Keeping the Nazi Menace Out: George Lincoln Rockwell and the Border Control System in Australia and Britain in the Early 1960s

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In the early 1960s, the American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell was invited by neo-Nazi groups in Australia and Britain to come to their respective countries. On both occasions, the minister for immigration in Australia and the home secretary in Britain sought to deny Rockwell entry to the country on the grounds that he was not conducive to the public good and threatened disorder. This was done using the border control and visa system that existed in both countries, which allowed the government to exclude from entry certain individuals that were proponents of extreme or "dangerous" political ideologies. In the post-war period, explicit neo-Nazism was seen as a dangerous ideology and was grounds for exclusion of foreigners, even though domestic political parties espousing the same ideology were allowed to exist. Rockwell never came to Australia, but illicitly entered Britain via Ireland in 1962 before being deported, which highlighted potential problems for the British controlling passage across the Irish Sea. Rockwell's exclusion and deportation also became a touchpoint for future debates in British politics about the denial of entry and deportation of political figures. This article reveals that the Australian and British governments, while allowing far-right organisations to lawfully exist in their countries, also sought to ban the entry of foreign actors who espoused similar politics. This was due to concerns about potential public disorder and violence, but also allowed both governments to portray white supremacism and racial violence as foreign to their own countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • American nazi party
  • Australian nationalist workers party
  • Border control
  • Colin jordan
  • Deportation
  • George lincoln rockwell
  • National socialist movement


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