Towards a Permanent Presence

The Italianate newspaper "Malta" repeated the accusation which the Anti-Imperial party in Malta had sustained for a number of years: "la grande maggioranza degli australiani e ad essi decisamente ostile" which meant that according to that source the great majority of Australians were definitely hostile to the Maltese.

On September 15, 1927, the same source dealt with the harsh treatment meted out to some Maltese workers in Australia. The "Malta" censored other Maltese newspapers for encouraging immigration to distant Australia and accused them of preferring Australia because that country was British, and dismissed such publications as only fit to be read by soldiers in their barracks. Such an attack went under the heading "Le brutalita' australiane". According to the "Malta" foreigners were certainly not liked very much in Australia. This hostility did not originate from the language handicap but came from the ridiculous feeling the Australians had that anything that was not British must be inferior. This was especially true of those races which were not of Anglo-Saxon stock.

According to the "Malta" one of the Imperialist newspapers which should be read only in military barracks was "The Daily Malta Chronicle". That newspaper dismissed the criticism carried by the "Malta" as "a most atrociously false account of the alleged maltreatment of Maltese in Australia containing the deliberate lie that the Australians are by instinct bitterly hostile to the Maltese. This is a policy which links the Maltese with Italian migrants as victims of Australian hostility".

Although some Australians tried to keep aliens from the shores of their island, all agreed that their country was very thinly populated. Some uttered the grave warning that Australians had to populate their country or else perish. To the north lay the regions of Asia with their teeming millions. Chinese and Japanese had found their way to the gold mines in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. Others had landed on the inhospitable shores of the Northern Territory while Pacific islanders had been imported to work on the sugar-cane plantations in Queensland.

Source: The Great Exodus by Fr Lawrence E. Attard. (C) P.E.G. Ltd - 1989.

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