HC Deb 08 December 1908 vol 198 cc232-3

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the acute anxiety and disappointment felt by retrenched officials of the Transvaal administration, he can now say how many new posts have been created in the Transvaal Civil Service since the granting of responsible government; how many existing and employed officials have been transferred from other post or from obsolete posts to the new posts; how many retrenched Civil servants have been appointed to such posts; and what are the number of English and Dutch, respectively, appointed altogether.


I gave such information on (his subject as was at the disposal of the Secretary of State in the course of the debate on the Colonial Office Vote, on 28th July lust, when I stated that of the new appointments in the Transvaal Civil Service since General Botha assumed office, 59 per cent. had been given to English and 41 per cent. to Dutch. That statement was based on official figures, communicated to me by the Agent-General for the Transvaal, and, in reply to the hon. Member's inquiry, I am glad to give the House the actual figures, which are as follows: Of 556 new appointments in the Transvaal Civil Service made between 4th March, 1907, and 24th July, 1908, 329 were given to English and 227 to Dutch. At the last-mentioned date there were 3,870 English officers in the whole Civil Service, including police and prisons, and 737 Dutch. For reasons which I have explained in answer to previous Questions, the Secretary of State would not feel justified in asking the Transvaal Government to supplement, by further elaborate Returns, the very full information which they have already voluntarily given, but I may say generally that I have no reason to suppose that the proportion of English to Dutch officers has appreciably altered during the last few months.


inquired whether the Government realised, the anxiety felt by a large number of retrenched Civil servants who were promised positions and expected when transfers were made to be given new posts.


said the Colonial Secretary and the whole of the Colonial Office fully appreciated the anxiety of these officials, and sympathised with them, but from the figures he had given he thought it was plain that the Transvaal Government had behaved in the most correct fashion with regard to the new appointments, especially in view of the great disparity in proportion to population between the English and Dutch officials. The Government viewed the matter with great sympathy, and endeavoured to do their very best, consistent with the interests of the public service, to find places for these retrenched officials.

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