§ 12. Mr. O'GRADY
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the protests of British-Indians in South Africa and to those of public meetings in India respecting the new Immigration Bill now before the Union Parliament of South Africa; whether he is aware that such protests state that the Bill, if it becomes law in its present form, will have the effect of renewing in an acute form the conflict between the South African Governments and the British-Indian community; and whether, having regard to the views thus expressed, the Imperial Government will request the Union Government whether anything can yet be done, consistent with the rights of a self-governing Dominion, to meet either partially or wholly the desire of British-Indian subjects resident in South Africa on this matter?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Harcourt)
I am aware that protests have been made in South Africa, and no doubt in India, against the Bill as introduced. It has been somewhat modified since it was introduced. His Majesty's Government have had prolonged correspondence with the Union Government in regard to this legislation. Ministers have shown every desire to meet the anxiety of His Majesty's Government that the racial inequality of the Indian before the law should be removed. Although it is not to be hoped that the Bill will give complete satisfaction, His Majesty's Government feel that the abolition of this differentiation in regard to immigration is a valuable concession to Indian feeling.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Is it not a fact that this Bill is generally supported by the trade unions in South Africa?