AUSTRALIA AND ASIA
"Australia and the Far East (Diplo- <*> matic and Trade Relations)." By vari-<*> ous Australian expert authorities. Syd <*>- ney: Angus & Robertson.
England's "Far East."* is as a fact our Near North; but we seem to have ac cepted the former term, for the sake of conformity. Within a few days by sea, a few hours by air, are teeming millions of fellow-creatures whom we hold as a race apart. Can we continue always to do so? From the very first, the possibilities of Asiatic cheap labor were recognised; our own brilliant Wakefield was the first to suggest that the Orient might some day be also a market for our products. A little later, Wentworth was forming a "Coolie Association" to tap those labor reserves. When gold was found, the immigrants came without being sent for. By 1860, there were 42,000 Chinese in Victoria alone, mostly in the allu vial goldfields; and some very ugly riots were the consequence. This phase passed, except in Queensland; there in 1877 one person in every seven was Chinese. The reaction was severe. Henry Parkes raised the cry of "Aus tralia for the Australians!" The bud ding Labor Party took it up. Within ten years, every State had restrictive migration laws, in a test case, car ried to the Privy Council, the judg ment of the Victorian courts was up set, and it was laid down that an alien lias no legally enforceable right to enter any British territory; and that the self-governing colonies could deal with such matters Just as they pleased. There came a time when Japan was dreaded, being really indignant in the flush of its new-found powers, at being Jumped;with the "colored races" __our RestricOpn Bills. Feeling was at one cane bitter. But then, in 1902, came the Anglo-Japanese alliance (thought MMring at the time, and probably a d_ert reply to the Russo-Chinese treaty). The steady growth of the White-Australia policy in recent years is well known. And, strange to say that curiously arbitrary makeshift the Language Test, seems to accomplish what definite and logical laws never could do. Diplomacy From Adelaide One of the oddest things, literally m all history, is the bold incursion of South Australia into the field of inter -s*^__f__diplnmacy in 1877. Our State had proudly imdertaken to nurse that prrrmistng intant the Northern Terri tory, not yet accounted a white ele phant, shanghai coolies, Pathan tribesmen, Welshmen from Patagonia Garibaldi's red-shirts from Italy-^all had been invited in. Premier Blyth, with his dashing colleague Boucaut (afterwards both Premier and Judge) held that the only alternative to ?surrendering the whole thing ??-s "Plantation." After nibbling ?. _ C^loll. Java, Manila. and Madagascar, with some hundreds of unmigrants as the result, they ap proached Tokio with a great scheme for colonisation of the Territory by a whole section of Japan—aristocrats farmers, laborers—with citizenship rights, but their own social conditions' Mr. Wilton Hack was sent, the first diplomat appointed by a colony to negotiate directly, and without the con sent of Great Britain, with a foreign Power. The idea found favor; and then, at that precise moment, came the revolt of the "two-handed Satsuma swordsmen," upholding the old feudal system against modern progress. Tokio had its hands full at home. On Feb ruary 16, 1877, Mr. Hack had his plan seemingly settled; the next day, it was down-and-out. Still, it was a bold scheme, of '?magnitude and far-reach ing implications." It failed almost by Jll-chance. If it had succeeded, where would a White Australia policv have been? Once more, in 1896, the British Minister in Tokio reported a large though less important scheme, for laborer hnniigrants this time. Mr. Langdon Parsons, father of the present Acting Chief Justice, and himself des tined to be later Admiiiistrator of the Northern Territory, explained this away as an intended private venture. What Of The Future? Latterly, Japan has been a faithful ally, and China has been too much torn by internal dissensions to have any foreign policy of importance. Thoughts for the future turn mainly to prospects of trade. The experts who have combined to make this volume are mainly Sydney resident-. Names so well known as Bavin and Garran are here. The others are TJnl-1 versity professors or lecturers in his tory, economics, or industrial research; Sydney even has a Chair of Oriental Languages. Between them, they cover all the field, wide as it is—diplomatic relations, with the possibility of fric tion, education, labor, standard of living, and especially the outlook for trade with the Dutch Indies unri with China. The "show-boat" delegation of 1933 did much good, especially in sur prising Asia, with the knowledge that Australia can produce other things than foodstuffs and wool. (It Is pleasant to know that, in the brief space since this volume was compiled, a ?i—it— venture has started for Japan.) china Is a matter of possibilties, only; un limited mouths to eat, but no silver to buy. Some 80 per cent, or the vast population lives literally on the land, in grinding poverty, with barely a few shillings per head to spend outside. The general conclusion is that this outlook is "without immediate significance" for Australia, yet "in the long ran its im portance is likely to be very great." This is a fine, and serviceable, and timely volume. It should not be missed by any manufacturer, or anv politician^