Last week I replied to a number of questions. But more questions are being received. Most of these have been answered earlier. However, let me here answer them again, and I may be excused any repetition by those who have clearly followed earlier replies. The reader is requested to keep the preview number handy for reference.
There have been many inquiries in this regard. Let me carry the matter further. If anyone is prosecuted under the new Act, and if the person concerned holds a valid permit or is otherwise entitled to reside in the Transvaal, Mr. Gandhi will defend him in the court free of charge. If the case is to be heard outside Johannesburg, the Association will pay Mr. Gandhi's railway fare; but if the place he is required to visit has made no contribution to the British Indian Association [funds] already, the Association will collect the dues. The defence will be in respect of the permit and the Government's refusal to issue a licence when a new permit has not been taken out. That is, if a person does not hold a licence and is therefore arrested, he will not be defended free of charge. But a person who has been refused a licence for having failed to take out a new permit will be defended free of charge. The result of it will be that the person will ultimately have to go to gaol. Mr. Gandhi will not, with or without fees, defend those who do not desire a gaol sentence. A reference to the last number of Indian Opinion will show in what manner the defence will be put forward. We recently heard that permits were being examined. If this is true, it is not being done under the new Act. If therefore anyone is arrested following such examination, he will not be defended free of charge. It has to be remembered that the case should fall under the new Act. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE BY PERSONS GOING TO DELAGOA BAY? An Indian going to Delagoa Bay is required to obtain a pass from the Portuguese Consul and has often to visit even the Permit Office. The question has arisen whether such a person should seek the aid of the Permit Office. It is obvious that, even in this case, no one should do so. But no one can prevent a person from travelling to Delagoa Bay. If at all the Portuguese Government should do so, he can always go via Durban, but he should not approach the Permit Office. However, the matter is being enquired into and I shall give more information later. Going to the Permit Office, however, is out of the question whatever happens.
  WHAT SHOULD BE DONE BY PERSONS RETURNING PROM DELAGOA BAY? It is reported that, at Delagoa Bay, an Indian has to produce a pass from the British Consul before a railway ticket can be sold to him. I believe that this practice is legal. The remedy is in the hands of the Delagoa Bay Indians themselves. But what applies to Durban applies to Delagoa Bay also. That is to say, no one is at present to take out new permits. Holders of old permits may come in only if they arc prepared to go to gaol. Otherwise the best course will be not to enter the Transvaal for the present.


A correspondent has asked whether an Indian who now leaves the Transvaal can return later, say, in June. According to the new Act an Indian will, in this situation, have to take out a new permit If he does not, he will have to go to gaol. Those, therefore, who have overcome the fear of imprisonment can boldly return. Those who are afraid had better stay out. If you are brave, you may come and go without fear.


This question does not arise out of the Act. A letter from Machadodorp says that the police in the town require the Indian traders to close their shops early. If the police are doing this, it is illegal. But my advice to all Indian traders is that they should everywhere close their shops at the same time as the whites. We need not wait for legal compulsion. There is no doubt though that the necessary law will be passed in a few months. Municipalities have already been empowered to frame such bye-laws. Grace lies in doing a thing before we are forced to do it.

This question and a few others arising from it have been raised by a correspondent. I know that some temporary permits expire at the end of June. My advice is that the holders of temporary permits should leave the Transvaal before the expiry of the permit period. To the very end, it is essential to show that our struggle rests on truth alone.

Those who are in the Transvaal by right ought to defend their honour stubbornly. I can think only of two exceptions in relation - to this reply -the Imam of a mosque and the Hindu Shastri. These two have come in for imparting religious instruction. Had the new Act not come into force, they would have had no difficulty in getting permits for a further period. Now they cannot take out new permits, but they can prolong their stay after duly informing the Government-but only with the intention of going to gaol. They can argue that they neither carry on a trade nor have they a share in anyone's income and that their sole function is to impart religious instruction to their people. They cannot, therefore, leave. This argument does not, however, apply to private persons who are here for business reasons. They may well be prepared to prove their courage by going to gaol, but I have to tell them respectfully that they may not enjoy the privilege of imprisonment. Holders of temporary permits do not have the rights of refugees.

They had come here for a temporary period and, at the end of it, are bound honestly to leave. If such temporary permit-holders desire to serve the country, they can remain outside the Transvaal, dedicate themselves to the service of the country, and go about telling other Indians of the miseries of the Transvaal Indians. They can thus render much service to the community as and when the occasion arises. He who wants to be of use will always have the Opportunity, wherever he may be at the moment and in whatever condition. AND OF OTHERS WHO ENTERED WITHOUT PERMITS AND OBTAINED THEM LATER Some Indians entered without permits when in the beginning they were free to do so. Later, such persons were granted Resident passes, in exchange for which they eventually obtained permits. A correspondent inquires about the validity of these permits. The reply is that all such permits are valid. He also wants to know what orders will be passed in such cases. This question results from ignorance. How can anyone order those who are determined to have nothing to do with the Permit Office? They are free and they will go to gaol to defend their freedom.
I have received some letters containing exhortations to Indians to go to gaol. I am not sending these for publication. Today we need men who are themselves prepared to go to gaol. If they go to gaol themselves, there will be no need to advise others to do so; if one is not prepared to go to gaol, one's advice can have no effect on others. To those who have made this appeal my plea is that they should write and tell us what they propose to do themselves, so that their names can be published in the English and Gujarati sections of this journal.
Regulations have been framed for hawkers all over the Transvaal, of which the following is a summary: A person carrying his goods in a wagon will be treated as a hawker, one who goes about on foot will be regarded as a pedlar. The pedlar may have a wheelbarrow. The licence fee for a hawker is £5 lOs and for a pedlar £5. In his application, every hawker should state his residential address and inform the authorities of any subsequent change in it. On his barrow or on his pack, the hawker or the pedlar, as the case may be, should display the words 'Licensed Hawker for Johannesburg Municipal Area'. Likewise, the room where the hawker's or pedlar's wares are stored should also display his name and the words. If he issues any hand-bills, these too should bear these particulars. No person can make over his licence to another, except when a servant who has been employed for hawking wares is relieved and another person engaged in his stead, the original licence may, with the permission of the municipality, be made over to the new servant.

A hawker may not stay at the same place for more than 20 minutes for purposes of his business, and he may not visit the same place, more than once in the course of a day.  Hawking is prohibited on mining ground. A hawker cannot take his wares out of his barrow for display as in a shop. Garden-produce can be sold by the grower or his servant without a licence, and in such a case the said regulations do not apply.  Regulations to this effect have been framed for the Johannesburg municipal area, and they will probably receive the Governor's sanction in a week or two. These regulations mean that no person with a hawking licence can stay at the same place. The President Street Market will henceforth be closed [to hawkers], that is, persons doing business there will need to have a shopkeeper's licence.  The regulations are of course harsh, but as they apply equally to whites and non-whites, nothing can be done about them. Similar regulations have been framed by the Krugersdorp municipality also. In effect, the municipality frankly says that, since most of the licence-holders are Indians, there is no harm in making the regulations as stringent as possible.


At last, the tramway matter has been decided. The regulations which were opposed by the British Indian Association have now been passed and published in the Gazette. There are some good points about them. For example, the phrase "Coloured person" does not include an Asiatic. The regulations cover other points besides, some of which are dealt with below:  The Town Council has the right to reserve any tram-car or any part of it for Europeans or Asiatics or Coloured persons. The Council has the authority to grant special permission to any person to travel by any tram-car. The servants accompanying white children can travel by all tram-cars. A servant is allowed to travel with his master by any tram-car that the master is authorized to use. The Council is bound to provide reasonable facilities for travellers of all classes.  Two points in these regulations deserve to be noted. One is that the servants of whites, however dark, can travel by the same car as their masters. The other is that, according to Section 20, 'dogs can be carried in the car meant for the whites, provided the conductor does not object. In other words, unlike dogs and black servants, a free Indian will not be free to travel by a tram-car of his choice unless a special permit has been obtained by him for that purpose. In reply to this, one may point out that the whites cannot travel in cars meant for the blacks either. The only difference, however is that, while the whites are ranked with the Queen Mother, Coloured Persons and Indians are treated like the youngest housewife in the village. My advice is that, under such humiliating conditions, no one should ask for a permit. It all depends on us whether or not we continue to be treated as the youngest housewife in the village.


From the current issue of the Gazette, I find that the Locations at Christiana, Heidelberg, Potgeitersrust, Rustenburg and Volkstroom have been made over to their respective municipalities. Locations at Roosenekal, Leysdorp, Amersfoort and other places have been closed down.


The editor of this journal has sent to The Sunday Times a reply to its attack on the New Clare washermen. The reply shows that the accusations made in The Sunday Times by a 'Mr. Volture' were all false. The editor claims that the water flowing from the spring is not dirty. The water used for washing is changed twice a day. Indian washermen do not get their work done on a contract basis. Their houses are clean, and everything in them has been inspected by the municipality. Indian washermen hold certificates of efficiency from well-known Euorpeans. The editor has accordingly asked for an apology from the correspondent who wrote in The Sunday Times. In reply to this, the editor of The Sunday Times writes that the arguments of the editor of Indian Opinion are weighty and convincing. He wishes to publish a reply, but that AMr. Volture@ is ill and his reply may take a week or two. This shows that, for the present at any rate, The Sunday Times has suffered a defeat. For the information of those who may not know it, I should say that a 'Mr. Volture' is a pseudonym. It means vulture, the bird of prey.* This human vulture had meant to eat up the Indian washermen, but it will not be wrong to say that for the present they have been rescued from its clutches by the editor of Indian Opinion.


A cable has been published in the newspapers here to say that Mr. Ritch has addressed a letter to the well-known paper, The Times. Therein he has smashed Mr. Curtis's argument. He has put forward a strong argument in defence of the Indian community and shown how Mr. Chamney's Report is really in our favour. Mr. Ritch has been doing invaluable work. Day and night his mind is engaged in the same thought. He misses no opportunity of pleading our cause.

*[Tharpa's commentary: vultures are not actually birds of prey, but scavengers.]