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NATAL

THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN



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NATAL



THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN



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X>T



TO HIS HONOUR

SIR HENRY BALE, K.C.M.G.

CHIEF JUSTICE OF NATAL

THIS LITTLE GUIDE

TO THE DUTIES AND RIGHTS OF NATAL CITIZENSHIP

IS DEDICATED

WITH SINCERE RESPECT



1177290



ADVERTISEMENT

No one denies that, after the discharge of his private
obligations, it is the duty of a good citizen to take his
share in public work; yet comparatively few people carry
this excellent platitude into effect.

Some of the blame must be laid upon the carelessness
and selfishness bred of a long period of development
undisturbed by considerable civic crises. People who are
comfortably off are often deaf to the claims of the less
fortunate mass below the line of prosperity who might be
raised to it by a more vigorous and disinterested adminis-
tration. Thus it often comes about that public work is
unfairly left to an active few, and sometimes falls into the
hands of unscrupulous persons to whom the grinding of
their own private axes is of more importance than the
perfecting of the whole machinery of their state or city.
We sometimes tolerate things in public life out of a
discreditable indifference which in private life we should
resent with all our might.

But something is due to sheer ignorance also. How
little the average man knows about the principles or even
the processes of government and administration is hardly
to be believed ; and yet on his twenty-first birthday
heaven is assumed to rain upon him all the information



X ADVERTISEMENT

and wisdom necessary to the exercise of each of the
delicate and complicated duties of citizenship.

The Heads .of Education Departments of British South
Africa have included in the syllabus of studies which they
thought essential to the training of youth the duties and
rights of citizenship, as the proper sequel to the History
course incumbent on all children in our schools. In this
they were following the example of the English Education
Department which, under the \'igorous and sagacious
administration of Mr. Arthur Acland, included this subject
in the ordinary elementary school work.

This little book is therefore designed for a double
purpose : to meet the need of the average person, and to
provide a simple manual for young people. It has been
written as simply as possible. The greatest difficulty with
which the authors have had to deal is the difficulty of
compression ; and if the critical reader misses some detail
or elaboration which he feels would have added to the
usefulness of the book, he is asked to give the authors the
benefit of the doubt and to assume that it has l)een omitted
for good reason.

P. A. B.
G. W. S.

PlETERMARITZBURG, NaTAL.

January, 1904.




IT



CONTENTS



CHAPTlin I'AGK

I. ^VUY WE SHOLLU KNOW THt; MKANlNCi OF LaW.S .... 1

II. Colonies and the Motheulanu G

III. The Building of the English Constitution .... 13

IV. How Natal guew to be a Colony with its own

Parliament 2o

V. How Bills ake treated in the Legislative Assembly . ol

VI. How Money is puovided fou the pukposes of Govern-
ment 4o

VII. How A Bill is tueated in the Legislative Assembly 00

VIII. The Governor 61

IX. The Ministry 6'j

X. The Civil Service 77

XI. The Work of Ministerial Departments 84

XII. How the Body of Laws was put together .... 95

XIII. The Judge and the Courts of Justice 1U2

XIV. Public Education 109

XV. Self-government in the Towns IIG

Conclusion 121

Index . . 125



NATAL

THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN



CHAPTER I

WHY WE SHOULD KNOW THE MEANING
OF LAWS

We are so accustomed to the regular ways of the life
which we live and are so ready to take them for granted,
that we do not often ask ourselves what are the means
that enable us to live in safety and with so many comforts
about us. We know that there is a Government ; that
there are laws; that the laws are made by Parliament;
and that there are people, like police and judges, whose
business it is to see that the laws are carried out. But we
ought also to find out how all these people and institutions
get their power; how they have come to be what they
are; and whose business it is to see that they in their
turn do their duty.

The first thing that a good man thinks about is his
Duty. " What ought I to do ? " he says. When this is
settled, he is justified in asking to have his Pdghts.
" What am I entitled to get from other 'people. ? " he says.
A man who is not prepared to do what he himself ought
to do, cannot fairly ask other people to do for him what

B



2 NATAL : THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN

he neglects to do for them. So we may as well begin by
understanding clearly that there are no Pdghts without
Duties, and that we can deserve the protection and
kindness of other people only by showing ourselves ready
to take our share in the common work.

As soon as we are old enough we are expected to take
an interest in matters of public importance. No one can
shut himself up selfishly and leave public business to
chance. If he does this, he neglects his duty as a citizen;
and if many people do this, it is certain that public affairs
fall into bad hands, and public money, public health, and
all public interests suffer grievpusly.

After securing the happiness of his own family, a man
must take an active part in promoting the interests of the
whole community in which he lives, if even only to
further the interests of his own family and himself.

But we cannot take an intelligent interest in public
affairs unless we know how and why they are carried on
as we see them. To give such knowledge to those who
have not yet got it is the object of this little book.

When we look round and see how many things there
are which we can quietly enjoy, we are apt to forget two
very important facts. We forget, first, how much it has
cost to place us where we are, and to give us the liberties
and comforts to which we are accustomed ; and we forget,
secondly, that we can continue to enjoy all these liberties
and comforts only by a silent agreement to give way to
one another, and not to claim all that we might claim at
any one time.

We can best get to know with how much trouble our
fathers attained freedom and civilisation by the careful



WHY WE SHOULD KNOW THE MEANING OF LAWS 3

reading of history ; and, indeed, the reading of history is
necessary not only in order that we may be informed how
these things came about, but also how they are to be
maintained. This book must therefore be regarded as
completing, or as filling gaps left by, what we have read
of the history of our ancestors.

We shall therefore often have to speak in the course
of the following chapters about the various stages by
which the people of England first, and the people of Natal
afterwards, built up the institutions of the Natal which
we know and love.

Though there are amongst us many people of Dutch
and other non-English descent, whose services to freedom
and whose love of freedom have not been less than our
own, the main foundations of our public life were laid by
Englishmen ; and though our fellow-Natalians of Dutch
or other descent are in complete agreement with us in
maintaining our free institutions, it is, for the greater
part, English institutions that secure to us all the blessings
that we enjoy, wherever our fathers came from.

Let us not forget then, that the inheritance which our
ancestors have handed to us was won only by many
generations of work and striving, and that it can only
be maintained by further work and striving on our part.

But although most of our liberties may be said to be
secured to us by laws, no people can live together peace-
ably, or, as we might say, no society can exist and prosper,
if every one insisted at any and all times on having what
he thinks are his " rights." Thus, we all have the right
of walking along any part of the roads; but it is quite
clear that one man must give way for another ; if people



4 NATAL : THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN

jostle each other for the same place or path, existence
would be impossible.

The fact is that tlie more truly men are civilised, the
more personal freedom they enjoy ; and the possession of
personal freedom means that a man is allowed to settle
things by agreement with other men, unforced, by one
giving way to another.

That kind of silent or " tacit " agreement which leads
us to give way to one another so that every one may enjoy
his share of the pleasant and useful things of the world, is
the very essence of freedom and good government. We
cannot " do what we like," but we all enjoy a " turn " or
opportunity. The necessary condition of this freedom is
seZ/-restraint. The more each man gives way, the more
room, the more real freedom, there is for all.

Thus government is best not when it makes most rules
to force or constrain people to do this or that. It is best
when it protects people from interference and gives to the
largest number of people the largest number of opportunities
for work and enjoyment.

Wicked or ill-disposed or even selfish or foolish people
may easily make a town or a country uncomfortable and
unsafe by refusing to give way in matters that are
necessary for the good of every one. When they do this in
an open fashion and so that the business of other people
cannot safely be carried on, then the police step in. Thus
a river may be used for any reasonable purpose by all who
can get to it, but no one may contaminate it to suit his
private convenience.

Thus, too, a tradesman may put what he likes in the
window of his store in order to make his wares attractive ;



WHY WE SHOULD KNOW THE MEANING OF LAWS 5

but if his exhibition is so striking and exciting that a
crowd collects, he may be required to remove the cause of
the obstruction.

Let us glance now at the many public institutions
which were here, ready for us, so to speak, when we were
born, and note how they provide for our comfort,
convenience, and prosperity.

The police protect us from evil-doers in our midst, the
navy and army from dangers that may come from abroad.
Judges and magistrates punish criminals and settle dis-
putes according to the laws. The Post Office helps to
carry letters not only from one end of Natal to the other,
but to and from any part of the civilised world. The
Savings Bank makes it possible for every one to practise
the thrift and forethought which is at the bottom of all
prosperity. The Kailway traverses this and neighbouring
states with a safety and rapidity which two generations
ago would have seemed beyond belief. The Telegraph
connects us with the farthest points of civilisation in a few
hours. Eoads are made, schools are built, bridges are
thrown across streams, innumerable buildings are raised
for the transaction of all kinds of public business, all
because people have agreed to work together to secure such
things, to " co-operate," as we say, for the common good.

There are of course organisations of all sorts and sizes.
Each family is an organisation ; but people may combine
for any purpose — to start a library, or a school, or work a
farm together. But the particular organisations with which
we are now most concerned are the Towns and State of
Natal. We are to learn under what rules or laws the
towns of Natal and Natal as a free country conduct their



6 NATAL : THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN

business. By knowing something about this we shall be
able to understand the meaning of public questions, and
to take our own part in them when it becomes our duty to
do so.



CHAPTEE II
COLONIES AND THE MOTHERLAND

A man born in Natal, or in one of the other states of
British South Africa, might speak of himself as " colonial "
or a " colonist," a British " colonist." Now a British
colonist bears a more honourable title than he is sometimes
aware of, and it is worth while to examine it rather closely.

When a man speaks of himself as a Natal colonist, he
may perhaps l)e thinking merely that he lives in this
sunny laud of ours. Possibly, however, the thought of
his own " colony " suggests also the thought of England,
the motherland of his "colony," through connexion with
which his own country is a " colony " and " British."

We ought not to let the term " colonist " suggest to
our minds that Natal is not our real and permanent ho)iic.
In some countries the " colonists " think only of getting
back as soon as they can to the place of their origin.
The proper aim of an English colonist is to make the
land in which he lives as good as he can ; and to establish
in it love of the motherland, and the same manly and just
institutions which have made the motherland great and
worthy of affection.

So this is the main idea we should keep in our minds :
the thought of England the mother country, the thought



COLONIES AND THE MOTHERLAND 7

of Natal the daughter. And unless we do always keep
these two ideas bracketed, as it were, in our minds, we
are missing more than half of what it means to be a
British colonist.

If we dwell for a little on the way in which England's
colonies were founded, it will help us to understand what
a colony really is, and what relation it has to the mother-
land. We shall learn also most clearly why we ought to
be proud of being colonists and what are our duties as
such.

The word " colony " is derived from the Latin colonia,
which signifies a "place in which inhabitants were planted,"
and this is why the colonies were so often spoken of as
" the plantations " in earlier times. A colony then is a
settlement " planted " with inhabitants by a parent state ;
and so from the very beginning it stands in the relation of
a child to its father or mother. We see from this how
strictly con-ect we are when we speak of England as the
" motherland."

The practice of founding colonies is of very ancient
date, so far back indeed that we read of colonies established
by the Phoenicians along the Mediterranean long before
the days of Eome. As we come to later days we find
that almost all the nations of Europe have at one time or
another tried their hands at establishing colonies, but we
also find that no nation has been so successful in retaining
or so skilful in governing its colonies as the English
nation.

Now people do not leave their own country and face
hardships and dangers in distant lands without good
reason. To be sure there are in every country certain



8 NATAL : THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN

adventm^ous persons whose love of travel and excitement
leads them abroad, but in ordinary times most men feel
happy enough in their own country to prefer staying
there. There must have been some strong reasons then
why so many Englishmen sought new homes across the
seas, besides the fact that England as a seafaring nation
has always given birth to a great many persons fond of
adventure.

If we look into our history, we find that other reasons
for building up new colonies were the desire to increase
the wealth and commerce of the old country, the wish
to obtain more elbow-room as the land became more
populous, the longing to spread civilisation and Christianity
in heathen lands, and a craving for more freedom in
religion and liberty in government than was at certain
times afforded in the parent land.

Eufrland's earliest colonies were in North America,
and they were for the most part peopled by settlers who
were weary of the civil and religious troubles that filled
England in the days of the Stuart kings. The same
troubles that had driven them from England still con-
tinued after they had left ; and thus the Home Government
had its hands so full that it was able to interfere very little
with them, often thinking itself, when they left, as well
rid of a nuisance.

They were because of this allowed to manage matters
very much for themselves ; and this freedom of theirs has
proved of great importance to us, for it is to a great extent
the origin of the freedom which England has permitted all
its colonies. Other European nations have been too fond
of meddling with their colonies and so have prevented



COLONIES AND THE MOTHERLAND

them from developing on natural lines ; England has,
as a rule, abstained from wonying its colonies in small
matters.

When the early English colonists landed in America
they found only savages there. They had then to establish
some system of law in order to regulate their dealings
with one another, and naturally enough they introduced
the law of England, as it was that with which they were
most familiar. Also they had the natural desire of
Englishmen to be allowed to make laws for themselves
as they were required from time to time ; and so they did
not rest until they obtained from the Crown the right to
elect Parliaments of their own,

English colonies have mostly grown up on the lines
just described, but there are differences between one and
another because they have not all been founded in the
same way.

We have indeed to remember that the colonies have
been established in three different ways : that is, either
by settlement, or by conquest, or by treaty. They are said
to be founded by settlement when the first colonists find
only savages dwelling in the land and simply take posses-
sion. They are founded by conquest when taken by armed
force. They are founded by treaty when they are handed
over as the result of agreements set forth in formal
documents.

We have already seen that the colonies in America
founded by settlement took with them the law of England ;
and it has generally happened that the law which pre-
vailed in England at the date of a settlement became the
law of the colony also. A further rule regarding colonies



10 NATAL : THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN

formed by settlement is that laws passed in England
after the date on which they were settled do not apply to
them unless the Imperial Parliament states that such laws
are expressly intended to apply.

The state of things is very different in the other
two classes of colonies. Here the bulk of the original
inhabitants were foreigners, and the English settlers were
principally officials occupied in the work of governing
the newly obtained colony. The people they had to
govern were not savages, but men just as civilised as
themselves, with proper laws of their own and with
recognised institutions of Government.

To have abolished in such a case the ancient laws of
the country and to have substituted the law of England
might have been harsh and unwise. Such a course would
have made all the inhabitants dissatisfied at the very
beginning, and they would have felt disinclined to obey
the new Government.

A policy such as this has never been approved by the
English people. They have always tried to take their
new subjects into their confidence at the earliest moment
and striven to win their esteem by generosity and a spirit
of trust. Such colonies then were permitted to retain the
old laws of the land, the only difference being that they
were administered by English officials, who were at great
pains to learn them. Even in this respect also we find
the new colonies so generously treated that they were often
allowed to retain a proportion of the old officials who had
been in office before the country became a British colony.

We shall see how this applies to ourselves when we
come to deal later on with our own colony.



COLONIES AND THE MOTHERLAND 11

But the laws that we have been speaking of will not
always be sufficient for the needs of a colony. Xew laws
are required ; and as we have to abolish the old machinery
for making laws when we come into possession, these
additional laws are at first made by the Crown or under
its authority. When the fitting time comes, the Crown
grants to the new colony a parliament of its own to make
laws. Such a parliament at first may be different in
many respects from the great Parliament of England, but
as time goes on it tends to resemble it more and more.

To sum up all that has been said, we find that the
colonies are closely connected with the motherland from


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