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Reduced to a Symbolical ScaleThe Evacuation of British Women and Children from Hong Kong to Australia in 1940$
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Tony Banham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390878

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390878.001.0001

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Arrival in Australia

Arrival in Australia

(p.53) 3 Arrival in Australia
Reduced to a Symbolical Scale

Tony Banham

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter Three documents the impact of the White Australia policy on the execution of the evacuation, and the resulting returns of Eurasians - exposing an unplanned injustice in the scheme that sparked vocal dissatisfaction in Hong Kong and serious disagreement within government. It continues by reporting the departure of the evacuees from Manila, and the arrival of each of their ships (plus other smaller groups of evacuees travelling directly from Hong Kong) in Australia, arguing that the evolving sophistication of their reception was a demonstration of the lack of detail in the original evacuation plan. During their first days in the new country, it looks at the balance between the Hong Kong government’s continued push for the remaining civilians to evacuate, and the lobbying (from both sides) for the return of those already evacuated, resulting eventually in the ending of mandatory evacuation. To those who had opposed evacuation it was perceived as a ‘victory’ tempered by the authorities’ refusal to let existing evacuees return, yet the British government would claim in turn that their evacuation aims had been met.

Keywords:   White Australia, Racism, Evacuees, Manila, Eurasians

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