consider the background of the original Act, the Welfare Organizations Act. The purpose of that Act was stated by the hon. the Deputy Minister in his speech. It had a threefold purpose, firstly the question of registration of welfare bodies—and it is interesting to learn that there are approximately 2,000 welfare bodies registered under that Act. The second purpose was the advisory functions under that Act. The third purpose, which I understand the Deputy Minister regards as the most important, since he emphasized it very frequently during his speech, was the purpose for co-ordination. That Act was the culmination of the pioneering work of the voluntary welfare worker, and that voluntary welfare worker was inspired by humanitarian motives; he showed great initiative and tremendous enthuisiasm for the task. But naturally legislation was necessary to co-ordinate their activities, and the ultimate result was the passing of the Welfare Organizations Act of 1947. Sir, I associate myself with the Minister in paying tribute to the voluntary welfare workers. These organizations are co-operating with the Minister and his Department on a very sound basis. But I want to sound a note of warning here. Apparently the Deputy Minister has anticipated criticism in this direction. The note of warning is this that nothing must be done to impede the activities of the voluntary social welfare workers. The voluntary organizations must not feel that they are being dominated by a Government through the medium of arbitrary powers which the hon. the Deputy Minister referred to because the sequel to this obviously would be the curbing of enthusiasm, the killing of what the Minister described as private initiative and, it would be fatal if that impression was created. The provisions of this new Bill might possibly create the impression that too great powers are being taken by the Government investing these arbitrary powers in the Minister, because in so far as voluntary social welfare work is concerned we know that professional social welfare workers who have developed in the ordinary course of evolution are employed by governments throughout the world who appreciate their responsibilities with regard to social welfare work. Those social welfare workers, to whom the Minister has paid tribute, must be made to feel that they are not subordinate in the field of social welfare work but that they are complementary and that they supplement the good work done by the professional social welfare worker.


I fully agree with you.


Coming to this Bill we must consider the provisions against the background of the 1947 Act. In that Act functions are delegated from the National Social Welfare Board to the regional welfare boards as the local boards will be known after the passing of this Bill. One important provision in the delegation of those functions to local welfare boards is the provision in Section 13 of the Act of 1947 for appeals to be heard. I think I should read out a portion at any rate of that very important section. Section 13 (1) of Act 40 of 1947 reads—

Any welfare organization which is aggrieved by any decision of the board relating to the rejection, wholly or in part, of an application for registration or exemption or to the cancellation, amendment, surrender or restoration of a certificate of registration or exemption may appeal against that decision to an appeal committee constituted by the Minister ad hoc for the hearing of an appeal under this section.

Sub-section (2) goes on to outline the composition of that appeal committee. I felt that the section of the original Act was worth quoting because in this amending Bill the Minister asks for certain arbitrary powers, and running through the Bill, particularly in Clauses 7, 8 and 9 there is provision to enable the Minister to cancel a registration on any ground, and there is also a provision in the Bill for the limitation of appeals through the medium of an ad hoc committee. It would appear to me in view of that limitation, that that ad hoc committee provided for in sub-section (2) of Section 13 has now become more or less redundant. Perhaps that may not be so, and perhaps the Minister in replying to the debate might care to comment on that point. When I talk about these arbitrary powers now being vested in the Minister, I feel that in fairness to the hon. the Deputy Minister I should state that he himself has not asked for those arbitrary powers. That request has come from the National Board. But nevertheless it strikes a new note, a new theme, in social welfare, and I think any new note or new theme which is now introduced is dangerous in so far as voluntary social welfare activities are concerned, because as I said earlier the initiative, the enthusiasm and the experience of the voluntary social welfare worker is of paramount importance, and there must be no impression given that through the new provisions in this Bill, the wielding of that arbitrary power will put them into a sphere of rigidity. There must be a measure of elasticity where voluntary workers are concerned, and arbitrary action, ministerial decisions, taken in terms of these provisions might definitely cause a measure of frustration in so far as voluntary social welfare workers are concerned. I feel that it is my duty as a member of the Opposition to sound a note of warning on the creation of these powers in this amending Bill. As the Minister has stated that he himself did not ask for these powers—in fact I think he suggested that he did not want them—I do hope that he will do something about it in the Committee stage and perhaps give some indication when he replies to this debate that he will considerably modify what I might call the obnoxious provisions in certain clauses of the Bill. Sir, it is my intention now just to touch very briefly on the various clauses of this Bill because it will be an indication to the hon. the Deputy Minister as to the attitude of the official Opposition. But I will say that the attitude adopted by the hon. the Deputy Minister in connection with the vesting of these arbitrary powers in him, since he has stated that he does not desire those powers, may help to modify the criticism from this side, but we will still have to oppose the Bill until those pro visions are deleted from these particular clauses. The Deputy Minister has given a very full explanation of the reasons for the insertion of these provisions. As far as Clause 1 is concerned, no exception can be taken to it because I understand that at present there are certain exempted organizations. This applies particularly to two organizations registered under the Children’s Act. They will now have to be registered under the Welfare Organizations Act—I think rightly so—and those exempted organizations would also have to register and then I believe they will be offered the privilege, under the Welfare Organizations Act, of collecting funds from the general public. Sir, there can be no objection either to Clause 2. which is designed to correct a mistake in the framing of the original Act in regard to the title of the boards which received delegated powers from the National Board, namely “local welfare boards.” It is perfectly obvious when one studies the area of jurisdiction of the so-called local boards that the term ‘local’ is a misnomer. Obviously the word ‘regional’ is far more appropriate.

We have some criticism to offer on Clause 3 which provides that the National Board need only submit a report once, as I understood the position, during their period of office. I was under the impression that that period of office was five years, but I understood the Minister to say that they would have to submit a report once in every three years. Is that correct?


No, for the period of office.


May I ask whether the period of office is five or three years?


Five years.


We feel that once in every five years is inadequate and that these reports should be available to Parliament for scrutiny. I do appreciate the fact that the report itself contains largely a list of registrations and cancellations, but there is other valuable information in the report with regard to the working of the National Welfare Act. During the Committee Stage we will go into greater detail as far as this provision is concerned. Clause 5 contains what is really a consequential amendment and there can be no criticism in that connection. The Minister dealt at length with Clause 6 which amends Section 8 of the original Act. In Section 8, as the Minister rightly pointed out, the issue of temporary permits is vested only in a magistrate, and in this amending clause he is taking power to designate an officer of the board who will have the power to issue temporary permits. But in this particular clause ministerial authority is provided for and unfortunately the Minister is empowered under this particular clause at any time to cancel a registration on any grounds. I shall not deal with that at length.


It would be better to deal with it in Committee.


I merely want to give the Deputy Minister a warning of what is likely to happen. As far as Clause 7 is concerned, the hon. the Deputy Minister has explained that in the case of new registrations these organizations must make their intentions known and set out their objectives in order to ensure that their objectives do not overlap with the objectives of other similar organizations. I think the purpose of this clause is to bring about better co-ordination which is, I think, the main function of the National Board. In this particular clause the Board shall not grant an application except with the consent of the Minister, and that increases ministerial power. Clause 8 is another contentious clause which concerns itself with the failure to comply with the request of the Board to disband where organizations are not functioning or perhaps for some other reason. The Minister has the power to disband on any ground. Clause 9, which is perhaps the most contentious of all, deals with what we regard as a fundamental democratic right, namely the right of appeal. This exemption applies under Section 13 of the Act to the law societies, and the Minister now intends to take the same exemption as provided for in the case of the law societies. We feel that this is a mistake and we will naturally oppose the elimination of the right of appeal in certain circumstances Clause 11 merely adds the word ‘pensions’ to ‘social welfare department’. The Minister has dealt with Clause 13. In that connection I felt that perhaps the Minister might consider an amendment because one realizes that where a board or an organization is not functioning the funds may amount to a matter of a few shillings only and their assets may be of very limited value, but in those cases where the assets are of considerable value, some limitation should be placed on ministerial power, and I trust that the Deputy Minister, if he is not already considering the matter, will give sympathetic consideration to it.

In so far as Clauses 14, 15. and 16 are concerned, there is nothing that can be severely criticized. Sir, I would end on this note that we on this side feel that a new theme has been introduced into social welfare legislation, namely the arbitrary power which is being given here to the Minister and secondly that the right of appeal in certain circumstances has now vanished. Those two points—the elimination of the right of appeal and the vesting of arbitrary powers in Ministers—have been consistently opposed from this side of the House and for that reason I wish to move the following amendment—

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House declines to pass the Second Reading of the Welfare Organizations Amendment Bill because, inter alia, it clothes the Minister with arbitrary powers in connection with the granting and cancellation of certificates of registration of welfare organizations.”.

I second.

*Dr. W. L. D. M. VENTER:

It is very reassuring to hear at the commencement of this debate, as the hon. the Minister has most competently explained, that the capable and experienced Welfare Organizations Board which consists of people with very great theoretical knowledge, as well as practical experience, a board which would certainly not make any recommendation if it was not based on very full knowledge, insight and experience, has unanimously recommended that these various clauses which we are discussing this afternoon should be adopted in order to supplement and improve the existing 1947 legislation. As I have said, it is very reassuring to know that this is a unanimous recommendation by people who have expert knowledge. And when we analyse this Bill carefully, we see that an attempt is being made to improve the welfare machinery so that it can function more effectively; weaknesses are being eliminated and important improvements are being effected. Thus we find, for example, that additional powers are being given to the Executive Committee, that the Minister himself is being given additional powers, that the objects of prospective welfare organizations must be published and so on, all of which we can classify under the first heading, viz., the improvement of the legislation in such a way that it will function more effectively and be better able to achieve its objects. Another very important fact is that, before a person can do welfare work in any community, it is absolutely essential that he should have the confidence of the public in undertaking that work, that he should not shock the confidence of the public because, as has already been said, when one does not have voluntary organizations to do such work, the State alone, working on its own, will not possibly be able to cover the whole field. These welfare organizations are dependent in the work they do on the support of the public and, for that reason, they must have the confidence of the public, and everything must be done to ensure that we do not harm or shock that confidence of the public, but that we should be worthy of that confidence. When we examine the various clauses of the Bill, we see how much is being done to make it possible to retain the confidence of the public and to ensure that there is no such thing as the exploitation of the confidence of the public. In Clause 1 for example it is provided that children’s institutions must also be registered as welfare organizations. When we bear in mind that there are already more than 300 children’s institutions and similar organizations dealing with children, one asks oneself whether all these 300 bodies really serve their purpose and whether all of them are worthy of the confidence of the public. The hon. the Minister has given a very significant indication that there are certain holiday resorts, children’s hotels, which are now starting to develop and in respect of which the danger exists that people will undertake that work with a profit motive in mind and that they will register these institutions as welfare organizations in order to be able to ask the public for the necessary funds for doing such work, while all the time they will merely be doing the work for the sake of making profits. When children’s institutions are registered—no one who has any direct connection with children’s institutions has any objection to this—there is an opportunity to establish whether there is a profit motive behind the establishment of such a children’s institution or whether the object is really to do welfare work.

Clauses 7 and 8 also give the Minister the opportunity to keep a watchful eye on the possibility of undesirable organizations being established. Mr. Speaker, there are 2,000 welfare organizations in our country. This is an extremely high figure and I think that if we examine all these organizations carefully and if the Welfare Organizations Board were to tell us how many new applications are made regularly, and from which quarters these applications emanate and what varying objects they have, I think that all of us would agree that the possibility of there being undesirable organizations is not excluded, but is in fact very great. While we wish to give the Minister the power to refuse the applications of such organizations, there is no danger that the Minister will go too far as the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) has alleged. He sees danger in the fact that the Minister may abuse his powers. He says the Minister is being given too many arbitrary powers. But after all someone must have those powers. The Welfare Organizations Board had such powers and the Board has now expressed the considered opinion that these powers should rather be vested in the Minister. Who are we now to judge and to know better when the Welfare Organizations Board is unanimously convinced that it should not have these powers, but that they should be vested in the Minister? This will not shock the confidence of the public. It will not result in there being less support for welfare work. It will in fact strengthen the confidence of the public all the more if they know that the Minister is keeping a watchful eye on this type of work. One is actually surprised that the Minister did not obtain greater control over this type of work a long time ago, so that he could keep a watchful eye on the possible appearance of undesirable organizations.


Why are you surprised?

*Dr. W. L. D. M. VENTER:

If the hon. member will listen he will soon know more than he knows at the moment.

I must also point out that the confidence of the public is being strengthened; seeing that welfare work is coming into its own to an ever-increasing extent, it is most important that steps should be taken to prevent organizations being able to register themselves as welfare organizations while their real object is perhaps not really to work in that direction at all; they include one minor type of welfare work in their objects and this is inserted in their programme and they then register themselves as welfare organizations with the object of exploiting the public, to enable them to obtain funds for work which is not really welfare work. One does not want to prohibit such organizations from continuing with the other praiseworthy objects which they may have, but they will no longer be able to register as welfare organizations. The same objection applies to the emergency relief which is granted in cases of emergency. South Africa is once and for all a country in which from time to time hailstorms, or great flood damage, or some great national disaster or other take place. At such times everyone is concerned, and it is a characteristic of our people that there are people with warm hearts who want to step in immediately and help. But there is the danger that precisely in such cases of emergency, organizations may come forward which overlap one another, organizations which get into one another’s way, organizations which all have the same object in view, while the one does not want to bow to the other, while the one does not want to stand back for the other—for that reason it is essential that there should be improved control and co-ordination so that we can ensure that the various organizations do not duplicate one another’s work, do not overlap on one another’s spheres of operation and do not provide the same services. When we bear in mind that from 1959 to 1961 93 such organizations were registered in respect of states of emergency, we can appreciate how easily overlapping can take place. The Welfare Organizations Board has no power of control in this regard. It is merely notified that the magistrate has issued such a permit to an organization. This Bill will result in the better control and better co-ordination of such organizations. We are now ensuring that there will not be the danger of overlapping. We can say the same as regards the utilization of funds. If the public know that all welfare organizations must submit statements to the Welfare Organizations Board, that a watchful eye is kept on the funds which are collected, what is done with those funds and what surpluses there are, the public will know that there is no danger that these funds will be abused.

The public is not only being protected against exploitation, but we are also preventing such organizations overlapping because one cannot understand why in a community such as ours there should be more than 2,000 different directions in which such people are working, that our welfare needs are so diverse and so great. There must inevitably be overlapping and this must be limited in order to place our welfare services on a higher level with a view to making them yet more efficient. It is also essential that the dead wood which we find should be eliminated. As the hon. the Minister has rightly said, there are many organizations amongst the 2,000 which have been registered which are no longer functioning at all. They represent dead wood. They are still in the records, people think that this work is still being done, but in reality they no longer exist or they can no longer justify their existence, and it is essential that steps should be taken, as this Bill does, to eliminate such dead wood.

I think that we should not fear that the powers which are being given to the Minister are excessive. I think that we shall realize later that the Welfare Organizations Board which has its ear to the ground, has made a very sensible recommendation and that we can safely give these powers to the Minister. After all is said and done the State, of which the Minister is the symbol in this case, is the authority under whose supervision all this work should be done, and if he cannot be given greater control, I am afraid that the Welfare Organizations Board is faced with the danger that its work may be undermined, and that in future abuses will arise which can have a harmful effect on the State and the community and which will shock the confidence of the public and which could also result in the work being done at present by private organizations being paralysed. I think that we should support the National Welfare Organizations Board in this matter seeing that it has unanimously recommended that this legislation should be adopted.


The hon. member for Kimberley (South) has dealt with details in regard to the Bill and certain points that he raised are of course improvements to the principal Act. We are not disputing that. A number of the points that he raised will facilitate the administration of welfare organizations and the administration of the Act. What I was waiting for, Mr. Speaker, was to hear from the hon. member what justification there is for conferring these arbitrary powers on the Minister, and in instances where there is no right of appeal. I think that with the enthusiasm that he has for welfare work, he has perhaps overlooked a very important principle which is involved in this Bill, and it is on that principle that the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) has moved an amendment declining to pass the second reading of the Bill due to the fact that these arbitrary powers are being conferred on the Minister. We feel that with the enthusiasm of the Welfare Board, a serious trend has developed in this Bill which is going to abolish the right of appeal in certain instances, and I feel therefore that we have got to look at this Bill against the background of that important principle that is involved here. Sir, if I were to deal with the Bill clause by clause, I would agree with a number of clauses and with the hon. member who has spoken and with the hon. Deputy Minister who introduced the Bill. However, in studying the Bill we find that in several of these clauses powers are conferred on the Minister without the right of appeal, and I feel that this is a very important principle that is involved, and therefore the House must give very careful consideration to the amendment that has been moved by this side of the House.


To whom do you suggest should the right of appeal be given?


I will come to that. We agree that the public interest should be protected and that there should be a co-ordination of welfare organizations. We realize that with the establishment and registration of some 2,000 welfare organizations, South Africa is indeed a country where people are extremely generous and subscribe to a number of welfare organizations and any worthy cause that appeals for funds from the public, always succeeds. However, one realizes that there are duplications in regard to welfare work and that the Bill does make some provision to obviate the overlapping that does exist in certain circumstances.

The administration of the principal Act of 1947 has to a great extent been most successful. Certain difficulties have arisen from time to time and this Bill does to a certain extent delete some of those difficulties that have arisen. However, in dealing with the Bill, I think one should go through some of these provisions, particularly to establish whether these powers that are to be conferred upon the Minister can be justified.

The hon. Deputy Minister did mention the National Welfare Board and that it has made recommendations to him and that some of these recommendations have been incorporated in this Bill. So we must bear in mind when considering the Bill that that is the case, and therefore certain matters of detail which are incorporated in the Bill have our full support. There is for instance the question of extending to the Executive Committee of the National Board, the right of advising organizations of the intention to cancel registrations. That will facilitate matters in regard to welfare organizations, because if there is any complaint that welfare organizations have with the Registrar of Welfare Organizations, it is the one of considerable delay often involved, and it is felt that this particular provision could obviate in some degree that delay. The other important provision in the Bill in regard to the report of the National Welfare Board was dealt with by the hon. Deputy Minister. When dealing with the co-ordination of welfare work he made some important observations, and for those who are interested in the work of welfare organizations, one follows these reports with a good deal of interest. In looking through these reports, one finds that unfortunately they are not tabled shortly after they have been submitted—the last three reports that we have had were for the years ending October 1956, October 1957 and October 1958, but if one looks at the reports one finds that they are all dated November 1959. It is a pity that there is such a time lag in the submission of these reports. However, apart from the merely administrative points of view of listing registrations, amendments to constitutions, cancellation of registration certificates and suchlike, there is the very important aspect of co-ordination, and from that point of view I think it would be a great pity if the report would only be submitted before the period of office expires of the National Welfare Board, in other words, five years, in five-year periods. Some of these items in regard to the further development of certain matters in the field of social welfare, as dealt with by the Board, are indeed very important matters. These reports deal for instance with the shortage of social workers, welfare work among the Bantu and other matters which occur in all three of these reports. One looks to these reports to see what work is being carried out by the Welfare Board in that regard. There are other matters dealing with co-ordination of welfare work, where it is quite rightly stated that the greatest allies of the Department of Social Welfare are the voluntary organizations, and therefore effective coordination requires their co-operation. If one refers to these reports which have been tabled, right through one finds that for the work of co-ordination, investigations that have been carried out by the National Welfare Board are indeed of great interest; therefore I deem it a pity that the provisions in this amending Bill should mean that we will only receive reports from the National Board every five years. The hon. the Minister has referred to the fact that he attends meetings of the National Board, and that he is kept well informed and advised, which is the function of that Board. But I feel that persons who are interested in welfare work should be entitled to hear and have a report from that National Board far more frequently than every five years.

The point that was raised by the hon. member for Kimberley (South) which I would just like to reiterate and which we are not opposed to, is the question of the children’s homes and places of care which have to be registered within 90 days in terms of the provisions of Clause 5. It is a provision which we agree is necessary and in the interest of welfare.

Then we come to the important new provision in Clause 6 which will entirely substitute Section 8 of the principal Act and it is here that in the Committee Stage we will have to go into the provisions of this clause in greater detail. However, at this stage in dealing with matters of principle at the second reading, it is an illustration of the conferring of powers on the Minister, where there will be no right of appeal, and where persons who wish to make an objection will not be heard.


What clause are you referring to?


Clause 6 of the Bill. Now let me say first of all that under Section 8 of the principal Act a magistrate was previously empowered to issue these permits and that power is now being designated to “an officer in the public service”. I hope that the hon. Deputy Minister will give us an assurance that this will be a senior official officer, because I think he will agree that vast powers will be given to such a senior officer who will be able to issue these temporary authorities to collect funds, and these vast powers one sees in certain of the clauses whereby he can make any conditions in regard to the issue of that temporary authority, and another omission is that in the principle Act, that temporary authority was granted after consultation with the chairman of the local board, which will now be the regional board. In this provision it merely says that he shall grant the temporary authority, and it does not deal with the matter of consultation. But it does say “the officer after consultation with the local board (now the regional board) will be able to cancel an authority given under this section”.

One of the important provisions in this clause is (3) (b) which says—

The person or group of persons or welfare organization contemplated in paragraph (a) shall be heard in the manner and within the period which in the opinion of the said officer are adequate in the circumstances of each case.

Therefore, obviously, by regulation, some provision will be made that these persons whose authority is cancelled will be able to state their case and shall be heard. But when we come in the same clause to sub-section (7) (b), we find —

If the Minister in terms of paragraph (a) directs that an authority be cancelled, the provisions of sub-section (3) shall not apply with reference to such a cancellation.

I think that this calls for some justification that a person who is granted a temporary authority, if the Minister sees fit, can lose that temporary authority. It is a very wide provision and I think it is only just and fair that those persons should have the right to be heard to state their case before such drastic action is taken. We feel that these extensive powers conferred on the Minister go too far when the people concerned are not allowed the right to be heard when such authority is withdrawn.

The provisions of Clause 7 are very important and part of Clause 7 again involves the principle whereby the Minister has these arbitrary powers. The first portion of this clause which I must mention is one which we see as an improvement to the principal Act, and that is the publication, after an organization has lodged application for registration, the publication of a notice to say that such an application has been lodged. That is an important provision, and I shall now try to illustrate a practical case, which will also show the implications in regard to the extension in 7 (b) (iv) which states—

That the objects and area of operation of the organization as stated in its application are substantially the same as the objects and the area of the operation of any welfare organization or welfare organizations which are already registered and which are functioning effectively.

That is an important provision, because I know from practical experience what has happened in the past where an organization believed that there was a need to establish a hostel for working men, for youths. The only available hostel in the city was full and there was a waiting list. On those grounds they formed an association, registered as a non-profit-making company in terms of the Companies Act of 1926 and then proceeded to register it as a welfare organization, and they appealed for funds. It took them some two or three years to raise the money. Funds were forthcoming and a hostel was built. While that hostel was being built, another association was also formed with a similar object of establishing a hostel for young working men, and with the funds that they collected they purchased a building which was opened as a hostel. The result was that the hostel that was built by the first organization found that their applications dropped, that the number of young men in their hostel decreased. The other hostel also found young men being drawn away from that hostel to go to the other organization. After having only one hostel, there were three hostels, all with a similar object. Now it is laid down that an association which has been formed has to make it public that they have applied for registration, and that will give an opportunity to other organizations to lodge an objection. My only concern now is that under the provisions of this clause they can lodge their objection, but there are provisos in regard to an objection being lodged and it is stated here under 7 (c), the second proviso, in line 54—

Provided further that if any objection to the grant of an application of a welfare organization has been lodged, the Board shall not grant the application except with the consent of the Minister.

Here again the Minister is placed in a position of being able to consent or reject their application. But there is no form of appeal. In terms of other provisions of this Bill, under Clause 9 which amends Section 13 which deals with appeals against decisions of the Board and which makes provision for an ad hoc committee to be appointed by the Minister to consider such objections, now when the Minister has given his consent to such an organization to be registered and to proceed with fund-raising, there is no longer the right of appeal. That right of appeal is excluded because in Clause 9 it says—

Provided that there shall be no right of appeal against …

and then it deals with objections, and the refusal of the Minister to consent. The Minister can grant an application and that organization will have no right of appeal. I feel that the hon. the Minister in reply to this debate should give us some indication as to the effect of this particular clause in cases where there is no right of appeal. As I understand the principal Act, people would have the right to appeal to an ad hoc committee provided the hon. the Minister establishes that appeal committee to consider the matter. But as it stands to-day that organization would not be able to continue with its work because of the provision in this Bill that this House is now being called upon to pass.


The appeal still lies from the board’s decisions.


But I am dealing with this provision where the consent of the Minister is necessary. Once the board has granted it with the consent of the Minister there can be no appeal at that stage. That is the objection which we have.


My question still is, where do you want this appeal to go to?


I consider that the Appeal Committee as previously provided for was a fair and just way to enable these people to state their cases before an Appeal Committee comprising a magistrate and certain other persons as provided for in the principal Act. The ac hoc Committee.

The other provisions of this Bill which again give the Minister further powers and again provide that there shall be no right of appeal are those dealing with the cancellation of certificates of registration of welfare organizations. I refer specifically to Clause 8 (c) (ii)bis. In terms of that the Minister may—

After consultation with the board or the executive committee cancel, on any ground other than a ground referred to in sub-section 1, a certificate of registration issued by the board to a welfare organization.

Then there is the other provision in Clause 9 (c) referring to the cancellation by the Minister in terms of sub-section (ii)bis of Section 11 of a certificate of registration, in respect of which there shall be no right of appeal. These I think are important matters which affect the general principal of the Bill. That is why one is rather loath to oppose a Bill of a nature which, we feel, will facilitate the workings of welfare organizations, but which at the same time incorporates a principle which means that we are sacrificing a very important principle to bring about that facilitation.

The other matter under Clause 13, dealing with circumstances in which funds may be disposed of by the Minister, is once again a very extensive provision. Here I think the Minister should give some further consideration to it. He gave illustrations of small amounts of money and small assets belonging to organizations that are defunct and in which case the Minister has the power to dispose of these assets. In disposing of these amounts, the difficulty is that the amounts are small. Perhaps the Minister could consider limiting what amounts he should have the right to dispose of without having to leave it to the courts to decide. I think the hon. the Minister could give his attention to that suggestion, because if the difficulty is the small amount that has to go before a court before being disposed of, perhaps he could consider limiting the amount so that if it is in excess of a certain figure the courts will have to decide as to what shall become of the funds that have been unlawfully collected. Likewise under Clause 14 of the Bill, where the board may dissolve certain organizations—this is one of the provisions referred to by the hon. member for Kimberley (South) (Dr. Venter)—we agree that if there are defunct organizations there should be some avenue whereby that organization which is unable to be dissolved in terms of its own dissolution clause in its constitution—which is usually uniform in many welfare organizations —should be given some means whereby such an organization can be dissolved.

Mr. Speaker, those are my views in regard to the Bill which is now before the House. I wish to reiterate that there are certain provisions of this Bill which facilitate the administration of welfare organizations, and to those we have no objection. However we must not lose sight of the fact that certain powers are being conferred upon the Minister in respect of which there is no right of appeal. I feel that that is an important principle that is being sacrificed.


Do you know of any instance where a Minister’s decision can go on appeal except to the ordinary courts of law?


As it is in this Bill, they are precluded from any right of appeal. Perhaps in his reply the hon. the Minister can tell us whether these organizations have the right to go to any court should the Minister cancel their registration, despite the fact that the Bill grants them no right of appeal. That is an important principle that is involved in this Bill. I can see no justification for by-passing the provision in the principal Act whereby an ad hoc committee can be set up to consider these appeals, when objections have been lodged. The hon. the Minister has mentioned the Welfare Board having asked for these powers. But there are other views amongst welfare workers in this regard. I have received a representation from a welfare organization which considers that certain provisions of this Bill are bureaucratic. It can therefore by no means be taken that merely because the Welfare Board has asked for certain powers to be conferred on the Minister, that that is the unanimous decision of all welfare organizations. There are divergent views. I only received this representation this morning and I have not yet had time to go into the details of their objection. I hope that during the Committee Stage we will get further information and that the hon. the Minister will be able to justify these extensive powers that are now being asked for. With these words I support the amendment moved by the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer).


I do not intend detaining the House for long, but I intend being very brief. because I consider that this is a very sound Bill and because I am convinced, after listening to the speeches, that most of us agree with the fact that certain amendments are being effected which all admit to be sound amendments which will help greatly to facilitate the administration of this legislation. I therefore say that I do not intend merely repeating what has been said by referring to certain clauses which are sound and by paying tribute to those who deserve such tribute. I should like to associate myself with what has been said. Of course, when hon. members pay tribute to welfare organizations, I should very much like to associate myself with what has been said. But it is pointless our merely repeating the same stories all day and discussing the same points. I therefore say that I want to be very brief. I just want to refer to one particularly sound provision, namely Clause 6 in which provision is made for temporary permits, a provision with which other hon. members also agree.

Mr. Speaker, as I see the matter the objection which has been raised, is only directed against the powers being given to the hon. the Minister and the fact that there is no right of appeal. It is just on this point that I want to say a few words. The hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) has very strong doubts on this point. He has said that there is the danger that organizations may feel that they are being dominated by the Government and that this can spoil the good spirit which exists. I find it a pity that, although the hon. member perhaps feels in this way, he did not discuss this aspect and one or two other matters which he has mentioned at the Committee Stage. If they had been discussed there, a proposal could perhaps have been made. I do not know why we should in fact have an amendment to the motion for this Bill.


It is an important principle.


The fact still remains that we must try not to create unnecessary fears outside. I am certain that this Bill cannot, nor will it, create the impression and the fear amongst the welfare organizations that the Government is now going to dominate them and make matters difficult for them. We must not forget that the National Welfare Organizations Board, the highest body representing the welfare organizations, has recommended this Bill; that Board has in fact asked that the Minister should take these powers. I therefore say that we should be careful that we do not, instead of being very good friends and allies in this matter, eventually find that we have perhaps unwittingly created fears outside and that by so doing we have become the enemies of these organizations.

This planning of social welfare, its whole organization and everything else, rests with the Minister and because that is so, it is quite natural that certain powers should be placed in his hands. It is quite natural that there should not be the right of appeal against simply everything which he does. I do not know of any other sphere in which that is the position. The fact is, as I have said, that because the whole organization and planning is his responsibility, it is the task of the Minister to take the responsibility upon himself of taking certain decisions. He takes those decisions because he is a member of a Government which has been elected by the people to implement a certain policy. It is the Minister’s task to take steps and to reach decisions in accordance with his judgment in order to implement the policy of his Government. And I cannot see how there can be a committee which can sit at intervals to judge on how the Minister is implementing his policy. As far as I am concerned the only place where the Minister’s policy in respect of any of these matters can be criticized and attacked is this House. If the Minister takes wrong decisions as regards his policy, then this is the place to criticize him. I therefore say that I consider it a pity that suspicion is being created outside through the accusations which have been made here. This is the place to criticize the actions of the Minister and if the criticism is strong enough and the Minister’s case is so weak we shall go further and we shall take further action outside at the polling booths.

Mr. Speaker, I promised to be brief, and I now want to conclude by expressing my regret at the fact that we are devoting unnecessary time to this aspect of a very good Bill.


One of the very pleasing aspects of the South African way of life is the readiness of people in our country to come to the aid of the less fortunate and the less privileged sections of our community. Over the years a vast network of organizations has sprung up throughout the country. Many people have given their time voluntarily to serve those organizations, and amongst them are many people who are experts in their sphere of work. Some of these efforts have been on a temporary basis; some voluntarily, some professional, some permanent and so forth. In 1947 as the hon. the Minister has said, an effort was made to bring all these aspects of aid under one roof and to co-ordinate their efforts. That has worked very well up until now. This Bill introduces a lot of improvements in the work that has been done in the past. It is a pity that throughout this amending Bill we find, dotted here and there the hon. the Minister taking upon himself—and I say “taking upon himself”—powers to regulate and to direct policy, as he himself expresses it. It virtually means that eventually the Minister shall say who shall have the right to collect monies, for what objects, how the money should be distributed, how long the organizations shall be in existence, and whether or not they can call themselves permanent or temporary organizations. We know that the Regional Boards are composed of people—to use the Minister’s own words—who are well versed in their work; who are experts in the various branches of their work and who come from the cities, the towns and the country.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot believe, and I do not think that anybody in this House can believe, that this body of 24 experts is unable to make up its mind as to what is a good organization or what is a bad organization; what is worthy of support and what is unworthy of support; what shall last and what shall be brought to an end. If I was drafting this Bill I would say that the only time the Minister should come into the picture is that he should have the power to meet people who are dissatisfied with the rulings of the board. If an appeal is to be heard he, together with the ad hoc committee which was appointed in terms of the Act, should hear the appeals of the dissatisfied people. The way I see this Bill as it is at the moment, it means that even though Regional Boards, even though the executive of a National Board may give their sanction to an organization, either to come into existence or to carry on with its work, the Minister still has the power to cancel their registration or to terminate their activities. It may have been necessary to do this in the past, I do not know. I hope that the hon. the Minister in his reply will tell us how many times it has been necessary to stop organizations from functioning. He must also tell us what type of organization he has in mind when he thinks of cancelling the registration or deciding what type of organization he will prohibit from being registered. I am concerned about that aspect of the matter, because if it is not this Minister in power it will be another Minister in later years who may decide that a particular section of the community shall not be encouraged to do any type of voluntary work or paid work. That will be in the Minister’s power. He will have it in his power to cancel their registration and to prevent them from carrying on with their work. And he will have it in his power to dispose of the funds that have accumulated. Even in the Act as it stands to-day, it is not quite clear how any remaining funds in the hands of an organization can be disposed of. I was hoping that the hon. the Deputy Minister would enlighten us on that point, and perhaps he will do so when he replies to this debate.

I do not want to go through all the clauses of this Bill, they have already been discussed by other hon. members on this side of the House. I do want to say that it is a pity that these powers should be given to the Minister. Nobody can say to me that the Minister is not going to do this or the Minister is not going to do that; nobody can say to me that the Minister would not be so silly as to do this or that thing. I say it is possible for him to do it, and I do not want that possibility to be enshrined in our law. I repeat that the experts must be those who decide. I do not for one moment say that the Minister is not an expert in this work, but I do say that if powers have been given to 24 experienced people from all walks of life, who are experts in various types of organizations, then they should have the power to decide what is right or what is wrong. It is not for the Minister to do that. The Minister should come into the picture when there is dissatisfaction between the board and the applicants.

I now want to go back to the type of work that has been done in the past, and I want to say a word or two about what has happened in local authorities. Over the years it has been found that local authorities have taken upon themselves the duty of doing social welfare work. Some towns have built up quite a reputation for the type of work they do. We all know that in most instances this work was done, as it were, ultra vires. That came to an end just recently in, for instance, Johannesburg. I want to say to the hon. the Deputy Minister that there is no better set-up than a local authority to undertake this type of work and to exercise its powers and its facilities to carry out those duties. Let me give one example. During a glut on a market we find the floors of a municipal market stacked with fruit and vegetables. What better organization is there than the local authority with all the facilities it has to distribute immediately these perishable products? It is no good starting to look for voluntary organizations to be set up to do this type of work, because by the time they are set up and get going the perishables have perished and are of no value. Not only is the distribution of food important when it is fresh, but the way I look at it is that the local authorities should be helped to set up, if possible, machinery whereby they can preserve food that would otherwise perish, and then distribute that food when the occasion arises. We know that to-day food can be dehydrated. It can be stored in refrigerators and so on. I cannot imagine voluntary organizations being able to go to the expense of preserving this food. The great pity is that season after season hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of food goes to waste when it could be used by voluntary organizations. Through proper distribution is could go to children’s homes, hospitals, old age homes, to the non-white population who are short of food; it could be used to combat malnutrition and all that sort of thing. And I say there is no better organization than the local authority to undertake that type of work, firstly, to make use of all the excess foods that come to their markets and, secondly, to preserve it and, thirdly, to distribute it as necessary.

In the past, Mr. Speaker, we have found that some of these small organizations have themselves tried to buy up food for their organizations. You find women going along to the markets in the mornings and trying to find bargains. That should not happen. The farmers would be very pleased if they knew that there was a ready outlet for their excess products. And that excess food could be stored by the local authorities and used as necessary. Those are the sort of things I should like to see the hon. the Minister encourage. I should like to see him go forward and say to the local authorities, “Work in harmony with the Regional Boards and see what you can do to set up some sort of organization so that you can get together all these excesses which in the past have gone to waste. Let me know what you can do with them and I will do my best to further the scheme”.

We have heard once or twice this afternoon about the need for voluntary organizations that have to come into existence quickly in a time of emergency. It often happens that in such a time of emergency the public are willing to help with money, with food and other assistance. Yet there is very often not a proper set up to organize all this. It was very pleasing to see, during the floods in the North West Cape recently, how quickly the Social Welfare Department got into its stride. The hon. the Minister has said he will keep these people ready in case such an emergency should again arise. But money is required for this sort of thing and I was going to suggest to the Minister that any excess monies that are found in the coffers of organizations that are going out of existence, where they find it impossible to return monies to contributors, that money should go into a central coffer and be used as an emergency fund. And that fund should be supplemented rand for rand by the Government. In that way a nest egg would be built up as an emergency fund, apart from a national emergency fund. This would be a permanent fund that could be used immediately in a time of emergency. I would like the hon. the Minister to give that suggestion some thought and see whether it is not possible to put it into operation.

We have heard that there are 1,961 welfare organizations in the country, and the hon. the Deputy Minister made mention of the fact that he considers we were possibly spoiling the people who were receiving the benefits from these organizations. But he knows as well as most of us how difficult it sometimes is to get workers to volunteer for a small fund. When we had to deal with the money that was necessary for the Polio Fund, it caught the public fancy and workers and money poured into the fund. That was an easy one to deal with. But you find small organizations that want to help, but which find it difficult to get going. And I am sure it is the small organizations that make up the bulk of these 1,961 welfare organizations that we have in this country, and which must be encouraged to continue with their work. They have all sorts of little jobs to do; they like it, it keeps them busy and I think that in most cases they should be encouraged by the Government.

One or two points have cropped up here. May I say that we on this side do not criticize the Minister for introducing this Bill except in so far as the decision that the Minister makes is concerned, and it is no good people on that side saying to us that he will be fair in his decisions. We are very concerned about the way Ministers have been taking upon themselves powers throughout our legislation, and final decisions being made by the Minister time and again in the face of the fact that there are organizations whose job it is to make those decisions. I ask him whether he does not think that his role should be that of an Appeal Judge, to decide what is right and what is wrong when a dispute crops up, and that he should leave the decision on the applications for registration and for closing and for the withdrawal of a certificate to the board which he has appointed. If he did that we on this side would not be so concerned because we would then know that the idea that lies behind this whole set-up is one that is pleasing to all people on this side.


We have now for many pleasant hours experienced a spirit of restraint and dignity in this House in the debates which are being held so near to the end of this fruitful session. What is characteristic of the speeches of hon. members opposite this afternoon is that there is a heartfelt desire and still greater longing to co-operate sincerely so that we can leave for the sunny North before the Cape weather makes us feel even more musty, seeing that we are shivering with cold. But it seems to me as though the fire of conviction is lacking to-day and as though the arguments being put forward are based on: “If this were to happen and if the Minister were to act in this way”.

At the outset I should like to point out that the fact that this Welfare Organizations Amendment Bill is before the House is certainly not due to the fact that the Minister now wants to concentrate particularly on refusing registrations, on the withdrawal of existing permits. We cannot believe for one moment that that is the position, but we can believe that the necessity has arisen after the 14 years during which this Act has been working so well, for improved control. This is a measure which is aimed at improved control because the fact that this Act has been operating very fruitfully for 14 years during which time I believe only one amendment has been made, is proof of the soundness, the necessity and the efficiency of the legislation, but we must also not forget that during these 14 years very fertile fields must have been created, perhaps under the peaceful operation of the legislation, for irregularities to creep in; and now the improved control which the Minister envisages will obviously result in applications being refused to a greater extent and also in permits being withdrawn to some extent. But we must not forget that this improved control also at the same time envisages the protection of the public against exploitation. We are living in a period where people on occasion under fine slogans and fine pretences nevertheless succeed in acquiring money unscrupulously which they use for their own benefit while the public is under the impression that the money is being used for charity. I just want to give a short summary of Clause 1 of the Welfare Organizations Amendment Bill which amends Section 1 in order to show, before I deal more specifically with the amendment which has been moved, how essential reform has become after 14 years. Children’s Institutions registered under the 1960 Act—and by children’s institutions we understand children’s homes and places of care —are exempted from registration under the Welfare Organizations Act of 1947. The Welfare Organizations Board therefore has no control over the collection and utilization of such funds by these so-called registered children’s institutions. We have already been told that under the 1960 Children’s Act there are already 131 children’s homes and 185 places of care in the following categories: Children’s places of detention, nursery schools, children’s hotels and holiday camps for children. Children’s institutions which are run with a view to making profits are collecting money from the public and this was certainly never the intention of the 1960 Children’s Act. The intention of the Children’s Act was first and last to lay down proper standards for the care of children. The public must be protected against exploitation and for that reason children’s homes and places of care must be registered as welfare organizations in order to make possible the exercising of control over the collection and the utilization of such funds. Clause 5 (d) also makes provision for the protection of children’s institutions which have already been registered under the Children’s Act in that they must apply for registration within 90 days of the date of the commencement of the amending Act. It is the intention to lay down by way of regulation that subject to the following conditions permits will be issued, viz. Every collection list must embody a copy of the official stamp of the officer who issued the permit; secondly, that the lists must be numbered and submitted to the board after the funds have been collected together with the financial statements referred to in paragraph (c), that the preliminary and final financial statements will be submitted to the board, and that the funds must be used for the purpose for which collected and in respect of which authority was granted when the permit concerned was issued. The proposed provision for the withdrawal of an authority, that is to say if the conditions I have just mentioned are not complied with, is also intended precisely to enforce better control over the funds collected from the public. It is generally known that during the flood disaster which struck certain parts of the Cape recently, committees were established mainly in the areas which were most affected in order to collect funds, but that it became necessary to establish a more national committee which would cover the whole field affected by the disaster, with the result that there would have been overlapping and a central committee had to be established. Certificates which had been issued to local committees to collect funds consequently had to be withdrawn, so that the concession could be granted that such committees could with the approval of the Minister serve as branch committees under the central committee. One does not know whether one should refer to this matter, but it is perhaps necessary. The improved control of the funds which were collected from the public in the case of the Clydesdale disaster is what I have in mind. Funds were collected which were not paid into the Governor-General’s national fund and no one wishes to allege that there is uncertainty as to the way in which those funds are being spent. I just think that the idea that these funds are not being spent for the purpose for which they were collected would be deplorable enough. But we cannot merely rely on the attitude that one cannot think of money which has been collected in this way not being used properly, because there is after all such a thing that all such trust moneys collected from the public for a certain purpose must be properly utilized and it was not possible for the National Board to submit a proper report on the collection and utilization of those funds.

When we examine Clause 7 (a) which amends Section 9, it lays down a procedure which must be followed in respect of the registration of proposed welfare organizations. The proposed insertion of the new provision after Section 9 (1) is aimed at stricter control over the registration of such organizations. This is repetition but one does want to say that after the Act has been in operation for 14 years, there are approximately 2,000 welfare organizations registered which cover practically every sphere of the community in which assistance is required. It is also for this same reason that wider powers to refuse registration are being asked in paragraph (b) of the clause. With 2,000 organizations already registered it is quite possible that every new application will create a great possibility that there will be overlapping in certain spheres which are already covered, and it is surely not unreasonable at all to consider refusing such applications for registration. There is no malicious intent and no intention deliberately to obstruct private enterprise, seeing that the Minister has given the assurance in reply to a question by the hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) that private enterprise will not be restricted, but that on the contrary everything possible must be done to encourage private enterprise to continue with this work. The Board sometimes has to deal with applications for registration from organizations, the objects of which are in reality completely different to welfare work, but in order to obtain money from the public, they insert one clause in their objects which appears to relate to welfare work and in this way they can obtain authority to collect funds from the public. Is this not a reason why careful supervision should be exercised over the establishment of such organizations, and is it not a reason why we must take the plunge and refuse the registration of such an organization or withdraw such a certificate without derogating from the essential aims of these organizations which have been established and which have done very meritorious work in the past. It was unthinkable at the outset, after one has listened to the speech of the hon. the Minister, that an amendment would actually be moved which was aimed at refusing the second reading of this Bill, and that it would give as its main and practically only reason the fact that the Bill gives arbitrary powers to the Minister which—this is the logical inference—he will abuse in order to obstruct private enterprise.


In reply to the remark with which the hon. member who has just sat down ended his speech, one must say this, and this is something which has been said from time to time in this House, namely that when we are dealing with a measure—this often happens—which places powers in the hands of a Minister, and this side of the House objects, there is always someone who says, as the hon. member has just done, that hon. members on this side assume that the Minister will inevitably abuse his powers. By implication we are being accused of expressing a motion of personal no-confidence in a specific Minister and that we are suggesting that the Minister will abuse his powers; and it has repeatedly been necessary to answer from this side of the House that if one could assume that every Minister was infallible and would always act in the best interests of the State and the people, no matter what powers may be granted to him, it would of course never be necessary to have a Parliament or to lay down in an Act what the Minister’s powers are to be. Our whole system of government—and the hon. member must accept that from his presence in this House—is based on the principle that power should be divided amongst the various branches of the Government, and the powers given to the executive must always as far as possible be balanced by checks placed on those powers, whether by the legislature or the judiciary. When I criticize this legislation as it will be necessary for me to do, on the basis that it gives the Minister excess in powers, it does not mean that I am saying that one Minister will be more inclined to abuse his powers than another. To sum up when one approaches this Bill one cannot do otherwise than to do so on something of a dual basis. On the one hand there is no doubt that it contains desirable amendments to the legislation as it has existed since 1947, which are not only desirable but also very necessary, and one cannot find any fault with most of the provisions of this Bill. One feels that it will assist to canalize the work of all these organizations along the correct lines, and particularly to ensure that there is not unnecessary overlapping and that the funds collected from the public will not be misused. I realize that as soon as one says that, namely that control is necessary, one is of course faced with the question: In whom must the required powers to ensure that control is exercised be vested? One is also faced with the self-evident fact that a board like the Welfare Board and its committees cannot always act rapidly or decisively enough in order to prevent possible abuses timeously. For that reason we possibly approach the granting of powers to the Minister in this instance with a greater measure of leniency than in the cases of other legislation. Nevertheless, it seems to us as though the practically unlimited powers which this Bill gives the Minister to place welfare organizations under control may be going too far. From the notes I made while the hon. the Minister was speaking, there is one thing which has raised a question in my mind that I should very much like the Minister to answer. It is that, as far as the Minister’s power to withdraw the registration of any organization is concerned, he has said, if I understood him aright, that it will be used particularly when policy matters are affected and he then went on to discuss other clauses. I think that it is most difficult for us to determine whether we should give certain powers to the Minister which he will use in respect of policy matters, if we cannot form an exact idea of the type of matter in respect of which he will use this power.


That is a reasonable question.


I shall be very glad if we can have further enlightment on that point.

Then the Minister asked by way of an interjection while the hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) was speaking, and rightly so as well, where in our legislation one finds provision for a right of appeal from the decision of a Minister except to the courts, and the hon. member said that in fact what he wanted to know was whether there was a right of appeal to the courts. In addition I should like to know whether it is possible for the Minister to go a little further as far as consultation with and the approval of the Board are concerned. We assume that the Board itself is apparently not anxious to share its powers with the Minister. We also infer from what the Minister has said that he is not over-anxious to use these powers without the approval or the co-operation of the Board. It seems to me that here and there it would be possible to introduce amendments to certain of the key clauses whereby this power would be divided to a greater extent between the Minister and the Board which may go a long way towards meeting our objections. For example, the new sub-section 2bis (a) which is being inserted by Clause- 5 says that the Minister can withdraw a certificate of registration for any reason after consultation with the Board. Is there any sound reason why this cannot be done with the consent of the Board and not merely after consultation with the Board? If the Minister must consult the Board, it will take a certain amount of time to do so, so that it is not merely as a question of urgency that this provision is being made. It is laid down that the Minister must consult. It is not possible that at the same time he can obtain the consent of the Board which will provide protection to the organizations which will be affected hereby?

As regards Clause 6 which makes provision for temporary arrangements, I think the Minister has made out a conclusive case that a new arrangement should be made, but here once again I just want to ask a question. It may be that I have not understood the Minister correctly. I am referring to sub-sections (5) and (6) of the new Clause (a). Subsection (5) provides that the Board may after the object for which an authority has been granted has been achieved, in its discretion dispose of any surplus money, securities or other property obtained under the authority. I understand why this power is necessary, namely that the Board can dispose of these additional funds which are surplus to the amount at which the organization was aiming. But we then come to subsection (6). If an authority is cancelled, the Minister may deal with any money or property. It is not clear to me why in the one place it is the Board which can deal with these assets and in other cases the Minister.

Once again I consider, seen from the point of view of those people who wish to protect private rights, that if possible it would be desirable to give this power to the Board. Reference has already been made to the fact that at the end of Clause 7 the question is dealt with of what must be done in the case of an application for registration to which another organization objects. The clause says: “Provided that if any objection to the grant of an application of a welfare organization has been lodged, the board shall not grant the application except with the consent of the Minister.” I am raising the matter not really to raise objections, but to achieve clarity. It seems to me that the present position is that any objection by any other organization will automatically have the effect that the new application will in effect be rejected unless there is an appeal to the Minister. The role which the Board plays in those circumstances is somewhat unsatisfactory to me. Here an application is made and an objection is lodged. The Board is immediately rendered powerless, but the Minister can give the Board the power to grant the second application. But until the Minister does so, the Board can do nothing but refuse the application. Here I ask once again whether it would not be better to say that the Board can recommend to the Minister that this application should be approved despite the fact that objection has been made and that it must give the reasons and the Minister must reply.


The Board prefers not to be involved.


Yes, so the Minister has said. But the Minister must also understand what the attitude is of members of Parliament who want to prevent the undue delegation of powers. It is not because it is this Bill or this Minister, but it is a principle which we have always tried to maintain that the delegation of powers to Ministers should be restricted as far as possible. As a matter of fact, I conclude as I began by saying that this is really the only objection which one can raise to the second reading. I repeat once again that the majority of this Bill’s provisions in our opinion merely represent an improvement of the present machinery and we have no objection to that, but on the basis of the principle which we have always upheld we must lodge our objection against the granting of such wide powers to the Minister by this Bill.


The Minister in the course of his speech said that these new powers had been welcomed by the National Welfare Organization Board. That may be, but speaking for myself I am very unhappy about it. The Minister must never forget when he is dealing with social welfare organizations that the funds of those organizations come from collections from the public, and he must never forget that the fear of bureaucratic control is always bound to have a very bad effect on the generous impulses of the public at large. In plain language, Government control and bureaucracy must be kept away as far as possible from the control of social welfare organizations. I admit that the Bill is intended to streamline the working of the Social Welfare Organizations Act, and so should be welcomed, and in the main it will be welcomed, but unfortunately this question of ministerial control is an entirely new principle, and I fear, having had a reasonable amount of experience, that it will definitely not encourage the public to contribute in the way in which they did in the past. It will require one false move only, one mistake only, by the Minister in this connection, to do harm which would possibly be irreparable. Nearly all of us, when the time comes, want to donate to various causes. Some causes appeal to some people and other causes to others, but the essential part of appeals to the public for funds is that there must not be any mailed fist of administration. The original Act, for one very important thing, was necessary because of the various schemes that fertile brains produced to get money out of the public that might be regarded as gullible —I would prefer them to be gullible rather than hard-hearted—and it was essential to introduce some measure of registration, co-ordination and control in these matters. It is so easy, as we all know, for some sudden cause to arise that appeals to the public’s heart; money pours in and it used to pour out in many wrong directions until this Act was brought in in 1947. In addition, of course, there have been cases of mal-administration; we all know that and we have to admit that a certain amount of official control is absolutely necessary. That control to date has been light, but now I fear it is going to turn to something tight, and that is entirely wrong when you deal with social welfare organizations. As I have said before I have a considerable fear that it will have an unpleasant effect on the desire of the public to contribute to these various causes. I know that it is not the Minister’s desire or intention to hamper any of these organizations in any way. I know that he rather wants to encourage this very human desire that most of us have to help, but I say that to bring in this clause is to go about it the wrong way. It will be a very sorry day, if the State finds one day, that a lot of the present social welfare work has to be taken over by it.

There can be no question of cavilling at the appointment of the board to consider the various funds that exist at present, but in this country—and we know it is a politics-ridden country—we must never take the slightest chance that in this particular sphere of our daily lives there will be any fear that political bias may come into it, and immediately you bring a Minister into the picture that fear must arise in the minds of the public, and as I have said before, it will only require one mistake to cause a lot of trouble. In my opinion a completely wrong outlook has arisen in regard to this control. This control is becoming similar to what the Minister of Finance does. As we know, he stops a loophole when he thinks that somebody is getting away with something, and he stops that loophole without realizing what the repercussions are elsewhere on the general business of the country. I assume that the Minister has found things which should not have happened in one or two instances, and I think he is taking big powers here to stop up little leaks. That is entirely wrong in social welfare work. Sir, I do want to pay personal tribute to the Minister and the officials of his Department for the way in which the present Act has been administered to date. It has been on the Statute Book for 13 years, and if there is any sphere of our activities where tact and patience are needed in administration, it is when you deal with voluntary organizations. Nobody has a hold on voluntary workers; nobody has a hold on the public when they make their contributions. That tact and that patience have been exemplary so far. I have not heard of any great scandals which make it necessary for the Minister to take the chance of antagonizing the people who contribute funds to these welfare organizations. I just cannot understand why he wants these powers. For 13 years it has been perfectly in order to have a Social Welfare Board and there has been no question of bureaucratic or political influence because you could appeal to an ad hoc committee appointed by the Minister, and the Act even went so far as to prohibit the appointment of public servants to that board. I think the whole suggestion to bring in ministerial control is wrong and will do no good whatsoever; it can do nothing but harm and while I do not like doing it because of the other provisions of this Bill, I am afraid that I must support the amendment.


I want to add a few words of appreciation to those expressed by the Minister to those private and charitable organizations which do this work and which have done it so well. I also add my plea to that of other speakers on this side of the House who begged the Minister seriously to reconsider the introduction of ministerial powers into this department. I can well appreciate that there may be occasions when ministerial powers are necessary, but speaking in general terms, that is extremely unlikely, because while there may be a few get-rich-quick Wallingfords who step in and try to profit by someone else’s misfortune, in general the people who do this work are fairly honest, though they may be mistaken. After all, the Minister has the regional boards and the national board to carry out a check and to draw his attention or even the attention of the courts to any misdemeanours or mal administration of funds. It seems to me, as the hon. member for Benoni (Mr. Ross) has said, that there is a grave risk in the introduction of ministerial powers, that well-meaning people may be discouraged; that retiring people who do not want to come too much into the public eye will rather refrain from taking part in these organizations, and we do want these organizations to remain free and as far as possible to depend on voluntary workers. I feel that whatever we do we must not discourage the voluntary worker of whom in these days of heavy taxation and high cost of living there are not so many available. I support the hon. member for Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher) in his plea to the Minister to try to work in conjunction with the local authorities and to find some way of using the resources of the local authorities. I wish to draw his attention to the fact that the World Health Organization, which recently investigated the question of the social worker has suggested in one of their technical bulletins that a new kind of social worker should be trained, that to some extent one should break away from the type of university training which is being given to the sociologist and rather introduce a type which is perhaps not so intellectual, which is perhaps not so highly educate and perhaps not so scientific but nevertheless imbued with a feeling of human kindness and trained to investigate in a kindly way the necessities of the average person. In connection with this sort of work co-operation with the local authorities is most important because they have health visitors who can participate in this work and give great assistance to the welfare organizations. The type of social visitor that is envisaged is one who is trained to deal with the aged, with the mentally deficient and the mentally deranged person who is not violent and able to stay at home, to deal with the cripple, to deal with the generally chronic ill person and to keep these people in their homes. Here, is a great opening for the welfare organizations and for the Department of Social Welfare. This cooperation with the local health authorities will, I am sure, repay investigation.

Now I want to draw attention, although I am a little diffident in doing so because things may have changed a little since this Minister took over, to these wild cat newspaper calls for aid to send people overseas for operations and that type of thing. Perhaps the hon. the Deputy Minister knows about it and if so I hope he will forgive me for drawing his attention to it. But in my own personal experience it is not unusual for papers to listen to a hard-luck story and even to investigate the truth of the story, but they fail to investigate whether the proposed trip overseas is likely to produce any benefit and whether other people have not already investigated it. Once or twice in my life I have been asked by newspapers to give an opinion—and curiously enough on the two occasions they were both Afrikaans papers—on the question as to whether I thought any benefit would accrue to a patient by taking him overseas. This is a very desirable thing and I hope that the Deputy Minister will see that this is copied by other newspapers. I make a plea to the Deputy Minister as far as possible not to interfere with these voluntary organizations by using the powers which he is now proposing to take but before doing so I would like to ask him what type of organization he feels he might have to ban and what grounds he might have for doing so and whether he will make public his reasons for such banning or even his reasons for cancelling an authority to collect or to spend money. In many cases I have not the slightest doubt that his reasons will be sound and yet will throw no doubt on people’s integrity. Nevertheless it is as well that those reasons should be made known. I would like him to interfere as little as possible with the authorities and with the organizations. He should trust these boards which after all consist of people who deal with the problems from high principles and altruistic motives and who are unlikely to interfere with any organization which is carrying out its work reasonably.

In reply to the remarks of the hon. member for Odendaalsrus (Dr. Meyer) who suggested that the remarks on this side of the House to-day were out of place because they would spread through the world and throw doubt upon our own welfare organizations, it seems to me an extraordinary statement to make when he goes on to add that if we have criticism to make we can make it at a later date when we have something to say. Surely that is likely to give rise to more outside scandal than drawing the attention of the Minister as is suggested now. I also support the hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer) in his request that the board when dealing with objections, should make investigations and make recommendations to the Minister upon what they have found instead of merely passing on the objection without any effort to discover whether the objection was justified or not. I think that if the hon. the Deputy Minister persists with his Bill as it is—and we think it is a very good Bill because it will help those in need of help—it may cause a loss of confidence, and we would like the Deputy Minister seriously to consider finding some way of giving a right of appeal, as suggested by the hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield), or perhaps to withdraw himself to some extent from the picture and instead of being a Czar, even though a benevolent Czar, he could rather adopt the attitude of an old grandfather who supervises and sees generally that people are doing their work satisfactorily.


Before dealing in greater detail with the amendment before the House, I would like to answer the Minister’s query to a member who has spoken previously with regard to the question of appeals. The Deputy Minister himself will remember that under the Act the appeal committee consists of a magistrate with not less than ten years’ experience, who acts as chairman, and two persons with experience or a knowledge of welfare organization work, who are not members of the board nor members of the appellant welfare organization nor members of the Public Service. In other words, the Act constitutes an impartial board with an experienced judicial officer as chairman, together with two experts, much as you would get a Judge sitting with assessors. I think it is quite obvious why a section of this nature was included in the original Act and why this type of appeal was provided for. It is because welfare organizations would not like to dissipate their funds, or because would-be welfare organizations with well-meaning people behind them would not like to dissipate funds in seeking relief in a court, which is quite an expensive process, should they disagree with the decision of a board. Apart from our criticism, which I hope to deal with a little later, of the powers which are going to rest in the hands of the Minister, the value of an appeal lies in the fact that it does not involve the organization in considerable expense, and secondly that it does afford an opportunity of appeal to what is obviously an impartial body headed by an experienced member of the judiciary. If there should be any question of an appeal from the Minister’s decision it is not because there is any mistrust of what the Minister does but because the original intention was—and that should still be the intention—to give a person an opportunity of appealing to an impartial body who may perhaps find that the official concerned—and in this case it would be the hon. the Minister—has not directed his attention to the circumstances as impartially as would be done by an individual who is completely objective and who looks at the matter from the touchline. Despite the procedure for an appeal, despite the desire to have some form of appeal, this side of the House still regards the powers which the Minister seeks to take as repugnant to the whole spirit of the Welfare Organizations Act, and therefore repugnant to the amendments which are sought in this Bill. Sir, the Bill is largely a measure to bring about certain administrative changes which the Department has found necessary after years of experience. For instance, when one looks at Clause 8 of the Bill one immediately realizes the necessity for measures of this nature because of the considerable number of ad hoc appeals that have arisen in the life of our community over the last ten to 15 years. The last speaker, the hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) referred to the appeals that take place to assist individuals to proceed overseas for heart or eye operations etc. One thinks of these many ad hoc appeals which have suddenly sprung up, all with a very worthy motive and a very worthy objective but very often without any control because of the emotionalism created. This clause largely seeks to bring about that measure of control which will give confidence to the public and also ensure that moneys collected are satisfactorily used and properly administered. As I have said, this Bill is designed largely to deal with administrative changes in order to facilitate the working of the Department and of the welfare organizations. Sir, reference has been made to this country’s great voluntary effort in social services. The public, through their initiative and effort, have made possible the taking over by the Government of very important social services and the establishment of very fine institutions. It is not unusual in the life of any country, particularly in the Western world for the public, of their own accord, to seek to provide relief in a certain social field, and having built up an organization of magnitude, an organization in which the public has largely become interested, the state finds it necessary, because of public opinion, to take it over and to incorporate it in its own financial system and in its own social services. I think for instance of the work of the Cancer Institution, the Polio Organization and of sheltered employment which commenced as a purely voluntary effort by the public. One also thinks of the tremendous amount of voluntary effort and voluntary subscriptions in hospital work in the early part of the century and in the ’twenties and ’thirties of this century, which to-day has been taken over completely by either Government or provincial authorities. One thinks of the work for the aged which to-day forms a very important aspect of the social services of the country. All these services have arisen through the tremendous effort and initiative of the public. The Welfare Organizations Act, as has already been said, came into being in order to coordinate the activities of the tremendous number of welfare organizations that had grown up. But in this particular Bill we are not concerned only with administrative changes because an entirely new theme has been introduced into this Bill. It is not a theme of welfare work; it is not the theme of a welfare board to promote the co-ordination of welfare organizations; it is a new theme which seeks to transfer two very important powers to the Minister and deliberately excludes the right of appeal. I can imagine the Deputy Minister debating the question of appeals to courts if one is dissatisfied, on common law grounds and so on, but this Bill goes out of its way deliberately to deny the right of appeal. These particular provisions are completely foreign to the terms of the important Act, and for that reason it is an important principle which we on this side of the House are not prepared to accept. The hon. the Deputy Minister has based the introduction of these provisions into the Bill on the fact that he received a unanimous request from the National Welfare Organizations Board to take these powers into his own hands. Sir, one accepts that if the hon. the Deputy Minister says so, but it is rather a significant fact that the members of the National Welfare Organizations Board, whatever section of the community they come from, are all persons appointed by the Minister. It would be all very well for the Minister to say in reply, “I have a panel submitted to me by local authorities and welfare bodies”, but the appointment of these members is solely the prerogative of the Minister.


What are you insinuating?


I am not insinuating anything at all. I am merely saying to the hon. the Deputy Minister that it is significant that this unanimous request for the Minister to take these powers comes from a board, all the members of whom are appointed by him. That is the first point I am making.


And you say that you are insinuating nothing!


I have already replied to the hon. the Deputy Minister. If he is worried I am sorry, but I make no insinuations. I am merely drawing attention to a fact. There are no insinuations in facts. The Act provides for it and I will read the relevant section to the Deputy Minister. I really resent any suggestion that my remarks carry some insinuation. If the hon. the Deputy Minister is concerned, that is his problem. It is my duty to draw attention to these facts. I am not drawing attention to them because I wish to make any insinuation. The Act says that the board shall consist of 24 members appointed by the Minister from among persons nominated by welfare organizations and local authorities after public advertisement by the Minister calling for such nominations. The other point to which I want to make reference is this, and this is really the point to which I want to draw the attention of the Deputy Minister: Even assuming that the National Welfare Board had said to him, “Will you take two important powers into your hands, which to a large extent will render our work a nullity, and will you be good enough to provide in the Bill that there should be no appeal against your powers”, the question still is whether he in his discretion should accede to that request. The point that has been made on this side of the House is that we do not think it is wise, particularly in this sphere of social welfare activities, that the Deputy Minister should bring this new theme into the idea of welfare work and take unto himself two important powers (of which I will give some illustrations later) and specifically provide for a denial of the right of appeal. My question is whether he should have acceded to this unanimous request from the National Board. After all, he is the responsible Minister; he is the head of the Department of State which is responsible for the co-ordination of welfare organizations. Surely here we have a case where a Minister should use his discretion and say to the National Board: “If you find that your duties are too onerous then perhaps we should make a change in the constitution of the National Welfare Board; perhaps things have reached such a stage to-day when we should change the structure of the board and broaden it to some extent so that the responsibility will rest on a wider pair of shoulders than yours.” But to merely come to this House and say “They have unanimously requested me to come with this Bill and that is why I have introduced it” is not sufficient. He does not say that he thought it was wise. He does not say that in his wisdom he decided to bring this measure to this House after thinking about it. He merely says that they asked for it unanimously. “This really is not my Bill” he says. “It is because they requested it, that I am bringing it to the House.” With all respect for the hon. Deputy Minister, I do not think that that is a responsible way in which to seek amendments of this nature which introduce a completely new theme into the Act which it seeks to amend.

I would like to give a couple of illustrations of how far this goes, and I want to deal first of all with the introduction of this administrative question of advertising applications in the Gazette and calling for objections. That is a new administrative measure. I am quite prepared to concede to the hon. Deputy Minister that it is not necessarily unwise to look for an objection. After all you might find that one organization attempts to register itself and wishes to carry out work absolutely parallel with another organization in the same town; the work would overlap; the demand on the voluntary workers would become greater and the same people would have to do the work because the number of voluntary workers does not increase, and so that overlapping would be innimical to the purpose which that organization wishes to serve. But let us assume, following up this particular provision, that a frivolous objection is made. Normally the board would consider the objection and if frivolous the board would throw it aside; if it had any value, the board would give it serious consideration. Were we to find a provision that if the board was in doubt, it could then refer the matter to the Minister for his consideration in order to assist them, then one could understand the Minister’s viewpoint being brought into the discussion; but according to this particular provision, it says that if any objection to the grant of an application of a welfare organization has been lodged, the board shall not grant the application except with the consent of the Minister. Now let us take a case where there has been a frivolous objection. The board having received an objection, decides that it is frivolous. It would agree to the application, but cannot do so. It has to submit the objection to the Minister. The Minister looks at the particular application, and for some reason, which is his own business, he decides that he is not prepared to accept the recommendation of the board. He then refuses to give his consent and does not allow the board to grant the application. There is no appeal from that, there is no further redress, no matter how frivolous the objection may be. As the hon. member for Benoni (Mr. Ross) has said, in a country which unfortunately has so much politics almost in every sphere of its life, it might well be for instance that if a fund like the Treason Trail Fund sought registration and some person sitting somewhere or other would not like the looks of that particular name and would lodge an objection, saying “I object to the granting of that application”, the board might dismiss the objection and grant the application, but would have to submit it to the Minister, and the Minister might say “No, no, no, this is interfering with something which concerns the State and I therefore refuse to grant the application”. I think it has been to the credit of our country what was done in that case, but it could have been turned down under this Bill, causing more misunderstanding than anything that is suggested goes abroad in the normal course of event. So apart even from that example, the point is that a frivolous objection is sufficient, to place in the hands of the Minister full powers to say “No”. That was never the position before.


I do not like to stop the hon. member stating his case, but he is now doing the work that can be done in the Committee Stage. He is going into great detail of the whole of the Bill, and if he continues to do so there will be nothing left for the Committee Stage, or the hon. member would have to restate his case in Committee.


Sir, I accept your ruling. I merely want to draw the attention of the Minister to one other point with regard to the question of the Minister’s powers, and I would say generally that whereas certain grounds are provided in the Act upon which the National Welfare Board can consider the cancellation or amendment of a certificate, in this particular Bill provision is made whereby the hon. the Minister is given the right on any ground, other than the grounds referred to—in other words on grounds of his own which are not in the actual Act—to himself cancel the certificate and there is no right of appeal. The point generally therefore is and following the amendment before the House, that certain powers are being granted to the hon. the Minister with a deliberate and specific denial of any appeal in respect of those powers, even denying an applicant or a person who is concerned to proceed to a court of law. This is an entirely new theme, as I said in this particular Bill. I would just like to draw the attention of the Minister to another clause of the Bill that I do not wish to deal with in detail, and that is in respect of the provision in Clause 13 which deals with the disposal of moneys which have been unlawfully collected. I would like to say that I understand that the hon. Deputy Minister has been good enough to consider certain representations to the Department on that particular aspect, and that in the Committee Stage he is possibly going to amend the clause as it stands. We are dealing there with an important principle with regard to the disposal of money. The hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) has drawn attention to the fact that it might be preferable to limit the Minister’s right of this position in so far as the sums are concerned, but that is a matter which I assume the hon. Deputy Minister will give his attention to in due course.

The one factor which I think the hon. the Deputy Minister should explain to this House when he replies to the debate is this: Can he inform the House how he has improved the work of the National Welfare Board, what has he done, what this Bill will do to bring about the better co-ordination of which he speaks, what service will it render in encouraging the work of welfare organisations, what new ray of sunshine will enter into their lives by virtue of the powers, to which this side of the House object? Because this side of the House is unanimous with him that the Welfare Organization Act is an important piece of legislation in our social life. This side of the House is in agreement with the hon. the Minister that it is important particularly after a long period of time, 13 years in this case, to amend the administrative side and to ensure that the security that the public wishes to have in regard to the administration of public funds should be covered in every respect. In that sense there is no difference of opinion between this side of the House and the hon. Deputy Minister. We all support the welfare work in our country and the outstanding example the citizens of this country have given over very many years by way of contributions to the weal and to the welfare of our people. I do not think it is necessary even to quote some of the remarkable examples of efforts in respect of flood funds, or the moneys contributed for instance to the Dutch people in Holland when they had those severe floods and suffered such grievous loss, how this country rose to the occasion and responded from the depth of its heart and contributed considerable sums of money, or the tremendous effort which the city of Johannesburg for instance made at the time of a serious disaster in one of its Native suburbs when nearly £30,000 were collected in two days because thousands of people had been left homeless as a result of a tornado. This country is a country with a people with a heart literally indicative of its greatest export commodity, gold—a heart of gold.

What I would like to say is this, that when this side of the House levels criticism, as it does, in respect of these few clauses in the Bill, it does so because it feels convinced, sincerely so, that it will do a considerable amount of harm in this type of social service to the community. As it is we are very unhappy about the general pattern of bureaucratic control which creeps in quietly into a Bill here and a Bill there, giving more power to the bureaucracy in this country and so to some extent is beginning to deny the voice of the citizens. But that is not at issue here. We have to deal with what is taking place in this Bill and it certainly does not grace this Bill, nor does it grace the objective which the hon. the Minister says he has in bringing some improvement and some streamlining into the work of welfare associations. I make that appeal to the hon. the Minister not to quietly sweep aside the objections on the ground that he has had this recommendation from his National Welfare Board. Let him rather use his own wisdom and understanding and his own ability in ensuring that the interests of the country in general are secured and that the confidence of the country is maintained rather than allow himself to be persuaded to agree to what might merely be a shifting of responsibility by well-meaning people.


Since coming to this House it has always been my custom to listen attentively to hon. members opposite who normally participate in debates of this nature. I have done so again this afternoon, although we differ in certain respects, in the case of the hon. members for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield), Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher), Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) Benoni (Mr. Ross) and Maitland (Dr. de Beer). I regret that I cannot say the same in respect of the hon. member for Bezuidenhout (Mr. Miller); I am really sorry that the hon. member has participated in this debate and if the hon. member wants to take my advice, I do not think that the welfare debates should be his strong point in this House. I sincerely hope for the sake of the cause which we serve that the hon. member will rather refrain in future from participating in these debates. I think that I have now said enough in that regard.

The main criticism of this Bill which has come from hon. members opposite relates to the powers which this Bill is giving the Minister. I must repeat in passing, despite the fact that the hon. member for Bezuidenhout has denied that his argument contained any insinuation, that I deplore the fact that this insinuation has come from those benches. As the hon. members for Pietermaritzubrg (City) and Umbilo and other hon. members have put their case, we can perhaps argue whether the Minister should have powers similar to those being taken here, and the reasonable way in which hon. members have put this point also makes it possible for one to hold such a discussion. Is it wrong per se in this instance for the Minister to take powers such as those the Bill is giving him? I want to suggest courteously that it is not wrong, and for very sound reasons. In the first place it must be remembered, if hon. members have studied the 1947 legislation which forms the basis of this Bill and if hon. members are familiar with the operation of the Welfare Organizations Board, that that board meets twice a year. It may be necessary, and this is also what the Welfare Organizations Board realizes, that speedy action must be taken, and it is then necessary that the Minister should have certain powers. That is also why the Minister’s powers are, as it were, parallel to those of the Welfare Organizations Board. If hon. members will just regard the matter from that angle, they will already understand why it is necessary that the Minister should have these powers. But in the second place I have put it quite clearly to hon. members that these powers which are being taken, have been suggested by the Welfare Board itself. It is not the Minister who is forcing himself into a position where he takes powers. But apart from that, with the best will in the world I cannot understand—and I have now been sitting here with hon. members for eight years—why there must always be an outcry when a Minister asks for certain powers in this House. I personally regard it as a motion of no confidence in Parliament that there is this continuous outcry. That is why Parliament is here so that when the Minister’s Vote comes under discussion or on any other occasions, he can be taken to task if he has exceeded his powers. But during the eight years I have sat here I have never heard one hon. member opposite accuse a Minister of abusing his powers. And while this is the practice and while hon. members have the right to criticize Ministers freely and to call them to account at all times, why should we always arouse suspicion in this way? I deplore it particularly in this case where we are dealing with welfare work, that suspicion is being sown in this way.


Of course we criticize undue powers for Ministers.


Let us now come back to the acrimonious argument of the hon. member for Bezuidenhout. Suspicion must be cast on welfare work by the speech of the hon. member because the Minister is accepting certain powers in this Bill by invitation. But the hon. member objects to the Minister retaining a veto right for himself under certain given circumstances. But the hon. member has no objection to the Law Societies having a veto right. The Law Societies can have a veto right. The hon. member has no objection to that. And that veto right has been law since 1947 and no one has ever objected. Since 1947 the Law Societies have been able to say under certain circumstances whether or not a welfare organization should have the right to operate. But the responsible Minister does not have the right to do so. And this despite the fact that the Law Societies are not responsible to this House, but the Minister is. What argument is that! With the best will in the world I cannot understand it.

To my extreme surprise hon. members opposite have lodged very strong objections because there will not be the right to appeal to a certain board against the Minister’s decision which he will take under these circumstances. I now ask hon. members opposite, and while this debate has been taking place I have asked senior Ministers, whether they know of one single case where ministerial decisions are subject to a right of appeal, as hon. members desire in this instance. I have never heard of such a thing. Just imagine the policy decisions of the Minister being made subject to an appeal to a magistrate and two assessors. How are we to govern South Africa? Where are we heading? Just imagine: The hon. member for Bezuidenhout has insinuated that this Welfare Organizations Board has supposedly asked for the introduction of this legislation because the Minister appointed them! How much more strongly will the hon. member object to the ad hoc committee of appeal which the hon; the Minister will also appoint! Just imagine it: The Minister takes a policy decision, and hon. members opposite now want him to appoint a magistrate and two other persons to judge on his policy decision! It is surely too foolish for words to expect that we adopt such a course in this regard! I have explained very clearly to hon. members that the very best co-operation exists between the Minister and this Welfare Board. It would be a foolish Minister who did not seek the co-operation of this Board at all times because if one cannot co-operate with the Board the work will become simply impossible. I want to place on record once again that the basis on which my Minister, myself and the Department work is to remain on the best possible footing with the voluntary organizations because we realize that in South Africa we cannot do welfare work if we do not remain on a very friendly footing with these people. It would be foolish to act in any matter without the necessary consultation for which this legislation makes ample provision. The hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer) has put a reasonable question to me, namely: when (I am now speaking for myself, if I were to be charged with that responsibility) would the Minister take action and use his powers under this legislation? That is a reasonable question. I want to answer him quite clearly by saying that I would not hesitate, and I said this in my second reading speech as well, to take action whenever it may be necessary to do so. I shall take action and I shall be prepared to be called to account by this House if I take such action. I would not hesitate to act whenever it is a matter of policy. Allow me to explain to the hon. member what I mean by that. Day after day we see for example that children run away from their parental homes. If people were to come together to establish a welfare organization to provide for such children while they are running away from their parental homes and the tendency was such that it would encourage children to run away from their parental homes, I would be failing in my duty as a Minister if I did not say: “No, such a welfare organization would not serve a purpose in South Africa; it would undermine family life.” That is an example of the action one can take. But I want to give a second example. A tendency is noticeable, and the Welfare Organizations Board is concerned about it, for welfare work to be used as a cover for other purposes. The Welfare Organizations Board, I myself and my Minister are in the nature of things concerned that welfare organizations should not be used as a cover for organizations which have a quite different object.


Such as what?


It is clear from certain developments which have come to our notice that certain communist organizations would like to exploit welfare organizations for their own purposes. The Welfare Organizations Board is concerned about this, and in the nature of things anyone who wishes to uphold Western civilization is concerned about it. I therefore say, without apologizing to anyone, that if I were to be convinced that communists were exploiting welfare organizations for their own purposes, I tell hon. members in advance that I shall take action against such an organization because I would be failing in my duty if I did not do so. For the rest the attitude of my Minister, I myself and the Department is well known, namely that we do not concern ourselves with the control or management of welfare organizations. One hon. member opposite has tried to create the impression that we now want to exercise control over the way in which these people arrange their affairs and how they control their organizations. That is not the intention of this measure at all, nor is it the Minister’s intention, and it will definitely not happen either.

One formed the impression while hon. members opposite were speaking, particularly the hon. member for Bezuidenhout, that the courts were being eliminated from this whole matter. That is not true. When one reads Section 13 it is clear that that is not the position. No one is prevented by this or any other Act from going to the courts if he has reason to believe that the Minister has not carried out his functions properly in terms of this legislation. That course is always open to any person. All that Section 13 lays down is that there can be an appeal against certain decisions of the board to an ad hoc committee which consists of a magistrate and two other persons appointed by the Minister from time to time. But there is definitely no intention in this legislation, and it cannot be read into this legislation either, that this right of appeal which is referred to, should be a right of appeal to the courts in general. It is merely a question that there will be no right of appeal against a Ministerial decision to this specific committee to which reference is made in Section 13 which is quite a different matter.

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

Evening Sitting


Mr. Speaker, with reference to a question which hon. members have put to me as to why we do not want to vest the sole right to decide on these matters in the board, for example in cases where there are objections, and why we prefer in this case to give the Minister the right to decide, I want to mention a further reason why a right of appeal is necessary in this instance. I repeat once again that hon. members will remember that the board meets twice a year. Hon. members will readily concede that the position is not reasonable. The board meets to-day and an objection is lodged and the board must investigate it. The board does not have the necessary machinery for undertaking a proper investigation but the Minister on the other hand does. This means that the decision must wait for at least six months. By that time clarity may not yet have been achieved, and then the decision must stand over for another six months, with the result that it can very easily happen that there will be delays until one or other decision is taken. This would not be reasonable. But furthermore, to sum up, under the existing legislation the Law Societies were given a right of veto. They are responsible people and that is why the veto right in respect of certain organizations was given to them in 1947. No objection was raised. Because I regard them as responsible people, I do not have any objections to-day either, and that is why I am leaving unaltered the position that as far as their affairs are concerned they will have the right of veto. But I refuse to concede, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister is less responsible than the hon. gentlemen of the Law Societies. I repeat once again that the Minister is responsible to this House at all times. When it is therefore said that there should be a right of appeal against the decision of the Minister, where can we find a better court of appeal than this hon. House before which the Minister must appear? Here we do not have the rules of the court to protect him. One simply has to defend oneself against hon. members opposite. The method followed in this case is therefore a far better safeguard for hon. members than any other method which hon. members have mentioned or which can be devised.

Many of the matters which hon. members have mentioned will be discussed over and over again when we reach the Committee Stage. Most of the matters mentioned by the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (City) (Col. Shearer) for example will be raised again during the Committee Stage and I shall reply fully at that stage. However, I just want to comment in passing on two matters. I think that the hon. member realizes that he was wrong when, as I understood him, he said that as a result of this legislation, “appeals are now redundant”. That is not the position. The position as regards appeals remains as it was in the past, namely from the board to this ad hoc committee. It is only in respect of decisions of the Minister, which will be policy decisions, that there will not be a right of appeal.

I agree with the attitude of the hon. member where he says that we should guard against welfare work falling or falling completely into the hands of professional people. I subscribe fully to that standpoint. This is not only a standpoint which we uphold to-day but it was also the standpoint which our predecessor upheld in this regard. That is why I have said that the Welfare Board has been constituted in such a way that only one-quarter of its members are the representatives of professional people, while the remainder are ordinary people who are concerned with welfare work in the cities and outside. I also subscribe to the hon. member’s attitude where he says: “Nothing must be done to make organizations feel that they are dominated by the Government.” Nor is this the intention and we do not want to do so in the future either. But this organization and we ourselves accept that two people cannot take the lead. A political party, as in any other sphere, goes under as soon as there are two people who lead. That is a lesson for all of us. In this sphere also only one person must take the lead, and in this regard, since the passing of the 1947 Act, it has been accepted that the task of providing leadership rests with the Department of Social Welfare and the Minister, working in the closest and most intimate co-operation with private welfare organizations, as he co-ordinates them to cooperate with him.

The hon. member for Umbilo (Mr. Oldfield) has referred to the question of funds and the utilization of surplus funds. This is a matter which we can discuss at the Committee Stage and if an amendment is moved in this regard by the hon. member or by the hon. member for Bezuidenhout (Mr. Miller) providing for what they have suggested, I am quite prepared to consider accepting such amendment.

The hon. member for Rosettenville (Dr. Fisher) and the hon. member for Durban (Central) (Dr. Radford) have raised interesting points in respect of the relationship between welfare organizations and local authorities. I thank them for doing so. This is a matter which can probably be fruitfully investigated and followed up, if it should appear to be necessary. The hon. member for Durban (Central) has also raised the question of collection lists aimed at sending a person overseas for this or that good reason. I agree with the hon. member in that regard. It is precisely for that reason that this legislation has now become necessary. The hon. member will know that in the past we had no control over these matters whatsoever. For the first time we are now obtaining a measure of control which will enable us to place this matter on a sound and proper basis. I personally will be very thankful if the newspapers particularly will take note of what the hon. member for Durban (Central) has said in this regard.

The hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer)—he has apologized to me for the fact that he will not be here to-night—has made one other point to which I want to reply. That is to say, he has asked: Why do we provide here that the Minister must act in consultation with the board, instead of saying that he must do so with the consent of the board. That is a reasonable question, but the moment one says that—and the National Board probably realizes this itself, and that is why they have not raised any objection—it must be done with the approval of the board, one gives the board the power to prescribe to the Minister in respect of policy matters. No matter how sound the relation may be and no matter how high the regard in which I hold the board—and I have a particularly high regard for what they are doing and for their attitude—no Minister dare allow an outside organization to prescribe to him what his policy should be. If he does so, he is probably not worth his salt; then he is a man of straw and he does not deserve to be placed in this position.

The hon. member for Durban (Central) has asked whether the Minister will find it necessary, if he acts as this Bill authorizes him to do, to make public his decisions and the reasons for his decisions. That is not a matter which is under discussion. As we know Parliament, it will be the first thing which the Minister will be asked before he can even open his mouth. If he cancels the permit of an organization, or if he refuses to register one, Parliament will hardly have commenced its sittings before a question will be on the Order Paper: Why have you done so and what are your reasons? And if the hon. member perhaps fails to ask the question, the hon. member for Orange Grove (Mr. E. G. Malan) will do so. But it will be asked. It is therefore a question which will hardly arise in practice. That will simply be the position and it will be done in this way and the Minister will have to render account.

I want to convey my thanks to the hon. members for Kimberley (South) (Dr. W. L. D. M. Venter), Odendaalsrus (Dr Meyer) and Waterberg (Mr. Heystek) for the valuable contributions which they have made to this debate. I particularly want to agree wholeheartedly with the hon. member for Odendaalsrus that when we are dealing with welfare matters, we must be very careful what type of statement we make so that we do not arouse suspicion. Because no matter how much we may differ in other spheres, this is the one sphere in which we dare not differ, the one sphere in which we must not allow political considerations to play a part or into which we must not drag such considerations, namely when we are dealing with the welfare of the country and its people. I move.

Question put: That all the words after “That”, proposed to be omitted stand part of the motion.

Upon which the House divided:

Ayes—66: Bekker, G. F. H.; Bekker, H. T. van G.; Bekker, M. J. H.; Bootha, L. J. C.; Botha, M. C.; Botha, P. W.; Botha, S. P.; Coertze, L. I.; Coetzee, P. J.; de Villiers, J. D.; de Wet, C.; Diederichs, N.; du Pisanie, J.; du Plesssi, H. R. H.; Froneman, G. F. van L.; Greyling, J. C.; Grobler, M. S. F.; Hertzog, A.; Heystek, J.; Jonker, A. H.; Keyter, H. C. A.; Knobel, G. J.; Kotze, G. P.; Labuschagne, J. S.; Malan, A. I.; Malan, W. C.; Marais, J. A.; Maree, W. A.; Meyer, T.; Mostert, D. J. J.; Muller, S. L.; Nel, M. D. C. de W.; Otto, J. C.; Pelser, P. C.; Potgieter, J. E.; Rall, J. J.; Rall, J. W.; Sadie, N. C. van R.; Schlebusch, J. A.; Schoeman, J. C. B.; Serfontein, J. J.; Smit, H. H.; Stander, A. H.; Steyn, F. S.; Treurnicht, N. F.; Uys, D. C. H.; van den Berg, M. J.; van den Heever, D. J. G.; van der Ahee, H. H.; van der Merwe, J. A.; van der Merwe, P. S.; van der Walt, B. J.; van Eeden, F. J.; van Niekerk, G. L. H.; van Niekerk, N. C.; van Rensburg, M. C. G. J.; van Staden, J. W.; van Wyk, G. H.; van Wyk, H. J.; Venter, M. J. de la R.; Venter, W. L. D. M.; Vorster, B. J.; Webster, A.; Wentzel, J. J.

Tellers: W. H. Faurie and J. J. Fouché.

Noes—35: Basson, J. A. L.; Bronkhorst, H. J.; Butcher, R. R.; Cope, J. P.; Cronje, F. J. C.; de Kock, H. C.; Durrant, R. B.; Fisher, E. L.; Frielinghaus, H. O.; Graaff, de V.; Henwood, B. H.; Higgerty, J. W.; Horak, J. L.; Hughes, T. G.; Lewis, H.; Lewis, J.; Malan, E. G.; Miller, H.; Oldfield, G. N.; Plewman, R. P.; Radford, A.; Raw, W. V.; Ross, D. G.; Shearer, O. L.; Smit, D. L.; Steenkamp, L. S.; Streicher, D. M.; Tucker, H.; van Niekerk, S. M.; van Ryneveld, C. B.; Warren, C. M.; Waterson, S. F.; Williams, T. O.

Tellers: N. G. Eaton and A. Hopewell

Question affirmed and the amendment dropped.

Motion accordingly agreed to and Bill read a second time.


Sixteenth Order read: Second reading,—War Special Pensions Amendment Bill.


I move—

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr. Speaker, this Bill is not a contentious Bill. I am not asking for any powers for myself or for myself or for anyone else. As hon. members will know, the Government has decided that all laws passed during the period 1910 to 1925 should be consolidated and that the Dutch version of such laws should be translated into Afrikaans. This Bill, which hon. members now have before them, falls into this category of Bills, some of which are in Dutch and must be consolidated. It so happens that various provisions of these laws must be revised before they can be consolidated because they have become obsolete. For this and other reasons to which I shall refer later, it is therefore necessary to amend these Acts at this stage. The first of these Acts are the War Special Pensions Act, 1919, and the War Special Pensions Act Amendment Act, 1920 (to which I shall refer as the 1919 Act and the 1920 Act), which provide for the payment of compensation to and in respect of persons who served during the First World War (1914-18), the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and earlier wars in South Africa.

Separate provision is made in these Acts for the granting and payment of benefits to White male volunteers and nurses. Thus for example the provisions which deal with nurses (and which to a large extent repeat the provisions which relate to male volunteers) are contained in Chapter V of the 1919 Act and certain sections of the 1920 Act.

In terms of Section 26 of the 1920 Act the provisions which apply to White male volunteers are also applicable to members of certain Coloured contingents, such as the Cape Corps. This section provides however that the benefits payable to and in respect of Coloured volunteers must be paid at a rate of three-fifths of the amounts payable to and in respect of White male volunteers.

One of the main objects of this Bill is to amalgamate or to consolidate the various provisions relating to White male volunteers, and non-White volunteers. This is achieved mainly by the amendment of certain sections of Chapters I to III of the 1919 Act and by the repeal of Sections 37 to 44 of the Act as well as of certain sections of the 1920 Act.

Sub-section (1) of Section 63 of the War Pensions Act, 1942, provides that the benefits payable to or in respect of a person under the War Special Pensions Act, 1919, shall be assessed or reassessed at the degree of disablement laid down in Schedule 1 and at the rates laid down in Schedules 2 to 7 of the War Pensions Act, 1942, if such assessment or reassessment is to the advantage of the beneficiary, provided however that no gratuity which became payable on or after a date prior to 1 April 1942 shall be reassessed. In this regard I might mention that with the exception of the benefits payable to or in respect of certain persons who held officer’s rank, the benefits provided for in schedules to the 1942 Act are greater than those provided for in the schedules of the 1919 Act.

It is therefore proposed that Section 63 of the War Pensions Act. 1942, should be repealed, and that the schedules to the 1919 Act should be replaced by new schedules under which beneficiaries will receive the same benefits as those payable at present.

It is further proposed that the obsolete provisions of the 1919 and 1920 Acts should be repealed. One of the provisions which will be repealed is Section 13 of the 1919 Act which provides that the Minister may for the period of the war and 12 months afterwards pay any charges or expenses in respect of the treatment of a volunteer whose service had been terminated on medical grounds but whose unfitness had not been caused or aggravated by military service. Provision for the repeal of these obsolete provisions is made in Clause 22 of the Bill.

Section 42 of the War Pensions Act, 1942, provides that the Minister may authorize any person to exercise on his behalf any of the powers conferred upon him by that Act. It is now proposed that a similar provision should be inserted in the 1919 Act. In this regard I refer hon. members to Clause 18 of the Bill.

This Bill will not affect the amount of any benefits payable at the moment or any claim on such benefits. Hon. members therefore have that assurance.

Hon. members may be interested to know that there are still approximately 213 persons who rendered military service during the AngloBoer War (1899-1902) and who are receiving pensions under the 1919 Act in respect of disablement which they incurred during this war of 60 years ago. Pensions are also still being paid to the widows of 84 persons who died while on military service during that war, or who died as a result of disablement caused or aggravated by such service.

I might also add that the South African Legion of the B.E.S.L. has been a draft of this Bill and has indicated that it is quite satisfied with the proposed amendments.

No rights are affected by this Bill, and I therefore have no hesitation in asking the House to accept it as it stands.


This Bill has the blessing of this side of the House. However I do want to explain that Acts 42 of 1919 and 41 of 1920 are being amended and consolidated to a certain extent, and the Bill itself is one which particularly concerns our war pensioners. The B.E.S.L. have naturally been very interested in this Bill and I should like to thank the hon. the Deputy Minister and the Department as well as the B.E.S.L. for their co-operation in this matter. In that regard I should like to read a short extract from a letter which I received from the B.E.S.L. It talks about this Bill being translated into Afrikaans and then it says—

This decision led to discussions between officials of this office and officials of the Department of Social Welfare and the amended and consolidated Acts were referred to the Legion in December last.
At a recent meeting of the Members of the National Executive the proposed amended and consolidated Act was finally approved and I have been directed to advise you accordingly.

That was in February. We sent them a copy of the Bill and the explanatory memorandum, and a wire came back—

Contents Pensions Bill acceptable writing.

There is therefore no need to go into the details of this Bill because, as I say, the soldiers’ organizations are quite happy about it. I read that extract of their letter in order to show that there has been the co-operation which is very much appreciated by the soldiers’ organizations. We support the Bill.

Bill read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.


Seventh Order read: House to resume in Committee of Supply.

House in Committee:

[Progress reported on 6 June, when Votes Nos. 2 to 34, 36 to 47 and the Estimates of Expenditure from Bantu Education Account had been agreed to.]

Precedence given to Vote No. 35 (Bantu Administration and Development).

On Vote No. 35,—“Bantu Administration and Development”, R23,600,000,


Mr. Chairman, may I have the privilege of the half-hour? I do not think that anybody will deny that the Department of State which is giving most concern to all citizens of this country is the one controlled by this hon. Minister. It is a sad reflection on the policy of this Government that, largely because of its Bantu policy, we found ourselves last year in a state of emergency, and virtually in such a state again a few weeks ago. Internal relations between the different races have never been worse, and because of this policy our external relations could not be worse. We lay the blame for this state of affairs chiefly at the door of the hon. the Prime Minister, but this hon. Minister who is in charge of this most important portfolio, through which he exercises influence over every sphere of life of all our citizens, no matter what their colour may be, must also take the blame for what is happening. To show our disapproval of the attitude of this Minister and the way in which he has conducted and is conducting affairs, I move as an amendment—

To reduce the amount by R8,000 being the item “Minister”.

I am prepared to concede that this Government has spent much money on urban housing, and that it has done much to supply more housing, and that it has cleared deplorable slums. I am also prepared to admit that it has improved the health services of the Bantu. I grant that it is spending a great deal of money on Bantu education, albeit on a system of education which the Bantu himself does not want. I concede, too, that they are spending money on the rehabilitation of the Reserves. And I am glad to see that in the Supplementary Estimates there is a further amount of R9,500,000 for the reclamation of the Reserves. But no matter how impressive the record of the Government may be, no matter how impressively it may compare with what is being done in the northern states, there is no doubt that there is grave dissatisfaction in this country amongst the Bantu population. I will concede, too, that there is probably more unhappiness in certain states to the north of us, and that this Government cannot be held to blame for what is happening up there, but the fact remains, despite what the Minister and the Government may say, that there is grace dissatisfaction here and that we are all troubled about our future. Now Government members are critical of the solutions offered up north, but what does it offer here? It offers no longer apartheid but separate development, the right to control their own areas. The Whites will control their own areas and the Blacks theirs. The Whites will not ask for more in their areas than they are prepared to give the Blacks in their own areas. The corollary of that, of course, is that the Black man must get complete independence in his own areas. Now, when this suggestion was first made by the Prime Minister, reluctantly, I admit, it was stated that this would not happen in the foreseeable future and that it would be many years before this transpired. But what has happened? At the last sitting of the Transkeian Territorial Authority the Government was asked to carry out the promises it had made to the Bantu people and to give them their independence, and they asked for immediate independence or, as some put it, freedom. Luckily wiser courses prevailed at that session of the council and a committee was appointed to go into the question and to report back next year. This demand for independence came as a shock, not only for the White people resident in the Transkei but to the Banu resident there and to the country as a whole. Government spokesmen show a lack of appreciation of the need for extreme care in making statements on the future political development of the reserves. Conflicting and contradictory statements have been made, and those have been the main contributing factors to the feeling of uncertainty and confusion that exists not only in the minds of the Whites but also of the Blacks in the reserves and in the rest of the country. I have in the past drawn attention to these contradictory statements made by Ministers and officials, and wish to refer again to the speeches made just recently since the passing of that resolution by the Transkeian Territorial Authority.

It started with this Minister. The next day the Minister gave a statement to the Cape Times, in which he said this—

Asked when he thought that this self-government would be given to the Transkei, Mr. de Wet Nel said it may be in a few years. It all depends on the Bantu himself and his ability to take over the administration. All the signs are there that self-government will come soon in the territories. Far from being surprised by this move for self-government, he had been surprised when it did not come last year. He fully endorsed the view of the members of the Territorial Authority that the granting of self-government would quieten world criticism of South Africa. Asked whether the self-governing Bantu areas will attain international status, or whether it would in international relations remain under the wing of the present Government, Mr. de Wet Nel said that it was a question to be decided at some future date. The Government hoped that there would be close co-operation with White South Africa.

After that there was a statement by the High Commissioner in London to the Conservative members of Parliament, and he said that in a matter of years there would be yet another self-governing African country on the Continent, viz. the Transkei. Now, it may be argued that self-government does not mean independence, and this was stressed in an able speech made by the Commissioner-General of the Transkei to the Civic Association Congress at Umtata on 24 May, when he said this—

Many people confuse self-government with independence. There is a vast difference between these two concepts and the sooner people, both Black and White, in the territory appreciate this the better. Whereas the former implies the relationship of guardianship by an independent Government to a self-sufficient local entity, the latter definitely proclaims itself to be divested of all bonds of administration and government with other countries.

The Commissioner-General, quite rightly, was trying to warn the Bantu in the territories that self-government did not necessarily mean independence. He was trying to allay the suspicions of the White people and of the rest of the country that by offering them self-government they were not necessarily giving these people independence, and for obvious reasons. The Commissioner-General also went on to say that self-government is a privilege which can only be indulged in if the community clamouring for it can be equal to the corresponding responsibilities. Those were also very wise words, but unfortunately the Commissioner-General is not the policy-maker for the Government.

I want to warn members of this House that the Bantu in the Territories know what is happening. They read the speeches of the politicians and of the Minister and the Prime Minister. The Minister himself said that they carry Hansard around with them in the Transkei on their bicycles. Ministers must be more careful in what they say. They have been reading these speeches in the Transkei and they have called upon the Government to carry out its promises, and what did the Prime Minister say a few months ago in this House? He said—

Even though it may lead to great difficulties, we again unequivocally state the policy of the development of the different race groups. The Bantu will be able to develop into separate Bantu states. That is not what we would have liked to see. It is a form of fragmentation we would not have liked if we were able to avoid it. In the light of the pressure being exerted on South Africa, there is, however, no doubt that eventually this will have to be done.

Dealing with the question of independence, in reply to my Leader he said this—

We appreciate exactly what would have happened by the time our policy is brought to full fruition. In the first place we must appreciate that in adopting the standpoint that we are, we are prepared to give the Bantu areas their independence and to help them gradually to full independence.

Now, it is quite clear from those statements by the Prime Minister what the future is to be for the reserves. Now what is the prospect for South Africa as a whole and for the residents of the Bantustans in particular if the Government proceeds with this policy? For South Africa there is the threat not only of independent states within the boundaries of our own State, but in the case of the Transkei an independent state with access to any part of the world—not a small state like Basutoland surrounded by South African soil and controlled by the South African Government, but a state with a long coastline open to the ships and fleet of every maritime nation. Ultimately it will mean not only the territory presently known as the Transkei. We know that the Government has already given notice in the Gazette of its intention to establish a Territorial Authority for the Ciskei, and the Minister has also promised the Bantu in Zululand that an authority will be established for them. The Transkei is not the only Bantustan which has been offered the goal of independence. It has been promised to all the heartlands, and the request which has now come from the Transkei will assuredly come from all the other territorial authorities, too. In Zululand they are talking about it already. If the Transkei gets independence, they want theirs.

The foreseeable prospect, then, for South Africa is Black independent states stretching from Moçambique down to the Fish River, with possibly two corridors from the coast inland. The Prime Minister says it is not what he would have liked, but it will come, he admits. The Minister tells us it will come in a few years. A few years means not many years. The High Commissioner in London say “in years” These states will want Lebensraum and it will justly be claimed that if the racial problem is to be solved by dividing the country, they must be given much more land than we visualize giving them at present. One leader has already said that they did not ask for partition but if partition is to be the solution and they should get two-thirds of the land, they will settle for half. When this plan of partition was first suggested and the Tomlinson Commission went into the matter, the Bantu were given to understand that they would acquire the Protectorates, and the whole basis of partition in terms of the report of the Tomlinson Commission was the incorporation of the Protectorates. The Prime Minister himself now says that incorporation is dead. The independent Bantu states may negotiate with the Protectorates for some form of union, but the Protectorates are not likely to give up their sparsely occupied territory to the over-populated, new independencies.

When the United Party passed its resolution at its Congress in 1959 at Bloemfontein, our critics thought that we were seeing unnecessary “goggas” in demanding that we be told where the boundaries of the Bantustans were to be. Most of our critics felt that the Prime Minister’s promises were only a bluff and that the Bantustans would never become independent. They therefore felt that we were being a bit too clever and that we were not really concerned about the boundaries of the Bantustans, but that we were merely opposed to buying more land for the Bantu, and that we used it as a cloak. We have, however, always warned that it must be assumed that the Prime Minister intends to carry out his promises, and in any case he said that White Governments were making promises to Africans and White men would be expected to carry out those promises. Now it becomes of vital importance to know exactly where the Government intends buying land to implement the 1936 legislation. White and Coloured property owners in the Transkei know that their properties will lie within the boundaries of this new independent State, but it is time the Government told other landowners outside the reserves which areas are to form the boundaries between the Union and the new independent states. At this stage the country must be told where the boundaries are likely to be. Industries which may be inclined to develop on the present borders of the reserves, as requested by the Government, must know whether they are likely to find themselves ultimately in a foreign state. They must know, also, whether they are to be sacrificed for the sake of a smaller White South Africa. In Natal the Chief Native Commissioner has told the Natal Farmers’ Union what land it is intended to acquire in Natal to implement the 1936 legislation. Most of it is to come from the Crown lands, with a few isolated White spots. In the Cape there are several hundred thousand morgen still to be acquired by the Government, and it is time the Minister now tells the country which land will be added to these Bantu states which are to become independent, possibly in a few years’ time.

And what of the reserves themselves? As for the Africans, I cannot believe that the Minister can honestly think that in a few years’ time they may be able to exist as independent states. He must know that they cannot possibly become self-sufficient. They can never in that time develop to economic independence. The Government is opposed to the introduction of White capital and White industries, but without their assistance the reserves cannot possibly support themselves. There is already a lowering of the standards of living because of the strict application of influx control to the cities. The mines cannot take all the labour and the cities are closed to the unemployed, with the result that there is less money to buy food for their families. These independent states will not be able to build themselves up on a diet of political ideologies. If influx control is to be more strictly applied, more and more Bantu will find themselves crowded into the reserves, and if they are to earn a living they will seek economic aid elsewhere. Their need is not independence, but interdependence. Financiers have told us that the amount required to be invested in the reserves to make themselves economically independent is colossal, and they have also warned us that that money is not in this country at the moment to invest in the reserves and that it is not likely to come from abroad. We know that at the moment the Government is having difficulty in getting money from abroad. Outside financiers are certainly not going to risk their money in these independent states when they do not know what the future will be, whether they will become possible Congos. Sir, the need of these reserves is essentially for food and education and health and other services, for good administration and justice without fear or favour, for industrialization on a big scale within the territories and not on the borders, and the White man’s skill and capital to achieve these things. If they are cut off from us they will starve. They will lose their security. Old tribal feuds will be renewed. Faction fights which are almost now unknown will reappear. The safety of the individual will be in jeopardy, as was proved in Pondoland …


“Foei tog!”


The hon. member there says “Foei tog”, but does he know that the Government had to declare a state of emergency in Pondoland, which still exists, to protect the individuals there? The peace and prosperity of the rest of the country will be in danger. Under a Bantu Government I can see little control of over-stocking and soil erosion, and in a short while the Transkei will become tramped out and a dust-bowl, with a poor Black population crying out for help, and not necessarily from South Africa. I can see complete chaos, with the eventual intervention of UN, because once the Government hands over control and quits the area it will never be allowed to return, no matter what treaties it may have with these states. The cry of freedom is a popular one, but I do not know of a single African territory yet where the indigenous population has improved its lot by being given independence. And what is to happen to the Africans who want to remain South Africans, and what of the White and Coloured populations living in the reserves? I understand that the Coloured Affairs Department is at present trying to buy land outside the reserves for the Coloureds in the Transkei. I hope the Minister will tell us now what he intends doing with the Coloureds living in the Transkei. We are told that all the Transkei is to become independent, but that the White people will continue to be governed by the Republican Government. I do not know how many White or Coloured spots there are in the Transkei, because it is not only the 26 villages we have to consider, but all the trading stations owned by White and Coloured men. The position is that this Government will control hundreds of isolated spots surrounded by land controlled and administered by the independent state. Are these spots not likely to become little Berlins, where the Government will have to face all the troubles faced by West Berlin and where we might even have to have airlifts for this Government to keep in contact with its isolated subjects throughout the territories? I want the Minister to tell us how he intends governing these isolated spots once he has given independence to the rest of the territory. What security of title is there to be for the owners of land? We so often hear from Government supporters that the British Government abandoned its own people in Kenya and has betrayed them. The White people settled there in good faith, and now they are being sacrificed as an expediency. These accusations can be made with more force by the residents of the Transkei against this Government, because these people who are resident there did not leave their own country to go and seek their fortune elsewhere in a strange country. They naturally always imagined that they were in a part of South Africa, and in establishing themselves in Umtata and the other towns of the Transkei they were no different from other South African citizens who established themselves in Pretoria or Cape Town. In fact, past Governments were very grateful to these settlers, because they helped to civilize the people there and they assisted in the administration. We know that the White residents in Kenya are demanding that they get some guarantee of title to their properties. For obvious reasons they are wary of the future. What guarantee of title is this Government prepared to give to the White, the Coloured and, for that matter, the African owner of property? The Whites and the Coloureds are not prohibited by law from leaving the territory if they are prepared to make sacrifices, but the African cannot; he has nowhere to go and he is prohibited from entering any area outside the Transkei except as a migrant worker. I asked earlier what of the African who does not wish to become a citizen of the new State? Many Africans are most perturbed at the thought of autonomous independent states, and by no means cherish the idea of living in a state where they believe there has not been nearly sufficient experience in self-government. The man of property who has a stake in the country wants security, and he does not see that at present. The Minister cannot pretend that he is pleased at the development, but he must take the blame for what is happening. It is quite clear from the events after the resolution was moved at the Territorial Authority that the officials got busy and tried to get it staved off. An easy solution seemed to be to postpone the resolution and to go back to consult the people, but what was the reply of one chief? Consult our people? he said. Why should we do that? They were not consulted when the old Bunga system was changed into the Bantu Authorities, or when the European representation in Parliament was abolished, or on the Republican issue, so why should we consult them now? This Government consistently ignores the ordinary tribesman and the ordinary African; it only consults with chiefs and headmen. It promises them more and more authority and consults with them as to how it should be given. The Minister should be warned by the developments in the North. It is not the chiefs who have come out as the leaders of the people, and this Minister may be sacrificing his chiefs, for whom I feel sorry, because they at any rate do perform with the headmen essential duties in the administration of the reserves and they are applying peaceful government. The Minister is placing them in this invidious position, that they have to choose between the expediency of the Government and the retention of their offices or the desires of their people. They have to choose between dismissal and possible deportation, or the approbrium of their people. The chiefs realize that with freedom their traditional role of leaders will go, or may be imperilled, and they appointed a committee to consider this question of independence, and they added a rider to it as to how self-government could be obtained without tampering with the traditional system of chiefs. This safeguard was inserted by the Chairman after the Chairman had warned them of what had happened up North, and that if there was to be any democratic election of a Legislative Council in an independent state when they had their freedom, the chiefs would probably find themselves dispensed with. That is why that addendum was added to the resolution. This Minister, in giving that interview to the Cape Times, and in making his speech the other night to the Calvinist Union, I think it was, has again encouraged these people to believe that they can get independence. They do not distinguish between self-government and independence. To them it means the same thing, and instead of the Minister doing what the Commissioner-General did, to warn them that it cannot come in the near future and that they will have a long time to wait, the Minister has now promised that it will come within a few years. Sir, when you promise to give the Bantu anything in the future, they take it as having been given at once. According to their custom, they have an expression that they pay by word of mouth. When they have to pay cattle and the cattle are not available, they pay them over by word of mouth, and once payment is made by word of mouth the cattle are regarded as theirs, and the same applies to the promises made by this Minister and the Government. Any irresponsible statement made by the Minister or an official is accepted by the Bantu and they regard it as something which they are going to get at once. [Time limit.]


The hon. member has made a speech that apparently was thoroughly prepared by him. There are points of criticism in it, but the speech taken as a whole involuntarily reminds one of Korah and Dathan. But to come to the criticism of some value, the hon. member to-night for the first time allowed to seep through from the side of the Opposition something they have consistently refused to admit, and precisely the very points with which they have been besmirching the good name of South Africa in the outside world. Now it is of importance to note to-night that the hon. member has nevertheless conceded that the hon. Minister has succeeded as far as housing, health and the rehabilitation of the reserves are concerned. Hon. members will concede that this is the first time we have had this form of admission, for ever since the present Minister and his predecessor took over it has consistently been contended that these are mainly the things the outside world have against us, these very things the hon. the Minister has succeeded in achieving. That is particularly important, and I wish to express the hope that the outside world and those who have always levelled such unwarranted criticism against South Africa, mainly as a result of the complaints and criticism that have emanated from the Opposition, will now also take notice and see how the Opposition, through its chief mouthpiece, have now repudiated all those charges against the Government as far as its Bantu policy is concerned.

Now he comes along with another plan tonight. I wonder what the outside world will say now. The reason why I am always referring to the outside world is because the outside world has always condemned South Africa as a result of the utterances and criticism that have emanated from that side of the House. Now the hon. member’s complaint is that we are going too fast, and that the Government will be giving independence and freedom and a full life to the Transkei too soon. Now it is just the reverse again. Whereas in the past they used to represent the Government as a Government of oppression and discrimination, unjust discrimination, the chief critic of the Opposition now says he is afraid we are going much too fast. Let me tell hon. members this. No one should know more about Bantu policy in South Africa than the hon. member over there, but apparently he sees we are getting very close to the position where the main complaint they have been emphasizing, that of discrimination, will soon be a thing of the past, for do not let us have any illusions on this point. As separate development in those Bantustans takes place, and as the process develops, you will eventually have less and less discrimination in respect of colour in South Africa. Do not let us make that mistake, and when that takes place you disarm all the critics of South Africa in the rest of the world. Now the hon. member should not, when he appears as the main critic of the Government to-night, when he sees that we are now developing towards a state of affairs where we shall be taking the main sting out of the criticism of the outside world—but permit me to repeat this to make myself clear. As the process of separate development progresses, so will discrimination in South Africa on the ground of colour decrease to the same degree. Why does the Opposition once again come along to-day and proclaim tot the world that they are now opposed to the Black independent states? I should like to ask the hon. member this, since he spoke on behalf of the Opposition: Do they expect South Africa to be backward and maintain an inferior position in the future as compared with the attitude and the policy of Britain relative to her Bantu territories? Or is the Opposition afraid that the Minister, in implementing this policy, will succeed in creating a state of affairs in the Bantustans, presently under the control of the Republic of South Africa which will compare most favourably with any other territory falling under the control of Britain? And when they see those things, they should not try to criticize the Minister when they see that that is the tendency and that eventually there will come about in South Africa a state of affairs that will show the world that we can and will in course of time establish a policy, if only we have enough time, that will be an eye-opener to the rest of the world. To the extent that we shall be governing our non-White communities and groups, and shall cause them to be governed in such a way that no complaints can be levelled against South Africa from the outside world. On the contrary, so that only praise can be evoked, and so that it can serve, as the hon. the Minister has said before, as a model for the rest of the world as to how a community should be governed when you have different racial groups. When you have achieved that ideal, the question of domination will disappear, the question of discrimination will disappear, and eventually a position will arise where justice will be done to all the different racial groups in the country, for you then enable them to govern themselves to the extent to which their own ability and ambition and capacity will permit them to do so. I am somewhat disappointed with the hon. member’s speech as a whole. He came along with a conglomeration of things, which he used as criticism against the Government. Another important point made here that was exceedingly unfair, a point that was used—and I want the hon. member to listen to this —for one purpose and one purpose only, namely to make a little political capital out of the Natal territories in particular, was that they insisted that the Minister should say where the boundaries were going to be. How can the Minister do that when that process of consolidation is still in progress? The process of consolidation is not taking place arbitrarily. It can only take place after you have made the most careful investigations in the area where the consolidation is to take place; where there should be an exchange where compensatory areas should be given to the non-Whites. This can only be done after the most thorough investigation so that you do not have to go back to-morrow or the day after to a position you have already created and where the process of consolidation has already progressed. It is impossible. Let me tell the hon. member this: I think it is a foolish and fatuous question they should not repeat, namely that the Minister should say now where the boundaries are going to be between the Bantustans and the White areas. [Time limit.]

Dr. D. L. SMIT:

The hon. member who has just sat down gave us the old story that the speeches that we make damage South Africa in the outside world. It is not our speeches that do the damage, but the Government’s policy. We would not be doing our duty to the country if we did not criticize that policy.

Sir, I wish to support the point of view that has been put by the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes). The events of the past year have proved what an utter failure the Minister’s policy has been in the administration of Native affairs. Ever since he assumed office, he has misled the public into a false sense of security by telling them that co-operation and loyal relationship between his administration and the Natives was never better. He should know that nothing is further from the truth. I challenge him to repeat that statement to-day after all the tragedies of the past 12 months, a period of unrest that has necessitated the calling up of the troops during which Saracens and police raids and the mass arrest of Natives has been the order of the day, many of whom have been locked up for long periods without trial or the semblance of any charge. All due, I say, Sir, to the suicidal apartheid policies of the Prime Minister and the stubbornness of the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration. Now, today, we meet in a Parliament in which the Natives have no representatives to put their grievances before us. And nobody knows, least of all the Minister himself, what is happening in the Native mind. Surely, Mr. Chairman, there never was a time when that voice should be heard more. Instead of that, members of this House are being cut off from all contact with Native opinion. In truth, we have reached a state of affairs when it is well-nigh impossible—and indeed highly dangerous —for any Member of Parliament to meet representative groups of Natives, lest he should be suspected of subversive activities and find himself the victim of an investigation under the drastic provisions of the Suppression of Communism Act. And so the country is being left in ignorance of what is going on. This iron curtain that is being wrapped around Native affairs savours of the policies of the communist countries of Eastern Europe and Asia. I say that subversive activities among the Natives will continue as long as the apartheid policy of the Government persists. Being cut off from European influences, they will inevitably make friends with communist agents from the north. And the Minister must realize that all the bannings and deportations in the world will not shut the mouths or the ears of 10,000,000 Natives indefinitely. What is needed is fair representation in this Parliament and consultation at the highest level in the redress of their many grievances. Sir, how are these people to learn how to govern their own affairs in a modern world when every avenue of contact with their European neighbours is being cut off?


That is a lie.


On a point of order, Sir, is the hon. member for Venterstad entitled to say that is a lie?


Order! Did the hon. member for Venterstad say that?


Yes, because it is not the truth, Sir.


Order! The hon. member must withdraw that.


I withdraw it, Sir, but it is not the truth.


Order! The hon. member must withdraw it unconditionally.


I withdraw it, Sir.

Dr. D. L. SMIT:

Sir, this apartheid policy has not only cut us off from the Natives, but it is a policy that has driven us out of the Commonwealth, that threatens to deprive us of South West Africa, and that will untimately expel us from the United Nations. It has deprived 10,000,000 Natives of all representation in the Parliament of their country, and subjected them to humiliating discrimination in employment and in every other sphere of life, and it seeks to disintegrate our country by giving independence to the Natives in the reserves. It has brought fear and perplexity to all sections of the people, and it has given rise to anger and resentment on the part of the non-Europeans. It is this fear that is responsible for the chaotic state of affairs that has arisen in the Transkei, where the Natives are making fantastic demands for independence as a result of the Government’s ill-considered promises, promises that cannot be fulfilled without grave danger to the integrity of the State. The hon. member for Transkeian Territories has already referred to these promises, and I do not wish to repeat what he has said. But I think the position was very clearly summarized by the hon. member for Bellville (Mr. Haak) in an address he gave to an American audience at Detroit last November. After quoting extracts from a speech by the hon. the Prime Minister in this House on 10 March 1960, he said this (I quote from Vital Speeches)—

As indicated by the Prime Minister, their homelands will become totally independent states. There will be a White South Africa and a Black South Africa with one economy and politically closely associated. As we see it, this is the only lasting solution to ensure peaceful and co-operative existence. The political aspirations of the urban Bantu will be channelled towards his Bantu homeland, where they will have every opportunity to participate in self-government established there. Politically, the Bantu is, therefore, being advanced on the road to self-government with the greatest measure of power and responsibilities progressively vested in their own governmental authorities.

The hon. member did not say what was to happen to the millions of Natives born and brought up in the urban areas and the ever-increasing Bantu population that is growing up on the White farms who have no other homelands. The fact is that the hon. member only gave half the picture to his American audience and conveniently forgot the other side. The Minister of External Affairs made a similar statement to the United Nations, and he visualized there that ultimately there would be a commonwealth of South African states, including these independent Natives states. I do not think he ever contemplated what would happen if these independent states were to vote us out of that commonwealth, as has happened to South Africa.

Now the Natives are calling the Minister’s bluff and he has given vague replies which really mean nothing. The hon. member for Transkeian Territories has read those statements, and I do not wish to repeat them. You cannot play fast and loose with the Natives as this Minister and his colleagues have done without bringing disaster upon ourselves. And the confusion that we see is an enduring example of the inherent instability of the Government’s apartheid policy. Those promises should never have been made. Their inevitable non-fulfilment can only deepen the distrust the Native has for the White man’s word. There is a golden rule in Native affairs that should never be broken. Never make a promise to the Natives that you cannot fulfil and, having made that promise, fulfil it to the letter. I hope the Government will realize their folly and that they will drop this dangerous talk of independent states before it is too late.

Mr. Chairman, it is quite clear that the Government has not weighed the full significance of their promises to the Natives, and that, in making these lavish assurances, they are cutting across the stream of history and restoring a situation of danger which the White man has spent more than a century in overcoming. They overlook, too, the fact that none of the reserves is viable economically, and that their political development into independent states is in no sense a substitute for the political development of the Native community as a whole. Many pronouncements of goodwill have been made during the celebrations of the Republic, but the fulfilment of these good wishes will never be accomplished unless the Government is prepared to make radical changes in its apartheid policy. [Time limit.]


Before dealing with the speaker who has just resumed his seat, I should like to say a few words with reference to the speech of the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes). In the past the United Party have always adopted the standpoint that our policy of apartheid was unpractical and impracticable. That was the criticism continually levelled at the Government. But now that there has been a measure of success, the more we see the achievement of that ideal, and the more we show that apartheid is indeed practicable, now the member for Transkeian Territories comes along and tries to sow suspicion on what is taking place. He now represents it as if there is immediately going to be an independent state in the Transkei to-morrow or the day after, and that forms the basis of all the criticism he has levelled at this Government. What is to become of the Whites in those areas? he asks, as if it will become an independent state to-morrow. He even goes so far as to compare them with the White residents of Kenya. Does he then not know that in Kenya they do not have apartheid, but integration, and that there is no comparison at all between the two? Then he goes on to mention a whole series of other matters, but now I wish to say to the hon. member that he spoke with a lesser sense of responsibility than the Bantu chiefs who spoke at the Territorial Authority of the Transkei. They do not ask at all that independence be given to them forthwith. I have here the report of that meeting by the Daily Representative of Queenstown. I see it is one of the very few English papers that gave a correct report of what transpired there. The report is as follows—

The move for immediate independence and self-government for the Africans in the Transkei was rejected yesterday at the Transkeian Territorial Authority’s 1961 session in Umtata, where 1,500,000 Africans are represented by 120 chiefs and headmen. The authority, however, approved of self-government in principle.

That is all. They rejected independence as immediate politics. I think it will be as well for me to read certain quotations from the speech of the chairman of that council on that occasion, for that is what is causing the United Party considerable concern. They are worried because the leaders of the Bantu in the Transkei are now subscribing to the policy of this Government. That is what they find disturbing. This is what the chairman of the Territorial Authority said in his concluding speech—

The question might be asked …

That is after he had given a review of the past—

Is it not high time that this authority maintained a different policy? The policy of separate development. By separate development is meant that the people should manage their own affairs and shape their own destiny. This is the policy the Bantu people have been aspiring for during the past decades. It is the policy envisaged by the Government and in my own principal submission it is the only policy which can lead to the practical solution of race conflicts. Anybody opposing this policy is a supporter of White domination. For owned and integrated society what chances have our people in possession of leadership in view of the years of experience which the White race has in all ramifications of the Western patterns of government? Many of our people are misled by the slogans of racial equality, apartheid, baasskap, Government stooges, etc., without knowing what these mean. They merely echo those who use them without knowing their meaning. You must go all out to put our policy before the people and counteract all reactionary attempts to mislead them.

I am sorry he is not here now to deliver a little homily to the two hon. members who have just spoken—

Tell the people that the Government is prepared to hand over to us gradually, all that belongs to us.

In the same speech he also said this inter alia —I am quoting from the newspaper report—

Territorial chief Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima said the assembly had given unequivocal rejection of the concept of a multiracial society.

That is what worries members opposite very much because the Bantu of the Transkei has now thrown overboard the idea of racial integration, and will have nothing to do with it. That is why the hon. member for the Transkeian Territories now says: More land must be purchased. Where must the land come from? Those are the questions he is asking as if it is necessary for political development that that land should be purchased now. Surely that is not so, and he knows it. Political development can take place without the acquisition of that land, but we still intend to carry out the promise of 1936—that land will be acquired—but the fact that it has not been acquired yet need not stop them from developing politically. The hon member for Transkeian Territories asks: Where are the boundaries? Why do they ask that question? Political development has still to take place, and then we can begin to talk about boundaries. The possession of property or land is not going to stop the development of a state. The hon. member has once more tried to instil fear. He says the old tribal battles are going to come about again, etc., but Kaiser Matanzima says just the opposite in his speech. The latter says it is “the only practical solution for race conflicts”, but the hon. member for Transkeian Territories predicts that there is going to be terrible unrest in the country and that dangers will arise. “Peace will be endangered”, he says, and then he also asks: What is to become of the Coloureds in the Transkei? Why is he so suddenly concerned about the Coloureds in the Transkei? There is only a small handful of them, far fewer than the Whites, but he only wants to sow suspicion because he sees the Government is achieving a large measure of success with its policy. The great thing is that we are now winning the friendship of these people. The Bantu of the Transkei are becoming more and more friendly disposed towards the Whites in South Africa. Just remember the enmity that existed between the Bantu and the Whites in the days of the Bunga, and consider the degree of friendship now existing. If that friendship can be nurtured and extended, in the way a tree is nurtured, that friendship will be something great in the future that neither they nor we shall be able to destroy, and then it will be possible for us all to make a living together in this fatherland of ours.

I now come to the hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit). I should like to tell you this, Sir, that the hon. member for East London (City) of course did not attend any of the Republican festivities. I think he is still boycotting us because we no longer play “God Save the Queen”. He would not have been present there of course, because “God Save the Queen” had no place there. Had he been there however, he would have seen the tribal chiefs and Supreme Chiefs who attended those ceremonies. He will not know of the contact existing between this Government and the Bantu of the whole of South Africa; he will not know, e.g., of the Commissioners-General who are there to nurture the contacts; he will not know of the contacts that are being built up by the Department of Bantu Administration. Why does he say that the Bantu in this country are isolated from the Whites? Surely that is not true. There is constant contact, and contact that is nurtured and carefully fostered, not only with the Bantu of those areas of the Bantustans, but also with the Bantu in the urban areas. He says: “Nobody knows what goes on in the Native mind.” It may be true of the hon. member for East London (City) that he does not know what goes on in the Native mind, for if it were otherwise he would not talk so much nonsense in this House. He does not know what is going on in the Native mind, and now he judges everybody according to his slight knowledge of the matter. [Time limit.]


I want to get away from this “pie in the sky” talk about independence for the Bantu territories and come down to something which is facing the Africans every day in South Africa, in every single urban area throughout the Republic. I want to raise the matter of the endorsement out of urban areas of Africans under Section 10 of the Urban Areas Act. Those who have any personal experience of individual cases and the hardships suffered under this particular section of the Urban Areas Act, I think will join me in this plea that something practical be done to off-set some of the sufferings of these people who are so endorsed out. All of us know that in order to be legally within the urban area certain provisions have to be complied with such as having been born in the urban area, or having resided continuously in the urban area for 15 years or having been employed by the same employer for ten years. If this service is broken for any length of time more than a year, that is to say if the man leaves the urban area for more than a year, to visit any of his family in any of the reserves and he returns to his home in the urban area he is automatically endorsed out of the area. It is true that under Section 10 (d) of the Urban Areas Act some discretion is allowed to the local administrator. But this person is caught between his desire to serve the municipality of which he is a paid employee and the fact that he is a person working under a licence which is revocable by the Minister himself. Therefore he has wherever possible to carry out the policy of the Government which is, of course, to restrict the number of Africans in the urban areas as much as possible. It sounds easy enough, Sir, for the official just to put the stamp in the registration book saying “endorsed out of the urban area to return whence he came”, It sounds perfectly simple until one examines the actual details of the cases. In the Argus of last week-end a case was published of such a family which was endorsed out of an urban area and the Black Sash actually took the trouble of following up this case. They escorted this family back to the area whence the man and his wife were supposed to have come. Incidentally, when they got there they found that because they had left the area such a long time ago, they had lost all connections; the man had no land, he had no real legal place to lay his head and had it not been for the benevolence of his relations he would in fact not have had any such place.

Over the last two years, Sir, specially during this Session since the Natives Representatives have disappeared from Parliament by grace of the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act, those of us in this corner of the House have found ourselves being besieged by Africans who are in dire straits as a result of Section 10 of the Urban Areas Act. I must say we also have great difficulty in trying to do something about foreign-born Africans who have been endorsed out of the Union. I feel that this matter is now assuming such proportions that it should be dealt with at inter-governmental level between this Government and the Governments of the rest of the territories in Africa, because there are Africans from as far afield as Tanganyika who are simply told to clear out of South Africa and to return to Tanganyika and other territories as far north as that. But leaving that aside, I come now to the Union-born Africans, persons born in South Africa who are suffering from the same disability of being endorsed out of the urban area and literally having no legal place where they may go. These are people who have lost all connections with the reserves and who have no land in the reserves and certainly have no employment to go back to in the reserves. Endorsing these people out of the urban areas amounts to turning them into fugitives from the police, because that is literally what they become, since they are unable to get back to the reserves. And if they do succeed in returning to the reserves there is no employment for them. This is no solution of this problem. We are facing a problem of poverty, particularly a problem of rural poverty and this has got to be solved in the same way as the poor-White problem was solved in South Africa in the ’twenties by the absorption of people into the industrial set-up in the country, a set-up which is at least economically capable of expanding—or it would certainly be so if we had a better Government—and offering greater opportunities of employment than the impoverished rural areas.

I want to quote one or two cases, Sir, just to show that I am not simply talking of nebulous cases. In particular I want to raise a case to show the absurdity to which this regulation can go. It was brought to my notice in the dying days of the previous session when the emergency was on. An African came here in despair, carrying a Union registration book which bore the stamp “endorsed out of the urban area”. His story was as follows: He was the son of a Zulu who had come to the Cape long before this boy was born. The boy himself was born at Retreat. He then went to Saldanha Bay in his youth and worked there for many years as a waiter in an hotel. When the hotel closed down he returned to Cape Town where he had been born; he was given a temporary permit to seek employment during the season—that is during the season before last—and he worked in an hotel until the season was over when he was dismissed. He then went back to try to get an extension of his permit and he was endorsed out of the urban area. He told me that he had no objection to leaving the urban area. He was quite prepared to do that but what he wanted to know was where should he go. He had no place to go. All he wanted to know was where could he find employment as a waiter in a rural area. I sent him to the local official with a letter explaining the case and asking that suitable employment be found for him outside the urban area. He came back to report to me that the official had told him that he could get him work on the mines. I phoned the official and told him that this man was a waiter, that he did not wish to go to the mines, he had certain skills and that a job should be found for him in a rural hotel. I was asked to send him back again with a letter which I duly did. I then received the following communication from the official—

Re Bantu Jack Komalo: With reference to your letter of the 5th of May 1960 in regard to the above-named, I have the honour to inform you that he is somewhat of a problem …

As if I did not know this—

He alleges that he is a Zulu, but on being tested he could not count up to ten. I therefore strongly suspect that he is an extra-Union Bantu. I have, however, given him five days within which to obtain evidence that he was born at Retreat. This should not be difficult as he alleges his father died in 1951. There should, therefore, if this statement is correct, be a record of his father at Langa or some Bantu at Retreat should be able to state that he knew his late father. If he cannot produce satisfactory evidence of his birth, I will have no option but to treat him as a foreign Bantu.

Now this, Sir, is a Bantu bearing a registration book issued by the Bantu Authorities. On receipt of this letter I phoned to inquire what this was all about. Because a man cannot count up to ten in Zulu he is now an extra-Union Bantu! The man told me that he done everything in his power to find a birth certificate or some proof of the fact that he was born in Retreat but that he could find no such proof. His father was dead; there was no birth certificate; no baptismal certificate; nothing whatsoever. I asked the official in charge what was now the position. Oh, he said, he had to leave the Union. And I said: Where must he go? He said: Rhodesia or somewhere, and I said: But if Rhodesia says he is not a Rhodesian? “Then,” he said, “he can come back to me and I will give him a Union registration book.” I said: He already has a Union registration book. So we were back exactly where we started. This is the absurd limits to which this regulation can go. Every African in the urban area must now presumably prove that he is in possession of a legal registration book before he can get the assistance of the Department to help him find work in a rural area. This man was not even trying to stay in the urban area. That is one case. I have here a whole folio of cases which I could read out to this Committee, but unfortunately I do not have sufficient time for that. There are cases of men who have been sent back three times to the Transkei, each time to get a new permit from the Bantu Commissioner in the Transkei to come into the urban area to work and having got here, although they had been given work by former employers, because they had been out of the area for more than a year they were sent back again to get another permit. I have a case of a man who went back three times—from Cape Town to Umtata—on three occasions—to get another certificate. [Time limit.]


We have once again heard a series of stories of “hard luck” cases. It is time the hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) appreciated the tremendous problem we have to cope with in this country, and that is the problem of the foreign Bantu. People who can speak with authority on the matter estimate that there are more than a million foreign Bantu in South Africa; they entered the country unlawfully. That case of Komalo just raised by the hon. member I am convinced is a case of a foreign Bantu. I shall tell you why. If his father had lived in Retreat and had died in 1951, then surely his father would have had friends who would have said that he had resided there, or there should have been an employer who could testify to the fact that he had resided there. Those people could have made affidavits in connection with the matter, but that Native was not able to obtain such affidavits. Now the hon. member comes along here with a hard luck story, and it is hurled across the floor of the House as if this is such a wicked Government sitting on these benches, doing such unjust things. That is the only object of the stories we hear in this House about cases of hard luck.

Mr. Chairman, we are dealing with a tremendous problem in connection with these foreign Bantu. We have to trace them and find out where they are, for those foreign Bantu are also the Bantu who are standing in the way of our own Bantu here in South Africa. We have to consider that, too. The hon. member made a statement to the effect that foreign Bantu are simply told to leave the country.


That is correct.


That is not true. What is the correct procedure? There is a fixed procedure that must be observed in connection with foreign Bantu. All his particulars are recorded by the Department of Bantu Administration, and then all those particulars are sent to the Government of, say, Rhodesia or wherever it is he comes from.


You don’t know what you are talking about.


Order! The hon. member for Salt River (Mr. Lawrence) must stop making interjections. If the hon. member does not heed my request, I shall have to take steps against him.


This is the procedure: If there is a suspicion that a Bantu is a foreign Bantu, all his particulars are recorded, his fingerprints are taken, where he was born, who his relatives are, etc. These particulars are then sent to Rhodesia or Nyasaland, wherever he may be alleged to have come from, and the authorities in Nyasaland then try to identify him, and when they have identified him, then only is he repatriated. For they also do not accept a foreign Native before he has been identified. That is the true procedure, and what the hon. member has said is not true, namely that in Cape Town a Bantu is simply told: “You must now get out of our country.” He must be properly repatriated, and there are thousands of cases in South Africa where, before he is repatriated, he has to save up his passage money to his destination, and where the Department gives him an opportunity to work for months in order to earn the money, and it is then set aside for him so that his ticket of repatriation can be paid. It is not correct that he is picked up here and put over the border, as the hon. member says. I think it is wrong of her to tell such suspicious stories about the Government under the guise of a hard luck story like this. It is not fitting to carry on in this manner. That is the kind of lie that is being disseminated overseas. It is not the policy of the Government, but it is this kind of thing that is making us unpopular overseas, where pictures like this are painted by members sitting in this House who ought to know better.


The hon. member for Heilbron seemed quite unconcerned as to where the boundaries of the various Bantustans are going to be which are proposed. We on this side of the House are particularly interested, and want to follow up what the hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes) has said. I want to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to an article that appeared in Organized Agriculture of May 1961, which reads as follows—

When the Europeans of South Africa have to evacuate the fertile and fruitful agricultural lands of the Eastern region to the the Bantu people, these Europeans will have to seek new pastures. The one great potential is the alluvial fertile land of the Orange River in the North West.

That was an address by Mr. J. E. de Villiers Loubser who is chairman of the Winter Rainfall Agricultural Union when he opened the Orange River Agricultural Union Congress. I want to ask the hon. the Minister whether that statement was made with the authority of the Government. I would like to ask the hon. the Minister because he is the hon. gentleman who is mapping out the whole of these Bantustans for South Africa. The hon. member for Transkeian Territories referred to corridors. Will there be any corridors if this is to be carried out? I would like to know from the hon. the Minister: Is this Government policy? My second question: If that is so, when is the Minister going to implement that? Thirdly, I would like to know whether the Minister has consulted the farmers in that particular area. If he has, has he offered them any alternative as a substitute for their accommodation in the future? Finally, if this does take place as envisaged, will it make any contribution towards the Black-White solution? Of course it cannot. I maintain that this is an extremely serious statement. It was hardly made at random. Let us be quite sure of this. This gentleman is a member of the Nationalist Party. He is in close contact with the Government and has consultations with the Government, so this is not a statement at random.


Do you say that he is speaking on behalf of the Government?


Well, what conclusion would you come to if you were sitting on this of the House and a responsible man, a Nationalist, were to make such a statement? He is a gentleman holding high office in the Agricultural Union and he is in close touch with the Government. I think we have a right to know these things, because we want a definition of the boundaries. The March Gazette does not give them, but I understand reliably that they have been demarcated and that that corridor represented by the area between East London and Aliwal North is to become Black. Is it? We would like to know. Then I would like to remind the hon. the Minister that I have a letter giving me an absolute assurance under his own signature that no further land will be bought on the western side of the Kei River.


What has that to do with the Vote?


You do not know how these people feel who want to know whether their farms are going to be taken over by Native Affairs.

There is another important item I want to touch upon and that is the question of the education of Natives and the total number of Native children who are being educated in South Africa. There are 1,450,000 at school. Within a short period of years there will be emerging from the schools in South Africa a substantial number of Natives.


That falls under Bantu Education.


When I am discussing education I Will discuss it under that Vote. I am not discussing education, but the absorption of the Natives, something about which, quite obviously, the hon. member knows nothing. I want to ask the hon. the Minister: Has he made preparations to absorb and accommodate any portion of those Natives and how? In the Transkei or on the borders of the Transkei? This is a most important factor. A great portion of them naturally will be absorbed as labourers or semi-skilled labourers but another group, which is also a substantial group, will have to be absorbed in some clerical occupation, and finally there is the group that will graduate and that will go into the professions. Can the hon. the Minister tell me where and how he is to absorb them? Because the time must come when there is going to be a clash. Those Natives can no longer be left in the Transkeian Territories to carry on in the way they were carrying on before. You have fitted them for something better. What is the hon. the Minister going to do about it. I am quite sure that border industries cannot absorb them, because we have an example in Zwelitsha where only a few thousand are absorbed in one of the biggest industries we have got in South Africa. So the hon. Minister can visualize the number of industries that must be located in the borders in an attempt to absorb even a proportion of the 1,400,000 who are at school to-day.

Finally, I would ask the hon. the Minister again to refute and deny or to confirm the statement made by Mr. Loubser. It is important to us. We must know. Then I would like the hon. the Minister to give me some statement reflecting what he is going to do with this large surplus of educated Natives whose impact upon the European and whose impact upon the Native population as well as a result of not being absorbed in something better than what they have come from is going to be a great problem.


I do not want to take it upon myself to reply to the question which the hon. member for King William’s Town (Mr. Warren) has put to the Minister but I think it is very clear that he is going a little too far in presenting us with a statement by a certain Mr. Loubser and expecting us to acknowledge or deny that that is the Government’s policy. I do not think the hon. member is as innocent as he would have us believe. I realize that the constituency which the hon. member represents is very close to the heartlands of the Xhosa and that the people there are somewhat worried, but I am quite sure that he is busy fishing in troubled waters, and that he will really do much more for the people whom he represents if he adopted a different attitude and did not level petty criticism at us and if he did not make these small attacks on the Government, thus trying to agitate the people.

I find it important and peculiar that thus far in this debate, leaving aside for the moment the obduracy of the hon. member for East London (City) (Dr. D. L. Smit), a totally different note has been struck than in the past. I think for example of last year. During the past year there have been certain manifestations that we ought to welcome. I think, for example, of the fact that the hon. the Leader of the Opposition told us on one occasion that it was also his party’s policy now to recognize the Bantu areas as “political units for administrative purposes”. I think that in itself shows that they have made progress since 1959 when the Bantu Self-Government Act was placed on the Statute Book, when they waved their arms about and asked this in connection with the Bantu areas: Where are those areas? They told the whole world that we were talking about Bantu homelands but that they did not exist. To-day we have a declaration of policy from them according to which they are prepared to acknowledge the Bantu areas as “political units for administrative purposes”. If that party can progress along that road to greater realism, I am hopeful for the future as far as our approach to the Bantu problem is concerned. But I do not think that they make this acknowledgment or that they have awoken to this new realism of their own accord. I think they have been forced to it by the fate of Africa, by the things that have happened in Africa and that those happenings are forcing them back along that road and showing them that that is really the one and only road. But I have to qualify the credit which I give them for this. None other than Prof. de Kiewiet, a South African who is in America at the moment and who is held in high esteem, recently said the following in referring to the Federation when he addressed the Natal University Congress at Pietermaritzburg—

Any continuance of the Federation could be assured only by concessions to Native political demands. Alternatives were becoming fewer and compromise more difficult. The possibility of a collapse of the Federation must be envisaged. It would be a moment of truth for the White population.

Those are harsh words and I think those are ideas and words which are gradually penetrating the mind of the Opposition and that they are realizing that we have no alternatives, that all this talk about an alternative policy to the policy of the present Government is nothing but fiction. There is no alternative. It is not a question of “alternatives are becoming fewer”. There never has been an alternative.

Mr. Chairman, another new note that was struck during the past year, was the one struck in that very remarkable speech by Mr. Harry Oppenheimer before the Royal African Society. Unfortunately I have not got a copy of his speech here. My name does not appear on his list of addresses to whom he sends liberal literature. But an article by Willem van Heerden appeared in Dagbreek in which he says this in connection with the speech of Mr. Oppenheimer—

Briefly his speech amounts to this: He rejects the ludicrous suggestion—which has been responsible for much of the damage done inside and outside South Africa—that the policy of separate development was aimed at oppressing the Native, and therefore “immoral”. It was and is, he said, a serious attempt to find a solution for this difficult problem. But he did not believe that it would bring about the desired solution.

When we think of the past ten or 12 years and the way in which the party opposite and the members of the Progressive Party have presented to the world that the Government did not envisage equal rights of existence for White and non-White, but that in applying this policy their desire was to keep the non-White in a perpetual state of subjugation, we realize that progress has been made. Last year when the hon. member for Maitland (Dr. de Beer) was overseas he said (I think it was at a gathering of Conservative Party members) that if South Africa left the Commonwealth it would result in the Government doing even less for the non-Whites than it was doing at the moment. He said that it was only due to pressure from abroad that the Government was obliged to do something for the Bantu. Mr. Chairman those things have done more harm to South Africa than that party can put right in a generation. In view of the confidence which they had in Mr. Harry Oppenheimer, and which they apparently still have, I hope they will now realize once and for all that they should not do these things, that they are not justified in doing this to the White man, and that they are not justified in doing it to South Africa.

But apart from the good that will flow from this new attitude on the part of the United Party, that party is still a split party, as was again evinced to-night when the hon. member for East London (City) said that the Government had made promises which it could never fulfil and that because of those promises it had harmed the relationship between the Bantu and the White people. On the one hand they say we must not make those promises but on the other hand that party rouses expectations in the Bantu, expectations which are far more difficult of fulfilment than those ever roused by this party. The United Party has once again promised the Bantu that they would have eight representatives in the House of Assembly, White representatives for the present but that in a furture Parliament or for that matter the next United Party Congress, may decide otherwise and that those representatives may perhaps be Bantu. That is the kind of promise which they make. Those are the expectations that they rouse. Does he not realize that if that promise is not fulfilled, it will worsen the relationship between White and non-White? It is not the promises that we make that harm the good relationship that does exist. In order to illustrate how the United Party suffers from this split within their ranks, I wish to give an example. Last year the Cape Argus of 28 March wrote as follows—

For the rehabilitation of South Africa in the eyes of the civilized world three things are necessary. The first is that the Bantu should regain the right to be represented in Parliament. The second is that they should have some clearly visible opportunity of freedom and advancement, not in 30 or 40 years’ time, but now.

The Argus says that the Bantu must immediately be promised independence and freedom —immediately. The Argus wrote that on 28 March. On 9 April they wrote—

The Government were warned again and again of the dangers of trying to compel Native women to carry passes….

Then it says—

The dangers of promising land, independence and nationhood were also pointed out again and again.

It is the same newspaper, the same editor. One week he says we must promise independence and freedom to the Bantu immediately, not within 30 or 40 years’ time, and the following week he says that the great danger lies in the fact that they have been promised nationhood and independence. I give that as an example of the split which exists within the United Party. He says that we should not make such promises but he makes far greater promises, promises that will do far greater damage to the relationship between White and non-White than ours. [Time limit.]


Before the hon. member for Innesdale (Mr. Marais) at the end of his speech started to indulge in some rather involved and I think rather superficial polemic arguments in his quotations from the so-called United Press, he made one or two points which, I think, are deserving of a reply. The one was that he said that there is in fact no alternative to the policy of apartheid, the policys of separate development as it is now become fashionable to call it. Sir, that is a strange thing coming from hon. members on that side because in election after election we have been told that the United Party has an alternative and that alternative must lead to disaster and equality and “gelykstelling”.


Therefore it is not an alternative.


Sir, this argument that there is no alternative to apartheid is of course one of those systematized delusions under which my friends on those benches labour. The hon. member for Houghton (Mrs. Suzman) has said that in her speech she was not going to deal with the doctrine of pie in the sky, as she categorized the separate development, the apartheid policy of this hon. Minister. I am going to deal with it, and I am going to deal with it because I believe that the doctrine of pie in the sky is a dangerous and disastrous thing when the policies by which your country is run are shaped upon that sort of self-delusion. You see, Mr. Chairman, those hon. members do not believe that this doctrine is pie in the sky. The point of the matter is and the tragedy of the matter and the disaster of our country is that we have here a policy that is seriously propounded by hon. members, like the hon. the Minister and like the hon. member for Innesdale, in the belief that it is a positive thing, whereas it is based on self-delusion, upon a constant refusal to recognize the facts of the situation in South Africa. You see, we have had the hon. member for Krugersdorp (Mr. M. J. van den Berg) saying “Gee ons net tyd, dan sal ons met ons beleid die lof van die Wêreld afdwing”. Self-delusion! Just give us the time! How much time does that hon. member think he has got? How much time does he think any of us has got in regard to this position? Time is of the essence in this particular situation, and this attitude “Gee ons net die tyd” in order to attempt to apply a policy which is based on a refusal to recognize facts is simply, as I say, courting disaster. And then of course we had the hon. member for Heilbron (Mr. Froneman) saying “Nou dat apartheid uitvoerbaar is”. Let us analyse that. Now that it is possible to carry out that policy! Now at this moment, after it has been the declared policy and doctrine of this Government for 13 years! Suddenly it has become “uitvoerbaar”. On what grounds?


That is a very cheap debating point.


Order! Hon. members must give the hon. member an opportunity to proceed with his speech.


Sir, I am very happy. They are exposing here their own inability to recognize what the facts of the situation are. The point is, whatever those hon. members may say, that “nou dat apartheid skielik uitvoerbaar is”, they want more time. Those two things are contradictory in themselves. They say that, but whatever they may say, the facts of the situation have not altered, except to demonstrate daily more clearly just how impracticable and impossible of putting into effect this particular policy is. What are those facts? They are still the same as the facts which were pointed out by the Tomlinson Commission. I know this has been repeated often in this House, but truths remain truths. The facts of the situation are these: That when everything possible and impossible has been done in terms of this so-called policy of separate development, of Bantu homelands, of apartheid, call it what you will, when everything possible and impossible has been done in the so-called remaining White area of the Union, there will still be more non-Whites, Bantu particularly, than Whites in that area. That was the statement after considerable research and investigation by Prof. Tomlinson and his commission, the commission to which the hon member for Yeoville (Mr. S. J. M. Steyn) referred the other evening and which he described as being with one exception composed of the finest intellects available to the Government side. I am sorry to have to repeat that, but I think it was very amusing and I know the hon. the Minister did too at the time. Here we still have a set of reserves which will not be viable units from the economic point of view. There will still be a situation in which you will have a majority of Bantu in the so-called White area and a set of so-called Bantustans which are not economically viable even for those people who live in them. Those are the facts of the situation. And I believe that this policy, to which the hon. the Minister is now committed and which he is attempting seriously to carry out, when it had its beginning was an idea for which hon. members opposite really had no definition, any content. I believe that definition and content was given to it the first time by he hon. the Prime Minister shortly after he became Prime Minister. He explained it, he set it out. He said this was what he was going to attempt to do. That was the new vision, that was the new light that went up. Sir, by allowing that new light to go up, I think hon. gentlemen on that side and the hon. the Prime Minister, and the hon. the Minister got themselves, and unfortunately this country, upon the horns of a dilemma. You see. Sir, in terms of the newly found vision of self-government and eventual independence of the Bantu homelands, by reason of the fact that these people would one day have self-government, they set about systematically depriving the Bantu in the so-called White areas of many rights. [Time limit.]


The hon. member for Transkeian Territories (Mr. Hughes), who unfortunately is not here now, said here to-night that the most mournful shadows which have ever fallen over our fatherland in the whole of its history are the direct result of the policy of the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development, but he said he does not want to blame the Minister concerned in the first instance, but the hon. the Prime Minister. That is an old chorus we always have to listen to and which cannot be divorced from their bitter intolerance towards the Prime Minister personally. On every possible occasion it is used to air this feeling of bitterness. And what strikes me as very peculiar is the very respectful manner in which the hon. member referred to a speech of the Commissioner-General for the Transkeian Territories where, inter alia, he pointed out the difference between independence and self-government. The hon. member for Transkeian Territories said that the Commissioner-General had told both Whites and non-Whites that they should clearly understand the difference between these two concepts. But he added that unfortunately it was not the Commissioner-General of the Transkeian Territories who determined the non-White policy or the racial policy of our country. It was supposed to be the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development and the Prime Minister. But now I found it somewhat queer to note the great respect with which the hon. member now refers to a person who sat here not so long ago. At that time hon. members opposite had so much to say against him that you will remember, Sir, how on more than one occasion he had to defend himself by means of his well-known political repartee. But on his appointment as Commissioner-General hon. members opposite pointed out that this was the greatest fault this Government had yet made in appointing that person because nobody would be more unsuitable for the post than this very person, Mr. Hans Abraham. Even in the beginning of this Session the hon. the Minister had to defend the integrity of this Commissioner-General in this House against bitter attacks emanating from hon. members opposite, when he said inter alia that he was prepared to have the knowledge of Mr. Abraham with regard to the language and way of life of the inhabitants of the area he represents tested by means of an oral examination and that he was willing to allow the hon. member for King William’s Town (Mr. Warren), who is an expert, to be the examiner.

The hon. member objected to influx control and, inter alia, argued that as a result of it the non-Whites now cannot come to work in the cities and that there is a lack of money and consequently of food and clothing in the Bantu reserves. Hon. members often advocate the uncontrolled influx of Natives, but if that were to happen I want to ask the hon. member whether he would be able to allow the uncontrolled influx of Natives and still ensure that the labour market in our cities would not be flooded and that there would not be too keen competition for employment in that market. Will that not result in lower incomes and a lower standard of living, and will it not result in hunger and poverty and the spreading of disease, and in vagrancy, theft and housebreaking? Of course the hon. member did not deal with those things. Would he be able to prevent all these things if by one stroke of the pen he could abolish influx control as it is applied by the Government?

The hon. member spoke about consultation. In this regard I have very grave doubts, and I want to put a serious question to the hon. member, seeing that he said that there was no consultation in connection with the establishment of Bantu homelands, and no consultation in regard to the disappearance of the White representatives for the non-Whites from this House, and no consultation in regard to the referendum and the establishment of the republic. Now I want to put this pertinent question to him: Why then raise the question of consultation at this moment?

At 10.25 p.m. the Chairman stated that, in accordance with Standing Order No. 26 (1), he would report progress and ask leave to sit again.

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave asked to sit again.

The House adjourned at 10.27 p.m.