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Wednesday, 6 December 1905
Page: 6368

Mr WEBSTER (Gwydir) - I am opposed to the amendment, because, in my opinion, it provides a remedy which is worse than the disease. If these regulations have to be adopted by Parliament, we shall have discussions from time to time on the advisability of admitting certain alien races, which will defeat the object which the Prime Minister has in view. It is said that the intention of the Bill is to allay the susceptibilities of the Japanese. We have been told that we should speak with bated breath in discussing the measure, lest we offend! that nation; but we must perform our duty, notwithstanding the threats or inducements offered to prevent us from using what arguments we consider it necessary to use. I think that in this matter the responsibility for the proper administration of the Immigration Restriction Act should rest with the Cabinet. It is taking a step in the wrong direction to make any alteration of the present law ; but I certainly object to the proposal now put forward, which will cause more trouble than any other which could have been made. Some persons speak as though the Japanese have become a very superior race, by reason of what has occurred during the last two or three years ; but, in my opinion, there is nothing to sustain that position. There is just as much reason now for excluding the Japanese from Australia as there was before the war began. I do not think that the Japanese secured! such a glorious result by that war.

Mr Mcwilliams - They won every round.

Mr WEBSTER - And lost all at the finish. I shall vote against the amendment, and if it be carried, against the clause as amended, since I am of opinion that Ministers should not throw their responsibility on to Parliament. The adoption of the course now proposed would create more friction between Australia and other nations than any other that could be put forward.

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