September 3, 1948 The Policy of Apartheid - HF Verwoerd



Dr. Verwoerd’s accession to politics took place on high level.
Almost immediately after becoming a member of the Senate, he participated in the debate on the Opposition’s motion of no confidence, in which the delay of the Government to put the implications and meaning of “apartheid” clearly and unambiguously before the nation, was lamented. Quoting official publications of the National Party, he gave such a clear explanation of the Government’s “apartheid” policy that it was a revelation even to Senators of the Opposition. In this speech a keen observer can clearly perceive the unfolding of Dr. Verwoerd’s order of thought, of which only the part dealing with “apartheid” is published.

The apartheid policy has been described as what one can do in the direction of what one regards as ideal. Nobody will deny that for the Native as well as for the European, complete separation would have been the ideal if it had developed that way historically. If we had had a white South Africa in the sense in which we have a white England and a white Holland and a white France, and if there had been a Native state somewhere for the Natives, and if this white state could have developed to a self-supporting condition as those European states have developed by themselves, then we should certainly not have had the friction and the difficulties which we have today. Surely it would have been an ideal state of affairs. If the Native had not had anything to do with the Whites, if he were capable of managing his own affairs, it would also have been an ideal state of affairs for him.
And if that is the case, then surely it cannot do any harm to see it and to state it; it can do only good. If you appreciate that you are saddled with a complicated situation, a highly complicated situation, you must have the direction in which you wish to move to solve your problems clearly in mind. In every field of life one has to fix one’s eyes on the stars, to see how close one can come to achieving the very best, to achieving perfection. For that reason, I say this: keep in view what promises to be best for your country and try to approach it within the realm of what is practical.
I want then in this connection to give a few proofs that that is our intention. I want to connect my first proof with an attack that was made by the Hon, the Leader of the Opposition in this House of Lands provide evidence that our political attitude was a fraudulent one, because we are supposed to have announced to the public a policy of apartheid which he himself believed was impracticable. The proof of his lack of faith in that attitude was supposed to be contained in a letter which Mr. J.L. Brill published. The letter is from the present Minister of Lands to Mr. Brill. The letter was written on the 22nd of December, 1942. I have it here in its printed form, the form in which, indeed, it was published. This is what the present Minister of Lands wrote, among other things; I am to quote it. I wrote it down. It is a letter which was circulated by Mr. Brill. He published it as a pamphlet. This is what the Minister of Lands, the leader of the National Party in the Transvaal, wrote, among other things:
“As far as territorial segregation is concerned, “total segregation” as you call it in your letter of 31/10/’42 addressed to the secretary of our party on the Rand, would have been the ideal solution, but in practice it is incapable of being carried out, because quite apart from all the other difficulties, our own people, our farmers and thousands and tens of thousands of others, who use the services of the Natives and coloured people as labour, would never agree to it. For that reason, as far as ‘territorial segregation’ is concerned, we have adopted as a policy mainly the following:
  1. That Native should not be allowed to own land among white people, but that so far the ownership of land is concerned the should be confined to the various Native reserves;
  2. That Natives and coloured people in our towns and villages should not live in European residential areas, but that there should be separate residential areas for them, that is to say separate Native and coloured villages; and
  3. That in our factories, etc. Europeans and non-Europeans should not be allowed to work among one another, but separately, and that certain sorts of work should be reserved for the Europeans.”
In connection with what I myself have stated up to now, I want to draw attention to the fact that he says in it precisely what has been said before: total segregation may be the ideal but that it is not practicable, and that what can be put into effect are these forms of territorial segregation, among other things. (Naturally political segregation as well.) That is what Mr. Strijdom wrote in 1942. He went on to refer to a hospital and medical services for Natives, and then he wrote inter alia of:
“. . . the fact that we use the Natives as labourers in our businesses, in our industries and in many cases in our homes . . .”
The fact that he used that sentence serves to prove further that having the Native everywhere was within the scheme which he envisaged. Then he went on and remarked:
“Now so far as trading activities and so on in the Native areas and also in the Native residential areas of our cities are concerned. It is clear to me that if segregation is to mean anything, we Europeans except for necessary officials, should stay out of the Native areas. For the same reasons we Europeans will have to keep the Natives out of the European residential areas, except for those who have to come in to do their daily work.”
We are therefore applying the same principle on both sides, and it is indicated here how the Natives will be everywhere and how they will be separated from the whites. Now I ask in the light of such a clear statement, which must have been known to the Hon. The Leader of the Opposition in this House, because he referred to this self-same letter, who can one in the light of such a clear and unequivocal statement say: “You do not know what apartheid is” and in the second place “those people want total apartheid?” I understand we pleaded for apartheid as if it meant total segregation, and that the fact the Minister of Land had said earlier that such a thing was impracticable should be taken as proof that we had tried to defraud the public. Has he tried yet to analyse the logic of that argument? What does it really mean? It means in the first place that a person who is, surely, a responsible and thinking person, addressed his whole party openly in 1942 and took up the attitude that while total segregation might well be an ideal, it could not be carried out in practice and furthermore that it was a thing that would be rejected by tens of thousands of people, farmers and who knows who else. Then, a few years after that, in the course of an important election, he is supposed to have gone to the country to plead for what he had said would be both impracticable and unpopular! Then, when he had in spite of that, won the election he would then suddenly turn round and refuse to carry out the policy for which he had gained unexpected support. Surely it is foolish in the highest degree for any person to make such an accusation. One simply cannot believe that anybody could think so illogically.
The second point is that this correspondence was addressed to a person who opposed the idea that apartheid should not be the same thing as total segregation. The Minister should have seen that he was going to lose supporters if he pleaded for territorial and other forms of segregation as being practicable and capable of being applied instead for total segregation. And the leader, with a full sense of responsibility, made that clear to that person who then also left the party and formed his own party at that stage.
“I cannot agree with you that apartheid can in practice simply boil down to total segregation.”
These are all the various reasons that I have mentioned for that. He was prepared rather to see his party weakened than to give up the point of view on which he had taken his stand. Yet this attitude is being raised here today as evidence that we have committed a political honesty; in which one suffers harm for one’s faith. Mr. President, I also have here in my possession a number of documents which are general knowledge. They have been spread far and wide. In them is set out the colour policy of this side of the House in unequivocal terms. In the first place the basis on which it is founded is to be found in the program of principles of the party. Here it is as it appeared in the Transvaal as the program of principles of the party. In each of the provinces the relevant clause is exactly the same:
“The party accepts the Christian trusteeship of the European race as the basic principle of this policy in regard to the non-European races.” In accordance with this it desires to afford the non-European races the opportunity of developing themselves in their own fields, according to their natural ability and capacity, and it desires to assure them of fair and just treatment in the administration of the country, but it is emphatically opposed to any mixture of blood between the European and the non-European races.
It further declares itself in favour of the territorial and political segregation of the Natives, as well as in favour of the separation between Europeans and non-Europeans in general in the residential and, in so far as it may be practicable, also in the industrial field.
Further, it desires to protect all sections of the population against Asiatic immigration and competition, among other things by prohibiting further intrusions into their fields of activity, as well as by an affective scheme of Asiatic segregation.”
What we laid down in that way in our basic principles has been worked out further in various documents. One such document sets out the economic policy of the party. It has also been published in English under the title “The Road to a New South Africa.” The form which apartheid in the economic field will take is set out both in the English and the Afrikaans languages. It was distributed in tens of thousands far and wide over the country. Surely a party is to be judged, and a Government is to be judged, according to the point of view that they put before the public. First I want to point out to you that in connection which this economic policy the Natives are referred to only in so far as their position is related to a series of economic matters. And if it were true that under the apartheid policy which we propagated in this country, we were engaged in advocating that every single Native should be sent back to the reserves, by which the industries of the country would be deprived of labour and whereby we should chase away from the farmers every worker they have; if that had all been the truth, then surely we must have said it in those publications. What we did say, however, and what our policy was, was just the opposite. Here I shall read a paragraph from “The H.N.P.’s Economic Plan for South-Africa” in connection with the general basis of our policy. It says:
“The non-European population is an important and valuable economic factor. As such its place in the development of society and the achievement of the greatest possible welfare must be properly recognised. In its own interest and with a view to the most harmonious co-operation with the European race, however, this must be done with the full recognition of essential social lines of division.”
There you have the general principle, the recognition of the necessity for the welfare of South Africa of the non-European labour factor. Is that not in direct contradiction to the allegation made from the other side of the House about what our apartheid was supposed to be? I can grasp the fact that people might often not be able to understand something, but then why is a positive meaning which is wrong always attached to it? I read on further here, about labour affairs:
“The imposition of State control in matters of labour in such a way that the necessary farm labour will be sufficiently assured.”
I want to indicate by this that we realise that there should not merely be farm labour, but that there should be enough farm labour, more labour than was available under the previous Government. Yet it is stated that we want to remove farm labourers. I come now to industrial development. It is stated here among other things:
“. . . the assurance to the two established Europeans races of their rightful share in our industries, and the application of a fair quota system and segregation policy in the provision of employment for Europeans and non-Europeans.”
Again we have here a clear indication that in the work of the community there will be both Europeans and non-Europeans. That is very clear. Further about the issuing of trading licenses we read:
“Non-Europeans dealers will be restricted that in the word of the consuming public consist mainly of non-Europeans, in which areas specially favourable consideration will have to be given to suitable non-European applicants.”
There again you have a recognition of the apartheid principle in respect of trading and also in so far as licenses are concerned. Again you have proof there that for the number of Natives who will have to buy, there will be Native traders who will sell. That is exactly on the lines of the letter written by the Minister of Lands to Mr. Brill.
Then we come to labour in the towns. There will be a Labour Board. Its task will, among other things, include the practicable application of the quota system for European and non-European labour. To every available labourer, irrespective of colour or race, a proper living must be assured. There must be minimum wages in trade and industry, with the exception of agriculture; they must be fixed for Europeans, coloured persons and Natives. In addition there must be borne in mind the responsible and leading position of the European race and the different living standards between various groups of the non-Europeans. And further:
“With due consideration for the necessity of assuring every worker, including those in the country districts, of a proper and humanely reasonable standard of living, the labour problems of agriculture and their solution must be placed in a separate category of their own and treated in that way. In the provision of employment in industries the principle of separation of Europeans and non-Europeans must as far as is possible be taken into account, and in order to avoid the exploitation of one racial group to the profit of another, a well-judged and sensible quota system must be applied, with the proviso that if it regarded as desirable and possible, certain specific industries or activities should be reserved for certain specified groups.”
Two things again emerge everywhere, that the non-European worker will be there to assist in the economic progress of the country; and that there will be protection for one group as well as for the other. It has been stated, and we are propagating it, that there must be a worthwhile wage for European labour. It has been stated that there must be enough non-European labour for the country districts. That has been propagated openly.
When we come to “Social Welfare and Public Health,” you find that it is stated here:
“There must be separate residential areas for European and non-Europeans, and as far as possible this principle of apartheid must also be applied to the various non-European racial groups in their relationships towards one another, such as coloured people, Indians and Natives.”
They must also as far as possible be separated from one another; the Indian, the coloured and the Natives. The Natives must be separate, the Indians and the coloured people each separate too. Now that almost tens of thousands of these documents have been spread throughout the country it is still said that our apartheid policy has never been defined and is not clear. That is an unimaginable idea. There is another pamphlet which was distributed in tens of thousands throughout the country. All in all close on 100,000 must have been circulated throughout the country. In regard to the first, one might say: There is the economic scheme, and to read no further, but here he cannot say that he has not read anything more, that he therefore has an excuse for not knowing. Here you have clearly “The Colour Policy of the Nationalist Party,” “Maintenance of European Civilisation as the Prime Task.” In it the various aspects of the matter are worked out extensively. The United Party must know of them. I am only going to quote briefly. Under the heading “General Basis” you find:
“The party believes that a determined policy of separation between the European race and the non-European racial groups, and the application of the principle of separation between the non-European racial groups as well, is the only basis on which the character and the future of each race can be protected and made secure and enabled to develop in accordance with its own national character, abilities and destiny.
In their own areas the non-European racial groups will be afforded a full opportunity of development and they will be able to develop their own institutions and social services, and in that way the abilities of the more progressive non-Europeans will be enlisted in the advancement of their own people.”
Under “Policy towards the Natives” we find the following:
“The policy will aim at concentrating in so far as it is possible the main ethnical groups and sub-groups of the Bantu in their own separate territories, where each group will be able to develop into a self-sufficient unit.”
That is not an effort to exploit differences between the races, this in not an effort to stir them up to hostility towards one another – an effort to divide and rule! As the nations of the world each in its own territory accomplishes its own national development, so also the opportunity will be given here to the various Native groups each to accomplish its own development each in its own territory. To each of them, from the tribal chief to the ordinary Native, the chance is being given to accomplish a fair and reasonable development within his own national group. That has come from those who are stigmatised by the other side as oppressors of the Natives.
Under “Native Land” we find here:
“The principle of territorial segregation between Europeans and Natives is generally accepted. Further, land will only be allocated under the 1936 Act in a sensible way and after a careful investigation, while a determined policy for the rehabilitation of the land and a campaign against over cropping, in which the assistance of the Natives themselves will be enlisted, will be carried out.” A body of experts to bring about the proper use of land in the Native territories will be brought into being.
Then further, and, indeed, under the heading “Native Reserves,” it is stated:
“The Native reserves must become the true fatherland of the Natives. It is there that his educational institutions should be, and it is there that these improved services for the Natives should be made available, in contrast to the present policy which is to make them available in urban locations. Prestige and respect must be accorded to the Natives in all fields in the reserves, so that they may set a standard and act as the mouthpiece of the Bantu.”
Is that oppression?
Then under the heading “Natives in Towns”:
“The Party appreciates the danger of the influx of Natives into the towns and undertakes to preserve the European character of our towns, and to take energetic and effectible measures for the safety of persons as well as of property and for the peaceful life of urban residents.
All Natives must be placed in separate residential areas, and their concentration in our urban areas must be counteracted. The native in our urban areas must be regarded as a ‘visitor’, who will never have the right to claim any political rights or equal social rights with the Europeans in the European areas.”
Let me just interpolate something here and make a statement to Hon. Senators as to what, for example, happens in other countries where a great trek of workers from one country to another takes place. It is known that as far as France is concerned about three million labourers come in there from Italy every year; they are seasonal workers. Those three million seasonal workers who come from Italy do not obtain any civil rights in France; they are regarded as visitors. And the same thing will apply to the Native in the European areas, though, at the same time we are now going to give him civil rights in his own territories such as he enjoys nowhere at present. That will be the place in which to achieve his ideals. The Native who becomes a lawyer, or the Native girl who becomes a nurse or teacher or whatever the case might be, will in the first place be able to provide his services there in his own community. However, as soon as the Native comes into an area of a European community, then he will have no such political rights there, there in the white man’s country. But the reverse is also true. If there are Europeans who have to go into the Native territories – and they will only go there because they have to in order to help the Natives – they will not enjoy any political rights there. Then I read on further:
“The number of detribalised Natives must be frozen. After that the coming of the Natives into the towns and their regular departure will be taken under control by the State on a country-wide basis, in co-operation with the urban authorities. The Native territories must be placed under an affective efflux policy and the towns under an influx policy. All surplus Natives in the towns will have to be sent back to the country districts or to the Native reserves or to wherever they came from.”
The Hon. Leader of the Opposition became worried yesterday about the use of the word “frozen,” as if one were dealing with people who became bodily frozen so tight in the South Pole that they could not get away again, for he asked whether it meant that the Natives would be placed in concentration camps.
We hope that some of those Natives who become able to serve their own people actually will migrate to the reserves. They should be dealt with in such a manner that they will go there. What will happen is that in that sense the numbers in the cities will be frozen to such an extent that no more Natives will be allowed to come in from outside other than the Natives who have the full residential right to stay there; let only those who are there retain that right. That is not unreasonable. Freezing therefore means that we are not going to permit any new influx as happened under the previous Government, and, indeed, to such an extent that Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand and the whole of that neighbourhood has become one vast breeding place of injustice and crime, of unemployment and all sort of misery, of poverty and of mutual oppression. Within and outside that city the position has become impossible. It is also stated here that all surplus Natives in the towns should be sent back to the country districts or to the reserves from which they came. They must be away from the misery of those hovels, away from those sacking villages, away from starvation, of little boys who run about and perish and degenerate, and go back to places where some care can be taken of them again. So “freezing” in this case has not the meaning as in the interpolation of the Hon. Senator. I am reading further:
“Natives from the country districts and the reserves will in future be allowed to enter the white towns and villages only as temporary workers, and on the termination of their service contracts they will regularly have to go back to their homes.”
That must also be well understood. The Natives who remain behind in the towns are one group. But a further influx into the towns will be allowed only in the form of such temporary labour. That is very fair, and it is very important that it should be carried out if we want to ensure them, too, the happiness to which they are just as much entitled as we are, namely to be linked to their own community and their liberties. The pamphlet also says:
“The principle of apartheid will be carried out so far as it is possible in practice in factories, industries and workshops. The Native must be induced to build up his own special health and welfare services in his own reserves. His own capabilities must be enlisted for that purpose.”
Social and welfare services take place within the perspective and policy of this side of the House and best by providing for the Native through the Native himself. The hand that gives must draw from the people to whom the services are given. That is the first principle of all welfare services. The same applies to self-management. As to its own management I read the following:
‘The party is in favour of an individual system of local government, more or less on the basis of the Bunga system, in which the Native chiefs will be completely incorporated and which will at the same time present the educated Native with an opportunity of enlisting himself in the service of his own people. Such a council will be brought into being for every reserve, and they will be able to develop into separate central councils for the various ethnic groups and sub-groups.
The Native Representative Council will be abolished. In the urban locations councils will be instituted which will, however, never be able to develop into independent bodies.
Those two points must be clearly understood. Even the Natives who are going to get their residential areas within or rather near the towns and who will be able to achieve a great deal of local towns and who will be able to achieve a great deal of local government within those residential areas, those Natives will not be able to go any further within the European area than the obtaining of local government. If they have ambitions in the direction of full citizenship, then they have to go back to the areas that are theirs; but if for their own selfish interest and their own economic gain they want to stay in the Native residential areas within the European areas, then the greatest share in government which they can achieve will be local government. That is giving them more that what those Italians are able to achieve in France.
And then in so far as the abolition of the Native Representative Council in its present form is concerned, that speaks for itself. There was a body created which has to function within the integration policy of some of the members on the other side of the House. There we have a body by which al dividing lines between various groups of Natives are broken down. That body should be able to develop into a sort of parliament. And according to the latest statements of the former Prime Minister something even in the nature of a Native public service, or the elements far greater. Gradually we should have spread over a single country what would be virtually two parliaments and two public services. Do you not see, Mr. President, the dangers inherent in that, of agitation and of clashes and strife, and of creating many points of friction of the very greatest extent and of the very greatest danger to both groups? For that reason it must be abolished.
Now can anybody really say with an honest mind that when he hears or reads all that, he has no understanding, no idea, of what apartheid means, but merely knows the word? Has anybody on earth really in all seriousness accept it that any person who says that has faced up to the problem in all seriousness? If he says he has heard all that, but still does not know what apartheid means, then he is wilful.
I now come for a moment to the Stellenbosch professors. It is contended that there is a difference between the views of the Stellenbosch professors and the policy of apartheid as it has been set out here; and I content that that is not the truth. I just want to remind members in passing that the Minister of Native Affairs rightly said that if it was true, then in any event the party on this side of the House is only under a duty to accept responsibility towards its own standpoint and not towards the standpoint of any individual. I however here want to contend that the interpretation that is placed upon the attitude of the Stellenbosch professors is just as unfair and just as mistaken as that which has been flung in our faces up to now. I have here an article by some person which appeared in the Inspan for August, 1948. It was written on the Fagan Report by a member of the group that is known as the Stellenbosch professors.
It is very clear from the point that that person makes that they are convinced that there are only two courses of policy, and that you must distinguish very clearly between them and must not allow yourself to become confused in your own mind. In regard to this question their are only two courses. They say the one course undoubtedly leads, whether you like it or not, to equality. (I put it even more strongly, and say that it leads unavoidably to non-European domination in South Africa.) And the other course leads in the direction of total segregation. They do not say that it will come to that; they do not say that they want a thing like that applied immediately. They say “for the sake of getting your ideas clear you must appreciate the fact, the one leads here, and the other there.” Then they also say that people have as ideal whereby you can measure your progress along the road and that you must act with due regard for all your practical problems. You can never wholly achieve your ideal. Who manages to do so in this life? But you can move in the direction of your ideal; you can make your position better and better as you approach closer to it. They say that the Fagan report recognises these two courses. The two courses of policy are: one that leads to equality, and the other which leads to total segregation. Then they say that we realise the practical problems in the application of apartheid. We appreciate the years and years that it will necessarily take to approach the full ideal. And perhaps we shall even never achieve it altogether. But, they say, the Fagan Report, which is against that direction and which also declares itself against equality and alleges that there is a third course: a middle course.
The so-called third course which the Fagan Report suggests that there is, the so-called course of integration is, they say, only equality though they do not want to promote it. It is based on the promise that there will be differences anyway, and that distinctions in administration of Europeans and non-Europeans would have to be made in the spirit of guardianship. And when the Report comes and says what the distinctions are, then in the end the Fagan Report does not dare to say you may draw those distinctions on racial and biological basis. It virtually boils down to this, that the distinctions are of a social and educational nature and the necessarily administration and trusteeship must some day fall away. Thus though you dare not draw the distinctions on racial and biological lines, yet you will eventually find yourself on the course which leads to equality.
Let me mention a sentence to show that I am not telling allot of tall stories here. In this case the matter was written by Mr. N. J. J. Olivier:
“It is therefore quite understandable that the criticism which has been directed against the Fagan Report, among others by the Stellenbosch academicians, did not deal with the specific recommendations that were made by the Commission in regard to the points mentioned in its terms of reference, but with its judgement on general and broad questions of racial policy. It is of particular importance that this fact should be borne in mind, because it was contended after that that the critics of the Report had rejected not the recommendations of the Report, but the facts contained in it – and because those facts are supposed to be incontrovertible (such as, for example, our economic dependence on Native labour) it has been suggested that the critics were following the proverbial ostrich policy and, by hiding their heads in the sand, had refused to accept as true the existence of those incontrovertible facts. Such an allegation is therefore untrue and unfair, because surely no thinking person would be so stupid as to deny our present dependence upon Native labour, or the presence of Natives in our urban areas.”
Here in unequivocal words the exact opposite is being contended of what has been ascribed to them in this debate up to now. Those people also say very clearly: “We see two courses, we choose the ideal of working in the direction of eventual total segregation, but we see the impracticability of an immediate application of it.”
Do you remember what the Minister of Lands wrote in his letter to Mr. Brill? All say that we should, while taking into account all the circumstances of life, keep our eyes on that ideal and work in that direction rather than on any other course which leads us on the road to equality.
Now, Mr. President, I am anxious, if I can, just to indicate a picture of what the two policies are which are opposed to one another. I must accept it that the policy of the party on the other side of the House is, in the first place, the situation as it is. The situation as it exists is the result of their policy, and then I must take account of the promises that have come from that side of the House, because the situation as it would be if they govern is reflected in their promises.
What is the situation as it exists? Europeans and non-Europeans scattered and mingled about the whole South Africa; Europeans and non-Europeans travelling mixed in the trams and in the trains; Europeans and non-Europeans mixing are already in hotels and places where meals are served; engaged mere and more in taking possession of the theatres and the streets; engaged in devastating the reserves; engaged in seeking learning which they do not use in the service of their own people, but which they use in order to try to cross the border line of European life, to become traitors to their own people and to desert their own people. That is the picture that one sees; that is the situation that one finds today; nobody can deny that. The public of South Africa are seeing it with their own eyes. The situation that we find is as clear as daylight. And then in addition we have the promises, and those promises bring with them a frightening picture. Take the promises made by Mr. Hofmeyr, a leader of the party on the other side, perhaps the future chief leader of the party on the other side. What was he saying as long ago as in 1936?
“A citizenship which bears all the marks of inferiority in section after section of this Bill, and then apart from that it bears the additional blot that no matter what the progress of the Native may be, in so far as civilisation is concerned . . . he is being limited forever to three members in a House of 153 . . . But I also object to that because I consider, as I always have considered, the principle of communal representations as an unsound principle.”
Here then we have promises, and we are aware of the fact that the speaker, on a recent occasion, submitted to the sentiment of time and that he has now against his own will become a convert to the idea of communal representation. But I have the greatest doubt whether, if he had the power in his hands, he would not again undergo a reversion. There is thus the possibility of seeking greater representation for the Natives in another way, viz. not along lines of apartheid. On the 14th of January 1947 that same leader, Mr. Hofmeyr, the leader who is responsible for the defeat of the party on the other side of the House, said:
“Natives must eventually be represented by Natives, and Indians by Indians in the House of Assembly. The extension of the municipal franchise to Indians in Natal and the Transvaal in unavoidable.”
The political colour bar must go. In March, 1946 the then Minister of Lands asked Mr. Hofmeyr:
“Are you prepared to undertake here to subscribe to our proposition that the white man should remain the master in South Africa?”
The answer was: “On that basis there can be no permanent relationship between the races (Hansard, 28th March, 1946).”
I want to state here unequivocally now the attitude of this side of the House, that South Africa is a white man’s country and we are not prepared to allow the Natives to be the masters; we are not masters there. But within the European areas, we, the white people in South Africa, are and shall remain the masters. The Hon. The Leader of the Opposition said just now that that was the policy of the Broederbond. I wonder what he will say, whether he is also opposed to the idea that the Europeans should remain the master in South Africa?
I want to carry on now and put it still further, again quoting from the Forum, Mr. Hofmeyr’s journal. In it, it was written as follows:
“Adopt the policy of allowing the Natives to come to the towns; abolish the scandal of the pass laws; revise the colour bar in industry and restore the Native vote to the general voters’ roll according to the old Cape form . . “
Even if that promise is only incipient in the minds of members of the other side of the House, that must help to give one an idea of what would happen to South Africa in the future. It is very clear of what will follow upon a growing political equality and the abolition of the other lines of separation. In connection with what they said in regard to the non-Europeans also sitting in the Senate and the House of Assembly at some stage, I only want to say the following: if once these political rights are given to them, then if once they are given the vote, whether it will be given on the same rolls, or even if it is given to them on an increased communal basis, then opportunity is given to them to get the balance of power into their hands in this country. This must necessarily follow from any system of joint political representation.
Surely it is not to be denied that Mr. Hofmeyr has said that the political colour bar should be removed. If you were to do that it would mean that those people who are now already making demands outside for equal political rights would come along more and more with those demands. The more the non-Europeans are scattered among the Europeans, and the more they enjoy that franchise and education, the more its influence would make itself felt, and the influence would be felt mainly in one direction, and that is in the direction of complete equality. Could one blame certain Natives if one day when they acquired those right themselves they continued to build on them? There is only one course of action open to us, and that is to let them work out their ambitions in their own areas. But in among us like this, it is an incontrovertible fact that the numbers of voters are getting greater and greater with the passage of years, and that out of those 8,000,000 it will be found – first a few hundred thousand and the a few millions – that they will start to dominate the Whites, first in the political field and later in other fields.
And now a picture on the other side. Firstly, we want to have in the reserves the national home of the various tribal groups; only there can the brains and intelligence that are developing among them find their expression; to the reserves there should go those who are seeking education, for whom the opportunities will exist there. And as far as those who remain in the towns of the Europeans are concerned, they will have their local rights there. In the field of transport there will be separation, so that the mixing on the European stations is restricted to a minimum. The main object is the removal of friction. As far as the towns are concerned, the reserves play quite a big part apart from the development there; one would try gradually to induce more and more of those who are seeking opportunities to move there, out of the towns.
Mr. president, in this connection I am now also addressing myself more particularly to Senator Brookes, who put the question whether it would ever be possible to get enough agricultural land in South Africa for the support of these people. To that I want to say that such an idea rest on a completely mistaken conception of the advancement of the Native and the changes of action which the apartheid policy must bring with it. If you had to think in terms of a country like England, and you were to imagine that in Britain a population should have to live basically on agriculture, then it would not be possible for more people to live there now than in the 18th century, when there were seven million people in Britain. The population of Britain grew as industrial development took place. But again it would be a misconception if one were to think that that meant that every one of those people who have been added is still employed in industry. Together with industrial development there is associated a more complicated national organisation and the development of the new organisation needs people. In other words, you get your public service expanding; you find your commerce expanding; in almost every field of life you find enormous expansion. That is the position which one has to imagine for oneself in connection with the reserves; not that you should have to be in a position to supply an acre of dry land to every Native who happens to be in the reserves of who has to find work there. You must have full and worthy development of the reserves taking place by means of which they become productive for many more people. Certain sorts of irrigation schemes can be instituted in some parts of the territory, and certain types of industries can be set up in, as well as near, the territories, but on the basis of the linking up of the development of agriculture, which will no longer be agriculture on a domestic basis, but which is becoming economic agriculture based on the needs of the Natives, and the development of the industries which I have mentioned and of which I know the Fagan Report is sceptical. On that basis there will develop the further organisation of those territories, the changes of existence will increase enormously, and that also will take account of and require the services of numbers of Natives. That is one point which one must bear in mind. When one speaks about the development of the reserves then one should not think merely in terms of land, or speak purely in terms of industries, but of the whole reorganisation. You must see that the building up of a nation takes place within its area in such a way that it provides employment and opportunities in every sphere of life.
I am sorry, Mr. President, that the Hon. Senator is absent, for I still want strongly to stress a point which has reference more particularly to his idea. It may, however, at the same time refer to the ideas of hon. Members on the other side of the House, and it is this: the whole angle from which the matter was presented in his original motion was whether justice or injustice was being done towards the Natives. But the angle from which I want to approach it is this, whether justice or injustice is being done to the Europeans. It is very easy to argue the whole matter in such a way that it can be viewed only from the point of view of the Native, but today you must also survey it from the point of view of the Europeans. Indeed, it is not the Native whose future is being threatened, it is that of the Europeans; the European is really the person who should say: “My rights must be protected”. For that reason I say that the whole angle from which Senator Brookes viewed the matter whether it was just or unjust towards the Native, was wrong, and he did not consider the question how justice might be done to the Europeans.
In closing, Mr. President. South Africa has to deal here with one of her greatest problems, and one of the most serious problems which any country in the world could be called upon to deal with. The question of war and peace is no more serious to other countries than the problem of finding a solution for a possible clash between white and black is for South Africa. In other countries of the world, where there is also a move towards apartheid, sometimes merely towards apartheid between Whites and Whites, where the present Opposition’s former ally, Russia, is merely another European race within its borders, then it seeks to apply apartheid which has to be paved with bloodshed and misery. An example is Palestine, where the Jew and the Arab are up against one another, and stand for apartheid, but mainly in this sense that each of the two parties wants the whole country for itself alone. Where we are prepared to accord to non-Europeans the right to their own opportunities of development, where we bring it about not by means of the sword, but through the benevolent hand of the Europeans who are in the country, then do not arouse suspicions, do no arouse the suspicion of the world outside, where there are so many difficulties, do not arouse the suspicion of the world that there is oppression, but show them that there is a policy which seeks rights and justice towards all.