Support from a British journalist

Depression-stricken Europe finds fault with Australia’s strict immigration policies, a British journalist reports, citing Ross among others.

“Two German writers, Dr. Colin Ross and Dr. Max Jordan, recently visited Australia, and have written extensively on their observations”, notes Grace Marguerite Drummond-Hay halfway through her article. “They argue, ‘What moral right has Britain, or the Australians to such a vast “Empty Continent” when they do not populate it or cultivate it, and allow it to lie barren, while in other parts of the world people starve?’” In her article, Ross is featured as one of many public figures in Europe (Austria, Germany, and Italy, more precisely) whose dissatisfaction with Australia’s immigration strictures is bound to lead to international negotiations, possibly within the League of Nations.

The text demonstrates how easily the geopolitical concept of Volk ohne Raum (space withoiut people) translated to international debates about migration and countering the effects of the Great Depression. Drummond-Hay, a globetrotter herself, seems to support a change of policies, too, arguing European immigration would help secure Australia’s status as a “white continent” against Japanese, Chinese, and Indian interests. Strikingly, Drummond-Hay also rallies some sympathy for German and Austrian interest in migration to former German South-West Africa.

Joachim Schätz

Grace Marguerite Drummond-Hay. Crowded Nations Look This Way. Port Adelaide News: 1931 May 8; 4.

Topic: Volk ohne Raum
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

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