The abolition of indentured labour and the rejection of so-called' coloured' labour was a central concern of the first parliament of Australia, following" Federation. An exception was made, however, for the pearl-shelling industry which continued to import Asian indents despite concerns that this undermined the ' White Australian agenda. In the 1950s Australian government support for indentured labour remained steadfast ignoring growing international criticism. The dismantling of the indenture system in the late 1960s was a belated attempt at labour reform. Government debates, however, reveal that the liberalisation of labour policy masked a continued desire to limit Asian immigration.