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Australian Migrant Ships 1946-1977
Media: BOOK - paperback, 144 pages
Author: P. Plowman
Other: b&w & colour photos, index
Peter Plowman's book 'Emigrant Ships to Luxury Liners' was published in 1992, and sold steadily until 2004, when supplies were exhausted. Rather than reprint that book, he decided to produce a new book that concentrated solely on the migrant ships that served Australia from 1946 to 1977, as they are still a source of great interest to many people, especially those who travelled on them, and their families. This new book contains many new pictures as well as updated information.
When World War Two ended, the Australian Government was hoping for an influx of 70,000 migrants a years from Britain. In March 1946, an agreement was signed with the British Government, under which the Ministry of Transport would supply a number of older passenger liners to transport Britons wishing to migrate to Australia. It was only when an insufficient number of Britons applied to migrate that the Australian Government began seeking people from Greece and Italy, and then suitable refugees who thronged the displaced persons camps in Europe. On 21 July 1947, the Australian Government signed an agreement with the International Refugee Organisation in Geneva to accept 12,000 displaced persons per year, though this number would greatly increase over subsequent years.
In order to move these people, the IRO offered lucrative contracts, and many vessels never designed to carry passengers, or travel vast distances, were quickly refitted with extremely austere accommodation before being sent to ports in Germany and Italy to load up huge numbers of passengers and carry them half way around the world to a new life.
The agreement with the IRO ended in 1952, and a new contract was signed with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), whose ships were of a better calibre than the IRO vessels had been. Other migrants from Italy and Greece mostly travelled out on the liners of such as companies.
Assisted migrant from Britain continued to be transported in old Ministry of Transport vessels until 1957, after which they were carried in the tourist class accommodation of British liners on a regular service to Australia. From 1955 to 1970, the vessels of the Sitmar Line also carried thousands of British migrants to Australia, but then the contract was transferred to the Greek owned Chandris Line. By the mid-19570s, the majority of British migrants were being transported by aircraft, and only 'Australis' was carrying migrants. On 19 December 1977, 'Australis' arrived in Sydney carrying 650 assisted migrants, this being the last migrant voyage to Australia from Britain and Europe.
Johan de Wirr
Misr and Al Sudan
Tidewater - Continental
Strathmore and Stratheden
Strathnaver and Strathaird
Sitmar 'Victory' Ships
Mooltan and Maloja
Derna - Assimina
Protea - Arosa Kulm
Somersetshire and Dorsetshire
Indian Pilgrim Ships
Anna Salen - Tasmania
Otranto and Orontes
Nelly - Seven Seas
Groote Beer, Zuiderkruis and Watermark
Johan can Oldenbarnevelt
Australia, Neptunia and Oceania
New Australia - Arkadia
Liguria - Corsica
Roma (1942) and Sydney
Galileo Galilei and Guilielmo Marconi
Bretange - Brittany
Le Havre Abeto