Over at XYZ a well written and well researched article has appeared, The Democratic Labour Party: A Poisoned Legacy. In this article the author Australian Nativist makes the argument that if the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) had not split from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) then when Arthur Calwell became leader of the ALP the White Australia policy could have been saved. Which would or at least could mean that the world of mass immigration and multiculturalism that we live in today might not exist.
However I am not convinced when it comes to Arthur Calwell, or to the idea that the ALP could ever have saved us.
It is certainly true that Arthur Calwell, who lead the ALP in the 1966 election, was the last major politician to support a White Australia. He was very open and forthright on this point. But like his opponent in that election, Sir Robert Menzies, he often spoke in support of both mass immigration and for restrictive immigration. Well, how can you speak in support of both?
Yes these both did.
I will quote from Sir Robert Menzies book Afternoon Light: Some Memories Of Men And Events published in 1967.
The first quote is from a letter to the Prime Minister of South Africa, written on the 2 July 1960, page 201:
In Australia, as you know, we have a very strict immigration policy, primarily because we don’t wish to see created in our own country the tremendous racial problems which you have to encounter.
Throughout its history, the Commonwealth of Australia has had – and both sides of the Parliament have supported it – a restrictive immigration policy designed in substance to build up a homogenous population, and to avoid the creation of internal racial problems of a kind which are to be found in the United States and in South Africa, and are, indeed, beginning to emerge in Great Britain.
In the United States of America, the word ‘liberal’ is used in contradistinction to ‘conservative’, but it seems in recent years, to have acquired a special connotation. When I resided in America for some months in 1966-7, I thought that it threated to become a word which had special reference to racial relations; to ‘civil rights’; to the vexed questions of ‘integration’ and ‘segregation’
Thanks to a wise immigration policy, we are free of this problem in Australia, and I hope that we shall never permit ourselves to acquire it.
Yet on page 59 of his book, Sir Robert writes this:
It had for many years been the settled attitude of the Trade Union Movement that there should be no assisted migration into Australia so long as there was any unemployment in Australia…….
It was in the face of these difficulties that Arthur Calwell convinced not only his colleagues but also the Trade Unions that a large immigration programme should be taken in hand. This was a bold and courageous action. It could have been taken successfully only by a Minister who was known as a life-time Labour man of the strictest orthodoxy, and was both well-known and extremely popular at the centre of unionism, the Trades Halls.
The very large immigration which was then begun, and continues to this day, has been a great factor in Australia’s national development and the enrichment of her social life. My own party enthusiastically favours it. But I doubt whether it could have got off to such a good start so soon after the war had it been compelled to encounter trade union resistance.
What must never be forgotten is that Arthur Calwell was Australia’s first Immigration Minister, he pushed it behind the scenes. He got the Trade Unions to support such a policy and he got the Labor Party to support such an idea. He also got the Liberal party to support the idea.
Sure it was supposed to be White immigrants, but that is never where these ideas stay. Each idea is built to support the next idea. So that in time the small breach that has been made in the dam becomes a tidal wave that never ends. The idea that the man who created mass immigration into Australia was our savour is not an idea that can stand on its own.
I did an entire podcast on Arthur Calwell and another on Sir Robert Menzies.
Melbourne Traditionalists Episode Twelve (27 minutes):
Sir Robert Menzies – The Melbourne Traditionalists Episode Thirteen (27 minutes):