The day will come, and perhaps is not far distant, when the European observer will look round to see the globe circled with a continuous zone of the black and yellow races, no longer too weak for aggression or under tutelage, but independent, or practically so, in government, monopolising the trade of their own regions, and circumscribing the industry of the Europeans; when Chinamen and the natives of Hindustan, the states of Central and South America … are represented by fleets in the European seas, invited to international conferences and welcomed as allies in quarrels of the civilised world. The citizens of these countries will then be taken up into the social relations of the white races, will throng the English turf or the salons of Paris, and will be admitted to inter-marriage. It is idle to say that if all this should come to pass our pride of place will not be humiliated … We shall wake to find ourselves elbowed and hustled, and perhaps even thrust aside by peoples whom we looked down upon as servile and thought of as bound always to minister to our needs. The solitary consolation will be that the changes have been inevitable.
The above is an extract from Charles Pearson’s prophetic book, “National Life and Character: A Forecast”.
It is the passage Prime Minister Edmund Barton read when he rose to speak in support of the Immigration Restriction Bill – part of the White Australia Policy.
Pearson’s book may have horrified many. He writes to a friend about a particular review:
Grant Duff was an indignant reviewer, suggesting that ‘the English race [would] certainly awake to its duties, when the time came, and massacre as many Chinese and Hindoos as were found superfluous’. ‘Can you imagine any European power setting itself to massacre 100 millions of Chinamen?’ Pearson asked Deakin.
I have to wonder, reading all this, are these 100+ year old opinions the cause of much of our strife today?
The Bulletin maintained the slogan “Australia for the White Man” on its masthead until 1961.
The site I’ve just quoted above is, shall we say, interesting. It is a USA site and Alexa.com has it ranked at 135,998 in the world.
As I was not born here, the history of the White Australia Policy has always fascinated me and from time to time I do a bit of research. This is the first time I have come across Pearson’s book. I think he outraged many by the sounds of it.
Has anyone read the book? It is available on Amazon and I’m seriously considering delving into the past. It sounds interesting.
I found an interesting review, obviously written in the language style of the time, which you may care to read.
Mr. Pearson understands and brings out clearly that in the long run a conquest must fail when it means merely the erection of an insignificant governing caste. He shows clearly that the men of our stock do not prosper in tropical countries. In the New World they leave a thin strain of their blood among and impose their laws, language, and forms of government on the aboriginal races, which then develop on new and dimly drawn lines. In the Old World they fail to do even this. In Asia they may leave a few tens of thousands, or possibly hundreds of thousands, of Eurasians to form an additional caste in a caste-ridden community. In tropical Africa they may leave here and there a mulatto tribe like the Griquas. But it certainly has not yet been proved that the European can live and propagate permanently in the hot regions of India and Africa, and Mr. Pearson is right in anticipating for the whites who have conquered these tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Old World, the same fate which befell the Greek kingdoms in Bactria and the Chersonese. The Greek rulers of Bactria were ultimately absorbed and vanished, as probably the English rulers of India will some day in the future—for the good of mankind, we sincerely hope and believe the very remote future—themselves be absorbed and vanish.
So, my fellow curious readers, what are your thoughts?