Documents on the Australian Ban


David Irving after challenging prime minister John Howard in London on October 23, 1997.

David Irving's exclusion from Australia

November 1996

Many ordinary Australians have written to the Australian Govenrment to protest at the ban and inquire the reasons. The Australian government replies with lies and obfuscations

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Mr H Les Prosser writes to the government

4 Grace Crescent,

November 9, 1996


The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MHR,
Minister for Immigration,
Parliament House,

Dear Mr. Ruddock,

I cannot understand on what grounds you have decided not to grant visas to David Irving and Gerry Adams in view of the Federal Government's commitment to a new era of freedom of speech especially in the light of Mr. Howard's claim that the March election victory had ushered in a new era of political freedom.

Mr. Irving did not cause any unrest or breach any rules on his two previous visits to Australia. I am therefore curious to know why he is being banned on this occasion. Could you please enlighten me?

Yours Sincerely,

H.L. Prosser

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP
Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs


Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144


18 DEC 1996

Mr/s H L Prosser
4 Grqcd [sic] Crescent

Dear Mr/s Prosser

Thank you for your letter of 9 November 1996 concerning the applications of Mr David Irving and Mr Gerry Adams to visit Australia.

As you would be aware I decided on 6 November 1996 to refuse to grant visas to Mr Irving and Mr Adams as I was satisfied that they are not persons of good character.

In 1992 Mr Irving was convicted of "defaming the memory of the dead", an offence under German law, and in 1993 expelled from Germany; in 1992 Mr Irving was detained by Canadian immigration officials and deported from Canada; in 1994 Mr Irving was found to be in contempt of the UK High Court and committed to prison for three months. Sworn evidence by Mr Irving, in an attempt to purge that contempt, was later rejected by a judge of the UK High Court. This conduct reveals a consistent pattern of behaviour which led me to conclude that Mr Irving is not a person of good character.

Mr Irving's last two applications for visitor visas were also refused as it was assessed that he did not meet the legal criteria for the grant of the visas. These decisions were the subject of an appeal to the Federal Court by Mr Irving. In a judgment dated 30 July 1996 the Federal Court rejected that appeal. The Federal Court observed that 'good character' should be taken in its ordinary sense as a reference to the enduring moral qualities of a person and not to the good standing, fame or repute of that person in the community. The Court also commented that lack of respect for the law and for sensitivities for which the law sought to win respect was relevant to the issue of character in Mr Irving's case.

Mr Adams, who is President of Sinn Féin, continues to be intimately associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army. This organisation continues to conduct criminal acts of terrorism and bombings. It is Mr Adams' association with this organisation which led me to conclude that he is not a person of good character.

My decision in respect to Mr Irving and Mr Adams had nothing to do with foreign policy or the issue of free speech. The Australian Government is committed 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 your thoughts on this matter to my attention.

Yours sincerely

Philip Ruddock

4 Grace Crescent,

Telephone (02) 9637 2809

Dec 22 I996


The Hon. Philip Ruddock, M.H.R.,
Minister for Immigration
and multicultural Affairs
Parliament House, Canberra,
A.C.T. 2600

Dear Mr. Ruddock,

Thank you for your letter of I8 Dec I996 concerning your reason to refuse to grant visas to Mr. David Irving and Dr. Adams.

I am not concerned about the case of Mr. Adams as I have long been opposed to the alien forces behind the IRA

In regard to Mr. Irving this is a different matter, as I am familiar with much of his writings. There are always two sides to every argument and your letter to me seems to indicate that you have only examined one side . However, I will dispatch a Photostat copy of your letter to me to David Irving so that he will, maybe, respond and possibly enlighten you on this matter and also discuss the tactics of his enemies who are planning his destruction.

Yours Sincerely,

© Focal Point 1999 David Irving