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Tuesday, 12 December 1905

Senator DRAKE (Queensland) - The position to-day is very different from what it was in 1901. At that time we wanted a measure to keep out undesirable immigrants, and we were told pretty plainly that if we passed a Bill with a provision for a colour test it would not be allowed by the British "Government. If we were to adopt a colour test now and the Bill were assented to, we should be able to exclude these aliens by direct legislation ; but if, on the other hand, it were not assented to, our legislation would remain in full force.

Senator Playford - It is faulty.

Senator DRAKE - I admit that it is faulty, but the Bill has been so widely drawn that it really amounts to very little, and there is the prospect that it may undergo some amendment here. This clause really contains the only provision which I should like to see passed, because offence has been given by the use of the term " an European language " in our Act.

Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - To whom has it been given ?

Senator DRAKE - Never mind.

Senator DAWSON (QUEENSLAND) - Why dees the honorable senator make a statement which he cannot substantiate, and which no one has yet attempted to substantiate?

Senator DRAKE - I think the honorable senator knows as well as I do that objection has been taken to the use of the term " an European language." We can attain exactly the same end by substituting the words " any prescribed language."

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