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Posted Tuesday, January 26, 1999

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The Canberra Times

Canberra, Australia, January 22, 1999

Royal typewriterReader's Letters


I AM HEARTILY in disagreement with just about everything that Gerry Adams has to say on behalf of the Irish Republican Army, but I am glad that he is to be admitted to Australia (CT, 14 January, p.1) because nobody should be denied the right to express his or her viewpoint in this country just because we disagree with it.

Whether I agree with British historian David Irving on the subject of the Holocaust or not I do not know, because there have been con flicting reports of his statements, but what he has to say is quite irrelevant to his right to say it and the right of all Australians to hear him. If we believe in free speech only for those with whom we agree then we do not really believe in free speech at all.

The refusal of the Commonwealth Government to admit Mr Adams and Mr Irving to Australia about two years ago, apparently because the Government considered that their views should not be expressed in this country, represented a disgraceful abandonment of the British tradition of free speech.

If the Government, having agreed to admit a representative of Irish terrorists, continues to keep out a British historian it will be confirming what many have feared: that British tradition is now dead in this country and we have nothing better to look forward to than the multicultural.--JOHN F. KERR, Holder

Our opinion
 Mr Irving has written to the newspaper:

I READ what John F Kerr wrote about the strange double-standards of a government which now allows the Irish terrorist Gerry Adams to have a visa, but still finds that my character as a widely published British historian (score so far: thirty books) somehow falls short of the mark.
I shall be making a fresh visa application this year, and I hope that many Australians will write to the government indicating that they think the same way. I am rapidly building an Australia dossier on my personal Website (www.fpp.co.uk/Australia), and invite your readers to follow the case for themselves.

David Irving

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