He had, moreover, to prove that he had “committed no act contrary to the Government, or its independence.” But to vote against any candidate of Krueger’s is, in the Transvaal, an act contrary to the Government. What Uitlander then could ever have obtained his naturalisation? “Two years of continuous registration,”—but are the registers carefully kept in the Transvaal? These formalities accomplished, and naturalisation obtained, there followed five years of registration, and the obligation of permanent residence. A stay at the Cape, a voyage to Europe, would have sufficed to forfeit the whole benefit of the formalities observed, including inscription during the first fourteen days after arrival. Finally, the retrospective clause demonstrates the cunning nature of the methods employed by Mr. Krueger.
First it deals with a nine years’ residence, plus two years for naturalisation, plus six months’ declaration, in all eleven years-and-a-half, at the least.
The wording of the clause is as follows:—
“The Residents in the South African Republic before 1890, who shall become naturalised within six months of the promulgation of the proposed law, after giving six months’ notice of their intention to apply for naturalisation, shall obtain the full franchise two years after naturalisation, instead of five years. Those who have not been naturalised within six months will have to fulfil the conditions applying to new comers.”
Look at the trickery of this regulation. A man must apply for his naturalisation six months beforehand, and he is bound to be naturalised within six months of the promulgation of the law. If he does not make his application on the very day of the promulgation, he loses all the advantages of his residence in the Transvaal before 1890, and he must wait another seven years. Note, that on the actual day of promulgation the administration of the Transvaal could never, even in good faith, have dealt with the 20,000 or 30,000 declarations that would have been made; and Mr. Krueger calmly proceeds to adjourn to another seven years the Uitlanders who had already put in nine years of residence, total 16 years. Yes, Mr. Krueger is very clever to have invented such a skilful contrivance; to have had the audacity to propound it; and to hold the opinion of Europe in such contempt that he could think it possible to make the majority of people the dupe of such schemes; and he has succeeded!
Sir Alfred Milner replied in the courteous language of diplomacy that after the interchange of these two propositions, Mr. Krueger and himself found themselves on exactly the same ground as before the Conference, and that, therefore, there was no object to be gained by prolonging it.
AFTER THE CONFERENCE OF BLOEMFONTEIN.
1.—A Krueger Trick.