2 JULY 1948, Page 6

South African Politics

General Smuts, evidently refreshed in mind and body by his visit to England, has lost no time in rallying his technically defeated party—technically, because though it gained a minority of seats it polled a majority of individual votes. Dr. Malan has only a majority , of four in the Assembly and General Smuts may be right in saying that, with the Senate adverse, to the Government, the position will be impossible and a fresh general election inevitable. In 'any case he is determined that the United Party shall be ready for it, and with considerable courage he chooses as main issue the very question on which the recent election was lost—the native problem. What he proposes is "to frame a native policy in unmistakable terms, .a policy incapable of misrepresentation." Till that policy is in fact

framed it is impossible to pass judgement on it. Even the United Party has never shown itself conspicuously progressive in this matter, but it looks as though a definite stand for native rights, including provision for more native education, and possibly for limited native enfranchisement, is now in contemplation. In any case the vigorous lead given by General Smuts, who will be returned for the vacancy at Pretoria East in time to take his seat when Parlia- ment meets, is sufficiently notable.