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Friday, 4 October 1912

Senator McCOLL (Victoria) -551-- It is a somewhat difficult matter to decide what is the right thing to do in this case. It would have been much better, as Senator Walker has said, if we had some definition of the word " Asiatic." Surely it does not cover any one born in Asia of European parents? It should mean people of the Asiatic races. The clause seems harsh, because there are in Australia many persons of Asiatic birth who have been respectable citizens of the Commonwealth for the last twenty or thirty years, and their, children would be debarred from obtaining the allowance under this clause. It would be too sweeping to negative the clause, but it carries racial antagonism rather too far. It seems to me that it would do an injustice to a great many very worthy people whom we have accepted as fellow subjects of the British Empire. I should like to hear the effect of the clause fully explained.

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