by Philip Ferguson

In part 8, I look at the way in which White New Zealand immigration policies became consolidated and entrenched in the 1900-10 period.

As well looking at specific legislative moves, I examine the more general social and political context in which these policies became an integral part of the political mainstream, indeed stretching from the conservative right to much of the radical left.  What links these points on the political spectrum is New Zealand nationalism.  This nationalism involves a subset of ideas, against all of which the Chinese are seen to offend.

New Zealand nationalism was expressed in, represented by, and furthered developed through, a number of events – the Russo-Japanese War, the Lionel Terry case, the Christchurch Exhibition and the visit of the ‘Great White Fleet’.  Nationalist ideology was also shaped by the spread of particular variants of Social Darwinism, such as eugenics, a new emphasis on masculinity, and more general notions of ‘improvement’ and ‘purity’.  This kind of broader examination of the dominant ideas of the time suggests that these ideas were manufactured in the middle and upper classes and spread into the working class, or into the more politically moderate sections of the labour movement.

New century, new restrictions

The new century opened with several events of importance to White New Zealand policies.  The Boer War in South Africa saw the dispatch of New Zealand troops and the growth of an identifiable imperialist jingoism, of which the foremost representative was Seddon.[1]  When a special commission investigating the physical calibre of the British troops suggested a deterioration in the racial stock in the ‘Old Country’,[2] the higher physical calibre of colonial troops from New Zealand and Australia became a source of pride in the two dominions.  As Richard Jebb noted shortly after his visit, New Zealand gained even more than Canada and Australia in national sentiment through the South African war which “revealed the splendid quality of the new island race.”[3]  Kitchener had himself cabled Seddon, “There are none I would sooner have with me in the field than the gallant New Zealanders.”[4]  It seemed to vindicate the claims that, while basing themselves on supposedly British traditions of democracy, the New World dominions had avoided Old World problems of poverty, inequality and disease and produced an improved version of the British racial stock.

The Boer War also indicated the way in which the middle and upper classes manufactured public opinion.  Chris Connolly, challenging previous claims that there was a spontaneous popular support for the war in Australia and other white dominions, has recorded the absence of such support at the start of the war.  Instead, key politicians “were forced to generate support by stage-managing crises and manipulating the press, (other) politicians and imperialist organizations.”  These organisations then attempted to create a public opinion favourable to the war – through newspapers, histories and other literature, and public spectacles.[5]  The idea that people were naturally pro-imperialist is derived from “sources mainly relevant to middle-class opinion” and “ignores the possibility that many people merely acquiesced in the ideology of imperialist spokesmen; and it does not  adequately relate opinion to the social structure.”[6]  The turn-of-century “new imperial religion” was created and preached “primarily” by the middle class.  This, in turn, impacted on working class consciousness.[7]

In Australia, the formation of a nation state through federation in 1901 was seen by politicians of the time as linked closely to notions of racial purity.  As Deakin, the Attorney-General in the first federal government in Australia, put it, the chief motive power for breaking down divisions between the states was “the desire that we should be one people, and remain one people, without the admixture of other races.”[8]  The first legislation passed by the new federal parliament was the Commonwealth Immigration Restriction Act, designed to ensure the pristine whiteness of the dominion.  This whiteness was associated by Deakin with character, respect for liberal constitutionality and the ability to develop..[9]

In New Zealand, the first decade of the twentieth was marked by a flurry of legislation against Asian, especially Chinese, immigration.  Since the 1890s had significantly closed the door, the legislation of the new decade was not so much new – as the 1899 Act was new, imposing a language test for the first time – but a refinement and consolidation of earlier legislation.  The Chinese Immigrants Act Amendment Act of 1901 repealed parts of the 1881 and 1888 Acts to do with Chinese crew going ashore.  It stipulated that the master of a ship should, in the presence of a custom’s officer, muster the crew and give to the officer a list of numbers and names of Chinese crew members.  The same was to be done when departing.  If there were any missing, the ship’s master would have to show that they had not landed in New Zealand.  Any Chinese crew member not complying was deemed to be a passenger who had landed and was to be treated in accordance with the 1881 Act and its amendments.  The maximum penalty of £20 imposed under section 9 of the 1881 Act was increased to £50.  It also made clear that Chinese crew members could go ashore “in the performance of (their) duties in connection with the ship, but for no other purpose.”[10]  The Chinese Immigrants Amendment Act 1907 was brought in to be treated as part of, and read together with, the 1881 Act.  To land a Chinese person would have to satisfy a principal Customs official they could “read a printed passage of not less than one hundred words of the English language, selected at the discretion of such Collector or principal officer. . .”  A rejected Chinese person could appeal to a magistrate who would then administer such a further test as he thought fit and make a final decision.  A £50 penalty was imposed on any master landing, or permitting to land, any Chinese who had not fulfilled the requirements of the Act.  Chinese landing without fulfilling the requirements would be treated as if they had tried to land without payment as provided by the 1881 Act.[11]

The following year, under the Consolidated Statutes Act, 208 Acts were ‘consolidated’ or “enacted as public general statutes of New Zealand” and brought together in a series of volumes.[12]  The Immigration Restriction Act 1908[13] consolidated enactments covering imbecile passengers, prohibited immigrants, the Chinese and general provisions.  It defined the Chinese as anyone with Chinese parents, apart from Chinese naturalised in New Zealand.  Its essential concerns were with transhipping – Chinese being moved from one ship to another and landed – evasion of the poll tax, and Chinese crew coming ashore.  Ships could only carry one Chinese passenger per 200 tonnage of shipping and there was a fine not exceeding £50 for each Chinese over this level.  Ships’ masters were to deliver a list of all Chinese aboard to the Collector of Customs (or other principal Customs officer) specifying the name, place of birth, apparent age and former place of residence.  Default meant a fine not exceeding £200.  Before making entry and customs or landing any Chinese, masters had to pay £100 for each Chinese (apart from Chinese government officials); failure to do so resulted not only in a fine of £50 for each such Chinese but also meant the ship could be seized and sold.  Chinese evading payment could be fined not in excess of £50 plus the poll tax and default punished by 12 months imprisonment.  Essentially, it consolidated parts of the 1881, 1888, 1896, 1901 and 1907 Acts. While the Act specifically described China as a “friendly Power” – and thus exempted officers and crew of Chinese warships – its sections, once again, bracketed Chinese migrants and non-military crew together with the “idiot” or “insane”, people “suffering from a contagious disease which is loathsome or dangerous” and people who had recently committed serious offences.  This was quickly followed by the Immigration Restriction Act Amendment Act, 1908.[14]

Chinese also were governed by the Alien’s Re-entry Certificate, covering the ‘alien’ person’s date of arrival in New Zealand, whether they had paid the poll tax and had possession of the receipt.  They were to pay the tax on deposit when returning to New Zealand and it would be refunded upon identification and proof being presented that they had originally arrived on the stated date and had paid the poll tax.  Photos and fingerprints (but not thumbs) were included.  The first ones, under the statements about personal appearance, simply listed height, weight, and any distinguishing features, such as moles.  But beginning on May 22, 1908, with Hong Cheuk, details became more lengthy. They included precise height, chest girth, circumference of head at the level of the rim of a hat, notice of distinguishing marks, scars, disfigurements, age and whether they were measured without boots.[15]  The Certificate of Registration under the Immigration Restriction Act Amendment Act meant that if the person returned to New Zealand within four years they would not have to submit to the reading test imposed on the Chinese by section 42 of the main 1908 Act, provided they could satisfy a Collector of Customs as to their identity.   These certificates involved thumb as well as fingerprints, but some feature solely the thumb print.  Statements about the personal appearance of the individual Chinese tended to vary under the Certificate of Registration.  You Hoi (May 7, 1909) was described merely as “Short.  Thickset broad face” and Ah Ling (April 1, 1910) as “slight build”. By 1912 such statements disappear.[16]

I now turn to the broader social context in which this legislation was brought forward and passed.

The Rand campaign and the Russo-Japanese War

New Zealand and British Empire attitudes in the early stages of the Russo-Japanese war were widely pro-Japanese.  The British press were “strongly sympathetic” to Japan,[17] while New Zealand papers largely shared the Lyttelton Times view at the start of the war that “one cannot but admire the splendid national spirit with which she sets out to check the Russian advance.”[18]  More generally New Zealand sympathies, said the paper, were with Japan as “the smaller combatant”.[19]  Prominent missionary figure Dr Clark, founder of the Christian Endeavour Union, declared his sympathies with Japan because Russia was a tyranny.[20]   Some words of racial warning were sounded, however.  An article by “A Russian” in the government-oriented New Zealand Times expressed apprehension about the “Slavonic tribe” being overrun by Chinese and Japanese.  The writer continued:

“. . . would it be wise for any other nation to assist either Japan or China (both terms being synonymous) to help drive out white Russia from the labouring market of the world, in one corner, and contemplate, on the other hand, ways and means to prevent yellow labour stepping into the white man’s shoes in another corner?”[21]

It is interesting that the writer makes China and Japan synonymous, especially since the early months of the Russo-Japanese War coincided with a frantic campaign in New Zealand against the importation of Chinese labourers to work the Rand gold mines in South Africa.  On afternoon of Saturday, February 6 an outdoor rally took place in Wellington.  On the platform were the premier (Seddon), a number of cabinet ministers (for Railways, Mines and Native Affairs), the mayor, the chair of the city’s Trades and Labour Council, and various prominent citizens, including P.J. O’Regan.  The Chinese labourers going to South Africa were described by T.K. MacKenzie as the worst sort of hordes China could produce.  Seddon referred to them as “hordes of slavish barbarians”.  O’Regan eulogised the Wellington press for their support for the campaign, and a motion was passed thanking them along these lines.  Chief Justice Stout sent a letter in support, drawing attention to “the grave problems that ever arise when different races of men, with different civilisations are brought together. . .”[22]  On February 15 a public meeting was held in Masterton and four days later another in Christchurch.  The Masterton meeting was told that the introduction of Chinese indentured labour on the Rand amounted to “slavery” and went against “the first principles of British rule”.[23]  The Christchurch meeting was chaired by the deputy-mayor, C.M. Gray, and included local Liberal-aligned trade unionists such as Teddy Taylor, Harry Ell, William Tanner, Jack McCullough and T.H. Dave.  Among those sending apologies were Seddon, Justice Dennison and Legislative Council member C.C. Bowen.  Taylor suggested the Chinese threatened the deterioration or ruin of any race they came in contact with.[24]  Moderate sections of the labour movement, including trades councils covering Otago, Canterbury and Wellington, vigorously opposed the South African labour scheme.[25]  Protests and substantial press coverage of the issue continued through March and into April.

In the midst of such campaigning against one group of ‘Asiatics’ in another part of the world, support continued in Australia and New Zealand for the Japanese side in the war.  In Sydney, Europeans even set up a fund to aid Japanese sick, wounded, widowed and orphaned.[26]  An early ‘warning’ was sounded in New Zealand, however, by the Auckland Weekly Graphic.  In April 1904, for instance, it carried a cartoon depicting Japan in the form of a military figure painting Asia brown.  The cartoon asks, “Will our Turn Come?”

Japan was seen not only as a commercial and military threat, but also as undermining the notions of white supremacy.  Fears in Australia and New Zealand came to a head with the defeat of the Russians by the Japanese, the first time in the modern period when a white European power had been defeated by a non-white people.  Following the annihilation of the Russian fleet in a short, sharp battle in the Straits of Tsushima on May 27, 1905, Australian leader Deakin declared “the yellow man had taught the white man a lesson that Australians can neglect only at their peril.”[27] Leading New Zealand academic John Macmillan Brown, in a series of lectures on the Pacific after the war, argued that the war was “the first incident in Armageddon.”  Its outcome was crucial to “the superiority of West or East in the world’s arena, the Pacific.”  In “most European minds” a Russian victory was expected, as Japan “seemed but a pigmy beside the Colossus of Europe.”  Yet the Japanese were rather like the British, and the Japanese struggle with Russia was like Britain’s with Napoleon.[28]  Indeed, the Japanese were “All that the east is not” and even “intensely European”.[29]  The war turned into “a strange reversal of all expectation”, with the result that

“visions of the Yellow Peril flitted before the eyes of Europeans, scaring even powerful potentates and governments into hysteria; and where they dwelt near the Pacific the horror was the more threatening.  For centuries they had been accustomed to class Orientals with ‘niggers’ and some of their Pacific states prohibited their entrance into their territories.  What would come next if these despised coloured people bettered the West. . .”[30]

The heightened racial fears in Australia and New Zealand were reflected in “an unparalleled crop of Japanese invasion stories, plays and films.”[31]

The Lionel Terry case

On September 24, 1905, shortly after the conclusion of the war, one of the most ardent white supremacists and propagandists for racial purity in New Zealand, Lionel Terry, went into Haining Street, the ‘Chinatown’ area of Wellington, singling out and mortally wounding an elderly, semi-invalid and penniless Chinese man, Joe Kum Yung.[32]  He also wrote to the Governor, Lord Plunkett, stating he had “put a Chinaman to death” in order to protect the rights of himself and fellow Britons from “alien invaders” and bring the issue of alien immigration into the public arena.[33]  The following morning, he walked into Lambton Quay police station, repeated his reasons for the killing and handed over the murder weapon and a pamphlet.  A statement was taken, which Terry signed; he was then charged and arrested.  On November 21, Terry appeared in the Supreme Court in Wellington, with Sir Robert Stout, the chief justice, presiding.  Terry wanted no counsel.  He made a statement in which he strongly objected to the King “being placed in the position of a protector of unnaturalized race aliens in a British possession.”  He complained about the number of “Asiatic” witnesses and the “distinctly Asiatic quality” of the evidence of the Chinese witnesses.  He also rejected the idea that his action was the result of “mental aberration” or “insane delusion” and denied having ever suffered from sunstroke “or any other mental ailment.”[34]

The killing was committed, Terry said, “for the purpose of testing the stability of the law relating to the protection of aliens.”[35]  His argument was based around a three-step view.  Races were inherently different and this necessitated different rules.  This meant the laws of one race could not apply to another and therefore different races could not dwell in the same country.  Thus British law could not protect or recognise race aliens within British possessions, so he had not killed someone who was covered by the statute against murder.  From this three-step argument he deduced that the court would either have to agree with him and free him or disagree with him and subject him to the death penalty.  If the court dealt leniently with him it would show that the law was inoperable and therefore unjust.[36]  After a mere thirty-two minutes the jury returned with a guilty verdict, but with a strong recommendation to mercy.  They claimed he was not responsible for his actions because he suffered a mental craze caused by his intense hatred of racial mixing.  While Stout sentenced him to hang, he also sent the jury’s recommendation to the governor, Lord Plunkett.  The government decided to commute his sentence to life imprisonment, and Terry spent the rest of his life – almost fifty years – in mental institutions.

While the government and the highest court in the land presented Terry and his actions as a deranged lunatic on the fringe of society, his views were very much part of the respectable mainstream.  The same government responsible for his incarceration in lunatic asylums, on the basis that he was mad, had introduced a string of anti-Chinese and anti-Asian legislation, and a mere two years later would strengthen the statutes with a new restriction on Chinese immigration.  The chief justice presiding over the trial was a staunch opponent of Chinese immigration who had been patron of Wellington’s Anti-Chinese League.  On the evening of the murder, Terry had dined with a group of friends, including a number of members of parliament.  Although he never sought to disguise his views, but preached them on every available occasion, he “enjoyed the friendship of a number of prominent citizens and politicians.”[37]  All of Terry’s accusations against the Chinese were made by other educated gentlemen in the New Zealand parliament, in the state apparatus and in universities.  A petition was taken up for him and signed by thousands after the guilty verdict at his trial.  A new Anti-Asiatic League was formed in Wellington, calling for a “substantial increase” in the poll tax, “deportation of all undesirable Asiatics”, measures to stop Chinese “competing unfairly” in laundry and other businesses, the clearing out of Chinese “slums”, and bans on Chinese-European intermarriage and on the employment of Europeans and Maori by Chinese and vice versa.[38]  When Terry, on a number of occasions, escaped confinement and went on the run, he was protected and assisted by members of the public.  He enjoyed the sympathy of newspapers and the assistance of runholders.[39]  Mosgiel resident John Wright argued that while Terry had done wrong, it was in a good cause and expressed pride that the government was now doing all it could to keep the country from being “polluted” by the Chinese, a reference presumably to the 1907 Act.[40]  The same year, Truby King, superintendent of the Seacliff asylum where Terry was held and subsequently founder of the Plunket Society, organised an exhibition of his paintings in Dunedin.  King often had Terry to dinner.[41]  In 1910 a prominent newspaper editor, J.L. Kelly, organised a petition for his release.  Kelly admired Terry and some of his theories and thought his incarceration did more “for the crusade against race pollution” than his execution would have.  Kelly had edited the government-established New Zealand Times and the Auckland Observor, as well as being assistant editor of the Lyttelton Times for nine years and sub-editor of the Auckland Star for seven years.[42]

Terry’s life before the killing also indicates his respectability and mainstream status. He was the son of a successful businessman.  After a brief spell as a clerk he enlisted in the armed forces, eventually going to South Africa in 1895.  There he became a mounted policeman and also took part in the Jameson Raid, which aimed at overthrowing the Transvaal republic and bringing it under British rule.  After being captured he met Transvaal leader Paul Kruger.  His views on British expansion began to change.  In his autobiographical play, The Making of a Madman, Terry’s character contrasted the Matabele (“splendid black chaps”) with those who replaced them in British-ruled South Africa (“greasy little Jew traders”, “sop-guzzling Africanders”, “piebald picaninies”, “cringing furtive-eyed Kaffirs”).[43]  The importation of Chinese coolies to work the Rand mines further incensed him.  Terry then moved between Britain, the Caribbean, the United States and Canada.  In British Columbia he became heavily involved in the Miners Protection Union and began opposing the existing immigration policies, claiming the provincial government was following “a despicable scheme to force, by means of poverty and starvation, the men on whom future generations of Canada depend to accept Chinamen’s wages.”[44]  Disillusioned in Canada, he travelled again, finally arriving in New Zealand in 1901.  Here he worked as a draughtsman, farm labourer and bushfeller.

From virtually his arrival in New Zealand, he began writing and speaking out on the issue of ‘alien’ immigration and racial intermixing.  Among his activities was a letter to Maui Pomare in 1904, warning of the degeneration of Maori and suggesting they should be relocated to coastal islands where they could live under their own appropriate customs and laws and regain their racial vitality.  In the same year he wrote an epic-style poem, The Shadow, dedicated to “my Brother Britons”, with a prose introduction in which he laid out his political thinking in less flowery terms.[45]

Terry viewed the white labourer as the most noble representative of the British race, claiming, “the British Empire is represented entirely by her labouring classes; from them she receives sustenance, and from them only she obtains her strength in time of peril.”  You could take away the princes, governors, churchmen, lawyers, politicians and businessman which lived off the labouring classes and the Empire would still exist, indeed be even better, because it would be “more representative of the British race and of its interests.”  Thus the labouring classes must be kept pure.[46]  Unfortunately, however, a happy, hardy, noble, rural people, “passing the time with jovial jest and song”, had been replaced by “bloody riot” and “decay”.[47]  These were themes which were very much part of New Zealand mainstream Liberalism, with its focus on creating a happy and independent rural producing class as the mainstay of the nation.

Terry argued that “Nature has distinctly  demonstrated that the strength of any race, whether white, black or yellow, depends upon its purity” and “The violation of the laws of Nature means death.” [48]  In the white dominions and the USA, Jews, capitalists and Chinese (and other ‘Asiatic’) labourers were “cheating the Briton of his birthright.”[49]  Hideous barbarians, such as the Mongol, “vomited from earth’s dark pestholes, bred of plague, disease and crime”, a “horde of drug-besotten, sin-begotten fiends of filth”, were “swarming o’er thy nation’s bulwarks, pillaging thy nation’s wealth.”[50]  ‘Mammon’ was killing the spirit of the white race and producing “thousands of drunkards, criminals, and lunatics each year.”[51]  The spirit of the white race was also being sapped by alien immigrants who carried within them the seeds of “ages of despotism in their own countries”.  Also, “Chinese and Japanese millionaires” were “springing up” in the Empire, turning British-born people into dependents.  The “glorious traditions” of the British race were being replaced by “a nation of bastards”.[52]  The Chinese did not just fight open wars, they went into other countries to do menial work, so the local people ended up in luxury and idleness, “as weak women”, and their countries were easily incorporated into China.[53]

Terry put forward seven reasons for maintaining a racially pure stock:

  1. Hatred between races was “natural” and could not be eradicated without abandoning racial purity.
  2. Nature had inflicted severe punishment on inter-racial unions, making the offspring morally, mentally and physically unhealthy.
  3. The general cultures of other races were “totally strange” and often “revolting”. Thus alien immigration tended to lower the moral standards of whites.
  4. Alien immigration undermined patriotism.
  5. Alien labour was a “criminal injustice to the British workman”, undermining his conditions. Cheap competition inevitably gave the aliens supremacy.
  6. Alien labour was the “chief cause” of all degeneracy in the Empire.
  7. Alien races brought leprosy, bubonic plague, cholera and other diseases and scourges into the Empire.[54]

As we have seen from the parliamentary record of the 1890s, Terry’s views were far from being fringe.  Despite his propagandising and prominent friends, however, Terry was disheartened by the lack of public response.  At his trial, he stated, “The danger of Asiatic invasion appears to be little appreciated by the people of New Zealand. . .”[55] The Shadow, for instance, had poor sales.[56]  Later, in the self-justifying poem A Prophet Pig-Island, he would describe his failure to rouse white New Zealanders:

For four long years he wrote and spoke
But no one cared a button,
The public mind could not be raised
Above the price of mutton.

The result was the development of “piebalds”, “stinking slums” and the spread of “vice, crime and leprosy”.  It was time for stronger action:

So taking his revolver
To Wellington’s foul slum
He sent a crippled Yellow Man
(Let’s hope) to Kingdom Come.

In the poem, the people of New Zealand end up damned and a vindicated Terry, watching them go to hell, declares in the final line, “The World is for the Fit.”[57]

Images of Whiteness:  the Christchurch Exhibition of 1906-7 and the Great White Fleet

New Zealand nationhood, made manifest in the Boer War and the 1905 ‘Invincibles’ rugby tour of Britain, was put on public display in 1906-7.  An international exhibition was held in Christchurch, then the country’s leading industrial centre and the main city of Canterbury, the country’s agricultural breadbasket.  The exhibition demonstrated “a growing sense of nationhood while also cherishing the ‘apron strings’ of Britain.”[58]  Paul Greenhalgh has noted how the great exhibitions, from the London exhibition of 1851 through to WW2, “emphasise(d) national and racial difference, not similarity.”[59]  This was certainly the case in Christchurch.

Key themes of New Zealand nationalism were given ample display.  For instance, the country’s respectability was marked by there being no alcohol on sale and a prominent stand being that of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  The notion of progress featured prominently.[60]  New Zealand was also a country of real men – there were parades of volunteers, an axeman’s competition,[61] military tournament and school cadets.[62]  Lord Plunkett described New Zealand as “British in thought and blood, happy and prosperous, standing on the threshold of her splendid future”,[63] prime minister Joseph Ward referred to New Zealanders as “chips off the old block” and the country as “produc(ing) first-class boys and girls”,[64] while the Department of Labour stand contained an exhibition on sweated industries in Britain and emphasised NZ’s role as a social laboratory.  The British Court meanwhile featured a ‘social economy’ exhibit, including Salvation Army founder Charles Booth’s ‘social map’ of London.  This showed seven different classes, from what Booth described as the “vicious, semi-criminal and loafing” class upwards.[65]

The distinction between Old and New Worlds was, then, drawn sharply.  Class division and conflict, urban poverty and deprivation, and racial decline marked the former; racial virility, equality, prosperity, cleanliness and a benevolent state marked the latter.  Public discourse increasingly associated the Chinese with the former characteristics, showing their unsuitability for citizenship in a new land whose people had supposedly attained, and wished to maintain, the latter qualities.  Helpfully, there was now a powerful white cousin who shared these traits: the USA.

As Reckner records, British power in the Pacific after about 1905 was conditional, with a reliance on Japan’s naval strength.  Thus after the Russo-Japanese War New Zealand and Australia continued to face the problem of the British alliance with Japan. But if things were made difficult for Australia and New Zealand by this alliance, there was, happily for them, another white empire with similar origins to the dominions, which was not allied with Japan and whose interests seemed to be contrary to those of the new Asian power.  On the northeast coast of the Pacific, whites were also anxious.  The US government became worried not only about Japan’s growing military strength but also about the “quickening flow of Japanese migrant labor” into California and Hawaii. The combination of these two factors meant that by early 1907 “American relations with Japan reached a crisis point.”  There was an American perception that California’s discriminatory immigration legislation and anti-Japanese riots in San Francisco and other West Coast cities could lead to a Japanese attack on a “virtually defenceless” West Coast and Hawaii.[66]

Central to the American response to the rise of Japanese power and the thorny problem of Japanese immigration to Hawaii and the West Coast was the decision to send the US fleet into the Pacific and to develop Pearl Harbour.  ‘The Great White Fleet’ which left the East Coast of the USA in December 1907 and toured the Pacific in 1908 was white in more than the colour of the ships’ hulls.[67]  While fleet commander Admiral Sperry continually put forward the official US government line that the object of the cruise was “the betterment of the fleet throughout by keeping it at sea for a certain time and exercising it in every way”,[68] neither the New Zealand nor Australian governments, nor the fleet’s own sailors, saw it this way.

When the fleet arrived at Auckland, its sole New Zealand port of stay, it was met with “fervid enthusiasm”.[69]  Parliament was suspended for the week of the visit.  Across the country papers carried editorials and substantial daily coverage of the fleet.  The food requirements of the fleet, descriptions of the ships, reports on the social, cultural and political events attended by the ship’s officers, the official welcomes, and interviews with sailors appeared throughout the week.  Special photo displays appeared in pictorial publications associated with the dailies.  Thousands of New Zealanders travelled to Auckland to greet the fleet and even though it arrived just after 7am, up to 100,000 people – around ten percent of the entire population of the country – lined the shore.  Twenty-thousand people crowded the wharf area.[70]  The military review attracted an estimated 50,000 people.[71]

American sailors were aware of the racial significance of the fleet’s tour.  As ‘George’, one of the sailors, said to a New Zealand journalist, “Say, I don’t know you, but we’ve got a sort of feeling for white faces.  I like that sign over there.  Blood is thicker than water.  That’s right.”  He continued, “That’s what we’re here for, you know.  Those slant-eyed beggars have got to be kept in their places.  We’re going to do it, too.”  Americans were prepared to demolish the ‘yellow enemy’.  The journalist recorded that other sailors joined George in expressing the view that there was a need for an early and thorough smashing of Japan.  George also linked the fleet clearly with the immigration question, saying “The Japs got a fancy in their heads that they could take charge of our Pacific coast, and by thunder they pretty well did it.  Well, our President does not calculate to be trampled on by any of that sort.”  That these were not simply ideas in the sailors’ heads, was intimated by another seaman, who declared, “This is not a pleasure trip.  The President gave it to us straight when we left. . .”[72]  In fact Roosevelt had already described the fleet’s Australasian visit as a way of showing “those colonies are white man’s country.”[73]  Like many in New Zealand, the sailors also have appeared to made the link between progress, liberal social reform and white nationalism.  The Lyttelton Times correspondent covering the fleet reported that US sailors he spoke to wanted information on the country’s “socialistic legislation”, thought New Zealand “a pretty good country, and that it ought to give America a hand in keeping the Pacific a white man’s sea.”[74]

The white race theme spouted by the American sailors and Roosevelt was central to how the New Zealand elite viewed the fleet.  An editorial in the Lyttelton Times the day before its arrival specifically linked it to Asian immigration.  It went on to talk of how “Americans are sprung from the same race as ourselves” and were the “natural allies” of the British.[75]  Two days later another editorial referred to the US as “near to us in blood, in sentiments and in ideals. . .”  Other papers spoke in similar terms.[76]  Lord Plunkett welcomed the fleet as “representatives of a great nation containing some seventy million white people. . .”[77]  Hart notes Ward’s “rantings about standing shoulder to shoulder against the common enemy. . .”[78]  Ward’s welcoming speech, reprinted in papers around the country, described the US as “the greatest nation of the west”, and continued, “Today there rises in our breasts a special pride in our old Anglo-Saxon race, for are you not a branch of that great tree which has spread from clime to clime to raise the level of the world’s civilisation?”

New Zealanders were determined, he said, to “preserve the honour and traditions of our race”.  Although the US had had to rebel for independence, there were “ties of race, ties of a common language, of a common literature, and, above all, ties of natural pride in (British) traditions. . .”[79]  One of these traditions, the linkage of whiteness and progress, was bolstered by the fact that the Auckland-Wellington rail line had only just been completed and the party of parliamentarians and others going to Auckland to welcome the fleet were the first passengers on the line.  Both Ward and Massey, the leader of the Opposition, were interviewed about the trip.[80]  The New Zealand government also made an address to Roosevelt, at the welcoming ceremony.  It described the Americans as New Zealanders’ “kinsmen” and spoke of the “crowning grace” of New Zealand life being “manliness”.  Of Roosevelt it said, “For manly honour we like to believe you typify your nation, and in that belief we feel prouder still of our old Anglo-Saxon race. . .”  Sperry, in reply, noted NZ’s social reform welcoming old people “not hav(ing) to fight poverty and distress”.[81]  Further racial solidarity was displayed when New Zealand papers reprinted an August 11 UPA telegraph from New York which noted:

“The New York Herald and Philadelphia Inquirer refer to the common bond that Australia especially and New Zealand have with the United States owing to their exposure to the yellow peril.  Both say that the whites in the Antipodes are obviously intensely pleased with the tangible evidence that the United States mean to become powerful enough in the Pacific to be, if not their champion, a leader in any impending race struggle.”[82]

While Australia had ambitions to develop its own fleet which would be able to act as an instrument of the White Australia policy,[83] New Zealand still saw the Royal Navy as the country’s protector at sea.  In July 1908, the government increased its annual contribution to the Royal Navy to £100,000 and the following year donated a battle cruiser, the HMS New Zealand, to imperial defence.  The US fleet visit could be used by Wellington, however, to gain some increased voice in imperial policy-making.[84]


In the killing of Joe Kum Young, eugenics and White New Zealand met.  For Lionel Terry had not just chosen any Chinese to kill.  At his trial he declared that, while he bore his victim no personal enmity, he had deliberately chosen an old cripple so his purpose – drawing attention to alien immigration – “would be accomplished without the sacrifice of one whose whole existence was other than a painful burden.”[85] Eugenicist ideas were part of the more broad idea of social and moral improvements central to New Zealand nationalism.  Like its ideological sibling, racial theory, eugenics was the product of the respectable middle class.  It was an elite idea, but developed from within a particular section of the elite in Britain, before arriving in New Zealand.

It originated in a form of liberalism.  Its founder, Francis Galton, was a liberal, part of a social layer which has been characterised as an intellectual and business aristocracy – a set of families based in business and intellectual life who achieved their positions by their own efforts.  They socialised together and intermarried. As religious dissenters and believers in improvement and hard work, they tended to be hostile to the established church, landed property and the general perpetuation of unearned wealth and position.  They supported social reform and better government.[86]  Galton and other eugenicists desired a meritocratic society, “where every lad had a chance of showing his abilities”, a key theme of New Zealand Liberalism and nationalism in the period covered by this thesis.  In this meritocracy, “the weak could find refuge in celibate monasteries and sisterhoods”, while “the better sorts of emigrants and refugees from other lands (could be) invited and welcomed and their descendants naturalised.”[87]  While Galton began laying out his ideas in the 1860s, the first major discussion of eugenics took place in 1904 at the London School of Economics under the aegis of the Sociological Society.[88]

Eugenics was a response to troubling trends within British society at the time.  As capitalism failed to create its promised brave new world of liberty, equality and fraternity, but ushered in urban poverty and a troublesome working class, both conservative and liberal wings of the elite became alarmed.  Widespread fears of degeneration surfaced in the later 1800s and early 1900s, as we saw in the previous chapter.  The ‘worst’ sort of people were seen as breeding rapidly, while the ‘’better’ sort were only reproducing slowly, as they were saving their money and virtue for later marriage and family comfort.  It appeared, to those who believed that Darwinian natural selection applied in the human world as well as in the realm of nature, that the spontaneous selection process had begun to fail.  Intervention was necessary.  The turn towards intervention was not limited to the sphere of reproduction, but included broader social and economic areas.  It marked a shift from laissez-faire capitalism and free trade to state intervention in the economy, tariffs and protectionism, as the market also proved rather anarchic and strife-torn.[89]  Interventionism became a widely accepted principle – left, centre and right generally conceded to it.  Eugenics, as a form of intervention, could thus be embraced across a broad political spectrum.

The anti-eugenics magazine the Nation could note, “The eugenicist tends to become an aristocrat, morbidly afraid of the ‘uneducated’.”[90]  Michael Freeden, meanwhile, has noted “the appeal of eugenics for the ‘right’” while investigating “the attraction it had for progressives”, namely “liberal social reformers and moderate socialists”.[91]  This is hardly surprising for  moderate socialists were also often people of an aristocratic frame of mind, like the Webbs.  Moderate socialists shared with traditional conservatives a disdain for, and even fear of, the masses.  Whereas radical or revolutionary attacks on the social basis of inequality held out the prospect – or danger – of ending inequality and social division, eugenics could appeal to liberal and conservative because it “represented the possibility of forging a strategy of antisocialist reformism that would achieve social betterment without altering the existing ownership and distribution of wealth.”[92]

In the United States in 1906 President Roosevelt supported a bill to set up a laboratory to study the criminal and defective classes.[93]  While the British government was not so keen on such laboratories, the Home Office replied to an America follower of Lombroso the same year that a “far more important purpose is the collection of material for testing theories as to the physical progress of the race. . . for determining whether the population of England is degenerating or improving in physique.”[94]  From the start, eugenics was linked to race, as it focussed on improving the racial stock. Whereas the conservative eugenicists tended to emphasise biological factors, the ‘progressive’ eugenicists focussed on environmental ones.  S. Herbert, a ‘progressive’, argued, for instance, “. . . we have the environment acting, as it were, like a sieve, separating the fit from the unfit and selecting those who are best adapted to their surroundings.”[95] Although British eugenics began with a concern about class within Britain, it soon connected with wider concerns about the fragility of the Empire and white racial superiority.  In the US, after the turn of the century, “eugenicists allied themselves with other interest groups to provide biological arguments to support immigration restriction.”[96]  David Micklos, editor of the Eugenics Archive website, has noted that Eugenical News “was the dominant mouthpiece for the racist and anti-immigration agenda of eugenics research.”[97]  ‘Mongolians’ were amongst those most focussed on; even what we now call Down’s Syndrome was in the early 1900s termed “Mongolian idiocy”.[98]

Eugenicists also supplied arguments justifying opposition to inter-racial unions.  For instance, leading eugenicist and influential writer Madison Grant, author of The Passing of the Great Race, claimed that racial mixing was “a social and racial crime.”  Acceptance of it would lead to “racial suicide” and white civilisation would disappear,[99] Arnold White’s Efficiency and Empire, reflected the growth of doubt in British society over the previous quarter century and was part of an “avalanche of critical books, pamphlets, and newspaper articles” prompted by Britain’s poor performance in the South African conflict.[100]  The mood was summed up in journalist J.L. Garvin’s downbeat 1905 query, “Will the Empire which is celebrating one centenary of Trafalgar survive for the next?”[101]  White himself was a leading journalist and “popular tribune”, a leading figure in the founding of the Navy League in the 1890s, and a leading campaigner for fifteen years against alien immigration into Britain.  In this latter field, he was especially concerned with ‘destitute’ Jews from Eastern Europe entering Britain and gave evidence to the royal commission which resulted in the 1905 Aliens Act.  He was also heavily involved in eugenics, even claiming ‘credit’ for being the first to use the phrase “sterilization of the unfit”[102], and was concerned both with competition within British society and the “struggle for existence” between races.  He was critical of an idle upper class and the effects of urban life, arguing that urbanisation “lower(ed) the standard of national health” and that the reason for the Boers’ relative success against the British Army was that lived “mostly in the open air” while British soldiers came mainly from “streets and tenement houses”.[103] The rise of large urban centres and urban overcrowding were foci of more widespread fears of racial decline.[104]

In White’s work are thus to be found many of the ideas and themes associated with the New Zealand Liberals and anti-immigration campaigners in general – from pro-imperialism, to attacks on the idle rich, from support for a vigorous rural population and hostility to the growth of industrial cities to concern with the quality of the racial stock.[105]  For instance, if we examine the anxieties accompanying urbanisation, we can see these clearly reflected in New Zealand.  As John Macmillan Brown put it in one of his post Russo-Japanese war lectures:

A community begins to die off at the top like a tree; the classes that are freed from the necessity of daily physical labour and can luxuriate in idleness soon lose their fertility. . .  Cities especially breed this race-sterility.  Everlasting return to the soil and the labour of the soil seems the first condition of the fertility of a community.

He also worried that it was not only the idle rich, but also the working class which was becoming enervated and thus endangering racial survival: “. . . when labour itself begins to be affected with race-sterility, the nation’s vitality is being sapped.”[106]  The worm in the garden of New Zealand society was the declining birth rate, but this “evil” could be checked by the “increase of intensive farming and of a country population.”  He wanted to “stem the rush to the city maelstrom.”[107]

Anxieties about racial fitness/decline in this country could also draw on some statistical evidence.   For instance, the late colonial period saw noticeable rises in levels of infirmity.  In the 1874 Census deaf and dumb males were 2.05 per 10,000 people and women 1.71 per 10,000 population; in 1906, there were 3.29 such men and 2.73 such women, each per 10,000 of population.  Moreover most censuses between these years had recorded percentage rises. While in 1911, the Census recorded a fall for men from 1906 – 2.89 deaf and dumb men per 10,000, the number and rate of women in this category increased again, to 3.08 per 10,000 of population.  And both 1911 figures were above the 1874 figures, especially those of women.[108]  The proportion of people blind had risen more rapidly.  In 1874, there were 2.45 blind males and 2.18 blind females, each per 10,000 of population.  The blind rose to a peak of 7.32 males and 4.26 females, each per 10,000 of population in 1901, with a total of 5.87 blind people per 10,000 persons.  After 1901, the proportions of the blind fell in the following two censuses, except for a slight rise in the proportion of blind women in the population between 1906-1911.  In 1911, there were still 5.25 blind men per 10,000 of population and 4.26 blind women per 10,000 of population.[109]  Most notable, however, is the rising number and proportion of lunatics in the population.  In 1874, there were 23.28 male lunatics for every 10,000 people and 15.48 female lunatics for each 10,000 persons.  Overall, there were 19.93 lunatics per 10,000 persons.  By 1911, male lunatics had almost doubled to 41.27 per 10,000, female lunatics had more than doubled, to 32.44 per 10,000, making a total of 37.10 lunatics per 10,000.  Moreover this lunatic fringe was concentrated primarily in the working-age group of 25-64-year-olds.  In each five-year category within this, there were over 250 lunatics, with the largest numbers in the 40-44 age group (435 lunatics), 45-49 age group (389 lunatics) and 35-39 age group (382 lunatics).  Given that the rate of lunacy in the population was almost exactly the same in Australia (3.62 per 1000 in 1910, compared with 3.65 per 1000 in New Zealand the same year), ideas of white racial decline are likely to have been intensified.[110]

Concern with the ‘unfit’ within was linked to “neo-Darwinian beliefs which saw the white civilized races pitted against the rapidly multiplying hordes from the East.”[111]  Works began appearing in both countries, pointing to the rise of the ‘unfit’ and the need for (often) drastic action.  Eugenics was closely bound up with white racial purity,[112] and again we see the middle class- rather than the working class – at work in producing the ideology, forming the organisations and undertaking the campaigning.  The first eugenics group in Australasia was the Eugenics Education Society of New South Wales, founded by Dr Richard Arthur, “a passionate advocate of White Australia”.[113]  In New Zealand, an early call to arms came from W.A. Chapple, an Otago-born and educated doctor who practised medicine in Wellington from 1902-06, writing The Fertility of the Unfit which was published in Australia in 1903. Chapple fretted that society now faced “an army of defectives” which “constitutes the fit man’s burden.”[114]  The proportion of people dependent on the state in New Zealand was rapidly rising, he argued, from 16.86 per 1,000 in 1878 to 23.01 in 1901.  The ratio of physical and mental defectives had nearly doubled from 1874 to 1901.  Marriage and birth-rates were falling alarmingly.[115]  The “best citizens” were only slowly reproducing while the “worst” were having the largest families.[116]  Breeding from such defective stock threatened the moral and mental condition, evolution and future of the race.[117]  The education of defectives in self-restraint had been “of little avail”, says Chapple before going on to dispassionately recount the views of other prominent intellectuals on how the problem should be dealt with.  These included castration of sections of the children of the poor and gassing to death the whole ‘defective’ section of society.  Chapple’s own preference was for various types of surgical operations on men and women to prevent them reproducing.[118]  Making the ‘unfit’ or ‘defective’ sterile was linked to the social good and social reform:  “The whole sum of human happiness would in this way be most assuredly increased, and the aim and object of all social reform be to some extent at least, realized.”[119]  Chapple’s book strikes us today as something akin to Nazism, yet it was mainstream enough at the time to have warm comments written by three prominent social reformers, including two leading Liberal politicians/intellectuals.  Liberal Attorney-General J.G. Findlay, himself a strong eugenicist, claimed that “no finer work on the subject has been accomplished”, Sir Robert Stout declared himself “much pleased” with it and offered to help get it published in England, and Rutherford Waddell wrote the preface and eagerly commended it to the public.[120]

Racial and eugenist precepts permeated significant social organisations such as the Plunket Society.  “White racial anxieties” gave rise to infant welfare organisations on both sides of the Tasman;[121] “maternal purity equated to race purity.”[122]  Again, the professional and capitalist classes were at work, Plunket being founded by Dr Truby and Isabella King, “with the help of wealthy businessmen’s wives”.[123]  The organisation took its name from Lady Plunket, wife of the governor-general.  Her sister was married to the governor-general of Australia.  While the eugenics groups lacked a mass membership, the Plunket Society intervened directly in the lives of the working class, laying down a “prescriptive ideology” to be followed in working class homes[124]  These ideas affected government policy too.  For instance, the 1903-4 Royal Commission on the Decline of the Birth-Rate and on the Mortality of Infants in New South Wales -comprised of “medical, business and professional men” – spoke of the duty to maintain a White Australia.[125]  This report, Mein Smith notes, was “influential in New Zealand”. Seddon adapted its findings in a 1904 memorandum and in 1904 a Midwives Act was passed.[126]

Masculinity , urbanisation, the state of the race and the ideal society

Across the Tasman, Deakin argued that what was at stake in the White Australia policy was “national manhood, the national character, and the national future.”[127]  When the New Zealand government message to Teddy Roosevelt, mentioned above, noted the president’s manliness and declared manliness to be the “crowning grace” of New Zealand life, an important aspect of New Zealand nationalist ideology was being expressed.  The taming of the ‘frontier’ in New Zealand, the ideal of the rugged individual established as an independent producer on the land, the experience and reputation of colonial soldiers in the Boer War, the consolidation of rugby and the success of the 1905 All Blacks tour to Britain, all represented and strengthened the idea of manliness within New Zealand nationalist ideology.  Even a feminist such as Margaret Seivewright, celebrating a year of women’s franchise, could link manliness to liberal democracy through, among other things, calling for “a strong manly Man’s Party” to put women on an equal footing in New Zealand society.[128]

In masculinity ideology at this time, “Masculinity was defined by vigour and energy.”[129]  Moreover, “(t)he ideal of manliness was basic both to the self-definition of bourgeois society and to the national ideology”.  It “symbolized the nation’s spiritual and material vitality” and maintained a clear line between the normal and abnormal in a society undergoing change.[130]  Manliness “was a bourgeois concept”[131] created “by European nationalisms”; against it stood “(t)he ugly counter-image of the nervous, unstable homosexual and masturbator,” who constituted a “threat to nationalism and respectability”.[132]  Forms of sexual perversion were “thought to be almost as threatening to middle-class life as the restlessness of the lower classes. . .”[133]  The bourgeoisie’s way of life spread “downward to the lower classes.”[134]  Their notion of respectability “became the unifying force of society as a whole.”[135]  In relation to sexuality and race, society “excluded all who seemed to present a danger to established norms and the national ideal”.[136].

The management and control of sexual desire and energy was a critical factor in Victorian masculinity.[137]  Homosexuality and masturbation raised particular fears. [138]  Masturbation “symbolized the horror of being sexually out of control. . . (and) could dilute the very essence of maleness – strength of purpose and mind.”  It “would likely bring on physical and emotional weakness and even neurotic debility, behaviour associated with effeminacy and the despised female role.”  It might create homosexuals, who were seen as “sickly, effeminate, perverse and out of control. . .” and personifying “passivity and physical and emotional weakness.”[139]  From the 1880s, medical tracts on the subject were joined by a new discourse produced by “figures of establishment authority (doctors, clergymen, educators)” for young men in general.[140]  Moreover, hostility to masturbation was “equally, or even more strongly” to be found among liberal and radical sex educators.[141]  The ‘evil habit’ of ‘self-abuse’ was also widely seen to be learned, by boys and young men, from ‘evil companions’.[142]  She further suggests that the period of greatest anxiety about masturbation was from the late Victorian era until around World War I.[143]  Masturbation was also connected with race and empire as an intellectually and physically hardy race was necessary.  Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the scouting movement, held the widespread belief in relation to sperm that “the Germ is a Sacred Trust for carrying on the race.”[144]  His 1908 Scouting for Boys, suggested masturbation “brings with it weakness of head and heart” and, with persistent practice, could result in “idiocy and lunacy.”[145]  Masturbation discourse focussed on other aspects of the fear of degeneration: heterosexual libertines would degenerate into the final ‘excess’, ‘self-abuse’ could lead to the degeneration of homosexuality and/or sex with prostitutes which would result in venereal disease.[146]

In New Zealand, the stereotypical colonial male was “physically imposing and capable, as a result of long, hard work outdoors.”[147]  Yet towards the turn of the century, there was a growing fear that “the soft urban life and habits of drinking, smoking, and sexual abuse, particularly masturbation, were sapping the physical strength and moral fibre of the race.”[148]  A range of campaigners and peddlers of ‘cures’ took up the issue of masturbation.  Puritans campaigned against it, one leading Christian campaigner even describing it as worse than murder, pestilence and war.[149]  Secular elements joined the crusade, offering mechanical, electrical, chemical, herbal and other ‘cures’ for the dread disease. A profusion of advertisements for such ‘cures’ appeared in newspapers in the 1890s and early 1900s.[150]  Books and pamphlets circulated widely, including in schools.  The proliferation of quack ‘cures’ reached a level sufficient to lead to a Quackery Prevention Act in 1908, as the medical profession sought to squeeze its less ‘orthodox’ rivals out of the masturbation cures market.  Doctors and social puritans believed it “wore out the nerves and the brain by mysteriously weakening human ‘electricity’, making people tired, lazy, selfish, nervous and, it was still widely believed, insane.”[151]  Many of these symptoms were also linked with the taking of drugs, such as opium, and fit the kinds of descriptions made of the Chinese by their persecutors.[152]

These linkages had important repercussions in relation to the Chinese, as the promotion of manliness as a key character trait for New Zealand men served to lower the status of any males deemed lacking in this area.  Views typically expressed about Chinese men were the opposite of manliness.  The Chinese were caught in a double bind.  When they were not supposedly lying around smoking opium, being effeminate and engaging in distasteful sexual practices or ‘luring’ white women into their dens of iniquity, they were industriously working away at various jobs for low wages and putting non-effeminate, non-obsequious, sexually orthodox European males out of work.  In New Zealand, the disproportionate gender numbers may have increased the anxiety about masturbation and homosexuality among men.[153] In a period of anxiety about homosexuality and masturbation, such a predominantly male – and socially segregated – community was going to be particularly vulnerable. [154]

Moral purity and national greatness were linked by conservative groups such as the Church of England Purity Society,.[155] while “colonialist constructions of masculinity” suggested “self-restraint was a clear marker of ethnic superiority and civilization.”  Christian and Jewish self-restraint was linked with superior mental fitness, energy and upward mobility, compared with ‘Asiatic’ races.[156]  Social commentators often made an “(e)nvironmentalist connection between material deprivation and immorality. . .”[157]  This is useful in the New Zealand context as Chinese areas were seen as slums, full of vice.  These raised fears such as Old World poverty and urban deprivation, moral decay, racial decay and racial antagonism.  They were conditions which undermined and posed a threat to the tenets of New Zealand nationalism which aimed to build a popular democracy of the physically, morally and mentally competent.  In the early 1900s groups like the Plunket Society epitomised these fears.  Its middle class founders were concerned about, what Truby King called, “racial success and national greatness.”[158]  Another middle class group, feminists, saw “(t)he cleansing of the political system by women’s vote (as) a necessary prelude to total social purity.”[159]

Widespread “social fears about the loss of the nation’s virility” in this era reflected a deeply-rooted belief in Anglo-Saxonism “that cities were effeminate places, a belief which became more threatening as New Zealand became increasingly urbanised at the end of the nineteenth century.”  Moreover, urban work, especially for the middle class, involved less and less hard physical labour.  At the same time, representations of New Zealand manhood remained those of men performing such labour.[160]  The Christmas 1901 edition of the Auckland Weekly News, for example, extolled the “warrior blood in the veins of the pioneer settlers.  They are the true descendants of the sea kings and heroes.”  Restoring masculinity was somewhat problematic, however.  After all, the emerging civilised bourgeois society had no desire for the untrammelled masculinity of the frontier.  The solution was the construction of a more controlled and disciplined – including self-disciplined – masculinity.  Fraternal societies, voluntary organisations, the workplace, and sports bodies all provided for this; “respectable manliness” prevailed.[161]  Organised games “imposed moral imperatives” such as “one does not cheat, take unfair advantage, shirk or give up.”  The qualities necessary were “tenacity, daring, and moral decisiveness”, qualities of the “mind-body, constitution, or ‘character’.”[162]

For the Chinese, the problem was that they fitted neither the old ideal of masculinity (the rugged pioneer) nor the new “respectable manliness”.  Moreover, the new ideal involved moral virtue which would ensure the creation of “a fine specimen whose white (‘little warrior’) corpuscles stood ready to repel the germ invader.”[163]  This kind of idea and imagery could only have negative consequences for a section of society which was already depicted as germ invaders.  In the Chinese case, this imagery was especially strong, epitomised in the term ‘the yellow agony’ and in the notion of the Chinese as ‘hordes’ who never moved about as Europeans did but always ‘swarmed’.

Fears of addiction were also widespread.  Industrial capitalism had created a world “out of kilter” and “beyond personal control”.  “Addiction,” Bunkle argues, “was a potent metaphor for this contradiction.”  To control these forces was to restore order and make the world predictable again.[164]  While she is dealing with feminist and prohibitionist views of alcohol, the point can be made about ‘addictions’ generally.  Since no other community was seen to be as totally addicted to drugs, sexual vices and sin generally as the Chinese, an environment in which these were prime targets was unlikely to be without repercussions for them.  Unlike both the other and more numerous non-white European group, Maori, and various European groups who were the targets of one-off pieces of legislation (eg Yugoslav gum-diggers), Chinese men are seen to offend against masculinity, purity, self-control.  On every count, they undermined the ideal society envisaged by nationalism and did not belong in New Zealand.

By contrast to the supposed Chinese character and what it would lead to, there was a strong intellectual belief that natural selection “would reward a healthy organism free of hereditary disease and moral weakness.”[165]  Natural selection notions permeated sociology and economics as well.  Benjamin Kidd’s influential and widely read Social Evolution[166] noted that “progressive peoples” were marked by vigour, in contrast to the “stagnant and unchanging East.”  The globally dominant people, “belong almost exclusively to the races whose geographical home is north of the 40th parallel of latitude.”[167]  Kidd also saw humanitarianism and social reform as a sign of the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon.[168]  Even an economic text like Alfred Marshall’s influential and much-reprinted Principles of Economics was permeated with natural selection theory.  He saw modern manufacture as an expression of “natural selection of the fittest”[169] and brought together climate and natural selection to explain England’s development:

England’s geographical position caused her to be peopled by the strongest members of the strongest races of northern Europe; a process of natural selection brought to her shores those members of each successive migratory wave who were most daring and self-reliant.  Her climate is better adapted to sustain energy than any other in the northern hemisphere.[170]

Over time, the dominant ideas discussed in this and the previous chapter begin to be reflected in the classes below them.  These frames of reference, in particular racial purity, are then reflected in how the organised labour movement argues the issue of Chinese immigration.

From the middle and upper classes to the labour movement

In the 1900-1910 period, the labour movement began to use the language of racial purity.  The political wing of the movement, and precursor to the Labour Party, the Independent Political Labour League, followed the Australian Labor Party and adopted a formal position of adhering to White New Zealand.[171]  Resolutions at national conferences of the Trades and Labour Council argued for a substantial increase in the poll tax, the 1906 conference adopting a motion calling for it to be set at £1000.[172]  The following year Wellington trade unionists opposed the employment of “Chows and other Asiatics” in several city hotels,[173] while that year’s TLC conference endorsed, by a 26-2 margin, the call for White New Zealand.[174]  Wellington watersiders, meanwhile, debated whether their bosses or the Chinese represented the biggest threat.[175]  The agricultural workers’ union in Canterbury successfully campaigned for an extension of the provision in the 1898 Shearers Accommodation Act forcing employers to provide separate sleeping accommodation for Chinese.  As of 1907 this applied to all ‘Asiatics’.[176]  In Dunedin, W.S. Pattison, president of the Otago Trades and Labour Council, called for the banning of intermarriage between Europeans and “Chinese, or other Asiatics”.  This was to be done “in the interests of racial purity, and to preserve the European type in New Zealand. . .”[177]

The virulently anti-Chinese views of the moderate sections of the labour movement thus mirrored the views of wide sections of the intelligentsia and other middle class layers, including politicians and the press.  These ideas circulated in scientific, historical and cultural circles, gentlemen’s clubs, middle class women’s groups, respectable journals and so on.  From here they found their way, without being made much more crude in the process, into the labour movement and sections of the working class, especially the respectable working class.  It would be difficult, for instance, for ordinary workers to come up with more ‘colourful’ anti-Chinese sentiments than those expressed by parliamentarians[178] or descriptions of “leprous chow” and “kite-faced horrors”[179]  who were “like a cancer eating into the vitals of our moral being. . .”[180] Moderate labour movement activists then gave their own twists and spin to anti-Chinese sentiment.  However, even with adaptation to a working class audience, the labour activists’ racism never took on a distinctive edge of its own; they essentially repeated those of the educated middle and upper classes on the issue.  Even the cry against the Chinese as cheap labour, which became superceded by the more blatantly elite argument of racial purity, is not a distinctively labour argument.  It is a constant cry in Terry’s work, for instance, and reflects a quite strong middle and upper class view of the noble white worker.  As well as finding continuous expression in parliament and on public platforms adorned by members of the elite such as Stout, it was expressed, for instance, in a series of newspaper articles on the necessity for the exclusion of aliens written by Wellington barrister J.O. Poynton in 1909.  Poynton argued, “the European cannot compete with the Asiatic, and he is faced with the simple alternative: exclude him or die out.”[181]  Even someone of liberal racial views such as Guy Scholefield, who described himself as a heretic who thought the Chinese were more virtuous and vice-ridden, could declare in a 1911 paper that he “should not care to regard them as an integral part of the New Zealand people” and that “No New Zealander who values the British character of his nation will regret the checks which have been adopted to prevent the Asiatic generally from assaiing and lowering the economic or the social standard of the country.”[182]

As Newman has noted in relation to the general flow of ideas of the period, “older workers, the skilled artisans and leaders of the craft unions. . . took their standards from the middle class.”[183]  Elsewhere, such statements are hardly contentious.  For instance, citing a number of academic works over the previous decade in Australia, Chris Chamberlain concludes that “in contemporary Australian sociology it has become somewhat of an academic orthodoxy – or at least an extremely widespread view – that there is a ruling culture which does penetrate deeply into working class consciousness.”[184]

The ideological trickle down of racial ideas, and the positive promotion of such ideas in the working class by those above it in the social structure, was made easier by the nature of working class organisation.  The chief immediate interest of the unions was, as Kingston notes in the Australian situation, establishing a degree of control over the labour market, keeping out other workers, and gaining or maintaining jobs and high wages.[185]   Essentially, in the absence of a credible radical alternative to white nationalist ideology, sections of workers and the moderate officialdom of the labour movement soaked up ready-made and prevailing forms of bourgeois ideology.[186]


[1] Richard Jebb, for instance, spoke of his “crude imperialism”, Jebb, Studies in Colonial Nationalism, London, Edward Arnold, 1905, p108.

[2] Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration, Report (1904), in Reports from Commissioners, Inspectors and Other Series, 41 vols, xxxii.

[3] Jebb, p126.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Chris Connolly, “Manufacturing Spontaneity: the Australian offers of troops for the Boer War,” Historical Studies, vol 18, no 70, April 1978, pp106-17; quote taken from p106.  Connolly is writing primarily about Australia, but argues the creation of a ‘spontaneous’ pro-war public opinion was true in general in the white dominions.

[6] Chris Connolly, “Class, Birthplace, Loyalty: Australian Attitudes to the Boer War”, Historical Studies, vol 18, no 71, October 1978, pp210-32, quote taken from p210.

[7] Ibid, p211.

[8] Deakin cited in Willard, p119.

[9] Ibid.

[10] See New Zealand Statutes 1 Edward VII 1901, pp6-7.

[11] See New Zealand Statutes 7 Edward VII 1907, pp443-4.  Exemptions were made in the case of teachers of the Christian religion duly accredited to the satisfaction of the Minister of Internal Affairs.

[12] New Zealand Consolidated Statutes 1908, vols 1-5.

[13] New Zealand Consolidated Statutes 1908, Appendix D, vol II, pp711-21.

[14] This stated that section 42 of the principal Act should not apply to Chinese who left New Zealand after registering their name and thumb-prints with the Collector of Customs and returned to the country within four years of such registration and satisfied the Collector as to his identity.  It should also not apply to any Chinese resident returning before January 1, 1909 and able to satisfy the Collector as to his residence.  The Governor was also empowered to make regulations, by Order in Council, prescribing the manner in which conditions of registration would be effected.  See New Zealand Statutes 8 Edward VII 1908, no. 230, p96.  Section 42 was under the heading “Additional Restriction in the Case of the Chinese” and involved having to read a printed passage of not less than 100 words of English selected by the Customs official.  Where an attempt was made to land without going through the language test, the ship’s master and Chinese involved were liable for a fine not exceeding £50.  Christian ministers accredited to the satisfaction of the Minister of Internal Affairs were exempted.  See, New Zealand Consolidated Statutes 1908, Appendix D, vol II, p719.

[15] National Archive, L, series 28.

[16] These appear in the same series as the Aliens Re-entry Certificates.

[17] Report from London, appearing in the Lyttelton Times, February 9, 1904.  Another London report in the same issue said that German papers were accusing Britain of inciting Japan against Russia.

[18] Lyttelton Times, editorial, February 11, 1904.

[19] Lyttelton Times, editorial, February 15, 1904.

[20] Clark gave his views in Dunedin.  They are reported in the Lyttelton Times, February 10, 1904.

[21] The article was reprinted in the Lyttelton Times, February 15, 1904.

[22] Lyttelton Times, February 8, 1904.

[23] Lyttelton Times, February 16, 1904.

[24] Lyttelton Times, February 20, 1904.

[25] Warburton, pp71-3.

[26] Lyttelton Times, February 18, 1904.

[27] Deakin quoted in Charles Grimshaw, “Australian Nationalism and the Imperial Connection, 1900-1914”, Australian Journal of Politics and History 3, 1957-8, p177.

[28] John Macmillan Brown, “The Mastery of the Pacific”, Macmillan Brown Papers, B3: Lectures: packet grouped as “The Pacific after the Russo-Japanese War”.

[29] John Macmillan Brown, “East and West”, Macmillan Brown Papers, B3: Lectures: packet grouped as “The Pacific after the Russo-Japanese War”.

[30] John Macmillan Brown, “The Mastery of the Pacific”.

[31] McLachlan, p182.

[32] Joe Kum Young was believed to be in his seventies.  See Frank Tod, The Making of a Madman: Lionel Terry, Dunedin, Otago Foundation Books, 1977, p29.

[33] Terry quoted in ibid, p31.

[34] Terry quoted in ibid, pp43-5.

[35] Terry quoted in ibid, p47.

[36] Terry’s argument in ibid, pp47-8.

[37] Ibid, p27.

[38] Ibid, p51.

[39] Ibid, p68.

[40] Otago Daily Times, December 17, 1907.

[41] Tod, pp48-9.

[42] Information on Kelly and Kelly quote in ibid, pp99-100.

[43]  The play is reproduced as an appendix in Tod.

[44] Terry quoted in Tod, p20.

[45] Lionel Terry, The Shadow, Auckland, 1904.  This is a kind of epic poem, set in 2000AD, with a prose introduction.  Terry claimed it was “the result of many years of personal research”, including among slums, alien nationalities in workplaces, and more generally in the British Dominions, the US and elsewhere (p15).  The main part of the poem is headlined “A Condemnation and a Prophecy” and the second part is an exhortation to King Edward.  Later the king’s German descent and friendship with prominent British Jews would alienate Terry, leading him to write, “A mongrel monarch sits upon the throne/A crafty Hebrew lurks unseen behind it. . .” See, Tod, p25.

[46] Ibid, pp5-6.

[47] Ibid, p19.

[48] Ibid, p7.

[49] Ibid, pp9-13.

[50] Ibid, p28.

[51] Ibid, pp13-14.

[52] Ibid, pp13-14.

[53] Ibid, p15.

[54] Ibid, pp6-7.

[55] Terry quoted in Tod, p45.

[56] The morning Terry gave himself up, he went into a Wellington bookshop to inquire as to the sales and, when told they were poor, suggested they might pick up the next day, see Tod, p30.

[57] A selection of Terry’s verse is included as an appendix in Tod, op cit.

[58] Allan Thomas, “Foreword” in John Mansfield Thomson (ed), Farewell Colonialism: the New Zealand International Exhibition, Christchurch 1906-07, Palmerston North, Dunmore Press, 1998, p7.

[59] Paul Greenhalgh, Ephemeral Vistas: the expositions, universelles, great exhibitions and world’s fairs, 1851-1939, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1988, p67.

[60] J. Cowan, Official Record of the New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries, held at Christchurch, 1906-7: A Descriptive and Historical Account, Wellington, John MacKay, Government Printer, 1910, p2.  See also, Gavin McLean, “The Colony Commodified: trade, progress and the real business of exhibitions”, in Thomson (ed), pp27-38.

[61] Of the axeman’s competition, The Press (January 18, 1907) declared, “Surely there could be no manlier sport. . .”

[62] Manliness was also a pronounced theme when the foundation stone was laid in December 1905.  There were constant references to that year’s victories by the New Zealand ‘Invincibles’ rugby team on tour in Britain; see both the Lyttelton Times and The Press, December 19, 1905.

[63] Cowan, Official Record, p88.

[64] Ibid, p96.

[65] Lord Plunkett’s speech also suggested that New Zealand manufacturing would escape the “grinding poverty, overcrowding, and dirt, smoke and fog” to be found in industrial Britain; see Cowan, Official Record, p88.  We might note that most of these are also associated, in New Zealand immigration discourse of the time, with the Chinese.

[66] James A. Reckner, Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, Annapolis, Naval Institute Press, 1988, pix.

[67] Although Robert Hart says it was not called The Great White Fleet at the time (Robert A. Hart, The Great White Fleet, Boston, Little Brown and Co, 1965, pviii), it was certainly sometimes referred to in this way in New Zealand.  See, for instance, the opening line of the daily report on the fleet in the Lyttelton Times, August 15, 1908.  When the fleet returned to the US, the hulls were repainted gray.

[68] See, for instance, the interview with Sperry which appeared in New Zealand papers, e.g. Lyttelton Times, August 11, 1908.

[69] Editorial, Lyttelton Times, August 10, 1908.

[70] Reckner, pp93-4.

[71] New Zealand Herald, August 11, 1908.

[72] See “Sailors’ Talk”, Lyttelton Times, August 11, 1908.

[73] Roosevelt quoted in Reckner, p78.

[74] Lyttelton Times, August 12, 1908.

[75] Lyttelton Times, editorial, August 8, 1908.

[76] Lyttelton Times, August 10, 1908.  See also New Zealand Herald August 15, 1908, which speaks of “ties of blood, of religion, of origin, of ideals, of aspirations”.

[77] Plunkett quoted in New York Herald, October 8, 1908, cited in Hart, p188.  My emphasis.

[78] Hart, pp187-88.

[79] Text of speech reprinted in Lyttelton Times, August 10, 1908.  Ward concluded his speech with the Maori welcome, “Haere mai!  Haere mai!”, another indication that Maori could be included in the ideology of White New Zealand.

[80] For the interview see, for instance, Lyttelton Times, August 10, 1908.

[81] Lyttelton Times, August 11, 1908.  New Zealand as a social laboratory was praised not only by Sperry, but also by the US journalist Franklin Matthews, whose reports reached 30 million US readers (Reckner, pp94-5).

[82] See, for instance, Lyttelton Times and the Press, August 12, 1908.

[83] “Australian Problems”, The Spectator 101, September 12, 1908, p352.

[84] G.P. Taylor, “New Zealand, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the 1908 Visit of the American Fleet”, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol 15, no1, April 1969, p59.

[85] Terry at his trial, quoted in Tod, p45.

[86] See, for instance, Noel Annan, “The Intellectual Aristocracy”, in J.H. Plumb (ed), Studies in Social History, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1955, pp241-287.

[87] Francis Galton, Hereditary Genius, London, Macmillan, 1869, p362.

[88] Michael Freeden, “Eugenics and Progressive Thought: a study in ideological affinity”, Historical Journal, vol 23, no 2, September 1979, pp645-6.

[89] Baker, for instance, notes of even the United States in the period from 1900-WW1, “The shifts from laissez-faire to managed capitalism and from Social Darwinism to eugenics were not merely a matter of chance.  The shifts in social and economic paradigms were parallel, each reinforcing the other.”  Lee D. Baker, From Savage to Negro: anthropology and the construction of race, 1896-1954, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1998, p90.

[90] “Eugenics and Social Reform,” Nation, August 27, 1910, cited in Michael Freeden, The New Liberalism: an ideology of social reform, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1978, p188.

[91] Freeden, “Eugenics and Progressive Thought”, p645; explanation of ‘progressives’ in fn2, p645.  The connections between the left and eugenics have also been recorded in Diane B. Paul, “Eugenics and the Left”, Journal of the History of Ideas, vol 45, no 4, October-December 1984, pp567-590.  Paul’s paper contains a substantial set of references to works on eugenics and the left, the women’s movement and social reformers.

[92] John Macnicol, “The Voluntary Sterilization Campaign in Britain, 1918-1939” in John C. Fout (ed), Forbidden History: the state, society and the regulation of sexuality in modern Europe, Chicago and London, University of Chicago Press, 1992, p318.

[93] Pick, p181.

[94] H.O. 45/10563. 172511/1.  Cited in Pick, p181.

[95] S. Herbert, “Eugenics and Socialism”, Eugenics Review 11, 1910, p122; cited in Michael Freeden, “Eugenics and Progressive Thought”, p646.

[96] Paul Lombardo, “Eugenic laws restricting immigration”, p3, Essay 9: Immigration Restriction, on the Eugenics Archive, Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbour Lab,  This is the Lab which is the home to the Human Genome Project.

[97] David Micklos, “Eugenics Research Methods”, p6, Essay 3: Research Methods, on the Eugenics Archive,

[98] See Topic: Mental Illness, Eugenics Archive,

[99] Information on, and quote from, Grant taken from Paul Lombardo, “Eugenic laws against race mixing”, p1, Essay 7: Marriage Laws, on the Eugenics Archive.

[100] G.R. Searle, “Introduction”, in Arnold White, Efficiency and Empire, Brighton, Harvester Press, 1973, pvii.  The original edition of the book was published in London by Methuen and Co. in 1901.

[101] J.L. Garvin, “The Maintenance of Empire”, in C.S. Goldman (ed), The Empire and the Century, London, 1905, p69.

[102] Arnold White, The Great Idea: Notes of an eye-witness on some of the social work of the Salvation Army, London, 1909-10, p17.

[103] White, Efficiency and Empire, pp95-97.  As we have seen, in New Zealand ideas about foul air were closely connected with the Chinese.

[104] The much-publicised condition of British soldiers during the Boer War – in particular, their alleged poor physique – had led to a special investigation, the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration.

[105] These themes permeate Efficiency and Empire, and are also found in his other work.  See also the Searle introduction to Efficiency and Empire and the White bibliography at the end of the book.  For an account of the widespread nature of these concerns in Edwardian Britain see, for instance, G.R. Searle, The Quest for National Efficiency: a study in British politics and political thought, 1899-1914, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1971.  Similar views are to be found among Australian nationalists such as Henry Lawson, who celebrated the manliness of outback existence and, in “The Land of Living Lies”, mourned urban growth and celebrated the carrying of “glorious” Federation by “the Solid Outback vote.” See Henry Lawson, Collected Verse, Vol 2: 1901-1909, edited with an introduction and notes by Colin Roderick, Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1968, p339.  Disillusionment with developments in Australia after the turn of the century permeate those of Lawson’s poems dealing with Australia during the following decade.

[106] John Macmillan Brown, “Australia and the Pacific”, Macmillan Brown Papers, B3: Lectures: packet grouped as “The Pacific after the Russo-Japanese War”.

[107] John Macmillan Brown, “New Zealand and the Pacific”, Macmillan Brown Papers, B3: Lectures: packet grouped as “The Pacific after the Russo-Japanese War”.

[108] See Report on the Results of a Census of the Dominion of New Zealand 1911, which accompanied the Census, Wellington, John Mackay Government Printer, 1913, p53.

[109] Ibid, p55.  The rise in the blind might be more connected with larger numbers of older people.  For example, about half the blind are 65 years and over (p54).

[110] All statistics on lunacy taken from ibid, p56.

[111] Philip Fleming, “Eugenics in New Zealand 1900-1940”, History MA thesis, Massey University, 1981, p9.

[112] See, for instance, Russell McGregor, “Breed out the Colour: reproductive management for White Australia”, in Martin Crotty, John Germov and Grant Rodwell (eds), “A Race for a Place”: Eugenics, Darwinism and social thought and practice in Australia: proceedings of the History & Sociology of Eugenics Conference, University of Newcastle, 27-28 April 2000, Newcastle, University of Newcastle Faculty of Arts and Social Science, 2000.

[113] Donald Denoon and Philippa Mein Smith, with Marivic Wyndham, A History of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Oxford, Blackwell, 2000, p259.  Arthur subsequently became minister of public health.

[114] W.A. Chapple, The Fertility of the Unfit, Melbourne, Whitcombe and Tombs, 1903, pxii

[115] Ibid, pxiv.

[116] Ibid, pxv.  This theme is returned to throughout the book.

[117] Ibid, p7; this, too, is a recurring theme.

[118] Ibid, see chapters 10 (“What an anaesthetics have made possible”) 11 (“Tuboligature”) and 12 (“Suggestions as to Application”).

[119] Ibid, p127.

[120] Waddell, Findlay and Stout’s comments appear in ibid, ppiii-vi. Chapple himself went on to become a Liberal MP in New Zealand (very briefly) and Britain (over a decade).

[121] See Denoon, Mein Smith and Wyndham, pp256-62.

[122] Philippa Mein Smith, “Blood, birth, babies, bodies”, p4.  This is a paper dated November 2001 which is to appear in a forthcoming issue of Australian Feminist Studies; page numbers are taken from the copy of the paper in the Canterbury University library.

[123] Denoon, Mein Smith and Wyndham, p261.

[124] See Erik Olssen, “Truby King and the Plunket Society: an analysis of a prescriptive ideology”, NZJH, vol 15, no 1, 1981, pp.3-23.

[125] Mein Smith, “Blood, birth, babies, bodies”, p9.

[126] Ibid, pp9-10.

[127] Deakin in Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, 4, September 2, 1901, p4864.  Cited in A.T. Yarwood, Asian Migration to Australia: the background to exclusion, Carlton, Melbourne University Press, 1967, p24.

[128] See Margaret Sievewright, “President’s Address, Gisborne Woman’s Political Association” (1894), in The Vote, the Pill and The Demon Drink: a history of feminist writing in New Zealand, 1869-1993, selected and introduced by Charlotte Macdonald, Wellington, Bridget Williams Books, 1993, pp46-53.

[129] Beverley Kingston, The Oxford History of Australia, vol 3, 1860-1900, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1988, p62.

[130] George L. Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality: respectability and abnormal sexuality in modern Europe, New York, Howard Fertig, 1985, p23.

[131] Ibid.  The class basis of the Victorian and Edwardian era ideology of masculinity is also evident in J.A. Mangan and James Walvin (eds) Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class masculinity in Britain and America, 1800-1940, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1987.  Stefan Collini notes the connection of strands of this ideology of “manliness” with mid-Victorian Liberalism, see Stefan Collini, Public Moralists: Political Thought and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1850-1930, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991, p189; chapter five of Collini is a discussion on “Manly Fellows”.

[132] Mosse, p31.

[133] Ibid, p25.

[134] Ibid, p181.

[135] Ibid, p182.

[136] Ibid, p187.

[137] H. Sussman, Victorian Masculinities: manhood and poetics in early Victorian literature and art, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p3.

[138] Mosse, chapters 2 and 7.

[139] John C. Fout, “Sexual Politics in Wilhelmine Germany”, in Fout (ed), p184.

[140] Lesley A. Hall, “Forbidden by God, Despised by Men: masturbation, medical warnings, moral panic and manhood in Great Britain, 1850-1950”, in Fout (ed), p299.

[141] Ibid, p303.

[142] Ibid, p302.

[143] Ibid, , p299.

[144] Lord Baden-Powell, Rovering to Success: a book of life-sport for young men, London, 1922, p103.

[145] Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting for Boys: a handbook for instruction in good citizenship, London, 1908, p209.

[146] Hall, p302.

[147] Gareth Abdinor, “Constructions of Masculinity in a New Zealand National Identity”, Political Science MA thesis, Canterbury University, 2000, p16.

[148] Jock Phillips, “Mummy’s Boys: pakeha men and male culture in New Zealand”, in Phillida Bunkle and Beryl Hughes (eds), Women in New Zealand Society, Auckland, G. Allen and Unwin, 1980, p229.

[149] Joseph Berry, Private lecture to young men upon an avoided but important subject, Wellington, 1888 pp13 and 30-31.  Cited in Eldred-Grigg, Pleasures of the Flesh: sex and drugs in colonial New Zealand, 1840-1915, Wellington, A.H. and A.W. Reed, 1984, p165.

[150] Ibid, pp166-7.  The book reprints several of these advertisements, taken from the Auckland Illustrated Magazine and New Zealand Truth, both in the first decade of the 1900s.

[151] Ibid, p167.

[152] See, for instance, chapters 5 and 6 of this thesis.

[153] As late as 1891 non-Maori males still outnumbered non-Maori women by about 39,000 in a population just over 625,000. This includes ‘half-castes’, which are evenly divided between male and female, plus 4,444 Chinese, who are almost all male.  Thus the number of pakeha men is probably about 35,500 more than pakeha women. Moreover, whereas among non-Maori in their teens, numbers were relatively similar, the ratio of men to women was particularly appreciable over the age of 21.  From 22-25, the non-Maori population is 50.95 percent male, and 49.05 percent female; from 26-30, it is 54.33 percent male and 45.67 percent female; and from 31-35, 56.63 percent male and 43.37 percent female.  Of around 170,000 males over 20 years of age, 70,197 are unmarried, while 90,371 are husbands.   By the time of the 1901 Census the gap between numbers of pakeha males and females has actually slightly increased.  There were now 405,992 non-Maori males to 366,727 females.  Once again these numbers include Chinese and ‘half-castes’.  But female ‘half-castes’ slightly outnumbered males, and the Chinese had declined to only 2,857 as the restrictive legislation of the previous decade made its mark.  Taking into account that almost all the Chinese were males, and that there were just over 1,000 ‘half-castes’ of each gender, this means that the number of pakeha males was likely to be around 402,000 to about 365,500 females – a difference of around 36,500, about a thousand more than in 1891.  There were 224,239 non-Maori males over 21 as compared to 188,757 women.  There were now 99,844 unmarried males, compared to 118,401 husbands, a slight rise in the proportion of adult unmarried males as these figures translate to a shift from 1 unmarried per 1.29 married (1891) to 1 unmarried to 1.19 married in 1901.  Furthermore, the number of males in the 10-20 years bracket had risen from 79,332 in 1891 to 94,115 in 1901.  By 1911, the total population of the Dominion included 564,834 males and 506,076 females, indicating again a substantial gap.  The gap between pakeha males and females grew again, and reached around 55,000.  The number of unmarried males (exclusive of Maori and Chinese) over 20 years of age in 1911 was 136,263, while 171,936 men were husbands, a ratio now of 1 unmarried male over 20 years per 1.26 married men.  However, the overwhelming majority of non-Maori/non-Chinese males in the 18-29 years bracket were unmarried – 98,194 unmarried to a mere 23,035 married.  Almost ten times as many of these men aged between 21-24 were unmarried as married (36,574 to 3,821), while even in the 25-29 group the unmarried numbered almost double the married (34,816 to 19,059).  The Chinese at this point had declined again, numbering only 2,630, of whom a mere 88 were females.  These figures are taken from the New Zealand Census for 1891, 1901 and 1920

[154] The connection between sexual and racial anxieties, in a context of colonial nationalism in a white dominion (in this case, Canada), is well-explored in Vandervelde.

[155] Sue Morgan, “’Writing the Male Body’: sexual purity and masculinity in The Vanguard 1884-1894”, in Andrew Bradstock, Sean Gill, Ann Hogan and Sue Morgan (eds), Masculinity and Spirituality in Victorian Culture, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 2000, p187.

[156] Ibid, pp187-8.

[157] Ibid, p190.

[158] King in F.C. Batchelor, Address Delivered to the Society for the Promotion of the Health of Women and Children, Dunedin, 1909, p13.  Cited in Eldred-Grigg, Pleasures of the Flesh, p127.

[159] Bunkle, “The Origins of the Women’s Movement in New Zealand: the Women’s Christian Temperance Union”, in Bunkle and Hughes (eds), p67.

[160] Phillips, “Mummy’s Boys”, pp227-8.

[161] Here I am following Phillips, “Mummy’s Boys”, pp229-231.

[162] Bruce Haley, The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture, Cambridge (Mass), Harvard University Press, 1978, pp260-1.

[163] Ibid, p233.

[164] Bunkle, “The Origins of the Women’s Movement in New Zealand: the Women’s Christian Temperance Union”, p69.

[165] Mosse, p33.

[166] First published in 1894 this went through three editions and 14 print runs by the turn of the century, and was reprinted again in 1902 and 1906; details taken from publishing data page of Social Evolution, London, Methuen, 1920 edition.

[167] Ibid, pp56-8.

[168] Ibid, pp302-7.

[169] Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economics, London, Macmillan, 1890, p38.

[170] Ibid, p31.

[171] New Zealand Worker, January 3, 1906.

[172] See Trades and Labour Councils Report of Annual Conference 1906, p38.

[173] New Zealand Truth, March 2, 1907.

[174] Trades and Labour Councils Report of Annual Conference 1907, pp25-6.

[175] Evening Post, July 25, 1907.

[176] AJHR 1907, Vol V 1-9, p15; New Zealand Statutes 1907, p131.

[177] Report on July 24, 1907 public meeting in Otago Daily Times, July 25, 1907.

[178] See, for instance, the thesis chapter re-presenting the parliamentary debates of the 1890s.

[179] New Zealand Truth, January 11, 1908.

[180] New Zealand Truth, July 20, 1907.

[181] Weekly Herald, April 24, 1909.

[182] Guy Scholefield, “The Origins of the New Zealand Nation”, a paper read at the Royal Colonial Institute, 1911, p10 (copy in Aotearoa New Zealand Reference Section, Canterbury Public Library).

[183] R.K. Newman, “Liberal Policy and the Left Wing 1908-1911: a study of middle class radicalism in New Zealand”, MA thesis, Auckland University, 1965, p213.

[184] Chamberlain, pp3-5.

[185] Beverley Kingston, The Oxford History of Australia, vol 3, 1860-1900, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1988, p47.

[186] Internationally, however, there was a section of the labour movement which vigorously opposed immigration colour bars.  The International Socialist Congress of 1907, meeting in Stuttgart, was attended by 886 delegates from working class organisations on five continents, including mass parties such as the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD).  Lenin wrote two articles on the Congress, commenting in both on clashes over ‘colonial policy’ and migration.  The contrast between ‘moderate’ socialists and ‘extremist’ Marxists was especially acute on these issues.  Lenin made a sweeping condemnation of the support given by the ‘moderates’, especially leading figures in the German delegation, to the colonialism of the Great Powers.  He saw the source of ‘opportunism’ on the colonial question as being found in the profits made out of the colonial world.  Part of these profits could be used in the imperialist countries, thereby providing “the material and economic basis for infecting the proletariat with colonial chauvinism” (V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol 13, p77.  Article first published in Proletary no. 17, October 20, 1907). This chauvinism found its expression also in the support given by the ‘moderates’ to racially-based immigration walls.  Thus, in the commission dealing with the formal Congress resolution on emigration and immigration there was, said Lenin, “an attempt to defend narrow, craft interests, to ban the immigration of workers from backward countries (coolies – from China, etc).  This is the same spirit of aristocratism that one finds among workers in some of the ‘civilised’ countries, who derive certain advantages from their privileged position, and are therefore inclined to forget the need for international class solidarity” (ibid, p79). In an article written a week or so later, Lenin again commented that the ‘opportunists’ were keen on excluding Japanese and Chinese workers and described this as revealing “the spirit of narrow craft isolation, of trade union exclusiveness.”  He counterposed to this the importance of organising immigrant workers of colour into the labour movement and promoting international working class solidarity (ibid, p89, Article first published in Kalendar dlya vsekh, 1908 (October 1907)).  The strong opposition of the ‘extreme’ left in the working class internationally to racial exclusion is overwhelmingly ignored in the New Zealand historiography.

  1. […] White New Zealand policy, pt 8: The Consolidation of White New Zealand: the social, political and in… July 17, 2015 […]

  2. […] Drafted in 2001: The making of the White New Zealand policy, pt 8: Consolidation – the social, political and in… […]