Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

Digital Documents Record

1232 Report on the visit of the Chinese Commissioners to Australia, 1887

Full Document Caption:
Report in the London Times detailing the itinerary of the Chinese Commissioner’s (General Wong Yung Ho and Consul-General U. Tsing) visit to Southeast Asia and Australia. It details their general reception in Australia, including an unfavourable reception in Townsville, Queensland.

Source: ‘Chinese abroad’, The Times, 27 September 1887

Region: Date From: 1887 To: 1887
Hong Kong
New South Wales
Queensland - Brisbane
Queensland - Cooktown
Queensland - North Queensland
South Australia
South Australia - Adelaide

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CHINESE ABROAD. - At the beginning of the present year, the Chinese Government despatched a Commission to visit some of the countries to which emmigration from China was largely directed, in order to investigate the condition of the emigrants, the laws of thc various countries relating to Chinese immigration, and generally to study and report on the treatment accorded to Chinese abroad. The head of the Commission was General Wong Yung Ho, who speaks English fluently and was one of the interpreters to General Gordon during the campaign of the "Ever Victorious Army." The Commission visited first Straits Settlements, then Java. and the other Dutch colonies in the Malay Archipelago, whence the members travelled viâ Torres Straits to Northern Queensland, Brisbane, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, returning from Adelaide along the coast to Cooktown, whence they sailed last month direct for Hongkong. They were received with great courtesy and attention everywhere, and in Australia with the never-failing colonial hospitality, and so far as may be judged from the few public utterances of the Chief Commissioner they were greatly gratified by their reception, and were apparently tolerably well satisfied with the treatment of their countrymen. But as the Commission was about to leave Australia, the anti-Chinese leagues at Townsville and elsewhere sought interviews with the Commissioners in order to urge them to prevent any more Chinese from coming to that colony. At one place General Wong told a deputation that, in his opinion, the Chinese, were better off at home than in Queensland, and as for the complaint that they reduced the wages of Europeans that would be easily remedied if the Chinese had their way, for they would be only too glad to get even bigger wages than Europeans. At Townsville the anti-Chinese deputation stated in their address "that Europeans could not descend to the level of Chinese, or raise the Chinese to their level," and that if Chinese immigration were not stopped Queensland would become an undesirable place of residence for the Chinese. General Wong appeared annoyed at these observations, and put an end to the interview by remarking that when he got back to China something would be done for better or worse that would be fit for Queensland. After this enigmatical utterance the Commission left for Hongkong, whence it will proceed to Pekin to report to the Emperor.