Institutionalising the White New Zealand policy: the parliamentary debates of the early 1890s

Anti-Chinese cartoon from California, 1870s
Anti-Chinese cartoon from California, 1870s

by Philip Ferguson

“It is said that women are mentally inferior to men. Why, Sir, have not women always shown themselves equal to men in an intelligent grasp of general questions whenever they have had equal opportunities, whenever they have had an opportunity of having their brains trained, exercised, and developed to the fullest extent? . . . I say the history of the past has shown us that we are justified in looking forward to their admission to the work of government with every confidence.” – William Pember Reeves, on votes for women1

“As to the arguments based on Chinese ancient civilisation, education, industry and frugality, Chinese civilisation was not civilisation as we understood it, but arrested development; their education was a fraud; their learning was limited to a few. . . Chinese frugality (meant) they did not observe the rules of sanitation and decency. . .” – William Pember Reeves on Chinese immigration to New Zealand2

In New Zealand, as in Australia, the 1890s was a decade of feverish attempts to legislate to keep out Asians, especially the Chinese. From the beginning to the end of the decade, legislation was introduced, ranging from naturalisation and aliens bills to undesirable immigrants bills, to prevent the Chinese entering the country and block those already here from becoming citizens and enjoying the normal rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Often the legislation included other ‘undesirables’ as well. Yet this was also a decade in which the banner of progressive social reform was held high – votes for women, factory reform, recognition of trade unions and attacks on the landed estates and their owners were being carried out, often by the same forces orchestrating anti-Chinese and related legislation, most particularly elements aligned with the Liberal Party which held power from the beginning of 1891.

Here I begin to trace the development of the anti-Chinese legislation in its various forms in the 1890s, look at the forces behind them and the arguments these forces used to justify/rationalise clearly racial (and racist) measures. I contrast their ‘reactionary’ views of the Chinese with their apparently ‘progressive’ views on other social issues, such as those mentioned in the paragraph above, and begin to explore the question of whether these two sets of views were in contradiction or whether there is a logical link between the two and they are both elements of the specific form of nationalism which was emerging in New Zealand at that time. Also examined are the arguments of those political figures who resisted the Liberals’ legislation on the Chinese and, further, their views of the social reforms of the decade, testing the historiographical contention that these figures were liberal humanitarians committed to fair play.

Most immediately, I (re)present in this article primarily the debate in the House of Representatives and Legislative Council, along with outlines of the legislation proposed and, in some cases, adopted. A substantial amount of the record of the parliamentary debates is used in this, for several reasons. Firstly, the existing work on the subject uses a minimal amount of the parliamentary debate, the vast bulk of which remains buried. Part of the aim of this thesis is to retrieve this debate. Secondly, in contrast to the currently dominant historiographical approach on this specific aspect of the issue, which develops an argument largely unencumbered by evidence from the parliamentary debates, my aim is to reproduce the actual debate in the same way that a body of statistical evidence would be reproduced, and only then to proceed to examine the debate. In this way we can test the existing claims that pro-working class politicians drove the anti-Chinese legislation and were staunchly opposed in principle by fair-minded/high-minded members of the elite in the Legislative Council.

Elites and racism

Stanfield refers to “how elites created and reproduce racial inequality” and thereby “provide the paradigms of the racialism of the less powerful classes. . .”3 There is a “vast historical literature on the many forms of elite racism in the past”, and “(m)uch earlier research has amply documented the role of white politicians, philosophers, historians, social scientists, psychologists, journalists, writers, the military, the clergy, managers, and other elites in the enactment, legitimation and reproduction of racism through the ages.”4 Discourse is central to elite racism as the influence and power of the elite are manifested at the level of discourse. Their “preferential access to and control over public discourse” is also crucial to the “manufacture of consensus.” At the same time, “the top-to-bottom origins of racism. . . often get ignored due to the ways in which elites are able to deflect cause and effect through their privileged status and resources.”5 Van Dijk’s examination of these processes is concerned not with extremist racism, but “the moderate mainstream” – which is especially useful as the proponents of the White New Zealand policy were in the mainstream of politics. He also points to “how elite racism enables the very reproduction of racism throughout society, namely by. . . the preformulation of popular forms of racism.” The elites’ public actions are “predominantly discursive. . .” and impact significantly across society through their control of the mass media and other means of communication..6

This is not to say that there are no bottom-up influences at all. Popular racism can be a real force. However, “much of the motivation and many prejudiced arguments that seem to inspire popular racism are ‘prepared’ by the elites.” There is also a prejudice within elites and the social sciences that racial prejudice in society is not their responsibility.7 Moreover since elites control employment, education, political and social affairs and culture, they also decide which ideas will and will not be popularised.8 Also useful for the New Zealand case is Van Dijk’s point that white elites have a “double dominance”– over subaltern white groups and over other ethnic groups.9 He views discourse as data10 since it shapes ethnic consensus about the legitimacy of white group dominance within the dominant group itself.”11 Immigrants are problematised and marginalised, and

“. . . often associated with illegality, fraud, deviance, crime, violence, passivity, or lack of cultural adaptation. That is, they are represented as a threat to Our country and society. Populist rhetoric further seeks to legitimate such discourse and discriminatory decisions, for example, by seemingly following the democratic road of listening to the people’s voice and paying attention to popular ‘resentment’, which politicians have helped to instil or confirm in the first place.”12

In a following article I pick out, from the mass of evidence already presented, the key themes and how these relate to the intellectual/ideological outlook/s of the time, and examine the class, political and ideological placing of the members of the House and Council making these arguments. These themes, their connection to other ideas and issues (e.g. votes for women, labour legislation), ideologies at the level of society (e.g. forms of scientific racism, New Zealand nationalism) and to political alignments and struggles (e.g. between Liberals and conservatives, Liberals and liberals, the upper and lower houses, labour and capital) are explored and developed in the second chapter in this section. It looks at the emergence of the New Zealand nation state and its concomitant ideology, New Zealand nationalism, the way in which this attempted to harmonise otherwise antagonistic (or potentially antagonistic) class interests and what the key ideas within this nationalism were. This serves as the backdrop for the debate about the Chinese.

Discrimination against the Chinese was not a discrete issue; rather it was an integral part of the broader discussion about what kind of society this should – and should not – be, what kind of citizens were wanted – and not wanted – and what means would be used to bring about the desired results. So, in a future article, I will be exploring how the arguments used in the parliamentary debates reflected, and contributed to, the developing nationalist ideology. There is, further, some discussion of how nationalist ideology differed markedly in its view of Chinese as compared to Maori and of how anti-Chinese arguments reflected pseudo-scientific and racial thinking more globally.

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New decade, new legislation

One of the first pieces of legislation introduced by the new Liberal government which took power in January 1891 was the Aliens Bill of 1891. It allowed people naturalised in other British dominions to present their papers and be naturalised in New Zealand without having to go through the naturalisation process. The previous half-crown fee for naturalisation was to be abolished. The Bill stipulated, however, that it was not to apply to the Chinese – it referred to “any person, not being of the Chinese race, resident in New Zealand, who has previously obtained any certificate or letters of naturalisation in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or any part thereof, or in any British colony. . .”13 Moreover they were still to pay the £1 naturalisation fee which had been inflicted on them in 1882.14 The Bill was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives, providing an indication of the wide, cross-party agreement – which characterises the 1890s – on the undesirability of the Chinese as both immigrants and citizens.

In the Legislative Council, the Bill met with strong opposition, however. Just over half of its total membership of 42 took part in a vote, which resulted in a 19-3 decision to strike out the wording “not being of the Chinese race”.15 Seddon, for the government, rejected the Legislative Council amendment, arguing that it was “undesirable” to give additional facilities for the naturalisation of Chinese who had been naturalised in other colonies. In terms of the fee, he said the Bill merely maintained the distinction already accepted in earlier legislation between the amounts to be paid by Chinese and other foreigners and there was no good reason to depart from this.16

Patrick Buckley, one of the three who had voted to keep the wording, then moved in the Council that it not insist on its amendments. This motion was lost 24-3.17 He suggested a compromise that the expression in clause three be struck out, but the rest stand. A committee of the Legislative Council formed to draw up reasons for insisting on the amendments gave two reasons for doing so. Firstly, the Act would be disallowed in England because it would be seen as injuring Imperial interests in relation to China. Secondly, that whereas the Aliens Act of 1880 had not distinguish Chinese, the 1891 Bill was “vexatious” against them and would be felt as “a brand of inferiority”.18


If the anti-Liberal faction in the House, typified by Hall, accepted discrimination in principle, the arguments put forward by the Legislative Council members who voted to strike out the discriminatory references to the Chinese were scarcely pro-Chinese. For instance, the Legislative Council committee which put forward the two reasons cited above for rejecting the Bill stated, at the same time, “It may be quite true. . . (that) it is undesirable to give additional facilities” for the naturalisation of Chinese in New Zealand who had been naturalised in other British colonies.19 During the debate on the Bill within the Council, a range of arguments had been put forward by those wanting to alter the Bill. Dr Pollen (Auckland) argued there was no reason why “a respectable Chinese merchant” should be “treat(ed) worse than a negro. . .”20 Charles Bowen (Canterbury) felt “communities such as ours had a right to defend themselves against an iruption of the yellow race”, but could not see why they should “allow a negro, for instance, of the lowest type to be placed at an advantage in these matters over a Chinaman.” Since the Chinese had already been checked by immigration restriction it was unnecessary to further insult them.21

In fact, this was quite a common theme. George Whitmore (Hawkes Bay) argued, for instance, that making the Chinese pay more for naturalisation was “a shabby little method of harassing these people.” They had, he said, already been excluded by the poll tax and, if that was not enough, it could be “doubled or trebled” and “reach an amount sufficient to keep these people out of the country.”22 Samuel Shrimski (Otago) felt the Chinese “were quite heavily enough taxed” by the poll-tax, ensuring “there were sufficient disabilities to prevent a large influx” of them. Those who did get in should, while here, “be treated fairly: in fact, we should endeavour to make them equal with ourselves.”23 James Fulton (Otago) suggested the Bill should be rejected as it was merely a “miserable irritating” way of treating the Chinese, all for the sake of “a few half crowns.”24 Several also objected to the Bill as they saw it connected to the hustings. George McLean (Otago) said that while the Chinese were not popular, “if it were not that they formed the subject of stock arguments on the hustings, he supposed the Chinaman would be left alone.”25 Henry Scotland attacked the Bill’s “narrow-mindedness” before going on to express some of his own, saying, “it was generally stated that this was a working-man’s Government, and for that reason, he supposed, they might expect nothing but narrow-mindedness in such of its Bills as came before them.”26 There was no dispute in principle about excluding the Chinese.

Opposition in the Legislative Council meant the bill fell.27 The following year a new bill was put forward, becoming the Aliens Act Amendment Act 1892. It left out references to not applying to the Chinese and amended the former £1 naturalisation fee for Chinese by giving the Governor in Council power to impose a fee between ten shillings and £1.28

Other discussions on non-white immigration also took place that year. For instance, the discussion in Australia around renewing the important of coloured labour into the tropical north – especially Queensland – provoked debate in New Zealand. On July 8, a motion was put forward expressing opposition to such a move in Australia and delegating Sir George Grey, who was visiting across the Tasman, to represent the New Zealand viewpoint to the authorities there. The reintroduction of such labour in Australia was opposed, in the motion, on the grounds that it was injurious to the people of Australasia (i.e. both Australia and New Zealand) and to the coloured races concerned. This was an interesting departure and is connected to the fact that it was not primarily Asian but Pacific Islands labour which was being discussed. Liberal leader Ballance, however, saw the reintroduction of coloured labour into Australia as the short end of the wedge. It would then enter New Zealand, to be followed by “a flood of immigration from India, China, or other places.”29 William Earnshaw, never one to let pass an opportunity to attack Asians, complained that the motion left out the word ‘Asiatic’, which he regarded as a “word of more importance” than any other in the motion. For him the Chinese were a greater worry than the indigenous inhabitants of the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Although the Chinese were seen by their enemies in New Zealand as ‘inferior’, there was often, in their rhetoric, a kind of inversion of Darwinian survival of the fittest. Thus Earnshaw argued that while Kanaka, Aboriginal and Maori races were “doomed”, “the race that is not doomed, and that will survive, is the Asiatic horde which it is proposed to bring into Australia.” If non-Asian ‘coolies’ were introduced into northern estates, “you cannot possibly check the Chinese,” he argued. Moreover, this introduction of non-white labour was a plot by the “capitalists of Australia – from the banking institutions, from the large wool-kings, and from those who hold the cane-brakes, who are desirous of introducing this labour simply to deteriorate the stamina and living of the white people.” 30

Home of ‘British race’

The idea of a white New Zealand was confirmed not only by other Liberals such as James MacKintosh (Wallace), who declared his belief “that Australia and New Zealand are destined to be the home of the British race. . .”,31 but also by such leading opponents of the regime as Sir John Hall and Captain George Russell. Hall declared:

“I do not yield to any honourable member in my desire, and, indeed, determination, that this colony, with its temperate climate, should be reserved for European labour, and that such labour should not be interfered with by the introduction of coloured labour.”

However, he argued, Europeans simply could not perform field labour in a tropical climate and therefore coloured labour was needed in places such as Queensland.32 Russell began his speech by declaring, “No person more than myself would deplore the introduction of a coloured race into Australasia.” He said this had not always been his view, but the more he had thought about it “the more I have become convinced. . .” In his view Australia’s climate meant it would have to use coloured labour in the North. New Zealand would therefore have to be very careful how it allied itself with Australia. He extended the climate question, then, to New Zealand’s own democratic and bright future, saying, “I believe we shall have a freer and more independent population in this country, because we shall have a more vigorous race owing to our more bracing climate.”33

The main argument used by those government opponents who disagreed with its motion on this issue – for example, Thompson, Buckland, Fish and Fergus – was that what Australia did in relation to this question was none of New Zealand’s business.34 It fell to the virulently anti-Chinese Seddon to express humanitarian views. He argued, for instance, in opposition to Kanaka and other coloured labour in Australia on a racial basis, but continued, in stark contrast to his views of the Chinese:

“They are our fellow-beings, although of a different colour; they are our nearest neighbours. . . how many islanders have lost their lives at the hands of the white man, and no men-of-war have been sent to do what is right for the natives.”

He expressed pleasure that New Zealand rejected federation with Australia, because it would have found itself part of a country “that would have been willing to sacrifice that which is just and right” and went on to quote Sir Henry Parkes’ words in a recent issue of the Sydney Daily Telegraph that “The only foundation and the only security for the freedom of a people is political equality.”35

Protectionism and anti-Chinese racism

The following year Buller Liberal MHR Eugene O’Connor introduced a new Aliens Bill – the Aliens Act 1880 Amendment – as a private members’ bill. Moving it, he linked exclusion of Asians with one of the other great principles of that time, protectionism. If NZers were going to be protected by tariffs, “we surely ought to protect them against the manufactures of aliens, and against being supplanted by them in industrial pursuits.” The bill, he stated, aimed to prevent ‘Asiatic’ inhabitants, “a very threatening element in our midst”, from becoming naturalised. Asian immigrants were presented by him as “birds of passage”, who “interfer(ed) with” and took “means of subsistence” from the working class and, having “reaped a harvest which they had not sown”, returned home. He raised the cry of “New Zealand for the New Zealanders” and declared restriction of the Chinese “the most important question that could engage members’ attention. . .” Fish, who had laughed at a point in the speech where O’Connor hoped the government would take up the Bill, was attacked as not wanting to defend workers’ interests and seeming “to have no sympathy with his own race.” Fish should go back to his Dunedin constituency and tell “sorely-harassed storekeepers”, the “struggling poor” and the “poor widow” struggling to run a fruitshop, that he preferred Chinese competitors should get their business and employment “to the exclusion of our race, who were thus pauperised and driven to charitable aid.”36

McLean raised the scare that the Chinese had taken over the Melbourne furniture trade and were now doing likewise with the Wellington fruit trade. They were accused by him of putting fruit under their beds at night “in order to sweat it into ripeness”, of gambling all day on Sunday, and moving to extend their “monopoly” over the Wellington fruit trade into other trades. If the colony was allowed “to be overrun by any alien race it must of necessity degrade the present inhabitants; it must bring them down.”37 Bruce argued that excluding the Chinese was but an extension of protectionism. Moreover, the Chinese, as “morally very inferior to the Anglo-Saxon race”, were “a very undesirable addition” to the colony’s population. Being “morally inferior” and coming “in great numbers” meant “they polluted the atmosphere all round.” Having protected themselves “against an influx of criminals from Great Britain”, it was only right to protect themselves from “an inferior race”. Bruce also posed a ‘social Darwinist’ view, saying “It was all very well to hold cosmopolitan views. . . but in the struggle for existence it was absolutely necessary to protect one’s-self. . . it was the duty of every race to protect itself.” They were protecting themselves “not merely as a community, but as a nation” from people who “came, like locusts, to get all they could and then go back to China.” There was a need for something “to be done diplomatically between the Mother-country and China.”38

Opposition revolved around several issues, but excluded any suggestion of Chinese being able to enter the country on the same terms as Europeans. MacKintosh thought the bill “monstrous” because of the way it dealt with Chinese already in New Zealand. The bill would also affect Europeans, including Germans and Italians. However, far from opposing exclusion of Chinese, he noted that Australia and New Zealand had “settled unanimously” that the Chinese should not be allowed to increase in numbers and “(f)or a considerable time he had held the same view”, primarily because of the sojourner nature of Chinese immigration.39 Earnshaw opposed it because “he did not think it dealt with the question in a proper manner” – for instance it excluded Europeans as well – but affirmed the government would have to act on ‘Asiatic’ immigration because of their competition with white labour.40 Buckland made a strong denunciation of the bill for its persecution of the Chinese – for instance attempting to deprive them of the right to pursue a number of trades, including shopkeeping and gardening – as this was an “unmanly and unfair” thing to do. But, if a “manly and a more fair measure”, such as “we would not allow any more Chinese to come here” was adopted, he might support a measure such as O’Connor’s. The numbers of Chinese were so small that, providing any further “influx” was prevented, they would eventually either assimilate or leave the colony anyway. He also objected to the bill as it was being brought in on the eve of an election and was about O’Connor wanting “to protect his tinpot twopenny-halfpenny villages on the West Coast.”41

The bill did not progress past its second reading, however,42 due to the position of the government, Seddon declaring it over-zealous. He then went on to attack the Chinese alone, claiming that from his direct experience they had “overrun our alluvial goldfields” doing “a serious injury to the European miners” and, more generally, “were impoverishing the country” through taking out wealth while putting nothing back in. It was necessary “to preserve and improve our race” so that “with our climate, with our present population, and with other advantages” New Zealanders “must and should be the first people in the southern seas.”43 When attention was called to the lack of a quorum, the House was adjourned.

In 1894 a Hawkers and Pedlars Bill was introduced, the main target being ‘Syrians’. Moving the second reading, Reeves pointed out that the bill was not just to regulate the carrying on of the trade but had a “second object. . . to prevent the influx of Asiatics to carry on this business.” He claimed ‘Asiatics’ had “streamed into the colony in recent years” and that “(w)e do not, of course, want Asiatics in the country at all”, even though he admitted “they were in many cases a peaceable and inoffensive people. . .” There was no point, he argued, in trying to raise standards of education, morality and comfort if “inferior races” were allowed to “stream in” and “lower the level of intellect, civilisation, and prosperity.” Large numbers of “poor people” coming in from Australia and England were bad enough in his view “but it was infinitely worse when the influx came from inferior, barbarous, or semi-barbarous races.”

The bill proposed, in its first two clauses, that only British subjects who had been resident in New Zealand for twelve months or a person who had been naturalised and resident twelve months could get a licence as a hawker or pedlar. These stipulations, said Reeves, “should be a tolerably good barrier. . .”44 The bill also gave the authorities the power to seize alcohol being sold by such traders. Opposition centred mainly on the unreasonableness of the clause governing residence in New Zealand and to its diminution of the power of local government in the matter.45 Seddon raised the spectre of an outbreak of hawking and peddling, and the carrying on of business “which would be better carried on by our own people”, while Hogg was concerned with preventing “the sale or importation of foreign rubbish.”46 A number of amendments were moved, but the bill was discharged on September 25.47

During the time in which the bill was in parliament, it was agreed on July 18, on the motion of G.W. Russell (Riccarton) that a return should be put before the House giving Chinese numbers in each province indicated by the 1885 and 1891 census, the number who had left the colony between the 1885 census and March 31, 1894, and the number who had died, returned to the colony or paid the poll-tax.48 On September 18, Meredith asked for the numbers of both Chinese and other ‘Asiatics’ in the country, and the number of each group in receipt of charitable aid.49 The following day Collins pointed to an alleged arrival in Wellington of “considerable numbers” of Chinese and asked if the government was “prepared to deal with this evil. . .” Reeves replied that during the previous six months ninety-six Chinese had departed Wellington while only ninety-four had entered, but that he was “exceedingly anxious to pass a Bill.”50

On September 25, Collins asked the government if instructions would be issued to ensure that premises owned and occupied by Chinese were “more efficiently inspected” so as to reduce the health risk. The Chinese “manner and mode of life,” he claimed, “were such as really to menace the health of any community amongst whom they might reside.” Seddon responded that central government had no power in the matter but that he would send a copy of Collins’ question and remarks to local authorities in the four main cities and courteously ask them to act upon it.”51 On October 10, G.W. Russell asked the government if they would “introduce a short Bill this session to prevent the wholesale naturalisation of Chinese now going on in the colony. . .” Such naturalisation would make it harder to exclude Chinese. He presumed “there was no possibility” of Reeves’ Undesirable Immigrants Bill being passed that session. Reeves responded that if other members “were of the same obliging temper” as Russell “the Bill would pass into law within the next few days”; he also stated the government proposed to call for a report on the character of each applicant and their length of residence and that might be useful in preventing naturalisation of “undesirable Chinese.”52 As it was, Reeves’ bill53 fell without having been discussed at all.54 The same day, Collins asked if a short bill could be brought in raising the poll tax to £50, to which Ward responded that, in view of the bills which had been struck off the Order Paper it was unlikely this could be done.55 (Reeves’ bill was not, for him anyway, without support. He claimed the following year, for instance, that since the bill he had found on his travels around the country and to Australia a “strong feeling of support” for it.56)

‘Against Asiatics having equal rights of residence’

On July 3, 1895 Collins asked if the government was aware that premises occupied by Chinese in the main cities were “in many instances” used for gambling and would the government suppress these gambling houses. “The evil. . . was assuming such proportions, and associated with it were evils of such a nature” that urgency was required. Seddon responded that this was a matter for local authorities and that if Collins furnished him with information he would pass it on to them and ask them to take immediate action.57 The same day saw the first reading of Reeves’ Asiatic and Other Immigration Restriction Bill. On July 23, the day of its second reading, G.W. Russell asked whether the Anglo-Japanese Treaty – signed on July 14, 1894 – had been forwarded yet from London to the government. He drew attention solely to article 19, which covered the application of the Treaty’s stipulations. India, Canada, Natal and Australasia were excluded but could be included if notice to that effect was given by London to Tokyo within two years. Russell singled out the issue of the subjects of the contracting powers having equal residency rights. He thought that, except for that aspect, it would be wise for New Zealand to be a party to the treaty. However, since “our policy was against Asiatic races having equal rights of residence, he assumed there would be no probability of the House accepting the Treaty on any such condition.” Ward replied that the government had received the treaty and when they had made up their minds the house would be informed.58

Reeves’ bill was categorised as a labour bill. It went before the Labour Bills Committee, returning to the House virtually unamended.59 The annual conference of trades councils which met for eight days in Christchurch in April 1895 listed it as one of four labour bills coming before parliament which deserved special preference, the others being Servants Registry, Master and Apprentice, Fair Tenders and Co-operative Labour Empowering. If there is a theme which links these bills is the notion of fair play or a level playing field, a balance being achieved through placing the rights of labour on par with those of capital. This balance could involve extending rights to pakeha women, but not to Chinese. The labour gathering, for instance, resolved to meet Seddon on the subject of female clerks being employed by the government, with the aim of requesting equal pay for equal work. The Lyttelton Times, reporting on the conference endorsed this, and then, in the very next sentence, stated, “As for the employment of coolies on steamers receiving government subsidy, that matter may very soon be solved by the discontinuance of all mail subsidies.” Undesirable immigrants were seen as altering the balance, by unfair competition with existing workers and wage levels. Also involved was an idealised notion of workers, in the form of an accentuation of the moral worth of industrious and sober, not to mention sane and white, ‘working men’. For instance, the staunchly Liberal Lyttelton Times described the delegates as

“men of picked intelligence and experience. They conducted their deliberations as became men entrusted with weighty responsibilities, and their utterances and resolutions were marked by reasonableness and moderation. In some respects the conference might be held to supply a model for parliamentary representatives to copy.”60

A few days after the trades councils’ conference concluded in Christchurch, the New Zealand Workers Union held its annual conference in Temuka and a large public meeting took place – on April 24 – in the Theatre Royal in Christchurch against Chinese immigration. Reeves spoke at the Christchurch meeting and the next day at the Temuka conference, which earlier had passed a motion that it was unadvisable to allow Chinese into the union.61 The Christchurch meeting was advertised on the front page of the April 24 issue of the Lyttelton Times, then the country’s largest circulation morning newspaper, under the heading “Anti-Chinese demonstration”. A short piece inside the paper declared that “prompt and effective measures must be adopted” in order to save Christchurch from “the economic and moral evils” inflicted elsewhere by “the meek Mongolian” who was able “to compete unfairly with our artisans and traders”. It also complained that the Wellington fruit trade was monopolised by “unclean Asiatics”, suggesting they had “contagious and other diseases”.

The day after the meeting the paper carried both an editorial and a large report on the “vast anti-Chinese meeting” whose attendance included “a large number of ladies”. The meeting was specifically to deal with the Undesirable Immigrants Bill “in relation to Chinese and other Asiatics”. In delivering the main speech Reeves covered several key themes. He received applause when he said that Grey had been right to have declared this the most important question facing the people of New Zealand and further applause when he indicated that himself, Ballance and others wanted to raise the poll tax to keep the Chinese out altogether. While he showed that he was aware that more Chinese were leaving than entering New Zealand, the drain of the Chinese was not fast enough. “In dealing with Asiatics they were dealing with hundreds of millions” ready to descend as a result of “any convulsion in Asia.” “Loud applause,” reported the Lyttelton Times, greeted his declaration that “New Zealand should be a country for white men.” He then went on to make the comments quoted at the start of this chapter about Chinese arrested development. This theme was taken up by Collins, who argued – against those who thought the Chinese should be let in in order to civilise them – “It would take some thousands of years of evolution to raise the Chinaman to the level of the European” and New Zealand society would be ruined in the process. To “loud and prolonged applause”, he also raised the scare of leprosy. The presence of the Chinese, he argued, “was a danger to the means, manners and morals of the community”.

G.W. Russell took up Reeves’ theme of the Chinese multitude. After complaining the Chinese quarters in Wellington were disgusting and they were now competing in trade in the capital, he pointed out that their homeland – only eighteen days by steamship – could send out fifty million people without missing them. New Zealand needed to protect itself, “even to the extent of pushing out those who are here now.” He also opposed naturalisation of “Mongolians”, especially as this meant they could sit on juries and be involved in cases where Europeans could be sentenced to death. “(I)t was,” he argued, “the duty of the colonists to keep the race pure and to hand it down to posterity free from any racial taint.” The other speaker, G.J. Smith, focused on two arguments: that by accepting low wages the Chinese would lower workers’ living standards and that “the presence of aliens was bound to lower the standard of morality, and was a menace to the democracy of the country.” Although he seconded the motion by Reeves, “That in the opinion of this meeting legislation to prevent the influx of Asiatics into New Zealand is imperatively necessary” (which had also received “loud and prolonged applause”), he did fret that they should beware about putting obstacles in the way of trade with the East.

Liberals like old British Torydom

One person did speak from the floor in opposition to the anti-Chinese campaign. J. O’B Hoare attacked the bill as “one of the most immoral ever brought before Parliament”, a statement met with “interruptions and groans” by the hall. When he began talking about “reciprocity of nations” he was drowned out and sat down. He described the behaviour of the predominantly Liberal meeting as like “the old days of Torydom in England”. J.P. Kissel, the president of the Canterbury Liberal Association and a member of the executive of the Christchurch Workingmen’s Club, and W.I. Ballinger, president of the Progressive Liberal Association, moved thanks to the speakers and an Anti-Chinese League was formed.62 The editorial in the Lyttelton Times reiterated the paranoia about the country being flooded by ‘Asiatics’ and “the evil of Asiatic competition”, enthusiastically noting that the meeting “resolved most emphatically to be anti-Asiatic, and to prevent by every constitutional means the handing over of this fair country’s future to a people alien in race, in sympathies, in aspirations and in modes of thought.”

The developing nationalism and the thorny question of the new nation’s right to legislate becoming entangled with British imperial interests was also taken up. Related to this was the question of liberal principles in relation to humanity. The paper was, unlike Reeves, prepared to admit there was a case that China was highly developed, but saw Chinese religion, philosophy and morality as “not in accord with the genius of our people.” “The point of strong insistence,” it said in relation to the meeting, “was that the people of New Zealand have a right to say what should be the stamp of population admitted to the land.” It was all very well for well-populated and industrially developed Britain to have an “open door” to ‘Asiatics’, but the colonies were in a different position, with “unoccupied spaces” and “large stores of undeveloped wealth” which would “suffer industrial conquest at the hands of a horde of Asiatics”. This would “prevent the expansion of our own race. . .” Thus on the tricky question of ‘the brotherhood of man’, the paper declared:

“A broad spirit of humanity and cosmopolitan sentiment would doubtless bid us recognise all men as brothers and grant them equal rights, but experience teaches us that only disaster can come from projecting that theory into practice.”

Closing the doors, it said, “doubtless smacks of Conservatism. . , but it is a Conservatism that has everything to commend it in the circumstances in which we are placed.” Indeed the paper hoped that the anti-Chinese agitation would encourage the government not only to block “an influx of Asiatics” but also “impose such conditions on those already in New Zealand as will minimise their evil influence on the health, morals and the general well-being of the community.”63

Unemployment and anti-Chinese racism

April 1895 is an interesting month in relation to anti-Chinese agitation in Canterbury. The two union gatherings and the Christchurch public meeting took place against a backdrop of the end of the Sino-Japanese war and growing local worries about unemployment and poverty. Despite the decrease in Chinese in New Zealand at this time – Reeves admitting at the April 24, 1895 meeting that 550 more Chinese had left New Zealand than entered in the five years following the 1888 exclusionary legislation – and China’s defeat by Japan, which might have shown that China was no military threat, fear of the Chinese was its height. The Lyttelton Times, for instance, while claiming China’s defeat showed how inferior they were, drew little comfort from it, while putting on a brave face about any ramifications in relation to Japan’s victory. The main significance of the war was to show the “utter incapacity of the Chinese army and navy, for no reliable authority holds that the Japanese could make any show against an ordinary European force, either at sea or in the field.” It went on to refer typically to “China’s teeming millions” and then comment that the “secret societies, with which China swarms, were as busy as a hive of bees.”64

Three days after the anti-Chinese meeting the paper ran an editorial headed “The Unemployed”, carrying information from the Department of Labour’s official journal, issued the previous week, indicating widespread unemployment.65 The same day, back from Temuka, Reeves met 100 unemployed in the Land Board Room in Christchurch. Two days later another editorial, titled “The Christchurch Unemployed”, began, “It seems to be inevitable that Canterbury should suffer a depletion of population, if wholesale pauperisation is to be avoided.”66

Pressing the bill in the House, Reeves spoke at considerable length. Claiming it was a “national necessity”, he argued that restriction of undesirable immigrants was firstly required because of the cost. He cited the amounts spent the previous year on the Prisons Department, the Lunacy Department, hospitals and charitable aid – a total of £260,000. On top of this were police and justice. There were already in the country “too large an element of imbecility, crime, vice, and insanity, without having that annually recruited from outside.” The bill was “based on the law of nature”, he said, linking certain types of settlers and behaviour with the prevention of the formation of an ideal society:

“. . . what you sow you reap. . . you will not gather grapes of thorns nor figs of thistles. And, if this democracy will open its doors to the criminal, the pauper, the imbecile, the drunkard, the man of inferior race or of arrested civilisation, unquestionably paupers will breed paupers, criminals will breed criminals, lunatics will transmit lunacy, just as a man diseased will hand down disease to his children and his children’s children.”

The colony had dealt with these problems in the past in a piecemeal fashion, with bills to restrict different groups (‘Asiatics’, lunatics etc), but this was “ineffectual”. “Asiatics,” he complained, “have not been expelled from the country” and lunacy, crime and disease statistics were rising. It was necessary to close off the immigration of the people responsible for this and restrict as much as possible their extent in the population. He then launched into an attack on the Chinese for taking, he claimed, £25,000 per year out of the country the previous year when 170 of them left. They also spread disease, were immoral and ignorant, engaged in unfair competition and kept whites out of work. He claimed they were increasing in numbers as ninety-nine more had entered the country than left in the year to July 31, 1894, and forty-four more in the year to July 31, 1895. When a member interjected “What about the deaths?”, Seddon interjected back, “They do not die.” Reeves argued the slight increase in entrants over departees meant the effect of the 1888 Act was “wearing off”.

When it was suggested by Robert Thompson (Marsden) that the Japanese would not allow New Zealand to keep them out, Reeves responded, “I am rather inclined to doubt whether the Anglo-Saxon race has so utterly lost grit, pluck, and backbone that we are to be dictated to by an Asian Power as to the sort of laws we pass here regulating our own immigration. . .” If Britain chose not to back New Zealand but to “crouch down before some out-of-the-way Asiatic Power” then New Zealand could turn to the United States for “foster” and “care”. As for those members who felt that certain Asians were above the Chinese and should not be excluded, “I do not hesitate to say that in my opinion the so-called Assyrian hawker is about as undesirable a person as John Chinaman himself.” The bill, he pointed out, aimed at stopping these people carrying on their trade and getting them “improved off the face of New Zealand as quickly as possible” and “to make themselves scarce in New Zealand.” The greater part of his speech, however, turned on the sick, lunatics and criminals, claiming Britain was off-loading its defectives onto New Zealand. What is interesting here is the way the Chinese were lumped together with the defectives as unsuitable for citizenship in a progressive democracy,67

Dr Alfred Newman (Wellington Suburbs) mocked the bill as being “simply a beggarly extension” of the 1888 Act, with the Liberals being forced to steal the clothes of the Conservatives whose policy was exclusion. Newman said he would vote for it because of that.68 John Duthie (City of Wellington) disagreed there was any need for the bill. He felt existing regulations were adequate, and Chinese numbers were falling and that Chinese cheap vegetables benefited workers. Yet he did “not for a moment wish to see our European labour degraded and deprived of the comforts of civilisation by the arrival of hordes of people from various Asiatic countries” and should that threaten in the future then he favoured more stringent legislation. In the meantime a £20 poll-tax – twice the existing poll-tax – would be ample.69 For John Stevens (Rangitikei) the sheer numbers of Chinese and Indians was a great fear, along with the spread of disease.70

Fair play

The staunchest attack on the bill came from within the Liberal Party, most notably from Robert Thompson (Marsden). He criticised it for going against “British fair play” and, since “we have forced ourselves into every country under the sun”, he felt “(t)he race we belong to should be the last to complain of foreigners coming to our country.” He rejected the idea the Chinese were immoral, ignorant and uncivilised. It was people coming from Australia, not the Chinese, who were flooding the labour market and, if there were going to be any restrictions, they should target these. The bill was “only a little bit of political clap-trap”, the aim of which was “simply to divert the attention of the working-man” rather than to protect workers. Moreover, if “a handful of people” in New Zealand tried to keep out members of “an intelligent, brave, and rising nation such as Japan”, they would make “a laughing stock” of themselves. Yet even Thompson, having made an impassioned attack on the bill from a standpoint of unequivocal support for its victims, did not oppose it outright, but suggested it go into committee where its “monstrosities” could be excised.71 Patrick O’Regan (Inangahua), another Liberal, also raised the issue of “the feeling of British fair play”, which he said militated against “hounding” the Chinese. While he stated that it would be different “(I)f the Chinese were invading the country”, the reality was numbers were decreasing and the bill was therefore unnecessary as well as against fair play. O’Regan also praised Chinese qualities and argued, “it must not be forgotten that they were a civilised people when our ancestors were wandering savages. . .” Furthermore, New Zealand could not and should not fence itself off from the world with these kinds of restrictions. Interestingly, for a Liberal Party MHR, he also questioned the desirability of protection and the growing power of the state, suggesting too much state involvement in public life was sapping individuality.72

James McGowan, Liberal MHR for Thames, while agreeing that white labour had to be looked after declared “our sense of right revolts against such an imposition as this Bill” which he described as “an imposition upon the Chinese and Asiatic races. . .” He also described situations such as any unsanitary conditions of the Chinese as being “on account of our own laws” which drove them to one area and deprived them of the sanitary amenities enjoyed by Europeans. “Many of us came here to better our position,” he noted, “and I have no doubt the Chinese came from their Flowery Land to try to better their position”, yet were confronted with “a very unfeeling and harsh position” in the bill. He went on to praise the Chinese for helping convert swamp into useable land, and argued that Chinese living in New Zealand any length of time “live just as well and are just as respectable as Europeans – that we see daily.” In this bill, Reeves was going “‘protection-mad’.”73

Some defence of the Chinese already here was mounted by Liberal Archibald Willis (MHR, Wanganui), who praised their industriousness and ability to save, both of which he thought European workers could emulate. He opposed further Chinese immigration, however. Willis attacked the bill mainly because he felt it cast the net too wide, for instance excluding contract labour and thereby restricting the rights of employers.74 Thomas MacKenzie (Liberal, Clutha) criticised Reeves, saying, “He must have a cry about something, and he goes to Christchurch and harangues the multitude, and gets up and stirs the people up about the unfortunate Chinaman.” He continued that Chinese often did work Europeans would not, or did not, take on. MacKenzie argued that unemployment was due to Reeves’ own “wretched labour legislation” which worked “against every man of enterprise and capital in the colony.” He also criticised charitable funds being “so lavishly. . . thrown about” that in many country districts women could not be found to do cleaning up or washing “for love or money.” While he wished no increase in the numbers of Chinese in the colony he declared he would have pleasure voting against the bill.75

Distorted views of progress

Thompson and O’Regan’s pro-Chinese views were challenged by their fellow Liberal MHR, William Collins (Christchurch City).76 This rationalist lecturer argued that the Chinese “have not progressed in two or three thousand years” and “we” did not want such a non-progessing people “allied with our own race” which would be “impeded by the grafting of people of other countries who are not amenable to progress.” The Anti-Chinese League “has been formed by the workers and for the workers,” he further claimed, going on to outline how much money he thought the Chinese were taking out of the country each year and how they were coming to monopolise cooks’ and laundry jobs. Collins argued the bill was “intended to improve the condition of the workers” and asked for support for it on that basis.77 Roderick MacKenzie (Liberal, Buller) attacked Thompson for saying “nothing worthy of any consideration” about the bill, and suggested the Chinese were a completely uncourageous people, about whom no tales of bravery were heard, while a recent rescue by Chinese seamen had probably been concocted for the newspapers by shipping companies.78 William Earnshaw, the Liberal MHR for Peninsula, suggested that O’Regan’s young age meant he knew nothing of the Chinese. The Chinese were not “a proper strain” – due to “their habits and social life” – to be introduced into New Zealand, and “we have, upon the broad lines of a race-struggle for existence and supremacy as a basis, a right to keep them out.” When another member suggested the bill would not keep out Asians, Earnshaw responded: “If this will not keep it out we will have a Bill that will. We are determined that New Zealand shall be a country for white labour, and that we will not have it mixed with this degenerate race; and degenerate it is in every possible way you can think of.”

When two races were brought together, he claimed, “the lowest type will undoubtedly wipe put the higher one.” In New Zealand, “with our extended system of franchise,” he argued, came “the right to say that we will prohibit such a state of affairs arising in our midst.”79

Charles Mills (Liberal, MHR for Waimea) argued in favour of the currently unemployed working the land co-operatively, with state assistance, and opposed the Chinese. He objected to the bill for excluding some of his British “kith and kin” and contract labour.80 G.W. Russell reiterated the undesirability of the Chinese as a threat to racial purity and suggested the bill needed to be strengthened as he believed Chinese were jumping ship. This was an important factor in what he saw as a big discrepancy between official figures and the amount of Chinese he claimed were actually here. He also called for the Chinese to be excluded from naturalisation, and for greater supervision of Chinese quarters, but criticised sections of the bill banning the entry of contract labour and other classes of European, such as certain types of poor people and those with non-contagious diseases.81 David Buddo (Liberal, Kaiapoi) argued the bill should include all “negroes”, whom he saw in toto as an “undesirable class”, but leave out contract labour and the sections of Europeans the bill included. As long as “a good workman” was “of European descent” and “not likely to become a pauper”, they should be let in. He also attacked hawkers as being “against the small shopkeeper’s interests. . .”82 William Crowther (Auckland City) and Francis Bell (Wellington City) attacked the clause holding ships’ captains and owners responsible for any passengers who, in the four years after landing, became a burden on the state.83 William Hutchison (Liberal, Dunedin City) reminded the House that, when a previous government had defaulted on the issue in 1880, he had brought in an anti-Chinese immigration bill and begun the task of “stemming the tide of Chinese immigration. . .” While he fully endorsed keeping the Chinese out, he could not agree with the bill’s measures denying rights to those here, as “they are here under the aegis of British law, and they ought to receive all the protection which it is capable of giving them.”84 In wrapping up this debate Reeves returned to the question of consumptives, arguing that to let them in would allow “this taint to sap the life of or population.”85

The Legislative Council had ordered, on the motion of Shrimski, that a petition presented by Chinese in New Zealand be printed.86 On September 11, Shrimski moved that a petition from Allan Ward and three other members of the Anti-Chinese League be referred back to the Public Petitions Committee for the taking of further evidence. His purpose was to show whether allegations made against the Chinese, for instance in relation to sanitary conditions, were true or not. Pollen objected that this gave the petition more importance than it deserved, and went on to state that the question of excluding Chinese had already been agreed on, including with “the general consent” of the Council itself. Existing legislation had been effective in keeping out the Chinese, and fresh calls were only being raised by Reeves and the “claquers of the Labour Department” and “certain labour associations” to provide a “complementary serenading” of his bill. Pollen hoped the Council would hear no more of the issue. Rigg, who was hostile to the Chinese, could see no point in taking further evidence at that time. Shrimski’s motion, however, was agreed to.87

On October 2, the House divided evenly on the question “That this Bill be further considered in Committee presently”, with the speaker then casting his deciding vote with the ‘Ayes’ and the bill being committed.88 On October 4, Bolt moved in the Legislative Council, “That the evidence taken before the Public Petitions Committee relative to the petition of Allan Ward and other members of the anti-Chinese League, be printed. Anti-Chinese figures such as Rigg wanted it printed because “(t)he evidence was of a very sensational character”, alleging showing the unsanitary conditions of Chinese occupied premises in the capital. The evidence included statements by the Sanitary Inspector and police. McLean, however, argued that this was a petition, with attached statements “by a police officer or two and a few other people who had given evidence directly opposed to each other.” Shrimski argued that the particular police officers were government supporters, were doing the government’s bidding and entertained “the most bitter feelings against the Chinese.” Among allegations against the Chinese were that they hung bananas up to ripen, placed other bananas, along with jams, under their beds, and enticed not the usual “depraved women”, but “young girls of fifteen and sixteen” into their homes.” The motion that it be printed was lost 15-14, although this division was not strictly between opponents and councillors more sympathetic to the Chinese. For instance, Swanson defended the Chinese but voted in favour of the printing because he could not see that it would do any harm.89 Four days later Rigg moved that the Council adopt the position that the Chinese were undesirable immigrants. To justify this, he read out sections of the evidence attached to the anti-Chinese League. Debate on this followed for three days, with the Council then voting 13-8 against the motion.90

On October 24, Robert Thompson attempted to amend Reeves’ bill by excluding British subjects from the definition of ‘Asiatic’ and deleting the paragraph defining infectious or contagious disease, the first being lost 27-20, the second being maintained by a 23-16 vote.91 On October 26, Ward (acting for Reeves) moved further consideration of the bill, but this was lost 26-17.92 Effectively, the bill was thrown out.93

Raising the poll tax

On October 28, a new Chinese Immigrants Bill had its first reading in the Council and the House. In the House a vote of 40-10 agreed that leave be given for the introduction of the bill and proceeded to an immediate second reading. It contained only one enacting clause, raising the poll tax from £10 to £100. Robert Thompson and O’Regan attempted to amend this to £50, but the £100 stood by a 37-14 margin. Seddon argued that since other colonies had raised the poll-tax to £100, the existing lower tax in New Zealand would attract Chinese. “There were too many here already,” he told the House. “We did not want them, because they would be an injury to our country, and would be a permanent injury to our race.” Ward claimed there were “some hundreds of Chinese on their way to this colony” and emphasised the revenue gains the higher poll tax would bring. Dr Newman, G.J. Smith, Roderick McKenzie and Thomas MacKenzie indicated their desire for a clause excluding ‘Assyrian’ hawkers. After the vote on the amount, the bill was read for a third time.94

In the Council, William Montgomery (Canterbury) argued that although there had been a reduction of 859 Chinese in the colony since the 1881 Act there had been an “influx” in the last 21 months of 177 – i.e. in terms of arrivals over departures, but not taking into account deaths – and therefore it was necessary “to raise the import duty” on Chinese immigrants. He wished Scandinavians, Dutch and Americans to come as “they become one with our people”, while the Chinese “will always be an alien race. . .”95 For Rigg, “if there was only one Chinaman in the country that would be one too many.” This was because they “of all nations of the world are the least progressive. With a civilisation going back thousands of years, they are today further behind our standard of civilisation than any other country in the world which has had the same start and opportunities.”

He went on to give a string of examples to back up this claim, from the way Chinese dangled from bamboo rails and rolled a stone with their feet to carry out pressing operations where other countries used machinery through to the way they made kites in the shape of “(d)ragons and serpents and all sorts of peculiar things. . .” The Chinese were also “the most cowardly nation in the world”, “a nation of thieves” and “one of the most immoral nations on the face of the earth. They have no idea of morality; they have no virtue.” The only things they did not steal were those which they could not physically carry away, for instance landed property. When they were not engaged in lying to each other it was only because they were trying to devise means to cheat each other. Moreover, “they all gamble.” He followed this diatribe with a substantial extract along similar lines from the book The Middle Kingdom by S. Wells Williams, a Yale professor of Chinese Language and Literature. People like those unflatteringly portrayed by the Yale academic were allowed into the colony for a mere £10 “whilst a highly-bred Berkshire pig has to go to quarantine for six months.” He wondered “whether there is a single member of this Council who would allow a Chinaman to marry his daughter (or). . . his sister. . . (or) would take a Chinaman into his house, and allow him to stand on terms of intimacy with him?”96 Swanson replied that he would, as he had worked for a Chinese and found him one of the best people he had ever worked for. Yet Swanson still did “not want it to be thought that I consider them very desirable people. . .” However, he felt, to raise the poll tax so steeply was “absurd”.97 James Bonar (Westland) said that while Rigg “is supposed to be a Liberal” he was actually “one of the worst Tories in the world.” He praised the Chinese on the West Coast gold fields and stated that in twenty-five years of dealing with them he “found them remarkably straightforward.” The existing poll-tax was “quite enough” to restrict the entry of Chinese.98 In contrast, James Kerr, also of Westland, reiterated their undesirability, and the rightness of keeping them out, while arguing that those who were already here should “be treated fairly and decently. . .” As Chinese numbers fell, through death and departures, it would be possible, he said, to reduce the poll-tax from £100.99 Nevertheless since it was decided not to give the bill its second reading that day but in exactly six months time,100 the bill was finished.101


1 NZPD, vol LXVIII, 1890, p392.

2 Report on Reeves’ speech at a large anti-Chinese meeting at the Theatre Royal in Christchurch on April 24, 1895, Lyttelton Times, April 25, 1895.

3 John H. Stanfield II (series editor) in “Foreword” to Teun Van Dijk, Elite Discourse and Racism, London, Sage, 1993, pvii.

4 Ibid, px.

5 Ibid, pvii. Van Dijk notes the degree of denial among the elite about elite racism and its spread through society. This is due to their own “normative self-concept” as moral leaders. (Ibid, p9.)

6 Ibid, pp9-10. I am not attempting here to engage in elaborate discourse analysis, but to uncover the parliamentary debates of the 1890s to both test the existing, largely unsubstantiated historiographical claims and show how important ideological themes which were central to the emerging New Zealand nationalism were articulated by politicians.

7 Ibid, p10.

8 Ibid, p11.

9 Ibid, p284.

10 Ibid, pp11-12.

11 Ibid, pp22-3.

12 Ibid, p285.

13 NZPD LXXII, 1891, p244.

14 The £1 fee for the Chinese was inserted in the Aliens Act 1882 in committee; see

15 NZPD LXXII, 1891, p248.

16 NZPD LXXIII, 1891, p16.

17 Ibid, p130.

18 Ibid, p182.

19 Ibid.

20 NZPD LXXII, p244.

21 Ibid, p245.

22 Ibid, p246.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 Ibid, p248.

26 Ibid, p246.

27 For the content of the bill, see New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1891, No. 39-1, No. 39-2.

28 See NZ Statutes 56 Vict, no. 19, pp58-9.

29 NZPD LXXV, 1892, p339.

30 Ibid, pp356-7.

31 Ibid, p349.

32 Ibid, p345.

33 Ibid, p341. The connection between race and climate was so pronounced that Russell saw climate as the cause of the American civil war, people in the North and South having different temperaments because of climate.

34 Ibid, pp349, 350, 355, 357 respectively.

35 Ibid, pp342-4.

36 NZPD vol LXXXI, 1893, pp327-9.

37 Ibid, p330.

38 Ibid, pp331-3. Among the “cosmopolitan views” was, said Bruce, the criticism of “anything in the way of race persecution”.

39 Ibid, pp333-4.

40 Ibid, pp334-5.

41 Ibid, 1893, pp335-6.

42 For its contents, see New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1893, No. 113-1.

43 NZPD vol LXXXI, 1893, p337.

44 NZPD, vol LXXXIII, 1894, pp155-6.

45 See, for instance, Green, Crowther and Stout, ibid, pp157-9.

46 Ibid, p209, p211.

47 NZPD, vol LXXXV, 1894, pp189-91; NZPD, vol LXXXVI, 1894, p251; New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1894, No. 17-1.

48 NZPD, vol LXXXIII, p548.

49 NZPD, vol LXXXVI, 1894, p3.

50 Collins and Reeves, ibid, p80.

51 Collins and Seddon, ibid, p253.

52 Russell and Reeves, ibid, pp611-2.

53 New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1894, No. 158-1.

54 NZPD, vol LXXXVI, 1894, p892.

55 Ibid, p904.

56 NZPD vol LXXXIX, 1895, p345.

57 Collins and Seddon, NZPD vol LXXXVII, 1895, p319.

58 Russell and Ward, NZPD vol LXXXVIII, 1895, p119.

59 NZPD vol LXXXIX, 1895, p345.

60 Lyttelton Times, April 23, 1895.

61 The Lyttelton Times, April 23, 1895 mentions the motion passed at the Workers Union conference and that Reeves was going to speak at it two days later.

62 Kissell’s position in the Working Men’s Club is taken from a notice of its half-yearly meeting, which appears in the Lyttelton Times, April 19, 1895.

63 Lyttelton Times, editorial, April 25, 1895.

64 Lyttelton Times, editorial, April 18, 1895.

65 Lyttelton Times, editorial April 27, 1895.

66 Lyttelton Times, editorial, April 29, 1895; the same issue contains a short report on Reeves April 27 meeting with the unemployed.

67 NZPD vol LXXXIX, 1895, pp345-53.

68 Ibid, pp353-5.

69 Ibid, pp355-6.

70 Ibid, pp356-8.

71 Ibid, pp358-60.

72 Ibid, pp360-2.

73 Ibid, pp367-8.

74 Ibid, pp366-7.

75 Ibid, pp375-6.

76 McGowan spoke later in the debate.

77 NZPD vol LXXXIX, 1895, pp362-64.

78 Ibid, pp364-5.

79 Ibid, pp365-6.

80 Ibid, pp369-70.

81 Ibid, pp371-3.

82 Ibid, p373.

83 Ibid, p374, p377.

84 Ibid, pp374-5.

85 Ibid, p378.

86 Ibid, p278.

87 Shrimski, Pollen, Rigg, NZPD vol XC, 1895, pp130-1.

88 NZPD vol XCI, 1895, p31.

89 For the full discussion, see ibid, pp111-4.

90 Ibid, pp161-2, 183-6, 243-4, 283-4.

91 Ibid, pp607-8.

92 Ibid, pp716-7.

93 For its contents, see New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1895, No. 67-1, No. 67-2.

94 NZPD vol XCI, 1895, pp772-3.

95 Ibid, pp808-9.

96 Ibid, pp810-14.

97 Ibid, pp814-5.

98 Ibid.

99 Ibid, pp815-6.

100 Ibid, p816.

101 For its contents, see New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1895, No. 174-1, No. 174-2.

Earlier articles in this series:

Written in 1997: Arrested Development: the historiography of White New Zealand

Written in 1997: Analysing the White New Zealand policy: developing a theoretical framework

Written in 1997-98: Colonial social relations, the Chinese and the beginnings of New Zealand nationalist discourse

Written in 1998: Racialisation, subordination and the first exclusionary legislation

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