― 31 ―

5. Work on Behalf of the Chinese.

(General Outline).

What a wonderful personality Quong Tart possessed (although he belonged to that once despised Chinese Nation, which fact seemed to be an impossible barrier for even its most worthy sons to overcome amongst all the so-called Western civilised races); he was able, after a residence of nearly half a century to break down all the prejudices of all classes or creeds of the Anglo-Saxon race living in Australia, and also retaining the respectful and affectionate regard of his own countrymen. So popular did Quong Tart become in the community, that when a Levee was held at Government House he was sure to be there in his Mandarin costume to represent the land of his birth. If any striking event took place in China or with the Chinese in any part of the world, it was to Quong Tart the representatives of the press hastened for information, as he always kept in close touch with matters relating to his mother country. If a deputation of the Chinese was to be appointed to wait on the Government or Mayor, etc., or an address or petition presented, it was always Quong Tart who was entrusted with the management. When any distinguished men and women visited us from other countries (Missionaries in particular), Quong Tart entertained them well at his own cost, as well as the other guests whom he would invite to meet the visitors. To give an idea as to the popularity of Mr. Tart among the working classes alone—a well-known labour man was speaking in public and was pouring out his vials of wrath on “the wretched Chinese,” “everyone of whom,” he said, “he would, if he had his way, drive out of the State.” “Would you do that to Quong Tart,” cried out one from the crowd. “No, certainly not,” replied the Labour orator. “If they were all as good as Tart, I would let them stay here and come here, as they would be sure to be good citizens.” Notwithstanding the fact that the hero of this book was born in China and spent the tender years of his life in that country before residing in New South Wales, he was a British subject and a very loyal one, too, but it must also be added that he was always very strongly opposed to the imposition of the Poll Tax—believing, as he did, that as the Britishers were allowed all possible freedom in China so ought its people to be allowed the same freedom in Great Britain and her Dominions abroad, including “Sunny Australia.”

  ― 32 ―
Many of our foremost public men have dared to say the same. The Rev. W. J. Williams, preaching at Auckland, championed the cause of the Chinese and with much eloquence pointed to Quong Tart of Sydney as a bright and shining example of all the virtues, and indignantly demanded, “How many Quong Tarts may we not be excluding from our shores by our hostile enactments?” As Quong Tart very frequently said, “It is not the vice of the poor Chinaman the public dislikes, but his virtues.”

In 1887, the Anti-Chinese League stirred up the public feeling in this State. Quong Tart then pointed out how that the Chinese miners created wealth for the State as well as themselves, because they were content to search for gold in claims that had been abandoned by Europeans who had gone to try their luck on other fields. So, too, in regard to the competition of the Chinese in the furniture trade he very truly showed that in addition to providing the public, especially the poorer classes of our colonists, with attractive looking and well made furniture, and at a price much below what they had previously been asked to pay, they purchased the timber and all other materials needed in its manufacture from the Colonial Britishers. No one, he contended, would deny the statement that but for the Chinese our supply of vegetables would be very limited in the city and suburbs, or still more so in the country towns of this and the adjoining States of Australia.

Extract from the “Sydney Morning Herald,” Friday, December 9th, 1887:–

On the Chinese Question.

By Quong Tart.

A few weeks ago I received a circular from the Secretary of the Anti-Chinese League of New South Wales, and feel I must write a few of my views on the subject, having lived in the Colony nearly all my lifetime, and been a British subject for nearly twenty years. I certainly would not have taken the slightest trouble to express any of my views whatsoever on the matter were it not for the absurd and extreme proposals made by this League, a few of the principal of which I will remark upon. £100 poll-tax.—Well, the treaty made between her Majesty and his Imperial Majesty in 1858 will decide that. The annual tax and license-fee of Chinese hawkers does not need commenting upon by me, for there are wise members in Parliament, who can deal correctly with that. Some of the Chinese say that “such a proposal looks like the league trying to be kind to the Government by making us pay, and so increasing the revenue; and they pick upon us because we are the weakest, having no one to defend us.”

  ― 33 ―

To a certain extent, I agree with the stoppage of naturalisation papers, but think they ought to be granted to any Chinese who is fairly known and well recommended by European and Chinese, and not to anyone who applies. The prohibition of Chinese from taking up any mine till it had been abandoned for three years reminds one of that little anecdote, “The dog in the manger.” There are many instances of Europeans who have claims nearly worked out—in some cases completely worked out as far as the wages of Europeans is concerned—who, when they hear of a new rush, are off and sell their old claim or leavings to the Chinese for a certain sum, and in very few cases the Chinaman profits by the transaction. And were it to be left for a short time, for less than three years, it would be good for neither European nor Chinese, for it would be filled up or caved in, and would take quite £1 to make 19s. Then again, the Chinese often (because they have no chance only rarely to go into new rushes) work up the old tailings and drips of some old claim, making in many cases only from 15s. to 25s. a week; so did not they work up these leavings this wealth, as little as it is, would remain unfound, so that they ought not to be envied for their work, for no European would ever think of taking it up again. The prevention of Chinese from voting for Parliament or municipal is ignorant and prejudiced in the extreme. For what reason should not they be allowed to vote? Do not think that when they hear a man speak with good, sound, true principles they do not know it, for they do, and that well, too; and, although perhaps they cannot in English express their opinions, still they know (to put the matter short) a thorough gentleman when they meet him, and that is the man they vote for, whether he be in favour of Chinese here or not.

Upon certain firm and positive facts I declare that their Excellencies General Wong Yung Ho and Consul-General U Tsing did not, as this league supposes, visit these shores to spy out the land, and encourage immigration, for it is quite against the high authorities' rules to look after a mere sprinkling of their flock like there is in Australia. They were sent, through so many complaints about the poll-tax and other things reaching the ears of his Imperial Majesty, to inquire into and learn for themselves the true state of affairs concerning the treatment in general of all Chinese here before communicating with Her Majesty. I hold that the Chinese are as free to these shores as any other nation in the world, according to the treaty made.

This Anti-Chinese League, as a body, is very wise indeed to try and adopt plans to protect the labour of the Colony (did it need protection), and bring it into a thorough state of prosperity, and look for the future, and not for the present. But they should do it in such a manner as to not excite the larrikin element, for some are like a fuse ready for a (light) word to begin to molest the poor Chinese and make plenty of work for

  ― 34 ―
the Police Courts. I am sure that is far from the expectations of the principal gentlemen of the League, but such a thing will be, and is, and will cause the greatest of disturbance if not seen to in time.

In what labour do Chinese compete with Europeans? Not with coalminers, brickmakers, stonemasons, builders, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, roadmakers, Government contractors, &c., &c.—sailors, of course, already settled—but only in cabinet-making, the cultivation of the ground, gold-mining, hawking, general dealing, and fill up a few vacancies here and there, despised by Europeans. True, the cabinet-makers do, to a certain degree, compete with Europeans in this trade, but what harm could the present small number do among so many people? The timber and other necessary materials they require is bought from Europeans here, and they pay the same as any other person, so if they manage to sell cheap through their own economy people profit by it. Since this great agitation commenced, I have visited some of these cabinet warehouses and find the owners not rich, and in very many cases dispensing with their hands. The agricultural Chinese are a great saving of expense to the poorer class of Europeans, for they could not possibly get vegetables at all if Europeans alone had to cultivate them; they would have to pay, say, instead of 5s. for their greengrocery bill, 10s. Europeans would not so constantly work it, or even take such an interest in the work; therefore, could not make it pay like them, and would not think of having a garden at all unless water and every other convenience was close at hand; and there would not be nearly a sufficient number of Europeans to follow that pursuit to supply the population. Then, again, Europeans would not take the trouble to try and cultivate some of the sandy wastes, or even rocky ground, like the Chinese do; but would look for good soil, which they cannot always get. I think a wise plan for restriction would be, first to ascertain the number of Europeans and the number of Chinese in the Colony, then allow a certain number of Europeans to each Chinaman. By such means the land would not be over-run, for numbers leave yearly for China, so it would be more likely to decrease, and would save all this hum-bug of poll-tax outcries, &c., &c.

Some little time back a deputation waited upon the Minister for Works suggesting a special car to be put on the Botany tram line for the “dirty, nasty Chinese.” Now, I think that were such a thing done for a time it would do good, that is, if all the dirty drunken Europeans (for they are a nuisance) were put into the same car as the Chinese, it would encourage cleanliness in both cases and be a comfort for other travellers, and would be the Englishman's motto, “Fair play,” and would not make fish of one and flesh of another. For the keeping of sanitary and other laws among the Chinese, I humbly suggest for the Government to appoint about twelve capable Chinese

  ― 35 ―
men, each two to represent a province, as I think all Chinese here hail from about six provinces; also two religious men, to work in conjunction with a European inspector, to inquire into the condition, occupation, and general pursuits of every Chinaman in New South Wales, and for the Government to pay these men so much per annum and have elections each year; then enforce a law to make each Chinaman contribute 10s. yearly towards paying the expenses and making the commissioners' salaries a little higher, and any money over and above the expenses to go towards the building of a home for the old and sick Chinese, and be conducted and properly attended to by these same men, so that the old and sick would not be dependent upon the New South Wales Government. In reference to the common outcry against the Chinese decoying young girls away to their dens, I don't say that that race is an exception, but certainly the thing is much exaggerated. The whole firm foundation of this outcry originates from opium, and lies in the gambling and opium dens, and until these places are completely rooted out there will be a continuous outcry. The Anti-Chinese question is not so simple as some imagine, for unless it is amicably settled it might involve volumes of trouble.

In the same year, 1887, two Chinese Commissioners, General Wong Yung Ho and Consul-General U Tsing, visited Sydney, and Quong Tart introduced a deputation of the Anti-Chinese League, and the reply of the Commissioners interpreted by Quong Tart, was that “Neither the League nor the Colonists need fear any very great influx of Chinese to the Colony, as the Chinese did not do very well here, and many of them were worse off than they were in China, and stated that the competition was looked upon in China very much in the same light as the Chinese competition here, but they would give every consideration to the representation of the deputation.” Many years have passed since this reply was given, and I think that even the members of the Anti-Chinese League, who are still living, will agree that the Commissioners were most truthful in their reply to that deputation.

During the stay of the Commissioners they showed keen interest in Quong Tart's efforts to put down and extinguish the opium traffic. They also stood as Godfathers to Quong Tart's eldest daughter, who was born at the time of their visit. The Commissioners took a large interest in a report furnished to the Government in 1884 by Mr. Tart and Mr. Sub-Inspector Brennan, who were appointed in the year 1883 by the Inspector-General of Police, with the approval of the Honourable the Colonial Secretary, to visit the various large Chinese camps in the Colony to make inquiry and report under the following headings, viz.:–

  • 1. The population of each camp, conditions of occupancy, distinguishing Chinese, Europeans, and sexes.

  •   ― 36 ―
  • 2. Whether the children received any education and by what means.
  • 3. The sanitary conditions of the camp and if sleeping accommodation were decent and sufficient.
  • 4. How the Chinese obtain a livelihood.
  • 5. What number of European women were married to Chinese.
  • 6. How many were living in a state of common prostitution.
  • 7. How many indulge in opium smoking.
  • 8. To what extent gambling is carried on, and if European men and boys frequent the camp for that purpose.

It was after making that important inspection, Quong Tart found there was wide scope for good work from him to be done on behalf of his countrymen and those who associated with them; as the conditions disclosed then, all round were very bad. He directed his attention more particularly to the suppression of gambling and the use of opium—as once those two great vices were put down the smaller ones would lessen. His work on the opium curse will be found in another chapter.

In 1888 a burning Chinese question arose—the Anti-Chinese League had roused a few thousand people in Sydney against an imaginary influx of Chinese. Several ships had left Hong Kong with a few hundred Chinese on board for the Colonies, under the then Poll Tax, agreement. The League imagined “the stream had commenced to flow” and as the League “was pledged to check any further immigration of Chinese by all legitimate means” there the trouble came in. A big question arose—these Chinamen were on their way— so meetings were held at the Town Hall, “scenes of excitement took place at the Parliament buildings, and it was feared at one time the Legislative Chamber would be invaded by the irate mob:” the outcome of it all being—the passing of a Drastic Chinese Restriction Bill, in all its stages, in one night, by the Government, headed by the Premier, Sir Henry Parkes, its effect being to prevent any of these Chinamen from landing. When the steamers arrived in the Harbour the men on board were informed ‘A new Law’ had been passed since they had left their homes and they would have to return without even the slightest redress. Imagine how they felt against such an injustice!

Quong Tart set to work—he was determined to see what he considered a big wrong righted, as some of the men on board were British subjects. He with several leading Chinese merchants and others toiled night and day, and eventually succeeded after much trouble and with the aid of the Judges of the Supreme Court in getting the law modified, and

  ― 37 ―
forty per cent of the men landed who had come under the existing law at the time of their leaving China. Some of the Chinamen sent back were not legally entitled to land as their papers were incorrect and in some cases forged—so, of course, they were forced to return sadder but wiser. Quong Tart was justly proud of his mediation at that time and hundreds of his countrymen thanked him for his wise intervention. The following is an extract from the “Sydney Daily Telegraph” of September 5th, 1888:–

Photographs following page 36: Honour conferred upon Quong Tart by His Imperial Majesty

Photographs following page 36: Quong Tart, mandarin, and Mrs.Tart in costume

The Chinese Question.

Views of the Chinese Ambassador.

The Agitation a Political Trick.

(Our Special Messages.)

London, Monday Night.—Mr. Randolph Want, who is now in England, is forwarding to Mr. Quong Tart, of Sydney, certain proposals of the Chinese Ambassador with respect to Chinese emigration to the Australian colonies.

London, Tuesday.—The “Times” of this morning devotes an article to the Chinese restrictive legislation which is being passed by the Australian colonies and declares that the anti-Chinese agitation in Australia is the outcome of a political trick.

The following is an extract from the “Sydney Daily Telegraph” of May 6th, 1889.

“Mr. Tart is the first prominent Chinese merchant who has visited the Celestial Empire since our international troubles of 12 months ago. It was therefore interesting to hear his opinion of the temper in which he found the people of that country concerning our decision, in putting a stop to their Australian pilgrimages. He says that we can form little idea of the anger that was manifested by the masses in Hong Kong and Canton upon the return of the ships with the rejected immigrants on board. Many of the unfortunate people were landed in their native country in a state of utter destitution. What little they had possessed before embarking on the eventful voyage had been sold to supply the needs of ready cash, and in most cases they had had recourse to the tender mercies of moneylenders, whose rates in China are as high as they are anywhere else in the world. Thus, when they landed after their enforced trip back they formed a rather striking illustration of the manner in which Australia had come to regard the question of Chinese immigration. Their want and destitution appealed to the sympathies of their countrymen and their stories of imprisonment on board the ships in Sydney Harbour inflamed the popular anger.”

  ― 38 ―

In 1897 the Alien Bill was again before the House. One clause was highly objectionable to the Chinese merchants, so Quong Tart was empowered by the Chinese residents of the city to endeavour to get the clause struck out. With that object in view he was allowed to address the Upper House — the clause being afterwards amended. Petitions to Parliament he was not infrequently called upon to prepare and have presented. The following is a copy of one in the year 1897:–

New South Wales.

Legislative Council.

Coloured Races Restriction and Regulation Bill.

(Petition from Quong Tart, praying the House to so amend the Bill as to grant leave to Chinese Merchants to make business visits to the Colony.)

(Presented by Sir A. Renwick, 30th November, 1897.)

Printed Under No. 6 Report from Printing Committee.

The Honourable the President and Members of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, in Parliament assembled.

The petition of Quong Tart, Chinese Merchant, resident in New South Wales:–

Humbly Showeth—

1. That your Petitioner is informed and believes that a Bill “To apply and extend certain provisions of the Chinese Restriction and Regulation Act of 1888 to other coloured races, to amend the said Act, and for other purposes incidental to, or consequent upon, the before-mentioned objects,” is now under the consideration of your Honourable House.

2. That a deputation of the Chinese resident in New South Wales waited upon your Petitioner this day, and requested your Petitioner to make the representations contained in this Petition, on behalf of the Chinese so resident as aforesaid, to your Honourable House, and to pray for the relief hereinafter specified.

3. That the Chinese residents in New South Wales are a peaceable, law-abiding, and industrious class of residents, whose residence in the colony is conducive to the production and expenditure of wealth within the said colony, as appears from the following facts, which may be verified from official statistics:–

  ― 39 ―

  • (a) That the number of Chinese in gaol in the said Colony bears a much lower percentage to the whole number of Chinese resident in the said Colony than is the case in respect of any other nationality.
  • (b) That of the Chinese male population resident in the said Colony nearly sixty-two in every hundred are primary producers of wealth, whilst of the whole male population of the said Colony, only twenty in every hundred are primary producers of wealth.
  • (c) That the Chinese resident in the said Colony expend annually not less than £250,000 or about £18 per head in food and clothing of European or Australian production, in addition to about £8 per head of goods produced in and imported from China.

4. That the Chinese merchants, who have businesses established in the said Colony are under great disadvantage and hindrance in carrying on their business by reason of the fact that the Chinese Restriction and Regulation Act of 1888 makes no provision for the exemption from the provisions of that Act of merchants who may require to go from New South Wales to China on business with the purpose of returning to New South Wales again, or who may require to come to New South Wales from China on business with the purpose of returning to China again.

5. That the Chinese merchants who desire to make such visits as aforesaid would, as a general rule, only need to visit New South Wales or China respectively for a very short period, and that, as a general rule, the exigencies of their business would prevent them from making prolonged visits; but that in certain cases it is necessary for some Chinese merchants to make a prolonged visit for the purpose of winding up their said business, or for examining into and re-organising the affairs thereof.

6. That not only in the interests of the Chinese merchants, but also in the interests of the business of the said Colony with China, some amendment of the Act above-mentioned should be made to enable Chinese merchants to make such visits as aforesaid without being subject to the provisions of the said Act

Your Petitioner, therefore, humbly prays as follows:–

1. That your Honourable House will be pleased to insert in the Bill mentioned in paragraph one of this Petition, some provision for enabling Chinese merchants to make such visits as are specified herein without being subject to the provisions of the Chinese Restriction and Regulation Act of 1888.

2. That your Honourable House will be pleased to extend such provisions to such other class or classes of Chinese residents

  ― 40 ―
as to your Honourable House may seem just and expedient.

And your Petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c., &c.


Dated at Sydney this 30th day of November, 1897.

The Chinese Problem or Question, during Quong Tart's life, to be fully explained and showing the part he always played in it, would form a very lengthy and interesting volume in itself.

One of the high marks of distinction bestowed upon him during his long residence in New South Wales was when, in the year 1890, the late Sir Henry Parkes, as Premier of this Colony, appointed him (Quong Tart) to act as a member of a Royal Commission, “to make a diligent and full inquiry with a view of ascertaining the undoubted facts in the matter of alleged illicit gambling and immoralities among the Chinese residents in George Street North, in the said City of Sydney and neighbourhood, and the alleged bribery or misconduct of any members of the Police Force in relation thereto; also to make visits of inspection to localities in the said City and Suburbs occupied by Chinese, and investigate and report upon social conditions, means of sanitary provisions in the dwellings and workshops, the callings or occupations and other circumstances affecting the well-being of such persons.”

With Quong Tart on this Royal Commission were Sir W. P. Manning, the then Mayor of Sydney, Mr. J. S. Hawthorne, and Mr. Francis Abigail, for some years members of the New South Wales Parliament, and Mr. Ramsay McKillop, a well-known Labour leader.

In the early part of the year 1892 the Royal Commission sent in its report to the Government of New South Wales. A perusal of the questions and replies in this very bulky but interesting report would show what a useful part Quong Tart played in this very important Royal Commission.

A very amusing incident occurred at one of the sittings of the Commission when a Chinese witness, of that country's larrikin type, was being examined as to his well-known connection with some of the gambling dens, stating “that several of the leading Chinese merchants were interested in the gambling shops, and that a cousin of Quong Tart also had several shops, and that it was believed that this latter gentleman had an interest in them also.” When Quong Tart heard this he became indignant and gave the statement a flat denial. One of the other members of the Commission questioned the witness on this vile accusation, and obtained from him replies that the ground for his statement was that he and others had seen Quong Tart go into this so-called cousin's business premises

  ― 41 ―
on several occasions, and when asked how Quong Tart was related to the man so as to be called a cousin, replied, “He comes from the same part of China as Quong Tart, and we call him a cousin.” Then the question was put, “If Quong Tart, say, came from Pekin, every Chinaman living in Sydney who came from the same part would ‘all be cousins.’” His reply was “Yes,” and to a further question he stated that he believed Quong Tart to be an honourable man, and that he was held in great favour by all respectable Chinese, and that personally he did not believe that Quong Tart had any interests or sympathy in Chinese gambling.

In 1896 he was the leader in the movement to return about twenty-one Chinese lepers from the Little Bay Lazarette to their homes in China (for inherent in all Chinese is that extreme desire to spend the last days of their lives among their own kith and kin), so he collected money from his compatriots to defray their expenses, and gave much time and labour to the completion of all necessary arrangements to get them safely away, with the assistance of the Government and small publicity to the public.

It is nearly twenty years since the Chinese faction fights took place in Sydney, and as a result many of the startling incidents that happened then have been forgotten, but a look through the Sydney daily papers in the early part of the year 1892 will show what a leading power the late Quong Tart (as mediator) was among the Chinese of all classes in this State, as also those of the adjoining States, and this position he maintained up to the day of his death. Those who knew him intimately whether they were Chinese or British would testify how anxious he was at all times to improve the conditions of the everyday life of his countrymen, and how ready he was to defend them when they were subjected to any unfair criticism or unjust or ungenerous treatment. This striking trait in Quong Tart's character was recognised by the wealthy, as well as the labouring class of Chinese in New South Wales. They knew that if they were acting unwisely or in any way affecting their good position as citizens he would reprove them to their face, but he was always prepared to stand forth in their defence when detraction was aiming its deadly weapon at their reputation. It was their wish, as also that of many others, that he should be appointed the first Chinese Consul for Australia as a slight recognition of his devotion to and work for China and its sons in this part of the world. The following are the signatures of the Consuls resident in Sydney, New South Wales, asking the Chinese Government to appoint Quong Tart as first Chinese Consul-General for Australia.

Added to this is a request to the same authority from some of the leading men of the Commonwealth, headed by the then Prime Minister, also suggesting that Quong Tart should be appointed Consul-General for China in Australia.

  ― 42 ―

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, February 3rd, 1903.

We, the undersigned Consular representatives of Foreign Powers stationed in Sydney, can certify to the position held by Mr. Quong Tart among the Chinese and Europeans here during our terms of office.

China has no Consul in this State, and the Chinese community being fairly large, there are necessarily frequent calls upon Mr. Tart to perform the duties that would otherwise fall to their official representative had they one here. He is their recognised spokesman in all matters, and is esteemed and respected by all classes and nationalities resident in the State, and should be able to represent his country as Consul.

GUS. BIARD D'AUNET (Consul-General of France to the Commonwealth of Australia).

PAUL VON BURI (German Consul-General).

H. EITAKI (Acting Consul-General for for Japan).

ERNEST W. T. DUNN (Vice-Consul for Brazil).

TH. AUG. BOESEN (Consul-General, Denmark).

ORLANDO H. BAKER (Consul of United States of America).

A. SCHEIDEL (Consul of Austria-Hungary).

CHEVALIER DR. V. MARANO (Vice-Consul for Italy).

GEORGE F. WILLIAMSON (Consul for Ecuador).

FRANK R. FREEHILL (Consul for Spain).

EDMUND RESCH (Consul Netherlands).

W. H. PALING (Vice-Consul Netherlands).

JAS. T. TILLOCK (Consul-General for the Argentine Republic).

WILLIAM BROWN (Consul for Chile).

J. S. LARKE (Agt., Govt. Canada).

THOMAS HUGHES BARLOW (Acting Consul for Greece).

OLAV E. PAUSS (Swedish and Norwegian Consul for New South Wales and Queensland).

E. M. PAUL (Consul for Russia).

MARC RUTTY (Consul for Switzerland).

J. CURRIE ELLES (Vice-Consul for Belgium).

Sydney, N.S.W., Australia,

February 2nd, 1903.

We, the undersigned, can testify that Mr. Quong Tart has resided in our midst for upwards of 20 years, and has, during that period, possessed the confidence and esteem of the entire community.

His aim has ever been for peace, and he is always ready and willing to act as mediator when disputes or misunderstandings arise between the Chinese and Europeans — these occasions being of no infrequent occurrence in the earlier days

  ― 43 ―
on the goldfields — and his intervention has invariably been the means of effecting a satisfactory settlement. In many important cases he has been requisitioned by the Government to act as interpreter, and was appointed to a seat on a Royal Commission by the Government, of which the late Sir Henry Parkes was head.

Mr. Tart's services to the Chinese poulation here are widely known, for having no Consul to whom they can look for information, or redress for their grievances, they invariably appeal to him as their recognised spokesman and representative in this State.

On all sides and by all classes and nationalities, Mr. Quong Tart is highly respected, and his popularity was strikingly manifested by the unprecedented and spontaneous outburst of sympathy with him from every quarter of the Commonwealth on the occasion of the murderous attack to which he was recently subjected.

His best endeavours are, and always have been, devoted towards securing better conditions, politically and socially, for his countrymen, and his efforts have been unceasingly directed towards their advancement and general welfare.

EDMUND BARTON (Prime Minister).

ARCHD. H. SIMPSON (Judge of Supreme Court).

WILLIAM JOHN LYNE (Federal Home Secretary).

EDMUND FOSBERY (Inspt.-Genl. of Police).

RT. HON. G. H. REID, Q.C. (Leader of Opposition, Federal Parliament).

WILLIAM McCOURT Speaker, Legislative Assembly, N.S.W.).

THOMAS HUGHES (Lord Mayor of Sydney).

DAVID KIRKCALDIE (Railway Commissioner of New South Wales).

G. B. SIMPSON (Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales).

R. E. O'CONNOR (Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council).

JOHN SEE (Premier, State New South Wales).

F. LOCKYER (State Collector of Customs, N.S.W.).

CRITCHETT WALKER (Principal Under Secretary).


M. H. STEPHEN (Acting Chief Justice).

HORACE JOHNSTON (Merchant, President Chamber of Commerce).

WM. OWEN (Judge of Supreme Court).

BRUCE SMITH (M.H.R., Barrister-at-law).

H. E. COHEN (Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales).


W. M. FEHON (Railway Commissioner).

ROBERT D. PRING (Judge of Supreme Court).

JOS. CARRUTHERS (M.L.A., Leader of Opposition, New South Wales).

GEORGE R. DIBBS (Ex-Premier New South Wales).

  ― 44 ―

Clipping from Sunday “Truth”:–

“‘Truth’ understands that the Government at Pekin has had the question of appointing a Consul-General for Australasia brought under its notice more than once, and we are decidedly of opinion that if the Ministry of the day were to let it be known, of course through the proper official channels (Chinese officials being great sticklers for etiquette), that New South Wales (and, indeed, Australia generally) would be glad if such an appointment were made, and would willingly accord official recognition to the gentleman chosen, an arrangement would speedily be arrived at. The present war affords a splendid opportunity for pushing Australian business in the East. New South Wales produces some of the best coal in the world for steaming purposes, and for the purposes of war the very best coal is of supreme, vital importance. Directly its enormous army is placed on a war footing, China must import large quantities of silver in order to pay her soldiers, and here again New South Wales steps to the front. In like manner, our copper and tin would be readily absorbed by the powerful Celestial Empire, while, so long as the war lasts, there will be an increased and ever-increasing demand for Australian tinned and preserved meats. A Consular representative of China, living in Sydney, would be able to see that none but the very best articles of their kind were purchased for the purpose required, for, if inferior coals or bad provisions were once supplied, the trade would vanish, probably never to return. In this connection it is worthy of note that in Mr. Quong Tart we have a resident in our midst able to fill this responsible position alike with credit to himself, to the satisfaction of Australians generally, and to the equal satisfaction of the great Empire which he would, we feel sure, so worthily represent. We happen to know that Mr. Tart (whose business qualifications and whose character for commercial probity and rectitude so completely fit him for the post) would be ‘persona grata’ at the Court in Pekin. He has visited the Chinese Empire thrice since he founded his present business; he bears an honourable reputation, both in Australia and China; and his appointment would be acceptable to the political and commercial magnates of this country, as well as to the Court officials of the Empress Dowager at Pekin. Under these circumstances, therefore, we urge upon the Ministry the advisability of the Colonial Secretary taking immediate steps to get China properly represented here, and at the same time bring the claims of Mr. Quong Tart under the notice of the Imperial authorities. This could probably be done by cable, and the appointment fixed up as soon as possible.”

It may be asked by someone who was not acquainted with the useful noble life of Quong Tart, why so much enthusiasm was displayed by so many of our leading public men in having

  ― 45 ―
him so honoured by the rulers of that mighty nation from which he sprang — the answer is simply this, that for many years he did so much work for his country and countrymen as to win for himself the title “The unpaid Consul-General for China,” and I have the assurance of an Australian friend, who visited London some time after Quong Tart's death, that she met in one of the leading Tourist Hotels of that great city, a worldwide known literary man who had been the representative in Pekin, China, of one of the leading daily papers of London, who, in the course of conversation, when Quong Tart's name was mentioned, stated that he knew as a fact that just at the time the cable messages to Pekin arrived announcing his (Quong Tart's) unexpected death, the official papers were going through the Government Departments of the Chinese Capital appointing him to the important position of “Consul-General for the Chinese Empire in Australia.” How sad to think that just as he had almost clasped the reward of his lifelong labours in his hand —

“All was ended now, the hope, and the fear and the sorrow;
All the aching of hearts, the restless unsatisfied longing;
All the dull, deep pain and constant anguish of patience.”