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Wednesday, 6 December 1905
Page: 6350

Mr PAGE (Maranoa) - :It was quite a revelation to me to hear the honorable member for Kooyong accuse the Labour Party of keeping desirable immigrants out of Australia. If he thinks so much ofl these vile Eastern races, why does he not associate with them ? In Queensland the lazarettes are filled with lepers from them. They have brought into our midst which, if disseminated, would decimate our population.

Mr Knox - Where is the State legislation on the subject?

Mr PAGE - We were legislated for by such men as the honorable member.

Mr Knox - The honorable member ought to be ashamed of the State legislation on the subject.

Mr PAGE - I am. The electors of Queensland showed that they were ashamed of it by returning to this Parliament Labour representatives who desire to alter that condition of things. If the honorable member for Kooyong and others of his class think so much of the niggers, why do they not take them into their families? Why do they not marry them to their daughters? It is the people whom I represent who have to suffer the disadvantages attaching to this alien immigration. One can be very virtuous upon ^40.000 a year, but I. say that the men who have to labour with the niggers in the sugar plantations of Queensland are degraded by their contact with them. It is very well for the honorable member for Kooyong, with his feet under the mahogany, to say, " Oh, I am all right. Let us have the blacks here." The honorable member for Oxley would admit them, indeed he would impose no restriction upon their admission to the Commonwealth. There is no greater advocate of coloured labour than he is. He would flood Queensland with black races to-morrow if he could.

Mr Knox - I rise to a point of order. I think some little check ought to be imposed 011 honorable members who make statements which are not accurate. The honorable member for Maranoa has no right to say that I favour the condition of things to which he refers. I have already stated that I am absolutely opposed to it.

Mr SPEAKER - That is not a point of order. It is a matter which could have been better dealt with by way of personal explanation at the conclusion of the speech of the honorable member for Maranoa.

Mr PAGE - The honorable member ought to take his gruel kindly. We have had to take ours during the past three or four weeks. As long as I occupy a seat in this House, I shall vote for the exclusion of the coloured races. The honorable and learned member for Corio put the matter very well this afternoon, when he stated that it is the force of Japanese arms which is making Australia apprehensive. I am getting on for fifty years of age, but I am quite prepared to take up a gun in the defence of Queensland, and there are thousands more who would follow my example. The honorable member for Kooyong says that he does not believe in the introduction of coloured aliens. Then why does he advocate their free admission ?

Mr Knox - I do not.

Mr PAGE - The honorable member wishes to break down the existing barriers. It is the swindling mining syndicates which have been formed - not the Labour Party - which have "cooked" Australia. The Labour Party endeavours to purify politics, and it is doing it. We are opposed to alien immigration.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the honorable member speaking for Mr. Watson?

Mr PAGE - I am speaking for myself. The Labour Party does not desire to exclude desirable immigrants. If the honorable member for Kooyong, and the party which he supports, are sincere in their desire to maintain a White Australia, they will make the restrictions imposed upon coloured immigrants as strong as possible. If merchants, or any other individuals, from Eastern countries wish to come to Australia I have no objection to their doing so. As an evidence of that, I am prepared to vote for the second reading of the Bill. I think that the law requires amendment, and I am ready to assist in amending it. Two years ago I was talking to an American Senator at Parliament House, Brisbane. Two or three members of the State Legislature were present, and during the conversation which took place, the visitor asked some questions in regard to the working of our Immigration Restriction Act. I handed him a copy of the Act, which I procured from the Parliamentary Library, and after perusing it, the American remarked, "Look here, stranger, in a hundred years' time the children of Australia will bless you for what you have done. We are suffering in America from the very evil that would have befallen Australia if she had not enacted this legislation." To-day America would pay millions to solve the problem which we have solved by a simple Statute. If the honorable member for Kooyong is sincere in the declaration which he has made, he will assist the Labour Party to maintain a White Australia.

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