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will be received with scorn and denial in Natal. A Legislative Council with a majority of freely elected members will claim that it has the dominant power and that it can do as it pleases. But in truth a Chamber so constituted as is that now at Natal has but little power of persistent operation.

It was stated in the House of Commons, in the debate on the South African Permissive Bill in the summer of 1877, that Natal contained a population of 17,000 white and 280,000 Natives. I am assured that the former number is somewhat understated, and I have spoken therefore of 20,000 white people. The Natives are certainly much more numerous than was supposed. I have taken them as 320,000; but judging from the hut tax I think they must be at least 10,000 more. Many probably evade the hut tax and some live without huts. Let us take the numbers as 20,000 and 320,000. With such a population can it be well to draw even near to a system of government by parliamentary majorities? We cannot exclude the black voter by his colour. To do so would be to institute a class legislation which would be opposed to all our feelings. Nor can any one say who is black or who white. But we all know how impossible it is that any number of whites, however small, should be ruled by any number of blacks, however great. In dealing with such a population we are bound to think of Ceylon or British Guiana, or of India,and not of Canada, Australia, or New Zealand. At present the franchise in Natal is only given to such Natives as have lived for seven years in conformity with European laws and

customs, having exempted themselves in that time from native law, and who shall have obtained from the Governor of the Colony permission to vote on these grounds. At present the Native is in this way altogether excluded. But the embargo is of its nature too arbitrary;-and, nevertheless, would not be strong enough for safety were there adventurous white politicians in the Colony striving to acquire a parliamentary majority and parliamentary power by bringing the Zulus to the poll.

I think that the nature of the population of South Africa, and the difficulties which must in coming years arise from that population, were hardly sufficiently considered when government by parliamentary majorities was forced upon the Cape Colony and carried through its Legislative Houses by narrow majorities. That action has, I fear, rendered the Cape unfit to confederate with the other Provinces; and especially unfit to confederate with Natal, where the circumstances of the population demand direct government from the Crown. I trust that the experiment of parliamentary government may not be tried in Natal, where the circumstances of the population are very much more against it than they were in the Cape Colony.



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I REACHED Durban, the only seaport in the Colony of Natal, about the end of August, that is, at the beginning of spring in that part of the world. It was just too warm to walk about pleasantly in the middle of the day and cool enough at night for a blanket. Durban has a reputation for heat, and I had heard so much of musquitoes on the coast that I feared them even at this time of the year. I did kill one in my bedroom at the club, but no more came In winter, or at the season at which I visited the place, Durban is a pleasant town, clean, attractive and with beautiful scenery near it;-but about midsummer, and indeed for the three months of December, January and February, it can be very hot, and, to the ordinary Englishman, unaccustomed to the tropics, very unpleasant on that account.

to me.

I was taken over the bar on entering the harbour very graciously in the mail tug which as a rule passengers are not allowed to enter, and was safely landed at the quay about two miles from the town. I mention my safety as a peculiar incident because the bar at Durban has a very bad character indeed. South African harbours are not good

and among those which are bad Durban is one of the worst. They are crossed by shifting bars of sand which prevent the entrance of vessels. At a public dinner in the Colony I heard The Bar given as a toast. The Attorney General arose to return thanks, but another gentleman was on his legs in a moment protesting against drinking the health of the one great obstacle to commercial and social success by which the Colony was oppressed. The Attorney General was a popular man, and the lawyers were popular; but in a moment they were obliterated by the general indignation of the guests at the evil done to their beautiful land by this illnatured freak of Nature. A vast sum of money has been spent at Durban in making a breakwater, all of which has,

so say the people of Durban and Maritzburg,―been thrown away. Now Sir John Coote has been out to visit the bar, and all the Colony was waiting for his report when I was there. Sir John is the great emendator of South African harbours, full trust being put in his capability to stop the encroachments of sand, and to scour away such deposits when in spite of his precautions they have asserted themselves. At the period of my visit nothing was being done, but Natal was waiting, graciously if not patiently, for Sir John's report. Very much depends on it. Up in the very interior of Africa, in the Orange Free State and at the Diamond Fields it is constantly asserted that goods can only be had through the Cape Colony because of the bar across the mouth of the river at Durban ;-and in the Transvaal the bar is given as one of the chief reasons for making a railway down to Delagoa Bay instead of connecting the now

two British Colonies together. I heard constantly that so many, or such a number of vessels, were lying out in the roads and that goods could not be landed because of the bar! The legal profession is peculiarly well represented in the Colony; but I am inclined to agree with the gentleman who thought that "The Bar" in Natal was the bar across the mouth of the river.

I was carried over it in safety and was driven up to the club. There is a railway from the port to the town, but its hours of running did not exactly suit the mails, to which I was permitted to attach myself. This railway is the beginning of a system which will soon be extended to Pieter Maritzburg, the capital, which is already opened some few miles northward into the sugar district, and which is being made along the coast through the sugar growing country of Victoria to its chief town, Verulum. There is extant an ambitious scheme for carrying on the line from Pieter Maritzburg to Ladismith, a town on the direct route to the Transvaal, and from thence across the mountains to Harrismith in the Orange Free State, with an extension from Ladismith to the coal district of Newcastle in the extreme north of the Colony. But the money for these larger purposes has not yet been raised, and I may perhaps be justified in saying that I doubt their speedy accomplishment. The lines to the capital and to Verulum will no doubt be open in a year or two. I should perhaps explain that Ladismith and Harrismith are peculiar names given to towns in honour of Sir Harry Smith, who was at one time a popular Governor in the Cape Colony. There is a project

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