July 22, 1995
CONTROVERSIAL British historian Mr David Irving
has launched a fresh bid to
enter Australia, with his lawyer telling the Federal
Court yesterday Mr Irving had been punished for his
'politically incorrect' views.
Barrister Mr Peter Bates also conceded to the court in Perth
that Mr Irving might have lied
to Canadian authorities and had been convicted of
'defaming the memory of the dead' in
But that was no reason to ban him from Australia, Mr Bates
Mr Irving had been unfairly labelled a neo-Nazi and a
neo-fascist because he had questioned the 'traditional
learning' about the Holocaust In World War II.
Mr Bates asked the court to review the Federal Government's
decision in May last year to stop Mr Irving's planned
lecture tour on the grounds that he was not of good
'Even his most vehement detractors would agree that until he
views about the Holocaust in 1988 he was highly regarded
... and a man with a world-wide reputation,' Mr Bates
'Everything that has happened to him since 1988 has happened
because of his historical views.'
Mr Irving's revisionist views on Nazi Germany, its treatment
of Jews and his publicly expressed doubts that Jews were
gassed at the Auschwitz
concentration camp have outraged Jewish groups around the
Banned from entering Australia in 1993, Mr Irving won an
appeal to have that decision overturned. But he was again
refused a visa in May 1994.
Veritas Publishing Company, Mr Irving's Australian
publisher, started a fighting fund to pay the legal costs to
challenge the decision to ban him.
The manager of Veritas Publishing, Mr Murray Pope, said
outside the court that the company hoped to bring Mr Irving
to Australia this year to promote new books, including one
on diaries kept by Adolf Hitler's chief propagandist, Joseph
Counsel for the Federal Governemt, Mr Stephen Owen-Conway
QC, said it did not matter whether Mr Irving's views had
credence or not. Mr Owen-Conway told the court the decision
to ban Mr Irving was based on the knowledge that he had been
found to have given
false evidence under oath and had been convicted
of a serious offence in Germany.
He said Mr Irving had shown 'flagrant disregard for the laws
of the Federal Republic of Germany' and was found to be a
threat to the country's security.
However, Mr Bates said aspects of Mr Irving's behaviour,
even at their worst, would not render Mr Irving a threat to
the Australian community.
He said Mr Irving was a clean-living man who was not a
member of any terrorist organisation and could not be
considered of 'bad character'.
Mr Bates said that although Mr Irving's opinions may be
considered inaccurate, wrong or even rejected they were
based on historical research and were genuine academic
'He is not a crackpot or a vicious person as some may
suggest,' Mr Bates said.
The hearing is continuing."