Australia's Peril

Moves Towards Asianisation:
The "Conservative" Side of Politics

Even though the specific push for Asianisation began with Bob Hawke's Labor government, the Liberal and National parties have not been slow to follow Labor's lead. Although some noises were made by various people in the Liberal Party about a need to return to a "balanced" immigration programme, such as by Andrew Peacock in 1984 (104), and by John Howard in 1988 (which he recanted in 1995), basically the Liberal Party and other "conservatives" have acquiesced - if not openly assisted - in the carrying out of the policy of the Asianisation of Australia:

In 1971, the then Liberal Prime Minister, John Gorton, said:
    "I think if we build up gradually inside Australia a proportion of people without white skins, then there will be a complete lack of consciousness that it is being built up... and that we will arrive at a state where we will have a multi-racial country without racial tensions - and perhaps the first in the world".(105)
In 1972 Don Chipp, then a Liberal Minister (later to be the leader of the Australian Democrats), told television viewers that
    "I would like to see a stage in the 1980s where Australia is becoming the only true multi-racial country in the world, and that is the Liberal Party's aim".(106)
In 1977 the then Premier of Queensland, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen (National Party) stated that
    "Japan, as a country that does good business with Australia, is surely entitled to send emigrants to our State. There is no bar to Japanese people who want to migrate to Australia".(107)
In 1978 the then Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Paul Everingham (Country Liberal Party), said that the then flood of Vietnamese refugees was "just the beginning" and that "Australians would have to be educated to the fact that the country would become an Asian nation"... "We've got to accept Asian immigrants in the same way we accept people from Europe". He also stated that "At the moment, the Northern Territory would be better off as a part of the federation of Malaysia than the federation of Australia".(108)

In 1979, in what was apparently a show of cross-Party unity on Indo-Chinese refugees, the then Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Fraser, along with Clyde Cameron (Labor Party), and Bruce Lloyd (National Party) presented a petition to Parliament concerning Vietnamese refugees, which stated that "Australia is able to play a major part in the rescue as well as resettlement of these refugees. It should be possible for Australia to: establish and maintain on the Australian mainland basic transit camps for the housing and processing of 200,000 refugees each year;... accept the offer of those church groups which propose to resettle some thousands of refugees in Australia. The adoption of such a humane policy would have a marked effect on Australia's standing within the region". The next day in Parliament, another petition - of the exact same wording - was presented to Parliament by John Bourchier (Liberal Party), Alan Jarman (Liberal Party), and Andrew Peacock (Liberal Party).(109)
    "I, as Foreign Minister, with successive immigration Ministers, was trying to get the Australian community to accept the significant increase in Indo-Chinese refugees... it is only 22-odd years ago that both major parties were being pushed, properly so, to abandon the White Australia policy. It was as recent as that. As a student, I participated in those campaigns" - Andrew Peacock, 1984 (then Leader of the Liberal Party).(110)
    "I have heard people come in here today and say that our future lies with Asia and the Pacific and therefore we must increase Asian migration. That is not questioned" - Andrew Peacock, 1984 (then Leader of the Liberal Party).(111)
In 1985, Philip Ruddock, then Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (later Minister for Immigration in John Howard's Liberal Government), complained about a reduction of the Indo-Chinese refugee intake, and demanded that Australia take in more Asian refugees. Also, Ruddock stated that
    "The Opposition believes Australia has a particular obligation to the South-East Asian region as against any widening of the scope of the program to other regions."(112)
In 1988 the Administrator for the Northern Territory, Commodore Eric Johnston, "was floating the idea of mass Asian immigration" after discussions about the "greenhouse effect" revealed that "the predicted rise in sea levels would result in millions of Asian refugees". Johnston's idea was that "the transformed land could be cut into small lots and handed to Asian immigrants" in order to populate Northern Australia.(113)

In 1990 the then Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Paul Everingham (Country Liberal Party), said that "Australia should consult Asian countries before it made any changes to its immigration policy".(114)

    "I want to congratulate the mining industry for leading the way... in realising that Australia's economic destiny lies predominantly in Asia" - Dr John Hewson, 1992 (then the leader of the Liberal Party in opposition).(115)
    "We're part of South-East Asia" - Steve Hatton, 1992 (then the Country Liberal Party's Minister for Industries and Development in the Northern Territory).(116)
The Record reported on an immigration conference held in Darwin in September 1993 ("Asia-Pacific Migration Affecting Australia"): "At the conference, Marshall Perron [the Northern Territory's Chief Minister] suggested that Australia should considerably increase immigration, particularly from Asia. He said that he could envisage Darwin as a city of one million with half its population from Asia. He has enthusiastically backed a Federal Government idea that Darwin be promoted as "Australia's Asian capital". His government is from the non-Labor side of politics."(117)
    "We are absolutely committed to a racially non-discriminatory policy... The question of race or country of origin doesn't matter at all. Our policy rejects the idea that we have too many Asians... Asian immigration is a non-issue" - Senator Jim Short, 1994 (then the Liberal Party's spokesman on immigration).(118)
    "Comments based on race do not belong in the Australian political environment. I do not believe that they belong in the Liberal Party" - Malcolm Fraser, 1994 (former Liberal Prime Minister).(119)
The Liberal and National parties issued, prior to the 1996 elections, a joint policy on "Multicultural Affairs & Settlement", which included the following statements:
    "We have a rich heritage as a multicultural nation... The Coalition takes great pride in its role in this achievement, with a proud history in the fields of immigration and ethnic affairs. Coalition Governments presided over the arrival in Australia of millions of migrants in the 1950s, 1960s, late 1970s, and early 1980s. These periods spanned the greatest diversity ever experienced in our official immigration intake. Coalition Governments opened up large scale immigration from continental Europe, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and more recently Asia and the Pacific... Coalition Governments led the way in the abandonment of the White Australia Policy... We stand proud of our record and history of achievement in the areas of immigration and ethnic affairs."(120)
Of John Howard's Liberal Government, The Age said in 1996 that "the new Government sees Australia's economic and political future in the Asia Pacific rim".(121)

Confirming this view, the Liberal Government's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer (once leader of the Liberal Party in Opposition), spoke in April 1996 of a foreign policy of "Asia First" (but was quick to assure us that "a policy of 'Asia First' does not mean 'Asian Only'"). Downer further prattled on, telling us that "Australia should also pause more often to acknowledge the contribution that immigrants from Asia have made to Australia... and of course they enrich Australian culture."(122)

Downer was later to reiterate his anti-Australian stance: "We simply reject the proposition that we should ever have a racially based immigration policy" - what he is really doing is defending the bi-partisan policy of continuing mass Asian immigration. Downer further said that "We reject the proposition that Australia... is being swamped by Asians" (123); which flies in the face of immigration projections (such as researched by Dr. Charles Price) which clearly state that Australia is being steadily Asianised. One could only assume that Downer is either a complete idiot; or - most likely - that he is a liar, and is trying to minimise public unrest about Asianisation by denying that it is happening.

After his comments in 1987-88 attacking Bob Hawke's Labor Government regarding the "imbalance" between Asian and European immigrants, John Howard was at pains in 1995 to retract, soften, or "explain away" his earlier statements: "If [my comments] were seen by Australians of Asian descent as suggesting that I regard them in any way as lesser Australians, then I regret that very much".(124)

We could also look at some of John Howard's earlier comments:
    "The Liberal Party has a proud record of high achievement in migration policy... It was a Liberal Government that abandoned the White Australia policy... I am particularly proud of our record concerning the assistance we gave to the refugees from Indochina".(125)
One political commentator reviewed the situation of the Liberals in 1996 regarding Asianisation:
    "The new Liberal Government has announced policies to stop new immigrants getting the dole for their first 2 years here; and for the slashing of family reunion immigration - both are measures which will affect Asian immigration - and no doubt, these policies have been designed to pick up the anti-immigration vote. Thus, Prime Minister John Howard, hopes to bolster the Liberal Party's vote, at the same time destroying much of the base of support for AAFI and Australia First, without actually solving the immigration-Asianisation problem... In this, he is copying what Margaret Thatcher did in Britain to draw in the anti-immigration vote, at the same time destroying the National Front's increasing voter base. Howard's Liberal Government may slow down (not stop) Asian immigration, but it will not stop the Asianisation of Australia."(126)
Indeed, in October 1996, John Howard spoke of an Asian Future for Australia:
    "(regarding) the Asia-Pacific Region... of course we remain deeply committed to that region. Our political, our economic, increasingly our people to people future is tied up with that region and rightly so."(127)
In October 1997 Malcolm Fraser, ex-Liberal Prime Minister of Australia, intoned
    "If we have 20 million or 25 million people by the end of the next century, we sideline and marginalise ourselves. We will never be regarded as a serious player... With the population pressures that exist in the world, an Australia that turns its back on providing a better home for more people than we already have is an Australia that will not be long respected throughout Asia. We would be regarded as insular and selfish. If we were an Australia of 40 or 50 million people, it would be a different matter... our future is irrevocably bound with the region and the lands to our north. There is no other future for us. Those who want to take us back to the past should be cast aside."(128)