Nationalism rising in Australia [27 January 1949]

Nationalism rising in Australia

Melbourne, Wed. — “Australian nationalism is rising in this country, particularly in people under the age of 40. That is a good thing, because Australia will not be left in undisputed possession of this land.”

The Minister for Immigration (Mr. Calwell) said this today. He was speaking at a reception given by the Australian Natives’ Association to celebrate Australia Day and the 161st anniversary of the colonisation of Australia.

Mr. Calwell criticised the celebration of Australia Day on any but the correct day.

The Monday celebration each year had been decided upon purely for commercial reasons, he said, and it was wrong that Australia Day should be celebrated in a perfunctory manner.

“Australia Day should be celebrated as a national holiday on January 26 each year,” he said. “America’s most important day in its history is July 4, the anniversary of independence, and it is always celebrated on that day.”

In some States, particularly New South Wales, there was, an unfortunate tendency to talk about “Anniversary Day,” instead of “Australia Day.”

Mr. Calwell said Australia was ready and willing to welcome people from all parts of the world so that it could build a nation of 20,000,000.

The former Lord Mayor of Melbourne (Sir Raymond Connelly) appealed to representatives of the 20 countries present at the reception to press Melbourne’s claims for the 1956 Olympic Games.

Mr. Calwell also said he hoped the next Olympic Games would be held in Australia.

“If America cannot secure the games herself, I hope she will press Australia’s claims in preference to those of Argentina,” he added.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.), Thursday 27 January 1949, page 3

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