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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 253

(Question No. 1055)

Senator Ellison asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 14 February 1994:

  (1) On 7 April 1948, did the Immigration publicity officer, in a letter from file DGI/48/D.181 to the Immigration Branch of the Western Australian Department of Lands and Survey refer to a Melbourne Herald cable story from London.

  (2) Did that article on 5 April 1948 refer to the concerns that British social workers had about the conduct of institutions in Australia holding child migrants from the United Kingdom.

  (3) Did those social workers say that they had feared that emigration, which should have done much for the children, had been for the worse.

  (4) Did those social workers say that children were in institutions much less efficiently run than those in Britain.

  (5) Did those social workers fear that the population needs of Dominion countries were put before the welfare of the child migrants.

  (6) Did those social workers call for a government inquiry into child migration.

  (7) Is the Minister aware that a similar article appeared in the Age newspaper on 6 April 1948.

  (8) Is the Minister aware that the Chairman, the President and the Secretary of the British Federation of Social Workers, in a letter to the Times of 24 March 1948, said they had reason to think that `the practices of the various agencies for the migration of children vary and that their methods of selection of children, their welfare, education, training and after care in the receiving countries are not always of a sufficiently high standard'.

Senator Bolkus —I am advised that the answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) to (8) The records and archives of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs contain no information to answer these questions.