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Wednesday, 10 May 1939

Mr SPEAKER - Order ! This bill has nothing to do with national insurance. The honorable member must confine his remarks to the registration of aliens.

Sir CHARLES MARR - It is extraordinary to me that some honorable members should offer a protest against our requiring alien migrants to comply with a law "exactly similar to a law enforced against Australians and migrants' of British stock. All of the electors of this country are compelled to register and their movements are traceable. The movements of aliens should also be recorded.

We have a just ground for complaint, I believe, in regard to allegations made from time to time that money which is sent overseas by aliens in Australia to enable their compatriots to enter this country is returned to the senders when the new migrants arrive and is then again remitted abroad to enable other people of the same race to come here. This, of course, is an evasion of the intention of the law, and action should be taken to render a continuation of the practice impossible. The Government should compel aliens who enter Australia to lodge a certain amount of money with a prescribed authority,which amount should be held at least for such a period as will enable the authorities to satisfy themselves that thosewho deposit it will make desirable Australian citizens. The money could then be returned. Iwonder whether all honorable members realize that even Australian-born citizenswho leave this country to go to Commonwealth territories such as Papua, New Guinea, Nauru and Ocean Island are obliged to lodge £50 with the Administration unless they are going, to positions in that territory. The money is held until the person lodging it returns to Australia or leaves the territory to which he has gone. The adoption of this policy was necessary because it was found some years ago that many people were going from Australia to certain territories in search of work which was not to be had, and when they became destitute the Government was put to the expense of deporting them to Australia. It would be quite reasonable to require alien migrants to lodge a sum of money with the authorities until such time as they became naturalized citizens. All aliens who come here should have to register, and our investigation officers should he called upon to report as to whether they are likely to become good citizens of Australia. If after the expiry of a specified time, it was found that certain individuals were not likely to be assimilated in our community the money that they had lodged could be used to pay their deportation expenses. The adoption of such a practice would, in my opinion, inflict no hardship on any one. 'Certainly the cost of, deportation in such circumstances should not be a charge upon the Government,

Dr Maloney - Does the honorable member propose that money so lodged should be placed in the Commonwealth Bank to the credit of the individual concerned, and that he should be paid interest thereon?

Sir CHARLES MARR - I should be quite prepared to agree to that course. If the Government holds a person's money in such circumstances, it could be lodged with the bank, and the person should receive the bank interest on it.

I am aware that some of the matters with which I have been dealing are not dealt with in the bill, but it is not often that honorable members are afforded an opportunity to make suggestions on these subjects. For that reason I have availed myself of this opportunity to do so. I hope the Government will favorably consider my proposals.

Finally, may I remind the members of the Country party that it is in the interest of the primary producers that we should increase the population of Australia and so enlarge the home market for our primary products. This is the best way for us to protect and develop Australia, lt is not desirable that groups of aliens should be ^allowed to establish themselves here without supervision. That policy must be inimical to the best interests of the mental, physical and industrial development of the country.

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