2M. NEW AUSTRALIANS IS 10-YEAR TARGET
(FROM OUR SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE)
CANBERRA, January 27. — Two million new Australians in ten years— that is the target aimed at by Mr. Holt, who is Minister for Immigration in the Menzies Government. But it is not merely the target of the Menzies Government, but also of Opposition members led by Mr. Chifley. It is no party matter; it is a matter of great national moment, transcending all party considerations.
Canberra has been given over this week to an "Australian Citizenship Convention," which was opened by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in the Albert Hall on Monday afternoon. Not only was it being held to discuss methods of assimilating into our community life the many thousands of migrants who have been streaming into this country in the last two or three years, but also to consider ways and means to accelerate the inflow and map out a clear-cut plan for the speedy absorption of all new arrivals. Among those attending the Convention are the State Ministers for Immigration. If the "new Australians" are to be successfully placed in industry there must be a fully co-ordinated plan in which Commonwealth and State authorities will work in the closest harmony. The delegates to the Convention represent all States, all parties and all creeds. The fact that on the platform with Mr. Menzies and Mr. Holt were the former Prime Minister (Mr. Chlfley) and Mr. Calwell, who was Minister for Immigration in the Chifley Government, was a sufficient indication of the really national character of the Convention. Indeed, very generous tributes were paid by the Prime Minister and Mr. Holt to the progressive immigration policy followed by the previous Government, and particularly to the energy and enthusiasm displayed by Mr. Calwell. It Is true that Mr. Calwell's administration of the Immigration laws has in some respects come In for criticism, but that does not detract from the credit due to him for adding so substantially to Australia's population by bringing in thousands of new settlers. Mr. Calwell himself stated, in addressing the Albert Hall gathering, that the capacity of a country to assimilate new population was generally placed at two per cent, but actually Australia had exceeded this rate, for in addition to immigration at the rate of 1.65 per cent, the natural increase had put Australia's population growth at 3 per cent. Mr. Holt proposes to intensify
the immigration campaign, particularly in respect of new settlers from the British Isles, with a view to bringing in 200,000 each year for the next ten years. This would give us a population of over 10,000,000 by the year 1960. Both Mr. Menzies and Mr. Holt said they hoped that 100,000 of the new arrivals each year would be from Great Britain. REMARKABLE ARTS EXHIBITION. Synchronising with the Citizenship Convention, a New Australian's Arts Exhibition is being held In the rooms of the Canberra University College. There have been a couple of previous exhibitions here of the work of these new citizens who have come out from Europe to make a home for themselves In Australia, but nothing so comprehensive as this one. There Is an astonishing variety of arts and handicrafts, ranging from exquisite jewellery, leather and wood work, tapestry and cloth work of various kinds, to sculpture, paintings in oil and watercolour, etchings, linocuts, etc. Much of this worn was brought out here from the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and other countries, but a good deal of it has been done here in the hostels provided for the migrants — some at Bathurst, some at Bonegilla and elsewhere. There are some artists among these people who are going to make names for themselves in Australia. One of them the Hungarian sculptor Zoltan Simo; another Is Verners Linde, Latvian painter, and another Leonid Denysenko, a young Ukrainian whose pen-and- ink work is much above the ordinary. A feature of the exhibition was a mural painting over the main entrance by two Latvian artists, V. and G. Linde, father and son, depicting the settlement of new arrivals in Australia. As Mr. Holt said in opening the exhibition, nobody could look around on these exhibits without feeling that something worth while had come into Australian life. It is proposed to hold the exhibition in all the State capitals.