THE AFRICAN CRISIS.
CENERAL SMUTS'S SPEECH
THE STRIKERS' EVIL INTEN-
(Per Press Association—Copyright)
(Received February 7, 8.5 a.m.)
CAPETOWN, February 6
General Smuts, in the. course of his speech, said the incident at Jagersfontein was a providential flashlight showing what a general conflagration would mean. The strike. leaders contemplated civil war when no longer able to hold the mass meeting, and to inflame the workers they employed small bodies of men with, dynamite in their pockets. The-Trades Hall simultaneously instructed them to form commandos. Dynamite was found freely along the railways and/in other places. In the r : background was always the terrible menace of the black population on the Rand.
The Government was the best judge of the situation. It t saw; that the time was ripe for drastic action and took its courage in ■ both* hands, determined to face the criticisms over the deportation, to which mature consideration had been given.
No responsibility rested on Lord Gladstone/and he regretted that attempts had been made to censure him.
The Transvaal Peace Preservation Ordinance of 1903 gave power to summarily expel persons dangerous to the country's peace, but the criminal law could not cope with such cases. He instanced the acquittal of Crawford and Mrs Fitzgerald in July, and said that the Government was not' prepared to risk a repetition of such acquittals. He also cited the Galbraith and Coles deportation on September 10, 1911, which Mr Ramsay MaeDonald' endorsed. If this was justifiable, the deportation of labour leaders assuredly was so.
General Smuts scathingly condemned Hertzog's "patriotism" in harassing the Government at a critical time. He (General Smuts) preferred to reserve the term "patriot" for Messrs Merri,m&n and Smartt, who proffered their services as special constables.
When the Trades Hall surrendered, the authorities found everything incriminating had been burnt. The Government's only alternative in order to safeguard the public was to proclaim martial law. The public did not know until, after the July strike that tons of lethal weapons and assegais had been collected :in "the iiative; compounds.
General Smuts paid a..tribute to the magnificent response to the mobilisation order., showing how the rich and poor flocked to the colours.
Permanent link to this item
THE AFRICAN CRISIS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8788, 7 February 1914
THE AFRICAN CRISIS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8788, 7 February 1914
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.