Race, Place, and Power

Dennis McCormack

Crucial to the Federation of Australia in 1901 and to the foundation of the Australian Labor Party in the 1890s was the notion that Australia was racially and culturally European in its roots, British in its institution base, and that it should stay that way - forever. The first major Act passed by the new Federal Parliament in 1901 was the Immigration Restriction Act which was unashamedly, but not offensively, designed to maintain Australia as ethnically, culturally and commercially European. In 1995, with a Labor Party Government in office since 1983, the pendulum has not only swung, but is airborne and out of control in the opposite direction. This is due to decades of political bipartisanship not only on immigration and multiculturalism, but on a whole clockwork mechanism of related federal, state and local government policy cogs which simply had to produce today's chimes heralding the accelerating pace of Asianisation against the demonstrated majority opinion. In May 1993, Ex-Prime Minister Bob Hawke (Labor) at a Government Immigration Conference publicly admitted what all serious observers knew. According to reports in the Melbourne Herald-Sun and Sydney Morning Herald of May 25 and 26, 1993, respectively, "he could not deny the contention that the major parties had reached an implicit pact to keep immigration off the political agenda. He said that for most of the post war period the parties had maintained bipartisan support for immigration in the face of public opposition. He also stated that there are no other issues on which the major political parties have been prepared to act in this way ... to advance the national interest ahead of where they believed the electorate to be."

Until relatively recently, power elites in Australian business, journalism, and politics would steadfastly deny, or refuse to seriously discuss the grand plan for the long-term Asianisation of Australia. Now, however, one cannot escape these same peoples' self-congratulatory writings which boast so openly of their treason (n. - to give or deliver over to or up; betrayal of trust or faith; treachery. Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition 1988). Prime Minister Paul Keating in a speech to the Australian Chinese Forum in Sydney on October 12, 1995 said "Asia is emphatically where this country's security and prosperity lie. It is where an increasing number of our people come from and - unambiguously and wholeheartedly - it is where we want to be... Our efforts on free trade, multiculturalism, and education and training are all part of the same strategy."

I favour the term "grand plan" to describe the phenomenon outlined below in preference to "conspiracy" because the latter is too rigid and confining. In the popular mind, it implies that secret detailed agendas, designs, and time frames are set for predetermined outcomes by particular people or groupings at certain times and places. This is clearly not the whole story - but nor is the "it just happened" historical accidentalist theory a satisfactory explanation. The following quotes indicate a path towards radical change which was trod by many elites who considered themselves and their world view "progressive." They entered into long-term cooperative networking and planning on a whole constellation of internationalist economic and social issues which they hoped would bring about the radical changes they desired. They accurately identified the destruction of Australia's traditional immigration restriction policy as their top collective priority which would prove pivotal in the quest for much other social change which was to follow. Although this particular study is by no means exhaustive, I believe it adequately makes the case for the existence of a sort of grand plan for the Asianisation of Australia in the medium/long-term. The who, when, where, what, and how are recognisable through research, but the definitive "why" is as slippery as ever. Perhaps the answer was best given by James Burnham back in 1941 when in "The Managerial Revolution," he accurately predicted the outcome of World War II along with the three global trading blocks which would evolve thereafter to manage global trade and politics - EU, NAFTA, APEC!

Mountains of documentary evidence exist which show the tracks of those involved and how they have achieved such a dramatic series of policy reversals over the last forty-odd years. The quotes below, however, show conclusive evidence of the grand plan from the establishment's own primary source books which are widely recognised, available and mainstream - and which bring you right up to the present. Square brackets [...] denote my explanatory or bridging remarks.

Macmahon Ball's Goodwill Mission to Asia, 1948, Garry Woodard, Australian Journal of International Affairs, The Journal of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Vol. 49, Number l, May 1995:

[External Affairs Department Secretary 1947-9] "Burton's vision of a Northern Australia economically integrated into neighbouring Southeast Asia is just beginning to approach fruition." P133.

"In 1949, an election year, the Secretary of the Department of Immigration, Heyes, at Burton's invitation, met with Asian Heads of Mission in Canberra in the Department of External Affairs and spoke to them of prospective flexibility in Australia's immigration policy, (that is, he repeated the theme which had proved so controversial for Ball in 1948 [in Malaya and Singapore and elsewhere around Asia!]). 1949 was an election year and Calwell [Labor Gov. Immig. Minister and renowned upholder of the traditional Immigration Restriction policy] was strongly defending his conduct of his portfolio, keen to make it an election issue. There would have been maximum embarrassment for him if Heyes' remarks had been leaked to the press [because traditional government opposition and public support for immigration restriction against Asian immigration was so strong], but confidences were kept." P134.

Immigration: Control or Colour Bar?; The Background to "White Australia" and a Proposal for Change, by The Immigration Reform Group edited by Kenneth Rivett [founder in 1959 of I.R.G.]. Published by Melbourne University Press 1960 and this expanded edition 1962.

"All we ask for at this stage is a small annual intake (1,500)..." [of "non- Europeans" for an experimental period of 3 to 5 years]; P126.

Australia in World Affairs, 1961-1965; Edited by Gordon Greenwood and Norman Harper, published for the Australian Institute of International Affairs by F. W. Cheshire, Melbourne 1968.

"The Association for Immigration Reform ... the first of these associations had its origin in Melbourne University ... Similar bodies came into being in other Australian states, while their membership was not large, they were extremely active in their efforts to influence community attitudes generally, the more significant organisations such as trade unions and churches and, above all, the political parties ... The Australian Labor Party, which in one aspect represents an intermingling of domestic nationalism and international idealism, for the first time in many years began, through its conferences, to debate seriously if cautiously the form of immigration policy to which it should give its support. The established platform had, in fact, used the term `White Australia' policy, a term which had never been employed in any immigration legislation. In 1959 the platform was strongly restrictive, though the emphasis was placed upon the assistive side, upon the encouragement of `suitable immigrants which shall be strictly regulated so as not to impose any undue strain on the Australian economy or to imperil full employment or Australian industrial conditions through over-competition for available work' ...

"It was not, however, until the Sydney conference of 1965 that any significant change was made. The offensive term `White Australia' was dropped from the party's platform, and formally at least the way was open for a restricted number of Asian migrants to enter Australia should a Labor Government be returned. The new definition of policy should be placed on record:


Convinced that increased population is vital to the future development of Australia, the Australian Labor Party will support and uphold a vigorous and expanding immigration program administered with sympathy, understanding and tolerance.

The basis of such policy will be:

(a) Australia's national and economic security.
(b) The welfare and integration of all its citizens.
(c) The preservation of our democratic system and balanced development of our nation.
(d) The avoidance of the difficult social and economic problems which may follow from an influx of peoples having different standards of living, traditions and cultures.

"Despite the gains from the new wording, too much should not be made of the change; Mr. D. A. Dunstan, the then South Australian Attorney-General, who moved the new policy statement, was insistent that the Australia Labor Party did `not propose to open the floodgates to Asian immigration'. [Note the similarity of Senator Edward Kennedy's comments in the very same year of 1965 on U.S. immigration law changes, "...the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset ... S500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area or the most populated ... of Africa and Asia ... the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change...". He went on to describe the critics as "bigots", "irrational", etc. Sound familiar?]

"The Government, for its part, did not introduce any alteration in its basic policy during these years, apart from the changes in administrative practice already mentioned. But it was anxious to make plain to the world that it had no sympathy with any form of racial discrimination, and that Australian immigration policy was not an expression of racial superiority, but simply the application of the well-established right of all national communities to determine the composition of their own societies in the light of the existing values of those societies." [which is more or less what was expressed by the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901]. P84, 85.

"... as the reception given to Asian students has shown, there is little active racial hostility, perhaps because of the remarkably homogeneous character of the Australian population and the absence of the problem of significant racial and cultural minorities." [i.e. no threat, no problem]

"... because of the aggressive attitudes towards race problems by some of the leaders of the newly independent states, and partly because of the tensions observable in Britain, and indeed elsewhere, leading in the British case to regulations restricting the flow of immigrants which in practice severely reduced migration from the West Indies, India and Pakistan. The outlook by the end of 1965 would appear to have been one of majority approval for permitting the entry of a limited number of non-European migrants who for educational and other reasons could fit into the pattern of Australian life. There was, if anything, a hardening of attitude against a large-scale influx of non-Europeans of low educational and economic standing, which might introduce the social tensions existing elsewhere." P86. "Australia was not seeking to become an Asian nation, nor did the Government conceive Australia to be a part of Asia; what the Government was attempting to do was to work out a partnership with a number of Asian countries in which Australia could fulfil a useful contributory role... . " P120.

The above authors clearly hadn't picked up the profoundness of the ideological changes within both the major parties in Australia which incidentally coincided with identical phenomena in other two-party tweedledum-tweedledee democracies around the Western world at the same time, on the same issues ... but that's another story. The authors dismissively mention "changes in administrative practice" instituted by the government. In announcing these changes in March, 1966, Prime Minister Harold Holt (who took over only two months previously from Sir Robert Menzies, founder of the Liberal Party, Australia's longest-serving P.M. who stood firmly for Australia's traditional immigration policy) said in parliament that:

"Australia's increasing involvement in Asian developments, the rapid growth of our trade with Asian countries ... the expansion of our military effort, and the scale of diplomatic contact, the growth of tourism to and from the countries of Asia combine to make such a review desirable in our eyes." Hansard 9.3.66

After Prime Minister Holt drowned in 1967, John Gorton took office as P.M. He said approvingly in an interview with The Australian 26-1-71, "I think that if we build up gradually inside Australia a proportion of people without white skins, then there will be a complete lack of consciousness that it is being built up and that we will arrive at a state where we have a multicultural country."

Australia and the Non-white Migrant, edited by Kenneth Rivett for the Immigration Reform Group, Melbourne University Press, 1975:

"Australia's intake of non-Europeans ... should rise ... to say, 20,000 a year." P vi Preface. [Remember! the same man from the same organisation only 13 years earlier in 1962 was asking for a mere 1500 "non-Europeans" - the wedge and the plot thicken quickly!]

"Under the Immigration Restriction Act, Asians who were here already were allowed to bring their wives and children. Then, alarmed by the numbers entering, the government withdrew even that small `concession' and faced Asian men with the choice of either leaving Australia or else separating permanently from their families. It would have been better not only for the victims of Australian policy but also, in the long run, for white Australians if, at that stage, we had been called to account before a world assembly. Instead, we were able to shelter behind our membership of the British Empire and a balance of power which, for a little while longer, was to stay tilted absurdly in favour of the European. And on the first occasion when the racial aspect of our immigration policy did come to the notice of an international conference, we used our small bargaining power foolishly and with a degree of selfishness which, even by the standards of the time, can never be excused." P20.

"In immigration matters, an element of gradualism is not only inevitable but desirable." P40.
"We are ranked after South Africa and Rhodesia as Racist Enemy Number Three." P98.

The Abolition of the White Australia Policy: The Immigration Reform Movement Revisited, Edited by Nancy Viviani. Australia-Asia Papers No. 65, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, June 1992 [product of a symposium held with the intention of getting the inside story from the founders of the Immigration Reform Group who are still alive and very influential in their various reincarnations]:

"This paper seeks to place the work of the Immigration Reform Movement in a wider context ... and their relevance for contemporary debates on Asian migration." Piv.

"... remember Sir Keith Hancock's view that White Australia was the indispensable condition of every other Australian policy." P1.

"Another social change of relevance was the impact of the post-war immigration program. [It hasn't stopped.] In part, the program was instituted to protect White Australia [populate or perish was the slogan], but as H. C. Coombs notes, it in fact `paved the way for the abandonment of the racist White Australia Policy ... north-western European sources quickly exhausted ... Australia was forced to accept southern and eastern European immigrants [then middle Easterners, etc., etc.]... . It is hard to believe that the White Australia Policy would have been challenged successfully but for this major development during the early post-war period. P2.

"... expressed their concerns about the policy in a post-war world which would supposedly be based on the tenets of racial equality as expounded in the Atlantic Charter." P5.

"The `modification by stealth' aspect of the LCP [Liberal-Country Party coalition] government's strategy between 1958 (or thereabouts) and 1966 deserves closer scrutiny ... it entailed bowing before the winds of change to some extent (but not too much), and achieving a kind of `inoculation effect' of letting several thousands of Asians into Australia, but without getting into a head-on fight ...". P31.

"That in turn helped to pave the way for the changes in political attitudes and bureaucratic thinking which made it possible for Hubert Opperman, the then Minister for Immigration, with Prime Minister Holt's support, to introduce major reforms in March 1966, soon after the retirement of Sir Robert Menzies. (I have been told that Opperman had proposed the changes to Menzies some time before, not long after an Immigration Reform Group-Victorian Association for Immigration Reform delegation had lobbied him on the matter, but had been rebuffed with words more or less to the effect that "I know such changes have to come sooner or later, but not in my time...")." P22.

[Regarding the formation of the Immigration Reform Group in the late 1950s] "I suppose I had in mind something like the (early) Fabian Society role in Britain as an opinion-forming think tank." P26.

"The abolitionists proposed a minimalist start to Asian migration and a gradualist program. They knew that a century of entrenched anti-Asian sentiment (revived in the 1950s by the Chinese communist threat) would not change quickly, that a small beginning would be acceptable and that experience should be a guide to future liberalization. By this stance, they cut the ground from beneath the image of `floods of Asians' so effectively used by their opponents."

"... it's also worth noting three other things about these people: first, they were idealists but a more pragmatic, realist bunch you'd travel far to find. This, I think, was one secret of their success. They did not present their case as a great struggle between Good and Evil, but as part of Australia changing to meet the post-war challenges of being located in Asia, as part of a necessary change in social values also being undertaken elsewhere (in Canada and the United States, but not in South Africa, for example), as a need to retrieve and recreate Australia's damaged image in the world from being that of an irremediably racist country. Second, they were internationalists... . " P34.

"It is the acting on these ideas that sets this group apart, and makes them a prime example of intellectuals helping to change policy and, in this case, history." P35.

"The most profound effect of the abolition for `recreating Australia' internally was, I suppose, the bifurcation of identity: the intertwining of whiteness and Australian-ness in our nationalism was rent asunder, as they say, - in about a decade as Asian migration reached close to half of our total migrant intake by the end of the 1980s. In this age of nationalism and ethnicity, this, along with the assertion of migrant rights, has turned us to this occasionally passionate, but more often desultory, search for a `new identity.' It is ironic, but unsurprising, that just in this period of the assumed triumph of internationalist and cosmopolitan ideas, the ideas of closer communities of nations and ethnic groups should be simultaneously contesting the high moral ground. I suspect it was rather like that for our abolitionists a couple of decades ago."

"But the abolition of White Australia also has some powerful direct and indirect effects, through Asian migration, in recreating Australia. It has changed our perception of urban landscape, it will partly redefine what we mean by rich and poor, how we look at ethnic rights and equality of opportunity, what we mean by multiculturalism and how our economy operates. It has important implications for the hold on power structures of the old white male elites. We are only now beginning to see our way through this actual recreation of Australia." P38.

"But the abolition had a more profound impact externally. The White Australia Policy had been the core of all our foreign relations - the alliances, the trade patterns, our defence and the defining of `we' as Western European in the international system. From Billy Hughes at Versailles to Vietnam and the UN, it underpinned it all. Without the White Australia Policy, new thinking about all our motives for dealing with region and the world was needed. Much of the struggle in our foreign policy since 1973 has been about that. Thus we are in the process of being recreated by others." P38.

"How much was the abolition to do with the `spirit of the age'? It happened in the middle 1960s, after all, though its origins were much earlier. What did it have to do with that 1960s political ferment of ideas regarding race, ethnicity, Aborigines, peace movements, Vietnam and feminism? Or is it really the product of earlier intellectual streams - left liberalism, conscience radicalism?"

"How much of the abolition had to do with shifts in norms in the international arena? Canada and the United States removed their restrictions about the same time, so we need to ask about the influence of international instruments (Declarations of Human Rights, instruments against racism, decolonisation, etc.) and their use in diplomatic pressure on restrictive states." P41.

I could expand greatly on the proceeding, however, my conclusions are:

1. The intended changes to Australia and its people were brought about through skilful networking, manipulation, and infiltration of elite power structures over decades, with great patience and subtlety, going well over the head of John Citizen, his wife, their kids, and majority opinion. John and his family rarely blame the migrants - they know the politicians, businessmen, and journalists are the real problem.

2. Their intellectual opponents of the day did not take them seriously enough - the complacent majority phenomenon prevailed. The few public intellectuals who today are occasionally writing and speaking out have so far displayed neither the cohesion, courage, nor charisma to politicise the issue in the manner required, although the means are at their disposal. Graeme Campbell, Federal Member for Kalgoorlie, is the only Parliamentarian representing the majority point of view. He cannot do what is required on his own.

3. Given the massive changes underway as a result of such thorough indoctrination of propaganda throughout the education system for decades now, it is doubtful that any meaningful brake remains to be applied to achieve a sustained and significant slow-down, let alone reversal of current trends (unless the tooth fairy delivers on No. 2 above).

4. Of Australia's 18 million population today, over one million are of Asian background. With the Asian component of the immigration program running at over 50 percent and the higher fertility/birthrates of Asian migrants, it is hard to see the traditional public opinion against Asianisation and all it entails remaining at majority level in opposition to the status quo; it must erode over time. The demographics dictate that Australia's population will be 27% Asian in 25 years, and it won't stop at that. Phil Ruthven, a big business futurologist happily forecasts that Australia will be two-thirds Asian by late next century.

5. Tri-partisanship whereby the media support political bi-partisanship against majority opinion is a very tough nut to crack.

6. On the current trend of policy, the future management of the continent is going to change hands with the inevitable demographic swamping now underway and predicted to continue. It will no longer be Australia, it will be something else. Australasia is an old term that is acquiring a whole new meaning. This is the reason the pro- Asianisation lobby is now well and truly out of the closet as evidenced by the opening two paragraphs of Living with Dragons: Australia Confronts its Asian Destiny. This volume of 12 essays from specialist insiders is edited by Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor and leading pro-Asianisation spindoctor for the only national newspaper in Australia (Rupert Murdoch's The Australian) published in April 1995 by Allen and Unwin in association with Mobil Oil Australia. By Mr. Sheridan's own admission (Weekend Australian, August 19, 1995) in an article explaining his 1979 conversion experience to all things Asian (through reading a book about political turmoil in mid-1960's Indonesia) he "had no particular South East Asian connections and as a D Grade journalist, no professional mandate or opportunity to go there. I did instead two things. I read Koch's other books and I realised that while I couldn't for the moment go to South East Asia, South East Asia had come to Australia. In 1979, Malcolm Fraser [Prime Minister, Leader of Liberal Party) had made the momentous decision to accept large numbers of Vietnamese boat people. This decision changed Australia forever." Given his uptake on this, hence Sheridan's record rapid rise from D Grade journalist to A Grade spindoctor which he has been for some years now at The Australian. Sheridan dedicates the book to his wife, Jasbir, and their three sons, Ajaypal, Lakhvinder, and Jagdave.

"A revolution is sweeping across Australia. The nation is changing fundamentally and irreversibly. The old order is gone, a new order is taking shape with astonishing speed and force. An old mental universe has died, a new universe has come into being. A comprehensive set of attitudes and aspirations and material circumstances has been left behind. A new pattern is emerging. Unlike most revolutions, this one is bloodless, but it is no less profound and consequential, shattering to some, liberating to most; the one thing that can be said for certain is that nothing is unaffected the old order can never be restored.

"This revolution is occurring within the Australian psyche and also within Australia's material circumstances. That is why it is so comprehensive a revolution - it is a transformation of the spirit and the body. I speak of the Asianisation of Australian life." P3.

"Paul Kelly [Sheridan's simpatico pro-Asianisation editor in-chief at The Australian], in his seminal book on the 1980s, The End of Certainty, described the pattern of decisions, policies and institutions which emerged in the first years of Federation and which became known as the Australian Settlement. The Australian Settlement, he said, had five fundamental pillars. They were: white Australia, industry protection, wage arbitration, State paternalism and imperial benevolence (with the United States later replacing Britain as the relevant imperial power). The politics of the 1980s, he argued, was a politics of creative destruction, in which all five pillars were torn down. At the end of 1994 it is easy to see that Kelly's essential thesis was right. White Australia has given way to perhaps the most authentic racially non-discriminatory immigration policy in the world. Tariffs were torn down and by the turn of the century Australia will have virtually no significant industry protection." [Or industry!]

"Kelly's thesis was thus right, but incomplete in two critical respects. It failed to recognise how all of the crucial policy changes of the 1980s led directly to the Asianisation of almost every sphere of Australian life. Similarly, it failed to recognise just how totally the relationship with Asia has defined Australia from its earliest days, so that the embrace of Asia which accelerated so greatly in the 1980s was not just something new for Australia, but the total reversal of the means of national self-identification throughout our history. This is the stuff of revolution." P4, 5.

"... in education, as in so many other areas, internationalisation for Australia has meant Asianisation." P16.

"In Australian foreign policy, Asia is now nearly totally dominant." P17.

"I have often run into views among writers and artists and others in China that are similar to those expressed in the following passage. The passage comes from a forthcoming book by the Brisbane-based Chinese writer Sang Ye, The Year the Dragon Came, a collection of oral histories of Chinese people newly arrived in Australia:

"`My landlord is an old man who's seen a lot of the world. He thinks of Asia as a filthy place, contaminated both spiritually and materially. I agree. He also thinks Africa's a mess and Europe is too old, and he's right there too. But I don't agree with him when he says `Australia's the best.' That's bullshit. In the eyes of the Chinese, you're a second or third-rate country. It's just that you've opened your doors a bit wider than the rest and we've all crowded in. The first-rate countries are America, then France and West Germany; in the second tier are Northern Europe and Japan and only then Canada and Australia. Canada's a bit better than Australia because it's closer to America. To put it more bluntly, Australia's become a refuge for drifters, a dumping ground for the world's garbage.'" P154.

"It is to cast our minds forward - say, 50 years - to a time when we are totally cheek by jowl with our Asian neighbours, when every facet of Australian life, from entertainment to industrial relations to political party platforms, will be affected by Asian societies and cultures, because we will be part of an Asian political confederation in fact, even if not by way of a European model or a Treaty of Maastricht." P164.

"I am a constant champion when I am in Asia for Australia and for the great success of Asian immigration and the many other things which make this a lovely, honey-colored society." P171.

Australians have never been given this message so plainly, clearly, and matter-of- factly before in a mainstream paper-back edition.

Will it create any backlash? I doubt it! Australian intellectuals and academics who work in the system on immigration problems have been so thoroughly intimidated and subdued over time that many won't even admit the word "Asianisation" to their vocabulary for fear of attracting flak - understandable, but pathetic.

On October 17th, 1995, I had a chat with Rupert Murdoch face-to-face at the Los Angeles airport. I told him what I thought of the totally corrosive, corrupting and all-pervasive pro-Asianisation line pushed daily in his down-under flagship The Australian, and that Kelly and Sheridan were the cheer squad leaders. After speaking about Peter Brimelow's Alien Nation, he told me that Brimelow and he were well acquainted and he knew the book. I then asked him point-blank if he agreed with and was happy about the obvious long-term demographic implications regarding racial, ethnic and cultural swamping that must occur if Labor/Liberal bi-partisanship policies on immigration, multiculturalism and Asianisation are not changed. Mr. Murdoch's response: "No, I think it's gone too far, and we risk Balkanization of Australian society in the future... ." He undertook to read and listen to the materials I gave him. Wouldn't it be good to be able to make a difference! In his case, the mega power of one, but will other factors intervene? And what will they be?


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