HC Deb 07 July 1887 vol 317 c73
MR. A. M'ARTHUR (Leicester)

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether the attention of Her Majesty's Government has been directed to the provisions of the Registration Bill published in The Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette, on Tuesday, 15th March; and, if he will inquire whether the adoption of a measure which seems calculated to disfranchise large numbers of Her Majesty's coloured subjects, who have hitherto enjoyed electoral rights, would constitute a violation of the conditions on which responsible Government was granted to the Colony?


I have referred to the Bill mentioned in the hon. Member's Question, and especially to the 17th clause. There is nothing in the proposed legislation inconsistent with, or contrary to, the conditions under which the present Constitution of the Colony was established. I am informed that no native who, by reason of the Constitution Ordinance, has a claim to be registered will be deprived of that right under the new Bill; but the name of any man—white or black—now on the Register, the owner of which has not the qualification laid down in the Constitution Ordinance, will be removed from the Register. The result of the section has been, I believe, practically approved by the Aborigines Protection Society, who recently, when discussing an Electoral Bill relating to the Transkei territories, observed that— No one proposes that the Natives who are still under the tribal system should be entitled to vote.