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Subject: Immigration »


Mass migration

Jerzy Zubrzycki.

Professor Jerzy Zubrzycki speaks on the idea of immigration from non-British sources.



Date Added:

21 June 2002


Making Multicultural Australia


mov (Quicktime);

File size:



44 secs


Adviser to the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, 1968-86

The idea of immigration from non-British sources was clearly anathema to the Labor movement, anathema to most people in Australia who were very, very racist at the time. But in the speech in 1945, Calwell clearly and bluntly said that there were certain conditions under which people from non-British sources could come to Australia. And in this famous speech, which changed the face of Australia in August 1945, the second of August 1945, when this country was still at war, the week before Hiroshima, he dared to say in the House of Representatives that we were to embark on a massive population increase based on immigration, the famous two percent phrase - one percent immigration, one percent natural increase - and that this massive effort would include people from non-British sources.


The Interdepartmental Committee on Migration worked within the Department of Post-War Reconstruction, by and large, and the Head of the Department, Dr Coombs, made it clear that the report and thinking of the Committee should stress two things: one, the need for preparation of the community for the acceptance of these people in terms of a wider framework of educational and welfare type services in the community; and secondly, I think it foreshadowed what we would these days call positive discrimination, that is, the need for special services.

Interview for Making Multicultural Australia, 1994.