Friday, May 11, 2012


ITS COLOURED PROBLEM. CHINESE AND INDIANS. REVIVAL OF CONTROVERSY. There has developed a controversy on the White New Zealand question which threatens to rival that which was excited when a madman shot dead an aged Chinaman as a protest against the Asiatic influx. On this occasion there has been no shooting: the ball has been set rolling by a meeting of farmers and townsmen at peaceful Pukekohe," the 'constituency of the late Prime Minister,Mr.Massey. At this meeting it was declared that there were now Hindus and Chinese in their hundreds, where a few years ago the only dark skin to be seen was that of the native Maori race, high in the scale of civilisation. In some places the Asiatics controlled the fruit trade, and at the city markets the buyers of Pukekohe produce were largely Asiatics. The increasing hold of these people, it was pointed out was very serious, because their frugality of living made it impossible for a European to bring up his family in decency to compete with them - something could be done, and must be done. Europeans must put their minds to it Cases were instanced to prove that when Chinese entered into competition with Europeans in any line of business there was only one result—the European went out of business, especially in the laundry, fruit and market garden trades. It was urged by one speaker that landowners should invariably refuse to sell or lease land or premises to Asiatics, and that merchants should refuse to deal with them. The result of the meeting was the formation of a White New Zealand League, and the carrying of a motion that landowners and business men should refrain from dealing with Asiatics. No Definite Policy. There is in this country no policy of excluding Asiatics on the lines of the White Australian policywhich is one thing that Australia is praised for here and each year sees the number of Chinese and Indians added to. either as permanent residents or as temporary visitors, who try very hard to remain here. There are not a great many Asiatics in the South Island—probably it is too cold, or too Scotch, for them but there is abundant evidence that there is an all-sufficiency of both Chinese and Indians in the north. The fruit shops whose fine displays compel admiration, are a feature of the principal streets of Auckland. They are almost entirely run by Chinese, and there is not a suburb Ito which these men. who may be seen lin their scores bidding at the auctions in the City Markets, have not "peacefully penetrated." And at various corners we see the übiquitous Indian, popularly referred to as the '"Hindu," with his stall and his piles of polishcl fruit, paying but a scanty rental for his stand. As he competes mostly with the Chinese, there is perhaps less resentment against him on the part of the European population than might otherwise be. lin this country, but as to how long it takes a newcomer to repay it is one of those secrets which are hard to clear up. It is said that a young Chinese has to labour for ycars to clear himself of the debt. Standard of Living. It is not doubted that the Indian subsists on a food standard which would not maintain a white man ill working condition, and it is this economic advantage which gives him the pull over the European when it conies to competition in trade. As for the Chinaman, hs does not live nearly so frugally as is j generally supposed. The young Chinese of to-day is emulating European stand! ards. When he has emerged from his shell, so to speak, he dons tailor-made suits, tan shoes, silk sox, white collars and expensive hats. He may be seen thus, much multiplied, about the streets or in the marts any day. As to food, he is a gastronomic expert. He buys the fattest ducks and cockerels, the choicest pork and the best cuts of butchers' meats, and he buys plentifully. it is not in denying himself food that he saves money: he is sparing in his pleasure, as the European knows pleasure, and his entertainment costs him little. However, he is often a gambler, and the sight of a Chinaman on a racecourse is so familiar as to pass unnoticed and the luck of a Chinaman with the horses is said to be amazing. There is no more law-abiding citizen a Chinese, or a "Hindoo." for that matter. 1 rarely has to face a magistrate, excepting for the committal of some technical offence Really the matter of restricting the influx of Asiatics rests with the Minisi ter in charge of the Immigration Department. He issues the permits which allow them to land and take up their residence here, and the granting of these permits are solely at his discretion. Chinese or Indians who come out here to reside have, to pay a poll tax of £100. This tax is readily found by their compatriots who sponsor tlieir arrival. His Industry and His Pay. All around Auckland, and all along the Main Trunk Line as far south a Wellington, can be seen the market gardens of the Chinese and the trading carts of the Indian hawker. In every town are Asiatic fruit shops and Asiatic laundries. At Kohimarama Chinese are said to be paying rentals of 50 pound per acre per annum for land for vegetable-growing, a rental which would well make the white owner pause when he is asked to sell at valuation for other purposes. The industry of the Chinaman is proverbial, and here it is clearly shown. In the shops his work is limited by tlle interval between the hours of opening and closing fixed by law—which are long enough, in all conscience—but in the market gardens- no summer's day jis too long for him, and in the winter I lie works' early and late by the aid of the moon or artificial light. But the I lessee of the garden may be making I a fortune by the combined labour of his assistants working out their poll tax; a similar state of affairs may be the portion of the conductor of some of the fruit shops. The Minister in charge of Immigration has, it is stated, a pile of applications for admission, which is added to by applications from Chinese who came in under temporary permits entitling them to stay for six months, seeking permanent location. Many Chinese come here under temporary permit, and, having got the wedge in, seek to split the log this way. Their dodge, however, is rarely successful. i There have been attempts at smuggling !in detected—from Suva, the latest— but ships are now .searched prior to leaving the port of. embarkation and before, being berthed here, and it is said that for an Aiiatic to enter New Zealand unperceived is almost impossible Auckland Star, Volume LVI, Issue 300, 19 December 1925, Page 11

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