THE CHINESE LABOUR QUESTION. [TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR:]
Sin,—Permit me to offer as an antidote to Mr. Lea's quota tion in your issue of January 30th from a mining engineer's letter an extract from one that I received this morning (February 2nd). If coercion there be, the end—i.e., retention of South Africa—may justify the means .— "If no Chinese labour, South Africa is a dead bird, and this country can prepare to contribute another two or three hundred millions in a very few years. The first effect of no labour will be the closing down of existing mines, demands for higher wages by natives, exodus of a large number of whites, and all the settlers ruined. Second, great joy of the Bond and Dutch, and active preparation on their part to hasten the hauling down of the British flag. There was a deficit of two millions in the Transvaal last year. The drop is running out so fast that they cannot economise quickly enough to help, and chaos is setting in."
Such is the dictum of one whose lifelong experience of South African economics is second to none.—I am, Sir, Az.e., Dlr. Bell's correspondent is incorrect in suggesting that
rejoicing over the rejection of Chinese labour would be confined to the Bond and Dutch, and identifying the anti- Chinese with anti-Imperialist sentiment. To do so is to ignore not only the attitud4of the Australasian Colonies, but of the Cape and Natal, and of very large numbers of non- mine-owning whites in the Transvaal.—ED. Spectator.]