HC Deb 25 July 1907 vol 179 cc128-9
Mr. HAROLD COX (Preston)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can explicitly state to the House what was the nature of the assurances given to the Secretary of State for the Colonies by General Botha with regard to the administration of the Asiatic Law Amendment Act of 1907; and whether those assurances have, or have not, been observed by General Botha, who recently declared in the Transvaal Parliament that none of the disabilities imposed by the Act would be removed.

Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL (for Mr. Churchill)

General Botha assured Lord Elgin that no effort would be spared to make the application and operation of the Act as little irksome as possible, and it was understood that he hoped to be able to provide for the adoption of other methods of registration than finger prints, to which objection has been taken by Indians. The attention of the Secretary of State has been called to certain regulations recently made under the Act by which the system of finger prints is retained. It would, therefore, appear that General Botha did not on furthur inquiry find it practicable to dispense with them, but the Secretary of State will communicate with the Transvaal Government on the subject.