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Wednesday, 6 December 1905
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Mr CROUCH (Corio) - I think that this measure contains sufficient reasonable clauses to warrant me in supporting itssecond reading. lit strengthens the hands of the Executive where that has beenproved to be necessary, and it meets a number of technical points which have beenbrought before the law courts in connexion with alien immigration. But, although I intend to support the second reading of the Bill, I shall endeavour, when clause 3; is under consideration, to prevent the restrictions which we now impose in regard' to the dictation test from being broken down by the adoption of a language which is not European. So far as. that clause is concerned, I think it might well be described as panic legislation. It is an old rule that hard casesmake bad laws, and it seems to me deplorable that a state of panic which hasbeen created by Oriental victories should have forced us to adopt a course of procedure that we do not desire to follow. I ask any honorable member whether clause 4 would have been introduced if it had" not been for the victories at Port Arthur, Liao-yang, and Mukden ? In this Bill, are we not getting the echoes of the guns: which the Japanese employed against the Russians? When the original Act was introduced, I protested against the interference of the British Government, and T object, still more to our being called upon to concede rights to Oriental nations inrespect of our internal legislation.

Mr Fisher - " Concede " is - not . the word to use. and the honorable and* learned member knows it.

Mr CROUCH - I do not know it. On the contrary,' i think that the word is a very proper one to use. The present is not the first occasion upon which Imperial representations have been made to us in this regard. I assume that, in consequence of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty, Imperial representations have been made in regard to this question. But it is already being conceded by some of the greatest authorities in England that Mr. Chamberlain was wrong in insisting upon our adopting in the original Bill the language of the Natal Act, instead of allowing us to pass such legislation as we deemed fit. I have here a copy of an article written by the Sydney correspondent of the London Times, and published in that journal on the 27th October last. The writer puts the position well when he says -

One can only hope (not very hopefully) that the misleading educational test will be abolished, that the exclusion of Japanese will be arranged by treaty - as it used to be in Queensland, and :as the Japanese have always desired - and that Australians will be allowed to say honestly and straight-out what they wish about other non-white folk. If a man wants to be selfish (assuming, for the moment that " White Australia " is a purely selfish policy), you will not cure him by making him pretend not to be so ; you will only irritate him from the first, teach him the easiness of subterfuge, and in the end demoralize him altogether.

Commenting on this letter, the Times, in its leading columns, writes -

In its essence there is nothing more insulting in limiting by legislation the work that may be done in Australia by Japanese immigrants than there is in limiting the importation of Japanese ;goods by a tariff. What is insulting is a system which professes to be educational, and then defines the European languages as the sole standard of education, which may be applied to a scholar and a gentleman from China, but is never, as our correspondent points out, applied to a European navvy. As Mr. Deakin suggested in his reply to the Japanese Government three days ago, there is room for a general re-statement of the form in which these restrictions are cast. The growth of Imperial unity must be Eased on compromise, not on verbal subterfuge. We must realize the nature of Australia's problems, and modify our preconceived theories to suit them. On the other hand, Australia, in the interests of the Empire, and her own progress, must learn to separate what is essential to the development of the white race, and to the maintenance of her standard of living, from what is unessential, so that she may retain the former and discard the latter.

We have here an admission, first, by the Sydney correspondent of the Times, and, secondly, by the Times itself, that when the original Bill was under consideration a great mistake was made by the Barton Government in refusing to accept the amendment moved by the honorable member for Bland, proposing to set forth a clear statement of what Australia desired. That Government admitted that the wording of the clause was not in accordance with their desires, but that they had been forced to adhere to the provisions of the Natal Act, not only because of the representations of the Colonial Office, but because they feared that the Bill might otherwise be vetoed.

Mr Fisher - They would not have done that.

Mr CROUCH - Sir Edmund Barton said that he feared that the Bill might be vetoed if it contained clauses providing for the direct exclusion of Asiatic races.

Mr Watkins - He had in mind the experience of the New South Wales Government.

Mr CROUCH -He might also have had in mind the experience of the people of British Columbia. For a number of years they have been endeavouring to exclude Japanese immigrants, but Bills passed with the intention of giving effect to that desire have been vetoed time after time. If we are going to allow ourselves to be pressed by one nation, we must prepare to be coerced by another? With Orientals nothing counts for more than does prestige. When the Japanese scored two or three naval and military victories their prestige was raised throughout the Orient, but, according to the Peking correspondent of the Times, immediately the Japanese failed to secure the war indemnity which they demanded from Russia, the Chinese Government once more leaned towards Russian predominance. If the people of India and China see that the Government of Australia, simply because the Japanese have been able to win several land and naval fights, are anxious not to offend their susceptibilities, and that we are prepared to so amend our legislation as to conform to their wishes, it is difficult to say where our steps in this direction will lead us. It is not long since Mr. Coghlan did a useful work for Australia, when, by means of a letter to the Times, he threatened Germany with Tariff reprisals, unless she did her duty to the Commonwealth in connexion with the incident of the Jaluit Company and the Marshall Islands. Germany, which is a dominant military power, is aiming at becoming a dominant naval power, and if she finds that Japan, having become a great naval power, is able to secure concessions from us, is she not likely to also bring pressure to bear upon the Commonwealth ?

Mr Watkins - Is not the proposed action practically an invitation to her to do so?

Mr CROUCH - I think that it is. If we once admit that a growing power has a right to bring pressure to bear upon us in regard to the form which our legislation shall take, we shall offer an invitation to others to attempt to influence us in the same way. I should be very sorry to see this proposal attended by the results which have followed the treaty made between Queensland and Japan. I had the good fortune to be a member of the parliamentary party which visited Queensland last year, and cannot help saying that those who went there with sentimental ideas as to the policy of a White Australia, came back with a practical view of the question. At Point Lucinda, for example, I found that, out of a total population of about 100, there were fifty or sixty Japanese.

Mr Deakin - The Queensland agreement was to allow a certain number of Japanese to enter that State.

Mr CROUCH - And they were to be deported at the termination of a certain number of years. Notwithstanding that the time limit fixed has expired, Japanese are still in Queensland, and are spreading throughout the States. The following advertisement is an indication of how some of these men secure admission to the Commonwealth : - £5 Reward will be paid to any person giving information resulting in the arrest of Kasuke Yajura and Ishimatsu Matushita, indented Japanese crew of Schooner Aladdin.

Geo. W. Thom.

I am informed that this is one of a class of advertisements that frequently appear in the Queensland newspapers,in relation to men who escape from pearling vessels, and go to swell the Japanese population in Australia. The master of a pearling vessel is liable to a. fine of£5for allowing a Japanese to escape, but a Japanese labourer is worth far more than that to anyone who can secure his services. I would remind the House of the dangers that have arisen in countries where the Japanese and other Orientals have gone in large numbers. At Hawaii the Japanese are one of the most truculent sections of the population, and are insisting, not upon their rights, but upon privileges. Their numbers are so largely out of proportion to the numbers of the white population, that they are able to take up this stand. If we go to Singapore, the new naval base in the northeastern seas, we find that the Chinese, who at the outset comprised only a small minority of the population, have so largely increased, that they can control the banking and commercial interests and, in short, the whole of the organizations of that place. The only protection which the white population have against them is that during certain hours the Bund, a kind of public re-sort, is closed even to the most wealthy Chinese. The poorest white soldier in Singapore mav go there, but Chinese and other coloured races are excluded during the hours fixed. If the Japanese came into this great, lone land of ours, which seems to be a natural appendix to the Oriental countries, and we sought to prohibit their appearance in public resorts at certain hours, we might find the Japanese Governmentattempting to influence our actions in regard to even so small a matter of internal administration as that would beThe Japanese declare that they have a right to come to Australia. Mr. E. W. Cole, in A White Australia Impossible, describes his visit to Japan, and gives statements made by ex-Ministers, Members of the Parliament of Japan, and others holding high official positions, who declared that the Japanese had a right to come here.

Mr Fisher - Onwhat grounds?

Mr CROUCH - They say that on the one hand America seems to have been designed to afford a proper outlet for the overflow population of European countries, and that Australia is a natural and proper outlet for the overflow of the Oriental countries.

Mr Deakin - The official statement of the Japanese Government is absolutely to the contrary. They acknowledge the absolute right of Australia to make laws excluding whomsoever we please. We have that admission in their official communications with us.

Mr CROUCH - For ten years they will have to adhere to that view of the position.

Mr Deakin - That statement is contained in a communication received by us prior to the Anglo- Japanese alliance. It has been repeated by them at different times since 1897. They have said that they do not question our right to exclude any one, but they ask that a discrimination be not exercised against them more than against any one else. " If you like to exclude us," they say, in effect, "do so; but do not exclude us on the ground of colour,''' and so forth.

Mr CROUCH - As soon as Japan feels her feet she will observe her representations to us just as England observed representations which she made to Oriental countries. When Commodore Perry first went to Japan he was only going to convey the compliments of the President of the United States to the Mikado; but it was not long before treaty ports were opened up. I venture to say that the representations made by the Japanese Government in 1897 will not be observed long after they find a definite way of securing a permanent foothold in Australia, ten years hence. We are creating an internal enemy. If we believe that it is because of our weakness that certain legislation must be thrust upon us, it is about time that we looked to our defences, or else bent our backs, like craven curs, to Oriental peoples. We must fight for the control of our own destinies : if we give way in one direction, we shall have to give way in others.

Mr Batchelor - But we need not talk about trailing our coats.

Mr CROUCH - I do not think that we are. The honorable and learned member for Parkes, in submitting a motion to the House, some weeks ago, spoke of Japan as one of the greatest naval and military powers in the world, and also of the high national character of her people. Honorable members will recall to mind his statement that they were a great and humanitarian race. But what does the Times say? Throughout the war it supported the Japanese, and is therefore unlikely to misrepresent their character in the slightest degree. When peace was .declared, and the Japanese did not obtain all that they desired, riots took place in Japan, and the details of the disturbances were recorded in the Times, Peace was engineered by Asiatic financiers, who, in nw opinion, control not only our finances, but to a large extent the Imperial policy of Great Britain. The following cable messages from Tokio appeared in the Times of 15th September last:-

The attack on the offices of the Kokumin was followed by serious rioting. Throughout the day a series of demonstrations were made in the neighbourhood of the Home Minister's residence. Late in the afternoon the mob charged, swept the police away, and battered down the gates. The police and the servants resisted stoutly, but the mob surged round and entered the house. Further details regarding the attack on the resi dence of the Minister of the Interior show that one of the mob leaders, carrying an armful of burning straw, gained the rear of the building, and succeeded in setting it in flames. Police reserves charged the crowd, using their swords freely, but the mob rallied in several quarters, and stoned the firemen when they arrived. The members of the Minister's household were rescued and escorted to the Imperial Hotel. When darkness came, the burning building lit up a threatening scene - the mob hoofing and throwing stones on the police and firemen, and the police repeatedly clearing the streets.

The mob burned and destroyed ten Christian churches and one mission house school on Wednesday night. No one was injured.

During the commotion the coolie class seized the occasion to destroy thirty electric cars. A member of the Salvation Army exhorted the mob to disperse, whereupon it wrecked the Army's substation.

The Catholic church, the school, and the priest's residence in Honjo have been destroyed, as well as four small houses, which were burned. The Protestant church at Honjo, and the pastor's residence, were burned. Three mission churches in the Asakusa district were partly or completely wrecked. The Hiogo church, anticipating an attack, removed the fences round the church, and hoisted the white flag. The mob contented itself with destroying a few chairs and tables. The Methodist church in Okachimachi-street was attacked by the mob, and the walls and fences were wrecked, and part of the furniture carried into the streets and burned. The Yonokura and Hamacho churches in Nihonbashi were burned.

In the Kanda district a crowd first threatened to burn the Russian cathedral, but a Sergeant of the Guard prevailed upon them to desist by threatening that if the cathedral were destroyed he and the guard would commit suicide. The crowd thereupon agreed not to touch the cathedral. Though the mob created considerable uproar there was no destruction of property, nor any serious conflict with the police. Demonstrations against the Metropolitan Police headquarters continued until a late hour.

The Government, on the authority of the Imperial Emergency Ordinance, has suspended the publication of the journals Miyako, Yurozu, and Niroku.

The city is quiet. No serious disorder has been reported anywhere during the night. Disorder occurred at Kobe on Thursday night. A statue of the Marquis Ito was pulled from its pedestal, and dragged through the streets.

The Government has ordered the suspension of . the Tokio newspaper Asahi and the conservative journal Nippon and the radical journal Jinmin for having published objectionable articles dealing with the present situation.

According to an estimate made by the metropolitan police, the casualties in the recent rioting were as follows : - 3S8 constables, r6 firemen, and a soldiers were wounded ; while among the mob and the bystanders 9 persons were killed and 387 wounded.

These things are happening in a country whose civilization, we are told, is equal to . ours.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Those outrages are almost, though not quite, as bad as what is happening in Russia.

Mr CROUCH - If, to meet the susceptibilities of the Japanese, we are going to prescribe Japanese for the language test, why should we not prescribe Chinese also ? I have yet to learn that the Chinese are not at least equal to the Japanese in civilization. The Japanese got their writing, their scholarship, and their civilization, from the Chinese, and if honest clerks are required, even in the Yokohama banks, Chinese have to be imported. It it well known that the Japanese rarely keep their contracts.

Mr Deakin - The honorable and learned member should not believe wholesale statements made about any people.

Mr CROUCH - I do not wish to condemn any race wholly, because, no doubt, there is something good about every people ; but my statements are borne out by travellers and residents in Japan. Are the Chinese to be regarded as inferior to the Japanese because they are imbued with the idea that evil should not be resisted by force, and support the ideal whose recognition the International Workingmen's Union is trying to obtain, bv giving way to the aggressor to avoid violence, and to secure peace. The Chinese, in some of their philosophy and practice, might well set an example to the rest of the world, find, in my opinion, are superior to the Japanese. I understand that the Prime Minister himself opened negotiations with' the Japanese in April of last year. Why did he not also open negotiations with the Chinese ?

Mr Hughes - The Chinese are an inferior race. or. at all events, have not shown their superiority as the Japanese have done.

Mr CROUCH - The Chinese have not killed some thousands of men in a recent war as the Japanese have done. If that proves their inferiority, I admit it.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The superiority about which the honorable and learned member is contemptuous, must nevertheless be respected by every Government.

Mr CROUCH - If we do this with the Japanese, why should we not make similar arrangements with the Hindoos?

Mr Deakin - We opened up negotiations with India and Japan simultaneously.

Mr CROUCH - Surely persons of races whose members have fought side by side with our own soldiers in the defence of the Empire, and for the extension of British trade and commerce into the Shan "States, Baloochistan, Burmah, and Further India, should be given the same consideration as the people of Japan ! After the Boxer riots, it was not the Japanese whom we asked to go to China to protect our people there, and to do police work along with the members of the Naval Brigade .sent from New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia-; iti was the Sikhs who then fought side by side with our own citizens. Why, then, should we not consider the natives of India as much' as the Japanese?

Mr Deakin - We are doing so. We are not proposing to make any difference between them.

Mr CROUCH - Am I to understand that, if Japanese is to be a prescribed language, Hindustani and Chinese will also be prescribed languages?

Mr Deakin - I do not say that Chinese will be a prescribed language. The honorable and learned member must recollect that the object of applying the language test is, not to allow persons to enter the Commonwealth, but to keep them out. I say so frankly

Mr CROUCH - Am I to take it that the various dialects of India, as well as the language of Japan, will be prescribed languages under the Bill ?

Mr Deakin - There are 2bo or 300 dialects in India; but Hindustani is the general language of Hindustan, and I think that if Japanese is prescribed. Hindustani might also be prescribed1. The language test will not be used with the object of allowing persons to enter Australia, whether they be Japanese or Hindoos ; but we wish to make no distinction between the peoples of India and Japan and other peoples.

Mr CROUCH - Therefore, both Hindustani and Japanese may be prescribed.

Mr Deakin - If Parliament approves of that being done.

Mr CROUCH - The intention being that neither natives of India nor Japanese are to be admitted to the Commonwealth?

Mr Deakin - Not to any further extent now.

Mr CROUCH - Then, I think it will be better to provide that any language may be used - even the ancient Aztec of South America, or old Slavonian. If that is agreed to, we can always submit an objectionable applicant for admission to a test in a language which he cannot speak or write.

Mr Deakin - That is always done, and is the object of applying the language test.

Mr CROUCH - Then why use the word " prescribed " at all ?

Mr Deakin - So that Parliament may. if honorable members think fit, keep control of the test in this respect.

Mr CROUCH - I hope that the word " prescribed " will be omitted'. In South Africa, there are now about 46,000 Chinese, who have been imported there by other Asiatics living generally in Park-lane, London, in order to increase their dividends. The Chinese are objectionable to the white people living in Natal and Cam Colony, who wish to preserve the purity and maintain the supremacy of their race, so far as is possible, in view of the overwhelmingly large number of native Kaffirs. Therefore, Cape Colony has adopted very drastic legislation, to which I have already referred on the motion for the adjournment of the House.

Mr Hughes - I call your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that there is not a quorum, and, incidentally, remark that the only member of the Opposition present is nearly asleep. [Quorum formed."]

Mr CROUCH - It seems to me that, if we adopted some of the provisions of the Cape Colony law. we should prevent the illegal influx of Japanese from the pearl luggers on our northern coasts, and stop Chinese from landing in the Northern Territory, and finding their way thence into other parts of the Commonwealth. They meet the difficulty by means of a forced registration. A man has a certificate issued to him by the Government, with his description, and sometimes with his photograph attached. They. also take his finger prints under the Bertillon system, and make a very careful record of his marks.

Mr Deakin - We use that system in a still more perfect form.

Mr CROUCH - Then it would be much more easy for us to meet the position than it was for the Cape Government when they inaugurated the system. They insist upon every Asiatic resident in the Colony going before the magistrate of the district once every twelve months, and obtaining a certificate. The alien has to pay no fee;, but the magistrate certifies that he has appeared before him upon a certain date, and that document is sufficient in itself te* show that the man is properly domiciled ir> the Colony. If any man is found without a certificate showing that he has been before the magistrate at some date within the previous twelve months, he is called upon to show cause, and, in the absence of a satisfactory explanation, is liable to be deported. That appears to me to be a satisfactory way of dealing with aliens such as. are now reported to be improperly gaining admission to some of the States. About two or three years ago, when the Prime Minister was acting as Minister of External Affairs, I made an application to him oni behalf of a Chinese resident, who wished1 to secure the return to the Commonwealth of his son, who had been absent in England and China for upwards of two years. The Prime Minister would not relax the regulations-, and I was told afterwards by a constituent of mine, at whose request I had made the representations to the Minister, that if the regulations were not relaxed, the young man would be introduced in some other way. I believe that he hassince obtained admission to the Commonwealth. I informed the Prime Minister of the threat, because I thought it was desirable that he should know that means were available for evading the Act. J trust that the Government will agree to a system of registration- for Chinese, so that the Act may be made really effective. I shall support the motion for the second reading of the Bill, but, unless clause 3- is modified, I shall vote against it.

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