1924 – South Africa Parliamentary Tour

South Africa Parliamentary Tour


In 1924, for the first time in history, delegates from five parliaments of the British Empire met together to promote a more cordial understanding between Britain and the dominions in a country other than Britain (previous meetings were held only in London).

The tour also provided an opportunity for the representatives of the Parliamentary Association to study the problems and possibilities of the host country for discussion at future Parliamentary or Inter-Empire discussions.

Eight representatives sailed from Melbourne, Australia on the 29th July. New Zealand sent four delegates. Delegates from Britain and Canada arrived on the Saxonia on 8th August (Some of the British delegates had to return to Britain during the tour due to the Irish Boundary dispute). Newfoundland were unable to send a delegation. All visitors were treated as guests of the Union of South Africa with sea fares were paid by the South African Government.

A special train was provided to the delegates to act as their headquarters throughout the tour. The train also had a post office on board for use by the delegates.

Although the tour started in Durban, South Africa, the first meeting was actually held in the afternoon of 10th September at Maseru, Basutoland. The meeting was opened by South Africa’s Governor-General, Lord Althone while the Secretary of State for the Colonies, J.H. Thomas, presided over the meeting. Delegates debated the present methods of the exchange of information (both inter-parliamentary and in relation to foreign affairs) and ways this could be improved.

In the newly formed Southern Rhodesia, representatives from each delegate met the Cabinet and Leader of the Opposition to extend an invitation for Southern Rhodesia to participate in future schemes of the Empire Parliamentary Association.

In South Africa at the start of the tour in Cape Town, guests were entered to a Luncheon held by Prime Minister Hertzog. At the end of the tour, the Prime Minister also held a dinner at Pretoria. Delegates praised the Prime Minister not only for the arrangements but also for the individual talks afforded to the guests.

The tour was seen as highly beneficial with delegates proposing a representative of each parliament in the Empire visit each other’s country for an informal conference at least once every two years.


  • Date: 1st September – 31st October, 1924
  • Location: Southern Africa

Post Office & Postmarks


  • 1924.09.01 – South Africa (Durban)
  • 1924.09.02 – Zululand
  • 1924.09.05 – Natal
  • 1924.09.08 – Orange Free State
  • 1924.09.10 – Basutoland (Maseru)
  • 1924.09.12 – Orange Free State
  • 1924.09.13 – South Africa (Cape Province)
  • 1924.09.29 – Southern Rhodesia (Bulawayo)
  • 1924.10.03 – Southern Rhodesia (Fort Victoria)
  • 1924.10.04 – Southern Rhodesia (Victoria Falls)
  • 1924.10.10 – Transvaal
  • 1924.10.18 – Portuguese East Africa (Delagoa Bay)
  • 1924.10.23 – South Africa (Cape Province)