24 APRIL 1936, Page 21


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Just having returned from South Africa, I am con- vinced the writer of your leader on the above subject cannot be in touch with the political affairs of the Union. He is certainly not right when he infers that Mr. Hofmeyr's views represent those of "a broad minded and tolerant younger generation both British and Dutch." On the contrary, "the younger generation" are fully aware of the grave danger of placing the future of the Country at the mercy of eight million coloured people ; and they realise that the question of franchise is a very different proposition today when it embraces the whole Union and not merely the Cape Province.

The Natives have never had any franchise except in the Cape Province ; and neither Orange River, Transvaal, nor Natal are prepared to allow native franchise under existing conditions ; and therefore if the States of the Union are to remain together some compromise is essential. Although your leader-writer states "there is nothing to be said for the Act which has just been passed," the fact remains it has been accepted generally by the Natives, and overwhelmingly approved by British and Dutch legislators.

A common franchise for black and white would be absolutely. absurd ; it would raise the racial and colour question at once, and initiate miscegenation which has been the ruin of other African States. Besides which the African Natives are not in a condition to exercise wise judgement in the matter of government, and would just lend their millions of votes to propagate racial quarrels, and support the worst inclinations of certain Whites.

It seems to those of us acquainted with South Africa that to grant moderate franchise to eight million natives instead of a full franchise to two million is a progressive and statesman- like act. To call it a "cynical farce" is proof of complete ignorance of the country and its circumstances.—I am,

yours faithfully, MONTROSE. Auchrnar, Drymen, Glasgow.