HC Deb 26 March 1906 vol 154 cc854-5
SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether British Indian traders in the Transvaal are excluded from the use of certain train services, and are restricted in their use of the Johannesburg electric trams; whether the special registration fee of £3, and the regulations prohibiting ownership of land, are still enforced against them; and whether, in the Orange River Colony, the law prohibiting the entry of British Indian subjects, except for domestic service, is still maintained; and, if so, what steps it is proposed to take in the interest of British Indian subjects.


The Secretary of State understands that certain trains by which, as a matter of fact, coloured persons seldom travel are to be reserved for white people, but that special arrangements will be made on application for well-known coloured people desiring to travel by them. He also understands that restrictions have been found unavoidable in regard to their use of the Johannesburg electric trams. The registration fee of £3 and the prohibition of ownership of land, which are in accordance with the Law 3 of 1885, are being enforced. In the Orange River Colony the law referred to has not been as yet amended. The grievances of Indians in the Transvaal have, I need scarcely say, the cordial sympathy of His Majesty's Government, who will make every endeavour to obtain their redress, but, as I pointed out in debate on the 28th of February†, we lie under difficulties in dealing with such questions in Colonies which enjoy, or are about to receive, responsible government.