HL Deb 17 December 1906 vol 167 cc939-73

My Lords, I rise to call attention to the Letters Patent of the Transvaal; and to inquire of the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can give information as to the proposed Constitution for the Orange River Colony. I trust that the noble Earl, in outlining the Letters Patent which are on the Table, will go into one or two matters with care and precision and give us a little more exact information. I allude, in particular, to the question of land settlement and to those clauses dealing with the annulling of the Chinese Labour Ordinance. Furthermore, I trust the noble Earl will give full and detailed information with regard to the new Constitution which His Majesty's Government propose to grant to the Orange River Colony. I think at this late hour it would be un- becoming on my part to traverse again the ground which the noble Earl and other noble Lords in this House covered at the end of the earlier part of the session in dealing with the new Constitution for the Transvaal. Consequently I confine myself in the most formal manner to putting to the noble Duke the Question which stands in my name.


My Lords, I do not think I have very much new to say with regard to the Letters Patent as a whole. They faithfully carry out the forecast I made to your Lordships in July. That forecast was of necessity a summary, and the full details are now presented to your Lordships. I believe there is substantially no difference in principle between the one and the other. Moreover, the Constitution in its general form, so far, I mean, as it deals with laying down regulations for elections and the transaction of business, follows strictly the precedents that have been established; and it does not seem to me that it is necessary for me to go into a detailed examination of this matter, unless there is some point on which your Lordships specially desire information. I am anxious to insist upon the fact of there being precedents, because I think that has been overlooked in some of the criticisms which have been made. Take, for instance, the question of the reservation of Bills. It has always been the custom to prescribe certain classes of Bills which were to be reserved for the signification of His Majesty's pleasure. but it was usual at one time to give detailed instructions to the Governor in a separate document, and the instructions so given were treated as confidential. I think it was during the time of Mr. Chamberlain that it was first laid down that the instructions, should be published, and we have conformed to that ruling, with which I entirely agree.

It would appear that some persons are of opinion that the first reservation in Clause 39, which refers to persons not of European birth, is an innovation. That is by no means the case. It is taken, I think, textually from the instructions given to the Governor of Natal. It is to be found also in the instructions of the Governor of the Transvaal, of the Orange River Colony, and of the Governors of many other Crown Colonies. I think I cannot do better than draw attention to the words in which my predecessor justified its insertion in the Letters Patent of 1905. Mr. Lyttelton, in his despatch, used these words— His Majesty's Government have been unable, having regard to the terms of peace signed in 1902, to make provision for the representation of any of His Majesty's coloured subjects. As a protection, however, of the interests of those sections of the population which are not directly represented in the Legislature, the Governor will, as now, be required by his instructions to reserve any Bill by which persons not of European birth or descent may be subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of European birth are not also subjected. I should like also to refer your Lordships to Clause 51, in connection with the pledges on the question of natives which I gave in July. Though I expressly refrained from committing myself with regard to details, I did mention the reservation in some cases of sums of money for their benefit as a subject for consideration. But on looking further into the question we came to the conclusion that this provision had not always been successful in the cases in which it had been used. In West Australia, I think, it gave rise to prolonged conflict, and was at last repealed; in Natal it has not worked altogether satisfactorily. Therefore, it appeared to us that it was right and proper to reserve for Imperial consideration the approval of laws which imposed disabilities. But it is quite another thing to attempt anything in the way of administration from this country. It is to my mind impossible to refuse to the Government, to whom we are deliberately entrusting the administration of the Colony as a whole, our confidence in the control of the natives within their borders, and I have no inclination to do so. We retain the Governor as paramount chief, and it is through him we shall be able to exert such influence as is proper and necessary on behalf of the natives. I believe in this way we shall better secure adequate provision for them and for the wants of the native population as a whole than by attempting to insert in the Constitution itself definite sums, the sufficiency of which it is an extremely difficult matter to estimate at such a time as this.

Personally I regret extremely that the terms of peace have prevented there being any representation of natives in the Legislature. I have sat in a Council where there was native representation, and I am sure the noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition, who was my predecessor in that Council, would, if he were present, corroborate my view that we have gained much by their presence. I hope that at no distant time the Colonies themselves may be willing to fill up this blank. In the meantime we have made what under the circumstances must be scarcely more than a suggestion, but which we think might give some opportunity for natives being heard. It is a suggestion which is founded on the custom of South Africa, and the records of what can be done, for instance, in Basutoland, under the guidance of a sympathetic officer, by holding assemblies of this kind, make me hope that the new Government of the Transvaal may be willing and able to develop on these lines and to use the powers of this clause to set up institutions which may be useful. Swaziland illustrates the point I have been making. It is not strictly within the physical borders of the Transvaal. It can well be administered as a protectorate under the High Commissioner for some time to come, and the Order in Council which is circulated with the other Papers provides for this.

The noble Duke asked me especially to refer to the clauses which deal with Chinese labour. I frankly admit that the third paragraph of Clause 39 and that Clause 50 are abnormal; but after the discussions which took place earlier in the year I have really nothing to say on the point, except that I consider them justifiable under the circumstances. The circumstances themselves have rendered them necessary, and they simply carry out declarations which were made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and by myself in the two Houses of Parliament.

I would, however, venture to demur to the proposition that we have wantonly interfered with contracts. Those who make that accusation must have rather short memories. They forget that when we assumed office just a year ago we succeeded to the very troublesome legacy of 16,000 licences, and that in spite of repeated protests from large bodies of our supporters—protests with which we ourselves had much sympathy—we have adhered loyally to the obligations undertaken by our predecessors and we have respected those contracts. The result is that not only were 2,000 additional coolies landed in South Africa last month, but that the total number is now 53,000, as compared with 47,250, in spite of all wastage. I maintain in the same way that in these Letters Patent we go as far as we can to protect contracts. The contracts under the Ordinance are for three years, but there is the power of renewal. We respect them for three years, but we forbid renewals. I should like to point out how that works out. The new Transvaal Government may do one of two things. It may propose a new Ordinance, or it may not. If it does, and acts with reaonable promptitude, I do not think any serious question will arise about renewals. The first shipment that arrived in South Africa did not arrive till June, and, therefore, comparatively few will be affected during the first months of the new Government, while they are considering the Ordinance. If, on the contrary, it decides against the continuance of the system, the absence of renewals will greatly facilitate this operation, and also the withdrawal of the coolies. In that case the withdrawal will be carried out by a gradual process. A gradual process is beyond doubt the one which would be to the advantage of those concerned in the mines, in their endeavour to supply a different form of labour. When this question was last before the House I stated that I felt more and more that this system as a permanency was impossible, and so far as I personally am concerned, I adhere to that opinion.

Then the noble Duke has asked me to say something about land settlement. I was sorry on the last occasion when this subject was under discussion not to have been able to give an answer more satisfactory to noble Lords interested in this question. It had never seemed to me to be possible to continue a system of land settlement on anything like the scale or for the purposes of the scheme initiated by Lord Milner, except by consent. However, we did our best to get the consents to the larger scheme which was foreshadowed in speeches made in July, especially in that of my hon. friend who represents the Colonial Office in the House of Commons. But the inquiries made by the High Commissioner proved to demonstration that practically in no quarter could we rely upon a cordial acceptance of a scheme of that character. Therefore we had no alternative but to fall back upon some more modest proposal.

What we desire to secure is that time may be given to the new Government to form a fair estimate of the situation. My own view is that it is so important to develop the agriculture of the Colonies that I find it difficult to entertain any doubt that the new Government, when it realises, as it is bound to do, that settlers of some kind would be a valuable addition to the strength of the Colony, will not only wish to retain those there already, but will desire to increase their numbers. But, of course, the terms and conditions upon which any scheme of that kind can be carried out must be for the determination of the Government of the day. It has been so left in the Letters Patent. I should like to draw your Lordships' attention to the fact that we have added a proviso which would enable the duties of the Land Board to be transferred by agreement to the Government at any time during the five years during which the Land Board is called into existence. There is no compulsion. The Land Board will exist unless agreement is come to. If agreement should be come to it would be highly satisfactory, because it would mean that a good understanding had been arrived at between the settlers and the Government, which, I imagine, is the object of noble Lords opposite, as certainly as it is my own.

As to the general provisions of the Letters Patent to the Transvaal, I do not think there is much that I need trouble your Lordships with in detail on this occasion. I wish rather to deal now with the second part of the noble Duke's notice by giving information with regard to the Orange River Colony. I personally am glad that this time has arrived. I admit no blame or delay in the matter. It has always been our position that the Transvaal must be dealt with first, but all the same I, for one, had a feeling that the history of the Orange River Colony justified their claims upon our attention. I should like to quote from a speech not by any member of His Majesty's Government on that subject— We do not propose that the Constitution of the Orange River Colony should necessarily be the same as the Constitution of the Transvaal Colony, either at starting or in the immediate future. It will be dealt with upon its own merits and dealt with separately, and we think it possible, from the circumstances with which everyone is familiar, that an earlier beginning to greater political liberty may be made in the Orange River Colony than in the Transvaal. That is due to the fact that the Government of the Orange River Colony, previous to the war, was a very good Government, and consequently, speaking generally, we shall find there probably the means of creating a satisfactory administration more quickly than we can do in the case of the Transvaal. As I said, that is not from a speech by any member of the present Government. They are the words of Mr Chamberlain.

I need not dwell upon the difference in the situation of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony. In the Transvaal we have not only racial division but industrial and commercial interests which are varied and more or less equally balanced, and the chances of a political contest must remain doubtful. In the Orange River Colony, on the other hand, there is only one interest, the agricultural, and only one race, the Dutch, and the only thing doubtful in the election would, I suppose, be the size of the minority. It is not surprising under these circumstances that there should have been some feeling in favour of the restoration in some form or manner of the previous Government. There was this fatal objection to that—by no manner of means could it be made to secure the settled characteristic of responsible Government, i.e., the responsibility of Ministers to Parliament. We must give responsible Government, not only or principally because we have so promised, but because unless we do so we raise up once more the serious obstacle to the ultimate federation of the South African Colonies.

The best way in which I can state the nature of the proposals we make is to read to the House the telegram which I have to-day despatched to the High Commissioner. It is as, follows— His Majesty's Government have throughout been anxious that no unnecessary delay should take place in the accomplishment of the declared purpose of His Majesty to confer responsible government upon the Orange River Colony; and they are now able to announce that the main bases and provisions of the Constitution as granted to the Transvaal shall equally apply in the case of the older sister colony, and they will, therefore, advise. His Majesty to issue Letters Patent for the Orange River Colony following in its substantial features the Transvaal Letters Patent of the 6th inst. Representation will be on voters' basis coupled with manhood suffrage and a residential qualification of six months. The magisterial districts will be retained with their existing boundaries for electoral purposes, and there will be separate representation of towns. The Legislative Assembly will consist of thirty-eight members, comprising twenty-seven district members and eleven town members. I have a list of the separate districts. I do not know whether noble Lords desire me to read it.


May we have the towns?


I will give the constituencies and the towns— List of constituencies:—Bloemfontein, Kroonstad, Rouxville, and Winburg, two members each; Bethlehem, Bethulie, Boshof, Edenburg, Ficksburg, Frankfort, Harrismith, Heilbron, Hoopstad, Ladybrand, Lindley, Philippolis, Senekal, Smithfield, Thaba 'Nchu, Vrede, Vredefort, and Wepener, one member each; Fauresmith and Jacobsdal (together), one. Towns:—Bloemfontein, five members; Harrismith, Kroonstad, one each; Bethlehem, Fouriesburg, and Ficksburg (together), one; Jagersfontein and Koffyfontein together), one; Parys, Vredefort, and Heilbron (together), one; Ladybrand and Thaba 'Nchu (together), one. The allocation of seats has been made on the results of the census of 1904, except that five members are allotted to Bloemfontein town to allow for an increase of population. The principle followed is similar to that laid down in the case of the Transvaal in Schedule 3 of the Letters Patent. Provision will be made for automatic redistribution. The Legislative Council will consist of eleven members, and will be constituted in the first instance by nomination as in the case of the Transvaal. The provisions with respect to the Intercolonial Council and land settlement and reservation of laws on certain subjects will be similar to those in the Transvaal Letters Patent. As there was not in the Orange River Colony a district which marked itself out, as the Witwatersrand did, as an urban district, it has been necessary to make provision for the separate representation of towns in the manner prescribed in the telegram I have quoted—that is, in part, by grouping towns together to make the necessary constituency. When noble Lords compare this telegram with the text of the Letters Patent they will no doubt be able to fill up the particulars readily. But of course the actual drafting of the Letters Patent will be proceeded with without delay on the lines I have now laid down. It will be remembered, however, that in the case of the Transvaal, certain steps had been taken already before we assumed office to provide for a voters' list under the Constitution of 1905. In the Orange River Colony everything has still to be done; but I can undertake to say that no time will be lost; and I hope that by the autumn of next year both Colonies will be fully equipped. I have repudiated already the charges of delay. As a matter of fact, when it was decided to revoke the Letters Patent of 1905, it was seen that some delay was necessary and that the election could not take place till months later. But we publicly announced that; and I might mention one incident that occurred at the time of the revocation of the Letters Patent. I had an interview in the spring with an important official from the Transvaal, and he said— I suppose that you must now be intending to have two more sessions of the present Council, for it would be quite impossible for you to get things ready sooner. I replied— That is not my estimate. I hope all will be ready in December, and I have had the pleasure of sending my friend a copy of the Letters Patent. I do not take the credit to myself. If I may claim any credit, I should like to claim it for the Committee who went to South Africa and from whom we got valuable council; for the Governor and the Lieutenant-Governor, who have always been ready ungrudgingly to give his every information; and, above all, for the gentlemen who have unsparingly devoted time and thought to the preparation of this extremely important and Complicated document. In conclusion, I feel that the responsibility of His Majesty's Government in for- mulating such a settlement as this has been very great; I feel my responsibility as representing His Majesty's Government to-day is very great. But there is one fact which, I think, offers us some encouragement, and that is that, since these proposals were first made public in July, there has been a general willingness to acknowledge that at any rate an earnest effort has been made to deal in a fair and equitable manner with the different sides of this difficult and complicated question. I venture to assure the House that in this the country has done us no more than justice; and it is in the hope that the House will not refuse to endorse that judgment that I now leave the matter in your Lordships' hands.


My Lords, I do not wish to go at any great length into the discussion of the Constitution of the Transvaal, upon which I had something to say on a previous occasion. But there are two or three questions which I should like to put, with a view to eliciting certain information. The working of this Constitution will, as I believe, depend very largely upon the constitution of the Legislative Council. If the Legislative Council is fairly composed, then, I think, the Parliamentary institutions will work with fair smoothness, and the Transvaal Government may look forward to the future with some degree of confidence. How is the Council to be composed? According to the Letters Patent, the members of the Council are to be summoned by the Governor. I take it that that is the phrase which was inevitable as a matter of form; but I do not suppose (indeed, I think the contrary has been said elsewhere on another occasion) that the members of the Council are absolutely to be selected by the Governor, Lord Selborne. They would be agreed upon, no doubt, after consideration of the advice and recommendations received by Lord Selborne, but would not be exclusively selected by his authority, and though he summoned them to the Council, they would be summoned by him under the authority, with reference to the persons summoned, of the Government at home. I have no doubt that Lord Selborne would choose the fifteen members of this Council with the best wish to form a Council which should work fairly with Parliament in the future, but I confess that I do not think the selection of Lord Selborne would give great confidence to the people of the Transvaal if it was supposed that he had the absolute selection of the fifteen members. I confess, for my own part, greatly as I respect the character of Lord Selborne—as indeed all must who have had any degree of intimacy with him—I do not consider that he is the best person to select, on his absolute authority, the members of the Council which is to form such an important part of the future Parliament of the Transvaal. Therefore I should like to have confirmed what was said by the Under-Secretary, I think, on a former occasion—that the members of the Council, although summoned by the Governor on the spot, are to be named, and selected, and approved by the authority of the Government at home.

There is a singular provision with respect to this Legislative Council which perhaps has not attracted the attention of your Lordships. The Parliament which is to be set on foot—the Legislative Assembly and nominated Council—will have the power of suggesting the mode of, and framing the scheme for, providing the elected Council of the future. The nominated Council will run five years. At the end of four years, Parliament is invited to frame a mode of electing members of the Council for the future, so that we may look forward to an elected Councilto succeed the nominated Council in the future Parliament of the Transvaal. But in the event of no such mode being agreed upon at the end of four years—in the event of a failure to provide means of electing an elected Council in the future—there is a provision that the present nominated Council shall be succeeded by another nominated Council, and that that second nominated Council is to be nominated on the spot by the Governor in Council. Now, nomination by the Governor in Council is a very remarkable way of creating a second Council. It would be very convenient, no doubt, to the incoming Ministry after a new election to recommend how the Second Chamber should be constituted. It would be very agreeable, and it would facilitate the transaction of business in this country of ours, if the Second Chamber were nominated on the authority, recommendation, or advice of Ministers of the Crown, by the selection of the Crown at the commencement of every Parliament. Such a state of things would doubtless produce harmony between the two Chambers; but I do not suppose that that is really a serious and valuable contribution to the question of this country's constitution in the future, and I imagine that your Lordships would regard such a proposal with some surprise. But that, as I understand it, is the way in which the Council of the Transvaal is to be supplied in the future in case of a failure on the part of the new Parliament of the Transvaal to devise some means of electing the Council.

There is another point upon which I should not have spoken at all but for the language of the noble Earl just now in reference to Chinese labour. He spoke of the power of the new Legislature of the Transvaal to pass the new Labour Ordinance, and he seemed to throw it on the unrestricted discretion of the new Legislature of the Transvaal to frame that new Labour Ordinance.




The language which the noble Earl used went, I think, to that length. He said that supposing they did nothing, then such and such things would happen; but supposing they passed a new Labour Ordinance, then the coolies there might remain under that new Labour Ordinance. But I wish to have it emphasised—as I now take it to be emphasised by the noble Earl—that any new Labour Ordinance devised by the new Legislature will be expressly reserved for the sanction of the Government at home, and will not be regarded as a matter of course to be accepted and approved by the Government on the spot. It will have to be a Labour Ordinance differing radically from that at present in existence, if, as I conceive, it is to receive any degree of approbation in this country.

Two or three questions have occurred to me about the land settlement clause; but I am not sure that it is discreet on my part to ask them, although it is merely for information that I wish to have some obscurities of the Ordinance elucidated. The three members of the Board of Land Settlement are to be nominated by the Governor, and to hold office during pleasure. Will they, then, be personally removable by the advice of his Ministers under the new régime which you are going to set up? They hold office during pleasure, being nominated by the Governor. How, office holders during pleasure would be undoubtedly capable of being displaced, and constitutionally would have to be displaced, if the advisers of the Crown recommended that such persons should be removed from office. Would the members of this Board be removed on the recommendation of the new Ministers under the Parliamentary system which we are now establishing if they recommended the Government so to do? Also, the Governor is to declare what salaries these Commissioners should have; but I have not been able to ascertain out of what fund these salaries are to be paid. That is a question which must have a very important bearing on the tenure of their office, apart from the question of their removability, to which I have already referred. I do not see myself how that fund is to be provided for. It is possible that the noble Duke opposite has some information of that kind. The £58,000 to which he referred, and which is entirely unknown to me, may cover some provision in the future which is supposed to be extended towards the salaries, but I really do not know anything about it, and I do not see what provision is made for the payment of the salaries of the members of this Board.

Lastly, the members of the Board are to receive the present balance of funds allotted for the purpose of settlement, and any further sums which, having the sanction of the Government at home, may be allotted for the purpose by the Inter-Colonial Council. But that Inter-Colonial Council, I observe, depends for its existence on the acquiescence in future of the Government of the Transvaal, and of the Government of the Orange River Colony, each of which would bring the Inter-Colonial Council to an end; so that I have not very much anxiety about the power of the Inter-Colonial Council on that point.

I may perhaps be allowed to make one observation in conclusion, by way of qualification of what has been said by the noble Earl. He has told us that it may well happen that in view of the agricultural capabilities of the Transvaal and of the desirability of adding to the agricultural population, the new Government of the Transvaal may promote a system of land settlement. I should be very much surprised if it did, and I confess that the agricultural outlook of the Transvaal is not, in my estimate, of that inviting character which the noble Earl described. But if any land settlement is carried out such as has been carried out, for instance, in several of the Australian Colonies at different times in their history, and such as has been carried out more recently in New Zealand, it will be, I take it, a land settlement which will not be for the purpose of promoting any political object whatever; it will be a settlement which will be in the best interests of the settlers, be they English or be they Dutch—a settlementwhich will provide good agricultural workers for all the agricultural land which may be suitable for cultivation. I do not think myself that the history of South Africa in the past or the condition of South Africa at present is at all inviting to any agricultural population. If I had a friend who was intending to carry on any agricultural pursuit, the Transvaal is about the last place to which I should recommend him to go. I have no great anxiety about it; but I only wish to suggest that, although the Government of the future will have full power to promote—and if it chooses can promote—any settlement it pleases, it can scarcely be of the same character as that of the land settlement promoted under the auspices of the noble Viscount on a former occasion, which was actuated not so much by the desire to promote the best interests of agriculture as by the desire to promote certain political action within the area of the Transvaal.


Unfortunately I was not in the House when the noble Earl, Lord Elgin, made his statement upon that portion of the Letters Patent which refers to Chinese Labour. Your Lordships have always been very indulgent whenever I have addressed you on this subject, and I hope I may offer a few more remarks. Of course the dispute is over now. The Government has decided what shall be done, and as regards the arguments for or against what the Transvaal found it necessary to do, I have nothing more to say. We have made our fight, and we have been defeated. But I should like your Lordships to understand what I think will be the effect of the Chinese Labour Clauses (if I may designate them by that term) if the objects of the Government, as I understand them, take effect. I am not going to indulge in excursions into the realms of prophecy as to what is certain to happen; I only propose to suggest to your Lordships what may happen.

As I understand it, from the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Courtney, the intention of the Government is that the Chinese labourers shall complete their existing contracts, and that unless some law is passed affecting their re-engagement, the coolies will leave South Africa at the end of their present engagements. As the noble Lord on the back benches pointed out, any law of the Transvaal upon that subject will, I suppose, have to go through the same procedure that every colonial law has to do—it will require the assent of His Majesty. And I imagine that if the present Government are then in office, and are true to their profession, they will take objection to any law which does not provide that the Chinese shall return to their own country at the end of their engagement. I think it is extremely unlikely that the Transvaal will consent to a law which allows the Chinese to settle in the country. On the other hand, His Majesty's Government was, I understand, faced by the fact that a Chinaman is willing to return to his own country at the end of his contract. That is held by His Majesty's Government to be too servile a condition, and one to which they cannot assent. So that there seems to me to be the gravest probability of a difference of opinion upon that point. If that be so, and if the Transvaal are unable to pass such a law as His Majesty's Government will advise His Majesty to assent to, then it seems to me that the effect of the Letters Patent must be this—that by April, 1908, that is to say, some sixteen months from now, as many as 40,000 Chinese, or very nearly that number, will have returned, or will be about to return. That, I should judge from all that has been said by His Majesty's Government and by their followers, is the object at which they aim. Whether that be so or not, I think that they ought to realise that the effect of such repatriation must be the paralysation of the most important industry in South Africa. There have been a great many misleading statements made on the subject of the supply of unskilled labour in South Africa.

There have been two Commissions, if not three, which have reported on the subject, and the two important ones have reported to the same effect—that owing to the hereditary pursuits of the Kaffir, there is an insufficiency of supply of manual labour in that country. The Kaffir is not a labourer by preference or by training; he is a farmer. He has his piece of land, and he does not undertake labour very readily, and generally only under the urgency of a failure of crops, or because he wishes to improve his position. He leaves his family at home to get in the crops, and he goes and does a certain amount of work for a very limited time—very seldom for more than six months—in order to improve his position at home. The labour in the mines at those great depths is naturally less attractive, and, in addition, is more dangerous, than surface work, and therefore the competition, which is always severe, is further increased by that fact. Surface labour, or labour in a mine like the Premier Diamond Mine, which is practically akin to surface labour, is far more attractive than labour in the deep level gold mines of the Rand. Now, before the war it is estimated—because statistics were very indifferently kept, or never kept at all—that there were about 105,000 Kaffirs working on the mines, and it was known that a very fair proportion of that number were always inefficient, owing to the ease with which drink was got in those days, and that they were incapacitated by excess. There are now working on the mines of the Transvaal some 85,000 Kaffirs, and it is beyond dispute that the number of Kaffirs now working in the Transvaal is considerably in excess of the number who were formerly working there. I do not mean to say that the population has decreased, but that the number of Kaffirs working in the Transvaal, employed by various employers besides the mines, is considerably in excess of what it was before the war. That points to the conclusion which I arrived at just now—that competition is always severe, and has been more severe since the war, owing to the demand from other employers of labour, such as municipal employment, Government employment, railway employment, and so on. There are now working on the mines of the Transvaal about 85,000 Kaffirs. If as many as 40,000 Chinese—it is very nearly that—36,000, actually, I think—leave the Transvaal permanently by the end of April, 1908, it is perfectly obvious that the industry will be to a very considerable extent paralysed. I hope sincerely that another inquiry will be held at the earliest possible date into the subject of labour supply. His Majesty's Government have ignored altogether the evidence that has been obtained by previous Commissions, and their reports. I personally, and others, last year, or rather early this year, implored the Government to appoint a Commission to inquire into that subject. They refused to do so. I do not say that they have refused to consider the reports of previous Commissions, but they have certainly ignored those reports, and they apparently now contemplate without apprehension the possible paralysis of this industry. The effect of it on the white population employed on the mines must be most serious; that is perfectly obvious, and I do not think that it is right that Answers should be given in another place which lead people to suppose that the employment of whites on the mines is a matter of indifference to the population there. A few weeks ago an Answer was allowed by the noble Earl (Lord Elgin) to be given in another place to this effect: it is reported that the Under- Secretary stated on the 30th October, that— 1,000 white miners had been dismissed from the Rand during the past six months, and that during the same period the number of Chinese labourers had increased by 3,598. The people of the Witwatersrand were becoming fully alive to the significance of these facts, and would shortly be able to express their views openly through the medium of a representative assembly. I think anyone would infer from that reply that the Europeans employed in the mines had materially decreased, as compared with the number of Chinese employed; and I do not think it is a very wide assumption to suppose that people would assume that the European miners referred to were those employed in the mines. Well, now, that is not what had taken place. There had been a decrease of white miners—of European miners—on the mines generally, but that was due to this, that owing to the policy of His Majesty's Government, construction works on the developing mines had been put a stop to. The number of white miners in the mines had actually increased, but the number employed over the whole field had decreased owing to the fact that construction work on the developing mines had been put a stop to. That has been brought about by the apprehensions caused by His Majesty's Government. I have got the actual figures here from Government returns of the miners employed. The number of Europeans at work underground on the last day of September (and that was the month that was taken by the Colonial Office in their reply in another place), was 7,199, while the number in March, 1906, in the producing mines it was 6,999. I might interpolate here that a subsequent reply was given by the Colonial Office—again, I suppose, by the noble Earl's permission—which showed a lamentable ignorance of what was meant by a "producing mine" and a "developing mine," and I took the liberty of correcting that at an early opportunity in The Times. A producing mine, I need hardly say, is a crushing mine, where ore is being crushed for the production of gold, while a developing mine is a mine where the crushing of ore has not yet commenced. In March, 1906, the number of Europeans at work underground was 6,999; in September, 7,199. So that there was an actual increase in those months. What had happened was that on the non-producing mines where the men were not necessarily engaged underground, but were probably engaged upon surface work, the numbers had dropped from 570 to 370, a decrease of 200, as compared with an increase of 600 on the producing mines. Those are Government figures up to the end of September, and they were available for the noble Earl if he had chosen to use them. Instead of doing so, he allowed a misleading statement of that kind to be made in Parliament, and naturally people who expect to get correct figures from Government are misled by such statements. I submit that there has been a good deal of misunderstanding in this country arising from mistatements somewhat similar to those.

Besides this which I have pointed out to your Lordships as regards the possible result of the policy of His Majesty's Government, there is one other matter which I feel bound to refer to again, and that is the policy which His Majesty's Government have deliberately chosen to pursue as regards the Kaffirs from Portuguese territory. About 70 per cent. of the Kaffirs employed on the mines come from Portuguese territory. They are not British subjects; they are the subjects of His Majesty the King of Portugal, and, as I have explained several times to your Lordships, there has been always an arrangement with the mines on the Rand that they should be allowed to recruit in Portuguese East Africa. I believe it was a monopoly for the mines. The Portuguese authorities prefer that they should know where their Kaffirs go to, and, after the war, a co-operative system having been set up, the Portuguese authorities undoubtedly preferred that their Kaffirs should be engaged by the Native Labour Association, because they could lay hands upon them, and knew where they were; they could trace them if they wanted to, and they got rid of all the worst part of the recruiting scheme by doing away with the old touting system. I should like to show your Lordships what His Majesty's Government have been doing as regards this subject. They must have known for months what their policy was. Their policy is to get rid of Chinese labour. They have said so over and over again—of course unless the Transvaal is prepared to accept what His Majesty's Government regard as a servile condition. That was the only excepttion, otherwise His Majesty's Government were determined that Chinese labour should be got rid of. They knew that—that has been their policy for months past—and yet they have entered into a confederacy with one of the magnates of the Rand. Your Lordships will know what epithets have been applied to those who are termed "the magnates of the Rand" by the followers of His Majesty's Government. They have been called by every opprobrious epithet that it is possible to apply to them, and yet His Majesty's Government have entered into a confederacy with one of these same magnates. For what purpose? In order to get him out of a difficulty, and that the Chinese should go back. They have endeavoured, so far unsuccessfully, to obtain preference—this from a Government which I should have thought at any rate would have been impartial—to obtain from the Portuguese Government preference for their confederate—the Robinson Group. I do not think that anyone can regard that as a very dignified attitude for his Majesty's Government, having regard to all they have said of the magnates of the Rand. Well, if we are black sheep, I do not suppose even the Robinson Group would claim to be a white sheep amongst the flock. If we are black, the Robinson Group is as black as any other, and yet His Majesty's Government have entered into this confederacy with the Robinson Group solely for the purpose (because it would have been possible for them to have acted impartially towards all the groups at the same time) of obtaining a benefit for this one group. And in order to secure that—there is no question about this; it is perfectly well known—they have been bringing every possible diplomatic weapon they can to bear upon the Ministers concerned. That, I submit, is hardly a dignified attitude for His Majesty's Government to take up in regard to the Portuguese Colony. What the effect of this diplomatic pressure will be, we none of us know at present. What we do know is, that His Majesty's Government are still bringing this diplomatic pressure to bear against the wishes of the Colonial Government. The Colonial Government, who, one must assume, know their own business best, are most anxious that this competitive system which His Majesty's Government are trying to introduce should not be adopted. They know the system which the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association have conducted; they know the care that is taken as regards the medical examination of the Kaffirs when they come to the border; they know the care that is taken of them when they are on the way up to the Rand, and the medical care they receive when they arrive there. They are not allowed to be sent down the mines until the doctors pass them as fit for labour. What provision have His Majesty's Government made, I should like to know, that the Robinson Group shall take the same care of the Kaffirs when they are recruited for that body? I have not heard that any steps what ever have been taken through all this diplomatic pressure. I do not understand that any proviso has been put in by His Majesty's Government that precisely the same care shall be taken of the Kaffirs when they are recruited by the Robinson Group as has been taken of them by the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association.

It is impossible to say what is going to be the result of all this dispute that has been going on now for so long, but I have no hesitation in saying that if the result of the clauses in the Letters Patent is what the noble Lord on the back benches wishes, and all the Chinamen are repatriated, it is inevitable that the industry must suffer severely. It may be disputed opposite, but I speak from the statements of everyone out there. If your Lordships ever read the Daily Telegraph, you will see what is the opinion that has been expressed by leaders of every political party out there. They are very small parties, but from every party out there, there is an expression of opinion that if the Chinese are repatriated in such numbers as I have suggested, the industry must suffer most materially. That is all I have to say. It is impossible for us to dispute this question any longer. All I hold out now is a warning to His Majesty's Government that that is a possibility, and that if that possibility arises, they cannot expect to find, after six to twelve months, a satisfied Colony.


I must say a few words in answer to the noble Lord opposite. I did not intend to say anything, but as the noble Lord has made so many statements in this House, so many gloomy prophecies, I should wish to make a few remarks if only for the sake of cheering him and encouraging him not to take such a black view of the future of the Transvaal. The noble Lord asks the Government to appoint another Commission—


The Colonial Government.


The noble Lord asks the Colonial Government to appoint another Commission in order to discover whether there is or is not a shortage of black labour in South Africa. We know the history of the last Commission upon that subject. We know the views that they entertained with regard to Chinese labour when they were appointed. We know the way in which they ruled out from the evidence all allusion to Chinese labour, and we know the Report which was the result of that Commission. And we now know what the birth and the career was of the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association of which at that time we were ignorant. For we now know, what I stated in this House to be the fact, that the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association was an association in the nature of a monopoly for recruiting black labour, and an association which, by reason of that monopoly, was able to produce an artificial scarcity of black labour.




They could regulate to a nicety the number of black labourers they should import, and when the time came to make a good case for Chinese labour, singularly enough the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association could not find enough black labour in order to supply the demand. Since then, we have known that when that difficulty had been removed, the difficulty they found in recruiting black labour was also removed, and I would encourage the noble Lord to hope—hope springs eternal in his breast, I am sure—that when the necessity arises for producing more black labour owing to the departure of a number of Chinese labourers to their native land, if he will only communicate with the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association, they will have no difficulty in supplying the necessary recruits. But the noble Lord's great objection is this—that the monopoly is breaking down, and that the Government, seeing the disadvantage to the Transvaal, and the disadvantage to everybody concerned, of the power of the Chamber of Mines to produce an artificial scarcity of black labour in that country, have been issuing permits to another group of rival mines which no doubt are very objectionable to the noble Lord.


He is no rival; Mr. Robinson has been a member of the association the whole time.


Yes, but I undestand that Mr. Robinson has left now. Disliking the methods of the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association, he has left that association, and is now, being dissatisfied with the amount of labour that is produced under the monopoly restrictions, seeking to obtain native labour for himself. That makes the noble Lord very angry, and I have no doubt that as far as the monopoly is concerned, the granting of a licence to Mr. Robinson to recruit in Portuguese East Africa will have the effect of breaking down the monopoly hitherto maintained by the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association, and in the breaking down of that monopoly I trace the anger of the noble Lord at the action of His Majesty's Government. So far as we poor people on this side of the ocean are concerned, we do not see any advantage in a monopoly for recruiting black labour in East Africa. No doubt there were evils, I do not deny it, following in the train of miscellaneous and promiscuous recruiting, but under certain restrictions we do not see in the least why every effort should not be made to obtain recruiting grounds for persons who are not members of the monopoly under the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association. I think myself the noble Lord may take a more cheerful view. He will find that as the necessity arises, the black men will be produced. I have no doubt that the noble Lord's great objection is to the breaking down of the monopoly of the association. He candidly confessed as much the other night by his spokesman in the other House, because he said it would tend to raise the wages of the blacks. If it raises the wages of the blacks, certainly for my part I should look on with perfect indifference.


You do not farm in South Africa.


I do not see why a monopoly should exist for the purpose of keeping down wages; therefore, I for my part would welcome the breakdown of this monopoly. I hope the noble Lord will forget his jealousy of the rival group of mines, and will aid the Robinson Group in obtaining sufficient blacks to take the place of the 40,000 Chinamen when they go home; and if he does that, I am sure that the noble Lord and his mines will not be any the worse for the abolition of the Chinese.


My Lords, in the first place I desire to apologise to the noble Lord for interrupting him in his interesting statement, but as I worked for a considerable period upon this subject, I was anxious to get certain information, and I had some anxiety lest the want of elasticity in the rules of the House should not allow the noble Lord to speak again.

The Question which I should like to ask the noble Lord with regard to the settlers in South Africa is this. On page 11 of the Constitution the question of funds is dealt with. The Imperial Land Board which the noble Earl has created by the Constitution I am sure everyone will welcome, and it will do a great deal to remove the anxiety which has undoubtely been felt among the settlers in South Africa. But if there is to be this Land Board, and if it is given no funds to carry out the work, it will be practically a bogus Board, and it will be no advantage to anyone. My anxiety about the funds has been considerable, because obviously if there are good times, and the return of that £2,500,000 is to take place, if times are good, and the money is paid regularly, there will be something with which to carry on the Board's work. But then if times are good, the settlers will not require assistance. On the other hand the times may not be good. There may be a series of droughty years, because it is generally acknowledged that drought is apt to run in a series of years in Australia and in other countries where drought frequently prevails, and both Boer and British agriculturists may then be in a very serious position. In that case no money will be coming back, and, therefore, as far as I can see, there will be no money with which to run the Board. Because, in the case put here, there are two conditions under which money can come to the Board. The first is that they can get a certain portion of the money which has already been appropriated, or rather I should say a certain part of the unexpended portion of the £2,500,000. What, exactly, is that sum? I believe practically the whole of that £2,500,000 is now expended.


I am not sure about that.


I think the noble Earl will find that of that £2,500,000, £2,340,000 or so had been expended up to last July, and there has been a further grant of £50,000 this year to the Orange River Colony for special objects in connection with the war and one or two other points. That money has been already allocated, and is therefore useless as far as regards the present question. I should like to know how much of that £2,500,000 can be directly taken by the Board.

Then there is a second purpose for which this money is given to the Board. As I have already said, given a bad year, they have no money to expend at all. The next point you have to consider is in (c) of page 11 of the Constitution, which says— Such further sums as may be approved by a Secretary of State out of the moneys hereafter appropriated to the Government by the said council for land purposes. This has got to be approved by the Council—that is to say, the Inter-Colonial Council. This taking of the half-million of money which remains for the Land Settlement Grant is to be by the approval of the Inter-Colonial Council. I humbly beg to offer the prophecy that there is very little chance of the Land Settlement Board seeing any of this £500,000, because the Inter-Colonial Council will be practically entirely composed of Boers, as your Lordships will see if you look at its composition. As I understand, it is to be composed—and I hope the noble Lord will correct me if I am wrong—of seven members from the Transvaal and eight from the Orange River Colony. Now in the Orange River Colony, to take that first, out of the electing places which the noble Lord mentioned in his statement only five Britishers can possibly be returned. I give the statement merely, I am afraid, on my own authority, but it has been given to me so often in the case of my numerous visits to South Africa that I assume it to be so. Under the distribution of elective seats you have five members in the new elective Chamber from the Orange River Colony. Therefore you may anticipate that there will be only a very small proportion of pro-British members—or, if you do not care for the term "pro-British," you will have, at all events, not many of English birth. In the remainder of the Legislative Council, which is made up of the eleven members from the Transvaal, you will no doubt, in your nominated Legislative Council, have a proportion who will have open minds, at all events, on the land settlement question, but a majority, or at all events a large proportion, of those also will be already pledged against land settlement. Therefore I think you may say that it is practically certain that in the Legislative Council there will be a very large majority who have already, being Boer leaders, expressed the attitude they are going to take with regard to land settlement, and therefore, with regard to this £500,000 out of the £3,000,000 which has been voted by the British Government to the Colony for definite, specific purposes of land settlement, there is very little chance of seeing that £500,000 go to the purposes for which it was authorised. If you have got a Board, and if, as I think I have shown, there is very little chance of any money coming to that Board to enable it to administer its duties, is it not rather a farce to appoint a Board at all?

I hope the noble Lord will be able to give me an answer under those two heads—first, as to what is the residue of the £2,500,000 already appropriated and, secondly, if he anticipates there is the least chance of these poor wretched settlers—these men who fought for us in the war—getting the remaining £500,000. I think it will be regarded very unfavourably in the country if this Board is simply an eye-wash, and of no value at all, and the Government will in that case suffer considerable loss of prestige. The noble Duke mentioned £58,000. I do not pretend to know the exact figure; I should have said it was rather less—perhaps about £45,000—which comes from the £2,225,000 to £2,500,000 already expended. But of this £45,000, or thereabouts, which is the annual income of the Board, already a great portion has been definitely allocated to certain business. You have first got the payment of the Board; you have got the whole of the development work which has been undertaken and which must go on; you have got the various dam schemes which are already begun, and others which must come forward; and you have got your Water Board. Does that leave much margin out of which to look after your settlers in the country? I say most distinctly it does not, and I again repeat that if this Board is not given enough money to look after these settlers the thing is a sham and a farce which I can scarcely believe for one moment the Government would set itself to establish.

There is another question on the subjest of these settlers which I would humbly ask His Majesty's Government, and that is the question of their repre- sentation. I pressed the question the other day, and I was told that they were being looked after by the Government. I think those were the words the noble Lord used. The only "looking after" that I can see which the noble Earl Lord Elgin has carried out with regard to the settlers is that their one hope of representation—that is to say, by entering the Legislative Council—is entirely knocked away, because in your Regulations for the Legislative Council you only admit men of over three years standing in the Colony. There are very few Colonists there—the colonising work only began two years ago—and the only place where these poor wretched settlers could possibly have a chance of making their voice heard is cut away from under them. I can hardly believe that that was done on purpose to keep out men who had shown their loyalty to the country, but not one single man can be returned, for any electoral body, nor can they be returned for any legislative body, by this three years rule. I think the demand of these settlers is a very moderate one, and although the noble Lord appears pleased with what he has done for their benefit, I, speaking as one who knows a great many of them, and who has heard their views on the subject of the way in which they are likely to be treated by the Boers, think their condition is indeed dangerous.

There was one statement to which I should like to take exception, namely, the statement by Lord Elgin that the Government had carried out the principles which were contemplated last July. I venture to offer the opinion that the Government have traversed a great many of the principles which they put forth last July. One of their first principles—I do not confine myself necessarily to the July statement, but I refer to the March and the July statements in another place—was that the principle of land settlement was to be given. Another great principle put forward was that the Chinese were going to be taken away from the Rand. I would prophesy that three years may go by and we shall see uncommonly few Chinese leave that country. But to return to the question of land settlement for a moment (I will deal with the question of the Chinese afterwards), in July and in August the question was taken up of the possibility of your £4,000,000 scheme for placing men on the Rand. You say that scheme failed because it met with no approval. I suggest that the reason that it met with no approval was that the scheme itself was radically bad. It was not so much that it was a scheme which the land settlers objected to, but that the scheme put forward was an impossible one. You offered a bribe of, I think, £1,000,000 for compensation. You offered £500,000, or £250,000, for a light railway from Sanna's Post. There was a further £1,000,000 to be given for the Land Bank, and the residue was to go into land settlement. But who was this money going to? £2,000,000 of that money was going to the Board of Interest. There was no chance of getting the men who were going to find the money to vote that. If you had given them a plain issue on the land settlement question do you think you would have had the same answer? I very much doubt it. And again, from the Boer point of view, they thought they were going to be fobbed off with one final £1,000,000 to clear up the whole question. Now, my Lords, if any of you have ever travelled in South Africa, you will bear me out when I say that there is one question which always interests the Boer, and that is the question of the compensation. He will talk about it for hours, and he is determined that whatever else is done or left undone, the Government shall at all events give them the compensation. It is quite obvious, if you mention such a beggarly sum as £1,000,000 for the compensation, no Boer would ever look at such a scheme, and therefore that scheme was foredoomed to failure because the scheme itself was radically bad. You alienated the English on the one hand by giving them a sop, and you alienated the Boers on the other hand by not making that sop sufficiently large.

On the question of the Chinamen, upon which Lord Coleridge has spoken so eloquently, I think there were one or two facts which were hardly taken into consideration when the question of legislation on this subject was being discussed. When we come to the end of the year, when it will be necessary for the Transvaal Government to put forward some suggestions, I think you will find that in a Government in which the majorities will be very close, something of the nature of coalition and compromise must be come to, and that where there are such big sums to be dealt with—for compensation, for schools, for railway development, and so on—both Britons and Boers will be very chary of sacrificing, or lowering the money production of the country, and I think that as they are chary about lowering the one big industry they have got, you will find both Boers and Briton banded against any interference from the Home Government, and that if you postpone any action for the removal of the Chinese until a year after this Constitution has been in operation, the paper might just as well be torn up, as far as regards any good it is going to do in the direction of sending the Chinaman out of the country.

There are two other points I should like to take up before I sit down. One is the question of miscellaneous recruiting to which Lord Coleridge referred. My Lords, I do trust that there will be no indiscriminate recruiting outside the organised recruiting which is at present carried on. I do not pretend to know about the mines, but I do take an interest in the country from the agricultural point of view, and agriculture there requires so many natives to look after it—so many natives for ploughing, so many natives for general improvements, and so on; and I hope you will not revert to those days n which individuals were wandering about the country trying to bribe your best boys to go off to the Rand. They are not likely to do good to anyone; they are not likely to do good to the Rand, because it will cost more to get natives in that way, and they are likely to do a great deal of harm to the farmers by taking good boys away from the work to which they are accustomed.

There is a further question, on a matter brought up by Lord Courtney, and that is the question of the Legislative Council. I trust that the answer to the noble Lord will be that Lord Selborne will have the nomination of the nominated Legislative Council as it appears in this book which I hold in my hand. Here we have a country the Transvaal, where, out of 92,000 electors, 58,000, according to the latest Return, appear to be British, and where only a minority are Boers; and yet by the gerrymandering of the Constitution, a result has been arrived at b which equality, if not superiority, has been given to the Boer interest. I think, at all events, the British interest should have a chance of being represented by having a nominated Council to control that majority. I think the surely enough has been done for to other side, and that, at all events, as far as the Legislative Council is concerned, the loyalists of South Africa should now have a chance.


My Lords, I have only a few words to say, and owing to the lateness of the hour, I propose to mal my remarks even briefer than was m original intention. It is not by way criticism that I wish to say anything. As the noble Lord, Lord Harris, right said, the time for criticism has passed, and we are face to face with an accomplished fact, and whatever our opinions may have been of the wisdom or unwisdom of the policy which His Majesty's Government have seen fit to adopt, we must all share the wish expressed in the Letters Patent, by the gracious authority of the Sovereign, that the Constitution which is now bestowed up the Transvaal will result in the peace and contentment of that Colony. This is matter in which everybody, whatever his opinions, must join in the wish that the policy of His Majesty's Government will be successful. The only point which I wish to allude is this. It is regard to Article 39, and in this connection I have to express the hope that His Majesty's Government will be as zealous and as determined in the exercise of the reserved powers in respect to legislation which they have taken in the matter of the disabilities of our Indian fellow-subjects in the Transvaal, and as they undoubtedly be in regard to the imposing of disabilities on British industries that Colony. I hold that there is no question of Imperial policy which is fraught with more important possibilities than that of the treatment of our Indian fellow-subjects in the Colonies. I am fully aware of the immense difficulties of the question, and of the fact that hitherto no Government has been able to deal with them satisfactorily, but I feel certain that at least two members of His Majesty's Government—the noble Marquess who leads the House, and the noble Earl who presides over the Colonial Office—will have this great object at heart, to arrive at a solution of the question which will fulfil our honourable obligations to the people of India, and which, at the same time, will meet with the acceptance of our fellow-citizens in the Colonies. That is really all I wish to say. I have necessarily abbreviated my remarks, but I felt bound to say this much, because among the members of your Lordships' House who have in the past been responsible for the Government of India, I am the one who has most recently exercised that responsibility, and I felt, therefore, that it was a duty which I could not neglect to express this hope on behalf of our fellow-subjects in the great dependency of India.


With the permission of the House, I will endeavour to answer some of the questions put to me. In reply to Lord Courtney, I am glad of the opportunity of saying that the intention with regard to the nomination of the Legislative Council is that though the nominations are made through the Governor they should be referred for the approval of His Majesty's Government. That statement is one which I have made before, and that is the method by which we propose to act. With regard to the second nomination of the Legislative Council, I suppose that the noble Lord has not misconstrued the wording of the section. If it did so happen that a fresh Legislative Council might have to be nominated instead of being elected it would be in the power of the Governor in Council, which means the Ministry of the day, to nominate that Council. The whole intention, however, of the clause is that the nominated Council should only endure for the first session, and thereafter it should be an elected Council as in the other colonies. The other point raised with regard to the nominations was on the land settlement clause, and I would point out that in that clause the appointments are made expressly by the Governor and not by the Governor in Council. Therefore I imagine that the members of the Board would hold office during the Governor's pleasure.

I also desire to say that with regard to the new Labour Ordinance I ought perhaps to have brought out that we of course entirely adhere to the provisions of the Letters Patent, by which any fresh ordinance that was to be provided by the new Government of the Transvaal would have to come home as a reserved Bill. I have said before in my speech that in my humble opinion the continuance of the system is impracticable, but that I hope does not mean that if the Transvaal Government was to bring forward an Ordinance and submit it for the approval of His Majesty's Government, and if I still had the honour of holding the office I now hold, I would not give it the most careful consideration which is due to all measures deliberately sent home by any of our responsible governing colonies. In reply to my noble friend, Lord Harris, I quite expected that he would take the view of the probable results of this legislation which he has expressed, and I am not by any means inclined to deny that there are difficulties in the situation. But, my Lords, I have never been able to see that it was possible for any Government to overlook the duties which they deliberately thought they owed to the cause of morality and freedom, and it is on those grounds that we on this side of the House have taken exception to the system at present in force in the Transvaal, and it is for these reasons that we have inserted in the Letters Patent the provisions to which the noble Lord takes exception. With regard to the other matters to which he referred in his speech, I venture to think that they do not directly arise out of the provisions of the Letters Patent themselves. I have spoken more than once in answer to the noble Lord with regard to recruiting in Portuguese East Africa, and I adhere to what I have said before. I do not accept the proposition that we have embarked in this matter in any sense as confederates, but we have endeavoured to hold the scales evenly, and we shall persist in the policy which we have adopted.

In reply to Lord Lovat I desire to say that we certainly hoped and intended that sufficient funds would be available to carry on the work of the Imperial Board effectively during the five years in which it was to exist. I was not prepared for the question as to the exact balance that remained of money appropriated out of the loan, but whatever balance does remain is to be transferred to them. With regard to the further sums that may be appropriated, after some consideration we agreed that these should be made available for the purposes of the Board under the conditions described in Sub-section (c). The noble Lord objects to these conditions not so much because they would not provide adequately for the purpose, but because he distrusts the agents who may have to deal with the matter in the Inter-Colonial Council. All I can say in that matter is that I cannot agree with him. I cannot admit that the members of the Inter-Colonial Council will not act fairly and honourably in the discharge of their duties, whether they belong to the British or to the Dutch race; I believe that they may be relied upon. The noble Lord seems to me very much to minimise the amount of funds which ought to come into the possession of the Board from the repayment of advances. I do not know whether he overlooks the fact that no new settlers of any kind are to be put upon the land. Under these circumstances any repayments, and some of the settlers must be solvent, will come into the funds of the Board for the purposes of these five years. Remembering, therefore, that the only expenditure so far as I know will be upon improvements on the holdings, such as the water supply, of which the noble Lord spoke, and so on, I should have imagined that the funds would certainly have been sufficient. I will, however, inquire if there is any doubt upon the matter, but as far as my information goes that is the intention with which we undertook this matter and framed this clause, and I should be very much surprised to hear that we had not sufficiently supplied the Board with funds.

The Constitution of the Orange River Colony, like that of the Transvaal, will be based upon a general voters' list, and British settlers will have their votes like any other persons in the colony, but they cannot have more. With regard to the Legislative Council it might be possible that some representation might be given to them, but that I cannot speak of with any certainty at the present time. I do not see on what grounds there can be a claim for a permanent and separate representation for any particular section of His Majesty's subjects. I do not think I can follow the noble Lord into his statement that the provisions of the Letters Patent are not in accordance with statements made in July. In my opinion I think they are in exact accordance with those statements. I have said so before, and I repeat it now. I will not follow him into his criticisms of the scheme which we submitted to those who are qualified to speak on the subject through the High Commissioner. All I can say is that I am sure from the replies which we received that even on land settlement alone there was not that great concurrence of opinion which the noble Lord believed.

I do not think I need assure my noble friend opposite, who spoke of Indian disabilities, that he only correctly interpreted my view when he said I should be only too willing to do all I could to remove those disabilities. I am sure he also feels with me that this is a matter in which we have to keep control over our sentiments, because there are sentiments in other directions, and other of His Majesty's subjects are concerned. Therefore we are obliged to deal with this matter with great circumspection.

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