Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 6 December 1905


Mr MALONEY (Melbourne) - If we can avoid offending the susceptibilities of any nation, by the mere substitution of one word for another, I am perfectly willing to adopt that course. I am thoroughly satisfied with the assurance of the Ministry that no regulation will be framed to admit coloured races to the Commonwealth unless it has first been approved by both Houses of Parliament. If the spirit of democracy rules here, surely a majority of the two Houses of the Legislature, whose members are elected by the people of Australia, should be able to decide this question. I must confess that my own opinion of the East, and of the dangers which we had to apprehend from that source, were completely changed by my trip to Japan early during the present year. I trust that the honorable member for Kooyong, and the representatives of the wealthy class, will recognise the necessity . which exists for imposing a land tax in Australia, in order to provide us with the funds necessary to secure an adequate system of defence. Whilst the honorable member for Bass was speaking, a member of the Opposition interjected, " Are we to let the whole world know our weaknesses ? " As far as Japan is concerned, that nation is already seized of our weaknesses from a defence stand-point. Is it not a fact - as was stated by the honorable and learned member for Corio, and proved through the columns of the newspapers - that when the Japanese fleet visited Melbourne in connexion with the Commonwealth celebrations, its vessels approached the only part of the coast which the guns of Queenscliff could not command? When some of the officers of the fleet desired to see our fortifications, Major-General Hutton, with' a due appreciation of the position, intimated that he would prefer to be present when visitors of such standing were making their inspection. That, of course, amounted to a polite refusal of their request, and accordingly the projected visit was abandoned. Subsequently, when our officers paid their respects to the officers of the Japanese fleet, many questions relating to our defences were asked, and one of the visitors revealed the fact that he had a perfect knowledge of all our arrangements. I am credibly informed that an officer of the Japanese Intelligence Department, while serving as a cook at an hotel in Queenscliff, photographed every portion of our defences there. We know that that would be a very easy matter, inasmuch as a lighthouse overlooks the fortifications, and it is possible to carry a camera concealed under one's waistcoat. At the present time our chief defence is the splendid fleet which carries the English flag. That that fleet may long continue to be the protector, not only of ourselves, but of the Empire at large, is the wish of every honorable member. But surely any one is at liberty to ask himself whether it is not possible that even that splendid arm of defence may fail in the hour of need. Had any one, prior to the Boer war, put to me a question on the subject, I should have said that Great Britain could put into the field 250,000 troops equal to any other body of men on earth.


Mr Page - So she can.


Mr MALONEY - I am not disputing the point ; but it took -more than a soldier for every man, woman, and ,child in the Transvaal to conquer that sparsely populated country.


Mr Page - Does the honorable member think that any other nation could have done as well?


Mr MALONEY - I do not think the " well " is good enough to boast of. Whether Ave did well or ill, the only result of the war was to find work for the yellow races in South Africa.


Mr Page - But that is not the question.


Mr MALONEY - I think that, if necessary, I could quote some of the greatest authorities in England in support of the contention that the British Army broke down, and did not do as well as England had a right to expect of it. I am not making an attack upon the Army; I am simply giving expression to my own honest convictions. Every man of note in the British Army will admit that, in connexion with the South African war, it failed to do what might reasonably have been expected. That being so, does it need any stretch of imagination to believe that our splendid line of naval defence might also fail in the hour of need? In that event, how long would it be before our chief port in the East - Hong Kong, which, according to the Statesman's Year Book, has only 3,500 regular defenders and 375 volunteers - was overrun by the Japanese ? What might happen in. such an event may well form food for reflection. Next to the defence which Great Britain affords us comes that offered by our splendid relatives in the West. The United States stands to-day as a sentinel in the Pacific. I am glad that they have taken over the Philippine Islands. In the hour of danger they may stand as a sentinel between us and Eastern countries ; meantime thev are assisting to preserve the health of the people of Australia. If a great influx of Chinese took place, the diseases which have been enumerated by my honorable friends would be easily disseminated here. But the United States authorities in the Philippine Islands insist that every ship, before entering the port of Manila, shall not only be passed by the harbor-master, but shall, through her master, furnish the American Consul with full information as to the health of the immunity in every port at which she has touched. We therefore owe to the United States a meed of praise for the splendid vigilance which she exercises in this regard, and which tends to the preservation of the health of our own people. Perhaps, in a free-trade sense, Hong Kong is the most complete port in the world. So far as I was able to ascertain on the occasion of my recent visit, no duties whatever are imposed. But it is the great focus point of disease.

The fact that in one year the bodies of 1,100 persons who have died from cholera, small-pox, plague, and other diseases, are put into the streets of Hong Kong, is some indication of the perils to which the health of the community is exposed.


Mr Page - -How is it that every one there does not die?


Mr MALONEY - Thedeath-rate among the Chinese there is so great that if there were not a continual influx from the mainland the natives would soon disappear. The European residents have taken far greater precautions in the interests of health than have the natives. But my honorable friend will recognise that even one dead body lying in the street as the result of cholera, or one or other of the contagious diseases I have mentioned is sufficient to carry infection, if not to human beings, at least to the rodents of Hong Kong. America is, therefore, not only a sentinel in the Pacific against the military dangers of the future, but in the present day is guarding us against the spread of disease from Eastern countries. In what is, perhaps, the most eventful epoch known in history, 47,000,000 people have suddenly slipped into a first place among the nations of the world; but that is no reason why we should open our doors to them. If the peril is to come, the white races were never stronger to meet it than they are to-day. As the years roll on, the organization of the mighty millions in China, and also inIndia - where the natives are not too fond of English rule - will become more complete. Millions of native races in India, notwithstanding the high intellectual standard of many of them, are in a state of semislavery, and will never be permitted to have a vote. On the other hand, the Japanese are allowed to exercise the franchise.


Mr Mcdonald - Only about 89,000 out of something like 45,000,000 are allowed to exercise it.


Mr MALONEY - I think that the proportion is larger, but there are tens of thousands of Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scotchmen who are not thought fit to have a vote. The Japanese, therefore, have that which many white people do not enjoy. Then, again, they have never insulted the Chinese, as our white races have too frequently done. That, in itself, constitutes a serious menace. If George Washington - that man of mighty intellect and splendid character, who threw aside the crown that was offered him - had with his compatriots stood between the Americans and the Africans and had said, " These coloured men shall not come to our shores," would not the people of America have revered his memory even more, if that be possible, than they do now? The Labour Party in Australia is standing up for a White Australia, and the Prime Minister will indorse my statement that the two words which aroused the audience at the defence meeting held in, Melbourne last week to the highest pitch of enthusiasm were a " White Australia," as they fell from the lips of Mr. Prendergast.


Mr Deakin - Hear, hear!


Mr MALONEY - We do not give fair play to the people of our own race. The honorable member for Kooyong has asked why we do not encourage people from Great Britain to immigrate to Australia. It is because even in this sparsely populated country the land has gone into the possession of the few. Our land system is a huge monopoly. As leader of the Government of Western Australia, the Treasurer succeeded in placing upon the statute-book of that State better land laws than we have here. Hundreds have to leaveVictoria toseek holdings elsewhere. These are the men who would help us against the attacks of alien races. If the removal of one offensive word from our statute-book will enable the splendid diplomacy of the Japanese to assist us in our desire to keep Australia white, no one will welcome the change more than I shall do. Peace is always better than war, but if the Japanese come here, it will be our duty to force them away by every means in our power. I do not think that the United States of America would see us controlled by an Asiatic race. If there is to be a realization of the present fear, I hope that the Europeans, will join, not in a marauding crusade, like many of those of ancient days, but in a true crusade in the interests of the white races. I hope that it will be a crusade of the Latins, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the great AngloSaxonCeltic races. But no word of mine will ever give offence to the Japanese. I have too much admiration for their art and their splendid inventive genius to insult them. Within the last few days I have had presented to me a toy which was invented in Japan after my visit to that country. There is nothing upon which they will not improve, and, if the worst comes to the worst, they will be able to give us, a splendid example of the nationalization of industries. When exJudge Casey, whose courtesy and ability to cross-examine should have enabled him to obtain much information on the subject, asked, during his visit to Japan, what men had raised Japan from the lowly place which she occupied in the middle centuries to her present high position, he was told that the one and only man responsible for the change was the reigning Mikado. If, in course of time, the Mikado be succeeded by a monarch such as was one of the kings of Bavaria, who went about carrying sticks in his mouth, believing that he was. a stork, and about to lay eggs, the educated Japanese, with their great nationalized industries, would never dream of permitting him to rule. And so Japanmay be the first socialistic nation in the world. I shall never speak of the Japanese as monkeys " or "little brown men;" but if fate decrees that the children who are to follow us shall be dominated by. an Eastern race, I hope that it will be, not the Japanese, but the Chinese.

Question put. The House divided -

Ayes ... ... ... 39

Noes ... ... ... 6

Majority ... ... 33

 

 

 

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee:

Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.

Clause 3 -

Section three of the Principal Act is amended -

(a)   by omitting the whole of paragraph a, and inserting in lieu thereof the following paragraph : - " (a) Any person who fails to pass the dictation test : that is to say, who, when an officer dictates to him not more than fifty words in any prescribed language, fails to write them out in that languagein the presence of the officer " ;

(b)   by omitting from paragraph e the words " within three years," and by inserting in that paragraph, before the words "received a pardon," the words "served his sentence or " ;

(c)   by omitting the whole of paragraphs m andn.







Suggest corrections