HL Deb 16 March 1911 vol 7 cc525-6

LORD AMPTHILL rose to ask His Majesty's Government—

  1. 1. What are the provisions of the Immigration Bill which is now before the South African Union Parliament.
  2. 2. Whether His Majesty's Government have had occasion to express any opinion on the Bill, and if so, whether they have ascertained the views of the Government of India.
  3. 3. Whether it is anticipated that the enactment of this proposed new law will prove to be a settlement of the grievances of the British Indians in the Transvaal.
  4. 4. Whether the various sections of the British Indian community in South Africa are satisfied with the provisions of the Bill; and to move for Papers.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I need not trouble your Lordships with any explanation of the Questions standing in my name on the Paper. I hope, however, that since I have awaited the convenience of the Colonial Office before putting the Questions it will be possible for the noble Lord who represents that Department to give us such information as will allay the anxiety of those for whom I speak, and who have so long felt sympathy with the Indians in the Transvaal and have been deeply concerned with the Imperial aspects of this question. I have no desire to press my Motion for Papers if the noble Lord can satisfy me that there are no Papers which can conveniently be laid at the present time. The object of the Motion is to obtain the details of the measure and of any negotiations which have been going on. I beg to move.

Moved, That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty for Papers with reference to the provisions of the Immigration Bill now before the South African Union Parliament.—(Lord Ampthill.)


My Lords, I am desired to state, in answer to the noble Lord's Questions, that His Majesty's Government have been in communication both with the Union Government and with the Government of. India with regard to the South African Immigration Bill. I am also glad to inform him that correspondence together with the actual text of the Bill will be laid on the Table of your Lordships' House early next week. I hope that will meet his point. With regard to the other Question, the Bill has been framed with the idea of doing away as far as possible with some of the grievances which have been so consistently complained of by "Indians who reside in South Africa, and His Majesty's Government trust that they will accept the Bill as removing the grievances in question.


I am greatly obliged to my noble friend, but lie has not quite answered the Question. He says that His Majesty's Government hope that the British. Indian community will be satisfied with the provisions of the Bill. Can he not tell me whether they are satisfied; whether their leaders have been consulted at all; whether any negotiations have passed?


I think the noble Lord will find that question answered in the Papers which will be laid on the Table.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.