• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Officials of Association of Closer...
 Members of the executive and delegates...
 March 3 - Speech by General...
 March 3 - Speech by Sir George...
 March 3 - Motion by Mr. Duncan...
 March 3 - Discussion of Mr. Duncan's...
 March 4 - Discussion of Mr. Duncan's...
 March 4 - Discussion of amendments...
 March 5 - Discussion of Mr. Duncan's...
 March 5 - Formal business
 March 5 - Speech by Sir Percy...






Group Title: Proceedings at the annual meeting of the Association of Closer Union Societies at Johannesburg, March 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1909. : Together with the speeches addressed to the delegates
Title: Proceedings at the annual meeting of the Association of Closer Union Societies at Johannesburg, March 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1909
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025477/00001
 Material Information
Title: Proceedings at the annual meeting of the Association of Closer Union Societies at Johannesburg, March 3rd, 4th and 5th, 1909 Together with the speeches addressed to the delegates
Physical Description: 55 p. : illus. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Association of Closer Union Societies
Smuts, Jan Christiaan, 1870-1950
Farrar, George
Fitzpatrick, Percy, 1862-1931
Publisher: Argus Co.
Place of Publication: Johannesburg
Publication Date: <1909>
 Subjects
Subject: Politics and government -- South Africa -- 1909-1948   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by General Smuts, Sir George Farrar and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.
General Note: Cover-title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025477
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001898344
oclc - 38345639
notis - AJX3653

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    Introduction
        Page ii
    Officials of Association of Closer Union Societies
        Page iii
    Members of the executive and delegates present at the conference
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    March 3 - Speech by General Smuts
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    March 3 - Speech by Sir George Farrar
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    March 3 - Motion by Mr. Duncan that the constitution be approved
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    March 3 - Discussion of Mr. Duncan's motion
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    March 4 - Discussion of Mr. Duncan's motion resumed
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    March 4 - Discussion of amendments to the constitution
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    March 5 - Discussion of Mr. Duncan's motion resumed and concluded
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    March 5 - Formal business
        Page 48
        Page 49
    March 5 - Speech by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
Full Text
tt


PROCEEDINGS
AT THE

ANNUAL MEETING

OF THE


{Association of Closer Union Societies

; AT JOHANNESBURG.





MARCH 3RD, 4TH AND 5TH, 1909.





TOGETHER WITH THE SPEECHES ADDRESSED
TO THE DELEGATES BY
GENERAL SMUTS, SIR GEORGE FARRAR
AND
SIR PERCY FITZPATRICK.


ARGus Co., LTD., JOHANNESBURG.-8804.


h. /


























Table of Contents.


PAGE
Officials of Association of Closer Union Societies ........... ... iii.
Members of Executive and Delegates present at Conference ...... iv.

March 3rd.-Speech by General Smuts ... ... ... ... ......... 1
Speech by Sir George Farrar ... ...... ... ...... 9
Motion by Mr. Duncan that the Constitution be approved 13
Discussion of Mr. Duncan's motion ... ... ... ...... 16'

March 4th.-Discussion of Mr. Duncan's motion resumed ... ... ... 23
Discussion of amendments to the Constitution ... ... 29

March 5th.-Discussion of Mr. Duncan's motion resumed and concluded 41
Formal business ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 48
Speech by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick ...... .. ... 50













Introduction.


The purpose of this publication is described in the following letter from
the Honorary Secretaries to the Association of Closer Union Societies to the
Secretary of every local Society:-
53, Sauer's Buildings,
Johannesburg,
6th March, 1909.
Telegrams: "Review," Johannesburg.
SIR,
We have the honour to inform you that on March 5th the Congress of
SCloser Union Societies, sitting at Jdhannesburg, resolved unanimously that the
Association of Closer Union Societies approves the draft ,South Africa Act, and
recommends its adoption by the Colonies of South Africa." The Congress was
attended by 111 members, representing 53 Societies.
As each Society will doubtless desire to discuss this resolution with their dele-
gates, it has been decidedto print the speeches in bock form, and to furnish a copy
to each member of your Society. We shall be glad therefore if you would furnish
us with a list of names and addresses of your members at your earliest con t,enience, in
order that a copy of the book may be forwarded to each of them direct by post.
The .Association recommends this resolution for the approval of your Society,
and suggests that its members should do all in their power to impress the policy
which it embodies on the different parties to which they belong. It is further
recommended that the Societies should request the Members representing their
respective divisions to give effect to this resolution when Parliament meets. I am
to add that the Executive Committee trusts that no effort will be spared by your
Society to promote the adoption of the draft Constitution so far as its own district
is concerned.
We are, Sir,
Your obedient servants,
L. CURTIS,
WILLIAM H. Low,
Hon. Secretaries, Association of Closer Union Societies.

The Executive of the Association would call the attention of all those
interested in the movement towards South African Union to their organ
The State. The State is not only devoted to the promotion of Closer Union;
it is also a National Magazine devoted to the discussion of politics, literature
and art as they affect South Africa. The March number is now on sale, and
contains, besides notes on the events of the month, articles on the Native
Problem, on Political Unions by Mr. H. A. L. Fisher, on South African
yachting (illustrated), on Jock of the Bushveld and those who knew him.
by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, poetry and an illustrated article on the old furni-
ture and glass of Cape Town. Everybody interested in South African Union.
the history and scenery of South Africa, and the problems which confront it
to-day, should buy The State. It is obtainable from the Central News
Agency and all booksellers, price 6d. a copy (post free per annum 8s.).













Officials of the Association of Closer Union Societies.




President ... ... ... His Honour ex-President M. T.,Steyn.. .,

AVice-Presidents ... ... Hon. F. S. Malan, M.L.A., J. W. Jagger,
M.L.A., Hon. John Daverin, M.L.C., J. A.
Neser, M.L.A., E. Rooth, M.L.A., C. L. Botha,
M.L.A., Hon. J. G. Maydon, and Col Grewe,
M.L.A.

.Executive-
(Cape Western) ... ... R. Brydone, H. S. van Zyl, M.L.A., C.
Struben, M.L.A., R. Stuttaford.

(Cape Midland) ... ... R. H. Lundie, M.L.A., Adv. McCausland, Henry
Forbes.

(Cape Border) ...... D. D. Nisbet, Hon. C. A. Schweizer, M.L.C.
(Burghersdorp), G. Whittaker, M.L.A. (Kingwil-
liamstown).


(Natal)


... ... ... C. C. Clark, H. M. Meyler, J. Ellis Brown.


(Orange River (


(Cape Northern)


(Transvaal)



Editor, The State


,olony)


H. G. Stuart, M.L.A., Hon. Dewdney Drew,
M.L.C., P. J. Faure.


Arend Brink, J. Denoon Duncan, J. W. De
Kock, M.L.A.

...... P. Duncan, C.M.G., W. F. Lance, M.L.A., J.
W. Quinn, M.L.A., F. Burger, F. W. Beyers,
M.L.A.

... ... P. H. Kerr.


Joint Hon. Secretaries... Hon. L. Curtis, M.L.C., and W. H. Low, M.A.

Hon. Treasurer ... ... Howard Pim.

Ion. Auditors ...... Messrs. Salisbury and Douglas.

"Telegraphic Addresses: Addresses: 53, Sauer's Buildings, Johannesburg;
Review, Johannesburg. AND


State, Cape Town.


P.O. Box 11003, Cape Town.
























Members of the Executive Present at the Conference.




C. C. Clark, Durban.
R. D. Clark, Maritzburg.
P. Duncan, Johannesburg.
W. F. Lance, M.L.A., Johannesburg.
Howard Pim, Johannesburg.
H. G. Stuart, Bloemfontein.
D. D. Nisbet, East London.
J. Denoon Duncan, Kimberley.
R. R. Brydone, Cape Town.
L. Curtis, M.L.C.
W. H. Low, M.A.

















LIST OF DELEGATES.


SOCIETY.


Beaconsfield ... ...


Claremot ...



Mobray .:. ...

De Aar......

Herbert


Grahamstown ...


Harrismith ...


Kimberley ...



Modder River ... .

Molteno ...

Oudtshoorn


DELEGATES.


A. J. Claude.
A. Bailey.

A. J. Thorpe,
E. J. Wood.
F. J. Pearce.

T. W. Goodwiin:

Dr. Chas. Syminigton.

R. Dawe Voss.
Alex. Mathewson.

Robt. Hind, J.P.
Advocate McCausland, M.A., LL.B.

Dr. J. H. Whitehead.
J. C. Rosa.

Herbert S. Harris, M.L.A,
Dr. A. H. Watkins.
Dr. J. Eddie Mackenzie.

P. Vorster.

Dr. Archer Isaacs.

G. Wallis.
A. J. Fourie.
C. J. Langenhoven.


SOCIETY.


Wellington ... ...

Klerksdorp ... ...


East Londoii



Mafeking


Cape Town ... ...



Witbank



Durban ...



Bloemfontein


Ladysmith ... ...


DELEGATES.


L. Abrahamson:

J. A. Neser, M.L.A.
H. M: Guest:

D. D. Nesbit.
Dr. Barcro't Anderson:
lion. Col. Crewe; M.L:A:

J. W. de Kock, M.L.A:
H. Martin

R. Stuttaford.
B. K. Long, M.L.A.
W. Duncan Baxter, M.L.A.

- Comley.
E. Holland
- Wreford.

.T. Ellis Brown.
Dr. McKenzie.
Trevor Fletcher.

Hon. Dewdney Drew, M.L.C.
P. J. Faure.

H1. M. Meyler.
Dr. W. Salmond.
















LIST OF DELEGATES- Continued.


SOCIETY. DELEGATES. SOCIETy, DELEGATES.


Stellenbosch


Robertson


Wynberg .


Queenstown ...


Natal ... ...



Middelburg, C.C.


Vryheid ...



Steynsburg ...


Mossel Bay


P. D. Cluver.
H. J. Classens.

H. Barry.
R. Menzies.
G. S. Hauptfleish.

G. S. Withinshaw, M.L.A.
Adv. Roche Pohl, M.L.A.

T. J. Paxton.
G. M. Schmolle.

Sir David Hunter.
Major P. A. Silburn, D.S.O., M.L,A.
-C. C. Clark.

D. Mackinnon.
Mr. de Villiers.

1). Grove.
A. von Levetzow.
L. van Ryn.

Dr. J. 0. Young.
HI. J. du 1'lcvsis.


A. Vintcent.
(G. Brink.


Burghersdorp




Springs ...


Krugersdorp...



Rondebosch ...



Eastern Suburbs
(Jo'burg)



Sinionstown...


.Johannesburg


Hon. C. A. Schweizer, M.L.C.
Andries Venter.


J. P Stark.
J. H. Alexander.

Capt. L. J. Phillips.
G. von Blommestein.
C. B. Mussared.

Arthur Bostock.
J. G. Harsant.


J. Forrest.
A. J. Niven.
Dr. T. Davies.


W. ltlncilanI, M.L.A.


J. W. Quinn, M.L.A.
It. Feethal, M.L.C.
F. Bur-gr.













LIST OF DELEGATES-Continued.


SOCIETY.


Uitenhage ...



Port Elizabeth


Southern Suburbs
(Johannesburg)
Somerset West

Norwood...... ...



Ophirton ...


East Rand ...



Benoni ... ... .

Yeoville .. ...


DELEGATES.


R. H. Lundie, M.L.A.
Dr. A. MacPherson.


D. M. Browne, M.L.A
T. W. Reynolds.

L. Northcroft.

H. 4. Fagan.

Hon. W. A. Martin, M.L.C.
A. J. Pienaar.
H. Gardiner.

J. W. Treu.
F. W. Beyers. ML.A.

S. Penlerick
G. M. Botha
W, Pearce

A. J. Dercksen

Sir Wm. van Hulysteyn
Alex. Dickson
Robt. Niven


SOCIETY.


Modderfontein ...



Northern Suburbs ...


Boksburg ...



Germiston ...


Kroonstad ... ...


Cradork


Tulbagh


Premier Mine


DELEGATES.


W. Cullen.
Dr. E. Weiskopf.
J. Fraser.

A. Mackie Niven.


G. Constable.
J. R. Hubbard.
T. R. Ziervoge, J.P

J. W. Louw.
J. L. Scott.

T. W. Hoseason.
James Strang.

J. D. Krige.


Advocate Malherbe.


T. M. Cullinan, M.L.A.


1. 1


I -












Conference of Closer Union Zocfeties.


First Day.

MARCH 3.

The Conference met at 9.30 a.m. Mr. J.
'G. Maydon (vice-president) was elected to
take the chair. The names of the mem-
'bers of the executive and the delegates
present at the Conference are to be found
on the preceding page.
The President, at the outset, said in
taking his post as their chairman he was
deeply sensible of the onerousness of the
'task. He meant to trust very largely to
the assembly to help'him in what he had
to undertake and in endeavouring to keep
their deliberations in the right path and
'bring about that successful issue which
was so dear to them all. In introducing
General Smuts and Sir George Farrar, he
said he need not assure those gentlemen
of the tremendous interest with which
the words they were to utter would be
listened to. and he need not remind their
audience of the immense advantage to be
*derived from their statements. No doubt
they would disclose the forces which had
been actually operating for years to bring
:about this. The delegates would tell them
something no doubt about the struggle
and the strife of that Council which had
been responsible for the framing of the
draft Act, and in those disclosures they
would find much to guide their views in
the proper channels and to aid them to
come to the right conclusions.
Mr. J. C. Smuts said: Mr. Chairman,
ladies and gentlemen,-It is to me a very
great privilege to have the opportunity
toi address you to-day very briefly on this
most'important question, which is now
engaging the attention of all South Africa.
It is to me especially a privilege, gentle-
men, because you are not a body from
this or that individual Colony. You are a
body representing the whole of South
Africa, and on your discussions here and
,on the result of your work will depend
very much of the spirit in which South
Africa as a whole will approach this great
scheme which has been laid be-
fore them. So far, the criti-
cism which has been levelled
at the work of the Convention has been
to a large extent parochial. I have seen,
zaa all of yor have seen, criticism in the
variouss Colonies, on the platform and in
the Press, against the scheme which has
been produced by the Convention, but
most of that criticism is based upon a


point of view of this or that Colony and
the interests of this or that Colony. Well,
ladies and gentlemen, we meet here at this
Convention not to advocate the point of
view of this or that Colony. You repre-
sent all the South African Colonies,
as the Convention did some months
ago the whole of South Africa, and it is
therefore for you to take that higher level,
to take that wider standpoint, and discuss
the questions that circle round the ques-
tion of the Constitution of South Africa
from that wider point of view. Gentle-
men, what was the spirit in which the
matter was broached at the National Con-
vention ? You had thirty-three men there,
brought together from all parts of South
Africa., representing all the sections of the
people of the territories of South Africa
and the interests there are in this wide
country. They were met there together, but
their whole object was to discuss the work
of the problem of South African union as
far as possible from a national South Af-
rican point of view. Therefore, looked at
from the point of view of one Colony or
one portion of South Africa, a good deal
might be levelled against this
or that part of the scheme.
But after all we have now reached the
stage in our development when we have
to rise to higher level and to take a
different point of view.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN VIEW.
We have reached definitely in the
evolution of public opinion and in the
politics of South Africa-in the evolu-
tion of our national development-a
stage when men should accustom them-
selves to a wider outlook. Many of us
have to discuss the problems from the
point of view of the whole : you are no
longer Transvaalers, but you are to be
South Africans, and what is true of the
Transvaal is also true of each and every
other Colony. Always we have to put
in the forefront of our discussions this
broad South African spirit in which we
have discussed these problems. I am
sure that the National Convention, which
sat for four months discussing the great-
est questions that concerned the public
life and future development, approached
these questions in that wider and larger
spirit. We traversed a wide field; we
traversed a field probably wider than any
of you here to-day could realise who had
not been present. We kept minutes of
the proposals, amendments, and resolu-













2 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


tions, and if I told you how many
hundreds of pages these amendments
alone covered you would be astonished.
Everything was gone into in the fullest
and most minute details, and the results
are before you. The misfortune-in-
separable to its success-was that we had
the proceedings in secret, and the value
that would have accrued to all South
Africa from public discussion of these
questions has remained in abeyance.
You to-day are in a different position,
for you are the second South African
Convention that meets to discuss these
questions, and your discussions will be
in public, and I hope that as a result
of your discussions in that broad South
African spirit we shall see a great edu-
cation of public opinion. We will kill
provincialism, and we will see pushed
to the front that spirit of union which
alone will make union possible. We
do not merely want documents; we do not
want to force people into systems which
are alien to their spirit; if that is done
the Constitution will not last five years.

THE TWO PROBLEMS.

The Constitution makes a certain de-
mand of the people of South Africa. It
tries to meet them from the South African
point of view, and it asks the people of
South Africa to respond also from tbh
South African point of view and rise to
the level of this new Constitution, and so
create a lasting system of union, a union
of spirit, a union of hearts, and a union
of the real inward life of the people of
South Africa. Well, gentlemen, that then
has been the view we have to take-not
in the interests of Natal, of the Transvaal,
or of Cape Colony, or any other part of
South Africa, but in the interests of
South Africa as a whole. Well, if I ask
myself what are the two great problem
to-day for South Africa, the two problems
which are the keystone of all other minor
problems and affect the public life of
South Africa to-day. There are only two.
The one is the union of the white people
of South Africa-(applause)-and the other
is the native question. These are the two
problems which have been set before us
to solve, and these are the two problems
to which the Convention for months de-
voted its most serious and exhaustive at-
tention. Now, gentlemen, when the Con-


vention had been discussing these questions.
for some time it became painfully clear
to them that it was impossible to solve both.
these problems together-that if the at-
tempt was made to solve both, to bring
about the union of white South Africa
and solve the native question-if the at-
tempt was made to do this simultaneously
the result would be disastrous, and you
would get a solution of neither of these-
two great problems. We were pressed in
speeches of the greatest power and elo-
quence at the Convention to take the native
question as a question on the solution of
which depended th'e future of South Africa.

TWO COURSES OPEN.

Well, we tried to find whether it would
'be possible to develop in this Constitution
an outline of native policy and to settle-
an outline of native franchise which would
settle this question in the future. But
after making every attempt we came to the-
conclusion that we had to choose between
two courses. If we want to solve the
native question we probably would wreck
the union of South Africa. So you see how
difficult the problem is. You have two-
alternatives on the native question before
you. We have been pre-sed very strongly
by a large section of the public that
either you must take away the franchise
which has already been given to the col-
oured people at the Cape, or you must
go forward and extend this franchise in
one form or another, with whatever limita-
tions you may consider desirable, over the-
whole of South Africa. Just think for
a moment and see what would have hap-
pened if either of these courses had been
taken. Supposing an attempt had been
made to extend the native franchise over
the whole of South Africa. Would we have-
union? Is it possible to conceive that the.
people of South Africa would adopt in a
scheme of union any scheme of that kind.
We came to the conclusion that it was
not possible. Public opinion would not
have tolerated that sort of solution. Take
the other course. Is it possible to have a
South African union if the native franchise
were taken away. You see that wo u'.
have been impossible too. In the first
place we would have to get the assent
of all the various Colonies in South Africa
to this union and you would run every-
risk in the world that the Cape would ro-













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
----------------


accept a solution which would so closely
affect the interests of a large portion of
its voters. But beyond that, this Consti-
tution will have to be ratified by the British
Parliament, and the Convention had to
consider very seriously whether such a
:urtailment of the rights of British sub-
subjects would not have seriously in-
terfered with. the passage of a Bill of that
kind through the British Parliament.

THE ONLY COURSE.

Well, gentlemen, we came to the conclu-
sion that any such step would also be fatal
to the final acceptance and putting in force
of this Constitution. By a process of elim-
ination we came to this result,
that if we wanted to carry union
in South Africa, if we wanted to
carry the first problem I have stated, it
was necessary to leave the second and to
leave it in abeyance for a United South
Africa to deal with. (Applause.) And,
gentlemen, that is the course we have
adopted. You see all over South Africa our
way of dealing with this native franchise
animadverted on and criticised as the one
weak point of our work. Gentlemen, I tell
you, and I put it to you as strongly as I
am able to do, that there was absolutely
no other solution that the one we have
adopted. (Applause.) There was no alter-
native way of handling this subject. Either
you had to leave the question where we
have put it or the result would have been
that you wou!d wreck Union. The objec-
tion has been made that we did not leave
things just as we found them-that we
have not left the franchise at the Cape
exactly where we found it because we en-
trenched it by a two-thirds majority of the
central Parliament. That is not a real
objection. Because you can understand
that if in union we had taken over the
Cape franchise just as we had taken over
the franchise of the other Colonies in
South Africa, with no special provision
safeguarding, to some extent at any rate,
the rights of the coloured people which
they enjoy at present under the Cape
Constitution, the result might have been
very serious. You know as well as I do,
and as everybody at the Convention knew,
that the great majority of people here to-
day in South Africa are opposed to a
native franchise. (Applause.) If, there-
fore, you had left the matter where it


stood in the Cape Constitution and had
provided no safeguard of any kind, the
result would have been not really to have
left the matter where it stood but to have
put the native voter in the Cape in an
infinitely worse position than before.
(Hear, hear.) Because the native voter
would have had to contend not only against
the white vote at the Cape but against the
white voters all over South Africa. And
the result inevitably would be that the
situation at the Cape would be interfered
with immediately, and perhaps not on
well-thought-out grounds.

"WAIT AND LEARN."

That is why we accepted the proposal
that was made to us to entrench the
native vote at the Cape by a two-thirds.
majority. I don't think that it is an en-
trenchment which is inadvisable, or that
its provisions in the long run will interfere
with any proper solution of the native
franchise in South Africa. I believe if you
thoroughly go into the matter you will find
that the way is open for a united Parlia-
ment to solve the native question on lines
which the conscience and the good sense
of South Africa may afterwards approve.
(Applause.) But we wanted to be just
and fair; we wanted to be absolutely fair;
and we wanted to make certain that we
should leave the question of the native
franchise just as it was before union took
place. I hope you will bear in mind this
fact, because many of you who have come:
here are opposed to the provisions made
in regard to the franchise. I hope you
will bear it in mind that we did not want
to draw up a policy which would finally be
shown to be unworkable. If you do re-
member that, you will be satisfied that
under the circumstances we have done the
best that could be done. (Applause.)
That was simply to do nothing at all. We
have left the question where it was. If
our Convention had tried to solve the
native question, I think it would not only
have gone far beyond its mandate, but
would probably in the long run have in-
flicted an irreparable wrong upon South
Africa, because I am certain that on the
native question public opinion is not ripe
for decision one way or the other. We
have not sufficient data before us to form
conclusions upon this great question. The
native question is bound up with the













I PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


future of this continent, not only of the
black races, but of the white races, in a
way that none of us can to-day foresee
properly. Let us wait, let us gather ex-
perience, let us gather wisdom, and leave
as much of this problem as can be left
to posterity. Uon't make wrong provisions
in advance, and perhaps prejudice the
solution of the whole problem. Well, that
problem we left with all the more
pleasure, all the more freedom, because we
felt we should ultimately solve the ques-
tion by the union of South Africa. That
is the only way to approach the native
question in South Africa. As long as you
have four different Colonies or more deal-
ing with the native question, each on its
own lines, it is impossible to expect a
solution of this great question. First,
have a united South Africa; first, have a
union that will bring together all that is
best of the intellect and statesmanship of
South Africa: then we may expect a solu-
tion of this question. Therefore we have
all the more confidence in leaving the
matter over.

THE CENTRAL PARLIAMENT.

Then I come to the second problem that
was set us; that was, to bring about the
union of the white people and self-govern-
ing Colonies of South Africa. Now, gentle-
men, there you had an immense problem
presented to you; there we had an im-
mense problem presented to us-immense,
not only because it was difficult in the
circumstances of South Africa to-day, bitt
because this is one of the questions which
has troubled the world for thousands of
years, and will trouble it for thousands of
years more-this question of how to have
a strong central Government and at the
same time have local liberty. Here in
South Africa you have an enormous coun-
try inhaBited by white people of various
races, of diverse interests, and the danger
was that you might have too much local
liberty-that you would have a weak and
flabby Government, or a central Govern-
ment which would be tyrannous. How to
arrange a scheme that would be workable,
a scheme which would create a strong cen-
tral Government, and at the same time
give liberty to the various portions of the
Union. For months prior to the Conven-
tion this problem had been discussed in


public in the rather technical form of uni-
fication or federation.


A FINAL ARBITER.

It is curious that the people should take
to such a difficult form of discussion, but
that is how it was raised, and perhaps
because the terms were drawn up rather
obscure they liked it all the more.
(Laughter.) The question for a time
hinged on these lines : which was better
for South Africa, unification or federa-
tion? Both have very good points. If
unification means strong Government, a
strong Parliament-a Parliament which is
supreme over the destinies of South Africa
-then, of course, unification was a deir-
able thing. If also federation meant free-
dom as far as possible to the various
parts-freedom to expand, liberty to ex-
pand, according to their national needs and
requirements-then federation again was a
good thing. Therefore there was a
good deal to be said for both these ques-
tions, and at the Convention a large
amount of time was spent in discussing the
fundamental issue which was raised by
this proposition between what is called
unification and federation. On one thing,
I may say, we were all unanimously
agreed at the Convention, and that is that
there should be in South Africa one
strong supreme Central Parliament and
Government. (Hear, hear.) There was
no division of opinion upon that, and
that, to my mind, was the essential thing.
It was not a question of long words or
of obscure words, but the question was
the thing that matters; andthething that
matters in this case is that South Africa
should have one strong Central Parliament
which will be the final arbiter in its des-
tinies. That is so not only because a
strong Government is always a good
thing-one of the greatest blessings in
the world, as shown in history
-but also that because one of the
greatest curses is a weak. flabby and ir-
resolute Government. Here in South
Africa we want especially one final
authority, one complete authority for the
whole of South Africa, because our while
object is to bring together the white peo.
ples and to make one of them.














PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 5
--------------------


UNITING THE RACES.

And you could not do that under a form
of union which would trend towards feder-
ation. I do not know whether many of
. ou have read the great speech Macdonald
delivered in the Parliament of Canada on
Ihe Constitution of Canada when it was
framed, but you will remember in that
speech he made a very strong case in fav-
our of a legislative union, of unification in
Canada; but why had it been departed
from, he said, simply because racial division
was such in Canada that it was impos-
sible to bring about a complete union.
You had the English and the French races.
The one did not want socially and racially
to amalgamate with the other. They had
decided each to go its own course and un
der those circumstances the only form of
union was a federal union. Well, gentle-
men, we once for all in this country have
put that idea behind us. (Applause.) We
do not want here in South Africa the
spirit of Dutch enclave within British rule.
We want to have one people, just as in
the United States they are building one
grcat nation. So it is our ideal in South
Africa to have one great nation from the
elements which Providence has placed in
this country, and therefore the strong in-
ducement that led the statesmen of Canada
to go in for a federal type of Constitution
does not hold here. On the contrary just
the opposite holds here. We want a strong
Government, one central Parliament,
which shall represent all sections of the
people because under that common organ
of government and legislation you
will also find one of the most potent
forces towards national union. And I say,
gentlemen, that is one of the reasons
why we want a supreme central Parlia-
ment and a supreme central Government.
Another reason, I think, which pleads most
strongly in South Africa for a supreme
Parliament is the native question. I can-
not conceive how it would be possible for
us in the years to come to deal adequately
with this whole question that centres
round this dark continent of coloured and
black peoples unless there is one supreme
Parliament to deal with the situation. And
I think probably in the years to come,
when the first reason that I have given
has disappeared, when the white peoples
are one, you will find that the best reason
for the unitary form of government in


South Africa was the added
strength it gave to the Govern-
ment in dealing with this enormous pro-
blem of the natives of South Africa.


A SUPREME POWER.

If you enter into a struggle with a
problem of that kind you cannot enter it
with your forces divided. You cannot enter
it upon the beautifully balanced plan of
a federal system. You must have a strong
power which is supreme and which will
draw to itself whatever strength there is
in the public spirit of South Africa, and
you must apply that power to the solution
of these questions. Then perhaps you can
look forward to a solution. As long as
you have individual Parliaments and separ-
ate governments which have ideas of their
own-on the native question, for instance
-as is the case already, so long will it
not be possible to tackle the native ques-
tion with any hope of success. And apart
from the question of the white races, of
the Dutch and the English, I would put
first and foremost as the reason for a
strong, powerful central Parliament the
necessity of considering and dealing with
the native question. No doubt there are
other reasons, too, for having such a strong
central Government. You have a country
which is one in a sense that few countries
in the world are one, and whether you
look to Canada or America or Australia
you do not find one case so strong for
unified government as you have in South
Africa. There is no doubt that the coun-
try is one. You have this problem, that
the economic heart of the country is in
the Transvaal, in the interior, and round
it are ranged the coastal States. Therefore
as we have seen in the past the interests
of the one are inevitably bound up with
the interests of the others, and it is impos-
sible to deal with them on a separate basis.
They are one geographically and economic-
ally, and they should be one politically.
If there was one question which was funda-
mental it was this, that there should be
one supreme Government which could deal
with the racial problem presented, with
the economic issue presented, on a strong
and coherent plan and on a uniform policy.
That is the solution which we have adopt-
ed; we have adopted it as a funda-
'mental factor of our Constitution.













6 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

To that extent it departs from the fed-
eral type of Constitution. This type of
Constitution tries to solve another
problem-that is, the problem of local
liberty. That is what the federal form
of Constitution tries to do-to give as much
local freedom and liberty as possible.
That is also a good thing. But I think that
when you go thoroughly into the matter
you find that under the federal form of
Constitution local liberty is secured at such
a price that it is scarcely worth while
adopting that form of Constitution if there
is an alternative solution at all. What are
the great drawbacks of the federal system?
There are three great drawbacks, which
in South Africa would be almost fatal to
it. The first is a matter I have already
discussed, that under the federal system
you would have no supreme Parliament
anywhere. The whole federal idea is that
a number of independent States come to-
gether and agree to put into another Par-
liament certain powers of legislation, re-
serving the rest to themselves. The result
is that you have a central Government
which exercises certain powers, which
exercises jurisdiction over a restricted
field, and the rest of the powers remain in
the hands of the individual States, who
have separate Parliaments. You have not
one common arbiter or authority, but have
a number of authorities brought together.
I have explained at some length that such
a system would not work in South Africa,
because the problems presented to us for
solution in white, native, and economical
questions are not capable of being properly
solved by it. It brings about the dispersal
of the sovereign power in South Africa.
You cannot have a dispersal of the sove-
reign power if you want a solution of these
questions. You must have one strong
central Parliament, and therefore
I say that the federal system
does not apply to South Africa.
Well, that is the first drawback of the
federal system. The second drawback is
almost as great and it is this. When
you have your powers of sovereignty
scattered and allocated to various organs
m the federal States there must be one
final authority that will decide between
them. It happens sometimes that the
central Parliament encroaches on the


jurisdiction of the local Parliament,
or the local Parliament will en-
croach again on the jurisdiction of the
central Parliament, or the Government
may encroach on the jurisdiction of Par-
liament. These questions will present
themselves when you have federal allo-
cation of powers. There must be some
authority to decide. In the Holy Ro-
man Empire some individual can step
in and exercise great influence. You
must have an authority in your Constitu-
tion which will be supreme when such an
occasion arises.

SUPREME COURT AS
ADJUDICATOR.

And you know what authority has been
settled upon under the federal system.
It is the Law Courts. The Supreme
Court will ultimately decide when one
authority encroaches on the jurisdiction
of the other, and the result under the
federal system is that youhavethe Law
Courts for ever interfering in the legis-
lative business of the country. (Ap-
plause.) You know instances of it:
you have studied history on this ques-
tion. You know the Dred Scott case. which
was one of the contributory causes to
the great civil war in America. Then
there was the Harvester case in Australia
only last year, in which the Supreme
Court decided that the proposed law of
the central Parliament-which was based
on a settled policy which had been dis.
cussed by the country at large and which
had been voted through a tremendously
heavy session-was ultra vires and opposed
it. I cannot conceive as a public man
anything more detrimental to the progress
and public life of a country than to have
this state of uncertainty, than to have
i's most fundamental laws and the laws
and policy of its people and Government
at the mercy of a small body of men.
even though they be the ablest and most
high-minded of men. (Applause.)

AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION.

It is an impossible situation, and I am
not surprised to hear that in Australia a
strong movement has set in against this
power of the Supreme Court. But. mind
you, it is inseparably connected with the












PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 7


'federal system. Once you allocate certain
powers of sovereignty to A, others to B,
Sand others to C, you must impose another
authority that will decide between them
when one encroaches on the other. It is
inseparablyy connected with the federal
-scheme. Now, I say we cannot have that
in South Africa. When the people in
:South Africa have, through Parliament,
finally expressed their opinion through a
law, that opinion must be final. You
must not .have a position that may be
questioned, after being in operation a
-number of years, in the Law Courts, and
-through which the Law Courts may upset
some provision in the Constitution. It
-would dislocate the whole machinery of
-government and policy in the country. It
is a situation which cannot for a moment
be supported. But it is an inseparable in-
cident of the federal system. There is
another great drawback in the federal sys-
-tem, and that is, to my mind, in South
Africa perhaps the greatest objection. And
it is this: the federal.system is inelastic-
is rigid. The federal system partakes of
-the nature of a contract. As Macdonald
-stated in his speech before the Canadian
Parliament, it is a treaty between
:powers. The federal system means that
certain independent parties come together
and make a final compact of union-sign a
contract. That contract as far as possible
means an unalterable basis regulating their
future relations. Is a system like that
suited to a very young country, a country
almost in its political infancy, such as
South Africa ? Is it possible for us to-day,
for the wisest and most far-seeing among
us in South Africa to-day, to frame a Con-
stitution which will have due regard to
-the future expansion, the future develop-
ment, of South Africa ? I say, No. I say
you will only be creating shackles for the
'future development of South Africa. You
will be creating a system according to
:your limited ideas of to-day. You will
'have a system that will be a bond on your
children. We must have a system which
can be extended by Parliament, and which
-can be considered and deliberated upon
from year to year.

"HOME RULE."

If we see that one of the provisions
tin the Constitution is wrong, if we want


to make a deliberate move in a new
direction in the future, there should be
complete freedom for us to do that.
These, briefly, are my reasons for say-
ing that we have taken up the best line.
The idea is good. The idea of local
freedom and local autonomy is good.
We have gone thoroughly and deliber-
ately into the whole question, and have
thought it out in every respect, and the
result of it, so far as I can see, is that
the Convention has contrived to provide
a better scheme for South Africa than
has so far been adopted in other coun-
tries which have united under conditions
similar to those in which we are to-day
placed. (Applause.) I think, roughly,
you may call that idea Home Rule. I
remember as a young student in Eng-
land, years ago, the great struggle that
was going on about Home Rule, and the
fundamental question then raised at that
time was this : the supremacy of the
central Parliament, the supremacy of the
English Parliament. That was the
supreme consideration. Nobody was op-
posed to the granting of large powers of
local government or self-government to
Ireland, but the great question was to
reconcile such powers with the suprem-
acy of the central Parliament at West-
minster. The scheme was known, as
everybody is aware, as Home Rule. It
seems to me that in that scheme there
is an idea that we can adopt as our solu-
tion of the problem. We want Home
Rule in South Africa; we want a central
Parliament which will be supreme,
which will not act oppressively over the
various parts of the Union, but which
will leave as much liberty as possible to
the outlying portions of the various sec-
tions. (Applause.)

PROVINCIAL LIBERTY.

I say, gentlemen, that I cannot conceive
a better name for the scheme that we have
adopted than this name of Home Rule, with
a central Parliament which is supreme and
the communities under its aegis with Par-
liaments governing themselves. That is
the scheme which we have adopted here.
Under the aegis of the central Parliament
we have appointed Provinoial Councils
which will continue to govern the provinces.
If you compare the powers which we have
entrusted to the Provincial Councils under













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


this Constitution with the powers allocated
under the Canadian Constitution to their
Provincial Parliaments, you will see much
difference. Practically we have given here
to our Provincial Councils the same powers
which the provinces exercise under the
federal form of government. The differ-
ence between the Canadian form
and our form is this. In Canada
the Provincial Parliament is supreme
within its province, and its laws
can come into conflict with the central
Parliament and can be upheld by tlhe
Law Courts. We have not done that.
While giving the widest powers to the
provinces in South Africa, we have been
careful to see that those powers will be
subordinate to the central Parliament, and
I think you will agree with me that that
is a better way of solving the question of
local government-local autonomy-than
the federal system. It is more elastic, and
the central Parliament can step in at any
time and stop those things which may be
harmful to the State as a whole. The sys-
tem we have adopted is a system which
entirely solves the question which federa-
tion tries to solve, namely, the question
of local liberty.

THE ALL-PERVADING IDEA.

And it solves it, as I say, in a better
way, because it gives more elasticity, gives
more freedom to the central Parliament
to delegate powers to the subordinate
authority. It is a solution that they
wanted in Canada, but could not have
under the peculiar racial conditions that
existed in the country; but we have been
able to agree to that form of Constitution
here, and I hope it will meet with your
approval, and that we shall see under it
a happy united South Africa, a South Af-
rica with a central Government strong and
capable of dealing with all central pro-
blems, and which will also leave to the
local or outlying portions the treatment
of their own special problems. The Con-
stitution, as you will see, is full of detail;
it is the longest of all the Constitutions
that I have seen, and it is the most ela-
borate, but it is not a question of detail
in a Constitution like this. The thing
that matters is the fundamental idea. You
can easily produce a sort of patchwork,
taking something out of this Constitution
and something out of another, and place


these various things together, and call that.
a new Constitution; but if you do that
you are creating a rope of sand, a system
which never will last, which will not work.
even for a few years. You will see our
whole Constitution is pervaded from be-
ginning to end by one central idea-that
is, the idea of a unitary system of gov-
ernment, together with as much local
liberty and freedom and provision as is
necessary. We have applied that all
through. You have a strong central Gov-
ernment dealing with all common q:es-
tions of South Africa, and you have Exe-
cutive Committees in the provinces looking
after the concerns of the provinces. We
have applied the central Parliamentary
principle to the Supreme Court-one b:g-
Supreme Court for South Africa-but it
does not sit in one place or concentrate
its energies in one quarter. It is di-persed
all over South Africa. You may go fur-
ther-to the financial system. There you
find the same idea carried out. All through
the Constitution you have the simple ap-
plication of one fundamental id-a, and
what you have to turn your attention to is
this. Is this fundamental idea wrong, be-
cause if it is wrong, if you think that in
adopting this supreme Parliament, together-
with local authorities subordinate to it,
we have made a mistake, reject the Cn-
stitution, because it will be a curse to.
South Africa if it is a mistake. If you
think that it is correct and workable, then
the details are quite subordinate, because
details are matters of application.

A COMMION FATHERLAND.

I can quite conceive that these minor
details may perhaps not work and will
have to be amended by the central Parlia-
ment from time to time. What you want
is one fruitful central idea, one idea which
will grow and spread in South Afr:ca and
produce good and strong and efficient
government for every part of the Union in
future. About the details we disagreed'
from beginning to end. There is not a
detail which had not its advocates one way -
or the other at the Convention, but about
the fundamental idea we were agreed, and I
hope you will agree with us on this funda-
mental idea and so launch this Constitu-
tion on a career of success. Our idea has
been this common pool. No doubt this,
common pool of power in South Airica.













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


means sacrifices. It means that certain
Colonies had to throw into this pool what
they considered very valuable and principal
things, but I say that that is necessary.
And remember we ask the people of South
Africa for more. We do not only
ask them to put all their sur-
pluses, all their revenue, all their
present local freedom and self-go-
vernment into this common pool, but we
ask them also what is much more-to pool
their affections; to pool their patriotism-
(loud applause)-to pool all the forces that
will lead to a new South Africa. It is
only in that way that you will have suc-
cess in that grand experiment which will
bring a new South Africa. And in that
way you will see a common patriotism
spring up, a common sense of citizenship
which I think will be a potent force to
solve the questions, the great problems,
which lie before us. Our object is-and
I hope it will be successful in its result-
to create a common fatherland. No longer
shall a person say merely he was a Trans-
vaaler or a Free Stater. He will feel the
force of the appeal to him of this common
fatherland, because as you know from his-
tory there is no appeal like this
appeal, no inspiration like the in-
spiration of a common fatherland.
Once- you have that, 1 feel certain that we
shall see happier and better days in
South Africa. It is a good country, which
only requires to be set into the right
groove in order to develop into what none
of us may foretell to-day. Our object has
been to create a South African nation, a
South African national consciousness and
inspiration, and in that way we
shall solve what in the past
has been insoluble, but what
in the future will give added solidity and
added strength to this Union. I don't
want to go into details, but I want to
put to you this fundamental issue that
we have been busy with-which had been
discussed as unification or federation, and
which one scarcely hears of now under
that form. I have tried to show what we
expect will be the ultimate consequence
to South Africa of that form of
government we have tried to establish. I
hope you will turn your attention to that
question. You will, I know, differ in details
as we differed, but what you have to deal
with carefully is this fundamental idea. I
know that a great influence will result


from your deliberations, and 1 hope youth
will bear this in mind, that you are not
only advocating this union, but are, as it.
were,I in a Parliament of South Africa,-
dealing with the whole of South Africa,
and you are making your appeal in favour-
of South Africa. I am certain that this
congress will be one of the most powerful
influences to help this work-the cause of
union in South Africa. (Cheers.)
Sir George Farrar said: I am
sure you will sympathise with me as.
an ordinary laymen having to speak after
a great constitutional lawyer like my
friend Mr. Smuts. I can sympathise with
you, too, because practically he has left
me nothing to say. I would like to extend
a hearty welcome to the delegates, who
have been brought together from all parts
of South Africa for the purpose of promot-
ing closer union. The Closer Union Society
has been formed for the purpose of pro-
moting closer union throughout South Af-
rica and of educating the people and of
creating a national spirit, because without
a national spirit, union is impossible.

TWO GREAT EXAMPLES.

The Closer Union Societies have ad-
vocated closer union amongst the people
of South Africa, and my friend who has.
just spoken has referred to the best form
of union it is advisable to advocate. But
I do not think myself that we need look so
much to ay great example as to the neces-
sity of union outside this country, that is if"
we refer to and remember the history of
the two great nations from which the
older and the newer populations of this
country sprang. I refer to the great
country of Holland, and to our Mother-
land. Two hundred and fifty years ago,
Holland was the paramount power per-
haps in the world. They were perhaps
one of the greatest people, most energetio-
people and most friendly people. His-
tory says that their energy was such that
they won their country from perhaps the
worst of foes-the sea. They made a
great country and were the paramount-
power, but as the years went on their
power failed. It failed because of their
Constitution. We all know what was the
Constitution of Holland. The Dutch
Oharter stripped the Sovereign of the
power of the purse, of the law, of the-













10 PROCFEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


sword; and distributed the power indis-
criminately among the provinces and
towns, giving to each of the numerous tiny
amits self-government in all things. History
tells us that the United Kingdom succeed-
ed afterwards and became the paramount
power of the world perhaps. Their Con-
stitution was framed on what they knew
as the Magna Charter, a Constitution
which was the reverse of the Dutch Con-
stitution. It limited the power of the
King to do no wrong, vested the power of
the law in the people, and the power of
the purse in a national Assembly, which'
was a faithful representation of the nation,
but left to the Sovereign the power of
the sword. The Constitution framed by the
National Convention avoided the evil
which had ruined the old Dutch Constitu-
tion, creating a strong central Government.

LEGACIES.
Now you advocate closer union. You
have also done your utmost to educate
the people not only through your meet-
ings but also through your publications,
.and one of the most useful books that
has been published is a book called "The
Framework of Union," and I think
.all should express their very
sincerest thanks to Mr. Long for that
book. Then you have "The Government
of South Africa," which is also a most
useful book. One of the gentlemen
responsible for that book is Mr. Lionel
Curtis. (Applause.) Our sincere thanks
are due to him also for his untiring
energy and devotion in forming the
Closer Union Association and practically
bringing together this conference, aided
no doubt by many other men throughout
South Africa. He had been assisted
in the production of the book "The
Government of South Africa by Mr.
Duncan, Mr. Brand, and the able editor
of "The State," Mr. Kerr. (Applause.)
I am glad you applaud the names of
those gentlemen, because they were
legacies handed down by a recent admin-
istration in this country. (Applause.)
That administration had been perhaps
too severely criticised, but I know that a
,more tolerant spirit is abroad, and I
believe the people will appreciate not
-only this legacy but many other legacies
from that administration. (Laughter
.nd applause.)


TWO CONVENTIONS.

Now, gentlemen, you are met together in
congress for the same reason that the
Convention had met during the last
six months. But I think yours is the
more arduous task because there were
only thirty of us-(laughter)-and I believe
because we all spoke so much it took us
practically five months. (Laughter.) There
are ninety of you, and in three days you
will have to do what thirty of us did within
six months. I feel sure that your task is a
very big one, and let me say to you that
your duty does not end at criticism. I do
not think it will need much criticism.
Your duty is this: that not only have you
got to criticise, but either you have got
to accept this document or you have to
construct a better Constitution. That is
your duty; that is your duty plainly. We
welcome criticism. Criticism is what should
take place. But it must not end there;
there must be a constructive policy. If
there is a constructive policy then you
will deserve the than of the whole people
of South Africa. When I see you in con-
gress here, it reminds me of many incidents
that took place within the place the
delegates have just left. It is said that
we were a very happy family. That shows
that the people do not know everything.
(Laughter.) I can assure you there were
many adjournments, and we adjourned eo
that cooler heads and calmer thoughts
might prevail. And I should certainly
advise you in this Convention to have fre-
quent intervals for tea, because I think you
will require them. (Laughter.) My friend,
General Smuts referred to the Convention's
being held in private. History repeats it-
self, and I believe that if our Convention
had been held in public there would have
been no unanimous voice, there would
have been no report on the Constitution.
KNOW ONE ANOTHER.

Now, you are going to hold a conference
in public, and I shall be very interested
indeed to hear and read the course of
your debates. I hope you are not coming
here as a mere debating society. I hope
you are coming to discuss the matter, and
fully. I believe that the result of your
coming here is that you will learn to
know one another, and I believe that when
people learn to know one another better













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


in South Africa we shall have peace and
contentment among all classes. (Applause.)
But to know one another you must speak
what is in your hearts, and in this con-
gress, as General Smuts had said, not
only must you speak from the point of
'view of your Colony, but you must also
speak from the point of view of what is
best for South Africa, and what is- best
for the future, not only of the present
people, but for all those to come after-
wards. There were many discussions in
our Convention, and particularly do 1 re-
member one discussion, a discussion about
a great industrial community which has
been much misunderstood and much
maligned. In the Convention this commu-
nity on the Rand was much misunderstood.
There was an echo of one of the debates
which I recently saw over the signature
of the Bond branch in Capetown. The
echo was that an inquiry was demanded
into the evils resulting from the capital
being in Pretoria. The reason adduced
why Pretoria should not be the seat of
government was because it was near this
great community in which you are met to-
day. They argued that this community
might have a demoralising influence upon
the capital. I am glad you are here, be-
cause you will learn all about it. From
the point of union no people have taken a
broader view than the people of the Rand.
They knew the great sacrifices they were
going to make and were perfectly prepared
to make them in the interests of the
future.

PERMANENCY OF THE RAND.
Then there was another argument. When
we sat from day to day debating what
should be the allocation of seats to the
various Colonies in South Africa we won-
dered how we wasted our time on that
committee, on which my friend Mr. Smuts
sat. It was argued that though there
were prospects in the Transvaal to-day
they would be gone to-morrow. It was
argued that in a few years' time this
great place would be nothing but a hole,
and that it would return to its original
existence. Now I would like to say some-
thing about the permanency of this com-
munity and of this industry. If you will
only refer to the able address of Mr.
Lionel Phillips-and I hope that each of
you will take a copy away with you-the


other day you will see that he holds that
this industry will not only be working at
the end of this century, but right through
the next century, and I believe at the end
of the next century. I believe that a com-
munity which can show a future of from
150 to 200 years is a vast asset to the union
of South Africa. (Applause.) And there
were other phases in the Convention, and
there may be similar phases in this con-
gress. It is a peculiar thing, but history
repeats itself. In 1787 President Washing-
ton said:-" It is too probable that no
plan we prepare will be adopted. Perhaps
another dreadful conflict is to to be sus-
tained. If to please the people we offer
what we ourselves disapprove, how can we
afterwards defend our work? Let us raise
a standard to which the wise and honest
can repair." Those were dangerous days.

WAR'S CLEANSING FIRES.

Then, instead of facing the real issue
and what they knew to be best and
right, they adopted a half-hearted measure,
and that is the danger that comes. That
is the danger that came to us. I believe
that in this Constitution we have raised
the standard, whether the people of South
Africa accept it or not. I know it is a
standard to which all honest and wise
people will consent. General Smuts the
other day said that the most wonderful
thing about the whole Constitution was
at the end of it, where they would find
the names of 33 people. That, of
course, meant that it was a unani-
mous report. I have often thought and
wondered how it is possible that we came
to be unanimous, because, frankly, in that
Convention there were men who were op-
posed to one another, politically and in
many other ways. If you ask me why we
came to that unanimous decision I will
tell you, and I believe it is the reason why
you will come to a unanimous decision,
It is because in that Convention there were
men, the same as in this Congress, who
had been through the cleansing fires of
war, men who have known what the hor-
rors and dangers of war were, and I believe
that those men came out of war better
men, and I believe that was the underlying
principle that made them sign that unani-
mous report with the firm determination
and resolve that, as far as human con-
science could say, they would so provide













12 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
----------------


that for the future of their children and
their children's children should never know
or experience the horrors of war.



WHEN THE PEOPLE WERE ONE.

We have gone back in this Constitution
10) years-the 100 years when the people
were one. That is, we have endeavoured
to wipe out subsequent events, subsequent
strife, and the memory of tribulations
perhaps that were created by faults on
both sides. We have gone back, and we
have created a sovereign power in this
country-that is, a sovereign Constitutional
Government, because we believe that if it
had not been through these misunder-
standings, through the gradual evolution
of time the people would have produced
a document like this, because, let us re-
member, the separate States, separate
Colonies, separate boundaries, have been
created by misunderstanding. They were
unratural boundaries, unnaturally dividing
men and a people who were created by
the Almighty to be one, and I believe
this: that, as General Smuts said, your
deliberations here will have a great effect
on the people of South Africa, whether
they accept this Constitution or not. I
believe myself that if you cannot better
this Constitution, you had better accept
it unanimously. (Applause.) And I be-
lieve that, if you accept it, it will be one
of the greatest rewards of a long reign of
the Sovereign, His Majesty, who, as I
know, and you all know, has done so much
to promote peace throughout the civilised
norld. (Loud applause.)

The Chairman thanked Mr. Smuts and
Sir George Farrar for their eloquent
speeches. If the speakers had clothed the
assembly with new dignity, as they had
done, they had also launched upon them
a new sense of responsibility, which he
hoped and believed every one of them
would realise. (Applause.) He, therefore,
on behalf of those assembled, tendered the
speakers their hearty thanks and high ap-
preciation. (Applause.)

Mr. Brydone moved the adoption of
the report of the Executive, which read
as follows:-


Report of Executive
To Annual Meeting assembling on
3rd March, 1909.

The Executive was appointed at the first
Conference of the Association, which was.
held at Durban on 7th October, 1938. At
this Conference, in which 11 Societies were
represented, the Association was estab-
lished.
The Executive held two meetings at
Durban at the cloee of the Conference, and
after giving certain general instructions,
appointed two sub-Committees, an Organ-
ising Committee sitting at Capetown, and
a Magazine Committee sitting at Johan-
nesburg. These sub-Committees devoted
themselves respectively to the formation
of new Societies throughout the four Colo-
nies, and to the establishment of a maga-
zine to propagate the objects of the Asocit-
ation. The sub-Committees also co-oper-
ated as general agents of each other.
As a result of the work of organisatzon
62 branches have now been established,
and it is expected that at the present Con-
ference 51 of these branches will be repre-
sented.
The Magazine Committee shortly alter
its appointment established a magazine,
which was named "The State." IThere
have now been four issues of this magaz.ne-
published, and the Executive ventures to
think that these publications have proved
of value to all students of Union.
In terms of Clause 14 of the Constitution
of the Association the Executive has
framed certain by-laws to asist the rro-
gress of business at the Conference, and
these will be submitted for approval.
A financial statement is laid on the t:;:e-
for the information of Conference.
Certain branches have given notice of
motions involving changes in the Constitu-
tion of the Association, anc-these will be
submitted for approval.

R. R. BRYDONE,
Chairman.
LIONEL CURTIS,
WM. H. LOW,
Hon. Secretaries.
Johannesburg,
3rd March, 1909.













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 13
--------------


The report was agreed to.
Mr. J. Denoon Duncan then moved the
adoption of the standing orders, whiph were
agreed to.
The President then addressed the dele-
.gates. He wished, he said, to indicate
the tremendous obligation they were
;under not only to the people of the
country, but to the generations to come,
and the duties which they owed to their
States and the necessity of subordinating
those duties to the larger ideas that were
taking shape and which were going to lead
to the establishment of a power the mag-
.nitude and magnificence of which it
was difficult for the most sanguine of
them to realise. They had a scheme
already laid before them which, if it
:had demerits, had most triumphant
,good attributes. There were proposals
in it which many would rather have
had otherwise, and they would no doubt
have to consider many suggested altera-
'tions and changes. He trusted they
would 'put forward nothing they were
not prepared to justify, not from the
point of view of narrow interests, but
from the point of view of a united
whole. There should be no small party
spirit in the proposals they had to con-
sider. The eloquence of General Smuts
must sink deeply into their hearts. (Ap-
plause.)
Mr. Patrick Duncan then moved the
motion of which he had given notice, and
said: Mr. Chairman and delegates,-I
gave notice of this motion, in
the first place because it seemed
to me to be the best form in
which the discussion of this question
should be brought before you. It is
the best form in which this question can
be brought before you because it puts
before you what is the real issue, and
it leaves you the opportunity of sug-
gesting amendments to any point on
which you consider the draft Act re-
quires to be amended. The question
of Union is now out of the domain of
theoretical discussion. The Constitution is
for the purpose of creating a United South
Africa, and it is for us to say whether the
instrument is fit for its purpose or not.
We are not here therefore to discuss what
is the best form of Constitution. There are
many of us here and many people through-
.out South Africa who are not here who


may sit down and draw up a Constitution
which from a student's point of view may
be better than this one, but what we have
got to set our minds to is whether this
Constitution is the best Constitution that
is likely to be acceptable to the people
of South Africa at the present time and
under present conditions. (Applause.)
Now let us consider what is the history of
this draft Constitution. It is unnecessary
for me in an audience such as this to go
into the question of South Africa uniting
itself. It is that necessity which is the
origin of most societies which are repre-
sented here, it is that necessity which
brought about the sitting of the National
Convention, composed of leaders represent-
ing different and often opposing stand-
points of South African politics. They
came together feeling very strongly their
own traditions, their own views, but they
came together not only to assert those
views and to give continuity to those tradi-
tions but to see how far they could safely
depart from those views and traditions in
order to meet each other and frame some-
thing to which they could all agree. They
succeeded in doing so, and we must look
at what they have done in this spirit. It
is of necessity a work of compromise, and
therefore a work which is open to criticism,
because everyone who held one or other
of the opposing views between which a
middle way has been found wants to
know why his view has not been
given effect to to its full extent.

POINTS TO CONSIDER.
We must, before coming to our conclu-
sion, approach the Constitution from
the point of view of the circumstances
under which we meet. What we have to
consider is whether the instrument which
has been framed will cramp and burden
the development of the people of South
Africa or whether it will work upon
right lines, whether it is founded on the
undue domination of one section of the
people or the other. These seem to me
the points we have to consider.
We have to consider not so much the
details of the Constitution but the main
principles on which it is founded. Are
they fit for a people such as we hope
the people of South Africa will be? Its
main principles have been already ex-
plained to you far better than I can ex-
.plain them. Its main principles are to













14 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


bring together the people of South
Africa as one people, to create for them
one Parliament and one Government, to
give that Parliament and Government the
fullest powers, subject to the people who
are behind, in moulding the development
of the country, as full powers as are
compatible with the privileges of a free
people. It is intended that every
citizen's right to take part in the develop-
ment of the country to which he belongs
should be based as far as possible on
principles of political equality. You
have that in this Constitution. You
have equality as regards representation,
equality as regards language. It is in-
tended to sink differences that have
existed for so long in South Africa in
the past and build up a union on the
basis of equality. If these are the main
principles of the document now before
us let us consider, as I said, whether it
is or is not a fit document for the people
of South Africa to adopt for their future.
It seems to me that if the people of
South Africa are really content and will-
ing to become one people, to give up so
much of their different institutions and
traditions as kept them apart, and to
trust to the future of the country, to the
future development of the nation for
such sacrifices as may be necessary-if
they have come to that state, if they
have confidence in the future to
go forward, then it does seem
to me that this is a Consti-
tution they can and ought to adopt
without amendments. If amendments are
to be made, if there are amendments which
seem to you to improve the Con-
stitution, you must carefully consider
them. Let us get the machinery which
has been adopted in working order first
and then we can consider all these amend-
ments which may be considered necessary.
The practical issue, as I said before, is
not so much the question of amendment,
but whether the Constitution is a docu-
ment which we can accept or whether it is
a document which we cannot accept. Now,
the people who have criticised this docu-
ment on the points upon which it may be
improved have fallen into two classes.
There are some who say that without cer-
tain amendments they were not prepared
to accept the document, that without those
amendments they did not feel they could
support it or accept it. There is another


class which says that there are certain
points on which they would like to have
amendment, but they do not desire to re-
ject the Constitution even if they cannot
get those amendments. (Applause.) They
say that, in their opinion, the acceptance
of the Constitution is the main question
but there are amendments which they
would like to see put in. With regard
to the first class-if there are any such
here-I would like to say that there is
a great responsibility upon them to see
that the amendments proposed are vital to
their acceptance of the Constituti:n,
and not based on any parochial interest.
Let us get right to the root of the whole
matter. Do not let us reject the Constitu-
tion because there is something in it that
the Transvaal people do not like simply
for that reason unless also there is some-
thing which we think is bad for the people
of South Africa as a whole. Let us adopt
that point of view, and let us judge from
that point of view any amendment we
bring forward. That is to say, let us see
before we say we cannot accept the Con-
stitution that the amendments proposed
are worthy of the document to which they
apply. (Applause.)

A NECESSARY PRECAUTION.

Then that is, I think, a precaution which
is all the more necessary because we are
not really in a position to criticise this
document from the standpoint from which
it ought to be looked at. It is a most
difficult thing for people who are identified
with one particular Colony to get them-
selves away from that point of view and
to look at the document from the point of
view of the whole. Nothing is more easy
than to recommend that idea, but few
things are more difficult when one comes
face to face with the things that really
touch us. Then there is the other class,
which I hope is the more numerous, who
say, "We want certain amendments, but
whether we get those amendments or not
we are prepared to take the Constitution."
In the first place these people have
answered the question which we are called
upon to answer, namely, will we take the
Constitution or not? We will try to get
it amended, but whether we succeed or
not we will take it. For these people it
became a very serious question how far
they are going in attempting to get some-













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 15
-------------


additional improvement they would like
to see, and how far they could
safely go without losing something
they would regret to lose.
I do not in any way desire to bring for-
ward this motion to avoid discussion
and criticism of the Constitution. It
has been put before you for that very
purpose. Criticise it; tear it to pieces;
search out its weak points; but you
come back to the practical question:
"Is this amendment which I would like
to see a good one in itself for the whole
of South Africa, and not only that, but
what is the effect going to be of press-
ing this amendment on the ultimate ac-
ceptance or rejection of the Constitu-
tion." It is not enough to say this
amendment is good, let us have it. You
have got to think what the effect is
going to be on the fate of the Constitu-
tion in its present form. And there-
fore every time you come back to what
I say is the real, practical issue-not
what is the ideal, what is the best form
of Constitution, but are you going to
adopt this one or not. Put yourself, if
you can, into the position of the second
Convention that will have to meet in
order to consider any amendment which
may be pressed on delegates from dif-
ferent parts of South Africa, and con-
sider what is likely to happen. As far
as one can see, there is no amendment
suggested before the people of South
Africa which they all desire to see made.
What we find is one amendment sug-
gested in one quarter, in one Colony, an-
other in another. You hardly ever find
the same amendment come from the dif-
ferent Colonies. If you have been ad-
dressing meetings in the Transvaal, as
I have, you hear people concentrating
the whole of their criticisms on two
points : first, that the colour franchise
in Cape Colony has not been done away
with, and the other is that the
Senate ought to have been
directly elected by the people.
Those are the main points on which criti-
cism rests; those are the subjects on which
people have set their hearts in making
amendments but you will get no sympathy
for such amendments in Natal or the
Cape. They want something quite dif.
ferent, possibly something entirely contra-


dictory, and what is to be the result if
the second Convention is to be faced with
demands for mutually contradictory
amendments and with delegates instructed
by their several Parliaments to go there-
and get these amendments through? This
whole document would go back into the
melting-pot, and all the labour spent upon.
it will be thrown away. I, for one, do not
want to run the risk of any reconstruction,
and while it is our business to consider
criticisms of this Constitution and amend-
ments that may be moved to improve it,
the question of how far can we go, or how
far can any Colony go, in pressing amend-
ments is a question for the people of that
Colony. We are here to look at it from
the South African point of view, for it is.
a South African document, and we cannot.
estimate how far these demands for amend-
ment might be pressed. But what we can.
do is this: we can look at this Constitu-
tion which is before us and consider with
a full sense of responsibility whether there
is any amendment before the country at
the present time which is worth
pressing on the Convention at
the risk of losing what we have-
I myself believe that the document be-
fore us now, with all its faults and im-
perfections, is the best Constitution that
we are going to get accepted by the
people of South Africa at the present
time. I do not say it is the best Con-
stitution from a theoretical point of
view, but it is the best Constitution;
we are likely to get a general agreement
upon, and, that being so, having regard
to the paramount importance of union
for South Africa, it will be running a
serious risk to endanger the document.
by sending it back again. I foresaw
many of the difficulties the Convention
would have to face in arriving at the
agreement they did arrive at, and no>
one will look forward without apprehen-
sion to undertaking the same work
again. What v e have to look to is
the bringing of the people of South
Africa to believe in having one house
where they can direct their own affairs.
It is not to be expected by anyone who
looks back on the history of these Col-
onies, who looks into their diversities,
conditions and opinions, that they wilr
be got into one structure without fric--













16 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
------------ -


:tion and without giving up many things
which each of us thinks is very dear and
very important. But it seems to me
that if we believe that union is of im-
-mediate interest for South Africa, we
,ought not to hesitate to give up these
things and recommend others to do so.
If that is our object, what we have got
to consider is whether the structure
which is offered to us in its main
features, along its fundamental lines, is
.good enough to hold the nation that
we hope South Africa is to be. If it is
let us accept it. Let us trust to the
future to put right things that we think
ought to be altered. I put forward this
motion, not because I want in any way
to preclude discussion, or to preclude
people who have any amendment which
they may think it would be desirable to
the Constitution to bring it forward and
-discuss it. I do so because I believe
that for some years to come the cause
of union in South Africa is bound up
with the acceptance of this Constitution
as it stands, because amendments, how-
ever desirable, cannot be put forward
without risking the Constitution as it
stands, and I say the benefits are not
worth the risk. (Hear, hear.) I think
the longer we look at the Constitution as
it is now, the more convinced we shall be
that those amendments we want to see
*can always be made in the future. I
think the question upon which we must
give an answer is this. We here represent
in a way the people of South Africa, and
what those who follow our deliberations
want to know is : Do we, as repre-
senting those people, think this docu-
ment is one which we think they should
accept or not?" It seems to me if
we answer that in the affirmative we shall
give a great impetus to the cause we
have at heart-the union of South
Africa. I move :-
That the Association of Closer
Union Societies approves of the draft
South Africa Act, and recommends its
adoption by the Colonies of South
Africa.
Mr. F. Burger formally seconded the
motion.
Sir David Hunter (Natal) said that as
voicing the opinion of Natal he might men-
tion that they had nothing but the deepest


gratitude for the members of the Con-
vention. Natal held different opinions to
those of the other Colonies as regards the
form of union. It preferred a federated
form, by which it thought benefits quite
equal to what they obtained under the
proposed scheme would be secured. Of
course they must have a strong central
Government. He would like to have seen
some form, some expression of desire, to
deal with the natives in some way. He
said, too, that it was proposed to make the
railways amenable through a Minister and
a board appointed by the Governor-Gen-
eral in Council. He confessed, as one who
had long experience in connection with
railway matters, he had been looking for-
ward to the time when a great advance
would be made in the railway system.
He felt disappointed that this system of
political management of railways--they
could call it by any other name-was to
be perpetuated. ((Laughter.)
'Mr. C. B. .Mu.ared (Krugerslorp) in-
quired what the Constitution would do to
promote universal brotherhood, and said
that to promote such it was absolutely
essential that it should be framed on demo-
cratic lines. Was, he asked, the Conven-
tion at Capetown framed on democratic
lines? (Cries of "Yes!") Was the gather-
ing at Capetown composed of democratic
men? (Cries of "Yes!") He contended
that the capitalistic influence was too much
felt, and that the voice of democracy was
not heard. The speaker inquired what
was going to be the outcome of the draft
Act, and said if it became force it meant
that in this country legislation would be
drafted in the direction of the preservation
of property, and consideration of the pre-
servation of humanity would be kept in
the background. He moved as an amend-
ment:-
That this Conference considers the draft
Act in its present form is not accept-
able to the people of South Africa.
Mr. G. van Blommestein (Krugersdorp)
immediately rose and said that as another
delegate from Krugersdorp he took the
opportunity of dissociating himself entirely
from the views expressed by his co-dele-
gate. (Laughter and applause.)
Mr. McKinnon (Middelburg, C.C.), refer-
ring to the fact that Sir David Hunter hid
advocated the federal aspect of the ques-
tion, said that after listening to the able
address of Mr. Smuts he failed to see how















PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 17
- - -


any man could stand up and say that feder-
ation was the proper thing for the country.
(Applause.) Referring to the policy of
"wacht-een-bietje" of Sir David Hunter,
the policy of "Jet us not be in a hurry,"
the speaker said that had been the curse
of South Africa. He maintained that they
ought to go forward, and as sensible men
study the mater carefully, but he was not
inclined to "wacht-een-bietje." (Laughter
and applause.)
Mr. Long suggested that the discussion of
the matter necessitated preparation, and
moved the adjournment of the debate till
-the afternoon.
This was agreed to and the Congress
adjourned.



AFTERNOON SITTING.

The Congress reassembled at 2.30 in the
:afternoon.
Mr. B. K. Long, M.L.A., replied to
Mr. Duncan's division of the classes who
wanted amendments in the Constitution.
Mr. Duncan had said there was a class
who desired amendments and if they did
not get these amendments they were pre-
pared to wreck the Constitution, while
there was another class who wanted
amendments but were not prepared to
wreck the Constitution if they did not
get the amendments. He (the speaker)
suggested there was an intermediate class
-that there was a very important class
of opinion in South Africa generally and
certainly in that part of the country
which he and his colleagues had the hon-
our to represent at the Conference-who"
desired amendments but were not pre.
pared to say this moment whether if they
could not get those amendments they
were prepared to wreck the Constitution
or not. It was the primary object of
the Conference to convert the intermedi-
ate class into the second class which Mr
Duncan defined. MAr. Duncan had said
it would be better to leave amendments
to the Union Parliament. That was a
position the Capetown Closer Union
Society was not prepared to adopt. The
Capetown Society regarded certain points
in the Constitution as being guaranteed
by a moral guarantee which was stronger
than a verbal agreement-certain clauses


as not being liable to be upset in a
Union Parliament, at least for the first
few years. The society he represented
did not think it would be better to leave
amendments to the Union Parliament.
The speaker instanced two amendments
the Capetown Society intended to pro
pose. The first was that the representa-
tion of the Cape Colony in the Union
Parliament as compared with the repre-
sentation of the Transvaal in the Union
Parliament should be strictly propor-
tionate to the respective European male
adult populations of the two Colonies
safeguarding the numbers which were
fixed in the Constitution for the Orange
Free State and Natal. The second im-
portant amendment which the Capetown
Closer Union Society had instructed them
to press on the Conference was that the
words European descent as appear-
ing in Clause 25d and 44c of the
Constitution should be omitted.
lie simply instanced these as amendments
the delegates of the Capetown Closer
Union Society were instructed to press at
this conference. But he would almost
passionately repudiate any suggestion that
in pressing these amendments the Cape-
town society was taking up a wrecking atti-
Stude with regard to the Constitution.
That was a position they would do almost
anything to avoid. But they did say that
at this stage it was still competent for the
conference and for the Parliaments of the
respective Colonies to submit to the second
meeting of the Convention certain amend-
ments that might be desirable, and in
doing so they did not endanger the union.
He submitted an amendment to be includ-
ed, according to the ruling of the chairman,
with other amendments which would be
subsequently submitted, the intention of
which was to add a rider to 'Mr. Duncan's
motion the words "but is of opinion that
the Convention at its second sitting should
give due consideration to any amendments
which may be put forward by the respect-
ive Parliaments." (Applause.)
Mr. Langenhoven said he had come there
with two friends as delegates from Oudts-
hoorn; one was a vehement progressive
politician, the other was an extremist on
the other side, and personally he was op-
posed to both of them. (Laughter.) They
had sunk their differences for the larger
object for which they were gathered there,















18 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


to promote the union of South Africa.
(Hear, hear.) If anyone present did not
want the union he came there under false
colours. Every statesman in the country
had stated that he wanted union, although
they found now that prominent politicians
were acting in a way which put a great
strain on their faith in their professions.
If South Africa wanted union the only
point that occurred to him that they had
to consider was what machinery they would
adopt to bring about union. He did not
think that any scheme, even if it were from
Heaven, would satisfy everybody. The one
point was that they must have union.
There were two alternative ways of getting
it. One was that the Home Government
might say, "We have given you separate
Governments; you can't agree, and
in order to prevent civil war we
will force union upon you." The
other was that South Africa should
bring about union in its own way.
The National Convention was a thoroughly
representative one, and if that were ad-
mitted then it seemed to him there was
an end to any further discussion. The
mere fact of amendments being made show-
ed dissatisfaction. H- and his brother
delegates would vote for the motion. In
conclusion he said they very heartily ap-
preciated the hospitality that had been
extended to them. (Applau.e.)
Mr. J. W. Quinn supported very heart-
ily the remarks of the last speaker, who
had succeeded in summing up the main
points. He (the speaker) expressed disap-
pointment with some of the criticisms
already passed, and particularly with the
criticisms of Sir David Hunter, to whose
sentiments he objected in the strongest
manner possible. He resented also a con-
temptuous reference to a "cut-and-dried
scheme," and he insisted that on this mat-
ter they had begun right at the beginning.
The inference conveyed that this thing
had been partly forced on them and had
not had proper consideration was alto-
gether wrong and could not possibly be sup
ported by the facts of the case. They had
been talking about it for years; it needed
a frightful war to bring it to the point.
South Africa was happy in the possession
of such men as came together at the Con-
vention. Sir David Hunter had described
the provisions of railway management as
inviting political interference. That
was one item of criticism which


had not been offered by anyone
else in the length and breadth of
South Africa, and it showed how difficult
their position would be when amendments
came forward. He emphasi-ed the serious-
ness of the question of these amendments.
This, he said, was not a question of closing
one's eyes,shutting one's mouth and seeing
what Providence would send them. It
was a question of opening one's eyes a
little wider than they had been opening
them, of looking a little bit beyond the
horizon that their political outlook had
usually taken. Whatever its defects might
be, this Constitution was founded on bed-
rock and he would vote for it without
amendment. (Applause.)
Mr. H. A. Fagin (Somerset West) point-
ed out that the Conference was not repre-
senting South Africa and the delegates
were more or less representing the cities
and '1i! ... The farming population
had not been heard on the question. ("No!
No!") There was, however, a great body
of opinion which had not spoken, and, for
instance, he was very desirous of hearing
the opinion .of the farmers of the Cape
Colony. He thought the whole country
owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. Smuts
for his expression of opinion that morning,
and if the speech were thoroughly dizsemi-
rated it would do more good in remov-
ing the prejudices than almost anything
else could possibly do. He agreed with the
view of Mr. Smuts that they must have
one sole foundation, from which the life
and strength of the country must flow-
.that they must have a supreme Parlia-
ment ruling the destinies of the whole of
South Africa. The speaker thought a little
more power might have been given to the
Provincial Councils. There was one thing ir
the Constitution with which he personally
quarrelled and he proposed the following
amendment:-
That this Conference accepts the draft
Constitution but pxpreses the opinion
that Section 35 of' Clause 1 should be
amended so as to include the following
proviso: "Provided that such two-thirds
majority shall include a majority of
the Cape representatives."
Mr. Dewdney Drew (Bloemfontein) said
that the people of South Africa would
find out that Bloemfontein had given prac-
tical proof of its patriotic attitude towards
the question before them. The people of
Bloemfontein were resolved to vote for













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


the draft Act as it stood to-day. (Ap-
plause.) That draft Act as it stood gave a
staggering blow to the prosperity of
Bloemfontein. The hope had been frus-
trated that one day it would be the capi-
tal of united South Africa. Again, the
military garrison would not be long in the
town, and it would cease to be the seat
of the Colonial Government. He thought
many of them would sympathise with
their business friends and colleagues in
Bloemfontein in their apprehension as to
what would result from the removal of
the seat of government. They feared that
values would decrease, that business would
shrink, and that the population would
dwindle away, and that there would ensue
a general depression. If it was the wish
of South Africa to effect a union which
would be for the general prosperity, they
believed that a united South Africa would
take a commonsense view that if any part
of the body suffered the whole body would
suffer. The spirit of Bloemfontein in that
matter was that a united South Africa
would devise means whereby they would
receive such additional compensation to
that contemplated in the draft Act as
might be found on further inquiry to be
necessary. General Smuts told them that
morning that the people of Pretoria were
broad-minded, and, accepting that certifi-
cate as their certificate, he trusted they
would not spoil the federal capital by
erecting additional railway works. They
would perhaps be content to let those
extra railway works go to Bloemfon-
tein. (Laughter.) He also suggested a
grant towards bearing the burden of the
Municipal debt of Bloemfontein. They
had enough of the spirit of self-help that
they would try every means of earning
their own living rather than become
paupers. The position of Maritzburg had
been described as more desperate than
that of Bloemfontein. He trusted that
the confidence of these two cities would
be respected and responded to by the
united South Africa. He would not move
a resolution of sympathy with these two
towns, but he asked for reasonable and
fair-minded consideration. (Applause.)
Mr. L. Abrahamson (Wellington) con-
troverted the statement that the farming
community was not represented at the
present Conference. Several meetings had
been held in his district, and at every
meeting the draft Act was unanimously


adopted. He fully agreed with what the
Oudtshoorn delegate had said, and thought
he had struck the right note. He held
that an amendment of the kind suggested
was dangerous, and thought they should
assist the Convention in its effort to bring
about at the earliest possible moment the
union of South Africa.
Mr. P. J. Faure (Bloemfonte:n) sub-
mitted that Bloemfontein's attitude since
the sitting of the Convention had earned
the respect of the whole of South Africa.
(Hear, hear.) Unification, he added, would
be the salvation of the whole of South,
Africa.
Mr. G. S. Withinshaw, M.L.A., (Wyn-
berg), supported, broadly, Mr. Duncan's.
resolution, but emphatically protested
against any assertion that they should
not consider amendments to the Constitu-
tion. Remembering to keep in sight the
fact that they were laying down the foun-
dations of a united South Africa, they
were not wrong in considering amendments.
to the Constitution. They should con-
sider those amendments in a broad spirit.
He was not going to indicate the amend-
ments, but he would plead that the con-
gress should give due consideration to the
amendments proposed by Mr. Long, be-
cause, if not, they would place some of
the members of the Conference in a very
unfortunate position. If they were going
to vote holus bolus for the Convention,
what was their position when they went
to their respective Parliaments? Could
they then suggest any amendment of any
description? He said, No. They should
consider amendments, always bearing in
mind the object of closer union.
Mr. Hauptfleisch (Robertson), speaking-
in Dutch (Advocate Beyers, M.L.A., inter-
preting), said that he had not intended at
this early stage of the debate to speak on
the question before the Congress, but
the remarks made by his friend, the dele-
gate for Somerset W'.. (Mr. Fagan) "that
this Conference was not representing the-
country, but that it represented the
towns," made it necessary for him to say
that as far as himself and his colleague-
(Mr. Meinzies) was concerned, they repre-
sented the second most important agricul-
tural district in Cape Colony, and that
they in no way represented the town, but
the whole district of Robertson, including
the farming community. (Cheers.) He-
was there to say that his people, who had'
sent him were in favour of the draft Con-













PROCEEDINGS UP CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


stitution. They at Robertson knew that
it was not a perfect document, but they
also knew that the men who had drawn
up that draft Act were the men who were
trusted by every right-thinking man in
South Africa. They were satisfied that a
document drawn up and signed by men
like the Chief Justice (Sir Henry de Vil-
liers), Mr. Steyn, Dr. Jameson, men
who represented every shade of political
thought and opinion in South Africa, could
not be anything that would be detrimental
to the interests of the people of this coun-
try. (Cheers.) There was to him and the
Dutch-speaking portion of South Africa
this portion of it which placed the two
languages on a perfectly equal footing a
great satisfaction, and they were going to
take advantage of it. They were glad that
the meetings held all ov2r the country,
with the exception of one large place
(Mafeking) saw the justice of placing the
languages on an equal footing. Now, one
more point. An honourable and gallant
gentleman, a member of this Congress,
had said that this union would lead to
the forming of a Dutch Republic. Now
he (the speaker) altogether repudiated
that idea, and he knew and was certain
of it that they (the Dutch-speaking por-
tion of this country) were prepared and
were satisfied to be and remain subjects of
and be an integral part of the British Em-
pire. (Cheers.)
Mr. R. R. Brydone (a member of the
executive) reminded the delegates that
their work would not be over at the Con-
ference. There was a section of the com-
munity working outside, and it might be
well that they should have the views of all
men from every point of view so that
when they returned they might be able
to reply to the arguments brought forward.
The speaker declared that he had not met
a man in the room who would wreck
union. He advocated freedom of discus-
sion. When the draft Constitution was
put in his hand on that memorable Tues-
day evening he said in all sincerity, "I
wish that that Conference had never sat,"
for there were words in that Constitution
which he thought should never have been
put in, but he found there were other
men who had as sincere convictions as
himself who thought otherwise. He
considered the full meaning of the
Constitution, and he felt sure as
they mingled amongst themselves and


interchanged their views that his senti-
ments would conquer. He hoped that
there would be further opportunity of
commingling and that in the long run there
would be a union of hearts as well as of
law.
Dr. Mackenzie (Durban) said he rose with
pleasure to support Mr. Duncan's resolu-
tion. He looked upon the Constitution as
a marvellous success in overcoming the
difficulties in connection with the unifica-
tion of South Africa. In Durban political
opinion was only maturing to a great ex-
tent, but it was felt throughout the Col-
ony of Natal that the characteristic the
Constitution bore in being able to
be disseminated broadcast through-
out South Africa was in its
favour. They had pulled the Constitu-
tion to pieces and put it together again,
and they found their attempt to improve
it was fruitless, and had to fall back on
the original. They had one of the most
convincing and most hopeful experiences in
the speeches which they had heard from
General Smuts and Sir George Farrar.
Natal welcomed the democratic breadth of
the Constitution. The native question was
very important to Natal colonists. He
wished to say to these who felt the native
was not getting enough that Natal would
not give him any more. (Hear, hear.)
They were prepared to give him the privi-
leges of civilisation, but they were not
going to give him the franchise or let him
interfere in matters of Government, of
which he was totally ignorant and for
which a large majority were quite unsuited.
Natal would rather stand apart than give
the franchise to their natives. He credited
other Colonies represented at that meeting
with not believing the stories which had
gained credence across the water with regard
to Natalians grabbing land from natives
and ill-treating natives in every conceiv-
able way. He welcomed the new South
Africa based on representation from a
European male adult population, and he
could not help thinking what a great boon
this unity would have been had its
achievement come before the war. He
referred to the Scottish caution of Sir
David Hunter, but said that once unity
was established that gentleman would be
one of the best men in the union. (Ap-
plause.)
Mr. W. Pearce (East Rand) saw no
reason why after all the difficulties of the













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 21
-- ---------------- -


Orange River Colony, Natal, and the Cape
Colony they as a people should not unite
and adopt the Act as it stood. There was
no reason why they should not adopt Mr.
Duncan's motion. As a delegate from the
East Rand,' in only one respect were his
hands tied. In the Transvaal they were
very suspicious of the Kaffir franchise,
but he thought the question of the
franchise could be settled by a Union Par-
liament. He was not in favour of extend-
ing the franchise to a Kaffir until his civi-
lisation showed some sign of becoming
white "with the frost of years." (Laugh-
ter.)
Mr. P. D. Cluver (Stellenbosch) ranged
himself on the side of Mr. Brydone, and
hoped amendments would be very patiently
considered and nothing would be done to
discourage them. Those objections would
have to be met and a good many more,
and nothing but good could come from the
discussion of the amendments of the Con-
ference. The speaker agreed with a previ-
ous speaker that the Conference was not
representative of the whole country, and
said there were very few of the farming
districts represented at the Conference-
(cries of "No; No!")-and went on to say
that the opinion of the Dutch farmer was
more or less the opinion of the Bond, and
they had not had the opinion of the Bond
except in one or two iDolated cases.
They should encourage as much discussion
as possible, as their work was to educate
the people. He was sorry at not having
heard more arguments in favour of federa-
tion-(A voice: "There are none!")-and
hoped someone would state something in
favour of federation, because in Cape Col-
ony they had a very influential gentleman
and some of his friends who were doing
their very best to force it. It would be
easier to combat the cry for Federation
when one knew what it meant.
Mr. A. J. Dercksen (Benoni) stated that
the people of Benoni were willing to accept
the Constitution.
Dr. Isaacs (Molteno) said he had been
instructed by his branch to submit the
following amendment:-
That this branch of the Closer Union So-
ciety, recognizing the necessity for the
union of the States and Colonies of
British South Africa and the valuable
work of the National Convention as
contained in the draft South Africa
Act of Union, accepts the Act, but


considers the final acceptance or other-
wise should be decided by a referen-
dum of the people of the various States
and Colonies concerned.
Mr. R. Stuttaford (Capetown) said that
Mr. Duncan's argument and the argument
of a great many members seemed to be
that no amendments should be carried
because if these amendments found
their way into the Council Chamber of the
Convention when it reassembled they
would act as a bombshell and that the
whole draft Act would go to pieces. That
seemed a very poor reward for the work
that the delegates to the Convention had
done. They had produced an Act which
they all admired and which they all liked.
It seemed to him that they could send
amendments to that body and that the
amendments would be dealt with in that
broad and statesmanlike spirit in which
they had dealt with all the questions which
came before them. That was the real
difference between the two sides. They
were entirely in accord with the general
principles of the draft Act, and they felt
that any amendments proposed wou!d be
dealt with justly and openly. One of the
principal benefits they would receive from
the union of South Africa was stability.
The first thing that the Union Parliament
might undertake might be to start tinker-
ing with the draft Act and one of their
amendmentss was that the draft Act would
not be amended except by an appeal to
the country. If a member of Parliament
accepted Mr. Duncan's resolution he was
practically precluded from taking any part
in the deliberations of Parliament when
the draft Act came forward. There was no
necessity in this Conference to say the last
word on the draft Act. The last word
should be said in the Parliaments of the
various Colonies, and he submitted that the
best course would be to give their amend-
ments to the delegates to the Convention
and trust to them not to wreck the Con-
stitution.
Colonel Crewe indicated that he pro-
posedto tread upon dangerous ground in
supporting Mr. Duncan's resolution, and
first of all dealt with the native question
On this he thought' he knew the feeling
of this country fairly well and he express.
ed the fear that any amendment would
do harm to the very people for whose
good it was intended. The real danger of
it was the raising of a hope which should














22 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
--------------


-not be raised. He reminded them that
the Cape native franchise had returned
to the Cape Parliament some of the best
men in South Africa; but he maintained
that any attempt to eliminate the clause
that only people of European descent
-should sit in Parliament could only harm
the interests of the natives at a stage
when it was perfectly clear that such
an amendment would not be accepted by
the other Colonies. He believed there
was not a single European in South Africa
who was not absolutely determined on
union. He dreaded a counter-agitation
which might in its course sweep away the
native franchise and feared the danger
arising out of an amendment which would
-not be accepted by the other States and
could not be carried through. Let them
recognize that they had carried a great
deal for the Cape Colony. The Cape
Colony had retained the coloured fran-
chise and the rights of the coloured man
practically intact, with the one slight
point that he might not sit in Parliament;
but, on the other hand, there 'was a two.
thirds majority safeguarding his interests.
But they must not endanger the very thing
they were endeavouring to secure by en-
couraging false hopes in trying to carry
a thing which would never be carried
through the Convention at the present
time. He supported Mr. Duncan's reso-
lution entirely because he believed that
under the Act of Union there would be
equal rights for everybody. Tha_ carried
him at once to the question of the Dutch
language. It might be said that he had
opposed theextension of the rights of the
Dutch language in the Parliament of the
Cape. He had done so, and he had done
so at a time when there was some ques-
tion in South Africa-a fear and a dan-
ger-as to what the flag should be and
who should rule. But now the danger
was away they recalled their outposts-
which in other circumstances had pevent-
ed them from being overwhelmed-and
he was only too glad to step into a total-
Iv different position and say : "Equal
rights for everybody concerned." (Ap-
plause.)

ALL MISTRUST GONE.

If, continued Colonel Crewe, there were
people who were going to mistrust one


another any longer, then, he said, there
could be no difficulty in finding many
things in which holes could be picked in
the Act of Union. If they took the atti-
tude of the Convention, and adopted that
as their guiding light-the Convention
had endeavoured to put aside mistrust
and set an example which South Africa
might well follow-then he thought when
they went through the Act every line
impressed them with the fact that at last
in South Africa for the Dutch and the
English people there were absolutely equal
rights. No one could accuse him of not
having been thoroughly British in his
sentiment, and, as far as he was concerned,
any mistrust in hie mind had absolutely
gone-(applause)--and, that mistrust hav-
ing gone, one could look to the Act ot
Union simply as whether it was or was
not for the benefit of South Africa. With-
out going into the matter fully, he had
not the slightest shadow of doubt that on
the whole the Act of Union was eminently
satisfactory. Was it not wiser that from
this Conference there should go out the
general expression of opinion that on the
whole the Act of Union as it was drafted
was sound and good, and surely his hands
were not tied by a resolution of the kind.
What they should do to further union
could best be done by a general expression
of opinion, and that general expresoon of
opinion was embodied in Mr. Duncan's
resolution, for which he would vote. As
for the representation of Cape Colony, if
one went into figures perhaps the Cape
Colony had less than it ought to have,
but they could not take one item of the
Constitution by itself and say that on this
particular thing they were being put
in a slightly worse position than they
ought to be and therefore they wanted
that changed. without conider-ng
whether there was a counter-
balancing interest in one shape or
form. One could say of the Act of Union,
whether it was the Orange River Colony,
Natal, the Transvaal or the Cape. judging
from the objections that had come for-
ward, that on the whole they had been
all fairly treated, and so he personally
advocated very strongly Mr. Duncan's re-
solution. In concluding, and referring to
the fear of Dutch domination, the speaker
said there was no attempt at bluff in the
Act of Union. He defied any man to
show that in the Act there was one single
attempt to obtain an advantage for one












PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 23


sectionn of the community or the other.
That was the absolute strength of the
-document, and it was that fact that
for the first time in South Africa enabled
them to cease struggling against
one another. He only wished
to put the views of one who was
known to have held very strong views in
the past, and to assure those people of
the other race that, as far as the past
-was concerned, he accepted General
Botha's statement when he said, Let us
give up the struggles of the past and shake
hands over the graves of those who have
fallen on both sides." (Loud applause.)
Mr. C. C. Clark (Durban) said there was a
,certain amount of diffidence on the part
of Natal as regarded closer union, but he
confessed that having rubbed shoulders
-with the gentlemen from the other Colo-
nies and with their Dutch friends, he had
learned a great deal more than he had
gained from the Press. The Press of Natal
had been imbued with the idea that
federation was the one essential. The Con-
,stitution had given them certain rights
which were very near to that. which he
had expected. His idea was to adopt, so far
.as was possible, the Canadian Constitu-
tion, as it seemed better fitted for the
ideal they had. He thought they should
put the general principle and carry it, and
-then the amendments could be put. They
might agree to three or four resolutions
.and send them to the central Parliament.
He had come to the conclusion that the
time had arrived when the union of the
four Colonies was essential, and that it
would be detrimental to the very best in-
terests of South Africa for Natal to stand
out of this union.
Mr. Van Levetzow (Vryheid) supported
Mr. Duncan's resolution. He regretted
that the people of Natal were being edu-
cated by many of their influential men to
go on the wrong side, and he expressed a
hope that the Conference would bring Sir
David Hunter round to the view that
Natal had nothing to lose-Durban had
nothing to lose, but a great deal to gain-
by union.
Mr. Advocate Roche Pohl, M.L.A. (Wyn-
berg) thought the time was to-day for
them to consider this question and to criti-
cise this question, and it was for them to
-suggest amendments if they might deem
them necessary.


The Conference adjourned until the fol-
lowing morning.




Second Day.



MARCH 4.

The Conference reassembled at 10 a.m.
The following was the order paper, con-
taining the motions and amendments, of
which notice had been given the previous
day:-

MOTION.

That the Association of Closer Union
Societies approves the draft South
Africa Act, and recommends its adop-
tion by the Colonies of South Africa.
P. DUNCAN.

NOTICES OF MOTION.

A. Alteration of Boundaries.

That in accepting the draft Constitution
submitted by the National Convention,
it is nevertheless desirable in the in-
terest of a large section of the people
of the Cape Colony, who had no re-
presentation at the National Conven-
tion, to place on record the necessity
that: That portion of the Cape Colony
lying north of the Orange River to be
created into a separate Province of the
Cape Colony, or, alternately, that that
portion of the Cape Colony lying north
of the Orange River and south of the
Vaal be added to the Orange Free
State, and that the portion north of
the Vaal be added to the Orange Free
State, and that the portion north of
the Vaal to the Transvaal Province.
W. DE KOOK
(Mafeking).

B. The Senate.

1. That the Senate be abolished.
C. B. MUSSARED
(Krugersdorp).











24 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
-- -


2. That Section 23 and succeeding sections
be amended by making the whole of
the Senators elected, ten for each
Province, by the electors of such Pro-
vince, for a period of five years.
L. NORTHCROFT
(Southern Suburbs, Johannesburg).

3. That Sub-section ii. of Section 24 be so
amended as to admit of a general elec-
tion for the Senators.
J. W. LOUW
(Germiston).
4. That Sub-section "e of Section 25 be
deleted.
J. W. LOUW
(Germiston).
C. B. MUSSARED
(Krugersdorp).

5. That the qualification of the position of
Senator be the same as with members
of the House of Assembly.
L. NORTHCROFT
(Turffontein).
6. That the life of the first Senate, includ-
ing the Government nominees, should
be for five years instead of ten, saving
the guarantee of equal representation
to the provinces for ten years.
G. S. WITHINSHAW
(Wynberg).
7. That the period the Senators should be
appointed should be for seven years
instead of ten.
D. M. BROWNE
(Port Elizabeth).
S. That this meeting requests the Conven-
tion to reconsider the method of ap-
pointing the Senate, and, if possible,
to adopt a popular method of election,
keeping in view the ultimate object,
namely, that of a revising chamber
apart from party politics.
D. M. BROWNE
(Port Elizabeth).

C. Distribution of Seats.

That in the opinion of this Conference,
while the number of representatives in
the House of Assembly allotted to
Natal and the Orange Free State
should remain as in the Draft Act, in
the case of the Cape Colony and Trans-
vaal, which give up eight seats between
them, the draft Constitution should be
so amended that the proportion of


members to the European male adult
population, as stated in the Act, shall
be the same.
W. DUNCAN BAXTER
(Capetown).
That whilst safeguarding the interests of
the small Colonies, and whilst having
regard to the disabilities and interests
of sparsely-populated districts. it is in
the interests of a lasting and satisfac-
tory union of the Colonies of British
South Africa that the basis of repre-
sentation under the draft Act shall be
one of European population.
ROCHE POHL
(Wynberz).

D. Coloured Vote.
1. That this Conference regret the in-
clusion of the words "of European
descent" in clauses 25 (d) and 44 (c)
of the Draft Act.
B. K. LO G, ) M.L.A.
(Capetor-n).
2. That after 'Houses" in the tenth l ne
of section 35, insert: "Provided that
amongst the members voting for such
Bill there shall be a majority who in
either House of Parliament repre nt
any constituency the whole or any part
of which shall have been included in
the bounuarie~ of the Cape Province
as constituted at the date of the estab-
lishment of the Union.
H. A. PAGAN
(Somerset We-t:.
3. That a two-thirds majority be required
to give the coloured franchise in the
Colonies with no coloured franchise
at present.
F. MI. AGAR
W. PEARCE
(East Rand).
4. That sub-section i. be amended by
providing that Parliament may not
pass any Bill extending the franchise
to native and coloured male adults
in either the Transvaal, the Oranze
Free State and Natal, until a petition
has been presented to Parliament,
signed by a majority of the members
of Parliament representing the pro-
vince in which it is proposed to make
such extension.
L. NORTHCROFT
(Southern Suburbs, Joh nnesbu rg)-












PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 25


5. That an effort be made to secure such
an addition to the draft Act as will
provide that no extension of the
coloured vote to the Colonies (other
than the Cape) shall take place except
by a two-thirds vote of both Houses
of the Union Parliament.
J. FORREST,
ADAM Y. NIVEN,
T. DAVIS,
(Eastern Suburbs, Johannesburg).

E. The Provinces.

1. That in Clause 153, following the words
thirty-five' in the seventh line, the
following figures be inserted, namely,
70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76 and 77."
C. C. CLARK
(Natal).
2. That in the opinion of this Conference
the powers of the Provincial Councils
cannot be efficiently exercised unless
they are made less subservient to the
Governor-General in Council.
W. DUNCAN BAXTER
(Capetown).


E. Finance.

1. That as it is clearly the intention of the
Act, as provided by Clause 118, sub-
section (a), that until the financial
relations of the Central and Provincial
Governments are adjusted, each pro-
vince shall be allocated for primary
education an annual sum equal to that
estimated to be spent during the year
1908-9, the Act should provide that in
those provinces in which the cost of
education is partly provided by local
taxation and school fees, the total of
such amounts for the year 1908 9 should
be added to the amount payable to
any such province.
W. RUNCTMAN
(Simonstown)
2. That the following be added as a rider
to clause 118, sub-section (b), after re-
spectively, which shall include such
portion of the expense incurred by
any local Government in any Colony
which in any other Colony is at present
defrayed from the revenue of the re-
spective Colonial Parliament.
W. RUNCIMAN
(Simon's Town).


3. To delete the first four lines and the
first word in the fifth line of clause
128, and substitute the following: 'The
control and management of the rail-
ways, ports, and harbours of the Union
shall be vested in a non-political Board
of three Commissioners, who shall be
appointed by the Governor-General-in-
Council, one of whom shall be an
officer of wide experience in the ad-
ministration of railways and harbours,
and shall be Chairman of the Board,
and the other two shall be gentlemen
of proved business capacity. The duties
and powers of the Commissioners shall
be set out in a Bill to be presented to
the Union Parliament.
SIR DAVID HUNTER
(Natal Society).

F. Naturalization.
That clause 139 be amended by the inter-
polation of the words "of the Empire'"
after the word "Colonies.
J. L. SCOTT
(Germiston).

G. Amendment of Constitution.
That in the opinion of this Conference
clause 153 should be so altered that
(while retaining the special provisions
of the clause restricting the power of
Parliament to amend the Draft Act)
the other sections of the Act should
only be amended provided that an Act
to give effect to such amendment 'be
passed by Parliament, und that unless
that Act shall have been passed at the
third reading by a majority of 'two-
thirds of the total number of mem-
bers of both Houses sitting together,
it shall not come into operation until
Parliament has been dissolved and
the new Parliament elected has rati-
fied the Act by a simple majority of
both Houses sitting together .
R. STUTTAFORD
(Capetown).
H. General.
That before the Act of Union is passed a
naval base and a free call up to 100,000
tons per annum of good steam coal be
secured in perpetuity to the Imperial
British Government by Natal.
D. GROVE
(Vryheid).













6 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
--------------


That the Closer Union Society, recognizing
the necessity for the Union of the
States and Colonies of British South
Africa and the valuable work of the
National Convention, as contained in
the draft South Africa Act, accepts
the Act in the main, but considers
that the final acceptance or otherwise
should be decided by a referendum to
the people of the various States and
Colonies concerned.
W. ARCHER ISAAC. MD.
(Molteno).
To add to Mr. Duncan's Motion:-
but is of opinion that the Convention
at its second sitting should give due
consideration to any amendments
which may be put forward by the re-
spective Parliaments.
ADVOCATE B. K. LONG.
(Capetown).

Mr. Hauptfleisch moved as a special reso-
lution:-
That the delegates of the Closer Union
Societies in congress assembled at Jo-
hannesburg send greetings to the Bond
Congress at Dordrecht, Cape Colony,
and trust that their deliberations will
tend towards bringing about the union
of the States and Colonies of British
South Africa.
Mr. Quinn said there would be a possi-
bility of the motion being misunderstood
by the very people for whom it was in-
tended. If, however, the gentlemen who
could best gauge the feelings of the Bond
Congress were satisfied that the motion
would be taken as only an expression of
good feeling he was content. But the
people in the Cape were divided on that
matter, and it was possible that harm
would result and not good.
Mr. Hauptfleisch remarked that he was
one of the oldest Bondsmen in South
Africa, and was sure that the resolution
would be appreciated by every member of
the congress.
Mr. Quinn: All right.
The motion was carried unanimously.
In reply to Mr. Quinn, the President said
that no motion was on the paper as an
amendment to the motion of Mr. Duncan
(that the Association approve the draft
Act and recommends its adoption by the
Colonies of South Africa); each was taken
as a direct resolution.


Mr. Burger continued the debate. He
said there was unnecessary excitement
caused by the remarks of Mr. Duncan and
Mr. Quinn regarding any amendment that
might be proposed to the Consiuttion.
There was no desire to stifle discussion,
and the real difference was as to the time
when the amendments should be made.
They thought they should be considered by
the united Parliament and not by the
Convention. There was a danger that the
criticism might be too microscopic-that
they would magnify a small blemish so
that it assumed so large a size
that they could not get a cor-
rect view of the whole- Constitution.
Take, for instance, the suggedtiona which
were made yesterday as regarded the re-
presentation of Cape Colony or all the
States on the basis of population. Sup-
posing the Convention adopted that, what
would be the result? The Cape Colrny
alone would have far more members than
the other Colonies combined because the
white population exceeds that of all the
other Colonies combined. He was certain
that the other Colonies would reject a
Constitution containing such a provision.
("Why?") It was not necessary to die-
cuss the merits of the question. He only
wanted to tell them that the other Colo-
nies would not accept it. Supposing the
amendment providing for the removal of
the disqualification regarding natives sit-
ting in Parliament were accepted by the
Convention, did they for one moment
think that they in the Transvaal would
accept that? They would not. Take the
two-thirds majority regarding the native
franchise question.
Mr. Brown (Port Elizabeth): Are we in
order in discussing amendments at this
stage?
The President: In discussing the general
question the speaker is quite in order in
referring to certain points which illustrate
his point, but he is not entitled to discuss
at large the motions which are on the
paper.
Mr. Burger, continuing, said it had been
suggested that the two-thirds majority
which was required to restrict the native
vote should include a majority of the Cape
members of Parliament. Again, he said,
The Transvaal would not accept sach a
position. They had already had a diEiculty
to persuade them to accept the clause as
it stood. (Hear, hear.) The altered C' c-













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


stitution would come back for their dis-
cussion and acceptance. They might sug-
gest further amendments and it would go
back to the several Parliaments, and
eventually it would be a document which
nobody would accept. By the time they
would settle it whatever surplus the Trans-
vaal had would have disappeared and the
other Colonies would be bankrupt. The
fear that Sir David Hunter had when he
said "We want to ken a little more"
would be aggravated by referring the mat-
ter back to the Convention, because then
they would not know what they would be
called upon to accept in the future.
It had been suggested that before the.;
went in for a complete scheme of unifica-
tion they should first of all adopt a fede-
ral scheme as being the first step towards
unification. He ventured to say that
federation would not be a step to unifi-
cation at all. It would be the very re-
verse, and for the reason that if they
were going to adopt the federal scheme
they would have to lay down a Constitu-
tion on most rigid lines. They would
have several Colonies fixed at the four
corners of an iron frame-they could not
go further and they could not come
nearer. Each would be looking after
their own interests and the Provincial
Councils would probably be encroaching
on the central authority. They would
have irritation set up by disputes and
the spirit of union and good feeling re
quired in the-people would be done away
with, and there would be a danger of its
never really materialising, The federal
scheme would not be a scheme which al-
lowed the Colonies to be tied even by
chains--they would be tied by a rigid iron
bar. Sir David Hunter had also said
that the Constitution-should perhaps place
on record the recognition of their obliga-
tions towards the native races. (Hear,
hear.) But what did Sir David Hunter
consider was their obligation towards the
native races? He (Mr. Burger) did not
believe that this obligation could ever be
set down in a legal document. It rested
on far higher grounds. The white people
did not shirk 'his obligation, but he saw
no necessity for putting it into a legal
document. He described Sir David
Hunter's criticism of the provisions re-
garding railways and harbours as absolute
nonsense. The scheme adopted by the Con-


stitution was the very reverse of a scheme
for using the railways for political pur-
poses. Every provision in the Consti
tution with regard to railways was to-
wards doing away with the log-rolling of
the past, with the building of railways in
order to catch votes. If Colonel Crewe
trod upon dangerous ground on the pre-
vious day, he (Mr. Burger) now proposed
to tread upon the brink of a volcano. It
had been stated by people that the Dutch
section of the community seemed to be
extraordinarily in favour of union. He
was glad to say that he thought the whole
of them were. (Hear, hear.) Some
sinister reason had been suggested for
this, and it had been stated that this
was another attempt at Boer domination
-ano'her instance of the Boer in the
saddle.
Several members: Who said so?
Mr. Burger : It has been said.
Several members : Where ?
Mr. Burger : If you had read the pa-
pers you would have seen it. (Voices:
"Where?" and "Quite right.")
Proceeding, Mr. Burger said that he
was not going to tread on anyone's corns
with reference to this matter.
He would like the gentleman who
thought that to come and show the pro-
cess of reasoning by which he arrived at
that conclusion. He would allow that he
was sincere, otherwise the suggestion
would be dishonest. The Dutch people
of South Africa were what they called
Africanders-to distinguish them from Hol-
landers. The logic of facts had shown
that the ideal of supremacy was impossible
-if the Dutch people ever cherished that
idea, which he denied. What really under-
lay their desire for unification was this:
their desire was to belong to some nation.
They might, of course, say: "You come
from a Dutch nation," but the nations
from which the Africanders came had no
longer any ties with them, and the time
had come -when they wished to belong to
a separate nation. The might then sav,
"Why don't you join the British nation?"
The man who asked that question was not
a practical politician. The British nation
consisted of separate nations, but the
Africanders could not, he thought, c&aim
to have ever been a nation; they differed
from all the other nations that had joined
the British nation. What they wanted
was a common rallying point, and that













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


was why they asked for unification. When
they had been given a chance of joining
that nation the ground which used to be
dangerous would cease to be so, and they
could walk to and fro on it without fear
of destruction.
vir. Runciman, M.L.A. (Simonstown)
said it was not the intention of
any member present to do the
slightest injustice to one Colony or the
other. He pointed out one-seventh of the
whole of the revenue of the Cape Colony
was absorbed on the repair of roads and
on education; it was proposed, amongst
other amendments, that a sum equal to the
amount of the existing education estimates
of the different Colonies should be paid to
the Provincial Parliaments to pay the cost
of education, but the system of State edu-
cation was different in each Colony. He
did not wish to do anything to weaken
the standard that had been set. They
wanted a contented people, and if they
could remove disabilities instead of en-
dangering the Constitution it would be
strengthened. They were to a certain ex-
tent dealing with these things in the dark,
as they did not know what discussion had
taken place in the Convention, and if the
Convention had considered the points
raised by the amendments then they would
say so, and if not they would receive
every consideration, and he did not for
one moment think they would endanger
the passing of the Constitution.
Mr. Strang, Kroonstad, supported Mr.
Duncan's resolution. As men of sound
commonsense, he said, the result of lis-
tening to the proposed amendments and
the suggestions emanating from the Cape
was to make them decide to vote against
any amendments. It was not the amend-
ments themselves, but the nature of the
amendments. With reference to the sug-
gestion that the words Euopean
descent should be left out of Clauses 25
and 44. In the Kroonstad Society, the
question was raised whether we should not
have a definition of what European
descent was. (Laughter.) If the Cape
insisted on having those words excluded,
they would raise a very intricate and very
difficult question. They would give in-
structions to their representatives in Par-
liament, which in itself would be a referen-
dum, and they could alter the law if they
liked. If the Orange River Colony, with
its small proportion of 17 members, was


content to trust to the future, to trust to
the justice and fairness of the Cape and
the Transvaal, surely the other side should
be ready to go into union. (Applause.)
If they accepted the Constitution as a
united people, he was quite sure that in
the future they would have that peace,
prosperity and progress towards which
they were looking as the fruits of the Act.
(Applause.)
Mr. J. Denoon Duncan (Kimberley)
wished to bring the debate to a somewhat
closer issue since they had now come to a
parting of the ways. The crux of the
debate so far appeared to be that several
speakers were not prepared to press
amendments if they endangered the draft
Constitution. He spoke as one who was
absolutely convinced after mature consi-
deration that if those amendments were
pressed, they were going to endanger mosr
seriously the possibility of the passing oi
this draft South Africa Act. (Hear,
hear.) Hle appealed to them to face the
question squarely, and consider the ccn-
Iticting amendments already on the paper.
especially the conflict on vital issues with
regard to the native question. Where
were they going to get to ? He quoted
General Smuts' warning as to the posibi-
lity of wrecking the Constitution, and re-
minded them that thirty-three represen*a-
tive statesmen of South Africa had found
it necessary to leave the matter where i:
was. Heaven help South Africa if they
sent this shoal of amendments back to the
Convention to deal with. (Hear,
hear.) There were men present
who had slaved for the cause of
closer union, and now they were on the
eve of it he appealed to the Conference to
let the Constitution go without amend-
ment and go to a United South _irica.
(Hear, hear.) It was laid down that the
Convention might reassemble "if neces-
sary," but he made hold to say that the
men who signed the document unanimously
had come to the conclusion that i: would
not be necessary to sit again. (Hear. heir.)
He suggested that after the Conference
had considered the amendments those who
submitted the amendments would see thit
the general consensus of opinion was
against them and would come down to the
view of things which he had voiced. T:ey
were considering "the common interests of
all," and he unhesitatingly accepted the













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 29


statementss of the men on the other side
that they intended to "play the game."
(Applause.)
Mr. Neser (Klerksdorp) said he had
come to the Congress determined to accept
the draft Act as it stood, because he
thought it was worthy of acceptance. In
the light of the recent criticisms he found
no reason to change his opinion; on the
contrary, he had heard a good deal to
confirm him in his approval of the Act.
It had been objected that capitalists and
landowners were alone looked to, but he
could find in the Constitution nothing in
the nature of a protection for those classes.
It was easy finding fault with the Consti-
tution. On the one hand the Cape pro-
posed amendments the Transvaal could not
accept, and the Transvaal suggested others
which the Imperial Parliament could not
accept. As to the native franchise in the
Cape, vested rights had to be protected,
and he thought the natives were sufficiently
safeguarded. They should try to get their
various constituents to listen to the great
call, "South Africa expects that every
man will do his duty."
Mr. Wallace now moved that the motions
be considered, after which the main pro-
position by Mr. Duncan be considered.
MIr. Vintcent (Mossel Bay) seconded the
resolution and said he sincerely hoped that
the speakers on these amendments would
be as limited as possible in their remarks.
Mr. Nesbit (East London) appealed to
those who had given notice of amendments
to withdraw them.
The Chairman said he would interpret
the carrying of the motion as an order to
interrupt the debate on the main issue,
and after they had dealt with the amend-
ments they would resume, if resumption
were possible, on the issue raised by Mr.
Duncan's resolution.
Mr. Duncan: If one of these amendments
is carried, what will be the effect on my
motion? ,
The Chairman said it was his intention
directly the assembly took up the business
of the notices of motion to point out that
the effect of carrying any one of these
notices would be to nullify the motion
standing in the name of Mr. Duncan.
Mr. Fagin (Somerset West) said he was
one of the unfortunate ones who had
given notice of a motion. A wise man
rather retired before he was defeated, and
ihe appealed to those others who had given


notices of motion to withdraw them.
Mr. Wallace's motion was carried.

Obliteration of the Boundaries.

The motions on the paper were then pro.
ceeded with, and Mr. W. de Kock (Mafe-
king) moved the following as a recommen-
dation, not as an amendment:-
That in accepting the draft Constitution
submitted by the National Conven-
tion, it is nevertheless desirable in
the interest of a large section of the
people of the Cape Colony, who had
no representation at the National
Convention, to place on record the ad-
visability that that portion of the Cape
Colony lying north of the Orange
River should be created into a sepa-
rate Province of the Cape Colony, or,
alternately, that that portion of the
Cape Colony lying north of the Orange
River and south of the Vaal be added
to the Orange Free State, and the por-
tion north of the Vaal to the Trans-
vaal Province.
Proceeding, he said that clause 150 of the
draft Constitution made provision for the
alteration of boundaries. Speaking for
the inland portions of Cape Colony, he sa;d
they were quite satisfied to throw in their
lot with the people of the Transvaal and
Orange River Colony. Ever since Respon-
sible Government was given to the Cape,
no matter who had been in power, the
country people and the inland people of
Cape Colony had never had just treatment
at the hands of the Government. The
taxation of the past had been by mean'
of railways, and the up-country man had
had to pay the extra burden of taxation.
The policy of the Cape Colony had been to
take everything they could for the West-
ern Province, and the rest of the country
could look after themselves. He thanked
the delegates of the inland portions of
the country in the Convention for safe-
guarding the interests of the up-country
men when they agreed to clause 129 of
the draft Constitution. He also indi-
cated that the expressed views of Cape
Polony on the native question were not
the views of the people he represented.
(Hear. hear.)
The Chairman: Do you desire to move
your resolution as a recommendation to
the various Parliaments or ,s an amend-
ment to the main resolution?













30 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


Mr. D Kock: As a recommendation.
Mr. G. Martin (Mafeking) seconded,
and said that the policy pursued had not
been in the interests of the people. They
wished to be joined to one or other of
the other Colonies or be made a separate
province.
Colonel Crewe said it was difficult to
ask the Congress to interfere in what 'ass
a purely domestic matter. The Weste'n
Province would like to be ,
the Cape, but they did no"
Congress and ask them for a vote.
Mr. Langenhoven said the only way to
deal with the matter was through the
United Parliament.
Mr. De Kock briefly replied, and the
motion, put to the vote, was lost by a
large majority.
The Senate.
Mr. Mussared (Krugersdorp) moved
that the Senate be abolished.
At the suggestion of the Rev. Mr.
Scott, it was agreed, regarding the subse-
quent motions, that before the mover
spoke he must find a seconder.
Speaking to his resolution, Mr. Muasared
said he quite agreed w:th Mr. Smuts that
he was not aware of any second Chamoer
in the civilized world which was success-
ful, and with Mr. De Villiers that an
Upper House was not an advisability.
The great danger in an obstructionist
policy could be seen by the policy which
the House of Lords adopted at Home.
The House that represented the people
should be the House that was responsible
for the legislative work of the State.
There were hundreds of thinking men in
the proletariat which it was his privilege
to represent who were behind him.
There was no seconder and the motion
fell to the ground.
Mr. Northcroft m"ved as a recommenda-
tion to the respective Parliaments-
That section 23 and succeeding sections be
amended by making the whole of the
senators elected, ten for each pro-
vince, by the electors of such province,
for a period of five years.
He was sure that that congress as a
democratic body would support a demo-
cratic principle.
Mr. Duncan said *t was not clear to
him what was meant by saying that reso-
lution was put forward as a recommenda-
tion to Parliament. If the recommenda-
tion was adopted it seemed to him it was


directly contrary to the motion he had
on the paper. He intended by his motion
that the draft Act should be accepted as
it stood.
Mr. Dewdney Drew said it wa~ expected
by the members of the Convention that
there would be modifications in the
schedule.
The motion was lost by a large majority.
The next amendment by Mr. J. W.
Louw (Germiston) "that sub-section 2
of section 24 be so amended as to admit
of a general election for the senators"
was withdrawn.

The Property Qualification.

Mr. J. WV. Louw (Germiston) moved:
"That sub-section 'e' of section 25 be
deleted."
Mr. Mus.ared seconded. The section, ahe
said, dealt with the property qualification.
which he characterized as an affront to
twentieth century democracy. It was
putting brains at a lower premium than
gold. He recalled the story of the man
who got a vote because he possessed a
donkey value 10, and said the people in
the country did not wish to be represent-
ed by donkeys either nominated or
elected, quadruped or biped. (Laughter.)
Mr. F. W. Beyers. M.L.A. (Ophirton).
agreed that the property qualification was
undesirable, but would not support the
motion. One of the finest features of the
Constitution was that it was flexible, and
could be amended as experience taught.
They could not by a priori methods im-
pose a rigid thing, cut and dried, which
was going to fit in with the requirements
of future times in South Africa. They were
putting the cart before the horse in forc-
ing these amendments. He had suffi-
cient faith in the people of a United
South Africa to trust them and to know
that they would by amendments from time
to time construct a Constitution which
would be lasting and permanent. He was
not going to vote for a single amendment
because he realized the danger and ris' to
be run in pressing those amendment-. He
pointed out that no sugre tion or scheme
propounded by any of the centres had
not received full consideration at the
hands of the Convention. The amend-
ments before the Conference did not fit
in well at this juncture with the Con-
stitution as a whole. (Applaue-.)














PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


Mr. Brown (Port Elizabeth) said this
was the only opportunity they had of dis-
cussing these amendments. Why not
leave the matter not to the good sense oE
the future but to the good sense of the
present? The property qualification of
500 was nothing, and it might as well
be abolished altogether. Proceeding, he
remarked that some of them had demo-
cratic principles and some no principles
at all. (Laughter.) The ablest body of
men that ever sat could get outside wis-
dom which was not present to their de-
bates: surely some outside wisdom had
been and' would be gained from the
speeches made recently and articles in the
papers. The day of a property qualification
was past.
A delegate: The property qualification
should be higher.
Mr. Brown: That gentleman may be
thankful that he was born wealthy
enough to be able to say that. (Laughter.)
Proceeding, he said that wiser generations
would arise and wise opinions prevail
on this point. The amendment was rea-
sonable and just, and would show to the
world that those who were anxious for a
United South Africa were determined to
have a good Constitution; at present the
qualification was the only blot in the fair-
est Constitution ever granted.
Mr. Reynolds said that Port Elizabeth
had supported the Convention all through,
and he was in favour of the results of it.
The motion was lost.

The Senators' Position.
Mr. Northcroft moved:-
That the qualification for the position of
senator be the same as with members
of the House of Assembly.
In reply to the Chairman, the
speaker said he moved that as a recom-
mendation to the Convention. He said he
regretted that a number of gentlemen
should have come here from all parts of
South Africa merely to say that the Con-
stitution as provided by the Convention
was a good one. It would have been quite
easy for the various Closer Union Societies
to pass a resolution to that effect.
.The Chairman: These remarks are out
of order. You must confine yourself at
this stage to your motion.
Mr. Northcroft said he regarded the
property qualification as a most serious
blot on the Constitution, and he hoped


the Congress would agree with his resolu-
tion.
Mr. Mussared seconded.
Mr. Quinn said the resolution was a far
more serious resolution than the last one.
One of the qualifications for a senator was
that he should be over thirty years of age.
He saw no reason whatever for interfering
with it. They should have men of some
little experience in the Senate.
The motion was lost.

Life of the Senate.

Mr. Withinshaw (Wynberg) proposed:
That this Association asks the Convention
to consider the advisability of limiting
the life of the first Senate, including
the Government nominees, to five
years, instead of ten, saving the
guarantee of equal representation to
the Provinces for ten years.
Mr. D. Grove (Vryheid) seconded, and
said if the closure continued to be ap-
plied, they were going to have a tremen-
dous difficulty in Natal. They were there
at the present moment not to push any-
thing down, but rather to devise ways and
means to overcome difficulties.
The Chairman said he must really ask
for the support of the assembly. He
would like to know if it was a question of
procedure being wrong, and he would like
to have it put right at the earliest possible
moment.
Mr. Duncan said he thought a wrong im-
pression had been given, not with any in-
tention to misrepresent facts. People
who brought forward motions thought
they were not receiving due consideration.
He thought it was very unfortunate that
any members should get up and say that
the closure was being applied to any pro-
posal. There had been no attempt on the
part of the chair or on the part of the
meeting to stifle discussion. If the meeting
was by a large majority against the motion,
it was the misfortune of the mover.
Gentlemen who had brought forward
amendments in the form of recommenda-
tions did so because they thought that the
Constitution would be improved by the
adoption of these recommendations.
(Hear, hear.) Many members who voted
against the recommendations probably
shared these views, but voted against them
because they realized that they were not














32 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
--------------


*sitting down drawing up an ideal Constitu-
tion. They were considering a draft Con-
stitution which had been agreed to after
a long, arduous, and prolonged sitting-he
might almost say struggle-of thirty-
three men from all parts of South Africa,
and they were considering whether that
document was good enough for them to
adopt or to send back again to be sat
upon and struggled over again. That was
the reason that actuated him in his atti-
tude, and he dared say many members of
the Conference voted against resolutions
which they might otherwise support. (Ap-
plause.)
Mr. Grove complained that they were
absolutely barred from giving expressions
of their opinion, and objected to members
being looked upon as a kindergarten and
being told every ten minutes that they
should have nothing to say.
Mr. Brydone said he had come round
to the conclusion that it was dangerous to
the great and overwhelming benefits which
would accrue from the accomplishment of
closer union to risk making requests for
alterations in the Constitution.
The Chairman: I have to ask the delegate
to withdraw the aspersion which I think he
has made.
Mr. Grove: I have pleasure in withdraw-
ing. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Brydone suggested that the Confer-
ence might have an opportunity of saying
whether it was not advisable that no
amendments be pressed. ("No! No!" and
cries of "Play the game!")
The Chairman: No resolution will be
taken that smacks in the least of the
closure. I strongly resent the application
of the term, and it has been most fully
withdrawn. There has been nothing ap-
proaching the closure in any shape or form.
If members determine to deal summarily
with the motions it is a quite different
matter.
M~r. Cluver said he would have to go
back and tell his constituents that he had
heard no single argument against his view
and that no one felt inclined to hear a
single argument.
The Rev. Mr. Scott supported M r.
Withinshaw's motion, and said he took
strong exception to Mr. Quinn's statement
and the statement of others-that they
were pledged to vote against every amend-
ment. There should be no trifling with
these amendments; on the contrary, let


them be rejected, if they must be rejected,
on their merits, and not because men were
pledged to receive the Constitution as it
stood.
Mr. Quinn said he must protest against
that gross mis-statement. There wa- abso-
lutely not an atom of truth in the state-
ment which had been made. He had
never been pledged to the society or to
anyone else as regards the amendments.
It was just as much his right to express
opposition to these amendments on their
merits as it was the right of others to
support the amendments on their merits.
He must ask for the withdrawal of the
statement.
The Chairman said he was bound to
request that the imputation be withdrawn.
Mr. Scott said he might have confused
Mr. Quinn with Mr. Duncan.
The Chairman: I asked for a withdrawal.
MIr. Scott withdrew. He went on to say
that there were some speakers who had
said they would like to see the amend-
ments carried if they were starting de novo
with the Constitution.
Dr. Mackenzie (Durban) said he had
voted against every single amendment and
recommendation brought forward so far.
and intended to vote against this. He
was indeed prepared to vote against all
the recommendations. He considered the
present amendment an absolutely insig-
nificant one compared with the great ob-
ject of uniting the white races of South
Africa. Once they began introducing
amendments and alterations they were go-
ing moreor les into an unknown and un-
explored country. There was resolution
after resolution here which Natal people
would like to see passed. But he had
restrained himself and thought thev
should maintain the Constitution intan-t
with the grand object of getting it
Through at all costs. He repudiated any
suggestion of applying the closure to the
debate.
Mr. R. Feetham, MI.L.C.. said it would
be very unfortunate if members left the
Conference under the impression that
they had not been fairly treated. He
did not think there was any foundation
for that suggestion. The suggestion aes
made because many of them felt tla:.
apart from the criticism they could make
on the individual amendments, there was
one overwhelming objection which ap-













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 33
----------- -


plied to them all, and that was, whatever
amendments were put forward, if they
were accepted they risked the acceptance
of the Constitution. (Hear, hear.) That
was what many of them felt. They
might be wrong, but surely gentlemen
would admit that that was a perfectly
sound objection from one point of view;
it was an objection upon which they were
entitled to act, and the mere fact that
Ihey were bound to vote against the
amendments because they felt that ob-
jection with overwhelming strength did
not justify other people in saying that
they were not treating them fairly or were
not considering the thing on its merits.
Supposing an amendment were brought
forward which went to the root of the
matter, and the acceptance of which they
felt was vital, then they would accept
that motion. But no such amendment
'had been brought forward. Amend-
ments of detail were clearly not worth
the risking of the whole matter. On the
other hand, there were amendments which
would disturb things which 'were funda-
mental. Then again, they should con-
sider were they prepared to risk the Con-
titution in order to secure those amend-
ments. He simply rose to justify that
position, and he wanted the gentlemen
who did not hold it to understand why
they held it. They were not prepared to
imperil the Constitution, and therefore
they were going to vote against each of
thee amendments.
Dr. McKenzie (Kimberley) said he had
absolute faith in the value of the provi-
sions regarding the Senate.
Mr. Mussared said that unless they were
careful they would get into the same hole
as other countries that had adopted closer
union. Let them look at the state of
Ireland to-day. They must put the affair
on a human basis and not a business basis
as was suggested.
Mr. D. M. Brown suggested "seven"
years instead of "five," but this amend-
ment was lost.
A division was necessary in regard to
Mr. Withinshaw's proposition. The result
was declared as follows:-

For the resolution ........ 20
Against .. ............ .. 66

Majority against ...... 46


The delegates voted as follows:-

For :-

Baxter, W. Duncan (Capetown).
Cluver, P. D. (Stellenbosch).
Fagan, H. A. (Somerset West).
Faure, P. J. (Bloemfontein).
Grove, D. (Vryheid).
Harsant, J. G. (Rondebosch).
Long, B. K., M.L.A. (Capetown).
McCausland, Adv. (Grahamstown).
Menzies, R. (Robertson).
Mussared, C. D. (Krugersdorp).
Northcroft, L. (Southern Suburbs, Jo-
hannesburg).
Pearce, F. J. (Claremont).
Runciman, W., M.L.A. (Simonstown).
Scott, Rev. J. L. (Germiston).
Schweizer, Hon. C. A. (Burgheredorp).
Stuttaford, R. (Capetown).
Thorpe, A. J. (Claremont).
Withinshaw, G. S., M.L.A. (Wynberg).
Wood, E. J. (Claremont).
Young, Dr. J. L. (Steynsburg).

Against :-

Alexander, J. H. (Springs).
Anderson, Dr. (East London).
Bailey. Abe.. M.L.A. (Beaconsfield).
Bostock, A. (Rondebosch).
-Botha, G. M. (East Rand).
Brink, G. (Mossel Bay).
Rrown, .. Fllis (Durban).
Burger, F. (Johannesburg).
Clarke, C. C. (Natal).
Claude, A. J. (Beaconsfield).
Classens, H. J. (Stellenbosch).
Cowley, -. (Witbank).
Crewe, Col.. M.L.A. (East London).
Cullinan, T. M., M.L.A. (Premier
Miine).
Dickson. A. (Yeoville).
Drew, Hon. D., M.L.C. (Bloemfontein).
Feetham, Hon. R., M.L.C. (Johannes-
burfr).
Fletcher, Trevor (Durban).
Forrest, J. (Eastern Suburbs).
Fourie, A. J. (Oudsthoorn).
Fraser, -. (Modderfontein).
Gardiner. H. (Norwood).
Guest, H. M. (KlerksdorD).
Harris. H. S.. M.L.A. (Kimberley).
an.untfleisch. G. (Roberteon).
Hind, R. (Grahamstown).














34 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
--------------


Holland, E. (Witbank).
Hoseason, J. W. (Kroonstad).
Hubbard, -. (Boksburg).
Hunter, Sir D. (Natal).
Isaac, Dr. Archer (Molteno).
Krige, J. D. (Cradock).
Langehoven, C. J. (Oudtshoorn).
Levetzow, A. von (Vryheid).
Louw, J. W. (Germiston).
Lundie, R. H., M.L.A. (Uitenhage).
McKenzie, Dr. (Durban).
McKenzie, Dr. J. E. (Kimberley).
McKinnon, D. (Middelburg).
McPherson, Dr. A. (Uitenhage).
Martin, Hon. WV. A.. M.L.C. (Norwood).
Martin, H. (Mafeking).
Mathewson, A. (Herbert).
Meyler, H.M. (Ladysmith).
Neser, J. A.. M.L.A. (Klerksdorp).
Nisbet, D. D. (East London).
Paxton, T J. (Queenstown).
Pearce, W (East Rand).
Pienaar, A. G. (Norwood).
Plessis, H. J. du (Steynsburg).
Quinn, J. W., M.L.A. (Johannesburg).
Reynolds, T. W. (Port Elizabeth).
Rosa, J. C. (Harrismith).
palm-ond. Dr. W. (Ladysmith).
Schmolle, G. M. (Queenstown).
Strang, Jas. (Kroonstad).
Svmlngton, Dr. C. (De Aar).
Treu, Councillor (Ophirton).
Venter, Andries (Burghersdorp).
Vincent, A. (Mossel Bay).
Voreter, P. (Modder River).
Vos-. R. Dawe (Herbert).'
Wallis, Geo. (Oudtshoorn).
Watkins, Dr. A. H. (Kimberley).
TVhitehead, Dr. J. H. (Harrismith).
The Conference adjourned for lunch.


AFTERNOON SITIlNG.

The Conference resumed after lunch.
Mr. Burger introduced the following
special motion :-
That the debate on Mr. Patrick Duncan's
motion be resumed and brought to a
conclusion, and thereafter such no-
tices of motion as have not been vot-
ed on shall be debated, and such of
them as are passed on a vote shall be
recommended for consideration by
the Union Parliament.


Many members of the Conference
felt that if they recommended any
amendments to the draft Act, the
Constitution ran the danger of being
rejected entirely-that in fact the Con-
stitution was jeopardized. On the other
hand, they welcomed a free and full dis-
cussion on these notices of motion. His
resolution brought the matter to an issue
as to whether they were going to make
these recommendations to the Convention
or to the Union Parliament.
Mir. Howard Pim said he would like
to oppose the motion because it d:d not
seem a businesslike proposal. (Applause.)
They had started a discussion on a notice
of motion and he did not want the discus-
sion to be cut up. They ought to finish it
and then come back to the original motion
as originally intended. As a member of the
Executive, he must say that some of the
delegates did not understand the position,
or what the Executive's suggestions really
amounted to. They distinguished as clearly
as possible between those proposals an-
swered as amendments to Mr. Duncan's
motion, and those proposals answered on
their merits. As a supporter of Mr. Dun-
can's motion he should vote against those
considered as amendments, as he did not
want Mr. Duncan's motion to drop. He
wanted them to be carried by the Conven-
tin, but there was nothing to prevent
members when the amendments were
reached to bring them forward and discuss
them on their merits.
Mr. Baxter (Capetown) pointed out that
if they disposed of the motion on its merits
they finished the question. (Hear. hear.)
Let him say, he said, that the attitude of
himself and his colleagues representing the
Capetown Closer Union Society was they
did not want the delegates to run away
with the idea that they were not just as
enthusiastic for closer union as any others:
but they were not convinced that
it was impossible to get the Na-
tional Convention to reconsid-r points.
They felt no resentment and they were
(ot criticising the conduct of the meet-
in?. They bowed to the opini,.n of the
Conference. Leading man after leadin"
man had got up and said that they would
not vote on these points on their merits
because they would jeopardise the Consti-
tution. and when that sentient nt had ben
expressed it had been cheered to the echo.
It would, he thought. be waste of time













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 35
- --------------


in view of the obvious feeling to
prosecute these subjects, and the sooner
they got back to the main motion the
better. There were strong forces of public
cinron which were not prepared to ac-
cept the attitude and who wanted an as-
surance that the document was one not to
be lightly tampered with. They all
wished to carry all sorts of public opinion
with them, and they recognized that there
was a great section of thinking people
who were not prepared to open their
mouths and take anything that was given
them. They had to try to convince these
people that this was the best Constitu-
tion that could be got; but they were not
carrying the people with them, and he
would say that if they had encouraged
careful debating on these points on their
merits and shown how impossible it was
to rwoncile the divergent interests they
migt have carried the people with them.
This was not being done, and
the attitude to which lie bowed
had about it the danger of an-
tagonising the very people they wished to
carry with them. That was his reason for
opposing Mr. Burger's motion. They
wanted a Constitution which would last
for years and years, and would be altered
only as circumstances altered. The dele-
gates from Capetown did not propose to
go on with the motions standing in their
names.
Mr. D. Mackinnon (Middelburg, C.C.)
said he felt yesterday and to-day, with all
due deference to the Executive, that an
attempt was, being made to stifle discus-
sion. ("No, no.") Three attempts had
been made to stop discussion on the
amendments on the paper. ("No, no.")
He would support Mr. Baxter. They
had been sent from various parts of the
country to represent societies that had
been formed under the auspices of the
Association, and now the Executive want-
ed to stifle them. They had a right to
discuss the Constitution, otherwise why
had they called them together. He had
been close on thirty years in the country
and, barring one man, he would take his
hat off to every member of the Conven-
tion. Big issues rose from very little
sources. There might be some in that
meeting who might suggest something
which might be of benefit to South
Africa. It did not matter who he was;


he had the right to express his opin-
ions. He felt that the Executive had
been trying to suppress that feeling.
(Persistent cries of "No, no.") Well, he
apologised.
Mr. Quinn suggested that in view of
what had occurred Mr. Burger's motion
be withdrawn. There seemed to be
an impression that some one had the in-
tention of stifling discussion or in some
way hampering it, and for that reason,
now that they knew to some extent how
things stood, he thought they should
resume discussion as formerly. But he
did say again-and he would take every
possible chance of repeating it-that the
assertions made against members of the
Conference as to attempts to stifle discus-
Ssion should be dropped. Those who
knew this was not so felt these charges
keenly. It was no proof of stifling dis-
cussion that members should not feel it
necessary to speak on every amendment
but should simply content themselves
with saying, No. Were they not allowed-
those who were in a majority as it hap-
pened-to adopt this course. The sugges-
tion that by doing so they were stifling
discussion was preposterous.
Mr. Burger withdrew his motion after
what had been said. His main object
had been to obtain a free and open dis-
cussion on these various notices of mo-
tion, and to let them be voted upon on
their merits. It was no use some of
them saying they were voting on these
matters on their merits. He was not
voting on the merits of the question; he
was voting for the reason that he was
not going to endanger the Constitution.
The question he had raised was whether
they were going to refer these matters to
+hb Union Parliament or to the Conven-
tion. It had been raised with the best
intentions, but he regretted that he had
been misunderstood, and that some people
apparently must be always misunder-
standing.

The Senate.

Mr. D. M. Browne (Port Elizabeth)
moved:-
That this meeting requests the Conven-
tion to reconsider the methods of ap-
pointing the Senate, and, if possible, to













36 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
-- --------------


adopt a popular method of election,
keeping in view the ultimate object,
namely, that of a revising chamber
apart from party politics.
He said he came there to support Mr.
Duncan's motion out and out. He had
never felt any stifling of discussion there.
If he thought a single word he wished to
utter or a single motion he wished to make
would wreck the Constitution he would not
utter it. He considered it a God-send for
which they were thankful, and they all
wanted the Constitution to go through.
But what was causing Parliament to
meet on March 30, but to give representa-
tives the opportunity of first getting the
voice of the country. As General Smuts
said: "Give every matter full considera-
tion." He was utterly opposed to the pre-
sent proposed method of selecting the
Senate. Personally, he opposed a second
Chamber-he never knew whom he repre-
sented. (Laughter.) Even the men of
the second Chamber themselves were the
most miserable men possible. (Continued
laughter.) In conclusion, he pointed out
that the age of senators was limited to
30. Why not have the election by persons
of 30 and over? And, why, he asked,
should an expiring Parliament, not elected
for the purpose, elect the Senate? He
appealed to them not to allow a blot on the
Constitution like the nominated Senate.
If eight men were elected for the Trans-
vaal they would be men of the highest
standing, for the reason that the lesser
men would not be known. He would not
press the motion but wished an expression
of opinion, which, if satisfactory, he would
bring before certain Convention delegates
and perhaps before the Cape Parliament.
Let them get rid of the idea that amend-
ments were not to be considered. They
were not going to wreck the Constitution,
which had been dearly bought by past mis-
fortunes.
There being no seconder the motion fell
to the ground.
This closed the amendments relating to
-the Senate.

Railways and Harbours.

Sir David Hunter (Natal) proposed:-
To delete the first four lines and the first
word in the fifth line of Clause 128,
and substitute the following: The con-
trol and management of the railways.


ports and harbours of the Union shall
be vested in a non-political board of
three Commissioners, who shall be
appointed by the Governor-General-in-
Council, one of whom shall be an offi-
cer of wide experience in the adminis-
tration of railways and harbours, and
shall be chairman of the board, and
the other two shall be gentlemen of
proved business capacity. The duties
and powers of the Commissioners shall
be set out in a Bill to be presented
to the Union Parliament.
At the outset he said that re-
ference had been made to words which
he used yesterday, and he wished to say
that he did not refer, and never intended
to refer, to the draft Constitution. He
said he preferred growth and evolution to
a cut-and-dried scheme, and had no refer-
ence whatever to the scheme of the Nation-
al Convention. He did not think that the
importance of the matter dealt with in
his resolution could very well be over-
rated. The board proposed to be created
would deal with public property of the
Colonies of South Africa to the extent of
66,550,000, which was practically 62 per
cent. of the entire debt of South Africa.
They would recognize, therefore, that any
board created to deal with such large in-
terests was one that ought to be carefully
considered. The administration had
also to deal with a large staff of men.
Their interests and everything affecting
them were subject to the control of the
proposed board. His objection to the
scheme was that the board was to be pure-
ly a political board; it was controlled by
a Minister of State. The party in power
for the time being appointed ministers,
and a Minister of State was to be chair-
man of the commissioners. They were all
aware that there was a good deal of human
nature in ministers as well as men, and
the ministers were subject to pressure
from many quarters and had many de-
mands made on them, and must be careful,
when parties were prettily evenly balanced,
not to favour the political party in power.
The minister, being chairman, represented,
of course, the Government according to
the draft Constitution, but they ought to
be very careful that those appointed under
him were the proper men, and that they
had the proper methods by means of
which this property should be well ad-














PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 37
- --------------


ministered. He spoke on this matter, not
only from his own experience, but from
the experience of others and from the
practice adopted elsewhere, especially in
the Australian Colonies. The crux of the
question was that the board should be
non-political. He quoted from an appendix
to Lord Selborne's memorandum regarding
the railways, which favoured the proposal
he now submitted, and he recommended
this masterly document to all concerned
with this question. Its proposals should
be followed by the adoption of the motion
which he submitted. His suggestion would
be helpful in putting the railway adminis-
tration of South Africa on a proper foot-
ing. (Applause.)
Mr. C. C. Clark (Durban) seconded. He
said he knew something about railways
after 25 years' experience. He thought it
would be much better if the -railways were
taken away from the Government alto-
gether, and conducted on business prin-
ciples.
Mr. Duncan said it was with a great
deal of diffidence that one differed from
the views put forward by a gentleman of
such experience in railways as the mover,
but he would like to point out that, the
object he had stated was the object which
the Convention had in view also. They
had in their minds the removing of rail-
ways from political control as far as pos-
sible in the circumstances of South Africa.
The question was how far they could go.
Those present, he thought, would agree
with him that, for a department like the
Railway Department to be entirely re-
moved from the control of the Government
of the day was quite an impossible idea. It
was quite impossible for the Government
of the day to divest themselves from the
responsibility for the management of such
an important asset. He pointed out that
in Australia the administration of railways
was entrusted to Commissioners, who were
not removable from office for a number of
years, but, so far as he knew, expendi-
ture had to be voted by Parliament, and
the Commissioners were bound to take
their advice on questions of policy. The
Commissioners had the control of questions
ci discipline and staff organisation, and
even then in some cases the Government
had overriden the decision of the Commis-
sioners. His point was that no Govern-
ment which owned the railways of the


State could ever divest itself completely
from the responsibility regarding adminis-
tration, and the question was how far they
could go in protecting themselves from
the demands of persons for changes in ad-
ministration. One of the ways was to ap-
point a permanent or semi-permanent
board to act as a buffer between the de-
mands of the public and the minister ulti-
mately responsible to Parliament. That
was what had been done here. They could
be removed within a term of years, pro-
vided that the papers giving reasons for
the removal were laid before both Houses
of Parliament. It was thought better
than the Australian system. Another
point of difference between this and the
Australian system was that here they
were given the management of the rail-
ways and the minister was a member of
the board. It had been argued that it
would lead to ministerial interference, but,
on the other hand, it was held that if
they put the minister in the chair, he
had a chance of hearing the disputes and
of seeing the reasons that actuated the
commissioners, and was therefore more
likely to defend their position in Parlia-
ment. He feared that, if carried, Sir
David Hunter's motion would not achieve
the result he desired, and to say'that a
non-political board should be appointed did
not help them. The best safeguard for
freedom from political control was that
the whole revenue had to be paid into a
separate fund, and would not be used for
ordinary revenue purposes.

SHinterland Industries.
Mr. W. Cullen (Modderfontein) said
there was one aspect of railway matters
which had been overlooked by many peo-
ple. He was instructed by the dis-
trict which he represented to speak on
clause 129 of the Constitution, which en-
acted that the railways and harbours,
etc., should be administered on business
principles, due regard being had to agri-
cultural and industrial development. A
great many millions of money had been
spent in the hinterland by people when
the railways were not run on business
principles. The factory with which he
was connected could be erected at one
1-alf of the money at the coast under
these so-called business principles. It














88 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


was one thing to pay 5 per cent. on a
capital of 500,000 and an-
other to pay 5 per cent. on a
capital of 1,000,000. If the railways
were to be run in the future on strictly
business principles, no regard being pa'
to vested interests, that could only spell
disaster to every industry in the hinter-
land.
Mr. Reynolds (Port Elizabeth), while
considering Sir David Hunter was right
in his contention, would not vote in
favour of the amendment at the present
stage, but he would like if it were pos-
sible that the matter should be dealt with
after the main resolution had been dealt
.with.
Mr. Dewdney Drew said that there was
no doubt that the question was being
discussed on its merits. Mr. Duncan,
with all his faculty for logical reasoning
and his knowledge of constitutional law,
had failed to convince him. Against the
constitutional theory they had Sir David
Hunter's experience that it was possible
to divert the railways from proper lines
-by the Government.
Sir David Hunter pointed out that
the general instructions to the board Lad
to be embodied in an Act of Parliament,
to be passed by the Union Parliament.
He simply wished to move a resolution
affirming the principle of the removal of
the railways from political control and
the appointment of a Railway Board re-
sponsible to Parliament.
Mr. Nisbet wanted to know the dif-
ference between the amendment and the
provision in the Constitution. It seemed
to him that Sir David Hunter wanted the
entire control of railway matters taken
from the Parliament of this country and
given to a body of men having complete
control. Did he seriously contend that
the whole control of the railways should
be handed over to any three men in this
country? He was not prepared to vote
for any scheme which would make it
possible for any three men in this coun-
try to have control of 66 millions.
Mr. Steuart stated that the object of
the Convention was the object aimed at
before the House. He personally op-
posed undue political control of railways,
but. they would find no Constitution of
the whole world which stated so clearly


and in such a specific manner the way
in which railways were to be worked as
the draft Constitution. Short of using
the words "non-political" it safeguarded
to the fullest extent the principle.
Sir David Hunter wished to correct Mr.
Duncan in regard to his statement regard-
ing Australian railways.
Mr. F. W. Beyers wished to mention
one aspect about the matter. If the prin-
ciple of divorcing from Parliament .lI
railway matters was established, where
was it going to end? It was a policy he
could not accept.
A delegate asked Sir David Hunter
what he meant by "non-political."
Sir David replied: "Absolutely free
from politics." He might mention, he
said, he had experience himself. (Laugh-
ter.)
The Chairman : No Minister draws
pay apart from his Ministerial salary no
matter how many offices he may hold.
The motion was lost.
The following notices in the names of
Capetown delegates were withdrawn :-
That this Conference regrets the inclu-
sion of the words "of European
descent" in clauses 25 (d) and 44 (c)
of the draft Act.
That in the opinion of this Conference
while the number of representatives
in the House of Assembly allotted
to Natal and the Orange Free State
should remain as in the draft Act,
in the case of the Cape Colony and
Transvaal, which give up eight seats
betweenn them, the draft Constitu-
tion should be so amended that the
proportion of members to the Euro-
pean male adult population, as stated
in the Act, shall be the same.
Mr. H. A. Fagin (Somerset West)
moved :
That after "Houses" in the tenth line of
section 35, insert : "Provided that
amongst the members voting for such
Bill there shall be a majority of the
members who in either House of
Parliament represent any consti-
tuency the whole or any part of
which shall have been included in the
boundaries of the Cape Province as
constituted at the date of the estab-
lishment of the Union."
He remarked that the effect of his
resolution would be that the two-thirds
majority should include a majority of












PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 39


Cape representatives-i.e., 26 of the
gentlemen who. represented the Cape
Colony should be included in the major-
ity necessary to take away the
franchise from the coloured people.
They were simply extending the prin-
ciple already acknowledged in the draft
Act.
Mr. Langenhoven asked Mr. Fagin
would he be satisfied if he were in a
court of law on a criminal charge to
have natives sitting on the jury or to
have a native as a judge.
Mr. A. J. Dercksen (Benoni), as one
who had a lot of experience with Kaffirs
and who had been in five Kaffir wars,
said they would never allow the Kaffirs
to have the franchise in the Transvaal.
The late General Joubert said on one
occasion, "One of the most serious ques-
tions of the future of South Africa was
the native question, and we must be
very careful not to bring the Kaffir on
the same platform as the white man."
He said God help them if they gave the
Kaffirs the franchise.
Mr. Schmolle (Queenstown)) said that
probably the franchise had been given to
the Kaffir before he was able to appreciate
the importance of the privilege placed in
his hands. He thought they could expect
that in the Union Parliament justice and
sympathetic treatment were ensured not
only for the native but for every indivi-
dual in the sub-continent, and he wished
to record his vote against the amendment.
Dr. Watkins (Kimberley) opposed the
amendment. He felt most strongly that
they had not to deal with the whole ques-
tion of what was the proper thing in
dealing with natives in the Transvaal,
O.R.C., and Natal. They had in Cape
Colony pledged their British faith by giv-
ing these people a vote, and if he felt
there was any danger of the Union Par-
liament going back on such a thing as
that, then for the first time that day he
would have to support an amendment. He
felt that there was no danger of that.
He believed they would all recognize and
carry out faithfully the compact that had
been entered into, and he believed a two-
thirds majority was sufficient safeguard
against anything unfair being done in the
way of taking away a vote already given.
If they made a bad bargain they must
stand by it; that was British fair play. He
strongly recommended the supporters of
the amendment to be satisfied with what


they had got. (Applause.)
'Mr. J. W. Quinn wished to draw atten-
tion to one point which no one mention-
ed--if this was agreed to it would neces-
sitate a certain number of members, Cape
representatives, following a certain
course. It was laid down that a certain
number of representatives in the United
Parliament should vote in a given way.
That could not be done.
Mr. Fagin said he did not expect that
the amendment would be passed. He
simply wanted an expression of opinion.
That had been given, and he was satisfied.
He withdrew the amendment.
Mr. Northcroft moved the following:-
That sub-section i. be amended by provid-
ing that Parliament may not pass any
Bill extending the franchise to native
and coloured male adults in either the
Transvaal, the Orange Free State or
Natal until a petition has been pre-
sented to Parliament, signed by a
majority of the members of Parlia-
ment representing the province in
which it is proposed to make such ex-
tension.
The mover said that nothing would make
the Constitution more acceptable than an
assurance that under no circumstances-
except with their own consent-was it pos-
sible to impose the coloured franchise on
the other Colonies.
Mr. Beyers said that the provision in
the Act was the nearest approach to the
status quo ante that they could obtain.
If they meddled with it they would find
themselves landed in an inextricable
mess. He objected to the assumption that
some of the delegates were unwilling to
advance arguments against the amend-
ments suggested. The present amendment
was an infraction of the position as laid
down by Mr. Smuts, with which he fully
agreed. (Hear, bear.)
Mr. Neser said the Imperial Govern-
nment had probably been consulted on
that point, and he felt the amendment
would expose the Draft Act to a serious
risk.
Dr. Watkins said that surely the Cape
could be trusted to carry out its contract.
There was not the least fear about the
native franchise being forced on the other
Colonies. If they sat for months and de-
bated the matter they could not arrive at
a fairer position.
Mr. Van Blommestein (Krugersdorp)
said he failed to see how the carrying of












40 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
-----------


the resolution could by any means affect
the vital parts of the Constitution. They
were only carrying the question a step fur-
ther. It was not quite clear that the fran-
chise would never go any further; in fact,
the Constitution was flexible. They
wanted to maintain, as far as their own
boundaries were concerned, the white fran-
chise.
Mr. Hauptfleisch (Robertson) said that
General Botha and General Smuts sat at
the Convention and knew exactly what the
Transvaal people wanted, and he would
find it very difficult to vote for the
amendment.
Mr. Burger said he was in hearty sym-
pathy with the motion, but at the same
time he did not intend to support it with
his vote, because they were already safe-
guarded. He felt certain that there
would be no attempt on the part of the
Cape Colony to press on the Transvaal or
any other Colony the native vote. If they
started on that ticklish question they
would have an immediate demand from
the Cape Colony for a further safeguard.
The resolution was lost by a large ma-
jority.


Another Resolution.

The Chairman suggested that the follow-
ing resolution should be withdrawn in
view of the fate of the previous resolu-
tion:-
That an effort be made to secure such an
addition to the draft Act as will pro-
vide that no extension of the coloured
vote to the Colonies (other than the
Cape) shall take place except by a
two-thirds vote of both Houses of the
Union Parliament.
The resolution was in the names of
Messrs. J. Forrest, A. Y. Niven and T.
Davis, and Mr. Forrest intimated that
bwing to the way the resolution was
drawn up lie could not withdraw it. They
felt that an effort should be made to
entrench the other Colonies by this two-
thirds vote.
Dr. H. Goodman, of the Eastern Suburbs
Closer Union Society, seconded, and ex-
pressed the opinion that any resolution
passed by the Conference would be con-
sideredl in a more reasonable spirit by the
reassembled Convention than by some of
the members of the present Conference.
The motion was lost.


Mr. W. Runciman (Simonetown)
moved:-
That as it is clearly the intention of the
Act, as provided by Clause 118. sub-
section (a), that until the financial re-
lations of the Central and Provincial
Governments are adjusted, each pro-
vince shall be allocated for primary
education an annual sum equal to that
estimated to be spent during the year
1908-9, the Act should provide that
in those provinces in which the cost
of education is partly provided by local
taxation and school fees, the total of
such amounts for the year 1903-9 should
be added to the amount payable to any
such province; and that the following
be added as a rider to Clause 11S, sub-
section (b), after respectively, which
shall include such portion of the ex-
pense incurred by any local Govern-
ment in any Colony which in any other
Colony is at present defrayed from the
revenue of the respective Colonial Par-
liament.
Mr. Kruger seconded. The Cape, he said,
was unfairly treated in the matter of edu-
cation by the clause in the draft Corstitu-
tion.
Mr. P. Duncan pointed out that the
matter was not an injustice. Some plan.
he said, had to be arrived at by which the
Union Government should be carried on
from the commencement. It was impos-
sible for the Convention to do away with
local taxation. What was arranged was that
a Commission should be appointed to
arrange the financial relations between the
Central and Provincial Governments and
until it was adjusted each province should
be allocated for education the sum pro-
vided in the clause. There was nothing to
show that the additional sums to be
voted by the Union Parliament might not
be applied to education by the Provincial
Councils. The relations between the two
bodies were left elastic till they were
finally settled by the Commission.
Mr. Wallace said they had looked for-
ward to the fact that they would be able
to obtain a fair-and just amount from the
Consolidated Revenue Fund for the pur-
pose of education in the Cape.
Mr. Duncan: So you wilL
Mr. Wallace said lie was glad to hear it,
but he still thought that by comparison
with the Transvaal the position as created
in the Cape was unfair.
The motion was negatived.













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 41
---------------


Coal.

Mr. D. Grove (Vryheid) proposed:-
That before the Act of Union is passed a
naval base and a free call up to 100,000
tons per annum of good steam coal
be secured in perpetuity to the Im-
perial Government by Natal.
He said the proposal was the re-ult
of the spontaneous gratitude by the
people of the territories of Utrecht and
Vryheid for the generous Act of Un:on.
The Dutch people in those districts were
satisfied that the draft Constitution would
be a charter of liberty for all time.
Mr. Von Levetzow seconded, but Col.
Crewe said that a good many of the dele-
gates would not like to vote against a
resolution of the kind, and he suggested
that it should be withdrawn.
Mr. Grove withdrew the resolution.
Dr. W. Archer Isaac (Molteno), in-
structed by his society, moved:-
That the Closer Union Society, recognizing
the necessity for the union of the
States and Colonies of British South
Africa and the valuable work of the
National Convention, as contained in
the draft South Africa Act, accepts
the Act in the main, but considers
that the final acceptance or otherwise
should be decided by a referendum to
the people of the various States and
Colonies concerned.
Mr. Hauptfleisch seconded for the pur-
pose of debate.
Mr. Beyers said a small section of the
community had asked for a referendum.
A referendum was a principle entirely un-
known in South Africa, and it established
a precedent, the consequence of which
they could not foresee. A further reason
against the referendum was that it was
utterly impossible in South Africa. Many
people in the scattered country places
would be prejudiced. There being no
legal machinery for a referendum a spe-
cial session of Parliament would be re-
quired to create that legal m'rchinery. It
would be folly to submit the technical
points of the Constitution through a re-
ferendum. The only reply which would
be received would be unsatisfactory. There
was no general demand for a referendum
in this country. The majority of people
would accept the Constitution. He was
convinced that unification was going
through in a canter, because it had the


solid opinion of the people of South Africa
behind it. (Applause.)
Mr. Feetham asked the proposer to
withdraw his motion. Was not the ques-
tion, he said, one to be settled by each
Colony, and not one that should be con-
sidered at the congress.
Dr. Isaac, after consultation with his
seconder, withdrew the amendment.
This disposed of all the amendments,
and the Conference adjourned at 6.15 p.m.



Third Day.

MARCH 5.

The Conference resumed its sitting at 10
o'clock this morning, the Hon. J. G.
Maydon presiding.
Mr. Roche Pohl, M.L.A., moved the fol-
lowing amendment:-
That, whilst safeguarding the interests of
the small Colonies, and whilst having
regard to the disabilities and interests
of sparsely-populated districts, it is in
the interests of a lasting and satis-
factory union of the Colonies of
British South Africa that the basis of
representation under the draft Act
shall be one of European population.
He said he felt that the spirit of that
Congress was to accept the draft Act as it
stood-(hear, hear)-but he felt that there
were many present who had a great objec-
tion to many points and clauses in the
Act. In the interests of union they would
not press these points. At the same time,
hl did not believe union was going to be
achieved by means of a document. He had
so much respect, however, for the states-
manship of those gentlemen who had pre-
pared the draft Act that it
base this Constitution on democratic lines,
they came together again and debated
upon the desirability of amending the Act
here and there, he thought that for the
second time a compromise could be effect-
ed. There were thousands of people who
did not understand the draft Act, and
there were many people who would not
accept the Constitution as it stood. There
were thousands of men in the country who
did not know the Act, just as there were
delegates present who did not understand
the transfer of votes. He urged that as












2 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


they were a democratic people they should
treat this Constitution on democratic lines,
and formulate their representation on the
basis of population.
Mr. G. S. Hauptfleisch (Robertson) sec-
onded for the salie of argument, and said
that if the mover's argument were taken
to its logical conclusion, the women should
get the vote, and he regarded the women
as an asset to the State.
Mr. J. W. Quinn said that almost every
amendment moved which really struck at
the foundation of the Constitution was
generally accompanied by an expression of
confidence in the gentlemen who drafted
the Constitution. The male adult popula-
tion basis was agreed to by these very
men, and to suggest now that the basis
should be one of population would simply
mean that they knocked the foundations
away from everything that maintained
unity. There was a great deal to be said
in theory for what the mover of the
amendment proposed. But the whole Con-
stitution was compromise adapted to an
extraordinary condition of things not com-
parable with any other part of the world.
It was this recognition of difficulties by
members of the Convention which made
the compromise possible and union pos-
sible. What was the use of discussing this
thing, when, on the face of it, it must be
absolutely unacceptable to three out of
four parties ?
Mr. A. Vintcent (Mossel Bay) thought
no resolution could have been brought for-
ward more likely to wreck the union than
that of Mr. Pohl. As for the representa-
tion arrived at by the Convention, he
looked upon the question of representation
as an honest compromise based upon
mutual good will and confidence. If the
representation Mr. Pohl de-ired were given
to the Cape it would mean good-bye to
the union of South Africa. He hoped Mr.
Pohl would withdraw his amendment.
Mr. L. Abrahamson (Wellington) would
not support Mr. Pohl's amendment, and
thought the Conference was not in a posi-
tion to carry any amendment; otherwise
he believed what Mr. Pohl wished accom-
plished was a fair and reasonable idea,
because he did not wish the Cape to have
a larger representation in the Union Par-
liament, nor did he wish the representa-
tion of the Transvaal or that of any other
Colonies should be altered. What Mr.
Pohl wished to do, he (the speaker) took


it, was that in parcelling out the constitu-
encies of the different Colonies instead of
taking the adult male population as the
basis of the constituencies they should give
weight to the European population. What
Mr. Pohl wished to see accomplished was
that the farming population should have a
fair representation. As for the farm-
ing population, he (the speaker) thought
the farming population could rely upon it
that they were going to have the largest
representation in South Africa even as the
Constitution stood. The farmers in the
different Colonies were going to vote as
one, whether they came from the Paarl
district or the Ermelo district.
Mr. Cluver (Stellenbosch) said the
amendment raised one of the most import-
ant points that would be urged against
union in the Cape Colony. The Constitu-
tion proposed to put political power in
the hands of the floating population as
against the settled population. He found
as regarded the Cape Colony that the
political party which was in power, and to
which he belonged, would lose its majority
of thirty and the majority would become
a minority of two or three. If people
committed political suicide it was a very
serious matter. But they had to sacrifice
that power. The amendment went to the
root of the Constitution, and if accepted
the Constitution might just as well be torn
up.
Mr. Ramsay McNab (Kragersdorp)
delivered a humorous speech, in which
Krugersdorp figured very prominently.
The leading politicians of Krugersdorp-
(laughter)-he said, were unanimous on
the question of union, and joined in the
universal chorus of admiration which had
been evoked by the masterly document,
the draft Act. He also claimed that
Krugersdorp was perfectly free from mer-
cenary motives in the matter. (Laugh-
ter.) They recognized in Krugersdorp
that many of the objections to the Con-
stitution had the kernels of sound sense,
but they looked at the question in this
way, that on this important question of
the development of South Africa the peo-
ple should rise to the larger idea. Of
course, hey had their grievances in Kru-
gersdorp. (Laughter.) It was a griev.
ance to them that their town had not
been selected as the capital-(loud laugh-
ter)-if only on the grounds that its cli-
matic conditions were very favourable to














PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 43


the breeding of elevated ideas. (Laugh-
ter.)
Mr. Brown (Port Elizabeth) dissociat-
ed himself from the idea that there
should be any alteration in the Constitu-
tion as suggested by Mr. Pohl, and he ap-
pealed to that gentleman to withdraw his
amendment.
Mr. H. A. Fagin (Somerset West) also
opposed the amendment. It would mean,
he said, the alteration of all their elec-
toral divisions. As for their decision
on the broad question of union they were
going to support it, and not from any
party point of view. They were going to
accept the union and trust one another.
Mr. Pohl replied to the debate. After
referring to Mr. Ramsay McNab as a
compound between a modern Demos-
thenes and Dan Leno, he said. it
was possible that members had not gone
into the matter under discussion suffici-
ently and, therefore, he would not press
the matter to a vote.

The Original Motion.
Debate on the original motion was then
resumed.
The Rev. J. L. Scott (Germiston) sup-
ported the motion. On the general ad-
vantages of the acceptance of the draft
Constitution he thought they had derived
great assistance from the discussion
which had taken place. More and more
the draft Act was understood by the
general community, more and more it
would be appreciated. Its ideal was con-
tained in the old words "equality, liberty
and fraternity," and it should receive
the unanimous support of the people of
the various Colonies. South Africa had
too long been "living in flats"-asystem
uneconomical and expensive and for which
there was no excuse. He appealed to
them that they should pool provincial
prejudice, pride and patriotism and urge
forward the Constitution.
Dr. Isaac (Molteno) said he took a most
serious view of the motion before them.
He saw General Smuts shaking hands with
Colonel Crewe, and perhaps, were it pos-
sible for them to see through the dark
curtain, they would see watching anxious-
ly the outcome of the Conference the
shades of Cecil Rhodes and Paul Kruger
on the platform. When he saw such


things happening it showed the sincere
feeling that guided the two great races in
South Africa. Let them all unite in fol-
lowing the example of the Unie Congress
in Bloemfontein; let them pass Mr.
Duncan's proposition with acclamation.
(Hear, hear.) They had rubbed shoulders
and they had learned to know each other,
and he appealed to them to be unanimous.

The Natal Press.

Mr. H. M. Meyler (Ladysmith) said he
was grieved to find that Natal had been
misunderstood. In Natal they were afflict-
ed with a Press which did not endeavour
to find out public feeling. The reporters
had been educated to closing their books
the moment they heard an argument in
favour of union from a public platform.
Unfortunately, the views set out in the
Press were disseminated through South
Africa as the opinion of the Colony.
The speaker went on to say that some
of the shrewdest business men of Maritz-
burg were already beginning to realise
that they might not be so badly injured
as they thought. They were to get 23,000
per annum for the next ten years as com-
pensation. They would have the:r Provincial
Council, and although they might lo-e their
Parliament they might not be so seriously
affected as they seemed. Durban and the
coast were almost solidly for union and as
one of the representatives of the northern
districts the whole of Natal north of
Maritzburg was also solid for union. Mr.
Clark, who had strongly opposed unifica-
tion, had now seen the error of his ways,
and they must admire those men who once
stuck to their colours and now had the
pluck to change them. The arguments in
Natal against union had been few. The
speaker maintained that responsible gov-
ernment had been far too expensive, and
it had been impossible for the Colony to
carry it on, and that Natal was too small
for it, and Natal was beginning to find
this out. One of the grievances in Natal
was that there was no certainty in the draft
Constitution that the Provincial Coun-
cils would be maintained. That was the
cry of Maritzburg almost entirely. He
was of opinion that, as far as the Pro-
vincial Council in Natal was concerned,
they were doomed to failure, and he was
glad to see that in a few years it might
be possible to do away with Provincial













44 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
------------ -


Councils. He thought these councils in
Natal would be a failure, because they
would not get the right class of man to
go there. The Natal Press, the speaker
said, had also raised the racial cry. As
far as the country districts were con-
cerned in Natal, where the two races had
an opportunity of meeting each other, he
said there was no racial feeling. The
speaker, in conclusion, said he was satis-
fied that, with Natal's possibilities, in a
few years' time if would be a great asset
to the Union. He instanced the extensive-
ness of the northern coalfields and the
fact that the mealie crop was increasing
by leaps and bounds. The speaker also
thought the great native population was
found to play a great part in the indus-
trial development of South Africa. The
speaker said a referendum was to be
taken in Natal, and he prophesied that
when it was completed, they would find
70 to 80 per cent. of the voters would vote
solidly for union. (Loud applause.)
Dr. Macpherson (Uitenhage) said the
society he represented had no amend-
ments to place before them. They felt
that they wanted union, and as quickly
as they could possibly get it. They thought
it a marvellous thing that the Convention
had been able to give them a Constitution
at all, and to come to a unanimous decision
about it. The thought of union had al-
ready swept away all racial feeling from
his district.
Mr. Holland expressed the hope that the
Act of Union would be brought to a suc-
cessful issue, and that the delegates would
give it their undivided support. "Would
that they had a strong man," he added,
"to propose that the capital of South
Africa should he planted away from any
of the places already mentioned, the
ground to,be held in trust for the nation,
and the increment on that ground to go
into the national Exchequer, and not into
the pockets of private individuals." (Hear,
hear.)
Mr. Pienaar (Norwood) said that if the
closer union movement did nothing else
but bring the two nations together, its
value would be inestimable. The Consti-
tution should be accepted as it stood, and
though at another time several amend-
ments might be considered useful, for
the present he was glad these amendments
had not gone through.


Mr. J. W. Louw (Germiston) welcomed
the flexibility of the Constitution, and
dwelt on the advantages of unity to all
sections of the South African community.
The Constitution conferred another boon
in doing away with the railways as a tax-
ing machine, and it allowed of more eco-
nomy in finance. He referred to the pos-
sibility of South Africa's acquiring in-
creased trade with England when the
question of tariff reform came forward at
Home.
Mr. Alex. Mathewson (Herbert), speak-
ing for the people he represented, said
they had come to the conclusion that in
order to avoid wrecking union, they
must accept the Constitution as it stood.
Party differences had now to be sunk,
and after the deliberations of the present
Conference, they had to work together
to build the new nation.
Mr. H. G. Steuart (Bloemfontein) re-
ferred to the question of federal and uni-
fied constitutions, and said it was a fact
that unified constitutions had really got
out of fashion. He thought it was a
glorious thing that they had gone back
to the example of England when she
united Scotland 'under adverse circum-
stances, almost forcing the issue on the
public by a small section, and that had
been one of the most blessed Constitutions
in the final result the world had ever
seen. Speaking for his own Colony, he
said the burghers had realized that when
they lost their flag with the peace of
Vereeniging they gained their honour.
They gained in that document once for
all the respect of the wide world. They
felt satisfied that in the Act they were
treated as equals of the British section
of South Africa.
Advocate McCausland (Grahamstown)
said he was sent to swallow the Consti-
tution, but not to swallow it at one gulp.
He thought the question of amendments
had been a good deal misunderstood.
There was one kind if adopted by the dif-
ferent Parliaments would wreck the Con-
stitution, and the others were a matt-r
more or less of individual opinion. The-;
in Cape Colony naturally felt very strong-
ly as regarded representation, which was
in many ways unfair. A man in Cape
Colony according to the present represen-
tation was only worth about two-thirdr'
of a man in Natal, but rather than wreck














PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 45


the Constitution he took it his delegation
would not support an amendment on that
matter. The speaker contended he and
his co-delegate were sent there to discuES
the question freely, but at the same time
they were prepared to vote for the Con-
stitution.
Mr. Northcroft supported Mr. Duncan's
resolution. His instructions were to sup-
port the Constitution but to endeavour if
possible to get the Conference to accept
certain suggestions which the Convention
might consider afterwards by way of
amendment. But in their wisdom they had
decided not to take any suggestions to the
Convention. He felt a certain amount of
disappointment on that. They were discuss-
ing the framework of a structure, but
were told not to touch it.
Dr. Watkins moved:-"Thlat the question
bh now put."
This was seconded, and lost.
Mr. Stuttaford moved that Mr. Duncan
reply to the debate.
This was seconded and agreed to.
Mr. Duncan, on rising to reply to the
debate, was received with applause. He
sap;--Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen,-
Personally, I feel very sorry that
I should be put in the position
as it were of coming between the
meeting and other gentlemen who have
come from long distances, who may desire
to express their views. The motion has
been put and carried, and I am in your
hands. What I would like to say is that
I do not think even now I have succeeded
in making clear to a number of the dele-
gates what was the real position which I
intended to take up in moving the motion.
Even to-day one hears remarks such as
this: That apparently to move amendments
was to be guilty of criminal intentions.
Again, we heard a speaker regretting that
amendments were not to be considered, as
though anything that could not bear close
examination must have something wrong
with it. And that sort of remark was not
made by two speakers only; it was echoed
by others. I want to say again that the
motion I proposed was not in the least
intended to burk discussion on this docu-
ment which is now before the country.
The document is before the country for
the very purposes of being discussed, being
torn to pieces, criticised in every possible
way. What my motion was intended to
no, if I succeeded in commending it to


you and getting it passed, was that it
should go forth from this Conference that,
having considered the Constitution from
every point of view, we are all of opinion
that the best thing the country can do is
to adopt it as it stands. (Applause.) Now,
surely there is plenty of room for discus-
sion in that. Surely there is plenty of
room for one to get up and say "I do not
approve of it." The fact that nobody has
come forward in such a spirit is, I think,
one of the best results that could possibly
be attained by the Conference. It seems
to me that the Conference can do more
good to the cause of union which we all
have at heart by passing a resolution that
the Constitution should be adopted as it
stands. Not that it is perfect. We all
know the points on which we might like
to see it amended; but taking all things
into account we recommend the country to
adopt it as it stands.
I think that we will do more for the cause
of union in that way than by discussing any
number of amendments that may be brought
Before us on their merits alone. We can
do more for the cause of union by passing
the resolution I have moved than by dis-
cussing amendments on their merits. For
this reason. Once we begin discussing
amendments on their merits we will have
to do over again the work of the Conven-
tion. Now, why? Let me tell you the rea-
son. Every amendment that has been
brought forward in this Conference, as far
as I noticed has ended with the words:,
"We approve of so and so and so and so
if we can get it."

THE GIST OF THE THING.

"If we can get it." Those are the
words with which every amendment
brought forward or suggested here-as far
as 1 know-has ended, or, anyhow, it has
included those words. Now, those words
are the gist of the whole thing-"if we
can get it." That is the very thing the
Conference sat to determine-exactly how
far each party who wanted this or that
or something else should go in trying to
obtain it. We also now have to
take into account the question "if
we could get them." For that
reason I think it seems to me better
from every point of view that we should
confine ourselves to what is best in dis-
cussing the cause of union as a whole, and














46 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


to come to the conclusion, if we are justi-
fied, that it should be adopted as it
stands. As an illustration of what I mean
by saying that these words, "if we can
get it," are the crux of the whole situa-
tion, let me refer you to this list of
amendments that is before us. Just con-
sider these amendments coming before the
National Convention-consider the effect
of them. One Colony would send delegates
apparently to ask that the two-thirds
majority, which at present protects
any alteration of the coloured franchise in
the Cape Colony, should include a majority
of members of the Cape Colony. Another
Colony would go back, apparently, to ask
that the question of extending the colour
franchise to the other Colonies of South
Africa should also be protected by a two-
thirds majority of the two Houses of Par-
liament. Now anyone must realise that if
delegates go back to the second Convention
and press for these amendments, they will
tear the Constitution up-put the whole
question into the melting-pot again. We
are told they are only asking members to
press for them not to break the Consti-
tution. My answer to that is: How far
are they to go ? How far is a Colony
justified in pressing these amendments ?
How far are they to go, not only in press-
ing these amendments, but in giving up
something they would have to give up in
return for what they receive ? Some
gentleman had said that, after all, it is a
question of bargaining. Put yourselves in
the positions of the men who drew up
this nicely-balanced compromise called a
draft Constitution. Every one of those
States and delegates had to give up some-
thing they were very much attached to,
because they wanted to get something as
a whole.

PRESSING FOR AMENDMENTS.

Is it reasonable to suppose that if the
Cape or the Transvaal delegates go back
to the Convention and press every amend-
ment they will not be met by a counter
proposal? It is impossible that that
process should not go on. It will undoubt-
edly go on, and it is because I perceive
that it will certainly go on that I dread
the risk when this Convention meets again
at Bloemfontein and the delegates go down
instructed by their Parliaments to press


for certain amendments. We cannot pos-
sibly even consider the question how far
one Colony can go and press for amend-
ment. That is a matter for every Parlia-
ment. If a Parliament of any Colony de-
cides that the delegates should go back
to press for amendments then they must
instruct them how far they must go. We
are told that there are some amendments
so unimportant tnat they could be pased
without any danger, and we are told of
one example-the constitution of the
Senate. I agree with a great deal that
was said on some of the questions raised
in connection with the Senate. For in-
stance, the question of the method of
selection. I think there is a very great
deal to be said for members being elected
directly by the people. (Hear. hear.) But
I know perfectly well that that point was
put forward at the Convention, was dis-
cussed not once but many times both at
Durban and at Capetown. and I know
that if it were not that there was very
strong opposition in certain quarters at the
Convention to that proposal it would un-
doubtedly have been accepted. Therefore
I know perfectly well that if we in th-s
Colony or the Cape Colony send back our
members to press for an amendment on
this count it will not be regarded as a
trivial point. It will be regarded by cer-
tain members of the Convention as a
serious point, and we cannot, if
once we open this process of
amendments, tell where it will
end. When the Convention meet
again, if they do meet again, after going
round the country and having collected
the opinion of the people, if there is a
general and strong opinion in favour of a
general amendment it rests with them to
say whether they are going to be in favour
of that voice or not.

AN OPPORTUNE TIME.

I have heard it said by various people
that it is an insult to the intelligence of
the delegates who sat on that Convention
to suppose that they were going to allow
any instructions they got from their Par-
liaments to endanger this Constitution.
Now, gentlemen, I cannot agree with that.
]t is not a question of their intelligence.
I know perfectly well they all think it is
the best Constitution that could be got at
the present time. They have come to it














PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 47


gradually after a long time of wrangling-
no, that is rather a bad word-after a long
discussion, after carefully weighing all the
issues-they have come to the conclusion
that they are justified in giving up things
they are much attached to in order to get
the whole. I have heard it said that the
delegates might have entered into some
sort of conspiracy or plan that they will
or. no account listen to any suggestion or
amendment. That idea is based upon the
fact that these delegates have gone through
the country and set forth their opinions
that the Act should be accepted as a whole.
It was not because of any conspiracy to
force what they had agreed upon down the
throats of the people. It was because
their experience of four months of com-
promise and discussion led them to
the conclusion that if the matter were
.reopened, nothing would be secur-
ed which would be better than
what we have now. That is
the reason why these delegates feel so
strongly and press so strongly upon the
people the acceptance of the whole of
what has been ione. This Conference
does not desire you to understand that
anyone who has come here and expressed
opinions by word or vote should be bound
in any way as regards the duties he may
have in the Parliament of the Colony he
represents. The responsibilities of a mem-
ber of Parliament are first and foremost
to his constituents, and the Parliament in
which he sits. But, of course, it is a
matter entirely for him to judge how far
any opinions he has expressed here may
be binding on him in the opinions he
may be called upon to express elsewhere.
It seems to me that if I were a member
of Parliament-fortunately for myself, I
am not-I should consider when I went
to sit in the Parliament which is going to
take place on the 30th of March-I should
consider the acceptance of the Constitution
or amendments to the Constitution accord-
ing to the best light, intelligence, and con-
science I could bring to bear on the argu-
ments presented to me there. I should
not consider, because at some previous
meeting I had been led to adopt a parti-
cular position, that I should be bound to
stick to that, and to vote in
Parliament against my convictions.
I do not agree with those
speakers who say that the time is not
opportune for taking this resolutions as


to whether we should accept this Consti-
tution as a whole. I think the time is
opportune. (Hear, hear.) I think we
have seen on the production of this draft
Act-we have seen manifested in a way
which must strike everyone-a remarkable
unanimity of public opinion throughout
South Africa for union. That opinion was
there before, latent perhaps, in the minds
of the men who produced the National
Convention. That made it possible for
such a Convention to come to the conclu-
sions it had, and the publication of the
result of the labours of these men has
called forth throughout the whole of
South Africa the unmistakable opinion
that they want union. Therefore, it
seems to me that now is the time that we
should say that, as far as we are con-
cerned, we are willing to accept the Con-
stitution as it-stands, and we do not send
in any amendments because we think, it
might hamper the labours of those who
have to carry out the main point. We
send it out as our opinion that the Con-
stitution, carrying with it, as it does, so
much of the future of South Africa,
should be accepted as it stands. Amend-
ments, no doubt, will be proposed through-
out the country, but I will suggest to
you that it is better that these amend-
ments should come forward in the Parlia-
ments of South Africa, and their accept-
ance made a matter of balancing. We
have abundant evidence, even in this
room, that in the new Parliament mem-
bers will not be grouped according to the
geographical areas from which they come,
but according to their real interests.
We have been told by the member for
Mafeking that he does not want to have
anything more to do with the people south
of him, that his friends and brothers are
here and in the Orange Free State. Well,
we will find him in the Union Parliament
illustrating this principle that men will
not be divided geographically but by com-
munity of interests. Is not that the better
assembly to discuss amendments to the
Constitution, and a more hopeful machinery
for carrying them into effect with the
greatest good to all? (Hear, hear.)
I am told that this is the greatest danger,
because it is suggested that the Constitut:on
as soon as it comes into effect will be
submitted to the possibility of change.
With the Parliament of South Africa re-
eponsible to the people of South Africa and













48 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


imbued with a feeling of unity which, as
I have said, pervades the whole country
to-day, I am not afraid of their changing
the Constitution. (Applause.)
TRUST IN PARLIAMENT.

I feel, if they change it, it will be a
change in accordance with the feeling of
the majority of the people of South Africa.
I am not afraid of changing the Constitu-
tion. (Applause.) I am not afraid that
they will not do it. I am certain they will.
But we will have created a body that is
fit to do it. General Smuts told you the
other day that the great merit of the Con-
stitution was that it would grow with the
people, and that it would be open to
change, and that so far from impeding
their limbs and preventing proper develop-
ment it would assist development. Any-
body who recognizes that has no right to
say "We are afraid of the Constitution be-
ingaltered." If we have confidence in the
people of South Africa and make their
lot ours, we have no right to say we are
afraid of a change in the Constitution.
(Applause.)

A SIGN OF THE TIMES.

Having hitherto been strictly in order,
I now propose, with your connivance, to
depart from that strict observance
of order, and say something
that is not to the point,
and yet in a way it is to the point. It
is this-that I think this gathering is
indeed a sign of the times. It is a confer-
ence of people who have come here at
great trouble and inconvenience and ex-
pense to themselves to discuss the great
public question of the day. Conferences in
South Africa in the past on such questions
have been conferences of the chosen few-
Ministers or leading men-and the great
body of the public has sat each in its
own Colony and criticized these men when
they came back. Here you have a con-
ference of people not responsible for the
government of the country but represent-
ing the public of the country-men who
have come of their own free will to discuss
this question, to get to know each other
better, to get to know where their differ-
ences are, and to make up their minds
that this Constitution is a thing for the
good of South Africa. That is. I say, a
sign of the times, because it bears the


imprint of the same spirit at work which
produced the meeting of the National Con-
vention and which guided their labours.
It shows us-if anything were needed to
show us-the unanimity which will ulti-
mately prevail among these men. It was
no chance piece of agreement. This Con-
ference is the effect of a profound impulse
which has seized South Africa from one
end to the other, and the result of which
will be as lasting as South Africa itself.
(Applause.)
Mr. Runciman (Capetown), at the con-
clusion of MIr. Duncan's spee-h, rose and
said that in recording his vote on the mat-
ter he wished it to be perfectly clear that
he did not compromise himself as a mem-
ber of Parliament in the Cape House, and
he supposed that would apply to every
member of Parliament, and it might apply
to a few others who would place a Eome-
what different construction upon the word-
ing of the resolution than MJr. Duncan
had. Therefore in recording their vote
they reserved to themselves the right to
place their own interpretation on the
resolution.

Resolution Carried Unanimously.

The general resolution was then put and
carried unanimously, the delegates rising
and cheering with much enthusiasm.
It was decided that the result should
be communicated by telegram to the Bond
and Unie Congresses.
Mr. Lundie moved, and it was unani-
mously agreed: "That the best thanks of
the Association are due to the distinguished
members of the National Convention for
their magnificent work in drafting the
Act which we have just approved of."
The Conference adjourned for lunch.

AFTERNOON SITTING.


The Conference resumed after lunch.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS.
The concluding business of the Closer
Union Conference was the consIderation
of alterations in the rules and the election
of officers.
THE RULES.
On the motion of Mr. Burger, the fol-
lowing resolution was passed :-













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES. 49


To 'add the following words to the end of
Clause 17: "The provision of this
clause with regard to the notice to be
given of any proposed amendment of
this Constitution may be suspended at
any meeting of the Association on the
recommendation of the Executive for
the purpose of enabling such meeting
to consider and if thought fit to adopt
any specified amendment, provided
that not less than three-fourths of
the representatives present at the
meeting vote in favour of such suspen-
sion."
Mr. Curtis, on behalf of the executive,
moved two amendments, providing for the
increase of the executive from 12 to 24,
and that the number of sub-committees be
.increased from four to seven. He explain-
ed that the executive were anxious to leave
the door open to any amendments that
might be found necessary. The object of
the Executive Committee was to carry on
the work of the whole of the societies
which the individual societies could not
carry on for themselves. It was proposed
there should be a larger executive of
24, and that the executive should divide
itself into sub-committees : one sub-com-
mittee for the Western Province, another
for the Midland districts, another for the
Cape border, another for Natal and Dur-
ban, another for the Free State, another
for the northern districts of the Cape
Colony, and another for the Transvaal
and Johannesburg. It was proposed that
the Executive should be large enough
to divide itself into seven sub-committees
of three or four, each sub-committee hav-
ing power to add three or four to its num-
ber from that particular district. The
Association had now formulated a definite
policy. They had not absolutely got union
yet. They should make their organisation
a reality, 'and go back and work for the
doctrine they had adopted. He hoped that
every delegate would go back as a mis-
sionary of the cause, and do his best to
increase the membership of his branch.
The amendments were carried.
On the motion of Mr. Stuttaford, the
following 'amendment was carried :-
That no representative of a society affiliat-
ed with the Association shall take his
seat at a meeting of the Association
until there has been presented to the
joint hon. secretaries of the Associa-
tion a certificate signed by the secre-
tary of his society specifying (1) the
total membership of such society, and
(2) the names and addresses of the
representatives appointed by such
society.


ELECTION OF OFFICERS,

His Honour ex-President M. T. Steyn
was unanimously elected President.
Mr. Nisbet proposed, and Mr. F. W.
Beyers seconded, the appointment of the
following vice-presidents, which was agreed
to: Hon. F. S. Malan, M.L.A., J. W.
,Ta~o-r. M.L.A., Hon. John Daverin,
\1 Li ., J. A. Neser, M.L.A., E. Rooth,
M.L.A., C. L. Botha. M.L.A., Hon. J..
G. .Maydon and the Ion. Colonel Crewe,
M.L.A.
The Executive was elected as follows :-
Johannesburg, Messrs. Patrick Duncan,.
C.M.G., W. F. Lance, M.L.A., J. W.-
Quinn, M.L.A., F. W. Beyers, M.L.A.,
F. Burger ; Capetown, Messrs. R. R.
Brydone. C. Struben, M.L.A., H. S. van'
Zyl, M.L.A., R. Stuttaford ; Port Eliza-
beth. Hr. Henry Forbes ; Uitenhage, Mr.
R. H. Lundie, M.L.A.; Grahamstown,-
Advocate MeCausland; East London, Mr.-
D. D. Nitbet; Burghersdorp, Hon. C.
A. Schweizer; Kingwilliamstown, Mr.
George Whittaker, M.L.A., Kimberley;-
Messrs. J. Denoon Duncan and A. Brink;
Mafeking, Mr. J. W. de Kock, M.L.A.;
Bloemfontein, Mr. H. G. Stuart, M.L.A.,
Hon. Dawdney Drew, M.L.C., and Mr. P.
,T. Faure; Durban, Meassrs. C. C. Clark and,
J.. Ellis Brown, Ladysmith, Mr. H. M.
Meyler.
Mr. Langenhoven proposed a vote of
thanks to the Chairman, Mr. J. G. May-
don. He referred to the donspicuousa
ability with which Mr. Maydon had carried'
out his duties, and the delegates, in hon-
ouring the chair with their support, had'
been honouring themselves. (Applause.)
Mr. Maydo'n deserved hearty thanks for'
his ability, integrity and impartiality. He
presented him with the order bell which'
had been used during the Conference as a
memento of the proceedings. (Applause.)
Mr. Maydon replied. He had realized
the importance of their deliberations and'
been proud of his position, and was
prouder still of the certificate of good'
conduct they had been able to give him.
He thanked them cordially and most thor-
oughly for all they had done to make his
task easy.
THE SECRETARIES.
Mr. Brydone proposed a vote of thanks
to Messrs. Lionel Curtis, J. W. Low and'
Howard Pim, and referred to their invalu-
able efforts for the advancement of the
cause.
Mr. Quinn, in seconding, said they owed
a debt of gratitude to the gentlemen-













50 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


whose names had been mentioned-a debt
for devotion to public service. It had been
the fashion to call them the kindergarten,
and no more unkind or unjust title could
have been imagined, for if they owed any-
thing to any man they owed it to the men
who were stigmatised as the kindergarten.
He could speak about Mr. Curtis, and no
doubt someone from the Cape would en-
dorse his remarks as regards Mr. Low.
Mr. Curtis three years ago came forward
and said: "I will give two or three years
of my life to pushing along this noble
business," and in that time-what should
he say?-Mr. Curtis had almost made him-
self a public nuisance by his enthusiasm.
(Laughter and applause.) He had dragged
them from their homes at all hours of the
'day and night and they had meetings in-
numerable and resolutions by the dozen.
And what for? With no hope of material
reward, but for love of country. No for-
meal vote of thanks would meet such a case.
If they failed in doing honour to such
public services they failed to do justice
to themselves. (Hear, hear.) He conclud-
ed by remarking that what Mr. Curtis had
been to the Transvaal worn, Mr. Low had
been to the work in the Cape Colony.
The vote was enthusiastically accorded.
Mr. Curtis briefly thanked the meeting
on his own and his colleagues' behalf.
A. hearty vote of thanks was passed to
the president, vice-presidents and execu-
tive for the past year.
A vote of cordial thanks was also passed
on the motion of Mr. Duncan Baxter
(Capetown) to the Mayor and Town Coun-
cil of Johannesburg, the Chamber of Mines,
the W.N.L.A., Mr. L. Phillips and Mr.
Abe Bailey, for the hospitality extended
to the delegates; to the chairman and
council of the Transvaal University Col-
lege for the use of the college buildings;
to the, clubs for honorary membership ;
to the postmaster and to Mr. Brodie, the
hon. secretary of the arrangements com-
mittee, for the arrangements made for the
comfort and convenience of members. The
resolution was carried unanimously.
Mr. Brodie, in acknowledging it on
behalf of the arrangements committee,
said he felt the great pleasure of being
associated with a body that had given
birth to wider, broader, deeper, higher
and purer conceptions of patriotism.
A vote of thanks was also accorded the
Press.

Sir Percy Fitzpatrick then addressed
the meeting :
He said that it was not always
easy to draw the 'line where sym-


pathy developed into interference. He
had been intensely sympathetic to the
movement and a most interested listener
to all that had been said, but the con-
viction was there all the time that the
presence of a delegate from the other Con-
vention night be regarded as something
in the nature of an interference, because
if there was one essential it- was that
they who had to revise or confirm the
work the other delegates had done should
do so without any sort of bias from
personal sympathy or through influence
exerted by their personal action or pre-
sence there. He listened to all, and
he could tell them that he took away
one dominant impression, and that was
that during those three days there
was an exact reproduction of what
they went through in the Conven-
tion. They had the same difficulties,
the same complaints, the same subjects,
the same amendments, and they met
with the same fate. (Laughter.) Now,
all the time he had been thinking
that it would have been a solace to
a certain number if they could have
got up and said "Produce one of
your delegates and let him tell us why
the Convention did not do so and so. or
why they did such and such which seems
so indefensible. It had been very diffi-
cult for him to sit still and say nothing
-(laughter)-having the answer ready for
them. But now that their Conference was
over, and he had the kind and most wel-
come invitation to address them, he
would be able to speak freely. lie would
have welcomed it more had it been
extended to the gentlemen who spoke
the first day and who were the
leaders of the sections in the Trans-
vaal. All the same. the invitation was
welcome to him, and he would tell them
how the Convention had dealt with cer-
tain matters, as far as that was proper,
with due regard to the secrecy of the
Convention proceedings. He thought it
would be most helpful if he were to take
their own amendments as they stood on
the agenda paper and tell them whether
they were brought forward,and if they were.
how they were treated, and why it shouldd
still be necessary to have them brought
forward here in the form of amendments.
However, before he went into that. and
speaking on behalf of all the delegates
to the National Convention-he would like
to associate himself with the expression of
thanks to those who had done the work













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


which had resulted in their meeting to-
day. It had extended over a couple of
years, and no more unselfish work had
been done in that country. He knew of
his own experience that men had given
up their time to this public work at great
financial sacrifice often, and very heavy
financial liability not only without thought
of reward, but without any certainty of
success, and with very little encourage-
ment. And the result was that they
could meet to-day, It was a triumph
that they had met. It was a splendid
education for those who had the advan-
tage of listening, and he was sure it must
be for the delegates as well.


MINORITIES.

Now, as a delegate, he wanted to say
before he came to the details, he had great
sympathy with the minorities, and with
those who had their amendments out-
voted. He had heard them say that
they did not have enough time, or
enough consideration; that there was a big
majority, and that they were steam rollered
--all of which sounded to him like quota-
tions. They had had exactly the same thing
in the Convention at the first stage. They
must expect it in a two or three days'
session.

MISSIONARIES WANTED.

But in the National Convention they had
had four months in which to educate each
other. We had four months. For in-
stance, on the question of unification
there was an overwhelming majority,
but there had been no disposition to over-
rule any one. They must take it in good
part and good faith that the voting was
only an expression on conviction on the
part of the majority, and not a determina-
tion to overrule. I see it here,
and I have some hope that those
who favour the minority here will attain
the same position the minorities attained
at the end of the Convention, and they
will go out from here, not only converted
Sand convinced, but, as Mr. Lionel Curtis
Said, as missionaries, because it is not suffi-
cient for the Convention to have done a
certain amount of work, and it is not
sufficient for thirty-three men to go
through the country explaining and advo-
cating. Each of the thirty-three must get


thirty-three others, and they in turn
must each get thirty-three more-all to, do
their utmost to preach the gcspel of
union-(h ar, hear)-so that on the 30th of
this month we may have a unani-
mous expression from all the
Parliaments of South Africa. (Hear,
hear.) It might seem a large request to
ask you, who have come here officially en-
joined to carry certain things, to go back
now and preach the exact reverse. But
it is not really so: it is not too much to
ask, for you need not change your
opinions. There is not one thirg you have
discussed which has not been discussed
twenty times over in the Convention, and
there are many men in the Convention
who will agree with you on each proposal.
They could not carry all they
wanted to, because they were
going into a compromise, and 'a
compromise meant give and take, and if
anyone had come out of that Convention
satisfied-any Colony .which said
"I have got all I wanted "-he
.would tell them that Conyvntion
would have been a failure. The
triumph of this was that nobody had got
everything he wanted. .(Hear, hear.)
He was confident, therefore, that it was
not too much to ask them to earnestly
support and advocate the Convention as
a reasonable settlement, and to advocate
it without amendment, even if from a
single point of view they should still like
to see some alterations. .Considering the
amendments, and the proposal of Mr.
l)e Kock about altering Provincial bound-
aries, Sir Percy said that was thoroughly
discussed in the Convention. There were
considerable portions where convenience in
administration, the sitting of the High
Courts, roads and communications, aug-
gested that portions might be cut off one
Province and attached to another, but the
.Convention arrived at the conclusion that
it' they began to cut up boundaries they
would be entering upon something that
would 'lead-they knew not where, perhaps
o. discord, and that it would be better to
Slave such adjustments to the
Union Parliament. The real point
about Mr. De Kock's proposal was that
now they. had to get the consent. of a
.P'ro:inccial Council before the boundaries
could be.tguched, but that was a protec-
.tion demanded by the smaller Colonies.
He would ask them to bear in mind in













52 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


connection with all these matters that
:now for the first time they would have
.equal rights throughout South Africa; that
.the power to redress would be with their
.own Parliaments, and, therefore, all they
-were asked to do was to trust themselves
-the white people of South Africa. They
would have to trust to what was estab-
lJ:hed-equal rights.

THE GOSPEL OF EQUALITY.

Every man had an equal chance to ex-
press his views, and to have his voice
teard. They were going to appeal to
themselves in common council to have
:any of these things done. That was the
*way out for them. He came now to the
'amendments about the Senate. It would be
impossible to tell them all the proposals
'that were made about this Senate. He knew
the merits of Mr. Withinshaw's propis-il
-would secure a very large backing
throughout South Africa. He had listened
,to the able speech in support of that
-amendment; but he had also listened
a little later to another gentleman who
said that the introduction of equal rights
with proportional voting would al'r
the position of a certain party in Parlia-
ment from a majority of thirty to a
minority of two. That was a very signifi-
cant statement from one of their own
members, and he commended it to their
consideration. He was not going into
the merits of the various proposals about
the Senate nor did he intend to say what
he would have liked himself; b"t he would
pay this, that it was quite true that certain
political parties would not possibly enjov
under equal rights the advantage which
they enjoyed in the past. If cer-
tain political parties in the present
Parliaments liked to exercise their
full powers in proportional representa-
tion they would secure certain advantage-
in the Senate for the next ten years; but
a moment's reflection would show how
small such advantages would be com-
pared with what they had given up when
-they accepted the condition of equal
rights for all. But why should it
'be suggested that these parties would
appoint the Senate on racial lines? No-
thing could be more disastrous than to
suggest such a thing. In such cases to
,suggest was to incite and to provoke.


This, he knew, was the gospel of trust:
but let them remember whom they were
trusting. They were trusting theb elves.
They had got equal rights for the first
time, and it was no longer a case of trust-
ing one man to forego a little of his power
to do a small measure of justice to
another. There waV. no question
now of parties determining the balance
of power; there would be no more fight.i
over redistribution cr strugg'(s for r -
presentation such as they had had in the
Cape and Natal-no more of what h-d
cost them so dear in the other two Co'o-
nies. Everything would work on the
basis of equal right.. mechanically an I
unobserved, and no one would know h,.w
it was working, and no one would bother.
It was a tremendous thing to have got.
Let them not attach too much importance
to the little inequality that might be in
the Senate: he did not want to defend it
or its merits. Let them take it in good
faith and in a generous spirit. It would
end in ten years. Let them take it as one
of the compromises; take it "big" in the
interests of union.
SNext he came to the propo&ils regarling
the distribution of seats. There were two
proposals, and both of them took the E::ro-
pean population for the basis of representa-
tion. Immediately under them on the
agenda paper there was another prop -sa to
the effect that coloured persons should be
eligible for Parliament; that is that there
should be no colour line dawn at all.
Now all these proposals came fiom the
same source-Cape Colony-and he a-ked
the gentlemen from the Cape how could
they at the same time propose the two-
first to take as the basis of representation
the European population, and secondly to
have no colour line. Surely, they
were mutually destructive. If they
were going for the population basis. at any
rate they in the Cape must take all the
population, white, coloured and black, and
representation must be on that lbasi. If
not, they must frankly abandon this talk
about no colour line. They must take
it one way or the other. This was an
illustration of the difficulties they had
faced. But they up-country would never
consent to take the white population in-
stead of the white males or
white voters as the basis. Every
year thousands of young men were













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


.coming up from the Cape and the older
;parts to settle up-country; they were the
,pioneers in the land. Were they, the
.up-country people to be assessed on the
total white population, when all the larger
families remained in the older parts of the
.country. Would it be fair to take the
.women and children and the very
Babies in arms, to count equally
with the pioneers of the frontier?
lie personally did not think it was fair,
.and a proposal like that would go to the
very root-the foundation-ptone-of the
whole union, and they might be quite
,sure it would shatter it.
THE COLOURED VOTE.
"Some of the delegates regretted that
European descent was made one of the
qualifications of a member of Parliament.
Now, it was well known that this coloured
and native franchise was a very difficult
.question, and they from the Cape had
asked the other three Colonies a good deal
'when they asked them to come in and
share their policy and their burden. The
Cape people were giving away very little
when the other Colonies asked'
that it should be the white
people in Parliament who should
deal with the question as it must be dealt
with. He agreed with Colonel Crewe that
it was unwise to press that thirg too far.
rHe did not share the fears of those who
thought that the Cape policy would be
Forced upon the other three Colonies, but
he feared that if men chose to play to
the gallery as they sometimes did-it had
not been done at that gathering-and.
talk violently on that question, and if
others tried to press their theory of
(equality the result would be the reverse-
a reaction. There was too much at
stake 'for the people to take risks, and
if injudicious enthusiasts went too far
they would find a very large majority
of white people of South Africa pressing
hardly, but in the opposite direction. He
cordially agreed with what General
Smuts said the other day. Form the white
partnership first; they could then ap-
proach.it perfectly impartially, and they
would get, the 'best -settlement that thel
patriotism and brains of South Africa
could produce.
THIE POWERS OF THE PROVINCES.
"The next provisionn -was about 'the ,en-


trenchment of provincial powers. He did
not remember that that propo-al
was made in the Convention, for
the reason that they had wanted to get a
workable united South Africa, without
conflict with the different authorities. In
order to do that they had to have a
supreme Parliament, and in defining the
powers of Provincial Councils they had to
reduce them to that minimum which made
conflict or fricton with the union Parlia-
ment highly improbable. It was done to
secure good working relations, and the
absence of entrenchment did not mean
that there was any idea of curtailing tlies-
powers. On the contrary, in all probability
the result would be that they were going
to gat some more powers relegated to the
Provincial Councils as they tound them
working well, and that this would go on
with due regard to the harmonious and
systematic working of government through-
out South Africa. He did not thnik a
single member of the Convention feared
a withdrawal of any powers. There were
certain powers, it is true, that they did not
think should have been given to the pro-
vinces, for instance education. He did not
think they were entirely agreed about that.
but they agreed to do the best thev could.
The provision about the Governor-General
was to his mind as technical as
the provision for the Goverror-
General of the supreme Parliament.
It would in practice mean nothing
more. They must trust to the good sense
of the central government, which would
be their own Government elected on equal
rights.
He came now to another proposal from
the Cape regarding the financial arrange-
ments which would quite up.st the agree-
ment entered into and give a very consider-
able advantage or relief to Cape Colony.
He wished to put this to the delegates
from the Cape. It was quite true that
they contributed a considerable amount by
way of local contributions, and that they
bear certain special taxation for which the
Transvaal shows no equivalent. But it
was alto true that they have a heavy
deficit in their budget, in spite of their
extra efforts, and that they have very
heavy accumulated deficits, which they
have quite failed to wipe out. Now the
Transvaal has no deficit; it has a hand-
some surplus, and it has a large accumu-
lated balance. The Transvaal is facing













4 PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.
- -


unification, and its special sources of
revenue, which are very important, will
,go into the common pool and there will
be no remissions or reliefs in respect of
special sources. But under unification it
is an absolute certainty that as regards
ordinary taxation there will be uniformity
throughout the Union in a very little
while and the special taxation and local
contributions of the Cape will disappear.
There would be uniformity. His
advice to the Cape was "Drop it;
you are doing very well." (Laugh-
ter and applause.) On the railways
the Convention spent months, and he
could not, with every deference to the
tremendous experience of Sir David
Hunter, see his point of view. They had
immensely improved the security of the
public against political railways. They had
preventedd them from being used as taxing
machines, and yet they had not impaired
the control of Parliament and not removed
the responsibilities of the Ministry of the
day. As for a referendum, that did not
arise out of anything contained in the
Convention, so he did not trespass upon
that ground.
He woud like now to add a few word&
about the work accomplished by the
National Convention. and the work that
lay before them, the delegates of the
Closer Union Societies. Do not be lost
in the deatils of the Constitution, but
take its great and essential features and
realise it in its proportion and in its per-
spective. In order to realise its place in
the problem of our country, they must
look back into the history of the last cen-
tury, thoroughly realise what their ex-
perience has been, and then they would
know why one strong and just Constitu-
tion for all was needed; and the last
doubt would be banished. The time
available was too short to dwell
on this now; but a few words might
help to bring it all home. That morning
lie had been thinking over the very able
addresses given, in the last few days, by
Mr. Lionel Phillips and Sir George Farrar
on the amazing developmest of these
goldfields. anl their still more wonderful
future. Here on the Rand they had the
highest development of modern skill and
enterprise and civilization in South Af-
rica; and, yet, he added, come a little
nay up the street to Hospital Hill, and I
Swill show you the niche in the Magalies-


berg Mountains, opposite where the brave
old Voortrekkers fought lMosilkatse and
his Matabele horde for pos-ession of this
land, that we might come and work and
live in peace. So close are we together.
The o!d Voortrekkers fought the battle
of civilization on the lil's over there,
within sight of the smokestacks of the
Rand. We have profited by their efforts
and their enterprise, they must share the
results of ours.

NO MASTER BETWEEN RACES.

General Joubert once said to
him that there was no room
for two masters in South Africa. He (Sir
Percy) went further. There was no room
for one master, as between the races.
(Hear, hear.) A hundred years of expe-
rience in South Africa had taught them
that they had got two tough, obdurate.
splendid races here, which in union would
bh very difficult to beat, but which were
wasteful in the extreme when they were in
rivalry and conflict. There was no solu-
tion in struggling. They must get to-
gether. He had been reproached for
years about keeping on at this question of
equa: rights, but he kept on because he
believed that until they had something in
the way of machinery which would pro-
tect them from interference 1-v each
other, they would never get free-
dom from struggle and strife between
the parties and between the ra-es.
It had been the work of the Naticna! C-n-
vention to provide that machinery; 'hey
had done this, and it was for the people
of South Africa to work it. "We have
built you the figure: it is for you to
breathe life into it." Many had said that
the document will not make the un'on. It
would not make union. That would come
of the patriotism of the people. They
could lift South Africa out of the terrible
rut it had been in. It was only a ques-
tion of when they would do it. The
question was whether they would do it.
He remembered when they were about to
enter on the work of the Convention he
spoke to General Botha and recalled to
him how about 60 years ago the Japanese
found that they were being left behind.
that they made a great national effort.
It must have involved tremendous sacri-
fices-to adopt the practices. of another
civil-sation and to make far-:eac-hing













PROCEEDINGS OF CLOSER UNION SOCIETIES.


changes-religious, social, national. They
did it, and they were now in the forefront
of the nations. To-day the cables showed
that the Turks were making the same
effort. Were they inferior to the Japanese
and the Turks-were they, the British and
Dutch inferior to those who had done it in
the past? Of course they were not.
Let them make one determined effort, not
discouraged if individuals broke out, and
said mischievous things, as there were
reckless and t-i...i.i, l-- and wicked men
who would. They would say the'e things
and they must shut their ears to them.
He warned them that the real trial, the
great building-up struggle would begin
after they had go' this docurrent passed;
then their patriotism would be called
upon; they might have to support men
they had not chosen perhaps and accept
some measures they would not wholly
approve, and old party calls would be
made; let them shut their ears, make their
sacrifice, and go through with it. The
reward was worth it all.
Now, a word or two as to their position
and authority. When the National Con-
vention began its work he had several times
heard the question, "Who are these dele-
gates; they are not really representative
of South Africa ?" If that could apply to
the national delegates it could be applied
to the delegates at that Conference.
There would surely be found critics
who would say. Why do you come here
self-chosen : there is no machinery to send
you here, and yet you have come and
passed a resolution in the name of South
Africa and pronounced this opinion about
the future of South Africa, and all is
settled?" Now, that raised the whole im-
portant question, What was a representa-
tive of the people? It was a fact that
those present were actually elected and
sent by their own people, who were en-
thusiastic in the cause of union; but in
such a cause it was, in his opinion, not
of real importance whether a man was
elected by others or by himself, provided


he came equipped with the essential quali-
fications, and the qualifications he should
have were a certain capacity to make and
defend his case, faith in his cau-e, courage
to uphold it, and that shield which would
hold him proof against a-sault--abolute
unselfishness. Their capacity, their
courage, their faith, and their
unselfishness that would qualify
them to be leaders. They need not bother
about elections. Let them go back to
the place where they came from and say
to their people that they were satisfied,
that they knew the troubles the dele-
gates to the Convention had experienced,
that they believed-and he thought
they believed-thoroughlv in the result of
the work of the delegates. "Go back as
missionaries and preach this doctrine of
union, preach the South Africa that is to
come. Tell them you have had to make
some sacrifices of your views ;
tell them when you asked for
something, that someone somewhere e'se
asked for something that was inconsistent
with it. Here has been a supreme occa-
sion and I think we have taken advantage
of it. For the first time it has been pos-
sible for the two white peoples to come to-
gether and make a peace that, as I think,
hascome to last for all time. Everything
else is small in comparison. Go out as
missionaries of union to bring about the
settlement for ever of the differences be-
tween the white races of South Africa."
(Loud applause.)
The Chairman: I am sure it is the wish
of the assembly thot I should tender to
Sir Percy Fitzpatrick our very cordial
thanks for having come forward to-night
and our appreciation of the words he has
uttered, and especially to tl --' him for
the splendid warrant he has given to all
of us for the work we have undertaken
and the work we have still to do, for in
bidding farewell to the assembly I want
to remind you that our work is only now
beginning.
The proceedings then closed with the
singing of the National Anthem.




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