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Thursday, 9 November 1905

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH (Western Australia) - The Senate is indebted to Senator Pulsford for his well thought-out speech. Many subjects on which the honorable senator touched are very, interesting, and we have now embodied in Hansard a great deal of the bibliography of the East, and many newspaper cuttings of the last year or two. There will also appear in Hansard the address delivered by the Bishop of Carpentaria at the last Anglican Synod. I agree with the opinions of Senator Pulsford on many of the topics with which he dealt. We all admit that Japan is a great and powerful nation, with which we desire to be on terms of the greatest friendliness. We have no wish to do anythink to hurt the susceptibilities of the Japanese, whom we acknowledge to possess every element which goes to make a great people. They are distinguished for their patriotism, intelligence, and homogeneity; and we all admit their bravery and their humanity. We have no quarrel whatever with the Japanese people. We recognise, as one nation recognises the good points in another, the immense progress and civilization they have achieved in a short space of time. As to the Immigration Restriction ' Act, we have to ask ourselves whether Japan has ever officially objected to it, or asked that the legislation should be altered.

Senator Pulsford - Of course, Japan has done so. The honorable senator must be deaf, dumb, and blind.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The honorable senator is accusing me of many physical infirmities, which, however, I do not think I exhibit as I stand on the floor of the Chamber. I am not aware that Australia has received any official communication from the Secretary of State for the Colonies to the effect that the Japanese people desire us to alter the Immigration Restriction Act.

Senator Pulsford - That is rather an audacious statement.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - We can discuss only official communications sent by people of official standing, through official channels.

Senator Gray - Does the honorable senator not call the Japanese Consul in Australia an official ?

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The Consul, Mr. Eitaki, is, no doubt, a most estimable gentleman, but he communicated directly with the Prime Minister, and, therefore, presumably, not officially.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Col. Gould.- Mr. Eitaki sent his communication as Consul.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The communication was presumably sent without the authority of the Japanese people.

Senator Pulsford - In the pamphlet from which I quoted, I show that Mr. Eitaki received cable 'instructions from his Government.

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.The Japanese Government surely must know better than to communicate directly with the Prime Minister of Australia. We are a portion of the British Empire, and official communications of the kind must be sent, in the first place, to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and then be forwarded to us by means of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Japanese Government fell into a mistake in national etiquette, if they sent an official communication to the Australian Prime Minister direct.

Senator Pulsford - The Japanese Ambassador in London made repeated representations to the British Government, and I read his statements to the Senate. The honorable senator, unless he is aware of that fact, is not in a position to reply to my speech.

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.I am in as good a position as even Senator Pulsford to speak on the question. In my own small way I have endeavoured to keep myself au fait with the changing conditions, in all external affairs affecting Australia.

Senator Gray - Senator Pulsford read us extracts from the cables to show that representations had been made to the British Government.

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.I endeavoured to get the information when I askedthe Minister representing the Minister of External Affairs whether any official communication had been received from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, asking us to alter the Immigration Restriction Act, so as not to offend the alleged susceptibilities of Japan. In my belief no such communication has been received, and therefore we know nothing officially of anydesireonthe part of Japan to alter the present conditions. Senator Pulsford. - That is not at all a correct way 'to put the matter. Has the honorable senator read what the Japanese Ambassador said in London within the last fortnight?

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.No. I have not seen that.

Senator Pulsford - The honorable senator is playing with the subject.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I am not. I am simply saying that we should not be asked to alter our legislation, because of some newspaper report of some alleged statements, made elsewhere.

Senator Pulsford - If the honorable senator thinks that Japan is coming cap in hand to Australia, he is very much mistaken ; he does not understand Japan.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Japan is, a nation and an Empire ; and if she desires us to alter our legislation, there is only one course to be taken. The Japanese Ambassador should communicate with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in England, and the information should reach us through the Secretary of

State for Colonial Affairs. Officially, we / have no cognisance whatever of any desire on the part of Japan to have the present conditions altered. I have indicated the only way in which Japan can officially approach Australia.

Senator Gray - What would the honorable senator have said had Japan adopted that course?

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.I should have said that Japan was perfectly right to make any representation that might be deemed advisable; and it would be for us to decide the matter purely from the point of view of what is best for the Commonwealth.

Senator Gray - Is that the usual course taken as between nations?

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.It is the invariable course, as the honorable senator ought to know.

Senator Sir William Zeal - Any representations on the part of Australia on the subject would have to be made through the Imperial Government.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Of course. Senator Pulsford took exception to the Immigration Restriction Act, but is he aware that at the Colonial Conference Mr. Chamberlain, who was then Secretary of State for the Colonies, expressly requested the various representatives of the self-governing Colonies to apply the language test, . so as not to hurt the susceptibilities of coloured people? It was pointed out that the language test was applied in Natal, and Australia was asked to adopt a similar provision. Indeed, before the Commonwealth was brought into "existence three of the States of Australia had already taken that step, and the Commonwealth Parliamentsimply completed the work initiated at the request of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. We must admit that we have been largely guidedby the question of colour inapplying the educationtest ; but colour issimply a rough way of deciding between- extreme race divergence. Australian sentiment favours the building up of a nation, and we have declared for one nation and one flag. It is evident that if we admit those races, who may be-

Senator Playford - Our equals.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Yes, if we admit those races, who, in every respect, may be our equals, but who, on account of their great racial divergence, cannot amalgamate with us, we shall build up not one nation under one flag, but two separate peoples.

Senator Playford - We shall have South America over again.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - We in Australia, for national and racial reasons, say that, while we will not allow those people to enter Australia, we will throw our doors open wide to all the white races' of the world if they desire to settle here.

Senator Walker - Provided they do not come under contract.

Senator STANIFORTHSMITH.Provided they do not come under contract, which is injurious, and, further, provided they have no physical or mental infirmity. I am speaking now not from a point of view of race prejudice, but from a scientific point of view. If we refer to the writings of leading biologists, we find it set forth that, if races extremely divergent be mixed, the progeny is inferior, either mentally or physically. We can see that as an actual result in the case of Eurasians, mullattosand people of that sort. The most extreme divergence in the human family is between the northern Teutonic races of Europe, and the negro and Turanian races, which, of course, embrace the Japanese. Those latter races cannot mingle with us to the advantage of either them or ourselves. We might put the case conversely, and say that if a million Europeans settle in Japan, and the races became mixed, the result would be an inferior type of Japanese.

Senator Sir William Zeal - That settles it !

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I am merely expressing my own opinion. If the intention of Australia is understood, no insult is offered to the Japanese. We are simply acting upon a scientific fact. The Japanese may have misunderstood1 our attitude, because of the misrepresentations made as to the intentions and desires of the people of Australia in formulating this legislation. They have been told on the one hand that the legislation is purely a matter of wages, and, on the other hand, that it is purely a matter of prejudice against the coloured races. In my belief the correct view is neither one nor the other. This is a racial question. We in Australia do not desire to have races here which cannot blend with us, and whose presence could not, therefore, result . in our having one people on the continent.

Senator Dobson - The honorable senator is evading the vital point, when he says that there is no insult. The Japanese are insulted.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The Japanese may have been insulted by misrepresentations made for party purposes.

Senator Dobson - If the honorable senator says there is no insult he misses the whole point.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - My opinion is that the misrepresentations made by certain parties in regard to the White Australia policy have hurt the susceptibilities of certain nations, and that, if the full intent of the legislation was known, it would be recognised that we were simply doing what is best in the interest of Australia. I think that if the Japanese people were informed, through the proper channels, as to the real facts of the case, thev would realize that there is no slight, or intention of slight, to the people of Japan, China, or India.

Senator Dobson - The facts absolutely show the contrary

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I have already shown that, at the Colonial Conference, Mr. Chamberlain emphasized the necessity of Australia keeping out those coloured races.

Senator Sir William Zeal - How can we keep them but?

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Only. bv the assistance of the British Navy.

Senator Dobson - The honorable senator insults Japan again when he talks of " those coloured races."

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I am dealing with' coloured races. Is there any insult in a reference to the colour? Mr. Chamberlain pointed to the absolute necessity for such legislation.

Senator Millen - Is there any proposal to let Japanese into Australia?

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Senator Pulsford proposes to allow those people to enter Australia.

Senator Millen - I do not read his motion so.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - It is not proposed to flood the place with them, but to permit them to come in.

Senator Sir William Zeal - The object of the motion is to remove a stigma which has been undeservedly cast upon the Japanese.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Surely the Imperial Parliament is alive to the interests of the Empire, and the interests of Britain's ally, Japan. So far as

I am aware, they have never, in any communication, asked us to alter our immigration laws.

Senator Playford - Hear, hear.

Senator Gray - There would be a great outcry in certain quarters if they did.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - All that we require in this matter is an arrangement with the Japanese by which it will be understood that they cannot come and reside in Australia.

Senator Walker - That they cannot come here except on passports to go through the country.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - There is no reason why distinguished Japanese visitors, scientists, and persons of that kind, should not be allowed to come here as a matter of courtesy.

Senator Playford - They can come now.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - There is nothing to prevent them coming now, but a narrow interpretation of the existing law.

Senator Walker - Would the honorable senator allow them to come to our universities ?

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - In answer to Senator Millen's interjection, I might say that Senator Pulsford's proposal is that we should put the Japanese in a different category to other coloured races.

Senator Dobson - That is the point.

Senator Playford - We should do nothing of the sort.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - Undoubtedly, there would be very great danger in doing that.

Senator Dobson - Unless we do so, we shall be unjust in every sense of the word according to the comity of nations.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I direct attention to the fact that recently the Chinese have been boycotting American goods, and refusing to permit American productions, to the value of millions of pounds, to be sold in China.

Senator Dobson - I read in the Times that that matter has been greatly exaggerated.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I ask honorable senators to consider the reasons given by the Chinese for that boycott. They have stated that it was enforced be cause the people of the United States were singling out the Chinese, and refusing to allow them, of all the coloured races,- to enter the United States. When asked their view of the action of Australia, the reply was that Australians made no distinction, that they said, " We will not allow coolies of any coloured race to enter Australia;" and the Chinese had no reason to feel offended, because all the coloured races were treated alike by Australia. What I would say to Senator Pulsford and to those who are supporting what he has said, is that if we begin to make a distinction in favour of the Japanese-

Senator Playford - We shall weaken our position.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - We shall undoubtedly excite the enmity of China, because the Japanese will be given a privilege denied to the Chinese and the people of India. I dare say the time will come when the Chinese Empire will be as important and as powerful as we all recognise the Japanese Empire to be to-day. If by one law we say that we shall keep out of Australia the people of all races who cannot blend with us, we shall occupy a sound position; but if we begin to make distinctions, and decide to have special legislation with regard to the Japanese, we shall only excite the enmity and hastility of the Chinese, and undoubtedly of the Hindoos. Many of the northern races of India have sprung from the same race as ourselves, the Aryan race, and they would certainly feel insulted if we extended privileges to the Japanese people which we refused to the inhabitants of Northern India. Therefore I say that, while no doubt Senator Pulsford has brought forward his motion with the best intentions, if it were carried into effect it would raise difficulties and create serious enmities between other coloured nations and ourselves.

Senator Gray - Much would depend on the manner in which it was done.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The Japanese have not prevented us from landing in Japan ; but it should not be forgotten that Japan is a small country, with a very large population, whilst we have a very large country with a very small population.

Senator Sir William Zeal - We cannot use it ourselves, and we will not let any one else use it. .

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I should welcome to Australia people of all the white races in the world. Whilst in Japan there can be no fear of a racial alteration by reason of the immigration of white people to that country, there would be the greatest danger of a racial alteration in Australia if we permitted the unrestricted immigration of coloured people to the Commonwealth. While our Alien Immigration Restriction Act remains in force I admit that the Japanese have a perfect right to say, " We wall apply a similar law to Australia." We could not logically raise any objection to that. The Japanese allow Australians to enter Japan at the present time, but they impose restrictions upon white immigrants to their country which are more severe probably than those imposed on foreigners by any other nation in the world. To the coloured people who have come to Australia we have extended* practically the same rights, and privileges we have enjoyed ourselves; but white people residing in Japan are not permitted to own a foot of .land, or a mine. I read in a newspaper recently that they are not allowed to conduct a business, unless in conjunction with Japanese, "except under very serious restrictions. This being so, the Japanese practically say that people of white races shall not reside in their country, because, although they can go to Japan, they cannot carry on their ordinary avocations there unless in conjunction with Japanese, anr. under Japanese guidance. In the circumstances it will be admitted that the Japanese nation imposes very severe restrictions not specifically upon Australians, but upon people of any white race entering their country. I desire to mention another matter, which, although it has received no official cognizance, appears to me to be somewhat significant, in view of the fact that it has never been contradicted. We appreciate Japanese friendship for the British Empire, including Australia; but honorable senators will agree that the following paragraph which appeared on the 12th or 13th September last, in the Melbourne daily newspapers, is at least peculiar: -

The literary supplement of the Times (weekly edition) of nth August (just to hand) gives the following in its list of new publications : - "The Decline and Fall of the British Empire." Appointed-Tor use in the National School of Japan. Oxford : Alden., London : Simkin, -fid.

I have never seen that contradicted.

Senator Sir William Zeal - It is a cockandbull story.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The statement made may not be correct, but I have seen no contradiction of it.

Senator Millen - Is it not rather suggestive of a joke?

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - The paragraph appeared in the Age, Argus, and Herald, and has not been contradicted.

Senator Millen - I will admit that they are not comic papers.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - V quote the statement for what it is worth.

Senator Sir William Zeal - The honorable senator does 'not believe it himself.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - It is almost incredible. I admit that it has appeared in the daily press, and I have seen no contradiction of it. Possibly the Minister of Defence may be in a position to contradict it. The paragraph goes on to say -

The writer is " looking backward " in Tokio in A.D. 2005, and reviews the causes from which " India has fallen to Russia, South Africa to Germany, Egypt to the Sultan, while Canada has taken shelter beneath the wings of the American eagle, and Australia has become a protectorate of the Mikado." In spite of its extravagance the pamphlet contains some sound ideas.

Senator Walker - Does the honorable senator expect to live to see the day when the statement will be realized?

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - No, I do not. If it were true that a work dealing with the gradual dismemberment of the British Empire, and the division of the Colonies of Great Britain between Russia, Germany, America, the Sultan of Turkey, and the Mikado of Japan, is to be used as* a text-book to inform Japanese youth as to the possibilities of the future, that would seem to be an extraordinary course for an ally of Great Britain to adopt.

Senator Sir William Zeal - It is an insult to Japan to suggest it.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - I quote the statement for what it is worth. Personally, I find myself largely in sympathy with what Senator Pulsford has said. We must recognise that the Japanese nation possesses every characteristic that goes to make a. great people. I feel sure that we have none of the race prejudice which would lead us to consider the Japanese an inferior type of people to ourselves. We desire to live on terms of the greatest friendship with them, as with all the nations of the world. Anything we can do to avoid wounding their susceptibilities we should do, so long as we do not abrogate the great principles which we have laid down for our national guidance. It is premature to talk of altering our Alien Immigration

Restriction Act, when we have received no request from the British Government that we should make any alteration of the conditions affecting Japanese immigration. The Government would be well advised if they let it be publicly known that distinguished Japanese visitors can come to Australia. The knowledge might serve to remove illfeeling. But if we attempt to adopt Senator Pulsford's proposal, and make any exception in favour of the Japanese, we shall undoubtedly incur the hostility of the Chinese, and of the people of India; and we shall find that we will have launched ourselves on a sea of difficulties in the furtherance of a desire to do something which even the British Government has not yet asked us to do.

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