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  • Title
    William J. Liu - Papers, 1907-1983, together with the papers of D. G. (Dalton Gokbo) Liu, 1921-1994
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 6294/Boxes 1-8, 10-15, 17-18
    MLMSS 6294/Boxes 9X, 16X, 20X
    MLMSS 6294/Folder 19X
  • Level of description
  • Date

    1907 - 1994
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Microfilm : CY 4230 (MLMSS 6294/1); CY 4241 (MLMSS 6294/2); CY 4263 (MLMSS 6294/3); CY 4269 (MLMSS 6294/4); CY 4242 (MLMSS 6294/5); CY 4243 (MLMSS 6294/6); CY 4270 (MLMSS 6294/7); CY 4271 (MLMSS 6294/8); CY 4276 (MLMSS 6294/10); CY 4280 (MLMSS 6294/11); CY 4244 (MLMSS 6294/12); CY 4245 (MLMSS 6294/13); CY 4246 (MLMSS 6294/14); CY 4247 (MLMSS 6294/15); CY 4299 (MLMSS 6294/16X).
  • Physical Description
    2.72 metres of textual material (16 boxes, 4 outsize items) includes photographs
    Textual Records
    Textual Records - (computer printouts)
    Textual Records - (photocopy)
    Textual Records - (typescript)
    Textual Records - (typescript, with manuscript annotations and corrections)
    Textual Records - (typescript, carbon)
    Textual Records - (typescript, processed)
    Textual Records - (typescript, photocopy)
    Clippings - (photocopy)
    Textual Records - (printed)
    Textual Records - (printed, photocopy)

    William Joseph Lumb Liu (1893-1983), Chinese community leader and businessman, dedicated his life to advancing Sino-Australian relations and to achieving equal rights for Chinese Australians. Born to Anglo-Chinese parents in Sydney, he spent eight years in his father's village receiving a traditional Chinese education. On his return he completed high school, and attended technical and business college. From 1912 to 1914 he was an English translator and clerk in the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne. He then joined the Sydney fruit and vegetable merchants, Wing Sang & Co. Ltd, with whom he was to be closely associated over the next three decades. In 1916 Liu married Mabel Quoy; the couple had two children, a son Dalton Gokbo (Bo) and a daughter Winsome.

    Between the wars Liu campaigned for the expansion of Australian trade with China as a prelude to greater co-operation between Australia and China. He was founding Managing Director of the China-Australia Mail Steamship Line, 1917-1921. In 1921, as Secretary of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) in Sydney, he was invited to meet the Chinese leader Dr Sun Yat-Sen. He undertook several consultancies for Chinese firms in Shanghai and Hong Kong. From 1928 to 1933 he was President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New South Wales. His lobbying of the Australian Government influenced its reappointment of Australian Trade Commissioner in Shanghai, in 1935, after a hiatus of twelve years. In 1939 he co-founded the Chinese Australasian Association of Hong Kong.

    In 1932 Liu was a co-founder of the George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology, established to commemorate the Australian scholar and expositor of Chinese affairs who had died in 1920. Morrison had foreshadowed the threat of Japanese imperialism, a spectre which materialised in the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s. Liu was in Shanghai when it was seized by the Japanese, and subsequently offered his services as a propagandist to China's 19th Route Army. Liu's friend William Henry Donald (1875-1946), like his compatriot Morrison, was a foreign correspondent and an adviser to the Chinese Nationalist Government. Donald chronicled the second Sino-Japanese War for the Western press and advised Chang Kai-shek from 1935 to 1940.

    During World War II Liu was a leading fund-raiser in the Chinese community for the Government's War Loans. The war spurred Liu's immigration advocacy on behalf of prospective Chinese settlers in Australia. His case load initially included assistance to wartime Chinese refugees seeking permanent residency. From the 1950s he received increasing enquiries from Chinese seeking entry into Australia. He liaised with the Government on a range of issues from family reunions to appeals for stays of action in deportation cases. He was a founding member of the New South Wales Branch of the Australia-China Society, which later became the Australia-China Friendship Society. For over a decade from the mid-1950s Liu campaigned for the review of the Government's immigration policy and redress of the institutional discrimination embodied in the annual Citizenship Conventions towards Aborigines, Chinese and non-Europeans. By 1966 he had successfully lobbied the Government to reduce the qualifying period of fifteen years to five years for Chinese immigrants to become naturalised.

    Biographical note continued in General Note.
  • Scope and Content

    1917-1933; Correspondence with, among others, Austral-China Navigation Co. Limited, Australian Oriental Line, A. H. (Archibald Hamilton) Charteris, Wei-Ping Chen, China-Australia Mail Steamship Line, Fred J. Quinlan, Sun Co. (Shanghai) Ltd, Wing Sang & Co. Ltd and the Young Men's Christian Association of China. National Committee (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/1)
    1934-1939; Correspondence with, among others, Anzac Society (Shanghai, China), V. G. (Vivian Gordon) Bowden, Chinese Australasian Association of Hong Kong, Chinese Residents' Refugees Relief Fund Committee, Chong Choy, William Henry Donald, Sir John Latham, William Colin Mackenzie, Sir Earle Page, Chun-jien Pao, A. R. (Anthony R.) Peters, Fred J. Quinlan, William James Scully, Society of Chinese Residents in Australia, Sun Co. (Shanghai) Ltd and Wing Sang & Co. Ltd (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/1)
    1940-1944; Correspondence with, among others, Australian Chinese Association of New South Wales, Chinese Comforts Fund. Australia Division, Herbert A. Donald, William Henry Donald, H. V. (Herbert Vere) Evatt, H. S. Foll, Edward Alexander Mann, Chun-jien Pao, A. R. (Anthony R.) Peters, William James Scully, Sincere Company, Limited and Sun Co. (Shanghai) Ltd (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/1)
    1945-1956; Correspondence with, among others, Australia-China Association, Australia-China Society. N.S.W. Branch, C. T. Chen, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Herbert A. Donald, William Henry Donald, Shao Chang Lee and Fred J. Quinlan (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/1)
    1957-1965; Correspondence with, among others, Australia-China Society. N.S.W. Branch, E. M. (Esmonde Macdonald) Higgins, Kenneth Rivett, Geoffrey Serle and C. F. (Ching Fatt) Yong, (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/2)
    1966-Mar. 1974; Correspondence with, among others, Gregory Choy, C. P. (Charles Patrick) FitzGerald and A. J. (Albert Jamie) Grassby (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/2)
    Apr. 1974-1983; Correspondence with, among others, Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales, A. J. (Albert Jamie) Grassby and Ian Macphee (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/2)
    1934-1982; Drafts of letters sent and copies of letters received (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/2)
    1911-1959; Letters of introduction and testimonials received (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1933; Correspondence with Mar Sun Gee and concerning his departure for China (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1956-1964; Miscellaneous correspondence with, among others, E. H. (Ernest Henry) Burgmann, Ross Ainsworth Hohnen, Leslie Royston Johnson, Sir William Vines and W. C. (William Charles) Wentworth (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1963-1967; Correspondence with Arthur Calwell (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1978-1981; Correspondence mainly with the National Library of Australia concerning, and including drafts of, oral history interview conducted by Hazel De Berg (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1928-1983; Notes on various topics (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1963, 1979-1981; Notebooks (3): 1. Concerns People's Republic of China, current affairs, creative writing exercises and draft letters, 1963. 2. Concerns mainly People's Republic of China, current affairs, creative writing exercises and draft letters, 21 Aug. 1979-25 Apr. 1980. 3. Concerns People's Republic of China, current affairs, creative writing exercises and draft letters, with newscuttings, 1981 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/3)
    1948-1973; Educational papers, being adult education and creative writing course work, 1956-1972, including correspondence with, among others, David Dawson, H. F. (Hubert) Opperman, W. C. (William Charles) Wentworth and C. F. (Ching Fatt) Yong; lecture notebooks (3) concerning courses mainly by Dr Lloyd Ross, 26 July 1948-1 Feb. 1949, 14 Apr.-21 July 1950, 17 Apr.-10 July 1950; and papers concerning tutoring in Chinese Language for Workers' Education Association, 1960-1966, 1973 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/4)
    1932-1979; Papers concerning the George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/5)
    1932-ca.1979; Literary papers, being drafts, proofs and publications including Chinese-Australian Trading Relationships, (1932); Sino-Australian Relations: Communications between Mr V. G. Bowden, Australian Trade Commissioner, Shanghai and William Liu, Sydney (1936); 'Pacific Problems' (1937); 'Sino-Japanese Conflict' (1937); Chinese are Sports in the matter of Sino-Australian Relations: An Appeal to the People of Australia (1938); The Sino-Australian Question (1939), with correspondence with Chun-jien Pao, 1938-1941; 'A New Era in Australian-Chinese Relations' (1941) and A Chinese Drama: An Historical Background, 1948? (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/5)
    1930-1973; Literary papers concerning talks and speeches (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/5)
    1917-1955; Financial and legal papers (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/5)
    ca. 1926-ca.1954; Business papers, being Chinese business correspondence and documents (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1927-1933; Business papers concerning Wing Sang & Co. Ltd, being mainly relating to wool trade with and peanut imports from China (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1929-1935; Business papers concerning Sun Co. (Shanghai) Ltd Department Store, being mainly correspondence with John Graham, Architect and Engineer (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1932-1935; Business papers concerning Sun Co. (Shanghai) Ltd, being mainly the design and construction of its Department Store, including correspondence with, among others, Julean Arnold, Commercial Attache - Shanghai, U. S. Dept. of Commerce; Chong Choy, John Graham and W. L. Painter & Co. (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1933; Business papers concerning Conference on Eastern Trade (Sydney, N.S.W.), 8-9 Feb. 1933 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1933-1935; Business papers concerning Australian Eastern Mission, 1934, including correspondence with, among others, Sir John Latham, author of the Mission's Report (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1935; Business papers concerning China-Australia Woollen Mills Proposal, being a project to manufacture woollen and worsted fabrics in China employing Chinese and Australian capital. Includes correspondence with Roger F. Pirard (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/6)
    1943-1967; Papers concerning cases of assistance to wartime Chinese seamen and refugees from the Pacific and New Guinea seeking extensions of residency in Australia, 1943-1948, and cases of immigration and residency assistance to Chinese seeking entry into or living and working in Australia, 1949-1967. Include correspondence with Chinese applicants, and Federal Government ministers and officials (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/7)
    1949-1967; Papers concerning cases of immigration and residency assistance to Chinese seeking entry into or living and working in Australia, and papers concerning the improved citizenship status of Chinese in Australia. Include correspondence with Chinese applicants/residents, and Federal Government ministers and officials (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/8)
    1971-1975, 1982; Papers mainly concerning cases of immigration and residency assistance to Chinese seeking entry into or living and working in Australia (Call No.: RESTRICTED - ML MSS 6294/9X)
    1957-1968; Papers concerning the Australian Citizenship Convention, including correspondence with, among others, Arthur Calwell, Sir John Bunting, Sir Peter Richard Heydon, Sir Tasman Heyes, Sir Billy Snedden and Sir Keith Wilson (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/10)
    1973; Papers concerning the National Population Inquiry, 1973 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/10)
    1907-1982; Miscellaneous papers, including draft constitution of an unidentified Chinese association in Australia, date unknown; papers concerning the Tanaka Memorial, being the Japanese interwar expansionist policy; copy of Memorandum submitted by the Chinese Consul-General in Australia to the Commonwealth Government of Australia, The Honourable The Minister of State for Home Affairs, 1929?; certificates received for war loans services, 1 Nov. 1944 and 7 June 1945; and annotated and corrected typescript of 'The Rise and Development of the Political Clubs and Parties and their Relationship to the Changing Nature in China, 1901-1921' by C. F. Yong, 1963 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/10)
    1910-1983; Newscuttings, arranged chronologically in four folders (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/11)
    1907-1979; Printed material, being mainly pamphlets, periodicals and souvenir programmes, including The Chinese case against the Chinese Employment Bill by J. L. Clarke, (1907); A Chinese appeal against the discriminating legislation as embodied in the New South Wales Factories and Shops (Amendment) Bill (1926); Memorandum and Articles of Association of Wing Sang and Company Limited (1926) and of Austral-China Navigation Company Limited (1925); Official documents relating to Japan's undeclared war in Shanghai (1932) by Lowe Chuan-Hua; Australia and Japan: Canberra's calamitous attack on Australian prosperity, 1936?; Constitution of the Chinese Australasian Association (Hong Kong); and issue of The Australia-China Times, 10 Nov. 1955 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/12)
    ca. 1930-1980; Printed material, being mainly brochures, restaurant menus and periodicals, including Asia, Apr. 1939, featuring W. H. Donald's article, 'From Chiang's Headquarters'; travel publications concerning China; issues of The East Wind: A Paper for Asians and their Australian Friends, (1960 and 1963, incomp.), and of Immigration Quarterly: Official Publication of the Western Australian Association for Immigration Reform, Sep., Dec. 1950, Mar. 1963; and The Yellow Peril by Bill Hornadge (1971) (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/13)
    ca. 1930-1983; Printed material, being mainly bulletins, leaflets, pamphlets and periodicals, including The A.C.A. News: Official Organ of the Australian Chinese Association of New South Wales, No. 18 Sep.-Nov. 1944 and No. 25 July-Sep. 1946; and publications of the Australia-China Society. N.S.W. Branch and the Australian Chinese Community Association of New South Wales (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/14)
    ca. 1930-ca. 1960; Printed material, being Chinese language publications (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/15)
    193--1982; Photographs (6), including colour photoprint of William J. Liu when appointed OBE (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/16X)


    1990-1994; Papers mainly concerning the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales and the William J. Liu travelling exhibition with accompanying book, a copy of which is enclosed (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/17)
    1992-1993; Papers concerning William J. Liu exhibition, Bendigo (Vic.), 31 Jan.-30 June 1993 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/17)
    1993-1994; Papers concerning 'A Chinese Australian Experience - William J. Liu OBE, Pathfinder' Exhibition at the State Library of New South Wales, 6 Sep. 1993-27 Feb. 1994, and related public programs, including correspondence with the State Library of New South Wales and the State Library of New South Wales. Library Society (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/17)
    1994; Papers concerning William J. Liu exhibition, Canberra, Aug.-Sep. 1994 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/17)
    1932-1993; Papers, including letters received, notebook of Chinese language exercises, 1935, and research material for William J. Liu travelling exhibition (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/18)
    1983-1986; Papers concerning the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/18)
    1984-1988; Papers concerning Terra Australis to Australia Conference, Sydney and Canberra, 14-26 Aug. 1988 (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/18)
    1921; Photograph: Metropolitan Hotel, China House and Bank of Queensland; 249-255 George Street (Sydney, N.S.W.), being b&w photoprint reproduced from glass photonegative in the Hall Collection, State Library of New South Wales, ON2/168, and also available on the Library's Home and Away videodisc (frame no. 34868). 48.5 x 39 cm. This photoprint was used in the exhibition, 'A Chinese-Australian Experience - William J. Liu OBE, Pathfinder', State Library of New South Wales, 6 Sep. 1993-27 Feb. 1994. (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/19X)
    1983; Chinese character long-hanging scrolls (4), being paint on linen, displayed at the solemn memorial service for William J. Liu. English translation:
    Scroll A: 'His concern with the Chinese people's welfare won the people's admiration'
    Scroll B: 'He pursued the friendship between China and Australia endlessly' - Scroll presented by the Consul-General of the People's Republic of China, Sydney
    Scroll C: 'He devoted his whole life in advancing the Chinese ethnic affairs'
    Scroll D: 'The friendship between China and Australia is as permanent as the sun and the moon' - Scroll presented by Lin Ping, Ambassador of People's Republic of China and staff of the Embassy (Call No.: ML MSS 6294/20X)
  • Language
  • Access Conditions
    Partly restricted: Applies to MLMSS 6294/ Box 9X
  • Copying Conditions
    Reproduction Restricted
  • General note

    Liu termed the period from 1972 to 1982 as 'The Golden Decade', beginning with the Whitlam Government's reformist programs and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. In 1973 Liu was a member of a Chinese committee collecting information for and making recommendations to the National Population Inquiry concerning the long-term interests of Chinese in Australia. A direct result of these activities was the establishment of the Australian Chinese Community Association of New South Wales. The Minister for Immigration, A. J. Grassby, later abandoned the Citizenship Conventions and introduced more equitable procedures for acquiring Australian citizenship. In 1982 Liu was appointed OBE. He celebrated his 90th birthday at a testimonial dinner hosted by the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales. William J. Liu's life was crowded with achievement, and his name is perpetuated in a prize for Chinese Studies at the University of New South Wales.

    Dalton Gokbo (Bo) Liu, retired businessman and the son of William J. Liu, was born in Sydney in 1917. During the war he served on destroyers in the Royal Australian Navy. He was Chairman of the Banana Section of the New South Wales Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries and was instrumental in the development of Sydney's Flemington Markets, the wholesale fruit and vegetable centre of New South Wales. In 1991 he was appointed OAM for service to the banana industry. From 1983 to 1989 Bo Liu was a Deputy Governor of the Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales. As Chairman of the Chamber's Cultural Committee, he presided over its Memorial Scrolls Project, intiated in honour of his late father. Twenty-six traditional scroll paintings in the Gongbi style depicting William J. Liu's life and work were the focus of a travelling exhibition around Australia and to China between 1991 and 1995. The exhibition was held at the State Library of New South Wales from September 1993 to February 1994.
    Digital order no:a928173
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