Commonwealth Migration Flows and Policies (Cambridge by T E Smith

By T E Smith

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Additional info for Commonwealth Migration Flows and Policies (Cambridge Commonwealth Series)

Sample text

They clearly understood that post-war immigrants and their children now made up some 30 per cent of the total population~ over half being non-British in ethnic origin~ and were quick to identify points of immigrant unease. They also realised that their predecessors' fears about abolishing the last MIGRATION TO AND FROM AUSTRALIA 37 relics of the White Australia Policy were unfounded; apart from a few last ditchers, such as those in the Immigration Control Group, the public seemed to be accepting the higher non-European immigration with relatively little hostility or fuss.

It is here worth noting that information and statistics on race are now far less comprehensive than in earlier years. Immigration landing cards and lists ceased recording race in 1948 while the special race records kept by the administrative section controlling temporary entry permits have been largely abolished by policy changes since 1972. The census still asks persons to identify their race but in recent years has done no more with the answers than produce broad statistics of Aborigine, Torres Strait Islander, Chinese, European and Other.

In 1976/7 New Zealand provided more immigrants than the UK, with other Commonwealth countries and South Africa making appreciable contributions. Even so, adding migration from Old Commonwealth countries to migration from the mother country still failed to lift the British proportion over 45 per cent for the whole period 1947-77. Though at first reluctant to accept the hard fact that a large-scale immigration programme involved more persons of non-British origin than of British origin- hence the outcries of the mid-fifties, the Bring Out a Briton campaign, and so on- most Australians have now become reconciled to this situation, and to the slow stripping of British privileges in migration and settlement.

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