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Volume 649: debated on Thursday 23 November 1961

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Racial Discrimination


asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what steps have been taken recently to remove racial discrimination in Swaziland.

The High Commissioner has signed Proclamations repealing a number of racially discriminatory laws. With permission, I will circulate a list in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The High Commissioner is considering what further steps of this kind can usefully be taken.

Can my hon. Friend say something about the discriminatory laws mentioned in the Cowen Report on the Swaziland Constitution?

Three of the discriminatory laws mentioned in the Report by Professor Cowen are included in the list I am circulating. Others are under review, including a new marriage Proclamation which is being discussed with the church bodies.

May we be assured that it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government that henceforth Swaziland, moving forward to a new constitution, shall do so on an entirely non-racial basis?

Title of LawExtent of RepealEffect of Provisions Repealed
Transvaal Law No. 3 of 1885The wholeProhibited Asians from owning immovable property except in streets and locations appointed by the Government for them to live in.
The Immorality Ordinance 1903 (Transvaal Law No. 46 of 1903).Section 19Made it an offence for a non-European man to have extra-marital intercourse with a European woman.
The Control of Native Land Purchases Proclamation—(Chapter 64 of the Laws of Swaziland, 1951).The wholeProvided that no contract for the sale, etc. of land to an African could be valid unless approved by the High Commissioner.
The Currency (Payment to Natives) Proclamation—Chapter 67.The wholeProvided for all monetary payments to Africans to be made in coins or notes which are legal tender in Swaziland.
The Concessions Proclamation—Chapter 85.Section F of Part VIIPrescribed a special procedure for the ejectment of an African occupant of land.
The Cattle Levy (Trypanosomiasis) Proclamation—Chapter 102.The wholeTo meet expenditure on measures for bovine trypanosomiasis control. Chapter 102 provided for the imposition of an annual levy calculated for non-Africans on the number of cattle owned; Chapter 103 provided for the imposition of a levy on every adull male African domiciled in Swaziland.
The Special Levy (Trypanosomiasis) Proclamation—Chapter 103.The whole