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Bioethics Seminar: ‘Undesirable Bill’s Undesirables Bill: William Pember Reeves and eugenics in 1890s New Zealand.'

William Pember Reeves, a Fabian socialist politician, has a fine historical reputation as the chief architect of the progressive labour and industrial laws passed by New Zealand’s Liberal government of the 1890s. This paper focuses on a dimension of Reeves’s career that historians have largely ignored: the eugenically-inspired Undesirable Immigrants Exclusion Bill he introduced into parliament in 1894.

After describing its provisions and the eugenic convictions that inspired it, I explore how and why the Bill sparked so much public criticism. Premier Seddon, ‘King Dick,’ withdrew the Bill late in 1894 and, the following year, kicked ‘Undesirable Bill’ Reeves upstairs to London as New Zealand Agent-General.

Presenter: John Stenhouse, History and Art History.

Date Monday, 27 March 2017
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience Public,All University
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Open Seminar
DepartmentBioethics Centre
LocationBioethics Seminar Room, Level one, 71 Frederick Street (entry on Frederick Street), Dunedin.
Contact NameBioethics Centre
Contact Phone64 3 471 6120

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