Boers' independence bid rebuffed

A German tank captured by New Zealanders near Bapaume. - Otago Witness, 18.6.1919
A German tank captured by New Zealanders near Bapaume. - Otago Witness, 18.6.1919
Mr Lloyd George's reply to a South African Nationalist deputation, which claimed the restoration of the independence of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, and pressed the importance of Nationalist resolutions affirming the principle of self-determination in application to Natal and Cape Colony, has been an uncompromising refusal to entertain the request for a disruption of the Union. The deputation travelled far only to secure a merited snub.

Its effort to secure an interview with President Wilson was as ill-advised as it was unsuccessful. From Mr Lloyd George it received the salutary reminder that the South African Union was founded on a solemn covenant, which could not be broken even if the whole Dutch-speaking population so demanded.

The definite adoption by the Nationalist party of the policy of independence for South Africa, dates from 1917. Five years earlier General Hertzog left the Botha Ministry because of the incompatibility with the Government policy of the views which he held and expressed on the relations of South Africa to the Empire.

The secession thus initiated was not at first a separatist movement, though no doubt most of the enthusiasm behind it came from men who had never at heart accepted the British connection, and were ready to welcome any opposition to it. But the effect of the war was to expose the theory of Imperial relations under which the Nationalist party in South Africa would take any benefits which might come from its membership in the Empire while repudiating any obligations to it as too much of a sham to live even in the soil of South African politics.

Then it was that the Nationalists came out into the open with their disruptive policy. It is a policy which not only involves a breach of faith, but is also founded in ingratitude. The post-war settlement in South Africa was one that was exceedingly generous on the part of Great Britain.

Demand for secondary schools

Speaking to a reporter on his return to Wellington on Wednesday, the Hon. J. A. Hanan (Minister of Education) said that one of the things which was most marked throughout the country was the demand that was being made for additions to existing high schools, or the establishment of new high schools to meet the requirements of children desirous of having a secondary education. In this connection the Minister mentioned that he had received representations during his visit to the South Island, from Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Dunedin, Gore, and Invercargill.

Missed the boat

The Wakatip Mail states that a would-be passenger by the Earnslaw on Monday morning timed his departure rather badly. The steamer had commenced to swing out from the wharf when he made an unsuccessful attempt to board her, plunging instead into the lake. Lifebuoys were immediately flung to him but he swam under the wharf and reached land without further mishap. A thorough wetting and a lost passage were the sum of his discomfiture.

Mustelids increasing

Stoats and weasels are on the increase throughout the district, and rabbiters are trapping quite a large number. Unfortunately, the small native birds are fast disappearing as the result of the importation of these pests.

- ODT, 20.6.1919


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