HC Deb 26 March 1906 vol 154 cc855-6

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the scheme, which is now under the consideration of the Government, for granting a representative and responsible constitution in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, will provide for giving adequate representation to British Indian subjects of respectability and position, who have settled or may hereafter settle in these Colonies.


I would remind the hon. Member of my reply to the hon. Member for Preston on the 15th instant,‡when I informed him that the proposal to extend even the municipal franchise to coloured British subjects was abandoned in 1903, and that it was then asserted by the opponents of any form of native franchise that the proposal was a breach of the spirit, if not of the letter, of the conditions of surrender.


Am I to understand that the expression "natives" in the Treaty of Vereenining includes British Indians?


The expression "natives" has frequently been deemed to include natives of all the coloured races of Asia, Africa, and America, and while I am not aware that any special significance of that character is attached to it in the Treaty of Vereenining, it would be † See (4) Debates, clii, 1238. ‡ See (4) Debates cliii. 1400. open to anyone hostile to the native franchise to contend that any other construction would be a breach of the treaty.

* MR. CAIRNS (Newcastle-on-Tyne)

May I ask whether the Under-Secretary will direct his attention to a speech made by Lord Milner in March or April, 1903, at a Conference at Johannesburg, when the question of the municipal franchise was being discussed, and to the recommendation of Lord Milner upon. the subject in that speech?


The hon. Member should give notice of that Question.