"WORST OUTLOOK FOR 50 YEARS"
CAPETOWN, May 28.
Members of Parliament, who are now in Pre- toria for the opening of the Legislature, tell tragic stories of farmers, who were affluent three years ago, and are now reduced to poverty, and are subsisting on rations issued
Drought affects the Orange Free State, the north-west of the Cape Province, and the Mid- lands. The maize crop has been reduced from 20,000,000 bags to 9,000,000 bags. None of it is available for export, and the price has ad- vanced. It is anticipated that the Govern- ment will distribute maize to feed stock.
Thousands of sheep have died, and the rail- way resources are being taxed to the utmost in removing stock to pasturage, but isolated areas are in a hopeless condition. Members representing the Free State hope that the Government will distribute wheat seed. The winter outlook is the worst that has been ex- perienced for 50 years.
Parliament was opened by the Governor- General (the Earl of Clarendon) with the usual formalities. His speech indicated that a short session would be held to deal with the Budget and urgent measures relating to un- employment and the widespread distress caused by the drought. Additional profits from the sale of gold will be partly appropriated for the general welfare of the community, and the expansion of the industry through the working of low-grade ore, thereby affording increased employment.
In the House of Assembly the members were seated irrespective of party.