Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/131

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DEPUTATION TO LORD SELBOBNE 41 ·reason that the 6rst Immigration Restriction Act of Australia was vetoed. It was for the same reason that the first Natal Franchise Act was vetoed, and it was for the same reason that the Colony of Natal, after submit- ting a draft bill applicable to Asiatics as such. had to draft another measure. There are matters, not of years gone ·by, but of recent years. It cannot be said that there are ·to·day any new facts that have come to light to change all this. Indeed, even immediately before the war, declara- tions were made by Ministers that one of the reasons was to protect the rights of British Indians. Lastly, but not least, your Excellency, too, gave expression to similar sentiments on the eve of the war, Though, therefore, the manner in which Sir Arthur Lawley has approached the question is, in our humble opinion, very unjust and incon- sistent with the British traditions, we, in order to show that we wish to co-operate with the white colonists, have submitted that, even though no such law existed before, there may now be an Immigration Act after the basis of the Cape or Natal, except that, as to the edu- cational test, the great Indian languages should be recognised and that the already estalished British Indian merchants should have facilities afforded to them for importing temporarily men whom they may require in their businesses. That will at once do away with the fear of what has been termed an Asiatic invasion. We have also submitted that with reference to trade licenses, which have caused so much grumbling, the power should be given to the Local Boards or Town Councils to regulate the issue of any new licence subject to the control of the Supreme Court. All the existing licences should be taken out of the operation of any such statute, because they represent vested interests.