Saturday, January 7, 2012


Dunedin, May 8. Being waited on yesterday morning. Sew J Hoy, the well-known Chinese merchant, said that he did not think there was any likelihood of a large migration from the Flowery. Land to the colony. His reasons for holding that opinion were In the first place that he had no advices that such a descent was contemplated, nnd it is unlikely that such a thing would happen without his hearing something about it. Secondly, that there was no inducement for the Chinese to assemble here in force. In the days when the goldfields were in full swing there, used to be large numbers of Chinese, at the Arrow Cardron's Waipori, and Queenstown, and many others stilled about all over the diggings, but the working at these places had ceased to provide profitable employment for the Chinese, and the majority had left the oountry for good. At Waipori alone said Mr Sew Hoy. there used to be about 2000 Chinamm when the gold was being got, but now you will find only some sixty of my countrymen at work there. The effect of imposing a poll tax wonld doubtless keep away many Chinese who might otherwise oome here. Nearly all the men who come here from China added our inform ant, are farmers from the country districts of Canton— men of careful habits, who would not think of starting ont of New Zealand unless they had close on £50 to lay out. They would reckon that the trip would cost them fully that amount. The passage money would, roughly speaking, oome to abont £20 then there is the poll tax of £10, and you won't catoh these men landing here without a penny in their pockets. They know that they will not find work direotly they land, and that it will cost them something to get up country, and they will take care to be provided with a little ready money to last them untill they get started to work. You remember," said he (addressing the reporter) that when three shiploads of Chinese in landed Dunedin about the same time some years ago, all the passengers were out of Dunedin and on their way by wagon in lesss than a week,and these men were of the same class as those that have since arrived. The majority of them get out of town as soon as they can, and are provided with means to go where they have a chance of settling. Yes, I think the poll tax will keep many of these people from coming here, for they wont afford to pay it" Mr Sew Hoy continued that in his opinion the enforcement of this poll tax would lead to trouble. A certain treaty of rights was imposed upon China by the English Government, and the demanding of a poll tax by the colonies was a breach of the agreement entered into between the two countries, for which England might be held responsible, even to the extent of a claim by the Chinese Government for a return of the money thus paid by the Chinese immigrants. 'Englishmen were treated well in China and could go anywhere they liked which was a privilege not accorded to other nations, and it was not right, in the face of this consideration, for the colonies to treat the Chinese as intruders. "Were my countrymen a disorderly lot of men, who gave the colonies trouble, then Chinese authorities might be complained to by the colonies, but what harm are the Chinese doing and as to the try they live cheaper than Europeans, that is a mistake which should be contradicted. Ask the storekeeper, the butcher, the baker, the banks at any place where the Chinese have settled down, whether the Chinamen, are not good custo mers, you will see what these people say but don't ask the hotelkeeper, added Mr Sew Hoy, a with laugh, "for he will not give my countrymen a good name. They are not his best customers. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXII, Issue 110, 12 May 1888, Page 4

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