Diplomacy in argumentation
Interviewed for the Brisbane Telegraph, Ross warns of overcrowded Asia and argues for white settlement in the tropics. Curiously, he doesnât apply those lessons to Australia in the interview.
Ever the smooth talker, Ross likely didnât want to alienate the Australian leadership by decrying Australian immigration policy directly. Rather than use Australia as a model case, Ross makes his argument in relation to Africa, especially East Africa (which includes, not coincidentally, the area of the former German colony of German East Africa). âThere, Europeans and Asians are competing for free spaceâ, he claims, and proceeds to stress the conflict between racial and imperial allegiances. âThere is a strong feeling amongst white settlers against Asian immigration, but it is difficult for the British Government to keep its Indian subjects out of the African colonies.â Ross argues for strengthened solidarity between âthe white racesâ, from which (without mentioning it) Germany, stripped of foreign-policy power, would stand to benefit.
The second main point Ross makes, again referring to Africa, is about âthe possibilities of white settlement in the tropics.â He argues for the benefits of measured intermarriage, with examples from South America and the Netherlands East-Indies, again neglecting to say that he came to a similar conclusion about Australia. (See âThe olive perilâ) In his grandiloquent fashion, Ross provides âproofâ of the white manâs ability to settle in the tropics by referring to his own travels there: âMe and my wife and family lived there for years and I found that one could stand the tropics in altitudes up to several thousand feet.â
Anonymous. Colour problem. Views of German traveller. Whites in the tropics. Telegraph: 1929 Jul 22; 2.