WELLINGTON. PUBLIC MEETING RE CHINESE. (Wanganui Chronicle, 24 December 1878)

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wellington public meeting re chinese from oiiv own correspondent your readers will have learned by telegraph of the agitation set en foot here with regard to the possible influx of chinese to this colony and of the determination to hold a public meeting of the citizens in order to discuss the best means for restricting their importation the results of this meeting in so far as the resolutions adopted are concerned you will also have been made acquainted with 1 purpose however giving you a somewhat more detailed account of the rise and progress of the movement than can possibly have reached you through the agency of the telegraph because i think and you will agree with me that no more important question has ever arisen to demand the intelligent and determined action of the deople the serious evils arising from the increasing number of chinese jn san francisco and throughout california furnished occasion for several articles in your wellington contemporary and namesake the chronicle some few inonlhs ago and spontaneously action was taken by certain members of parliament in order to direct public attention to the question so that we might not be taken by surprise and only baeome aware of the danger when it might be too late to avart it more recently as the telegraph has doubtless apprised you the seamen of sydney have gone out on strike in consequence of the sludpiug companies giving employment to a large number of chinese the effect of this preliminary agitation if 1 may so term it was that meetings of working men were held at which the whole question was discussed and the mayor was requested to call a public meeting for the purpose of giving a wider scope to the agitation this meeting was called and as mentioned above resolutions were come to of the nature of which your readers hive already been made aware it will be interesting t mpnton something of what transpired in connection with the holding of this meeting in the first place it is somewhat significant that although invitations to the uumber of twenty-seven if j recollect rightly were issued by those who initiated the agitation to the prominent men of this city to take part in the demonstration only iwo gentlemen put in an appearance anil some f ur otliers sent notes of apology more or less valid but of the remainder nothing whatever wns heard the mating was held in the aihnseum and the hall was densely packed throughout crowds being unable to get within hearing distance of the doors the mayor occupied tiiechair and stated the object of the meeting and the brsbreso lution was moved by mr hutchison rival of his worship in the recent candidature for civic honors the subject was handled by him in a manner which placed the meeting at once in possession of the more salient points and tie speaker enlarged with telling effect upsn the evils which a large influx of the mongolian race would be certain to entail upon the europeans inhabitants of this colony the applause wliich greeted his almost every sentence spoke volumes as to the interest with which tho3e present regarded the subject consequent upon the scant courtesy of the gentlemen above alluded t there was an apparent lack of speakers and it fell to tlie jot of mr wallace auctioneer to second the resolution fortunately with an account of discernment which is painfully absent in te case of simiar prosy individuals at miytius gatherings mr wallace cmfined his utterances to some half-dozen sentences which were fairly apropos and concluded by second ing the resolution eesolutiou no 3 was next placed before the meeting this had been placed in the hands of one whose appearance on the platform was the signal for gleeful chuckiings on the part of some who wore manifestly hot too much in sympathy with the object of the meeting especially was this evident in the case of one wbse name 1 tihill h-ive occasion so mention further o-i their anticipations of n failure howev r were diompd o disappointment ior although the speaker get u was not prepossessing and although his obltviousness of grammar grated harshly at first yet no sooner had he delivered himself of the first halfdozen sentences than he found himself in perfect accord with his audience anil witli a rapidity of utterance and with a poer of description i have rarely seen equalled he pictured the innumerable evils which must befall all classes of europeans should the chinese once obtain any foothold in this land nor did he indulge in mere declamation and in this respect also a certain few wsre destined to be disappointed he spoke with an evidently accurate knowledge of what he was talking about and not of the mere fancied evils suggested by a disordered imagination nor was he content with the questiori from a uarrow and selfish stand point but he showed himself to be well versed in some at least of the principles of a thoroughly practical political economy during the course of his speech the almost perfect expression his countenance gave to the varying emotions which his own thoughts awakened was a picture to look upon and had an immensely teliine eftect upon his ffearers tne resolution was seconded by dr newman in a few well chosen words and on being put to the meeting it was declared to be carried unanimously as was also the firstvresolution the third resolution was proposed by a mr watson and dealt with the appointment of a committee fco see to the getting up of a monster petition and to otherwise further the object of the meeting during the earlier part of the evening calls were beginning to be made upon mr travers who sat within a foot or so of the platform to address the meeting these calls quickly subsided however on one alongside remarking that it would be well not to call upon mr travers until the feeling of the meeting had been so emphatically pronounced that he would hesitate to trifle with it after the passing of the resolutions calls were made upon the hon mr gisbovne to which he responded and in a a capital speech he dwelt upon the necessity for taking such action as would prevent the possibility of our being denationalised and of new zealand becoming instead of a british colony with a glorious prospect of future greatness before it a mere appendage to the chinese empire with a chinese legislative council a chinese hofk a chinese premier and a chinese ministry that these were no merely imaginary evils he sufficiently indicated by alluding to the teeming myraids of china the limited food supplies c as evidenced during the recent disastrous and far-reaching famine and he concluded by alluding to the fact that when the matter was brought up in parliament he had advocated taking legislative action when the necessity for so doing was made apparent the time had now come he was emphatically of opinion when restrictive measures should be at once adopted cries were now again made upon travers who was becoming noticeably more uneasy as the meeting progressed but that gentleman instead of declaring his views either for or against thought it best to beat a precipitate retreat and contrived to worm himself through the crowd at the door and away from the scene of the meeting it is to be hoped that those who witnessed his action on this occasion will not fail to remember it should he ever again solicit their suffrages it was no mere temporary indisposition to take part in a public demonstration that prevented his making a speech on this occasion the man absolutely worships capital and he saw that the meeting was too thoroughly earnest and two self-possessea also to le hoodwinked by the sophistries of a charlatan and time-server the meeting itself from first to last was characterized by the mo3t perfect order and decorum i never witnessed a meeting of a political nature characterized by such a perfect regard to the proprieties as was noticeable on this occas on and this notwithstanding that it was utimistakeably evident that the fullest sympathy of those present was enlisted in regard to the object for which they were called together i trust that this matter will be taken up energetically in all other centres of population throughout the colony aud i hope to hear that a meeting similar to the one just held here has taken place in wangaaui and that you have determined not to permit of fchp possibility of chinese cheap labour being brought into competition with european labour which is only more expensive because our civilization has enabled us to form a more enlightened conception of the real meaning and value of lie


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