Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

Digital Documents Record


1248 Ping Nam responds to the government’s position on the Mrs Poon Gooey case

Full Document Caption:
Ping Nam, president of the Chinese Empire Reform Association, speaking on behalf of the Chinese community reacts strongly to Senator Findley’s arguments regarding the Mrs Poon Gooey case. He argues that if the White Australia policy is based on ensuring racial purity then respectable Chinese should be allowed to bring their wives to live with them in Australia. By not allowing Chinese men do this the legislation encourages ‘immorality’. He warns that treating respectable Chinese Australians badly Australia risks Britain’s good trade relations with China. He also asks the general public and the senator to consider the implications for Australia and Britain if the Chinese proposed national parliament in China were to adopt a similar stance to the Australian and British nationals currently living in China.

Source: ‘Racial purity: Hop Gooey’s Chinese wife: What if China retaliated?’, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 4/8/1911

Region: Date From: 1911 To: 1911
Victoria - Geelong
Victoria - Melbourne
   

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RACIAL PURITY.

HOP GOOEY'S CHINESE WIFE.

WHAT IF CHINA RETALIATED?

The refusal of the Acting-Minister for External Affairs to allow the wife of Hop Poon Gooey, a Chinese resident of Geelong, a further extension of time in the Commonwealth (as reported in yesterday's "Daily Telegraph") has aroused indignation among the Chinese of this State.

Mr. Ping Nam, president of the Chinese Empire Reform Association, speaking yesterday on behalf of the Chinese community, said:-

"The arguments aduced by Senator Findley are evidently based on prejudice so strong that it seems to have wrecked his discretionary powers as a Minister. The Minister admits that Mr. Gooey is a reputable citizen, and having satisfied himself on this point what better guarantee could Gooey give in support of his claim to have his wife with him. The attitude Senator Findley takes of the 'White Australia' policy is mere moonshine. He fears that if the Chinese are allowed to bring their wives to this country it would imperil this policy. The 'White Australia' policy is based, according to the party which the Minister represents on racial purity. This should strengthen our argument in favor of allowing respectable Chinese to have wives of their own nationality with them in this country. The legislation of Australia, may I say it, leads to immorality. Statesmen of the Commonwealth are incurring a serious responsibility in penalising and harassing respectable Chinese out here, as it will have the effect of jeopardising British trade in China. Probably some Australians argue, What has British trade to do with Australia? I answer that it has much to do with Australia. The protection they now get, as the people of this country know, is British, and the amount of trade that China gives to Great Britian annually enables the United Kingdom to maintain to a certain extent her proud position as mistress of the seas.

"The destiny of this country to-day is committed to men whose chief card is 'humanity,' and it is of great interest to the Chinese now studying the western systems of government to observe the principles of a Government which is supposed to be based on humanitarian ideals. Our people have been promised a National Parliament in 1913. Should we copy, for arguments sake, the ideals of humanity as administered by the Commonwealth Government and deal out the same to Britishers and Australians who may then be residing in China? In such case would the politicians of this country say we were conforming to the principles of humanity? I feel confident that the fair and generous minded people of this country have no desire that those in power should harass and oppress any Chinese who have conformed to Australian ideas, and who have proved by their daily lives that they are capable of taking upon themselves the responsibility of having women of their own nationality as wives."