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333 Makin to Evatt

Dispatch 70/1946 WASHINGTON, 26 December 1946


I have to report an interview which Dr. I. N. Steinberg,
Secretary-General of the Freeland League for Jewish Territorial
Colonization, recently had with me.

Dr. Steinberg mentioned he had personally met you, and also Mr.

Holloway [1], and had discussed with you the development of a
colony for Jewish refugees in Western Australia and Tasmania. He
understood, however, that the Prime Minister was quite averse to
such proposals.

I indicated to Dr. Steinberg that the Australian authorities felt
that any segregation of any part of the Australian population
would be undesirable, and emphasised that members of Jewish
communities had been assimilated with other peoples in Australia
and had been found to be cooperative and law-abiding. The
Australian Government felt that anyone received into Australia as
a citizen should have the opportunity of choosing his own place of
residence and should be able to engage fully and freely in every
aspect of our community life. The establishment of a separate
colony would only give rise to racial differences and would assist
in developing within Australia-which was today singularly free
from them-some of those unfortunate results which segregation had
brought about in Europe. The Australian Government was most
anxious to avoid such results which had been fraught with disaster

Dr. Steinberg appreciated the viewpoint I expressed, but
maintained his desire that the Australian Government should give
favourable consideration to his proposals. He pointed out that
colonisation on the scale contemplated would bring considerable
capital into Australia. Furthermore, the Jewish people had a real
desire to take their part in the pioneering and development of a
great country. Considerable advantage in the way of increased
productivity would accrue to Australia if it were possible to
admit Jewish refugees in the way proposed.

When Dr. Steinberg regretted our insistence upon individual
applications for admission as immigrants, I told him I did not
feel that this principle in our immigration policy would be
departed from, as we felt strongly that every case, in respect
both of health and suitability, should be adjudged on its own

I finally promised that I would bring Dr. Steinberg's views to the
notice of the Government.


1 E. J. Holloway, Minister for Labour and National Service.

[AA:A4231/2, WASHINGTON DISPATCHES, 1946, 1-70]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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