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1,500,000 pounds sterling upon machinery and supplies. “This indicates its importance to British firms.” (1).
Hopes in South Africa are high for the industrial development of the country. Recently the Board of Trade Journal had the following noteworthy passage: (2). “It must be generally admitted that, after the gold mines give out, South Africa must be dependent for her prosperity upon two main lines of industrial activity, namely, the production of raw materials (agricultural, horticultural, pastoral, mineral and pisicultural), and the conversion of raw materials into manufactured commodities... The diminution of activity in this most important industry has begun (namely in gold-mining)... South Africa's only hope of becoming an important manufacturing country — which, with her great natural resources she has every right to expect — is to develop her connections with other countries and to exploit the markets they offer by every means in her power... What she needs is a system of what might be called 'commercial exploration' on behalf of her industries." (3). The natural markets for South African manufactures and products are just those against which she discriminates. It might thus become necessary for South Africa, in order to induce other countries to take her produce, and in order to establish better trade relations, to abolish the discriminations in her tariff. South Africa will have to learn what mercantilists learned in the Middle Ages, that it is impossible for a nation only to export and not to import.
e. Historical background of the division of the country: In order to understand the artificial division of South Africa before the Union of 1910, one has to go back to the beginning of its history.
The Dutch East India Company, which established the settlement at the Cape in 1652 as a half-way house to India, was a purely commercial body. The Cape was intended to be a half-way house between India and Holland — not a colony. In their forward march into the interior of the country, the colonists came in contact with the Bantu tribe, the Ama-Xosa, on the banks of the Fish River, about the year 1780. The colonists from now on were constantly subjected to the depredations of the natives, and as nothing was more loathsome to the Company than the carrying on of a native war, the colonists had to look after themselves. This created an independent spirit in these hardy frontier farmers and made their allegiance to a company, whose head-quarters were 6,000 miles away, very shaky. It was a time when revolution was in the air. The Company was running bankrupt, France was in the throes of a revolution, the American colonists had gained their independence, and now people started talking of independence on the lonely farms in South Africa. (1). Consequently, in 1795, the two republics of Graaff-Reinet and Swellendam were established. In the same year the Cape was taken over by the British in the name of the Stadtholder of Holland who had fled to England on the establishment of the Batavian Republic in Holland, and the people were forced to take the oath of allegiance to George III. In 1806 the Cape definitely passed into the hands of England, and since then the alienation of the two races went on apace until the crisis was reached almost a hundred years later. The causes of this alienation' might briefly be summed up as follow:.: i. The abolition of the Dutch language from the law courts in 1828, and the fact that all official documents had to be drawn up in the English language caused much ill-feeling and inconvenience.
1. Report to the Board of Trade on the Trade of the Union of South Africa and Rhodesia for 1914, p. 25.
2. Board of Trade Journal for February 10th, 1921, p. 146.
3. Canada and Australia have each some 16 or 17 trade commissioners in foreign countries for the purpose of promoting Canadian and Australian trade. South Africa had, until quite recently, only one trade commissioner: in London. Towards the end of 1921 she sent a trade commissioner to promote her trading interests on the continent of Europe.
ii. The way in which the 36,000 slaves of the colonists were emancipated in 1834, led to much resentment on the part of the colonists. The colonists favoured a gradual emancipation, for example, first the women, and so on. The English favoured immediate emancipation and compensation for the slaves. Three million pounds sterling were to be paid out to the slave owners in South Africa. Later on the Colony's share was reduced to 1,250,000 pounds sterling, and the colonists were required to prove their claims in London. This was a sheer impossibility because of the expenses of a trip to London, the time it took in those days, and the insecurity of the lives of the families of the colonists. The slaves were emancipated, people congratulated each other on the huge success for humanity, while thousands of homesteads in South Africa lapsed into poverty when the colonists lost the money they had invested in the slaves. Moreover, after emancipation no vagrancy
1. See Captain Robert Percival: “An Account of the Cape of Good Hope,” (1804), for the spread of Jacobinism at the Cape, pp. 307 et seq.
onial Secre depredations theolonists. wheas a sort of Wear
laws were passed. The slaves, together with the Hottentots who had obtained social and political equality with the Europeans in 1828, were now free to do what they liked. They refused to work, had to live, and were obliged to steal.
iii. The vacillating native policy of the English Colonial Office was another cause of exasperation to the farmers. It was the time when people in England still believed in the “noble savage.” The Kaffir wars which took place — and there were six of them before the Great Trek of 1836 to 1838 — were attributed to the cruelty of the colonists — while the authorities in England chose to ignore the fact that the Kaffirs had to buy their wives with cattle and that the easiest way for them to get the cattle was to make a raid on the cattle of the frontier farmers. The 4,000 English settlers, who came out to South Africa in 1820, were placed as a sort of buffer between the Kaffirs and the colonists. When they complained of the Kaffir depredations they were branded by Glenelg, the Colonial Secretary of the time, as “city-bred pinmakers unable to face the manhood of the noble savage.” When Governor Benjamin D'Urban satisfactorily solved the frontier problem in 1834, he was recalled. This brought matters to a climax. In 1836 the movement out of the Colony began. Over 10,000 people left the Colony for the North between the years 1836 and 1838, in search of a home of peace and freedom. In this way the Republics of Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal were established in 1839, 1854 and 1852 respectively. Natal was annexed by England after a heroic struggle in 1843, and the latter two in 1902.
Many peaceful attempts were made to eliminate the artificial boundaries between the different colonies and states since the time of Sir George Grey, who was Governor of the Colony between 1854 and 1861. The next man who was actively interested in this movement was Bartle Frere, Governor of the Colony in the seventies. The historian, Froude, was also sent out to do his little bit towards union or federation of some sort between the colonies and states, but no positive result took place before the Customs Union of 1889 between the Cape and the Orange Free State. In 1898 Natal joined and in 1903, after the republics were conquered, the first general South African Customs Union was brought about. It embraced the Transvaal, the Orange Free State, the Cape Colony, Natal, Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Southern Rhodesia. Local interests, however, again predominated, and in 1908 the Transvaal withdrew from the Customs Union. The conference which met at Pretoria to mend this matter resulted
in the National Convention, and this in turn resulted in the South African political Union.
Note: The former German South-West Africa with an area of 322,200 square miles and a white population in 1913 of 14,830 of whom 1,799 were British and 12,292 Germans (of whom 6,000 have been deported or will be deported) is now governed by the Union of South Africa under a mandate.
Before the conquest of the country, in 1915, it was not subjected to the customs regulations of the German Empire. It had its own customs tariff of 1908 which was altered from time to time. Foodstuffs in general, from Germany, were allowed free importation. Later the agricultural community came under the impression that it was able to supply the needs of the population in butter, sugar and tobacco, and they managed to get protective duties on these articles. They did not, however, succeed in introducing the sugar industry or in supplying the needs of the people for tobacco and butter. The German tariff was, however, much lower than the Union tariff, and the number of dutied articles much smaller, with the result that living was much cheaper there than in the Union.
· By Proclamation Number 5, dated 16th July, 1915, the customs duties established by the Union Law Number 26, of 1914, and as modified by Law Number 22 of 1915, were applied to the Protectorate, and the customs duties in force in the Union became mutatis mutandis legal in the Protectorate. Goods which were grown, produced or manufactured in the Union of South Africa, were to be free of duty when imported into the Protectorate. But the Union tariff is a discriminatory tariff, the Protectorate is mandated territory, and discrimination by the mandatory against foreign nations in the mandated territory may be regarded as against the mandate ideal, because mandates were to be, in the language of the covenant, "a sacred trust of civilization.” In the South-West Mandate Law nothing is said about customs duties. (1).
The following quotation is taken from the New York Times of August 20th, 1921, which indicates that the United States of America is an interested onlooker: (2). "In a significant report, based on a preliminary survey of colonial tariff policies around the world, the [United States] Tariff Commission to-day emphasized the fact that the open-door policy, whether pursued as a freely adopted national policy or continued in accordance with treaty obligations, has been losing ground steadily for twenty years... The mandated territories are divided into classes A, B and C. The draft mandates for class A, at the present time, provide for equal treatment of the members of the League of Nations. The Covenant of the League of Nations provides for the open door in Class B. In the case of class C it permits assimilation, and South-West Africa has already been assimilated to the
tariff system of the mandatory... In South-West Africa [a]... differential tariff [has] since been imposed.” It will suffice here to note that the United States of America is not only an interested onlooker, but also the ardent champion of an open-door policy.
1. O.Y.B., No. 3, pp. 922 — 962.
2. For an illuminating discussion of the mandate system and the obligations of the mandatories in the existing League of Nations, see The Annals, American Academy of Political and Social Science, July, 1921, pp 68 — 97.