1924 - Race in South Africa

South Africa has before it a huge and complex problem. It cannot be solved by sentimental ignorance nor yet by mere repression of non-whites. A great constructive policy is needed, which by means of education, compulsory sanitation and a strictly administered minimum wage system shall establish European standards of living (not necessarily European social customs) and which shall provide for those not yet capable of maintaining that standard. We require special legislation and administration which shall open to every man, whether he be white, black or brown, the opportunity to rise and the right to be recognised as a civilised man, with all the privileges - political, economic and social with one exception, that of intermarriage - of a civilised man, if by the judgment of a competent tribunal he is in fact fit to exercise those privileges. Can South Africa attain to these heights of statesmanship and so lead the world in the solution of those racial problems which are to be the great preoccupation of the present century? Her friends hope and pray that this may be the destiny of our beautiful and well-loved subcontinent.

This article first appeared in the 29 November 1999 issue of the New Statesman, An explosion of puffery