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Friday, 6 September 1901
Page: 4661

Mr CRUICKSHANK (Gwydir) - I may not have an opportunity of speaking on this subject in this House for some time to come, but, like other members, I was returned here after expressing very warmly my opinions on this prominent question. I hope the Government will not hesitate about accepting the direct method of dealing with this matter. For a number of years I have had very strong feelings as to what I hope to see our Australian people, and I always have a strong feeling when I see our mother country becoming involved in wars with other countries. I do not know why there should be this great desire to invade and get possession of the lands of other countries when we have such vast territories in our own States, unoccupied and unused. I desire to see the Government of the Commonwealth, with all the force and power at their disposal, enforce the principle of keeping English-speaking possessions for English-speaking people, and encourage and allow every other nation to have their own land, laws, and rights. I have travelled about the world a good deal, and I have found that some of the most intelligent men, so far as languages are concerned, were probably Nubians, and native guides. I look on the educational test as a perfect farce. Australia might be populated with aliens if only that test were to be applied. The honorable member for Maranoa said that it was difficult, or impossible, for Australian workmen to compete with Japanese, because of the fine work, the system of living, and the wages of the latter. I go further than the honorable member, and would not only not allow aliens the opportunity of competing here, but if cheap labour is employed in producing goods manufactured in other countries and sent here, I would impose taxation so as to make them taxpayers in the country in which they are going to sell their wares, just as I would tax the producer in this country, who has to depend on the same market. There is growing up in our inland towns a system of Chinese storekeeping, and in Sydney, to a large extent, Italians have taken possession of all the fruit shops. We daily see Australian men giving way to these newcomers, and becoming, I regret to say, in many instances dependents on the State. I would like to see, as far as possible, Australia kept for the Australian and English-speaking race, and I would give similar rights to every other nation in regard to their lands. I like to see every class, every religion, every nationality growing up in its proper place, and each protecting its own rights and interests. I shall not live long enough, but those who come after me will see an Australian race, in the making of which a great deal will depend on this Parliament. I attach a great deal more importance to the alien who comes here as a resident to live with his wife and to bring up his family, than I do to the passing casual labourer. If we are to have an Australian people, we cannot allow a system of intermarriage with coloured foreign races ; and if I were the power that be, I would not hesitate to say that Australia should be kept for a white race. I would encourage trade between all the different countries.

Mr Poynton - That is free- trade.

Mr CRUICKSHANK - Yes ; but where foreign people who trade with us are not taxpayers to our Government, I should make them pay certain taxes before they got the market.

Mr Poynton - That is protection?

Mr Thomas - The man outside pays the tax, I suppose?

Mr CRUICKSHANK - I do not care what it is called. Probably to some extent it may be a revenue tax, but at the same time it might encourage the employment of our own people. I do not want any taxes very high, and I have never said I did. But my feeling is more in regard to the question of race. I should like to see the Australian people constitute the noblest and ablest race upon this sphere. What the race is to be will depend to a large extent upon our system of education, upon the legislation that is enacted, and upon the provision made for the comfort and well-being of the people. I rejoice that during the period in which I have been in public life I have consistently voted for any legislation which I thought would raise the conditions of living for the masses of the people. I go still further, and advocate the exclusion from these shores of coloured aliens because their aspirations are impaired by traditional and hereditary bondage. There is no affinity between these people and Australians, and there never can exist between them any healthy intercourse. I think that our united efforts should be directed to preventing our territory from being encroached upon by a class with whom it is unwholesome to intermarry and undesirable to associate, and who can never be incorporated into our common life without vitiating that future national greatness which is the very foundation of every patriotic Australian's day dream. If the amendment is pressed, I shall vote for a direct method to exclude from our shores a race of people whose presence, I think, is injurious to the best interests of Australia.

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