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Tuesday, 7 May 1985
Page: 1803

Mr CAMPBELL(10.58) —This is a speech which I have been asked not to make. I make it only after a lot of soul-searching. It is with a certain amount of cowardice that I make it in the relative obscurity of the adjournment debate. I make it because I believe that something in the national interest is at stake. In the long run, our national interest is not served by the maintenance of myths and shibboleths. I think they should be debunked. Tonight, I refer to the myth of multiculturalism, a myth perpetuated by both political parties in a mistaken belief that there is such a thing as an ethnic vote.

Australia is overwhelmingly an Anglo-Celtic society. Over time, it has absorbed an enormous number of immigrants from other cultures. These immigrants came of their own free will. Many of them came believing that they were seeking a better way of life. Many of them achieved that. Overwhelmingly, they came to this country to make a contribution and to be Australians. This view should be heralded and lauded by all Australians.

I had a most unfortunate experience recently when there was a delegation of Vietnamese protesting outside the Parliament. I took the time to speak to these people. During my dialogue with the crowd of about 50, with whom I was exchanging views and answering questions, I thought we were getting on quite well until one of their commissars approached us and directed the crowd to move away. He turned to me and said: 'Go away. We have nothing to say to you'. He was prepared to make a collective decision for these people. For a people who desperately need to talk to Australia, it was a very sad occasion.

They had a banner proclaiming that they did not pay their taxes for Hayden to go to Hanoi. The fact is that, for every dollar they pay in taxes, they collect about $3 in social security benefits. That is not an indictment of them. It is probably more an indictment of the crazy immigration policy that we in this country are pursuing. However, it is a fact. They were protesting that 22, I think it was, North Vietnamese students had been allowed into Australia to learn English. Those students were allowed in under very strict conditions, including that they take part in no political activity.

I would have thought that it was in our national interest to encourage the use of English in North Vietnam so that we could have dialogue with those people and so that we could explain our culture, so that maybe, over time, they would see some benefits in our way of life. I would have thought that would be to the advantage of all Australians. It may, of course, enhance-

Madam ACTING SPEAKER —Order! It being 11 p.m., the debate is interrupted. The House stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow

House adjourned at 11 p.m.