Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

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1234 Dr George On Lee on behalf of the Chinese residents of Sydney writes to ensure the Chinese Commissioners receive an appropriate reception on arrival to Australia in 1887

Full Document Caption:
This article reports on a deputation to the government by Dr George On Lee on behalf of the Chinese residents of Sydney and details Sir Henry Parkes response. Dr On Lee was reminding the government of the impending visit of the Chinese Commissioners (General Wong Yung Ho and Consul-General U. Tsing) and asking whether they would be receiving an official government reception. He also requested that they not be subjected to the NSW Chinese Restriction Act.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 6 May 1887

Region: Date From: 1887 To: 1887
New South Wales - Sydney    

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Dr. George On Lee, accompanied by Mr W. Law, interpreter, waited upon the Colonial Secretary yesterday afternoon as a deputation from the Chinese residents of Sydney, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the Government intended to allow the Chinese commissioners, who are to arrive here on Saturday in the steamship Catterthun, to land without being subjected to the provisions of the Chinese Restriction Act; also, whether the Government intended to take steps, and, if so, what to give the commissioners an official reception. Mr. Law having stated the object of Dr. On Lee's visit,

SIR HENRY PARKES, in reply said; Some little time ago I received a communication through his Excellency the Governor from the Governor of Singapore or Hongkong, I forget which at this moment, requesting that the Chinese Commissioners should not be subjected to what I suppose they would consider the indignity of the levy of the poll-tax, and to request that they might receive proper attention. A reply was at once given stating that the law would not be put in force so far as they were concerned, that they would be relieved from any interference whatever, and that the Government of this country would be much pleased to show them every attention in its power. With regard to the other question - Whether we will receive them officially, I shall be most happy, and I have no doubt other members of the Government will be also, to meet them, if I am informed when they are to land, and it will be my desire to show them every possible attention, such as we should to persons coming as ambassadors from any country in the world. Every attention I can give will be afforded them - every possible facility to see the country and to carry out the objects of their mission. You may rely upon it they will be subjected to no inconvenience whatever. I shall be in Sydney on Saturday, and if the hour at which the landing of the Commissioners is to take place is communicated to me, I shall not only be there myself, but see that they are met at the landing-place and properly received.