The ‘Insane’ and the White Australia Policy, 1901–1912
This chapter considers Australia’s version of the insane immigrant clause, and shows how, over its first decade, it went through a series of manifestations. Procedural amendments reintroduced a version of the nineteenth-century bonding provision. Conversely, amendments to the Act itself closed the loopholes which had weakened its intent. In 1905 the deportation function was formalised and exemptions based on domicile were removed. The unwieldy operations came to the notice of the eugenically minded who viewed the low rejection rates as a failure rather than proof of healthy immigration.