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Wednesday, 3 October 1906


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I absolutely concurin the proposals embodied in this Bill. It seems tome that they are dictated only by a humane spirit. Upon the very lowest grounds of humanity they represent the least that we can do for a class of people who have been seriously affected by the legislation which we have passed, and which has evidently been found to be of too drastic a character. I do not mean to suggest that it has been too drastic in regard to its general application-


Mr Deakin - But that it has been too abrupt ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Exactly. These people are to be deported, and it devolves upon us, on the grounds of common humanity, to render their departure as complete and as easy as possible. Where marriages have been contracted, they should be honored, and where other engagements have been made, which make it impossible for us to deport the kanakas without outraging considerations of common humanity, we must allow them to remain here if they choose to do so. I am glad that the measure has been introduced, and I hope that the Government will adopt a humane course in respect of these people against whose employment our legislation has been directed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee :

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 -

After section eight of the Pacific Island Labourers Act1901 the following section is inserted : - 8a. (1) The Minister may grant a certificate to any Pacific Island labourer excepting him from all or any of the provisions of this Act.

(2)   Certificates under this section shall be of two classes, namely -

(a)   general certificates to be issued only to Pacific Island labourers whom, on account of long residence in Australia or for other reasons, it is not deemed desirable to return to their islands, and

(b)   special certificates (not to be issued or remain in force after the thirtieth day of June, One thousand nine hundred and seven), to be issued to Pacific

Island labourers whom in the opinion of the Minister it will not be convenient to return to their islands immediately, after the thirty-first day of December, One thousand nine hundred and six.

(3)   A certificate under this section (whether general or special) shall, subject to the terms and conditions expressed in the certificate, have the effect of excepting the Pacific Island labourer mentioned therein from any specified provisions of this Act, but may be cancelled by the Minister at any time.







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