Toward a Better World

By Jan Smuts Christiaan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
THE SOUTH AFRICAN SPIRIT

Field Marshal Smuts was suffering from one of his rare indispositions when the Imperial Press Conference opened in Cape Town in 1935, but on March 22 he spoke at a dinner in Cape Town to the Press delegates on a theme close to his heart--the South African Spirit.

THE PRESS CONFERENCE has been a most welcome event for South Africa. The Conference consists of leaders of the Press from all parts of our Commonwealth, under your distinguished leadership, Mr. Chairman ( Major J. J. Astor , of The Times).

For South Africa your visit has been a great event. I doubt whether we have ever before had such wonderful publicity as you have given us. At the same time I trust that you have had an interesting time and enjoyed yourselves. The visit has been to our mutual advantage, but I am sure that South Africa has had the best of the bargain. The publicity we so much need, and for which we generally have to pay heavily in your pages, we have now had in the best and most attractive form, and for no expense at all. In your reports and speeches you have meted out praise and blame to us, especially praise, in a way that is best calculated to arrest attention abroad, and we expect a rich harvest as the result of your visit. What we value most is your personal interest in South Africa as leaders

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