The report of the Chinese Immigration Committee, 1871 : with respect to some aspects of public opinion in Otago Province.
Buckingham, Peter D.
The scope of this essay is limited. It is intended primarily as an analysis of the report of the Select Committee on Chinese Immigration of the New Zealand House of Representatives, 1871. My purpose is not to examine at length the whole question of chinese immigration in New Zealand but to examine the evidence and conclusions of the committee, and to relate these to the context of public opinion in Otago Province, as evidenced in the pages of the Otago Daily Times in the years 1868 - 71 inclusive. The ODT was chosen as the major primary source for a number of reasons. It provided coverage of a period which was traumatic and significant for the Chinese immigrant miners. It reflected all shades of opinion on the racial question and thus is valuable in any study of social history in the Province. I consider this one source flexible enough to demonstrate the validity - or otherwise - of the evidence presented at the hearings of the committee, allowing this long essay to expand its scope beyond the pages of the report without extending the research into the realms of a full thesis. The choice between the ODT and the Evening Star was arbitrary. Both were of similar format, and both were used as vehicles for liberal and conservative public opinion throughout the Province. Both could reasonably be expected to reflect educated opinion both in leading articles and letters, or more indirectly in reported articles. Both often quoted from each other, and indeed from many other papers as well. Both drew extensively on outside sources to give a Province - wide coverage of news. Bearing this in mind, one such source only was neccesary to demonstrate the general trends in opinion. A far less balanced picture of the racial clash was presented by the goldfields papers. They have been used in the sixth chapter of this essay, but only as exerpts reprinted in the ODT. They were universally anti - chinese, and employed a vicious polemic which added nothing to the literature of the time nor to historiagraphical sources of the period, beyond demonstrating a vehement dislike of the “heathen chinee." It suffices merely to be aware of the existence and tenor of these publications, for all of their arguments found more acceptable form either in the columns of the large urban papers, or in the minutes of the proceedings of the Report of the parliamentary committee itself.
Degree Name: Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Dissertation
88  leaves :illus., maps (1 fold. col. in pocket) ; 26 1/2 cm. Bibliography: p.-