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Wednesday, 6 December 1905

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister of External Affairs) . - If the honorable member will permit me to say so, the object of th'is clause is to allow us to make an arrangement with any other nation whose subjects are habitually excluded from our ports, by which if the Government of that country are willing to undertake their control in their own ports they need not be required to present themselves for the education test. We may enter into a reciprocal arrangement with regard to our citizens visiting their country. The proposal will not disturb the existing arangement, which allows merchants and tourists from Japan and elsewhere to enter the Commonwealth temporarily under the passport system. I am not as hopeful as I was when the proposal was originally framed, that we shall be able to enter into any arrangement such as I have suggested. Still, no harm can result from our offer. The honorable member for Hindmarsh must see that the whole purpose of this clause is not to permit of the admission of any aliens who do not at present enter Australia. It merely provides a different method for their exclusion.

Mr. HUTCHISON(Hindmarsh).- It is scarcely to be expected that many countries will take advantage of our legislation to exclude from our shores members of their own race. As I am quite satisfied with the explanation of the Prime Minister, I ask leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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