David Irving's Fight against Australian Suppression of Free Speech
Australia challenges David Irving: why should we let you in?

Thursday, January 17, 2002


Minister Philip Ruddock: official photo

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The Hon. Gary Hardgrave MP
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6277 7890 Facsimile: (02) 6273 0434

26 JAN 2002

Mr *******
******** Queensland.

Dear Mr *****

Thank you for your letter of *** *** 2001 to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, concerning Mr David Irving. Mr Ruddock has asked me to reply on his behalf. I apologise for the delay in responding.

I can inform you that all non-citizens applying for visas to enter Australia are considered against the legal requirements of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) and the Migration Regulations 1994. The Act contains a broad and comprehensive power to refuse to grant, or to cancel, a visa on the basis that a person does not pass the Character Test set out in subsection 501(6) of the Migration Act 1958 on certain grounds, including:

  • the person's past criminal conduct, general conduct or association with an organisation which, it is reasonably suspected, is or has been involved in criminal conduct; and
  • if the person were allowed to enter Australia there is a significant risk that the person would vilify a segment of the Australian community, or incite discord in or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of the community.

There have been several occasions where Mr Irving has had visa applications refused on the basis of his failure to meet the requirement to be of good character. This is a matter of public record.

In 1995, Mr Irving appealed the then Minister's decision to refuse his visitor visa application to the Federal Court. In 1996, the Federal Court rejected that appeal. I refer you to the judgment in David John Cawdell Irving v Minister of State for Immigration, Local Government & Ethnic Affairs [1996] 663 ECA 1 (30 July 1996), which can be accessed through the legal information web site, www.austlii.edu.au. In that judgment, His Honour, Davies J stated, amongst other things:

"In my opinion, all these matters, the offences against the laws, the conviction, the contempt of court, the orders for deportation and the findings of lack of veracity, were matters which the Minister was entitled to take into account in his assessment whether or not Mr Irving was a person of 'good character'. No matter taken into account by the Minister was irrelevant to his task."

Any decisions regarding Mr Irving's visa applications to visit Australia have been made having regard to the relevant criteria in the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994. These decisions do not relate to the principle of freedom of speech. Mr Irving's views .and writings are readily available in Australia, and Australians are free to come to their own conclusions about Mr Irving's views.

Thank you for bringing this matter to Mr Ruddock's attention.

Your sincerely

Gary Hardgrave

[*** indicates omissions by this website, to protect the identity of the writer].

[Hyperlinks inserted by this website]


David Irving comments.

THIS is the standard letter being sent by the Australian Government to the very many citizens who have written to the Minister to protest at my being excluded from the country. (Many have sent me copies, so I know that). Mr Hardgrave does not mention that in 1993 the Federal Court ruled that the ban on me was illegally issued by the then Minister (whereupon Australia changed the law!). As for alleging that the decisions do not relate to Freedom of Speech, the then prime minister John Howard, when challenged face to face during a visit by the prime minister to London on October 23, 1997, replied to me verbatim:

"I am responsible as prime minister of my country, uh, for taking a decision not to allow you to enter Australia. And the reason for that decision was, uh, based upon my government's perception of the Australian national interest, and, uh, uh, the reasons that relate, uh, in part, as you know, to some of views that you have expressed about matters which we believe, if propagated in Australia, would not be in the Australian national interest." [Full transcript]

Howard makes commendably plain why the visa was not granted: to suppress free speech, and nothing to do with "character" or a (non-existent) criminal record.

© Focal Point 2002 David Irving