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Wednesday, 6 December 1905


Mr CROUCH (Corio) - I should like to point out that the amendment of the Prime Minister omits to declare - as does the principal Act - that the prescribed language shall be chosen by the Customs officer.


Mr Deakin - No; we say that the officer shall "dictate" to the immigrant.


Mr CROUCH - Suppose that there were eight prescribed languages, and that it was considered desirable to exclude, for example, a man from the Canary Islands. If Spanish or Portuguese were amongst the languages prescribed, I understand that the Customs officer has always had the power to say to him, " We will examine you in Greek or German." The present proposal, however, does not permit of him doing that.


Mr Deakin - Of course, when the officer " dictates," he chooses the language in which the immigrant shall be tested.


Mr CROUCH - But if Spanish were one of the prescribed languages the immigrant could immediately say,' " I will be examined in Spanish."


Mr Deakin - No; the officer dictates to him. I will look into the matter again, but I do not think there is any doubt as to the meaning of the proposal.







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