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Friday, 26 July 1946

Mr CALWELL - I wish the honorable member would read ministerialstate.ments in regard to immigration. He would not then ask questions of this kind. I have been at great pains to make it clear, even to the dullest of intellects, that the issue of landing permits confers no right of priority in respect of shipping facilities. I said on the 2nd August last, or it may have been subsequently, that landing permits for aliens would be issued only to the closest relatives of Australian 'citizens who were prepared to guarantee the maintenance of the persons concerned for a period of five years. In every case the persons to be admitted to Australia under such permits must have been victims of Nazi religious, racial or political persecution, must have endured a period in an internment camp, * or have been members of slave gang3 or compelled in other ways to suffer for# their particular religious, racial or" political views. That statement should have cleared away any idea that any persons predisposed to Nazi views would' be admitted. The people who have made applications for admittance of their friends to the Commonwealth are good Australian citizens, many of whom have served in the armed forces of this country. But no matter to whom persons overseas are related in Australia, they will not he admitted to this country unless the

British Consul in the country from which they desire to come is satisfied that they are persons who would become good Australian citizens. The persons involved are not at present resident in Palestine. They are nearly all still living in Europe in displaced persons' camps, and they have been told by their relatives in Australia that they have no claims to shipping accommodation under the control of either the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth Government, and that there is an absolute preference for the brides and fiancees of Australian servicemen and ex-servicemen, and for Australian personnel stranded abroad. I have made that clear time and again. I am not responsible for the comments of newspapers which are engaging in political propaganda. The honorable gentleman is a young man and, as yet, a very impressionable one. He has not, so far, developed any cynical tendencies. But he ought to realize that we are within, measurable distance of a general election campaign, a-nd that certain persons in control of newspaper offices are prone to publish propaganda against the Government. The Government always gives preference to people who are inside the British Commonwealth, before extending it to those who are outside the British Commonwealth.

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