HC Deb 22 October 1908 vol 194 cc1351-2

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether seeing that, whereas immigration of our Indian fellow-subjects into the late Transvaal Republic was unrestricted save for the payment of a £3 entrance fee, the Government of the Transvaal Colony have refused to modify recently enacted legislation even to the extent of allowing a maximum of six highly-educated professional Indians in any one year; and whether, in order to renew wastage among the domiciled Indian community and to maintain their healthy existence as a community, His Majesty's Government will make friendly representations to the Government of the Transvaal recommending them to make this small concession.


The Act recently passed, the full text of which with the correspondence leading up to it will be found in the Blue-Book [Cd. 4327], has received the assent of the Crown and the Secretary of State is not prepared to press the Transvaal Government to amend it. Various questions, however, have arisen with regard to the administration of the Act and the Secretary of State is in friendly communication with the Transvaal Government on the subject.

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether British-Indians who acquired rights of domicile in the Transvaal in the days of the late Republic are still precluded from acquiring civic rights, may not own fixed property, are liable to removal into special locations, and must carry on their persons registration certificates containing descriptions of their personal peculiarities, details of their families, and their thumb impressions; and whether he can inform the House in what respect the pre-war grievances of our Indian fellow-subjects in the Transvaal have been remedied since the annexation of that country.


The British Indians in the Transvaal are subject to a number of disabilities, but my hon. friend's statement of them is a little too general in its terms, as they are entitled to own fixed property within Asiatic locations. His Majesty's Government have been, and still are in friendly communication with the Transvaal Government with regard to these disabilities. The grievance which was the principal subject of complaint before the war was that Indians were liable to be confined to locations for purposes of trade. This, therefore, with some minor grievances, has been removed since the annexation.