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Wednesday, 7 August 1946


Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Immigration) - I am aware of the complaints made by some at least of the travellers on Orbita ; they were of such a character that I immediately cabled to the Resident Minister in London, Mr. Beasley, a request that investigations be made as to the conditions under which passengers had to travel and the fare charged, which was claimed to be extortionate. The charge quoted by the honorable member, £109 sterling, is certainly much higher than this Government and the British Government will agree to pay under the free and assisted passage scheme. The Resident Minister in London is doing his best in very difficult circumstances, and I am sure he will make the fullest investigations possible. Officers of my departmentwill inspect Orbita before it leaves Sydney on the return voyage to London. The honorable member will agree 'that there are many difficulties associated with immigration for which neither the shipping companies nor the Australian or British Governments can be held responsible.







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