Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
The events in Queensland, and particularly Western Australia, just before the December 1977 General Election would be recognizable to anyone who had read Richard A. Huttenback's Racism and Empire. The dishonorable attempt to disenfranchise the illiterate Aborigines--which was foiled only by a Cabinet Minister crossing the floor and the casting vote of the speaker--was a direct inheritance of the "Natal formula," which is the main exercise of Huttenback's book. The formula was, in its purest form, simply a means, by language and literacy testing, of "keeping unwanted immigrants out of a colony through the use of a mechanism which seemed innocuous in legislation. The spirit of the formula," the author continues, "was to find its way into legal enactments which had nothing to do with immigration, but rather with the lives of non-whites who were legally resident of the colonies of settlement."
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1978