The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNEDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1890. THE WELLINGTON TRAGEDY.
:;, Every right-minded person will regret the sad consequences of a street quarrel between a number of Wellington youths and several Chinese residents. One youth (a European) lost his life m the fray, and one of the Chinese combatants has been so severely handled that grave fears are entertained of his ultimate recovery. So far as the Press Association telegrams deal with the particulai'S of the quarrel it appears that the Jracas arose owing to previous persecution of the Chinese by a number of Wellington youths. Seven or eight youths, on their way home at a late hour on Monday night, came m contact with several Chinamen, arid, no doubt owing to the previous irritation we have referred to, a truly horrible fight took place, m which billets of wood and knives were used. Who were the aggressors, or on which side violence was first used, is not stated, but this will no doubt be brought out m evidence m the trial for murder of several of. the. surviving parties to the; disgraceful brawl. The circumstance is one which is to be sincerely deplored, and it is to be hoped the chief instigators of the affray (whether European or Chinese,) will have such punishment meted out to them as will be a lesson to others. It is a reproach to Colonial youth that so many cases of unprovoked assaults upon the Chinese are recorded m the police proceedings m the several colonies. Bands of larrikins frequently single out an inoffensive Chinaman m colonial towns, and by means of petty persecution s—-j ostling, stone-throwing, and similar acts—-justify the stranger m his opinion that the people whom h« has come to reside amongst are the " Barbarians" his forefathers have termed them. In Wellington this course of action has brought about serious consequences, which, it is to be hoped, will serve to warn, the rising generation that even, a Chinaman—the most peaceful of men—-if tempted too far, will retaliate. There has been of late m Wellington an anti-Chinese, crusade on the part of the business people. Anti-Chinese feeling has run high, and m public and private injudicious remarks have been made by older members of the community, which no doubt lias had an influence on the younger members of European society, culminating m assaults and persecutions of the Chinese m these free colonies somewhat iinalagous to the persecutions of the Jews ; in Russia. Recent legislation to regulate the immigration of Chinese to the colonies has no doubt also had an influence m causing the young to look upon the Chinaman as outside the pale of the law's protection, forgetting that it is the. boast of Englishmen that the foreigner shall receive the same justice m a British Law Court as the most loyal subject of Her Majesty. Whether Wellington business .men were justified m " boycotting " Chinese competition at this r!ist.;uic» from the scene we cannot toll; but they are now brought face to face with one of the'sad consequences of stirring up national hatred and antipathies. In China, European subjects, and indeed all other subjects of foreign powers, are treated by the young with respect; they may pass and rcpass along the streets or footways withoutthe slightest danger of molestation from bands of youthful or adult; larrikins, and m this respect Colonial youth may learn a raluable lesson from the denizens of the professedly much-despissd flowery land. At all events, if they will not learn this lesson voluntarily, we trust it will be taught to them by the Colonial judicial bench when dealing with cases of unprovoked assaults upon foreigners, whether Chinese or j other nationalities. The history of this colony must not be blurred with incidents of the serious and disgraceful character enacted at Wellington on Tuesday morning.