The time when republicanism was an issue in the Australia was not at Federation, but some decades before. This began around the time of the gold rushes, when a movement developed for a white Australia policy. But the British imperial authorities were opposed to any discriminatory immigration policy.  So the more radical thought this could only be achieved by secession as a white republic. This movement was led by an influential journal, The Bulletin. This was founded by J.F. Archibald, who financed the magnificent fountain bearing his name in Hyde Park Sydney.  For a small population, the circulation of the journal was very high, and at times reached around 80,000.  The motto on the journal’s masthead was “Australia for the White Man”, a motto which still existed until it was taken over by Sir Frank Packer in 1961.  Interest in a separate white racist republic waned with the movement to federation. Among the powers of the new Parliament was one over immigration. To try to circumvent British displeasure with the White Australia Policy, a South African style discretionary dictation test was introduced.   Republicans today are embarrassed when it is pointed out that their most significant predecessors were those in the nineteenth century who were principally interested in a racist republic, and those in the twentieth century who wanted to impose a Soviet style peoples’ republic onto the nation. A very racist republicWhile there is a strong nationalistic republican tradition in early Australian history, it would seem curious that there is little reference to this by contemporary official republicans who nevertheless loudly appeal to patriotic  sentiments. The reason is simple: many of the early patriotic republicans embraced embarrassing doctrines. Late nineteenth century republicanism was dominated by the leading Australian journal at the time, The Bulletin. In 1888, 40,000 people attended an anti-Chinese demonstration in the Sydney domain. The Bulletin  said that “ Australia had to choose between independence and infection, between the Australian republic and the Chinese leper" .  The Bulletin wanted an Australian form of ethnic cleansing: the expulsion of all Asians. Little is said within the present republican movement of these antecedents. Certainly not  from Robert Hughes, the Australian born critic of Time magazine, who at a rally in 1996 tried to draw some tenuous link between our constitution and racism.He clearly overlooked nineteenth century Australian republicanism.  The Bulletin attacked Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary, when Royal Assent was refused to the Queensland Sugar Works Guarantee Amending Bill, which banned coloured labour. On 22 June 1901, the year of federation, The Bulletin observed: “If Judas Chamberlain can find a black, or brown or yellow race…. That has as high a standard of civilisation and intelligence as the whites, that was progressive … as brave, as sturdy, as good nation-building material, and that can intermarry with the whites without the mixed progeny showing signs of deterioration, that race is welcome.” The Bulletin's racism was to linger well beyond its republicanism. It is only within living memory that it suppressed the motto on its front page masthead: "Australia for the White Man". It is true that there were attempts by the Labor movement in the 1880s to link the maintenance of monarchical institutions with the persistence of social inequality in Australia. But by the end of the next decade, when Labor politicians began taking their seats in the colonial parliaments – not to mention their oaths of allegiance – it became apparent that reform could best be encouraged through the existing institutions. It was generally agreed that the monarch was no obstacle to reform. The Brisbane based Boomerang, for instance, explained in 1890 that: “Unless republicanism is thoroughly progressive and democratic practically, as well as nominally, we might as well remain exactly as we arc, Because we are discontented with King Log we do not want to place ourselves in the hands of President Stork … The republic we want is a land of free men whereon the government rests on the people, and is by them with them and for them. No other form of republicanism will suit us not even though it does a few who follow the will-o-the-wisp of a mere name.” Mark McKenna concludes that the Labor movement realised that Australia's monarchical institutions were as amenable to social democratic government guaranteeing equality as they were to the laissez-faire capitalist policies of the conservatives. It became equally apparent to that most nationalistically republican of journals, The Bulletin, that abolition of the monarchy was no longer a practical necessity. It conceded that the monarchy was practically unobjectionable so long as it was understood that the British monarch  held his or her position by the will of the nation and for the convenience of the nation. …Federal conventions: only one republican delegate…In fact only one delegate at the nineteenth century constitutional conventions argued for the end of the monarchy.  He was George Richard Dibbs, the Premier of New South Wales. When he visited London,  he accepted a knighthood. The Bulletin referred to him as Sir George Republican Dibbs.Banjo Paterson wrote this ballad on  GR Dibbs:This is the story of G.R.D.,Who went on a mission across the seaTo borrow some money for you and me.This G. R. Dibbs was a stalwart manWho was built on a most extensive plan,And a regular staunch Republican.But he fell in the hands of the Tory crewWho said, "It's a shame that a man like youShould teach Australia this nasty view."From her mother's side she should ne'er be gone,And she ought to be glad to be smiled upon,And proud to be known as our hanger-on."And G. R. Dibbs, he went off his pegAt the swells who came for his smiles to begAnd the Prince of Wales — who was pulling his legAnd he told them all when the wine had flown,"The Australian has got no land of his own,His home is England, and there alone."So he strutted along with the titled bandAnd he sold the pride of his native landFor a bow and a smile and a shake of the hand.And the Tory drummers they sit and call:"Send over your leaders great and small;For the price is low, and we'll buy them allWith a tinsel title, a tawdry starOf a lower grade than our titles are,And a puff at a prince's big cigar."And the Tories laugh till they crack their ribsWhen they think how they purchased G. R. Dibbs.[The Bulletin, 27 August 1892 ] …Nn pantheon of republican antecedents….The realisation that there is little or no reason to complain about a monarchy  that is there only as long as the nation wants it, and holds its  powers in trust for the nation, has been expressly acknowledged  by Queen Elizabeth herself at her golden wedding celebrations at the Guildhall in 1997: " … an hereditary constitutional monarchy  exists only with the support and consent of the people. " Australia’s 'nineteenth-century  republicanism, while it lasted, was overtly racist,  based on a narrow, isolationist and exclusive  image of Australia as a white man's land. It was motivated by a fear of Asian immigration. And these republicans were also  dismissive of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Mark McKenna concludes: "There is no heroic pantheon of  republican antecedents in Australia."  Indeed.