Some of the most important issues that were raised at the Convention were:
- Federation vs Unification. Malan was strongly in favour of Unification.
- The black and coloured issue, about which there were considerable differences between the Cape Colony, the Transvaal, and the Free State, and to a lesser extent the Indian issue in Natal. As a Capetonian, Malan was on the liberal side and was initially of the opinion that the new Union’s parliament should debate the issues in order to find a joint solution.
- The issue of the Union’s capital. Malan mentioned examples where new capital cities were “created” in the USA, Canada, and Australia, and the great cities in the various states were thus overlooked.
In the 1908 election, Jameson’s Progressive Party was crushingly defeated, and the S.A.P, with J.X. Merriman as prime minister, took power. Merriman and F.S. Malan attended the National Convention, which started on 12 October 1908, as part of the Cape Colony’s delegation.
After the establishment of the Union, F.S. Malan joined the Botha cabinet, where he also acted as acting prime minister for a time during the absence of Botha and Smuts during the First World War. With the fall of the Smuts government in 1924, Malan lost his seat. After this, he withdrew from politics. In 1927, he was elected a member of the Senate and during the last two years of his life, he was President of this body.