Washington (Aug. 18)
Australian Minister of Immigration Arthur A. ?well, now in the United States seeking ships to transport new immigrants to Australia, told a press conference today that there is “nothing anti-Jewish” about Australia’s immigration policy.
Replying to press reports, to the effect that “exclusion of Jews” was part the Australian policy, Calwell declared that there was no racial or religious disimination when choosing potential immigrants. “The basis for our laws is economic, ## racial,” he said. Calwell went on to point out that his government had been one ## the first to offer sanctuary, in November, 1945, to persecutees and concentration ##mp victims who were close relatives of Australian citizens.
Anti-Semitism exists in Australia “as anywhere,” he said, pointing out that ?e Jewish population of Australia was only two percent of the total. There are ?strictions, he explained, making it impossible for a Jewish welfare organization ## reserve more than 25 percent of the borths on any one ship going to Australia, ## said the government had been under attack for not agreeing to a plan to charter ##le boats exclusively for Jewish refugees. This would be one of the “worst things that could happen to Australian Jewry,” he declared, stressing the “inadvisability of claiming special privileges for special classes.”
To another press report that Jewish DP’s were being barred in allocation of ?erths on British ships going to Australia, Calwell pointed out that all berths on British ships were reserved for British subjects who wanted to go to Australia, but there was no such restriction on vessels flying other flags and that it was “not a ?lanket prohibition against Jews.”