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4-017 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Parkes, Henry,65
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Clark, 1975
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I, for instance, though extremely anxious for the introduction of new population, and believing that there can be no grander policy for a new country - for instead of being a paltry question between Capital and labour, it is a large question of national policy - one of the very grandest of all policies for a new country - I, nevertheless, whilst entertaining this view, confess that, in the introduction of new population, I am likely to come into conflict with people who entertain my own views on that question, and who have cheered me during the last few minutes. I am anxious to preserve the present elements of the population. I am, therefore, not of opinion with the honourable member for Boorowa, as I heard him express himself some weeks ago, that we ought to establish any system of immigration irrespective of the question whether it would be likely to change the character of the population of this country.  I am as willing as I can be to assist in bringing Englishmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen here; but I am not willing to bring the people of one country at the expense of the people of another kingdom. I would not, I say at once, give my support to any immigration which had a tendency to change the British character of the population as it now exists. I disclaim any hostility to the people of any of the three kingdoms but I would lend no advocacy of mine - on the contrary, I would advance every opposition in my power - to the bringing here of a majority of people from Ireland. I hope I may be able to express this opinion boldly and without reserve, without being charged with bigotry or with a dislike to the Irish people. I say that I want to preserve a majority of Englishmen and the descendents of Englishmen in this country. I say, moreover, and, unpleasant and painful as it may be, it is a matter which ought not to be shirked, that I want to preserve the teaching and influence of the Protestant religion in the country, and I would lend no assistance whatever to any scheme which would have a tendency to depress the Protestant elements now in existence. For this reason I am an advocate for the immigration to this country being regulated by whatever the census returns will show to be the elements of the population of the three kingdoms now existing in the colony. I think that is quite fair and equitable, and that there ought to be no objection to it. I do not think that we ought to be charged with illiberality because we object to a movement of the population which would change the character of the country.