Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/42

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cal countrymen (who thought he had, betrayed them to the Government) as he was on his way to the Registration Office of carry out his pledge to the Government, he issued a letter to the Indian community in which he definitely declared that promise of repeal had been made. General Smuts did not attempt to deny the fact and, indeed, did not do so until several months later. No one was, however, astonished to find Mr. Gandhi charging General Smuts with breach of faith, and absolutely refusing to compromise himself or the community that he represented by accepting further legislation that would, in the end, have still further degraded the Indians of South Africa. Having convinced his colleagues that such acceptance on their part was impossible, the struggle recommenced.

Twice more, during this period of passive resistance, was he sent to gaol, and then the Government sought to seduce his followers from their allegiance, by imprisoning them in hundreds and leaving him free. In 1909, whilst his friend and fellow-worker, Mr. Polals, was in India, on behalf of the South African Indian community, he and a colleague had gone to England to endeavour to arouse the public conscience there to the enormities that were being perpetrated in South Africa in the name of the British people. Whilst he failed in his main purpose to secure from General Smuts, through the mediation of the Imperial Government, the removal of the racial bar in the Immigration Law, he nevertheless sowed the seeds of the subsequent settlement, for his suggestions were embodied, and their adoption was recommended by the Imperial Government in their despatch to Lord Gladstone, shortly after the creation of the Union of South Africa in the following year.


In 1911, the second "provisional settlement" was effected after the Union Government had, notwithstanding, prolonged and sympathetic negotiations with Mr. Gandhi found themselves unable to discover a formula acceptable alike to the Indian community, the Government them-