‘The "White Australia" policy must go’ : The Communist Party of Australia and immigration restriction 

Book chapter


Piccini, Jon and Smith, Evan. (2019). ‘The "White Australia" policy must go’ : The Communist Party of Australia and immigration restriction . In In Piccini, Jon, Smith, Evan and Worley, Matthew (Ed.). The Far left in Australia from 1945 pp. 77-96 Routledge.
AuthorsPiccini, Jon and Smith, Evan
EditorsPiccini, Jon, Smith, Evan and Worley, Matthew
Abstract

The Australian far left has a long and conflicted history of engagement with the politics of whiteness. The Immigration Restriction Act, colloquially known as the ‘White Australia Policy’, was amongst the first acts of the newly created Australian commonwealth in 1901. It was strongly argued for by the left of politics, particularly the Australian Labor Party, who saw it as a means of securing the union movement’s gains from cheap foreign labour. Against such a backdrop, this chapter examines the Australian far left’s opposition to immigration controls, asking to what degree was its intervention significant in the eventual ending of the policy in 1973. Early, frustrated opposition to the policy by the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) was given energy by the end of World War II, which saw both the first cracks in the policy – as southern and eastern European migration was encouraged for the first time – and the emergence of a stronger line of far left critique. The CPA published a pamphlet interrogating White Australia in 1945 and opposed the deportation of Chinese refugees as well as a host of others in the immediate post-war era. At the same time, however, the CPA was calling for immigration quotas owing to housing shortages and opposed the immigration of particular nationalities, derided as ‘Balts’, who were seen as anti-communist.

Page range77-96
Year2019
Book titleThe Far left in Australia from 1945
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationLondon ; New York
ISBN9781138043855
0429945655
Web address (URL)https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/acu/reader.action?docID=5450823&ppg=92
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All rights reserved
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print19 Jul 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Nov 2021
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