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- Start of Business
- NEW MEMBER
- PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES ACQUISITION BILL
- PACIFIC ISLANDS LABOURERS BILL
- POST AND TELEGRAPH BILL
- EXCISE BILL
- IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION BILL
Wednesday, 25 September 1901
Mr FISHER - That is fiddlers' news to the members for Queensland.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It may be fiddlers' news to certain members of the House, but I do not think it is fiddlers' news to the general public out of doors, because they have been taught to believe that the shores of Queensland were swarming with Asiatic people. - Mr. Page. - So they are.
Sir Malcolm McEacharn - No, they are not.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The public have been told over and over again that the purity and whiteness of the Australian Commonwealth is being endangered by the incursion of these hordes of Asiatics. I say that it is a fable ; that it is altogether a fairy story. I wish to deal with all the Asiatic races in a moment on the basis of returns which I have had the privilege of seeing at the hands of the Prime Minister. We have heard a great deal in the course of this debate about the Empire, lt is a very large word, and has a very large atmosphere about it. I have noticed, however, in common with most of the references to the Empire, that a great many people are in favour of the Empire, as a sentiment, so long as it means some advantage to Australia, but I see very little disposition in the speeches made from time to time in regard to the making of Concessions in the interests of the Empire. My reading of the term " Empire " is that it has a very utilitarian basis - that it is simply a partnership of nations. We have a partnership of commercial men, a partnership of the States in the Commonwealth, and a partnership of nations in the Empire. It has always seemed to me to be a sound general principle that when once a partnership exists it should not be open even in a business sense for any particular member of it to say, " I want such and such a policy adopted in this partnership, and if you do not give it to me I shall dissolve." That is the spirit in which I hear a great many men approach this question.
Mr Higgins - Who are they ?
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I hope that ray honorable and learned friend does not expect me to give names. The same thing applies to this Commonwealth, and we ought to recognise it. The history of the United States ought to be a powerful object lesson to us - that it is not in the interests of a national partnership to say, " If you do not give me what I want, I shall secede." Let us imagine the position which would have been created if the people of Tasmania a month ago had said, " We are so determined to preserve the right of receiving letters for ' Tattersalls,' that if the Federal Parliament abolishes it, we will secede from the Federation." Honorable members know that the Minister for Defence said a little time ago that if Western Australia did not get the transcontinental railway they asked for, they would break up the Commonwealth. I am bound to say that even some honorable members in this corner of the House saw the humour of that threat. But that little humorous reference really illustrates the force of my argument, that neither in a business nor in a national partnership is it open to any one member of it to say, " If I do not get my way I shall secede." After all, although Australia is a large and important place, we shall have to put on a wider lens if we desire to understand the logic of the British Empire. It is not open to us to say, "We do not like the action of those who are at the helm of the Empire, and therefore we propose to cut the painter." That is the spirit which we have seen exhibited here a few years back ; and although the phrase is not used much nowadays, I have heard it said, " We must consider our position." I think we should do well occasionally to look at this question . of Empire from the other point of view. I should like to ask honorable members to consider what the Empire has done within the last two or three years. I remember when the gentleman at the head of the Opposition used a most eloquent illustration of that idea in one session of the Convention when he said that the British Empire was a whispering gallery, and pointed out that the smallest complaint from its outskirts reached the centre and found a sympathetic echo there. I say that the British Empire is as nearly as possible a complete organism, so that if we affect any part of its outskirts, there is immediately a communication with the nerve centre in England, and we get a return action which endeavours to correct the injury. We have experience of this only the other day - even to-day - in connexion with the Transvaal war. There was a body of British citizens, contributing no taxation whatever to the Empire, whose liberties were being infringed by another people ; and that Empire has added one-third to its national indebtedness - a sum of £200,000,000- in order to enforce the granting of those rights of free citizenship. That is surely a generous sort of action ; and I think that we should do well to reflect upon these things when we speak thoughtlessly of what we owe to the Empire, and act as if we were under no obligation to it. We must remember, when we are attempting to do something which we are told in the most pleasant way possible would be inimical to the interests of the Empire, that it is our duty to consider whether we ought not to make some reciprocal sacrifice in order to facilitate the management of this enormous national proprietary which stretches right round the world. We are told very plainly in connexion with this question that certain countries in the Pacific are in such a position that their friendship is essential to the easy working of Imperial affairs. Is it not our duty, seeing what the Empire has done for other British citizens in other parts of the world, to take into consideration those difficulties, and at least to cultivate a mood in which to make some sacrifices in the interests of that great Empire? ,AVe are called upon at this time to do that. I know that there is a very natural tendency on our part - standing here as we do in comparative security - to exclaim, " What does it matter to us ? We want the people of this country to be pure and white ; and although other parts of the Empire have suffered by the incursion of these Asiatic races, we are going to start afresh, so that we may stand out from the rest of the world as a specially selected race of people." That is a very fine ideal, but, like a great many ideals, it may not be practicable. I venture to say that it is not practicable if we have a due regard to the interests of the Empire, of which after all, though we have a very large territory, we form a very smallpart from the point of view of population. I should like to say that I am so deeply impressed with the obligations which Australians are under to the Empire as a whole that I cannot conceive of any circumstances which would justify us in speaking lightly of the Imperial connexion. I would ask honorable members for a moment to allow me to name some of the difficulties involved in this question, when looked at from an Imperial point of view. Looking more closely than one usually does to the constitution of the Indian Empire, I find that the British Government are practically supervising the government of 45 provinces under 45 different Indian princes. These 45 princes are exercising individual control over their general peoples. They have 50,000,000 people under them. These 45 separate communities comprise, as a whole, twelve or thirteen times the population of the Commonwealth of Australia. Cannot honorable members recognise the diplomatic difficulties to be dealt within this connexion alone? Outside of these 50,000,000 people, there are a further 230,000,000 in India with whom the Imperial authorities have to deal. Although every honorable member may not realize it, there is a very large proportion of these Indian subjects who are as highly educated as ourselves. I find that at least 18,000,000 of the Indian people are recorded in authoritative works as being either "literate" or "learned." That number represents nearlyfive times the population of this Commonwealth. In its original form this Bill was going to indiscriminately bar the whole of these people admission to this country. I do not say that it is desirable that they should all be allowed to come here. I sympathize with the desire to keep a large preponderating portion of Australia as British as it is at thepresent time. What I want to avoid is the hysterical treatment of this question. I have no desire to see low-class Indians, Chinamen, or Japanese, generally known as coolies, swarming into this country. It would be a menace to our peace and good government. But there is an obligation on our part to deal with this question in such a way that we donot unnecessarily offend the educated classes of those nationswhich are likely to be of great assistance to us in the future. Who can doubt for a moment the importance of a friendly feeling existing between the British Empire and the Japanese and Chinese people ? Honorable membersmay think little of the Chinese at the present time, because they have just emerged so badly from a war with a community of the nations of Europe. But evidence of the wonderful recuperative powers of a nation is afforded by the case of Japan. We know already that they have resolved to apply Western methods to the government of China, and as we understand the enormous wealth of the country, who can doubt that before the world is very much older the Chinese will stand in a position almost as important, and almost as influential as that occupied by the Japanese at the present time ? That is the position that the British Government have to take into consideration, because weknow that there is great rivalry between the European nations as to which of them shall stand best with these Eastern peoples in the case of future trouble in the East. Honorable members will recollect what a magnificent and dramatic effect was produced on thestatesmen of Europe only 25 years ago, by the action of Lord Beaconsfield in bringing a regiment of Indian troops from India and landing them at Malta, thus clearly indicating to European nations that that was merely a sample of what we could do to supplement our British forces in the event of any trouble arising. We all recollect that, and to recollect that incident is to realize - to a mind that has any imagination at all - the immense utility of our friendship with these Eastern peoples. Now, will honorable members consider for a moment that one of the difficulties of the Empire lies in the fact that we have in Canada to deal with 1,500,000 of French people; that in the Mauritius we have 250,000 French colonists ; that in the Transvaal, before the war - and no doubt a very large proportion of them will be there afterwards - there were 36,000 Dutch people ; that in the Orange RiverColony, before the war, there were 70,000 Dutch people ; and that in the Cape Colony there were 370,000 Europeans, a large proportion of whom speak the Dutch language. One has only to consider for a moment these figures, and what they indicate, to realize the immense importance of considering the interests of the Empire as a whole when we are dealing with legislation of this kind. And then as to the actual power of these Eastern peoples : I find that at the present time Japan, with a population of 44,000,000-I am taking the figures of 1899 - has a regular army of 125,000, with reserves numbering 280,000 ; that she has 31 ships of war - four of them the most modern in the world - ranging from 3,000 tons up to 1.2,000 tons, and travelling at the rate of from 11 to . 24 knots per hour.
Mr Watson - With an empty Treasury.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member has reminded me of a fact I am very glad to mention. Although Japan has a population of 44,000,000, and has accomplished all the work that I have mentioned, she has a smaller national debt than the State of New South Wales.
Mr Watson - Quite so, but no assets.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - This means that the financial condition of Japan is such that it has been able to undergo this enormous transformation from its previous primitive state into a condition similar to that of Western nations, without adding to its national debt a greater sum than is now owed by New South Wales.
Mr Watson - Her total wealth is Jess than that of Holland.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I contend that the facts stated show at once immense powers of economy, national as well as individual ; and these point to considerable national ability in the endeavour to build up a State. I should like to examine for a moment what I may call the moral ground upon which this Bill and the agitation which has preceded it has been built up. AVe are told that the great desideratum in view is purity of race ; but I should like to know whether we British people are the most entitled to talk of such things. I think I am right when I say that there is no race on the face of the earth that is of a more mixed character than the British race.
Mr Page - Let us have it white.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am talking about the purity of the race. In my desire to be perfectly fair I do not hesitate to say that the Chinese and the Japanese and the Indians are in the strict sense of the term purer as a race than are the British or the American peoples - I say that advisedly. I admit that the mixture has been an unmixed good, because it has no doubt developed qualities which are answerable to a great extent, not only for the progress of the British people, but also for the progress of the American people. Still, when we are talking about the desirability of the absolute purity of race, we should remember that in the strict sense of the term these peoples whom we desire to shut out are of far purer race than ourselves, and that we cannot, therefore, afford to boast of our own racial purity. AVe know, too, that so far as Great Britain is concerned our ancestors were disporting themselves with painted skins when Julius Cesar invaded Britain, and coming down to later days we know that the bulk of the British people were simply serfs under their Norman conquerors. Although these facts are rather historical and academic than practical, they should appeal to the minds of those who have laid so much stress upon the purity of the British race. Now looking at the moral aspect of this question, I should like to read an extract from a book published this year by one of the greatest living authorities on China, namely Sir Robert Hart, InspectorGeneral of Chinese Customs, a man who lias spent a large part of his life in China, and who is fully acquainted with the people. His expression of opinion only shows how wide of the mark the average Britisher is in condemning the Chinese as an immoral and degraded people. This book was published as late as this year. In it Sir Robert Hart says : -
The Chinese. are a proud, some say a conceited people, but they have very good reasons for their pride, and their conceit has its excuses. Far away from the rest of the world, they have been living their own life, and developing their own civilization ; while others have been displaying what humanity may attain to with a revealed religion for its highest law, and a Christ for its pattern, they have been exhibiting what a life a race may rise to and live, without either. The central idea of them all is filial piety ; reverence for seniority, intensifying with every generation that has transmitted it, settles all the details of family, social and national life. Instead of " Commit no nuisance," the placard on the wall says " Respect thyself." They are pre-eminently a reasonable people, and when disputes occur, it is the appeal to right that solves them. For thirty centuries the recognised and inherited worship qf right has gone on strengthening : and so strong is the feeling that to hint to them that right must be supported by might excites something more than amazement. The relations of sovereign to subject, and man to man, have been so long authoritatively acknowledged and defined that the life of the people has been poured into and shaped by a mould of duty, while the natural division of the Empire into provinces has been so harmoniously supplemented by provincial and inter-provincial arrangements under metropolitan administration that law reigns everywhere, and disorder is the exception. The arts of peace have ever held the first place in the estimation of all ; and just as might should quail before right, so does intellectual prowess win honour everywhere, and the leaders of the people are those whom the grand competitive examinations have proved to be more gifted than their fellows. In noothercountry is education so prized, so honoured, so utilized, so rewarded. Along its lofty ladder, broad at the base and narrow at the top, the sou of the poorest peasant may win his way to the highest post among the Ministers of State round the throne-; and such is the veneration for the simple vehicle of thought, the written character, that to tread on piper with either writing or printing on it is all but desecration.
These are the words not of an outside author, but of a highly practical man who is thoroughly well acquainted with the Chinese character in every portion of the empire, and who has filled the practical post of Inspector-General of Customs of the Chinese Empire.
Mr Page - Let the Chinese stop in China.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I want to show the honorable member the character of the people who are stopping in China.
Mr Page - Sir Robert Hart is of a different opinion since the war.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Another aspect (the commercial) of this question is this - Thetotal trade of Chinaat the present time - which cannot be generally known - represented by tonnage, entering and clearing, is 39,000,000, and I should like honorable members to realize that outof this 39,000,000 tons 23,000,000 tons per annum is trade with the British people - only 5,000,000 tons with the Japanese and only 3,000,000 tons with the Germans. So that 61 per cent, of the trade of China is transacted with the British people, and it can be easily understood why the Imperial Government is anxious not to do anything that would unnecessarily alienate the friendship of these people. We should seek to restrict immigration to the very best class of these Eastern people by a politic and statesmanlike course : to avoid deliberately insulting those whose friendship may be of the utmost importance to us in our future history. Another point upon which I wish to say a word or two is the alleged danger to Australia arising from the present state of affairs. I have already said that we have been inundated with statements as to the immediate danger in which Australia stands, and the urgency of this measure. I have had the advantage of looking at the figures of which I have spoken, and I should like to point out the condition of things in the Northern Territory - one of the States with regard to which we have heard the loudest and most hysterical cries. I refer to the condition of things in the Northern Territory of South Australia. We have been told over and over again that hordes of Asiatics were coming down to land in this Northern Territory with the idea of taking a prominent part in the industries of that portion of the Commonwealth, but I find that between 1896 and 1901 - that is six years - the arrivals over the departures of all the Asiatic races totalled only 550, or an increase at the rate of 90 per annum. I find that in Western Australia during the last four years, the departures over arrivals of all Asiatics have totalled 375, so that the Asiatic population of that colony has decreased at the rate of 100 per annum during the last four years. I do not want to point a poor compliment to the State represented by the Minister for Defence, but at all events the Chinese are leaving Western Australia at that rate. In New South Wales, taking the Chinese only - because the return enables me only to do that - I find that during the past six years the departures over arrivals have been 1,900 ; that the Chinese have been actually leaving New South Wales during the last six years at the rate of 330 per annum.
Mr Watson - That is under the restrictive laws.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - With the existing restrictions. That is to say that there is no need apparently for any further law to lessen the Chinese inhabitants of New South Wales. The returns for South Australia are not complete, as my right honorable friend will inform the committee. Those relating to Tasmania are also incomplete, but with regard to Victoria, 2,400 " Chinese and others " - that is how they are classified in the Victorian statistics, and I take it that the figures all relate to the peoples of eastern nations - have arrived during the last six years, or at the rate of 400 per annum. In Queensland, in six years, the arrivals over departures, of South Sea Islanders only, have been 2,000, or at the rate of 333 per annum, and the arrivals over departures of all Asiatics - including kanakas, I suppose - 3,900 for the six years, or at the rate of 650 per annum. This, therefore, is a yearly summary of the figures : - In the Northern Territory the arrivals over departures were 90 per annum ; in Western Australia the departures over arrivals were 100 ; in New South Wales the departures over arrivals were 330 ; in Victoria the arrivals were 400 ; whilst in Queensland the arrivals over departures were 650 a year. The total arrivals are 1,140, and the total departures 430; so that the total arrivals over departures for all Australia are of all Asiatics, 710 people.
Mr Piesse - Those are the balances in all cases?
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes ; I take the arrivals from the departures, and [ find that there is a balance of 710 arrivals over the departures for the whole of the Commonwealth. Now taking the Japanese alone, what is the state of things? The Japanese have been referred to frequently, but I can only take the statistics dealing with them for a period of two years. I find that in Western Australia the arrivals during the last two years were 29, while the departures were 83. In Queensland there were 206 arrivals, and 584 departures during the same period. There is no record as to the departures from New South Wales, so I count none, but there is a record of 42 arrivals. Therefore, the departures of
Japanese from the three States of Western Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales for the last two years were 390 ; so that the Japanese, as far as one can ascertain, have been leaving these three States at the rate of 195 per annum, during the last two years, instead of coming into it. Turning to Dr. Maxwell's report; - which, perhaps, all honorable members have not had an opportunity of reading, because we get such an enormous mass of reading matter put before us - what do we find him writing with regard to the kanaka? Although the kanaka is dealt with under a separate Bill, I claim the right of speaking of him as forming part of that " scourge and contamination" to which one honorable member has referred. Dr. Maxwell states that as a result of white settlement there has been a decrease in the number of Pacific Islanders employed, yet a simultaneous expansion in sugar production. In 1885, according to his report, there were 10,755 kanakas in Queensland ; in 1890 - five years after - there were only 9,689 ; while in 1899 - nine years after - there were only 8,826.
Mr McDonald - Now there are over 10,000 there.
Mr WATKINS (NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Follo wing that out to its logical conclusion the fewer kanakas we have, the more sugar we produce.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - So that between 1885 and 1899, a period of 14 years, the kanaka traffic, instead of being an increasing one, has been reduced by something like 1,900 people, although, as I shall show, sugar production has gone up from 100 to 150 or 200 per cent. This is what Dr. Maxwell says in the body of his report -
In 1898, as it has already been stated, the number of white cane growers in Queensland was 2,610, with the production of sugar increased to 123,289 tons, and the number of Pacific Islanders reduced to 8,826. The actual reduction in the number of Islanders is 1,929, but the relative reduction is not less than 60 per cent, from what it was in 1885, when the production of sugar at these respective periods is considered. The logical indications of the situation are that the South Sea Islander is a declining factor in sugar production in Queensland, and that the decline is due to a natural operating law, by reason of which the lower is being gradually substituted by a higher form, and by a higher standard of producing agencies in these locations where the laws or conditions of nature, such as climate, do not operate in the opposite direction. This law may be expected to continue to operate, and with continued and increasing results, providing it isnot checked through any device by which it may be sought to hasten the rate of movement of natural law.
I think those figures make it quite clear to any one who approaches the report with an unbiased mind that at all events the kanaka is a declining factor in Queensland. If honorable members acknowledge - as I have demonstrated - that such is the case, and that the arrivals over departures of all other Asiatic peoples in Australia are so infinitesimal as compared with our enormous population and our increase of population, then I think they will see clearly that this measure is not only premature, but hysterical. It is hysterical because it is based upon an assumption, on the part of people who have not been able to look into these things for themselves, that we are in the presence of a menace to the purity of their national life, whereas the whole thing is a bogy, a scarecrow. I venture to say that a large part of the scare is founded upon a desire to make political capital by appealing to some of the worst instincts in some of the more credulous of the people.
Mr.Fisher. - What about the large number of honorable members who believe in it?
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I name none of them. I do not say that there are not many politicans, here and elsewhere, who are perfectly sincere in their advocacy of measures for the reduction of this immigration ; but I contend that, so far as a large number of the people are concerned, the cry is hysterical, and that political capital lies at the bottom of it. . 1 do not want to be invidious or persona], nor do I apply my words at any particular section, but 1 do say that this scare has been used for political purposes. The moment we analyze it we find that it withers away into thin air. There is certainly no basis for it, or for the alleged urgency of this Bill, which has caused it to be pushed in front of machinery measures for which the people will shortly be crying out.
Mr McDonald - Did the honorable member take up that stand daring the elections ?
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I always stand up for what I believe in. 1 heard the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne inquire the other evening whether this was a vital question. He hung upon his question. The Prime Minister hung upon his answer, and said ultimately - "Yes, vital to the measure." Then the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne said for the first time that he would take his own course. It is an extraordinary, and, to my mind, an entirely new state of things, that where a man is impressed with the fact that a certain condition of affairs is really vital to his country, vital to the purity of the race of which he is one, he should put that question of purity of the race aside and-
Mr SAWERS (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable and learned member said it was only a question as to the method.
Mr Page - Be fair to the honorable and learned member.
Mr Higgins - May I be permitted to make a personal explanation 1 The honorable and learned member's excellent speech is marred by any attempt to misrepresent. I think he does not attempt to do so wilfully, but any one who heard me knows that what the honorable and learned member has imputed to me was as completely distant from my mind as anything could be. I asked the Government whether they regarded this particular method of dealing with the difficulty as vital? The Prime Minister said he regarded it as vital to this Bill. Any one understands what that means. I replied that, inasmuch as it was only vital to this particular Bill, I should vote in the way which, in my opinion, will best secure for us a " white Australia."
Mr Barton - I said a .great deal more than that, which I will explain later on.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All honorable members who are acquainted with me know that I would never say or do anything to unnecessarily hurt the feelings of any honorable member. If I have misrepresented the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne in any way I offer him my apology most sincerely. I am bound to say that on the incorrect interpretation which it now appears I put upon what he said I was somewhat surprised. It did seem to me at the time that, although the honorable and learned member recognised that the condition of things against which this Bill is aimed really constituted a menace to this country, he was prepared to vote one way or the other, according -as the Government attached or did not attach party importance to the Bill. Now, I .understand the honorable and learned member to say he recognised that in either course he took he would to some extent mitigate the evil.
Mr Higgins - It is one thing to drop.the Bill, and another to drop the policy. Any
Ministry that drops the policy will be dropped by the country.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am very glad to receive the honorable and learned member's explanation, because I have very great admiration for his literary and political ability ; and although I do not agree with all his political views, I credit .him with very great sincerity. I am very glad that he has removed from my mind 'what I thought an unfortunate utterance. I think I have said practically all that I desire to put before the committee. I am bound to add, however, that I have never yet been satisfied as to what we really mean by a " white Australia." Whether we refer to colour or not I do not know.
Mr O'malley - It is the skin colour.
Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is admitted by ethnologists to be a question of climate and sunlight. If the tinge of colour is going to be made a ground for excluding people, or for treating them as subjects for exclusion, then it is going to be a question of climate. I understand the sentiment to be, although it is not very clear, that, with regard to the Asiatic races, the African races, and the Pacific races, there is a desire on the part of theHouse to, at all events, very much limit their immigration if not to absolutely exclude them. I should like to say, as a practical politician, that I recognise these two elements of statesmanship. If there is a danger to a State, that is a very .good reason for interference on behalf of the State. I recognise also another element, namely, the fear of danger. Although there may be no real grounds for danger, as I think there are no real grounds here, if you find the people permeated, so to speak, with a fear of danger, it becomesnecessary f forall thoughtful men, who take part in the public affairs of the country, to put an end to - to allay that fear. Although I believe that the fear is, to a great extent, imaginary at the present time - at all events it is not an urgent danger - still on the .ground that there is a very widespread fear throughout Australia that the possibility of the advent of the Asiatic is a menace to our national prosperity and national happiness, I am perfectly willing to fall in line to some extent with the movement, and to assist, at all events, to allay that fear. I believe this Bill will do that. But I believe that it will be allayed in "the most wise way by adopting a European test. I should like to say that unless the Government are prepared to offer some other solution of the difficulty which, whilst allaying the fear, will keep out the very worst class from which the fear arises, and at the same time having no effect which is calculated to slacken our hold of the centre of our great Empire, and to frustrate its attempts to stand in a friendly relation with the great nations of the East, I shall certainly favour the proposed amendment which makes the European test the one for admission to Australia. I shall certainly vote against the amendment for the complete prohibition of the Asiatic, African, and Pacific races, and I shall vote, as I said before, against the purely English test, because I think it would bring down upon us the ridicule of most civilized peoples.