31. Uit politieke redenen
Maar dan noch: hoe kan men zich voorstellen, eene onafhankelyke beschaafde Mogenheid aan deezen Uithoek, zonder de hulp, en algemeene toestemming en erkentenis der andere Europische zeemogenheden en zouden die te samen niet een gelyk belang hebben, om zulk een romanesk denkbeeld, terstond, en in den beginne tegen te gaan, daar zy allen een gelyk belang hebben, dat hun deeze zeeherberg open blyve, en dat geene inwendige, op zichzelf staande magt, door geene Europische belangen, aan de balance van andere Volken gebonden, het in haar hoofd zoude kunnen krygen, het aankomen en ververschen hunner schepen te willen en te kunnen beletten? De geographische ligging van Noord-America, en het juist omgekeerd belang, dat andere Volken daarin stelden, dat dit onmeetbaar Land van Engeland wierde afgescheurd, kunnen hier geene termen van vergelyking toelaaten. Men vestige thans veel eer het oog op het systema, dat wy, door noch kortlings in oorlog geweest zynde Mogen heden, ten opzichte van de getendeerde onafhankelykheid van St Domingo, gezamenderhand zien aankleven en uitvoeren: en alle vreze voor afscheuring der Caab van het Moederland, zal wel ras, geheel en al ophouden.
32. How the development of the Colony is being retarded.
But why should we dread such a consequence, if at heart we are honestly endeavouring to advance the prosperity of the colonists? Would it be likely that, solely on account of a thirst for self government, they would tear themselves from the arms of a mother country which desires nothing better than to assist, protect and enrich them? And when it is remembered that most of them have friends, relatives and commercial interests in the Motherland and Europe, it seems even more unnatural and improbable. Let the colonists be given every opportunity of earning a comfortable livelihood. Let them develop the agricultural possibilities of the country, and give them every facility in trade and commerce. Bind them to the soil by making them the owners of it, and let arts, crafts and sciences be encouraged in every way possible. Levy a poll-tax, graded in accordance with their salaries, on every public salaried official, who, being physically fit, remains unmarried, and donate the money thus collected towards a fund for indigent young women. Marriages will thus be encouraged, and in such a healthy climate as that of the Cape the population is bound to increase in proportion to the number of marriages.
33. Permission to marry should no longer be obligatory.
At this point we feel bound to express in the strongest terms our condemnation of an unheard of Asiatic despotism, which has been allowed to exist at the Cape from time immemorial. We cannot understand how it could ever have been tolerated, much less have gained the silent approbation of the late Government. We refer to a marriage law in force in all the country districts, including that of Graaff Reinet. It is to the effect that no marriage can legally be celebrated before the young couple have travelled to Cape Town in person, where they appear before the Governor, and, after certain fees have been paid, receive his gracious consent to the marriage being celebrated. This in itself was enough to rouse the strongest feelings of recklessness among the settlers there, and it gave them the liveliest sense of the basest serfdom. Even in the barbarous middle ages such obligations were only laid upon the inhabitants of the mala feuda. The colonists were appalled at the expense and difficulties of a journey, taking over 200 hours by wagon, which, owing to the scarcity of water, could only be undertaken at certain seasons of the year. With shame be it said that during the journey the prospective young bride usually became a wife and a future mother, long before that high consent had been sought or granted. But from very shame let us turn from this pitiful picture. Humanity, statesmanship, reverence and regard for the gentler sex cry out for immediate reform. Let us sweep away entirely this disgraceful abuse of power, which cannot but lead to the destruction of our people. Let the abolition of this regulation form one of the articles of the first proclamation to be issued by the future Commissioners or Governor, as a proof to the colonists that a new Government and a new Constitution exists in the mother country.
No efforts should be spared in employing every possible means for doubling, or even trebling the population at the Cape. It would be of great assistance if the districts were more equally divided, and if they were not as extensive as at present. In addition, the tracts of land granted to colonists should not be as large as formerly, and should be granted in full ownership and not on loan. Villages should be laid out at Mossel Bay, at Plettenberg’s Bay, at the mouth of the Zwartkops River, at places where the ground is suitable for tilling or for grazing, and, in fact, wherever there is a plentiful supply of fresh water and firewood, etc., etc. It is hoped that by means of these improvements the expenses incurred in maintaining efficient administrative and military […]