Norman Kirkwood Ewing, an Anglican senator for Western Australia made a plea to the Australian Parliament in the early days of Australian Parliament in 1901. The catch-cry of the Capitalist class of the day was ‘White men wont work in sugar farms, it’s too hot and too much hard work – we need blacks, islanders and chinamen to do it.’
To such an argument he responds:
Queensland says – ” if you take away our kanakas the sugar industry will die.” If it can be proved to this House that it is absolutely essential to employ black labour in any industry then this House will pronounce authoritatively that that is not a true native industry.
As a protectionist, I am prepared to acknowledge that sometimes we must pay for our industries, but when we do pay for them we pay for white industries, for the employment of men who are friends in times of peace, and allies in times of war. No industry should be established which will give the black man the run of the white man’s market. If it can be proved that the kanaka is essential to the production of sugar, then we must face the question in another way. Although I have said definitely that I am opposed to black labour, and although I enunciate certain principles, I recognise the difficulty of the position and do not desire to be unreasonable to the Government.
We are always hearing that the white man cannot do this work. In the early days we were told that it was impossible for any white man to work in the tropical scrub in the northern part of New South Wales, but the white settler – such is his adaptability to his environment – has pressed right on past the Tweed, past Brisbane, past Bundaberg, right up as far as Rockhampton, and it is now conceded that he can work in the sugar industry. What the future of the white man in the sugar industry will be there is no need to discuss. Let us take one more example.
In 1861, when the great war broke out, between the Federals and Confederates, in America, the cry of the Southern States was – ” If you emancipate the slaves the cotton industry will die.” In those days only one tenth of cotton grown in Texas was produced by white labour. Now one-half of it is grown by white labour. One word in regard to the broader aspect of the case. If any honorable member had been asked a century or two ago, seeing the shiploads of coloured people coming from the west coast of Africa to be landed on the mainland of America, what was the future of those men, would he have thought that their descendants would cause the bloodiest fratricidal war the world has ever seen – that they would stand today a menace and a blot upon the American civilization.
There they are, ten millions of them, in the ” black belt ” of Louisiana, Carolina, Georgia, and so on. The climate suits them ; the industry suits them. The choicest minds in America fall back in blank despair when confronted with the problem of what is to be done with them. The American nation is paying the debt thus incurred, as any nation must pay it. They paid in a bloody war, they will pay again in some mysterious way that no one can tell of to-day. I will concede at once that the kanaka has not the power of standing the impact of white civilization that the negro has. He cannot carry our vices as can the negro. He is not so dangerous. But when I see the danger in its accentuated form in America, I refuse to take even a homeopathic dose of the Asiatic.
I want the Government to understand that we have in this matter a great responsibility to our constituents. After my electioneering addresses, I feel I must be honest to the best people in the world to whom a man can be honest, that is, to the men who trust him. I am sure the Government will not place us in a false position. I hope they will be absolutely firm. Perhaps the House will permit me to say a word or two with regard to the environment of Australia whilst dealing with the question of the black races.
It is not the silent invasion of the Papuan, it is not the presence of a few Syrians that is our trouble. One of the greatest nations of the world lies, like a storm cloud over-shadowing Australia. In China there is a population of 400,000,000. They do not love us. There is between them and us that mysterious racial hatred, originating no one knows where, but deep-rooted and strong.. China is just waiting, lazily rubbing her eye-3 after her long hibernation. Let not honourable members lull themselves into a sense of false security. These people are separated from us by but a summer sea. We do not measure distance by miles, but by the time it takes to get from one place to another. Then there is the great Indian Empire, containing 250,000,000 of men, who are kept in subjection by a military occupation.
If I were asked what is the greatest danger to Australia, I would say it is the menace of the black and yellow men. Now let honorable members be very sure about this White Australia, because there are very few parts of the world which are left as breeding places for the white man. And where are those places ? In India ? Is there room for the descendants of the nation there? Climatically there is none. Canada, because of the frigidity of her climate, offers little room. In Africa? is there room there? Every one knows that when Kitchener passed up the Nile, driving the Baggara Arabs before him, and overthrew them at Omdurman, there was no room for white occupation, because the brown men came down on the alluvial bottoms of the Nile, and there they settled and occupied the land. I do not want to give the House a geography lesson, but if honorable members will allow their minds to travel down Africa, past the lake system, past the Zambesi, and down to Cape Colony, they will remember that millions and millions of black people occupy that continent.
Every one knew from the moment England showed her strength what the result of the Boer war would be. But the great enigma will be found when millions and millions of brown men stand face to face with the white men numerically much weaker. Our greatest trouble will come from the presence of huge numbers of men alien to us in thought, alien to us in religion, and antagonistic to us in every sense. With regard to Australia alone, we know that the few black men here when the white man came have disappeared like the dew in the morning.
Australia is practically white to-day, and it should be the business of this Parliament to keep it white. There are many other tilings to which I would like to refer, but I have taken up as much time as is reasonable on this occasion.
The challenges Australia faces today are almost identical to those faced by the Australia of 1900. Mass quantities of black labour in our workforce; The Capitalist has always pleaded ‘It will hurt the economy too much to remove them!’ – Remember this, Australia removed them all once before without collapsing: And we can do it again.
The solution given to us by our founders is a proven and absolute solution – the wholesale deportation of coloured migrants back to their home countries; of course with compensation to see that they are not thrown into financial hardship as a result – as it was said: close the door and throw them out the window.