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“A Fundamental Human Right”? Mixed-Race Marriage and the Meaning of Rights in the Postwar British Commonwealth

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2021

Jon Piccini*
School of Arts, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia
Duncan Money
African Studies Centre Leiden, Leiden University, Netherlands and International Studies Group, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


This article explores the removal or exclusion in the late 1940s of people in interracial marriages from two corners of the newly formed Commonwealth of Nations, Australia and Britain's southern African colonies. The stories of Ruth and Sereste Khama, exiled from colonial Botswana, and those of Chinese refugees threatened with deportation and separation from their white Australian wives, reveal how legal rearticulations in the immediate postwar era created new, if quixotic, points of opposition for ordinary people to make their voices heard. As the British Empire became the Commonwealth, codifying the freedoms of the imperial subject, and ideas of universal human rights “irrespective of race, color, or creed” slowly emerged, and claims of rights long denied seemed to take on a renewed meaning. The sanctity of marriage and family, which played central metaphorical and practical roles for both the British Empire and the United Nations, was a primary motor of contention in both cases, and was mobilized in both metaphorical and practical ways to press for change. Striking similarities between our chosen case studies reveal how ideals of imperial domesticity and loyalty, and the universalism of the new global “family of man,” were simultaneously invoked to undermine discourses of racial purity. Our analysis makes a significant contribution to studies of gender and empire, as well as the history of human rights, an ideal which in the late 1940s was being vernacularized alongside existing forms of claim-making and political organization in local contexts across the world.

Sentimental States
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History

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Acknowledgments: We are grateful to the CSSH reviewers and to Professor Chris Dixon for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this article.


1 There is an extensive literature on this subject. Ann Stoler argued that policing interracial relationships was closely bound up with constructing and maintaining white supremacy in empire, in “Making Empire Respectable: The Politics of Race and Sexual Morality in 20th Century Colonial Cultures,” American Ethnologist 16, 4 (1989): 634–60. See also Stoler's works collated in Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley, 2002); Ghosh, Durba, Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (New York, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; White, Owen, Children of the French Empire: Miscegenation and Colonial Society in French West Africa, 1895–1960 (New York, 1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; McCulloch, Jock, Black Peril, White Virtue: Sexual Crime in Southern Rhodesia, 1902–1935 (Bloomington, 2000)Google Scholar; MacGrath, Ann, “Consent, Marriage and Colonialism: Indigenous Australian Women and Colonizer Marriages,” Journalism of Colonialism and Colonial History, 6, 3 (2005), published online, doi: 10.1353/cch.2006.0016Google Scholar.

2 See Michael P. Marks, Metaphors in International Relations Theory (Basingstoke, 2011); Natasha Wheatley, “Spectral Legal Personality in Interwar International Law: On New Ways of Not Being a State,” Law and History Review 35, 3 (2017): 753–87.

3 Ben Golder “Thinking Human Rights through Metaphor,” Law & Literature 31, 3 (2019): 301–32.

4 For the “textbook narrative” see Stephen Jensen and Roland Burke, “From the Normative to the Transnational: Methods in the Study of Human Rights History,” in Bard A. Andreassen, Hans-Otto Sano, and Siobhán Mclnerney-Lankford, The World Bank, eds., Research Methods in Human Rights: A Handbook (Cheltenham, 2017), 223. This lineage is one popularly assumed by many contemporary human rights institutions and legal figures. See, for examples, Australian Human Rights Commission, “Human Rights Explained: Face Sheet 2: Human Rights Origins,” (accessed 29 Jan. 2019); and Nigel Rodley, “International Human Rights Law,” in Malcolm Evans, ed., International Law, 4th ed. (Oxford, 2014), 783–820.

5 Samuel Moyn, The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (Cambridge, Mass., 2012), ch. 2.

6 Roland Burke, Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights (Philadelphia, 2013); Barbara Keys, Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (Cambridge, Mass., 2014); and contributions to Jan Eckell and Samuel Moyn, eds., The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s (Philadelphia, 2015); and Akire Iriye, Petra Goedde, and William I. Hitchcock, eds., The Human Rights Revolution: An International History (Oxford, 2012).

7 Lora Wildenthal, The Language of Human Rights in West Germany (Philadelphia, 2012); and Mark Philip Bradley, The World Reimagined: Americans and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (New York, 2016).

8 See, for example, Adom Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (Princeton, 2019).

9 The film was based on Susan Williams’ book Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation (London, 2006).

10 Susan Williams, “The Media and the Exile of Seretse Khama: The Bangwato vs. the British in Bechuanaland, 1948–56,” in Chandrika Kaul, ed., Media and the British Empire (London, 2006), 70. The literature on Seretse and Ruth Khama's marriage concentrates on the implications for British imperial policy, specifically British control over its Southern African colonies. See Ronald Hyam, “The Political Consequences of Seretse Khama: Britain, the Bangwato and South Africa, 1948–1952,” Historical Journal 29, 4 (1986): 921–47; Peter Henshaw and Ronald Hyam, The Lion and the Springbok (New York, 2003), 168–97; Rob Skinner, The Foundations of Anti-Apartheid: Liberal Humanitarians and Transnational Activists in Britain and the United States, c. 1919–64 (Basingstoke, 2010), 96; Neil Parsons, Thomas Tlou, and Willie Henderson, Seretse Khama, 1921–80 (Braamfontein, 1997); Ronald Hyam, “The Parting of the Ways: Britain and South Africa's Departure from the Commonwealth, 1951–61,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 26, 2 (1998): 158–59. See also Neil Parsons, “The Impact of Seretse Khama on British Public Opinion 1948–56 and 1978,” Immigrants & Minorities 12, 3 (1993), 195–219; Michael Dutfield, A Marriage of Inconvenience: The Persecution of Ruth and Seretse Khama (London, 1990); John Stuart, “Empire and Religion in Colonial Botswana: The Seretse Khama Controversy, 1948–1956,” in Hilary M. Carey, ed., Empires of Religion (Basingstoke, 2008), 311–32.

11 Gwenda Tavan, The Long, Slow Death of White Australia (Melbourne, 2005). See also Klass Neumann, Across the Seas: Australia's Response to Refugees, a History (Melbourne, 2015); and Glenn Nichols, Deported: A History of Forced Departures from Australia (Sydney, 2007). Of the cases, that involving the Indonesian woman Annie O'Keefe has received the most interest; see in particular, Sean Brawley, “Finding Home in White Australia: The O'Keefe Deportation Case of 1949,” History Australia 11, 1 (2014): 128–48.

12 David Killingray, “‘A Good West Indian, a Good African, and, in Short, a Good Britisher’: Black and British in a Colour-Conscious Empire, 1760–1950,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 36, 3 (2008): 363–81, 364, 372.

13 Quoted in Sunkanya Banerjee, Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (Durham, 2010), 3.

14 Shula Marks, “Southern Africa,” in J. M. Brown and W. Roger Louis, eds., The Oxford History of the British Empire. Volume IV: The Twentieth Century (Oxford, 1999), 560.

15 Harry Goulbourne, Ethnicity and Nationalism in Post-Imperial Britain (Cambridge, 1991), 91–96.

16 Daniel Gorman, Imperial Citizenship: Empire and the Question of Belonging (Manchester, 2006), 2.

17 Pat Thane, “The British Imperial State and the Construction of National Identities,” in Billie Melman, ed., Borderlines: Genders and Identities in War and Peace, 1870–1930 (London, 1998), 42.

18 J. R. Seeley, The Expansion of England. Two Courses of Lectures (Cambridge, 2010[1883]), 256; Rieko Karatani, Defining British Citizenship: Empire, Commonwealth and Modern Britain (London, 2003), 12.

19 K.C. Wheare, “Is the British Commonwealth Withering Away?” American Political Science Review 44, 3 (1950): 535–55, 554.

20 Marilyn Lake, “From Mississippi to Melbourne via Natal: The Invention of the Literacy Test as a Technology of Racial Exclusion,” in Ann Curthoys and Marilyn Lake, eds., Connected Worlds: History in Transnational Perspective (Canberra, 2005), 209–29.

21 Kate Darian-Smith, Patricia Grimshaw, and Stuart Macintyre, Britishness Abroad: Transnational Movements and Imperial Cultures (Carlton, 2007). Quotation from Killingray, “Good West Indian,” 364.

22 Saul Dubow, “How British Was the British World? The Case of South Africa,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 37, 1 (2009): 1–27, 20.

23 Margaret Allen, “‘I Am a British Subject’: Indians in Australia Claiming Their Rights, 1880–1940,” History Australia 15, 3 (2018): 499–518, 501.

24 Peter Herman Prince, Aliens in Their Own Land: ‘Alien’ and the Rule of Law in Colonial and Post-Federation Australia (PhD diss., Australian National University, 2015), 46.

25 Kenneth Cmiel, “The Recent History of Human Rights,” American Historical Review 109, 1 (2004): 117–35, 119; Paul Gordon Lauren, The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen (Philadelphia, 1998); Micheline Ishay, The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era (Berkeley, 2004); Antony Pagden, “Human Rights, Natural Rights and Europe's Imperial Legacy,” Political Theory 31, 2 (2003): 171–99; Jack Shuler, Calling Out Liberty The Stono Slave Rebellion and the Universal Struggle for Human Rights (Jackson, 2009); Lynn Avery Hunt, Inventing Human Rights: A History (London, 2008); Jenny Martinez, The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law (Oxford, 2014); Lynn Hunt, The French Revolution and Human Rights: A Brief Documentary History (Boston, 1996); Simon Marks, “From the ‘Single Confused Page’ to the ‘Decalogue for Five Billion Persons’: The Roots of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the French Revolution,” Human Rights Quarterly 20, 3 (1998): 459–514; David Armitage, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (Cambridge, Mass., 2006).

26 Elizabeth Borgwardt, A New Deal for the World: America's Vision for Human Rights (Cambridge, Mass., 2005), 3–4. On the “Wilsonian Moment,” see Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford, 2007).

27 Borgwardt, A New Deal, 4.

28 Or Rosenboim, The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and the United States, 1939–50 (Princeton, 2017), 19–20.

29 Ibid., 20.

30 Ibid., 21.

31 Moyn, Last Utopia, 44.

32 Marilyn Lake, “Chinese Colonists Assert Their ‘Common Human Rights’: Cosmopolitanism as Subject and Method in History,” Journal of World History 21, 3 (2010): 375–92.

33 Google Ngram, “Family of Nations,” 1800–2000.

34 On the role of marriage in international law, see Tamara Loss, Subject Siam: Family, Law and Colonial Modernity in Thailand (Ithaca, 2006). On the uses of the “family of nations” to include and exclude, see Liisa Malkki, “Citizens of Humanity: Internationalism and the Imagined Community of Nations,” Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 3, 1 (1994): 41–68; and Lydia Liu, “The Desire for the Sovereign and the Logic of Reciprocity in the Family of Nations,” Diacritics 29, 4 (1999): 150–77.

35 Examiner [Tasmania], 20 Sept. 1945: 4; Tweed Daily [New South Wales], 3 Jan. 1944: 3.

36 Stoler, Carnal Knowledge.

37 Mary A. Procida, Married to the Empire: Gender, Politics and Imperialism in India, 1883–1947 (Manchester, 2014), 21.

38 Philippa Levine, ed., Gender and Empire (Oxford, 2004), 6.

39 Ginger Frost, “‘Not Always Logical’: Binational/Biracial Marriages in Britain, 1900–1940,” History of the Family 24, 3 (2019): 585–607, 585.

40 Laura Tabili, “Empire Is the Enemy of Love: Edith Noor's Progress and Other Stories,” Gender & History 17, 1 (2005): 5–28, 18.

41 Linda Guerry, “Married Women's Nationality in the International Context (1918–1935),” Clio (English ed.) 43 (2016): 73–94.

42 M. Page Baldwin, “Subject to Empire: Married Women and the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act,” Journal of British Studies 40, 4 (2001): 522–56.

43 Nancy F. Cott, “Marriage and Women's Citizenship in the United States, 1830–1934,” American Historical Review 103, 5 (1998): 1440–74.

44 Matthew Fitzpatrick, “The Samoan Women's Revolt: Race, Intermarriage and Imperial Hierarchy in German Samoa,” German History 35, 2 (2017): 206–28, 208.

45 Marilyn Lake, “Female Desire: The Meaning of World War II,” Australian Historical Studies 24, 96 (1990): 267–84, 278.

46 Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage (New York, 2006), chs. 13, 14.

47 Jonathan Hyslop, “White Working-Class Women and the Invention of Apartheid: ‘Purified’ Afrikaner Nationalist Agitation for Legislation against “Mixed” Marriages, 1934–9,” Journal of African History 36, 1 (1995): 57–81; Timothy Keegan, “Gender, Degeneration and Sexual Danger: Imagining Race and Class in South Africa, ca. 1912,” Journal of Southern African Studies 27, 3 (2001): 459–77.

48 National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria, EM1/15, 1/4/21, letter from the Secretary for the Interior to Secretary for External Affairs, 12 Oct. 1949.

49 National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria, EM1/15, 1/4/21, letter from Secretary for External Affairs to Commissioner, South African Police, 3 Nov. 1953.

50 The British Government also sought to retain access to South Africa's newly discovered uranium deposits. Lucky Asuelime, “Uranium Politics of Gatekeeping: Revisiting the British Government's Policy vis-à-vis South Africa, 1945–1951,” Historia 58, 1 (2013): 33–50.

51 The National Archives, Kew, CO 527/776, Seretse Khama's Future, Commonwealth Relations Office, Jan. 1952.

52 “Dr Malan Wants All South Africa,” Manchester Guardian, 27 Oct. 1949.

53 Lucy Bland, “White Women and Men of Colour: Miscegenation Fears in Britain after the Great War,” Gender & History 17, 1 (2005): 29–61, 33, 39, 51–52.

54 Sonya O. Rose, “Sex, Citizenship, and the Nation in World War II Britain,” American Historical Review 103, 4 (1998): 1147–76, 1152–55, 1159.

55 George Orwell, “As I Please,” Tribune, 3 Dec. 1943.

56 Elizabeth Buettner, “‘Would You Let Your Daughter Marry a Negro?’: Race and Sex in 1950s Britain,” in Philipa Levine and Susan Grayzell, eds., Gender, Labour, War and Empire: Essays on Modern Britain (Basingstoke, 2009), 219, 220, 231.

57 “Too Much Mystery,” Daily Chronicle, 9 Mar. 1950. See also “Seretse Khama,” Daily Herald, 18 Mar. 1950, for more support for the British Government's actions.

58 “Chief Khama's Marriage,” Spectator, 2 Sept. 1949.

59 Williams, “Media and the Exile,” 74.

60 “Ruth, Please Go Home,” Daily Mirror, 27 Sept. 1949.

61 “A Man and His Wife,” Daily Mail, 7 Mar. 1950.

62 Hansard, House of Commons, 28 Mar. 1950, vol. 473, col. 337.

63 Letter from Bishop Walter Carey, Times, 11 Mar. 1950.

64 “Obituary: Lady Khama,” Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2002; Dutfield, Marriage of Inconvenience, 31–34. See also, Stuart, “Empire and Religion.”

65 Quoted in Hyam, “Political Consequences,” 921. See also “Die Bamangwato en ‘en Wit Vrou,” Die Burger, 27 June 1949; and “A Decision Deployed,” Bulawayo Chronicle, 14 Aug. 1949.

66 “Seretse Khama,” Cape Times, 10 Mar. 1950.

67 Parsons, “Impact of Seretse Khama,” 197.

68 “The Case of Seretse,” Evening Standard, 7 Mar. 1950.

69 “Opinion,” Daily Express, 8 Mar. 1950.

70 Killingray, “Good West Indian,” 363–64.

71 Anne Spry Rush, Bonds of Empire: West Indians and Britishness from Victoria to Decolonization (Oxford, 2011), 2.

72 “Seretse Khama,” Times, 9 Mar. 1950.

73 Hansard, House of Commons, 28 Mar. 1950, vol. 473, col. 348.

74 Letter from H. G. Apsimon and 135 others, Times, 13 Mar. 1950.

75 Hansard, House of Lords, 27 June 1951, vol. 172, col. 380. It is worth noting that Seretse Khama's impeccable credentials and social status did not prevent his removal and exile from Bechuanaland after he married Ruth Williams, and this had some bearing on David Cannadine's argument that social status was more important than race in Britain's treatment of colonial subjects, in Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (London, 2002).

76 “Obituary: Lady Khama,” Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2002.

77 “Amidst Alien Corn,” Observer, 26 Mar. 1950.

78 Letter from Pigmented, Birmingham, Manchester Guardian, 17 Apr. 1950.

79 Hyam, “Political Consequences,” 921.

80 “Seretse Khama,” Economist, 11 Mar. 1950.

81 “2,000 Call Him King Seretse,” Daily Mail, 20 Mar. 1950; Rose, “Sex, Citizenship, and the Nation,” 1154.

82 “Prime Minister's Reply to Primate,” Times, 13 May 1950.

83 Williams, “Media and the Exile,” 81–82.

84 “London Protest Rally To-day,” Observer, 12 Mar. 1950.

85 Hansard, House of Commons, 28 Mar. 1950, vol. 473, cols. 334–59.

86 National Archives of South Africa, Pretoria, BVV/89/98, letter from Paul Robeson and sixty-eight others to Secretary General, United Nations, 27 May 1950.

87 Letter from Seretse Khama, Times, 24 Mar. 1950. “Bamangwato” was an alternative spelling of “Bangwato” used by colonial authorities.

88 “Ruth and I: A Statement to the British People,” Sunday Express, 12 Mar. 1950.

89 Hyam, “Political Consequences,” 935.

90 “Where Secrecy Is Dangerous,” Daily Telegraph, 11 Mar. 1950. Letter from Margery Perham, Times, 18 Mar. 1950.

91 Wendy Webster, Englishness and Empire: 1939–1965 (Oxford, 2010), 104–8.

92 Jeffrey Hill, Learie Constantine and Race Relations in Britain and the Empire (London, 2019), 115.

93 Hansard, House of Commons, 5 May 1955, vol. 540, col. 1879.

94 “Measures to Strengthen Aust. Migration Laws,” Queensland Times, 10 June 1949: 1.

95 Klaus Neumann, “Remembering Refugees,” Inside Story, 20 Aug. 2010, (accessed 4 Feb. 2019).

96 Julia Martínez, “Indigenous Australian-Indonesian Intermarriage: Negotiating Citizenship Rights in Twentieth-Century Australia,” Aboriginal History 35 (2011): 177–95, 180.

97 See, in particular, Ann McGrath and Winona Stevenson, “Gender, Race, and Policy: Aboriginal Women and the State in Canada and Australia,” Labour/Le Travail 38 (1996): 37–53; Catriona Elder, “‘It Was Hard for Us to Marry Aboriginal’: Some Meanings of Singleness for Aboriginal Women in Australia in the 1930s,” Lilith: A Feminist History Journal 8 (1993): 114–38; Katherine Ellinghaus, “Absorbing the ‘Aboriginal Problem’: Controlling Interracial Marriage in Australia in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries,” Aboriginal History 27 (2003): 183–207; Katherine Ellinghaus, Taking Assimilation to Heart: Marriages of White Women and Indigenous Men in the United States and Australia, 1887–1937 (Lincoln, 2009).

98 Kate Bagnall, “Rewriting the History of Chinese Families in Nineteenth-Century Australia,” Australian Historical Studies 42, 1 (2011): 62–77, 70.

99 Martínez, “Indigenous Australian-Indonesian Intermarriage,” 181.

100 Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld), Museum of Australian Democracy, (accessed 7 Jan. 2021).

101 Bagnall, “Rewriting the History,” 70, and Anna Temby, “Negotiating Order in the Colonial City: Civic Improvement and the Social Ordering of Public Space in Brisbane, 1875–1914” (PhD diss., University of Queensland, 2019), ch. 4.

102 Kate Bagnall, “A Journey of Love: Agnes Breuer's Sojourn in 1930s China,” in Desley Deacon, Penny Russell, and Angela Woolacott, eds., Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World (Canberra, 2008), 120.

103 Michael Woods, “Rural Cosmopolitanism at the Frontier? Chinese Farmers and Community Relations in Northern Queensland, c. 1890–1920,” Australian Geographer 49, 1 (2018): 107–31. For population statistics, compare Census of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1911, vol. 2, pt. 8: Non European Races, 903; and Census of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1947, vol. 1, pt. 15: Race, 829.

104 Sean Brawley and Chris Dixon, “Jim Crow Downunder? African American Encounters with White Australia, 1942–1945,” Pacific Historical Review 71, 4 (2002): 607–32, 631. Karen Hughes, “Mobilising across Colour Lines: Intimate Encounters between Aboriginal Women and African American and other Allied Servicemen on the World War II Australian Home Front,” Aboriginal History 41 (2017): 37–70, 54.

105 Chris Dixon, African Americans and the Pacific War, 1941–45 (Cambridge, 2018), 157. See also, Chris Dixon, “‘Confronting the “Bulwark of White Supremacy’: The African American Challenge to White Australia, 1941–1945.” Journal of African American History 106, 1 (2021): 78–102.

106 Dixon, African Americans, 167.

107 Lachlan Grant, Australian Soldiers in Asia-Pacific in World War II (Sydney, 2014), chs. 7–8.

108 Lachlan Grant, “The Second AIF and the End of Empires: Soldiers’ Attitudes toward a ‘Free Asia,’” Australian Journal of Politics & History 57, 4 (2011): 479–94, 488.

109 On this campaign, see Heather Goodall, Beyond Borders: Indians, Australians and the Indonesian Revolution, 1939 to 1950 (Amsterdam, 2018).

110 Tavan, Long, Slow Death, 51–70.

111 See “Cannot Be Deported,” Liverpool Echo, 5 Aug. 1949: 3; “Harsh Act Attacked in Australia,” Gloucestershire Echo, 9 Feb. 1949: 1; and “Deportation of Chinese from Australia,” Scotsman, 24 Aug. 1949: 8.

112 “Deportation of Malays: A Case Calling for Discretion,” Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Nov. 1947: 2.

113 Letter from M. Brown and S. Magor, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Nov. 1947: 2.

114 “Indonesian Wives, Travel Ban, Minister's Explanation,” Kalgoorlie Miner, 2 May 1947: 1.

115 For a more complete overview, see Brawley, “Finding Home.”

116 “The Not-So-Trusty Sword,” Sydney Morning Herald, 8 Feb. 1949: 2.

117 Lake, “Chinese Colonists Assert.”

118 Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, no. 23, 9 June 1949, 810–14.

119 “Stand by Chinese Husbands: Wives’ Protest over Deporting,” Courier-Mail, 24 Aug. 1949: 3.

120 “Here Is a Chinese View,” Argus, 7 Sept. 1949: 2.

121 “Wives of Chinese Petition against Calwell,” Barrier Daily Truth, 5 Sept. 1949: 4.

122 “Calwell and Aliens,” Daily Examiner (Grafton), 6 Sept. 1949: 2. On Holocaust memory in Australia, see Tom Lawson and James Jordan, eds., The Memory of the Holocaust in Australia (Edgware, 2007); David Ritter, “Distant Reverberations: Australian Responses to the Trial of Adolf Eichmann,” Holocaust Studies 13, 2–3 (2007): 59–86.

123 Quoted in Sean Brawley, “Mrs O'Keefe and the Battle for White Australia,” Memento, Winter (2007): 7, (accessed 7 Jan. 2021).

124 “Premature Birth ‘Caused by Fear,’” Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 30 Aug. 1949: 6.

125 “Sydney Chinese ‘Clean, Decent,’” Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 2 Sept. 1949: 5.

126 “Calwell Might Have to Prove His Own Humanity,” Sun (Sydney), 10 Apr. 1949: 34.

127 “Wives of Chinese Petition against Calwell,” Barrier Daily Truth, 5 Sept. 1949: 4.

128 “Wives of Chinese Draw up Petition to Send to UN,” Northern Star, 5 Sept. 1949: 1.

129 “Here Is a Chinese View,” Argus, 7 Sept. 1949: 2.

130 “Evatt's ‘Human Rights’ Hypocrisy Exposed,” Tribune, 10 Sept. 1949: 3.

131 “Mr. Calwell and Human Rights,” Daily News (Perth), 19 Sept. 1949: 6.

132 Bradley, World Reimagined, 106.

133 Koon Wing Lau v. Calwell [1949], High Court of Australia, 65.

134 Jennifer Clark, Aborigines and Activism: Race, Aborigines and the Coming of the Sixties to Australia (Crawley, 2008), ch. 1.

135 Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, no. 36, 7 Sept. 1949, 11.

136 Glenn Nichols, “Gone with Hardly a Trace: Deportees in Immigration Policy,” in Klaus Neumann and Gwenda Tavan, eds., Does History Matter? Making and Debating Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Policy in Australia and New Zealand (Canberra, 2009), 13.

137 “Govt to Deport 30 Chinese,” Daily Telegraph, 26 Feb. 1951: 7; “Nowhere to Send Chinese,” Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 1951: 5.

138 In particular see Cooper, Frederick, Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (Princeton, 2014)Google Scholar, Terretta, Meredith, Petitioning for Our Rights, Fighting for Our Nation: The History of the Democratic Union of Cameroonian Women, 1949–1960 (Bamenda, 2013)Google Scholar; and Terretta, Meredith, “From Below and to the Left? Human Rights and Liberation Politics in Africa's Colonial Age,” Journal of World History 24, 2 (2013): 389416CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

139 Carina E. Ray makes the point that class shaped the decisions of the Colonial Office in cases where African men married to white women sought to leave Britain, since a small number of wealthy African men were able to move to West Africa with their white wives; “‘The White Wife Problem’: Sex, Race, and the Contested Politics of Repatriation to Interwar British West African,” Gender and History 21, 3 (2009): 628–46.

140 Neumann, Klaus, “Asylum Seekers, Willy Wong, and the Uses of History: From 2010 to 1962, and Back,” Australian Historical Studies 42, 1 (2011): 126–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

141 Hansard, House of Commons, 28 Mar. 1950, vol. 473, col. 336.