"White Australia must not be regarded as a mere political shibboleth. It was Australia's Magna Carta. Without that policy, this country would have been lost long ere this. It would have been engulfed in an Asian tidal wave. There would have been no need for the Japanese to invade this country. We would have been swallowed up by the rolling advance of a horde of colored people, anxious to escape the privations of their own countries and prepared to impose their own standards on this country. "

- Jack Lang 1956

 

John Thomas Lang, also known as J.T Lang, or Jack Lang was a very controversial Australian premier, not because of his views on White Australia - but for his views on Economics! Wow how the times have certainly changed. Lang, being considered somewhat of a radical in the Australian Labor Party sought enourmous Government spending during the Great Depression to attempt to ease the effects of the enourmous recession, taking money from the Commonwealth Bank, and storing it in cash so the Federal Government couldn't touch it. Attempting to open the Sydney Harbor Bridge on his own merit, instead of a representation of the Monarch.

For better or worse, Lang was a very influential figure in our nation's history - his reign as premier saw the creation of Anti-Communist movements such as the New Guard and Seccesionist movements in the Riverina! - His book "I remember" written in 1956 reflects his very fervent views on the White Australia Policy.

 

It is necessary only to examine the racial composition of present-day Fiji, where the Hindus have elbowed the natives out of the picture, to visualise what could have happened in this country had the White Australia policy not been fought for doggedly at the end of the l9th Century. We were then fighting for our national survival. Had we weakened, the flood gates would have opened and the natural increase of population according to Asian standards would have done the rest. It would then have been too late. This country would have become a pushover for the Asiatics.

Jack Lang, was a fervent Labor man - known as a keen politician to ensure the Australian workers were put before anything; at the forefront of this effort he placed the goal for a racially and culturally homogenous country; in which the fruits of wealth would be shared decently amongst the workers and all the future prosperity would be left to their children and peoples.

 

The development of the White Australia policy did not have its origin in any idea of racial superiority, or color prejudice. From the start it was a simple bread-and-butter issue. Australian workers were trying to defend their own living standards. They were trying to save their jobs. They knew that unrestricted immigration of colored races would mean the introduction of a kind of industrial Gresham's Law - the bad wages would put the fair wage out of circulation. The white Australian worker would soon be reduced to coolie levels. Having got rid of convict labor, they did not want to be reduced to the rice bowl. Yet that was the threat that was actually hovering over the people of this country.

...

The United States has had to wrestle with the problems of Jim Crowism, racial segregation and color discrimination. Labor didn't want this country to have similar problems. Had we listened to the do-gooders and the crusaders for international brotherhood and racial equality, the barriers would have come down long ago. Our living standard would have been destroyed. We would have had intermarriages of races, half-castes and quarter-castes with all the social dilemmas that invariably follow such racial mixtures. We would have had a Black, Brown and Brindle streak right through every strata of our society. Instead we risked the charge that we were drawing the color line. We decided to keep this country as a citadel of the white peoples. Australia is still White Australia thanks to those who battled against those who wanted to exploit colored labor for their own ends.

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