Words of Our Founders

White Australia is not a mere policy as far as Australia is concerned: It is a religion.
Senator Burford Sampson, 1928

With the Oriental, as a rule: The more educated, the worse man he is likely to be from our point of view. The more educated, the more cunning he becomes, and the more able: with his peculiar ideas of social and business morality: to cope with the peoples here. The Objection I have to the mixing of these coloured people with the white people of Australia – although I admit is to a large extent tinged with considerations of an industrial nature – lies in the main, in the possibility and probability of racial contamination!
John C. Watson, Leader of the Australian Labor Party 1901-1907

It is our duty to preserve this Island continent for all eternity to the white race; irrespective of where they may come from. If the Australian people had only lived in the southern states of America, as I have – and had seen the dire results present mingling of the Africans with the whites, they would put their feet down and say: We are not going to leave such an unholy problem behind for future generations to solve!
King O’Malley – Australian Minister of Home Affairs

We ought to preserve our ideal of a White Australia – even if we have to fight and die for that ideal.
Major-General Granville Ryrie

The coloured man must be kept out, whether he is Japanese, a Chinamen or an African. This is really a matter of life and death to the Australian people.
James C. Stewart, Senator Queensland Labor, 1901

White Australia must not be regarded as a mere political shibboleth. It was Australia’s Manga-Carta. Without that policy, this country would have been lost long ere this. It would have been engulfed in an Asian tidal wave. There would have been no need for the Japanese to invade this country, we would have been swallowed up by the rolling advance of a horde of coloured people.
John T “Jack” Lang, 23rd Premier of New South Wales

Ninety-Five out of one hundred Australians reject the very idea of racial equality.
William “Billy” Hughes, 7th Prime Minister of Australia

The White population is being driven out of the labour market by an inundation of Mongolians and when the white man is driven to desperation.. There will be desperate times.
Edward “Ned” Kelly

The White Australia Policy was racial in the best sense of the word; It is based on the belief that by drawing immigrants from races which assimilate readily, we shall produce a stronger and more cohesive people and avoid unhappy racial differences. It is not an attitude of racial superiority, but of facts.
Robert G. Menzies, 12th and longest serving prime minister of Australia.

We can only preserve our heritage for our descendants by preserving the homogeneity of our race, and that we must and will do. We cherish no annexationist ideas, we covet no other territory and we have no imperialist ambitions. If Australians are ever foolish enough to open their gates in a significant way to people other than Europeans; they will soon find themselves fighting desperately to stop the nation from being flooded by hordes of non-integratables. The Communists base their appeals on the sympathy Australians feel for the poor and oppressed in backward countries; They preach equality, but ignore the fact that equality does not necessarily mean similarity or the ability to live and work together.
Arthur A. Calwell, Leader of the Australian Labor Party 1968

Experience has shown us the awful mistake of the mixing of white and coloured people. The mixture is not a fortunate one. We do not want it in this country, and should endeavour to prevent it for the sake of the white and coloured races alike. History teaches us that the races, are better kept apart in their own countries.
John MacDonald, Labor Senator for Queensland 1922

The White Race should come to a common understanding; and present a united front to its potential enemies. We say that the policy of a White Australia is worth defending, and we are prepared to defend it.
William G. Spence, Founder and leader of the Australian Labor Party and Australian Workers Union

A White Australia does not by any means mean only the preservation of the complexion of the people of this country. It means the maintenance of conditions of life fit for white men and white women; It means protection against the underpaid labour of other lands; It means social justice so far as we can establish it, Including just trading and the payment of fair wages.
Alfred Deakin, 2nd Prime Minister of Australia

Nationalism is necessary as the interests and feeling of different races are too discordant to be harmonised under one single central Government.
Charles H. Pearson

It is possible to live on the highest terms of mutual respect with ones neighbour whilst recognising that it would be destructive of all harmony to invite him to become a permanent resident in ones household.
Jack Beasley, Labor Member for West Sydney 1928-1946

We intend to keep this country white and not allow its people to be faced with the problems that at present are practically insoluble in many parts of the world.
Stanley Bruce, 8th Prime Minister of Australia