MIXED MARRIAGES AND THE COLOUR BAR
[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Your article of July 18th, under the above caption is very interesting, but perhaps an examination of actual results of mixed marriages will be of greater value than the vague generalities of your contributor as to animal breeders! experiences. He makes a definite statement to the 'effect that hybrid stock is inferior to either of the two parent branches. This can be very easily disproved.
Take India, for an instance, where an English soldier and a Tamil woman associate and there is Eurasian offspring. Nothing out of the way can be expected from this sort of breeding, yet we find that the child on reaching maturity will probably occupy some subordinate position in the Government or will be a clerk in a business house or perhaps an overseer of some kind. This social position is immeasurably better than that of the class of individuals from which the Tamil woman sprang. The Indian Eurasian is a con- scientious loyal type of man and makes an excellent lawyer, doctor or Government servant. And this despite the dis- advantages of the colour bar in British India.
And now let us look at more valuable examples of mixed marriages. At Hongkong and Macao the leaders of the business community are of mixed blood and thrive well notwithstanding the keen competition of the industrious Chinese. In the Netherlands East Indies the person of mixed descent is accorded absolutely equal social treatment with the pure Caucasian by reason only that his success and progress make it impossible to refuse him his rights of com- plete and equal citizenship both in the spirit and in the letter.
Turn again to Ceylon, where the backbone of the island is the Burgher, the descendant of the Ceylonese and the old Dutch colonizers. Or consider the Philippines, where it is now almost impossible (at least, where the principal towns are concerned) to find anyone of pure Filipino descent. Here the progress of the population of mixed Caucasian and Mon- golian blood has been so amazing that the United States Government is finding it hard to find excuses for not granting independence to the Philippines. Many more examples could be cited—the Eurasian in Malaya, who is a much higher type than the simple Malay, or the various peoples of
mixed blood in the French and Portuguese colonies. These are all actual facts and not generalities, and go to show that, at their worst, mixed marriages produce a type higher than the type of the indigenous parent and, at their best, a type with which the pure Caucasian or pure Mongolian finds it extremely difficult to compete.
Spread all over the East are numerous families whose fame and fortune are renowned. They are regarded as Caucasian. In most cases, when their history is examined, we find the trace of Eastern blood. Is it not this trace of Eastern blood that is responsible for the virility which enabled success to be- achieved ? But I will put it no higher than this : the presence of Eastern blood has not been a disadvantage. No ; mixed marriages should not be discouraged.—I am, Sir, &c.,
967 Pasir Panjany, Singapore. E. BOYD PHIPPS.