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of unrest that seem to be now affecting the whole world are all represented in Australia, the particular phenomena which Europe, misled by newspaper talk and the alarm of reactionaries, is apt to take for symptoms of a widespread imminent revolution are of much less importance and hardly at all dangerous. As has been said already, the Australian instinctively goes straight across country to his goal, and is not troubled by fear of trespassing; and to that extent he is admittedly a nuisance to the landowner; but it does not follow that he is a menace to society. He is not wandering at large, or with a destructive intent; he wants to reach the township, not to burn down the wool-shed on his way thither. He is, as has just been hinted, badly misrepresented by two agencies—the soi-disant Labour press, which for reasons too intricate to discuss here is almost wholly in the hands of extremists, and the reactionary press and politicians, too unintelligent to discern his motives even if they were unbiassed enough to scrutinise them fairly. But, though the old Labour party is gone, its spirit continues to animate the mass of its former adherents-that is, of the men and women who, by whatever political name they called themselves, both in 1910 and in 1914 put Mr Fisher and his friends in power. Their political objectives are still defined in terms of the fair deal' and of comradeship, not of any Marxian or Leninite dogma. Their active sympathy is for the small man'against anything that looks like undue dominance of money-owners or landowners or men with a political pull.' More especially—and this, one thinks, is a particularly Australian touch-their ideal is leisure rather than wealth; their demands for short hours and high overtime pay indicate not, as in some countries, a wish to earn money more quickly at overtime rates, but a marked objection to overtime work at any rates. This, be it remembered, is an explanation, not an
For any one accustomed to the methods and motives of British or European or American workers the employment of Australians must be a perpetual and frequently irritating series of surprises-as, from all accounts, was the behaviour of Australian troops during the war to British officers who did not understand the type. For isolation (and Australia, even in these days
of rapid communication, is remarkably isolated) may improve the breed and clarify thought, but it minimises experience and deprives self-centred communities of valuable standards. With the best intentions, the Australian is apt both to undervalue customs and institutions whose origin and use he does not immediately comprehend, and to repeat amateurishly and without guidance experiments long since made and correctednot to say abandoned. Indeed, one of the most interesting features of Australian life to an English observer is the exactitude with which it reproduces conditions and events two thousand years past and ten thousand miles away.
This, at any rate, is for the present the surest guide to an understanding of things Australian—that the Anzac, the Digger,' in his best and worst qualities alike, is a fair type of his fellow-countrymen. The Commonwealth, like most other countries just now, has its proportion of agitators and fanatics and loose-thinking, emotional phrasemongers. Not by them, however, is the mass of
, Australians influenced beyond a casual moment now and then. To interpret in terms of European mob.philosophy the industrial unrest of Sydney or Melbourne leads to hopelessly wrong conclusions; the advice of certain socalled Labour politicians and the vapourings of the Labour press may sometimes be so interpreted, but not the common action of any large section of the community.
That consideration leads us directly to the second stage of this article. For among the resources of the Commonwealth that may be of notable value to the Empire its men stand out prominently. Faults and all, the Anzac was a clear gain to British strength; and the chief difference between the Anzac on the battle-field and his mates left in Australia, because they were either too young or unfit for the strain of fighting or more useful at home (the comparatively few real slackers' were no mates of his, but mostly recent immigrants from alien lands)—the chief difference, it may safely be said, lay in his newly-acquired experience and their lack of it. His habit of mind, his initiative, versatility, independence of thought, intolerance of unexplained discipline (but
complete acceptance of reasoned discipline), are theirs as much as his. But he gained from his oversea experiences fresh material on which to exercise thought, new explanations, backgrounds hitherto hidden from him against which the foreground of his vision developed altered meanings. Given similar opportunities-not necessarily of fighting, but of travel and of using its brains-the Australian people en masse may become to the Empire, and to civilisation at large, what the Australian troops were to the Allied armies.
It would appear, then, that for the qualities of its men as well as for the magnitude of its resources, the Commonwealth is an asset of considerable value to the Empire and the British race; and that its people are at any rate beginning to depend on their own efforts to develop and to defend their country. But, whatever man's ingenuity can do with material assets, living assets can only be preserved with their own consent and on their own conditions. There remains to be considered, therefore, the one condition essential to the continued existence of the Commonwealth as a British community on friendly terms of active co-operation with its fellowBritons. This is, as the world by now may have discovered, the maintenance of White Australia. About no national claim-not even the sea-power
' of Britain or the · Monroe Doctrine' of the United States -has more nonsense been written by its enemies or more vagueness displayed by its friends. And yet it is based on the simplest principles of nationhood and might be expected to appeal to the most pacific of thinkers. The Monroe •
Doctrine' implies an assumption of suzerainty over independent States. British insistence on command of the sea, though purely defensive in intention, involves a power of aggression which other nations have occasionally resented. The mere request for leave to live according to your own ideas in your own country, and to choose your mates from your own stock, would not at first sight appear particularly aggressive or obnoxious. And this, it must be remembered, is the whole purport of the White Australia' doctrine. It has no aggressive force. It does not imply differential treatment of any resident in the Commonwealth, whatever his nationality. It demands nothing
that its supporters do not concede reciprocally. It is not even based, as its enemies constantly assert, on belief in an innate superiority' of the Australian, or of any 'white' race, to Asiatic or coloured' races. It is as simple and defensible a demand as that of any married man to keep his own home for his own family.
The Commonwealth is a democracy, a community in which every adult resident of two years' standing could, before the war, obtain the franchise and exert the same influence as any other voter on the country's institutions. (The war has taught greater caution, but the ideal still stands.) In such a community, especially in one whose institutions are still in the making and have no centuries of tradition to steady them, it is all-important that a certain homogeneity of ethical standards should be preserved—that is, that the population should be agreed on at least a few basic ideas regarding, say, the position of women, public morals, religious tolerance, honesty in both civic and private behaviour, and so forth. Now, without claiming superiority for any ethical system, it can be safely said that those current in (roughly speaking) European States and their extra-European offshoots resemble each other and at the same time differ in essentials from those current among the nationalities outside Europe and the United States. It is arguable whether Hindu standards are superior to those of Europe; it cannot be asserted that they are identical or approximate. Bushido has many European admirers, but it is something quite different from any form of chivalry. The conception of a lie as something ethically wrong, not merely dangerous and unbusinesslike possibly the conception of wrongness' itself, as distinguished from foolishness or inexpediency-is rarely and with great difficulty grafted on to the mental stock of many excellent folk with whom British colonists or traders or missionaries are continually in contact. Australia cannot afford to admit as fellow-citizens people, however otherwise estimable, whose basic ideas on the essentials of social and political life are at variance with their own.
It is not suggested that the average Australian couches his objections to alien immigration in these terms. The average man
uses simpler and much
vaguer expressions, and would probably be unable to give exact reasons for any of his instinctive decisions or aversions. But the statement made above describes accurately the root from which his instinct springs. Our readers may prefer the authority of the Rev. Andrew Harper, who in an essay on this subject writes thus:
The "White Australia" policy is the policy which seeks to prevent the free influx into Australia of labourers and artisans belonging to races whose traditions and whose political, social, and religious ideals differ so much from ours that it would be very difficult in any reasonable time to assimilate them, and, if they came in masses, impossible. And the foundation of that policy is the conviction that such an influx always produces grave evils for both races, and that it cannot really be desired by either, unless as a cover for designs of conquest, either economic or territorial.' (Australia : Economic and Political Studies,' p. 444.)
Omitting the words labourers and artisans, which in our opinion introduce a limitation that Australian opinion would not approve, this definition may stand as thoroughly representative of the Australian contention.
Why, then, is this unaggressive and justifiable desire to choose their bed-fellows so frequently denounced as un-Christian, deprecated as un-British, and regarded as a stupid and selfish interference with beneficent Imperial policies ? Partly, no doubt, because some of its advocates have used arrogant language and instituted insulting comparisons-such as Europeans understand well enough to neglect-against a neighbouring Asiatic nation that resents them. Putting aside, however, the caricatures, always somewhat larrikin? in dialect, of the Sydney • Bulletin,' it may safely be said that White Australia has been unpopular in England (where, outside the Commonwealth, its unpopularity chiefly matters) because it runs counter to the ideas of three important classes of Englishmen--missionaries, merchants, and diplomatists. The missionary deplores a doctrine which seems to him to defy his own doctrine of Christian brotherhood-as if brotherhood could only be proved by letting your brother share your dining-room, The merchant interested in Eastern trade persuades himself that his trade