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Thursday, 14 December 1905

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia) - I join with the Minister of Defence in asking Senator Matheson not to press his amendment. It is quite unnecessary. We have already passed through the Senate a Bill for the exclusion under the education test of all coloured immigrants. This Bill deals with a totally different matter, and as coloured immigrants will be as effectually excluded, as they have been in the past, under the Bill with which we dealt yesterday, there is no necessity for the amendment.

Senator MATHESON(Western Australia). The objection raised by Senators Playford and Symon to my amendment is not a sufficient objection in my opinion. I agree to a very large extent with what Senator Playford said, and believe that as a matter of fact, any well-dispositioned Minister will administer the Bill, with which we have already dealt, in such a way as to prevent the introduction of coloured labourers under contract. But what Senator Symon said this afternoon was that it was most important that we should not mislead people in Europe. In my opinion it is more important that they should not be misled as to the intention of this measure than that they should not be misled as to the intention of the Bill with which we have already dealt, because, as I pointed out before, an attempt will undoubtedly be made in England to lead the people there to suppose that we in Australia are as willing under this amendment of the existing Act to introduce Chinese into Australia, as they are that they should be introduced into the Transvaal. The Minister of Defence shakes his head.

Senator Playford - Because they know well that we objected to the introduction of the Chinese into the Transvaal.

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