[Editor: An article about a public meeting held to oppose Chinese immigration into Australian (the meeting took place soon after the Lambing Flat riots). Published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 August 1861.]
A Public Meeting for the purpose of considering the question of Chinese Immigration was held last evening, in the Lecture Hall of the Mechanics’ School of Arts, Pitt-street. At the commencement of the meeting, the hall was closely filled throughout, both in the body and in the galleries. There were a large number of persons also outside unable to obtain admittance. On the platform were, amongst others, the following members of the Assembly — the Mayor, Messrs. Windeyer, Love, Stewart, W. B. Allen, Dalgleish, Harpur, and Lucas, who was loudly cheered on taking his place. Mr. Deniehy was also present.
On the motion of Mr. Wiley, the Right Worshipful the Mayor took the chair, amidst much applause.
The CHAIRMAN having read the advertisement convening the meeting, and said he should say but very few words before he proceeded with the business of the meeting, but it was necessary that he should make a remark or two, as there was a very great difference of opinion prevailing as to the advisability of his taking the chair at such a meeting as this. There were some who had asserted that this meeting had been got up as a demonstration against the Government of the country. (Loud cries of “Not at all.”) He denied that it had any such object. (Loud cheers.) He had very good reasons for denying it, for he had now lived in this country for twenty-three years, and he could defy any one to say that there was any community in the whole British empire that was more orderly, or more law observing, than was that of this colony, or that any body of men could be got together for such a purpose as that which had been alleged against this meeting. The deputation from those who had called this meeting together had in the first instance shewn him the resolutions that were to be proposed to it, and he could see nothing whatever that was objectionable in them; consequently, he could not conceive how there could be any difficulty in the way of his taking the chair to-night. (Cheers.)
He hoped that by their conduct this evening they would give the lie to those, who would, no doubt, be only too glad to see a breach of the law on the part of the people. They were only too anxious to obtain such a result, especially at the present moment. He had been further requested to state that the parties who had got this meeting together had been induced to do so in order that the people might be called together legitimately and in a proper place, rather than to hold a meeting in the dark, and so give their enemies an opportunity of saying of them that which was not true, as had been done on former occasions. He should now say no more, except to request that those present would aid and support him in keeping the speakers and the meeting itself to the resolutions that would be before them. (Cheers.)
Mr. WINDEYER, on coming forward, was received with continued cheering. He said he congratulated the citizens of Sydney, and congratulated himself as one of them, that so large an assemblage, presided over by the chief magistrate of the city, had met together to consult and deliberate upon this, the most vital and important question that had ever been before them. Such a crowded meeting as this could not but be a confirmation to the affirmation that he had done right in presiding over it, and not only that, but that as chief magistrate he was imperatively called upon to do so. Whatever might be thought by those who were, and had been always, desirous of denying all political liberty to the people, and who decried this strong feeling of the citizens as a movement of a mob, it could not be said that those who had got this meeting together had done any more than as true British citizens they were called upon to do.
The meeting was called together to discuss one of the most important questions that have ever been before the citizens, and to demand at the hands of the Parliament, legislation of a thorough-going character upon this question, that was second to none that they would have to deal with; and glad was he to see the citizens at last bestirring themselves, and taking the matter up in the earnest spirit in which they were doing it. There were some who had attempted to cast a slur on this meeting, and had attacked the committee who had originated the movement; but he was glad to see that the citizens had given the lie to their enemies, by declaring themselves openly in favour of law and order, by shewing themselves to be above reproach, and by meeting, as they had done, to discuss the matter in a proper and legitimate manner. So far from being blamed or sneered at, it appeared to him that the originators of this meeting deserved the thanks of every man in the community who was in favour of law and order; and that they were the men best entitled to claim to be actuated by purely conservative principles who brought this question forward to be discussed in a temperate and orderly manner, rather than to leave it neglected to serve as a rallying cry to those who in a moment of excitement might be tempted to the commission of deeds that afterwards they would regret.
Another thing was, that it was exceedingly questionable whether the discussion of such a question as this was well to be entrusted to those who, perhaps, from one cause or another, were not possibly the best fitted to conduct it; and therefore in dealing with it in this manner before the great body of the citizens, their meeting would have this effect — it would check disorder and violence on the one hand, whilst it would remove the stupid obstinacy that existed on the other. (Cheers.)
He had said that this was an important question — it was a national question — (cheers) and he believed that every earnest-minded man would see that it was one that affected our position as a nation. (Cheers.) They had come to this country to hold it, not simply to grow wool, or to plant corn, or to dig gold, but to raise up in it a truly Anglo-Saxon community. (Great cheers.) Whatever might be said of the Chinese doing good for trade, or working for us, or developing our gold-fields, or of their right to come in and intermingle with us, he would tell them that he cast to the winds all considerations of commerce, of labour, and of gold, and replied, that there was something more for such a country as this to look to, beyond its mere material interest — there was the social, moral, and intellectual development of its people. (Cheers.)
He hoped to have here a people with the same physical and mental energies as their predecessors, with those glorious institutions which they had inherited from their fathers, and with that vigour that was required to maintain them. That was their hope, that was the principle on which this colony was founded, and nothing should be allowed to interfere with it. Any consideration of trade, wealth, or prosperity that interfered with this should be cast to the winds — with this view, the question determined itself simply into this — were they to allow these Chinese, who were now rushing to these shores, to come here in the unrestrained manner that they were now doing? This was the question that everyman in the community must put to himself. (Cheers.)
He defied any one to show in history any example of the peoples, aliens in laws, in manners, and in religion, who have lived together harmoniously in the one country. (Loud cheers.) If they were to be admitted, only two alternatives remained, either they must be kept down as a subject and an abject people, or they must admit them to an equality with themselves. (Continued cries of “No,” and “Never.”) He said “never,” too. (Cheers.) He cared not to consider whether this people was either morally or physically equal to ourselves; to him that appeared a question of perfect indifference; the spirit in which he met them, and in which he would always meet them would be that of an enemy meeting an enemy. (Cheers.) Whether they came armed to invade us, or whether they came upon us insidiously, unarmed, but in such numbers as to make it only a question of time as to how long it would be before they could declare themselves our foes — in either case he looked upon them with equal aversion. As a people they were sunk so low in the mental and physical scale that they could never place themselves on an equality with the Anglo-Saxon race, but coming, as they did in such numbers, their aggregation was greatly to be dreaded.
He was aware that there were those who affected to treat this part of the question with indifference. (Cheers.) They who were opposed to this meeting, laughed at the views here expressed, and would allow the Chinese to crowd in any numbers they chose upon these shores, were not of course to be expected to agree with what this meeting approved. They who denied to the people all share in political rights, and who arrogated to themselves all the mental intelligence and political influence of the State, might possibly call this a mob meeting and try to put it down, but their cry would be no argument, and until arguments were adduced, it would be folly to waste reasoning on men obstinately bent upon not attending to it.
However, whether the Chinese were physically or morally equal to ourselves was a matter of perfect indifference to him, for, as he had said, no two alien people could exist in harmony together in the one country. The thing had been tried and had failed, there was evidence enough of it in history. Let them only, in our own days, look to America. What had been the cause of the strife and struggles there, except this, — that two peoples, distinct and alien in every respect from each other, had attempted to live together in the one land, and could not do so on an equal footing. Much as they might disapprove the principles which the Southern States advanced, all thinking men could not but agree that they were in the right, in the course which they had struck out for themselves. But two alternatives were presented to them, — either they must admit the blacks upon terms of full equality with themselves, or they must keep them down. Was it to be wondered at, then, that they chose the latter, and kept them down? That was the choice the Southern States of America had made, and if in Australia this alien race was to be admitted, the same choice would soon have to be made here.
But there was this again to be considered — that if some two or three millions of Chinese obtained a footing here, it might not, perhaps, be so very easy to keep them down. (Hear.) One course or the other must be taken with them, — either they must be kept down, or they must be allowed to intermingle with our own people on a perfect footing of equality; and he would like to know whether they who prated so loudly about equality and fraternity would carry out these two principles in their integrity. (Cheers.) Were they prepared to accept these people upon equal terms with themselves? not to ride in the same coach with them — though that was very disagreeable as he knew by experience — (a laugh) — nor yet simply to buy and sell with them, or to eat at the same table with them, but to meet them as they were bound to do — to sit with them on the same jury, to submit their civil rights or their personal liberty to their care, or to give them the full power and dignity of the elective franchise? (“No, no.”) Were they prepared to intermingle with them in the way in which two peoples only could thoroughly intermingle — by giving them their daughters in marriage? (Loud cheers.) Were they prepared to do this? (“No! no!” and great cheering.) Then let there be no more of this cant about equality. (Cheers.) He did not believe that they who talked so much would do it, or that they would carry out in their own persons the principles which they put forward to be acted upon by others. (Cheers.)
It was all moonshine to urge that by the inculcation of religious and purely Christian principles these Chinese might be raised to an equality with ourselves. They might take a wild, untamed savage, with all his powers, mental and physical, fresh about him, and might in the course of a generation or two bring him to understand the institutions under which he lived; but he defied the advocates for the Chinese to show any instance in which an effete and worn-out people, the remains of a once polished civilization, had ever been brought up to a standard of physical, moral, and intellectual power equal to a nation such as ours. (Cheers.) They might be Christianised, it was true, after a fashion, but, however completely it might be done, they would never attain to that inheritance of Christianity and civilization combined that made up the amount of that British feeling of which the Anglo-Saxon was so justly proud. (Cheers.) Let all that could be done for them be performed, they would never be brought to this, and above all they would never be made to live in the same manner or to conform to the same laws as ourselves. (Cheers.)
It was all very well for persons in Sydney to talk of abstract principles of equity, and of what ought to be done upon philanthropic grounds; but it was not only for those who lived in crowded streets, with a neighbour always at hand to assist them in their time of need, or for those who were snugly fenced in by lordly parks or extensive gardens at Woolloomooloo and Darlinghurst to propound theories; but it was another thing for those who were more nearly affected by the question, who were brought more immediately into contact with them, to say what were the rights of the Chinese, and what were the rights of Britons. It was for the man who had to leave his family at home whilst he was absent toiling in the fields, digging in the pit, or driving his team on the roads, leaving his children to travel through the bush to their bark hut school, unprotected by nothing but the innocence of childhood, to answer whether these Chinamen were to be permitted to roam in hordes throughout the country. It was for those who could not avoid them, whose children were liable to be contaminated by their loathsome touch, to decide upon what should be the legislation in respect to them. (Cheers.) He was rejoiced to find, by that cheer, and the crowded meeting he saw around him, that the citizens of Sydney were alive to the interests of their fellow countrymen in the bush — (cheers) — and that they were prepared to maintain inviolate that purity of race which it had ever been the pride of every British-born people to maintain.
The resolution he had the honour to propose was one that, he was sure, would come home to the heart not only of every man then present, but of every man in the community. It was as follows:—
1. “Resolved, that the immigration of the Chinese to this colony is most impolitic; that as colonists they are unnecessary and injurious, and that, inasmuch as their social habits are repulsive to ours, they are a continued source of irritation, which tends to alienate the affections of the people from our institutions, and jeopardise the public peace, and injure the character of this colony as a field for immigration of British enterprise and industry.” (Loud cheers.)
Those cheers would receive an echo throughout the country. They showed that there was a right feeling pervading the minds of every citizen; and he trusted that this meeting, which he regarded as a protest against any ill-advised or disorderly attempt upon the Government or the law, would give a timely warning to those who might possibly be tempted to resist the expressed will of the people, as declared through their representatives, to rescue from harm and danger those who were now exposed to the evils which this meeting was met to consider.
Unhappy was the state of public feeling which alienated their feelings from institutions which they would willingly foster and cherish. Unhappy, indeed, was the country where this state of feeling was brought about by the obstinacy of those who by right of their stake in the country, claimed to take part in its legislation, but who might by sad mischance for the best interests of all, forfeit all hope for years to come of having their due weight in the legislation of the State. The first nominated Legislative Council, in opposition to the expressed voice of the people’s representatives, refused to deal with this question. Let them trust that the second would take warning from the mistakes of its predecessor, and, by wise legislation, remove the cause of a dangerous irritation to our feelings as a people. Much should he regret if, by an obstinate and misguided refusal, they should make men impatient of a second chamber and question the use of an institution which, if properly constituted, he looked upon as a strong bulwark of constitutional liberty.
United on the one hand against violence or disorder, let them equally show themselves determined to hand down to their children the institutions which they had inherited from their fathers, their country free to all who by nature were capable of absorption into the great Anglo-Saxon family, and the powers of their people, physical, moral, and intellectual, unpolluted and undegraded by mixture with an effete and degraded race.
They might mistake and misgovern themselves as they might. From the mistakes of all ordinary misgovernment they might recover, but woe to the country which, untrue to itself, careless of its duties to posterity, degraded the stamina of its people, or held a disputed sovereignty with an alien and semi-barbarous race. As men, true to the instincts of humanity, let them positively as citizens, above all as true lovers of democratic institutions, only possible when upheld by a reverence for law — let them insist on legislation which should free them from what might become a curse to themselves and to millions yet unborn. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. LOVE, M.L.A., seconded the resolution. He said he had been very unexpectedly called upon to address the meeting, but he could say that the resolution which had just been proposed met with his fullest approbation. (Cheers.)
He had been advised not to attend this meeting on the ground that it might be supposed that by doing so he would be identifying himself with the rioters at Lambing Flat. (Laughter.) When elected for West Sydney he expressed his views upon the Chinese question, and so far as his ability had enabled him, he had since done all he could to avert the evils of Chinese immigration, and he had felt it his duty to come to this meeting to show his sympathy with the objects now contemplated. (Cheers.) He begged, however, to say, that he did not identify himself in any way with the rioters at Lambing Flat. (Laughter.) Chinese immigration was a totally different question. (Hear, hear.) He had no sympathy with those persons who would maltreat and abuse the Chinese. (Cheers.) It was a cowardly thing to take these men and cut off their pig-tails. (Roars of laughter.) It was a most unchristian thing to illuse them and burn their property. (Hear, hear.)
He had no doubt, however, that a law to prevent their immigration ought to be passed, and would speedily become law. (Cheers.) It was the duty of the Government of this country to govern the colony for the good of the people, and he had no doubt it was for the good of the country that these Chinese should be prevented from coming here in such vast numbers. (Cheers.) Already this immigration had resulted in a cost to the country of some £35,000 to keep the peace at the diggings where the Chinese had been; and they could not tell whether it might not swell to £100,000 before the year was over. (Hear, hear.) The whole of that money came from the pockets of the people — the cost of keeping the peace at the diggings between the Chinese and those who have a right to be at the diggings. (Cheers.)
The Government had a right to govern the country for the people of this country, and not for the Chinese. (Cheers.) He believed the diggings of this country belonged to the English, Irish, and Scotch people and thought the Government had no right whatever to allow Chinese to come here in thousands, settle down on our diggings, and take away our gold. (Cheers.) If any number of British subjects were to immigrate to Russia, and attempt to enter upon the gold-fields there, they would soon be stopped by the Emperor. (Hear, hear.) Then why should we allow Chinamen to come here? (Cheers.) The very same answer the Emperor would give to us we should give to the Chinese. (Cheers.) He believed the Government were acting wrongly in allowing the Chinese to enter upon our diggings at all. (Cheers.) The sooner a law was passed to prevent this the better it would be for the welfare, the peace, and the happiness of the country. (Cheers.)
He was very glad that the midnight meeting or “after-night” meeting formerly contemplated had not been held, and that instead they had assembled here in such vast numbers to express their opinions. (Cheers.) He had no right to advise or suggest any particular course of conduct, but he would say that there was very great danger in those meetings “after-night.” They did not know what might be done by persons who were the enemies of the people — who might feel a savage joy in getting up a riot and causing bloodshed. (Cheers.) Such an occurrence would, no doubt, gratify their enemies, but he trusted there would be no meeting of that kind held in this city. (Cheers.)
He had no doubt the opinions of so large a meeting would have weight in the Assembly. (Hear, hear.) As he had not expected to address the meeting, he had not prepared a speech, but he had felt it to be his duty to express his sympathy with the object of the meeting by his presence. He trusted they would excuse him addressing them further. (Cheers.)
The CHAIRMAN put the resolution, when repeated calls were made for Mr. Deniehy.
Mr. DENIEHY, who, on coming forward, was loudly cheered, then addressed the meeting. His preliminary observations were delivered in a tone strictly private and confidential. When he became audible at the reporters’ table, he was saying that for the last three years, upon all occasions when he had the honour of representing any constituency, he made it a point, as far as he could, to support any measure which had for its object the prohibition or restriction of Chinese immigration to this colony. (Cheers.) His friend Mr. Lucas would, he was sure, bear him out that there was no member of the Assembly who more vigorously, consistently, and persistently seconded his attempts to bring about that restriction or prohibition. (Cheers.) He could conceive of nothing of greater importance than the preservation in the population of this colony of a thoroughly European character. (Cheers.) His hon. friend Mr. Windeyer had told him what in reality was the cause of the rupture in the American States — the existence of a race with which the Americans could never blend. (Cheers.)
He hoped to see here the greatest of all races. (Applause.) Let us have Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, and all other European races, and then we should have the finest race on the face of the earth. (Cheers.) We could only amalgamate with such races as had some features common with our own. (Hear, hear.) They must have some common feelings of civilisation and religion. He would give them an instance from history. What had the admixture of race done for America so far as European races were concerned. They had had Martin Van Buren, president of the United States, representing the Dutch, and Mr. Ligonier, the French amalgamated element of that country. They had there the admixture of the Dutch and the French. (Cheers.) But let them look to a nearer country — from which many of them drew their blood, and still looked back with pride; — let them look to Ireland. (Cheers.) Grattan, Curran, and almost every great man they found there, except O’Connell, possessed an English name. (Cheers.) There was not the slightest doubt that a similar fusion of blood would bring forward the same benefit to us. (Cheers.) Let them now turn to England — where was the Anglo-Saxon! (Hear, hear.) Was there a more mixed race to be found anywhere than in England, and was there a greater country in the world? — (cheers) — or a more noble country? (Applause.) So much for the fusion of race.
As he had said over and over again, he had supported the resolution of Mr. Lucas. They might sneer at Mr. Lucas, but that gentleman had the heart and the energy and the ability to do his duty, and he had certainly done it in reference to the Chinese question. (Cheers.) It was perfectly impossible for any barbarian race to fuse with a race like the Europeans. He hoped that there would be done here what had never been done elsewhere, and that we should have something like a pure race, combining the characteristics and good qualities of the English, Irish, and Scotch.
[At this stage of the proceedings there was some interruption owing to the presence at the doors. The Chairman requested the gentlemen at the extremity of the hall to preserve order, and was informed that there was a “roll-up” in that part of the building. (Laughter.) The CHAIRMAN hoped, although they were closely rolled up, that they would permit every speaker to have a fair hearing. (Cheers.)]
There were two points of view in which this question might be considered. Here was a certain quantity of population. It came here for its own purposes, and went away again. That was one characteristic. But granting that the population were fixed instead of shifting, they must more or less mix with them. He could not look upon anything with greater horror than upon the probability of such a fusion in this country. (Cheers.) If they permitted such a mixed race here they would have that great problem to deal with which the United States had failed to solve — which remained for our days to see settled in the shape of an intestine war.
If they had children of a more debased race than their own around them, their own children would not look upon them as their equals. Farewell, then, all chance of liberal political institutions, and all chance of liberty in this country. They would have an inferior race. (Hear, hear.) But God forbid that it should over be. (Cheers.)
He wished to be understood, however, that he in no way identified himself with the recent occurrences at Lambing Flat. He regretted that his fellow-colonists should have so forgotten themselves as to commit the outrages alleged to have taken place. They might have taken a more satisfactory way of getting their real or imaginary grievances redressed. (A voice” “Speak out.”) They had the Chinese now overrunning their country in torrents (Cheers.)
They had been threatened with an incursion of barbarians, as Mr Parkes said in his place in the House. The vast hordes of China threatened to overrun the small handful of Europeans now in this colony (“Speak out.”) Shall I speak out? (Cries of “Yes, yes.”) Whose fault is it? (Cries of “Hear, hear,” and cheers.) Whose fault is it? (Cheers, and a voice: “Our fault,” and laughter.) He hoped, then, that the gentleman who had taken upon himself to be spokesman of this meeting, and said “our fault,” would take immediate steps to stay the bloodshed. (Laughter.)
But who sent an army there? (Cries of “Cowper.”) And who brought it down again? (Laughter, and “Cowper.”) Who spent your money so? (Cries of “Cowper.”) And who went up to Lambing Flat, and made a speech? (Cries of “Cowper!”) And who did the diggers say was a liar? (Cries of “Cowper!” and “question.”) He was speaking to the question. (Continued cheering.)
And now whose fault was it that all this disturbance had been allowed to take place? (Hear, hear.) They had had ministers for three years in office — (Cheers, and a voice: “Who put them in?” and confusion) — but they had refused to pass Mr. Lucas’s bill. (Continued cries of hear, hear.) Who humbugged Mr. Lucas? (A voice “The Upper House.”) They were there to tell the truth. (Cheers.) For three years they had had the Chinese question before them. (Confusion.) It was perfectly well known what political opinions he entertained. (Hear, hear.) He had not come forward as a volunteer; but having been invited, he was simply expressing his opinion, and he cared not whom he offended by so doing. (Cheers.) He might be wrong; but, if so, still he was wrong conscientiously. (Applause.) It was rubbish to talk about the Chinese question in the manner in which it had been spoken of. They had had men three years in power, who had had this question brought before them year after year, who could have done anything they would, and yet who had positively deceived his friend Mr. Lucas. (Applause.) They had not only deceived him, but also every man that ever believed in them. (Cheers, and some tokens of disapprobation.)
(A person in the crowd: “They passed the Land Bill.”) His volunteer friend said they passed the Land Bill. (Confusion.) He (Mr. D.) had been asked to come to this meeting, and he had consented to do so in violation of a resolution he had made to himself not to take part in any popular demonstration; but he would not consent, having come to the meeting, to tell his fellow-colonists what he did not believe was right and true. (Applause.)
Let the saddle be put on the right horse. Surely men who had been three years in power could have done something. (Cheers.) Those were the men! (Continued applause, and cries of “Question” from the platform.) If he was not talking to the question he ought not to have been asked to come forward. (Cheers.) If he were called to question by the meeting he would retire. (Applause, and cries of “Go on.”)
In conclusion, he would say that he had no sympathy with the proceedings of those who had broken the law. (Hear, hear.) They ought to have taken constitutional means of obtaining redress. (Cheers.) But it was the men who had governed this country for three years and had not taken any steps to restrict Chinese immigration, who had caused the outbreak, and if this meeting passed any resolutions to embody their views, they ought certainly to say something about those rulers of theirs, who if they could not have prevented it entirely, might at least have done something towards it. (Cheers.)
The resolution was put and carried unanimously.
The CHAIRMAN had received a note from the Rev. Mr. Stanley, in which that gentleman said that he regretted to state that some previous engagement would unfortunately prevent him from doing himself the pleasure of being present at the meeting that evening. The letter was rather too lengthy for him to read to them; but in order that they might have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with its contents he should hand it to the reporters of the daily papers. (Cries of “For the Empire, the Empire!”) He should give a copy of it to the reporters of each of the two papers, so that they might read it in the morning. Having said this, he should call upon Mr. W. B. Allen to move the second resolution.
Mr. W. B. ALLEN said the resolution which had been entrusted to him to propose was as follows:— “That this meeting is of opinion that the most effectual way of terminating the unhappy disturbances which are continually taking place between the Europeans and the Chinese is by complying with the voice of the people’s representatives, as expressed in the last Parliament, namely, by preventing the Chinese from digging for gold, and imposing a tax upon them landing in this colony.” (Cheers.)
A VOICE: The best way would be to drive them all down like a flock of sheep, and send them back to their country. (Cheers.)
Mr. W. B. ALLEN, in moving the resolution which he had just read to them, would take leave to say that the people of this colony were a law-and-order-loving people — constitutional men all of them. And this was the case although it might possibly be shown, or be attempted to be shown, that the letter of the law was against some of those who had taken part in this anti-Chinese movement. If they had acted in antagonism to the letter of the law, they had not the less acted in accordance with the spirit of their constitutional rights.
It would be remembered that as long as two years ago a bill for imposing restrictions upon Chinese immigration had been brought in the Lower House by the members of their representative Government in that chamber. In that House it was passed, but when it went up to the other non-elective branch of the Legislature it had been cast out. So far, then, it was evident that their system of representation was sound in its action upon this important matter. The bill asked for was passed by the representatives of the people, and would have become law if the measure had not been strangled in the other chamber. Such a state of things showed that the representative system was not to be blamed in this matter, and, at the same time, it likewise showed that the Legislature, as at present constituted, was unable effectually to deal with this vital question.
The representatives of the people had passed a law, which was in accordance with the desires of the people, but when that measure, so much looked for, came up to the Second Chamber — a Chamber not responsible either to the Queen or to the people — that Chamber had utterly refused to pass it, and had sent it back to the Assembly. No; he was wrong. The bill had not been sent back to the other House for reconsideration. It had not been considered by the Council at all, but had been “kicked” out without any amendment whatever. (Cheers and groans.)
After that measure, another similar bill had been introduced into the Legislative Assembly, and that, as it happened, had fallen through on account of the prorogation.
Last session a third bill of the kind had been sent up from the Legislative Assembly, and that also had been kicked out by the other House, as the former one had been.
The opinions of the people had been represented by the representatives of the people, and had been contemptuously ignored by the Upper House. This being the case, there was no course left for the people to follow but to exert all that influence which they undoubtedly possessed (Cheers.)
He was glad indeed to see so large a meeting there that evening; it reminded him of meetings which had been held in that hall two years ago on the subject of the propriety of affording protection to native industry (Cheers and laughter.) What he had seen since then amply justified the principles he had advanced at those meetings.
The people had been sent to the diggings for the want of employment at their respective trades, through the unholy competition which had resulted from the unrestricted importation of the manufactures of other countries; and now it was found, when they did go to work at these diggings, they had still the same foreign labour to compete with in another shape — they had to work side by side with a set of foreign robbers. (Cheers.) Such were the people that it was not thought too much to place side by side with British people, and allow to reap all those advantages which were the birthright of British people, due to them in virtue of their high state of civilization. And it seemed that they were to be told that they possessed nothing in their constitution which could effectually obviate such a humiliating state of things. It was, nevertheless, high time that the evil should be remedied, and the voice of public opinion would, doubtless, bring about such a result, in spite of all interested opposition.
He believed that those gentlemen, who had got up that meeting, deserved great credit for what they had done, for they had been the means of giving the people an opportunity of expressing their feelings upon this great question in a proper and constitutional manner — a mode far preferable to that afforded by the proposed night meeting on the Racecourse — (uproar) — where the Volunteers were to have been brought out to prevent public discussion (Cheers, counter-cheers, and emphatic cries of “No;” Mr. Windeyer expressing his dissent from the last observation of the speaker.) He (Mr. Allen) did not object to the Volunteers. (Continued noise.) He did not object to their doing anything that the Government might choose to consider their duty; but he wished nevertheless, to give them some good advice. He would advise them, if they did undertake such duties as had been indicated, to bid good-bye to their fathers and mothers before they put on their uniform on any such occasion. (Loud cheers.)
Did they see that poor woman going past them in the street with her eight children muffled in black crape? That woman was the widow of Lupton; those children were the orphan children of the same unfortunate — a man killed by a random shot from the guns of the police, fired for the protection of the Chinese in digging gold at Lambing Flat. (Cheers.) The spirit of the constitution was on the one side, and the letter of the law upon the other; the two were not together, as they ought to be, but antagonistic.
Nothing but an element in their present Constitution, which was not representative but wholly irresponsible to the people, prevented the law being made what it ought to be about the Chinese immigration. The Upper House had refused to allow the law to become what the spirit of a representative Constitution demanded that it should be. He was for law and order, but not for that law and order which would be the means of overrunning the country with these Chinese. The men who had opposed the presence of those semi-barbarians on the diggings had not rebelled against the Government — not against what was the spirit of the Constitution.
He said what he meant, and would not shrink from so doing, although he was, of course, well aware that he would have to bear the odium of the Herald to-morrow. (Cheers, howls, and other loud demonstrations of opinion.) As a representative of the people, he felt bound to give expression to his opinion at any public meeting of that description. If he was to be tied down and interdicted from the use of argument with his fellow-subjects, all he could say was that he would not continue to be a Parliamentary representative upon such unworthy terms. (Cheers.)
He did not deny that the men at Lambing Flat might not have rebelled against the letter of the law, but he denied that they had rebelled in their acts against the spirit of the law, or against the spirit of the Constitution. Their conduct had not been the conduct of rebels. Was it like the conduct of rebels for them to go and offer bail for the release of those men whom they believed to be illegally detained in custody? Did their behaviour seem like that of rebels when they recognised two constables as persons in police charge of the diggings on the part of the Government after the police had left? (A voice: “Those were the invisible blues.” Loud laughter.)
Far from countenancing depredations of any kind they had taken care to make provision for the security of life and property, offering a guard of a hundred men to any storekeeper who might consider his place endangered. (Cheers.) Yet these were the men stigmatised as rioters and robbers by Mr. Griffin. (“We’ll make a griffin of him.”)
The Government they had here was a representative Government, and that representative Government was fettered in legislation, — in securing such legislation as the people required. As it was they had bad laws; laws, badly made, which they had no power to have repealed. Were they to submit to such laws, or to rise en masse and demand their repeal? Let them band together for the common good, and roll back this barbarian invasion. (Cheers and noise.)
What were they to do with those Chinese who had come to the colony? Why just this: make those who brought them, send them all back. They might do this much, but they were far from being authorised to treat them in any unkind and cruel manner. It must be always remembered, whatever should be resolved upon, that the Chinamen came here under the impression that they would be allowed by the Government to dig for gold wherever they liked, as they had been allowed to do at first. (Cheers, and interruption.)
He wished to have the whole responsibility of what he had said. He was now a public character, and had the opinions of the public to study, as long as they thought fit to rely upon him, and allowed him to occupy his present position. He acquitted the chairman of holding the opinions he (Mr. Allen) had endeavoured to explain, and he hoped the members of the Press — (Uproar and confusion.) What a gentleman, whose name he did not know, had written in the Herald, were exactly his sentiments, namely, that England is looking to this country for cotton; England desires to see cotton plantations established in the colony; the Chinese are acquainted with the cultivation of the plant; and he (Mr. Allen) did not think they would be interfering with the industry of the country if the Chinese here, instead of expending their labour in gold digging, were allowed to expend it growing cotton. (A few cheers.) He had suggested to the Government the propriety of letting them land — not selling it to them, for he would not give them any indefeasible right to it — upon the condition that they employed themselves in raising cotton upon it. (Uproar and cries of “No, no.”)
Then the resolution went so far as to say that any more Chinese coming into this country should be taxed. With this he agreed; but he did not think that if they taxed the Chinese, and at the same time allowed them to work our gold-fields, they would be deterred from coming here. If allowed to go on the gold-fields they would come in spite of any taxation. (A voice: “Let them bring their wives with them.”)
With those few remarks, and hoping they would keep the views he had expressed very secret, not letting any one know them, he begged to thank the meeting for the patient hearing he had received.
Mr. GLEADALL, on rising to speak to the resolution, said it was not unusual for men who took part in public meetings, to say “I am not prepared after the eloquent speech just delivered, to enter upon the question at any great length.” (Cries of “Roll-up” from the gallery.) Nevertheless, when an important resolution like this, upon on important subject, was moved, it would become the duty of any person taking part in support of it to say something to the question.
As the preceding speaker had given his opinions with reference to the Constitution, perhaps he (Mr. Gleadall) might be allowed to say — if not in self-defence, yet in explanation — what were his opinions upon the Constitution. He understood the Constitution to be this: To be composed of two Houses of Parliament and his Excellency the Governor-General. And he understood that, until a law passed both houses, it was not the law of the land, although it might virtually be, if there was purity in the Government. To carry out the constitution and give effect to the action of the representative House, we had this great prerogative in the power of his Excellency and the Ministers combined, namely, that when a clear and deliberate expression of the views of the people had been taken on any given subject, it was the duty of the Government to see the measure embodying them carried into effect, even if it required them to swamp the Upper House. He said this without wishing to create animosity; but before this question could be settled, he believed that, unless the Upper House changed their course of action with regard to it, that Chamber would have to be swamped.
He was aware that there were some who would try to degrade the character of this city by statements to the effect that they were sympathising with anarchy and rebellion against the British standard, but they had no very great faith in it themselves. They wished to have some hold upon the people if they could get it. They would like to have to record such an occurrence in the pages of history against the vitality of constitutional government. No more effectual or injurious steps could be taken than to sanction for a single moment any rebellious disturbance. He had his own opinion upon the origin of the dispute at Lambing Flat. But as we had representative institutions let us think intelligently upon the subject, and determine that they should not be disgraced in the page of history by sanctioning any rebellious proceedings against law.
With the power the people had they could enforce what they desired with regard to this great question. Let them strengthen the hands of their representatives, and not be apathetic because this or that man had deceived them, and he ventured to say the measure would become law within twelve months. The resolution devised two modes of getting rid of the difficulty, but doubtless there would arise objections to them. The first was to prevent the Chinese from digging for gold on their own responsibility, or in their own individual right; and the second was the imposition of a tax upon their landing in the colony. He thought both exceedingly necessary. If prevented from digging on the gold-fields the Chinese were driven to seek industrial employment, we should have a kind of serfdom; but to complete the provisions of the measure they imposed a tax to restrict them from entering the country. He would desire to see them prohibited altogether. But objections were raised to this.
There was some particular treaty between England and China, about which there appeared some great virtue, and which it was said bound us to allow free Chinese immigration to this country. He would answer that question as far as he could. Supposing any treaty was concluded between England and China, and both Houses of Parliament condemned it — what then? He did not think it would be valid, and men well qualified to form an opinion upon the subject agreed with him. It followed as a consequence that, if we had no voice in the British Parliament — (cries of “No, no”) — it could not be binding upon us. Was this country, on account of any such treaty, to go so far as to allow Chinese to pour in by thousands, day after day and week after week, to demoralise its people and sap the vitality of its institutions? If the Chinese came amongst us, they were our equals, or they were not; they were either fit or unfit to use the privileges of our institutions; but he maintained that it would be highly injurious to the national character of this country to allow such contamination to take place. (Cheers.)
The resolution also said there was no other way of getting rid of these unhappy disturbances between Europeans and Chinese than those proposed, owing to their repulsive and loathsome habits. By these resolutions, it was intended to rid the country of these deplorable collisions, and he called upon all supporters of law and order to assist in carrying them into effect. If allowed to remain on the diggings, people there would be something like a volcano, grumbling and firing up into rebellion; and it was our duty to get rid of the incubus in the best manner possible. No encouragement or sanction should be given to disobedience of the law on the part of the diggers. Their feelings had been touched by a reference to the widow and children of Lupton; but if rebellion and lawlessness were allowed to proceed unchecked, there would be hundreds of cases like that of Lupton. (Cheers.) We ought to be extremely cautious in the agitation of such a question; a foolish or hasty expression might lead to the loss of many lives. He believed a measure affecting the Chinese in this colony could be carried by the force of constitutional pressure by the people upon the Legislature. (Cheers.)
Mr. J. LUCAS, M.L.A., on rising said he did not know that he should have addressed the meeting this evening, except for a few remarks made by Mr. Allen, from which he widely differed. If we did not admit Chinamen as free men we would not have them as slaves. The colony should have no Chinese at all. (Loud and prolonged cheering.)
The Upper House had thrown out two Chinese bills, but if the people’s representatives would follow him (Mr. Lucas) in the matter they would vote no supplies until the Chinese bill was passed. (Cheers.) They would bring things to a dead lock, and see which was the strongest. (Loud applause.)
The representatives of the people were sent to the country on the Land Bill, and the people answered nobly to the appeal; he now hoped they might be sent to the country on the Chinese Bill. They would see what the representatives of the people could do then. He was convinced that the feeling of the people throughout the length and breadth of the land was for the prevention of Chinese immigration to this country, and the representatives in favour of it would be returned again triumphantly. If, then, the same opposition was offered to the measure the Upper House should be swamped, and the bill passed in defiance of them.
How quickly that House passed the Gold-fields Regulation Bill; and why — some of the members or their friends had private gold-fields, and they expected that when the Chinese were driven from other gold-fields they would come to theirs, when they could charge them any price they liked. If the Chinese did not like to pay that price, then they would have to seek the labour market as domestic or agricultural servants or labourers, until driven from that position like the charcoal burners. (Cheers.) He believed that if they were driven from our gold-fields there was only one thing for us to do — that was to send them back to their own country. (Loud applause.)
Had they passed his bill there would not have been this disturbance at Lambing Flat. It provided that the tax should go into the Treasury, but not be used as ordinary revenue — it was to go to support pauper Chinese, and to send the refractory back to China. Many of the people’s representatives dared not vote against his bill, but they strangled it whilst he had temporarily left the House. They passed such amendments as made the bill impracticable. (Cries of “Rotton.”) Oh no, that gentleman opposed the bill manfully.
It had been said that England had entered into a certain treaty with China, and that for this reason, it was urged, we were to be overrun by people from that country — because a few Manchester, Liverpool, or London merchants had fortunes by the opening up of China — or because some of the members of our Legislature had sold Chinamen a ton of rice, or were agents in the Chinese trade — the country was to be overrun by these people.
If 200,000 Frenchmen, Russians, Germans, or other foreigners entered England, would not Parliament soon pass a bill to prevent them? Yet that number would be nothing, seeing the population of England, when they came to look at the proportion of Chinese here to the European population. Our male adult population was something over 100,000, and there were 20,000 Chinamen in the country; yet there came shipload after shipload, and how long would it be at the present rate before they equalled our own male adults in number?
Then look at their character; how had they behaved at Native Dog Creek? Look at the massacres they committed at Borneo, Java, and Singapore. He believed that the Europeans who took part in the riot at Lambing Flat were wrong, nor did he sympathise with them. But he thought a more cowardly act was never committed than when the police ran away and deserted the public property. (Cheers.)
He also thought the Governor had made a great mistake in refusing to receive the delegates from Lambing Flat; there was nothing to show that they participated in any lawless acts there. All they required was an investigation of the matter. And were there no grounds for investigation? Had they not the Herald and the Empire giving very different reports of the facts? There was one singular fact, however, in reference to the reports of one paper, namely, that its special correspondent bolted with the police, and now wanted to become interpreter for the Chinese. This gentleman was in Yass whence he sent his reports, and if what he (Mr. Lucas) had heard was true, this gentleman, if informed by any one that all the stores at Lambing Flat were burnt down, would immediately send down a message to Sydney saying that the diggers did it.
Letters from persons who were in the camp at the time of the quarrel had been seen, and one of these gentlemen (young M’Lerie) stated plainly that he charged without receiving the orders of Zouch. (Groans and hisses.) This officer rushed forward and slashed away cutting an unarmed person about the face. Why, if an officer in the army had charged the people before he had the command of his superior officer he would have been turned out. There were fifty or sixty respectable storekeepers, a solicitor, and a reverend gentleman, who said that the people were fired upon before the diggers fired at all, and that the Riot Act was never read till the end of the affair. (A voice: “Did they read it at Yass?”)
The police slunk in fours and fives, for fear, probably, lest some digger should give them chace. But what did the rebellious diggers then do? Why, they took charge of the arms and ammunition the police had abandoned, and handed them over to Sergeant Scarlett. Did that look like a desire to commit a riot? — The time would come when an investigation would be made into this affair, and the people would then see whether the Herald and the officials on one side, and the Empire and forty or fifty respectable storekeepers and others on the opposite side, had told the truth. (A voice: “Three cheers for the Empire,” succeeded by uproar.)
Let them remember the conduct of the officials on the occasion of the Chinese outbreak at Native Dog Creek. Information was given at eight or nine o’clock that the Chinese were murdering the Europeans, but the superintendent of the patrol did not leave Bathurst until four o’clock, and then he could not ride. Such was the man appointed to the command of the western patrol. (Cries of “Who appointed him,” and rejoinders of “Cowper,” “M’Lerie.”)
Some people talked of the attempt to stop Chinese immigration as disloyal to the Crown. But this was not the case; they wanted British rule here, but not to be overrun by foreigners of this stamp. Indeed, he agreed in thinking that the immigration of any foreign people to these shores to such extent as to be likely to outnumber the British population should be stopped.
Look at the report of Mr. Parkes’ inquiry in select committee upon the condition of the working classes. It was stated in evidence that as many as 400 or 500 Chinese were thrust into one house, and that they made a hole in the floor for a convenience. (Laughter mixed with hisses.) Then look at the evidence taken at the police office, in which it was stated that cart loads of filth ware taken from this place inhabited by Chinese. Even a Chinese gentleman, who was examined, said there was a “very great stink.” In our prisons they dare not lock two of them up in the same cell. These so-called innocent persons were found in prisons all over the country. These were the inoffensive people held up as an example to the inhabitants of New South Wales.
He could only tell them that he should rather see this movement taken up exclusively by the people out of doors. It did not require the advocacy of persons in his position to awaken the public feeling. This had been expressed over and over again, and their representatives would have to make it felt in the House of Assembly. He had already tried his utmost to get a bill passed to restrict Chinese immigration; but on every occasion he had been defeated in his endeavours to carry such a law. But on the very first day of the House opening it was his intention to again introduce the bill. (Loud cheers.) He was determined not to let the matter drop, and immediately the House met he should ask leave in the usual way for permission to introduce a Chinese Immigration Bill. (Cheers.)
He did not mean to say that he would fly in the face of the Government if the latter desired to take the question up. On the contrary, if the Government would come forward and state that they desired to deal with the question, and would introduce a measure, he should at once give way to them. (Cheers.) He cared not who had the credit of carrying the bill, so that one were carried as soon as possible. From the first moment of his entering the House he had used his best exertions to have a Chinese Bill passed.
When Mr. Forster was in office he asked that gentleman if he intended to bring in a Chinese Bill? He was told “no,” and he then introduced one himself. (Cheers.) It was thrown out, however, and being afterwards brought forward again, it was strangled by the dissolution which took place. Last session, as they were aware, a similar measure was defeated by the nominee Upper House, — strangled after it had received the unanimous sanction of the people’s representatives. (Cheers.) But as he said before he should ask leave on the 3rd of September to bring in the bill again (cheers), and if defeated he would introduce one every session till the question was settled in accordance with the feelings of the country. (Loud cheers.)
For he felt assured that no power on earth could ever make the Chinese and Europeans live quietly and harmoniously together. We may quell disturbances in one place, but they will sure to rise up in another (cheers), and if the Chinese be allowed here, we shall have these disturbances so frequent that the revenues of the country will not be able to bear the cost of enforcing and preserving order. (Cheers.)
Mr. Deniehy and Mr. Windeyer had told them in more eloquent language than he could use, the evils which resulted from the mixture of opposite races. What was there, he asked, in the character of these Chinese that some persons should wish to have them here in opposition to the will of nine-tenths of the entire people of the colony? (Cheers.) What benefit did they confer on the country? (A voice: “Cheap labour.”) Do they cultivate our soil, or add to our manufactures — (“Spurious gold,”) — or do they in any way assist to develop the resources of the country? (Cries of “No.”) He said “No,” too, and he had always been of opinion that this species of immigration ought to be put a stop to.
He looked upon them as a most undesirable class of persons, who could never blend with our race; and wandering about the country as they were, alien to us in language, feeling, and religion, bound together by secret compacts amongst themselves, they seemed as though their hand was raised against every man, and every man’s hand against them. A people thus situated must be a curse to any country in which they are permitted to locate themselves.
He should not longer detain the meeting, but begged to thank them all most sincerely for the patient hearing which had been given him. (Loud cheers.)
The resolution was then put from the chair, and carried unanimously, amidst reiterated outbursts of applause.
Mr. DALGLEISH, M.L.A., moved the third resolution — “That a petition be drawn up, embodying the foregoing resolutions, and that a deputation be appointed to present the same to the Government, such deputation to consist of the following gentlemen, viz. — His Worship the Mayor, Mr. W. C. Windeyer, M.L.A., Mr. D. H. Deniehy, Mr. John Lucas, M.L.A., Mr. Gleadall, Mr. W. B. Allen, M.L.A., Mr. Dalgleish, M.L.A., and Mr. Bunting, sen.”
After some preliminary remarks expressive of his satisfaction at witnessing such an enthusiastic and constitutional manifestation of public feeling, Mr. Dalgleish said that, as oil and water cannot mix, so no two races like the European and Chinese could ever commingle. Their presence here was not inaptly likened to a volcano, and so long as this volcanic agency existed there would always be danger of eruptions. (Cheers.) Could they wonder at these disturbances, while they had this moral volcano in their midst? (Cries of “No, no,” and cheers.)
Much had been said about having no sympathy with those who have broken the law. He, too, joined in that sentiment; but before saying that we cannot justify, we should at all events examine. (Cheers.) Let us first see that the law has been broken, and in the face of the conflicting statements which have reached us, let us suspend judgment till the real truth of the matter has been made manifest. (Loud cheers.) By doing so, we should only be doing justice to ourselves and to our fellow subjects who are now probably living under the suspension of those social and constitutional rights which all Britons so dearly prize. — (Cheers.)
A suggestion had been made by some one in the body of the meeting and echoed in the gallery, that the example set by the people of the Cape — a people as orderly and as law-abiding as ourselves — in respect to the transportation question; an example which was afterwards followed successfully by the people of Port Phillip. He should not like to see any necessity arise for such a step; — but if the Chinese continued to pour in upon us, at the present rate, and legislation was still made impossible by the obstinacy of any body of persons, the people would be justified if they took steps to prevent any further shipments from being landed, supposing that they were unanimously and determinedly of opinion that this kind of immigration must cease. (Cheers.)
The bill introduced by Mr. Lucas, and which he (Mr. Dalgleish) had assisted as far as he was able, would have done much to remedy the evil. It regulated the immigration by fixing it at one Chinese for every twenty tons, and no ship would have been likely to enter the trade on such conditions. (Cheers.)
He was glad to see such a meeting as the present. They had come there to assert in a constitutional manner, and in the exercise of a constitutional right, their views and feelings on a question which affected in a vital manner the interests and welfare of their common country. (Cheers.) The remedy was with themselves, and they must succeed.
When, many years ago, an attempt was made further to delay the Reform Bill, the people of Birmingham came to the resolution to pay no more taxes till the measure was passed into law. This was a perfectly constitutional course, though at first sight it might not appear in keeping with the letter of the Constitution. Government and legislation are intended solely for the benefit and protection of the people; and it was the duty of the Legislature to make laws in accordance with the views and feelings of the people from whom it springs. (Cheers.)
As to this Lambing Flat business, they must wait and ascertain the true particulars of the disturbance. At present they were left wholly in doubt as to its origin. Was it not disgraceful to find even the accredited representative of the Press — the person of all others who should have remained at his post to furnish an impartial account of the proceedings — to see him running off like a petty poltroon, degrading that noble institution, the members of which had followed our armies over the bloody plains of India and the Crimea, performing their important duties in the face of every danger. (Cheers.) He was informed that the retreat of the gallant troopers was so precipitate that they went off leaving their dinners untasted. (Cheers.) But he was rather wandering from the point.
In coming before them that evening, he was only fulfilling what he believed to be his duty. As a representative, he felt proud to take part in such a demonstration, for he had all along been averse to the immigration of Chinese. He hoped that neither in the House nor out of it had he done anything to cast disgrace on himself or the constituency which he represented; and believing that the feelings he entertained on this question were those of the great bulk of the community, he should, when Parliament next met, use every effort to secure a measure, not for regulating Chinese immigration, but for prohibiting it altogether, it possible. (Loud cheers.)
Mr. ARTLETT seconded the motion. By taking the course proposed they would strengthen the hands of their representatives. Besides, this would show at once whether the assertion made by Mr. Dalgleish that nine out of every ten, from the highest to the lowest, were opposed to the Chinese. And he would venture to say that the Government would find that nine out of every ten persons were in opposition to the introduction of the Chinese.
It had been truly remarked that a kind of stigma was endeavoured to be thrown on persons attending this meeting, It was said it was a kind of “roll up.” Now he begged to state most distinctly that their own conduct to-night would give the lie to this assertion. He for one thought with some of his friends, that it would be a better plan to meet here to-night than in the open air, because it would give those opposed to them no handle to traduce this meeting, and it would let the Press have the opportunity of reporting their proceedings, besides making every person responsible for his own words. He need not tell them he was opposed to the Chinese coming here, nor would he deduce any arguments to justify this conclusion, because so much had already been said upon this subject with which he agreed. He, however, could not justify the conduct of some portion of their journals who designated their fellow men not only as rogues and vagabonds, but as demons — and on the other hand upheld the Chinese as patterns of virtue, and as Celestial beings who were showered down from heaven, like the gifts of Danae.
What he had done was not for any personal aggrandisement, but he felt it would be degrading to the country if they continued to let the Chinese come in here and overrun the country. It was proposed that one petition should be sent immediately to the Governor from this meeting, and the other petition which had been before the committee would lie at different parts of the town to be signed by all the constituents. These lists would then be collected, and he had little doubt that they would get a petition of half a mile long to present to Parliament.
He thought enough had been said in the matter, and that all around him were of one mind that the Chinese should not be admitted into this country. (Cheers.)
The CHAIRMAN then put the resolution, and on reading Mr. Bunting’s name as one of the committee loud cries of “No, no,” “Scratch him out,” were raised.
The question, whether Mr. Bunting’s name should remain as one of the committee, was put and carried by a large majority.
The original resolution was then put and carried unanimously, amidst loud cheering.
On the motion of Mr. LUCAS, the Chairman left the chair, and Mr. Driver took it.
Mr. LUCAS then moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which was carried amidst tremendous applause.
The CHAIRMAN acknowledged the compliment, and said he had done nothing to receive their thanks, because this meeting had, by their good conduct, given him nothing to do. This was the largest meeting that had ever been held in this hall, and their conduct during the whole of the proceedings had given the lie to those who tried to burke it, and prevent him from occupying the position of chairman.
He never believed that this meeting had come here for any other purpose but that of maintaining the law of the land, and if they required any alteration in the law — any constitutional alteration — they could only obtain it in the straightforward course they had taken to-night. He could only thank them for their good conduct, and hoped they would not allow any of their enemies to make any one of them commit an injury on these unfortunate beings, because by doing so they would only disgrace themselves as men.
The bill for excluding the Chinese had been before the Legislature for the last three years, and he thought the best way of getting it passed was to tie up the purse strings of the State, and refuse to grant supply until it was the law of the land. (Cheers.)
Three cheers were then given for the Queen and three groans for the Herald, and the meeting separated.
The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), 1 August 1861, p. 5
Assembly = the Legislative Assembly, the lower house of parliament in the various states of Australia
burke = cover-up, smother, suppress (from the case of William Burke, who was found guilty of having smothered to death sixteen people in Edinburgh, during 1827-1828, to sell the bodies to a professor of anatomy; thus Burke’s surname came to mean murder by smothering, and subsequently was used regarding the smothering of inquiries)
the Cape = in the context of South Africa: the Cape of Good Hope, a rocky promontory on the southern Atlantic coast of South Africa
chace = an archaic spelling of “chase”
Cowper = Sir Charles Cowper (1807-1875, born in England), Premier of New South Wales for five separate terms (1856, 1857-1859, 1861-1863, 1865-1866, 1870)
Danae = in Greek mythology, Danae was a daughter of King Acrisius and Queen Eurydice of Argos; prophecy had foretold that Acrisius would be killed by his daughter’s son, so Acrisius locked Danae up in a tower so that she would never have a child, but Zeus appeared to Danae in the form of golden rain and made her pregnant
Empire = in the context of Sydney, New South Wales: the Empire newspaper (Sydney, NSW), owned by Henry Parkes
fetter = a chain, manacle, or shackle placed around a prisoner’s ankle; something which confines or restrains; to put fetters upon; to confine, restrain, or restrict
Griffin = J. H. Griffin, a Goldfields Commissioner in New South Wales; he was present at Lambing Flat around the time of the anti-Chinese riots
Herald = in the context of Sydney, New South Wales: the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper
incubus = a demon or evil spirit said to descend upon people in their sleep, sometimes said to have sexual relations with women in their sleep (as distinct from a succubus, said to have sexual relations with men in their sleep); in a general sense, it refers to a nightmare, or to something that acts like a nightmare
Lambing Flat = the town of Lambing Flat (New South Wales), now known as Young; it was in this area that the Lambing Flat riots took place in 1861, with approximately 2000 Europeans ejecting several hundred Chinese from the goldfields
Martin Van Buren = (1782-1862) the eighth President of the United States of America (1837-1841)
M.L.A. = Member of the Legislative Assembly
obviate = to avoid, prevent or remove (by the use of an appropriate measure) a difficulty, problem, or need; render unnecessary
Parkes = Sir Henry Parkes, who was the owner and editor of The Empire (Sydney) newspaper, and Premier of New South Wales for five separate terms (1872-1875, 1877, 1878-1883, 1887-1889, 1889-1891)
poltroon = an abject coward, a total coward, an utter coward
Rotton = Henry Rotton, (1814-1881, born in England) a pastoralist and politician in colonial New South Wales
volunteer = a member of a part-time volunteer military home defence force
W. B. Allen = William Bell Allen (1812-1869, born in Ireland) a manufacturer and politician in colonial New South Wales
Zouch = Henry Zouch (1811-1883), superintendent of police; he was present at Lambing Flat around the time of the anti-Chinese riots
Old spelling in the original text:
[Editor: Changed “Legislatute for” to “Legislature for”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]