by Philip Ferguson

While the Chinese Immigrants Bill was languishing for lack of a second reading, the Asiatic Restriction Bill was introduced, and passed into law as the Asiatic Restriction Act of 1896.  In fact, the first version of the bill failed but a rapidly-introduced second version passed.  This repealed the Chinese Immigration Act 1881, The Chinese Immigration Act Amendment Act 1882 and the Chinese Immigration Act Amendment Act Continuation Act 1889.  However, the repeal of these Acts would not affect any regulations under them nor discharge penalties against anyone who had been liable under them.  The new Act contained 24 sections.  Its preamble declared that it was “expedient to safeguard the race-purity of the people of New Zealand by preventing the influx into the colony of persons of alien race. . .” An “Asiatic” was defined as “any native of any part of Asia, or of the islands adjacent to Asia or in Asiatic seas, and the descendants of any such natives”, but not to include people of “European or Jewish extraction” nor “British subjects, being natives of that portion of Her Majesty’s Dominions known as the Indian Empire. . .”

The Act made owners and masters of ships liable to fines of up to £100 for each “Asiatic” over the limit of one per 200 tonnes of ships’ tonnage.  Ships’ masters were, upon arrival to provide the principal customs officer with a list of all ‘Asiatics’ on board, including their name, place of birth, apparent age, and former place of residence.  Failure to do so made the master liable to a fine of up to £200.  The master was to pay a poll-tax of £100 per ‘Asiatic’, and there was no legal entry without this tax being paid.  In the event of a master not paying the tax, or any “Asiatic” landing before payment or escaping ashore, the master was liable to a penalty not exceeding £50 for each, as well as still having to pay the tax.  ‘Asiatics’ evading the Act could be fined a similar amount or, if the fine was not paid, they faced 12 months imprisonment.  “Asiatic” crew members were only to be allowed ashore in pursuance of ships’ duties; breaking of this regulation made the crew member and captain liable to a fine of £100.  Masters had to muster Asian crew members on arrival in the presence of the Customs officer and provide him with their number and names, and repeat this on departure.  In the case of any discrepancy, there was a fine of £100 for each “Asiatic” missing.  In order to overcome the problem of Asian passengers being moved from one ship to another and then ashore, the Act stipulated that the original ship would still be deemed to be the ship bringing them in.  No ship could leave port without all the provisions of the Act being met and all monies being paid.  Vessels could be detained anywhere until monies were paid or a bond with two sureties.  In cases of default, ships could be seized and sold.

Every Asian not already naturalised was declared an alien within the meaning of the 1880 Aliens Act, and the Governor was empowered to make regulations as he saw fit to prevent evasions of that earlier Act and the 1896 Act.  Naturalisation of ‘Asiatics’ who were Chinese was prohibited and every such person who left the country, and was not naturalised, or had not applied for naturalisation before September 1, 1896, would be treated –if they returned – as entering the country for the first time and thus subject to the provisions of the new Act. A number of exemptions were made, thereby avoiding thorny problems such as British treaty and other relationships with China and other Asian countries, which might have led to the Crown refusing assent.  The Act was thus not to apply to Her Majesty’s land and sea forces, the officers and crew of any ship of war of any Asiatic government, people accredited by Imperial or other governments, plus any Asians who were ministers or teachers of the Christian religion and duly accredited as such to the satisfaction of the Colonial Secretary.  The Colonial Secretary could also decide whether someone was Chinese or not.  In legal proceedings under the Act the court would decide nationality.  The Governor in Council was empowered to make rules and regulations to give effect to the Act.  The Act also reversed habeus corpus by placing the burden of proof on the defendant.[1]

This Act was promoted by Seddon “as a matter of urgency”, because, he alleged, “Every steamer that is now coming down from Australia, is bringing a large number of Chinese, and the number of Chinese in the city of Wellington has doubled during the last five years.”  They were “not a desirable class of colonist”,  because of their “unsanitary character” and the “contamination and the injury to our race”.[2]  Sir Robert Stout declared he had “always been in favour of passing stringent laws against the Chinese” for two reasons: “the racial ground”, which was the “main point”, and that “they have really a lower civilisation, which, if introduced into this colony, is bound to affect our civilisation, and lower it wherever they are situated.”  Stout fretted, however, about the wording of several clauses – he felt it was better state explicitly “the races excluded” rather than using the term “Asiatic” and defining it as including any native of Asia and the nearby islands.  Stout thought “we ought also to have. . . a law against negroes and Kaffirs, just as much as against the Chinese.”[3]  Dr Alfred Newman (Wellington) supported specifying races, as some ‘Asiatics’, he felt, included beautiful women and should not be excluded with “the worst of the Asiatics.”  While he declared himself as firmly in favour of shutting out the Japanese as the Chinese, the recent British treaty with Japan meant the legislation would not be supported by the British monarch.  The fact that some Asians were British subjects would also prevent it getting royal assent.  These necessitated spelling out the races to be excluded.[4] William Earnshaw argued that ‘Assyrian hawkers’ were even worse than the Chinese.  He continued that, “while excluding Asiatics, we should also exclude Assyrians, Japanese and negroes.  These four races are absolutely out of touch with our civilisation, and they will not mix or blend with our race – the hybrid product being worse than the pure race.”  The legislation needed to be put through “at once, in the best and highest interests of our Anglo-Saxon race, whether you consider it in its moral, social, or political aspect.”[5]  Walter Buchanan (Wairarapa) attacked Seddon’s wilful exaggeration of Chinese numbers, yet still declared his support for the bill “because it is better to take time by the forelock and prevent them coming, prevention being always so much better than cure.”[6]  John Duthie (Wellington) opposed the bill, pointing out there was no evidence of an influx of Chinese.  In providing cheap, good quality vegetables, he felt they were doing a useful community service.  He also saw the bill as “merely a move for popularity in view of the coming elections.”  While opposing it, he did, however, agree “there is danger from an inferior race coming into the country in great numbers. . .”[7]

The Speaker suggested that, since it was a Bill of urgency, it could proceed straight away to a third reading.  This was agreed, with Seddon then moving several amendments to clause 2, for instance defining Asians as “persons of the coloured races” not just anyone from Asia.[8]  The bill was then read a third time, although not before Duthie recorded some dissent, arguing that it was unnecessary at that time, but if there were to be an increase in Chinese in the future it would need to be halted by a stiffer poll tax.[9]  George Smith (Christchurch) claimed it was urgent, as competition in Christchurch was “getting bad enough”,[10] and Seddon repeated the need for urgency, suggesting the Chinese were so devious and clever as to be getting naturalisation certificates they were not entitled to.  He also raised the question of marriages between Chinese men and “New Zealand girls”, of which he said there were fifteen or sixteen, with “a large number of children”; this was “not desirable”.  John McLachlan (Ashburton) argued there was no need to worry about competition, as Europeans were superior to Chinese anyway; the problem, he suggested, was “taint”, continuing, “. . . we do not want them here.  We want to retain this country for white men.”[11]

In the Legislative Council, the second reading of the bill was moved by runholder and Liberal minister of education and immigration, William Campbell Walker (Ashburton).  He admitted the statistics showed no increase in Chinese numbers in the country, but noted the shift of the Chinese population to the cities.  The Chinese on the goldfields had not been much of a problem and did not compete much with Europeans, but in the cities, which “the Chinaman. . . has now invaded”, Europeans were being competed with and wages depressed.  Particular attention was drawn to the doubling of Chinese numbers in Wellington from 1891 to 1896 – from 107 to 212.  Restriction elsewhere was seen as contributing to an influx in New Zealand.  The Chinese gender imbalance meant “many of these Chinamen make alliances with our women” and reproduce.  The mixed-race offspring had the effect, Walker claimed, of lowering the standard of civilisation.  Moreover, Chinese men had “no conception of the value of female life, or of female excellence, or of the female soul, than he has of the brute beast that he puts between the shaft of his cart. . .”  The daughters of such unions were “slaves of their fathers. . .”  While the Anglo-Saxons were themselves the result of earlier racial mixing, these fusions had involved “strong races. . . that lent themselves to the fusion”, while “Asiatic races are incapable of fusing successfully with the Anglo-Saxon race” and such fusion created merely an “unhappy and inferior class of mixed-race called ‘Eurasian’. .  ”  A Japanese danger was raised, especially since it was “an admitted fact that a Japanese will live where even a Chinaman would starve. . .”  Overall, the danger of an Asian influx, with all its negative results, was “perfectly possible and extremely probable.”[12]  A few days later, Walker linked the issues of exclusion, trade unions and high wages.  He described the Chinese as “bond slaves” and continued, along lines not normally associated with runholders, namely that high wages were important for the young country and cheap Chinese labour “is the greatest detriment to our well-being and social progress. . .”[13]

Rigg declared that New Zealand had the right the exclude British subjects, and other colonies had done this, when such people were deemed undesirable.  Councillors sympathetic to the Chinese were either “utterly ignorant of what the Chinese are”, “wilfully blind” or “simply judge the race from the few specimens that come to their residences to sell them vegetables.”  People sympathetic to the Chinese were those who, for instance, rented premises to them for more than they could get from Europeans.  These property owners’ “sordid minds” made them approve of the Chinese.  Similar individuals, he alleged, owned sweating establishments and were “the most objectionable class of people that any country can possess.”  They were “on about an equality with the Chinese” in his opinion.  The Chinese, he  claimed, were “anything but law-abiding.” The opium smoking, gambling and “other forms of immorality” which existed in their “dens” was contaminating the whole community.  The bill was “merely an instalment of the complete set of immigration laws” necessary.  He also held up as a model the United States which excluded not only “coloured people” but also those, like consumptives and “sickly women without any means and any prospect of employment”, likely to be a charge on the state, and also contract labourers.  In the United States, steamship companies were held responsible for the landing of people who might later become a charge on the state.  People had to pass through “a regular sifting process” upon landing on Long Island – presumably he was referring to the immigration facility at Ellis Island – often including medical examination of both sexes.  He also favoured a measure preventing the naturalisation of Chinese, confining them to “certain parts of the city” and putting them “under close police supervision.”  The more New Zealand progressed, he argued, the more “the unfortunate and the destitute of other countries” would wish “to flock” here.  This must be prevented, because “it is impossible for us to reform the world.”  Rather, New Zealanders “should endeavour to make it (New Zealand) better, and not try to degrade it by introducing elements which are likely to cause degeneration.”[14]  Francis Arkwright (Wellington) linked keeping out the Chinese with raising the standard of living of (pakeha) workers.  Whereas Whitmore had compared some Asian immigration to migration into England by Protestant craftsmen in earlier centuries, Arkwright dismissed this.  Since the earlier refugees “were people of a like race with ours” they could intermarry with the English “with very great advantage to England”, whereas the Chinese were an “alien race” who could “never possibly blend with our own”; moreover, “it would be extremely undesirable to blend with our own if there was any possibility of it.”  He also rejected the charge the bill was an electioneering manoeuvre, but even if it had been this did not matter as in a referendum “an overwhelming majority would be found in favour of a measure such as this.”[15]

William Montgomery, a Canterbury Liberal, lawyer and farmer, claimed the Chinese had “already driven us out of the Northern Territory of Australia” and their “unrestricted entry into the other colonies we must prevent at all hazards.”  He continued:

“We cannot compete with Chinese, we cannot intermix or intermarry with them; they are aliens in language, thought, and customs; they are working animals of low grade but great vitality. . .  To compete successfully with a Chinaman, the artisan or labourer of our own flesh and blood would require to be degraded into a mere mechanical beast of labour, unable to support wife or family, toiling seven days in the week, with no amusements, enjoyments, or comforts of any kind, no interest in the country, contributing no share towards the expense of government. . .”

Englishmen would be starved out by the Chinese “in accordance with the law of currency” that “the baser will always supplant the better.”  The legislation, he claimed, “is being asked for by the working-men” and they should be given “the benefit of the doubt” and it should be passed.  He also mentioned that the government and the “representatives of the people” had passed the bill, the suggestion being that the Council should not go against these elected representatives.  Montgomery also dealt with the question of royal assent, by saying that if the colony was to be proud of itself and “have value in the eyes of our own people”, then “we should fearlessly say we do not want Chinamen to be here at all” and “we must have the independence to say what people shall not come amongst us.”[16]

W. Downie Stewart (Otago) argued that since the House, “who are supposed to be more in touch with the feelings, sentiments, and opinions of the people than this body is”, had declared in favour of tighter restriction, the Council “should be very careful, and not endeavour to stop an expression of opinion such as that indicated in this Bill.” He referred to a Chinese man he knew in Dunedin who was a “credit”, but generally it was the “much lower grade” of Chinese who came to New Zealand. The Chinese quarter in Dunedin, “depreciate(d) the value of property in the neighbourhood in every possible way”, although he did “not wish to discuss the more unpleasant allusions” in relation to “young girls” and the Chinese.  He also noted that the Privy Council had ruled that it was within the powers of a colonial legislature to pass legislation excluding the Chinese.[17]  This point was also taken up by Thomas Kelly (Taranaki) who commented that at times the interest of a self-governing colony may be in conflict with Imperial interests, yet this could not deprive the colony of the right to protect itself.  The recent defeat of China in the war with Japan was, he argued, due to “the want of patriotism” and “the abnormal corruption” in China.  The opening up of China by the West would result in greater numbers of Chinese migrating; it was necessary to forestall this by tightening the restrictions.[18]

James Kerr (Westland) objected to the Chinese on account of “their immorality, their dirty, insanitary habits, and their dishonesty” and “their breaking of the law.”  On the West Coast goldfields the Chinese had robbed the Europeans “of their birthright.”  Through taking up various occupations in Wellington, such as running fruitshops, “(w)omen and children have been deprived of their living by them.”  He suggested “trade-unions and working-men generally ought to be much more to the front” in opposing the Chinese as they were the ones most threatened by them.  If the poll tax was raised to £500, he declared, “I would vote for it.”  Outrage was also expressed that the Chinese in Greymouth, “not satisfied with having their own places down in the lower part of town. . . actually mix with respectable families in other parts of the town.”  His motto was “New Zealand for the New Zealanders.”  The Chinese should “be kept under; and the best way for us to keep them under is to refuse them admittance to our shores.”[19]

William Jennings, a newspaper printer, trade union figure and Liberal, argued that New Zealand had been “carv(ed) out. . . by Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scotchmen”, the Chinese only arriving after this hard work had been done and there were “good things going” for them to “grasp”.  While declaring, “I have no feeling but one of charity in regard to the Chinese” and they “in many ways possess characteristics that. . . some of our own countrymen have lost sight of”, nevertheless there was “a very great principle involved”, namely, “whether this country is to be for the white or for the coloured race.”  He felt £100 would not be effective, and favoured £500 for the poll-tax.  As for the small number s of Chinese currently in the colony they were merely the “forerunners of great hordes”.[20]  John Jenkinson (Canterbury) also indicated the tax should be raised higher than £100 and that if any other member would move that it be £500, he would “support it with pleasure, because I really do not think £100 will keep them out.”[21]

George Jones suggested that New Zealand was only following the example of Britain in keeping out undesirables and that the Council had “no right to go in opposition to the feeling of the people”, the people’s wishes being expressed through the House of Representatives.[22]  He also argued that New Zealand was “just starting national life. . .  it behoves us, therefore, to take care who we shall introduce into the national family circle.”  The Chinese would depress the whole economic and moral calibre of the society.[23]  Richard Harman Jeffares Reeves (Nelson, but previously a West Coast MHR) declared of the Chinese, “We are not going to have a mass of corruption like this thrust into our midst.”  He went on enthusiastically to predict, “the time is coming when not a single member will be able to go before his constituency and give a reply on this question in favour of the Chinese race.”  The tax, he argued, “ought to be £500.”[24]  William Bolt (Otago) linked the greatness of any country to “its position, its climate and its natural resources.”  Thus “a vigorous climate and insular position” combined in England “in raising a hardy and vigorous race of people” who took advantage of coal and metallic ore deposits.  The arguments in favour of the bill were, in his view “economic and racial” and the two “cannot be separated” because Europeans could not compete with a race such as the Chinese.  As for opponents of the bill, he argued, “like all followers of laissez faire philosophy, they look on Englishmen and Chinamen as so much raw material to be used up in the process of production.”[25]

In opposition to the bill, Lancelot Walker thought it “cruel” but also “vague”.  Its cruelty lay in keeping out “a very useful class, although I certainly should not like to be swamped by them.”  He also worried that by specifying ‘Asiatics’, rather than just Chinese, the Act worked against another “useful” class, the “poor hawkers from India” and the “benevolent” and “enlightened Parsees”.  He suggested it would be unfair to apply the poll-tax to “a rich Parsee gentleman”.[26]  Samuel Shrimski read out figures from the Yearbook, which recorded a drop in the Chinese population in New Zealand from a highpoint of 5,004 in 1881 to 3,685 in 1896.  Moreover, the trend was still downwards – 4,444 in 1893, 4,145 in 1894.  He described the Chinese in New Zealand as “quiet, law-abiding, charitable people. . . honest in their trading” who never interfered with or disturbed anyone.  The bill was being put forward “because the election is coming on.”  He attempted to delay the bill’s passage by proposing it be given a second reading in six month’s time, although no vote appears to have been taken on this.[27]  Dr Morgan Grace opposed it because it “assumes the portentous proportions of dictating to the Empire a whole policy” through excluding “Her Majesty’s Asiatic subjects.”  He affirmed, however, “There may be reasons for excluding the Chinese” and thus “I certainly think it might be permissible to increase the burthens of those unfortunate Chinamen.”[28]


Sir George Whitmore suggested perhaps it was a money bill, that the fee should not be as high as £100, and that the idea of New Zealand being overrun by Chinese was “practically absurd”, yet he still felt it “desirable to pass some Bill to restrict Chinese immigration.”  Whitmore attacked the idea that the Chinese were a moral menace to children and felt instead that “a good many children in the streets (were) injured in that way by our own countrymen” and that whenever bills were enacted “to stop that kind of thing” the people who made a fuss about the Chinese menace to children asked it be struck off the statute book.  England had always welcomed the poor and unfortunate, he claimed, in contrast to the arguments of people like Rigg.  He suggested it was important to recognise that New Zealand was “an insignificant community in the world” while Japan was an increasingly important country which could do this country some good.  He suggested a compromise, by which only Chinese would be excluded and the tax would be considerably less than £100.[29]

Charles Bowen (Canterbury) felt that the British Empire had succeeded because it “excludes nobody” and that exclusion was a menace to commerce.  Was it expected, he asked, that New Zealand would sell wool to Japan but when the Japanese ships arrived to collect it, their crew would not be allowed to land?  The bill meant “incurring an unnecessary risk and provoking hostility from people who are in many respects as intelligent as ourselves”, and who posed no immediate threat.  He also pointed out that Europeans had lived in New Zealand for about fifty years and “ought to remember there were people here before us who thought we were dangerous immigrants”, yet when these people had acted on this, the Europeans called them “savages, and treated them as such.”  The “only excuse” for Europeans taking over New Zealand was that they were “opening up and occupying” the country and they had “no right” to deny the same to others.  The country, “in its sober senses”, would not entertain the “ostracism” of members “civilised races” such as merchants from Calcutta and Japan.[30]

Robert Pharazyn suggested that if labour competition was a real worry, they ought to exclude any new immigrants and oppose the natural increase in population as well.  He pointed to the steady outflow of population in general and suggested the bill was an “electioneering measure” and “objectionable in principle”, the proper thing to do with it being to throw it out.  Pharazyn also suggested that members of the House passed these kinds of bills to please their constituents, leaving the dirty work of throwing them out up to the Council.  Furthermore, he thought the Queen would not assent to it and that they “ought to be exceedingly careful “ not to bring themselves into “bad odour” with the Japanese who could become “very valuable customers.”  The bill reflected the kind of “short-sighted meanness and selfishness. . . which has never tended to make a people great. . .”  From the standpoint of both “national character” and “ordinary expediency” it was a “purely mischievous” measure.  Yet, while denouncing it in these terms, he too felt that in the case of “any fear of the country being flooded” it would be necessary “to make provision against it.”[31]

George McLean (Otago) tried to adjourn the discussion, but failed.  He favoured changes which would make such legislation unobjectionable, and even went so far as to refer to the Japanese as “a second Great Britain” and oppose their exclusion from New Zealand.  Yet he also stated that if “there was any danger of a horde of Chinese coming to this colony, I would be as ready as any one to prevent them.” He also criticised the bill for being electioneering.[32]  Henry Scotland (Taranaki) attacked it for “breath(ing) the very spirit of trade-unionism” and being “engendered by a very narrow feeling against foreigners.”  He also attacked the notion of racial purity, saying that wherever the English went a half-caste race arose, while Defoe had shown, “that the English are a very mongrel race after all.”  Scotland praised the attributes of the Chinese for being practical, not wasting time reading cheap “rags”, not joining unions or going to political meetings and not drinking.  As for the claim they were loathed, he asked, “(I)f everyone is against them, who keeps their shops open?”[33]

A motion to read the bill a second time that day, June 30, was lost on the casting vote of the Speaker, and thus ordered to have its second reading six months hence.[34] While this meant the end of the bill,[35] a new bill, the Asiatic Restriction Bill (no 2) was introduced, having its first reading in the House only a couple of days later, on July 2.[36]  Hall-Jones, the minister of public works, replying to a question from Collins as to what the government would do in light of the wishes of the House on the first bill being opposed by the Council, replied that the new bill was their answer and he hoped it would receive more consideration.[37]

Moving the second reading of the new bill, Seddon stated that it removed the sections which the Council had found objectionable, but adding “Not, Sir, that I attach very great weight at all to those objections.”  He was prepared, for instance, to allow in Indian British subjects, on the grounds that it was tolerable to have “a few Hindoos come here without restriction, if, by so doing, we can prevent the Chinese coming in large numbers.”  He pointed to “general disapproval” around the colony that the Council had stymied the earlier bill, resulting in New Zealand being “the only unprotected colony in Australasia” in terms of an imminent wave of invading Chinese migrants.[38]  There were still problems, as Dr Newman pointed out, with getting royal assent while using the term ‘Asiatic’, instead of just Chinese, as this covered Japanese and the Anglo-Japanese Treaty specifically forbad the imposition of any taxes being levied by either country on people of the other country where their own citizens did not also have to pay such taxes.  This ruled out a poll-tax on Japanese migrants.  It was better to get a bill through excluding the Chinese and then they could attempt in a future bill to exclude the Japanese.[39]  His position was supported by Francis Bell (Wellington).[40]  Earnshaw attacked the upper house for “usurping rights which do not belong to it” and, while feeling that a showdown with them was not yet appropriate, thought it was “a conflict which, I think, sooner or later will have to be entered into. . .” He also reiterated his earlier objections to the Chinese.[41]

Having already exhaustively aired the pros and cons on the original bill, few members of the House spoke in the debate for the second reading of the new bill.  Walter Buchanan (Wairarapa) argued that the people of India, Ceylon and Japan should be left out of the bill.  James Kelly (Liberal, Invercargill) favoured including the Japanese in the restriction due to their “invasion” of Queensland and Thursday Island, even if this meant the upper house and the Queen rejecting it.  Richard Meredith (Ashley) welcomed the bill as he supported the exclusion of Chinese on “racial”, “moral” and “competition with European labour” grounds.  Chinese should not be naturalised, and those who were should be made to pay the poll-tax whenever they went abroad and returned.  “We can,” he claimed, “assimilate and absorb people of every other nation, but not the Chinese. . .”  John McLachlan (Liberal, Ashburton) did not want “the Chinese coming here to annoy us.”  The sole speaker against the bill was Charles Button (Auckland) who attacked the forcible opening up of China “at the cannon’s mouth” and the forcing of opium on the Chinese..  He continued, “I do not know that we have any Divine grant to a particular part of the world for the English race. . .”  The Chinese were civilised “long before our nation was thought of”, while “in forcing the opium trade upon them, we ought to be prepared in return to take some of the evil which has flowed from their intercourse with us.”  He declared he would vote against the bill, even if he was the only one to do so.[42]  Seddon declared himself “extremely gratified” with the support in the House.  He also stated that when the two year deadline was up in relation to colonies opting into the Anglo-Japanese Treaty “we shall not then have the treaty applied to New Zealand.”  The Crown had not refused assent to “more drastic” bills passed in Australia, so felt the present bill could be assented to.  He also expressed the view that Chinese should no longer be naturalised.  Since the country protected its cattle it had the same right, indeed “the Divine right” to protect “our women and children and girls of tender years.”  He also accused the Chinese of passing naturalisation certificates to other Chinese to avoid the poll-tax and Chinese ships of illegally landing compatriots.[43]

The second reading took place in the House on July 24, 1896.[44]  Subsequently, in Committee, Thomas MacKenzie tried to get the poll tax raised to only £25 instead of £100, but the vote for the higher figure was 45-5.  Even Robert Thompson, who had spoken so eloquently against the bill, voted for the higher figure.  Neither Liberal critic of the bill Patrick O’Regan nor the Opposition leader Capt Russell voted.[45]  Seddon then moved a three-part clause that once the Act came into operation no further Chinese were to be naturalised, any naturalised Chinese leaving New Zealand would have to pay the poll-tax on their return, and defining ‘Chinese’ as a “person of the Chinese race”, with the Colonial Secretary to decide whether a person applying for naturalisation was Chinese.  This passed 40-11, with Capt Russell voting for, and Robert Thompson among those against.[46]  Further debate ensued, in which the arguments already outlined tended to be repeated, with slightly more emphasis on accusations of electioneering by Thomas MacKenzie and Duthie, while MacKenzie, Robert Thompson and Buchanan also attacked it for discriminating against upstanding Chinese merchants.  Button declared his own “strong protest against this Bill and every principle contained in it”, while Duthie attacked it also as “extremely repressive” and “foreign to the principles of the great nation from which we have sprung”.  Answering the humanitarian-liberal principles argument, Tanner argued that “racial purity and national expediency” were generally more important than “a very lofty, exalted and sentimental point of view”, while Collins declared the Chinese “take no part in our national or municipal affairs; they never attempt to become part of the people as a community.”  Hogg claimed that Duthie would not dare make the same kind of speech in front of his own constituents, and Seddon claimed “the large majority of the Opposition” favoured “using every means in their power to get our country flooded with Mongolians”, a comment Capt Russell suggested he save for the hustings.[47]

In the Legislative Council, the first reading took place on August 14 without any debate.[48]  With the second reading, on August 18, came something of a changed mood.  For instance, Whitmore declared he would not vote against the second reading, even though he thought the bill “a cowardly thing”, “un-English” and “designed from the lowest of motives”.  He hoped the Council would, in Committee, exclude the Japanese from the bill’s definition of ‘Asiatic’.   However, he felt there “seems to be a determination to pass the measure” and so he would bear his share  of responsibility for its passing.  Reynolds, Ormond and Shrimski (who spoke several times) attacked the bill for being a piece of electioneering, although Ormond voted for the second reading.  Shrimski and McLean opposed it outright, with Shrimski citing official figures showing the decline ion the Chinese population in New Zealand and declaring that, as someone who had benefited from becoming a naturalised New Zealander, he would be a “coward” and a “villain” to try to oppose others coming in.  Rigg repeated his earlier arguments against the Chinese, while Kerr argued that protecting one’s country must come before feelings for fellow human beings.  Jennings argued that “the most eminent men” in Australia and “the best minds” in the United States supported exclusion, and that General Gordon had warned of the Chinese overrunning “the whole world”; thus, he claimed, what the colony was doing was not mere small-minded persecution.  Bonar, however, described it as “one of the most illiberal” bills to come before parliament, but his argument was that it was “unnecessary” due to Chinese numbers decreasing.  Although Peacock thought the penalties were on the excessive side, it was better to take steps now before the colony was “overrun”.[49]

On August 26, Shrimski asked W.C. Walker, minister for both education and immigration, if the government had stopped presenting the Governor-General with memorials for letters of naturalisation of Chinese and halted supplying Chinese with the necessary application forms.  Walker responded that, with legislation pending, they were not granting any further naturalisations.[50]  In Committee, on August 27, Whitmore moved that “Asiatic” be replaced by ‘Chinese’, but this was lost 16-13.[51]

On September 2 the final debate in the Council was opened by W.C. Walker who said the bill did no more than bring New Zealand into line with the Australian colonies.  Shrimski described the bill as “tyrannical”, “arbitrary” and “cruel”, contrasting it to Britain’s “liberal laws and constitution”, while Bonar attacked its “illiberalism” and “selfishness”.  Whitmore argued it was fair enough to exclude the Chinese, but the bill excluded also Asians under Russian rule and the people of Ceylon, Japan and the Straits.  Bowen described the Japanese as “a remarkably progressive race” who were touchy abut how they were treated and yet New Zealand was now treating them with “the most absolute contempt.”   There was some debate over exactly what the public wanted and discussion of the broader issue of the place of the Legislative Council in the political democracy.  Grace, for example, spoke of the conflict between the House and the Council, noting that the public felt the upper house was stopping the progress of Liberal measures.  He announced that he would now choose carefully the ground on which he fought and since the bill was “on a question of minor importance” it was not worth a fight.  If the Council rejected it, this could be used, he felt, to decrease the power of the upper chamber.  Bolt welcomed the Council’s new appreciation of its unpopularity with the public and Rigg stated that rejecting the bill would create strong feeling against the Council, so they would be well to pass it.  While Downie Stewart claimed there was “a very widespread feeling” around the country for the bill, Reynolds argued it was Wellington shopkeepers who wanted the Chinese out, so they could put up their prices, and that in Dunedin not one in ten supported it and in Canterbury and Auckland people “do not care tuppence” about it.  W.C. Walker raised the broader question of the kind of citizenry wanted.  American open immigration, he claimed, had made the country “a refuge for the destitute” and they now had to close their doors to the “ignorant and shiftless, and to the dangerous classes of European population.”[52]  The Council voted for the legislation, 16-12, another attempt to replace “Asiatic” with ‘Chinese’ being lost 17-14.[53]

On September 15, Capt Morris, in the Council, noted that the two year-period for New Zealand to ratify the Anglo-Japanese treaty had now passed, to which W.C. Walker replied for the government that this was so, and that New Zealand had not ratified it.[54]  The effect of this was that Japanese nationals would not have to be treated on equal terms, as the Treaty stipulated.

The 1896 Act was held up as the Governor awaited “the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure thereon”.[55]  It was, then, a measure of the depth of anti-Chinese sentiment on the government’s part that they deemed it “expedient in the meantime to bring those provisions into operation respecting the Chinese” through a special piece of legislation, the Chinese Immigrants Act Amendment Act 1896.  This was introduced by Seddon.  The poll tax was increased from £10 to £100 and the ration of Chinese landing to ships’ tonnage was raised from one per hundred tonnes to one per 200 tonnes.  Whereas the 1881 Act had a fine of up to £10 for Chinese entering without paying the poll tax, it was now increased to £100.  This Act was to continue only until the Asiatic Restriction Act 1896 came into operation.[56]  It was announced on September 15 by Seddon,[57] and introduced for its first two readings the following day, even though a copy had yet to arrive from the printer.[58]  Thomas MacKenzie unsuccessfully tried to restrict the poll-tax to £50 instead of £100, then the bill proceeded to its third reading.[59]  In the Council it was read for the first time on September 17[60] and the second the following day, when Bonar entered a protest against it and argued that £10 was a “quite sufficient check against an undue influx of Chinese. . .”[61] At its third reading in the Council on September 22, Shrimski again protested, noting it was the third bill of its type that session, but the Council now voted 19-12 to commit the bill.[62]  The following day Seddon announced he was accepting a minor Council amendment that Chinese who had left China or Hong Kong before October 1, 1896, and were on their way here, would be treated under the original Act.[63]

The Governor, Lord Glasgow, sent the Act off to Britain on December 21.  Attached to his despatch was the Solicitor General’s view of the importance of the Act.  However Glasgow himself noted that the number of ‘Asiatics’ was not increasing and there was no sign it was about to.[64]  Colonial Secretary Chamberlain would reply on August 17, 1897 that “it would have been more in keeping with the traditional policy of this country if the Bill had been framed on the lines of the Natal Act. . .” and helpfully enclose a copy of the South African Act.  Legislation along these lines would “secure the object aimed at without basing the exclusion on the ground of race and colour.”  Chamberlain also favoured exceptions for merchants and tourists and noted that the Act could surely not intend to deny naturalisation to Asians who were British subjects by birth.”[65]

Early in the 1897 session, on April 9 and again the following day, Shrimski asked W.C. Walker how many applications for naturalisation had been asked for and granted Chinese both before and after September 1, 1896.  Walker responded that there had been 21 before and 12 since, but these were not being considered until the Queen had made a decision on signing the Asiatic Restriction Act.[66]

On November 22, the Governor sent a message to the Council saying he had been instructed by Chamberlain to inform them that the protest made by a section of its members against the 1896 Act had been received and the matter passed back to the New Zealand government “for further consideration, with a view to the introduction of some amendments to the Bill.”[67]  In the Council, Bowen questioned why the correspondence between the Colonial Office and the Liberal government on the 1896 Act had not been tabled.  W.C. Walker replied that there was nothing significant in the despatch, but it would be put before them “in the ordinary course”.[68]

Seddon had already introduced a new bill on November 4, for Alien Immigration Restriction.[69]  Its aim was to supersede the Asiatic Restriction Act, although it scarcely differs from that Act of the previous year.[70]  Seddon, in moving the second reading on December 2, described it as “practically the Asiatic Restriction Bill of last year, with modifications. . . in part suggested to me when I was at Home.”  The modifications did not go so far as had been suggested to him in London, but basically provided for power to exempt groups in addition to the original exemption of “Indian Asiatics”.[71]  On December 8, the House went into Committee and discussed amendments to the new bill.  Stout successfully moved that to the sub-section making exempt “Any person of European or Jewish extraction” should be added “or of the Caucasian race”.  Seddon successfully proposed to add to clause 24 – which repealed the previous year’s Act – the additional words “and shall be deemed to have never been in operation.”  The new bill was then read a third time.[72] However, the feverish activity of 1895 and 1896, and the one piece of legislation which got through both houses, had come, on Seddon’s own motion, to nothing.

The new bill provoked a debate in the Council on December 15 in relation to the British attitude. On the issue of the conference earlier that year in London between the British Secretary of State for the Colonies (Chamberlain) and the premiers of New Zealand and the Australian colonies, at which Chamberlain had raised the issue of immigration policy in relation to Asians, Walker had placed a paper for members’ information.  Only the Natal legislation, which used a language test, could be looked upon “with satisfaction”, Chamberlain told them.  As for the rest:

“Her Majesty’s Government thoroughly appreciate the object and the needs of the colonies in dealing with this matter.  We quite sympathize with the determination of the white inhabitants of these colonies, which are in comparatively close proximity to millions and hundreds of millions of Asiatics, that there shall not be an influx of people alien in civilisation, alien in religion, alien in customs, whose influx, moreover, would most seriously interfere with the legitimate rights of the existing labour population.  An immigration of that kind must, I quite understand, in the interests of the colonies, be prevented at all hazards, and we shall not offer any opposition to the proposals intended with that object; but we ask you also to bear in mind the traditions of the Empire, which makes no distinction in favour of or against race or colour; and to exclude, by reason of their colour or by reason of their race, all her Majesty’s Indian subjects, or even all Asiatics, would be an act so offensive to those peoples that it would be most painful, I am quite certain, to Her Majesty to have to sanction it.”[73]

For the Liberals, however, the Natal legislation was not sufficient.  As Walker put it, Asians might be able to gain enough English handwriting skill to comply with the dictation test used in Natal, yet still be uneducated in English.[74]  Moreover, at this point, it was still unclear to many whether the 1896 Act had received royal assent.  Bonar asked specifically whether it had or not, but the Speaker could not answer.[75]  The debate also led to an attack on the petition signed by eleven Legislative Council members to Britain protesting the 1896 Act.[76]  In attacking the petition, Rigg stated, “We are here to legislate for this colony; and the relations between it and the relations between it and the Imperial Government have to be decided in another manner than by a protest from eleven honourable members of the Council.”[77]  He used Chamberlain’s speech to back the New Zealand restriction, citing what Chamberlain called “the character of immigration.”  Chamberlain had argued that it was not skin colour which necessarily made someone undesirable as an immigrant, but  “because he is dirty, or he is immoral, or he is a pauper, or he has some other objection which can be defined in an Act of Parliament, and by which the exclusion can be managed with regard to all those whom you really desire to exclude.”[78]

In other words, racial groups could be excluded by referring to them in other, non-racial, but highly unflattering, terms.  Rigg, however, seemed to miss the point and argued that immigrants who may not be dirty, immoral or impoverished, could still be undesirable for two reasons – “the purity of the race” and the “economic view” of “how it will affect the working-men of the country.”  Those with “Anglo-Saxon or Celtic blood in their veins” and “a proper pride in the race” would wish to exclude others.  He also opposed Shrimski’s suggestion that Chinese men’s wives be brought in, as, he claimed, there was no way of knowing these really were their spouses.  He felt it had been a mistake to abandon Reeves Undesirable Immigrants Bill, as they were now forced to try to get it through piecemeal.[79]  Kelly cited clause 59 of the Constitution Act and clause 7 of the Interpretation Act, showing that bills reserved for royal assent did not become law until such assent had been given, and thus the 1896 Act, having not yet been given such assent, was not in force.[80]

On December 18, Walker told the Council that the despatch from London would not be laid before them, leading to objections by Shrimski, Bonar, Oliver, Ormond and MacGregor and Peacock, the latter suggesting the new bill be laid aside until the government did so, while Kelly attacked “this irresponsible section (of) the Council”. Shrimski also read a letter from Chinese merchant Chin Ting protesting Chinese wives having to pay the poll-tax and again raised the issue that since many of the objections to Chinese men in New Zealand revolved around “polluting European women”, allowing their wives free entry would deal with this.   At Oliver’s suggestion the debate was adjourned[81] to allow the government to supply the despatch before the Council went into Committee on the bill; but when the debate continued on December 20.  Walker declared the government would still not lay the despatch before them, provoking further criticism and a three week adjournment of the debate.  A motion was passed committing the bill that day three weeks hence.[82]  This effectively killed the bill, as parliament was about to recess, and would not re-convene for almost six months.

The opening of the next parliamentary session, in June 1898, however, would see a new bill, this time introduced by W.C. Walker.  The Immigration Restriction Bill had its first reading in the House on June 28[83] and in the Council on September 2, its second on September 15 and third on September 22.[84]  It introduced, for the first time, the ‘Natal formula’ of a language test.[85]  Walker described it as the result of the 1897 London meeting and thus “the result of an appeal to Caesar” and therefore one which the colony should have “every confidence” in.  Bowen welcomed that the approach taken in the 1896 Act was “quite rightly abandoned” and that Imperial interests were now being taken into account.  He, Scotland and Bonar still indicated opposition to the bill, however former opponents of such legislation, such as McLean and Oliver, indicated they could support the bill, with some modification.  Downie Stewart, usually a supporter of exclusionary anti-Asian legislation, criticised the bill as being “aristocratic” and wanting “to promote the immigration of blue-blooded people from the Old Country” through use of the language test.[86] On October 4, Shrimski asked when the government was going to issue naturalisation certificates for Chinese who had applied, to which Walker replied that the Colonial Secretary recommended that these be issued in all cases where stipendiary magistrates had certified the identification and character of Chinese applicants.[87]  On October 10, however, Walker’s bill was discharged.[88]

This was not the end of it, as a new version of the bill, the Immigration Restriction Bill (no.2), appeared.  The first mention of this in the NZPD is at the time of its second reading on October 19, so exactly what happened at the start of the transition between the two bills in unclear.[89]  Seddon declared it “in accordance with the Bill that was discussed by the Colonial Premiers with the Secretary of State” in London in 1897 and “a modification of the Act which has been held in abeyance”, presumably a reference to the 1896 Act which had still not been given the royal assent.  Hutchison, Moore and Capt Russell criticised the language test, pointing out that many fine settlers had not been educated when first arriving in the country.  Russell put emphasis on “strong arms” and “brains” as ideal attributes.  O’Regan quoted from a despatch Chamberlain had sent the Governor of the colony, in which it was stated that “repeated representations” had been made by the Japanese government protesting immigration restrictions in Australasia which put Japanese on the same level as Chinese and “other less advanced” Asians.  The Japanese were, however, prepared to accept the Natal formula, since this meant educated Japanese would not be affected.  Both he and Buchanan argued it was too late in the parliamentary session to bring the bill forward.  M.J.S. MacKenzie (Liberal, Dunedin) attacked the new bill as “an outrage” on “the name of Liberty” and “the English character and the traditions of our race” for allowing in the educated while excluding “our own less fortunate countrymen.”  Moreover, this was being done “by persons calling themselves Liberals.”

Moore, Wason and M.J.S. Mackenzie expressed the view that there was doubt whether Seddon really wanted it to go through, and that he was using it to take up time.  Hogg noted the increased trend to restriction in the United States and argued the need to keep out the “’yellow’ tide” along with “dangerous criminals, the insane, persons of bad reputation, people of lazy and indolent habits, the diseased and thriftless.”  He also attacked those of Liberal views who “carry those views to an extremely dangerous point”, such as O’Regan.  To “admit the human deluge from all parts of the world,” he claimed, meant allowing “your sons and daughters to run the risk of being exterminated in the battle of life.”  Duthie attacked the bill as “the most illiberal that has ever been brought forward in any Anglo-Saxon community, or in any part of the world” and “perhaps the most discreditable and absurd piece of legislation ever sought to be perpetuated in the name of Liberalism.”  He also suggested the premiers had,  “over a glass of wine” while in London, got “carried away by a few ideas on Imperialism”.  Herries attacked it as “another injustice to Ireland”, because of the language test.  Allen described it as “degrading to the moral character of our people” as it suggested a lack of strength.  Wason stated there was no demand for it and it was merely designed to increase Liberal patronage through the creation of more state functionaries.  Massey declared it a bill to be ashamed of.  Liberal Roderick McKenzie (Motueka) pointed to the string of similar bills and hoped the government had that night been taught the lesson not to waste the House’s time “with measures of this kind” and, further, “that neither members nor electors will have this measure under any name or in any form.”  Pirani attempted to kill it by adjourning debate for a month, but Seddon succeeded in having it adjourned for only a week.[90]  Although the bill had passed successfully through the Council, its third reading being passed by 17-15,[91] the House discharged it on October 31.[92]

In 1899, yet another bill was introduced.  The new Immigration Restriction Bill sought to widen the basis of exclusion, again introducing a language test.  People of non-British birth and parentage would be required to write out their application in any European language, including their full name, occupation and address, place and date of birth and place of abode in the previous twelve months.  This legislation was designed to include Asians and any “idiot or insane person”, those with “a contagious disease which is loathsome or dangerous” and recidivist criminals.[93]  Its first reading took place in the House on June 27[94] and the Council on July 6.[95]  At its second reading in the Council, Walker noted that it had had been discussed fully in the Council the previous year and passed there.  This new bill was also the result of the 1897 London conference, he stated, and Chamberlain had intimated that he would recommend royal assent for bills on the Natal model, as this one was.  The language test would not exclude

“many of Her Majesty’s subjects who belong to coloured races, but who, from their knowledge of the English language or other languages of Europe, may prove perfectly satisfactory citizens.  All we want from them is that they should be able to meet us on common ground, and be able to take part in the affairs of common life in the colony.”

There was now a changed atmosphere in the Council.  McLean, for instance, noted the agreement of premiers, but also warned they should see that other colonies passed similar laws and that ways could be devised to keep out the “objectionable” without the kinds of restrictions and penalties contained in the bill.  Grace welcomed the government’s recognition of the problems earlier bills had created in terms of Imperial interests.  Shrimski, objecting again that every session saw such bills being brought forward, noted and regretted the “ominous silence” of members which tended to show “they have come to a foregone conclusion.”  He suggested this was a result of the Council “being swamped for the purpose of carrying measures which are against the interests of the people of this colony.”  He also objected to the language test as up to recently  75 percent of people in Britain could not read or write.  Twomey, one of the new Liberal appointees, responded that there was nothing new in Shrimski’s speech and, as for members’ silence, “we are not here for the purpose of making a noise.”  Shrimski interjected, “Dumb dogs!” to which Twomey replied, “Yes, all right.”  He said he took pride in such a designation since it suggested he was loyal.  Bonar continued to argue that people’s illiteracy did not mean they could not become good settlers.  Lee Smith asked who Shrimski got his charter from, but also suggested the language test only apply to younger people as older British had not had the same chance to learn to read and write.  The division on the bill in the Council for the second reading, 28-7, showed the supporters of tighter restriction had finally achieved dominance there.[96]  This was further evidenced on July 21 when, in Committee, Bonar failed, by 23-7 to have the language test deleted.[97]  Four days later, however, the Council, in Committee, rejected by 29-2 an attempt by Rigg to allow for prosecutions of ships’ captains and owners for landing prohibited immigrants for up to 12 months instead of the three contained in the bill.[98]

The next day, however, Walker recommitted the bill as he wished to re-enter into the preamble mention of the fact that the 1896 Act had not been assented and therefore it was “expedient” to make new provisions for immigration restriction.  This was agreed to.[99]  The recommitted bill had its first reading in the House on July 27.[100]  On October 13, Walker reported to the Council on amendments made by the House.  The main ones exempted British (including Irish) from the language test and changed the words “the characters of any language of Europe” to “any European language”.  A proviso was also added that people unhappy with the result of the language test could apply to a stipendiary magistrate to inquire into the decision and make a final ruling.  These passed 21-11.[101]

In the second reading in the House, on October 6, Hutchison, O’Regan, J.W. Thomson (Clutha), Capt Russell, Herries, Sligo (Dunedin City), Crowther (Auckland City), M.J.S. MacKenzie, Pirani (Liberal, Palmerston), Meredith (Liberal, Ashley), Gilfedder (Liberal, Wallace) and Massey (Franklin) all spoke against the bill, most especially the language test.  Only Seddon and Hogg spoke in favour, Hogg noting that the language test was “ingeniously framed. . . to prevent Asiatics and Chinese contaminating the people of this colony” and that the idea that Europeans, “people of our own flesh and blood”  could be kept out by the test was “trumpery nonsense.”[102]

In Committee, on October 10, a number of amendments were moved.  Lewis (Christchurch City), Hutchison, Massey and M.J.S. MacKenzie all attempted unsuccessfully – although the votes were relatively close at 31-23, 28-24, 29-22, 27-24 respectively – to amend the first section to ensure it did not apply to non-European, non-British (or Irish) born, non-British subjects, and people other than British (including Irish) birth with exemption certificates signed by the Colonial Secretary or authorised officers.  Massey did manage to get an amendment passed 23-13 exempting shipwrecked persons and Hutchison gained agreement that the amount to be deposited by certain prohibited immigrants before landing should be £50 instead of £100.[103]  The following day Hutchison moved that the third clause be recommitted, as it was the crux of the bill.  While excluding people of British birth and parentage, it did not state specifically that this also applied to Irish people.  Seddon agreed to the proposal and Irish were specifically included.  O’Regan, although pleased with the modifications, still declared he would vote against, as did Herries.  Sligo announced himself satisfied with the amended bill.  Pirani attacked the way the Council had become a rubber-stamp for the House, since its composition had been changed, and noted the lack of speeches in support of the measure in the House.  Hogg repeated his usual denunciations of the “yellow agony” and was attacked by Wason for “talking a lot of electioneering clap-trap about the influx of Chinese” while, at the same time, stating his own opposition to cheap labour and Chinese “influx”.[104] A message received from the Governor led, on October 19, to the deposit for certain prohibited immigrants being raised back up to the original £100.[105]  The Governor informed the Council and the House, on October 21 and 23 respectively, that the Act had now been reserved for the royal assent.[106]  On July 5, 1900 the government finally received notification that the royal assent had been given.[107]

A decade of attempts to exclude ‘undesirable’ immigrants, especially ‘Asiatics’, and most especially the Chinese, had finally been crowned with success.  By adopting the compromise of the ‘Natal formula’ the government had overcome Imperial objections.  This and, perhaps more importantly, the flooding of the upper house with Liberal appointees, had also helped defeat Council resistance to intensified restriction.  The ‘White Walls’ whose construction had begun, somewhat tenuously, in the 1880s, were now built.  However, the next two decades, as we shall see in chapters 7 and 8, would see them made impenetrable.  In the following chapter, however, I turn to the social-economic-political context – and especially conflicts – in which the walls were built and to an analysis of the arguments over exclusion.


[1] See NZ Statutes 60 Vict, 1896, no.64, pp233-7.

[2] NZPD vol 92, 1896, pp252-3.

[3] Ibid, pp253-4.

[4] Ibid, p254.

[5] Ibid, p255.

[6] Ibid, p256.

[7] Ibid, pp254-5.

[8] Ibid, p258.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid, p259.

[12] Ibid, pp371-2.

[13] Ibid, pp451-2.

[14] Ibid, pp373-4.

[15] Ibid, pp376-7.

[16] Ibid, pp379-80.

[17] Ibid, pp380-1.  Henry Scotland’s response to this was that these were “workmen’s daughters” and it was a question of “Shame on these workmen!” that they let their children go into the streets and peep in people’s windows and be “enticed to their ruin”, ibid, p449.

[18] Ibid, pp382.

[19] Ibid, pp383-4.

[20] Ibid, p385.

[21] Ibid, pp385-6.

[22] Ibid, pp386.  When the debate continued on June 30, he spoke first, admitting he had made an error in this speech and that Britain did not have the legislation he had attributed to it, see ibid, p447.

[23] Ibid, p447-8.

[24] Ibid, p449.

[25] Ibid, pp449-450.

[26] Ibid, pp372.

[27] Ibid, pp372-3.  For the numbers of Chinese, see also the New Zealand Yearbook for the respective years.

[28] Ibid, p373.

[29] Ibid, pp374-76.

[30] Ibid, pp377-8.

[31] Ibid, p378.

[32] Ibid, pp382-3.

[33] Ibid, pp448-9.

[34] The vote was 15-15, NZPD vol 92, 1896, p452.

[35] New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1896, No. 2-1, No. 2-2.

[36] NZPD vol 92, 1896, p587.

[37] Ibid, p606.

[38] NZPD vol XCIII, 1896, pp465-6.

[39] Ibid, p466.  Newman read out the relevant Treaty clause.

[40] Ibid, p468.

[41] Ibid, pp466-7.

[42] Buchanan, Kelly, Meredith, McLachlan, Button, ibid, pp467-9.

[43] Ibid, pp470-1.

[44] Ibid, p473.

[45] NZPD vol 94, 1896, p310.

[46] Ibid.

[47] MacKenzie, Duthie, Hogg, Buchanan, Thompson, Collins, Button, Tanner, Seddon, Russell, ibid, pp310-17.  Meredith noted the differences in the Opposition, with the leader (Capt Russell) voting for the bill in division, while his lieutenants voted against, ibid, p316.

[48] Ibid, p365.

[49] Whitmore, Shrimski, McLean, Reynolds, Ormond, Kerr, Rigg, Jennings, Bonar, Peacock, ibid, pp426-35.  Henry Williams made the mischievous comment that he would support a £100 poll-tax if, instead of going into the Consolidated Fund, the money was used to train Chinese missionaries in New Zealand and send them to proselytise in China; he suggested that since it would take members some time to digest that idea, he would move the second reading of the bill take place in six months time, a period which would have effectively killed it.  Ibid, p429.

[50] NZPD vol 95, 1896, p91.  Walker was the sole member of the Council who was also a member of the government.

[51] Ibid, p94.

[52] Walker, Shrimski, Whitmore, Downie Stewart, Grace, Reynolds, Bolt, Bowen, Rigg, Bonar, ibid, pp245-50.

[53] Ibid, p251.

[54] Ibid, p598.

[55] NZ Statutes 60 Vict 1896, no. 19, p43.

[56] Ibid.

[57] NZPD vol 95, 1896, p605.

[58] NZPD vol 96, 1896, pp7-10.  Russell protested that they were having to discuss a bill they had not yet seen.

[59] Ibid, p10.

[60] Ibid, p21.

[61] Second reading and Bonar, ibid, pp31-2.

[62] Ibid, p85.

[63] Ibid, p116.

[64] AJHR 1897, A-1, pp9-10.

[65] AJHR 1897, A-2, p18.  The Natal Act is pp18-20.

[66] NZPD vol 97/98, 1897, p120, p149.

[67] See NZPD vol 100, 1897, p124.

[68] Ibid, p161.

[69] NZPD vol 99, 1897, p475.

[70] For the full wording, see New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1897, No. 92-1, No. 92-2.  Essentially, it was to prevent an “influx” of “persons of alien race” who could be deemed “likely to be hurtful to the Public Welfare” and “to safeguard the race-purity” of New Zealanders.

[71] See NZPD vol 100, 1897, p307.

[72] Ibid, p475.

[73] Ibid, p759.  Whether it would be too painful to sanction, or simply “most painful”, remains unclear.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Ibid, p760.

[76] Rigg entered their names on record: Bowen, Bonar, Shrimski, Reynolds, Whitmore, Taiaroa, Williams, Holmes, Scotland, Baillie and Barnicoat, ibid, p762.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Chamberlain cited by Rigg, ibid, p763.

[79] Ibid, pp763-4.

[80] Ibid, p764.

[81] For these speeches, see ibid, pp873-5.

[82] The reason for adjournment and Walker’s response, see ibid, pp887-8.

[83] NZPD vol 101, 1898, p17. Vol 104, however, refers to its first reading as being on September 22.  One of these must be Bill no. 1 and the other Bill no. 2, although the NZPD does not make clear which is which.

[84] NZPD vol 103, 1898, p521; NZPD vol 104, 1898, pp173-8; NZPD vol 104, 1898, pp277-80.

[85] For the bill’s contents, see New Zealand Parliament: Bills Thrown Out, 1898, No.26-1, No. 26-2.

[86] For Walker, Bowen, Scotland, Oliver, McLean and Downie Stewart, see NZPD vol 104, 1898, pp173-78.  Mclean and Oliver, however, both voted against the third reading; see NZPD vol 105, 1898, p280.

[87] NZPD vol 104, 1898, p490.

[88] Ibid, p616.

[89] NZPD vol 105, 1898, p158.

[90] For Seddon, Hutchison, Russell, Moore, O’Regan, Buchanan, M.J.S. MacKenzie, R. McKenzie, Wason, Hogg, Duthie, Herries, Allen, Massey and Pirani, see ibid, pp158-77.

[91] Ibid,  pp277-280.

[92] Ibid, p567.

[93] NZ Statutes 63 Vict 1899, pp115-20.

[94] NZPD vol 106, 1899, p20.

[95] Ibid, p354.

[96] For Walker, McLean, Grace, Bonar, Shrimski, Twomey and Lee Smith and the vote, see ibid, pp528-32.

[97] NZPD vol 107, 1899, p64

[98] Ibid, p91.

[99] Ibid, p146.

[100] Ibid, p205.

[101] NZPD vol 110, 1899, pp532-4.

[102] For this debate, see ibid, pp373-84; the Hogg quote is p378.

[103] Ibid, pp450-2.

[104] For the debate on the third reading in the House, see ibid, 1899, pp459-69.

[105] For agreement by the Council and House respectively, see ibid, p738 and p739.

[106] For notice to the Council and House respectively, see ibid, p858 and p898.

[107] See NZPD vol 111, 1900, p304.

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