Influx of Chinese Restriction Act repeal

Influx of Chinese Restriction Act repeal

Chinese Influx Restriction Act

Title: Influx of Chinese Restriction Act of 1881 repeal

Date: 17/5/1888

Dimensions: 300mm x 200mm

Material: Ink on parchment

Provenance: Sydney NSW 

Image courtesy of the State Records of New South Wales

Description: This document consists of black ink on white yellowing paper. At the top left corner cursive handwriting reads; (eligible) office copy. At the top is the NSW pre federation coat of arms consisting of a lion on the left and unicorn on the right. Beneath text reads: No. An Act to repeal the 'Influx of Chinese Restriction Act of 1881'. 

This Act from 1888 illustrates the refusal by the NSW Legislative Assembly to repeal the Influx of Chinese Restriction Act of 1881, drafted and passed in the NSW House of Representative in 1881. The 1881 Act was created to 'protect' the colony of NSW against what was perceived at the time as disturbances and dangers of Chinese migration.

Significance: Aimed towards the Chinese exclusively. One of the initial acts to limit immigration. Anti Asian and Anti Chinese sentiment lead to the wide spread belief of racial superiority. Acts like these lead the way for mass immigration restriction which transformed communities and shaped Australian immigration for the majority of the following century.

Related links: Chinese immigration restriction:http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/guides-and-finding-aids/archives-in-brief/archives-in-brief-33

Text Transcription: No. An Act to repeal the "Influx of Chinese Restriction Act of 1881"; to provide for the protection of the Colony from the disturbances and national dangers of Chinese Immigration; to provide specially for the regulation of Chinese at the present resident within the Colony; and to indemnify the Government for all acts done by Executive of Ministerial authority in the relation to Chinese immigrants, or vessels carrying such immigrants, since the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight.

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the protection of the Colony of New South Wales from the disturbances and national dangers which may arise from the influx of the Chinese under restrictions hitherto existing; and also to provide for the regulation of Chinese residents within the said Colony: And whereas it is just and expedient to indemnify the Execution Government for all acts done by any member thereof in relation to Chinese immigrants, or any ship carrying such immigrants, since the first day of May, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-1. The Act, entitled "An Act to restrict the Influx of Chinese into New South Wales," forty-fifth Victoria number eleven, is hereby repealed. But the repeal hereby enacted shall not affect the past operation...

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