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'He no doubt felt insulted': the White Australia Policy and Australia's relations with India, 1944-1964
chapterposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Eric Meadows
The Government of India never publicly criticised the White Australia policy. Nonetheless it was a subject of constant reporting to New Delhi by the Indian High Commission in Canberra. The Australian High Commission in New Delhi regularly reported criticism of the policy in the Indian press and in elite opinion. It urged the introduction of a quota for Indian immigration to Australia, but ministers remained unwilling to modify the policy in any substantial way, in the period under study. South Africa's apartheid policy was a far more serious problem in race relations for the Indian Government. The existence of the White Australia policy when countries such as Canada had introduced quotas for Indian immigration, suggested an Australia mired in attitudes irrelevant to a decolonising world. The Australian High Commissioner thought that although Nehru made no public comments on the policy, he must have felt insulted by its existence.