HC Deb 05 May 1905 vol 145 cc1030-1

To ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Government of Cape Colony has introduced into the Cape Parliament a Bill † See (4) Debates, cxIiii; 784. limiting the right to trade in the colony to persons who can write in a European language, including Yiddish, and whether the effect of this measure, if passed, will be to exclude from the opportunity of trading many of His Majesty's Indian subjects; and, if so, what steps His Majesty's Government propose to take to protect the rights of His Majesty's Indian subjects.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Lyttelton.) I have seen a Bill introduced into the Cape Legislature which provides that the resident, magistrate or Licensing Court granting general dealers' licences may, in considering an application for a licence, have regard inter alia to the ability of the applicant to keep intelligible records of his trarsactions in some European language. The Cape Attorney-General, in moving the Second Reading of the Bill, laid stress on the necessity of 1h's provision ii view of cases of insolvency, and pointed out that it was not necessary that an Indian should himself write or speak English. Similar legislation has "been in force for several years in Natal. See p. 37 of the House of Commons Return No. 383, Session 2, 1900.