With regards to the Immigration Restriction Act..

"There is no doubt that this Bill is the most important piece of legislation which has yet been before the Senate. It deals with a question which vitally concerns the people who are living in Australia, and is of vast importance to the much larger population who will inevitably occupy the continent hereafter."

- Senator J Stewart, 1901 before the Australian Senate

 

James Charles Stewart was a famous Labor senator from Queensland, a Scottish man with no regards for 'dancing around the bush' to the point and on the level he fervently defended his views and he dearly advocated for them before the Australian senate for many years.

Despite his views on White Australia, Stewart believed in forming an Australian Citizens army, in 1914 he succesfuly moved an ammendment to the Defence Act to permit the use of Commonwealth Citizens Forces in industrial disputes, being a working man he was disgusted at the wages of parliamentary officers, in humor he suggested he might apply for a position as a parliamentary officer to become wealthy.

Stewart had very interesting arguments regarding multi-racialism and multi-culturalism, laying them out in his 1901 speech to the Australian senate.

 

We have coloured people in every State, or about 100,000 in all Australia. They are coming into Western Australia in large numbers ; they are in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, and I believe there are a few in Tasmania. Given the necessary opportunity, in the course of events we shall have a coloured problem here just as dangerous to the welfare of the Commonwealth as is the position which faces the people of the United States.

...

We do not desire to keep out these coloured people simply because they are inferior to us, but because for racial, social and economic reasons we cannot permit them safely to enter. With regards to race, we cannot mix with them. There is no natural affinity between them and us. If an attempt were made to confide them and us within one bottle, so to speak, one or the other must be precipitated to the bottom. A compacted homogenous community cannot be formed out of such heterogenous compounds. The thing ought not to be attempted, because it is. absolutely impossible.

With regards to the social aspect of the question, these people are brought up under institutions entirely different from ours. Their religion, position and customs are different;

I should be a traitor to my country, to my race and to those of our ancestors who have conferred benefits upon us, if I were a party to anything which would allow these Asiatics to come here and destroy at one fell swoop all the efforts of centuries. For these reasons I think, we are all agreed that the coloured man must be kept out, whether he is Japanese, a Chinaman or an African.

This is really a matter of life and death to the Australian people.

 

 

Stewart was indeed a man concerned for the well-being of all Australians in his arguments, recognising the troubles seen in multi-racial America - seeing to it that Australia would remain as Homogenous as possible.

 

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