The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s
8 “Retaining Migrant Cultures” and “Leavening British Traditions”: A Comparison of Integration Policies in Canada and Australia, 1950s–1970s
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“Retaining Migrant Cultures” and “Leavening British Traditions”
A Comparison of Integration Policies in Canada and Australia, 1950s–1970s
The Demise of Britishness and the Unravelling of Whiteness
Well into the 1950s in both English-speaking Canada and Australia there was initially a continued emphasis on British race patriotism as the core of national identity. Prime Ministers Diefenbaker and Menzies were the most ardent advocates of Britishness in their respective nations. Menzies placed considerable importance on the “British” part of the “British Commonwealth,” and highlighted the strength of familial ties between Australia and the “mother-country.” In an address at a luncheon given by the Constitutional Association of New South Wales on 9 October 1953 he emphasised the importance of the Crown to the Commonwealth, especially in the light of India’s being allowed to remain in the Commonwealth after it became a republic in January 1950: “It is one of my own regrets that there has been a little disposition in modern times, or more recent times, to obscure the significance of this magnificent element [the Crown] … It is not only an element of law, but an element of the spirit, that we have a common allegiance.”1 However, compared to Menzies, Diefenbaker’s position towards British race patriotism was somewhat qualified. Diefenbaker would often phrase ← 205 | 206 → his comments about the British world with an emphasis on the Commonwealth and Canada’s evolution within it. Speaking to the Canada...
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