Aliens Admitted Here!

Aliens Admitted Here!

Evening Post
Wellington, New Zealand
Volume LVI, Issue 96
Page 4
Source: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa

The House cannot be congratulated on the treatment it meted out last night to the Immigration Restriction Bill, and the Premier showed a lamentable lack of power or of sincerity in allowing the debate to be shelved in the way it was. Doubtless some of the obstruction the measure experienced was prompted by the Premier’s arbitrary efforts to force Estimates through at the previous sitting. Such despotic procedure always has a bad effect upon members, and almost invariably leads to the delay of public business. Admitting this, however, we are still unable to understand the position taken up by the Opposition. It was so nearly one of factious disputation that it was calculated to play into the hand of an astute manoeuvrer like the present head of the Government. The whole point of the Bill was lost by the members who attacked it last night. In ignorance or of malice prepense they ignored for the most part the real nature of the measure, and devoted all their energies to the castigation of a more or less bogus side-issue. From the speeches of the Leader of the Opposition and some of hie followers it might have been supposed that the object of the Bill was to limit the immigration of Europeans who could not read or write. This view is an obvious distortion of the clause containing the so-called “educational test.” The history of the measure sufficiently disproves the erroneous assumption. Since the House has, as we believe, with quite inadequate reason blocked the passage of the Bill, it will be as well to give a short sketch of the events that led up to its introduction into our Parliament.

Considerable popular feeling has been displayed against the importation of Asiatics and other undesirable immigrants into the colony, and, however much one may honour the humanity of those who feel a distaste for the arbitrary exclusion of any particular race, it is undeniable that the evil effects of racial, mixing have again and again been exhibited in various parts of the world. The colour question in the United States is one of the most serious problems the American Republic has to face. South Africa is doubly troubled by native questions and Indian coolie difficulties, while, nearer home, Queensland has its Kanaka embarrassment, and in common with other parts of Northern Australia feels the danger of an influx of Japanese and Chinese. In matters of this kind the natural impulse of the generous minded is to give free access to the stranger, and to let him prove his right to settlement by his obedience to the local laws. But the hard facts of history and experience are against the sentiment. If we wish to make the future nation of New Zealand fit to hold its own in the world, we must preserve the integrity of our race. An influx of Asiatics might also at any time disorganise the labour market and throw back for years the good work done by trade combinations…

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