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Wednesday, 17 September 1919

Mr J GEL CATTS (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member's highly developed legal faculties enables him to formulate innumerable questions. The handing over of these islands to Japan was not in consequence of some previous wrong done to Japan. AndJapan is a better judge of its own case than my honorable friend.

As a schoolboy, I read of the dykes of Holland, and of a small boy who, one evening, seeing water trickling through a tiny hole, .blocked up the hole with his finger. He remained there all night, and the authorities found him in the early morning, cold and numbed, still sticking bravely to his post. He had thus saved the whole -countryside from being devastated by an inrush of the sea.

This settlement that is going on in the Pacific has made a hole in what I may describe as a dyke that protects Australia, and through that hole ' the flood tide of Asia has rushed 3,000 miles nearer to these shores. It is that of which I complain.

Mr Maxwell - Why should the Japanese not go to these islands if it is just that they should have them ?

Mr J H CATTS - My complaint is that it is not just to this country.

Mr Corser - "Under what conditions are these islands to be held?

Mr J H CATTS - I shall give them. They would not have been held by Japan if our representatives had been alive to the potentialities of disaster.

Mr Corser - The honorable member speaks of Andrew Fisher.

Mr J H CATTS - I speak of Andrew -Fisher and the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) in 1915, and I speak of the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) and the Minister for the Navy (Sir Joseph Cook) in 1919 in rejecting President Wilson's proposal for the creation of an international buffer State by the incorporation of Germany's late Pacific Possessions. Whoever was responsible - whether it was British statesmen or any one else - for the disposition of the Marshall and Caroline Islands in this way, thus bringing Japan 3,000 miles nearer to this country, has betrayed this country.

I shall deal presently with the position in regard to New Guinea, and will show that it is not likely to prove an asset for Australia. I shall prove by quotations from the reports' of the Inter-State Commission and other authorities that we have there not a white, but a black elephant.

I wish, first of all, however, to show what J apan has been able to do in four years with, the Marshall and Caroline Islands. Let me quote the following statement by Mr. T. J. McMahon, F.R.G.S., who has visited these islands in the Pacific -

Respect for their new Government has been effectively implanted in the people, and no native - man, woman, or child - meets an official without giving him the polite, low, graceful, sweeping bow of Japan. No such common and offensive word as " Jap " is ever heard; the term Japanese is always used. The Marshall Islanders axe taught to recognise in the Japanese an honorable, capable, and mighty nation. All troublesome and detrimental influences likely to thwart Japanese ideals in this respect have been destroyed. It is Japanese law in the Marshalls, not German, mu those laws, with their regulations, are making a perfectly new' set of conditions, stirring up tlie blood of a once indolent race of Pacific natives. The Marshall Islands boys and girls have a very high average intelligence. The native schoolboy is a perfectly drilled Japanese naval cadet, looks smart in his uniform and cap, and thinks no end of himself and his Japanese officers. If the Marshall Islands are to remain under the protection of the Japanese, in ten years' time, they will form a New Japan.

Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. W. Elliot .

Johnson). - The honorable member's time has expired.

Extension of time granted.

Mr J H CATTS - I thank the Minister for the Navy (Sir Joseph Cook) for his courtesy in proposing an extension of time being granted to me.

Sir Joseph Cook - I should like to say that there are other views regarding the Marshall Islands.

Mr J H CATTS - It is to be regretted that we have not had them.

Sir Joseph Cook - They are to be found if the honorable member will only dig them up.

Mr J H CATTS - If the honorable member will give me a reference, I shall quickly obtain them. He is silent when I ask for the reference.

I have made a careful study of this question during the last few years. In the course of the conscription campaign, when I refused to be a party to the conscription of the manhood of Australia, I knew what was going on in connexion with Japan, and did my best to warn the people of it. I was brought before the Court, however, and was called upon to enter into a bond of £600 that I would not give expression to the very statements which the Prime Minister subsequently made in Paris. That right honorable gentleman travelled all over New South Wales branding me as a liar for making statements which, he subsequently made before the Paris Conference as being the gospel truth.

If there are authorities expressing views different from those which I have put before the House in regard to the development of the Marshall and Caroline Islands, I should like to be put in touch with them.

As a matter of fact, history shows that no white race has ever been able to colonize the black man.

Sir Joseph Cook - What does the honorable member mean by " colonize " ?

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