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Thursday, 5 July 1906

Mr McWILLIAMS (Franklin) .- So far as the motion expresses sympathy with the unfortunate Jews, who have been the real victims of outrage in Russia, I am completely in accord with it; but if it expresses sympathy for the Russian people generally, I have only to say that many of the victims of the present outrages have been, within the last year or two, the perpetrators of some of the greatest crimes which have darkened the annals of Europe, and for them I have very little sympathy.

Mr Deakin - The Russian people, as a whole, are not responsible for these outrages.

Mr McWILLIAMS - The Russian people are responsible for the Jew-baiting which so constantly occurs, and the Students, and the men who have laboured hard for years to bring about reforms in that country, are sold by its wretched rabble for a few shillings. One has only to read recent publications to know that in some cases Jews have absolutely been nailed to crosses, while, in other cases, stakes have been driven through their eyes. These crimes have been committed, not by the rulers, but by the rabble of Russia.

Mr Deakin - We cannot believe all that we read

Mr McWILLIAMS - It has been proved beyond doubt that in Russia thousands of Jews are slaughtered by the Russian people almost every year. The Japanese knew what they were doing when they allowed Russia to make peace with them. They knew that the Russian armies, if they returned to their own country, would inflict a greater injury upon the Russian nation than the Japanese could inflict in five years of warfare. The history of Russia, so far as my reading has gone, shows that bad, tyrannical, and damnable as the Government of that country has been, its acts have been paralleled by the atrocities perpetrated by the Russian people. The history of the world contains nothing worse than the Jewbaiting of the last few years, not by the rulers, but by the people of Russia. I would go as far as any honorable member in expressing sympathy with the real victims of outrage in Russia - the Jews ; but I have practically no sympathy for the Russian people themselves. They have been spoken of as a brave nation, but the other day, when they had a considerable proportion of the. navy, and a very large proportion of the army, at their backs, they took care, whenever there was trouble coming, to place their women and children to the front, and these bore the burden of the atrocities of the Cossacks. If the Russianpeople had an ounce of pluck, they would not require sympathy.

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