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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2690

MACQUARIE NETWORK WEEKLY BROADCAST BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON WILLIAM MCMAHON CH MP - IMMIGRATION - 11 OCTOBER 1972 - INTERVIEWER: PAUL LYNCH

Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 11/10/1972

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 2690

MACQUARIE NETWORK( WEEKLY BROADCAST
BY THE PRIM4E MINISTER, THE RT. HON.
WILLIAM McMAHON, CH, MP.
IMM4IGRAT ION-11 OCTOBER 1972
Interviewer Paul Lynch
Q. Prime Minister, on Macquarie stations las~ t night, I
conducted what is called a " Five Cent Poll". People were
invited to call in and talk about what they consider to be
the issues of the 1972 election. Many, many people who
called in said they considered immigration to be one of the
major isaues. The ALP, of course, has brought out a number
of proposals on immigration. You have not spoken out very
much on this issue. How do you feel about the ALP programme
for immigration?
PM: I-think it would be disastrous for this country, both
in economic terms, and of course, they would destroy our
policy of having one single Australian community. In other
words, when we allow, or we attract migrants to come here,
we want them to be integrated into one homogenous society.
That is our policy, and I believe the alternative the
Labor policy would destroy both of the objectives that we
seek.
Q. A brief summation of the ALP policy would be in effect
that they seek to remove racial discrimination, they wish to
reduce the numbers of migrants coming to Australia and they
would want migrants to come to this country who had been
nominated by their families. Ibw do you s-ethat as being
disastrous to this country's economy?
Q. Well, at least 50 per cent of the migrants who come here
now were nominated by the Commonwealth or State Governments
and not by individual nomination. When we nominate them in
the Commonwealth or the State4, it means that we pick the people
we want, and to a very large extent they go to the developing
areas such as the North-West where our mineral development is
taking place or up around the Gladstone area and places of that
kind. What it would mean, therefore, is that we would cut
down on our development substantially and our growth would be
stunted. You would also find that migration from the United
Kingdom would be reduced by probably as much as 60 per cent.
Migration from North America and Northern Europe and South
America would be practically cut out and there would be a
big reduction in migration from Southern Europe. All this
would have a bad effect on us because it would take away from
the traditional migration links between the two countries. / 2

-2-
Q. You seem -arti-cunarJy worriced about this orocess of
personal nomination -t~ ie ALP is n-utting torvrard, rarticularly
in respsct to -non-. Eron2ear~ iiraigrantF,. Wrhy is that?
PM,: i am interested in this for.-s-cia1 pixrposes because
we want, as I have said a few minutes age , rr-integrated
Australian societyr. We don't want little enclaves scattered
-all over the lcewith the dif ficulties that they create.
Ncw, if you adopt a policy of non-discrimination, this would
mean that over time, in the long run not in the short periodthat
we would greatly harm this policy becausa the non-Europeans
nominate large numbers of relatives and friends, and as they
do this and the numbers in~ crease and they go on multinl ' ving,
then you would find that you would have disproportionately
large number of non-Euro ' ncans coming into the community. That
I believe would bo contrary to our nclicY ( and contrary to the
best interasts of the Australian people and, I believe, too,
of the migrants thcmselves.
Q. In view of the oublic interest in immigration in the
election castwaign, do you plan to announce any reforms or
chanqe-,: S of goal in your Party's and your Government's
immigration poli. c 1r
PM: No. What we havo done is to establish a committee of
enquiry on population, and we want that committee to look at
every aspect of nopulation birthrq and. deaths, immigration
and emigration, the numbers that we can absorb and the best
distribution of vonuiation in order to ensure that w~ e can
devAeultoapJi. o the full but at the same time nrotect
environmental conditions -nd establish qualities of life that
we think the Australian people want.
You would want a revort from that commission bofore
ycu decided on any change in plans?
PM: Yes, and as it is an in-depth study, we do not think we
would be able to get that repaort until the 1973-1974 Budget
year. Prime M~ inister, thank yrou very much.

Transcript 2690