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Wednesday, 6 December 1905
Page: 6315

Mr McCOLL (Echuca) - When the honorable member for Hindmarsh saysthat there is no justification for a measure like this, he surely must be somewhat oblivious of events that have taken place during the last two or three years, and of the relationships now existing between the British Empire arid Japan. Those relationships, cordial as they were previously, have become still more cordial and intimate recently. The honorable member for Bland himself admitted that when he took office, and had laid upon him the burden of administering the Immigration Restriction Act, he found it desirable that certain changes should be made in the administration of the law ; and he, therefore, very wisely made such arrangements as would meet the susceptibilities of the great Eastern Nation, that has come so quickly to the front. I do not think that any one would blame him for doing so. This Bill, I take it, is anotherattempt in the same direction. While it does not alter the principal Act in any important respect, it enables the administration to be so varied as to meet the views of the Japanese Government. In that it is to be commended. I think that the alliance entered into some time ago between Great Britain and Japan was hailed with very great delight throughout all Anglo-Saxon countries, and in noplace more than in Australia. We must remember that we are but a few people here, andthat we have gained a verystrong, powerful ally in the East. The alliance makes the position of Australia as regards the danger of invasion absolutely safe. Therefore, if we can meet the feelings of the Japanese in any way. it is our duty to do so. The honorable member for Hindmarsh is quite correct in what he hassaid as to the influx of Japanese to America. They are flocking into the United States, into Hawaii, and into Fiji. During the coming session of Congress in America, the most vital question that will have to be discussed will be this influx of foreigners, and more especially of Japanese. Throughout the west coast of the United States there is a very strong feeling amongst the people that something should be done to put a. stop to it. There are prohibition laws in the United States, but I was told that nevertheless the Japanese come there in great numbers. They are met in the bay by agents from the shore, when the ship anchors, and these supply them with a certain amount of money ; and when the immigration agent goes round and inspects them to find out what their means of subsistence are, they have this cash in hand ready to show him that they are amply provided for. But that money is returned to the Japanese banks when the immigrants go ashore. If it came to a question of having to choose between Chineseand Japanese immigrants my experience shows me that the Chinese would be the better class. The Chinese keep the law ; they are peaceful ; they are good workers, and they conduct their industries in a lawful manner. So far as I could gather in America, the Japanese are very acute, very quick, very apt to learn, and very ready to take any advantage they possibly can. They will engage to labour and to carry on their work, say, in an orchard, but at a critical time they will stay away and leave the owner without means of getting in his crops. A gentleman in America said to me, " If you have a Japanese working for you, in tenyears time he will have the orchard and you will be out." With regard to the measure before us,,, I think we can support it. We are not justified in doubting the Administration ; for no Government holding office in this Commonwealth will be likely to administer a measure like this otherwise than honestly and fairly. I think we ought to pass the Bill, which I regard as a satisfactory proposal.

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