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H.—No. 5

16

AD INTERIM REPORT (No. I.) OE THE

G. I think it highly desirable to check Chinese immigration ; and to this end I would suggest aheavy poll tax, say £20, to be levied on every Chinaman entering the Colony, aud an annual tax of £5 on all those continuing in it. 7. As I know of no one who has hired Chinese labour, I cannot speak as to its cost. AVith regard to the latter part of this question, I would estimate the average cost of living to European miners at 16s. per week per man ; to Chinese, at 9s. per week per man. I have, &c, AY. J. Steward, Esq., M.H.R., J. B. Bortow, Chairman, Chinese Immigration Committee. Warden. Mr. J. Beetiiam to Mr. AY. J. Steward. Sir— AVarden's Office, Queenstown, Bth September, 1871. I have the honor, with reference to your telegram of the 7th instant, to submit the following statement, numbered 1 to 7: — • 1. The effect of Chinese immigration upon the gold fields up to tho present time has not, in my opinion, been altogether deleterious : they may be considered as the scavengers of the gold fields, as they have hitherto confined their operations to the cleaning up and reworking of ground which has been worked, or passed over by tho European miners as unpayable or exhausted. 2. No disturbance of the peace has, up to the present time, been caused by the presence of tho Chinese population on the gold field under my charge ; though there can be no question but that the presence of the Chinese is looked upon as a great evil by the European miners. Ido not consider that the Europeans are in the slightest degree affected by the gambling propensities of the Chinese; socially speaking, the two races are as distinct and separate as if the Chinese were still in China, and I do not know of a solitary instance of Europeans frequenting Chinese gambling-houses. Chinese gambling could easily be checked, if it were thought desirable to do so. I very much question, however, if it would be desirable to attempt it, except where it involves desecration of the Sunday by creating any noise, or otherwise disturbs the quiet and peaceful character of tho day. Gambling appears to be a necessity of their existence, and, acting as a sort of safety-valve, will probably keep them from other and worse mischief. 8. In my district, no immorality has hitherto been detected amongst the Chinese, nor have they attempted to tamper in any way with young children or girls. 4. The Chinese arc iv my opinion not at all likely to aid in the development of the gold fields; as before remarked, they are content with either cleaning up old ground, such as the bods of creeks, or taking up such ground as cat be worked in the simplest possible manner and with the smallest possible outlay of capital. They have not hitherto turned their attention to agriculture, except in the direction of gardening —nor do they readily engage in domestic service. 5. In my district, the Chinese population of which is 1,900, no marriages between Europeans and Chinese have taken place. 6. There are in my opinion too many, or too few, Chinese in the Colony. There are now, I think, sufficient to stock the gold fields of this Province, for the prosecution of the gold workings of the character I have above indicated, while the Chinese have, not been sufficiently numerous to be forced into other labour. If they can by any means be forced to engage themselves as labourers on public works, they will, 1 think, be a benefit to the Province, as they are content with saving 10s. per week. At present they can save far more than that on the mines; and so long as this is the case, it is difficult to deviso any method by which they could bo obliged to share in the construction of public works, from which they reap a benefit, and to tho maintenance of which they very slightly contribute by taxation,, and not at all by the means of providing cheap labour. If cheap Chinese labour could bo made available for public works. Ac., throughout the Colony, I do not think it would be advisable to check immigration ; and as a means of doing this, I would suggest the imposition of a Chinese miner's right of say £10 per annum. ™ 7. As the Chinese do not under present circumstances hire themselves out as labourers, except to their own countrymen, it is difficult to fix the rate of wages; I believe, however, that they are satisfied if they can save 10s. per week ; and as they can live for about Bs. per week, the rate of wages may be placet] at £1 per week. European labour is now at from £2 Bs. for ordinary labour to £3 10s. for skilled miners. It will be seen from this that, should the influx of tho Chinese, and legislation as to the miner's right, oblige large numbers of them to resort to occupations other than mining, public works, railways, &c, could by means of the Chinese be constructed at about one-third of their present cost. I beg, in conclusion, to refer you to my letter* on the subject addressed to the Chairman of tho Committee on the Gold Fields, C. E. Haughton, Esq., M.H.R. I have, &<'., AY. J. Steward, Esq., M.H.R., J. Beetiiam, Chairman, Chinese Immigration Committee. AVardeu. Mr. 11. W. Robinson to Mr. AY. J. Steward. Sir, — AVarden's Office, Naseby, 9th September, 1871. In reply to your telegram of 7th instant, I have the honor to report as follows : — 1. The effect upon the gold fields of a moderate immigration of Chinese is, in my opinion, rather beneficial than the reverse. The poor Chinese miners are glad to work ground that would never be touched by Europeans. 2. The Chinese live so much apart from the European miners that I cannot consider they have any important influence upon the general conduct of the mining population. Of those already here, I may say that they give less trouble to the police than a like number of Europeans. They are very * Vide Interim Beport No. 11.

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