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Friday, 23 July 1920

Mr POYNTON - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1.   The necessary conditions of the law as it stands at present are: (a) residence for two years; (6) good character; (o) knowledge of the English language.

The procedure is for the alien to apply, giving the information and certificates of character as required in the departmental forms and to advertise his intention to apply. The .Department then makes inquiries, and if the result is satisfactory the Governor-General is advised to approve of the issue of a certificate. The applicant next renounces his former allegiance, and takes the oath of allegiance to the King, after which the certificate is prepared and issued.

2.   Aboriginal natives of Asia, Africa, or the Pacific Islands, excepting New Zealand, are declared by law not to be eligible to apply. At present it is not the practice to naturalize former enemy aliens or Russians unless for exceptional reasons approved by the Minister.

I may add, for the honorable member's information, that a new law on the subject is in course of preparation, and a Bill to give effect throughout the Empire to Australian certificates will be introduced shortly.

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