AN OFFENSIVE CARTOON. RIDICULING THE CHINESE FRUIT DEALER IN COURT.
Robert James Lucas is a fruit dealer in Symonds Street, Auckland, says the New; Zealand Herald. About the middle of last month there were indications that the competition against him.was to be increased by a shop hard by being opened for the retailing, of fruit, and in due time the name of the tenant appeared on the signboard Low King. Lucas evidently thought he had better start the fight early, and on the afternoon when the new shop opened he invoked the cartoonist to his aid, and displayed in his window a placard bearing the following words:— "l don't want the earth. I only want a small profit: So don't patronise the Chow Your own colour first. 'Phone, 2782." The placard was adorned with a cartoon of an unprepossessing Chinaman with a pronounced pig-tail.The Chinese residents of the city very strongly objected to the cartoon, and after the advice of the Consul in Wellington had been taken it was resolved to lay an information under section 12 of the Justices of the Peace Act against Lucas, praying that he should be bound over not to exhibit such cartoons, which were calculated to cause a breach of the peace. Accordingly Lucas was charged at the Police Court. Mr C. C. Kettle, S.M., was on the Bench. Mr W. J. Napieiv appeared for complainant, and the defendant was present in person, and admitted displaying the cartoon.
which he did not consider at the time to be insulting. Mr Napier said the cartoon had a great deal of indignation amongst the Chinese in AucHiand; and it required the efforts of the most influential amongst them to, prevent them from showing their resentment in a practical manner. No matter, how strongly one, might feel against the Chinese, continued Mr Napier, he was not entitled to break the law, which protected them in exactly the same manner as it protected white men. This cartoon was calculated ; to stir up racial hatred for the purpose of defendants private pain. The Act properly prescribed penalties for those who were inclined to stir up the hoodlum's. This cartoon had a sordid motive. It wanted to prevent white people dealing with the Chinese, because of their colour, and the picture was evidently intended to suggest the man next door. "If said Mr Napier, "we place ourselves in the position of the Chinese —" The Magistrate: I quite agree with you that the Chinese are entitled to the same protection from me law as the British. The whole question' is as to the nature of the cartoon.
Defendant said' he withdrew the cartoon when he 'understood that the Chinese took exception to it. Mr Napier said that was hardly so. Defendant kept it in the window for four days, and it was finally taken down through the intervention of a white man, who pitied the way the Chinese were being persecuted. Defendant said the competition of the Chinese was crushing. The Magistrate:, That has nothing at all to do with it. The Chinese are entitled to protection the same as you are. They get no privileges above the British, but they get the same privileges under the law exactly. This is a very offensive thing as you must see for yourself. I do not know who drew it, but the artist should be brought before the Court for aiding and abetting. Mr Napier referred to a Wellington prosecution, in which the cartoon was not so offensive as this, being more in the nature of a skit.
The Magistrate: There can be no objection at all to a humorous picture; but when it comes to this it must be stopped. If the man promises not to repeat the offence, will you be satisfied with that? Mr Napier: My instructions'are to get sureties to keep the peace. The prosecution agreed to accept defendant's own bond, and he was bound over in a bond of £25 not to repeat the offence, and ordered to pay costs (£3 14s 6d). The Magistrate took further occasion to point out to defendant that it was a traditional glory that all who came under the British Flag should enjoy its protection. He hoopd that a case like this would not come before him again. Defendant: I pity the white man who enters into competition with the Chinese in business. The Magistrate: Well, you see, the Chinese do not spend their money in drink. Defendant: Neither do I. The Magistrate: I do not say you do; but these people are entitled to protection, and they shall have it.