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White Australia Policy

Damon Runyon

 The “White Australia Policy” was introduced soon after Australia became a Federation.

Although solemnly expressed as a policy to maintain a western/European standard in culture and economy, behind it lay the wish to prevent Chinese workers coming into Australia.

There was some reason for this. The Chinese often came as cohorts employed as mining labourers and profits went back in that direction. Often the workers were abandoned.

Without question the policy also was a manifestation of the racist belief that English stock were just the best people on earth. The Germans thought their people were, so did the Spaniards. Racism was the thing, Kipling was king when he wrote, “Take up the white man’s burden.”

The White Australia Policy became dismantled slowly after WW2 and after that the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 drove in the final nails.

Immigrants built Australia and laid the foundations for Australia’s great strength and reputation as a multicultural society.

So immigration built Australia, and that is a good thing, yes?

Well, the government said so and because it was government policy this immigration was frequently praised as wonderful particularly in the marvellous food.

But Ireland is 95% Irish and you can get Italian food, Indian food, Chinese food (usually with chips) so eating experiences would have changed anyway.

However, there is no denying that immigration built Australia.

So immigration is good. Yes?

Well, Australia was built with immigrants from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Greece and to a very large extent these nations have very similar cultures. Even their clothing is similar.

And there is a big difference between the cultures of Somalia and Australia.

Particularly in relation to religion.

Any proper examination of immigration ‘success’ looks to whether the cohort contributes to the country or lives off the country. Those immigrants until the last 20 or 30 years most certainly contributed. They came to work and work they did.

Australia needs mathematicians and pilots and fitters and teachers…. They really have no call for goat herders or carpet spinners or butchers.

And they really need people who are educated and will either speak English or learn it.

It is all very fine to print social security forms in fifty languages to show how accommodating we are but the very fact that these forms are all for people who are needing government assistance in some way or another drives home the failure rate of assimilation.

Classes are in English, menus in restaurants are in English, road signs are in English, billboards are in English – why is it only Social Security and court houses that need a polyglot staff?

The Norway Statistical Department (SSB) divided immigrants into “group of success” and “problem group”.

In the ‘success’ column were Sri Lankans, Chileans, Indians, Bosnias, Vietnamese, Thails and Russians. Success being measured as to how many were working. In this case’ 65% working meant success. Struth, 35% unemployment and that is success??

No matter. Who made it into the ‘problem’ column? Somalians, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Moroccans. They had an employment rate of just 1/3. In other words 2/3 were on the taxpayer. And each and every one was a Muslim.

So it has nothing to do with racism or Islamophobia – it’s there in the numbers.

Has Australia got the same numbers as Norway? Better? Worse?

It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Australia needs a really good look at immigration, and one way around it is to specify that if you come here there should be a job waiting for you. And keeping that job or another one for at least two years, otherwise home.

Secondly, learn English.

Third – assimilate.

It has nothing to do with racism. It has everything to do with survival.

And it has nothing to do with fashion. Men strutting around in 8th century djellabas, women in burkas is really a sign of refusal to assimilate. A sign of the failure of the immigration policy.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Lorraine 13/04/2015, 8:28 am

    They have no reason to assimilate ,they came here for the free Lunch and their reason is to make us work our butts off so they may kiss the carpet 5 times a day, have free interest when they buy homes with our taxes live high on the hog with Halal certification monies. We are the losers. we have governments they kowtow to the Imams. remember this is 3% of the population that will double every 10 years….big problem looms

  • Jack Richards 13/04/2015, 8:39 am

    The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 (White Australia Policy) had much more complex causes than just a belief that the British were the world’s superior race. Its main driving force was the desire to create an egalitarian, industrial and modern society and to defeat the plans of big capital (mainly British but not exclusively so) to turn Australia into an extensive plantation worked by armies of “coolies” imported from the Melanesian Islands (Kanakas), China, India, Japan and Africa.

    The “coolie” system had been established in Queensland to work the sugar plantations and was little better than slavery. The idea was to entice non-white workers as “indentured labourers”, make them sign a contract, live on the plantation with no rights to leave, and pay them a pittance. There were “capitalists” who wanted to extend the system into every field of agriculture and industry because it was cheaper to employ imported coolies than it was to employ white Australians or Europeans. “Blackbirding” was a common practice whereby ships would essentially kidnap Kanakas from places like the Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides and bring them to work the sugar-cane plantations of Queensland.

    The great 19th century corporations operating out of London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruxelles and New York saw the Australian colonies as a place to be exploited rather than as a new nation to be respected. The “ethos” that had developed here that abjured the class structures of the old world and rejected the aristocratic hierarchy that then existed was seen as a dangerous example to toiling masses in Europe. A good way to bust Australian radicalism – like the franchise being extended to every adult, male and female; personal rights and freedoms; and the idea of a liveable wage – was to flood the country with docile coolies who could be effectively controlled in a plantation system.

    That system worked very well (and provided European ruling classes with huge profits) in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, French Indo-China, Ceylon, Fiji, the Dutch East Indies, South Africa, Malaya and various Pacific Islands and had worked well in the southern USA until the Civil War.

    The fall-out from the plantation system is still visible in many countries today. Fiji is more than 50% Indian and subject to endless racial strife; Ceylon has endured a long and bitter war between the native Sinhalese and the descendants of Tamils imported to work the tea plantations; Malaysia has an enduring ethnic problem between native Malays and the Indians and Chinese imported to work the rubber plantations; Indonesia often erupts into anti-Chinese riots against the descendants of coolies imported to work Dutch plantations; native Hawaiians are outnumbered by ethnic Japanese imported to work the sugar and pineapple plantations. Back in the early 1970s Idi Amin expelled all the “Asians” from Uganda who were descended from Indian coolies imported to work plantations there. Mahatma Gandhi started his career in South Africa where Indians had been imported to work the mines, plantations and farms. The Caribbean Islands are almost exclusively populated by the descendants of African slaves. The Central American nations (El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras) were essentially taken over and run by the New Orleans based United Fruit Company to grow bananas for the US market – and have given us the term “Banana Republic”. They too are riven by intractable ethnic problems.

    In the late 19th Century many Australians could see the way things would play out here if the big “foreign” (and local) corporations were allowed to import millions of non-white coolies. There was even a serious push by some “pure merinos” here (the great land owners) to establish a hereditary aristocracy to rule over a semi-feudal agrarian/planation economy where the “lower orders” had no rights at all. If they’d had their way we’d have things like the Duke and Duchess of Darling Downs, The Baron of Bourke and the Earl of Eastwood.

    Australians had seen the Chinese flood in during the gold rushes and observed that 99% of the Chinese arriving were men (very few women) and that they were all effectively “slaves” working off debts to feudal lords back in China. The Chinese had zero interest in the ideas of democracy, egalitarianism, and enlightened progress espoused by Australians and Europeans working the gold field and refused to become involved with demands for freedom, democracy and self-government.

    Before Federation the various States had been granted self-government (mainly because the more enlightened politicians in London did not want to fight another War of Independence as they had less than a century before in North America) and the states had progressively introduced laws to restrict non-white immigration – much to the chagrin of many in London boardrooms. At Federation the Immigration Restriction Act came into being and was retrospective. Many of the Kanakas, and other races working the plantations, were repatriated and the companies were forced to employ people at the set minimum wage.

    In the first decade of the 20th Century Australia was the most socially progressive, and democratic, nation on earth. We were also, on a per-head basis, the richest people in the world. We proved that freedom, democracy, universal suffrage, the secret ballot, the right to combine, the disestablishment of the Church, the scorning of aristocracy and hierarchical classes, the idea that Jack is as good as his master, a set minimum wage, and compulsory education for all, amongst many other then “radical” ideas could not only work, but could be a resounding success. We also proved that ethnic homogeneity was fundamental to national success.

    The many threads that wove the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 had far more to do with building a paradise for the working man than it ever did with racism or idea of “white supremacy”. We wanted people who would stand up for themselves and give the finger to feudal lords and company bosses of Europe, China, Japan, India and the USA.

    It is interesting to note that the “Australian Ballot” and our Immigration Restriction Act was also adopted in North America and eventually in Europe.

    We should not forget that Great Britain was still a very feudal society in 1901. Adult men did not get the vote until after the First World War in 1919 while British women had to wait until 1930.

    If it had not been for the White Australia Policy this country really would be a “Banana Republic” with intractable racial, ethnic and social problems. Many have forgotten the lessons of the past. Those who forget history are regularly forced to re-live it. Importing people who are loyal to a theo-political ideology (i.e. Islam) anathema to everything that defines Australia means that we are digging our own graves.

    • Damon Runyon 13/04/2015, 8:59 am

      Thanks, Jack.
      The very length of your comment shows the difficulty I had in writing the piece.
      I wrote “Although solemnly expressed as a policy to maintain a western/European standard in culture and economy” to try to get a shorthand one liner that it was in the context of improving the working class conditions.
      It was Gladstone’s speech that pointed out that the huge improvement in conditions had led principally into the hands of the workers, not the propertied class. And this was picked up here.
      Thanks again, your high quality conspectus backgrounded and fleshed out the article in a way I could not when my principal point is to call for a proper examination of immigration. ‘Success’ is not in multicuturalism BS or coffee shops or pasta but whether the immigrants contribute to the country or lives off the country.

      • Jack Richards 13/04/2015, 11:17 am

        It’s a very complex issue. About 40 years ago I was fortunate enough to study the history of the White Australia Policy and write a very long thesis on it. But 10,000 words were not enough to explain it all.

        The Left always seize on it as incontrovertible proof of our inherent and innate “racism” – a simple explanation that is utterly wrong. Australia has always been “multi-ethnic” as there were the Aborigines and all the convict fleets contained non-whites as well. Many Chinese arrived in the 1850s and stayed – as evidenced by the “Chinatowns” in all the major cities and the Chinese market-gardens, laundries, stores and restaurants in just about every country town. Similarly, the Sikhs have been here since well before Federation. Most of the “racial problems” in this country prior to the 1970s were between British Protestants and Irish Catholics – not whites versus non-whites.

        People forget that in 1901 Australia was a country of about 5 million, mostly European, a long way from Europe and North America, located just below the teeming billions of East, South East, and South Asia. We still are.

        From 1901 until 1942 we relied on the Royal Navy to guarantee our survival – and since then we’ve relied on the US Pacific Fleet. We found out in 1942 that the Royal Navy was prepared to do little to save us; and had it not been for our strategic position, it’s doubtful the US would have been overly eager to come to our defence either.

        There is no doubt that the British ruling classes have always considered Australians as the uncouthed and uncultured descendants of the criminal classes of England, Scotland and Wales, the scum of British Society, and unruly, superstitious, Papist and rebellious Irish. We’ve always been the Bastards of the Empire and a dumping ground for their unwanted. Our fate on the other side of the world was not, and is not, of any great interest to the British aristocracy and ruling classes. They’ve proved many times that connections of blood and kinship are worth nothing. It’s a sad truth that those closest to you will be the ones to betray you.

        British attitudes to Australia and Australians change with social class. The upper class regard us as “chavs”; loud uncouthed ruffians completely lacking in etiquette and manners who simply do not “know our place”; the middle classes have a sneering envy of our considerable successes in every field; the working classes dream of escaping the cold misery of both the British weather and the class system and living in sunny Ramsay Street where they might be judged by the content of their character and not by their accent or the “Public School” where their father was bullied and buggered.

        It was the 19th Century British upper class who wanted to turn us into a huge plantation worked by coolies. They fully expected that the scum they’d exported here would either die out or interbreed – whatever happened, they didn’t want us back and wanted only to exploit the natural resources for their own profit and aggrandisement and to feed the mills worked by the “white niggers” of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

        The “White Australia Policy” was vigorously opposed in Britain and by lickspittles here who wanted to be part of the Bunyip Aristocracy. In 1901 the perceived greatest threat to Australian independence was the Japanese Empire – and Great Britain formed an alliance with Japan! Not only that, but they trained the Japanese Navy and transferred the technology on building warships. The Japanese learned those lessons well as they proved in 1905 by sinking the Imperial Russian Fleet in Port Arthur and then in the Battle of the Tsushima Strait.

        The British knew well Australian feelings about Japanese expansionism but they didn’t give a shit. We didn’t matter as we were a very minor part of the Empire compared with India, Canada and British holdings in Africa. It was not long after that that the United States Navy was invited to visit Australia – which was a calculated warning, and insult, to Great Britain. At that time there was much animosity between Great Britain and the USA – indeed the Imperial War Office and the US Defence Department had plans for a possible war between Britain and America.

        In the first decade of the 20th Century the United States was much closer to us in world outlook than Britain. They understood our ideas about egalitarianism and democracy and also our desire for ethnic homogeneity. Americans had fought a terrible Civil War to end plantationism and had the problem of a large population of Negroes, a fairly porous border with Mexico and a major influx of East Asians (mostly Chinese and Japanese) into their Pacific States. With a few changes, they pretty-much adopted our “Immigration Restriction Act” in the early 1920s.

        As I said, it was a very complex issue that really had nothing to do with racism or white supremacy or any ideas that non-whites were lower on the evolutionary scale than whites. The Japanese had blown away any ideas of innate white supremacy by the way they humiliated the mighty Russians in 1905 at Mukden, Port Arthur and Tsushima.

        We have to consider what we want Australia to look like in century or two into the future when we discuss immigration. We must learn from the mistakes of others – as we did in the 19th Century – and not sow the seeds of our own destruction. We can only do that by ensuring that those who come to this country do so for the right reasons and that is to adopt out ways, our language, our ethos and social mores. Multiculturalism has been a disaster everywhere it has ever been tried since the days of the Roman Empire. Sectarianism and religious intolerance is always a powder-keg waiting for a spark; ethnic and cultural enclaves benefit no-one. Importing people who have no intention, or desire, to become “Ozzies” and share in the national story and march into the future will only weaken us irrevocably and condemn our descendants to endless strife and eventual subjugation – if not extinction.

      • Jack Richards 13/04/2015, 3:46 pm

        This clip on Facebook shows what’s happening in Germany – and here!


      • Zoltan 13/04/2015, 10:20 pm

        What would you give to see a gang of skinheads a la Romper Stomper just happen to walk around the corner?

  • Albert 13/04/2015, 8:45 am

    This piece hits the nail on the head. However, I become disappointed when reference is made to multiculturalism. There is no such thing – it is tribalism at its worst. Multi ethnicity; now that is a horse of a different colour.

    We are reaping the rewards of allowing the entry of poorly and/or uneducated people with tribal and sixth century mentality into this country. Our positive rewards are zero while our negative rewards are frighteningly substantial and include criminal activity, lawlessness, division, terrorism, parallel societies, non-assimilation, a huge drain on our welfare system and the weakening of our culture. .

    Our government is talking about the drain on our piggy bank caused by old aged pensioners who worked all their lives and contributed more than their fair share, but there is seldom a word mentioned about billions it hands out to useless third-world barbarians who will never contribute anything to this country but trouble and strife.

    The sad thing is that nothing will change whilstever we are tied to the apron strings of the useless United Nations. Send all these misfits back to where they came from and be damned to the United Nations and their screeching Human Rights cockatoos.

  • Bwana Neusi 13/04/2015, 12:57 pm

    Jack and Damon. You are both to be congratulated on a superbly informative article which puts the “White Australia Policy” into its true perspective. Our sincere thanks to you both.

    • Zoltan 13/04/2015, 6:57 pm


  • Alec Reid 15/04/2015, 4:09 pm

    I congratulate you for your complete summary of the problems we are faced with caused by the Governments past and present and I believe that you have hit the problem right where it hurts, but the problems will continue until we can voice our opinions to other than deaf ears of our Politicians which is so obvious as on many occasions emails do not even ge a response which sows their attitude towards change – one just has to keep plugging away until we get people into politics who sit up and take notice.

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