HC Deb 07 June 1901 vol 94 cc1322-3

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state why the Royal sanction has been refused to an Act passed by the Queensland Legislature prohibiting the employment of Asiatic and other coloured labourers in sugar mills receiving direct help from the Government.


His Majesty's Government have represented to the Queensland Government that the Bill in question is open to objection on grounds both of principle and policy—first, because it embodies a disqualification based solely on place of origin, and would therefore exclude British subjects in India and elsewhere, not on account of any moral, educational, or physical deficiency, but solely on difference of race and colour; secondly, that it is offensive to Japan, a friendly Power inasmuch as it not only excludes natives of that country from employment, but also places them in the same category as Asiatics generally, without any consideration being paid to their state of civilisation.