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Friday, 2 December 1938

Mr McEWEN (Indi) (Minister for the Interior) . - I listened with interest to the remarks of the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse). This is a subject that has given me some concern in dealing with immigration. I know from my own experience, and from reports that have come before me, of the shortage of both domestic workers for household duties, and of agricultural workers. Particular regard is paid to this state of affairs in the Government's migration poli:y, in respect of both assisted British migration and alien migration. I assure the honorable member that the Government's migration policy will tend towards the correction of the state of affairs of which he has complained. For instance, of 4,500 nominations received since the re-introduction of assisted British migration last February, by far the greatest proportion are of young men and women who will engage in agricultural occupations or domestic service, or of boys and girls who will be trained for those occupations. The statistics indicate that of the white aliens who come here, by far the greater proportion consists of those who will engage either in agricultural occupations, or do domestic work in the homes of their own people who have preceded them or in other homes. Of S,011 white aliens who came here last .year, 2,738 were agricultural workers, and 1,753 undertook home duties, making a total in those two categories of 4,491. The occupations of the others were - Assistants, clerks and labourers other than agricultural labourers and artisans, 1,736; children, 1,183 ; persons to engage in manufacturing industries, 237 ; professional people, 211; persons to engage in the building trade, S6; others, 71.

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