§ MR. H. S. FOSTER (Suffolk, Lowestoft)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state to the House the nature of the most recent proposals of the Transvaal Government for conferring the franchise on the Uitlanders, and in what respect they substantially differ from the recommendations which Sir Alfred Milner communicated to President Kruger at the recent Conference.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN,) Birmingham, W.
I stated to the House on the 6th of June the substance of President Kruger's proposals with regard to the franchise at the recent Conference. The project of law subsequently submitted 1275 to, and approved by, the Volksraad does not substantially differ from those proposals. They both substantially differ from Sir A. Milner's recommendations, communicated to President Kruger at the Conference in these respects. Under Sir A. Milner's scheme, Uitlanders who have resided in the Transvaal for five years might by becoming naturalised at once obtain the franchise, and those who subsequently complete a residence of five years might, on the expiration of that period of residence, be naturalised and obtain the franchise, while under the scheme of the Transvaal Government, no Uitlander could obtain the franchise in less than two years from the promulgation of the law, and no Uitlander who did not reside in the Transvaal before 1890 could obtain the franchise in less than five years from that time. In Sir A. Milner's scheme the franchise would be obtained on naturalisation. In the scheme of the Transvaal Government an interval of five years (or in the case of Uitlanders who resided before 1890, two years) would elapse after naturalisation, during which the naturalised Uitlander would have relinquished his rights as a citizen of his original country, and not have acquired the rights of a burgher of the South African Republic.
§ * MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
Will the right hon. Gentleman give the date of the proposals of the Transvaal Government to which he has just referred? Have they been superseded?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
No, the original proposal was made at the Conference by President Kruger, and the subsequent proposal, which was in the nature of a law, was submitted to the Volksraad subsequent to the Conference at Bloemfontein.