HC Deb 12 November 1908 vol 196 cc528-9

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the number of new posts created in the Transvaal Civil Service since the assumption of responsible government; how many English and Dutch, respectively, have been appointed; and of these how many respectively have been transferred from other posts which have been abolished or otherwise.


The Transvaal Government do not classify their Civil servants as English and Dutch. It has never been the custom for self-governing Colonies to furnish returns of appointments to their Civil Service. The Transvaal and Orange River Colony Governments have recently furnished the Secretary of State with very full returns of reductions made in their Civil Services. These returns have cost the two Governments much time and labour, and the Secretary of State recognises that the preparation of these documents has been a special act of courtesy on their part. The Agent-General for the Transvaal has informed me that he has general information from his Government that new appointments to the Transvaal Civil Service have shown no preponderance in favour of either English or Dutch, but for the reasons given the Secretary of State cannot take the very unusual course of asking the Transvaal Government to go to further trouble and expense.


asked the hon. and gallant Gentleman whether he would give the House the information to which he had referred in his Answer; was it based on the Return sent by the Transvaal Government? He had clearly stated that there had been a greater number of English officials appointed to the Civil Service than of Dutch.


I do not know to what the hon. Gentleman refers. I have stated, what has been stated on more than one occasion, that no racial favouritism whatever is shown; and that, indeed, is the fact. And with regard to the refusal, which I now make, to ask the Transvaal Government to furnish this Return, I may say that there is every indication, as the hon. Gentleman will find if he refers to the Agent-General, who has furnished me with this information, that there is no racial antagonism of any kind shown in these appointments; but we cannot ask a self-governing Colony to go to great trouble and expense to prepare a Return, especially when the form of the Question implies a reflection on the Government.