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Thursday, 1 July 1920

Mr TUDOR - Do you not think it is about time that we got back to reasonable conditions, so that people may travel from place to place without these restrictions?

Mr POYNTON - If the Leader of the Opposition can tell me how travellers without a passport can land in England, America, or any other place in the world, then I will confess that his opposition to the Bill is justified.

Mr Mahony - What do you want the measure for at all ? If what you say is correct, there is no need for it, because unless a traveller has a passport he is unable to land anywhere. The Bill is only so much camouflage, and you know it.

Mr POYNTON - It is not camouflage. Hitherto we have been acting under the authority of the War Precautions Act, but we cannot continue that measure indefinitely.

Mr Mahony - Long before the war people were able to travel to foreign countries without passports being issued at this end.

Mr POYNTON - Ten years ago I went through Canada, the United States, and England without a passport, but I could not do so to-day.

Mr Considine - Yes, and nine or ten years ago you would have been opposed to this measure.

Mr POYNTON - I would not. In my opinion, the man who is opposed to it now ought to have his head read.

Mr Mahony - What eloquent language from a Minister of the Crown !

Mr POYNTON - Any objection to the Bill is based upon the flimsiest of pretexts. I again challenge the Opposition to show how any traveller from Australia can land in any other part of the world without a passport.

Dr EARLE PAGE (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What -was the custom before the war in the case of people going to France, Germany, or Russia?

Mr POYNTON - I do not think they required passports then.

Mr Tudor - I went to France without one.

Mr Riley - We want population in Australia, so what is the reason for requiring people coming here to produce passports ?

Mr POYNTON - We are enacting legislation similar to that adopted in other countries, and consider it very necessary to do so in order to have somecheck upon those who come here.

Mr Gabb - Now we are getting the real reason for the Bill.

Mr POYNTON - If I were to talk all night, it is not likely I would be able to convince some Opposition members of the need for the Bill. As a matter of fact, certain organizations supporting the Opposition passed resolutions without giving the matter much thought, and sent them on to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) and other honorable members. I received copies of those resolutions, and explained why this class of legislation should be introduced. I cannot understand how any honorable member who takes a commonsense view of the situation and knows the whole of the facts, can oppose the measure. If there were any possibility of passengers being able to land in England or elsewhere without passports there would, of course, be no need for it.

Mr Richard Foster - It is an international necessity.

Mr POYNTON - Of course it is.

Mr Mahony - Evidently the Government think it necessary to keep track of all Labour supporters.

Mr RICHARD FOSTER (WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - It is mighty necessary to keep track of some men.

Mr POYNTON - I move the second reading of the Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Tudor) adjourned.

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