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Wednesday, 17 October 1956

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - It has been my practice to make available as much information as can suitably be made available about various aspects of the migration programme. That is done, not only at the annual citizenship conventions, but also at meetings of our two advisory bodies - which are very representative, as I think honorable members will agree - and from time to time in statements made in this House. I shall examine the practicability of tabling the texts of the arrangements-

Dr Evatt - Will not the Minister table the agreements?

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - I shall answer the question in my own way, if the right honorable gentleman will permit me to do so. I am not immediately conversant with the views of other governments with which we have entered into agreements on how far the contents of those agreements should be disclosed. Personally, I see no reason why the information should not be made available to honorable members generally. If that is the outcome of my investigations, the information will be supplied. In dealing with financial assistance, the honorable gentleman suggested that restrictions are applied lo immigrants of certain nationalities which are not applied to persons of Italian origin. I point out that at present restrictions are applied more stringently to prospective immigrants of southern European origin than to prospective immigrants from other areas - not because of discrimination in terms of race or nationality, but because of our determination to maintain a balanced intake of immigrants.

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