May 8.—On the application of the Sheba G. M. Co. for permission to erect an aërial tram from the mine to the mill,
Mr. GROBLAAR asked whether an aërial tram was a balloon or whether it could fly through the air.
The only objection that the Chairman had to urge against granting the tram was that the Company had an English name, and that with so many Dutch ones available.
Mr. TALJAARD objected to the word 'participeeren' (participate) as not being Dutch, and to him unintelligible: 'I can't believe the word is Dutch; why have I never come across it in the Bible if it is?'
June 18.—On the application for a concession to treat tailings,
Mr. TALJAARD wished to know if the words 'pyrites' and 'concentrates' could not be translated into the Dutch language. He could not understand what it meant. He had gone to night-school as long as he had been in Pretoria, and even now he could not explain everything to his burghers. He thought it a shame that big hills should be made on ground under which there might be rich reefs, and which in future might be required for a market or outspan. He would support the recommendation on condition that the name of the quartz should be translated into Dutch, as there might be more in this than some of them imagined.
REDUCTION OF IMPORT DUTIES ON EATABLES.
June 20.—Mr. WOLMARANS said the diggers simply did not want to buy from the Boers; there was plenty of meat and bread in the land, and the Boers could not get good prices for their cattle.
Mr. VAN HEERDEN could not see how the inhabitants of the State would benefit in the least by lowering the tariff.
Messrs. LOMBAARD and WOLMARANS both declared that when duties were at their highest groceries etc. were at their cheapest.
Mr. TALJAARD thought that members who were in favour of lowering the tariff did not act for the benefit of the country.
May 29.—A discussion of considerable length took place on a petition from burghers of Gatsrand, Potchefstroom district, praying that at least two-thirds of the Government money now lying idle in the banks should be given out to agriculturists as loans, and the remainder for other purposes.
July 2.—His Honour was asked why he did not suppress all sweepstakes and races.
The PRESIDENT said gambling and lotteries were in conflict with the Word of God, but it was also the duty of man to have exercise and to exercise his horses. For that reason an exception had been made in the Bill as to horse-races, etc.
INCREASE OF OFFICIALS' SALARIES.
July 7.—The PRESIDENT supported the increase. He promised the Raad—and he had done this before—that whenever there was a falling off in the revenue, he would at once reduce the salaries. He had said this before, and if members did not believe him let them call him a liar at once.
June 5.—Mr. ESSELEN objected to minutes not being full enough.
Mr. TALJAARD accused Mr. Esselen of insulting the Raad.
A discussion ensued on minutes, in which certain proposals which had been rejected had not been incorporated. Several members said that the incorporation of proposals that had been rejected would entail some members being held up to the scorn of the public.
June 24.—Two hundred vouchers were found to be missing from the yearly accounts, and no explanation could be given. Also £13,000 had been given on loan to the Boeren Winkel (Boer General Store—a private mercantile venture).
July 27.—Mr. MARE maintained that the Public Works were badly administered.
The PRESIDENT dashed down the papers in front of him and stalked out of the Raad, after emphatically denying that money had been wasted.
July 27.—At the debate on the question of appointing a State financier, who could among other things be held responsible for the disappearance of vouchers, the Auditor-General said that he did not want an official of that nature, who would be always snivelling about his books.
CLAUSE TWENTY-THREE OF THE GOLD LAW.
August 5.—The PRESIDENT said that owners of properties had quite sufficient privileges already, and he did not want to give them more.
Mr. LOMBAARD said the Gold Fields wanted too much. The revenue from the Gold Fields was already less than the expenditure. He was of opinion that the best course would be to let the Gold Fields go to the devil and look after themselves.
May 6.—Protracted discussion arose on the Postal Report, the Conservatives being opposed to erecting pillar-boxes in Pretoria on the ground that they were extravagant and effeminate.
OOM DYLE (Mr. TALJAARD) said that he could not see why people wanted to be always writing letters. He wrote none himself. In the days of his youth he had written a letter, and had not been afraid to travel fifty miles and more on horseback and by wagon to post it; and now people complained if they had to go one mile.
May 21.—On the question of abolishing the post of Minute-Keeper to the Executive the President fell into a passion with Mr. Loveday who thought a Minute-Keeper unnecessary, and left the Raad in a temper.
June 13.—The PRESIDENT said the reason why he did not subsidize some papers by giving them advertisements was that they did not defend the Government. It was the rule everywhere to give advertisements to papers which supported the Government.
PRESIDENT AND GENERAL.
July 21.—General JOUBERT tenders his resignation as Chairman of the Chicago Exhibition Committee. He had written again and again to the President and State Secretary for an intimation of the Government's intention with regard to the amount on the Estimates, but his communications were treated with silent contempt.
The PRESIDENT made a long speech, in which he said he felt great grief at being thus falsely charged by the General, who was also a member of the Executive. Still he would only bless those who spitefully used him and would not blacken the General.
July 21.—After the resolution had been taken on Mr. Van Niekerk's proposition regarding compensation for claims not yet worked out (Clause 60 of Gold Law), the PRESIDENT was still speaking, and objecting to the recording of Van Niekerk's objection to the passing of the Gold Law Clause Amendment, when Mr. ESSELEN called 'Order, Order!' several times.
The PRESIDENT said he was insulted by Mr. Esselen and would withdraw unless he apologized.
The Raad adjourned, as Mr. Esselen refused.
July 21.—Mr. Roos said locusts were a plague, as in the days of King Pharaoh, sent by God, and the country would assuredly be loaded with shame and obloquy if it tried to raise its hand against the mighty hand of the Almighty.
Messrs. DECLERQ and STEENKAMP spoke in the same strain, quoting largely from the Scriptures.
The CHAIRMAN related a true story of a man whose farm was always spared by the locusts, until one day he caused some to be killed. His farm was then devastated.
Mr. STOOP conjured the members not to constitute themselves terrestrial gods and oppose the Almighty.
Mr. LUCAS MEYER raised a storm by ridiculing the arguments of the former speakers, and comparing the locusts to beasts of prey which they destroyed.
Mr. LABUSCHAGNE was violent. He said the locusts were quite different from beasts of prey. They were a special plague sent by God for their sinfulness.
July 26.—Mr. DE BEER attacking the railways said they were already beginning to eat the bitter fruits of them. He was thinking of trekking to Damaraland, and his children would trek still further into the wilderness out of the reach of the iron horse.
August 16.—Mr. DE BEER said he saw where all the opposition to duties came from. It was English blood boiling to protect English manufacture.
June 21.—A memorial was read from certain burghers of Waterberg about children beating their parents, and praying that such children should not be allowed to become officials of the State or sit in Volksraad!
Mr. DE BEER—the Member for Waterberg—who in the days of his hot youth is said to have given his father a sound thrashing, and is the one aimed at by the memorialists, denied all knowledge of the memorial.
August 24.—Mr. WOLMARANS opposed the line, as it would compete with the Delagoa Bay Railway, for which the State was responsible.
Mr. LE CLERQ maintained that the Cape Free State line was against the interests of the burghers, as a tremendous number of cattle were brought into the State from outside countries.
Mr. MALAN said he would never vote for this line.
Mr. ROOS referred to the sacred voice of the people, which he said was against railways.
The extension was eventually approved of.
May 14.—A debate took place upon the clause that members should appear in the House clad in broadcloth and having white neckties.
Mr. JAN DE BEER complained of the lack of uniformity in neckties. Some wore a Tom Thumb variety, and others wore scarves. This was a state of things to be deplored, and he considered that the Raad should put its foot down and define the size and shape of neckties.
August 28.—The PRESIDENT said he was against concessions generally speaking, but there were cases where exceptions should be made. There was for instance the Jam Concession. The manufacture of jam ought to be protected.
REDUCTION OF POSTAGE FROM TWOPENCE TO ONE PENNY THROUGHOUT THE REPUBLIC.
August 22.—Mr. WOLMARANS opposed the reduction, saying the Postal Department would probably show a deficit at the end of the year. And besides who would benefit? Certainly not the farmers.
Mr. LOMBAARD also was against the reduction.
Mr. DE LA REY said speculators could afford to pay the present rates of postage, and as the reduction would only benefit the townspeople, let matters remain unaltered. If he resided in a town and speculated he would be able to pay twopence.
Mr. SCHUTTE said the Postal Department was run at a loss at present, and if they further reduced the tariff things would go very badly with them.
Reduction rejected, 13 to 9.
INCREASE OF REPRESENTATION.
September 6.—The PRESIDENT throughout the debate maintained that there was no advantage to be gained by increased representation, and that business could be more quickly transacted with a small number of members. He disagreed with those members who wished to give big towns representatives as the Raad would be swamped with town members.
After the rejection of various proposals the PRESIDENT rose and pointed out it would mean ruination to the country if the Raad resolved to increase the number of the members, and amidst some confusion he left, declining to occupy the Presidential chair, muttering that the Raad was large enough already and if it were increased it would be a shame.
September 7.—The Committee reported that a number of memorials had been received, praying that more hours weekly should be devoted to the English language. Counter memorials had also been received. The Committee advised the Raad not to grant the request of more hours for English.
Mr. LOMBAARD thought the Raad was bound to refuse the request, and it would be useless to discuss the matter.
Mr. DE BEER could see no harm in granting the request, in fact it was their duty to do so.
Mr. SPIES considered there was no necessity to teach English in the State. Trade did not require it, and they could get on very well without English. Let the English remain in their own country.
The PRESIDENT was opposed to extending the hours. He did not object to English being taught, but then it must not interfere with the language of the country to the prejudice of the latter language. He had schools upon his farm, and parents objected to their children being taught English in those schools. After a very little while they could write English as well as or better than their own language, and neglected Dutch for English. The Dutch language could not be maintained against English in competition.
Mr. WOLMARANS also spoke against the English language saying that if they went through the list of those who had signed the memorial for the annexation of the Transvaal by the English, they would find without exception that those who signed were English-speaking. He was against children being taught English so early, as when they were taught young their minds became poisoned with English views.
Mr. OTTO agreed with the spirit of the Committee's report. This was a Dutch country, with Dutch laws, and why should they be asked to exchange the Dutch language for the English? What had the English done for the country that this should be asked?
The CHAIRMAN thought many members made too much of the English language already. One language was sufficient, and if a man was properly educated in his own tongue that should suffice.
Mr. LE CLERQ and Mr. PRINSLOO both cautioned the Raad against foreign languages in their schools.
Mr. LOVEDAY pointed out the absurdity of saying that the National Independence depended upon one language only being used, and pointed to the American and Swiss Republics as examples.
Mr. LOMBAARD in the course of a violent speech said those people who wanted English taught in the State-aided schools were aiming at the independence of the State. They wanted to bring dissension in the midst of the burghers by teaching new and wrong ideas, and they became indignant because the burghers would not allow it. He was ashamed that members should argue in favour of injuring their independence: English should not be taught in the State-aided schools.
The law remained unaltered by 12 to 10.
July 26.—The matter of purchasing diamond drills cropping up, the PRESIDENT said it was true that the two industries mining and agriculture went hand in hand, but it must be remembered that every fresh goldfield opened meant a fresh stream of people and extra expenses. He hoped the Raad would excuse him referring to it, but the Raad took away the revenue and still asked for money. There was the reduction of postage; now it was asked to spend money on boring machines, when each new field meant so much extra expense. Machines for water boring were cheap and not fitted with diamonds like those for mining, which required to be handled by experts. It must be remembered that money voted for agricultural purposes was spent here, while for the gold industry it was sent away. The Raad must be careful how the money was voted.
FIRING AT THE CLOUDS TO BRING DOWN RAIN CONSIDERED IMPIOUS.
August 5.—A memorial was read from Krugersdorp praying that the Raad would pass a law to prohibit the sending up of bombs into the clouds to bring down rain, as it was a defiance of God and would most likely bring down a visitation from the Almighty.
The Memorial Committee reported that they disapproved of such a thing, but at the same time they did not consider they could make a law on the subject.
Mr. A.D. WOLMARANS said he was astonished at this advice, and he expected better from the Commission. If one of their children fired towards the clouds with a revolver they would thrash him. Why should they permit people to mock at the Almighty in this manner? It was terrible to contemplate. He hoped that the Raad would take steps to prevent such things happening.
The CHAIRMAN (who is also a member of the Memorial Commission) said the Commission thought that such things were only done for a wager.
Mr. ERASMUS said they were not done for a wager but in real earnest. People at Johannesburg actually thought that they could bring down the rain from the clouds by firing cannons at them.
Mr. JAN MEYER said such things were actually done in Johannesburg. Last year during the drought men were engaged to send charges of dynamite into the clouds. They fired from the Wanderers' Ground and from elsewhere, but without result. Then some one went to Germiston and fired at a passing cloud; but there was no rain. The cloud sailed away, and the heavens became clear and beautifully blue. He had reported the matter to the Government.
Mr. DU TOIT (Carolina) said he had heard that there were companies in Europe which employed numbers of men to do nothing but shoot at the clouds simply to bring down rain. It was wonderful that men could think of doing such things; they ought to be prohibited here. He did not consider that the Raad would be justified in passing a law on the subject, however; but he thought all the same that they should express their strongest disapproval of such practices.
Mr. BIRKENSTOCK ridiculed the idea of people forcing rain from the clouds. In some of the Kaffir countries they had witch-doctors who tried to bring down rain; whether they succeeded or not was a different matter. Still, if people were foolish enough to try and force the clouds to discharge rain, the Legislature ought not to interfere to prevent them. He did not agree with the idea of firing at the clouds, but did not consider that an Act should be passed to prevent it.
The CHAIRMAN said if such things were actually done—and he was unaware of it—those who did it ought to be prevented from repeating it.
After a further discussion, Mr. A.D. WOLMARANS moved: 'That this Raad, considering the memorial now on the Order, resolves to agree with the same, and instructs the Government to take the necessary steps to prevent a repetition of the occurrences referred to.'
The article for the abolition of barmaids was dealt with.
Mr. WATKINS declared himself strongly against such an article. He could not see why females should be prevented from dispensing liquor. Such a clause would prevent many respectable young women from making a living.
Mr. PRETORIUS said there were many memorials on this subject, and in compliance with the wish expressed therein the article was inserted in the Liquor Law. Of course, it was for the Raad to decide.
Mr. RENSBURG spoke strongly against the clause. According to it the proprietor's wife would be prevented from going behind the counter. He would not deny that there were some barmaids who were not strictly virtuous, but to accuse them as a class of being dangerous was going too far. Many of the memorials were signed by women. These memorials were drawn by men whom he considered were hypocrites, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves for their narrow-mindedness.
Mr. VAN STADEN said he did not like to take the bread out of the mouths of a great many women.
Mr. KOENIG suggested that they could become chambermaids.