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A Closer Union: A Letter on the South African Union and the Principles of Government. Schreiner, Olive, 1855–1920.
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page: 18
page: 19

X. Should the delegates of the Transvaal and the O.R.C. insist on special conditions as regards the working of the railways, or should they allow the railways to be handed over to the control of the future Parliament of South Africa unconditionally? If not, what conditions should they insist upon?

I think such important financial questions, like all others of importance, should be fully discussed and permanently settled before we enter into any form of Union. For this reason: If when the Central Parliament meets the inland States have an immensely preponderating influence, they may, unless matters are firmly fixed beforehand, bring in legislation of such a nature that, had the inhabitants of the coast towns known it was coming, they would never have entered into the Union; the same thing reversed might take place, if the seaboard interests by combining had a preponderating vote. It would be too late then to demur. There would be no course open but secession, with possible civil war.

The Eastern Province taal has a saying: “Trouw is nie paere koop!” (“Marriage is page: 20 not buying horses”)—neither is Closer Union. He that is in cannot get out! It is best to clear the ground before you pitch your tent!

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