HC Deb 16 July 1906 vol 160 c1330

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the word native in the Treaty of Vereeniging includes His Majesty's Indian subjects; and, if so, whether His Majesty's Indian subjects are entitled, as natives, to acquire freehold property in the Transvaal.


I have previously explained to the hon. Member in an Answer to a Question on March 15th † that it was asserted that the proposal to admit British Indians to the franchise was a breach of the spirit, if not of the letter of the Treaty of Vereeniging, which engaged that the question of granting the franchise to natives would not be decided until after the introduction of self-government. The late Secretary of State felt bound to take account of this view and accordingly stated in his despatch of March 31st, 1905, that, having regard to the terms of peace, His Majesty's Government had been unable to make provision for the representation of any of His Majesty's coloured subjects. Under the special law applying to Asiatics, Law 3 of 1885, British Indians cannot be owners of landed property save only in the streets, wards, and locations which the Government shall for sanitary purposes point out for habitation.