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4-322 (Original)

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addressee author,male,The Bulletin,un
Newspaper Article
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Newspapers & Broadsides
Clark, 1957
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One of Chas Kingsley's most forcible poems tells how 'the merry brown hares 'came leaping' over a piece of English farm-land - 'Leaping late and early, Till under their bite and their tread, The swedes and the wheat and the barley, Lay cankered and trampled and dead.'
In some such fashion a local poet might describe the Japanese invasion of Australia and its results. The little brown men come leaping over our north-eastern and north-western border by scores and hundreds. Every Yokohama ship brings a few, and a few more. And wherever they go the destruction of white industry follows in their train. Sooner or later, every Japanese who comes here ousts a white man from a profitable calling. If Australia is to be and remain a white nation, the home of white races, it is time for the provincial Parliaments to say that the Japanese, like the Chinese, 'must go' - or at least, that their coming be finally stopped. This step must be taken; and every year, every week, every day that it is deferred, the danger and difficulty of taking it increase. The Japanese have hardly yet made good their position. Once let them become entrenched and fortified, and no one can guess what it may' cost to shift them. 
The question is not to be disposed of by the sneer that Australians are fond 'of a bogey, and that the chief-result of the recent war, so far as we are concerned, has been 'the substitution of a Japanese bogey for the familiar Chinese one. The Chinese invasion was never a bogey: it was a grave danger, and it is so still. The younger generation hears with surprise that there was a time when the Chinese in Victoria numbered about 13 per cent. of the adult male population; when 4,000 Chinese lay in quarantine on Fitzroy Island (Q.), the Colonial Office's refusal to sanction restrictive legislation having forced the Government of the day to declare the whole Chinese Empire in quarantine! [397] There are still 40,000 Chinese in Australia; and in the Northern Territory, where they almost monopolise the gold-mining industry, there were at the '91 census only 1,159 whites to 3,392 Chinese. The Japanese danger is not substituted for the Chinese: it is added to it. And the Japanese invasion is the more to be dreaded because the Jap has all the virtues of the Chinaman and more besides, because he is supported by a strong, alert Government, keenly alive to the national advantage, keenly sensitive to slights on national honor, and because there are obvious commercial advantages to Australia in the budding trade with Japan, and, some Australian traitors to their country will endeavor to grasp commercial profits at whatever cost of national disaster.
There is one man, standing at a Northern outpost of Australian civilization, who has had during the last 10 years special opportunities for observing the effects on white industry of the Japanese invasion. Thursday Island is the first port of call on the eastern coast for Asiatic steamers; it is the favorite landing-place of unattached Japanese; it is now a chiefly Japanese settlement. In March '94, there were 720 Japanese to 651 Europeans; and the proportion of Japs. has since increased. JOHN DOUGLAS, Q. Government Resident at Thursday Island, says in his last-issued report (March 6, '94) - The continuous stream of Japanese immigration, if maintained, will soon completely change the character of our maritime population. It has had the effect of driving away many of the South Sea Islanders, who are the best seamen we have. Wages have dropped from a month to 30s., and they may go down to 20s. This is not an unmixed gain, and it seems to be possible that the (pearl-shelling) industry may pass very largely into the hands of aliens. Two years ago there were not 20 boats owned and manned by Japanese. Now there are upwards of 70, and of these 38 are owned by Japanese. This is a matter which merits the serious attention of Parliament. [398]
The hint was plain enough; but Queensland Parliament, with its majority employed in propping up their bank, took no notice. Q. Ministry, indeed, was understood to have 'made representations' to the Japanese Government in July last year, but nothing came of them except fresh instalments of Japanese immigrants for the sugar-plantations.
Meanwhile the Thursday Island evil has been increasing. Seen last month by a BULLETIN representative Mr. DOUGLAS said: The Japanese now either possess or are working out on credit nearly 100 boats, and, as things are going, it looks as if they will before long own the fisheries altogether. They are slowly but surely winning Thursday Island, and what they are doing here they may do elsewhere. They are -hard-working, abstemious, and clever, and they stick to one another closely. They are heaven-born co-operators, and in this respect more formidable rivals than the Chinese. In the boats they are all ambitious to become divers. When one man comes up another puts on the dress and goes down, and so on. Thus a Japanese boat will sometimes be at work from dawn to dark; at any rate, they can and do work longer hours than the ordinary boat, in which there is only one diver. Then, again, those of them who are educated are most indefatigable in studying English. I have a boy in my house just now who works away every evening at his phrase-book with an English and Japanese dictionary. Our local bookseller tells me that the best-educated among them buy useful books, grammar and arithmetic books. I took up a book in his shop, the other day - 'The Complete Letter-Writer' ('by a member of the aristocracy,' if you please!) 'That is' a great favorite with the Japs.' he said; 'I have sold at least a dozen copies to them.' They have their own shops, their own boat-building slip, and they are trying (they say) to establish a public-house of their own. Altogether they are most assimilative. Here in Thursday Island it will soon be a case of the survival of the fittest; and, if they go on as they are doing, the Caucasian will be played out. I have really a great respect for the Japanese, and have a great admiration for their physical and mental capacity; but if the projected line of steamers between Australia and Japan is going to bring us further heavy contingents, to be landed at all our ports, I say 'Lookout!'
The men who brought the Japanese divers to Thursday Island bitterly regret it. For the Jap., unlike the Chinaman, is not content to be man. He will be master. As Mr. DOUGLAS says, he is tireless, industrious, inventive, and - the secret of his success - he knows how to combine. [399] The Japanese community at Thursday Island imports as much as possible from Japan; deals as little as possible with the whites. Jap. helps Jap. sedulously. Every now and again- a white boat-owner is forced out of the competition; his boat is purchased and christened by a Japanese name; there is general Japanese rejoicing. 'We will soon be masters here altogether, said one the other day. They have more adaptability than their white rivals, and at least as much ability. The representative Jap. at Thursday Island is a University graduate - L.L.B. Down the coast the same characteristics are shown. The sugar labourers look to the time when they will be sugar-farmers - and work for-it. Many already lease or own land; and the others are keenly emulous. It is the same on the western side of Australia - the Jap. divers are gradually supplanting their masters. Westralia, too, does a flourishing trade in women, who come under contract for five years to Japanese brothels. And sex does not alter race-characteristics - white women, like men, cannot live with their little brown competitors.
All this, of course, is an old story elsewhere. The pushing, restless bearing of the Japs. in Hawaii has earned them the title of 'the English of the Pacific.' Brought in as sugar labourers, they now control several plantations. They 'strike' just like a white man, and exact the uttermost farthing of possible wages. In California, the 10,000 Jap. vineyard labourers have brought dismay into the white ranks. What competition is possible with men who are used at home to work gladly for 3d. a day? The Englishman, American, Australian, are expensive animals. They are habituated to luxuries; they waste in a week enough money in food, drink, and lodging to keep a Japanese family for three months. We are the superior race, we say. It may, be; but our wants are our masters. The Jap. knows no such master. He develops the maximum of energy with the minimum of expenditure. Where he gets his foot his body follows. And already he is getting footing in Australia. Advertisements for and by Japanese servants are common in the daily papers; there is an agency in Sydney for indenting Japanese labourers in any number desired. What is to be the end of it? [400]
And note this: the Japanese Government is not, like that of China, an oafish and ostentatious sluggard. It is jealous, intelligent, aspiring. It is not likely to endure maltreatment of its subjects by a foreign power; more probably it will strenuously insist on their right to rank as equal citizens in any country on earth. When Japanese coolies in Fiji, the other day, fell sick of an epidemic, the Government sent a doctor all the way from Japan to enquire into the circumstances. China would not have done that. Moreover, Japan is imbued with a keen spirit of patriotism. When Germany, Russia, and France insisted on the abrogation of the terms of peace with China, and the cessation by Japan of her spoils on the mainland, the people were furiously indignant with the Government for giving way. Shrewd observers say it did give way only because it felt its fleet unequal to that of the three allies; And now the Government has ordered another half-dozen ironclads. The Japanese are determined that intruders in Asia shall know that Japan must be reckoned with. -
The Japs., in fact, good-humoured though they be, have a touchy, warlike strain in temperament as easily kindled as that of Frenchmen. They do not hesitate to measure their strength with that of Britain - and one Jap. journal recently referred with contempt to the shopkeeping -country as 'the unwieldy China of the West,' and suggested that it would be easily dealt with by the victorious Japanese troops. The ideal of the nation, says the competent HENRY Norman, is 'Japan for the Japanese,' and behind this is the dream of 'Asia for the Asiatics' - a confederacy of Asiatic nations with Japan as arbiter and chief. Realisation is quite possible. No revolution could achieve more marvellous results than- that which transformed feudal Japan into modern Japan in less than 30 years. Japanese manufactures are now outdoing Manchester, snatching trade from India. They have the immense advantage of cheap silver. Population is greater than that of the British Islands, and nearly as dense. There has already been large immigration. Is Australia also to become a Japanese colony? - - It has received a dextrous invitation. Australian Governments have been asked to notify their wish for inclusion as parties to last year's treaty between Britain and Japan. [401] If they do, they agree that the Japanese shall have full liberty to enter, travel, or reside m any part of Australia. They agree that the Japanese shall have the same rights at law, the same liberty of commerce, as an Australian citizen. They agree that the Japanese shall not be compelled, on any pretext whatever, to pay any taxes which natives - do not pay. And one powerful section of the Australian daily, press - which has been lately printed on Japanese-made paper - is apparently eager for this treaty to be swallowed The Chambers of Commerce at Adelaide aand Brisbane are considering the question in the interests of trade, though Sydney Chamber doubts whether trade may not be too dearly purchased at the price. The Victorian Government has an agent in Japan looking for markets; and it is quite possible that Vic. Parliament may be asked to ratify the treaty. Therefore, The BULLETIN has stated the facts as it knows them, the risks as it sees them, and now makes demand - whether Australians are prepared to sacrifice their birthright for a mess of commercial pottage.