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Tuesday, 20 October 1970

Mr GORTON - The honourable member has referred to a part of the argument which I have advanced in speaking to the

Young Liberals, and an argument in which I believe completely. The argument is that it is more difficult - not impossible, but more difficult - for a person who is not a white person to enter Australia than it is for a person who is a white person, and this 1 think is incontrovertible, though our laws are not in any way rigid and are quite liberal. Nevertheless that is incontrovertible. If a judgment were to be made on that alone, on the grounds that a man's worthiness or unworthiness, goodness or badness, capacity or incapacity is to be judged by the colour of his skin, then that approach could not, I think, be justified on moral grounds.

But "the honourable member has not concluded what I said, because I then went on to point out that in every country in the world in which there are significant groups of different racial origin there are significant racial tensions and they grow the greater the groups are, and this is true not only in countries such as the United States and Great Britain where we have seen it but in countries such as Malaya where Chinese-Malayan tensions are great, in Indonesia, in countries such as Kenya where they have tension with East Africans. In all these countries, on an empirical test, this is so; and therefore, as I went on to say, and would be happy to go on to say now, I would not wish to import these kinds of tensions into this country because I think if that were done then that would be even more immoral than the question of just judging on the colour of the skin. If I may say so, I then concluded those remarks by saying that as far as I was concerned and this Government was concerned we do not propose to alter the liberalised policy we now have in any basic way because I believe it is working and working well and is far more generous than the immigration policies of the other countries in the world which most often tend to criticise our policy.

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