Keith Windschuttle is now accusing one of the chief proponents of the ‘stolen generations’ – Robert Manne – of distorting political history for contemporary political gain. Essentially the issue revolves around an attempt by Chief Protector of Aborigines in the Northern Territory, Dr Cecil Cook, in the 1930s to institute racist Aboriginal policies across the Commonwealth. The attempts were rejected by the then Lyons government but it appears Manne – who is well known for championing left-wing pet causes – may have deliberately distorted the political record.
On September 19 1933, the Lyons Cabinet considered but failed to approve Cook’s proposal. It recommended an opinion be sought from the Secretary of the Department of the Interior. At the time, the Secretary was not J. A. Carrodus, a departmental officer who Manne wrongly elevated in status to bolster his case, but Herbert Brown, who advised his Minister: “My own view is that half-castes who have been given certain rights and enjoy the franchise, should have the same privileges in respect to selecting their husbands or wives, as are enjoyed by other citizens of the Commonwealth.” Perkins agreed and based his August 1934 statement on this advice….
In failing to mention these three critical responses, while pretending the government gave “full endorsement” to the very opposite approach, Manne falsified Australian political history on an issue that he, more than almost any other academic commentator in the country, had the opportunity, the interest and the ability to investigate thoroughly and report honestly. If Manne can get away with behaviour of this kind, it would mean Australian universities no longer demand any standard of truthfulness from their academic staff.
I would think it highly unlikely that an academic inquiry be launched against Manne. It seems that the political left are pretty good at protecting their own, aka the Fabrication of Aboriginal History – Tasmania.