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Thursday, 15 May 1924

Mr FENTON (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) - The Royal Family proves that.

Mr GABB - I noticed a few months ago that, the Returned Soldiers' Association of Queensland passed a resolution on this subject. I have tried to obtain the newspaper cutting containing it, but have not been able to find it. , I think the resolution was forwarded to the Government. The text of it was that the association considered it desirable to encourage the entry into Australia of members of the Nordic race. The resolution did not say the " German i-acc." But the Nordic race certainly springs from the Germanic race. I *do not know what the reasons for the resolution were. They may have been local. Something was said about the people who lived on the shores of the Mediterranean, but the Association made it clear that it preferred members of the Nordic race. I am wondering whether the Association had at the back of its mind the thought that the people most likely to blend with 'ours in building up a strong nation are the members of the Nordic race. I have given what I consider to be the essentials for nation-building. I could extend the list considerably. There is another point that I would like to bring under the notice of the Prime Minister. The Act to which I refer is causing a misunderstanding in other countries, and in this connexion I wish to quote the opinion of two gentlemen whose views, I know, will be respected. When Mr. McCoy, Director of Education in South Australia, returned from a recent trip abroad he stated that in Sweden and Denmark the opinion was Held, even among intellectual sections of the people, that they were banned from entry into Australia. I made it my business to have a chat on the telephone with Mr. McCoy before I came to Melbourne this week. He confirmed that statement, and said the opinion prevailed both in Denmark and Sweden. He advised me to refer to M.i\ Tate, the Director of Education in Victoria, and I did so yesterday. Mr. Tate informed me that he found that the erroneous impression existed in Denmark, and he gave me an account of a conversation he had with a highly placed professor in that country. I quote the conversation from memory. Mr. Tate said, " I asked him ' Is there any surplus of agricultural labour in Denmark?' The answer was, ' Yes, about 3,000 per annum.' I said 'Where do they go V and he replied, ' Mostly to the United States of America.' I asked, "'Why do they not go to Australia?' and the Professor answered, ' You will not let them in.' " Mr. Tate explained to him that it was easier for a Dane to get into Australia than it had been for him to get into Denmark. I think he had had trouble over passports. Other nations are competing with us for the cream of the agricultural labour of Europe. It seems to me that because the Act which is on our statute-book applies to the nation which is next door to Denmark, and is a great customer of Sweden, that the- opinion has got abroad in both Denmark and Sweden that the peoples of those countries are shut out of this country. Our competitors for the agricultural labour of northern Europe are encouraging that view to our detriment. On that account I believe that the sooner we repeal the Act the better it will be for Australia. I do not ask that it shall be repealed so that there may be a tremendous influx of these people to Australia, but I ask that the barrier may be removed which is preventing us from obtaining a fair increase of population from the people of these countries, who, in my opinion, are very desirable immigrants. Last year, the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) delivered a fine speech in this House, the text of which was a paragraph from the book, The Wanderings of thePeople, by A. C. Haddon. That paragraph was as follows : -

When reduced to its simplest terms, migration is caused by an expulsion and an attraction, the former nearly always resulting from a dearth of food or from over-population, which practically comes to the same thing.

I invite honorable members to consider that statement. I invite their attention also to a statement made by Professor Gustave Cassel, which appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser on the 1st May, 1924. It reads-

If France continues to press her demands upon Germany, 20,000,000 of Germans must migrate or die of starvation, and civilization in Central Europe will consequently crumble.

The Advertiser article also states -

This is the verdict of Gustave Cassel, of Stockholm University, Financial Adviser to the League of Nations, and generally recognized as Europe's greatest economist.

Professor Cassel bases his statement on the fact that Poland and France have taken from Germany her coal and iron deposits, which were the basis of her heavy industries. Since 1871, Germany has become a great industrial nation, but with her coal and iron deposits taken from her, she cannot continue to maintain such a large population as she has done in the past. It follows, therefore, that there must be much greater migration from Germany or else that the Germans must die. Seeing that we desire white population in Australia, it seems to me that we shall be foolish if we allow to remain blocked the channels through which these people might come to this country. Some honorable members of this Chamber may say that the Labour party does not believe in immigration. I deny that. If the party to which I belong took up the stand that no people of the white race should come into this country under reasonable conditions, and in reasonable numbers, I should be one of the first to oppose its policy, and I would be quite willing to take the consequences. I know that we must have an increased white population. I believe that the races to which I have referred are the best outside the British Isles that we can get to come to Australia. Speaking as an Australian. I implore the Australian Government to remove this affront to a great nation, and to open those channels which have been too long blocked by the bigotry, panic and hysteria which followed on that period of war, born of hell, which is now behind us.

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