I beg to auk the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Johannesburg Town Council has made certain by-laws prohibiting the use by British Indian merchants and others of certain municipal tramcars; whether His Majesty's Government was previously consulted; and whether the powers of the Johannesburg Town Council exceed those of the Transvaal Legislature which, under the Constitution, is required to reserve all such differential legislation for His Majesty's approval.
The Johannesburg Town Council has made by-laws to the effect mentioned by the hon. Member. His Majesty's Government were not previously consulted. The town council derives its powers to make such by-laws from legislation passed by the Transvaal Legislature prior to the issue of the Letters Patent conferring responsible government on the Colony. The powers of the municipality are derived from a statute which it is of course within the competence of the Transvaal Legislature to vary.