Cablegram 316 OTTAWA, 3 September 1946, 12.39 p.m.
Your 4744 of 20th August.  I.L.O. Migration Committee.
Resolutions were adopted on each agenda item. Will airmail further
comments and copy of final report when received from Montreal.
Meanwhile I think you should know that the question of racial
discrimination item 3 gave rise to frank discussion and India
singled out the Australian policy for spirited attack. I replied
in terms of your 4744 and concluded with the following:-
'Australia has no immigration statutes which specifically
discriminate against any particular countries, her general policy
being based on social, economic and cultural grounds and not on
any assumption of racial superiority. The dictation test referred
to by India is not used exclusively against non-European races,
and for the purpose of preventing admission into Australia is very
seldom used, for control of entry is exercised by the passport
requirements and in the case of non-British subjects by the
landing permit system. The sole object of discrimination in any
way is merely to safeguard the interests of our own citizens which
should be the paramount duty of every Government to its people.
All that we try to do is to insure as far as possible that persons
admitted to Australia will readily assimilate into the national
life of our country.'
But believe our position not fully understood by India and Latin
Final resolution on item 3 affirms that non discrimination is one
of the fundamental conditions of progressive and orderly migration
movements and continues 'having had its attention called to
certain practices in connection with Migration which being based
upon racial discrimination are to be condemned, believing that
these practices arise from difficulties which can be more easily
overcome if a broader and longer view is taken of the problem,
Original draft of resolution was couched in much stronger
language, but by discreet lobbying I was able to have it modified
to final form. In the light of your 4744 there is a loophole for
Australia in the words 'being based on racial discrimination' for
we do not admit such discrimination, but the strong language and
terms of the resolution were clearly the result of the Indian
At the meeting commencing 16th September the Governing body is to
be asked to refer resolutions and record of speeches to the
Economic and Social Council with a view to the question of racial
discrimination being considered by the Commission on human rights.
Wynes has been made aware of your general views. Of all countries
represented Australia was the only one with a clear cut postwar