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Friday, 4 October 1912

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - Are we to understand that, under this clause, children born in India of European parents, and coming to Australia, would be debarred from receiving the maternity allowance ?

Senator McGregor - Certainly not.

Senator SAYERS - Suppose the honorable senator had been born in India, and reared there until he was twenty-five years of age. He would be an Asiatic, but he would be of European descent.

Senator McGregor - He would not be an aboriginal Asiatic.

Senator SAYERS - I take it that the word " Asiatic " covers all people born in any part of Asia, whether white or coloured. I should not be prepared to support the amendment if I were assured that natives of Asia of European descent would not be excluded under the Bill.

Senator McGregor - I can assure the honorable senator that the clause will not apply to them.

Senator Givens - Every one knows what the term " Asiatic races " means.

Senator SAYERS - The word " Asiatics " is the word used in the clause, and not the words " Asiatic races."

Senator Givens - The honorable senator knows that if a man were born in a stable, he would not be a horse.

Senator SAYERS - I know people, who are known also to Senator Givens, who were born in Ceylon. They are. Cingalese, although they are white, and of Scotch parents.

Senator Long - Would the honorable senator call MacPherson an Asiatic, even though he were born in Ceylon?

Senator SAYERS - He would not be a European because he was not born in Europe. The whole difficulty hinges . on the legal meaning of the word "Asiatic." If I were satisfied that persons born in Asia, or in the South Sea Islands, of European descent, would not be excluded under the clause, I should not support the amendment.

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